Collecting Elves

boab120_ezuri

 

Modern is a format that does not see a lot of change. It’s a rare moment when a new deck makes a splash in the format. Over the past month Collected Company Elves has grown to be very popular on MTGO. The Elves tribal deck, while popular in Legacy, hasn’t seen much success in Modern until recently. It can be a fast paced beat-down deck with turn one mana Elf into turn two Elvish Archdruid. The Elvish Archdruid can then power out more Elves from an early Collected Company, ending in another turn or two with Ezuri, Renegade Leader Overruning all Elves into game-ending beaters. Elves can also grind out longer games thanks to Chord of Calling. Being able to access any creature in their deck can significantly slow down or even stop the opponents end game. Becoming a Chord of Calling toolbox makes Elves very strong, post sideboard, against any deck they are prepared for. The deck is still new, so there are a lot of different flavors flying around as players search for the best version. Let’s take a look at what kind of decks we have coming out of this new shell.

The first I saw of the Elves deck was during the 2014 Magic Online Championship. Magnus Lantto brought this list to the modern portion of the tournament:

60 Cards

Creature (33)
4 Elvish Archdruid
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Elvish Visionary
1 Essence Warden
1 Eternal Witness
3 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
1 Fauna Shaman
4 Heritage Druid
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Nettle Sentinel
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Spellskite

Instant (8)
4 Chord of Calling
4 Collected Company

Land (19)
4 Cavern of Souls
5 Forest
1 Horizon Canopy
3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
1 Pendelhaven
4 Razorverge Thicket

 

Sideboard (15)
2 Eternal Witness
1 Spellskite
3 Beast Within
1 Burrenton Forge-Tender
1 Choke
1 Fracturing Gust
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
3 Kitchen Finks
1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast
1 Thrun, the Last Troll

This is a mostly green list. The white is there purely for sideboarding, with Fracturing Gust, and  Kataki, War’s Wage for the Affinity match up, and Burrenton Forge-Tender for Burn. This is still seems to be the most popular list so far, with just a few sideboard swaps here and there. Phyrexian Revoker and Aven Mindcensor are commonplace.

Most players have kept the white splash in the deck. The white offers sideboard options of extremely powerful hate cards and removal that is superior to a Beast Within. On the other hand, some people have gone more towards an aggressive mono-green build, focusing more on the tribal theme. Imperious Perfect can generate a lot of advantage in a longer game and Elvish Champion can really speed up a win against an opponent with forests.

imperiousperfect

Here is PEPEVILLELA’s list from a Modern Daily Event

60 Cards

Creature (35)
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Elvish Archdruid
2 Elvish Champion
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Elvish Visionary
1 Eternal Witness
3 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
2 Fauna Shaman
4 Heritage Druid
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Nettle Sentinel
1 Scavenging Ooze
Spellskite

Instant (7)
3 Chord of Calling
4 Collected Company

Land (18)
2 Cavern of Souls
13 Forest
3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Sideboard (15)
1 Eternal Witness
1 Spellskite
2 Beast Within
4 Essence Warden
2 Choke
2 Fracturing Gust
2 Tajuru Preserver
1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast

I am a big fan of the one-of Craterhoof Behemoth in this deck. It is not necessary for the deck to win, but it allows for a quick and explosive finish when the opportunity is there. Having a way to win a match suddenly is a very important tool to have in Modern. Other top tier decks contain an incidental combo win, namely Splinter Twin and Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit Podless. The Craterhoof Behemoth allows Elves to pocket a few quick games in a similar fashion.

boab195_cra

Players have been tinkering around with different cards, but mostly just in the side board. Green White certainly has access to the most hate cards, but there have also been a few Elf decks with Blood Moon,  Magus of the Moon, and Ancient Grudge in the side board. One card I am surprised no one is playing is Mutavault. It gets all the bonuses from any Elf lords you have in play, both of Ezuri, Renegade Leader‘s abilities work on it, and if there is an Elvish Archdruid in play, it essentially gets activated for free.

I’m very excited to see how far this deck goes. It is working hard to cement itself into the metagame, and it really looks like it is here to stay. In the coming months I’m sure well see a few different takes on the Elves deck. Hopefully new color combinations and new cards will come out before the deck is perfected. It is a lot of fun to watch a deck find its way and mature in a well established format. I hope this article inspires you to go try Elves for yourself. If you’re not a fan of Elves, or green in general, at least you will be prepared for it if you happen to face it. Either way, good luck and thanks for the read!

 

Magnus Lantto’s deck list from: http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/mtgochamp14/modern-decklists-2015-05-15

PEPEVILLELA’s deck list from: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/modern-daily-2015-06-02

 

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