Standard Elf Rally

Posted in Daily Deck on September 15, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

At this point, I thought I'd seen about every variation of Abzan in Standard, but to my surprise, there are still some new ideas out there. Today's deck mixes a strong graveyard theme with the power of Elves! Magic Origins had a deep Elf theme, but while the cards are certainly there, not many people have been utilizing this sweet tribe. Shaman of the Pack is a pretty good reason to play a lot of Elves in your deck. After you beat down with your small creatures, the Shaman is capable of finishing your opponent off. Combine that with ways to search for it like Collected Company and Chord of Calling, and you have a pretty consistent mini-combo deck.

Dan Musser's Elf build plays in a very similar way, but instead of finding Shaman of the Pack in his library, Dan's goal is to reanimate it along with a bunch of other Elves for a huge life swing with Rally the Ancestors. The deck plays out like a typical aggro deck with some minor disruption in Abzan Charm and other creature removal spells. Satyr Wayfinder helps you fill up your graveyard, and Sidisi, Undead Vizier can find combo pieces for you. Then, once all of your creatures are dead, cast Rally the Ancestors to bring them all back. If you have multiple Shaman of the Packs on the battlefield, they can do a huge amount of damage. Siege Rhino, while not an Elf, plays a similar role in that he can return to play and drain your opponent for 3 life. What's an Abzan deck without Siege Rhino anyway?

Elves has always been a tribe of utility, and the Elves in Magic Origins are no different. We have ways to draw more cards (Elvish Visionary), create tokens (Dwynen's Elite), and ramp our mana (Elvish Mystic). There's even some cool one-offs that we can search up with Chord of Calling when we need to. It's pretty interesting to see only one copy of Nissa, Vastwood Seer in a deck, but if you think about it, you really only want her when you need to find your seventh land. It's also sweet to return her with Rally the Ancestors and then transform her in the same turn to get around the "exile all creatures" clause.

Dan Musser's Elf Rally

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