Deck Tech: Elves!

Posted in Event Coverage on January 5, 2003

By Ben Bleiweiss

"I saw this guy draw thirty-six cards after his opponent activated Pernicious Deed."
"I was watching this guy and he drew fifteen cards off of Slate of Ancestry and played them all to the table on the same turn."

It's completely my pleasure to report to you that Elves! are alive. Based very loosely off of the Trinity Green deck, several Latin American players piloted the Elves! deck to a day two finish at PT Houston. While none of them had the flashy finishes of Oath, Reanimator, or Psychatog, the deck finished above average in the field. With a top eight appearance here at GP New Orleans, perhaps it's time to take a look at what makes this deck tick.

Elves! works through explosive and spectacular mana acceleration. Between Llanowar Elves, Rofellos, Birds of Paradise and Gaea's Cradle, the deck can generate dozens of mana by as soon as the third turn! In some matches, Diego dropped a first turn Bird, second turn Rofellos, third turn Deranged Hermit, dropped Gaea's Cradle, used the Cradle to cast another Hermit, and then attacked with a horde of 3/3 squirrels the following turn. Other games, he used Skyshroud Poacher to drag out Hermits, used his mana to turn Masticore into a machine gun, and cast Living Wish to get all sorts of answers and questions from his sideboard.

Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
The real power of this deck comes from its speed. Reanimator might get a second turn monster, and Red Deck Wins/Sligh might run you over with efficient early drops, but Elves! can go from zero to sixty in three seconds. Lose your board, and you can rebuild it with multiple cheap creatures and Slate of Ancestry. The deck can start up on a dare, and can gain such momentum that once it gets going it's near impossible to stop.

In addition, the deck packs several anti-oath cards including main deck Elvish Lyrist and Naturalize. Uktabi Orangutan can come out off Living Wish if need be, and the threat of Naturalize, Lyrist and Bind give the deck staying power against Pernicious Deed. Can the Rock even deal with a third turn Masticore with eight mana to spare, though?

I think the single best thing about this deck is that it is FUN. Psychatog can give you a headache, the Rock is all about gaining slow card advantage, and Red Deck Wins is the same old burn burn burn as it's always been. With Elves!, you get to play with a bunch of janky lil' forest dwellers who synergize together to form a deck of surprising power and versatility.

Grand Prix New Orleans: Elves!

Download Arena Decklist
Sorcery (8)
4 Call of the Herd 4 Living Wish
Instant (2)
2 Naturalize
Artifact (2)
2 Slate of Ancestry
Land (23)
2 Dust Bowl 18 Forest 3 Gaea's Cradle
Other (3)
3 Skyshroud Poachers
60 Cards

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