Duels Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora

Posted in Feature on February 16, 2015

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for DailyMTG.com, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

I freely admit it: I get incredibly excited every time I get to reveal new Duel Decks. Partially because revealing things to you fine people is cool. But also because it means I get to play with them.

Last week, I finally got to try one of the Duel Decks I've been most looking forward to since I heard about it, Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora. Two of my favorite Planeswalkers battling it out on Theros? I was incredibly stoked.

So very excited, in fact, that I might have gone a little overboard adding boxes and playmats to the equation (sold separately)...

Yo dawg, I hear you like Elspeth and Kiora, so I put Elspeth and Kiora in Elspeth and Kiora boxes in an Elspeth and Kiora box on an Elspeth and Kiora playmat.

My partner in dueling this time around was one Sean Gibbons, the same Sean you see Tweeting back to you from @Wizards_Magic. He chose to start with Elspeth because "My heart said Kiora, but my head said Elspeth." Here he is studying his clearly inferior hand.

How do I know it's inferior? Because mine had all I would ever need in an opening hand ever.

How could I lose?

The answer is that I couldn't. Oh, Sean put on a good show. He started here:

Let's take a closer look at this little guy.

Is that new art for Icatian Javelineers? I thought so at first, but it's apparently been printed on a promo card before, around the time of Time Spiral. Neat! (Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said it had never been on a printed card before. That was incorrect.)

The Javelineers aren't the only ones to get that sort of "you've seen it before but not on a card" art. Presenting the Duel Decks version of Accumulated Knowledge!

For fans of Duels of the Planeswalkers, that art was originally commissioned for Duels of the Planeswalkers, and now you can actually hold it in your hand! It's the first different art on a printed Accumulated Knowledge, which is pretty great.

But I'm getting distracted by all the pretty pictures. Back in my battle against the nefarious Sean (he's actually a really nice guy), Coiling Oracle did indeed help me hit enough lands to, eventually, run roughshod over Sean's puny Soldiers with MIGHTY LEVIATHANS OF THE INKWELL VARIETY.

(Inkwell Leviathan, that is. It's tramply.)

Getting to nine mana wasn't easy, but, thankfully, Kiora has the power of Temple of the False God on her side, now with new art!

Right, distracted by pretty pictures. Stay on point.

Sean put up a good fight, even casting Decree of Justice for...Ooooh! Pretty new art!

Oh man, and look at that Mother of Runes!

Ahem. Anyway, even that wasn't enough as MIGHTY LEVIATHANS OF THE INKWELL VARIETY proved too tramply to handle.

That meant it was time to switch decks, myself taking the side of the Soldiers and Sean dipping his toes in the water with Krakens and MIGHTY LEVIATHANS OF THE INKWELL VARIETY.

For the second game, Sean mercilessly stomped me thanks to Man-o'-War and Peel from Reality on his Man-o'-War, but we don't want to talk about that one. And by "we" I mean me. Although it did give Sean a chance to cast this beauty.

Pretty, but let's move on to the third game. The third game, the third game was a nice one. For me.

Once again armed to the teeth with Elspeth's Soldiers at my side, I was able to assemble an early squad of battle-hardened Soldiers led by an Elephant and saved from above by a savior wearing a cloak of gust (or something like that). Either way, even the mighty Nessian Asp and the followers of Kiora weren't able to stop the beats.

And with that, Elspeth had battled back to crush her soggy foe. And, more importantly, I won 2–1. Because that's what really matters.

Except that's not true. That's not why you're really here. What really matters to you is what's in these decks, isn't it? Well, I can help with that. Check out the decklists below, then check out your local stores for Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora, releasing everywhere February 27!

Kiora

Elspeth

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