Leading the Stampede

Posted in Feature on October 17, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

Yesterday, I featured a Modern deck ported over to Legacy, and it seems only fitting to do the reverse today. Legacy Elves is one of my favorite decks, and what I played at the last Legacy Grand Prix (as well as at some other tournaments over the last few years), so I'll use any excuse to start casting Nettle Sentinels.

Craterhoof Behemoth

This list still has the same group of mana producers, with only the engine cards needing a swap. Nettle Sentinel plus Heritage Druid plus any crew of Elves ends up producing a massive amount of mana and is generally only constrained by the amount of cards you are able to draw. Elvish Visionary is a key part of the deck for that reason, but Elvish Visionary on its own isn't enough.

In Legacy, you have Glimpse of Nature and Green Sun's Zenith, but those are not legal in Modern (I did get to play Elves with Glimpse at the Community Cup and it was busted). Instead, Lead the Stampede is your go-to big spell to fill up your hand, and it functions well in a deck with forty-one creatures. It's actually just the +1 of Garruk, Caller of Beasts, but at half the mana of Garruk himself—a reduction the deck requires.

Still, Lead the Stampede alone doesn't quite make the deck into a pure combo deck, so there's more of a Plan B (or E) here than most Elves decks. Elvish Archdruid; Joraga Warcaller; Imperious Perfect; and Ezuri, Renegade Leader are the beatdown enablers, as all of these lords make your ragtag assembly of 1/1s into something much more fearsome. Warcaller is a great mana sink, as is Ezuri, and Imperious Perfect is at its best when things aren't going so well. It doesn't require much mana or backup, and does a great job of helping you recover from mass removal. Elvish Archdruid pulls double duty, ramping up your mana production and letting you attack with any Elves you don't need to tap for mana.

Craterhoof Behemoth still adds a way to deal 50+ points of trample damage with ease, although there are no longer any actual tutors to search it up. It's joined by another exciting addition from when I last played Elves in Modern: Deathrite Shaman. The power level of Deathrite is quite high, as every Modern event since its release has proved, and it does everything this deck wants plus adds a little bit of lifegain and damage to the table. It's even an Elf, which seems almost excessive.

It may take some adjustment to move to this instead of an Elves deck with Glimpse of Nature, but if you are looking for more formats where Elves are awesome, Modern is on the list.


Emrys4242's Elf Combo

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