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Creature — Elf Artificer
When Armorcraft Judge enters the battlefield, draw a card for each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it.
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Armorcraft Judge Discussion
1 week ago
Until the entire Dominaria set is revealed I'm using the comments instead of making another update to post how my playtesting is going with Dominaria. I'm not going to offically update Radiant Elves until all the cards I choose to play are in the TappedOut database with art and able to be added to decks.
Round One Dominaria Playtesting: Selesyna Ramp and Counters
Marwyn, the Nurturer looks to be the new Elvish Archdruid of Standard. She's finally since Shaman of the Pack a build around card specifically for the Elven tribe. I've been waiting for a card like her since Magic Origins. She's a unique lord, not a lord in the normal sense that she powers up other Elves or gives them abilities. She's different because she alone benefits from Elves to make her huge and give her major ramp.
In my playtesting I've been searching for ways to break her ramp capability. Being able to use her ramp to play a lot of Elves and Verdurous Gearhulk is fun, but I need a bit more oomph. Obviously good mana sinks are nuts if I can make six to eight plus green mana a turn. Rhonas the Indomitable and Walking Ballista have real potential with her ramp especially Rhonas because he can give her and other Elves trample. Marwyn can get really big with counters giving her trample while also adding to her power is great. Rhonas can act like a pseudo Ezuri, Renegade Leader for other Elves with Marwyn's mana.
These creatures are possibilities, but the card in my playtesting that's best with Marwyn is Approach of the Second Sun. Approach is really one of the most broken cards in Standard because it can be an instant win when casting a second copy of it. It's seen only in Control decks, most notable Azorius Control which it's the win condition. Elves with the reprinting of Llanowar Elves are now poised to have a unique position in Standard as being the tribe of ramp. Dinos can also ramp, but that tribe is about power not ramp. So far decks are not ramping into Approach instead they're controlling the game until they can cast the seven mana sorcery. With the amount of ramp that Elves can now make this changes how to approach playing Approach.
Llanowar Elves adds a one drop to the two and three drop mana Elves. This addition can completely change the tribe making it much stronger. Dominaria has already added these two very good mana Elves in Llanowar and Marwyn, the Nurturer to the already full pool of mana Elves. This tells me that Wizards intent for Elves as a tribe is ramp and I'm happy that they're finally chosen a coherent single strategy to pair with the tribe instead of pairing many different strategies that have no or very little synergy with each other. The fact that Marwyn cares about counters means she has interaction with Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Metallic Mimic this is a subtle, but fantastic hint that Wizards is beginning to care about the Elf tribe.
Servant of the Conduit is pretty much a staple two drop mana Elf in Standard for energy decks I've been playing him since Kaladesh. He's unique because he's the only mana Elf that can make other than green, another color of mana in this case white. Druid of the Cowl has not seen much play, but it's another two drop mana Elf who could make his way into this deck. Relying on Marwyn's ramp to cast Approach is a tricky plan because if Marwyn is killed than I need a back-up plan to make mana. This is where the other mana Elves come in. They can help me to cast Approach without Marwyn and they pair nicely with Rishkar, Peema Renegade.
Marwyn has fantastic interaction with the Kaladesh theme of Elves, +1/+1 counters. She continues this theme by also using counters, but unlike any other Elves she can continue to get counters turn after turn as long as I keep playing Elves. Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Metallic Mimic and Kujar Seedsculptor can all put a counter on Marwyn and Mimic can power Rishkar's mana ability by putting a counter on other Elves who ETB. These three have great synergy together. Marwyn gets a counter when an Elf ETB not when one is cast, this is relevant because Mimic can put a counter on her. Mimic ETB as the creature type I choose, in this case Elf, Marwyn will see it as an Elf when it ETB. Seedsculptor has seen zero play and that's understandable because she's pretty lackluster; however she can put two counters on Marwyn, that's good for a two drop Elf.
Steel Leaf Champion is another incredible Elf from Dominaria. He brings a very aggressive stance to the tribe. Turn one Llanowar Elves can help me to cast a turn two Steel Leaf. This interaction is crazy powerful and I suspect it will be the line I include in all my playtesting with Elves moving forward. The three drop spot on the mana curve is crowded now with Elves: Steel Leaf, Rishkar and Marwyn. Llanowar lets me play all these Elves together in the same deck because any one of them is a good turn two play.
Steel Leaf is an aggressive Elf and that's really not the direction I'm going with this version, but it adds another dimension to the deck that my opponent has to contend with. Steel Leaf benefits a lot from the counters strategy because it starts out with five power putting any number of counters on it makes it just plain huge.
Armorcraft Judge makes Approach of the Second Sun a more consistent win condition. After casting the first Approach the card is then placed in my library seven cards from the top. To realistically be able to win the game with Approach I need a way to draw into my library seven cards deep. Of course I could have a second copy of Approach in my hand after casting the first one. I could then cast the second copy on my next turn and win the game, but this is best case scenario. What if I don't have another Approach in hand? I need a way to draw into the one in my library. Judge can do this, he cares about counters just like Marwyn, Rishkar, Mimic, Seedsculptor and Verdurous Gearhulk.
This is only the first round of playtesting. Second round is Gruul or Naya with Grand Warlord Radha. Stay tuned for more Elf goodness :)
3 weeks ago
I've been thinking of doing a more mono green version of this, I think Reverent Hunter might have a place in this deck since it looks pretty green heavy. Maybe Armorcraft Judge. They're cheap, but I think in this style of deck Armorcraft Judge might be even better than collected company due to all the card draw.
1 month ago
Ill have to test out Armorcraft Judge! That seems very useful. Thank you!
2 months ago
Hey kshock68, the Standard bans helped all tribal decks. Aggressive swarming tribal strategies got a big boost. I think Elves are better positioned now because they can do things that the other tribes can't. But, compared to the other tribes I don't think Elves are a contender yet simply because other tribes got so many good creatures in RIX.
Elves are at a disadvantage because the main strategy +1/+1 counters is done better by Merfolk with Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca and explore with Winding Constrictor. In this current version Elves have an advantage with three colors, ramp, trample and flying. These abilities separates the Elf tribe from the other tribes. Some of these abilities have the possibility of going over the top of a swarm of creatures which is what Elves need to do because they can't match, go toe to toe with the amount of creatures that other tribes can put on the battlefield as fast as they can.
Ramp with Rishkar, Peema Renegade and ascended Radiant Destiny gives Elves an advantage because if my opponent stumbles which will happen then I can potentially get ahead with board position. Ramp also gives Elves some much need game against midrange. I'm very happy that Aether Hub didn't get banned because it pairs so well with Servant of the Conduit, this is a color advantage Elves have over other tribes. Trample becomes pretty important in Vamp matchups because of tokens and flying is a way to go over the top of Merfolk, Dinos and midrange.
Taking even more advantage of ramp maybe the next step for this deck. Ramping into River's Rebuke can wreck any tribal deck. Ghalta, Primal Hunger because of trample also seems very good, going completely over the top. Armorcraft Judge can be good for draw advantage in some matchups, but he can also be too slow, requires some set-up or the perfect hand. He's better in midrange matchups such as Temur, Sultai, Grixis. Baffling End becomes much better with the bans because it's very good in nonDino tribal matchups and wrecks Snake decks.
Control is set to return to the meta as a real option. Temur and Mono-Red are what was keeping control in check. Temur was able to out value control with all of it's energy producing cards backed up with Negate and Mono-Red was too fast for control to deal with. I expect to have to prepare for variations of decks with Approach of the Second Sun or The Scarab God. Making Negate, Ixalan's Binding great sideboard cards for the future meta to stop Settle the Wreckage, Fumigate and Scarab.
Temur, Sultai and Mono-Red took a big hits with the bans, but they will all survive in Standard. I think they will survive, but look very different Jadelight Ranger can replace Refiner, more land can replace Attune, but a fourth splash I don't think is possible. Sultai still has Winding Constrictor, Rishkar and the new explore creatures are nuts with the Snake.
Red will survive, but it will look different because it's reach, Ruins and it's tribal hate, Ferocidon were banned. Hazoret is still here, some deck will play it maybe Vehicles will return and play it as top the end. Red may morph to accommodate Pirates or Path of Mettle Flip, using Metzali, Tower of Triumph as it's new reach, Ruins replacement. Glorybringer is a fantastic card to combat the tribal decks I expect to continue to lose to it in Standard.
Grixis Midrange is set to become the new midrange deck to beat in Standard. I expect to have to plan more sideboard for this matchup. The manabase is very good and it can play Ravenous Chupacabra, Glorybringer and The Scarab God and back-up these powerful creatures with Negate for control. Essentially mimicking aspects that made Temur energy so oppressive.
2 months ago
I had a hate bears +1/+1 counter deck headed by Daghatar the Adamant for a bit so here are my thoughts:
Green's competitive edge is ramping yet you are not playing a single ramp spell. Why? While your curve is nice not using this advantage only makes this weaker.
Is Deadbridge Goliath a pet card? Otherwise he is pretty bad. A vanilla creature w an obscene scavenge cost is win less and more simultaneously. I would re-examine your creature choices and prune the less optimal ones. Instead focus on giving more +1/+1 counters like Durable Handicraft, Citadel Siege, and Retreat to Kazandu.
Surprised to not see more outlast guys like Abzan Falconer, etc.
In general I think you are too focused on creatures. As suggested prune and add more ramp, interaction and card advantage for better balance. For CA Shamanic Revelation, Elemental Bond, Phyrexian Arena, Armorcraft Judge, Inspiring Call, etc. are options.
Hope something helps!
2 months ago
My first concern with the deck, is the Old-Growth Dryads. As attractive as a 3/3 for 1 might sound, I always hate giving free ramp to my opponent, especially so early in the game. I would suggest other 1-drops, like Dread Wanderer, for recursion, or Deadeye Tracker for build-in graveyard hate and slight counters synergy.
My other concern, is how your deck is primarily green, but your mana doesn't really reflect that too well, you have more red sources than green. You should probably think about readjusting the amount of green sources vs other colors.
Another suggestion for the deck, to trigger revolt, would be Renegade Map instead of attune. Admittedly, you would probably have to switch out your Greenbelt Rampager for something else, as you have pretty much no other way of gaining energy, but it allows you to have an on-demand revolt trigger.
A final suggestion could be Armorcraft Judge. At most, one or two copies in the deck, or even in the sideboard for mid-rangy matchups, as it would potentially slow you down, but seeing as you have so many +1/+1 counter creatures, it could give you a needed boost in more grindy matchups.
Anyways, +1 from me, I like the idea, best of luck.
3 months ago
Forgotten Ancient. Scute Mob. Armorcraft Judge. Avatar of the Resolute. Elite Scaleguard. Heroes' Bane. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. Kalonian Hydra. Karlov of the Ghost Council. Oran-Rief Hydra. Primordial Hydra. Reyhan, Last of the Abzan. Skullbriar, the Walking Grave. Sunscorch Regent. Undergrowth Champion. Vigor. Reap What Is Sown. Hardened Scales.
Just a few suggestions for your +1/+1 game.