General Game Plan:

Elves wants to utilize its core of mana dorks to rapidly flood the board with bodies, pump them with tribal lords, and swing wide to exhaust the opponent's blockers and removal. Because the deck can dump its hand very rapidly and subsequently produce ever greater quantities of mana, the deck is well-suited to utilizing cards such as Lead the Stampede to refill your hand, Collected Company to quickly field creatures, and Chord of Calling to dig for win conditions such as Craterhoof Behemoth or Shaman of the Pack.

Win Conditions:

  • Beatdown: The most straightforward way of winning is to flood the board with elves, pump them via lords, and swing wide. We can also borrow a page from the Merfolk playbook utilizing an Elvish Champion and Nylea's Presence combo to ignore potential blockers thanks to forestwalk.
  • Overrun: Another means of winning is to simply smash through whatever blockers the opponent currently has. We can do this by either repeatedly using Ezuri, Renegade Leader's second ability as a mana sink, or by resolving a Craterhoof Behemoth.
  • Life Loss: Resolving a Shaman of the Pack will result in our opponent losing life equal to the total number of elves we have fielded. This can be used as the last bit of reach needed to finish off an opponent on low life, or for the rarer total blowout for 10-20 damage.

Food for Thought:

  • Our mana dorks cannot tap for mana the turn they're played due to summoning sickness. This means you always want two lands in your opening hand to guarantee being able to play Elvish Archdruid or Elvish Champion on turn two.
  • The deck is capable of generating massive amounts of mana on turns two and three via the interactions between Heritage Druid, Dwynen's Elite and Nettle Sentinel. Heritage Druid on turn one into a turn two Dwynen's Elite nets three mana, enough to play one of our lords the same turn despite having two tapped lands. The other option is enabling an infinite or near-infinite mana-generating loop by paying the Heritage Druid's activation cost by tapping two or three Nettle Sentinels. The next spell you play will untap the Sentinels, meaning you can then repeat the process ad nauseum so long as you can keep tapping elves by groups of three.
  • The deck is surprisingly resistant to board clears with the right cards in hand. The more lords that are in play, the less effective "-x/-x" effects and "deal x damage to all creatures" spells become. Furthermore, we can board in Golgari Charm to negate utilizing multiple spells that would normally wipe our board clear. The only clears that pose serious threat to our board state are Wrath of God and Damnation. Should the opponent cast one of those, however, following up with a Collected Company can quickly bring us back into the game.
  • Remember that Pendelhaven cannot pump elves already bolstered by any lords on the field.
  • When casting creature spells, it's always best to use Cavern of Souls to pay for the most important creature in your hand. Save it for your Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Shaman of the Pack, Elvish Archdruid, and for changelings like Mirror Entity and Chameleon Colossus.
  • Regenerating an elf does not prevent the damage that would be dealt to it. Rather it prevents the destruction of said creature. This ability bricks against exile and flicker effects.
  • Chord of Calling is essentially copies two through five of any one of our win conditions or silver bullets. Opponent played a threatening planeswalker and you don't have enough creature to remove it when attacking? Chord for Phyrexian Revoker. Opponent has a hand full of nothing but counterspells and targeted removal? Chord for Thrun, the Last Troll. Need a finisher? Chord for Craterhoof Behemoth or Ezuri, Renegade Leader. The ability to attack is impeded by an artifact or enchantment? Chord for Reclamation Sage. Need to stretch for that last bit of damage for lethal? Chord for Shaman of the Pack. Just need a big beater on the table? Chord for Chameleon Colossus or Thragtusk.
  • Artifacts and Enchantments can be very difficult for the deck to deal with. While the mainboard Abrupt Decay readily handles many pre-sideboard permanents, expect your opponents to bring in every last means of disrupting the ability to go wide. You can bring in the additional copies of Reclamation Sage when this is the case.
  • Eternal Witness is your emergency recursion should a spell you needed to resolve get countered or a creature you need to stay on the board be removed.
  • Shaman of the Pack and Craterhoof Behemoth will include themselves in calculating their ETB triggers should the creatures remain on the board when said triggers resolve.
  • Fracturing Gust is a surprise post-sideboard win condition against decks such as Lantern Control or Affinity that rely primarily on artifacts to comprise the decklist. Gust allows you to wipe almost the entirety of the opponent's board state and gain life per removed permanent.
  • Similarly to Gust, Melira, Sylvok Outcast is a silver bullet for infect decks.
  • Chameleon Colossus is a potential from-left-field win condition. It's a self-pumping beater with protection from black, making it effectively bolt-proof and untouchable by any black spells/creatures. It's pumped by our lords, gains forestwalk from Elvish Champion, can be regenerated and pumped by Ezuri, Renegade Leader, unable to be countered if payed for with mana from a Cavern of Souls, and can even tap to pay for Heritage Druid's ability cost! The only threats are removal like Path to Exile, Wrath of God, and the like.
  • Flipping a Westvale Abbey  Flip can quickly move an opponent's difficult position to an unwinnable one. It's an excellent tertiary win condition for those games where you fail to draw into your close-out lines of play.

Card Selection Alternatives:

  • Wrap in Vigor is a replacement for Golgari Charm if you want to have the extra anti-wrath tech in your sideboard. Wrap in Vigor is also the mono-green friendly regeneration tech.
  • Lead the Stampede is the obvious stand-in for Collected Company, but do be aware that it is both slower since it is a sorcery, and less effective as while you can pull more than two creatures out of your library, they go to your hand instead of the table.
  • Thoughtseize has two possible replacements: Inquisition of Kozilek or Duress. Inquisition is about a quarter of the price, but can only hit cards with 3 CMC or less. Duress is dirt-cheap, but can only hit noncreature nonland cards. However, Thoughtseize is somewhat irreplaceable for the reasons this deck uses it, and thus should not be substituted.
  • Chord of Calling has two neat replacements, though it should be noted both are slower due to playing at sorcery speed. Eldritch Evolution is a great alternative for lists that run a bit lower to the ground, relying more on Ezuri and Elvish Champion to ignore and overrun blockers through a series of swings instead of an outright Behemoth blowout. Primal Command is the other option; when you use it to dig for a finisher, the downside is negligible (what would we be digging for but a Behemoth?) but the additional modes make this a great Swiss army knife card we can use alongside Chord as readily as in place of it.
  • Heritage Druid is comparatively more expensive than our other one drops at 4+ USD. Arbor Elf, while not a mana dork directly, can fulfill the same role for twenty cents. If you're making a mono-green list and want rock-bottom prices, Arbor Elf should find a home in your deck list (you'll likely run playsets of Mystic, Llanowar and Arbor, forgoing the Heritage Druid).
  • Elves of Deep Shadow is a unique answer to a mana base lacking enough black sources when you're not able to aquire Gilt-Leaf Palace, Blooming Marsh or Overgrown Tomb. The other option is Llanowar Wastes, but remember you're going to lose health when tapping for green with the Wastes as well.
  • Targeted removal comes in three flavors: Abrupt Decay, Fatal Push, and Dismember. Dismember is the cheapest option, and mono-green friendly since it can be cast for and 4 life. Abrupt Decay is unique in that it's both uncounterable and can hit any non-land permanent, providing it the greatest flexibility in application; however, it's the hardest to cast costing . Fatal Push is the most expensive inclusion, but the most efficient creature removal of the three options at merely , and being able to stretch to hit a 4 CMC creature with the revolt trigger. Gauge all three options compared to your local meta and your budget when deciding which to include.
  • There's a rather interesting decision that can be made over the 18th land slot, as it is commonly occupied by a colorless source. Most decks might run Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, which is capable of filtering into a pool of mana equal to your devotion to a color of your choice. While this is an amazing means of generating huge mana stores for your turn, you can do the same with a full board of elves and one or two archdruids. The other options is Westvale Abbey  Flip. While this similarly requires a sizable board presence to utilize, the payoff can instantly win the game - a 9/7 flying, indestructible, lifelink beater that can start swinging from the moment it flips.

Planned Changes:



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Date added 1 month
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This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.14
Tokens 1/1 Elf Warrior, 1/1 Human Cleric
Views 530