Creature (1)


Welcome to Selesnya Elves of the Sun. This is going to be a primer for Modern Green White Elves, which now holds the potential for a turn three kill!

For the most part, the core of the elves deck stays the same. You have your same standard card choices.


Elvish Mystic and Llanowar Elves are going to be your one drop mana ramp - this allows you to dump your entire hand on the board early.

Elvish Archdruid is a large portion of your ramping, and a lord. If you have Archdruid in your hand before you attack, it's generally a mistake to not play it.

Heritage Druid, another large part of your early hand dumping. The great part about this card is summoning sickness does not apply to the effect. And when you combo it with Nettle Sentinel, you can repeatedly use the effect.

Elvish Champion, a one of because everyone loves forests. And free hitting is always good. Also another lord, very important.

Elvish Visionary for card draw and a body. When it comes to sideboard game, this should be one of the first things you consider taking out.

Dwynen's Elite is a super effective card. It's a 2 cost 3/3 essentially, but the biggest part about it is it gives you another body for going off with Heritage Druid. Heritage Druid into Dwynen's Elite basically makes your next card free.

Scavenging Ooze as a one of to have the ability to mess with graveyard, gain some life back, and have a beater.

One Spellskite for some creature protection.

One Reclamation Sage for some artifact and enchantment hate, and a body.

Ezuri, Renegade Leader is your win condition. I only run two because the logic with elves is it's very all in. Two will leave it consistent enough to where you can get it, but if you don't have enough gas for the first one, you're not going to win with the second. That third slot most people use can go towards something more important, and in my case I use it for Spellskite.

Instants and Sorceries:

Collected Company is basically what makes this deck effective. End of your opponents turn you can use it, hit something like Archdruid and use it on your turn. It's great because you look at 6 cards, pick two creatures with 3 CMC or less (which is more than half the deck), and you have potential to cheat your big elves onto the board (Archdruid and Ezuri).

Chord of Calling for some is a controversial pick. I personally like running it - it allows me to search for any creature in my deck at instant speed. Personally has saved me games by picking up Archdruid for that +1/+1 effect - as well as you can grab Ezuri with it and regenerate things after. Cool combat tricks!

Lead the Stampede is somewhat of a must. If you burn your entire hand in the opener, have some leftover mana for the end of the turn, use it on this and refill your hand with more elfs for the next turn. Also highly effective when dealing with board sweeps.


Beast Within is in here because it's green removal. More importantly, I use it because it destroys target permanent... so everything.

Aven Mindcensor because searching your opponents searching their libraries is overrated.

Burrenton Forge-Tender absolutely destroys those red board clears.

An extra Elvish Champion is good in the right matchups.

Screw Affinity and Bogles! So we use Fracturing Gust :)

Hushwing Gryff for a couple reasons. This card shuts down Melira combo, Snapcaster Mage, Thought-Knot Seer... You get the point. It's a creature, so you can grab it with Chord of Calling, and as well it has flash, so if it's in your hand, you can use it if you're in a pinch. I personally feel for this type of deck it beats out Torpor Orb as a sideboard pick because torpor orb is an artifact and can't be fetched out of this deck.

Melira, Sylvok Outcast for infect.

Path to Exile in case you need to side in some cheap removal

An extra Reclamation Sage for fun.

Selfless Spirit because it beats boardclears that aren't red.

Tajruru Preserver for that nasty cascade combo, and as well beats annhilation on old Eldrazi.


Unhinged Forest because if you're not spending 8 dollars per forest, you're doing it wrong.

Nobody likes control, so that's why we run Cavern of Souls.

Horizon Canopy is crazy underrated. It's a land that you can later filter if you need to draw. Extra drawing is an important factor to win games, and in elves, you eventually don't need all the land that you get. Filtering land to draw a card is crazy helpful.

Pendelhaven, which generally is an infect staple, has it's uses in elves. It's saved a few mana dorks, and if you keep swinging with a 1/1 each turn, that extra point of damage adds up.

Razorverge Thicket because G/W.

Westvale Abbey  Flip may seem a bit out of place here, but it's actually a super effective card for a lot of reasons. First off, it makes tokens that can be used as damage or blockers. The big reason I run it though is because if I'm getting board sweeped, it's generally after dumping my hand onto the board. Westvale Abbey makes my opponents have to choose between dealing with a 9/7 indestructible, flying, lifelink, haste OR deal with the giant elfball that's building in front of them.

Growing Rites of Itlimoc

Growing Rites of Itlimoc  Flip is being seen as the new "Gaea's Cradle." Personally, I think it was the print that modern elves needed to come back into the format as a threatening deck. It really makes elves a lot faster. In fact, it makes elves a turn faster.

Before this printing, the earliest time elves could kill with a perfect hand was turn four. Reason being is that extreme mana ramp was super expensive, or just not enough to get the ball rolling for elves. So what is changing with Growing Rites of Itlimoc?

A lot, actually. The whole "turn faster" thing that I am describing with elves now applies to a lot of things. The earliest you could get out Collected Company was turn three, now it's turn two. The earliest you could potentially kill an opponent was turn four, now it's turn three.

Here's an example.

Starting hand:

Cavern of Souls, Llanowar Elves/Elvish Mystic, Forest, Heritage Druid, Growing Rites of Itlimoc  Flip, Dwynen's Elite , Collected Company

Turn 1: Play Cavern of Souls naming elves, tap for green, play Elvish Mystic.

Turn 2: Play Forest, tap a green mana, play Heritage Druid. Tap two more mana, play Dwynen's Elite and generate a token. Tap Heritage Druid, Dwynen's Elite, and Elf Warrior token generating three mana, play Growing Rites of Itlimoc. On your end step, transform Growing Rites of Itlimoc.

End of your opponents turn 2: Tap Itlimoc Cradle of the Sun for four mana, play Collected Company. Hopefully get an Ezuri, Renegade Leader and Elvish Archdruid. As long as you get Ezuri Renegade leader though, you're likely to win after that Collected Company.

Turn 3: Play whatever, move to combat, swing for X and use Itlimoc Cradle of the Sun to activate Ezuri's ability and win the game.

That is why Growing Rites of Itlimoc is such a big deal for elves. One turn faster is a huge jump. Is that perfect hand always going to be consistent? No, likely not. However, it will be consistent enough to make a difference in how elves plays.

Hopefully this primer helped out those who are intersted in learning more about how to play elves, and if you're interested in any of my other builds, please check them out! Most notably my Death's Shadow build!

Esper Shadows - Plunge into Death!

Storm is the new Splinter Twin

Competitive Infect


Comments View Archive

Compare to inventory

Revision 7 See all

8 months ago)

+2 Growing Rites of Itlimoc  Flip main
+1 Westvale Abbey  Flip main
-2 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx main
-1 Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen main
-1 Spellskite side
+1 Selfless Spirit side
-1 Bow of Nylea side
+1 Aven Mindcensor side