If you're a fan of Elves and want to the play them in Standard then this deck is for you. Unfortunately, the Elves are not tribal, there's no Elf lord or cards that benefit specifically from Elves. Metallic Mimic is the closest Elves get to tribal, but I don't think Mimic is good enough to play. The main strategy with Elves is energy. Using energy to best converge Skyrider Elf , but beyond that are other strategies: other energy, +1/+1 counters and ramp. Energy fixes mana colors with Servant of the Conduit, Aether Hub and Attune with Aether to converge Skyrider Elf making him a potential 5/5 flying Elf. Servant uses energy to ramp four and five drops such as Bristling Hydra and Glorybringer ahead of the curve. Hydra is the energy sink all the extra energy that's made can be poured into him making him a real threat that's hard to kill. Energy is also used as a way to gain life with Aethersphere Harvester. The +1/+1 counters strategy and ramp combine thanks to Rishkar, Peema Renegade.

The energy strategy is here for Skyrider Elf . He's an incredible Elf because he has flying. Skyrider is powered by energy in the sense that I'm using energy as different colors of mana to best converge him. This deck is using many ways to make energy Servant of the Conduit is the lone mana Elf who uses energy to make any color of mana which is just what Skyrider needs. Attune with Aether is a one mana way to make energy as well as tutor for a basic land of my choice. Both these effects are great with Skyrider. Aether Hub is an energy land that combined with an energy strategy can make any color of mana. Getting a 4/4 Skyrider turn three or a 5/5 turn four are the reasons to play him.

Flying evasion in combination with the +1/+1 counter strategy makes Skyrider a real threat who must be dealt with. He creates a bridge between energy and +1/+1 counters strategies because he begins by entering the battlefield with +1/+1 counters and I use energy to make different colors of mana to put up to five starting counters on him. Since he starts with counters he can get the benefits from Rishkar allowing him to be used also as ramp.

The Elf tandem of Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Sylvan Advocate can both be aggressive, defensive and a good source of ramp. This all works because of Advocate's vigilance. It allows Advocate to attack and then be tapped to make mana to ramp the same turn. Advocate can become a four toughness Elf turn three thanks to a single counter from Rishkar making him a great blocker as well as attacker. Aethersphere Harvester is a nice energy card because it not only makes energy when it enters the battlefield, but because it can use a single energy to gain lifelink. Harvester does three things that traditionally Elves need, its a flying threat or blocker, a source of life gain and it's resiliency to combat board wipes which are the worst effects for Elves to deal with. It has great synergy with both Rishkar and Advocate. Being able to put counters on Harvester with Rishkar can make it much more of a threat as an attacker and blocker as well as gain more life with it's lifelink ability. Advocates vigilance is very good with Harvester because I can attack with the Elf and then use him to crew Harvester on defense.

Creatures that can make energy when they enter the battlefield as well as use energy for benefits are the glue that keeps this deck together. Rogue Refiner might be the single best energy card in Standard because it's just so damn efficient; for three mana I get a three power creature, two energy and get to draw a card. Bristling Hydra may be the single best energy threat as well as sink in Standard because it can pretty much constantly as long as I have three energy protect itself with hexproof using energy. As it protects itself it grows with counters; it can get big very quick. Servant of the Conduit is an Elf, a mana Elf, he can make any color of mana using energy which is great with Skyrider Elf as well as a source of ramp for a turn three Hydra or turn four Glorybringer.

The non-creature spells in this deck also make energy. Attune with Aether is a great turn one play, one of two turn one plays in this deck, the other being Magma Spray and Attune sets a game up perfectly. So perfect that the manabase is built around this idea that I want as many chances of a untapped green source as I can turn one without overly hurting the amount of sources of other colors. Attune not only makes energy, but it also lets me search my deck for a basic land of my choice. It's the real reason that a three color Temur manabase can function. Because it can find a basic land it allows me to play less lands than normal for a midrange deck.

Casting Attune in the early game makes Harnessed Lightning very powerful. Even without Attune it's very powerful for a creature removal spell because it's unconditional; as long as I have enough energy it can kill any creature or Vehicle when it's a creature. The amount of energy this deck can make is a lot; it's not inconceivable to make 12-15+ energy in a game which lets Harnessed essentially kill any creature for only two mana.

Glorybringer is the top end creature. Temur colors lack single ways to deal with Planeswalkers other than countering them with blue counterspells, but this can be problematic if one resolves. Glorybringer is now the exception because of it's four power flying and haste which can kill or hurt a large amount of Planeswalkers most important being Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Exert is the other reason to use Glorybringer because of how powerful doing four damage to a creature can be in Standard. Being able to do this damage not once, but other times in a game really sets the Dragon apart from other top end finishers in Standard. It's not to be underestimated how powerful having access to a repeatable four damage creature removal spell that doesn't require a card is. Glorybringer is very efficient because exerting happens when I attack with it. It has haste which lets me possibly kill a creature my opponent controls even one that may be blocking me from killing a Planeswalker as well as do four damage to my opponent or a Planeswalker my opponent controls all for five mana the turn it's played.

Putting a counter on Glorybringer with Rishkar, Peema Renegade is great because this makes the Dragon a 5/5 letting it trump other Glorybringers in combat as well as to better hold back Heart of Kiran from attacking.

Temur colors gives access in the manabase to two powerful creature lands, Wandering Fumarole and Lumbering Falls. Creature lands are very good with Sylvan Advocate they give this deck some terrific resilience late game. Due the need to have as many lands enter the battlefield untapped I'm only using 1x each of these creature lands. I'm not relying on using them to win a game, but knowing there an option late game is excellent.


One of the reasons this deck is very fun to play is because it's so open ended. There isn't a certain sequence of plays that I have to use to win a game. I'm using defined strategies, but these strategies are all very versatile with each other. The accumulation of energy is important and one thing for sure is true that energy is broken when it's built around and abused.

This is a gameplay guide to give better understanding of how to play this deck. I'll explain about the best cards to play on certain turns in a game; running thru some gameplay scenarios for each turn. Even though this deck is very open ended there are of course still like all decks the best cards to play on certain turns.

Breakdown of the best cards on the best turns:

  1. Turn 1: Attune with Aether or Magma Spray
  2. Turn 2: Servant of the Conduit, Sylvan Advocate or Harnessed Lightning
  3. Turn 3: Bristling Hydra , Skyrider Elf , Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Rogue Refiner or Aethersphere Harvester
  4. Turn 4: Glorybringer, Skyrider Elf or Bristling Hydra
  5. Turn 5: Glorybringer

Turn One

The options for turn one are Attune with Aether or Magma Spray with Attune being the best of the two. The reason Attune is being used as a 4 of is to have the best possible way to play it turn one. There are 14x come into play untapped green sources for a turn one Attune. A turn one Attune gives me great mana color fixing which is needed to help to make my land drops because this deck is only using 21x lands which is low for a three color midrange deck. It also sets me up with two in the early game. Since Attune makes energy Aether Hub is a fine turn one land drop. I can use it to play Attune which powers up Hub for two more times after while also for sure giving me a land drop for the next turn.

I rarely cast Spray turn one, but having the option vs aggro is nice. Spray gives me an advantage game one in both Zombies and Mardu Vehicles matchups. Zombies is the worst matchup, having a slight edge in game one is in my opinion worth main decking Spray. It's by far the most controversial main deck card because it's quite bad in some popular matchups in Standard such as Temur Energy midrange and Golgari Energy midrange. Although bad it's not completely dead each matchup has some creatures that Spray can exile with Servant of the Conduit as the most important. There are certain scenerios where I will use Spray turn one, although If it's my only removal spell in hand I will most of the time not cast it turn one. There are exceptions if the curve of my hand is very good, meaning one drop into two drop into three drop which means I will not have an oppunity to cast Spray until later. In this instance it's better to just play it turn one. The most notable creatures I like to exile turn one are Toolcraft Exemplar, Dread Wanderer or Cryptbreaker. Exiling a creature turn one is okay, but honestly most games it's just better to save the Spray for something more impactfull like two drops Scrapheap Scrounger , Relentless Dead, Servant of the Conduit, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner or Grim Flayer .

Turn Two

Turn two I want to play Servant of the Conduit. Servant is the best turn two play because if he survives he can setup a lot of fantastic turn three and four plays. Other options turn two are Sylvan Advocate, on the draw Harnessed Lightning or playing a 2/2 Skyrider Elf . If I have a Rishkar, Peema Renegade in hand then either Advocate or a 2/2 Skyrider are fine plays because this potentially gives Rishkar a creature to put counters on other than himself turn three. If I'm on the draw I prefer to use Harnessed turn two most importantly to kill Winding Constrictor, my opponent's Servant of Conduit or leave mana open to kill crewed Heart of Kiran on my opponent's turn three. Using a Harnessed this early in the game can be dangerous therefore only a few creatures such as the Snake or Elf are targets because either one can give my opponent a huge advantage. Leaving mana open to kill Heart can only happen if I first had a turn one Attune with Aether or Aether Hub turn one or two. If I didn't I won't have enough energy to kill Heart. In this scenario it would be better to play Servant or Attune to get energy to power up Harnessed which would let me kill Heart on my opponent's fourth turn.

Ramp is important because some games I don't draw lands, using only 21x lands is sometimes a problem, but most games it's not. If not having enough lands is a problem then Servant of the Conduit, Rishkar, Peema Renegade become very important ramp creatures, they become priority of what I play. Rogue Refiner is also high on the priority list to play because he can hopefully help me to draw a land.

Turn Three

There's a lot of options turn three and most of them are setup with Servant of the Conduit's ramp. Bristling Hydra is the best turn three play; it's actually becoming one of the most powerful turn three plays in Standard because the Hydra can protect itself after it enters the battlefield while at the same time giving itself more power. Any energy that's made after that can be used to continue to protect Hydra from removal. Two or more removal spells from my opponent are most of the time needed to stop Hydra giving me a lot of value for a four drop. Most of the time my opponent will just try to ignore Hydra instead of wasting removal spells on it, choosing to chump block it which gives me the upper hand.

The other creature to play turn three is Skyrider Elf as a 3/3 without or 4/4 with Servant's help. Playing Skyrider turn three is tricky because I will have to use one or two energy to play him and if he's immediately killed after than I wasted that energy. The toss up is if he's not killed then I have a powerful flying threat who can start attacking the next turn. Skyrider is a magnet for removal because if he gets to start attacking he can do a lot of damage and my opponent knows this. If my opponent is playing black then it's dangerous to waste energy to converge Skyrider because of Fatal Push. Even though Skyrider might be a 4/4 or 5/5 his converted mana cost is always only two which is his starting converted mana cost. Push without even needing revolt triggered can kill Skyrider. This does make Skyrider a liability in a few matchups right now in Standard because of how good Push is. In these matchups it's better to wait to play Skyrider after my opponent has exhausted their removal.

The next best play turn three is Rishkar, Peema Renegade followed by Rogue Refiner. I will play Rishkar instead of Refiner if I played a creature turn two such as Servant, Advocate or Skyrider. Having two creatures on the battlefield who can be tapped to help to ramp Glorybringer or a combination of three drop and two drop or Hydra turn four is very good. If I didn't play a creature turn two than Rishkar is the worst of the turn three plays, but sometimes I need to play him because I need his ramp turn four. I'll play Refiner if I need energy such as for Harnessed Lightning or I need to draw a land as well as don't have anything to ramp into or lacking a good turn four play. I might need removal to kill my opponent's three drop or want a three power creature to block and trade.

Another play turn three is Aethersphere Harvester which is a fine play if I played a creature turn two because I can use that creature to crew Harvester to block and then any creature that enters play after can crew the Vehicle the turn it's played. In some scenarios playing Harvester before Rishkar is beneficial because then Rishkar can put a counter on Harvester after it's crewed. This line of play only works if I had a turn two creature, but if I did and I have both Harvester and Rishkar in hand and nothing big to ramp into I will most likely play Harvester first and then Rishkar later.

Turn Four

Having the option to play Glorybringer turn four with help from Servant of the Conduit, Rishkar, Peema Renegade and/or two drop creature with a counter on it can be very back breaking for my opponent. A turn four Glorybringer is the most powerful play for this deck. At this stage of a game the Dragon can most likely kill a creature while also doing four damage through the air unblocked. Playing Glorybringer turn four can however be risky; I have to be aware of how my opponent tapped their mana on their last turn. If my opponent is tapped out then the Dragon turn four can be devastating, but if my opponent is not tapped out then they are most likely holding instant removal for my ramped creature. A good indicator that my opponent doesn't have removal is they let Servant or Rishkar live, but this is not always the case they could be holding removal for the creature I intend to ramp into. Harnessed Lightning with one additional energy, Grasp of Darkness and Unlicensed Disintegration are the removal spells that can kill Glorybringer without getting any value from him on this turn. I have to weight the possibilities that my opponent has one of these removals or take the risk because if my opponent doesn't have removal then I'm very far ahead in the game.

There are other fine turn four plays, Skyrider Elf and Bristling Hydra . With help from Servant of the Conduit and Aether Hub Skyrider can be played as a 5/5 this turn. A 5/5 Skyrider if not dealt with can be great. I especially like Skyrider in the Temur Energy midrange matchup because other than Harnessed Lightning with two additional energy or Thopter(s) from Whirler Virtuoso it's hard for my opponent to stop a 5/5 flier. A 5/5 does a good job of holding back Glorybringer.

Hydra turn four, while not a good turn three, is still a very good turn four play. There are scenarios that playing Hydra instead of Glorybringer turn four is the better play for instance if I played Rogue Refiner turn three giving me three energy or I already have three energy stored. It's better to play Hydra when I already have three energy because this energy can be used to protect Hydra as it enters the battlefield. The trigger that makes three energy when Hydra enters the battlefield can be responded to with removal by my opponent and if I don't have three energy I can't protect Hydra with it's hexproof ability. It's much more likely that I have three energy stored turn four than three.

Turn Five

The best turn five play is Glorybringer because he's not only powerful on the offensive this turn, but he can also help me to stabilize the board if I need that. Other than Glorybringer there's other good turn five plays, a 5/5 Skyrider with help from Servant and Hub or Sylvan Advocate. If I already have a creature land in play as well as a sixth land in hand or an Attune with Aether which can find a sixth land turn six than playing Advocate can setup a great turn six attacking with him as 4/5 and a creature land which also gets a power boost.

More Gameplay Coming Soon

This Deck is Born

My Elvish journey in Standard started with the release of Magic Origins and a powerful three drop Elf creature, Shaman of the Pack. She allowed Elves decks in Standard to actually work and possibly be competitive. The first version of this deck was Golgari colors (G/B) and called Golgari Elves. The very first decklist was:June 30, 2015

Chord of Calling

During the first day of playtesting on I came to the conclusion that Thoughtseize is not really needed game 1, but rather games 2 and 3 to take your opponent's board wipes and Planeswalkers. I moved 4x Seize to the sideboard for 4x main deck Chord of Calling. I quickly found out that Chord was bonkers in this deck and with Elves in general. Convoking a Chord for six to get Shaman was easy for this deck and extremely powerful.June 30, 2015

Woodland Bellower

Adding Bellower gave this deck a fantastic one of Chord target since he can find and put Shaman directly into play. At the time I could convoke a Chord for 9 using my Elves on the battlefield and lands to get a Bellower which was a powerful play, but I realized much later that Bellower really does cost too much to reliably play in this deck.July 1, 2015

Sylvan Messenger

The name Messenger Elves is born. At first I wasnt playtesting with Messenger at all. Someone in the comments section recommended that I add some Messengers because Chord can get her and since then I haven't looked back. I Added 4x Messenger to the deck and took out 4x Company.July 5, 2015

First Sideboard

Up until now I wasn't using a sideboard in my playtesting since the meta had not even remotely started to become clear. The first sideboard for this deck was a mess:I quickly found out that Deadbridge is not a good card and Seize should go back into the main deck.July 6, 2015

Winning Decklist

After taking a few weeks off from playing this deck I returned to it and developed the first completive decklist. I started winning a lot on and was feeling really good about the deck.July 20, 2015

Thoughtseize Back

I moved 4x Seize out of the sideboard and put it back in the main deck. The main reason for this change was because of Abzan and main deck Languish.

July 22, 2015

Gilt-Leaf Winnower

Winnower was a completely overlooked card by me at first. I didn't think it was a good card at all. Then Abzan with Siege Rhino became the best deck in Standard so I decided to start playtesting Winnower and was very much surprised how good he is. 1x Winnower was added to the main deck and sideboard.July 24, 2015

Chord Toolbox

This was the first really thought out sideboard plan using a variety of singleton creatures and using convoke with Chord of Calling to get any one of them when I needed them. Some interesting creatures included:This sideboard plan while neat turned out to not be needed and after a while I changed the sideboard back to a traditional plan.July 27, 2015

Downfall and Obelisk

Hero's Downfall was added main deck in place of Murderous Cut basically because of Abzan with Rhino and Elspeth. I had cut Downfalls for Cuts in the early stages because of the double black casting cost of Downfall which was a misstake. 2x Obelisk of Urd was also added which gave this deck another powerful way to win the game if I wasn't finding or drawing Shaman or Chord.Aug 15, 2015

More Nissa

At one point I was playing 4x Nissa main deck with 20 lands. I quickly found out that four Nissa is too much and 20 lands is not enough. I ended up using 3x Nissa and 21 lands for a while until I finally settled on 2x Nissa.

Aug 18, 2015

Collected Company

All this time I wasn't playing Company at all instead deciding to go with 4x Messenger as my card advantage. Company is too powerful of a card not to play in this deck because of the interaction with Shaman. I added 2x Company main deck.

Aug 19, 2015

Self-Inflicted Wound

By this time Abzan Aggro and Midrange was rampant in Standard. Wound turned out and still is a terrific sideboard card vs Abzan. Added 4x Self-Inflicted Wound to the sideboard.

Aug 24, 2015

Evolved Decklist

This deck has changed a lot since it was first created the decklist including the sideboard up at this point was:Aug 30, 2015

Standard Rotation

Standard rotation was a month away, all cards from Theros block and the M15 core set can no longer be used in Standard. This deck lost a lot at this rotation with the biggest losses being Elvish Mystic, Chord of Calling, Thoughtseize and Downfall. All other elves in this deck were not affected which still left a great core in place moving forward.Sept 3, 2015

Battle for Zendikar

Battle for Zendikar while a pretty poor set in general, did give this deck three great new Elves. The returning creature type Ally and its new mechanic Rally added three Ally Elves to this deck, an excellent mana Elf in Beastcaller Savant , a flying Elf Skyrider Elf and an Elf that can mass pump a team of creatures for a turn Tajuru Warcaller . Battle also brought new powerful fetchable dual lands to Standard which allows this deck and many more to easily include a third color or more.Sept 15, 2015


With the release of Battle for Zendikar and Skyrider Elf this deck takes on a new shape by including blue as its third color, turning Messenger Elves into Sultai. Up until this point this deck was Golgari making this the first time I was splashing a third color in this deck. The first Sultai decklist was:Sept 19, 2015

Rattleclaw Mystic

I decided to replace Leaf Gilder with Rattleclaw Mystic because Mystic could help to cast since he can make blue mana a turn 3 Kiora, Master of the Depths or a 5/5 Skyrider Elf much easier then Gilder could. This change worked very well if I had either a Kiora or Skyrider in my opening hand, but was not the best with all the other elves, specifically Dwynen's Elite and Shaman of the Pack. Sept 26, 2015

Reality Shift

Before GW Megamorph was such a popular deck this deck used Reality Shift as its main deck and sideboard cheap removal spell. Shift replaced Murderous Cut. Shift could exile Hangarback Walker giving no value to your opponent in the process. Once GW Megamorph became so popular then the big drawback of giving your opponent a manifest after using Shift was too much of a negative to continue using the card.Oct 1, 2015


Added Drana, Liberator of Malakir to the main deck as another aggressive single creature threat and a powerful threat with a battlefield of Elves. Drana is another Ally creature for Tajuru Warcaller and Beastcaller Savant can help to cast her.

Oct 6, 2015

Gnarlroot Trapper

Since turning this deck into Sultai colors Gnarlroot Trapper hasnt been used because I didn't think a good manabase could be configured to have turn 1 Trapper, turn 2 Beastcaller and turn 3 Skyrider. I have retooled the manabase to make Trapper work including 10x come into play untapped black sources for a turn 1 Trapper. Trapper giving deathtouch to Skyrider is very powerful.Oct 11, 2015


Since the first version of Sultai Messenger Elves I haven't been playing Dwynen, which has been a mistake. Dark Jeskai is a very popular deck in Standard. This deck really struggles vs Jeskai and Mantis Rider. Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen is a four toughness lord Elf with reach that can attack through and block a Rider. Dwynen is also very good with Skyrider Elf because Skyrider is an Elf creature so he gets the pump from Dwynen. I added 2x Dwynen to the main in place of Drana, Liberator of Malakir because Drana is terrible vs Rider.Oct 27, 2015

Windswept Heath

After taking a break from playing this deck for a while I returned to it. All this time I have been using Bloodstained Mire and Flooded Strand as my two fetch lands because both can get all three of Sultai's color requirements. Both Mire and Strand can't fetch a Forest; this has turned out to be a large oversight by me of the building of this deck's mana base. Windswept Heath is replacing Strand in this deck because it can fetch a Forest and a blue source with Prairie Stream. Heath can't get a black source, but Mire can. Being able to have a fetch land that can fetch a Forest in the early game is very beneficial for this deck I just wish that I had realized this much earlier.Nov 21, 2015
Dec 14, 2015

Leaf Gilder

Added 4x Leaf Gilder giving this deck another two drop mana Elf. Gilder allows the possibility of a turn three Collected Company or Sylvan Messenger . Mana created by Gilder can be used to cast any spell in the deck which is great with Company. As a result of this Company has been increased to 3x main deck. The new Sulati decklist:
Jan 22, 2016

Oath of the Gatewatch

The set Oath of the Gatewatch is released. Oath gave this deck four very good main deck-able cards Sylvan Advocate, Oath of Nissa , Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Hissing Quagmire. Advocate with Quagmire has turned out to have excellent interaction. To make room main deck for these new cards the Sultai Elf Ally strategy with Skyrider Elf , Beastcaller Savant and Tajuru Warcaller was cut.
Jan 22, 2016


With the release of Oath of the Gatewatch and having a new G/B Dual land Hissing Quagmire this deck moves back to Golgari colors. This move really simplified the manabase making it more consistent, not having to rely on fetch lands and battle lands. Cutting blue of Sultai colors was the biggest change for this deck in a while. Sylvan Advocate replaced Skyrider Elf , Oath of Nissa replaced Beastcaller Savant and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar replaced Tajuru Warcaller . The new Golgari decklist:
March 27, 2016

Shadows Over Innistrad

SOI didn't have any Elves in the entire set. Instead it brought combo back with Elves in the form of Cryptolith Rite and Westvale Abbey  Flip. This marks one of the biggest overall deck design changes for this deck in a while. No longer having to rely on just Shaman of the Pack or an Elf swam to win the game. Collected Company completely replaces Sylvan Messenger and the deck name Messenger Elves is changed to Rite Elves. The new Rite Elves decklist:
May 25, 2016


Rite Elves becomes Abzan to take advantage of the powerful cards Eldrazi Displacer and Declaration in Stone. Displacer adds yet another excellent combo piece to use with Cryptolith Rite and Shaman of the Pack. Continually, blinking Shaman now becomes the win condition of Rite Elves. This deck is now packing three powerful combo pieces to be used with Rite and Elves, Displacer, Duskwatch Recruiter and Westvale Abbey  Flip. Declaration is added mostly to combat Humans. Unconditional creature exile that can also completely wipe a battlefield of tokens is excellent. Abzan Rite Elves decklist:
July 17, 2016

Eldritch Moon

Eldritch Moon the second set in the Shadows Over Innistrad block also has no Elves just like the previous set. Huge Eldrazi Distended Mindbender and Decimator of the Provinces brought a new powerful mechanic to Magic, emerge. Emerge was great with the Cryptolith Rite combo strategy with Elves. Both these Eldrazi were included in this deck with Mindbender as the stand out and Decimator ending up in the end in the sideboard. Due to the double black emerge casting cost of Mindbender I cut white leaving behind the more complex Abzan manabase for a much more consistent Golgari one. Golgari Rite Elves decklist:
Sept, 2016

Shaman Rotates

The end of an era. Since the beginning Shaman of the Pack has been the center piece of this deck, but she rotated at this rotation. This was a huge rotation, rotating 90% of Elves out of Standard. The rest of Khans of Tarkir block rotated meaning Collected Company is gone as well as all of Magic Orgins. Magic Orgins was a great set for Elves because it had Shaman, Dwynen's Elite, Elvish Visionary, Sylvan Messenger and Nissa, Vastwood Seer. The loss of Shaman means this deck and Elves as a tribe are in trouble. Kaladesh the next block in Magic has to have Elves or the tribe is extinct in Standard. Because of this impeding rotation and the unknown fate of Elves I took a break from playing this deck until Kaladesh.
Sept 30, 2016


Thankfully, Kaladesh had Elves which really saved the Elf tribe in Standard. A new mechanic was introduced, energy. I liked energy right away and build the next version of this deck around it. Rite Elves is dead, but Energy Elves lives on. I changed this deck's name to Energy Elves. Skyrider Elf returns, the first time using him since the Sultai version of this deck back in Battle for Zendikar(BFZ). I used energy as a mana color fixer to take advantage of the converge creatures Skyrider and Woodland Wanderer from BFZ. A new type of artifact is also introduced, Vehicles. Smuggler's Copter ended up being the best Vehicle in the set and the best one with Elves. For the first time red is used in this deck for Harnessed Lightning, an excellent creature removal spell that uses energy. I started out in Sultai colors, but ending up in Temur. The Temur Energy Elves decklist:
Oct 16, 2016

More Tribal

Even though Energy Elves as it was built was fine I wasn't happy with the lack of tribal synergy. The deck was changed including an equipment for the first time, Stoneforge Masterwork as the tribal card with Elves. The energy strategy with Skyrider Elf remained and Peema Outrider joined the tribe giving this deck two Elves with evasion, flying and trample to best take advantage of Masterwork. The new Temur Energy Elves decklist:
Jan 10, 2017

Aether Revolt

The second set in the Kaladesh block is released. Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Metallic Mimic are tribal cards for Elves who had fantastic synergy with each other. Rishkar in particular was a very strong new Elf for Standard. Aether Revolt continued the energy mechanic in the set having some great options in Rogue Refiner and Aethersphere Harvester.
Jan 24, 2017

Sultai Counters

A new version of Energy Elves is Sultai. Using energy and counters strategies with Winding Constrictor. Energy remained with Constrictor as the build around card for this version because of it's great synergy with both Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Metallic Mimic and Verdurous Gearhulk adding even more counters creating a layering counters effect with Elves. Constrictor was also great for energy production. Blue remained for Skyrider Elf since he too was very good with Constrictor. One of the better removal spells in black printed in a while was Fatal Push. Push became the go to removal spell in this version. The new Sultai Energy Elves decklist:
Feb 23, 2017

Metallic Mimic

Mimic was the weakness card because it needed to be played turn two and was pretty bad after that. Mimic was cut for more powerful cards this meant that the tribal aspect of Elves was gone. I decided not play a lackluster card just to keep this deck tribal. With the cutting of Mimic Armorcraft Judge was also cut in favor of Tireless Tracker. Nissa, Voice of Zendikar was also under performing and was cut for Aethersphere Harvester. Due to the addition of Tracker as well as needing to trigger revolt for Fatal Push I added Evolving Wilds cutting Botanical Sanctum. The new Sultai Energy Elves non-tribal decklist:
April 2017


Amonkhet set featuring another new plane in the Magic multiverse is released. Amonkhet didn't have any Elves, but it did have the return of Gods to Standard as well as one of the better unconditional removal spells printed in a while.

April 17, 2017


A new version of Energy Elves is Bant. Rhonas the Indomitable becomes the new build around card replacing Winding Constrictor and counters strategy. White replaces black for Cast Out and Tamiyo, Field Researcher. The new Bant Energy Elves decklist:
May 20, 2017


Another new version of Energy Elves is Temur. I finally settled on Temur cutting white for red for Harnessed Lightning and Glorybringer to take better advantage of energy. For the first time this deck lacks a real build around card, but because of the power of energy this wasn't a problem. Building this deck around Rhonas the Indomitable while powerful was not utilizing energy to the fullest. Rogue Refiner was added and became one of the best energy cards in the deck and in Standard. Verdurous Gearhulk was cut for Glorybringer and Woodland Wanderer cut for Bristling Hydra to better use energy. The new Temur Energy Elves decklist:

Budget Energy Elves

Standard multimedia



I mentioned Tireless Tracker in the last update, but didn't say much about her other than her loss in Standard will be huge. The card advantage she provided was unmatched in green. Nothing currently by itself in Standard can compare with this advantage in draw that Tracker gave. Getting this advantage from a single card is what made Tracker amazing. Looking forward to post rotation, currently there's not a single card drawing engine like Tracker left, but there's a two card drawing engine and this update is about how this engine can fit with a Elven strategy.

Lifecrafter's Bestiary and Vizier of the Menagerie is the two card, card advantage drawing engine I think has real potential because together they can be great and alone they're still good. It's a big positive that either can stand alone and give advantage alone. Bestiary and Menagerie have synergy because both care about creatures. Vizier lets me cast creatures from the top of my library and Bestiary lets me pay green mana to draw cards when these creatures are cast. Both can look at the top of my library. Bestiary can scry away at upkeep a non-creature card which helps to make Vizier better. They can also curve into each other three drop into four drop. The downside is these two cards don't do anything on curve when they first come into play, making this engine slow to set up, but this is where Elves can help.

The best Elves left in Standard care about ramp and a lot of mana is needed for Bestiary and Vizier to function to the fullest. Both Vizier and Bestiary are excellent with Rishkar, Peema Renegade which is needed post rotation because he along with Servant of the Conduit become the best Elves. Using a strategy that can take advantage of his abilities is the way to go. Being able to ramp Vizier into play turn three with either Servant or Druid of the Cowl helps to speed up the assembly of this engine. Rishkar's ability to turn creatures including himself into a mana dork is very good with Bestiary because I can use these creatures to make green mana to pay for the cost of drawing a card after casting a creature. Using an engine like this is also good with mana Elves because drawing them in the mid to late game is most of the time not good, but if I'm getting to draw after I've cast them or I'm getting to cast them off the top of my library thus not drawing them at all then it's much better.

Red looks very good post rotation. Chandra, Torch of Defiance currently most likely becomes the best Planeswalker in Standard. Although we don't know anything about the Planeswalkers in Ixalan they weren't leaked, how convenient. Many cards that kept Glorybringer in check are rotating making it even better post rotation. Abrade is and will continue to be an excellent creature removal spell. Red also has Harnessed Lightning and Magma Spray. I want to find ways to play Chandra with Elves and I think Vizier of the Menagerie gives the best chance. Vizier's ability lets me use mana of any color to cast creature spells this includes mana that Chandra's +1 makes. She makes two red mana, but because of Vizier's ability I can use this mana to cast creatures as green mana. This interaction is also good with Lifecrafter's Bestiary because I need green mana to draw when casting creatures. Chandra's other +1 ability lets me exile the top card of my library and cast the card. This ability is good with Vizier because it lets me look at the top of my library and I can do this before I +1 Chandra giving me some information about what card I'm about to exile before I do it. Chandra's exile ability is also good with Bestiary because I can cast the card that's exiled; if it's a creature I can pay an additional green mana to draw a card.

I like Chandra with this engine because she's also good as ramp and especially great at ramping Glorybringer into play. Glorybringer is also an excellent creature for Elves to ramp into play because the faster I can get it into play the more devastating it can be. Turn four Glorybringer, yep that's good.

I mentioned in the last update about post rotation land situation how ally colors are poised to have quite the advantage over enemy colors for manabases. I went mildly in depth about how Check lands will be very important in manabases post rotation and how manabases that can take full advantage of the Check land and Cycle land interaction will be better because of it. I want to play Chandra with Elves which means red and green are the two colors I want to play meaning Gruul. A Gruul manabase can take advantage of the interaction between Rootbound Crag , Sheltered Thicket, Forest and Mountain. If I'm going to use a two color manabase then my choices are really Gruul or Selesnya. Simic and Golgari are out matched in the dual land area only having Fast lands.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Glorybringer have double red casting costs and there's not a card like Oath of Nissa , it's rotating, that can help me to cast Chandra with other colors. Vizier can help to cast Glorybringer, but he can't help Chandra. Because of her double red casting cost this really limits a version with her as two color instead of three. The possibility of a splash for either black or white is however still an option thanks to energy and Check lands, but for now just two colors is what I'm building with.

This potential Gruul version is using a strategy of ramp, powering a draw engine with a secondary energy theme with Servant of the Conduit, Aether Hub and Harnessed Lightning. It's Elves, Vizier of the Menagerie, Lifecrafter's Bestiary , Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Glorybringer and red creature removal. I'm using an Elf core of 15-16x Elves: 4x Servant of the Conduit, 4x Druid of the Cowl, 3-4x Rishkar, Peema Renegade and 4x Narnam Renegade . Adding to this is the engine of 4x Vizier, 4x Bestiary and 3x Chandra. Red creature removal Abrade and Harnessed fill in the rest.

Here's the first version of Elven Menagerie:

Elven Menagerie

Standard* multimedia


Comments View Archive

TepigAggro says... #1

Lol this is temur energy with Skyrider Elf.

August 13, 2017 7:14 p.m.

TepigAggro says... #2

How about Metallic Mimic

August 15, 2017 2:42 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 2 years
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.33
Folders Standard TRS-M15-KTK-ORI, Standard, standard to build, Golgari, Standard, ok, Elves, Standard, Interesting Decks, Inspiration, See all 286
Top rank #3 on 2016-02-07
Views 106936

Revision 215 (1 week ago)

-1 Uncage the Menagerie maybe
-1 Elder Deep-Fiend maybe
-1 Supreme Will maybe
-1 Chandra's Defeat maybe
-1 Jace's Defeat maybe

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