pie chart

pie chart Standard Elves: Believe it. (Back in business!)




--- Mainboard ------------

Ezuri's Archers: Fantastic in today's meta. It stops Doomed Traveler, Midnight Haunting, Inkmoth Nexus, then after a Lord hits the battlefield, he's stopping Chandra's Phoenix and even Steel Hellkite.

Llanowar Elves: Printed in Alpha 18 years ago and still seeing regular play. That's how you know it's a good card.

Copperhorn Scout: Combos nicely with Elvish Archdruid and Llanowar Elves. Allows them to attack and still use their mana for Ezuri, Renegade Leader or Contested War Zone.

Viridian Emissary: Your standard, 2-power beater. No one wants to take him out early and no one can later in the game, once he's a 4/3 (or higher).

Elvish Archdruid: A beast. He comes down on turn-2 with a Llanowar Elves out. With my first three land-drops, I get to 6 mana on the third turn. That's a Wurmcoil Engine before some opponent even cast a spell. Also, if Ezuri, Renegade Leader is the fifth Elf I play, Archdruid taps for 5 and gives me Overrun during the same turn. He's just too good.

Adaptive Automaton: Because any Tribal deck could use more Lords. Also, he counts as another Elf for Ezuri and Archdruid.

Ezuri, Renegade Leader: Overrun at Instant-speed is insane. By the fifth turn, I always have the mana to Overrun once, if not three times. Ezuri is the win-condition in this deck. Get him out with 2 Elvish Archdruids and a few other small Elves and you're swinging for 40 Trample.

Wurmcoil Engine: Late-game support. When I start running out of Elves to play, he comes down and gives my opponent something else to worry about as I build my board back up. Also, playing him on the third turn is just awesome.

Green Sun's Zenith: Obvious choice. It's, essentially, a 4-drop Sorcery with "Search your library for either Elvish Archdruid or Ezuri, Renegade Leader and put it onto the battlefield."

Lead the Stampede: Fills up my hand with Elves and prevent me from running out of steam too early. What's not to like?

Champion of Lambholt: While Elder of Laurels is good, this creature doesn't require any mana to use (and even costs 1 less, to boot). Plus, it gives me a huge bonus in that my opponent's weaker creatures can't block my Elves, which is always nice.

Acidic Slime: A good fetch off of GSZ. He kills just about any threat in Standard that's not Mirran Crusader. I was using Viridian Corrupter, but I realized that there are plenty of Enchantments and Lands ruining my fun as well as Artifacts.

Cavern of Souls: Because they were built for Tribal. With these, I don't even need Autumn's Veil in the sideboard anymore.

--- Sideboard ------------

Eaten by Spiders: Fuck you, Insectile Aberration  Flip.

Fog: Completely turns the tides against all-in decks, like Wolf Run and Werewolves. They tap out, I use Fog, and now I'm free to swing with everything I've got.

Gutter Grime: My go-to card against board wipes. If I have four Elves on the board and my opponent casts Day of Judgment, I suddenly find myself with four 4/4 tokens looking across at an empty, tapped-out field. And it comes down on turn-3 with a bit of ramp - just before DoJ.

Melira, Sylvok Outcast: An easy fetch off of Green Sun's Zenith. While she slows down most Infect decks, I use her mainly for her ability to stop Black Sun's Zenith and Contagion Engine, both of which have found their ways into many of the decks where I typically play FNM.

Naturalize: Because there's nothing more efficient for the mana it costs.

Ratchet Bomb: Kills tokens dead. Also, flipped cards have no printed mana costs, making their CMC equal to 0. Werewolves hate this card.

Tumble Magnet: My main defense against pain-in-the-ass creatures, which includes Sun Titan, Wurmcoil Engine, and (particularly) Mirran Crusader. You can give all the swords you want to Crusader, but he'll never have protection from Artifacts with them.



IAmKingTony says... #1

I liked how this played out and I love seeing Elves playable. I tested it out against my Token White Guys deck. Put up a lot more fight than most of the decks I faced in tournaments this past week. card:Ezuri's Archers really gave me fits.

My deck did win (2-1) but it was just a bad matchup for your deck with A) so much flying and B) Suture Priest mainboard against this SUPER creature based deck.

These are things you won't encounter very often, so this deck should kill otherwise!

Good show, gonna +1!

December 21, 2011 7:25 p.m.

zandl says... #2

I really enjoy the synergy that Elvish Archdruid has with Copperhorn Scout and the pumping abilities belonging to Ezuri, Renegade Leader and Gavony Township . Attack, untap my creatures, then pump with the extra mana while Archdruid still deals its damage.

Thanks for the attention and kind words! Would you change anything in here?

December 21, 2011 8:02 p.m.

My god, this is fantastic, I love the addition of Gavony Township . As for changes, I see none that need to be made.


December 22, 2011 1:22 a.m.

myronrocks says... #4

ah, yes! F tokens. +1

December 22, 2011 1:39 a.m.

IAmKingTony says... #5

A couple things. I wouldn't have taken out Viridian Emissary as he's sort of your Doomed Traveler in that your opponent won't want to kill it so they might let his 2 damage slide a couple times. Then you pump it with an Elvish Archdruid and/or Gavony Township and make them wish they did kill it when they could.

Also you don't need 4 Ezuri, Renegade Leader . 4 of any Legendary is way too many. You will still get him out at 3x.

I'd probably drop Infiltration Lens out for Swiftfoot Boots or Viridian Claw . They seem like more fitting equipments.

December 22, 2011 6:10 a.m.

IAmKingTony says... #6

Oh, a few other cards that just popped into my head that I like for this would be Doubling Chant , Genesis Wave , or for something a little cheaper Lead the Stampede .

They seem to fit the old Elf style of getting a massive amount of dudes out on the field asap.

December 22, 2011 6:13 a.m.

swalwellalex says... #7

its nice to see a Tournie worthy deck that isnt chalked full of BS OP cards and Planeswalkers. Not too mention Its Elves and noone runs that shit anymore. Good job man +1

December 22, 2011 1:24 p.m.

zandl says... #8

Wow. Thanks for the comments, everybody!

@IAmKingTony: I'm just playing around with the numbers for each card. I know that a playset of any Legendary card is risky. Ezuri will go back down to 3. Viridian Emissary came out because I just didn't like the awkwardness of 2-drops in such field-flooding deck. But I realize that he is crucial to damage. No one wants to lose their Lord to a Viridian Emissary , so he winds up getting through a few times. Then play your Lord, he becomes a 3/2, and a Gavony Township , and he's unstoppable.

I'll playtest both Genesis Wave and Lead the Stampede . I have a feeling I'll like the latter more than the former, but time will tell.

As for Viridian Claw, I'm not so sure a 2/1 First Strike will get there, in terms of damage. I'm looking for equipment that gives me other benefits, like Infiltration Lens (though it's likely that someone would just rather take 1 or 2 damage than block and let me draw 2).

December 22, 2011 2:17 p.m.

jadeal says... #9

I feel that you don't need 4x card:Green Sun's Zenith since you don't really have one specific finisher that you need to get out. You should either put more elves in or put in a high drop finisher for long games.

December 22, 2011 2:57 p.m.

Impressive, always did like elves in standard, and definitely in EDH

December 22, 2011 2:57 p.m.

teh_fatkid says... #11

Ive been playing something really similar to this.

I play minus the card:Green Sun's Zenith and Signal Pest and instead play Beast Within and Gutter Grime .

With the mana acceleration from the elves you can get a speedy guttergrime and it protects heavily against the worst case scenario for this deck which is a board wipe.

Love this deck. +1

December 22, 2011 3:04 p.m.

Very Nice. You got my +1

December 22, 2011 5:01 p.m.

spikey01 says... #13

Ooh Elves! +1

December 22, 2011 10:18 p.m.

2ylite says... #14

great deck! +1

December 23, 2011 1:26 a.m.

Trakanon says... #15

I like this and will make a variation on it. I'm thinking of working in Asceticism for some protection.

December 23, 2011 1:43 a.m.

zandl says... #16

Could work. As it plays out now, though, it's usually smashing face pretty effectively by the fifth turn, if not the fourth. I just don't see much room for Asceticism as it stands, but you're more than welcome to build your own deck and make it a slower-but-beefier version.

I can't believe I've never realize how good Elvish Archdruid is. He gives +1/+1 to my creatures AND gives me a huge boost to mana (which I can abuse through Ezuri, Renegade Leader ). What's also great is that he's a turn-2 play off of Llanowar Elves . Then I've got 6 mana on the third turn after my third land-drop. Insanity. That's just as fast as my old Green deck of lore, Zandl's Ye Olde Mono-ish Green.

December 23, 2011 2:10 a.m.

Trakanon says... #17

You may be right, I will have to do some playtesting. It just seems pretty vulnerable if you don't smash face in those first few turns. It feels like it needs some kind of protection like Asceticism or Blunt the Assault or a plan B, like maybe Fresh Meat in case all those lovely elves get sent packing. I'm assembling this right now and I can't wait to play it. +1

December 23, 2011 2:23 a.m.

Vman says... #18

you could use another mana sink to win games...Gavony Township is a nice sink but i really think Kessig Wolf Run has potential with all this mana

December 23, 2011 8:02 a.m.

Vman says... #19

+1 btw..if ya have anytime check out my new bw deck deck:bw-heartless-curse or my old 1 BW morbid experiment

December 23, 2011 8:03 a.m.

cooknathan says... #20

Ive found Phyrexian Metamorph makes for a great Elvish Archdruid .

I like Greenhilt Trainee + Copperhorn Scout .

Also dont worry I play elves in todays meta ;-) we still exist. +1.

December 23, 2011 8:10 a.m.

cooknathan says... #21

...also Kessig Cagebreakers > Fresh Meat for board wipe IMHO.

December 23, 2011 8:13 a.m.

robtheman says... #22

Agree with Cooknathan on Kessig Cagebreakers. Also, how about Contested War Zone instead of the Townships? CWZ lends itself to a big turn 4, more than Townships. While play testing I found myself often getting to 18 or 23 mana with a township in play, and did not want to waste the 4 mana for +1/+1 counters because it cost me an activation of Azuri. CWZ would have given me a small pump when I needed it. Also, you can get rid of the ETB tapped lands which smooths out your mana for an aggro deck.

December 23, 2011 9:36 a.m.

Charlie_war3 says... #23

What about turn three Slagstorm ? Many decks in the format have 3x Slagstorm mainboarded for decks like this.

December 23, 2011 11:39 a.m.

This deck wants more white sources. (Sunpetal Grove )

December 23, 2011 12:39 p.m.

http404error says... #25

Your maindeck list looks good. If there was a card to take out to replace with something else, it would be Gladecover Scout .

The sideboard is a little weird, tho. I agree that Kessig Cagebreakers is your best plan vs wipes, but Fresh Meat is acceptable as well. I think testing will help with the numbers on the board.

December 23, 2011 2:34 p.m.

http404error says... #26

And turn four Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is SO much fun.

December 23, 2011 3:31 p.m.

zandl says... #27

I don't see my sideboard being weird. Naturalize is a must-have in the side-board. It stops 50% of the threats ruling Standard right now. Fog and Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger shut down Wolf Run in a hurry. Infect as become quite the issue at my shop, so I always use Melira, Sylvok Outcast . card:Autumn's Veil and Fresh Meat are great against control (especially U/B control). Ratchet Bomb destroys token decks and Werewolf decks. It's too good not to have.

I agree, however, that Gladecover Scout is an awkward spot in this deck. I didn't really have any other Elves to choose from at that point, but didn't want to put in a playset of non-Elves, as that would hinder my deck.

(At this point, I just realize that a post I thought I made a few hours ago never made it up there.)

I prefer Fresh Meat over Kessig Cagebreakers for a number of reasons. Firstly, board-wipes don't slow me down with Fresh Meat . I'm still attacking on the next turn. Secondly, Kessig Cagebreakers doesn't do anything for me the turn he comes out and gives my opponent an extra turn to find an answer. If he gets O-Ring'd while he has summoning sickness, I'm screwed. Lastly, Fresh Meat just gives me bigger creature tokens, fair and square. As long as I can see board-wipes coming (which is easy to do), using Fresh Meat should give me a big advantage.

As for Slagstorm , that's why it's a really good card. It's tough to beat. I have Fresh Meat for it, though. Against Red decks, you have to play it safe. I wouldn't use Ezuri, Renegade Leader 's Overrun ability until I would be guaranteed lethal damage. Otherwise, my opponent is hesitant to use Slagstorm if I'm sitting on a +3/+3 pump at Instant-speed. And by the fifth turn, I'm usually pumping more than once per turn anyways. I could pump once and save another pump for a Slagstorm .

December 23, 2011 3:56 p.m.

PeteW says... #28

Wow. I just swung for 38 with trample on turn 4. TURN FOUR.

Pure Awesomeness. +1

December 23, 2011 6:21 p.m.

PeteW says... #29

and for those tht want to know how...T1: Forest, LlanowarT2: Gavony, ArchdruidT3: Gladecover, Gladecover, (tap archdruid for 4), Renegade leader, Llanowar plus a Signal Pest from tapping the Gavony.T4: Play a thicket, tap archdruid for 6, tap three lands, tap llanowar to hit Ezuri twice. Attack with Llanowar, 2 Gladecover, Ezuri and the Pest for 37 trample (inc Archdruid +1, Battlecry +1 and +6 from Ezuri).

Hmmm. Only 37 trample. Pathetic.... ;P

December 23, 2011 6:33 p.m.

Lexis136 says... #30

the thing with standard elves is that 2 elvish arch druids and an ezuri do mean a win...they will be hit with as much hate as your opponents can muster.

so having so many azure's and green sun's zenith is necessary. good job. also, i love flesh born in elves.

December 24, 2011 12:45 a.m.

Vorniclex says... #31

Lol i am making this deck now. I'm totally going to run something like this at next FNM. +1 for elves in standard

December 24, 2011 1:57 a.m.

Vorniclex says... #32

Also, i second the Contested War Zone s.

December 24, 2011 2:01 a.m.

zandl says... #33

Yeeeaaah. After sleeving this up earlier and trying it out, I realized that Gavony Township , as much as I wanted to include it, just doesn't size up to my hopes for it. It rarely does anything considering the fact that all of my mana just goes straight to Ezuri, Renegade Leader anyways. I'll be making the switch to Contested War Zone . I can't imagine it would do anything less. And in doing so, I could drop White. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite was a pipe-dream to begin with.

December 24, 2011 3:21 a.m.

Valentine35 says... #34

if your struggling to replace Gladecover Scout , Adaptive Automaton would be a nice addition.

December 24, 2011 7:19 a.m.

Vorniclex says... #35

Honestly, i'm going to build this deck, and I think you should keep the Elesh norn with the splash of white. At least, that's what I'm going to do.

December 24, 2011 11:51 a.m.

Vorniclex says... #36

YOu cpuld also take out those last two Gladecover Scout s and put in a couple Birds of Paradise . That would ensure you an archdruid or ezuri 2nd turn

December 24, 2011 11:59 a.m.

xo2 says... #37

I played elves at fnm yesterday, and went 2-2, the only problem I had was being mana screwed without Llanowar Elves , and actually getting Molten-Tail Masticore in my hand. I think that 4 ezuri's are what's needed, getting him out is crucial to this deck. And it's a pain when you don't have any lords at all. I wish I actually had Lead the Stampede s to keep up with control in hand size.

card:Ezuri's Archers are the shit,they kill everything :) against other aggro decks, Contested War Zone isn't all that great unless you hold it until the last second. Maybe add a land sideboard? +1 for pulling this off :)

December 24, 2011 5:01 p.m.

zandl says... #38

I totally forgot about Adaptive Automaton . I thought of using him when I first wrote this down, but he completely slipped my mind. He'll be going in over Gladecover Scout . As much I wanted to use the Scout, it just didn't have the same amount of utility as the other Elves do. Hexproof is good, but who would want to target a 1/1-vanilla when there's a Lord on the field?

December 24, 2011 5:01 p.m.

Serion says... #39

What about Primordial Hydra? with all the arch druid mana you can summon him with trample 75% of the time. I made a similar deck recently and its a great long term finisher.

December 24, 2011 5:23 p.m.

zandl says... #40

Meh. He's good, but he's such a high-level threat that my opponents do everything they can to stop him. I'd rather just pump all of my mana into Ezuri and win instantly, rather than waiting 2 or 3 extra turns.

December 24, 2011 5:34 p.m.

Valentine35 says... #41

im making this deck right now. all i need are a few of the commons/uncommons (i dont have a lot of beseiged and scars cards)...Just wondering do you think this deck would work fine without the Wurmcoil Engine s im on a bit of a budget and i never wanted to drop that much money on the engines. what would be a good replacement for them? if any? i just threw in 4xAdaptive Automaton s instead...and i like to mainboard 1xFresh Meat just in case. so any suggestions on a replacement for the wurmcoils?

December 25, 2011 10:52 a.m.

zandl says... #42

Moldgraf Monstrosity is a favorite card of mine, though Elves may make it less effective than Titan ramp, for example.

Carnage Wurm is a fantastic powerhouse for budget decks. Platinum Emperion could work (and be hilarious against mono-Red, as I've used it before). Myr Battlesphere , Steel Hellkite , Thopter Assembly , and Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger are all decent choices for budget decks, as well.

December 25, 2011 1:19 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #43

Have you considered going big with 2-3 Primeval Titan s, a red splash and Kessig Wolf Run ? And then some lands of course.. Maybe that's not what you want to be doing.

Other than that, i think Beast Within could work well, it gives you outs to planeswalkers and big things the opponent might play like titans and Consecrated Sphinx . In a pinch you can also make a land of yours into a beast at your eot to get in for the win.

I'd -1 lead, -2 green sun' zenith, -1 wurmcoil

+2 overrun +2 beast within

Hope it helps, and good luck with your crusades in elven standard

December 25, 2011 3:03 p.m.

zandl says... #45

Thank you for your insights, jessetaverne. It's definitely worth looking into. I tried Overrun when I first built this two weeks ago. It's okay, but I'd almost always rather have another Elf or a GSZ. I think Contested War Zone , the Lords, Ezuri, and Signal Pest are enough power to break through in the fourth or fifth turn.

@krishna007 - When you build a deck that actually has structure, a mana curve, and more of a strategy than just "I hope Quicksilver Amulet survives, or else I'm screwed," then you can show it off. Until then, please refrain from acting like you know everything about Magic on my deck pages. This deck would have 5 creatures out on the field before you could cast Quicksilver Amulet . You'd be dead by the fifth turn, regardless of Blightsteel Colossus hitting the board or not.

I've been playing Magic since Kamigawa. Don't lecture me on how you'd beat my deck when what you build is offensive to anyone who prides himself on being a deck-builder. Cocky people like you are only so because you can beat your friends in casual games, where nobody actually uses Titans, Snapcasters, or Planeswalkers. Win an FNM with that pile of random cards and come back to rub it in my face. But until that happens, leave. I don't need your vitriol fouling the smell of this deck page.

December 25, 2011 3:40 p.m.

Trakanon says... #46

Wish I could +1 you again. I love seeing these good and fun decks as they evolve.

December 25, 2011 6:18 p.m.

M_Infernum says... #47

Very nice, I playtested this against my deck:arsenal-11 deck. The score was 10-1 in my favor on turn 5. Unfortunately for me though, that's as far as my deck went, turn 6 was an absolute disaster for my deck. Took 40+ damage that turn. I'll definitely +1 your deck. Maybe you can take a look at mine and give me some suggestions? I'm new on this site, and looking to improve my game.

December 25, 2011 7:21 p.m.

M_Infernum says... #48

Sorry, make that Arsenal 1.2

December 25, 2011 8:21 p.m.

zandl says... #53

@krishna007: That's fine. Too bad I'm removing all of your comments from my deck because you just don't seem to get it that I don't care how bad you think my deck is nor how good you think your random piles of cards are. In essence, have fun losing at FNMs as I build and play solid, highly-praised decks.

December 26, 2011 midnight

Trakanon says... #57

Question: what's the story with the single Viridian Corrupter ?

December 26, 2011 8:28 a.m.

jadeal says... #58

One thing that everyone is forgetting about board wipe is that Ezuri, Renegade Leader can REGENERATE YOUR ELVES.

I love this deck and how it works so well. I do think you should add the Beast Within s like jessetaverne said but otherewise this deck is really great.

December 26, 2011 10:30 a.m.

Carsten says... #59

Wow I really like this deck! Your description hold true for me when playtesting, once the deck dished out 78 points of damage on turn 5. Seems real fun.


December 26, 2011 12:10 p.m.

zandl says... #60

The lone Viridian Corrupter is there for, well... Here's what I said in the description:

Viridian Corrupter : A fantastic fetch with card:Green Sun's Zenith to deal with a freshly-cast Batterskull , any of the three Swords, Shrine of Burning Rage , Wurmcoil Engine , etc. Although I've never liked seeing him in decks without any other Infect or support for it, getting an opponent to 10 Poison Counters here becomes a very real possibility through Ezuri, Renegade Leader , Signal Pest , and Contested War Zone .

He's essentially a bit of board-control that I can earn myself if I need it. And if my opponent's not playing with any Artifacts (which is rare), I've got a good chance I won't see him. This is good for me because there's no sense in casting him if the only Artifact in play is my own Adaptive Automaton .

December 26, 2011 12:20 p.m.

zandl says... #61

Beast Within will likely be finding a spot in here soon, either as a 2-of or 3-of. I have a lot of things to do today (what with my city being open again, and all) and I won't be back for awhile. I'll update this later and really try to grind out the few kinks it still has.

I'd just like to thank everyone for the kind words and constructive criticism. Also, inspiring a wave of Elf decks on this site makes me feel as though I've truly earned my title here, "T/O Green Master".

December 26, 2011 12:31 p.m.

Jousche says... #62

I tried running something similar to this though I didn't have a few of the rares you've included. One card that I found valuable was card:Apostle's Blessing. Sure Ezuri can regenerate 'other' elves. But there's nothing worse that dropping you're win con and having it Oblivion Ring ed or shocked. Maybe something to consider for sideboard? Anyway +1 from me. Elves are well worth playing at the moment.

@ Valentine35, another big guy you could consider is Chancellor of the Tangle not only is he big but he can mean 2 Llanowar Elves first turn or something similar :)

December 26, 2011 7:35 p.m.

xo2 says... #63

I love me some Forest filled decks, and I made an elf deck, then saw this a day later, and thought "yes! Long live elfs!". Unfortunately mine wasn't fine tuned for fnm last Friday :(

December 26, 2011 8:42 p.m.

JeffHoogland says... #64

So you basically lose out right to card:Black Sun's Zenith or Day of Judgment then?


December 26, 2011 9:49 p.m.

spikey01 says... #65

That's why there's a Fresh Meat on the Sideboard and an Ezuri, Renegade Leader for regeneration on the Mainboard, I think.

December 26, 2011 10:13 p.m.

JeffHoogland says... #66

Can't regen BSZ and one of them on turn 4 odds are is hitting while they can't pay for a Fresh Meat .


December 26, 2011 10:20 p.m.

rckclimber777 says... #67

Pretty solid looking deck so far. I think perhaps a couple Garruk, Primal Hunter might be worthwhile. If you pump your elves with overrun, get blocked or for some reason your opponent has the upperhand, you can still draw a ton of cards through the primal hunter and overrun them again. I do like lead the stampede in this deck though.

I love me some elves. Especially when they're standard. +1

December 26, 2011 11 p.m.

does this...win?

December 27, 2011 12:57 a.m.

zandl says... #69

@JeffHoogland: Elf decks have always, since the beginning of Magic, had problems with board-wipes. They aren't game-over as you described, however. A novice player may just rush out and drop everything in his or her hand and hope for the best. When I play, if I see conservative plays and any Blue, I'm automatically expecting Day of Judgment to be in their hand already. Same thing with anything that has Black as its primary color, with card:Black Sun's Zenith.

When I played this last Friday, I got 3rd place out of 34 players with the other Top 7 playing pure Control. I had plenty of Slagstorm s and Day of Judgment s cast against me, but I still beat 31 other players in that tournament. What I'm getting at is that you can have all the board-wipes you want. But when I'm also playing conservatively and keeping enough Elves in my hand to recover the following turn (even if I can't Regenerate or cast Fresh Meat , the latter case in which I'll always keep 4 mana open on my opponent's fourth land-drop turn if they're playing Control) then there's nothing you can do save for top-deck another board-wipe. Then if you board-wipe again, too bad I'm playing Lead the Stampede and you don't have enough mana to counter it.

So don't come in here pretending like board-wipes are anything new or that you can win against my deck down with a single card. It's no secret that any creature-based deck will have issues with board-wipes, but that's just a natural draw-back on that type of deck. The difference between people who play Elves and get last place versus the people that play Elves and make Top 8 in SCG Open tournaments is that they know how to play against Control.

I would also prefer if you didn't post on this thread anymore. Any additional posts from you will be deleted without being read or given any thought.

December 27, 2011 1:29 a.m.

zandl says... #70

@withoutdoubtlongestusernamever: Of course this wins. If it didn't, I'd've taken it down by now. I earned 3rd place at FNM last Friday. I went 4-1-1 before Top 8 (with a last-round, guaranteed-to-make-it split), then won, lost, and won the 3rd-4th match.

Admittedly, I misplayed in the second game of the Top 4 Round. I miscounted the amount of mana I had at the time I had Ezuri wrecking face. I counted 9 but forgot about Llanowar Elves and could've double-Overrun for lethal damage instead of doing it once and just getting close. In the third game, my deck decided to not give me a single land until I went to 5, and even then, it was (of course) a Contested War Zone , 3 Ezuri, Renegade Leader , and a Lead the Stampede . After not drawing a land for 3 turns, I scooped when my opponent dropped a fourth-turn Wurmcoil Engine . :(

But, to answer your question: Yes. It does win. And it wins with style, I might add. Most people getting hit for 25 Trample on the fourth turn of the first game just fell speechless as their jaws dropped to the table. And I had three separate people admit that they'll be looking into Elves for this coming Friday.

December 27, 2011 1:38 a.m.

zandl says... #71

New thought: Gutter Grime over Fresh Meat ? I had minor success with Fresh Meat last night (let's face it: it's an awkward card and we all know it) but I need something I can rely on.

Control has nothing to kill Enchantments beyond Oblivion Ring (save for countering them). Without Into the Roil ruining everyone's fun anymore, I think this may work better than Fresh Meat .

December 27, 2011 2:43 a.m.

JeffHoogland says... #72

You made some good points - it is important not to over extend when playing aggro VS control.

At the same time what one earth did I post to make you so terribly hostile? I was simply asking a question about the list and you came back spitting acid.


December 27, 2011 3:48 a.m.

zandl says... #73

You: "So if someone plays either of these two cards, you lose. No question."

Innocent bystander: "But he has these answers, with descriptions, to those threats."

You: "I don't care lol"

I'd classify that as trolling, sir.

December 27, 2011 3:59 a.m.

Gimpmaster says... #74

I love elves! went with infect with 'em see what you think http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/green-infect-63/

December 27, 2011 5:39 a.m.

flipdipple says... #75

Kudos. I have been looking at getting back into standard play as i have been out of it for several years now. I was looking for a something besides the standard for this block, plus I am a HUGE elf fan from back in the day. This deck ROCKS. One card I have been toying with and trying to find a spot for is Asceticism , hexproofing and regen to boot. I agree dropping the Gladecover Scout is a good idea. My personal feeling for Elf decks is I want them Critter heavy just not too heavy. I don't like having no counter options. Where green is short on them the ones that are available are pretty decent. I am glad you found a spot for Beast Within , as good if not better than the old standby Desert Twister . Once again thanx a bunch for fleshing this deck out, I will let yo know how my first FNM goes this week. +1 from me

December 27, 2011 7:31 a.m.

flipdipple says... #76

Also forgot, I have decided to forgo the Contested War Zone in favor of Ghost Quarter , slight aversion to possibly giving my opponent the upper hand and with all the Kessig Wolf Run 's out there I felt it a decent counter.

December 27, 2011 7:33 a.m.

Turtleman says... #77

No Genesis Wave , Seems prefect since your curve is mainly 1 and 3 drops.

December 27, 2011 8:08 a.m.

IronHead says... #78

Now this looks like a fun deck.

December 27, 2011 10:16 a.m.

simos says... #79

i find it a great deck +1 from me i'll test it this friday!

December 27, 2011 8:16 p.m.

megasventies says... #80

this deck looks like its fun to DOJ or BSZ

December 28, 2011 12:49 a.m.

zandl says... #81

Please read my above comments regarding board-wipes before inferring that this deck can simply be shut down.

December 28, 2011 2:13 a.m.

CrimsonFury says... #82

what about burn decks? I love this deck and have a mana curved green wurm/hydra deck, but all my mana producers get Bolted, Flame Slash ed or Shock ed before i can even get the biggies like emperion out... so what if someone bolts your Ezuri? ...AND keeps doing it over and over? a good burn deck might just keep those elves at bay until the firestorm hits hard.

Constructive feedback only please :D

December 28, 2011 3:53 a.m.

iygnim says... #83

hi there, i formed the deck and had a heck of a time building up awesome high damage swings. however as CrimsonFury said above, i have a problem tackling burn decks. sure, the first round they get torn apart by the ezuri/archdruid/copperhorn combo, but post sideboard my elves (especially the archdruid and ezuri) are constantly shot down with Arc Trail , Shock and Galvanic Blast . can't seem to find any way around this except to pray that they don't have too many burns in their hand.

playing conservatively against control with Day of Judgment or card:Black Sun's Zenith doesn't seem to work too well either since they usually follow up the board sweeper with a game ender like Grave Titan or Wurmcoil Engine .

December 28, 2011 1:36 p.m.

zandl says... #84

@CrimsonFury: I see your point. I did have a bit of trouble against Burn last Friday. And as iygnim points out, Arc Trail was the bane of my existence. I'll play around with the main-board and side-board to see if Asceticism can be squeezed in. It would really help, as a lot of people have already mentioned here.

@iygnim: Playing conservatively worked for me last Friday. If someone's got a board-wipe against me, they aren't going to wait until they have 5 mana to use it. They're going to drop that card:Black Sun's Zenith or Day of Judgment on the fourth turn. Then they have nothing to play for 5 mana.

I did get hit with board-wipes last Friday, but they certainly weren't the end of the world. The threat of board-wipes is just another aspect of playing creature-based Aggro.

December 28, 2011 2:06 p.m.

iygnim says... #85

thanks for the replies. the problem i had with Asceticism was the high mana cost. with my llanowar elves and archdruids getting burned down it took far too long to amass five mana. i was actually looking at Mutagenic Growth as a means of keeping the key elves alive for the combo, but i haven't had a chance to test it and have no idea what will that do to the overall deck idea.

alternatively, what if we played planeswalkers like Garruk, Primal Hunter ? would that do better against the control decks especially,?

and lastly, could you give me an idea on the sideboard options, for example what goes out for the Fog or Naturalize ? i'm really keen on playing this at my next local fnm and would really like to figure out if i'm doing anything wrong now.

thanks once again.

December 28, 2011 8:46 p.m.

esm2107 says... #86

This deck caught my eye and I just had to see it. +1 to you zandl this is a nice build. I recently just quit playing a trusty dungrove wolfrun build and kept thinking about how to stay true to your list's early-game potential while incorporating wolf run into the mix. It seems like it would be hard to stop as the deck keeps consistently adding threats while at the same time, curves out nicely. I'll build something and would like to run it by you when it's done. There is a friend of mine at the local shop who is a diehard elf player and I'm sure he would like to see this.

December 28, 2011 11:28 p.m.

Pseudonym394 says... #87

+1 for the sake of seeing multiple Elves in a tourney viable deck.

December 29, 2011 1:35 a.m.

CrimsonFury says... #88

Leyline of Vitality . I figured out that that ONE card keeps your creatures alive just that little bit longer. you only need three, and tbh, the one life gained for all those one drops really helps. i found 9/10 that Pyroclasm falls short with vitality out, even if it does only give +0/+1... keeps that druid/ezuri up longer. when i played with this deck (i went straight to my shop and bought all cards necessary and threw in 2 overruns), i found the Shock s and Flame Slash s tended to rip up the mana producers unless they reaaaaalllly didn't want to mulligan their Urabrask. this meant you almost had to have the leyline in your hand to survive past 5th turn. i threw 3 in and managed a 5th turn vic doing 30+ damage 4 times in a row...Impressive stats for a fairly n00b player like myself. Slagstorm + Pyroclasm was the bane of my existance that night, fml they had 4 of each in like the 5 decks i played. Y U NO PLAY BLUE? anyways, that's my input.

December 30, 2011 12:20 a.m.

cobracon7 says... #89

Good elves finaly! +1

December 30, 2011 5:47 a.m.

zandl says... #90

@CrimsonFury: That would be great, except Leyline of Vitality , Pyroclasm , and Flame Slash all rotated out a Standard at the end of September.

December 30, 2011 1:21 p.m.

tbro43 says... #91

The only real issues I see are that there's not really a reason for the Wurmcoil Engine , and you could run more Asceticism . The engines just dont fit in my opinion, and even though asceticism is high on drop cost, running one is going to make it hard to get by draw, and I feel that that's a card that will save you if you're ever down.

December 30, 2011 2:38 p.m.

zandl says... #92

Wurmcoil Engine gives me a huge board-presence, put the hurt on RDW, and lets me go head-to-head with Titans more efficiently. And I can play it on the third turn. It definitely saved me in more than a few games last Friday, so he's not coming out.

December 30, 2011 2:43 p.m.

Wannabehero says... #93

Awesome deck, I like that it is competitive and yet is not one of the pervasive standard decks (i.e. RDW, Wolf Ramp, RUG, Mageblade, Haunted Humans, Solar Flare, ect).

While I also love that it is monochromatic, I'm getting all sorts of splash ideas for it due to the intense mana-ramp potential, and not Wolf Run ideas either.

+1 all the way

December 30, 2011 3:52 p.m.

theeverdead says... #94

Wow I was making Woodland Crtitter Christmas the other night thinking that elves could still be standard viable. Glad to see someone else came up with one.

Guess I need to read up on how Copperhorn scout works. Guess once creatures are tapped to attack they can't be untapped so she only untaps your non attacking creatures?

Anyway +1 will have to try your version out too.

December 30, 2011 4:53 p.m.

flipdipple says... #95

Copperhorn Scout Untaps all other creatures whether or not they are attacking. It itself does NOT untap. Now if you have 2 Copperhorn Scout 's attacking they will untap each other ;)

December 30, 2011 7:18 p.m.

theeverdead says... #96

Ahh I see. So it kind of gives your creatures semi vigilance. That is pretty cool.

Guess I will have to try that out seems to really combo well with Garruk -2 abiltiy.

December 31, 2011 12:41 a.m.

zandl says... #97

Copperhorn Scout lets me attack with Elvish Archdruid and Llanowar Elves and still lets me us their mana for things like Ezuri, Renegade Leader and Contested War Zone .

December 31, 2011 2:05 a.m.

aloehart199 says... #98

I like the idea behind it. The only viable elf deck I've seen so far personally other than this is elf run, splashing red for kessigwolf and using 4x archdruid and 4x llanowar for massive wolf run boosts

December 31, 2011 9 p.m.

tmurdock says... #99

I don't think 3xcard:Green Sun's Zenith and 4x ezuri makes sense. If you swap this to 4x zenith and 3x ezuri you have exactly the same # of ezuris but 33% less possible dead cards.

I also think you need to add Kessig Wolf Run for extra trample enablers. You already have emissary anyway and I don't think you need more than 1 mountain + 4 Rootbound Crag to support the splash.

Also, have you thought of a singleton Glissa, the Traitor ? You could run a single swamp in case you draw her but normally plan to cast her off the zenith. She can bring back Signal Pest for you and deathtouch + first strike in a deck that can grant power boosts and trample through Ezuri (and if you follow my wolf run advice), is just the nuts.

December 31, 2011 10:08 p.m.

UnknownThurs says... #100

I've recently built this deck and it's quite a lot of fun, but I'm new to playing competitively, so I'm particularly unsure when utilizing the side board. I understand which cards should be put in against certain decks, but I don't know what should be taken out. I know you've touched on what sideboard cards are good against certain match-ups, but what cards do you take out of the main board for them?

If you could give me what you do against certain decks in terms of the sideboard, it would be much appreciated. I plan on trying this deck this week and I'd rather not lose because of a dumb sideboard decision.

January 2, 2012 2:27 p.m.

GunG12aVe says... #101

know what would be hilarious in this deck? Gnaw to the Bone or Creeping Renaissance . Probably wont work with your strategy but would be hilarious nonetheless. good job on this deck! hate it already XD (Dam Elves!)

January 4, 2012 3:04 a.m.

tmurdock says... #102

actually Creeping Renaissance could be decent tech to recover from Day of Judgment ... playable only because of flashback

January 4, 2012 2:18 p.m.

WeiZel says... #103

doubling chant?

January 4, 2012 10:45 p.m.

GunG12aVe says... #104

true. you get all your elves essentially three times if you added that card(first time by self, second and third time by Creeping Renaissance ). If you had more than one creeper, then its elven hayday XD

January 4, 2012 10:51 p.m.

GunG12aVe says... #105

oh, didnt see Creeping Renaissance in ur side board, my bad

January 4, 2012 10:53 p.m.

zandl says... #106

I'm going back to Gutter Grime as my defense against board-wipes for a number of reasons.

Fresh Meat seemed to be the way to go. It would give me tokens immediately and allow me to attack on the following turn without missing a beat. But what put me off about it was the fact that I had to have 4 mana open to use it. If I didn't, I'd be sitting with no creatures and a dead card in my hand. Which led me to...

Creeping Renaissance . With this one, I could just sit and wait for the inevitable board-wipe without having to play conservatively or worry about keeping my mana open. But the problem I ran into was that, even if I had five lands out by the fifth or sixth turn (which is rare), I spend it all, have 10 cards in my hand, have to discard, then not be able to play anything until my next turn.

So what gives me the best of both worlds?

Gutter Grime . I don't need to wait to play it. It gives me tokens that can attack on the following turn. I don't need to keep mana open for it. I can bounce back on the following turn without being hindered by having spent all my mana after a board-wipe. And the best part is that board-wiping with a bunch of Elves and Gutter Grime on the board is worse than dealing with the Elves. If you kill 6 Elves, Gutter Grime gives me six 6/6 tokens that are attacking on the next turn. And that's huge.

Also, Gutter Grime softens the blow from spot removal. If you Incinerate my Elvish Archdruid , I get a 1/1 Ooze. Kill another, and I've now got two 2/2 Ooze tokens.

So that's my in-depth explanation of why I'll be using Gutter Grime over anything else to bounce back after board-wipes (or prevent them altogether).

Also, I'm editing the deck to have it resemble what I've changed it to. I'll be taking this to my local FNM and I'll let you all know how it did. Thanks for all the support, insight, and praise!

January 5, 2012 3:49 a.m.

TikiShades says... #107

Woah, you got rid of Signal Pest ?! I thought you said that you were convinced it should be in any Standard aggro deck. :P

It might even draw an opponent's Naturalize that would have been better used on Wurmcoil Engine . Of course, I imagine people would suspect it in a ramp deck, but they also know if they wait to use their removal, Signal Pest is dealing upwards of 4-6 damage through your other creatures.

Then again, you do already have plenty of 1-drops...

January 5, 2012 11:19 a.m.

KeijiMaeda says... #108

Yes! Awesome. Might try this out. although I have no green sun's and that would be a bit hard to get... but yes! +1

January 5, 2012 2:10 p.m.

zandl says... #109

Signal Pest was a good idea on paper, but it doesn't boost toughness. Attacking with a bunch of 1/1 Elves and then making them +1/+0 doesn't do me anything against another Aggro deck (or anything with early creatures, for that matter). While playtesting against various decks, I noticed that it just wasn't pulling its weight against most decks. So I opted for more utility creatures like Acidic Slime and Elder of Laurels .

Nobody main-boards Naturalize where I play (except me, in different decks). I wouldn't have to worry about someone siding it in against my Wurmcoil Engine s because I only have 4 Artifacts total (5, if you include Ratchet Bomb , though it wouldn't ever be on the board long enough to get destroyed). And killing Wurmcoil is certainly not the end of the world.

I just need an answer to Mirran Crusader . That's the only card I can't do a single thing about. I'm considering adding Sunpetal Grove s to the mainboard and siding in Oblivion Ring s. Thoughts?

January 5, 2012 6:43 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #110

If it's really a big problem, Blazing Torch and Perilous Myr kill him dead. Not sure if you'd want those cards near your deck though.

January 5, 2012 6:49 p.m.

zandl says... #111

I thought Blazing Torch could've been my answer but most people running Mirran Crusader are pumping him with things like Honor of the Pure and Angelic Destiny . Oblivion Ring gets around those pumps.

Though I'm still open to suggestions and thoughts.

January 5, 2012 6:53 p.m.

theeverdead says... #112

Instead of messing with mana maybe just tumble magnet? Can tap him or another problem blocker for a big swing

January 5, 2012 7 p.m.

GraveTitan69 says... #113

Liked it so much I made my own version. Had most of the cards for it anyway.


January 5, 2012 7:01 p.m.

GraveTitan69 says... #114

Never mind. I deleted mine. Didn't wanna get comments or +1's when I didn't deserve them. Once again good job man. Love the deck.

January 5, 2012 8:31 p.m.

xo2 says... #115

Needs Bramblecrush instead of Beast Within

January 5, 2012 9:55 p.m.

GraveTitan69 says... #116

I disagree. Beast Within is 10x better. Beast Within takes care of anything. It's an instant. One less mana. And the drawback isn't even a drawback when you're running green because you'll trample right over their dinky little 3/3 beast.

January 5, 2012 10:03 p.m.

zandl says... #117

Yeah. Bramblecrush is a good card, but it's just not on the same level as Beast Within . For one less mana than B-crush, I can target any permanent at Instant-speed. And that's huge. More than half the time, I'm just targeting creatures to prevent them from becoming problems that are difficult to deal with (i.e. Hero of Bladehold ).

That, and Beast Within works quite well with Viridian Emissary in that I can kill it, get a land, and get a 3/3 Beast for myself.

January 5, 2012 10:10 p.m.

GraveTitan69 says... #118

I have to admit though. I love the flavor text on Bramblecrush. Check it.

January 5, 2012 10:21 p.m.

Gisei says... #119

Don't forget that Melira, Sylvok Outcast also stops card:Black Sun's Zenith.

This is in response to the board wipe comments a bit above.

Thanks for posting this deck!!

I made a variant (with cards I can afford) and will give it a shot at FNM tomorrow night.

January 5, 2012 10:31 p.m.

zandl says... #120

Melira, Sylvok Outcast is my go-to card (along with card:Autumn's Veil) against mono-Black control. She's also fantastic against Contagion Clasp and Contagion Engine , even if she comes out after the initial counters are placed. She stops proliferation of -1/-1 on my creatures.

January 5, 2012 10:33 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #121

@ zandl. I agree that oblivion ring is a thousand times blazing torch or perilous myr, but monogreen just can't deal with something that has pro-green, unless you can kill it with artifacts like the 2 mentioned above. It's something you'll have to accept (build a new deck that can deal with it), or ignore (decide that it's not THAT big of a problem), aka weighing pros and cons.

Another superslow solution is Ratchet Bomb , which would be getting in the way of your ezuri's and archdruids. One of its advantages when you let it sit at 2 counters though is that it gets geist and crusader, effectively dealing with both of them. I say 2 here because you can up the count to three on their eot and then trigger it on your turn if they decide to play either crusader or geist, while also being able to deal with Honor of the Pure and other 2 drops if you really need to. Still so slow though...

Eventually, you could add in white for o-rings, but that's really up to you, splashing is not too hard with Sunpetal Grove , Razorverge Thicket , and perhaps even card:Avacyn's Pilgrim, though i'm not sure if this last guy would be very efficient.

Also; card:Garruk's Horde? :s i think you'd ALWAYS want something else, either wurmcoil or Vorinclex or really another Beast Within or perhaps a Dismember , i think i'd want some more instant spotremoval, it's great in any deck and these 2 are the best at it in monogreen, and i'm not even sure which is better.

Also; where'd your sweeper protection go?

Anyway, hope this helped, gl!

January 6, 2012 2:45 a.m.

olowleye says... #122

lookin like a couple million bucks out there zandl..keep up the good work...you inspire many brotha.. including myself...an im suprised the troll didnt mention you start with 20 lifepoints that can be tooken down to zero...haha..im sorry but he had that one comin...id love to play against this deck..even if i was using board whipe outs...who really wants to hand you a mana from Viridian Emissary or even two tokens from Wurmcoil Engine ..except for a troll maybe...plus by the time somebody has waited to drop BSZ for a decent impact..they'd be damn near tapped out of mana for your upcoming next turn...jus a newb lookin out for ya brotha zandl..

January 6, 2012 5:26 a.m.

Wannabehero says... #123

The more I think about it, the more I think mainboarding guttergrime and adding in Shrine of Boundless Growth and Genesis Wave take this deck to the top notch. Experimenting with that I hit 324 damage with trample on turn 6. Gen waving for 16 (including leaving 3 open in case of Mana Leak ) on turn 5 (including landing guttergrimes) is hilarious.

Something to consider in any case. Wish I could +1 you again.

January 6, 2012 3:13 p.m.

GraveTitan69 says... #124

So I got all the cards together for this deck and made it. I put it on tapped out once again but put your name in it to give you full credit. (I just like having any deck I own on my account) I'm going to run it at FNM but I was wondering what is your option for dealing with Phyrexian Obliterator because I see that being a major problem.

January 6, 2012 3:51 p.m.

GunG12aVe says... #125

hmm... as it stands it doesnt seem that you have much grave interaction (to recover that is), and lots of mana. What you could do is put in Molten-Tail Masticore, since it could kill a Mirran Crusader even with two Honor of the Pure out, plus it regens. It does depend on creatures in grave, but in this deck could easily feed itself using its discard ability, or a-post day middle finger. You could also (though you wouldnt want to in this deck unless something REALLY annoying or as a finisher) Mortarpod. Bonehoard could be a funny card to put in against sweepers (you killed 6 elves? okay, i play this as a 6/6). or just Tumble Magnet for crusader. Just trying to think of cards to get rid of the thorn in the side.

January 6, 2012 4:10 p.m.

zandl says... #126

Will post detailed results of tonight's FNM tomorrow at some point. I'm exhausted.

Favorite moment of the night: I play Gutter Grime and my opponent (playing Solar Flare) reads it, says "... Okaaaay," as if thinking it's really bad. Then he taps 4 mana (2 of it White), says "Day of - Oh, shit. I just realized what Gutter Grime would do for you." I smiled.

January 7, 2012 1:49 a.m.

olowleye says... #127

i said it...brotha..them board whip outs aint got nothin on zandl.. im so stoked for your brotha!!...congratulations!!

January 7, 2012 2:11 a.m.

GraveTitan69 says... #128

Both Inferno Titan and Slagstorm destroyed my deck. :(

January 7, 2012 2:22 a.m.

Raidyn says... #129

I have been looking at this elf deck with greedy eyes thinking I just have to build it. Im a huge elf fan. Really nice deck +1.

January 7, 2012 2:35 a.m.

theeverdead says... #130

Congrats man on third place. Can't wait to hear how it went. Really like to know how Garruk's Hoard and acidic slime did.

January 7, 2012 10:44 a.m.

zandl says... #131

FNM report is up under "Updates", which is found under the list.

Unfortunately, I barely saw card:Garruk's Horde. I played it once after an opponent dropped a Sun Titan , so that put the brakes on him. But I revealed three lands in a row with him. I think I'll take him out and put in another Elder of Laurels , perhaps. For 7 mana with Elder, I get instant results. card:Garruk's Horde was just a pipe-dream, anyways.

Acidic Slime did his part when called upon, though I didn't actually play anybody with Swords or Batterskull . So I never had to fetch him, really, unless I was breaking down someone's land-base.

January 7, 2012 5:58 p.m.

card:Garruk's Horde is an interesting play, very creative. I love the fact that this is a solid standard elves deck. I'm really impressed and this is definitely one of my favorite decks right now on tappedout.

January 7, 2012 6:20 p.m.

jadeal says... #133

Another option for getting rid of Mirran Crusader is splashing red for burn spells and if you add card:Devil's Play, you can also burn for massive damage without even swinging.

January 7, 2012 8:12 p.m.

weterr123 says... #134

A great deck man, nice job. Green is not my strong point, so my only suggestion would be a couple of Phyrexian Metamorph s, either to dupe anything currently out, or have what ever 'Mr Nasty' your opponents may have. But, meh, it's not needed, quick elves do just fine anyway.


January 7, 2012 9:06 p.m.

weterr123 says... #135

My bad, I do have another suggestion, after revisiting the decklist...

I think Mimic Vat would be amazing in here.

January 7, 2012 9:08 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #136

@zandl: jadeal may have a point.

I've said it in my first post too, a red splash would not hurt the deck i believe.Here's my idea of what that should look like. (a little more land-heavy, but don't forget you have actual threats in your lands now, as well as some fireball effects in DP and KWR)

+3 Kessig Wolf Run

+3 Rootbound Crag

+4 Copperline Gorge

+1 Mountain +2 card:Devil's Play

+1 Primeval Titan (for fetching with GSZ to get your lands on board)

(also Arc Trail could be nice but that depends on your meta really)

-1 Contested War Zone

-7/6 Forest

-1 card:Garruk's Horde

-1/2 Elder of Laurels

-1 Acidic Slime

-1 card:Ezuri's Archers

-1 Wurmcoil Engine

-1 Lead the Stampede

Hope this helps make your deck more competitive. The wolf runs just go such a long way in making threats out of every single creature you have, which also makes them great at getting you back into the game after a sweeper. The land count may be off, but if I'm slightly not bad at theorizing i think it should be 22 or 23, depending on what you feel would be right.

Good luck on your next FNM, i hope you at least guve these changes a try and let us all know if you liked it or not.

January 9, 2012 2:46 a.m.

zandl says... #137

I don't know about the Wolf Run concept. As much as I'd like to call my deck "Kessig Elf Run", I built it here and playtested it a couple dozen times, but it's just too inconsistent. It tries to win with Elves, but it also tries to win with fetching out your lands and winds up getting caught somewhere in the middle. I think I'll just stick with Elves as my main beaters.

Although, I admire the amount of thought you put into it.

I could see myself putting in a few Red lands and adding card:Red Sun's Zenith (since getting 3 Red for card:Devil's Play's Flashback cost is hard with only a few splashed lands). I've always kinda liked card:Red Sun's Zenith more, too. It just erases problems and screws over a lot of what keeps Solar Flare afloat.

January 9, 2012 2:07 p.m.

jadeal says... #138

I agree with you zandl. When I suggested the red, I only meant one or two sources, not going kessig. Like you said, the problem with kessig is you have to get the lands, and your mana sources are primarily through your elves. If you do splash, just make it one or two Mountain s, and when a Viridian Emissary dies you can get one without too much of a risk of drawing a Mountain when you need a Forest .

January 9, 2012 3:01 p.m.

ender4560 says... #139

I personally love elves, i ran my own variation of this deck and got 5th in FNM. im thinking about adding 3 kessigs and two mountains with a couple green red dual lands so that way its still elves and then i can still trample over them in case i didnt get an ezuri which happened to me a lot even though i was running four

January 9, 2012 8:28 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #140

@ender: consider the configuration i posted 3 posts up.

Maybe you can convince zandl if you do well ;)

@zandl: you could be right i honestly haven't tested the deck ever, but the idea seemed pretty good, as these kessigs are nice at imitating ezuri, renegade leader for when he's not out.

January 10, 2012 2:28 a.m.

ender4560 says... #141

@jesse ive thought about adding prime titan but honestly its not that often that i would be needing prime titan, though i really like the devils play idea

January 11, 2012 3:51 p.m.

TikiShades says... #142

I'm against Kessig Wolf Run . For 5 mana, Ezuri, Renegade Leader gives ALL of your creatures a 3 power bonus AND trample, while Wolf Run only gives a single creature that bonus (provided you have red mana). It's simply not for this deck.

January 11, 2012 4:27 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #143

@ tikishades: the wolf runs are obviously for when ezuri is not out or you don't have a hoard of elves. Like after a day of judgment for example. Also, after a day of judgment, hopefully only an ezuri dies, and thn you have mana elves and something to do with them in the case of kessig. It seems very little loss (the mana base becomes about 1% worse) for potentially so much gain.

January 11, 2012 7:35 p.m.

ender4560 says... #144

theres no reason not to put in wolf run because you can literaaly just add 7 land and have a back up plan in case you dont get ezuri i obviously wont use it if i have an ezuri out

January 11, 2012 10:27 p.m.

Raidyn says... #145

Its not a wolf run deck. Just deal with it guys... I really like this deck for what it is, an over-the-top overrun with a board of elves.

January 12, 2012 2:07 p.m.

zandl says... #146

I don't think it's going to work, guys. I'd need at least 1 Kessig Wolf Run and at least a playset of Rootbound Crag to make it worth using. But even then, the number of Forests I have falls dramatically and I'm suddenly looking at an extra 30% chance of not having a one-drop out, which is what this deck needs.

If I had more lands (like 22 or 23), then maybe. Maybe. But as it stands, I can't afford to take anything out and I just don't see it doing a whole lot for me.

Finding Ezuri is hardly ever a problem. I've got four of him and three GSZ. Also, I'm packing three Lead the Stampede . Combined with Elder of Laurels and the Lords I have, I'm never hurting for more damage.

Every time I could've used more damage last FNM, Wolf Run wouldn't have helped on account of I was already screwed by something else.

And if I do get hit by a board wipe and lose mostly everything (or everything flat-out), I've only got a few lands left and no ramp to speak of. Then Wolf Run would just be a dead, colorless land.

January 12, 2012 2:41 p.m.

ender4560 says... #147

to each his own lol though i also ran a similar deck at fnm and a couple times i would have no ezuri, because they usually burned him. Though if you want an easy fix would be to put in 3 wolf runs and a single mountain and just fetch it with viridian emmisary

January 12, 2012 5:48 p.m.

zandl says... #148

I'll be updating this deck again before FNM tomorrow night. Be on the look-out for a few minor changes.

January 12, 2012 11:56 p.m.

zandl says... #149


Took out card:Garruk's Horde. As much as I wanted to be different and use him to some effect, I knew he was a janky gamble from that start. Added Karn Liberated in his place. If you want to know why, look up at the card descriptions under the list.

Took out the last Contested War Zone . With Delver of Secrets  Flip  FlipMTG Card: Insectile Aberration starting to gain popularity, I'm losing my ability to block every early-game attack. And giving CWZ to any other Aggro deck would just suck. I added a Forest in its place.

January 13, 2012 1:29 p.m.

zandl says... #150

FNM results up for 1/13/2012. Read about it under "Updates" beneath the decklist.

And, sadly, I didn't even draw Karn Liberated , let alone play him.

January 14, 2012 11:57 a.m.

dorminjake says... #151

I can vouch for Karn! I've got a similar deck (mostly in the sense that it uses elf ramp) at Broken Branches that uses 2x Karn Liberated , and I can vouch for his effectiveness, particularly when he's coming down on turn 4. Mirran Crusader s are some of the most annoying things I have to deal with, and Karn clears that situation RIGHT up. Indeed he does. He helped get me 2nd place at an FNM, anyway, but metagames of course differ. Your mileage may vary.

Disclaimer: I have a history with Karn, Silver Golem . I might be biased.

January 16, 2012 10:28 p.m.

jessetaverne says... #152

Hey zandl, grats on 2nd place!

One thing in your last game though, i don't know if it'd have mattered, but it's usually better to kill the sword after he attacks and before you block, that way you get to trade very cheap for his geist and his sword is dead and he's got one less potential blocker. Granted, you lose 4 to the angel, but that seems like a small trade off, because he can still choose to do that if you do it before attackers. This way you leave him no choice and it gives you a better board state to work with. Gl on your next one!

January 17, 2012 3:19 a.m.

Valentine35 says... #153

i was able to test this out at my last FNM. I of course have a few changes but overrall very similar. I placed 6th, which i was happy about since the best i have ever done at my local fnm was 4th. I see you took out Signal Pest , which is something i will never do, that extra 1 damage for each of my attackers helped a lot in the beginning cuz my opponent tried to go on the defensive fairly quickly, which made it easier for me to rock out more elves before he could blink....my only hiccup with this deck was card:Black Sun's Zenith and in the beginning Olivia Voldaren (bitch kept pinging my elves) other than those few time i did fairly well and it was a blast to play elves again thank you. (PS for some reason at my local store everyone hates elves, which makes it 10x funner to play and win with them.) any suggestion on how to fight through card:Black Sun's Zenith?

January 17, 2012 7:31 a.m.

ender4560 says... #154

green sun to melira sylvok outcast

January 17, 2012 10:39 a.m.

Wannabehero says... #155

Hey zandl, I'm thinking about running a similar elf deck at my next FNM. My list looks alot like yours, except for some small changes (mainly because I've opened into 2 Garruk, Primal Hunter and I think he might be a good fit).


2x Birds of Paradise

4x Llanowar Elves

2x Acidic Slime

4x Elvish Archdruid

2x Wurmcoil Engine

3x Ezuri, Renegade Leader

4x Copperhorn Scout

4x card:Ezuri's Archers

2x Viridian Emissary

2x Phyrexian Metamorph


3x card:Green Sun's Zenith

2x Lead the Stampede

3x Beast Within


2x Gutter Grime


1x Garruk, Primal Hunter


20x Forest

My Sideboard looks almost exactly like yours except it has one Lead the Stampede and one Garruk, Primal Hunter in it.

Any tips or suggestions for those of us out there who want to play elf decks like yours? What is the best strategy for beating a heavy burn deck, like RDW or R/B Delver Aggro?

January 17, 2012 3:29 p.m.

zandl says... #156

While I may come back to this deck in the future, I've turned all of my attention to my newest build, deck:wolf-run-blue-fnm-report-within.

As always, any feedback or suggestions (or even just a +1) would be greatly appreciated. And! There's a brand-spankin'-new FNM report from last Friday under the Updates for that deck.

January 22, 2012 1:02 p.m.

PeteW says... #157

Now that DKA is out, would you consider running Tracker's InstinctsMTG Card: Tracker's Instincts? Maybe putter an Island in the search down with the Viridian EmissaryMTG Card: Viridian Emissary for the flashback. What do you think?

February 4, 2012 5:11 p.m.

dorminjake says... #158

@PeteW - He's got Lead the StampedeMTG Card: Lead the Stampede, which seems to me to be much better than Tracker's InstinctsMTG Card: Tracker's Instincts. Tracker's Instincts + flashback digs deeper, but costs more mana, requires blue, and on average nets you fewer creatures. It doesn't seem worth it for the trouble.

February 4, 2012 6:21 p.m.

dorminjake says... #159

@PeteW - He's got Lead the StampedeMTG Card: Lead the Stampede, which seems to me to be much better than Tracker's InstinctsMTG Card: Tracker's Instincts. Tracker's Instincts + flashback digs deeper, but costs more mana, requires blue, and on average nets you fewer creatures. It doesn't seem worth the trouble.

February 4, 2012 6:22 p.m.

zandl says... #160

Thanks for the insights, however I've moved on from this deck and I'm now regularly playing my Wolf Run variants at FNMs.

February 4, 2012 8:05 p.m.

Earthsfire says... #161

Love the deck, definite +1 from me. I've always loved elves, and have a variant of this deck I've been playing around with for a while. I don't have any green suns, and haven't really tried to get any, so I use Genesis WaveMTG Card: Genesis Wave and Doubling ChantMTG Card: Doubling Chant, I also run a Primeval TitanMTG Card: Primeval Titan to thin out my lands and Phyrexian MetamorphMTG Card: Phyrexian Metamorph, because who doesn't love copying Elvish ArchdruidMTG Card: Elvish Archdruid? I'm currently playing with a BUG control deck BUG Control. Check it out and let me know what you think. But definitely love your build.

March 30, 2012 2:54 a.m.

cooknathan says... #162

Earthsfire, you should put your deck up so I can +1 it lol. The metamorph-archdruid combo is awesome I play it also :-)

March 30, 2012 6:19 a.m.

This deck looks REALLY fun and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for elves, I may look into playing a similar deck.

One quick thought, although it could just be a win-more in this deck with Ezuri giving the overrun, have you thought about going -1 Acidic SlimeMTG Card: Acidic Slime +1 Bellowing TanglewurmMTG Card: Bellowing Tanglewurm (GSZ for either) to get the intimidate factor in?

April 24, 2012 2:32 a.m.

zandl says... #164

Just some minor updates for AVR. Could come back to this at some point over the summer.3Since I live in a college town and the summertime FNMs drop to around 12 or 13 players, you can get away with playing janky builds like this and Standard Colorless: Uncharted Territory.

Any advice, suggestions, or comments?

April 25, 2012 2:02 p.m.

OnDiet says... #165

Hey zandl. Good to see you brewed MonoGreen finally.

I ran this type of deck before AVR came out. Few things I'd like you to ponder on.

  1. I disliked Ezuri, Renegade LeaderMTG Card: Ezuri, Renegade Leader (except if you have Glistener ElfMTG Card: Glistener Elf) as my OverrunMTG Card: Overrun effect; which leads us to...
  2. I topped curve at 5CMC (with VorapedeMTG Card: Vorapede, and used Genesis WaveMTG Card: Genesis Wave instead of Lead the StampedeMTG Card: Lead the Stampede.
  3. All the elves you're gonna need are Copperhorn ScoutMTG Card: Copperhorn Scout, Elvish ArchdruidMTG Card: Elvish Archdruid and Viridian EmissaryMTG Card: Viridian Emissary with Ezuri's ArchersMTG Card: Ezuri's Archers sideboard.
  4. In my deck, I ran Strangleroot GeistMTG Card: Strangleroot Geist, Elder of LaurelsMTG Card: Elder of Laurels, Birds of ParadiseMTG Card: Birds of Paradise, and Bellowing TanglewurmMTG Card: Bellowing Tanglewurm. I mentioned I topped curve at 5CMC, hitting Strangleroot GeistMTG Card: Strangleroot Geist with Intimidate on a Genesis WaveMTG Card: Genesis Wave is straight out crazy, not to mention you get to pump your unblocked/flying/trample creatures with Elder of LaurelsMTG Card: Elder of Laurels.
Right now I'm brewing up a Dungrove ElderMTG Card: Dungrove Elder-Craterhoof BehemothMTG Card: Craterhoof Behemoth-Beast WithinMTG Card: Beast Within-Adaptive AutomatonMTG Card: Adaptive Automaton that may or may not run Descendants' PathMTG Card: Descendants' Path. I'll post up the link on your comment section as soon as I finish.
April 28, 2012 11:37 a.m.

zandl says... #166

You have some good points, but on both sides, all for one mana. Not to mention, he's an Elf. That alone makes him useful with 6 Lords and Ezuri to regenerate/buff.

VorapedeMTG Card: Vorapede is awkward main-board in an Elf deck. He's an awesome creature, but he's just a bit too slow. I could definitely sideboard one or two, though, against R/G Aggro, where he really shines in the match-up.

April 30, 2012 8:45 p.m.

thejadejedi says... #167

I'm slightly curious why you have chosen 2 Champion of Lambholt s over the extra +2 Adaptive Automaton s...given the Lord pump ability, he really aids your elf creatures by pumping all of them up. Imagine an opening 9 cards of 2x forests, 1x Llanowar Elves , & 3-4 Archdruids/Automatons. By turn 3, you could have four 4/4 creatures which would on turn 4, be ready to start killing (and if you got out another Lord, well, that's lethal.) Just my thoughts, the Champions don't fit too well :/

Anyway, elves have always been my favorite tribe...they were the first good deck I ran and I hope to revisit them before they rotate out. (If only to shock some people at FNM when it goes amazingly well.) So needless to say, +1 from me :)

May 30, 2012 12:25 a.m.

thejadejedi says... #168

And I was just thinking...rather than the wurmcoil, why not run Soul of the Harvest ? I'd sure be some strong card draw power there :D

May 30, 2012 12:26 a.m.

cooknathan says... #169

zandl, I respect you as a deck builder and its great to see another person holding up the elf torch in standard when is is being neglected so much atm (and has been since caw-blade), but to say that Genesis Wave "just stinks in everything but EDH", surely a serious error in judgement has been made.

Ill give you the benefit of the doubt as you have usually shown good character and wisdom in deckbuilding, perhaps your having an off day or the keyboard slipped ;-).

I agree that Genesis Wave is not the right card for this deck and yes it does slow you down but it has its place. I do find however that a problem with the elves is often card advantage Lead the Stampede alone might not be enough, many things have been mentioned, I personally like garruk.

Im sorry to be picky and to bring it up in perhaps the wrong forum but I just cant be silent when Genesis Wave is spoken poorly of since I love it so much and beat so much face with it (in standard).

May 30, 2012 1:30 a.m.

Inces_Velus says... #170

Hey, so my deck seems to be the other side to this deck. While your deck focuses on hard casting Ezuri, Renegade Leader my deck focuses on getting a turn 4 or 5 Genesis Wave and hoarding the field with elves...check out my deck here: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/elvish-riot/

Always been a fan of elves, but I would suggest the use of genesis wave instead of triumph of the horde as most elf decks get TONS of excess mana and why not have more than one druid pumping out more than 5 mana each that you can use twice each for ezuri? I once had turn 6 almost 500+ trample damage (got the "perfect" hand) so look into the use of gen waves

June 13, 2012 12:21 p.m.

zandl says... #171

I don't like Genesis Wave . Even in Elves, you need a minimum of 6 mana to make any use out of it. Even then, that's only 3 cards you're revealing. If you want to get to 6 to not pass by Wurmcoil Engine , that's 9 mana. Between 3x card:Green Sun's Zenith and 4x Ezuri, Renegade Leader , I should have found one by then and wouldn't need to tap out and set myself up for a win-condtion Day of Judgment just to find him.

Genesis Wave is just not good. I'm sorry, but I've never been impressed by it.

June 13, 2012 2:06 p.m.

Inces_Velus says... #172

Turn one: llanowar elf, turn 2 elvish archdruid, turn 3 another druid and any number of elves equal to or less than 3 mana....turn 4 genesis wave for about 13 this was the average hand of my elf deck....and to not just get the revealed cards, you get them on the field

lets say you gen wave for 7...that's 4 cards right? what if all 4 cards are elves?! one is ezuri, one is a druid and 2 others? that is a GREAT use of 7 mana!

June 13, 2012 9:06 p.m.

theeverdead says... #173

Or instead you could cast GSZ and be sure you get an ezuri instead of 3 more llanowar elves?

June 13, 2012 9:31 p.m.

dorminjake says... #174

@Inces_Velus The problem with Genesis Wave , fun card that it is, is the fact that it's an excessive win-more card. 500+ trample damage is cool and all, but just one or two activations of Ezuri two turns earlier is usually going to be enough to win you the game anyway, without the risk of getting half your deck put into the graveyard from a Day of Judgment , or (gasp) drawing something other than Elvish Archdruid every time you need it.

Genesis Wave is slow, clunky, and essentially nullified if any of your Elvish Archdruid s get killed before you can drop pointy-eared, summoning-sick doomsday onto the field.

June 13, 2012 10:10 p.m.

Inces_Velus says... #175

Well everytime that I have used it, it has come in handy in that time when...gasp...you don't draw into ezuri...and you won't for almost 6 more turns, or draw a green sun for 7 more turns...you green sun for a few, and get that much closer to it! green sun is nice, don't get me wrong, I play 3 of each, but in play of Lead the Stampede I suggest a Genesis Wave is all....That is all I am saying, the reason I have a gen wave is because it is not always a win more...sometimes you just don't get that draw, but by using a lead the stampede, you lose lands, artifacts, and other enchantments...with green sun, you get all of those onto the field, and with elves, you have the mana for that, and again, alot of times I get stuck against red decks, and gen wave gets out my Asceticism without me milling it, or shuffling it furthur into my library

Again, it's all a matter of preference, my elves seem to out power other ramp decks, while your deck, when I play it, gets that same win style, but a few turns later because the build up is slower without a creature ramp spell

June 14, 2012 10:30 a.m.

zandl says... #176

But Lead the Stampede is creature-ramp.

Look at this way: For Genesis Wave to be of any real use, I need to cast it for 5, minimum. This is 8 mana, versus Lead the Stampede 's 3. With LtS, I still have 5 mana to play whatever I got. If I whiff, then I only spent 3 mana. If I whiff with G-Wave, it's Time Walk for my opponent.

Genesis Wave is win-more. If you have the mana to cast it and get real use out of it, then you should already be handily winning.

Your argument that it finds Ezuri, Renegade Leader is a moot point. LtS does the exact same thing for less mana, and possibly even mana left over to use Overrun that turn.

Besides. I have 4x Ezuri and 3x GSZ. What's the issue here?

June 14, 2012 3:12 p.m.

zandl says... #177

But Lead the Stampede is creature-ramp.

Look at this way: For Genesis Wave to be of any real use, I need to cast it for 5, minimum. This is 8 mana, versus Lead the Stampede 's 3. With LtS, I still have 5 mana to play whatever I got. If I whiff, then I only spent 3 mana. If I whiff with G-Wave, it's Time Walk for my opponent.

Genesis Wave is win-more. If you have the mana to cast it and get real use out of it, then you should already be handily winning.

Your argument that it finds Ezuri, Renegade Leader is a moot point. LtS does the exact same thing for less mana, and possibly even mana left over to use Overrun that turn.

Besides. I have 4x Ezuri and 3x GSZ. What's the issue here?

June 14, 2012 3:14 p.m.

zandl says... #178

But Lead the Stampede is creature-ramp.

Look at this way: For Genesis Wave to be of any real use, I need to cast it for 5, minimum. This is 8 mana, versus Lead the Stampede 's 3. With LtS, I still have 5 mana to play whatever I got. If I whiff, then I only spent 3 mana. If I whiff with G-Wave, it's Time Walk for my opponent.

Genesis Wave is win-more. If you have the mana to cast it and get real use out of it, then you should already be handily winning.

Your argument that it finds Ezuri, Renegade Leader is a moot point. LtS does the exact same thing for less mana, and possibly even mana left over to use Overrun that turn.

Besides. I have 4x Ezuri and 3x GSZ. What's the issue here?

June 14, 2012 3:17 p.m.

Ginger_Kid says... #179

Great Deck My Legacy Elves Have Been Holding it down with ezuri arch druid devoted druid and wirewood lodge

August 25, 2012 11:04 p.m.

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