Sylvan Messenger

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Premodern Legal
Vintage Legal

Sylvan Messenger

Creature — Elf

Trample (This creature can deal excess combat damage to the player or planeswalker it's attacking if lethal combat damage would be dealt to all blocking creatures.)

When Sylvan Messenger enters the battlefield, reveal the top four cards of your library. Put all Elf cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

MeneerDutchy on Henzie “The Toolman” Taylor ETB

2 months ago

Torgaar, Famine Incarnate Dusk Mangler Gruul Ragebeast Hornet Queen Meteor Golem Overseer of the Damned Regal Force Rune-Scarred Demon Terror of Mount Velus Titan of Industry Verdant Sun's Avatar Baleful Beholder Bane of Progress Blight-Breath Catoblepas Blitz Leech Brutalizer Exarch Cleanup Crew Dakmor Lancer Dark Hatchling Duplicant Earthshaker Giant Goremand Grave Titan Great Oak Guardian Greenwarden of Murasa Kodama of the East Tree Kogla, the Titan Ape Massacre Wurm Noxious Gearhulk Patron of the Vein Ravager Wurm Regal Behemoth Soul of the Harvest Sower of Discord Thief of Blood Ulvenwald Hydra Whiptongue Hydra Bloodtithe Collector Blossom Prancer Cavalier of Thorns Conclave Naturalists Custodi Lich Demanding Dragon Emrakul's Hatcher Fury Giant Ambush Beetle Gilt-Leaf Winnower Gray Merchant of Asphodel God-Eternal Rhonas Gruesome Scourger Ingot Chewer Indrik Stomphowler Invader Parasite Keldon Firebombers Massacre Girl Mindclaw Shaman Morkrut Banshee Nessian Game Warden Obsidian Charmaw Pharika's Mender Phyrexian Delver Predatory Nightstalker Priest of the Blood Rite Puppeteer Clique Qasali Slingers Regisaur Alpha Serpent Assassin Shadowborn Demon Shriekmaw Silverglade Elemental Stuffy Doll Stingerfling Spider Whiptail Moloch Wei Assassins Wild Celebrants Agent of Erebos Ancestral Statue Balustrade Spy Bloodboil Sorcerer Bramble Sovereign Cackling Fiend Carrion Imp Chain Devil Coal Stoker Dagger Caster Disciple of Bolas Dread Presence Flametongue Kavu Foundation Breaker Grief Intellect Devourer Kozilek's Predator Llanowar Empath Masked Admirers Mausoleum Turnkey Misfortune Teller Myconid Spore Tender Nekrataal Nantuko Cultivator Ondu Giant Oxidda Scrapmelter Quirion Trailblazer Rampant Rejuvenator Ravenous Chupacabra Sawblade Slinger Slippery Bogbonder Solemn Simulacrum Summoner's Egg Sylvan Messenger Traxos, Scourge of Kroog Umori, the Collector Voice of Many

Apollo_Paladin on Aggro turn 3/4 win combo elves

3 months ago

Looks a lot smoother, nice!

For Card Draw, I find Vanquisher's Banner to be one of the best for an Elf build. For one, getting the mana to play it out early isn't difficult at all, and for two -- Elf decks tend to be very creature heavy, thus increasing the chance of drawing another low-mana elf when you cast a creature. This can generally be repeated multiple times a turn, often multiple turns per game in fact. Particularly if you keep drawing/casting 1-mana elves.

I also can't think of a single better Card Drawer for Elves than Sylvan Messenger. I've often cast him with the Vanquisher Banner in play only to draw easily 3 or 4 more elves, and this allows you to just keep spam-playing quite early in the game. Plus, he has innate Trample, making him a prime target for buffing up. So long as you can just keep Drawing/Tutoring elves, you can just go non-stop for quite a while. This is also another reason I like Vitalize (kudos for including that underappreciated beauty); You can use Vitalize strategically with the Sylvan Messenger's effect and extend your time playing elves even longer by re-using your mana generating creatures.

Shamanic Revelation isn't a bad card by any means, but in a build like this I think I'd find it a bit slow. I could be way off the mark here because I have no idea what types of decks you're commonly up against, but a benefit of using the Vanquisher Banner/Sylvan Messenger for you card draw is that you're never drawing that many cards at once. The worst thing I can see happening is having a bunch of creatures in play, casting Revelation, and drawing so many cards that you're still forced to discard even after playing.

Without testing it myself, I fully admit that I'm just speculating here, but in general I don't favor drawing mass amounts of cards all at once unless you've got something included with "You have no maximum Hand size."

With you keeping the infinite mana combos with the staff, I think Domesticated Hydra doesn't really belong. I'm sure you just threw him in for his X-cost ability, but you already have Ezuri, Renegade Leader whom you could achieve a BETTER effect from (infinite mana, so infinite triggers). This will hit ALL elves instead of just one creature. Plus, the Hydra doesn't share an Elf type so he's not helping your Priest of Titanias or Elvish Archdruids, and he won't be hit by Tribal Unity OR Ezuri's global elf effect. As a general rule, with a strong tribal build like this, do not include anything which doesn't fit your desired creature type. All it ultimately does is reduce your overall deck synergy.

In any case though, MUCH more reliable looking build you have here. I'd be eager to hear from you how differently it's playing now.

Guerric on Lathril's Relentless Elves

6 months ago

As for things to cut, here is my list-

Cards to definitely cut- 1) Abomination of Llanowar he's just a big, dumb of elf with a target on his back for removal. There are better options. At least Drove of Elves has hexproof, but I wouldn't even play that. The only one I'd play is Jagged-Scar Archers, and that's because of its utility against flyers.

2) Elvish Rejuvenator He gets a land, but doesn't actually ramp you. And that is if you get a land- you might whiff. You have better options. If you really want this effect Sylvan Ranger costs one less mana and is guaranteed to not whiff.

3) Eyeblight Cullers 5cmc is just too much for something that only gives you three tokens on its death, and you have no mill synergy.

4) Golgari Findbroker This card was made for draft. It just costs too much for what it does. Its not just the four cmc, 2 and 2 is a high opportunity casting cost.

5) Harald, King of Skemfar He's basically a 3/2 with menace that replaces himself. The clause on Tyvar might seem good if you add him (which is good idea, btw- he'll be worth it even if he doesn't stick around too long), but even then you have to remember that he won't find Tyvar the majority of the time. Again, its nice he replaces himself and gives you some selection, but there are better options.

6) Jaspera Sentinel Dorks are great, but you have to tap two creatures for one mana, which is a bad rate in elves. There are better dorks suggested above.

7) Masked Admirers This is one of those cards that Wizards stuffs into every precon conceivable, even though its bad in most of them. We don't need it here.

8) Thornbow Archer He's only draining one life for each time he attacks. That isn't enough to justify his slot.

9) Voice of Many You get maybe three cards for four mana at most? He's not the worst and he does draw cards, but I've never liked him.

10) Voice of the Woods This might sound like a good use of your elves, but its better to pump your elves than to use them to summon elementals. Plus he costs five to cast.

11) Tergrid's Shadow We have a joke about this card in our playgroup, but in general it isn't what we want. Letting your opponents pick what they sacrifice means you'll rarely hit the thing you need to get rid of. You might as well just play Doom Blade or any other premium removal card in these colors. There are a lot!

12) Poison the Cup They just put this in the precon because foretell was a Kaldheim theme, but there are so many cheap (both in real world and mana cost) black removal cards that this one shouldn't make the cut.

13) Roots of Wisdom You're better off just playing Harmonize or getting one of the consistent draw pieces I suggested. This card won't do a lot for the slot in your deck.

14) Return Upon the Tide This just costs too much mana, and you have other better recursion pieces out there.

Cards to think about removing

1) Serpent's Soul-Jar This card could be good, but could also be a trap. Your graveyard is a resource, and exiling everything from it prevents mass recursion. Also, your opponents can target this with removal and you'll never get your stuff back. I'd probably just play Haunting Voyage, Patriarch's Bidding, and Living Death to get your goodies back for more fun!

2) Twinblade Assassins He does draw cards, and is probably at least as good as Phyrexian Arena while he lives. So you might keep him, but he costs 5cmc, so if you have enough card draw you might want to cut him.

3) Numa, Joraga Chieftain He can pump your stuff. But Kindred Summons, Genesis Wave, or the above mentioned Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate are much better ones!

4) Nullmage Shepherd This can allow us to remove problematic stuff. But tapping four elves is a bigger cost than we often want to pay. Something to think on.

5) Sylvan Messenger Again, this card does get us some draw, much like Lead the Stampede which I used to play does. I've just never found it good enough to include though. Nonetheless, you want at least ten pieces of draw, and this does count as that!

6) Eyeblight Massacre This will kill a lot of stuff, but will often leave what you most need to kill alive. Ezuri's Predation is a recently reprinted board wipe that is now more affordable and will wreck your opponents while leaving your stuff intact. In Garruk's Wake and Plague Wind cost a 25 cents each and will hose everyone but you, and because you are playing elves you can afford their cmc!

7) Ruthless Winnower Having played against this card I can attest that it is annoying, but your opponents will often kill it before it can have too much impact. If it were a lower cmc it would be a guaranteed in, at least it will take the heat off of more important cards. It is high at 5cmc though. Keeping it might be the right choice, but I'd at least consider it.

WiccasWay on Tribal Elves Legacy

1 year ago

Thanks Apollo_Paladin, both Sylvan Messenger and Vanquisher's Banner are both good suggestions, little torn between the two, possibly slightly more inclined to the Sylvan Messenger which will work Wirewood Symbiote

Throne of the God-Pharaoh in your deck gives me some ideas... :)

Apollo_Paladin on Tribal Elves Legacy

1 year ago

Love elf builds, +1

Since you mention you're looking for Card Draw, maybe take a look at Sylvan Messenger and/or Vanquisher's Banner . I use both to pretty brutal effect in my mono-green Legacy elf build Tae'rin Terror (Elf Zerg) and maybe there's 1 or 2 other suggestions in there for your Sideboard.

jicklemania on These Elves Have a Lot of Blades

1 year ago

Though I'm curious why you aren't playing some cards, like Skullclamp Serpent's Soul-Jar Pact of the Serpent Harald, King of Skemfar and Sylvan Messenger , I like your list a lot, and it helped me come across some of the weirder cards like Alpha Authority . I just think you should cut Nissa Revane . At least in my playgroup, Wellwisher , being less vulnerable to flyers, is better, and the life-gain isn't that important anyway.

Mythrilia on Gaea's Wish, Elvish Wave

1 year ago

Stienpin:

    0/0. The deck was played back in the late 90's, but it was a very different deck back then. I started tinkering with this deck again back around 2018, but never made a serious commitment. When I finally did, COVID hit... and yeah.

Apollo_Paladin:

    Thanks again for all of your feedback! I'm going to take a serious look at adding in Sylvan Messenger . I'm not sure how I overlooked this card before, but thanks for bringing it up again.

    Vitalize was in this deck in the past (way way back when, before Wirewood Lodge even existed). There might be space for it, so let me mull that one over a bit more.

    Vanquisher's Banner - I'm just so torn on this, ugh! It is obvious why this needs to go into the deck, but I hate the thought of:

      1. Replacing Coat of Arms and losing the +X/+X bonus, that's pretty significant for how this deck goes from "ohh, look at those cute little elves," to "Holy ^#[email protected]*"
      2. Replacing Glimpse of Nature and upping overall the CMC
    That means I'll probably look at it it to replace both Slates of Ancestry and then figuring out one more card to swap out - I've noticed that you have three in your deck and I agree that is the right number.

    As for artifact hate, I decided to totally dump the Naturalizes from the deck, exclusively relying on Reclamation Sage being pulled from the sideboard. I swapped in Green Sun's Zenith but those might be removed after reviewing some of your other suggestions.

Apollo_Paladin on Gaea's Wish, Elvish Wave

1 year ago

I think Sylvan Messenger 's ability is even BETTER than card draw since it's essentially a miniature mass Elf Tutor. Unlike normal Card Draw, this won't force you to overdraw your lands/instants/sorceries and instead keep them in your library so that excessive use doesn't leave you too vulnerable to a Mill Out Loss (either by an opponent's deck, or just your own doing).

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