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[Primer] Elfpocalypse Now! An Ezuri Elves Guide

Commander / EDH Aggro Combo Druid Elves Mono-Green Primer Ramp Trample


Long before Lathril's Elven Empire was a thought in developer's minds, the original Elf commander was a rebel. Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Magic's equivalent of Colonel Kurtz, has stomped his way across most formats where elves are played, including Standard, Modern, Legacy, and of course, Commander. Like Colonel Kurtz Ezuri's sanity was questionable, as were his ethics, and some might say that his eventual compleation was the logical consequence of his brutal, scorched earth tactics. But there is no question that if you put him at the helm of a mono-green elfball deck that he will prove to be a brutally fast, aggressive, and unstoppable force.

This deck was a logical consequence for me of my magic career, and was one of the first decks I built, being built from the Guided by Nature preconstructed deck. When I first got back into playing magic it was by playing Elves in Modern at my LGS, and despite my LGS having a large group of modern players and a pretty competitive scene, I was able to achieve top results with it. As such, I came to the task of deckbuilding with a lot of experience and research that has informed my choices here. Since then I have played a lot, edited, cut, and added cards pretty constantly, and have what I think is an incredibly strong list. I very much hope that you enjoy it!

Ezuri, Renegade Leader is played in several formats, and familiarity from other formats doesn't always lead to better play in commander. Having played Ezuri in Modern, I can say that it is easy to misplay him here. Let's take a look at some of his abilities and try to understand how he works here. Ezuri is a 2/2 Elf Warrior which comes down for three, meaning that in an Elf deck we can often cast him on turn two if we wish to. He has two abilities, and it makes sense to focus on each.

1) His first ability costs one green mana, something we generally have a lot of in an elf deck, does not require tapping, and allows us to regenerate an elf. In Modern this ability is kind of an afterthought- you'll use it sometimes to save your Elvish Archdruid, but Ezuri's main role is his second ability, which often can function as your win con. The first thing to note is that in commander, this first ability and not the second is his most important one. Board wipes are happening less in commander these days, but they can absolutely wreck an elfball deck. This is because part of running an elfball deck correctly is that we intentionally run a low land count. In an elfball deck, we'll be able to generate a disgusting amount of ramp, there are around twenty pieces here, and in general we'd always rather play an Elvish Mystic than a land because that Mystic will also be able to help us destroy our opponents later whereas the land won't. We'll also establish strong draw engines to draw into our lands and play cards like Farhaven Elf that will fetch our lands for us. As such, we'll have lots of resources, but board wipes can cream us because, if timed right, we might be in a place where we don't have enough lands to recover. This is where Ezuri's second ability comes in. The ability to regenerate our elves is far better than you might think. While it is true that Wrath of God and it's clones can get around Ezuri's ability, this card is played less often today than you'd think, and most cards with a similar non-regeneration clause are higher on the mana curve than most want to play for a board wipe these days. Even those of us who are control players often prefer a Fumigate in most situations to Wrath of God, and as such Ezuri's first ability is incredibly strong insurance for us against our worst nightmare.

This of course, presumes that we have enough mana to use it! And in this we have the first clear tension involved in piloting Ezuri properly. We will have to strike a delicate balance between building a strong, aggressive board, while keeping mana in reserve to protect our best pieces from both targeted and mass removal. Navigating this tension properly is key to success!

One final thing to note about Ezuri's first ability is that he cannot target himself. This fact should dictate how we play to some degree. This means early on we should be judicious with Ezuri's second ability, because we don't want him to be viewed as too much of a threat too early. We also will want to bring in some protection for him eventually.

2) Ezuri's second ability is what he is most famous for- for two and three green we can give all of our creatures (including Ezuri) +3/+3 and trample until end of turn. This does not require tapping, so we can do it as many times as we have mana to activate Ezuri. When you are gold-fishing with elves, this adds up to a lot of damage very quickly, and because our creatures have trample we can usually get through. Needless to say, if we can get infinite mana, this ability allows us to win in a four player game with as few as three creatures, and we have a few ways to do that here. Importantly, however, we don't need this ability to win, and are more than capable of winning without it, as this guide will make clear.

One really great thing about the growth of the EDH format is that we have not one, but four distinct options when it comes to building an elf tribal deck. If you're committed to Ezuri you can skip this section, but if you aren't yet or are just curious how he plays differently than other options than this section is for you. It is important to note that the elfball core of each of these decks remains the same- we always want to have all the dorks (Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, and their imitators in other colors), all the land ramp elves (Farhaven Elf, Wood Elves, and Springbloom Druid), some elf token spells and generators, some elf lords, and we want to cheat on land count as much as possible because we would rather play dorks than more lands. That being said, each approach plays distinctively, and players should pick which options seems most fun to them. I wanted to do a brief treatment of each elf commander and how their deck plays out differently than the others. My approach here is obviously Ezuri, but it should be beneficial to all elf players to understand the elf meta in EDH and how Ezuri's style is distinct from the others.

1) Lathril, Blade of the Elves

While the elven core of Lathril is the same as for all EDH elves decks, the key difference is that with Lathril we are really pushed into a token/aristocrat subtheme. Elf tokens become grist for the mill here, and one has all the motivation in the world to play nasty sacrifice payoff cards like Grave Pact, Dictate of Erebos, Phyrexian Altar, and Ashnod's Altar. We also have game-winning mana sinks like Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire which we have high incentive to play. This combined with all of the premium tutoring and interaction that provides and we have a strategy which can be explosive, but is equally suited to grinding out long games with a more midrange approach.

2) Rhys the Redeemed

There are a few things more delicious than the rare 1cmc commander, but we have that in Rhys. The game is all in on tokens with this deck, so a good Rhys deck will have an elven core bolstered by Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, and Anointed Procession. There is also plenty of incentive in the color pie here to play populate cards, and premium white cards that protect the board like Flawless Maneuver, Unbreakable Formation, Make a Stand, and Teferi's Protection which save the board and tokens from removal. Because he is in white there is also access to all of the premium removal white has to offer, which makes the task of controlling opponents easier than for his mono-green friends.

3) Marwyn, the Nurturer

Marwyn is also in a singular color, and is thus the most similar to Ezuri. While Ezuri is oriented on protecting your board and then pumping for a win, Marwyn is a mana rock, combo piece, and potential voltron in the command zone. With Marwyn you'll want to lean even more into things with token and counter synergies, like Doubling Season and proliferate pieces. There is even more incentive to run the combos with Umbral Mantle and Sword of the Paruns because one half of the combo is always available in the command zone. She'll get more hate earlier, however, and as such you'll want to play even more protective pieces and be a bit more conservative with cutting lands.

4) Ezuri, Renegade Leader

Ezuri is the commander most suited to the straightforward, goldfishing elfball approach. Because you have some ability to protect your board from most board wipes, you can take a maximalist approach to cutting lands in favor of elf dorks and other elf-based mana cards. Ezuri can keep your team alive until it builds to the point where he can kill everyone. While we don't want to overextend ourselves into a boardwipe we can't recover from, we do want to explode out the gate in this deck and start killing opponents as quickly as possible. This is an engine combo deck where every piece serves to deliver our war machine to full, killing effectiveness, and it's surprising how quickly you can kill a table seemingly out of nowhere!

You might enjoy Ezuri if...

  • You love elves
  • You love tribal decks
  • You love stompy strategies
  • You enjoy engine-based combo decks
  • You enjoy having alllll the mana
  • You like tutoring creatures and toolbox deckbuilding
  • You like aggressive decks that are also resilient to removal
  • You enjoy high-power strategies that make you a clear and present danger to the table

You might not enjoy Ezuri if...

  • Your joy in life comes from countering spells
  • You hate mono-colored decks
  • You enjoy laid-back decks and pillowfort approaches
  • You don't enjoy having a target on your back
  • You prefer decks that are filled with creature removal
  • You prefer a good-stuff approach over a synergistic one
Not only are conventional categories a bit boring, but sometimes they are actually misleading in terms of the function various pieces play in the deck, and that is very much true here. As such I've developed categories that are a small part flavor and a large part function to make it easier to understand how the deck works.

Lords of the Elves

Elves are a very synergistic tribe, and these are elves who provide anthems which benefit all other elves. In many cases these provide a bonuses to attack and defense, but some grant additional or alternate effects. Don't sleep on the power of this. It's easy to have tunnel vision around Ezuri's second ability and miss out on the fact that you don't need it to win. When I played modern, I always ran more anthem effects than my opponents expected, often to their detriment. I remember well when one of the dominant players in our meta, who piloted a fully tricked out Jund deck, tapped out on a Kolaghan's Command to destroy my Elvish Archdruid, confident that his Tarmogoyfs could block my attackers. He was shocked when I dropped an Elvish Champion and hit him for lethal with an unblockable army. Some of these lords are self-explanatory. Elvish Clancaller, Imperious Perfect, Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen, and Canopy Tactician all pump our team while having some useful secondary abilities in most cases. For the others, however, a word should be said on each. Yeva, Nature's Herald is good because she allows us to cast our stuff at instant speed. This is especially helpful, of course, because we often want to hold our mana open to protect our creatures with Ezuri's first ability, and this allows us to still use it all if we don't need it for that. Joraga Warcaller allows us to pump our team a whole lot, and hit our opponents by surprise with way more damage than they are expecting. Elvish Champion gives all of our elves forestwalk. This is especially potent when Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth is out because it makes our entire army of elves unblockable. Eladamri, Lord of Leaves does the above, while also making our whole team hexproof. This is especially powerful because Eladamri protects Ezuri, while Ezuri can protect Eladamri, making these two a potent team. Needless to say, I tutor up Eladamri almost every game for that reason! Finally, do not sleep on the power of Cultivator of Blades. On the surface it might seem like he just grants +3/+3 on attack (assuming you put the counters on him with fabricate (which you should always do here), which is good on its own. However, if two Lords are out, now its +5/+5. If you suddenly anthem him with card:Timberwatch Elves or Immaculate Magistrate, you suddenly have lethal out of nowhere. I am so surprised that only 16% of decks according to EDHRec are playing this card. I guess that goes to show how useless group think is!

Druids and their Dweomers

These are the mana dorks and enchantments that allow us to ramp and ramp until we have all the mana. Elves draw their power from the land, and we are pretty much always ramping in this deck. You can pretty much divide the denizens of this category up into three categories- dorks, fetchers, and super-tappers. Dorks are our classic "tap this creature for a small amount of mana" creatures. In this deck they include true dorks like Fyndhorn Elves but also cards that tap for a few more mana like Llanowar Tribe. Fetchers are elves that find our land for us and put it into play, like Wood Elves and Farhaven Elf. Super-tappers are cards that tap for a lot of mana, like Priest of Titania or the all-powerful rampchantment Elvish Guidance. Super-tappers are especially important in this deck because we can often untap them through various means, which will allow us to generate even more ludicrous amounts of mana.

Summoners and Scouts

This is kind of a broad category, and is basically all about goldfishing out deck to make our tribe of elves unstoppable. Since there are a lot of ways to goldfish, we cover a few categories here. To begin with, we put a lot of cards here that make tokens like Elvish Warmaster and Elvish Promenade. We can also goldfish with massive summoning spells, so the super busted Genesis Wave and Kindred Summons are here as well. If we can resolve these cards we will usually win, and even if we fail we won't be out of the game! We also have card draw pieces that keep our hands full (so we always have more elves to cast) like Guardian Project and Realmwalker. Finally we have lots of tutors, so that we can always get the right elf for the task we need done right now. Elves have incredible toolbox properties, and hence we're playing Elvish Harbinger, Worldly Tutor, and so much more so that we always have the tool we need to keep the tribe growing and thriving.

Keepers of the Hearth

This is the utility category, and includes some unique pieces that enhance everything else that we are doing. Wellwisher can seem like an innocuous card, but it comes down cheap and can quickly put out life total out of our opponents' reach. Similarly, Copperhorn Scout can simply untap all our dorks so we can use them again, but also can let us to commit more resources to attaching since we'll still be able to block. card:Timberwatch Elves can turn Marwyn into a super-tapper or turn Cultivator of Blades into the most powerful elf lord of all. Heroic Intervention can save our whole board or simply a few key targets when we need it.

Objects of Power and Wards

This category contains key artifacts and enchantments that help us execute our gameplan in various ways. Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Vanquisher's Banner, Sol Ring, and card:Skull Clamp are for ramp and card draw as one would expect. Sword of the Paruns and Umbral Mantle are for infinite mana shenanigans with our super-tappers. Triumph of the Hordes, while technically not an enchantment, works along the lines of Beastmaster Ascension and Coat of Arms to often allow us to kill our opponents out of nowhere. With these cards I'd recommend not playing them until you can get immediately use them. Playing out Beastmaster Ascension earlier might seem to make sense, but you are giving your opponents more time to destroy it. Play it out when you already have five attackers on board and give someone an unpleasant surprise!

Elven Allies

These are non-elves and planes-walkers that help us to execute our gameplan. Don't forget that Eternal Witness isn't an elf! He may look like one and provides powerful help in recurring any important spells, but he is a human. Our planeswalkers provide value here, making mana dorks, blowing up troublesome artifacts and enchantments (and thus helping with removal), and giving our creatures flash. Craterhoof Behemoth is a finisher which we summon to help us get lethal by trampling over or going through. Again, try to avoid using them until you can kill some players!

Wrath of the Ancients

This is our removal suite. Green isn't the greatest at removing creatures, but we pretty much have everything else covered, and have some flexible options for creatures too. Normally, green's best way of dealing with creatures is the fight mechanic, but this is wicked unreliable in a deck where our creatures start small, and fight-based removal is win-more at best, which is why we neglect it entirely. Apart from creatures, good old Reclamation Sage and card:Terastadon are there to hose artifacts, enchantments, and in the latter case lands. Jagged-Scar Archers help for shooting down flyers, and make a beefy creature for our frontlines to boot. As far as universal removal goes, we have the ever excellent Beast Within and the underrated Desert Twister. In another deck we might not think that 6 mana is great for a sorcery-speed removal spell, but we never lack for mana here and it's really good to have something that will take down an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth just as easily as an Emrakul, the Promised End or a Planar Bridge. Contrary to popular opinion, we can board wipe too. Wave of Vitriol can just wreck so many decks, and punishes disproportionately greedy decks that don't play many basic lands. We don't need artifacts and enchantments to win, and we don't play a ton of non-basic lands, so this is a pretty one-sided card here. Ezuri's Predation is one of the best things we've got. Not only does it usually wipe almost everything our opponents have got, it also leaves us tons of tokens. If they can's boardwipe us the turn after this spell resolves, we'll probably win. For creatures we also have the gift that keeps on giving in Thorn Mammoth, which can pummel our opponents' best creatures to death over and over again. While we can definitely take care of some problems it is important to remember that for us, the best defense is an explosive offense. If we kill our opponents quickly, all of the permanents will be taken care of most efficiently!

Sylvan Realms

These are our lands, and there isn't a ton to explain. One great thing about Mono-color is that basics are great and come in untapped every time, so we'll take a lot of forests gladly, especially since several of our cards specifically reference them Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is an all star, along with Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth, which turns on our lords with a forestwalk anthem. Oran-Rief, the Vastwood provides an occasional boost to our creatures for pretty much no cost, Ghost Quarter removes our opponents' power lands, and Jungle Basin and Myriad Landscape provide some ramp from within our mana base. Gaea's Cradle is the only thing we're missing, but I can't afford that one!

The beginning of the game is about mana, mana, and more mana, as with any elf deck. When I played modern I wanted to play Llanowar Elves or Elvish Mystic on turn one, and this deck is the same. In another deck you might be ok with land-go on the first turn, but we want to be more aggressive than that. We always want two lands, two ways to ramp, and some sort of card draw piece in our opening hand. Unlike in other decks we can keep one land hands sometimes if we otherwise can have a strong first three turns, and we can keep three also, but multiple ramp pieces is what we are going for. We want to start gold-fishing right away, but we also want to get Ezuri out early as well. Overextending ourselves is dangerous even in the midgame, and having Ezuri out to safeguard our elves with his first ability is great. We can also use his second ability to initiate some early attacks if other plans aren't working out for us. Beyond that, we can dump our hand pretty quickly in this deck, so we need the tech out to refil it early in the game. Realmwalker, Beast Whisperer, Vanquisher's Banner, Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Skullclamp, Guardian Project, and Path of Discovery all keep our hands full and our strong momentum moving forward!
This is where we can start making bigger moves that will set us up to win. Looking for win-con pieces and combo pieces (detailed in the next section and in "Breaking Down the Tribe") is an aim. We also want to get a super-tapper (Elvish Archdruid, Priest of Titania, Circle of Dreams Druid, Marwyn, the Nurturer, Elvish Guidance, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, or Growing Rites of Itlimoc   that can get us a disgusting amount of mana on the board so that we can make big plays at this time. We also want to get some of our Elf Lords out (see "Breaking Down the Tribe"). +1/+1 may not seem that impactful in commander, but having multiple lords out will elevate our damage threshold really quick when you can goldfish the way this deck can. This is also the point in the game where making tokens can greatly amp up our power, both because they will be anthemed by our lords and because they power our super-tappers. Elvish Warmaster, Imperious Perfect, Lys Alana Huntmaster, Elven Ambush, and Elvish Promenade will get us more bodies on the cheap. This is also where protection and interaction come in. Eladamri, Lord of Leaves saves every elf other than himself from targeted removal, and he himself can be protected to some extent by Ezuri, giving us amazing protection. Heroic Intervention can save our whole board, and it is a card that always gives me great comfort to have in hand. We aren't as good at spot removal in mono-green, but we do have Beast Within and Desert Twister to remove anything, Jagged-Scar Archers to remove flyers, and Reclamation Sage and Terastodon to remove troublesome non-creature permanents. Wave of Vitriol can not only hose artifact and enchantress decks, but can severly punish greedy multi-color decks that don't play basic lands. Ezuri's Predation is our true boardwipe, that can also be a win con at the same time! This is also where we start to tutor the pieces we need aggressively. Worldly Tutor, Chord of Calling, Elvish Harbinger, Fauna Shaman, Finale of Devastation, Natural Order, and Uncage the Menagerie can get you what you need to keep the deck moving. One more thing- don't be afraid to make big plays at this phase. It is often easy in this deck to cast a meaningful Genesis Wave or Kindred Summons in the mid-game, and you shouldn't hesitate to try it. If it fails it won't set you back much, but if it succeeds your opponents will have a hard time recovering.
Now for the fun part, winning the game! In a way, Ezuri is pretty straightforward in terms of how he wins, but there are a lot of tricks that will make your win appear out of nowhere, which I will detail here!

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like....victory"

Before you can execute one of the killing maneuvers below, you need to deal with your opponents' pesky blockers. Thankfully, we have a lot of ways to burn it away or evade it. The first is by crushing and overrunning them with trample. Ezuri himself can give this to everyone of course, but so can Craterhoof Behemoth. A second way is to avoid them entirely with forestwalk. Elvish Champion and Eladamri, Lord of Leaves can give our elves forestwalk, and Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth can make sure that everyone has forests. The third and final way is with Ezuri's Predation. We goldfish our board and kill their stuff at the same time, and if we have haste for some reason it's game over all the more. Once we have dealt with the stuff that gets in our way, it's time to get to the killing in one of the ways detailed below.

1) "Everyone gets everything he wants..." (Getting Infinite Mana)

The quickest way to win with Ezuri is to get infinite mana. As noted before, this can be done in a few ways. The first is to simply equip either Sword of the Paruns or Umbral Mantle to Elvish Archdruid, Circle of Dreams Druid, Priest of Titania, or card:Marwynn the Nurturer when they can tap for enough mana that we can pay to untap them and still have excess mana. The combo can also be done with a transformed Growing Rites of Itlimoc   or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth if we attach one of the two artifacts to Arbor Elf. The artifact can untap the elf, who can untap either Itlimoc or Nykthos since they will both be forests.

Once we have infinite green mana, as long as we have at least one creature we can attack with per opponent, we simply need to cast Ezuri and use him to pump the creatures enough that they can kill our opponents with trample damage. If for some reason we don't have enough creatures but have Genesis Wave, we can simply put our entire deck onto the board with it, and card:Craterhood Behemoth will make sure everything can attack that turn for the win.

2) "You must make a friend of horror" (Infect Compleation)

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em I suppose. Triumph of the Hordes is always a great finisher, and it's a lot easier to do ten infect damage to lower their health to zero. Just make sure you can get through with enough damage to kill one if not all of your opponents, using Ezuri to pump them if necessary.

3) "Horror has a face" (Dropping the Big Boy)

One reason we have so many tutors in here is so that we can get Craterhoof Behemoth, who can dramatically change your power on board out of nowhere. We have to have a good amount of mana to get him with Green Sun's Zenith or Chord of Calling, but they'll never see it coming when you cast him for four with Natural Order. It's surprising how easily you can go from supposed parity to killing the table when this bad boy comes out.

4) "Terminate. With extreme predjudice" (Pumping the Team)

Aside from Behemoth, there are lesser known and sometimes simpler ways of pumping out team out of nowhere. One is Joraga Warcaller. Just pump a ton of mana into it and your creatures will get a big anthem. You can also play Warcaller for a modest amount, and use Immaculate Magistrate to make him a killer for free. Another simple way, if you play it correctly, is with Beastmaster Ascension. Don't play it early in the game like a noob, play it when you already have seven creatures to attack with. You don't need it early on and you'll just be giving your opponents more opportunity to remove it. In commander the element of surprise is incredibly powerful, so use this just before you want to cream them. Coat of Arms is a third way to do this. It's nice and simple, and once again, don't play it until you can get a lot from it, or by the time you are ready it will have been destroyed. The final way is simply to use Immaculate Magistrate or Timberwatch Elf to anthem or pump Cultivator of Blades. Then just swing with the cultivator and you are hitting for a ton. Your opponents are least likely to see this one coming!

1) Expedition Map

We have many creature tutors here, but it would be useful to have a way to get Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx when we want them. Its just a matter of a cut and if I really need them that bad.

2) Eldritch Evolution

Did I mention I love tutors? Maybe I have a problem, because of course, I have tons already in here. That being said, every card like this is a second copy of Reclamation Sage to take out that troublesome artifact or Eternal Witness to get back Eladamri, so they're great to have, and this one is good and cheap.

3) Archetype of Endurance

I have Eladamri otherwise it'd be an auto-include, but it is hard to have too much protection for my best pieces. I'm not sure I have the slot for it and even though I we have lots of mana we still don't need too many six drops, but it's a thought.

4) Veil of Summer

Speaking of not having too much protection, this is such a neat and efficient card which can make sure casting our best pieces isn't interfered with by pesky counterspells, while also protecting our board from a good bit of targeted removal. It's definitely one I'm thinking about.

5) End-Raze Forerunners

It's not as good as Craterhoof, but it is still a good buff and gives us trample without Ezuri, and could be a lesser second copy of the great beast. Probably not, but it is in a consideration.

6) Devoted Druid

I have nostalgia still from when this was briefly a star in modern alongside Ezuri and sometimes Vizier of Remedies. Given this, it's easy to fantasize about pumping it with card:Timberwatch Elves or Immaculate Magistrate and then re-using it to reactivate Ezuri infinitely. It might be magical Christmas land, but it sounds like something fun to try.

7) Staff of Domination

Like Umbral Mantle and Sword of the Paruns the staff can go infinite with super-tappers because you can pay to untap it and it can untap your super-tappers. Having a third way to do this definitely ups the odds of getting infinite mana substantially, making this a serious consideration. In the past it was a bit pricey in real world $, but it's come down and it might be the card I am most likely to add.

1) Karametra's Acolyte

Is she good? Yes. Is she an elf? No. We have lots of options for super-tappers here, and plenty of elves, which synergize with everything this deck is doing. We don't need this card.

2) Wirewood Channeler

Unlike the Acolyte the Channeler is an elf, and is very good. If I were playing Lathril or Rhys he would be an auto-include since he can tap for any color mana. The main reason I don't run him is because I have enough super-tappers and he is the most expensive one to cast, so he doesn't make it. But he can be a good budget alternative if you don't want to pay for Priest of Titania or Circle of Dreams Druid, or just a good option if you want one more.

3) Kaysa, Gaea's Anthem, and similar cards

As with the first question, these are not elves. Elves are synergistic, and the more, the better, and we have plenty of elf lords who do this better in that they can receive anthems from other elves and attack. Playing Kaysa or other generic green creature lords just isn't disciplined.

4) Drove of Elves, Heedless One, and other big elves

Big elves are just bait for removal, and are selfish, benefitting from our synergy without helping the tribe. They're just super overrated. At least Drove can protect itself, but that's all we can say for it! We keep Jagged-Scar Archers because it can shoot down flyers, but the rest are mulch for the forest.

5) Collected Company

This one might surprise many people, especially since I have made it clear that I got my start in modern elves where this card is king! I do love it, but it's not as great in commander as in modern. This is where a card may be good in one format and mediocre in another. In modern elves we play only eighteen lands out of sixty cards along with a playset of this card and elves constituting the rest. As such, we can pretty much guarantee we'll have a few elves to pick from, and often times we can cheat mana by putting two three drops onto the battlefield with this 4cmc spell. In commander it's just not as good. Our land count is low, but we also have artifacts, enchantments, planeswalkers, a few non-elves, and some four drop elves, which means our odds of not having much of a choice or even whiffing are much greater. In commander we'd rather just play a tutor and get the one card we need.

6) Tooth and Nail

I love tutors, so why not a double tutor? The answer is that this card isn't efficient in this deck. It slays in my Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck where I can use it to put two seven drops directly onto the battlefield if I want. In here I'd pay nine to get a two and a three drop? The only good target for this is Craterhoof Behemoth, but the tutors we are running can get it but also be efficient if we need a two or three drop. This is a great card, just not as great in this deck.

This deck has some incredibly pricey cards, including the reserve lister Eladamri, Lord of Leaves. Most of these cards were cheap or in a precon when I got them (Eladamri was $6), but they have gone up over time. That being said, there are almost no essential cards in this deck that you can't live without, and it can definitely be made on a budget and still be very powerful. Archetype of Endurance or Asceticism can give you hexproof, and Elvish Champion also gives you forestwalk, but you don't really even need these abilities to win. Wirewood Channeler is another super-tapper if you want to lower the cost of one of the mid-priced ones here, and there are cheaper tutors in Eldritch Evolution, Primal Command, and more. End-Raze Forerunners may not be as good as Craterhoof Behemoth, but it is still great and much, much cheaper. Don't feel like you can't make an amazing Ezuri deck if you are starting out or on a budget. In fact, Ezuri is cheaper than most other elf decks simply because your mana base is dirt cheap. So don't lose heart. If you have lots of dorks, some lords, and some nasty surprises, you can go out to play. I should also add that I am more than happy to help if you need budget suggestions, so hit me up here with any questions you might have!


Updates Add


Revision 10 See all

(1 year ago)

+1 Concordant Crossroads main
-1 Wave of Vitriol main
Top Ranked
Date added 3 years
Last updated 1 year

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

6 - 0 Mythic Rares

38 - 0 Rares

19 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.17
Tokens Beast 3/3 G, Elephant 3-3 G, Elf Druid 1/1 G, Elf Warrior 1/1 G, Phyrexian Beast 4/4 G, Servo 1/1 C
Folders My Decks!, Uncategorized, definitely, Mono G, Research, Commander, Favorites, AAwesome decks
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