Competetive Meter

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Elsha has incredible potenial for competetive commander play. Much of the inspiration for the deck was drawn from decks like Jhoira and Urza. The central strategy is to gain large value with lots of artifact spells until you can draw you library out or find a major combo piece. While Elsha might not appear to be again a clear advantage from playing these spells like Jhoira does, Elsha's second and third abilities allow for a far more flexible way to "draw a card" by casting things off of the top of your library.

It is important to note that once you've learned to pilot this deck, it can win on turn three or four very consistently; therefore, you ought to have the consent of a playgroup before playing this. While one or two lightning-fast games might be fun, most playgroups don't enjoy being beaten over and over again by the same deck. If you are new to cEDH, please be mindful that your playgroup is also trying to have fun.

Summary & Goals

Imagine that there is a commander that said "Increase your handsize by one." and "When you cast the last card that you drew, draw a card." Essentially, that is what Elsha allows you to do. When you cast the top card of your library, you now have a new top card. That card then can be cast using Elsha, and so on. The main goal of the deck is to dig through the deck as quickly as possible. Along the way, you'll likely find and be able to play cards that will expedite your search. Your quarry in this search is one of the win-cons listed below. In fact, this deck doesn't need Elsha to win. She is just there to make the search easier.

There are three primary win cons.
  1. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
  2. Aetherflux Reservoir
  3. Goblin Charbelcher

Each of these win in different ways but are all aided by Elsha. Combos with Top have been springing up all over the place, but Top combos even better with Elsha since a core piece to the combo sits in the command zone. The main combo of the deck realizes on Elsha being out with a way to reduce the cost of artifact spells, like Helm of Awakening, and Top. This allows you to win with one of the first two cards in the win cons list above.

However, it is not nessecary to pull off this combo to win. Each of the win con cards are a part of sub-combo who component parts also help you win.

Each card in the subcombos listed above are some of the most powerful cards in the deck. In particular, Mana Severance and Thought Lash appear relatively beign, but they help you rip through your deck faster than almost any other cards.

Thought Lash works as a card filter for Elsha. If the top card is a land or something that is useful on the current board? Get rid of it. If you need a counter spell or a why to get rid of a problem permanent? Dig until you find what you need. In general, this is my primary target for Idyllic Tutor.

When I first made this deck, I had never heard of Mana Severance, but it has quickly become one of my favorite cards. When I play with new people and they see me cast it you, they become very confused and/or scared. With the large quanity of mana rocks in the deck, you only need a handful of lands realistically. Lands also slow Elsha down a lot. Mana Severance helps clear the way for her.

If you find yourself in a pinch, these cards can likely help you.

Other than countermagic, the removal here is a tad lacking. If you find yourself in need of removal, I would stick to cheap removes, like Lightning Bolt and Demystify.

As you can see from the deck's name, this is meant to be a cEDH deck on a "budget". Yes, this deck is pretty pricy as it has all of the main cEDH pieces that aren't super expensive. If you want a list that has all of the core cEDH cards like orignal dual lands and Mana Crypt, see my Elsha the Artificer (Full cEDH w/ Primer) list.

I don't play in a heavily conpetetive meta, but it is my assumption that if you play in a competetive meta, you've been playing a while and know what you would adjust.

For a casual meta, I would tread lightly. EDH is meant as a way for everyone to have fun, and everyone has fun differently. I really enjoy games where I have to be careful and plan my moves around opponents and visa versa; however, that is not for everyone. If you playgroup does not enjoy playing against this deck, I would not play it too often against them. Elsha can be great fun and doesn't have to be competitive; however, this is not that decklist.


Updates Add

Many edits have been made since the first rendition of this deck. Smothering Tithe was included as you can play it early and gain great value off of it. Most mill cards like Ghoulcaller's Bell were removed due to their lack of synergy. Additional removal was added for matches where more control is necessary. Lastly, Underworld breach was added as a way to bring back lost cards.

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Top Ranked
Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

5 - 0 Mythic Rares

53 - 0 Rares

23 - 0 Uncommons

16 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.00
Tokens Treasure, 3/3 Frog Lizard, 1/1 Spirit
Folders EDH, cool, ideas, jeskai, My Collection, Saved decks, cEDH, Mul, Actual Good Decks, Commander decks, See all 11
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Revision 6 See all

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