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At long last, I had some time on my hands, and figured it was time to write a primer for the best mono- combo deck in EDH that isn't Yisan or Selvala.

Inspired by Laurentian's passionate evangelism for the deck on the r/cEDH subreddit, I decided to merge together my Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury Elfball and my Ghalta, Primal Hunger "P/T matters" decks into a version of his Marwyn Elfstorm build that seeks to be an optimised high-power deck rather than fully cEDH. The aim is roughly the same, being to pump up the commander quickly while running multiple untap effects to gain infinite mana and then play out the entire deck, but with some card choices more suited to a slower, less interactive meta.

After building and playing the deck a significant number of times, I can attest that it's definitely a powerhouse at not-quite-competitive tables. I - and my meta - have been surprised by how well it performs, being able to go off with frightening speed when given the opportunity.

As Elfball commanders go, there are none which so easily and consistently create enormous amounts of mana in such a short space of time. Usually coming out on turn 2 thanks to one of the deck's many 1CMC mana dorks, by the time the third turn rolls around it's an easy enough proposition to be tapping the commander for 4+ mana.

  • The deck eschews a lot of the traditional tribal pump cards like Door of Destinies and Coat of Arms , for the simple reason that they're not required. While the pump effects can be beneficial for ramp purposes (see the section on our friend Joraga Warcaller ) the outlay cost is just too high for them to be profitable early plays. The deck is designed for speeding into large amounts of mana and card draw, and when the time comes to end the game with a beatdown it's easier to drop Craterhoof Behemoth or pour infinite/very large amounts of mana into Ezuri, Renegade Leader for the win.

  • Mana doubling effects like Leyline of Abundance and Mana Reflection are similarly too expensive for what they do, turning one-mana dorks into two-mana dorks. By the time the deck is in a position to play them, it doesn't need them, and the same applies to cards like Nissa, Who Shakes the World - spending a turn to play them in the early game is less efficient in terms of mana generation than simply playing out more dorks and pumping the commander.

  • One card that's often brought up at the tables I play at is Savage Summoning to give Marwyn an additional counter to begin with. However, in almost all cases (barring an early Concordant Crossroads ) the extra P/T isn't useful until the next turn when Marwyn loses summoning sickness anyway, and requires pushing back casting Marwyn for a turn to get the extra mana for Savage Summoning . The protection from counterspells isn't good enough to be worth slowing the deck down for an entire turn.

  • Immaculate Magistrate / Timberwatch Elf effects can be good ways to power out a high-mana turn, but they're dead on board after a wipe and can't activate the turn they come down. It's more efficient to use one-shot pump like Mutagenic Growth early and ramp into bigger plays than it is to play a 3/4 drop and wait a turn for them to become useful.

  • Soul of the Harvest / Primordial Sage are just too expensive for play-one-draw-one effects in this deck. Beast Whisperer makes the cut by virtue of being 2 mana cheaper and an Elf into the bargain, making it the best card to tutor off an early Elvish Harbinger and pumping the commander to boot, but the more costly versions of the effect are not what the deck wants to be doing.

  • Protection Elves like Gaea's Herald or Eladamri, Lord of Leaves have their own reasons for absence. In the case of the former it's that for the most part our creature spells aren't worth countering, whereas for the latter giving Marwyn Shroud cuts off access the deck's variety of one-shot pump spells.

RIP Paradox Engine . You were a gross, broken card in this deck, and it misses you enormously. As of the most recent ban announcement, since there were no direct 1-for-1 swaps to replace PE, Veil of Summer is being tested in the slot for some protection on the combo turn.

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Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 9 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

4 - 0 Mythic Rares

26 - 0 Rares

25 - 0 Uncommons

19 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.41
Tokens 6/6 Wurm, 1/1 Elf Warrior, 3/3 Beast
Folders Deck Ideas, Competitive decks, Mono Green, Marwyn, Elves, Cool, Want to look into, Commander, EDH Decks, EDH ideas, See all 12
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