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Elves Guide -Funny and Powerful-

2018.01.24 Luis Salvatto

Hello there! I'm Luis Salvatto, this is my second article for Hareruya!

Following the past one, when I talk about my last season, at this moment, I have 18 pro points.

I start the season winning the Nationals earning 3 pro points. Then I won 7 between the Grand Prix Phoenix 2017 (1 point) and Pro Tour Ixalan in Albuquerque (6 points) . After, I won 3 in the World Magic Cup 2017 making day 2, and the following weekend we earned 5 pro points each at Grand Prix Madrid 2017 reaching the finals!

This puts me in the first place in Latin America right now, hoping continue with the success!

(Editor's note: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa went second place at Grand Prix Indianapolis 2018 last weekend, so Salvatto is the second place in the Latin America now.)

This time I will talk about the deck I choose for the Grand Prix, Elves!

Initially, our configuration was a from Titan Breach Francisco, Eldrazi Tron Pedro, and Lantern myself, but a week after, Sebastian Pozzo told me the recent success with this sweet deck in MODO. I tried it, giving Pedro the Lantern deck who has experience, and I was able to help him with advise after finishing my match (usually end fast).

This allowed us to lots of different sideboard cards (《Grafdigger's Cage》, 《Relic of Progenitus》, etc)

The Deck:

This deck perform really well against non-sweepers deck, and non 《Grafdigger's Cage》 decks, so if your meta is not full of this, you can try this funny and powerful deck. It's a kind of Abzan Company deck, but so much faster and linear. On the other hand, it is less flexible.

The Creatures:

We play 32 core elves: 16 one drops, 8 two drops and 8 "lords", the other 2 cards are: 1 《Vizier of Remedies》, and 1 flexible card, for the tournament.

At this moment, I choose...

Fauna Shaman

《Fauna Shaman》, because can help to tutor a combo piece, or switch bad creatures in late for good ones. This is another way to go through 《Grafdigger's Cage》, and is an elf!

The Instants and Lands:

Chord of CallingCollected Company

We play the best 8 instants in this kind of strategies which are 《Chord of Calling》 and 《Collected Company》. The lands we play have a mix between 《Cavern of Souls》, 《Horizon Canopy》, 《Pendelhaven》 and fastlands/fetchlands/dual/《Forest》.

If your metagame is plenty of aggro decks you can cut one 《Canopy》 and put the 4th fastland. (the white is really necessary for sideboard cards)

The Sideboard:

In this kind of strategies you should have a strong and simple sideboard plan:

beeing a 《Chord》 deck, you should choose which silver bullets you want, I found necesary to play at least:

Reclamation SageKataki, War's WageEidolon of RhetoricSelfless Spirit
  1. 《Reclamation Sage》(Elf, and 3cc)
  2. 《Kataki, War's Wage》(with the Lantern recent popularity and agaisnt the old and always valid Affinity)
  3. 《Eidolon of Rhetoric》(super good against Storm and 《Ad Nauseam》)
  4. 《Selfless Spirit》(you need it against any sweeper)

and then these two are good but not essential:

Aven MindcensorScavenging Ooze
  1. 《Aven Mindcensor》(another way to beat Valakut)
  2. 《Scavenging Ooze》(Dredge and other uses)

I choose these two because in trios I expect a lot of this decks, but you can also choose a 《Burrenton Forge-Tender》 (easy to 《Chord》 and effective against other kind of damage sources), 《Oblivion Ring》 guy, 《Chameleon Colossus》 (best card against 《Death's Shadow》), 《Aegis of the Gods》(gives you hexproof), 《Tajuru Preserver》, etc.

Path to Exile

Then you need 3 《Path to Exile》, to stop super-fast decks.

Rest in Peace

I believe 3 《Rest in Peace》 is the correct number. The reason is Storm usually can't kill you with 《Empty the Warrens》 and without the graveyard, they can't combo with 《Grapeshot》 (they still can kill your little guys) and is the perfect answer to Dredge. Also note that it is very good against Abzan (《Tarmogoyf》, 《Lingering Souls》, 《Tasigur, the Golden Fang》 and 《Grim Flayer》).

2 value cards I tried had success the 《Shapers' Sanctuary》 is really good against Burn, Jeskai, or UW decks, with a lot of spot removal. 《Lead the Stampede》 is a way to get value when the opponent have access to 《Dispel》 or 《Grafdigger's Cage》.

About the Gameplay:

This is an all-in creature based deck more in the Game 1. Don't be afraid about the sweepers. Lots of games, you win attacking with a lot of small elves with 《Elvish Archdruid》, or with the 《Ezuri, Renegade Leader》 +3/+3.

Devoted Druid

The best threat you can play is a turn 2 《Devoted Druid》 because you can win only with that creature the following turn with your 2 friends 《Vizier》 and 《Ezuri》.

There is another way to combo, with 2 《Devoted Druid》, you can play 《Ezuri》 and if you have 2 extra mana, add 5 mana, give +3/+3, then add mana, give +3/+3, 1 mana in the pool, and then, go infinite, and attack with both. This is thanks to 《Devoted Druid》 is not a wall, despite his 0 power.

A sweet play when you have 《Ezuri》 in hand and 《Devoted》 in play, is to cast a 《Chord》 with X=3, sometimes if your opponent is not very experimented, they will think you are searching for an 《Archdruid》 or 《Ezuri》, and they will want to kill the new guy. If you can choose the 《Vizier》, add infinite mana, and win the game in the spot against a removal spell.

Try to play all your guys fast in the first turns, and don't be afraid about keeping hands without big guys, because you play 8 powerful instants and 8 lords, so you will draw it, and you have the 《Canopy》 also.

Sideboard Guide:

The guide to sideboard is simple:

You should cut your worst creatures against sweepers (《Heritage》 and some 《Llanowar》) and put value spells and the silver bullets.

Reclamation SageSelfless Spirit

Think always in which silver bullets you need, the 《Reclamation Sage》 and 《Selfless Spirit》 are the most useful in the entire metagame.

This deck is really fast, so you don't need 《Path to Exile》 sometimes even if the opponents creatures are strong (《Death's Shadow》, Eldrazi). Your best way to deal with this creatures is in combat with 《Ezuri》.

If you play against Jeskai Tempo or 《Supreme Verdict》 decks you should cut the combo, is really hard to assemble, and the 《Devoted》 by itself is poor.

Humans and Affinity are the best matchup, since they don't have too much removal, you can combo easily on turn 3, or even fight in combat thanks to 《Ezuri》 and 《Archdruid》.

Jeskai is your worst matchup by far.

Eldrazi Tron is fair, all depend in your opponent luck with the Tron pieces, but you are really fast, and you can combo even if they 《Chalice of the Void》 you and play 《All Is Dust》 in turn 3! Check out this insane game!

Lantern is fair also. They need 《Bridge》 you, 《Needle》 your 《Ezuri》, and 《Grafdigger'》 you, all in a few turns!

Conclusions:

I choose this deck for the trios event because I found it fast and effective, and beat consistently other aggro decks like Burn, Affinity, Infect (this is draw/play dependant), and don't expect too many control decks. But as I said, you can play this deck with a good result in a normal metagame also.

I recommend this deck because is funny to play, and is really powerful.

Only be carefull there is no much Jeskai decks.

Another good thing with Elves, you can play it in Magic Online, and the combo is really fast, not like Abzan, when you need too much time. Sometimes if you combo with 《Finks》 you can't reach a safe amount of life (yes, I lost one time reaching 250 lives).

Feel free to ask me what you want, or share me your comments about the deck, and enjoy!

Thanks for reading! I will write to you soon, with new histories and tournaments to share!

Luis Salvatto

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