Elves by Mou on MtGO

Creatures (28)
2 Birchlore Rangers
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Elvish Visionary
3 Heritage Druid
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
4 Nettle Sentinel
3 Quirion Ranger
1 Reclamation Sage
4 Wirewood Symbiote

Non-Creature Spells (12)
4 Glimpse of Nature
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
3 Natural Order
1 Nissa, Vital Force

Lands (20)
2 Bayou
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
4 Gaea’s Cradle
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Tropical Island
2 Verdant Catacombs
3 Windswept Heath

Sideboard (15)
4 Abrupt Decay
3 Cabal Therapy
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Surgical Extraction
3 Thoughtseize

Summary

Elves has been a staple of Legacy for many years now, and several new cards and innovations continue to let the deck evolve to any particular metagame it is in. Elves is a creature combo deck that can also beat down hard. It wins by playing several small elves, gaining value off of creatures that let you bounce your other creatures, and the incredible game-ending power of Craterhoof Behemoth. Throughout all recent iterations of Legacy, Elves has stood strong as a pillar of the format.

The 1 mana creatures are extremely important to this deck, as they pile on the damage and mana quickly, and give the deck its best draws. Birchlore Rangers is more of a role player than anything, as it’s fantastic in several situations, but excess to requirements in many others. Deathrite Shaman and Heritage Druid, on the other hand, are cards that you want to see in your opening hand every game. When paired with one or more copies of Nettle Sentinel, Heritage Druid‘s mana production can quickly become unparalleled in the format.

Wirewood Symbiote is an extremely odd card, but it synergizes extremely well with this deck. With Glimpse of Nature, it draws you an extra card, and with Heritage Druid it effectively adds 2 mana (one from the untap and one from you recasting your elf). Quirion Ranger is also a very odd card, but similarly allows the deck to continue to combo off and will from time to time be a life saver for you. The non-creature spells are where this deck really packs a punch, however.

Glimpse of Nature allows the deck to have its most powerful and most “busted” draws. Because a lot of the creatures produce mana or allow others to produce mana, each card drawn frequently replaces itself when played through Glimpse of Nature. The winrate of this deck goes up exponentially when Glimpse of Nature is in play than when it’s not. Green Sun’s Zenith is another card that Wizards of the Coast deemed too powerful for Modern. In this deck, for X=0 you can effectively cast Rampant Growth by finding Dryad Arbor, for X=1 you have several options, but frequently you’ll find Heritage Druid if you don’t have one or Wirewood Symbiote to keep the engine running. Zenith is also a win condition in this deck, as X=8 allows you to search up Craterhoof Behemoth, which usually ends the game on the spot.

Natural Order is the other way to search up your win condition in this deck, and allows you to find Craterhoof Behemoth from a much lower amount of mana, which is certainly not irrelevant. In this deck, it can also find Leovold, Emissary of Trest to try to lock the opponent down, or Reclamation Sage to deal with any artifact or enchantment that stands in your way. Previous iterations of this deck featured sideboard cards with high impact to find off of Natural Order, such as Progenitus.

The other interesting inclusion in this deck is one mainboard copy and one sideobard copy of Standard favorite Nissa, Vital Force. This one seems a little suspect to me. Planeswalkers are particularly powerful in Legacy, as the cards used to interact with them in other formats are simply not powerful enough in Legacy, so removal for ‘walkers is sparse. However, Nissa in this deck seems to just make a 5/5 every turn, and there are better ways of doing that it Legacy.

These are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Nissa, Vital Force

+1 Heritage Druid

Sideboard

-1 Nissa, Vital Force

-1 Mindbreak Trap

+2 Scavenging Ooze

This is day 83 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 82 here, where we featured a Standard aggro deck that looks to pack a punch to finish the opponent off.

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