It’s been a while since I have motivated my scrawny fingers to peck away for the good and glory of Magic writing. As a matter of fact, Travis had to resuscitate me from a Coke and cheese cube induced coma just so I could slave away to bring you this wonderful portal into the world of 100 Card Singleton! Don’t worry, I will try to fade away as innocuously as I arrived (until I am summoned again to slavery, that is) once this meat and potatoes approach has been stuffed down your slick brain-esophagi. Meat, esophagus, potatoes, brain, elves!
We Miss You, BryTheFryGuy
All the format stalwarts surely recognize the name “BryTheFryGuy.” Bry, to my knowledge, along with Kharlis, brought Elves into the lonely highlander limelight that we all enjoy as often as possible. I believe the first Elves list I saw Top 8 was Green-Black, but you can see a Green-White-Black attempt by yours truly via my long lost love, Testing 1, 2, 3: December column.
My Green-White-Black list was an ode to Fry’s game plan- Elven synergy and some utility to be used in only the most dire of circumstance. Sadly, the deck sucked. I’d go as far to say that I made the deck worse than Bry’s and Kharlis’s Green-Black (and later Green-White) concoctions. I thought to myself that Elves were a lost cause, and I gravitated toward the flashy Rec-Sur opportunities that were popping up… I was mistaken to cast aside my fair-skinned friends.
Chris, Lord of the Rings called and…
While Orlando Bloom and his attractive, metro kinsmen were lamenting about the end of their employment in Middle Earth, Eladamri was drafting a lucrative proposal that would surely secure the might of the Elvish empires. You see, Gaea’s Cradle, Crop Rotation, Priest of Titania, and Primeval Titan are some of the goodies that current Elves has over its predecessors. It’s quite a large difference that such a small pool of new blood can infuse into a 100 Card Singleton deck. Here’s a link to the Top 8 that I was part of, losing in the finals to so many trolls’s updated version of the Rec-Sur deck that I had originally forsaken Elves! in favor of.
Well, I didn’t so much lose as scoop to go eat with family visiting, but don’t worry- we played an honor match later in the night! (Also, I spanked trollin’ Travis 2-0 in the swiss, sorry bro-bro). The honor staked match started with me delivering victory to my Elvish generals in Game One, only to chase dreams with two marginal hands and end up losing 1-2. I still defend that Elves! is a tough match for Rec-Sur with its forestwalking, huge threats and ‘Geddons, but only time will tell how the match actually plays out.
100cs Elves! by ChrisKool
(To load a .txt deck into Magic: Online’s Deck Editor, click “Load”, select “Local Text Deck”, find the location of the downloaded deck file and double-click the deck.)
So at this point, I either can insult your intelligence or just highlight cards I find crucial, feel the need to defend, or am unsure of. I originally planned to go with the former, but my article was rejected, so here I am (jokes…).
Blue mana and Mystical Tutor- I figured this splash would be painless with two lands, BoP, Noble Hierarch, but it is probably unneeded. Maybe Summoners Pact would be more fitting for Joraga Warcaller, Caller of the Claw or one of the fatties. I don’t know how good the Blue tutor really is, as I never cast it once…
Priest of Titania, Elvish Archdruid, Gaea’s Cradle (and to a lesser extent) Joraga Treespeaker- These are the primary big mana sources in the deck. Cradle can be fetched via Crop Rotation and Primeval Titan. The big mana powers the deck’s most obscene threats (or a ton of the lesser threats). I cannot wait for Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary!
Wolfbriar Elemental, Primeval Titan, Pelakka Wurm, Regal Force, Woodfall Primus- This is my toolbox of “huge” threats. Wolfbriar is anti-Aggro or a hard to deal with amount of threats. Primeval is primarily a Cradle tutor, but it occasionally finds Wasteland or man lands. Wurm is anti-Red. Regal is the decks primary fuel source, drawing a ton of cards and pulling the deck so far ahead of most Aggro or protecting you from Wrath against Control. Primus is just utility packaged on a 6/6 persisting gargantuan body.
Diabolic Intent, Fierce Empath, Elvish Harbinger, Ranger of Eos, and Chord of Calling-These tutors are the weirdest or most questionable of the bunch. Intent is my least favored tutor, but as it fetches anything for the low price of two mana, I cannot complain. Empath’s ability to find the biggies is usually just an ability to find Primeval Titan; sometimes I chain another tutor into Empath just to get more guys to power Cradle. Harbinger has pretty low value, but it can find Mirror Entity or a forestwalk-empowering lord. Ranger went way up in value with the printing of Joraga Warcaller, which usually pairs with a Quirion Ranger or Wirewood Symbiote.
Quirion Ranger, Scryb Ranger, Wirewood Symbiote, (and to a lesser extent) Seeker of Skybreak- These guys double as mana men usually, but also can double as a mana windfall or token creation under the right circumstances. While Wirewood Symbiote was a superstar in Extended Elves, the Rangers usually provide a bigger boost in 100 Card Singleton. First, the Rangers don’t remove a guy from your board (keeping your Cradle count high). Also, you usually miss land drops in the middle stages of the game; Rangers boost your mana in more ways than one! Symbiote’s biggest asset is creature protection (perhaps Sylvan Safekeeper belongs…)
Thirty-four lands never gave me an issue, mostly because of Rangers allowing me to replay Forests for value or Cradle/Priest of Titania/Elvish Archdruid making me not care about my land count. Occasionally, I am missing Black or White mana, but rarely both. Anyway, I think both colors are worth playing for the added utility.
I am a little unsure of Mind Twist in the sideboard; it might belong in the main deck. But I think that it loses value without Mystical Tutor. I almost want another large treat in the main; perhaps an Overrun (great with Mystical!) or even a Tribal Forcemage. Also, I felt like the SB Defense of the Heart might just be more cute than good- its effect is so powerful but so slow!
I never missed the underperformance of Wellwisher, Bloodline Shaman or Timberwatch Elf. These cards don’t give enough bang for their buck (and stringent operational circumstances). I do kind of miss Tainted Pact, but the basic lands felt soooooo good. I miss playing more than 4-5 basics in a deck!
If you have any questions about cards that aren’t mentioned, feel free to comment and I will respond. This deck was a fairly quick and dirty concoction- I only survived off the hard work of prior Elves pilots and some dumb luck during updating (with a bit of inspiration coming from Zimbardo)!
Give Us Match-Up Analysis, NOW!
I would if I could… but I haven’t really tested the deck… Eek! The only matches I played before the event were Rec-Sur and Goblins; I won the majority of games versus both, but a lot of games were VERY close. Usually my speed beat Rec-Sur and my card advantage (Regal Force or Ranger of Eos) and ability to increase card quality gave me the edge versus Gobbos. Of course, ‘Geddons ruin the game plan for both decks- score!
In the event, I was most scared against the decks with mass removal. Caller of the Claw performed well a few times, but it was extremely hard to fetch him at instant speed. Mostly, I had to just conserve threats or pray for no mass removal versus decks capable of such shenanigans! Rec-Sur also gave me fits if it landed a quick Survival or Hermit Druid. Perhaps more than the Ground Seal should be in the sideboard for anti-graveyard hate.
Elves preys on Midrange and decks with a low amount of removal. These opponents are almost always behind during a match and usually are wrecked by the random lords (like Elvish Champion) or the quick 5+ casts. Fortunately these decks almost always populate the 100 Card metagame- nearly free wins! Just land 2-3 threats and ride the one that survives to sweet victory. If a decent Red match and the ability to don the shoulder-mounted laser cannons that Predator used to gore Jesse “the Body” Ventura against the average 100 Card opponent isn’t enough to persuade you to give Elves a look, I don’t know what else would do it… Cheers! (Plus, Orlando Bloom, like all elves, is hot.)