Commander Legends is bringing with it a ton of new and exciting leaders for our favourite casual format, as well as a ton of new toys to fit into our 100 card decks. Now what you might not know about me is that one of may favourite (and often budget friendly) decks in the format if a little number know as Elfball.
Traditionally, the term Elfball was used to describe a mana ramp deck that aims to get to 21 mana in order to cast a lethal fireball in 1v1 formats, but it has since been co-opted to mean any mana ramping deck based around the elves tribe. These decks as simple enough to learn, be take a while to master, and you can have a ton of fun experimenting with different win conditions within your playgroup. The only issue I have with the deck is that I have never found a suitable commander that I feel fits the theme of the deck. That is, until now.
With the coming of Commander Legends, we get the printing of a card that is, quite literally, an Ellball. Abomination of Llanowar is a three mana */* with Vigilance and Menace, where * is the number of elves in our graveyard and on our battlefield. This means you can have a huge commander that can easily be the largest threat on the board. Sure, it might be the most exciting card from the set. But I love this bit of card design, and in honour of it I thought I would show you the kind of deck that is worth of this might horror.
The first part of the deck’s strategy it the mana ramp, made mainly of numerous mana generating elves. Arbor Elf, Boreal Druid, Deathrite Shaman, Elves of Deep Shadow, Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, Heritage Druid, Joraga Treespeaker, Llanowar Elves, Devoted Druid, Incubation Druid, Paradise Druid, Priest of Titania, Marwyn, the Nurturer, Elvish Archdruid and Wirewood Channeler all provide differing amounts of mana at different stages of the game, allowing the deck to play out anything you might need to cast.
What can we do with all that mana? Well it turns out quite a lot. How about dropping down a Multi-kickered Joraga Warcaller to pump up all our other elves, or how about giving them the benefits of multiple Ezuri, Renegade Leader activations. How about dumbing all that mana into a super-sized Hurricane or Genesis Wave or getting any creature we want from our deck with Chord of Calling. All these are great ways to bring an end to a game in a single turn.
The other way we can win is the classic beat down strategy of playing a bunch of “lords” out onto the field and swinging in for lethal. As well as the above mentioned Joraga Warcaller and Elvish Archdruid, we also have access to Elvish Clancaller, Elvish Champion, Imperious Perfect, Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen and honorary elves Metallic Mimic and Adaptive Automaton. Speaking of artifacts, we also run more pump spells in the form of Door of Destinies, Coat of Arms and Obelisk of Urd to boost up our hitting power, as well as Relic of Progenitus to handle graveyard decks, Skullclamp for card draw, Sol Ring for explosive starts and Stoneforge Masterwork for some tribal synergy.
We also want to make sure we have a steady stream of creatures to fuel our battle plan, as well as other tribal synergies. For the creature generating part of the plan, we have access to Dwynen’s Elite, Prowess of the Fair, Lys Alana Huntmaster, Nath of the Gilt-Leaf and the above mentioned Imperious Perfect to give us a bunch of 1/1 tokens, as well as Fauna Shaman, Elvish Harbinger, Fierce Empath and Sylvan Messenger to dig up creatures from our deck when we need them. As for tribal synergies, we have Wirewood Symbiote to get the ETB benefits of our creatures multiple times, Elvish Vanguard to act as a walking mountain of hitting power, Wellwisher to gain a ton of life and Shaman of the Pack for an additional win condition.
Card advantage is always a vital part of any winning strategy, and this deck is no different. Elvish Visionary and Oakhame Adversary give us some, but as a (mostly) green creature-based deck we have much better options available to us. Beast Whisperer, Primordial Sage and Soul of the Harvest all allow us to essentially cycle through our deck as we cast creatures, while Regal Force gives us a once off influx of cards when it enters the battlefield.
Next up, lets talk removal. With both access to green and black spells, we have a decent amount of choice. Beast Within, Eyeblight’s Ending and Eyeblight Massacre are all decent (and budget friendly) options, and since we are likely to have a huge number of elves in play it would be rude not to run Lys Alana Scarblade. Meanwhile, Reclamation Sage, Viridian Corrupter and Golgari Charm help handle artefacts and enchantments.
Finishing of the deck, lets look at the other fun cards we can field. Gaea’s Herald makes our blue opponents less of an issue when it comes to our creature spells, while Tajuru Preserver stop us having to sacrifice our board to Grave Pact effects. Rhys the Exiled is another way of buffing our life total, and Poison-Tip Archer is a great way to pick away at our opponents in an attrition match up. Golgari Findbrokercan gets us a silver bullet from our graveyard, while Vampiric Tutor and Diabolic Tutor can do the same with our deck. Lastly, we add in a decent amount of duel and basics (which you can decide on depending on your budget) as well as any utility lands you wish to run.
And that is my version of Elfball, lead by a literal ball of elves. With all amazing new card from Commander Legends finally revealed, be sure to expect many new and exciting brews for EDH in the coming weeks. But what do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
We also have a Patreon so if you want to support future content for the site consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just a $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. If you have any ideas for new and exciting decks you want me to look at you can contact me directly @TenguPlaysGames over on Twitter. But until next time remember no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.