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The Age of Elves

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This past weekend was a Modern extravaganza with three Grand Prix across three continents all featuring Magic's newest Eternal format. Going into the weekend, most players expected Eldrazi to be the deck to beat. While they certainly weren't wrong, there's a little more to the story than that. A number of decks we haven't seen in months turned out in force in order to combat the Eldrazi menace. One such deck is Elves, of which we saw a number of interesting versions this weekend. Most featured some combination of Collected Company, Ezuri, Renegade Leader, and Elvish Archdruid, but Matt Nass had a different approach:


This deck is very much reminiscent of combo elves with Glimpse of Nature from the Pro Tour Berlin era. Beck // Call plays the role of Glimpse of Nature, while the core engine of Nettle Sentinel plus Heritage Druid remains intact. This engine, particularly in combination with Dwynen's Elite, lets you dump your hand onto the table almost as fast as the Affinity deck. The difference is Elves has a card advantage engine to back up its fast mana.

There are a number of cute interactions beyond just Beck // Call and lots of cheap mana creatures. The cutest of these is Forbidden Orchard plus Beck // Call, which lets you net cards just for tapping some of your lands. The second engine is Cloudstone Curio plus Elvish Visionary. With enough Nettle Sentinels and a Heritage Druid, you can alternate bouncing Elvish Visionary and another cheap elf to both cantrip through your deck and generate mana off of Heritage Druid activations. This lets you go infinite and win any number of ways, the foremost of which is using Manamorphose to generate the Black mana necessary to cast Shaman of the Pack until your opponent is dead. If you have to cast Shaman more than two or three times, you can use Cloudstone Curio and Eternal Witness to rebuy Manamorphose until you have enough Black mana to kill your opponent. Another alternative is to gain infinite life with Essence Warden in matchups where it effectively ends the game.

A huge part of the power of this deck is its ability to use Summoner's Pact over something like Collected Company or Lead the Stampede. This gives you the ability to assemble Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid and attempt to combo off consistently by turn three or four, which is just fast enough to beat the Eldrazi deck. Sure, the deck is softer to Pyroclasm and other sweepers than the builds featuring Collected Company, but what you lose in resiliency you certainly gain back in speed and raw power. This is a powerful deck capable of racing Eldrazi and Melira Company decks and doesn't care about cards like Ensnaring Bridge or Blood Moon. All told, that seems like a great place to be in the current format.


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