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What Are the Top Five Elves in Commander?


Last week, I covered the best elves in general, focusing a lot more on 60-card Constructed formats. Now today I'm going to be focusing on a different side by discussing the creature type's impact on the Commander format. I've spoken at length before about how I don't like Elfball strategies in the format as it doesn't lend well to the diversity of gameplay many players want out of Commander. In spite of that, it's still a tremendously popular way to play and as such there's no shortage of awesome elves to play both in dedicated Elves strategies and beyond.

Before we get going with the actual list, however, I'd like to highlight two particular honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions: Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary and Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Before we get going, I do have to give two quick shout-outs to these two legendary emissaries. Neither can technically qualify because, well, they're both banned in the Commander format! However, if they were legal, they would no doubt top this list for the best elves around. Rofellos makes unbelievable amounts of mana early on (even by elf standards) and Leovold makes it both difficult to interact meaningfully with you and stop your opponents from finding answers to deal with it. Both very much deserve to be on the ban list, so while they aren't quite usable, they're worth mentioning because if they were legal, they'd easily be the number one picks for this list.

5. Reclamation Sage

Reclamation Sage

For my non-Commander article on the best elves in Magic, I also put Reclamation Sage at number five. It's about as good and decent of a workhorse card as you can get, often working well with most Green creature-based decks. You either get good elf synergies or a decent body for more general aggressive Green decks, and that's not even taking the card's ability into account either. In the case of Commander, you're almost always going to have an artifact or enchantment to blow up at some point in the game, making it great value at almost any point in the game. Many decks can even bounce or flicker it for even more value as well, which can prove backbreaking for many players to deal with.

4. Priest of Titania, Elvish Archdruid, and Circle of Dreams Druid

Priest of Titania
Elvish Archdruid
Circle of Dreams Druid

For this slot, I couldn't settle on which one of these is the best. Priest of Titania is the cheapest but only taps for mana. Elvish Archdruid costs a little more but in exchange, it also pumps your other elves a little bit. Circle of Dreams Druid is the best option for decks that don't utilize elves as a core strategy, but is most intensive when it comes to its mana cost. Since I couldn't decide on which one I wanted to ultimately win out here, I simply chose to bundle all of them together!

Each one of these makes an absolute truckload of mana. Circle of Dreams Druid may do this best, but both Elvish Archdruid and especially Priest of Titania are no slouches either, even with only small amounts of elves in your deck. Priest also has the advantage of being able to generate mana not only from your elves, but your opponents' as well. Playing any one of these is a surefire way to accelerate your game plan no matter what it is, and they all deserve a slot here.

3. Fauna Shaman

Fauna Shaman

Survival of the Fittest may be one of the most famous classic Magic designs in the game's history, allowing you to cheaply swap creatures on the fly for just 1 mana. Being on the reserved list made it much harder for players to get their hands on it, though, and the demand for such an effect is high in a format like Commander. Enter Fauna Shaman, a version of Survival on a creature that was printed just a few years before Survival was banned in Legacy. It might be a little difficult to get to activate Fauna Shaman without some haste because of how fragile it is, but if it sticks around it allows you to perfectly set up the entire remainder of your game. It's great for almost any creature deck, and even better in graveyard-centric lists, making it an easy inclusion here in terms of universal appeal.

2. Bloom Tender

Bloom Tender

Bloom Tender plays in a space that's somewhat similar to the triplet of Priest of Titania, Elvish Archdruid, and Circle of Dreams Druid laid out previously. This, like them, makes a ton of mana all at once. The difference here, though, is that while those other ones are best for both Mono-Green lists and often lists focusing on Elves, Bloom Tender benefits multicolored strategies more widely. You don't get to go quite as deep, but instead you get multiple colors at once, making it easy to ensure you always have a means of getting each of your different colors. The card was incredibly expensive prior to Mystery Booster and Double Masters 2022 and even after all of that, it'll still usually run you at least $15 for a copy. Its wider array of usefulness in multiple decks while also providing some major ramp makes it an easy inclusion this high in the list.

1. Beast Whisperer

Beast Whisperer

Most elves have a tendency to work best in conjunction with one another or else act as solid utility effects for one particular thing. In many of those cases, their effects are often smaller or are fairly one-shot like with Reclamation Sage. Beast Whisperer, however, is just about the most powerful utility effect, working for just about any deck and being the gift that keeps on giving.

Every time you cast a creature spell, you draw a card. In an Elves deck, that usually means you just keep drawing through your entire deck in a flash. Even for decks that don't lean on so many cheap creatures and mana dorks, just getting to cast two or three draws you a solid number of cards alone. No matter how you slice it, just about any Green deck with a decent chunk of creatures in it wants Beast Whisperer, making it easily the most powerful elf you can use (in a general sense) in the Commander format.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

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