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Eladamri, Korvecdal in Commander


Today I'm going to take a look at my first Modern Horizons 3 brew.

When I build around new legendary creatures I really like to lean into a strategy or theme. Don't get me wrong - what I come up with is generally a fun and engaging deck, but any deck I share here should be looked at as a starting point. Today's starting point is a Green Elf Warrior with some really interesting abilities.

Eladamri, Korvecdal

The Korvedcal is a prophesized uniter of the tribes of Rath: the Kor, Vec and Dal tribes. If you're into Magic lore you probably know all about Eladamri, but I wanted to just mention what the heck a Korvedcal is, because it really just sounds like a random mess of bits of words mashed together to make up a fantasy character's title. I mean... it is that, but it also has real meaning in the lore, which is pretty cool, given the onslaught of non-Magic IPs we now have to engage with as Magic players.

Eladamri, Korvekdal, has some great party tricks, so it's no wonder he united those tribes.

He'll let you look at the top card of your library at any time.

Opponent casts a spell? Check that top card. Move to combat? Check that top card! Forget what's on top of my library? You better believe I'm going to be checking the top card of that library.

The fact that I'm closer to pushing 60 than most of you are to pushing 40 notwithstanding - I'll absolutely check that top card more than I need to, if only for comedic purposes.

What better way to make a player nearly have a heart attack than to stop them in the middle of a game winning combo, tell them I have a response, and then dramatically pause and... check the top card of my library!

Eladamri brings more to the party than just a running joke that's likely to get old long before I stop doing it. He'll also let me cast creature spells from the top of my library. That's pretty sweet, and slightly abusable. If nothing else, Worldly Tutor plays perfectly with Eladamri, letting me tutor a creature to the top of my library for one Green mana so I can cast it.

He also has a pseudo-Elvish Piper ability. For one Green mana I can tap Eladamri and two untapped creatures I control to reveal a card from my hand or from the top of my library. If I reveal a creature card I can put it onto the battlefield. This last ability is restricted to sorcery speed activation only, but it's still pretty good.

This deck has an interesting conflict, in that it wants me to play low-mana creatures so I can spin off a bunch of creatures on my turn without having to play them out of my hand, but it also wants me to cheat big creatures into play. I could see a list with just one-drops and huge Eldrazi Titans and a Colossus or two in order to try to cheat as much mana as possible off of those big creatures.

My build is going to focus on going wide, with a handful of big Green creatures that will be familiar to anyone who has played much EDH.

Digging Deep

Any permanent that lets me look at play creatures off the top of my library always has me fantasizing about playing a ton of those cards, but in reality it rarely works out that way. Usually I will find myself playing a handful of cards and getting decent value, but this isn't the kind of ability that will let you run away with a game.

Still, a man can dream.

Augur of Autumn
Elvish Mystic

The first step in milking this ability for as much as it's worth would be to add a creature like Augur of Autumn, which will let me play a land off the top of my library. I don't want to play with the top card of my library revealed, but Augur just lets me look at it and play it if it's a land and I still have land drops to make. I'll also be able to play creatures off the top if I have three or more creatures with different powers, but Eladamri already gives me that ability without any restrictions.

Tangleroot is the next piece of this puzzle, and it's a risky one to play. When this artifact is on the battlefield, whenever any player plays a creature spell they will add a Green mana to their mana pool. I'm uniquely positioned to get a lot of value out of this little trinket, but there will be times where this could hand someone else the game. I'm also running Eladamri's Vineyard, which gives every player two Green mana at the beginning of their precombat main phase. That enchantment will also help my tablemates, but I couldn't resist playing my commander's own Vineyard in his EDH deck.

This deck is running a ton of creatures, and a lot of them are one- and two-drops, so there's every reason to believe I should be able to put Tangleroot to good use. They aren't all mana dorks like Elvish Mystic, but this deck is very much trying to go wide and flood the board. My dream of running through a half dozen one drops with Tangleroot mana may never come true, but I like having stuff like this in a deck even if it never happens in a game.

Flooding the Zone

Forty-five creatures. My Sidisi, Undead Vizier deck has four more, but this is still an outlier in terms of how many bodies I decided to throw into the list. With the vast majority of them at three mana and under, and with the ability to play off the top of my library, I should have at least a decent board presence.

When I lean this hard into a creature-based strategy I end up playing a lot of creatures that provide ramp, card draw, and removal.

Oashra Cultivator
Regal Force
Caustic Caterpillar

I'm running traditional mana dorks, but I'm also running a boatload of cheap Green creatures that provide similar abilities. Oashra Cultivator may not tap for mana, or untap a land like the one-drop Arbor Elf, but I can sacrifice Cultivator to put a basic land into play tapped. Neverwinter Dryad fills the same role. I'm not running Rampant Growth, Three Visits, or Nature's Lore, as I'm trying to run all my land ramp through cards like Sakura-Tribe Elder, Oashra Cultivator and so on.

My card draw is somewhat advanced through being able to cast creature spells off the top of my library, and I'll be doing that as often as makes sense, given the situation in the game. Beyond that, I'm focusing on card draw linked to playing lots of creatures. Regal Force is a classic in mono Green decks, drawing me a card for each creature I control when it enters the battlefield. Shamanic Revelation and Freyalise Llanowar's Fury are also in the mix and can provide that same creature-count draw. I'll also be able to draw when I cast creature spells using Beast Whisperer or Lifecrafter's Bestiary, and using the enchantment Guardian Project when a uniquely named nontoken creature enters the battlefield under my control. Last but not least, I've thrown in Heartwood Storyteller, which gives players card draw when someone casts a noncreature spell.

While I'm running some card draw that isn't on a creature, all of my removal has been tied to creatures. That's not great, as you ideally want to react to new problems on the field at instant speed, but it's a concession I've made for playing such a creature heavy deck. Caustic Caterpillar might be my best example, costing a paltry one Green mana and acting as a "rattlesnake". Combo pieces may just stay off the battlefield until it's been taken care of, which means it can put in work just by existing. I'm also running Reclamation Sage and Acidic Slime, both of which have enter-the-battlefield removal triggers, Silverback Elder, which has a creature cast removal trigger mode, and Kogla, the Titan Ape, which has an attack trigger that lets me remove an artifact or enchantment.

Leaning this heavily into creatures might impact my ability to play at high-power tables, but there are decks that have no problem at high power tables that play the same kind of game. The average Animar, Soul of Elements deck will run over 40 creatures, but Animar is often digging for a combo win. This list isn't built to dig for a combo win, though you could always upgrade it to have that kind of gameplan.

If I'm going for a wide board, it makes sense that my end game will involve combat and might involve making all of those creatures big enough to be a real threat.

Beastmaster Ascension
Triumph of the Hordes
Overwhelming Stampede

Anthem effects are what I'm looking for, but I don't want to bother with a little +1/+1 boost from a Gaea's Anthem. Something like Beastmaster's Ascension, which gives my creatures +5/+5, is more like what I need. Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, who has a five-mana activated ability that gives my creatures +3/+3, also fits in nicely, though Kamahl really wants me to make huge piles of mana and this deck might not do that until the end game.

Triumph of the Hordes is an acquired taste, as not everyone appreciates using infect to try to close out a game. I look at Triumph as being roughly equivalent to Overwhelming Stampede and allows you to actually win against lifegain combo decks. Damage dealt by creatures with infect is dealt in the form of poison counters, and if a player gets 10 poison counters they lose the game. If I have enough creatures it should let me kill at least a few players. Overwhelming Stampede gives trample and +X/+X where X is the number of creatures I control. If I've got a dozen or more creatures on the field either one could give me a chance to swing for the win, assuming nobody has shot their life total up into the stratosphere. If that's the case, then I'll need commander damage or infect to do the job.

Shamrock Shake

If Eladamri's milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, it stands to reason that in a mono-Green deck that milkshake would be Green. This particular milkshake isn't especially high powered, but I think today's brew will be a fun deck to play as long as you don't mind being so heavily devoted to playing creatures.

I could see a build loaded up with Eldrazi or other huge creatures to try to get as much value out of his Elvish Piper ability, but I built this list in a more traditional Green stompy direction. I think it'll be fun if it doesn't hit too many boardwipes. Rebuilding might not be too hard, but creature based decks can struggle if the board is reset too many times.

If you wanted to increase the power level of this deck you might load up with some of the few Green stax pieces that can help slow other players down. Leaning into big creatures makes sense, but at a certain point you'll find Titans and the like don't do as much as you think they will. I left out Gaea's Cradle as I'm planning to play this list at a more casual table, but an elfball build with Circle of Dreams Druid, Priest of Titania, Gaea's Cradle and a few combo pieces might be fun.

In order to compete at high powered tables, running Collector Ouphe makes sense, as does Hall of Gemstone if you find yourself playing against enough multicolored decks. Running more removal is a given, and you'll probably want instants so you can react to wincons more easily. If you're going to do that and you want to push towards high power or cEDH it's worth asking why you wouldn't just run Marwyn the Nurturer or Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. There is room to power this list up, but if you want to keep Eladamri in the command zone, there's only so far you can go.

Moving this list down in power isn't that hard. You could drop out some of the more potent wincons like Triumph of the Hordes and Craterhoof Behemoth if you'll be playing at tables that are truly low powered. If you really wanted to drop down but keep things fun, you could pick some obscure tribe with decent representation in Green and see if you can make it work with Eladamri at the helm. Beasts might work, or a mono-Green Warriors build, but I think this is already a pretty fair brew. I didn't even throw in any combos for you to dig for.

Final Thoughts

I was able to get a game in with this list on Tabletop Simulator. I was impressed with how well it bounced back from boardwipes. I'm running 37 lands, which is fine by me since I'm running so many mana dorks, but I did find myself very short on lands even after a Genesis Wave for 8 that only hit a single land. That G-Wave did hit a Craterhoof Behemoth, way earlier in the game than I might have wanted to see it.

In the end I eked out the win on the back of some very good luck and a well-timed Obscuring Haze, which saved me and the rest of the table from getting killed by a Grist player who had used Reanimate to pull my Craterhoof out of my own Graveyard. I had attacked it into their deathtouch blocker in the hope that I could use Timeless Witness to put it back to my hand and use it again. In the end I was just very lucky to catch them tapped out and at a life total where I could kill them after their failed alpha strike.

One of the things I really like about decks like this is that they give you something to do early on in a game. There are so many small creatures that you'll never find yourself just sitting there waiting to have a board presence. On the flip side, having so many small creatures makes you incredibly vulnerable to a low mana Toxic Deluge or a dreaded Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. In my sample game when a player used Golgari Charm to give all creatures -1/-1 until end of turn, I lost an Elvish Clancaller and then with it gone, I lost all of my mana dorks.

I used Eladamri's last ability to cheat in a Regal Force to draw a few cards at one point in the game, so that ability didn't get completely ignored, even if the deck wasn't built around abusing it.

All in all, I was very happy with how the deck performed, but if you use this list as a starting point you should absolutely put your own stamp on it. Play your Blightsteel Colossus and cheat it into play with Eladamri. Move the deck over to a more elf-centric brew and load up with Sword of the Paruns, Thornbite Staff. and Staff of Domination and try your luck at high powered tables. There is definitely fun to be had with this new commander, even if it isn't quite as potent as Marwyn or Selvala.

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week!

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