Opening up this week's article, I'd like to apologize. Due to scheduling I wasn't able to do the interview piece I mentioned last week. I do plan on doing it in the very near future, hopefully next week, but with GP Detroit this past weekend I was unable to write on the subject I wanted to. So with that being said, let's get down to brass tacks.
Elves, love them or hate them, they've been a part of fantasy gaming since fantasy gaming came to fruition. Elves often get a bad rap as being meek, frail, or underwhelming. I disagree with that stereotype. Legolas will put an arrow between your eyes while jumping from one enemy's head to another like he was simply playing hopscotch. Elrond will fight for his people side by side any other race to bring peace to Middle Earth. Alachia led her people to undergo the ritual of thorns and protect the blood wood from the horrors during the scourge. Needless to say, Elves can be as badass as the next fictional race.
As a long-term EDH player I like to take other people's deck ideas and power them up. The first deck I ever did this with was a Nath of the Gilt-Leaf deck. It had the right direction in mind but the deck designer lacked the knowledge of card choice at the time, or maybe just was seeking a less aggressive play style for a casual format. So I gathered copies of the cards I lacked and I went to work with some tweaks and adjustments.
As more sets have been released I've made some adjustments, such as adding Waste Not from M15, and more recently Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen from Magic Origins. Take a look at the most recent brew of my version of the deck.
First of all, this isn't your standard elf overrun EDH. Yes, it has Ezuri, Renegade Leader and that is a legit way to win the game, and it tends to be the way the deck wins most often, but it's no "smash face or bust." Adding the element of discard into the mix is a great way to control the game and add damage with Megrim and Liliana's Caress--but it will probably lose some friends as well. It's fairly hard to lock out the table but I have emptied my opponents' hands on turn three once or twice before.
The early builds of the decks were more of a beatdown path with cards like Heedless One and Wildheart Invoker, and other utility creatures such as, Glissa Sunseeker and Caller of the Claw. This was fine but I really wanted to capitalize on the discard aspect. So out went the beaters and the previously mentioned utility options and in came Sadistic Hypnotist, Words of Waste, Mind Slash and Geth's Grimoire.
In the olden days, having Nath of the Gilt-Leaf in play was crucial to generating extra value off the discards. With the addition of Waste Not it's basically just like adding the hot fudge, cherry and sprinkles to your ice cream! Being able to combo Nath of the Gilt-Leaf with Sadistic Hypnotist is how we pull off the total annihilation of our opponent's hands.
Granted, this is at sorcery speed so we're still open to the topdeck rip of a champion but it really puts the game greatly in your favor. This is one of those situations you'll probably only be able to pull off once per play group as the Sadistic Hypnotist will have a target on him big enough to be seen from space.
Some suggestions I've been toying with for the deck include Green Sun's Zenith, Chord of Calling, Collected Company and Shaman of the Pack. Actually, after reading Wirewood Symbiote again, Shaman of the Pack is for sure going in there--now to find a foil!
Once again, thanks for taking a few minutes to read my article and as always please leave comments, suggestions, questions, secret celebrity crushes, or guilty pleasure music in the comments or feel free to email or hit me up on Twitter.
Thanks for checking out my article!
x Julian Biondillo x
Julian, AKA hardcoreniceguy on Twitter