Elephants on Parade with Hamza – EDH Showcase

In this instalment of The Often Overlooked Tribes of Commander, we’re going to get across a tribe that should be, in all fairness, very difficult to overlook given their size: Elephants! 64 Elephants have been printed across Magic’s history, but on top of that there are a bunch of Elephant-themed cards that I’m pleased to see included in Ryan Simmons’ take on the Elephant tribal archetype. There are three potential Elephant commanders (not including Morophon, obviously): Losheel, Clockwork Scholar, Quintorius, Field Historian and Hamza, Guardian of Arashin. Losheel is no good, as that deck seems like it would be more interested in artifacts rather than Elephants, while Quintorius is right out, as he has a lord effect that hits – for some reason – Spirits, not Elephants! That leaves Hamza and the synergies he offers both with +1/+1 counters and big, expensive creatures – here’s an Elephant-astic take on the archetype!




Hamza's Elephants by Ryan Simmons

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There are better +1/+1 counter decks, and there are better big creature decks. That’s not the point, however, as we’re interested in building an Elephant deck, and so that’s just what we’re going to do. Almost all of the creatures in this list are Elephants, from the relatively small Fairgrounds Trumpeter and Frontier Mastodon right up to the mighty Thorn Mammoth and Terastodon. This deck even plays Brawn, which should be an elephant, even if it isn’t, technically speaking. 

Basri's SolidarityUnbreakable FormationDurable HandicraftCathars' Crusade

When it comes to putting counters on the team to take advantage of Hamza’s cost reduction effects, there are plenty of cards that juice up all your creatures with +1/+1 counters. There’s Basri’s Solidarity and Unbreakable Formation, and Durable Handicraft can either hand out the counters as creatures come into play, or in one big go later on. Cathars’ Crusade is great in this deck, as it’s both a tribal and a +1/+1 counter deck – however, the list is missing Gavony Township. I think that would be a rock-solid inclusion. 

Snakeskin VeilDromoka's CommandRetreat to Kazandu

Outside of the mass counter effects, there are also cards that put counters on individual creatures in addition to providing other effects. Snakeskin Veil, Dromoka’s Command, Retreat to Kazandu – getting counters onto your creatures to cheapen later plays won’t be too difficult. 

Door of DestiniesHerald's HornElephant GuideMammoth Umbra

There are the normal, boring tribal cards you’ve got to play in decks like this, such as Door of Destinies and Herald’s Horn. Happily, however, this deck also plays a bunch of other Elephant-themed cards, even if they’re not technically Elephants themselves! There’s Elephant Guide and Mammoth Umbra, although Call of the Herd and Trumpeting Herd are missing, for some reason, as is… Generous Gift? When you’re playing Beast Within!? Come on!

In all seriousness, this is a sweet tribal list that sacrifices its power level in order to play with a bunch of cool Elephants and have a good time. And hey, maybe I shouldn’t be doubting the power level of any deck that plays huge monsters plus Overrun – I’m sure many unsuspecting opponents have died to an elephant stampede thanks to this deck. 

If you’ve got a weird tribal list like this, I’d love to see it! You can send it my way via a DM on Twitter


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