Deck of the Day: Elves (Pauper)

The Elves tribe has been putting up results in all formats for some time now. This is a Pro Tour winning archetype, a Legacy staple, and a Modern powerhouse. That said, many of the best cards have always been uncommons and rares, so a Pauper version is an exciting chance to see some of the lesser known Elves in action.

The Elves are best known for their mana producing potential. Llanowar Elves is the original, dating all the way back to Alpha, and getting a mana creature of this power is something we just don’t see in Standard anymore. Fyndhorn Elves and Elvish Mystic are both functional reprints of the same card, and provide a great start.

Birchlore Rangers offers acceleration in a different package. It’ll fix your mana, but more importantly lets you use creatures that would otherwise have summoning sickness to produce extra mana. By allowing every two Elves you cast to produce additional mana, you can flood the board at an incredible pace.

Nettle Sentinel combos with Birchlore Rangers to make sure that every 1-mana Elf you cast will allow you to cast an additional one. Nettle Sentinels untaps whenever you play a green spell, so it can be half of the two Elves you need to produce a mana off Birchlore. This also scales, so multiple Nettle Sentinels will allow you to produce additional mana each turn.

Speaking of mana, Priest of Titania is like Tolarian Academy for Elves! This thing can produce a ton of mana very early in the game.

Quirion Ranger allows you to get additional mana out of your low land count, but also to untap your mana Elves to accelerate quickly. Untapping Llanowar Elves for more mana is nice, but untapping Priest of Titania can be lights-out.

Elvish Vanguard is a great payoff for playing so many Elves. Getting a Vanguard down early before deploying all of these 1-mana creatures means you can start attacking for massive chunks as early as turn 3.

While you’re casting Elf after Elf, Lys Alana Huntmaster will make sure that all of your Elf tribal cards get tons of fuel to add to the fire. Casting an Elf spell will give you an Elf token, putting additional counters on your Vanguard, letting Priest produce more mana, and allowing Birchlore to continue to go off.

With all of these Elves and Elf tokens, Timberwatch Elf can end the game in a hurry. A single tap of a Timberwatch can threaten lethal immediately. While Timberwatch is dealing all of that damage, Wellwisher is doing the opposite. Casting all of your Elves, creating tokens off Huntmaster, and loading up the board allows you to start gaining life in the double digits turn after turn.

This deck is jam packed full of Elves. You’re looking at 42 total Elves in this deck even before Elf tokens! With so much Elf action, Distant Melody gives you the ability to draw massive amounts of cards. With Priests and Birchlores to deploy all of these Elves and such a low land count, the Elf deck goes wide and out of control quickly to end the game!


ILTAHUIKAISU, 2nd Place in an MTGO Pauper Challenge



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