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  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from MTG_Bob »
    A recent $1k in my area was won by Mono Red Phoenix. There were 2 of the Pyromancer decks in the T8, a BG Rock, Devoted Devastation, Thopter Sword, and 2 UR Phoenix. I haven't seen the results of one from yesterday and we have a $5k coming up in a few weeks that I'd be interested in playing in if I believe I can get a shot at a T16.

    I've been seeing an increase in Tron at the weekly tournament. Is Tajuru Preserver a worthwhile SB card for us in that matchup, and if so, what do we pull?

    *Edit* Eldrazi Tron won this weekend's $1k. I'm thinking that Tajuru Preserver will be a great help against All is Dust, since that is the only board sweeper they run.

    That meta sounds very hostile to Elves. Honestly I don't think this is a good time for the deck. Ironic that Modern Horizons was supposed to be a boon for Elves, but instead might be one of the worst sets for us in recent memory with the introduction of Lava Dart, Plague Engineer, and Wrenn and Six to the format.

    Tajuru Preserver is going pretty deep. That is far too narrow of a card for my tastes. I prefer Damping Sphere, which forces them to make 7 land drops before they can cast All is Dust and also has utility against other Tron and Phoenix decks.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from MTG_Bob »
    I've been trying to outrace them as much as possible. I think with the Bridge from Below banning, my area will go to even more Infect/Burn/UW Control then before since there won't be as much of a need for graveyard hate. Perhaps it is time to shelf Elves again until they come up with something that makes them truly impressive once again? Which sucks, I enjoy playing the deck and they aren't played locally by anyone else.

    I would actually expect Infect and possibly Burn to decrease in popularity, as the format should slow down and become more interaction-oriented now that BFB has been banned. I am looking forward to seeing more Humans, Dredge, Amulet Titan, and Tron again. Humans especially is probably my favorite Tier 1 matchup in modern.

    It is true though that Elves doesn't feel amazing right now. Modern Horizons gave us Nurturing Peatland and Collector Ouphe, which were both nice upgrades but neither was a huge shot in the arm. Lava Dart, Wrenn and Six, and Plague Engineer are all seeing a lot of play right now and can be pretty unbeatable. I would not recommend Elves to anyone going into a large tournament with high level competition. As a "casually competitive" FNM-level deck though I think it's still totally fine.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from MTG_Bob »
    I'm running pretty much the same list Simon DS posted last, but I'm not making headway. I'm not running the Peatlands, since I already own a playset of the Woodland Cemetery, but other than that deck is the same.

    The current meta in my area is heavy Infect, followed by UW Control and Burn/Mono Red Phoenix. I can't seem to even get started before I'm either dead or they control the board state. Any suggestions?

    None of those are particularly good matchups, although UW Control is easier I think since they no longer run terminus. You could consider removing some number of Dismember from your sideboard in favor of Fatal Push, as they're functionally equivalent in the matchups you named and the life loss from Dismember is significant against Burn. Melira, Sylvok Outcast is also a very real hate card against Infect, and worth considering in your SB if it's a major portion of your local meta.

    To be frank I don't think the Mono Red Phoenix/Prowess Burn matchups are fixable. Any deck running Gut Shot and/or Lava Dart should be heavily favored vs. Elves. I mostly hope to get lucky in those matches.

    With limited information, the best advice I feel I can offer is to know your role in these matchups. Don't be afraid to block early and trade off creatures against Infect, as we have more sources of card advantage than them. Force U/W to have the sweeper on curve - play aggressively and try to apply as much pressure as possible in the early turns. Going into a match with a gameplan helps me play the early turns successfully and also helps me understand what I needed to do differently when I lose.

    Quote from thesedaiv »
    Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis i saw. As this deck uses LOTS of green. And possibly black, and it poops oit creatures, would this be an affective beatstick?

    "You can't spend mana to cast this spell" means Hogaak doesn't fit into our deck at all.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from Melves72 »
    I am looking at 2 cards. One for the side and one for the side/main

    This last is Icon of Ancestry
    is an artifact at cost 3 that is not removed by mass removal, allow to filter the best creature etc.
    I would test it in the spots of lead the stampede

    Only for the side I would test Thought Distortion
    It is a non counterable sorcery that, if we are able to solve in the 3/4 round totally destroy decks like
    UWx control, storms, tron etc.

    Moreover, there is leyline of the void. It is not new. But I am very happy to see its re-print

    Icon of Ancestry is an interesting one. It's clearly powerful, but also much slower than the current card advantage options. It takes 6 to replace itself, and 9 to generate card advantage. Lead the Stampede is unquestionable more efficient, so it comes down to how impactful the glorious anthem effect is. I'm not sold, but I think it's a card worth testing.

    I don't think Thought Distortion is where you want to be. If you're able to cast it on turn 3 or 4, chances are things are already going well for you and you'd rather just play a Coco or an Archdruid + Shaman. BB is also going to be mighty awkward at times.

    Other M20 cards that are worth mentioning are Elvish Reclaimer and Shared Summons. Reclaimer does not fit into any current Elves build but might encourage a 3-color build with the fetch/shock manabase. A 3/4 for G is pretty nice, although the creature type "elf" may be a red herring as this probably fits better into existing GBx midrange builds. Shared Summons is absolutely worth looking at if you're already running the Vizier/Devoted Druid combo. Between Finale of Devastation, Eladamri's Call, and now Shared Summons, we've gotten some really good creature tutor options over the past three sets.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from drew02k »
    How bad is mono-red phoenix for this deck and strategies or cards do we play to help with it?

    I think it's the worst matchup for Elves of the top tier decks. It's very easy for them to establish a fast clock while preventing us from achieving a critical mass. Tbh, I don't think it's a fixable matchup and you just have to hope they draw or play poorly. To that end, my strategy is to focus on my own gameplan and hope I can win as quickly as possible.

    Shapers' Sanctuary can be an OK sideboard card against them, since I'm seeing more lists cutting sweeper effects lately to make room for extra graveyard hate.

    Quote from coastiemike »
    Here’s my list. https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/12-06-17-fWM-gb-elves/#c3509441

    Is Nurturing Peatland needed in this list? I’ve been trying to figure what I would pull out to add it and nothing really jumps out.

    Peatland isn't strictly necessary, per se, but it is very, very good. I think you could easily cut the two Overgrown Tombs and 1 or 2 basics for Nurturing Peatlands.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from Farodin666 »
    @Simon DS nurturing peatland is great. I fear taking too much damage when drawing too much. Having some burn, mono red phoenix, 8whack and some other aggro decks in meta. I really understand to maximize on them.

    what's your take on sideboarding against phoenix?

    Planning to playtest a lot this weekend against my ur phoenix friend who´s won the bye for gp frankfurt in germany.

    I see, it does make sense to trim on Nurturing Peatland in a heavy burn meta. I just loooove those lands though, so will probably jam 4 unless the red aggro decks become more than 20% of the meta. Mono R Phoenix is such a terrible matchup that if it starts seeing more widespread play I'll probably have to put down Elves for a while.

    Against UR Phoenix, with my present sideboard, I take out all of the Clancallers and 1 Lead and bring in both Surgicals, both Dismembers, and one Damping Sphere. The first sphere can be very good against Phoenix, but it's not a card I want in multiples. Clancallers are my go-to cut in most matchups.

    I'm curious to hear what you learn from your playtesting.

    I also assumed that you had "Burn type decks" in your meta, so I didn't question the 3 Nurturing Peatland. In that case, I personally do believe that 3 is correct. You don't ever really want 2 of those out as your only lands ever. I have felt that pain before, mostly with Devoted Druid Company.

    Me personally, I'd side my 2 Dismember and my 2 Surgical Extraction. I personally don't think that Damping Sphere does enough and it further waters down Company, which I hate, hate, hate to take out ever.

    My current SB is

    I know for sure this is not the best current SB. I personally would make sure every deck I play runs 2-3 Ravenous Trap, as the Hogaak Vine deck is insane. I'm not sure what else I'd do to reconfigure the SB, as I don't play Elves regularly. I usually play the other 2 decks or Humans.

    I guess I should clarify that the first 4 cards should not be necessary in a GP meta. My meta has tons of people trying to interact, although occasionally those people "disappear" and it becomes not so much like this.

    Yeah, Trap is definitely a very good card these days. I just picked up a few copies of Yixlid Jailer to test out. It's very fragile but I'm hoping Bridgevine and Dredge will have relatively few ways to interact with it. Hopefully I don't find it too slow.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from Farodin666 »

    RG breach is difficult for elves. g1 you can race them, but g2/3 is too much mass removal. Have an urge to play thoughtseize again for combo and those decks.
    Maybe a good call for the london mulligan ruling.

    Funny note: last tournament I got the t3 kill against storm and g2 he fizzled his combo and I won that matchup. He has the best score overall the tournament results right now. Grin

    What are your thoughts on the nurturing peatland amount? I think i go for 3.

    Mainboard pretty hoogland list. I like beast whisperer, but I want to play more aggressive with clancallers

    2 reclamation sage
    1 collector ouphe (want not more because i want to keep rec sages against some prison decks in meta)
    3 damping sphere
    3 dismember (tried out trophies, but dismember is better against phoenix. its liek carddraw for them)
    2 thoughtseize (combo)
    1 lead the stampede (decided to have 3 in my deck, the canopy land should be compensate the cut of 1 of them)
    2 surgical extraction (only gy deck, I dont side in against phoenix)
    1 scavenging ooze (third ooze in the deck.. think its fine over other options)

    Yesterday I trained against ur phoenix and had beaten a local guy. talked about sideboarding and went with this:
    -4 clancaller
    -1 ezuri
    -2 lead

    +3 damping sphere
    +3 dismember
    +1 ooze

    think it may be the best sideboarding plan with this configuration. what do you think?

    Post SB, I much prefer Surgical over Ooze against UR Phoenix, especially on the draw. Ooze has been too slow for me. You basically need to jam it on turn 2 and pray they don't have a bolt. Then you need to perpetually hold open mana on their turn.

    As for Nurturing Peatland, imo it is clearly the best land now for G/B Elves. Untapped source of G on turn 1. Makes B to cast Shamans. Flood insurance. Why play less than 4?

    I'm actually wondering if the 4 Nurturing Peatland makes going up to 19 lands correct. Maybe cutting an Elves of Deep Shadow? Might be too radical, but I think I'll experiment with it.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    So, with the full Modern Horizons set revealed, I believe there are 3 cards that deserve consideration for inclusion in Modern Elves:
    T, Pay 1 life: Add B or G.
    1, T, Sacrifice Nurturing Peatland: Draw a card.

    This is definitely the most exciting card from this set for our deck. On color Horizon Canopies? Yes please. In my post above I discussed what I plan to cut from my deck to make room for these. I might go down to 3 basic forests and keep the Pendelhaven in after all.

    Verdict: Automatic 4-of main deck.
    Creature - Ouphe
    Activated abilities of artifacts can't be activated.

    I can't wait for the first time I am able to bring one of these into play off a Collected Company. This kind of effect is devastating against Affinity, Hardened Scales, and Tron (turn 2 on the play, at least).

    Verdict: 1-3 in the sideboard.
    Choose creature or land. Reveal the top four cards of your library. Put all cards of the chosen type revealed this way into your hand and the rest into your graveyard.

    This is an interesting alternative to Lead the Stampede. To evaluate it, I ran some hypergeometric calculations using stattrek.com and the results are attached to this post.

    I consider a "successful" Lead to be one that puts at least 3 creatures in my hand. In the theoretical test (60 cards in deck, 36 creatures to find), Lead achieves this approximately ~69% of the time, while Winding Way achieves this roughly ~47% of the time. In the practical test, I assumed that we were casting either Lead or Winding Way on turn 3-4 with 28 creatures left in the deck (these numbers make sense in post-sideboard games where we may have brought in more noncreature spells). Lead is drawing us 3 or more cards ~62% of the time in these tests where Winding Way is only drawing us 3 or more cards ~40% of the time.

    This all makes sense, as Winding Way is an inherently less powerful card than Lead but is also more economical to cast. So the real question is: how much does the cheaper casting cost matter? And I think the answer is that it doesn't very much. Elves produces so much fast mana that I think the more powerful card draw spell is preferable to the one that's slightly cheaper to cast. With the typical Elves draw giving you access to 3 mana on turn 2, you're usually able to cast either of these on turn 2 (not that you usually want to, except after mulligans). Winding Way does have the play pattern of drawing you cards and then putting another 1-drop into play, but like I said you'd usually prefer to develop your board anyway. Winding Way only putting 2 or less creatures into your hand roughly 60% of the time just isn't good enough in my opinion.

    Also worth discussing is the "hidden mode" on Winding Way that lets you look for lands. In the practical test, in which I assume you only have access to 1 land (with 17 left in the deck), Winding Way is successful at drawing at least one land ~82% of the time, which is a good success rate. So Winding Way does have this added versatility, which is nice, but I also expect this mode to go mostly unused by Elves players.

    The last part of Winding Way that needs to be mentioned is that it puts cards in your graveyard, as opposed to the bottom of your library. This is largely insignificant, but I think will be a downside more often than an upside (unless your list includes Eternal Witness or some other graveyard recursion). More likely than not, all this will accomplish is buffing your opponent's Tarmogoyf.

    Verdict: Worth testing, but likely not good enough to replace Lead the Stampede.

    Thanks Simon DS!! And congrats on your win.
    I'll definitely consider your recommendations. I hate to cut my Nettles. But maybee we should for consistency indeed.

    My pleasure! A fellow Elf player told me he wouldn't cut the Nettles and Visionaries from his deck because he loves the hands where he gets to "go off" and draw 20 cards. My stance is that he probably was going to win those games anyway even without the absurdity the Nettles provide. But I get where he's coming from.

    Here's my current Elf deck (I call it "The Mother of All Elf Decks" on TappedOut). I was waiting to rebuild it after Modern Horizons came out, hoping that Elves would get some love. Sadly, they did not. I still want to build Elves, but not sure which way to go at the moment. I'm thinking of mainboarding Heroic Intervention as the deck's most serious weakness is to board sweeps—now, of course, it bounces back better than most from that, but it's still a consideration. An early sweep is far more troublesome than a later one, and Heroic would fairly easily negate that. I used to run Lead the Stampede, but ended up going with an experimental build in Genesis Wave. This has won me games (though I have yet to tournament test it) many times: X=7+ is absolutely savage and easy to manage. Hits lands, creatures, and if Akroma's Memorial comes with it (or I have already put it out), everything can go that turn. They can attack with flying, vigilance, trample, protection, etc., then all tap for mana to fuel Ezuri's power.

    The idea was to have redundant win conditions. Marwyn, a very underappreciated card, has my favorite Elf art and is also a mana-producing wincon-enabler, and can herself turn into a wincon as she powers up. Of course, Ezuri is the classic method of Elves getting so strong they tear planes in half and beat opponents with each piece. Joraga Warcaller is also another great mana sink, especially with Cavern, and also further enhances Marwyn. I can hard-cast Akroma's Memorial or get it off of a Genesis Wave, and it also turns my Elves into beaters even without EZ E.

    Winding Way now merits some consideration, and the sideboard definitely needs help here. I'm not sure what to sideboard. Damping Sphere and the like, I think, but I wanted to sort out the main 60. I've considered Primal Command both for grave hate and for getting its other uses.

    I'm also thinking it needs at least one Boseiju, Who Shelters All, to help punch through those critical Waves and CoCos against control.

    At any rate, fellow Elves, I would welcome thoughts, suggestions, and green mana!

    Thanks for sharing! Your build looks super fun and I bet you get to do some degenerate stuff when you go off. My comments are below:

    - Genesis Wave seems too mana intensive to me. You need to pay 8 mana to look as deep as Lead the Stampede, and if you have that much mana you could probably cast LtS and then hard cast everything you find off of it as well. That said, Genesis Wave has a much higher ceiling, so that could be the right call if you're trying to go super big.

    - You may want to consider cutting some number of Marwyns and/or Ezuris. 4 of each means you will find yourself in situations where you have a lot of dead cards in your hand and/or in your Coco piles.

    - Reclamation Sage, in my opinion, definitely belongs in the sideboard, not main. Sage may be maindeckable if you're running tutors like Chord of Calling.

    - Sorcerous Spyglass should probably be either Pithing Needle or Phyrexian Revoker (unless you already own the Spyglasses). Paying an extra 1 to peek at your opponents hand isn't going to be worth it in most circumstances, and Revoker can be put into play off of Cocos.

    - Heroic Intervention is a trap card in my opinion. It's very difficult for a proactive beatdown deck to hold up 2 mana on every turn. In my experience, I have been more successful laying my cards on the table and forcing my opponent to have the answer THAT TURN or be dead. Intervention also doesn't answer cards like Terminus, Cryptic Command, or Languish, so it's not even the universal answer you want it to be.

    - This may be crazy, but have you considered playing Karn, the Great Creator? You could move the Akroma's Memorial to the sideboard and tutor for that or Damping Sphere/Relic of Progenitus/Pithing Needle using Karn's -2. Hitting Karn off of Genesis Wave also seems more doable than one of the Akroma's Memorials.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Hi all, I've been following this thread for a while now and thought I would contribute. I recently won a small (~20 people) modern tournament at an anime convention with the Elves list below:

    This build is mostly inspired by Jeff Hoogland, but I've previously experimented with many different builds and iterations. This list is very consistent and resilient (at least compared to other Elves lists) while maintaining the signature explosiveness of the archetype.

    A few notes on card choices:

    4 Elves of Deep Shadow: I think this is a necessary adaptation, as having the full 16 mana dorks really improves the consistency of your first few turns. I love Nettle Sentinel as much as any other Elves player, but its so incredibly important to develop ahead of curve on turns 1-3 that I no longer think it's a playable card. The last time I had Nettles in my deck, I was playing against UW control and was stuck on two lands with one each of Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid on the battlefield and a bunch of 3 and 4 drops in my hand. Truly painful.

    2 Scavenging Ooze in the main: This is a concession to the rampant graveyard decks in modern such as UR Phoenix and Dredge. I see some other people in this thread have also made this adaptation, but if you haven't yet I strongly encourage you to. The opportunity cost is very low and Scooze can be an absolute lifesaver against the aforementioned decks.

    2:2 Split of Lead the Stampede between main and sb: Lead is very powerful, but I also never want to see multiples of it in my opening hand. There are diminishing returns to CoCo and Lead where adding more of them into your deck has the effect of giving you fewer hits from each. Given that I want to be as linear and powerful as possible in game 1, but also want access to the full 8 non-creature card advantage spells in the slower matchups, the 2:2 split feels right to me.

    Overgrown Tomb: I recently added this as I wanted another land that could help cast Shaman of the Pack and also make green mana for Scooze activations. I plan on cutting this, Horizon Canopy, Pendelhaven, and 1 Blooming Marsh in favor of 4 Nurturing Peatland once they are available (I have already sold my Horizon Canopy in anticipation). I would also like to strongly recommend against running any land that does not produce G, such as Westvale Abbey or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, as they have a very adverse effect on the deck's consistency. They make 1-land hands unkeepable and can't even cast 20/42 of the spells in the deck. The times these cards were good for me when I tried them far outweighed the times I wished I had just run another basic Forest instead.

    Please feel free to ask me about any other cards included (or excluded) from my list if you would care for my opinion.

    I feel Elves are positioned reasonably well in Modern presently and am excited by the additions we might see from Modern Horizons. To any newer players reading this thread and looking to pick up Elves in modern, please be aware that Elves is not a tier 1 deck and will probably not be in the foreseeable future. It is, however, a very fun and powerful deck that can be surprisingly competitive and even take down a tournament once in a while in the right metagame.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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