Magic: The Gathering - Building a Black-Green Elves Deck in Commander Legends
Elves are a strong tribe in M:TG Commander Legends Limited. It's time to review the entire archetype and see how this deck can be built.
The newest draft set in Magic: The Gatheringis the groundbreaking Commander Legends, the first-ever set designed around the unique rules of the Commander format. This means packing more legendary creatures than any other set, and it also assembles a colorful variety of draft archetypes. One of them is the black-green Elf deck, a tribal powerhouse.
In games of booster draft Limited, players who find a lot of good green and black cards can take advantage of the tribal power that Elves have and form a midrange beatdown deck that features commanders like Llanowar Abomination and Numa, Joraga Chieftain. Splashing in black mana is key to maximizing the Elves' power, but going mono-green may also be viable.
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All decks in the Commander Legends set need a legendary commander to lead them, and the Elf deck has four options. Numa can lead a mono-green Elf deck that distributes +1/+1 counters among any number of Elves, and it has partner, so it can team up with Miara, Thorn of the Glade to add black mana, if the player so wishes. If so, they can pay life and mana to draw cards anytime a friendly Elf dies.
Green and black come together in Abomination of Llanowar, a */* with vigilance and menace that grows according to the number of elves alive and dead on its side. Finally, Belbe, Corrupted Observer is a 2/2 that adds two colorless mana to a players mana pool for each opponent who lost life that turn. This creature doesn't have as much tribal synergy as the other three, but it can fuel some big-mana plays if the Elves deal damage to other players.
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Elf Warriors for the Deck
This Golgari-colored deck is primarily based on Elf synergy, but it's also capable of a wide variety of effects. To begin with, some of these Elves and their support spells care about +1/+1 counters, something that Elves have in common with this set's green-white midrange deck. Armorcraft Judge, for example, is an Elf Artificer that will draw a card for each allied creature that has a +1/+1 counter on it, and Immaculate Magistrate can tap to put many +1/+1 counters on another Elf creature.
For its part, Ivy Lane Denizen puts a +1/+1 counter on any friendly creature that enters the battlefield. Meanwhile, Imperious Perfect is an Elf lord at uncommon, and it can pay G and tap to create a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token. As for flying effects, Elves themselves don't fly, but they can handle fliers with Lys Alana Bowmaster, dealing two damage to flying creatures as Elves enter the battlefield. Reclamation Sage is a good way to destroy troublesome artifacts and enchantments, such as powerful Auras attached to enemy creatures or the many artifacts in the blue-black artifacts deck (an archetype roughly similar to the blue-white artifacts deck in Double Masters).
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Black mana adds some removal and life drain effect to the deck, and Gilt-Leaf Winnower is a semi-evasive 4/3 that can kill a non-Elf when it enters the battlefield if it doesn't have "square stats" (same power and toughness). Briarblade Adept is a 3/4 that can give a creature an opponent controls -1/-1 until end of turn, and it has Encore for 3B. Eyeblight Cullers, meanwhile, is a 3/3 Elf Warrior that creates three green 1/1 Elf Warrior creature tokens, then mill three.
The non-creature spells in this deck support its theme of Elf tribal, removal effects and +1/+1 counters, plus a little mana ramp. Lifecrafter's Gift is equally potent in an Elf deck and the Commander Legends green-white midrange deck, and it works best if some Elves already have +1/+1 counters on them. Ordeal of Nylea enchants a chosen hero, and adds +1/+1 counters as it attacks and rewards the player with two basic lands cards from the library.
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Ancient Animus is a fight effect, granting a +1/+1 counter onto a creature if it's legendary. And even if it's not legendary, that creature can still fight a creature an opponent controls. For example, a friendly Elf can be pumped with Immaculate Magistrate, then fight an opponent's creature. Strength of the Pack is costly at 4GG, but this sorcery can close games by putting two +1/+1 counters on all creatures its caster controls.
As for black mana, Eyeblight Massacre is one of a few one-sided sweepers in Commander Legends, giving -2/-2 to all creatures except Elves. Any creature that survives this massacre will be too weak to face the attacking Elves that swing during the combat step. Pride of the Perfect grants all friendly Elves +2/+0, and Murder is a generic but solid removal spell, costing 1BB to destroy a target creature. Finally, Cast Down is an instant costing 1B, capable of destroying any non-legendary creature on command.
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Elf is the green characteristic creature type. They are ubiquitous throughout the multiverse, second in prominence throughout the many worlds only to humans. Because of this, Elf is the characteristic race for the color green. Elves typically live in forests, and are close to the land. In the game itself, many elves produce additional mana. Most elves look much like humans, only with pointed ears. Some types of elves have very distinctive physical features, however, such as blue or green skin or elongated limbs.
Most elves live far longer than humans, but it's unclear exactly how much. Eladamri was over years old and considered to be in his prime. Ravnican elves not only live far longer than humans but also mature faster; it is unknown if this is common to all elves or just those of Ravnica.
Elves can be found in virtually every plane throughout the multiverse. To date, Amonkhet, Kamigawa, Ixalan, Ikoria, Mercadia, Rabiah, Tarkir, Theros, and Ulgrotha are the only natural planes to have no known races of elves, and only small portions of some of these have been seen. According to the creative team, Elves were once present on Innistrad, but were driven to extinction.
The former subtype Rider (Elven Riders) is incorporated into the Elf race.
While the Shards of Alara were separated, the Cylian elves only inhabited Naya, but after the Conflux they are free to roam the whole plane again. Their society is guided by a seer called the "Anima", which is related to their myth regarding Cylia. Their entire culture used to revolve around worshipping Progenitus, the god of creation, and making sure his slumber was not disturbed.
The Argothian elves lived on the forest island of Argoth from as early as the time of the Thran up until the Sylex Blast.
During his exile, Yawgmoth turned the Creeping Mold of Argoth into a virulent plague that ate away the elves there. He also kidnapped their priestess, Elyssendril Lademmdrith, and her healers, ordering the elves to pay ransom for their leader and their cure. When the elves paid, he delivered to them only sweetened water and 12 dead healers.
Elyssendril survived and was later part of the delegates sent to Halcyon on behalf of the Thran Alliance against Yawgmoth. During this time it was mentioned as she was of the Daelic elves, and that she represented a vast confederation of woodland nations on the Domains. Since Argoth is not part of the Domains, this is a bit of a mystery (though it might merely be that, like some real geographical terms, where the Domains precisely begins and ends is vague).
When, millennia later, Harbin stumbled upon Argoth, he was helped by an Argothian elf. This proved the doom of the island, however, for Harbin told his father Urza of the island. Urza soon traveled to it to use it for resources in his war against his brother Mishra; the Brothers fought over Argoth in the last campaign of their war. The elves and other forest dwellers fought valiantly, but ultimately they were all destroyed when Urza activated the Golgothian Sylex. The following Sylex Blast completely decimated the island, leaving only a small part behind that would later become Fyndhorn.
During the Dark, the descendants of the Argothian elves, the elves of the Shattered Isles, frequently hired themselves out as mercenaries to the humans of Terisiare, for it gave them an opportunity to vent their hatred of humankind in battle.
The Fyndhorn elves were the survivors of the Argothian elves. They were slightly more open than their ancestors, engaging in diplomacy with the humans of Kjeldor via the Juniper Order. When the Ice Age ended and the sea level rose, Fyndhorn was swallowed by the sea. Kaysa and Jaeuhl Carthalion led the refugees to Yavimaya.
Yavimayan elves have very spindly, elongated limbs. One notable difference between the elves of Yavimaya and those of other parts of Dominaria is the connection between the elves and Yavimaya itself. While all elves have strong ties to the land, the elves of Yavimaya are actually part of a hive culture, sharing the thoughts of Yavimaya simultaneously with their own. During the third phase of the Phyrexian Invasion, part of Yavimaya was displaced to Urborg. It is currently unknown if any elves from the Yavimaya "colony" are still living. Lord Windgrace is now the leader of the displaced portion of Yavimaya. In addition to the spindly, telepathic elves of Yavimaya, the forest also seemed to be home to some "normal" elves as well, including some barbaric elves with a warlike culture.
Elves of the Domains
Black elves were elves from the the Domains who lived in the forest of Glenar. They fought the forces of Red Donald and were forced to flee. They managed to poison him, but he recovered.
When Elyssendril Lademmdrith was sent to Halcyon on behalf of the Thran Alliance against Yawgmoth, it was mentioned that she was of the Daelic elves and that she represented a vast confederation of woodland nations on the Domains. Since Elyssendril was a priest of Argoth, which lies on Terisiare and not in the Domains, this was likely a mistake on the author's part.
Up until the Phyrexian Invasion, the Llanowar Elves were very xenophobic, and lived in seven kingdoms, called elfhames, in the forest of Llanowar. They worshiped the planeswalkerFreyalise as a goddess. Warriors among the Llanowar elves, especially the Order of the Steel Leaf elite, wear distinctive white skin-paint, tattoos, goggles, and a mohawk.
The Llanowar are long-lived even for elves. Those who avoid death can easily live to be a thousand years old. These elves are revered "millenaries" and their personal memories often outstrip the accuracy and depth of human accounts.
The Savaen elves live in Savaea, a forest on an island to the southeast of Aerona. Savaen culture placed great importance on the purity of the land. They had a brief era of prominence during the Dark.
The Skyshroud elves were one of many species and races transported by Phyrexians to Rath upon the artificial plane's creation. Much like everything else on Rath, their origins are lost to time. During the Rathi Overlay, the Skyshroud forest planeshifted to Keld, where the elves took up the worship of Freyalise. It is as yet unknown what happened to the elves after their goddess's death and Skyshroud's destruction in the Time Spiral crisis. Many of the elves of Skyshroud had pale gray or bluish skin with faint splotches on the sides of the face. As Dominaria's mana was sapped by time rifts, most Skyshroud elves became sickly and emaciated due to malnutrition.
Whispering Wood Elves
The elves of the Whispering Woods allied with the druidGreensleeves in her war against wizards.
The elves of Norwood inhabit the distant island-continent of Caliman on Dominaria. Norwood elves are very tall and have much longer ears than most other elves. They were in conflict with the humans of the Talas, and their warriors sometimes rode moose into battle.
The Quirion elves of Corondor were great allies of the forces of good. Their culture produced many explorers, and their magic was attuned to every color of mana. The Quirion elves organized into numerous different clans, each with their own leaders, called exarchs. Many Quirion elves, followers of the human wizard Mangara, immigrated to the southern continent of Jamuraa.
- Calthyn Elves
The Calthyn elves are a clan from the White Woods of Corondor, part of the Quirion Sovereign. They lived close to the River Estolade and were enemies of the Kieryn elves, who they fought in order to decide which tribe had the right to speak with the Great Spirit. One of their leaders was Exarch Finovar.
- Kieryn Elves
The Kieryn clan from the White Woods of Corondor, were part of the Quirion Sovereign. They lived near the River Estolade and were enemies of the Calthyn elves, who fought over the right to speak with the Great Spirit. The Kieryn used wing-capes to fly through the forest. They were led by Exarch Amadis, and met with Kristina of the Woods and Jared Carthalion.
As noted above, many Quirion elves migrated from Corondor to Jamuraa's northwestern subcontinent. In addition, a race of elves, some with dark brown skin, dwelt in Jamuraa's southern regions, near the Empire of Madara.
The elves of Sarpadia dwelt in the forest of Havenwood. When food supplies ran low because of the coming Ice Age, the Havenwood elves infused their fungus with magic in order to increase their growth, inadvertently creating the monstrous thallids, who overran the elves and caused their extinction. Havenwood elves looked much like elves elsewhere. Some of their warriors wore distinctive blue body paint.
The Garan elves lived on the highlands at the edges of the Tamingazin Valley. They could easily be mistaken for humans, as they were very similar in appearance — lacking even pointed ears. It was said that this ancient race possibly had a common ancestor with humankind. The main characteristic setting the Garan elves apart from humans was their great natural beauty and their wide eyes whose irises changed color according to their mood. Garan elves were also very deadly warriors, fighting solely with their own bodies and relying on their own speed, agility, and martial arts. Weapons were forbidden in their culture, and an elf who used them would be executed. They could be very brutal toward their own children, attacking them occasionally with fatal blows to teach them self-defense, killing those who were unable to defend themselves, ensuring that only the strongest children survive. They believe that in the afterlife they will find themselves in a place they call Tarak Ah. The history of the Garan elves before their arrival in the Valley is unknown. Some tales say that the Garan elves once used weapons, very long and flexible swords which could be used almost like lashes. None could stand against them, but one day conflict arose between them, and civil war almost engulfed their race. The survivors swore never to use a weapon again and to kill those who dared. The Garan has a strict hierarchy, the full name of every member is comprised of his or her first name followed by the rank.
Many people from the northern hemisphere fled to Otaria after the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria. The elves among these mainly came to live in the Wirewood Forest. The elves lived in a state of symbiosis with the native beasts and insects of the forest. When the Mirari started spreading its mana waves over the continent, many of the elves mutated; most became spindly creatures with plant-like features, while some became hulking brutes with barklike skin. It's unknown if all Wirewood elves were mutated, or if the mutations bred true.
Most Eldraine elves are lithe and stand just shorter than a human, with a range of skin tones and tall, pointed ears. They bear keen, quick expressions, and have an innate connection to the natural world.
The court of Locthwain is ruled by Queen Ayara, an ancient elf from the days of the former Elven Kingdom on Eldraine. There are more elves in the court, which is noble and graceful. They wear elaborate headdresses and elegant attire.
Elves of the Wilds
The elves of the Wilds have little in common with their kinfolk who have stayed in the Realm. They wear crowns of flowers and leaves in their hair and have clothing woven of flax and thistle. They are adept at hiding among the trees and attuned to the mana of the forests. Some of these elves actively hunt humans, just as they hunt deer and boars in the forest. Some call themselves knights, though the Realm would not recognize them as such. They ride giant foxes and wolves so they can bound through dense forests faster than any horse.
Elvish druids, respected for their wisdom, are the leaders of elf bands. When situations arise that concern the elves as a group, a council of all the druids convene to solve the problem. No single druid holds authority over the council, but by longstanding tradition, the five eldest druids hold seats of honor—representing the five magical sites of their ancient realm.
Elves on Fiora appear to be centered into their own nation, including the port-city of Trest, away from the High City. The current ambassador to the High Court of Paliano is Leovold of Trest, who has taken an interest in installing another elf, Selvala, as the head of Paliano.
The elves of Kaldheim live in the realm of Skemfar. The elves actually used to be gods, the Einir, before being replaced by the modern pantheon of the Skoti. After their defeat, the leaders of the elvish Einir were imprisoned inside trees and the race was split into two clans: Wood elves (green aligned) and Shadow elves (black aligned). These two factions were alienated from each other for ages until recently, when an elf named Harald united the warring clans and named himself king. The elves are looking to reclaim some of their lost glory, and the reunification of their society is a step toward that goal. Wood elves tend to have a more powerful and muscular build than Shadow elves.
Kaldheim elves carry weapons and wear armor made from an ancient, bronze-like metal. Each weapon is custom smithed for a single elf and is carried through that elf's lifetime, then melted down and re-shaped for the next generation.
The elves of Kaladesh are deeply in tune with the flow of aether and the subtle ways it influences and shapes the natural world. Their inventions are inspired by nature and in turn they inspire others, offering a vision of progress that is elegant, efficient, and harmonious with the Great Conduit's aether patterns. While most of them are not aligned with the Consulate, several live in Ghirapur and support its infrastructure, seeking to preserve the status quo and allow the aether cycle to turn. Only in rare cases do they take part in politics or resistance movements. In exchange, the Consulate grants them large judicial autonomy. Elves are tried under the Sunlit Path, an ancient code of conduct that has a variety of laws and punishments that seem minor to outsiders, but are viewed as harsh by the elves themselves.
While the Kaladeshi Elves do not organize themselves into tribes, certain factions have arisen. The Vahadar are the ones most regularly seen, as they do not shun the city and the company of other races, enjoying the prospect of taking part in the multi-faceted cycle. The Bishtahar faction instead dwells in rural regions, focusing on the interplay between aether and flora. The Tirahar have shunned technology completely, choosing to withdraw into the unclaimed wilderness of Kaladesh.
The Elves of Kylem rely on exquisite fighting techniques in combat and are known for crafting elegant and durable weapons. Although elves are less charismatic than other champions, the crowd of Valor's Reach loves watching them for their sheer fighting artistry. The stadium was founded through the patronage of elven founders, and they are the "old money" of Cloudspire City.
The elves of Lorwyn are the dominant race of the plane. Unlike other elves, they are a brutal race of supremacists who hide their savagery behind a facade of beauty and sophistication. They are obsessed with physical attractiveness and believe that those who do not meet their standards of perfection (including all races other than themselves) deserve nothing but extermination. The elves divide themselves into numerous tribes and castes, the most powerful of which is the Gilt Leaf. Lorwyn elves are tall and thin. They have ram-like horns (males' horns being longer than females') and cloven, deer-like hooves in place of feet. Unlike any other known race of elves, those of Lorwyn have relatively short life spans of about 30 to 40 years.
Here are four official ranks of Lorwyn elves, determined by the measure of beauty:
- Any elf who possesses the minimum threshold of beauty and grace is granted this basic rank.
- Dignitaries, VIPs, and higher-level functionaries among elves attain the rank of immaculate.
- Packmasters (lords of elvish hunting packs) and important courtiers are of exquisite rank. They have the privilege of being able to speak directly to perfects.
- The perfect are elves so beautiful and so shrewd that they rule all other elves. There are only a few of these in the world. Perfects can kill those of low rank with impunity (Note: This rank is "perfect" and not "prefect").
The elves of Lorwyn often hunt eyeblights, creatures who fail the elves' exacting standards of beauty and therefore have the lowest status in their eyes. But sometimes, instead, they create vinebred minions from such creatures. For this, the elves can animate a parasitic plant called nettlevines to bind around their victims, creating twisted, but powerful and eminently controllable minions.
In Lorwyn's counterpart, Shadowmoor, the elves are the only race that embraces a quest of preserving what they consider beauty. Physically they remain mostly the same except their horns which are covered with thorns.
The elves of Mirrodin were not native to that plane but were instead drawn therefrom some other world by Mirrodin's mad guardian, Memnarch. The Viridian elves resided in the vast copper forest known as the Tangle. They were staunch enemies of the myr and other artifact creatures. The elves held the Radix as a holy place and looked to the trolls of Tel-Jilad for spiritual guidance. They were in conflict with the vedalken of Lumengrid and their drones. Viridian elves were marked by their bright green or pale white skin, while the mycosynth growing within the plane caused them to grow intricate plates and spikes of copper across their bodies.
With the coming of New Phyrexia, many elves have been compleated by the glistening oil and become a part of the Phyrexian faction, the Vicious Swarm. Still residing in the Tangle they act as wardens, led by the de facto leader of the region Glissa. Now they accelerate the growth of the Phyrexian monstrosities which roam the forest or hunt down the last of their kin who still hide in the forest.
The Erstwhile is an ancient faction of elvish aristocrats that were entombed in the modern Undercity. The Golgari have unearthed their coffins and reanimated them as part of the Swarm. They still wear their stately attire, despite its moldering condition, and they lend an air of high culture to the undercity court of the Golgari.
Devkarin are the dark elves of Ravnica. Formerly, they made up one of the two elite classes of the Golgari, the other being the teratogens. They are presided over by their "Matka", a high priestess, who until recently was Savra. The current Matka is Izoni, Thousand-Eyed. The Devkarin are adept spellcasters counting most of the Golgari's shamans among their numbers. Some of the Devkarin wear Moodmarks, which are minor enchantments that appear as spots or markings on their foreheads and around their eyes (usually resembling insect eyes).
The Silhana are the Ravnican elves that are part of the Selesnya Conclave. The Silhana are master archers who stalk the rooftops of the city-plane. Some Silhana, the Elves of Deep Shadow, were cast out of the Conclave long ago and joined the Golgari.
There was once a third tribe of elves on Ravnica, one that became largely extinct during the pre-Guildpact wars; the survivors joined the Simic Combine. Little is known about them, but both the Devkarin and the Silhana believe they were very cruel and unpleasant. Simic elves seem to have been mostly bald. As time went by, almost all of the Simic elves subjected themselves to strange biological experiments, adding biomechanical implants or splicing their genes with those of other creatures, such as snakes.
The elves of Zendikar are a highly adaptive race that makes their homes in the treetops of Murasa and Bala Ged. Natural risk-takers, the elves have a strong survival instinct and fearless demeanor, making them well suited for life on this dangerous plane. They lack a formal religion, instead, they practice forms of mysticism as well as communing with the spirits of their ancestors.
The Joraga Nation was seated in the Tangled Vale portion of Bala Ged. Their leader was Speaker Nen, although the various tribes were only loosely connected. Each tribe followed the migratory pattern of a particular species of beast, adapting the creature into their magic and combat styles. Nomadic by nature, the Joraga eschewed outsiders and held even the other elves of Zendikar in disdain. With the coming of the Eldrazi, the Joraga were nearly eliminated.
Mul Daya Nation
Mul Daya was a secretive nation located in the Guum Wilds of Bala Ged. They could easily be recognized by their facepaint and tattoos. While their living leader was Hazzan, he himself followed the edicts of a centuries-old elvish spirit named Obuun. Through their leadership, the Mul Dayans became adept spies and assassins with the elite calling themselves "vine ghosts." Mul Dayan Soulspeakers openly practiced a blend of mysticism and necromancy to better commune with their ancestors. Special brakeguards were the only tribe members who could safely navigate the wilds.
Like the Joraga, most of the Mul Daya were wiped out by the Eldrazi.
Through the leadership of Speaker Sutina, the Tajuru nation had become the largest and most prominent elf faction on Zendikar. Basing society within the massive treetops of Murasa, the Tajuru were open to other races and highly skilled innovators. Their capital was the Tumbled Palace based on the cliffs of Sunder Bay. Before the creature died in the tentacles of Kozilek, Sutina often had been seen overlooking the water just before Lorthos, the Tidemaker appeared. Any connection between the two remains unknown. A later leader of the Tajuru was Nisede.
The Kazandu Splinter
The Kazandu Splinter is a small separate faction of elves located in Kazandu region of Murasa. Formerly Tajuru, they broke off from the nation refusing to see Speaker Sutina as their leader. Their life on the dangerous cliffsides and in the jaddi-trees has fundamentally changed their outlook from their former brethren.
The result of mating between elves and humans (or, more rarely, elves and other races), half-elves have shorter lifespans and less delicate features.
Gaea's Skyfolk were an indirect product of the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria. As the whole world mobilized its reserves, even ancient adversaries cooperated together, lending their diverse skills into the service of the common good. The Skyfolk were partially of merfolk and partially of elvish origin, combining the unique features and skills of both races into one. A detailed description of their abilities is not available, but the major one was the ability to fly. The details of the creation of these creatures are, however, not known.
- Feryar from Loch Prith in the service of Nazir. A shapeshifter able to take the form an owl.
- Argothian Elves
- Fyndhorn Elves
- Havenwood Elves
- Jamuraan Elves
- Llanowar Elves
- Madara Elves
- Norwood Elves
- Arathel — Queen of Norwood
- Otarian Elves
- Quirion Elves
- Skyshroud Elves
- Aelfra, member of the Council of Druids, and cousin of Ayara.
- Ilidon, a warlike young elf from the Wilds. Member of the Council of Druids.
- Devkarin Elves
- Silhana Elves
- Simic Elves
- Nissa Revane — a Joraga animist, turned planeswalker.
- Meroe — Nissa's mother, a Joraga animist without visions.
- Numa — the leader of Nissa's Joraga tribe
- Mazik — Nissa's childhood friend who accompanied her to Akoum.
- Nen — Speaker of the Joraga Nation
- Sutina — Speaker of the Tajuru Nation, killed by Eldrazi brood.
- Nisede — Speaker of the Tajuru Nation.
- Hiba — a Tajuru musician who befriended Nissa.
- Hazzan — leader of the Mul Daya Nation
- Mina and Denn, twin Mul Daya vine ghosts.
|This article or section discusses story elements that are not canonical. The story discussed here is based on another IP than Magic: The Gathering. It has no bearing on Magic continuity.|
Lorwyn block featured five tribal Elf cards, which could be fetched by Elvish Harbinger:
- Test cards
Harald, King of Skemfar
Elf tribal is returning to Magic: The Gathering within the Limited format via a Black and Green Midrange archetype in Kaldheim.
Midrange decks capitalize on being flexible, with touches of Aggro and Control built into them. BG in MTGKaldheim shifts from the typical Golgari “dying matters” Midrange archetype to a Midrange Elf tribal build that likes to go wide with tokens and reanimate from the graveyard. The goal behind drafting BG in KHM Limited is to use Elf synergies that will get stronger during the midgame and go lethal before running out of gas.
Here are the best Black/Green Elf cards to build around in Kaldheim Limited.
Harald, King of Skemfar is the official KHM Draft legend with the color combination of Black and Green. The elf warrior is a legendary creature (only one copy on the battlefield at a time) who has Menace, along with a CMC of 1(BG) and 3/2 stats. Harald, King of Skemfar can apply early pressure on an opponent via his usage of the keyword Menace. He also tutors for Elf and Warrior creature types from the library. Upon entering the battlefield, Harald’s controller can look at the top five cards of their library and reveal an elf, warrior, or Tyvar card to put in hand.
See Harald, King of Skemfar on Amazon
Low-cost creatures in a Midrange build allow a player to establish a board state during the early game. Elvish Warmaster accomplishes this in the GB KHM deck by creating a 1/1 Green Elf Warrior token whenever one or more other elves enter the battlefield under that player’s control. He’s a two-drop 2/2 who’s a solid first pick in Draft to build around. Elvish Warmaster can also function as a finisher, pumping all elves with +2/+2 and Deathtouch at the cost of 5(GG).
Due to Elvish Warmaster’s rarity of Rare, the Elf Warrior isn’t always an option. Other solid early-game cards include Duskwielder and Guardian Gladewalker. Duskwielder is a one-drop 1/2 that can block early Aggro creatures and has a Boast ability that shaves one life off your opponent while you gain one life. Guardian Gladwalker is a Changeling that places a +1/+1 counter on a target creature upon entering the battlefield. The Shapeshifter synergizes nicely with Deathknell Berserker, an elf two-drop 2/2 who creates a 2/2 token upon death if its power was three or greater.
Mid-game creatures are the foundation of the BG deck, providing powerful synergies, abilities, and solid stats. Elderfang Ritualist is a three-drop 3/1 who returns an elf card from the graveyard, to hand, upon death. Elderleaf Mentor creates a 1/1 Elf Warrior token upon entering the battlefield, which synergizes with Skemfar Shadowsage—a four-drop 2/5 Elf Cleric who deducts an opponent’s life total, or gains you life, based on the number of elves you control.
Bloodline Pretender is a Shapeshifter that lets its controller pick a creature type (Elf), who scales with +1/+1 counters every time an elf enters the battlefield. There’s also Littjara Glade-Warden, another Shapeshifter who can pump creatures with a +1/+1 upon exiling a creature from the graveyard.
If you high roll in Draft and come across a Canopy Tactician, the Rare Elf Warrior is a solid first pick, just like Elvish Warmaster.
Players can also choose to incorporate Snow into the BG Midrange Limited build, using cards like Boreal Outrider and Sculptor of Winter. Snow lands are a necessity when pulling off Snow synergy and are drafted like any other card in KHM Limited Draft. If youre playing around Snow in BG Midrange, Spirit of the Aldergard is also a solid four-drop option over Littjara Glade-Warden. Glittering Frost will work too but has a CMC of 2(G), competing with better three-drops.
Elven Bow is an Equipment in KHM that can add value to a number of creatures. It’s a one-drop that creates a 1/1 Elf Warrior token when an additional two mana of any color is paid upon casting. Elven Bow also provides +1/+2 to that created token and Reach. If the creature dies, Elven Bow remains and can be attached to another creature upon paying its Equip cost.
Elves don’t have a saga in KHM, but Binding the Old Gods slots right into the BG Midrange build. Its first chapter destroys a nonland permanent, while the second chapter searches for Forest. And the third chapter gives all creatures Deathtouch, which can tear apart an opponent’s board state when you have a battlefield full of elf tokens and creatures.
A number of spells bring together elf synergies within the BG Midrange build. Raise the Draugr is an Instant with a CMC of 1(B) that can either return two target creatures from the graveyard to hand that share a creature type (Elf). And go-wide boards can capitalize on Elven Ambush, another Instant with a CMC of 3(G) that creates a 1/1 Elf Warrior token for each elf you control.
Elven Ambush combos nicely with Skemfar Shaowsage, as does Return Upon the Tide. It’s a Sorcery speed spell that returns a creature to the battlefield. If that creature is an elf, it creates two 1/1 Elf Warrior tokens. Return Upon the Tide also uses the new KHM mechanic Foretell, providing an option to split its cost up over the course of two turns.
The BG Elf tribal Midrange build contains a solid number of removal spells, too. Feed the Serpent is a four-drop Instant that exiles a target creature or planeswalker. Weigh Down is a Sorcery spell that applies a -3/-3 to a target creature for a cost of (B) and exiling a creature from your graveyard. And Thornmantle Striker is an Elf Rogue that can double as removal upon entering the battlefield based on the number of elves you control.
All images via Wizards of the Coast.
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