little while back, here on Daily Decks, we talked about a new deck that looked to abuse Primal Surge. Now, Primal Surge is quite the unique card and building around it can be tough, making for decks that are likely just below the competitive threshold, but still offer a lot of fun and potential. Within the shell that contained Primal Surge, though, secretly a competitive deck might have been hiding out the whole time. Once you can move past the ten-mana sorcery, the bunch of Elves that remained actually looked pretty formidable. In order to see their true potential, Primal Surge would have to stop being the focal point of the deck...
Robert Castro did just that at a recent TCGPlayer.com Open in Providence, Rhode Island. Robert decided that while Primal Surge was cute, what he really wanted to do was make pointy-eared friends and beat down. Robert recognized that while Elves are a strong tribal deck with plenty of lords to choose from and plenty of support to fill out a decklist, by going strictly tribal you miss out on some of the best reasons to go green. So rather than cut ramp entirely, this list kept just enough to offer that mid- to late-game pressure, without being so all-in that it was trying to hit ten each game. Craterhoof Behemoth, Soul of the Harvest, Thragtusk, and Silklash Spider are all strong cards to naturally build toward or fetch out with your reliable Green Sun's Zeniths. The deck can kick everything into a whole different gear with Genesis Wave, which offers a robust late-game option.
As for the Elves themselves, they are far from shy here. The duo of Arbor Elf and Llanowar Elves provide the deck with a lot of firepower right out of the gate, allowing the deck to accelerate straight into three mana. From there, the lords take over, with Elvish Archdruid being the scariest of the bunch. Beyond just the Elf stat boost, Archdruid allows for the deck's most explosive draws, even allowing a potential turn-four kill thanks to a Craterhoof Behemoth. Adaptive Automaton and Ezuri, Renegade Leader also fill in the parent role, allowing all of your small Elves to get that much bigger. This double-pronged approach allows the deck to transition between beatdown and combo pretty easily, making the Elf deck a blast to pilot at just about any level of play!
Robert Castro's Elves
Standard – Top 8, TCGplayer Open 5K, Providence