Elf archetype Jul 5, 2016, 3:02 PM
B4L4 With Eternal Masters rarity downgrades, i.e. Elvish Vanguard going from rare to common, the "Elf archetype" receives another bomb.

It made me wonder if the deck could drop Distant Melody (currently the most successful and popular build) and stay mono-green. The idea is to give up on some of the most explosives, yet clunky elements of Elves (Distant Melody, Priest of Titania) and build a more straightforward, stable and board-dominating deck.

Here are the core elements (45 cards) common to both the Melody and the mono-green build :
13 Forest
4 Wirewood Symbiote
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Timberwatch Elf
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Birchlore Rangers
4 Nettle Sentinel
8 Llanowar-like

Then you basically make the switches listed below :
1 Island <-> 1 Forest
4 Priest <-> 4 Llanowar-like
4 Sylvan Ranger <-> 4 Elvish Vanguard
4 Distant Melody <-> 4 Lys Alana Huntmaster
1 Viridian Longbow <-> 1 Wellwisher
1 Shaman of the Pack <-> 1 Imperious Perfect

The result is a deck which can still consistently goldfish on turn 4/5, despite abandoning the combo elements (Priest, Melody, Longbow, Shaman of the Pack). We are more resilient to Electrickery / E.Plague because of Elvish Vanguard, Lys Alana Huntmaster and Imperious Perfect.

What are your thoughts on this dear peasant players ?

last page
stopostit Jul 5, 2016, 4:38 PM Don't you need a way to refuel once you've swarmed the board ? Or do you focus on the Lys Alana/Imperious Perfect interaction with Vanguard ?

GalacticPresident Jul 5, 2016, 7:40 PM It definitely felt very strong when I played againt you. Refueling still exists in a mighty way via Elvish Visionary bounce. Didn't you play Multani's Acolyte as well? Together with Symbiote it made a good impression, although it is quite a bit worse without it.
The fact that Elvish Vanguard is strong against the designated archenemy of the archetype, sweepers (even Crypt Rats usually), makes it a must-have imo, whatever version you play. If you go for Huntmaster or Melody... hard to say but Melody seems to be the stronger card. Huntmaster allows for earlier beatdown and doesn't die to Plague, but it still dies to Bolt.
In the 4/6 tourney you didn't play Melody but you still played Priest. Was it not that good or why would you ditch it? It still seems powerful if you want to regularly bounce Visionaries and play Huntermasters but maybe regular mana elves do that just fine.
I just don't see the clear distinction between the two versions you described. Why not run Melody, Vanguard and Imperious Perfect to still have the mighty draw spell available but still be better set up against Plague than before?

Toufmade Jul 5, 2016, 7:45 PM You forgot Umbral Mantle in the Uncos slot I think. Anyway, nice primer =)

stopostit Jul 6, 2016, 8:04 AM Umbral mantle is quite nice with priest but it really felt like overkill when i tried it (the infinite combo may just be too cute). At the moment i'm using sylvan messenger but imperious perfects seems cool in that slot!!

sister_morphine Jul 6, 2016, 10:37 AM It's indeed a very strong built. In my opinion the monogreen version is simply more powerfull then every splashy-built could possibly be. The reason for this lies exactly in distant melody: It slows down the earlygame and makes - once resolved - the midgame a powerhouse. But elves is all about beatdown, in T3 all the necessary evil should be on the table to pull the trigger. So basically melody weakens the main strategy.
Only if this does somehow not work, since only manaelves were in your openening hand, distant melody can safe the day. But simply taking a mulligan might help, too :-)

Disadvantages of Melody:
- Slows down explosive starts
- Superweak against counterpells
- Does not rescue anything against sweapers like firespout or the like, since the sweaper reduces the amount of carddraw almost to nothing
- if u draw nuts with it, u would win anyway

- Let's u keep some weaker hands w.o. the matchwinning elves
- Beats every grindy strategy that somehow survives the earlygame

Btw: Taking out the longbow/shaman of the pack should be also a metabased dicission: Having no option against fog-decks might be a problem.

A thought: maybe one 'worldly tutor' could be cool - and 3 instaed of 4 symbiotes? With Visionary it's even an instant 'fetch what u need'-spell.

B4L4 Jul 6, 2016, 11:51 AM Current decklist : "Warrior Elves"

14 Forest
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Birchlore Rangers
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Wirewood Symbiote
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Elvish Vanguard
4 Timberwatch Elf
4 Lys Alana Huntmaster
1 Imperious Perfect
1 Wellwisher

SB: 4 Spidersilk Armor
SB: 3 Gleeful Sabotage
SB: 3 Relic of Progenitus
SB: 3 Wellwisher
SB: 2 Gut Shot

@stopostit : We swarm the board, but we do it "better" than the Melody version. More Llanowar-like, Vanguard, Lys Alana and Imperious = more board presence than Priest, Sylan Ranger, Viridian Longbow, Melody and Shaman of the Pack. Thus we hope it's enough to win without relying on the mighty Melody.

Regarding Distant Melody, i'd say that the card is frequently "win-more". Sure sometimes it's game winning, but it's also a brick in some close MUs were you face a lot of removal and struggle to have 2+ elves on the board or struggle to reach 3U mana. Not a bad card, but a lot of variance associated with it, for instance it forces you to run 1 Island and 4 Sylvan Ranger MD. Opening 7 containing the single Island as your only land are miserable. And Sylvan Ranger is not an exciting card at all.

Without the "combo kill" (Longbow or Shaman of the Pack), we are really soft to Spore Frog lock, thus you need some numbers of Relic and Sabotage in your SB (which are good cards in other MUs aswell)

@GalacticPresident : Multani's Acolyte slots are in competition with the 4th Lys Alana Huntmaster and the MD Wellwisher. Acolyte job is to add consistency, but i feel like this version is already robust and i'd rather have the impact of Lys Alana and Wellwisher.

In the tourney were i played 4 Priest and 0 Melody MD, Priest was okay but not really needed anymore without Melody. Sometimes a Llanowar-like would have been better. Playing 12 Llanowar-like in the current version allow for consistent T1 Llanowar-like, thus you always have your T2 acceleration. On turn 2 you really want to start growing your Vanguard or deploy Timberwatch. Priest = T3 acceleration, your most expensive spells are 5 ccm3 (Timberwatch and Imperious) and 4 ccm4 (Lys Alana). Lys Alana Huntmaster is a T3 play with or without Priest anyway.

But nothing is set in stone, if someone finds a build were Melody can co-exist with Vanguard and some number of Lys Alana, it could be very good.
Currently i am on the verge of removing 1 Llanowar-like, 1 Lys Alana and 1 Wellwisher from the MD. This open 3 slots for impactful commons in Elves, if you guys have suggestions ;-)

@Toufmade : I share the same feeling with stopostit, Umbral Mantle is kinda overkill. It's really clunky without Priest. And if you Priest lives, you should be in a good spot anyway. Another possible strong Unco in Warrior Elves is Gempalm Strider (i heard uncounterable pseudo-overrun are good with 46 MD creatures (with 28 ccm1 and Lys Alana tokens)).

sister_morphine Jul 6, 2016, 12:56 PM @B4L4: So we agree on Melody: a winmore, that makes the build in summa weaker.
What do u think about 'Worldly Tutor'?
To the 3 remaining slots: with vanguard in play 'trample' seems attractive, especially if the swarm-timberwatch-option is not at hand. Maybe 'Rancor' or 'Elvish Herder' or 'Llanowar Augur'?

zombie33 Jul 6, 2016, 1:01 PM What about Taunting Elf ?

GalacticPresident Jul 6, 2016, 1:14 PM Elvish Herder or Might of the Masses if you want to be more aggressive, Acolyte for consistency.

zombie33 Jul 6, 2016, 1:19 PM Llanowar Sentinel + Priest could be another aggresive way to build an aggro elf