Hello everyone! My name is Taras “taraaasyk” Kohut, and I am a competitive MTG player and streamer, and your two time (in a row) MTG Arena Zone Historic Open winner! From today, I would like to share my knowledge about the format with you. Core set 2021 released in MTG Arena not that long ago and did not drastically change the Historic metagame – Gruul Aggro, Nexus of Fate and Field of the Dead remain the decks to beat.
Read more: Jumpstart Historic Goblins Theorycraft
However, there is the new, even bigger expansion coming soon – Jumpstart releases to MTG Arena on July 16th and bringing almost 500 cards featuring reprints and even brand new cards! Each Jumpstart booster pack has an associated theme, and some of these are supported in Historic constructed with existing archetypes, and others could even spawn new ones. One deck that gets strong fresh cards that will power up already legal ones is Elves. This creature tribe has been getting some impressive support with each new set, including Historic Anthology.
Mono Green Elves
Elves have some common tribal deck features, such as the “lords” – creatures that give +1/+1 to specific creature types. it also has some unique features in that a lot of our Elves produce a lot of mana, which allows us to cast expensive mass pump effects (some of those are baked into our Elves as well) and kill an opponent with a single attack. Elves decks showed some significant results in different Eternal formats such as Pauper, Modern, and even Legacy. The play style is mostly similar:
- Fast mana acceleration
- Swarm of creatures strengthend by lords
- Combo finish with tutor effects and bigger pumps
After playing a bunch of Modern and Legacy elves, I could confidently present to you the following decklist, which is based on reliable old cards and promising fresh ones!
Jumpstart Historic Mono Green Elves Theorycraft
Those four cards are important additions that Jumpstart brings us. Elvish Archdruid is a Modern all-star, combines the aforementioned lord effect for our smaller creatures and an incredible mana ability. Dwynen’s Elite is an efficient creature that leaves two Elves for just 2 mana.
Allosaurus Shepherd is the new Elf that may see play not only in Historic but in other Eternal formats as well. It has a very strong mana sink ability, which is very well suited to finish the game with our horde of Elves. Ezuri, Renegade Leader was used for that purpose in Modern, but Shepherd is even better, being only a 1 mana creature that also makes your Elves unable to be countered.
Craterhoof Behemoth has been a long time partner of the Elf tribe, and in Historic you can search for it when the time is right with cards like Fauna Shaman or Finale of Devastation. This monster will get the job done when Shepherd is not enough.
We did not include:
- Selvala, Heart of the Wilds: Our creatures are too small to trigger the draw ability reliably.
- Rishkar, Peema Renegade: We don’t have any other +1/+1 counter sources.
- Oracle of Mul Daya: Expensive for this deck and does not provide any immediate impact and has no synergy with other elves.
- Wren’s Run Vanquisher: We are not interested in raw stats but this card could see play if we move in aggro direction (we are mostly “combo”).
All the other elves we play were good in old iterations of the deck. Important note: All the creatures listed above are Elves, so they are synergistic with our +1/+1 effects and other ones that care about having Elves on the battlefield. But we don’t play those cards just for the creature type! They are reasonable Magic cards on its own, and I will explain why.
There is mana acceleration in Llanowar Elves and Paradise Druid. Llanowar Elves is good because of allowing you to cast a 3 mana creature on turn 2, for example such as the Archdruid, giving our deck a powerful tempo advantage. Paradise Druid is not as explosive but still provides the ramp and mana fixing that we may need.
Elvish Clancaller and Imperious Perfect are our other +1/+1 Elf lords that also have an extra ability to use situationally.
Fauna Shaman and Finale of Devastation are our tutors to get our finisher from the deck once we have established a battlefield full of Elves and enough mana. Fauna Shaman, of course doubles as an Elf and gives us a way to exchange an extra copy of unneeded Llanowar Elves we drew on turn 7. Finale of Devastation is very versatile as we can find Llanowar Elves for 3 mana to ramp, Elvish Archdruid for 5 mana, for the +1/+1 effect to dominate the board or the best case scenario we can use it to finish an opponent if we have 12 mana available (and it’s not hard to achieve with this deck).
Steel Leaf Champion is a strong beater that can get through Field of the Dead Zombie tokens. It does not fit the game plan of the deck but the opportunity to pressure opponents on turn 2 with Llanowar Elves is too good to pass up. To finish, we have the card draw via Elvish Visionary and Beast Whisperer.
As for the sideboard, we can try the following options:
- Primal Might: One of the best removal spell Green got in a very long time, that scales very well with the amount of mana we can generate.
- Heroic Intervention: Protection from sweepers that we are vulnerable to.
- Lead the Stampede and Vivien Reid: Allows us to grind through removal and better filter through our deck.
- Variety of singleton creatures to search with Fauna Shaman and Finale of Devastation and act as silver bullets to cover a variety of situations. The ones here are suited to beat popular metagame decks such as Gruul, Nexus, and Field.
Our Elves deck does powerful things at a fast pace, so it should be a serious contender to other top strategies – Nexus, Gruul, and Field. We can modify the existing deck to make it more interactive by splashing one of two colors – black or blue. Be mindful of the fact that these splashes are not entirely free due to the limited amount of untapped dual lands in Historic.
Jumpstart Historic Simic Elves Theorycraft
Splashing Blue allows us to use counterspells such as Negate. It helps to cover Nexus of Fate match ups, while also being useful versus Control decks that look to disrupt our creatures.
Jumpstart Historic Golgari Elves Theorycraft
Splashing Black allows us to use Duress against Nexus and control and Maelstorm Pulse as a catch-all removal spell that can also get rid of all the Zombie tokens from Field of the Dead.
How do you like these decks? Do you think it will put up a glorious fight versus the format titans – Gruul, Nexus, and Field? Let us know what do you think – join our Discord server to discuss Historic and follow us on Twitter to get the news and updates first!