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CardShark Content - Wenhao Xia (1/31/2004)

When I take a look at the current standard metagame, I see three dominant decks. There’s affinity, Goblin (with and without bidding), and U/W control. There are some other decks that are starting to gain popularity. To name a few of them, there’s R/G LD, Various Goblin Charbelcher
Goblin Charbelcher
Goblin CharbelcherSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
176
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
3, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Goblin Charbelcher deals damage equal to the number of nonland cards revealed this way to target creature or player. If the revealed land card was a Mountain, Goblin Charbelcher deals double that damage instead. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
build, and astral slides are still being played. But for most part, the dominant decks are affinity, Goblin, and U/W.

And when there are only three dominant decks, you tend to get a little a bored. You can only take so much Goblin Piledriver
Goblin Piledriver
Goblin PiledriverSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
R
Number:
205
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from blue. Whenever Goblin Piledriver attacks, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn for each. other attacking Goblin.
, or cycled Eternal Dragon
Eternal Dragon
Eternal DragonSet: Scourge
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying.
3WW: Return Eternal Dragon from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.
Plainscycling 2
. So I looked through my numerous decks to see what I can play that’s different. And what I found was elves.

Creature (38)
4 Birchlore Rangers
Birchlore Rangers
Birchlore RangersSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
248
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Tap two untapped Elves you control: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.. Morph G (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

4 Wirewood Symbiote
Wirewood Symbiote
Wirewood SymbioteSet: Scourge
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
U
Number:
133
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Return an elf you control to its owner’s hand : Untap target creature. Play this ability only once per turn.

4 Wirewood Herald
Wirewood Herald
Wirewood HeraldSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
302
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Wirewood Herald is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for an Elf card. If you do, reveal that card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

4 Wirewood Hivemaster
Wirewood Hivemaster
Wirewood HivemasterSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever another nontoken Elf comes into play, you may put a 1/1 green
Insect creature token into play.

4 Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.

4 Timberwatch Elf
Timberwatch Elf
Timberwatch ElfSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Target creature gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of
Elves in play.

4 Bloodline Shaman
Bloodline Shaman
Bloodline ShamanSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
249
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Choose a creature type. Reveal the top card of your library. If that card is a creature card of the chosen type, put it into your hand. Otherwise, put it into your graveyard.

4 Viridian Shaman
Viridian Shaman
Viridian ShamanSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Viridian Shaman comes into play, destroy target artifact.
(Probably will change with Darksteel)
3 Caller of the Claw
Caller of the Claw
Caller of the ClawSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Caller of the Claw any time you could play an instant. When Caller of the Claw comes into play, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play for each nontoken creature put into your graveyard from play this turn.

1 Elf Replica
Elf Replica
Elf ReplicaSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Elf Replica: Destroy target enchantment.
(Probably will change with Darksteel)
1 Elvish Lyrist
Elvish Lyrist
Elvish LyristSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
248
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, tap, Sacrifice Elvish Lyrist: Destroy target enchantment.
(Probably will change with Darksteel)
1 Glissa Sunseeker
Glissa Sunseeker
Glissa SunseekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Brom
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike T: Destroy target artifact if its converted mana cost is equal to the amount of mana in your mana pool.


Land (22)
14 forest
4 Windswept Heath
Windswept Heath
Windswept HeathSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
328
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Windswept Heath: Search your library for a forest or plains card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

4 Wirewood Lodge
Wirewood Lodge
Wirewood LodgeSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
329
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. G, T: Untap target Elf.


Sideboard: (Change this depending on your environment)
4 Natural Affinity
Natural Affinity
Natural AffinitySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
260
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
All lands become 2/2 creatures until end of turn. They still count as lands.

3 Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic
Troll AsceticSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Troll Ascetic can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control. 1G: Regenerate Troll Ascetic.

3 Steely Resolve
Steely Resolve
Steely ResolveSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
286
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
As Steely Resolve comes into play, choose a creature type. Creatures of the chosen type can't be the targets of spells or abilities.

1 Caller of the Claw
Caller of the Claw
Caller of the ClawSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Caller of the Claw any time you could play an instant. When Caller of the Claw comes into play, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play for each nontoken creature put into your graveyard from play this turn.

4 Fecundity
Fecundity
FecunditySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
251
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, that creature's controller may draw a card.


Please don’t stop reading because its elves, your be surprised at how efficient this deck is. Now for a quick card by card analysis

Birchlore Ranger - A great card for elves. This card will let you amount to huge amount of mana quickly. There really is nothing more to say about this card, this is a necessity in any elf deck.

Wirewood Symbiote
Wirewood Symbiote
Wirewood SymbioteSet: Scourge
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
U
Number:
133
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Return an elf you control to its owner’s hand : Untap target creature. Play this ability only once per turn.
– Once again, a card that is needed in any elf deck. The true ability of this card is not in that it can untap your creatures (though that’s definitely a useful a ability on those Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.
s or Timberwatch Elves. The thing about the Symbiote is that it can save any of your Elves from destruction. And you can also use it on Caller of the Claw
Caller of the Claw
Caller of the ClawSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Caller of the Claw any time you could play an instant. When Caller of the Claw comes into play, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play for each nontoken creature put into your graveyard from play this turn.
to get some sick number of bears.

Wirewood Herald
Wirewood Herald
Wirewood HeraldSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
302
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Wirewood Herald is put into a graveyard from play, you may search your library for an Elf card. If you do, reveal that card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
– You can’t make an elf deck without this card. Remember demonic tutor… Well, this is the demonic tutor for the elf deck. This will allow you to fetch either the lyrist, or the replica against enchantment, Viridian Shaman
Viridian Shaman
Viridian ShamanSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Viridian Shaman comes into play, destroy target artifact.
against artifacts. But you’ll mainly use him to fetch Caller against mass removal spells.

Wirewood Hivemaster
Wirewood Hivemaster
Wirewood HivemasterSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever another nontoken Elf comes into play, you may put a 1/1 green
Insect creature token into play.
– This is one crazy card. Every time you play a creature, you get another one. This card and the Symbiote can lead to some sick number of insects.

Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.
– We all know that life gains are bad for constructed play. But when it comes in the form of insane amount of life each turn, then it’s not that bad. You’ll usually never want to attack with this creature, just hold him back to gain life. (This does not mean that you can never attack with the Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.
. When you are at high enough life, that extra six life won’t be much different, while one more damage to your opponent might be more useful).

Timberwatch Elf
Timberwatch Elf
Timberwatch ElfSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Target creature gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of
Elves in play.
– An elf decks win condition. Just attack with all of your elves and insect, and either pump the one that gets through for huge amount of damage, or pump the one that they blocked to kill their creature. You’ll usually need one of these to win. (Though not always)

Bloodline Shaman
Bloodline Shaman
Bloodline ShamanSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
249
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Choose a creature type. Reveal the top card of your library. If that card is a creature card of the chosen type, put it into your hand. Otherwise, put it into your graveyard.
– This card will lead to sick amount of card advantage. You’ll usually want to untap the shaman with the Symbiote if you’re not untapping your Timberwatch elf for the win. (In case you want to know, I’d name elf with this deck)

Viridian Shaman
Viridian Shaman
Viridian ShamanSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Viridian Shaman comes into play, destroy target artifact.
– This is your artifact kill in the deck. Although don’t be afraid to play it without an artifact. You don’t have to wait for the goblin player to play that pyrite spellbomb to play this. The reason I said that it’ll probably change with darksteel is that darksteel provide us with another way to deal with both artifact and enchantment in the form of Viridian Zealot
Viridian Zealot
Viridian ZealotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Kev Walter
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Tel-Jilad Zealot: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
. The Zealot is a rare though, so if you don’t have access to it, feel free to use the shamans.

Caller of the Claw
Caller of the Claw
Caller of the ClawSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Caller of the Claw any time you could play an instant. When Caller of the Claw comes into play, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play for each nontoken creature put into your graveyard from play this turn.
– This is the card that will let you deal with mass removal. With three main decked, and four Elvish tutors to fetch it if they decide to wrath or vengeance. They better have mana to counter this, or they will be taking a lot of damage from bears.

Elf Replica
Elf Replica
Elf ReplicaSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Elf Replica: Destroy target enchantment.
and Elvish Lyrist
Elvish Lyrist
Elvish LyristSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
248
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, tap, Sacrifice Elvish Lyrist: Destroy target enchantment.
– They are your enchantment destruction elves. Fetch it with elvish tutor if you need them. Once again, I feel that Viridian Zealot
Viridian Zealot
Viridian ZealotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Kev Walter
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Tel-Jilad Zealot: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
is probably a better choice.

Glissa Sunseeker
Glissa Sunseeker
Glissa SunseekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Brom
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike T: Destroy target artifact if its converted mana cost is equal to the amount of mana in your mana pool.
– Fetch this against affinity, or against any deck that runs too much artifacts for you to kill with the Shaman.

Wirewood Lodge
Wirewood Lodge
Wirewood LodgeSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
329
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. G, T: Untap target Elf.
– Untapping stuff is good, so we include this cards.

Now for some match up analysis

Affinity 80%-20%

Affinity is your best match up, because you’ll completely kill them with this deck. While not only do you have the Shamans, you can also fetch Glissa Sunseeker
Glissa Sunseeker
Glissa SunseekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Brom
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike T: Destroy target artifact if its converted mana cost is equal to the amount of mana in your mana pool.
out. And affinity players really don’t like Glissa. Also, they just can’t counter enough of your threats. Their only chance is to get a huge Broodstar
Broodstar
BroodstarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
10
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to play for each artifact you control.) Flying Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
out fast, otherwise, they’re doomed.

Watch out for different affinity builds though. Especially the minds desire affinity build. I suggest you get a Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.
if you know you’re going to be facing minds desire. (They win by a huge tendril of agony, so it makes it kind of hard with Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.
in play)

Goblin 55%-45%

This really depends on what kind of goblin decks do they run. You really don’t like a late game bidding (even though you can get all of your elves back, they’ll just machine gun them with goblin sharpshooter).

Make sure to side in Steely Resolve
Steely Resolve
Steely ResolveSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
286
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
As Steely Resolve comes into play, choose a creature type. Creatures of the chosen type can't be the targets of spells or abilities.
against goblins, a steely resolve plus a Wellwisher
Wellwisher
WellwisherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
C
Number:
300
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: You gain 1 life for each Elf in play.
is really problematic for goblins.

U/W Control 35%-65%

This is a hard game for you. They have way too much mass removal. Always remember to fetch the Caller if you wish to survive, though they probably have counterspell waiting.

After sideboard, things gets a bit better as you can bring in fecundity and effectively neutralize there mass removal. Natural affinity is also in there to fight against mass removal, as all you have to do is play natural affinity in response; they usually have to counter it as they can not afford to lose all of their land. This will leave you open for a Uncountered caller, which usually will ends games if they can not follow it up with another mass removal.

This is a bit of testing against the major Decks in standard format. Try to play elves next time, and you’ll see that it’s quite a good deck in today’s environment. There’s also a new elf deck that utilized Intruder Alarm
Intruder Alarm
Intruder AlarmSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Creatures do not untap during their controllers' untap phases.Whenever any creature comes into play, untap all creatures.
for sick things. The deck is called Elvish Wedding and possibly works even better than regular elf deck. I’ll have to get around to that later, but for now, give elves a try; you won’t be disappointed with your result.


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