Testing Collected Company Elves: Video

collected company elves

Last week I went in-depth on Collected Company in Elves, and threw together a strong starting brew for what I believe could be the best way forward for the little green guys (and gals). Today I put that list through some preliminary testing in the MTGO tournament practice room to get a feel for the list and to get an idea of what we should change before diving into a more competitive setting. See for yourself below.

Collected Company Elves in Action

I’m currently missing Spellskite, Cavern of Souls, Horizon Canopy, and Pendelhaven, so the list in the video is a little different to what you saw last time. But this is preliminary testing and the core is very much there, so it doesn’t hurt much. Also, I’m testing Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx because CurdBros — an MTGSalvation user and Modern Nexus reader — saw very good results with it in his brief testing of my list.

Elves by Sean Ridgeley

Creatures (35)
Elvish Mystic
Llanowar Elves
Heritage Druid
Nettle Sentinel
Devoted Druid
Elvish Visionary
Elvish Archdruid
Ezuri, Renegade Leader
Fauna Shaman
Eternal Witness

Instants (7)
Collected Company
Chord of Calling

Lands (18)
15 Forest
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Sideboard (10)
Essence Warden
Scattershot Archer
Scavenging Ooze
Choke
Reclamation Sage
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I face four different decks in the video: Grixis Delver, Storm, 4c Slivers, and Scapeshift. Excepting the two rough tempo losses against Delver due to never drawing a second land, Elves performs very well and consistent overall. In theory, Elves should be heavily favored against Delver, since it plays fair and we do not. Electrolyze can be a pain, but we do run a lot of 2 toughness creatures, and Pendelhaven will help with the 1 toughness guys.

Testing Impressions

Some things to take away from this:

  • A lot of Elves players will say the deck just fine on one land, but this is often not true. It’s why I run 18 instead of 17 ( and there’s an outside chance we should run 19). 17 or less is appropriate in Legacy where there are more ways to work through a one land game, but Modern requires more. 18 land felt very good in these games (again, excepting the Delver games).
  • With Grixis Delver on the rise, Scapeshift still a bit of a thing, and Twin very much a thing, Cavern of Souls should probably be in the maindeck. In combination with Nykthos and with both cards in the right amounts (maybe 3 of each), there should almost never be casting issues. The GGG cost on Chord might dissuade you, but remember creatures can count toward it.
  • This deck is fast. Thanks in part to Nykthos, it’s entirely possible to win turn 3. Statistically, especially considering disruption, it’ll probably happen 10% of the time or less, but it can happen, and that’s important.
  • Nykthos lines up mathematically very well with the rest of the deck, particularly Ezuri. Often I had just the right amount of elves to power up Nykthos, activate Ezuri, and swing for lethal (other times I had an extra mana or two for regeneration backup). Needing to tap less elves to use his ability means more attackers, which means a quicker deck.
  • 3-of Nykthos and Chord feels right. Neither were an issue at these counts (excepting one game where I opened with two Chords), but I suspect they would be at 4.

chord of calling

  • Eternal Witness should probably be sideboarded or cut. She’s good, but slots are limited. Spellskite and Ooze mainboard (more, if we already run either) are going to be useful more often in that slot instead. Witnessing a Company is cute, but usually unnecessary; her ability to recur creatures is nice, but usually too slow to matter in my previous experience.
  • Fauna Shaman does work and is a great way to help fill the void left by Glimpse of Nature and Green Sun’s Zenith, along with Chord and Company.
  • Choke is stupid good, as usual. We should maybe run more.
  • Splashing white is probably a good choice for certain metas (e.g. Aven Mindcensor vs Scapeshift), but generally speaking, monogreen is best, especially when we consider Nykthos.
  • The Fauna Shaman/Vengevine plan sideboard could still be worth testing, at least for certain metas.
  • Chord and Company at instant speed are great weapons against disruption; often you’ll wait for them to tap down mana, then cast either. Or they wrath and you cast either at the end of their turn and recover. It’s equally effective and satisfying, which is part of the reason I’m completely convinced now that Chord should be in the deck and not Summoner’s Pact.

Updating the List

Based on that, below is my updated list, which I’ll take to a daily soon.

Elves by Sean Ridgeley

Creatures (35)
Elvish Mystic
Llanowar Elves
Heritage Druid
Nettle Sentinel
Devoted Druid
Elvish Visionary
Elvish Archdruid
Ezuri, Renegade Leader
Fauna Shaman
Scavenging Ooze
Spellskite

Instants (7)
Collected Company
Chord of Calling

Lands (18)
11 Forest
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Cavern of Souls
Pendelhaven
Sideboard (15)
Essence Warden
Scattershot Archer
Spellskite
Scavenging Ooze
Choke
Reclamation Sage
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Closing Thoughts

The 4 Sage plan is something I picked up from MTGSalvation — I like it with Company and could see it proving strong or at least sufficient versus Affinity and Auras. Failing that, we swap some out for Fracturing Gust.

The board is still something of a work in progress. I’ll feel more or less confident in it as I play with the deck more. Once I’m satisfied, I’ll be sure to fill you guys in on sideboard plans.

Stay tuned, because this one has promise. If it lives up to it, there will be plenty of daily footage to come.

Sean is a Magic Online grinder that’s been playing Modern since 2012. His background comprises a combined 10 years of journalism study and practice. You can find him on Twitter @regalforce.

13 thoughts on “Testing Collected Company Elves: Video

  1. I just loaded this into tappedout. To say this deck can be explosive is an understatement. I cannot help but want to include a singleton Craterhoof though.

  2. Don’t know about elves but I’ve bumped into a couple of naya shard lists using collective company and the results have been compelling.

    It always feels bad when they EoT company or mid-combat company – as you know you’re in for something like goyf+smiter or KotR+ooze. Heck even just nacatl+goyf is kind-of value.

    vs one nykthos build the guy goes main phase collected company, hits 2 burning tree emissaries and casts fanatic of mogis for 5 to the dome. Now that one in particular was kind of a joker deck, but still pretty explosive!

    I think this card is going to find a solid home and become a meaningful part of the modern meta.

  3. so in game one against slivers, when you were struggling with the devoted druid, next time tap the druid, float the mana, and untap before you try and cast chord. it should work like that

  4. My list is different, I am currently testing it in cock a trice, take a look:

    Main deck (60 cards)

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Breeding Pool
    3 Forest
    4 Misty Rainforest
    1 Temple Garden
    2 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    17 lands

    4 Elvish Archdruid
    1 Dryad Arbor
    1 Craterhoof Behemoth
    4 Heritage Druid
    3 Arbor Elf
    4 Llanowar Elves
    1 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
    1 Regal Force
    4 Elvish Mystic
    4 Nettle Sentinel
    1 Eternal Witness
    4 Elvish Visionary
    32 creatures

    2 Chord of Calling
    4 Collected Company
    1 Summoner’s Pact
    1 Cloudstone Curio
    3 Beck / Call
    11 other spells

    Sideboard (15 cartas)

    2 Scavenging Ooze L
    2 Reclamation Sage
    4 creatures

    4 Thoughtseize – Against Infect and any control/combo decks
    3 Dromoka’s Command – Good Against Burn ( Kills eidolon and fights a threat, or prevents damage from a spell) Good Against Infect (kills a threat) Good Against Bloodmoon + Lightning Bolts decks and Kills Pestermite
    2 Primal Command – Life + Cleaning the graveyard or Searching for a Finisher
    2 Creeping Corrosion – Affinity
    11 other spells

  5. Hey Sean. Game 1 against scapeshift you could have killed him the turn he shocked himself for snapcaster-crytic-tap. if you chord for nettle sentinel on endstep instead of holding the chord, when he goes to tap your team you can tap archdruid and llanowar to overrun with ezuri, wait until he cryptics and untap your sentinel by chording for something. obviously you won the game anyway, but you were dead (i believe) to him having the scapeshift + elder on the following turn.

  6. My list was updated and with awesome results, you should try it:

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Cavern of Souls
    4 Forest
    4 Misty Rainforest
    3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
    1 Overgrown Tomb

    1 Dryad Arbor
    4 Elvish Archdruid
    1 Spellskite
    4 Heritage Druid
    1 Arbor Elf
    4 Llanowar Elves
    1 Essence Warden
    1 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
    4 Elvish Mystic
    4 Nettle Sentinel
    1 Eternal Witness
    4 Elvish Visionary
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Craterhoof Behemoth
    1 Regal Force

    4 Chord of Calling
    4 Collected Company
    1 Summoner’s Pact

    SB: 2 Choke
    SB: 3 Thoughtseize
    SB: 2 Abrupt Decay
    SB: 2 Fracturing Gust
    SB: 1 Scavenging Ooze
    SB: 1 Reclamation Sage
    SB: 2 Obstinate Baloth
    SB: 2 Golgari Charm

  7. Turn 3-4 Kill almost all the games that I won. Alternative kill cons and responses to many things/combos in the sideboard

    SB: 2 Choke
    SB: 3 Thoughtseize
    SB: 2 Abrupt Decay
    SB: 2 Fracturing Gust
    SB: 1 Scavenging Ooze
    SB: 1 Reclamation Sage
    SB: 2 Obstinate Baloth
    SB: 2 Golgari Charm

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