Playing Elves in SKL by Calvin Lai

Hi all! My name’s Calvin, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be invited as a guest writer for Void and Moon. I’ve been playing TCGs for a while now, mostly Yu-gi-oh and MTG, but I’ve fallen in love with Force of Will. I really enjoy creating decks and understanding meta’s, so I hope I’ll be able to display what I’ve learned to help you all!

The Origin of Elves

With the time that has passed since The Seven Kings of the Land was released, everyone is starting to get comfortable and familiar with new interactions, leading to more and more creative decks. I love this spirit of innovation and so I’d like to talk about cool ideas for deck building! For this article, I’ll be discussing an old deck that I think might make a comeback: elves.

Christie,_the_Wind_TrackerBack when Moon Priestess Returns came out, a build surfaced that revolved having Christie, the Wind Tracker as a Ruler and utilizing Silver Bullet to create a wind toolbox. It ran the elves available at the time, along with Moojdart, the Fantasy Stone and resonators like Elvish Exorcist, ending the game with a field full of Elves and multiple Fina, the Silver Player. When more and more elves got released, notably Fiethsing, the Magus of Holy Wind, Guide of Heaven, and the most important one, Christie, the Warden of Sanctuary, the elf deck found itself with more tools to play with. Unfortunately, we found ourselves in a format that revolved around the fast-paced Bahamut decks, and the deck was unable to keep up at all, requiring at least four to six turns to prepare.

A New Twist on an Old Favorite

With the release of The Seven Kings of the Land, the elf deck gained ways beat the early game power it had so much trouble dealing with before, and use their superior board to overrun the opponent with gigantic Elvish Priest. In today’s meta many decks have made appearances, varying from extremely fast ruler-centric strategies like the 28 Regalia Cain, to Knights of the Round Table rush, to mid-range decks like Valentina, Pricia, and Arla, to finally late-game oriented control decks utilizing the power of Vlad.

I’m going to split this deck list into cores, because I’d like you the reader to take these pieces and use them as a springboard to deck build with. There certainly isn’t any sort of ‘best’ build, but this was my interpretation of how to deal with the meta. The elvish core consists of:

4 Elvish Priest 4 Christie, the Warden of Sanctuary
4 Fina, the Silver Player 3 Guide of Heaven 
2 Fiethsing, the Holy Magus of the Wind

Christie,_the_Warden_of_SanctuaryElvish Priest helps you ramp up. Christie with Fina are good win conditions, so these three cards fully deserve a full play set [of four] in the deck. Two Christie resolved on the field means that you do not have to worry about any sort of targeted removal anymore, locking your opponent out of interacting with your field (outside of battle). In a control match-up, that is devastating. Guide of Heaven is essential to access these pieces, but too many can result in a hand that curves out too strongly. I’d like to see at least one in order to start building hand advantage, and it’s a very useful elf. Only two copies of Fiethsing are played solely because her cost is great, and many of the decks out there are too fast for us to put Fiethsing to use. However, it’s still great ramp, a great body and great at stalling out important turns.

The green control package consists of:

3 Xeex the Ancient Magic  3 Absolute Cake Zone
 2 Law of Silence

Xeex is staple to deal with troublesome resonators, as well as making sure your field doesn’t die to removal. Absolute Cake Zone serves the same purpose, but is used to deal with opponent’s counter spells and spot removal. Finally, Law of Silence is key in landing our Christie’s out into the field, as well as making tempo plays, essentially blocking out an aggressive opponent’s turn.

Finally there are the non-elvish wind resonators that I feel are almost staple to the deck:

3 Gretel 4 Ratatoskr, the Spirit Beast of Yggdrasil

Ratatoskr,_the_Spirit_Beast_of_YggdrasilOnly three Gretel are run simply to not conflict with Guide of Heaven’s effect, as well as not clogging your hand in those aggro matchups. Often one Gretel is more than enough. Ratatoskr, a shiny new card from SKL, doesn’t really deal with aggro decks, but serves an insane utility role in the deck. The ability to quick-cast our elves has great implications: we’re able to dodge spot removal by quick-casting in Christie or Fina; we’re able to make efficient use of our magic stones in comparison to a control deck by quick-casting in our resonators at the end of our opponent’s turn. (They have to use magic stones from their turn in order to deal with our previous turn.) Finally we are able to keep recovered magic stones for our control spells to deal with threats, instead of tapping out and leaving an open turn for our opponent.

These three components are our basic green engine, and serve as the main core to the deck. From here, we have access to new cards and colors to play around with.

Two Rulers to Choose From

At this point, we need to consider what Elves really needs. We’re a late game board-centric deck, so we need to figure out ways to survive against early aggressive pushes, whether they are ruler based or resonator based. Welcome our newest friend: Blazer Gill Rabus. Here’s the Blazer core:

Ruler: Blazer Gill Rabus J-Ruler: Blazer Gill Rabus
4 Flame of Outer World 4 Thunder

Blazer allows us to run burn removal safely and lets us branch out of green without losing the color consistency to hit those pesky double green spells. As a bonus he’s able to deal with a J-Ruler himself, either swinging by for a tempo play or simply deal with the threat itself. However, Blazer has trouble dealing with non-J-ruler oriented decks, and elves had a better ruler for this kind of format before: Christie, the Wind-Tracker. The Christie core:

Ruler: Christie, the Wind-Tracker J-Ruler: Helsing, the Vampire Hunter
4 Silver Bullet 2 Glinda, the Fairy
1 Wiseman of Winds 1 Xeex, the Ancient Magic

Christie allows us access to the green toolbox; Silver Bullet. If you are playing at a locals that doesn’t focus on extremely aggressive early pushes, I’d recommend main decking this core and tucking Blazer’s package in the side deck. Silver Bullet greatly boosts the consistency of this deck, and makes plays more flexible. As a result, we lose much of the removal, so we’ll throw in a Xeex to help out. Glinda is great for the control matchup against Vlad, and Wiseman is always live thanks to Christie always being an elf. An 800/600 body isn’t anything to joke about, especially when it gets boosted by Fina.

The Magic Stone Deck

Finally, here’s what I think the stone line-up should look like:

 4 Magic Stone of Black Silence 1 Little Red, the Pure Stone 
 5 Wind Magic Stone

As a pilot of this deck your goal is to survive through to the late game, gain card advantage off of Christie, the Warden of Sanctuary and Guide of Heaven, and end the game by pushing with huge resonators boosted by one or two Fina. This is extremely hard to deal with once the Christie lock has been established. If your opponent isn’t knowledgeable enough, it’s easy to put out at a measly 4 magic stones.

Look Out for These Threats

Dark_PulseThis deck isn’t without weakness. Board wipes like Flame King’s Shout, Dark Pulse, and possibly Awakening at the End can hurt you greatly. Always be on the look out for that turn 3 or 4 play and keep those possibilities in mind. Absolute Cake Zone is a must, especially after siding. Also, Target Attack is especially threatening. While cards like Gleipnir, the Red Binding of Fate aren’t a problem once you establish the lock, Target Attack given by Artemis, the God’s Bow or Excalibur, the God’s Sword or by a resonator can result in losing your Christie lock. It’s important to reserve cards like Elvish Priest or Ratatoskr in the late game to act as chump-blockers (so that they can’t be targeted by removal spells and the attack gets through).

Play-Style Tips and Tricks

1) The MOST important play you will make is landing your Christie lock in one turn. During this turn, your Christie’s are extremely vulnerable to the stray Thunder, so be extremely wary. Law of Silence is great for this!

2) Remember that you MUST survive. Against decks using Cain, land the Christie combo ASAP in order to get hexproof chump blockers going. It’s incredibly important that the Cain doesn’t just use up leftover mana to get his attack through.

3) This deck has a great match-up against mid-range and control. With Christie, the Wind-Tracker, Fina negates all your opponent’s resonators’ symbol abilities like swiftness and flying. Your board becomes too difficult for Vlad to deal with, as long as you keep an eye out for that stray Flame King’s Shout or Dark Pulse.

Guide_of_Heaven4) Guide of Heaven is a tricky card to play, just keep in mind what’s left in your deck and make the decision to use the effect first, then draw, or draw first, then effect.

5) When and what you search with Guide of Heaven and Silver Bullet make a huge impact on your success. It’s not called a green toolbox for nothing. Searching too early limits your options and searching too late is, well, too late. Sometimes, searching a Ratatoskr or Gretel is the best play.

Thanks for reading my article. This is my first time writing an article for anything, and it’s been a pleasure theory-crafting, building, and testing for this article. Keep exploring new deck ideas, and break the meta yourself! There’s no such thing as a perfect deck.

-Calvin Lai

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