In what was the final outing for the Duel Decks series released on 6 April 2018, Wizards went back to their roots to pit elves against Green's natural enemy – artifice. One surprising thing about this Duel Decks is that they refer to the artificers as "inventors", a term which historically has little meaning in the MTG Universe. The set comes with two 60-card decks with Ezuri, Renegade Leader heading elves and the non-legendary Goblin Welder heading the inventors. The Duel Decks also come with ten token cards, two deck boxes, two spindown life counters, and one Magic Quick Reference card. However, we're only scratching the surface here. Let's dive in and see what each of these decks has to offer to new and returning players alike.
Elves are a staple part of the fantasy genre these days and Magic is no exception. Elves have been around for as long as Magic: The Gathering has and has grown into Magic's most resilient and powerful tribe, posting viable decks in multiple Standard formats, Modern, Legacy, and even Pauper. As a result, you should expect a lot of hype for Wizards' release of a full elf deck. While you don't get Quirion Ranger or Nettle Sentinel, this deck does deliver a lot of the tools you need for a casual elf deck, like Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Elvish Archdruid, and Lead the Stampede. There are definitely things to like here outside of elves too, with Commander staples like Regal Force and Yeva, Nature's Herald. Overall, players should expect a casual elf deck with plenty of room for upgrades, but with the necessary pieces to compete in a casual metagame as well. Elves' enemies, on the other hand, are much less defined and no one really knows what to expect going into this release.
This deck has less value, dollar-wise, than the elf deck. However, it provides a surprisingly effective and powerful artifact deck for players. Artifact staples like Trinket Mage, Treasure Mage, and Trophy Mage give inventor players ample ability to find the answers they need. Cards like Solemn Simulacrum offer Ramp and Draw, and Thopter Assembly makes for a resilient win condition for these casual Duel Decks. The inventors deck, on the surface, looks very inconsistent with only six nonland cards having duplicates, but efficient cantrips and tutors actually make the deck more consistent than the elf deck and an interesting addition to any Duel Deck collection.
Elves vs. Inventors may not be the Duel Deck people wanted the series to end with, but it still provides two playable decks designed to play against each other for quite a bargain as previous Duel Decks have. So if you like the idea of elves against artifice, you owe it to yourself to pick this up and try it out!