Ever since Fury entered the format, creature decks, especially those of the traditional tribal slant, have fallen on hard times. The Elemental Incarnation is not alone either. It teams up with Wrenn and Six, formerly Lava Dart and Plague Engineer. Even when Fury itself experiences a downturn in popularity, players have got the "tribal decks are unplayable" idea solidly engraved on their minds. However, a new addition from Dominaria United gives Elf players hope again.
The basic strategy is to deploy Elves quickly and hopefully set up a situation where we can add a lot of mana as soon as turn three. We spend this mana on Realmwalker, which allows us to keep playing Elves off the top and eventually one of the pumping creatures like Ezuri, Renegade Leader or Elvish Warmaster or … Craterhoof Behemoth! Yes, this deck generates so much mana that you get to cast Hoofy and trample your opponent to death, just like in Legacy Elves.
One of the best mana engines in the deck is Heritage Druid. It does not care about summoning sickness of either itself or other Elves it taps. It works particularly well with Dwynen's Elite or Elvish Warmaster, which make tokens. A turn one Druid into turn two Elite allows you to add three mana immediately. Then you can play Warmaster and any one-drop, resulting in three untapped creatures again. It should now be clear how explosives the deck can be. In such a case, even turn two Fury may be a tad too late. Nettle Sentinel is our best creature in tandem with Druid as it untaps with each spell cast. This means we only need two untapped creatures as Sentinel untaps itself. Multiple Sentinels take it to the next level.
What Dominaria United has brought to the table is another way to take advantage of all the mana. Leaf-Crowned Visionary is our best impersonation of the currently banned Glimpse of Nature. The upside of this effect compared to Realmwalker is that we cannot brick. With Realmwalker, we stop the chain when there's a land on top. The same can't happen with Visionary, and once we have Visionary and Walker out, going through the entire library is a very real possibility. Of secondary importance, the new card is a lord that buffs our team, too.
|Elvesl by Brabble, 5-0 in Modern League, September 9|
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