Golgari Elves

Just a quick deck tech before I forget the list. Yesterday’s G/W elves deck was a hit, getting over 200 views which generated some request to brew a B/G version.  There are a couple of B/G elves list floating around the internet and I do steal with pride in an attempt to come up with the best possible list.

I’ll skip the known elves from Dominaria and M19 so we can go straight to the B/G elves we have in Guilds of Ravnica.

Glowspore Shaman

Glowspore Shaman is an aggressively costed creature with 3 power for 2 mana that does something when it enters – like fix your mana and make sure you draw a land for the turn. I wonder if this works well with the explore trigger from Ixalan so you can actually draw it on the same turn. Hmm….

Golgari Findbroker

The macho version of Eternal Witness, the golgari’s XXYY-costed creature is pretty good honestly because you at least get the toughness value for the mana you spent on it. I still like the Conclave Cavalier though.

Golgari Raiders

If you plan to play creatures and finds ways to dump them quickly, Golgari Raiders can catch your opponent by surprise. Like a turn 1 Stitcher’s Supplier milling 2-3 creatures, into a turn 2 Glowspore Shaman milling another 2-3 creatures, then Jadelight Ranger milling 1-2 creature, a turn 4 Golgari Raider than smack your opponent for 5 to 8 damage from nowhere. Yes we don’t live on Christmas land but there are ways to maximize Undergrowth outside Surveil.

Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

I don’t think standard has been kind to 6-mana 2/3 dudes since Alpha. But if you like going wide, and try to force a life gain/draw engine in BG, Izoni is your guy. But I don’t think he will see standard play – I hope I’m wrong.

Ochran Assassin

Ochran Assassin reminds me of Taunting Elf and if you can find a way to increase its power, it can easily wrath away your opponent’s side of the board if it turns sideways.

Swarm Guildmage

Swarm Guildmage is ok-ish in limited because it can steadily gain you 2 life but I don’t think the +1/+0 and menace is worth 5 mana.

Underrealm Lich

Now Underrealm Lich is a card I can get behind. When it was spoiled, I told my team that it’s a great pre-order card. The ability is unique, allowing you to fill the yard with synergistic cards, filter your draws and have a 4/3 body that’s tough to remove if you have lifepoints to burn. Slapping a lifelink aura to this elf and it should essentially sustain itself in combat forever.

There are a lot of juicy spells in B/G from Guilds of Ravnica and of course, we have the most chased card in the set…

Assassin's Trophy

The silver bullet for any problem in the format in exchange for a land, nothing seems unkillable for the rot clan and I like a couple of these in the deck. What I aim for is to make the deck really fast and deal a lot of damage making the extra land useless because the opponent should be dead or almost dead before he can use it.

Necrotic Wound

I like 1-mana exile spells and I love having it in B/G colors. Having creatures in the graveyard is fairly easy to do naturally so you should have 2-3 creatures in the yard, making Necrotic Wound a hard removal for early to mid game threats. As the game goes long, so does the power of the spell. Soon it can kill 5/5s and 6/6s for 1 mana the longer the game goes.

Status // Statue (Statue)

Among all the split cards, I really like the balance of Status/Statue. Early its a combat trick spell which allows your dorks to kill anything in combat. Mid through late game, it can destroy anything outright. Definitely not comparable to Vraska’s Contempt but for a fast deck, I like the versatility of this card being useful at any stage of the game.

Midnight ReaperRuin Raider

Honorary elves I’m considering playing are Midnight Reaper and Ruin Raider. They are exactly alike in cost and power/toughness ratio – and functions as our draw engine.

Midnight Reaper has the potential to draw more cards and do less damage as compared to Ruin Raider who will net us 1 card and can hit for 1-3+ depending how high our curve is. The downside of Reaper is that it can end up killing us if we are on a very low life and our opponent starts killing our creatures forcing us to lose 1 life and draw a card, whilst Ruin Raider’s ability can be controlled by simply not attacking.

So here’s the list I ended up with after brainstorming.

GRN - GB Elves


Creatures: 29

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Pelt Collector

4 Elvish Clancaller

4 Thorn Lieutenant

3 Merfolk Branchwalker

4 Steel Leaf Champion

3 Midnight Reaper

2 Jadelight Ranger

1 Underrealm Lich

Spells: 8

3 Cast Down

2 Assassin’s Trophy

3 Necrotic Wound

Land: 23

4 Overgrown Tomb

4 Woodland Cemetery

2 Golgari Guildgate

5 Swamp

8 Forest

Sideboard: 15

3 Duress

1 Assassin’s Trophy

3 Deathgorge Scavenger

2 Vivien Reid

3 Crushing Canopy

3 Kitesail Freebooter

The deck aims to be very fast just eliminate anything that comes our way. The sideboard plan is designed to prevent our opponent from blowing us out.

DuressKitesail Freebooter

We want to take out the wraths, settles, walkers, and removal our opponents sided in against us. I like a split between a noncreature spell and a body to do the same thing as not to dilute our threat base any more than we should.

Crushing Canopy

Crushing Canopy takes care of Resplendent, Shalai, Lyra, Demanding Dragon, Bolas and anything our ground troops can’t reach. Incidentally we can also get rid of pesky enchantments like Ixalan’s Binding and Seal Away.

Deathgorge Scavenger

Deathgorge serves 2 purposes in the side. One, for us to negate the damage which we get from not blocking and being purely aggressive. Two, it controls surveil, jump start and reanimator strategies.

Vivien Reid

Vivien comes in against control decks that pack a lot of creature removal. Vivien refills our hand, takes care of anything our removal suite can’t and her ultimate just closes the game.

That’s it for now, hope you like the baseline we’re drawing up here in the Alchemy. I’m sure there are more streamlined decks out there so do let me know and let’s discuss in the comments below!



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