From Right Field: How To Be An Elvish Impersonator

ELVISH CHAMPION: Okay, settle down. Let’s get down to business. I’d like to welcome you to the 23rd meeting of the Elvish Convocation Interdimensional. I’d like to say 23rd”annual” meeting – but as we all know, Odyssey block was a bad one for elves. So we haven’t met in over a year. Luckily, Wizards took our petition to heart and has added to our ranks in Onslaught. Which brings us to our first order of business: It seems that Jason Jablonski is all hyped about all of the Elves in Onslaught.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I want to apologize right off the bat for the preceding and any following bad Elvis puns. Unfortunately, according to Wizards and DCI regulations, anyone who writes a piece about elves is required to make at least one of these. Please, forgive me. Chris]

SETTING: A well-appointed, underground meeting room. The walls are hardwood paneling. There is a large walnut table in the center of the room. Seated around it are twenty or so elves. They are talking amongst themselves about the weather, football (a.k.a. soccer), nothing in particular. Clearly, the meeting has not begun. Until, the ELVISH CHAMPION, a stately Elf of obviously military bearing with piercing eyes, stands and bangs his gavel.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Okay, settle down. Let’s get down to business. I’d like to welcome you to the 23rd meeting of the Elvish Convocation Interdimensional. I’d like to say 23rd“annual” meeting – but as we all know, Odyssey block was a bad one for elves. So we haven’t met in over a year.

LLANOWAR ELITE [a small, but ruggedly-built Elf]: Yeah, it’s been lonely around here for the last year.

LLANOWAR ELVES [a small, wiry Elf]: You’ve been lonely for a lot longer than that, dude.

[The assembled elves laugh.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: All right. Calm down. Larry, apologize to Fred. It’s not his fault that people didn’t see the potential of a 1/1 with trample for one mana.

LLANOWAR ELVES (sheepishly): Sorry, Fred.

LLANOWAR ELITE: No problem. Sometimes the truth hurts, you know?

ELVISH CHAMPION: Luckily, Wizards took our petition to heart and has added to our ranks in Onslaught. Which brings us to our first order of business: It seems that Jason Jablonski is all hyped about all of the Elves in Onslaught.

ELVISH SCRAPPER [looks like a Bowery Boy Elf]: Who is Jason Jablonski, and why do we care?

ELVISH CHAMPION: Good question. Specifically, he’s the friend of a StarCity writer, and he loves playing Elf decks. Generally, though, he stands for all of those people who play around the kitchen table and haven’t had any new elves in the last year. Now, our ranks have swelled, and he wants an Elven army to command.

[The assembled elves cheer.]

ELVISH LYRIST [raven-haired, female Elf, the Urza’s Saga version]: What do you need from us?

ELVISH CHAMPION: Cindy, we’re here to brainstorm with a lower-case”b.” I want to hear your arguments for inclusion in this army as well as some suggestions for support.

ELVISH ARCHERS [fey Elves with swimmers’ builds]: Can we assume that you’ll be leading things, General O’Malley-Salazar?

ELVISH CHAMPION: Of course. I give all of you +1/+1 and Forestwalk. And with about half the decks in Standard sporting Forests right now, I think it’s only logical for me to lead the charge.

LLANOWAR ELVES: Are we thinking weenie brigade here or what?

ELVISH CHAMPION: That’s the idea. If not, we’re really only mana support for Beasts. And this guy specifically wants a horde of elves.

LLANOWAR ELVES: Well, I can read the handwriting on the wall. No need for mana acceleration means no need for us.

HEEDLESS ONE: Not necessarily.

[The assembled elves turn and gasp at the sight of the HEEDLESS ONE. She is tall, firm, dark, and sleek – an ebony Amazonian of an Elf.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: Sheila, where have you been? I thought maybe my directions got you lost.

HEEDLESS ONE: Naw, the directions were fine. We got ambushed by some pesky Goblins. But there were four of us, and they weren’t packin’ any burn backup… So it was really just some exercise, is all.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Well, good, good. Sit right over here. Everyone, this is Sheila and her Heedless Ones.

[The assembled elves chatter various greeting to the newest arrival.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: Her point is well taken. Our basic strategy is a weenie rush. Hit them before they know what’s happening to them. However, we can’t ignore the fact that we have four Elf Avatars here. She doesn’t come cheap…

ELVISH WARRIOR [a husky Elf] (in a stage whisper): I’ll bet.

HEEDLESS ONE: Excuse me?

ELVISH WARRIOR (straightening up, at mock attention): I said,”I’d gladly serve alongside you. Right up alongside you, if you know what I mean.”

ELVISH CHAMPION: Joey, we always know what you mean. Let’s not offend the ladies, though, please. I’m afraid that they’ll beat the living daylights out of you. And we might have a slot for you to fill.

ELVISH WARRIOR (grinning devilishly): Yeah, I know what slot….


ELVISH WARRIOR (sheepishly): Yes, sir.

ELVISH CHAMPION: I think we can all agree that we need four Heedless Ones in our army; an Elf that gets bigger with each other Elf that joins the fray and has trample has to be good in battle. And we’re going to need Llanowar Elves to get her into the fray on turn 3 if we can.

QUIRION TRAILBLAZER [lanky, redheaded female Elf] (while looking at her laptop’s screen): Sir, so far I have four each of Elvish Champion, Llanowar Elves, and Heedless One. Am I missing any so far?

ELVISH ARCHERS: Yes, indeed. You forgot us.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Oliver, we haven’t forgotten you. We just haven’t gotten to you yet. Did you want to submit your qualifications for consideration?

ELVISH ARCHERS: Delighted, sir. **ahem** As you know, we are 2/1 for two mana . . .

ELVISH WARRIOR: Big deal. We’re 2/3s for two mana.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Joey, one more outburst, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. We’re all glad to see you join us – but you’re a rookie, and you need to settle down. Understood?

ELVISH WARRIOR (more sheepishly than before): Yes, sir.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Oliver? Continue, please.

ELVISH ARCHERS: As I was saying, we’re 2/1s for two mana, and we have first strike. You can’t underestimate first strike. With Giant Growth, we kill most anyone before they even get near us.

[ELVISH WARRIOR opens his mouth, thinks better of it, and closes it again.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: Thank you for not making a”Giant Growth” joke, Joey.

ELVISH ARCHERS: We are battle-tested from times before most of you were ever printed. Finally, as it stands, our brigade has no two-mana creatures. We fit into the mana curve perfectly. Thank you.

ELVISH WARRIOR: Yeah, but the Archers are rares. How are little kids going to afford that?

QUIRION TRAILBLAZER (typing on her laptop): Actually, I just checked on StarCity’s online store, and the 7th Edition version of the Archers is only $2.50 right now. So that’s only ten dollars for all four.

ELVISH WARRIOR: Well, I think that we’re better two-drops.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Okay, Joey. Convince us.




[Everyone just kind of stares.]

ELVISH WARRIOR: For the same mana, we beat the Archers one-on-one. We don’t need no stinkin’ Giant Growth.

ELVISH VANGUARD [another Elf who carries himself like a born leader]: Excellent point.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Karl! it’s good to hear from you finally. What do you think about Joey and the gang?

ELVISH VANGUARD: Well, I think there’s room for several two-drops in our army. In fact, we should concentrate there. Look at us, for example. We get a counter for every Elf that comes into play. And, even though we’re rare, we only cost $3.00 each at StarCity. This deck could end up costing under $30, and it’ll still be a beating.

WELLWISHER [a demure, female Elf]: Can I say something?

ELVISH CHAMPION: Okay, listen up. Amy has the floor. Go ahead.

WELLWISHER: A lot of decks are running burn spells and stuff that drains a player’s life. I think a couple of us might be a good idea in case the game gets out of hand quickly. Think of us as a kind of support spell. Plus, with a couple of Champions in play, we’re 3/3s.

ELVISH LYRIST: Well, then I gotta put in a bid for us, too. There are a lot of nasty enchantments running around. I think we need to be brought in from the sideboard to the maindeck right away. Think of us as living support spells, too.

[The ELVSIH LYRSIT looks over at the WELLWISHER and smiles.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: I think that may be a good idea. Astral Slide. Lightning Rift. Mirari’s Wake. Mobilization. Yes, we definitely need maindeck enchantment removal.

[A commotion starts in a far corner. Everyone rushes to see what it is.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: BILLY! What are you doing here?!?

TAUNTING ELF [tow-headed, young elf, Urza’s Destiny version]: I heard you were making a new elf deck. I wanna play, too!

ELVISH WARRIOR: Billy, this isn’t a game… Okay, actually it is. But you? You’re a pipsqueak.

TAUNTING ELF: But, but, I can clear away any pesky blockers for you! Geez, come on, guys! I’m a kill card!

[The assembled elves laugh heartily.]

ELVISH ARCHERS: Actually, if you think about it, he can truly be just that. What if our opponent simply isn’t playing with Forests? Billy can distract the enemy long enough for us to deal the death blow.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Oliver’s right. But I don’t want more than two Taunting Elves. It’s just too distracting.

QUIRION TRAILBLAZER: General, sir, by my calculation, that’s thirty creatures. Are we going to use any support spells?

ELVISH CHAMPION: Hmmmm…. We do need to plan for those, don’t we?

QUIRION EXPLORER [rugged, earthy, granola-eating type of female Elf]: Sir, before we do that, I think we need to look at the mana base. I have done some calculations and have a PowerPoint presentation…. If you’d like to see it.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Of course. Lights?

[Someone kills the lights.]

QUIRION EXPLORER: As you can see, weenie decks have traditionally run very few lands. This has been especially true of Elf decks since we have mana-producing creatures. I propose 21 lands, since we do have a three-casting-cost creature as well as one that costs four. However, they don’t all need to be Forests. By my calculations, we only need seventeen lands that produce green mana right away. So, I suggest we go with seventeen Forests, two Wirewood Lodges, and two Tranquil Thickets.

[There is a general rumbling as the lights go up.]

ELVISH VANGUARD: Okay, I know the Thicket. It cycles. I can see that as a way to draw later in the game. What’s the Wirewood Lodge do again?

QUIRION EXPLORER: It can untap an Elf.

[Another general rumbling, clearly more positive.]

ELVISH CHAMPION (grinning): That seems very useful to me. All right. It’s in. But aren’t we worried about those cycling lands – the Thickets! They do come into play tapped, after all?

QUIRION EXPLORER: True. That’s why we only use two. It’s very unlikely that we’d have both in our opening hand. Even if we had two lands and one was a Thicket, we might also have a Llanowar Elves… So we’d still have access to two mana on turn two. Most, likely, though, we’ll draw the Thicket later in the game when we don’t need any more lands.

QUIRION TRAILBLAZER: That’s 51 cards, sir.

ELVISH CHAMPION: Whoa. Okay, clearly, we need to get to those support spells. I presume we all agree on Giant Growth.

[A rumbling of general approval.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: What other nominees do we have?

ELVISH WARRIOR: I like that Sylvan Might. Give me trample, baby! Then do it again!

ELVISH ARCHERS: I hate to agree with anything that our boorish pal says – but, this time, I do.

ELVISH CHAMPION: It’s stats do look good, but I don’t think we can afford four of them. The flashback is too expensive. Put them down for three. That leaves us two cards.

ELVISH VANGUARD: How about something that will pump everyone up in addition to our Champion…. Say, Coat of Arms? That one even helps out the Champions.

LLANOWAR ELVES: Hold on, cowboy. Not only is that gonna tax our mana base but our pocketbooks, too. That’s one pricey rare. I was thinking more along the lines of Crown of Vigor.

ELVISH CHAMPION: I agree with Larry. If we already had the Coat of Arms, we could use it. Of course, we’d have to add some lands and leave someone out. Probably Billy, our little Taunting Elf. As it stands, though, it looks like Crown of Vigor will work.

QUIRION TRAILBLAZER: Sir, would you like to hear the lineup now?


QUIRION TRAILBLAZER: Hear ye! Hear ye! The following is:



2 Tranquil Thicket

2 Wirewood Lodge

17 Forest


4 Llanowar Elves

2 Taunting Elf

2 Elvish Lyrist

4 Llanowar Vanguard

4 Elvish Archers

4 Elvish Warrior

2 Wellwisher

4 Elvish Champion

4 Heedless One


4 Giant Growth

3 Sylvan Might

2 Crown of Vigor [AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you have Coat of Arms, use them in this slot. Drop the Taunting Elf, and add 2 Forest.]

ELVISH CHAMPION: We’re set then. Meeting adjourned. Everyone to the An-Havva Inn. Drinks are on me!

[The assembled elves cheer. Fade to black.]