Video Daily Digest: Machine Elves

Ross Merriam continues his foray into the combo fusions of Modern! An Elf lord in his own right, he takes this new take on older toolbox ideas for a spin! Warning: he may be in love.

I’ve written a lot about how I dislike most Counters Company decks because
even though the combo of Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies is powerful
and fast, the fact that the combo pieces aren’t individually powerful cards
makes it hard to build the deck to be both fast and resilient. Compounding
this issue is the fact that nearly every commonly played removal spell in
the format interacts with the combo, so resilience is important since your
first shot at things isn’t likely to work.

Part of what attracted me to G/W Elves was the fact that it was an easy
home for the combo that didn’t need to work overly hard to incorporate it
because it already had Chord of Calling as a tutor and Ezuri, Renegade
Leader as a mana sink, so a single copy of Vizier of Remedies was enough,
while Devoted Druid combos nicely with Ezuri anyway so it’s still an
effective card in the shell.

Today’s list builds on that theme, finding a shell that doesn’t work that
hard to incorporate the combo so it has a quality backup plan, only this
time that backup plan is using more robust cards than 1/1 green creatures.
There’s the typical mana creatures, but Renegade Rallier gains card
advantage with a reasonable body, as does Kitchen Finks. Tireless Tracker
will take over a game if left unchecked and Ranger of Eos combines with
Thraben Inspector as a big card advantage engine while also tutoring for
Walking Ballista as a mana sink for the combo or a great late-game play.

I especially like the ability to Eldritch Evolution one of the two major
combo pieces into Ranger of Eos after making a million green mana. A nice,
clean play pattern with no need for Duskwatch Recruiter.

The one major concession made is the removal of Collected Company. Without
the luxury of playing four copies of your primary mana sink due to its high
functionality in the aggro plan, this deck needs a higher density of tutors
to reliably assemble the combo, or at least threaten to so you can force
the opponent to play awkwardly around it. Thus, Eldritch Evolution appears
next to Chord of Calling.

In order to supplement the eight tutors, there’s a second combo in the deck
with Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune, the latter also providing a
powerful five-drop to search for with Evolution sacrificing one of the many
value threes.

This is the Devoted Druid deck that I’ve been looking for. It can play
toe-to-toe with heavy removal decks and come out ahead while also racing
non-interactive decks, with wins on turn three and four being fairly
common. It’s not as flashy, but it’s much more strategically sound.