MTG Commander Deep Dive: Modern Horizons 3’s Eladamri, Korvecdal

Unite the people! Bennie Smith takes a Commander Deep Dive into Eladamri, Korvecdal from Magic: The Gathering’s Modern Horizons 3.

Eladamri, Korvecdal
Eladamri, Korvecdal, illustrated by Zoltan Boros

Before we dive into the upcoming previews for Assassin’s Creed, I’d like to dig in on another cool legendary design from Modern Horizons 3: Eladamri, Korvecdal!

Eladamri, Korvecdal

The first version of an Eladamri card was Eladamri, Lord of Leaves from all the way back in Tempest! The Elf’s name adorned another card from that set Eladamri’s Vineyard, which is featured in the amazing Sheldon’s Spellbook Secret Lair that was sold earlier this year, with 50% of the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society in honor of Sheldon Menery—shipping soon!

Eladamri’s name adorned the sweet instant-speed creature tutor Eladamri’s Call from Planeshift… and that’s the last card featuring Eladamri’s name until now! 

What’s a Korvecdal?

If you’re like me, you may have wondered “what does Korvecdal mean?” So I looked it up, and it’s a Magic universe word, and I’m sharing it with you now in case you’re also curious.

From the MTG Wiki:

The Korvecdal was foretold to unite the Kor, Vec and Dal tribes of Rath and lead them to fight the Evincar. When the Weatherlight stranded on this plane, the Oracle en-Vec proclaimed that Gerrard Capashen was the promised one.  Along with Eladamri and the elves of Skyshroud Forest, the Oracle en-Vec rallied the Rathi Tribes in an attempt to overthrow Volrath while Gerrard and the Weatherlight crew infiltrated the Stronghold.

After the uprising failed and the Weatherlight fled to Mercadia, the Oracle en-Vec realized the prophecy foretold Eladamri as the Korvecdal and not Gerrard.

It’s cool how it ties into the difference between the old and new version of Eladamri. Lord of Leaves was all about the Elves, but Korvecdal plays well with any creatures, fulfilling the prophecy in uniting all peoples under his cool ability.

Narrow or Wide?

Now, I generally like the design trend in recent years in making legendary creatures with very niche abilities that really takes some deck design work to unlock the power of the card. Eladamri, Korvecdal is a bit more “wide open” – you just need to have a good number of creatures in your deck for it to be minimally good – but I think it still takes a little work to make it “work.”

You’ll need two untapped creatures to tap with Korvecdal to use its ability, and since it can only be activated during your turn, it will leave you with three of your creatures tapped on your opponents’ turns, barring untapping shenanigans. Notably, the only restriction is that Korvecdal activates during your turn, so if someone tries to kill it during your turn, you can respond by activating it, but more importantly, if the creature you’re going to draw this turn is one you’d rather put onto the battlefield with the ability, you can do that before you draw your card, since you can look at the top card of your library any time.

Okay, let’s dive in!

Big Boom-Booms

Vaultborn Tyrant Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant Regal Force Kogla, the Titan Ape Apex Altisaur Kodama of the East Tree Old Gnawbone Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus Cultivator Colossus Triplicate Titan Thunderfoot Baloth Ancient Bronze Dragon Earthquake Dragon Woodfall Primus Titan of Industry Breaker of Armies Old One Eye Stonehoof Chieftain Fierce Empath

While it’s perfectly fine to put ordinary smallish creatures from the top of your library onto the battlefield, what you really want to do is cheat in some huge monster or some other high-mana-value creature. Vaultborn Tyrant is the new hotness, but there is no shortage of massive creatures available in mono-green. Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant is awesome since, when it enters, you can put any number of creature cards from your hand onto the battlefield. I also really like Regal Force because it will draw you a minimum of four cards (assuming all of the creatures you tapped with Korvecdal are green).

I love Cultivator Colossus and am always looking for an excuse to put it in a deck, and I’m hoping that I’ll have enough lands in hand to kickstart its ability with enough card draw, especially as I won’t have to play a land first to cast it; seven mana is a lot. Once the ability resolves, chances are pretty good that I’ll have a full hand and likely another big boom-boom or two.

Earthquake Dragon is normally restricted to Dragon decks, and while I’d likely put Old Gnawbone and Ancient Bronze Dragon in the deck, with Korvecdal, it doesn’t matter that this normally costs fifteen mana to cast. Plus, if it dies, you can sacrifice a land to bring it back to your hand, and can then put it back on the battlefield with Korvecdal’s ability.

Lastly, I’d likely run a Fierce Empath in the deck to tutor up just the right big monster for the occasion, and it’s a creature you can tap with Korvecdal to then put that monster onto the battlefield.

High Power Matters

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds Fanatic of Rhonas Bighorner Rancher Disciple of Freyalise The Great Henge Ghalta, Primal Hunger Return of the Wildspeaker Rishkar's Expertise Greater Good Ram Through

Green’s got a lot of great cards that care about high-power creatures, and since Korvecdal can cheat in something huge, we can unleash these cards faster than normal.

I’m a huge fan of Fanatic of Rhonas. The ferocious ability should be easy to unlock for a nice rush of extra mana. Similarly, Bighorner Rancher could tap for much, much more. Disciple of Freyalise and Greater Good can cash in a large creature for a fresh infusion of new cards; the bigger the power, the more cards you get.

Return of the Wildspeaker and Rishkar’s Expertise will provide card draw without needing to sacrifice a big creature, and all that extra card draw will make it much more likely that you have a big creature in hand to cheat into play with Korvecdal. And let’s not forget that, with a huge creature with trample, Ram Through can become a burn spell right to an opponent’s life total.

Haste Enablers

Surrak and Goreclaw Concordant Crossroads Crashing Drawbridge Surrak, the Hunt Caller Akroma's Memorial

A downside to Korvecdal’s ability is that you have to put your big monster onto the battlefield during your turn, so if it does not naturally have haste, it will sit there for a complete turn cycle before it can start crashing into combat. I’d likely run some number of haste enablers, with Surrak and Goreclaw being the first on the list.  Not only will it give other creatures haste on entering, it also gives them +1/+1, plus it gives all other creatures you control trample. It truly does everything you want for this deck.

Untap Eladamri

Quirion Ranger Scryb Ranger Seeker of Skybreak Legolas's Quick Reflexes Gift of the Viper Emerald Charm Thousand-Year Elixir Wirewood Lodge Patriar's Seal

To really get cooking, I’d want a few ways to untap Korvecdal so that I could use its ability twice in a turn, and the first card I’d add is Thousand-Year Elixir, since it will also let Korvecdal use its ability right away. Wirewood Lodge is another slam-dunk inclusion, not even costing you a nonland slot in the deck. Quirion Ranger and Scryb Ranger can untap Korvecdal at the cost of a Forest drop, but if you don’t have a land to play on that turn, it could in effect net you an extra mana.

Untap Everything

Vitalize Benefactor's Draught Mobilize Copperhorn Scout Great Oak Guardian Patron of the Orochi Quest for Renewal Seedborn Muse

I did mention how one drawback of Korvecdal is that you’re tapping three creatures down during your turn to put a creature onto the battlefield, so it’s a good idea to play some ways to untap all your creatures.  Seedborn Muse is an excellent way to do just that during each other player’s upkeep.

Vitalize and Benefactor’s Draught can untap creatures at instant speed, either as an unpleasant surprise if someone is attacking you or if you want to untap Korvecdal and the two creatures it tapped to activate during your turn for another activation. Patron of the Orochi counts as a huge creature, and can tap to untap all Forests and all green creatures, once each turn—including your opponents’ turns.

Top of the Library

Hua Tuo, Honored Physician Noxious Revival Reclaim Salvage False Mourning Sylvan Library Mirri's Guile Worldly Tutor Sensei's Divining Top Augur of Autumn Sakura-Tribe Elder Doomskar Warrior Dryad Greenseeker Fa'adiyah Seer Grapple with the Past Blossoming Tortoise Tapping at the Window

Opponents will be highly motivated to kill the huge creatures you’ll be cheating onto the battlefield, so figuring out ways to get them back to a zone for Korvecdal to work with will be useful. I really like Hua Tuo, Honored Physician, who can put a creature from the graveyard on top of your library; and if you don’t need it for that, you can tap it with Korvecdal’s ability. Some spells do that too, like Noxious Revival and Reclaim.

Korvecdal lets you look at the top of your library, which can be strong in conjunction with ways to manipulate the top card. Cards like Sensei’s Divining Top and Sylvan Library are awesome for this, but don’t overlook ways to shuffle your library, like Sakura-Tribe Elder. Dryad Greenseeker and Fa’adiyah Seer can help you clear lands off the top of your library, as can Blossoming Tortoise with its mill ability.

Go Wide

Gruff Triplets Avenger of Zendikar Hornet Queen Tendershoot Dryad Awakening Zone Arachnogenesis Wolverine Riders Thopter Assembly

It might be a good idea to play some number of ways to “go wide” so that you have enough creatures available to tap down for Korvecdal’s ability without tapping down a creature you may want to attack with. Avenger of Zendikar is an army in a can, making a bunch of 0/1 Plant tokens that will eventually grow into a swarm of attackers, but in the meantime, you can tap them for Korvecdal activations.

Return Creatures to Hand

Eternal Witness Timeless Witness Cloudstone Curio Temur Sabertooth Genesis Seasons Past Deadwood Treefolk Erratic Portal

If you’re playing large creatures with enters triggers, you might want to consider ways of putting those creatures into your hand so you can redeploy with Korvecdal, either from the battlefield with something like Cloudstone Curio or Erratic Portal, or from the graveyard with something like Eternal Witness or Deadwood Treefolk.

What other awesome cards would you consider adding to your Eladamri, Korvecdal Commander deck?  What would be your favorite big boom-boom creature to cheat onto the battlefield?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and start conversations about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl, and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!



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