“The reason I greatly enjoy Elves is the deck’s both strategic and tactical depth. On tactical level, Elves provides you with probably the format’s largest arsenal of awesome little tricks that will give you an edge over unfocussed opponents. It’s kinda like the flavor text of 5th edition Llanowar Elves: one broken bone for every misstep you make.
But the even bigger selling-point of Elves is its strategic diversity; this is where the deck truly shines. A lot of people will think of it as this linear combo deck, looking to kill you with one of its two trademark sorceries. Those people usually then die to a Pendelhaven’ed Elvish Visionary on turn 14. Of all the decks in Legacy, Elves has one of the most dominant and inevitable late games, allowing it to easily grind out most other blue decks and amass card advantage every step along the way. On top of that you get great reach in the form of Legacy’s most notorious tag team, Deathrite Shaman and Quirion Ranger (“The Hart Foundation”), which allow you to drain up to 6 points of life per turn cycle. Oh, and did I mention it sometimes randomly kills your opponent on turn 2? What’s not to love about that?! Legend has it I even killed someone on turn 1, but that’s a different story.
Another big aspect of playing Elves is hidden information. Because Elves is capable of killing on almost any given turn, opponents will have to factor this constant threat into their play. Even though the Elves player might be sitting on a just “okay” hand, his opponent has to give him more credit than he owes and therefore plays a more conservative game. What this means is that as long as your opponent doesn’t know better, his conservative/scared play will likely increase the overall value of your hand, putting you in a better position than you actually should be. This concept of representing strength/weakness is a common feature of any game with hidden information; in Legacy it is especially pronounced in decks like Infect and Elves, which greatly adds to the enjoyment of playing them.
And sometimes they just Terminus your shit and you wanna go home.”
— Julian Knab on why he chose Elves
4 Deathrite Shaman