Sam’s sat a few reviews out in favour of Jimi, whose been most enthused about testing the decks we’ve reviewed, but even that enthusiasm couldn’t hold Sam back when she had the opportunity to helm the elves to victory. Sam’s love of Green rivals that of Ken Nagle’s, and like many a Green mage the evlen tribe is near and dear to her heart.
For my part, I was more than happy to slide behind the goblins, RDW being one of my favourite archetypes. With a fistful of burn, what could go wrong?
Here are the notes from our three matches.
With Mirrodin Besieged behind us and the Event Decks about to be released, playing a few games of Duel Decks: Elves vs Goblins seems like a throwback to a simpler time, and in that spirit Jimi and I join battle behind two of the game’s most ancient foes. We’ll be back with the Mirrans and Phyrexians soon, but for now, there’s an even older battle to be fought, an enmity that spans times and planes. The haughty elf. The scrappy goblin. Two decks, three games.
Here are our notes.
The Elves deck did a very solid job of identifying the key themes that make up the flavour of their tribe. Elves have ties to nature- they get mana ramping. Elves work well together- witness cards like Wellwisher and Heedless One which care about the number of elves in play. Elves… well, you get the idea. But the pointy-ears already had their time to shine, now it’s time for them to move over and let the Goblins run amok!
Like Elves, the Golbins’ deck follows a very straightforward structure. There are twenty-nine creatures, and just as before the one exception is an insect creature type. This is rounded out by a small handful of noncreature spells and a couple of nonbasic lands (including one that’s tribe-specific). The foil premium rare is also a mirror (Ambush Commander versus Siege-Gang Commander, the latter of the two being much better known to contemporaries eyes due to its inclusion in some Jund Constructed builds)., and there are a small number of cards of the same cycle (for instance, Voice of the Woods and Skirk Fire Marshal). That said, both decks still retain a very unique flavour due to the heavy tribal themes.
They may be a fixture now, but in the lifespan of Magic: the Gathering, Duel Decks have only enjoyed a rather brief run. First appearing in 1997, for their inaugural launch product Wizards mined familiar territory and assembled decks of Goblins and Elves to battle one another (although the series’ history actually had earlier roots). The card pool was fully bloated with these creature types, particularly the Onslaught block and the then-brand-new Lorwyn set, and these were heavily tapped to construct the decks. This would begin the Duel Decks tradition of alternating non-planeswalker-themed sets.
For this deck, what you see is what you get, no tricks or hidden surprises here. You want elves? Howabout twenty-eight of them?