Modern Deck Tech: Elspeth Tribal
Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re diving into modern and with the new planeswalker rule coming with Ixalan I wanted to talk about a deck that could benefit that. At first I wanted to make a deck tech about Gideon Tribal, but everyone seems to be doing that already, so I thought “who doesn’t get enough love?” and the obvious answer is Elspeth! She has enough planeswalker cards to make it work and they all have a similar game plan: go wide with tokens. The deck is pretty straight forward, but let’s look at it and see how good it can be.
Sadly, the first printing on Elspeth might be the worse in this deck (while being the best one outside of it, but that’s another story). In here she only makes 1 token per turn, which isn’t GREAT but it’s still pretty decent. She protects herself and helps you go wide; she can pump up a creature for a turn, but you won’t be using that ability; and she can give all your stuff indestructible, which can be game-winning. So yeah, she’s pretty alright.
Protector of Mirrodin
Here we have the second printing of Elspeth and honestly this card is very good in here. You got yourself a way of gaining insane amounts of life if she isn’t dealt with right away and you can even alternate between gaining life and creating 2 tokens each turn if you feel like it. If you’re feeling spicy you can destroy every non-land non-token permanents, leaving you with an insane board advantage.
Lastly we have Elspeth’s latest printing, and hopefully not her last. At a whopping 6cmc, her effects are pretty game-changing. Being able to generate 3 tokens per turn, while ticking your planeswalker up is amazing. If anyone remembers standard during Theros, you know how good this card is. If your opponent doesn’t have a way to deal with this card early, I don’t know many decks that can deal with 3 tokens per turn to be honest, on top of all the other stuff you’ll be doing.
Making Some Friends
Here we have the rest of the deck, well, most of it. You’ll want to play cards like Gather the Townsfolk, Raise the Alarm, Lingering Souls & Oath of Gideon to make as many tokens as possible. That’s the deck really, making tokens. It might seem like a weak strategy to pop out some 1/1s but honestly most decks have a hard time dealing with Lingering Souls in general, imagine how much of a pain it is to deal with tons of them.
Alright so you’re playing white in modern, you know you HAVE to play Path to Exile, there’s no way around it really. I’d recommend playing some Condemn as well since it’s cheap, fits well in the deck’s mana curve, and is very effective against pretty much every relevant creature you’d want to exile (or put at the bottom of a library in this case). Maybe run some Blessed Alliance in the sideboard since it’s amazing against Death Shadow, and some board wipes too, like Day of Judgment can be good in some situations.
Here I just want to mention a few cards that could potentially go in the deck but that I, personally, wouldn’t play. Cards like Anointed Procession that can really accelerate the whole token generating play, but has a high cmc that sort of hinders your curve; or cards like Honor of the Pure & Intangible Virtue that can pump up your tokens quite a bit and make them harder to deal with, honestly I can see playing this instead of Condemn, but that’s really up to the player of the deck; or even cards like Secure the Waste that can be an amazing 1 or 2-of in the deck to be cast in the late-game for a HUUUUGE amount of tokens. I think those 3 cards deserve at least a mention because they have an appeal in this deck.
There you have it! I hope you guys enjoyed this deck tech as much as I did. I know this was a bit shorter than usual, but the deck is very straight-forward with a narrow & repetitive play style, which would feel like a drag to talk about each card individually since a lot of them do the exact same thing. I just want to quickly mention that I’d play a playset of Isolated Chapel just to be able to cast Lingering Souls from the graveyard, but otherwise all Plains is fine, maybe a couple Windbrisk Heights. The deck, in my opinion, is extremely fun to play and in a lot of cases can be impossible for your opponent to deal with. The only problem is that this deck suffers immensely from board wipes and has no card advantage to build back up if the board gets cleaned up and your planeswalkers are gone. So be careful about that. If I missed anything let me know. I’ll see you guys next week for a legacy deck tech!