Elfs

“Elves are cool. Of course I’m an elf. Samma wagga kan?”
Please excuse me if the quote isn’t exactly right. Been a while since I actually pulled out Sprawl Sites.
Seventh place in the top eight of the not-underattended (149 people) PTQ in Roanoke went to, of all things, elves. Well, more properly, an Intruder Alarm deck.
SproutSwarm.jpgIntruderAlarm.jpgEssenceWarden.jpg
Yeah. More in the extended entry.


The deck was piloted by Indy Watson. Here’s Indy’s build:

24 Creatures:
Birds of Paradise
Coiling Oracle
Essence Warden
Imperious Perfect
Llanowar Elves
Wren’s Run Vanquisher
15 Spells:
Intruder Alarm
Remand
Sprout Swarm
Umezawa’s Jitte
21 Land:
Breeding Pool
10× Forest
Island
Pendelhaven
Yavimaya Coast
15 Sideboard:
Krosan Grip
Spell Snare
Tormod’s Crypt
Trygon Predator

I’ve never played an Intruder Alarm deck, but on the face of it, this version appears to be a sort of aggro-combo hybrid. It can maybe beat you to death with Vanquishers, but alternately, it plays an Intruder Alarm and then does one of a couple things to generate infinite something and win the game. The options I see immediately are:
Alarm + Bird or Llanowar Elves + Imperious Perfect = infinite Elf Warriors
Alarm + Sprout Swarm + a decent kickstart of mana sources (possibly Elves or Birds) = infinite Saprolings
Add Essence Warden to either of those to acquire infinite life.
We’ll pause for a moment for the pedants to note that it’s not “infinite” life or tokens, but rather an arbitrarily large number.
I’m fascinated first of all that this worked often enough to put Indy in the top eight. Did people not have enough creature kill to keep the elves off the field, or not think to bring in Stifles to kill the Alarm activation and stop one of the infinite cycles? Obviously, one doesn’t prepare to face Elf-Alarm, but it intuitively feels like Dredge, TEPS, and Ideal should run over this…and possibly Affinity as well.
The other fun fact about Indy’s build — no fetchlands. This gives me some hope, as I’m giving serious thought to competing in an upcoming PTQ, but am not giving serious thought to paying lots of money for fetchlands that will rotate out of Extended later this year.
So what else populated the top eight at Roanoke? What else floats to the top eight Elf-Alarm? Well, the decklist pool from Roanoke is one short, so we only have seven decks to look at, but Indy shared the top eight with Chase Rare Control, two Doran decks, a double helping of Dredge, and an almost-mono-blue control deck. So it’s not like it was all elves and zombies there.
Curious, and cool.
“Infinite elf you to death.”
You can read the other Roanoke decklists here.