Green/White Elves with 4 Genesis Wave (Includes Deck Tech Video)
July 31, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Delver won this past weekend’s Starcitygames Standard Open in Buffalo but the deck of the tournament was definitely Kurt Crane’s Green/White (GW) Elves deck that finished in second place.
The deck was unique with 4 Genesis Wave, 4 Restoration Angel, 2 Village Bell-Ringer, 3 Soul of the Harvest, and 1 Craterhoof Behemoth.
Check out the deck list and deck tech video below. I transcribed the video if you want to read text.
|GW Elf Wave|
Magic players save money on cards by going to eBay. Click the links below to buy cards from this deck on eBay.
Deck Tech Video
Rough Transcript of the Video
Reuben Bresler: Hi, I’m Reuben Bresler and I’m here in the Sideboard with Kurt Crane, who has what people were calling Elf Ball, but I wouldn’t call it that. It certainly looks like a combo deck. It can just as easily be an aggro deck.
It looked very exciting on camera. Tell us a little bit about this deck.
Kurt Crane: It’s a bunch of Elves. You’re trying to get big mana. It’s definitely like a combo deck. It kind of has some aggro roles. Sometimes you turn into a green/white control deck after sideboard.
It’s got 12 mana guys (Llanowar Elves, Arbor Elf, and Birds of Paradise) to accelerate your mana. Your turn two play is generally going to be Elvish Archdruid and you have Green Sun’s Zenith to find those Archdruids. You just want to make a lot of mana.
The real engine of the deck is Genesis Wave.
Reuben Bresler: For large numbers, which I saw several times.
Kurt Crane: Sometimes you go real big and other times you can just cast a value Genesis Wave for three.
Reuben Bresler: Now speaking of going really big, you have Soul of the Harvest. How’s that been for you today?
Kurt Crane: It’s been awesome. This card is the main engine of the combo. You can keep chaining cards. Generally, what will happen is after a Genesis Wave, I’ll hit a Soul of the Harvest and I have a couple other cards that interact well with the deck.
I have 2 Village Bell-Ringer to untap my Archdruids and all my mana guys so I make extra amounts of mana. I also have Restoration Angel. I originally had Bell-Ringers in its place. I also tried other cards like red for Fervor and the fourth Soul of the Harvest.
But my friend Evan talked me out of those cards. He talked me into adding 4 Restoration Angel. They are good when you’re not winning. They are especially good when you’re comboing.
Reuben Bresler: Now I noticed, even on top of Soul of the Harvest, you have bigger game. You have an Ezuri, Renegade Leader and a Craterhoof Behemoth.
Talk to me about the roles that those two cards play.
Kurt Crane: The deck is actually really fast. I’ve had 4 turn four kills already today.
You can Green Sun’s for Craterhoof Behemoth and when he comes into play, he pretty much ends the game. Also, when you cast Genesis Wave for eight or more and you hit Craterhoof Behemoth, you’re attacking for over a hundred damage.
Ezuri is in the deck because he’s a good guy to Green Sun’s for. Also, he protects against wraths and Bonfires.
Reuben Bresler: He’s Whipflare and Day of Judgment insurance that can also Overrun your team.
Kurt Crane: Exactly.
I had one game earlier today where I cast Green Sun’s for Ezuri on turn three. Then, the following turn, I made my land drop to Overrun with Ezuri and attack for pretty much lethal damage.
Reuben Bresler: Excellent.
The deck has some pretty powerful draws. You were telling me it’s possible to get a turn three win.
Kurt Crane: You have to get lucky.
Reuben Bresler: Typically, you were telling me that you do a value Genesis Wave.
Kurt Crane: Yeah, on turn three, after you go Elf into Archdruid, you make your land drop and Genesis Wave for three.
If you hit both Bell-Ringers, you can make upwards of 10 mana and then you can cast the second Genesis Wave. From there, the combo just takes off with Restoration Angel and Soul of the Harvest.
One of the biggest problems I’ve had is decking myself.
Reuben Bresler: Luckily, Soul of the Harvest is a “may” ability.
Kurt Crane: I cast Genesis Wave where I thought about going for 29, but I decided to go with 26 because I had a couple Visionaries in the deck and I didn’t want to deck myself.
Reuben Bresler: Talk to me a little bit about your sideboard. You’ve got an interesting transformation aspect to the deck where it can sort of become a control deck. You’ve got a lot of pieces that are good against specific archetypes.
You’ve got some very good things against Esper Control and Blue/Black Control. And you’ve got some weird interactions where you can switch out cards to become a completely different deck.
Kurt Crane: Yeah.
The mainstay is the 4 Thalia. I had three for a while but four is the way to go. You want them in any control matchup and Delver. Sticking a Thalia buys you extra time for their wraths and makes Delver pay additional mana for their cantrips. The card has been awesome.
The Acidic Slime comes in for any random Trading Post decks and decks with Swords. I played against a Humans deck earlier and he had Honor of the Pure. So, I brought in the Acidic Slime.
Reuben Bresler: Speaking of Swords, you’ve also got Crushing Vines, which takes down Swords and Trading Posts. It also takes down Restoration Angel, which I imagine can be a problem for your deck.
Kurt Crane: Yeah, Restoration Angel was a problem until we added our own.
Reuben Bresler: Sure, play fire with fire. There’s the Plummet to add to that.
Talk to me about the Thragtusks.
Kurt Crane: I’m bringing in the Thragtusks against any aggressive deck and anytime I want to become a control deck. You can blink Thragtusk with Restoration Angel to get a ton of value. I have 4 Green Sun’s to get the Thragtusk.
He buys me a ton of time. He’s two guys. You can hit him off of Genesis Wave. He’s just been awesome.
Reuben Bresler: You have a Gavony Township in the sideboard. People looking at this deck might think, he’s playing GW Elves, of course he’s going to be running Gavony Township in the main deck.
But you’re not. You’re only running one in the sideboard. Talk to me a little bit about the thought process behind that.
Kurt Crane: The reason for that is because we’re playing 13 Forest. We want Arbor Elf to be able to untap a Forest.
The mana is a little bit tough. We’re playing 4 Razorverge, 4 Sunpetal, and 13 Forest. Though Gavony Township would be good in the main deck, we wanted Arbor Elf to be more consistent in game one. We win a lot of game ones.
We’re basically bringing in Gavony Township against decks with damage based removal like Bonfire, Whipflare, and Slagstorm. I played against a Mutilate deck last week. I just want to make my guys a little bigger to get them out of range.
Reuben Bresler: So Gavony Township replaces Arbor Elf when you sideboard?
Kurt Crane: Yeah, generally you’re sideboarding out an Arbor Elf and replacing it with a Gavony Township. You want to go up a land because you’re going to be on the play too and you want more resilient mana.
Reuben Bresler: You also have 2 Mortarpod. Are they in the deck because you have so much extra mana?
Kurt Crane: Mortarpod was a pretty late addition. It didn’t come to me until last night. I’m not sure why. We were looking for cards to bring in against Green/Red Aggro and Blood Artist.
They are okay against Delver but I don’t generally bring them in. On the play, they are fantastic against Delver. On the draw, not so much.
If you don’t hit the Craterhoof or the Ezuri off your Genesis Wave, you usually don’t have a way to attack and win that turn.
Reuben Bresler: Right, because you’re sort of creating a board stall. And if one of you doesn’t have a Bonfire and you don’t, then there’s not a lot of ways to break out of a board stall.
Kurt Crane: Right.
Reuben Bresler: But a pretty good way to do that is have 20 guys and 40 mana and just one your opponent 20 times.
Kurt Crane: Which is very easy, much like the Legacy Elves deck. I can get 40 mana no problem. I can put my entire deck into play. Then I can just gun them down with Mortarpod.
Reuben Bresler: Excellent. So you’re currently 3-0. What have you played against?
Kurt Crane: The last round I had a pretty tough matchup. I played against Red/Green Aggro, which is very tough because they have main deck Bonfires. I was able to squeak it out.
I had Gavony Township in my opening hand for both of the sideboard games. It was just awesome. I had Green Sun’s for Thragtusk and then I blinked it with Restoration Angel to buy myself a ton of time.
The Gavony Township was just awesome to get my guys out of range. I also have Wolfir Silverheart in the sideboard for that matchup. It’s a pretty big guy and they don’t have a good way to kill it.
Reuben Bresler: You were on camera against Green/White Humans, which was very exciting to watch. If you get a chance, watch round two in the archive coverage.
Kurt Crane: Yeah, that’s definitely one of the better matchups. They don’t have too many good ways to interact and I’m generally a turn four combo deck.
You got to see the whole engine work really well in game one. It seemed to function really well. Everything was clicking. It was a great example.
Reuben Bresler: I think this is a really good deck for the metagame right now. It’s the closest thing we have to a combo deck in Standard unless you count Burning Vengeance but nobody really plays that.
Kurt Crane: You do have a turn three win. I don’t think many other decks have a way to win on turn three.
Reuben Bresler: There’s not a ton of decks that can do that so it’s very exciting. Kurt, thanks for joining me on the Sideboard.