Rise of the Elven Dictator

“Eyeblights. That is the name the Gilt-Leaf Tribe has given to the various unsightly creatures that wander freely through our woods. We elves are the pinnacle of beauty and grace. We fight endlessly to rid our plane of anything that doesn’t meet our standards. Despite countless hunts, our efforts have been fruitless. However, new allies have arrived in the forests of Lorwyn. People able to cross the Blind Eternities into other realms that supersede our wildest imaginations. Where some see freedom, I see opportunity.

I am Nath, Taercenn of the Gilt-Leaf, and I have joined forces with these strange ‘Planeswalkers’ in order to extend our hunt of the Eyeblights in other planes. With their abilities and my unconventional leadership, we will purge the blemished lands of any beastly amalgamations that do not meet our traditional elven standards. The ‘Multiverse’ will come to know the elves as the superior creature. Anyone who fails to do so will know true oppression. If your doubt my intentions, let me leave you with this; I don’t care how many elves I must step on to achieve my goal. I will dominate the Multiverse. I will see justice done.”



My name is Jace and if you’re reading this article, it is one of many to soon be featured on the CMD Tower. I have the opportunity to write some awesome content for the site thanks to Chris who runs the show here. So, if you like what you see, stand by for more stuff from me in the future. It’s going to be radical. Now, back to the elves!

Growing up, I started playing Magic: The Gathering at the end of my freshman year of high school. The Onslaught block was in full swing. For me, I loved my red goblins and overwhelming my poor opponents. On the other hand, elves were the bane of my existence. Green and often bigger than my mindless goons, elves usually had no problem taking me and the goblin squad to task. Needless to say, I have some pre-existing problems with elves merely for the fact that they ARE awesome. A piece of my soul just died while typing this.

With the advent of EDH, tons of people have created elf decks that get in, rip their opponents apart, and leave the scene in victory. That’s fine and all but I don’t play commander to win (I mean, I do, but I want to have fun too), I play to give my opponents the chance to watch chaos unfold. I design my decks with more flavor than win conditions. I enjoy a good, long game of commander. Especially one that makes that players at the table talk, make deals, back-stab, and profit. With those guidelines in place, I decided to try my own brewing of an EDH elf deck. However, I really wanted my loathing of elves to come into play. I wanted my opponents to hate elves by the end of the game as I have for years. For this, I wanted an oppressive leader who was going to make it hard for players to keep their hands while giving me more elves for my cause. Enter Nath of the Gilt-Leaf.


Nath is ruthless. Each turn, he’s going to use his powers to undermine 1 opponent into discarding a card. Not only are you going to place your opponents in a tight place, you’ll enlist an elf warrior to assist in your board domination. With the core mechanics of this commander in mind, I slowly built the deck around discard enchantments with a regular elf tribal build. Nath is great and all but he cannot do it alone. He’s going to need some assistance getting from plane to plane.

Dominating the Multiverse

I was never one to run any planeswalkers. For me, they were too big of a target to paint on your back in any EDH game. That was until I saw how well “Super Friends” decks were doing (Click here for an example). My, my. In that case, I’ll take four for my elven warpath. The first two I decided to add were Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury and Nissa Revane. With these two ladies, I can neutralize enchantments and artifacts as well as summon elves and keep my life and hand full. I would be foolish to battle without them.

Great, we have some awesome power here but what else can we add? I have never had the privilege of playing in Green/Black and there are some fun cards to add to the mix. I decided to get Garruk, Apex Predator and Vraska the Unseen on my side. Not only do these powerhouses decimate anything on the board, they can also devistate players when you allow their rage-timer to go off. Any raiders in the room? You’re welcome for that throwback reference.


Flex Your Leadership

If you’re going to have the power of Planeswalkers to help you out, you’re going to need some great officers (Legendary Creatures) to help you get the mission accomplished. In this case, DOMINATION. First and foremost, you want cards that are going to help keep your team alive. Enter Eladamri, Lord of Leaves, an older elf leader that is going to give your green army shroud and forestwalk. Really, the forestwalk is an added bonus. Preventing your opponents from targeting your elves is the real perk. If you can’t have Eladamri at the helm, Ezuri, Renegade Leader is a great follow-up to regenerate your elves as well as have them literally trample over your foes.

You would be foolish NOT to take advantage of the use of Black in this deck. Elves are too often goody-two-shoes in their Green mana preference. Gaining life and generating mana is fine if you want to have the laughing stock of elf decks. Instead, I encourage you to dip into the dark side. Why not add an elf that allows you to tutor. Maralen of the Mornsong will do that for you and your opponents. For 3 life each turn, you can search your library for any old card you need. Sure, handing your opponents the same privilege is…troublesome but did I mention that Maralen also stops that pesky card-draw? This is especially nice since this deck is a discard engine for your opponents. So don’t feel too bad for showing them some pity. They’re going to despise that small, fleeting chance of hope you’re giving them.

Eladamri-Lord-of-Leaves-mtg-card   Ezuri-Renegade-Leader-mtg-card   Maralen-of-the-Mornsong-mtg-card

Doing Things the Elven Way

In EDH, it’s really easy to go all out on rares in the colors that your commander has. Often, it will be a barrage of the best spells their respective colors have to offer. In this deck (and most that I build), I go for flavor over power. That being said, Nath likes to stick to the traditions of his people. If he is going to take command of the Multiverse, he’s going to have to establish old elven traditions in order to keep his rule as mighty as he possibly can. That’s why we’re going to have Elvish PromenadeGilt-Leaf Ambush, and Prowess of the Fair. Essentially, it’s just more elf spells to spam the term “elf” and how many times you or your opponents say that word. It’s…elf propaganda!

Elvish-promenade-card-mtg   Gilt-Leaf-Ambush-card-mtg   Prowess-of-the-Fair-mtg-card

Oppress the Grotesque

One of my favorite parts of this deck are the discard engines that combo off of Nath. These enchantments can be consider cruel edicts put in place to torture, abuse, and scar your opponents. For you, this only means more brave elves being called to the front lines so they can be thrown at your opponents. If the deck plays in your favor, this will cause you opponents to rarely have more than 2 cards in hand. No tricks, no traps, and no surprises. It causes your opponents to empty their hands faster than they can. This can be done in a few ways.

Oppression and Painful Quandary are going to punish any players who get smart and try and play spells. They’ll have to pay the toll of discarding a card or losing 5 life. Watch them squirm as their hatred towards elves rise. Of course, small sacrifices must be made. At the cost of one card from your hand each turn, Necrogen Mists and Cunning Lethemancer will keep everyone discarding. This way, you’re getting at least one elf token on the field each turn. If Nath isn’t on the field, you’re still causing havoc to your opponents’ hand and sometimes that’s just enough.

My absolute favorite part of this deck is that it’s a beater deck. Get out lots of creatures, make ’em big, and charge. There are not a lot of combat tricks which is fine because your opponents will likely not have a hand. However, this deck will reward you for not having a hand. This is accomplished by Gibbering Descent. Not only will this enchantment still cause your opponents grief but if you have no cards in hand, you can skip your upkeep which means less discard for you. Not to mention the Madness cost to play this card. Discarding it only makes it cheaper to play. Make their heads spin with all of these rules that will make their game a grind.

Oppression-card-mtg   Necrogen-Mists-card-mtg   Gibbering-Descent-mtg-card

Rise of the Elven Dictator

This deck was created out of years of spite for elves. Having built and played this deck, I have a new found appreciation for the creatures and MTG lore surrounding them. It’s amazing to watch my friend struggle to take care of me while trying to protect themselves from each other. Really, the only way to beat this deck is to take it our first. This leads to a little one-sidedness but I have too much fun running this deck. It causes the rest of their game to be an uphill battle to see who can top-deck the best cards and that’s just fun to watch.

If you’re down for a casual deck that’s going to force your opponents to really play their moves with smart thinking and quick reactions, this is the deck for you. Your opponents will have no choice but to give you the best their decks and commanders will offer. It’s a really noble way to duke it out and talk trash. Yes, you can have it all. Below is the deck list.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you saw here, support CMD Tower and leave a comment. I will be posting wacky and fun EDH decks that I have been known to play. If you have a commander you’d like me to build a fun deck around, feel free to drop me a line at jace@crazysunshinepodcast.com. Now get our there and put your opponents under your thumb with Nath of the Gilt-Leaf.

Author: Jace Reed

Jace is just a regular ol' Magic player (Since Onslaught) who enjoys the EDH format very much. Oh, and did I mention. Jace has a podcast with his buddy Steve where they talk anime, games, and anything that crosses their minds. Jace has his sights set on being the first Cowboy Space President of the Moon.

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