Tribal Elves EDH

Selvala, Explorer Returned

[magic]Selvala, Explorer Returned[/magic] may not be most people’s first, second or even third choice as a general in a tribal EDH deck but after toying around for awhile and evaluating all the facts I think she might be the best tribal general yet! The first thing to note about Selvala is her color identity.  Selvala’s color identity is both green and white allowing the deck access to cards typically not seen in other tribal elves decks (the majority of which are mono green). The second thing to note is her ability to draw cards and ramp. The ability to draw cards in green and white decks is difficult to find and this general can put cards into your hand every turn. The ramp ability is nothing new to green but it certainly adds value.  The third thing to note is because many people view Selvala as a “group hug” general she won’t be a lightning rod the second she hits the battlefield, so you don’t have to worry about casting her.

Now that we have evaluated Selvala let’s see who else can join the party with Selvala at the helm.

Rhys the Redeemed

Rhys the Redeemed is a house in a tribal Elves deck. He not only creates elves but he also can double the number of tokens you have in play! He also functions as a backup General should you get tired of Selvala running the show.


As I stated earlier in the article one of the reasons that Selvala is so powerful is her dual color identity she allows you to play a very powerful removal package.

Swords to Plowshares   Path to Exile   Oblation

Return to Dust   Unravel the Æther   Austere Command

Crib Swap   Krosan Grip   Revoke Existence

All of the cards pictured above are green and white staples. Their versatility is extensive, allowing us to handle a multitude of threats. We also have access to one of the best green and white removal cards in the format…

Aura Shards

Incase you didn’t notice by the spells, I like exiling and burying effects. These spells ensure that once you deal with a problem, you won’t have to deal with it again, at least not for a long time. These cards are a necessity in green/white decks, and I would save 10 spots in my list for these cards alone.

Card Draw & Tutors: 

Card draw in green and white is scarce, but not non-existent. Typically card draw in these colors are either cantrips, or somewhat “color-shifted” cards. (e.g. Harmonize seeming more like a blue card)

Harmonize   Regal Force   Elvish Visionary

Selvalas Enforcer   Fauna Shaman   Slate of Ancestry

Elvish Harbinger   Masked Admirers   Image
Enlightened Tutor   Image (4)   Image (5)



Selvala, having so many aspects to her ability, is a commander that can easily combo. Whether you’re digging for answers or that card to put you over the top, being able to get as much as you can from her ability is important. For this reason, we look to play cards that allow us to untap our little elf. Luckily, we have access to a multitude of these abilities.

Wirewood Lodge   Quirion Ranger   Seeker of Skybreak

Image (2)   Image (1)   Umbral Mantel

These effects allow us to tap and untap Selvala mutliple times a turn, obviously, but the real fun comes with [magic]Umbral Mantle[/magic]. Because we’re running green, we’re obviously going to run a few mana doubling effects. After all, we have access to the best mana doubling effect int he game in this deck, Mana Reflection. With this three card combo, you only have to hit 2 non-land cards per activation of Selvala to produce infinite mana, gain infinite life, and draw infinite cards. Is it a guaranteed combo, no. But statistically speaking, it’s more likely to go off than not.

Also it is important to note that [magic]Umbral Mantle[/magic] pairs with a number of other mana producers in the deck. Umbral Mantle, in this list, will be an infinite mana facilitator with cards like Elvish Archdruid and Priest of Titania almost guaranteed, all the while making a single creature infinitely large.


Every deck needs threats, cards that have to be dealt with and this deck is no different…

Realm Seeker

Realm Seekers may not look like much but with Selvala putting cards into everyone’s hands this guy is gonna be big. He also acts as a Fertilid like effect, allowing you to search up lands at instant speed to avoid missing land drops.

Elvish Branchbender   Timberwatch Elf   Heedless One

Joraga Warcaller   Lys Alana Huntmaster   Allosaurus Rider

Ezuri, Renegade Leader   Voice of the Woods   Drove of Elves

Image (3)   Glissa Sunseeker   Jagged-Scar Archers


Because of the typical small size of Elves, anthem effects are essential for winning the game in a timely manner. Sure, you can whittle your opponents down with 2/2’s, but its much easier to win the game with even 3/3’s, 4/4’s, or better yet 15/15’s. For this reason, we want to pack as many anthem effects into the deck as possible without losing out on value.

Elvish Archdruid      Imperious Perfect

Kaysa   Kondas Banner   Door of Destinies

Coat of Arms   Cathars Crusade   Adaptive Automaton

Wilt-Leaf Liege   Tolsimir Wolfblood   Image (6)

***Just an FYI, Kaysa has been given an errata to change her creature type to Elf Druid***

The rest of the deck basically becomes utility elves. Cards that can ramp, protect, recur and every elf in between to add the Selvala’s army. Cards like:

Priest of Titania   Wellwisher   Tajuru Preserver

Yeva Natures Herald   Heritage Druid   Caller of the Claw

Oracle of Mul Daya   Wrens Run PackmasterEssence Warden   Oracle of Nectars

Hopefully this has been an eye opening experience for you as it was for me while building the deck. I would love to hear from you as to the elves you would of put in or things you would change about the deck, please leave your comments below!

4 Replies to “Tribal Elves EDH”

    • Chris Stephen

      I’m glad you liked it. That is everything but the lands. When it comes to land bases I let people think of their own b/c prices fluctuate so much and if someone can’t afford a certain land I don’t want them to feel bad. People refer to Commander some times as Singleton Vintage and it really boils down to the lands. So put what lands you can and enjoy the deck. It’s funny tho, I’m actually working on another version / updated version of that deck now keep an eye on the site for it.

  1. Javier

    I also have seen that wilt leaf liege is super expensive right now , so I replaced it with jubilation angel , do you think I made the right choice ??

    • Chris Stephen

      Wilt leaf is one of the more expensive pieces for sure. I think you made a good choice. That’s why I love the Commander format. All things can be altered and there is always another card that is just as good.

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