Elsha’s Storm [Commander 2019]

Elsha of the Infinite

Elsha of the Infinite is the secondary commander for the Commander 2019 deck Mystic Intellect. Although similar to Future Sight and Melek, Izzet Paragon, Elsha allows cards to be cast as though they had Flash. This makes her an effective card advantage engine and a very useful one in archetypes such as Storm.

A common concern upon first seeing Elsha is her casting cost. At 5 cmc, and without green in her colors, building a deck around her might seem slow. To get around this, a good solution would be to include a lot of mana rocks. Luckily, a typical Storm shell would also include a lot of these which makes her a good commander for such decks. Below is a current list I am working on along with a short discussion of the deck:

Decklist:

Instant (26)
Brainstorm
Chain of Vapor
Counterspell
Cyclonic Rift
Delay
Dispel
Dovin’s Veto
Dramatic Reversal
Enlightened Tutor
Flame Sweep
Flusterstorm
Force of Negation
Force of Will
Mana Drain
Mental Misstep
Misdirection
Mystical Tutor
Narset’s Reversal
Opt
Pact of Negation
Pyretic Ritual
Red Elemental Blast
Silence
Spell Pierce
Swan Song
Whir of Invention

Enchantment (6)
Ancestral Knowledge
Counterbalance
Mystic Remora
Rest in Peace
Soothsaying
Words of Wind

Land (30)
Academy Ruins
Ancient TombArid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
City of Brass
Command Tower
Exotic Orchard
Fiery Islet
Flooded Strand
Forbidden Orchard
Hallowed Fountain
Island
Mana Confluence
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Sea of Clouds
Seat of the Synod
Shivan Reef
Steam Vents
Tundra
Volcanic Island
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Sorcery (13)
Day’s Undoing
Fabricate
Gamble
Gitaxian Probe
Merchant Scroll
Personal Tutor
Ponder
Preordain
Pyroclasm
Reshape
Transmute Artifact
Wheel of Fortune
Windfall

Artifact (21)
Aetherflux Reservoir
Arcane Signet
Chrome Mox
Cloud Key
Cursed Totem
Everflowing Chalice
Fellwar Stone
Grim Monolith
Isochron Scepter
Izzet Signet
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Mox Diamond
Mox Opal
1x Mox Tantalite
Scroll Rack
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Talisman of Creativity
Talisman of Progress

Planeswalker (2)
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Narset, Parter of Veils

Gameplay

This deck is built around Elsha with the Storm archetype in mind. Like all Storm decks, the challenge is to gain access to enough spells to build up a sufficient number of storm counts and be able to cast them to win the game. Access to cards is provided by Elsha as we can keep casting non-creature and non-land cards from the top of our library as long as she is in play. This list does not have any creatures but lands are unavoidable. This is where cards like Sensei’s Divining Top, Soothsaying, Scroll Rack, and even Brainstorm come into play. They all help in the task of manipulating our top deck and in guiding all our movements towards the win.

Win Conditions

The deck has a web of synergistic combos in order to win games. The main combo requires us to have Elsha, Cloud Key (choose Artifact) and Senesei’s Divining Top in play. With these in play, we can draw the top card of our library using SDT and then cast it from the top of our library without additional mana. From there, mana rocks can be played to cast Jace which we then use to win the game. Another option would be to cast enough rocks to play Aetherflux Reservoir and accumulate storm counts by casting more spells or by casting a wheel and repeating the SDT combo.

jace TMS

Alternatively, we can also use the Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal combo. With enough mana rocks, this nets us an infinite amount of mana.  Although this does not win us the game outright, we can use Soothsaying to rearrange our library and assemble the primary combo or just Elsha and SDT to draw out our deck. We can then choose either Jace or the Reservoir to win the game.

Narset’s Wheels

The deck also makes use of a subtle but effective Narset, Parter of Veils sub-theme. The wheels are essential in keeping the deck’s momentum after a strong opening hand. They allow us to replenish our hand and, with Narset in play, works as powerful discard spells. Wheels become especially disruptive with Elsha in play.  We con now use them to  force discards during opponents’ turns and, in the case of Day’s Undoing, end turns as soon as they begin. Drawn early, we can often rely on the Narset game-play to create the separation we need to win the game without trouble.

If you’re interested in play-testing the deck, click here.

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