Matchup Mulligan: Elves II

Final RUG Delver Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

Chrome Mox Ponder Brainstorm Dark Ritual Lion's Eye Diamond Lion's Eye Diamond Lion's Eye Diamond


This hand is actually not that great. The old adage of, “the odds are in our favor, go for it.”, is no longer true when our opponent has up to six free hard counters between Force of Will and Force of Negation. This puts their odds at about 60 percent, which is a losing bet at the casino.

Elves II


Hand No. 1: (on the play)

Wishclaw Talisman Veil of Summer Chrome Mox Bloodstained Mire Defense Grid Burning Wish Rite of Flame


While this hand may not look very fast, it actually is. I would play Chrome Mox (Imprint: Veil of Summer), then search up Badlands with Bloodstained Mire, and finally cast Wishclaw Talisman. Elves can’t disrupt us on the first turn in game one, and then we untap cast Rite of Flame, Burning Wish for Echo of Eons, activate Wishclaw Talisman for Lion’s Eye Diamond. At this point, play the Lion’s Eye Diamond, discard our hand, and then flashback Echo of Eons.

Hand No. 2: (on the draw)

Mox Opal Rite of Flame Lion's Eye Diamond Veil of Summer Lotus Petal Bloodstained Mire Polluted Delta


While our hand has a lot of mana and a Veil of Summer, Veil of Summer doesn’t do anything in game one due to no discard, meaning this hand doesn’t do anything.

Hand No. 3: (on the play)

Rite of Flame Dark Ritual Chrome Mox Lotus Petal Mox Opal Burning Wish Bloodstained Mire


This hand is a good example of not to forget that we can still cast Empty the Warrens. 14 Goblin Tokens on the play is almost a guarantee against Elves. Use Bloodstained Mire, cast Lotus Petal, Mox Opal, Chrome Mox (No Imprint), Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Burning Wish, and generate 14 Goblin Tokens with Empty the Warrens.

Hand No. 4: (on the draw)

Swamp Dark Ritual Dark Ritual Dark Ritual Wishclaw Talisman Veil of Summer Rite of Flame


Unlike Infernal Tutor, Wishclaw Talisman does not require you to be hellbent, meaning anything that can generate a mana in the next few turns leads to casting Ad Nauseam.

Hand No. 5: (on the play)

Mox Opal Burning Wish Burning Wish Bloodstained Mire Ad Nauseam Underground Sea Polluted Delta


This hand is just far too slow. Burning Wish also has very few good targets in this matchup.


Recommended sideboarding:


Chain of Vapor Chain of Vapor Echoing Truth Echoing Truth Grapeshot


Veil of Summer Veil of Summer Veil of Summer Defense Grid Defense Grid

Hand No. 6: (on the draw — mulliganed once)

Ad Nauseam Wishclaw Talisman Wishclaw Talisman Burning Wish Ponder Chain of Vapor Volcanic Island


While we have Ad Nauseam and Chain of Vapor, this hand is just too clunky. My biggest fear here is that post-board Elves contains a number of discard spells ranging from Cabal Therapy to Thoughtseize. I don’t think this hand can really afford to be disrupted.

Hand No. 7: (on the play)

Veil of Summer Polluted Delta Brainstorm Volcanic Island Burning Wish Chain of Vapor Dark Ritual


As weird as it is, Veil of Summer can actually be fairly good post-board to stop the discard spells that I previously mentioned. While this hand can be a little slow, it also has an answer to whatever permanent-based hate our opponent is trying to do such as Collector Ouphe. I expect this hand to be a turn-three win.

Hand No. 8: (on the draw)

Ponder Brainstorm Rite of Flame Rite of Flame Underground Sea Badlands Chrome Mox


This is a low-end keep, but it has lands and spells that can meaningfully interact. Especially against a hand that likely contains discard spells.

Hand No. 9: (on the play)

Echo of Eons Lion's Eye Diamond Volcanic Island Bloodstained Mire Polluted Delta Polluted Delta Swamp


This hand could lose to a Leyline of the Void, which I’ve seen out of Elves, but I would risk the first turn Echo of Eons with starting the game with a land in play already.

Hand No. 10: (on the draw — mulliganed twice)

Echo of Eons Mox Opal Mox Opal Dark Ritual Wishclaw Talisman Burning Wish Brainstorm

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!