Neoform Elementals – Decklist and Sideboard Guide

by Affinity Games

As of this writing, I reached Mythic (93%) in MTG Arena, using this Elementals variation from Plat 4 to Mythic. This article covers the decklist, the playstyle, and its sideboard guide.

Neoform Elementals Surprises Everyone Else!

Okay, I was hesitant to write about this deck mainly because I didn’t have enough street cred to talk about it. Browsing through ArenaDecklist’s Twitter, I stumbled across this interesting Elementals variation from a Spanish streamer named Lazyguga.

He too used this decklist to reach Mythic, though I think he did a better job at it than me. I spent a week in Traditional Play only to practice this deck and getting to know its nuances, and I took this deck to Ranked when I hit Platinum 4.

The climb since then was smooth sailing. From Platinum 4 to Diamond 4, I only played 14 games and won 12 of them.

And then the real climb began when I hit Diamond 4. I played about 24 games from Diamond 4 to Mythic, and won 17 games out of those.

My Match Win-Rate is 76.32% while my Game Win-Rate is 70.45%.

In the 38 matches, I scored a win-loss ratio of 62-26.

I monitored by win-loss ratios in an Excel spreadsheet, as seen here. In hindsight, I should’ve specified the type of Rogue decks that I went against in the ladder.

But it’s worth noting that two of those Rogue decks were the Kethis decks (again, stay tuned for a future article).

Again I take no credit for this decklist since I am not the deck’s creator. All credits go to LazyGuga, which you can follow his Twitch channel by clicking this link here.

Neoform Elementals by Lazyguga

Importable decklist here

4 Breeding Pool

4 Hinterland Harbor

4 Unclaimed Territory

2 Rootbound Crag

4 Steam Vents

4 Stomping Ground

1 Forest

1 Mountain

4 Cloudkin Seer

4 Leafkin Druid

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Omnath, Locus of the Roil

4 Risen Reef

3 Scampering Scorcher

4 Thunderkin Awakener

2 Yarok, the Desecrated

2 Neoform

3 Lava Coil

2 Chandra, Awakened Inferno

Sideboard

1 Flame Sweep

2 Fry

2 Negate

2 Shifting Ceratops

1 God-Eternal Rhonas

2 Aether Gust

4 Veil of Summer

1 Mass Manipulation

The Deck

The deck is basically a Temur Elementals deck with the same engine, but the approach is quite different. There’s no longer any Cavalier of Thorns, Incubation Druid, and Chandra, Acolyte of Flame. These are replaced by Yarok, the Desecrated, Thunderkin Awakener, and Scampering Scorcher.

Thunderkin Awakener is a solid 2-drop because it does a good job at throwing additional bodies from your graveyard when it attacks.

When paired with Omnath’s +1/+1 buff, this card can fetch stronger cards from the graveyard.

Even without counters, it manages to get your weenies out and into the battlefield, so you’re still able to squeeze in a quick trigger from Risen Reef, Cloudkin Seer, or Scampering Scorcher.

This makes the Awakener an instant target for removals.

Meanwhile, to replace Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, you get Scampering Scorcher, which gives you 2 1/1 Elemental token when it enters the battlefield. Granted it’s a one mana more expensive than Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, but it’s more beneficial to the deck because it grants you an additional trigger from Risen Reef when it enters the battlefield.

When Scorcher is fetched from the graveyard by Awakener, it gives you two more tokens (4 if you have Yarok, the Desecrated), so it helps flood your board against Aggro decks.

Lastly the deck runs Yarok, the Desecrated. To secure him into the battlefield, you have two options: to hard-cast him or to cheat him in using Scampering Scorcher through Neoform. In most of my games, I’ve been able to secure him through Neoform since his only mana-source is from Unclaimed Territory.

Yarok basically gets ETB abilities to trigger twice, and this deck has a lot of ETB abilities. The following abilities include:

  1. Risen Reef
  2. Omnath, Locus of the Roil
  3. Cloudkin Seer
  4. Scampering Scorcher

So you get to draw, put tokens, put counters, and play lands twice per creature. And when you have more copies of Risen Reefs, then the triggers are exponential.

Check out my own recording of their crazy interactions right here:

The Deck’s Strength

The deck maximizes on the Elemental’s synergies, as seen on the video above. When Risen Reef becomes unchecked for a few turns, it’s able to ramp up lands or get your hands full.

The deck also does a good job at going toe-to-toe with Hyper aggro decks due to Yarok’s lifegain and Omnath’s counters.

The Deck’s Weakness

This deck relies heavily on certain cards to get the engine running, so you’re pressured to secure those cards one way or another, or you have to do a good job in protecting your creatures crucial to the engine.

This means keeping your Risen Reefs, Leafkin Druids, and even Llanowar Elves alive for at least a turn.

And trust me, in the ladder, players are petty enough to remove your dorks and those are crippling for this deck.

Sideboard Guide

This sideboard guide is to be taken with a grain of salt, mainly because this went through 2 changes as I climbed up the ladder. But the basis for this guide is around the final list that you see above.

Again, I am not a professional player nor am I a highly skilled player. I just know my way around this deck to make certain decisions that affect the matches.

Against Esper and Grixis Control

Esper and Grixis Control’s goal against your deck is to slow you down till they get to the point where they drop their Teferi and Oath of Kaya combo.

In the post matches, you’re going to expect a lot of removals and board wipes, so you’re going to have to slow down a bit and just drive them enough into a corner to pressure them into using their removals.

With that said, you remove most of your weenies (Llanowar Elves, Cloudkins, and Awakeners) because these are their main targets.

Negates and Veil of Summer are your protection spells against their removals and board wipes, which buys you a turn or two.

In:

+4 Veil of Summer

+2 Negate

+1 Mass Manipulation

Out:

-4 Llanowar Elves

-1 Leafkin Druid

-2 Cloudkin Seer

Against Orzhov Vampires

Vampires put you on a clock the moment they drop their first creature. Regardless of the sideboard you have, your only way out of here is how to navigate their damage outputs for the next few turns.

Copies of Veil of Summer are crucial to protect against their removals, and one copy of Negate to catch their Sorin.

In:

+3 Veil of Summer

+1 Mass Manipulation

+1 Negate

Out:

-3 Llanowar Elves

-1 Neoform

-1 Omnath, Locus of the Roil

Against Mono-Red Aggro and Feather

This is a tricky deck to sideboard against because it doesn’t really have specific cards to hose the deck against. Much like Orzhov Vampires, your survivability relies on how you’re able to navigate their damage.

In:

+2 Aether Gust

+2 Negate

+1 Flame Sweep

+1 God-Eternal Rhonas

Out:

-4 Llanowar Elves

-1 Omnath, Locus of the Roil

-1 Neoform

Against Scapeshift / Golos Fields

Scapeshift and Golos Fields are difficult matchups because you don’t really have solid answers to a board full of Zombies.

In matchups like these, you want to go faster because you don’t want them to set up their engine. Your only board wipe here is Chandra’s -3 ability, and you only run 2 copies of it in the deck.

In:

+1 Flame Sweep

+2 Negate

Out:

-2 Cloudkin Seer

-1 Scampering Scorcher

Bottom Line

Without a doubt, Neoform Elementals is a strong deck and in the right hands, it has the ability to steamroll certain decks.

Granted, I’m not one of those players who are great at playing this deck, but I am confident enough to talk about this deck and its nuances.

Check out Todd Steven’s take on Neoform Elementals in this video:

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