This deck is everywhere on MTG Arena right now, and it’s as consistent as it can get. Don’t even think about underestimating this deck like I did because it’s going to punish you. This is Temur Elementals.
How Do You Get To Mythic? Elementals, My Dear Watson!
That’s right. If there was one deck that you could pilot to Mythic this season, it would be Temur Elementals. MTG Arena adds another competitive deck to its roster, and I am more scared of playing against this deck than Esper Control variants.
When Core Set 2020 got patched in MTG Arena, players brewed different techs involving Elemental tribal, but this list by Jeff Hoogland is one of the most consistent ones.
Temur Elementals is a midrange, ramp, Tribal deck that makes use of new cards such as Risen Reef and Omnath, Locus of the Roil to generate threats and to control the board.
Temur Elementals – Jeff Hoogland
Sorry, no Llanowar Elves or Paradise Druid here folks. Your dorks comprise 30% of your deck’s creature roster because you have 4 copies of Incubation Druid and 4 copies of Leafkin Druid to help you ramp towards your bigger creatures.
Both of them also generate more mana as the game progresses. Incubation Druid generates 3 mana of one type as long as there’s a +1/+1 counter on it.
Leafkin Druid generates 2 mana instead of one if you have 4 or more creatures in play.
That’s about 5 mana readily available with just one copy of Leafkin Druid and Incubation Druid in play alone.
The Risen Engine
The deck may vary in terms of creatures and spells, but the deck runs on these 2 cards from Core Set 2020.
Risen Reef is a 3-drop 1/1 creature that lets you look at the top card of your library when it or another Elemental enters the battlefield.
If it’s a land card, you may put it in the battlefield tapped. If you don’t put the card in the battlefield, put it into your hand.
Let’s dissect this card for a bit.
It’s a draw engine and a ramp engine all in one card, and that’s a lot of value for a 3-drop. Every time you drop an Elemental, you have a chance of putting another land in the battlefield or just draw out the card.
You’re also NOT OBLIGATED to reveal that you drew out a land or non-land card, as it says so from Gatherer.
And I’ll cite the text:
If you put the card into your hand, you don’t have to reveal it. You also don’t have to tell your opponent whether it’s a nonland card or a land card you decided not to put onto the battlefield tapped.
You could, in theory, bluff your way through the game just through this ruling.
Then you have the Big Daddy Elemental, Omnath, Locus of the Roil.
Omnath is a 4-drop 3/3 creature with a removal ETB that could potentially take out any big creature later on in the game: Skarrgan Hellkite, Lyra Dawnbringer, you name it.
It’s secondary ability lets you place a +1/+1 counter on target Elemental you control every time a land enters the battlefield under your control. Using Risen Reef, you could technically put a lot of counters on any Elemental available including Omnath.
If you have 8 or more lands, you draw a card.
There’s just a lot of value from these cards alone that it’s pretty dumb to leave these cards alone every turn.
These two cards find their home in the Temur Elementals deck for their synergy, and for the value and threat they add in the game.
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame allows you to generate 2 1/1 Red Elementals with Haste for 0 Loyalty cost. This synergizes so well with Risen Reef and Omnath, Locus of the Roil.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno is your endgame Planeswalker that can’t be countered that hurts your opponents in more ways than 1.
Its +2 ability gives your opponent an emblem that deals them 1 damage each turn. These emblems can stack on top of each other, so having 3 of them deals 3 damage per turn.
Its -3 ability deals 3 damage to non-Elemental creatures, which is technically a powerful board wipe that keeps you and your creatures safe.
Its -X ability is a Lava Coil for creatures or Planeswalkers since they get exiled if they die this turn.
Both Chandra’s provide threats and value the moment they’re in the battlefield, and you can get both these cards on the battlefield as early as Turn 6 (with Risen Reef and Omnath in play).
The Other Elementals
What good is an Elemental Deck without any Elementals, right?
You have two cards that are worth noting here because of what they can do for the game, on top of keeping the Elemental engine running.
Cavalier of Thorns is a 5/6 creature with Reach that lets you put a land card onto the battlefield and lets you put a card from your graveyard into the battlefield when it dies.
Living Twister is a solid 2/5 creature that does its best to defend against other midrange creatures such as Gruul Spellbreaker and Goblin Chainwhirler.
Living Twister also turns into a 2-damage cannon for 2-mana with an additional cost of discarding a land card.
There’s no other way of playing this game other than to ramp your way towards your Risen Reef engine and just to keep it running long enough to drop Chandra, Awakened Inferno.
Use Omnath’s ability to remove stubborn creatures that you don’t want to trade your creatures with.
When Omnath is in play, be sure to prioritize your counters effectively. Prioritize your Risen Reef to protect it from certain damage spells and to turn it into a solid attacker.
Here’s Jeff Hoogland’s Deck Tech in action: