Rivals: Elves vs. Goblins

Rivals is a creature token series that celebrates classic creature rivalries through out Magic’s history. The idea was inspired by the very first Duel Decks: Elves vs. Goblins. I didn’t want to tackle this project alone. I’m excited to be collaborating with Dave Lee creator of the web comic Durdling Around.


Sure, you might think Goblins are cool and all at first until you actually hang out with them. Goblin body odor is literally among the worst things you’ll ever smell and even the pimp daddy [card]Goblin King[/card] can’t make up for his subjects’ utterly wretched sense of fashion. Leave it to the elves, the superior green race, to get things done in style! Whether you’re armoring up with Ezuri or getting your flower power on with [card]Immaculate Magistrate[/card], you know that Elves can kick ass and look good doing it.

[card]Imperious Perfect[/card] – This card might not be good enough for Legacy but saw plenty of play while it was a part of Standard. It now has a home in any casual Elf deck that wants to make a steady stream of 1/1 tokens and pump all your Elves. That includes pumping the tokens that it generates. This girl means business!

[card]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/card] – What happens when you put elves on a plane with no real trees? You get badass elves! Ezuri is sometimes a one of in Legacy Elf decks to Overrun after using [card]Glimpse of Nature[/card] to drop about half the Elves from your library into play. Ezuri is also very powerful in Commander. He can team up with his [card]Eladamri, Lord of Leaves[/card] to bring the Elf pain on your opponents.

[card]Ezuri’s Brigade[/card] – Despite having no Elf synergy whatsoever, I’ve always been a fan of [card]Ezuri’s Brigade[/card]. There’s something really appealing about the 4/4/8 numerical symmetry. Or maybe that’s just my Obsessive Compulsive [card]Disorder[/card] kicking in again.

[card]Elvish Promenade[/card] – [card]Elvish Promenade[/card] is perfect for any Elf deck that wants to double the number of Elves on your side of the board. Though it’s only a one shot spell, it can be tutored for by [card]Wirewood Herald[/card] or [card]Elvish Harbinger[/card].

[card]Immaculate Magistrate[/card] – There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting your face kicked in by an elf wearing a bouquet’s worth of fragrant flowers. The Magistrate is handing out flower hats like they’re kittens.

[card]Wren’s Run Packmaster[/card] – Wizards is barely scratching the surface of the Elf-Wolf alliance. We need more value wolves! Championing away a single token for a 5/5 that makes 2/2 Wolf tokens with deathtouch is certainly a worthwhile trade.

Elf token

Printable PDF Version


Why would anyone put their faith in an army of wussy, pointy-eared tree-huggers? Elves are nothing but a bunch of too cool for school types. Goblins are willing to be shot from a catapult wrapped in dynamite or at least sucker one of their friends into being shot from a catapult wrapped in dynamite. Goblins make the perfect soldiers.

[card]Empty the Warrens[/card] – [card]Empty the Warrens[/card] is probably the most powerful Goblin token producer because it has the keyword Storm printed on it. Storm is clearly everyone’s favorite mechanic in all of Magic’s wonderful history. This card is commonly paired with [card]Goblin Electromancer[/card] to accelerate every ritual or cantrip effect. Sometimes [card]Goblin Bushwhacker[/card] will make an appearance to turn the Goblin army into two power hasty monsters.

[card]Siege-Gang Commander[/card] – Many Legacy decks fear a turn one [card]Goblin Lackey[/card] who is able to drop in a [card]Siege-Gang Commander[/card] on turn two. That’s six power spread across five bodies. Plus the Siege-Gang is now able to start flinging his friends at instant speed. Against any fair deck, that can be brutal.

[card]Krenko, Mob Boss[/card] – Krenko is sometimes a one of in some Legacy Goblins decks. Where he truly shines is Commander. [card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/card] usually steals the spotlight as the most competitive Legendary Goblin but you better know that Krenko is no slouch. Krenko has potential to combo off with cards like [card]Mana Echoes[/card] and [card]Rings of Brighthearth[/card].

[card]Goblin Offensive[/card] – Activating Krenko’s ability with only five total goblins in play and a [card]Mana Echoes[/card] produces 45 colorless mana. Making 45 Goblins from this simple sorcery feels so good.

[card]Mogg Infestation[/card] – Last but not least is a casual superstar. [card]Mogg Infestation[/card] isn’t necessarily even a good card but it’s a fun card. You can cannibalize your entire board, replacing it with double Goblins or one sided Wrath your opponent, leaving him with some 1/1 tokens.

I think it’s clear. Goblins for life!

Goblin token

Printable PDF Version

Nate Slover