Commander Deck Tech: Lathril, Blade of the Elves

Sean Cabral
January 06, 2023

We are right on the cusp of Dominaria Remastered which should be releasing in the next 2 weeks. This set has some great reprints for the Commander format. Having more accessibility to some expensive cards is fantastic, but it will also make the prices of certain reprinted cards go down. There are a few cards from the set like Sylvan Library and Worldly Tutor which I chose to add to this build. I foresee plenty of Commander builds having Dominaria Remastered cards added to them within the coming weeks.

For this week I chose to build a popular Commander deck I had not yet gotten around to building. Lathril, Blade of the Elves is a Green Black Elf Commander that hopefully lets us drain all of our opponents lives. Lathril costs 2BG and is a 2/3 with Menace. The first ability states: “Whenever Lathril, Blade of the Elves deals combat damage to a player, create that many 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature tokens". This is great at getting a higher creature count, or potentially having more tokens to equip Skullclamp with. Even with Menace I don't foresee attacking with Lathril will get through very often as your opponents will be on guard of you getting lots of Elf tokens. We also have several cards like Parallel Lives and Doubling Season which will help compound the number of Elves Lathril and your other Elves would make. I feel that you will be using Lathril's second ability more often than getting her through with attacks. Lathril's second ability states: “TAP, Tap ten untapped Elves you control: Each opponent loses 10 life and you gain 10 life". I intend on equipping Lightning Greaves to Lathril to do this the turn it enters play. You also have cards like Wirewood Lodge that can untap Lathril so you can do it multiple times in one turn. This is keeping in mind you have the other ten, twenty, thirty, or forty Elves in play.

Like any green Elf deck you have tons of ability to ramp out due to the cheap nature of jamming out mana dorks. You can usually get to a lot more mana than your opponents on a lower turn count than they can. Playing a five drop creature on turn 3 or a seven or eight drop creature on turn 4 is not out of the question. With this I decided to run several overrun type effects that can close out a game very quickly if necessary. I believe that the overrun type effects will win you just as many games as Lathril's drain life ability. The overrun spells consist of: Craterhoof Behemoth, Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Elvish Warmaster, Joraga Warcaller, Allosaurus Shepherd, Finale of Devastation, and Unnatural Growth.

Leaf-Crowned Visionary (DMU) Canopy Tactician (KHM)

A majority of the Elves in the deck are mana producing so I'm not listing them all, but within the Elf tribe we have tons of elves that give anthem like effects. These effects I don't classify as an overrun type effect, but when you have multiple lords in play they end up becoming overrun like. The deck runs an additional seven spells which give anthem like effects which are: Vanquisher's Banner, Leaf-Crowned Visionary, Elvish Archdruid, Elvish Champion, Imperious Perfect, Canopy Tactician, and Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen.

Elderfang Venom (KHC)

Also in addition to overruns and lords we also can drain the lives of your opponents. Lathril isn't the only way to do this and we are also running four spells that can help drain the lives of your opponents. The other drain life spells consist of: Elderfang Venom, Poison-Tip Archer, Skemfar Shadowsage, and Shaman of the Pack.

We also have a couple of protection spells from wrath effects in Heroic Intervention and Golgari Charm. Since we also have access to Black we need to run a few removal spells in case we have some threats that need dealt with. Here we are running Putrefy, Infernal Grasp, In Garruk's Wake.

Skemfar Avenger (KHM)

You'll also want to run several spells to help gain card advantage as we will probably drop a lot of Elves early on. You definitely do not want to be stuck with no cards in hand and the ability to not gain cards. The deck runs thirteen spells which will help you to keep the Elves coming. The thirteen drawing spells consist of: Phyrexian Arena, Sylvan Library, Vanquisher's Banner, Skullclamp, Lifecrafter's Bestiary, The Great Henge, Moldervine Reclamation, Pact of the Serpent, Shamanic Revelation, Skemfar Avenger, Leaf-Crowned Visionary, Beast Whisperer, and Voice of Many.

We also run several utility lands and several spells which are either tutors or tutors for creatures to help find our big threats. Cards like Green Sun's Zenith, Worldly Tutor, Demonic Tutor, Finale of Devastation, and Chord of Calling can lead us to our game finishers.

The biggest downfalls this deck can run into is multiple wrath effects turn after turn. I put the protection spells in to help mitigate that. However, the deck can also be very fast to the point where opponents may not even have the chance to play their wraths before they die. We are also running a Cavern of Souls and Allosaurus Shepherd to help mitigate counterspells. The other big con is the cost of the mana base. I did include Gaea's Cradle and Bayou in the build, but you can always run more utility lands or even basics in their place.

Lathril, Blade of the Eilves
Sean Cabral

Overall this deck will be fast and fun assembling a horde of Elves is always nice where we have so much we can play anything and everything our hearts desire. You also can Overrun opponents which take us way back to big green during Tempest block.

This Lathril, Blade of the Elves build should give you a great starting point on where to begin with your own Lathril build. Best of luck smashing your opponents!

Until Next Time,