Into the Scrapheap? – Episode 6 (Elegy for an Unresurgent Elephant)

A long time ago, I opened a pack of Prophecy. . . I hardly have any cards from that set, as it had come out before I really discovered the game . . . and I found one of those gems of a card (a FOIL version no less) . . . the Johnny Rare. You know what I’m talking about . . . the kind of card that begs to be built around, becoming the star of its own deck, even though the pros quickly dismiss the card and it never sees much tournament play. The card I’m thinking about was . . .

MTG Card: Elephant Resurgence

This is one of those deceptive cards, especially for a beginner, that looks fair on the surface – hey, we each get an Elephant token – but poses the question to a budding deck designer, “How do I build a deck that allows me to maximize the advantage of this card while minimizing the disadvantage?” There have been lots of these kind of cards in the history of Magic. Some of them were even broken by the pros and are now banned. But this was one of the first for me, and the deck it spawned went through several versions. . . so it’s a sad day now that I have to figuratively toss this card into the scrapheap.

With the printing of Boneyard Wurm, there is really no reason to play Elephant Resurgence anymore. Why give your opponent an elephant token at all, or play with a token that dies to bounce, when you can just cast your own creature with the exact same ability for the exact same cost, all while being an uncommon that sells for as low as $0.05? (It took me a long time to get more copies of the rare Elephant Resurgence.)

At least other cards for the deck still offer some variety that doesn’t relegate them to the scrapheap as well. Exoskeletal Armor turns any creature into a Lhurgoyf for half the cost (1G rather than 2GG), although with all the inherent card disadvantage that comes from being an Aura. Nowadays we can get the same effect in the more permanent form of an equipment (which is probably what Exoskeletal Armor would have been if there had been equipment in the days of Judgment), although at triple the cost (4 + 2 to equip, although Bonehoard is a living weapon, so it essentially comes with its own Mortivore-like germ, minus the regeneration of course, so perhaps it’s better described as a colorless lhurgoyf). Altogether in the same deck, these cards do force your opponent to deal with creatures and enchantments and artifacts–hopefully they’re not ready for all of that and one will stick.

So, while there is still much to play around with and tweak in my Lhurgoyf deck, and Innistrad adds some other interesting cards to the mix, like Grimoire of the Dead, Trepanation Blade, and Wreath of Geists (a half-price Exoskeletal Armor, or in other words, a Boneyard Wurm aura) it is still with a little sadness that I remove the Elephant Resurgence from the deck and refocus it along slightly different lines.