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Happy story of some little green dudes and a sword

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Late 2018. I run into an original Legends copy of a card that I’ve always found fascinating: Storm Seeker. To this day, something about the art still feels very powerful to me. I guess it connects to the whole Excalibur mythos in the back of my mind. But the Storm Seeker art does a couple of things differently. Firstly, the sword is left alone, with no one in sight, free for me to pick up and wield. It’s drawing me in. Secondly, the scene emphasizes the mighty power of a thunderstorm — a very tangible natural phenomenon, that child-me had seen up close many times already. I could very well, and I still can, relate to the feeling. That distinctive smell in the air, the sound of the wind, hitting the tall grass in motion, the impending darkness, the crashing thunder and the flashes of light. The leather grip of the otherwise cold sword, the cryptic runes of its blade. The storm and the blade. The blade and me. Fascinating.

Storm Seeker, by Mark Poole.

I can’t exactly remember, but it’s likely that I have way over-traded for it. I get excited for that kind of stuff. But I didn’t care. However I remember pretty vividly when I then started brewing around with it. The question: obviously a beautiful card, but now that you’re a fully-fledged tournament grinder (among other things), how do you make it work?

The mono-green project eventually warped around a land-destruction sub-theme that would keep the opponent’s hand full in order to enable Storm Seeker. Elves quickly revealed themselves a very strong asset both for ramping out land destruction spells, « getting under » the opponent’s gameplan, as well as for continued aggression. I soon realized, it needed all the elves. Seeker Elves took form.

The first iteration included a pair of mainboard Icy Manipulator and Desert Twister (some other childhood favorites) for depth and reach, generally able to contribute to the mana-denial strategy, but also providing answers to problems green had a hard time dealing with otherwise. I guess the angle of attack took some by surprise as I won both november and december’s monthly tournaments of our Montreal league that year.

Seeker Elves, november 2018 version.

Fast forward a couple years, the curve gots further streamlined, resulting in a an even more cutthroat aggro-tempo strategy. You don’t need Icy Manipulator or Desert Twister to deal with late-game problems when your opponent is dead. With time, I also realized the importance of some essential support cards, maxing out on them — I can’t tell you how many times Scavenger Folk and Crumble (for game-breaking tempo plays) and Hurricane (an answer to Specters and Dibs, and a game-ending spell) turned out the MVPs. The most recent iteration includes some #METAWAR2020 elements to it as well (obvious local metagame choices we like to slap each other in the face with) in the form of mainboard Whirling Dervishes. Perhaps not the spikiest of choices, but Storm Seeker is still out there, often times providing reach for the last couple points of damage to the unsuspecting opponent. And doubling up as a gatekeeper to the Timmy Dream:

Actual Grizzleague tournament action screenshot.

It’s been an awesome couple of years with the Montreal Tundra Wolves. In large inspired by New England Old school, we’ve grown to a vibrant community and developed strong ties to the Quebec city crew, the Ottawa Capital Chaos, the Toronto Citizen of Brass, and very recently, to the Vancouver Grizzly Bears. Just this month, the Bears held their first Grizzleague webcam-based double-elimination monthly tournament (under the BOREAL ruleset), which rapidly drew attention from the OS communities from all over the country. It de facto pretty much turned into a Canadian OS league. That’s how it felt for me, at least, playing mages from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver, for a whole 7 rounds of Old school Magic.

Back on topic: there I played Seeker Elves. And went all the way. I’m putting this out here, not so much for brags, but more because I believe that mono-green aggro-tempo is most definitely an under-appreciated archetype. It can very well brawl with tier decks, as demonstrated in the final round of the tournament against the mighty Joel B.’s Atog deck, which I had to beat not one, but TWO matches in a row as he was undefeated coming in the finals. It does not even need to be powered to function near its full potential. Even though, to be fair, you then would not get the turn zero Storm Seeker. Bummer. So as it’s fairly inexpensive, it makes for a great gateaway to the format, I think. Tell a friend. Or try it, see for for yourself. Anyways I believe that this should be out there.

Seeker Elves, august 2020 version.

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