Modern Elves deck tech - With Stephanie Dolan

Hey folks! Stephanie here, bringing you my experience and understanding of playing Elves in Modern. These are my two-cents on the deck, my experiences with it, and the lessons I've learned from it. Not a definitive 'how to play Elves deck', I am no pro after all, but hopefully interesting to you or even helpful for anyone planning on picking up Elves for Modern.


Elves is a one of the more basic decks in Modern, easy to pick up and play but takes a lot of practice to spot optimal lines and compute calculations quickly. I picked this deck up after the banning of Summer Bloom (RIP Bloomtitan) after trying a variety of different Modern decks, and finding most of them pretty boring. Played it during 2016's Modern season, and frequently Top 8'd. While Elves isn't doing anything overly broken, it does have a strong capability of punishing players that are unprepared for it, and the different options available to you, make each match-up fairly interesting. Also, while not amazingly cheap, the deck is certainly on the lower side of the price range for a competitive Modern deck, with plenty of budget alternatives for non-competitive.


So, let's have a look at my current build of Elves.



4 Dwynen's Elite

4 Elvish Archdruid

1 Elvish Champion

4 Elvish Mystic

2 Elvish Visionary

2 Ezuri, Renegade Leader

4 Heritage Druid

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Nettle Sentinel

1 Reclamation Sage

1 Scavenging Ooze

3 Shaman of the Pack



4 Chord of Calling

4 Collected Company



2 Cavern of Souls

2 Forest

3 Gilt-Leaf Palace

2 Overgrown Tomb

1 Pendelhaven

1 Temple Garden

1 Westvale Abbey

3 Windswept Heath

3 Wooded Foothills



3 Abrupt Decay

1 Chameleon Colossus

1 Dismember

1 Eidolon of Rhetoric

2 Essence Warden

1 Kataki, War's Wage

1 Loaming Shaman

1 Reclamation Sage

1 Selfless Spirit

3 Thoughtseize



So this current build is three colours, White/Black/Green or Abzan. While mono-green is a very viable options, the additional colours allow a fair amount of versatility, especially post-board, and give you more options to deal with a variety of different match-ups. The deck is only Green/Black before board, however, and it is the lightest of splashes of black (for Shaman of the Pack).


So what is the main goal of this deck? To flood the board and punch through the opponent with a lot of hulked out, trampling green men. What do you need to do this? Well, a lot of little green men ready to hulk, and a lot of mana do so. Let me break the deck down.


Every build of Elves should contain the following as a minumum; 4 Elvish Mystics, 4 Llanowar Elves. Both are G for a 1/1 that taps to produce G. These are your key players. Without them, Elves would not be what it is. So good, Wizards is hesitant to allow them into Standard again. These are a requirement for the large amounts of mana this deck can create, and on turn one, they allow you to perform what is pretty much this deck's main line of play. Playing an Elvish Archdruid of turn two.

Elvish Archdruid is a 2/2 for 1GG that gives all other Elves +1/+1 and taps to produce G for each Elf you control. This is your main lord of the deck. If you play this guy and he survives a turn, your win percentage massively spikes. Archdruid is the card your opponents are likely most afraid of, due to the masses of mana he can create which allow for chaining Collected Company, large Chord of Callings but mainly; activations of Ezuri, Renegade Leader.

Ezuri, Renegade Leader is a 2/2 for 1GG that has two abilities. G: Regenerate another elf you control. 3GG: Elves you control gain +3/+3 and trample until the end of turn. This is the ability that this deck is aiming to activate, either with a lot of creatures on board or a lot of mana to sink (sometimes you get to life the dream and have both). This ability in combination with Elvish Archdruid's +1/+1 buff is very often too much for an opponent's board to be able to soak up, particularly in the early game. Having an Ezuri activation as early as turn 4 (sometimes 3) is the aim of the game, and the deck is tuned to do this as frequently as possible.

Your other creatures are all there to add to your critical mass of Elves in the deck, making Archdruid as strong as possible, but also provide utility and explosiveness to the deck.

Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel are a combo within the deck that allows absurd plays on Turn two, and masses of extra mana later in the game. Heritage Druid allows you to tap 3 untapped Elves you control to produce GGG. Nettle Sentinel untaps after each green spell you cast, making him a potent part of the combo with Druid's ability. Chaining spells with one in play allows for very early pressure, with multiple in play allows for huge pools of mana and allowing you to swarm the board and overwhelm your opponent.

Dwynen's Elite is a very basic addition to the deck, bringing a friend along for the ride. The 2/2 body is actually very effective against a lot of other creatures (Goblin Guide, Eidolon of the Great Revel, Dark Confidant, an early Grim Flayer) in terms of blocking and it works well with Heritage Druid, immediately giving you a third body to tap with it's ability. The extra 1/1 it brings is strangely valuable, and not only for Archdruid (more on this later).

Shaman of the Pack is your alternate win-con. Benefiting from you having a critical mass of Elves, it also allows for surprise wins out of nowhere. Bleeding your opponent for each elf you control has been amazingly valuable in my time playing the deck and it's power seems to be on the rise with the increased play of Death's shadow.

Elvish Visionary is likely the weakest card in the deck, but sometimes drawing cards is just what you need. This should be a 4-of likely, but this build had cut 2 to allow for some utility one-ofs. Without the Wirewood Symbiote found in Legacy, Visionary unfortunately just isn't as powerful as she should be.

The last 3 creatures are mainly there for utility.
Elvish Champion is lord number 5, since playing a 5th Archdruid will have a slapped with a quick DQ. +1/+1 to all other Elves but this time, giving all Elves forestwalk. Incredible against Jund, Abzan and Bant Eldrazi (who's creatures are just way bigger than yours), it allows you to bypass they're blockers entirely, and is a much more wanted Lightning Bolt target than poor Archdruid. IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember that this effect is symmetrical! So be wary of this card in any potential mirror matches.

Reclamation Sage is a simple 2/1 that destroys an artifact or enchantment on entering the battlefield. Great for removing Ensnaring Bridge, Phyrexian Unlife, killing a Sword or a pesky Eidolon of the Great Revel, and trading with some valuable creatures (similarly to Dwynen's Elite).

The final creature, and only non-elf in the deck, is Scavenging Ooze. Because life-gain and graveyard control should never be underestimated. This guy gives you a little edge against decks like Burn, Dredge and Reanimator that are sorely needed in Game 1 (especially the latter) and is also a threat that needs answered by your opponent. Against decks like Jund and Abzan, he can get out of control very quickly and demand an answer.

The last two cards are two very potent spells that are perfect for this deck. Chord of Calling and Collected Company.

Collected Company has already shown its power in other Modern decks as well as Standard. Instant speed to rebuild a board or add additional power during combat, it offers great (albeit random) versatility to the deck. Expect this to be a card your opponent will tend to prioritise for counterspells and Thoughtseize.

Chord of Calling is a fantastic card for Elves, and what allows you to play singletons in the board and make the use of 3 colours much easier. Being Chord for between CMC1 and 3 is never difficult and it allows you to search for a valuable card during any situation. Opponent just played an Ensnaring Bridge? Chord of Reclamation Sage to remove it. Control opponent cast a Supreme Verdict? Chord of Selfless Spirit to save your team. Affinity player just emptied their hand onto the board? Chord of Kataki and tax them for it. Even pre-board, you can Chord for an Ezuri or a Shaman at any time. Extremely powerful and versatile, but often you'd rather see Collected Company.


Lands time, and there's nothing overly special about it. A basic fetch manabase with shocks, some basics (gotta respect Blood Moon) and Cavern of Souls (gotta respect control). With Abrupt Decays and Thoughtseizes in the board, having a fetch manabase is important to guarantee your colours in the early game.

Your two utility lands are Pendelhaven and Westvale Abbey.

Pendelhaven is useful against other creature decks, allowing creatures such as Visionary to survive a fight against Goblin Guides and Snapcaster Mages. It's made worse by the presence of Archdruid, which is why we only run one.

Westvale Abbey is a spicy meatball. Most decks will have Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in this slot, but I've found it to occasionally be unreliable, and Abbeys flip side is astonishingly powerful. A 9/7 flying, indestructible, lifelink Ormendahl, is a being most Modern decks struggle to deal with and very often will win you the game immediately. Jund can only use Lilliana of the Veil to make you sacrifice it, Burn outright cannot beat it, it beats Griselbrand in a fight, it blocks Death Shadow forever. Your huge mass of creatures (plus extra tokens thanks to Dwynen's Elite) make flipping Abbey extremely easy and adds an additonal threat to your arsenal. IMPORTANT NOTE: Be wary of Ghost Quarter and Path to Exile decks! Don't flip Ormendahl against ANY deck that runs Path to Exile unless you are 100% certain you are safe to do so, or have absolutely no choice.


Sideboard time. This is where the deck flexes the most. Make changes to this board based on what you expect to play against and give yourself what answers you require. The more creature answers you have, the better.


3 Abrupt Decay: Because some pesky things just need to go away, and Decay gets rid of most of them. Liliana, the Last Hope, Ensnaring Bridge, Grafdigger's Cage. It can also be used to interact with faster creature decks, such as Death Shadow and combo decks such as Counters Company. Being able to remove key pieces from the board, especially in a way that can't be countered, is incredibly valuable.


3 Thoughtseize: Once again, allowing you to grab key pieces that can be used against you. We run this rather thank Inquisition, as it things such as Supreme Verdict and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon that we need to be able to snag from our opponents. Thoughtseize is incredibly important in the board due to our complete lack of interaction against combo. Hand disruption is vital in removing key combo cards, let alone cards that beat you.


Chameleon Colossus: Protection from Black. So, fantastic against Jund and Grixis (both Midrange and control variants) and is also an incredibly powerful beat stick when you have surplus mana. Being considered an 'elf' is also relevant, with the Shapeshifter creature type. Sometimes, you need a huge creature that an opponent just can't remove. It dodges Terminate, Cut, Dismember, Fatal Push. This card requires two Bolts to take down, and with Bolt lacking in Modern and being replaced with Push, Colossus is better than ever.


Dismember: Things like Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher, Tasigur and Gurmag Angler are frustrating to fight through, and having even one answer against them can help turn the tides in your favour.


Eidolon of Rhetoric: You are a dog to any combo deck in the format, and Storm has the greatest ability to ignore us completely and just goldfish. With their lack of removal, Storm decks likely struggle to remove such a powerful hate card as Eidolon of Rhetoric, and it must be removed before they can play any more Magic. All you need is time, Eidolon gives you that.


2 Essence Warden: There are only a handful of decks in the format that is faster than the Elves nut draw. Burn is one of those decks. And Burn's biggest weakness, is lifegain. Because they require a significant clock to win against Elves, Burn can't afford to not play their creatures, so you soak all the lifegain you can from both halves of the board pushing forward. The alongside Scavenging Ooze, is a much needed safety net against Burn.


1 Kataki, War's Wage: An even faster deck than Burn, is Affinity. With out lack of interaction, Affinity has no fear is over-extending onto a board against us. Kataki, War's Wage is such a hate card that we can tax a very mana light deck for over-extending and hold them back from powerful Cranial Plating boards. Also useful against Lantern Control, as they tax means they struggle to add more control pieces through the game, giving us time to draw answers and beat down.


1 Loaming Shaman: Because Dredge is not dead, and a Dredge deck with a graveyard is a dangerous thing. Even just getting rid of their Conflugrates increasing our win % so much, but you are also able to target dredgers or Amalgam's and tuck them. When you pull Dredge's legs from under it, with Troll gone, it struggles to regain control. Potentially also relevant against Snapcaster decks, and Reanimator (though may be too slow for the latter).


1 Reclamation Sage: Because our Tron and Lantern Control match-ups are dire. Having additional removal spells for things Abrupt Decay potentially can't hit is also incredibly valuable. At worst, this is a flex slot in your sideboard (depending on expected meta).


1 Selfless Spirit: Bring this in against any deck running Anger of the Gods, Supreme Verdict, Damnation, Wrath of God, Sweltering Suns, Oblivion Stone, Engineered Explosives. Any sort of mass removal. As a deck, Elves struggles if you don't have a developed board, and board wipes punish the deck so harshly. Spirit is a little insurance and is one of my favourite Chord targets.


Your sideboard plan will be based on the meta you expect. You want your answers to be creatures you can Chord for but this isn't always possible. Compromise where you can. As such, giving a guide to sideboard is quite difficult but here are a few guidelines I follow.


·         Visionary is the worst creature in the deck. There are almost always an auto-side-out expect in grindy or control match ups where card draw is important.

·         Do you expect enchantments or artifacts you need to deal with? If not, remove Rec Sage. Can you do without graveyard control or are you in a match-up where creatures won't die often (e.g. Bant Eldrazi)? If so, remove Scavenging Ooze.

·         Bringing in lots of spells? Don't be afraid to trim a Collected Company or two, as your creature density decreases.

·         If you expect to play against Grafdigger's Cage, trim Company's and Chords for removal.

·         Take out Champion vs non-Forest decks.





Like most combo decks, you are likely to win your game 1's. Very few decks in Modern are well enough prepared to beat your game plan with their main deck configurations. Game's 2 and 3 are much more 50/50 against the majority of the field, so learning how to navigate each match-up is very important.

Here are some cards to be wary of:

·         Anger of the Gods/Pyroclasm/Supreme Verdict etc: Any  board wipe against a creature combo deck is the worst thing in the universe. Be careful not to over-extend games 2 and 3.

·         Inquisition/Thoughtseize: Hand disruption is excellent against combo decks, though you should always be careful of your opening 7's resistance to it.

·         Grafdigger's Cage: Stops your ability to Chord and Company. Remove it if you can, but you can win through it if you have to. It mainly slows you down.

·         Ensnaring Bridge: This is Lantern Control's only way to beat you. You can still win with Shaman of the Pack, but once the start controlling your draws, its very difficult to win if you don't see Reclamation Sage before.



Overall, Elves has been an incredibly fun deck to play, and is kept interesting by the fluidity of the deck and by your deck occasionally allowing you to do some very, very silly things. It's fairly easy to play, even without extensive knowledge of the format (which some other decks require) and its certainly one I recommend for anyone starting in the format. There are also some varieties of the deck you can build, including Martin Juza's list that ran the Vizier/Devoted Druid combo; or if you have a smaller budget, play mono-green. Your overall game plan becomes stronger, in exchange you loss some flexibility post-board. Hope this (not so brief) piece has been interesting or useful for anyone considering playing this fantastic deck.


Stephanie Dolan

Team Vault





Competitive Events & How To Prepare - with Andrew Smith

Are you going to your first competitive event and unsure what to expect from it?


Whether it’s your 1st PPTQ or your first GP, by the time you’ve read this article you should have all the basics covered for what to expect, how to prepare and a handy list of do and don’t for the event.

The Checklist

If you were to look in my bag for any given event, you would more than likely find the following;

o   Your deck (deck must be at least 60 cards and up to 15 sideboard cards)

o   Any Tokens your deck may need

o   Pen & paper (always better to track life totals on paper in case there is a discrepancy between players)

o   Some dice (never know when you’ll need them)

o   Extra Sleeves (just in case a sleeve is ripped or marked. Also bring sleeves in advance for limited events)

o   Deck box (so much easier than trying to carry loose cards about)

o   Playmat (not needed but always a nice to have)

o   Decklist (assuming it’s a constructed event)

Preparing for your 1st competitive event

On a typical night of Friday Night Magic you may have turned up with a deck you saw on a website, on coverage or from some daily standings that you liked the look of, you may be completely unprepared and not even sure what the sideboard cards are relevant for. You could do this for a more competitive event but I would highly recommend taking stock of the following pointers before heading to the event.

·         Deck List – any competitive event will require you to have a decklist ready to be handed in at the players meeting. Ensure what you have in your deck matches what you have written on your list as you may have your deck checked during the tournament and any discrepancies could result in a game loss or worse.

·         Your Deck - Remember all cards should be legal in the format you are playing and original copies:

o   Check Cards - Should you be using check cards for transform cards ensure you have the same number of the actual card on hand.

o   Altered Art - Any altered art cards should be checked with the judge beforehand to ensure they are not deemed to be unsuitable for play.

o   Foils – Be very careful when using foils, whilst they are legal a lot of foils will bend naturally and if you were to have just the one foil card or a specific selection of cards foiled which were easily identifiable within your deck it could be deemed as being a marked card.

o   Sleeves – After spending the money and effort to build you deck sure you’re going to want to keep the cards as pristine as possible. Like above for foils, if a few sleeves were noticeably marked these could be picked up on and a deemed to be easily identifiable within your deck

·         Metagame – Have a look to see what decks are currently popular and putting up good results in tournaments or on MTGO, look at your deck and know where it sits within the meta. Knowing what decks you expect to come up against lets you tailor you deck and sideboard options to have answers against the popular and powerful decks in a tournament. Bear in mind, metas vary on location. A Scotland PPTQ may be vastly different from any in England.

·         Testing – Know how your deck works. Learn any cards you are unfamiliar with, goldfish the deck to get a feel how it draws out, understand how different opening hands can work for you. Once you have a feel for how the deck plays, look to arrange some testing games against other decks that you expect to play against from the above metagame you’ve identified.


Playing the competitive game

When you play at your local store, say at an FNM some things may be ignored and penalties are not encountered frequently. Playing competitively will be treated more seriously, the rules enforcement level increases and so do the penalties. There is one thing that should remain constant, make sure you enjoy yourself! and remember the following.

·         Communication – Always be clear when announcing your decisions. You also should be aware that saying “OK” means exactly that, you cannot change your mind and you have accepted the opponents play. 

·         Making Mistakes - You also need to be aware that if you make a mistake your opponent is less likely to let you change your mind, take backs are much less frequent at higher levels.

·         Opponent – At a FNM or games days you’ll be used to your opponent being quite friendly and forgiving for mistakes and even going as far to pointing a missed trigger or mistake out. When making the move to competitive, a lot of players will be friendly, but at the end of the day they are there to win. Always be wary of this when playing and if they make a play which doesn’t feel right, question what they’ve done, read the card so you understand what is happening. If by that point you still don’t believe what they say is correct call a judge to the table.

·         Foreign Cards – As a GP will attract people from all over the globe don’t be surprised to see a lot of foreign print of cards. If you’re ever unsure on what a card does (and would prefer not to take your opponent’s word the cards they’ve cast is an uncounterable free spell that wins the game for them) then call a Judge who will be able to give you the English language oracle text of the card.

·         Pace of the game – Remember the games you are played are timed and there is nothing worse than ending a winnable game as a draw and making later rounds difficult. You may play some slow grindy games which may result in further draws. Yes, take your time to make decisions, but if you take too long your opponent may think you are slow playing and call a judge. Don’t be afraid to be the one calling the judge if you feel that your opponent is playing slowly!

·         Scoring – as mentioned in my checklist it’s better to keep track of life on paper rather than dice, any discrepancy on life totals can be resolved if it’s tracked and a judge will be able to make an informed decision.

·         Spectating – Tread a fine line here, what you say or express could affect the game so you need to ensure what you say or do doesn’t influence a player’s decisions and lead to a penalty for you! You should also report known issues to a Judge.

·         Judges - Do not be afraid to call a Judge if you are ever unsure of an interaction or think there has been an error. I would err on the side of caution and call for one. Also, don’t forget a Judge is only human and may not always make the correct call so be willing to call the Head Judge if need be. Know the Head Judges decision is absolutely final.

·         Food & Drink – A PPTQ can be up to 6 rounds whilst day one of a GP will be 9 rounds. It’s in your best interest to stay fed and hydrated. There’s nothing worse than half way through a round your mind is unfocused as you’ve not eaten for hours. In my case I tend to have a big bottle of water and some snack bags of raisins, nuts etc. in my bag. If you are in a shop with a cafe, please buy their products rather than bring food/drink from outside.

Final Things

Hopefully this article will prime you with the basics for going to the completive event. If you’re a local, if you ever want to playtest games don’t be afraid to ask instore or post on the Murphy’s Vault group page on Facebook. Also, Team Vault tend to practice a couple times a week instore and will always be willing to take time to play some games with you and provide any constructive feedback they can on your deck. If you’re from elsewhere, I encourage your LGS to set up a similar system to get testing in!

Good luck, and have fun.


Old Man Smith

(Team Vault)

Budget Deck Tech - With Alex Murray

Welcome to Murphy’s Vault budget deck tech.

New to standard? Or looking for great budget options for FNM? Look no further than Murphy’s Vault budget deck techs with cards available on

These decks are designed to take advantage of the very low price of cards from older 'Standard' sets.

Allies life drain

Creatures (31)

4x Bloodbond Vampire

4x Cliffhaven Vampire

3x Drana, Liberator of Malakir

4x Drana's Emissary

4 x Expedition Envoy

4x Kalastria Healer

4x Lantern Scout

4x Zulaport Cutthroat

Enchantment (2)

2x Cast Out

Instant (2)

2x Anguished Unmaking

Sorcery (2)

2x March of the tombs

Land (24)

4x Ally Encampment

4x Evolving Wilds

5x Plains

4x Forsaken Sanctuary

7x Swamp


Breaking down Allies Life Drain

The deck is aggressive but can stall long enough for you to drain all the life out of your opponent.  



Expedition Envoy and Drana, liberator of Malakir are your key cards for an aggressive start to the game. They form an aggressive curve that allows you to get in some early damage. Although being aggressive isn’t always the best option against Mardu Vehicles and other aggressive decks but its effective against Temur Aetherworks or U/R Control .

Life Drain


The key card for life drain is Kalastria Healer and Zulaport Cutthroat. Kalastria Healer is the biggest pay off card for the deck because of its Rally ability. The deck is overflowing with allies so whenever a creature comes into play its will always trigger. With multiple Healers on the battlefield stalling the opponent is the best offense.



Non-budget card options for the deck

Creatures (26)

4x Cliffhaven Vampire

2x Drana, Liberator of Malakir

4x Drana's Emissary

4 x Expedition Envoy

4x Kalastria Healer

4x Lantern Scout

4x Zulaport Cutthroat

Enchantment (2)

2x Cast Out

Planeswalkers (2)

2x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Instant (5)

2x Anguished Unmaking

3x Fatal Push

Sorcery (2)

2x March of the tombs

Land (24)

4x Ally Encampment

4x Evolving Wilds

4x Plains

4x Concealed courtyard

4x Shambling Vent

4x Swamp


Major difference in the deck:

2x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

3x Fatal push

4x Concealed courtyard

4x Shambling Vent


Well guys hope you enjoyed the Ally Life Drain deck tech. Next week we keep to the Battle for Zendikar tribal theme and tackle the fearsome Eldrazi.


If you have any suggestions or would like to see a deck tech comment below.

Article by Alex Murray.




Team Vault - What We’re All About

Today marks a great day. A day of Progress. A day of Innovation. A day of Crushing. A day of Cap’n Power Haus writing his first article for Murphy’s Vault CCGs.

If you don’t know me, my name is Holt Hauser, and I am the captain of Murphy’s Vault CCG’s competitive Magic: the Gathering team - we call it Team Vault. The team, the staff and other friends of the store are going to start writing plenty of articles for your enjoyment, about tons of different topics in Magic, whether they be format focuses, deck techs, metagame insights, experiences of playing, or ways to level up your game. Before we jump right in though, I wanted to start first with an article of what we as a team do here, our goals and priorities, as well as what we want to see in the Scottish Magic community and the Magic community worldwide!

So… What’s a ‘Team Vault’?

Team Vault is a team comprising of 8 players based here in Edinburgh with a passion for playing competitive Magic at the Professional level. We formed in October 2016, and have been building ourselves from the ground up, figuring out how to improve our skills, how to support each other, and how to approach getting over the top to the PT. We play pretty much any format, as long as we can find someone who is willing to host a tournament in it, and we want to excel in it. But we’re more than a few spikes and grinders hanging out and jamming tournaments every weekend - we want to build a community. When we bring people on to Team Vault, we do ask about things like win percentages at comp REL, day 2ing GPs, whether you’ve had an RPTQ invite, and all that jazz. But the thing we stress more than anything else in a potential teammate is that you must have a good attitude, be a good representative of Murphy’s Vault, and also have a commitment to fostering growth for every player we interact with. The thing that makes Magic: the Gathering an amazing game is the people, and all of our commitment to excelling in an activity we share with others, no matter what competitive level you play at. When you sit down and shuffle up with someone across from at your next tournament, you become a part of their Magic experience; you become a part of someone’s passion for play, strategy, and skill. Team Vault recognizes the power this game can have in making a powerful impact on someone’s life, and we strive to be a positive part of that, whether it’s at Murph’s, at the PPTQ down in Newcastle or up in Dundee, in a conference center in Barcelona, or, one day, at the PT.

Alright, Enough Mushy Stuff. What do You do as a Team?

Well, figuring out our process as a team has been a rough road to hoe. We may now be Team Vault, but this dream began before Murph opened shop when Nathaniel Forsyth, Dan Wren, myself, and a few other friends began playing in a consistent playgroup at another store. We found we were meeting up multiple weeks to jam, and getting more and more competitive - and eventually we nicknamed our group ‘Team Mixed Nuts’ after I started showing up with them whenever we played. The turning point for me happened in 2016 when at GP Manchester we had a few of us day 2, and I finished 11-4, only missing out on cash after losing my final round to Martin Muller (which I will never forgive him for). It felt like suddenly this wasn’t a joke anymore - we could do this if we put in the hard work. When Murph opened up The Vault as a proper Magic store, I spoke to what was left of Mixed Nuts, as well as Steph Dolan and Tim Allen who we’d started playing more, and I decided to approach Murph about a sponsorship opportunity, and soon enough Team Vault was real!

We came up with several training regiments at first, with the expectation that some things would work and somethings wouldn’t. Eventually we settled on a few things. To improve our game, we practice twice a week in store jamming games, talking theory, and shadowing teammates as they play, and participate in local tournies whenever possible. We do set reviews whenever a set drops, and jam as much as possible on MTGO or Paper to make sure we’re ready for our next limited event. We travel all over Europe to play GP’s and, occasionally, make sure we make it to events like Eternal Weekend. We constantly are in communication, chatting about ideas, sideboard tech, ways to counter strategies, and analyzing both local and GP metagames. More than anything, we’re committed to playing as a team and pushing ourselves to improve decks, take and give feedback that will be constructive for play, and reflect on the places we need improvement - and not shy away from them! This means a heck of a lot of time playing Magic (I think I’m in the shop at least 4 days a week nowadays!), but that’s what it takes to be the highest level of Magic player: dedication, hard work, and taking whatever opportunity we can to learn and grow. What better way to do that than with a bunch of strong players you can trust to hold you to those goals?

Okay, Okay. Why is Being a ‘Team’ Such a Big Deal Then?

What we want is for Magic to grow, and we want to be a part of making that happen. We see what Magic can mean to people, and we want to encourage players to grow, explore, and most of all get what they want out of Magic, here in Edinburgh or abroad.  Whether you play because it’s fun, you love a good result at a tournament, or you want a community to rely on, players need to do what they  can to make those goals happen – because all these effects reflect back on us when we help make them happen. I reckon the best way for us to improve this game, make it inclusive, and to improve our own game is to model those attitudes for others, and stand together as a team, whether it’s under the Murphy’s Vault banner, or as the overall banner of “Magic player”.


So, what do you look for from your team? Ready to stand with us?

Article by Holt Hauser, Team Vault Captain


Murphy's Vault CCGs Scottish MTG Championship 2017


It's Murphy's Vault's 2nd birthday and what better way to celebrate than with another charity fundraiser for the 'Sick Kids Friends Foundation' whilst also hosting two large MTG tournaments in the fair Edinburgh city! 

This event does not lead on to PPTQ's RPTQ's or Nationals, but it's a great way to grind extra planeswalker points whilst meeting others from the Edinburgh (and rest of Scotland) communties :)
Note: the main standard event may change to a PPTQ if available. 

Sick Kids Friends Foundation:
Justgiving page:

£3 of each entry fee goes towards the sick kids foundation, as well as 10% of our sales, and donations into the prize raffle in which two lucky players will recieve a booster box of Ixalan each!

Please provide your DCI number with your ticket purchase.

Main Event: Standard
30 spaces Available
Registration 10.00 -10.50am
Round 1 Pairings 11.00 am
Rules enforcement level: competitive
Decklists required
Prize support : 3 boosters per person into the prize pool
Murphy's Vault CCG's Playmat to each player in the top 8
Planeswalker points: 3x

Ticket price (Standard): £20, Early bird £18 (Coupon code: MVCHAMPEARLYB)
Tickets available from:

Side Event: Modern
30 spaces Available
Registration 2-2.50pm
Round 1 Pairings 3pm
Rules enforcement level: competitive
Decklists required
Prize support : 3 boosters per person into the prize pool
Murphy's Vault CCG's Playmat to each player in the top 8
Planeswalker points: 3x

Ticket price (Modern): £20, Early bird £18 (Coupon code: MVCHAMPEARLYB)
Tickets available from:

Side Event: Commander (casual Multiplayer)
32 spaces Available
Registration 12noon - 7pm
Prize support : 2 participation booster per person. 
Planeswalker points: 1x

Tickets: £13

Drafts on demand.

Top table matches will be streamed to our Social media pages & Twitch stream. During the day there will be photography and filming too.

The vault will have it's own selling stalls, sealed product and singles. For singles and accessories before the event, please check out our new site:

Judges: (head) Daniel De Swarte (L2), 2x L1, inc Matt Tilling.

The Edinburgh International Conference Center 
The Exchange Edinburgh, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
Start time: 10.00 am 7/Oct/17
End Time: 10.00pm 7/Oct/17

Feeder events will available in the months before the main event, each will award a bye for the Championship, or byes the wining team where relevant (team constructed & draft):
Team vs. Events (Constructed and draft)

Standard Showdown - May - June

Standard showdown is a great place to test out home brew or your next pptq deck, with extra prizes in the form of showdown boosters, it's also a great waty to meet more Standard format players in Edinburgh!


Selected Saturdays 1pm start entry fee £5

A booster or £3 store credit per person into the prize pool
+ 10 Standard showdown boosters to be distrubuted to players at each showdown event!
What's in the Booster Packs?

Standard Showdown booster packs each contain three cards.

Cards are drawn from Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrad, Eldritch Moon, and Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet and include:

One foil of any rarity or a card.
One rare or mythic rare
One uncommon, rare, mythic rare, or full-art basic land

Amonkhet League Thursday 4th May - Thursday 1st June

Time for a new league!  

Players buy 3 Amonkhet booster packs, a deck box and sleeves (£15 league offer).
Make a deck (30 card minimum) using cards form your pool
Play against other league players.

You may add an extra booster to your pool each week (£3).
You may add an additional booster to your pool for every 3 match loses you recieve against seperate opponents (£3).

The league will continue for 4 weeks, the last session being February 16th

League matches can be played against other league players anytime a new opponent is available (in store only). You will be provided with a match record sheet and the score will be added up at the end of the league :)

Prize pool:
£1 per player in the league
+50p for each additional booster purchased for the league