Tuesday Night Takeover

Risen Reef Elementals Pauper EDH

“The tempest is at your command.”

Art:Risen Reef by Johan Grenier

Risen Reef is the perfect leader for a deck packed to the brim with elementals. Risen Reef is not only an elemental itself but is the perfect ramp spell/card advantage machine that we always have access to within the command zone. Many of the best elementals in the game reside in Simic, and we also get the counterspell and artifact/enchantment hate that also comes with being in Simic. Elementals is a creature type that doesn’t have a ton of support but has enough to be viable and, on top of all, a ton of fun. Elementals Unite! And without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Risen Reef Elementals!

Commander (1)
Risen Reef

Creatures (35)
Ivy Elemental
Glade Watcher
Leafkin Druid
Terrain Elemental
Zephyr Winder
Cloud Elemental
Cloudkin Seer
Frost Lynx
Hydromorph Guardian
Phase Dolphin
Updraft Elemental
Littjara Kinseekers
Primal Plasma
Thicket Crasher
Thunder Drake
Boreal Elemental
Bramble Creeper
Dreamtail Heron
Game-Trail Changeling
Soul of the Rapids
Tidewater Minion
Webweaver Changeling
Brambleweft Behemoth
Carnivorous Moss-Beast
Humbler of Mortals
Orchard Elemental
Wave-Wing Elemental
Cytospawn Shambler
Walker of the Grove

Instants (10)
Arcane Denial
Broken Wings
Disdainful Stroke
Essence Scatter

Sorceries (7)
Atraxa’s Fall
Distant Melody
Kodama’s Reach
Skyshroud Claim
Soul’s Might

Artifacts (5)
Arcane Signet
Neurok Stealthsuit
Simic Signet
Wedding Invitation
Bonder’s Ornament

Enchantments (6)
Witness Protection
Spectral Flight
Fall from Favor
Master Chef
Lands (36)
Command Tower
Desert of the Indomitable
Desert of the Mindful
12 Forest
14 Island
Lonely Sandbar
Remote Isle
Slippery Karst
Tangled Islet
The Hunter Maze
The Surgical Bay
Tranquil Thicket

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Why Risen Reef?

Risen Reef is a huge part of our deck and is one of the strongest pieces of ramp we have. Whether ramping or cycling through our deck and grabbing key cards, we can get a ton of card advantage out of Risen Reef. The biggest drawback to Risen Reef is that they are only a 1/1, so they are susceptible to dying to a ton of cards/effects within the format.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


We have an absolute ton of elementals, so let’s go over some of my favorites! Cloudkin Seer is a small evasive elemental with some card draw on top, perfect for only three mana. Frost Lynx is an awesome card perfect for commanders or creatures with tap abilities since we can lock them down for a turn. Hydromorph Guardian is an awesome card that got errata’d to be an elemental, which is perfect for the deck since it is an awesome card that is a great protector for Risen Reef. Since we ramp an absolute ton Ivy Elemental can be a great mid-late game mana dump producing a huge attacker/blocker. Phase Dolphin is an awesome toughness-sided creature that can help clear the way for our bigger elementals to attack.


Since we ramp a ton and have a lot of mana cards like Capsize is a very strong card in the deck since we can buy it back with relative ease. We also have a ton of counterspells like Arcane Denial, Essence Scatter, and Disdainful Stroke, as well as a few more that help us control the game and the stack.


We have a ton of ramp at sorcery speed like Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Farseek, and Skyshroud Claim which are all great ways to get some of our bigger elementals down and who’s going to say no to more and more mana. Speaking of late-game elementals Soul's Might is an awesome card that can make some of our bigger elementals into crazy huge attackers. Distant Melody is an absolutely broken draw spell, and we can gain a crazy card advantage once we cast this one.


We have some artifact ramp like Arcane Signet and Simic Signet, which are both great pieces of ramp for the deck. The other mana rock is Bonder's Ornament, a more expensive rock that lets us get some cards. Wedding Invitation is one of my pet cards in PDH, and it is just so good, especially if we have some of our late-game elementals out. Neurok Stealthsuit is an awesome card that I often use to protect Risen Reef from single-target removal or damage/burn spells.


To start off, we have two strong pieces of “pseudo-removal,” which is a great way to lock down creatures or commanders from our opponents. We have Witness Protection and Fall from Favor which are both strong, and I often find myself targeting commanders. One of my favorites is Master Chef, which helps us buff up our elementals, which are most often quite high on the toughness side. Rancor and Spectral Flight are both cheap, strong buffs within the deck that can help us boost damage and put a clock on our opponents.

Land Base:

We are running one higher than the average, and that is because Risen Reef allows us to cycle through the deck and get a ton of mana ramp. We have a lot of the TNT classics like The Surgical Bay and The Hunter Maze. One notable card I cut recently was Path of Ancestry since I found that the scry did not almost ever matter for the deck since we interact with the top of our deck so much. Beyond that, we have the cycling lands, the draw deserts, and some Simic duals and basics. I have had a ton of success with this landbase and found it strong and efficient.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Easy to ramp a ton
  • A lot of our elementals are naturally evasive
  • Decent amount of removal/interaction on the stack

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Can be slow to end games until we get some of our bigger elementals out there
  • Weak to creature hate
  • Weak to control strategies

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck. We close out games through combat, whether it be some of our more evasive elementals in the air or some of our bigger late-game elementals that we can ramp into. We can have a strong board presence early and have a decent amount of ways to protect our creatures from any removal. I have found the combat in this deck to be slow at first but stompy towards the mid-end game.


Risen Reef is a very fun and cheap commander who can come down early and be a huge piece of ramp for the deck. Elementals is a cool creature type that isn’t as supported as some of the more popular ones but still is fun and has a shocking amount of support. I have thoroughly enjoyed this deck and had a ton of fun at my LGS and playgroup. This deck is a lot of fun, not expensive, and great for a player of any skill level. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!