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Against the Odds: Five-Color Voja Elves (Standard)


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds! So, at MagicCon Chicago last week, I played against Voja, Jaws of the Conclave for the first time in a game of Commander, and the card looked insane. This made me wonder if I could make the prerelease promo work in Standard, which is our goal for today! What does Voja want? A bunch of Elves to power it up. So, we're playing all the best Elves in Standard, which pushes us into being a full five-color deck, with the goal being to get Voja, Jaws of the Conclave on the battlefield as quickly as possible, use it to make our team huge, and win in just one or two attacks! What are the odds of winning with Voja in Standard? Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Against the Odds: 5C Voja Elves

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The Deck

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Our deck today is all about one card: Voja, Jaws of the Conclave. At first glance, Voja doesn't look like much. It costs five mana and doesn't do anything until it attacks, which doesn't sound like a Standard-playable five-drop. However, Voja gets pretty absurd if we do get to attack with it (and it has a few friendly Elves on the battlefield), putting a counter on each of our creatures for each Elf we control and also drawing us a card because Voja is a Wolf. The thing I realized about Voja, Jaws of the Conclave is just how strong ward 3 is on Voja. It's not quite hexproof, but it does make Voja super difficult to kill, especially if we can ramp it onto the battlefield a turn or two earlier, which Elves is pretty good at doing thanks to all of the tribe's mana dorks. If we can get down Voja on Turn 4, it's nearly impossible for our opponent to kill with something like Go for the Throat. If our opponent does manage to kill it, they'll have to essentially Time Walk themselves by putting all of their mana into paying the ward cost. Toss in how Voja's attack trigger is so powerful that we typically only need one or two attacks with it to win the game, and it can actually be a super-powerful card.

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Backing up Voja is honorary Elf Roaming Throne to double up our triggers. Most often, we name Elf with Roaming Throne to double up our triggers on Gala Greeters, Nissa, Resurgent Animist, Werefox Bodyguard, and Glissa Sunslayer, although in some board states, we turn Roaming Throne into a Wolf to double up our Voja, Jaws of the Conclave trigger. Much like Voja, the ward 2 on Roaming Throne is huge, making it painful for our opponent to kill it with removal and increasing the odds that our Elf-and-Wolf-amonicon sticks on the battlefield for a few turns.

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We also have a single copy of Tolsimir, Midnight's Light, mostly for flavor because it makes a Voja. It's actually pretty solid in our deck since it's an Elf that makes a Wolf, which helps power up Voja, Jaws of the Conclave's trigger. But honestly, if we weren't a Voja deck, we'd probably play something else in this slot.

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As far as the rest of the deck, it's a huge pile of Elves to power up Voja, Jaws of the Conclave. Our mana dorks help us turbo out Voja as quickly as possible, which makes it hard for our opponent to kill Voja through its ward.

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Werefox Bodyguard joins Get Lost as our main-deck removal. Having a removal spell that also adds an Elf to the battlefield is huge; plus, we can use Werefox Bodyguard in a pinch to save a Voja or Roaming Throne from a removal spell, which is doubly brutal for our opponent because we can wait until after our opponent pays the ward and then use Werefox Bodyguard to exile it temporarily until we sacrifice our Werefox to get Voja back.

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Rounding out our Elves is a full playset of Fleetfoot Dancer, which is a super powerful card...unless our opponent happens to have a Sheoldred, which is really good against a 4/4 thanks to its fifth toughness. Otherwise, the combination of trample, lifelink, and haste makes the four-drop good against both control and aggro. Finally, we have one Vannifar, which can do some sneaky things with Voja. We can use Vannifar to cloak a Voja from our hand, wait until the face-down Voja loses summoning sickness, and then flip it up to get in a (hopefully) game-ending attack!

Wrap-Up and Odds

Let's start with the good news: Voja, Jaws of the Conclave is pretty absurd. The ward 3 makes it super difficult to kill with targeted removal, and its attack trigger is so powerful that it almost always wins us the game if our opponent doesn't have a wrath. We saw that time and time again in our matches. But there is also some bad news: Elves in Standard just aren't that good. The mana dorks are okay but a bit slow, and a lot of the other support cards felt somewhat underpowered. As a result, it felt like Voja is a very strong Standard-playable card but without enough support to really make it great. That said, Voja will be in Standard for nearly three more years, and we know we're going back to Lorwyn during that time, which is an Elf-heavy plane. So, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Voja end up as a very strong card in the future once we get some more good Elves in the format.

For now, Voja is definitely an Against the Odds card. We ended up winning 36% of the time across 22 matches (with some really sweet wins along the way). But thanks to the new, longer Standard, there will probably be a time when Voja, Jaws of the Conclave shines in Standard thanks to the power of its attack trigger and ward 3.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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