One thing I have to say up front is that I'm personally devastated that with all the lord goodness in Core Set 2019 Merfolk was left out in the cold. As the fish's biggest fan – I even have a hand-drawn Silvergill Adept playmat – it was crushing that Ixalan was such a disappointment and Core Set 2019 brought great lords to other decks but not Merfolk.
But you're not here for my salty tears, you're here for Elvish Clancaller. I'm glad you came, because it's insane in the very best way.
Elves has undergone many, many iterations in Modern. Keep in mind that Glimpse of Nature was banned from the outset and still is thanks entirely to the ability to Elfball people out of games. And while I admit I do love playing that deck – and have tried plenty with Beck // Call (let me know if you'd like to see videos of this! – Elves went in an entirely different but entirely viable direction in Modern.
From green-white lists that essentially amounted to toolbox Chord of Calling decks with an Elf mana engine, to token versions maximizing Shaman of the Pack to green-white Devoted Druid-Vizier of Remedies combo, even Bloodbraid Elf Elves – or my personal favorite, Warp World Elves.
But Elvish Clancaller is the future of the archetype. It fills in a lot of holes for the deck. Perhaps most notably is that as a two-mana lord in a deck with a ton of one-drops, it enables beatdown strategies alongside Elvish Archdruid. In a Modern format that's faster than any time other than Eldrazi Winter, upgrading the speed of the deck is a huge upgrade.
But that's not all it does. The ability serves multiple purposes, from giving you another option alongside end-of-turn Collected Company or Chord of Calling to keep opponents off guard, to generating card advantage by itself – a crucial component of the winning formula against decks packed with one-for-one removal like Jund or Mardu Pyromancer.
Because of this, Elves can turn into a focused aggressive deck – which is why we're playing Nettle Sentinel, a card some versions have cut – and focus on keeping the pressure coming early and often. Clancaller not only helps enable this plan, but it also acts as its own backup plan, allowing you to convert extra mana in the mid and lategame into an even larger board presence. With Collected Company and a few Chord of Calling for toolbox purposes, the deck can rebuild surprisingly easy, and Shaman of the Pack is the perfect finisher after the early onslaught.
I think Elves may be in a better position now than it has been in quite some time, and Elvish Clancaller is the reason why.
Thanks for reading,