Your ancestors crossed the boundaries of the Feywild many ages ago. Longer than most of your race can remember. Shortly after the Making of the World, the Feywild, and the Shadowfell, the Firstborn diverged into 3 separate lineages (the Eladrin, the Elves, and the Drow). The Firstborn were able to move freely between the planes, but some felt more at home in the World than in the Feywild. Those who remained there became the Elves, and represent the first split of the Elven lineage (estranging themselves from the Eladrin in the Feywild). Your people loved this World the moment they set foot here, and cultivate their deep connection to its lands, its life forms, and its Primal Spirits to this day. Some Elves embrace the company of the other races of the World, while others prefer to keep to themselves, living in the wild lands. Most Elves have an earthy quality about them, and as one of the longer-lived races their worldview and culture differs from that of Humans and other shorter-lived races.
Rating: This guide uses the standard system on these boards.
Sky Blue : An excellent choice with amazing synergy
Blue : A very good choice with notable synergy
Black: A solid choice. It may not be the most optimal, but you won't be disappointed.
Purple: Poor. Unless you're dead set on this option you should probably skip it. If you build and play the character well you can get by.
Red: Terrible. There's just no synergy, and there aren't really any options that can make up for it. You'll be at a noticeable disadvantage.
Players Handbook = PHB
Players Handbook 2 = PHB2
Players Handbook 3 = PHB3
Martial Power = MP
Arcane Power = AP
Divine Power = DP
Primal Power = PP
Forgotten Realms Players Guide = FRPG
Eberron Players Guide = EPG (I could use some help with this one, as I don't plan on purchasing it)
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom. Elves are quick of mind and body. These abilities are useful to a lot of different classes. Of the 23 classes, 10 of them use one of the Elf's stats as a primary, and 13 classes have a secondary that keys off of DEX or WIS. Furthermore, an impressive 5 classes have a build with a primary and a secondary ability that both line up with the Elf's ability bonuses.
Speed: 7 squares. Fastest base speed of any race in the game, making Elves extremely mobile.
Vision: low light. You can see well in dim light; nice little perk. Synergizes well with your bonus to Wisdom and Perception.
Skill bonuses: +2 Nature, +2 Perception. Your culture tends to be less "civilized" than that of other races, as your people prefer to retain their close connection to nature. Such a way of life can be more hazardous, so you're generally very aware of your surroundings.
Elven Weapon Proficiency: longbows and shortbows. Your race makes the archetypal archer, but to make the most use out of these weapons you're probably going to be a member of a class that already has proficiency with them. You can multiclass and steal some Ranger or Bard powers that use bows, but overall you're not going to gain much. One popular exception to this is the Elven Laser Cleric, which can be quite effective if some Ranger powers are taken.
Fey Origin: Ok, so your ancestors were Feywild natives. You already knew that. They may have settled on this plane long ago, but Fey blood still courses through your veins...
Group Awareness: +1 Perception to non-Elf allies within 5 squares. You're probably going to spot danger before them anyways, but just in case your dice aren't cooperating it's nice to have a backup.
[color=turquoise]Wild Step:[/color] You ignore difficult terrain when you shift. Seriously?! Remember when we talked about how quick and mobile you were? Yeah, it just got better. A lot better. For mobility-dependent classes it doesn't get any better than this. If you're a squishy character this just might save your life. If you're a defender fighting on difficult terrain you've just drastically increased your stickiness without compromising your own mobility.
Elven Accuracy: One of the better racial encounter powers. Everyone likes to hit. Have confidence when you bust out the Daily powers!
Best Class Choices by Role
The Druid and Seeker are your best choices, especially if you're a Primal Predator Druid or Bloodbond Seeker. Elves make great Invokers and Wizards as well though. Elves will likely make passable Psions but you'd be better off with one of the other controller classes.
Fighter is your best choice, but you can make a respectable Paladin or Warden. Don't try to compete with the Eladrin by going Swordmage, though.
You won't go wrong choosing Cleric or Shaman, but stay away from Artificers, Bards, and Warlords. You can make a passable Ardent.
Your best choice is Ranger, but you make an elite Avenger or Monk too. Rogue and Assassin are also excellent choices, and you can make a viable Sorcerer. You'll have a difficult career as a Barbarian, and any Eldritch Pact that you make will come with too high a price for what you get, so stay away from Warlocks.
Elf Racial Feats
Light Step (PHB - Heroic): Bonus to overland group speed is pretty weak. It's neat that you make the group harder to track, but overall that's way too situational to justify spending a feat on. If you know your party is going to get pursued a lot and have a feat slot to waste (haha!), you might not rule this out entirely. +1 bonus to Acrobatics and Stealth aren't terrible. Because you get so much this feat isn't red, but it sure is close.
Running Shot (PHB - Paragon): So your party has to flee, and you're the rearguard (if ranged). Makes you not suck at hitting things while using the run action (normally you get a hefty -5 penalty). Of course if you're running away, you're probably in pretty bad shape, and since you still grant Combat Advantage while running with this feat...yeah.
Wild Elf Luck (FRPG - Heroic): +1D4 bonus when you use Elven Accuracy. Has a 25% chance of being worse than Elven Precision, 25% chance of being exactly the same, and a 50% chance of being better. If you want to REALLY emphasize accuracy you can choose them both, but at that point you're devoting an awful lot of feats for an encounter power (though granted, it could very well guarantee that you land a crucial Daily...).
Wood Elf Agility (FRPG - Heroic): A 2-7 on a D20 roll for Athletics and Acrobatics is treated as an 8. If you really hate bungling jump/climb/swim/balance checks (all of these can easily equal damage), you might consider this. Not a terrible feat, but you can't take both Wild Elf Luck and Wood Elf Agility, and WEL is just plain better. Might be black if you really want this and are satisfied with Elven Precision.
Racial Paragon Paths
Twilight Guardian (PHB2)
Elfsight: Ignore the attack penalty from concealment, increase your racial Perception bonus, as well as the Group Awareness bonus. A solid feature, but nothing too spectacular. Like most racial paragon paths, you're becoming better at what your race was already good at (in this case, accuracy and awareness).
Accurate Action: If you're burning an action point, that usually means that you really want to hit. Especially if it's a Daily. Once again, the accuracy of your race is emphasized.
Twilight Walk: To some extent this depends on your DM, but as a DM if you never incorporate difficult terrain into your encounters then ur doin' it wrong! This is a big upgrade to Wild Step, one of your already awesome racial abilities. Mobility is very important in 4th Edition.
Paragon Path Powers
Bonds of Life: This power might be blue depending on your class. The damage is nothing special and the range is upsetting, but restrained is one of the better status effects.
Twilight Stealth: Darn, this PP has a downside. Oh well. Even for a class that can reliably get concealment (I'm looking at you, Warlock), becoming invisible once per day is only so-so. For most classes, the opportunity to use this will be situational. Strictly inferior to both Camouflage Cloak (Druid Utility 6) and Illusory Erasure (Bard Utility 10), and those are Encounter powers.
Nature's Rage: This is a great power. The blast is kind of small (close blast 3), but it only targets enemies, restrains the target(s) (save ends), and creates a zone that lasts for the rest of the encounter (no sustaining required!) that restrains (save ends) enemies that enter the zone (no questions asked, no attack roll needed!). Sky Blue if you like to abuse forced movement :D
Sylvan Archer (MP)