Friday, August 23, 2013

Zero to Sixty: Enchantress

   Ah, the good ol' Enchantress  deck - a long-standing staple of various casual and competitive formats; a fan-favorite and crowd-pleaser. And, for me personally, one of the first successful archetypes I ever stumbled onto. Way, way back, I opened a pair of Endless Wurms from a box of Urza's Saga, and suddenly I had one of my first "Ooh, I have to build a deck around this!" cards. That deck wasn't very good by today's standards, but I did get to attack with an Endless Wurm enchanted with 4 Rancors more than once, so it was immediately one of my first Favorite Decks.

   In fact, GW Enchantress has been one of the only decks to constantly find it's way into my roster, evolving countless times over years and years. And with the turning of the seasons, and the printing of new cards like Ethereal Armor, I find myself drawing from this well once again.


4x Kor Spiritdancer
3x Auratog
2x Fencing Ace
1x Argothian Enchantress
3x Silhanna Ledgewalker
2x Aura Gnarlid
1x Troll Ascetic
1x Elderwood Scion
1x Sigarda, Host of Herons

4x Ethereal Armor
2x Felidar Umbra
2x Daybreak Coronet
1x Cage of Hands
4x Rancor
1x Sterling Grove
3x Armadillo Cloak
2x Aura Shards
1x Indrik Umbra

3x Temple Garden
2x Selesnya Guildgate
2x Sunpetal Grove
2x Brushland
1x Serra's Sanctum
5x Plains
7x Forest

   The first point to address is that I built this before M14 and Theros were revealed to have "Enchantments Matter" themes. So there's likely to be some mass upheaval in this list once those sets come out.

   Moving on, the next thing is, I really, really want a second Argothian Enchantress. I don't want more than that because having too many creatures that I can't enchant is kind of a non-starter. But I think 1 more copy would really help ensure my card draw engines are online.

   Speaking of which, that engine is: Auratog + Rancor + any Enchantress. For every G you spend, you grow your Auratog and draw a card - pretty bonkers. Originally, I used Faith Healer, but either way this was the very first draw engine I ever came up with, and I kind of just stumbled onto it. It's the one element of the deck that has always been a part of this deck, regardless of how drastically it evolved otherwise.

   The GW Enchantress pool is incredibly deep, and I could build 3 or 4 versions of this deck, with only a few of the cards being common between them all. Rancor, obviously, is one of the most crucial staples, and the deck just wouldn't be "Enchantress" without one of the Enchantresses.

   One version of the deck in the past played almost entirely G/W multicolor creatures so that I could take full advantage of Shield of the Oversoul - going Turn 2 Watchwolf into Turn 3 5/5 Indestructible Flyer is pretty sick. Another version played a bunch of Pacifism and Oblivion Ring effects and had Sigil of the Empty Throne as the main win-condition. It was more of a Control deck, obviously. Then there's the version popular now, which is to play nothing but Hexproof guys and buff Auras to try and remove as much interaction with your opponent as possible - effective but boring.

   This version was mainly inspired by Ethereal Armor, and was also intentionally built to be just a bit more janky and random, hence the inclusion of some of the Planechase-exclusive cards like Indrik Umbra and Elderwood Scion.  I do have a small Hexproof package, because, I mean, that's just good tech, but I didn't want to push that theme very far.

   This deck can be explosive, and kill before meaningful interaction becomes likely, but those kinds of draws aren't the norm. There is quite a bit of room for interaction, and the deck does struggle a bit with multiple opponents, especially if there are control decks present. All the lifelink stuff gives it a huge advantage against aggro, though.

   There is a lot of room for improvement, customization, and personalization here, which is one reason why I've revisited this archetype more than any other so many times in the past. I expect it to change yet again as a result of M14 and Theros.


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