Aaron A. is hot in the Magic Community right now - this is his second deck on LandSayGo!
Why not try and replicate Enchantress (Enchanter) in Standard? The list we have for review today packs some serious power, and an excellent card draw engine in the form of Satyr Enchanter. It plays a little (a lot) like a mid-range control deck, displays some impressive versatility in its options to answer popular meta cards, and can be truly fun to play once several of the combos pieces come online! Let's dive into Arkon's deck and talk about why you should build it and play it!
Enchanter, Satyr, All Around Good Guy...
I have an unbeaten deck. No, seriously, DBoe can back me up here. I keep it in golden sleeves in a crystal box. It is a Legacy legal Enchantress list. I have never been beaten while playing it in a fair game. I'm sure it could lose. I'm sure the right deck could easily dispatch of it, but I have never been bested while piloting my Enchantress deck. Enchantments are among my favorite types of cards in the game; they are permanents and generally have persistent abilities that impact the battlefield in important ways. Dominaria introduced us to Sagas, which complete themselves via chapters and have multiple abilities. Satyr Enchanter is this Standard meta's Argothian Enchantress or Enchantress's Presence. We draw a card for each enchantment we cast. Cast trigger - draw! Woohoo! Our author includes three copies of the Satyr - I would think by default we should be running four. But, testing has been fine.
Each of Our Enchantments Have a Purpose
The glaring fundamentals of this deck, again, aren't new. Play an enchantment, draw a card, effectively replacing the resource in your hand, and giving you more options and advantages. Let's start with the one and two drop enchantments. Dawn of Hope has been a topic of some debate for us at LandSayGo for a few weeks. This card is good - but with current options in Standard, I don't think it has had an opportunity to become great. I understand the inclusion of Dawn of Hope in this list, but found myself consistently looking for more life gain triggers as games progress. Moreover, a card like Dawn of Hope wants to be built around, and craves interactions with upkeep triggers like Fountain of Renewal. For purposes of the review, it will suffice to say that Dawn of Hope is fine here, and acts as its own little engine. It has purposes later in game that are critical to our success.
Dead Weight is a beauty in this list. I love that we are essentially casting a black version of Shock with this card, and triggering our Enchanter to draw another card. Great solution to early aggro in the main board, and I would consider running more than three copies. Seal Away is an excellent card, early or late game we can find uses, even though it's one of the first cards to be boarded out when we are facing control decks. Flash in a Seal Away, draw a card, and keep the engine humming. Seal Away feels like an obvious choice in Abzan Enchanter - maybe more copies?
More Review and Synergy
Gift of Paradise saw a lot of play in Amonkhet block; it was part of a deck Championed by Aetherworks Marvel that end up getting outright banned. Ah, good memories, really. I loved that deck. Ramp, minus the Marvel after the ban, hit an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger - Profit. Here we are not necessarily hamstrung by having three colors, but Gift of Paradise gives us some much needed smoothing of our mana base and can gain us a little life. Not too bad. Plus, we get to draw a card if we have an active Enchanter in play.
History of Benalia is the best Saga to be printed to date. It has taken the competitive scene by storm, appearing in everything from control, mono colored aggro, to two and three color aggro strategies. This may be the quintessential card in our deck seeing as the author included a full set of four copies in the deck list. It is not the only win condition in the deck, but it represents an early threat and needs to be answered in a timely manner. Ixalan's Binding has dwindled in effectiveness lately. Competitive players are beginning to run mainboard answers for enchantments, and Ixalan's Binding might be a card that does little for us in the current meta. Then again, it could mean everything. We are running plenty of answers here that help us with problematic creature waves and permanents. I am happy to say that this deck really makes Binding shine.
The Top End of the Enchantment Curve
We have to have a mid-range plan here. Decks like this need big payoffs, and thus far you may be confused about where this is going. Then again, you may have taken one look at the list and are already off to your collection to build this deck. In which case, why proceed with explaining any further? Just kidding...
Here's the big pay off. Divine Visitation is what we are ramping for, and I love that after testing, the deck generally gets to this outcome. Most games are smooth enough that we are able to ramp, getting a few triggers off of an Enchanter, or using Planeswalker tempo to get us to the casting of this card. Some really clean synergies are found in the interactions between Dawn of Hope, History of Benalia, Karn's Construct tokens, and Vraska's Pirate tokens. Yes, this top end will do nicely. We are committed to the method here - you should be playing knowing that this is likely the most powerful win-con we have in the deck. Not that several early History of Benalia's can't get you there, but we really want to be flooding the battlefield with Angels.
I thought this was spicy, so much so in fact, that I have been running an additional copy in my sideboard over a third Carnage Tyrant. I get the Tyrant, RAWR, but The Eldest Reborn represents more fundamental synergy for our deck, and does some incredibly great stuff. Yes - it's about control, yes - it's about hand destruction, but more than that it is about using our opponent's resources against them. It depends upon the game, but I have seen some dramatic reversals using The Eldest Reborn, especially when we are able to sequence correctly and get our opponent to sacrifice the right creature or Planeswalker. It speaks volumes that we would be able to draw additional cards off of an Enchanter for a 5 drop, and even use the third chapter to return an Enchanter to the battlefield if needed. Swiss Army deck.
Eight Much Needed Support Spells?
The core mechanic of this deck reveals itself, and draws ire quickly. You can expect your opponents eyebrow to raise when you drop an Enchanter. You can expect your opponent to remove your draw card engine quickly, and stop you from capitalizing on draw triggers per enchantment cast. None of the following spells help us protect our creatures. There is some nominal recursion built into the sideboard, so these sweepers and combat tricks are aimed at saving us from potential calamity at the hands of more capable and faster aggro decks.
Cleansing Nova feels counter-intuitive to me. Right? I can't really see a situation where we would want to destroy all artifacts or enchantments in play? I mean there might be outlying lines of play where it would be acceptable for us to reset, but it's not likely. Destroying all creatures might be necessary if we are so far behind that we need to preserve our life total, but I could easily see dropping both copies of Cleansing Nova for better spells. Maybe, more enchantments - Journey to Eternity, Phyrexian Scriptures, Profane Procession? Let's drop the Ritual of Soot too...if you want. I want to, I want to slot in more copies of Settle the Wreckage and more targeted removal - Cast Down, Vraska's Contempt...or totally off the cuff here...Slaughter the Strong?
I like Assassin's Trophy. It spiked in popularity and then the drawback to the card became apparent in competitive play. The card is powerful, but improper timing on its use can set you back. When we are running this instant we need to commit to it for the benefit of the deck - we need to be running 4 copies. Again, having access to the spell doesn't mean we need to use it all willy-nilly. Rather, the inclusion of Assassin's Trophy might represent to our author a supplement to the board wipes I have been recommending we remove in favor of other cards. It's a personal choice, and while my suggestions may not be the way the author would play this deck, I feel as if Assassin's Trophy is an all or nothing strategy, and I would encourage you to increase the number of copies to four.
Karn, Scion of Urza and Vraska, Relic Seeker are powerful and capable additions to the deck. Their token generation synergizes very well with Divine Visitation. Karn helps us with additional draw power, and mana fixing. Vraska is an underutilized and extremely powerful Planeswalker with a dynamite -10 ability. Vraska is a win condition by herself. Excellent choices at 2 copies per card.
The Sideboard is Diverse and Well-Designed
I think Aaron has built in some excellent answers to potential problems for the deck. I have played this list extensively at this point, and I found uses for almost each card in a variety of matches.
Sentinel Totem is a response to various popular drake and phoenix decks in Standard. There may be other options for us - I have been loving Scrabbling Claws lately. Tragic Poet is a great card for our deck, and while effective in getting back some of our enchantments, which I did in testing, I feel like ways to return our Enchanter are so much more effective. Maybe Find // Finality is better here?
Arguel's Blood Fast seems natural in the mainboard to me. I almost always brought in this enchantment, there is virtually no drawback once we have our Divine Visitation online. I was comfortable enough with mana and token generation at points in long games to easily recoup the life lost. Invoke the Divine is a boomstick for artifacts and enchantments. Bring it in when you need an option.
Carnage Tyrant and Golgari Findbroker dials us back off of our Divine Visitation and Planeswalker plan into a more dynamic and resilient midrange Abzan deck. These two cards are some of the best Standard in these colors. Findbroker being 4 mana to cast passively causes its timing to be excellently placed. Your opponent will have used answers for your Enchanter and we grab him right back.
Thanks for Reading & Your Contribution, Aaron
This deck is excellent. Given the expedient ways in which we all play Magic these days, I likely don't have the time to devote to perfecting this deck that I'd like to have. Having had the opportunity to briefly converse with the author, I know that they are likely onto new projects as well.
I don't know if our LSG platform has a wide enough reach yet to really bring a deck like this to the masses, but I wanted to make sure we at least gave this community submission a highlight.
Until next time, play an land, cast an enchantment, draw a card and say go.