Enchantress is a Tier 2 archetype in Magic that combines card draw, life gain, and enchantments to overwhelm your opponents. Because enchantments are typically not easy to interact with as most competitive decks focus on creature, planeswalker, and artifact removal, the subtle power of enchantments can oftentimes catch unprepared opponents off guard allowing you to play your game with very minimal setbacks.
Although we don’t have cards like Enchantress’s Presence in Pioneer, we have many alternatives that still hold on to much of their power in a format that’s not necessarily as fast as modern, or as broken as legacy.
Thanks to Theros, an enchantment-based plane, we gain access to Pioneer’s core Enchantress effects, and when combined with the Constellation mechanics we simply go to town with tremendous value.
The most recent iteration of power enchantments came in Dominaria. Sagas have evolved from simply temporary enchantments that die after 3 turns whilst providing you value each turn, into Sagas that re-enter the battlefield as creatures when they expire. The most important thing to note is that they leave the battlefield and re-enter, and not merely transform. Constellation sees these enchantments come back which triggers the ability.
History of Benalia was among my favorite sagas back in the day. Nothing beats turning one permanent into two 2/2 vigilant bodies which later turn into 8 power on the board. But what if you can squeeze even more value from that?
Why not play several History of Benalia in one turn for a discount? Why not double the number of knights you churn out, then double the pump effects on its last chapter? Or why not draw cards from them when you attack both your knights?
Weaver of Harmony is the other pseudo-enchantress we have in the deck. It copies activated or triggered abilities from enchantment sources. It can double Saga chapters, it can also double Eidolon’s constellation triggers, and even copies removal from Cast Out, Borrowed Time, or Leyline of Binding because their exile effects are triggered when they hit the battlefield and Weaver will see that enter the stack to be copied.
The only downside of the deck is not having a 1-drop. You can find ways to squeeze in a Commune with Spirits or Generous Visitor but what it lacks in turn 1 play it makes up for double spelling as early as turn 3 with Jukai Naturalist on turn 2.
The problem mostly with centrally-themed decks like Enchantress is in sideboarding. We don’t want to dilute the density of enchantment cards because it reduces the effectiveness of your constellation cards, Weaver’s potential to copy effects, and Jukai’s cost reduction. So we propose a relatively enchantment-heavy sideboard as well.
Let’s first talk about the creatures in the sideboard. Dawnhart Geist is such an amazing tech against very aggressive decks like Heroic, Mono Red, Humans, Spirits and Mono Green stompy. Her 3 toughness can withstand Stomp, and block early Swiftspears with 1 prowess trigger. But what I discovered playing this deck is that she also counteracts with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse when you draw from your constellation triggers. I would have won games if I had her on the board.
Destiny Spinner does everything you want her to do. She lets your creatures get through early counter magic, ensures you get to land your Sagas, and gives you a mana sink outlet to turn your lands into heavy-hitting creatures that can help you outpower a cluttered board. Plus, the 2/3 body for 2-mana is already a good return on investment.
Leyline of Sanctity comes in against hard disruptions. You want to protect your opening hand because that’s where you draw the most power from in the early turns. Getting your Jukai Naturalist sniped with Thoughtseize greatly reduces your explosiveness to double or triple spell in on turns 3 through 5.
Rest in Peace is a non-bo with Kami of Transience but the upside of bringing this in is against Jund Sacrifice, Arclight, and Greasefang far outweigh the cost. We don’t want these decks to run with the game forcing us to find the removal and respond to their move. The playstyle we want to achieve is to be aggressive and proactive, putting the opponent against the corner to find their answers and try to outvalue us whilst we pummel them with threat after thread.
Lastly is Damping Sphere. This is pure respect to the Nykthos and Bloom decks. These decks don’t care what we do. They don’t care if their life totals are precariously low for as long as they can combo out before they die, that’s all that matters. We don’t want that. If we can slow them down even for a couple of turns, we can race and force them to change their play patterns, block unnecessarily, lose some steam, and eventually have their game plan fall apart.
The deck is super fun to play but a word of caution, it can be a messy battlefield with a lot of knights, humans, and dice running around.
Till then, keep on shuffling!
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