Last week I covered Goblins, which is one of Legacy’s oldest decks. Keeping up with that trend, this week I’m going to cover another iconic Legacy archetype: Enchantress. Magic Online player SpatulaoftheAges tuned the archetype and took it to a finals appearance in one of the Challenge events this past weekend and it looks a lot different than it used to. While Enchantress has never been one of the top decks of the format, it has always been present in some capacity. This particular version of the deck looks far more effective than the previous ones which is the result of a couple of key new cards the archetype has gained. In gaining new cards, a lot of old standbys, such as Sterling Grove and Solitary Confinement, have been removed from the deck for cheaper, more efficient cards.
I always love when a beloved but oft-not-seen archetype does well in a Legacy event. It gives me a clear opportunity to dive into decks that don’t get as much love. With that being said, let’s take a look at the deck list.
Legacy Enchantress by SpatulaoftheAges
This is one of the most linear decks in Legacy. The goal is to get an enchantress effect into play, which allows you to draw cards for each enchantment you cast, and follow that up with as many enchantments as possible. Eventually, you’ll dominate the game with card advantage and slow down opponent’s with removal spells. Along the way, you’re converting card advantage into a huge mana advantage and win the game using cards like Destiny Spinner or even Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Living Wish provides a lot of versatility depending on what you need, but doesn’t really change the linearity of the archetype.
The deck has changed a lot in recent years, so let’s break down each card to see why new cards warrant their spot.
These creatures are the reason this deck functions. Argothian Enchantress has always been the face of this deck in Legacy. Being among the cheapest draw effects legal and not being able to be targeted by removal gives it both a high degree of efficiency and resiliency. In fact, this deck plays three in the main deck and one in the sideboard precisely because you want it the most, since Living Wish gives you access to more copies.
Sythis is a much appreciated new addition to the deck from Modern Horizons 2. Having more copies of a two-mana enchantress effect substantially increases the speed and efficiency of the deck. In addition, the life she provides can be crucial and adds an extra element to the card draw effect in Enchantress. The major downside is that her body is fragile and doesn’t provide any form of natural protection. This opens the door to removal functioning as meaningful disruption against your plan, which is something this deck used to be insulated against. That being said, the sheer upside of having extra copies of this effect at two mana certainly outweighs the downside.
For a long time, the core draw engine of this deck was four Argothian Enchantress and four Enchantress’s Presence. However, since the past year or so has yielded cards like Sythis, which is a cheaper version of the same effect, as well as the rest of Legacy greatly increasing in speed, relying on a three-mana engine is a bit slow. Still, being immune to most removal effects and synergizing with the rest of this deck’s synergies makes Presence a key card in the archetype.
While this is another creature that exposes aspects of this deck to removal, the benefits it provides are meaningful in this deck. Since this is the Force of Will format, making your key spells immune to countermagic is a sought after effect. Not all decks with Force of Will have removal, and a fair amount of those decks (such as Omnitell or Doomsday) rely on countermagic to protect themselves. In addition to counterspell immunity, Destiny Spinner acts as a pretty effective win condition, and the combination of protection and the ability to win the game is a unique sort of effect for Enchantress.
These cards help ensure you can find the right pieces at the right time. Green Sun’s Zenith used to be the go-to for consistency, as finding more copies of Argothian Enchantress was generally good enough to get the ball rolling. The combination of adding Sythis to the deck, as well as not really being a toolbox deck since it can’t afford to run creatures that aren’t part of its game plan, makes Green Sun’s Zenith less necessary than it used to be. Living Wish actually gives the deck a toolbox element though, and further increases the consistency of the archetype. While it is relatively slow, this deck does play a fair amount of ramp which helps mitigate the extra two-mana cost on any creature. Additionally, lands like Serra’s Sanctum can be absolutely explosive in this deck, so having extra copies of that land when you need it is very effective.
These are the ramp and fixing effects in the deck. The fact that they help cast your spells ahead of schedule (or, put another way, allow you to play two-drops around cards like Daze) while also getting the engine rolling when you have an enchantress active, makes them extremely valuable to have and a key element to any opening hand. Abundant Growth doesn’t help you ramp, but it does allow this deck to essentially have complete Wasteland immunity and cast all of its spells.
Elephant Grass is here to make sure that creature decks cannot easily race you. This card is extremely annoying for creature decks to play against and is cheap enough that it can fit anywhere in your curve, either post-enchantress for a card or pre-enchantress to save damage. This is the only “prison” card this deck plays these days, as Solitary Confinement has been cut completely. That effect isn’t as necessary as it used to be and with a powerful win condition in Destiny Spinner, you no longer need to completely lock opponent’s out of the game before you win the game.
These are the removal spells of the deck, which are absolutely crucial with the increased power level of creatures over the past few years. On Thin Ice is particularly meaningful, seeing as one-mana removal spells are quite effective at stabilizing the board. Cast Out is a lot slower, but having cycling means it helps dig you towards the important cards. Having a catch-all answer is quite nice as well, especially one that works so well against Show and Tell decks.
The general trend of cards in Enchantress over the past few years is that they’ve gotten a lot cheaper. Paladin Class is a weirdly effective card in this deck tied to a one-mana enchantment. It functions a bit like Destiny Spinner, helping protect your key spells from countermagic (or at least slows down your opponent’s development). The threat of leveling it up really comes in handy too, as not only can that help you win the game at some point, but it helps pressure planeswalkers, namely Narset, Parter of Veils. Even if the effect isn’t sought after in a game, the bar for a one-mana enchantment to cross is rather low, since it will function as a cantrip with your engine running.
This is one of the few cards in the deck that doesn’t generate some kind of card parity, but having the effect can really smooth out your draw. With the overall power increase of cards lately, Mirri’s Guile doesn’t have quite the same impact that most other cards in this deck, but a single copy can be effective and, again, the bar for a one-mana enchantment is low.
Basic-heavy mana bases are already quite good in Legacy and this deck takes advantage of that quite well with all of the one-mana fixing enchantments.
While this used to be a staple four-of in this archetype, this deck doesn’t need this burst of mana as much as it used to. This is really a result of the overall reduction in mana cost that I’ve referenced a few times, as the cards are so cheap that you don’t really need to expose yourself to Wasteland that often. Combine this with the fact that most of the key cards in this deck require small amounts of green mana and it makes sense that Serra’s Sanctum has been trimmed. Playing Living Wish also reduces the need to run multiple copies in the main deck, since you can always find it from the sideboard if you need it.
Karakas is extremely well-positioned right now with Ragavan around. In this deck, it also has the additional utility of saving your Sythis from removal or just bouncing it to start drawing cards if you run out of steam and have another enchantress in play.
These are the extra copies of key cards in the main deck to get with Living Wish. Each of them have places where they are absolutely crucial and they should always be on your mind when considering your tutor targets.
There are plenty of devastating artifacts and enchantments in Legacy, so having access to these in any game you need them can be really clutch.
These are the removal targets and each of them are pretty key in the deck. Grist, the Hunger Tide is my personal favorite of these, as it also offers an alternate route to victory if opponents are prepared for it (as well as kills planeswalkers, which is pretty unique here).
Endurance is really one of the best creatures in Legacy these days and having it as a tutor target really helps in a lot of situations. Letting them know about it by tutoring it to your hand is a bit unfortunate, but there are plenty of times where your opponent won’t be able to play around it.
There are some decks, like Storm, that will really struggle to win the game through a Gaddock Teeg. Those decks happen to be tough matchups for Enchantress so this is the perfect inclusion here.
A funny inclusion in the board, there’s a lot to be said about having a Fog effect when you need it. Fog gets a lot of flak in Magic but the card is actually very potent if you only have it when you need it. Since this deck cut Solitary Confinement but has a powerful draw engine, getting Spore Frog to make it through a crucial turn can help buy enough time to win the game with Destiny Spinner.
With Serra’s Sanctum in the mix and your engine really running, it can be pretty trivial to cast Emrakul (but can be very costly to draw). Running Emrakul isn’t new to Enchantress, but Living Wish makes it much more reasonable in the deck.
The only card in the sideboard that isn’t a tutor target, there are plenty of decks in Legacy that can’t beat a resolved Choke. It is a bit worse than it used to be since Ragavan does circumvent the downside a fair amount, but Choke is a card most blue players have to constantly think about and in this deck it might even be uncounterable.
- Destiny Spinner doesn’t just win the game – the animated lands can act as blockers if you need to hold the ground.
- Sythis isn’t that poor in multiples and you can always just cast the second copy to draw a card.
- Be wary when Gaddock Teeg is in play since it will turn off Cast Out and Green Sun’s Zenith.
Out: 1 Mirri’s Guile
In: 1 Choke
Most of these matchups won’t involve much sideboarding since this deck’s sideboard is almost entirely a toolbox. Getting an Argothian Enchantress in play is absolutely crucial here, since that will allow you to bury them in cards. Surviving is the name of the game though, since Delver has become much more brutal of an archetype with Murktide Regent in the mix, so preserving your removal spells for the Dragon is pretty important. Paladin Class and Elephant Grass can really help buy time here, since they will either have to hold up mana and slow down their development or give you free reign to resolve your spells.
Death and Taxes
Most of your tutor targets are better off in your sideboard since you have more Living Wishes than Green Sun’s Zeniths. The core game plan of Enchantress is pretty effective here and you actually have answers for all of their problematic cards. Be careful about their mana denial, as cards like Flickerwisp and Rishadan Port can make your ramp spells a lot worse. Similarly, be wary about relying on Sythis since their Karakas can keep that in check. Again, Argothian Enchantress is key here, as it doesn’t get answered by any of their cards.
Out: 3 On Thin Ice, 1 Cast Out
In: 1 Endurance, 1 Choke, 1 Argothian Enchantress, 1 Collector Ouphe
Speed is absolutely key here, so relying on the sideboard tutor package is not going to be as effective. As I always say, Doomsday is a scary deck for any non-Force of Will decks and there isn’t too much you can do about it. Try to get your engine online as soon as possible and hopefully you can kill them before they go off.