I recently piloted Enchantress to a 3-3-2 record at SCG Tampa which is by no means good but I think that I played good overall at my first ever big Legacy tournament. Two of my three losses were matches that I am confident that I would have won had I practiced more and both of my draws are matches I would have 100% won had I had a couple more turns.
Which is my fault for not practicing more. See what I’m getting at?
Enchantress is a pretty hard deck to play. Don’t think you can just pick it up and win a tournament without lots and lots of practice. I’ve been playing Enchantress for years yet I still needed more practice. There are so many lines of play and so many decisions it’s very hard to wrap your head around without tons of practice.
Enchantress has also changed quite a lot over the years to get to the version you see today. When I originally played it, my versions main kill condition was attacking repeatedly with a [card]Birds of Paradise[/card] with 4 [card]Rancor[/card]s on it while my opponent was helpless to stop it. I was so infamous for playing this deck that my Magic “team” earned the name Team Birds with Rancors.
I eventually moved away for a job and our team broke up but that’s a different story for a different day…
Now let’s break down the deck my way:
Legacy has so many options and so much variation that whatever deck you choose to play must have a solid core. A deck’s core is defined by the basic cards that make the deck’s game plan work that don’t typically change from one version to the next. Enchantress’s core I will define as follows:
19-21 Lands (I prefer 20)
Obviously the point of Enchantress is to setup a lock with [card]Solitary Confinement[/card] and then out-card advantage your opponent until you can kill them with one of your win conditions, while they are usually helpless. [card]Sterling Grove[/card] protects this, [card]Elephant Grass[/card] stalls until it’s setup, both Enchantress cards are your drawing engines, Growth and Sprawl are your acceleration.
The fringe cards of a deck I define as the cards that help the main game plan but they aren’t set in stone like the core cards. This leaves room for personalization to your personal style or changes for the expected metagame. Some of the fringe Enchantress cards are:
[card]Defense of the Heart[/card] (paired with Emrakul)
[card]Energy Field[/card] (infinite damage prevention lock with Wheel of Sun and Moon)
[card]Flickering Ward[/card] (re-buyable enchantment)
[card]Words of War[/card] (second best win condition)
[card]Words of Wind[/card]
[card]Enlightened Tutor[/card] (good but card disadvantage)
[card]Mirri’s Guile[/card] (better than Library)
[card]Runed Halo[/card] (this card is a house)
[card]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/card] (win condition, can be hard-casted pretty easily)
[card]Sigil of the Empty Throne[/card] (best win condition)
[card]Wheel of Sun and Moon[/card] (with Solitary Confinement means you won’t mill yourself)
[card]Sacred Mesa[/card] (weaker win condition)
[card]Lignify[/card] (answer to an early Iona, Jin-Gitaxis)
[card]Chrome Mox[/card] (early acceleration, I don’t like personally)
[card]Lotus Petal[/card] (early acceleration, I don’t like personally)
I usually go for a solid mix of [card]Mirri’s Guile[/card], [card]Oblivion Ring[/card], [card]Runed Halo[/card], [card]Wheel of Sun and Moon[/card], and [card]Moat[/card] plus 3 win conditions. Any extra slots can even be filled in with sideboard cards like [card]Blood Moon[/card] or [card]Choke[/card] if you have an idea about the metagame.
Sideboading with Enchantress is a thing of beauty. The main deck is strong already against much of the field that usually you will only need to sideboard in a few key cards to really hose certain decks. With [card]Sterling Grove[/card]s main deck, any of the silver-bullet enchantments are tutor-able and even when you don’t, the pure card advantage of Enchantress lets you see so many cards that you should find one eventually. Some good options are:
[card]Vexing Shusher[/card] (absolutely amazing)
[card]Ground Seal[/card] (stops some dredge, Life from the Loam, Snapcaster Mage)
[card]Baneslayer Angel[/card] (most decks will side out targeted creature removal after game 1)
[card]Dovescape[/card] (good for the mirror and paired with Vexing Shusher against control)
[card]Leyline of Sanctity[/card] (absolute necessity)
[card]Humility[/card] (Reanimator, Zoo)
[card]Aura of Silence[/card]
[card]Stony Silence[/card] (Affinity, Stoneblade, Scepter)
Circle of Protection’s
[card]Mindbreak Trap[/card] (Enchantress’s weakest matchup: combo)
[card]Rule of Law[/card] (combo)
One thing to really keep in mind about building a sideboard for a large Legacy tournament is that it’s impossible to prepare for every deck out there. Accept it. The field is just too big and varied. Choose your battles, I usually prepare for lots of blue decks, some combo hosers, and creature decks (which Enchantress already has a good matchup against).
Here is the decklist that I played with some slight advice from my buddy Gerry T (who is not an Enchantress expert but he tried):
[deck title=Enchanted We Stand]
4 Argothian Enchantress
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Enchantresss Presence
4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Wild Growth
4 Sterling Grove
3 Solitary Confinement
2 Oblivion Ring
4 Elephant Grass
1 Words of War
1 City of Solitude
1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Runed Halo
1 Blood Moon
1 Ground Seal
2 Serras Sanctum
2 Arid Mesa
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Vexing Shusher
2 Karmic Justice
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Stony Silence
1 Aura of Silence
1 Rule of Law
For most people there are at least some income restrictions to playing Legacy and I am no exception. I don’t own a [card]Moat[/card] (though I am getting one soon) and I played a basic land land-base, which surprisingly was a great decision and I highly recommend it. The [card]Misty Rainforest[/card]s also should be [card]Windswept Heath[/card]s.
I’m telling you 100% you don’t need the dual lands in Enchantress, you never have problems getting the single red you need and turning [card]Wasteland[/card] into a nearly dead card is a killer move with so many in the format. If you run with dual lands you leave yourself wide open for your opponent being able to [card]Wasteland[/card] your land and taking 2-3 [card]Wild Growth[/card] or [card]Utopia Sprawl[/card]s with it. It also minimizes the effect [card]Blood Moon[/card] will have on you while just being a house against a lot of decks in the format.
News flash: Enchantress is not a popular deck. A lot of people actually don’t know how to play against it and it will cause them to make bad decisions and actually sideboard wrong which happened in multiple matchups to me at SCG Tampa. Use this to your advantage.
Believe it or not, a lot of the time people will scoop to Enchantress when you get a good lock out (typically a [card]Solitary Confinement[/card] + 2 enchantress effects) even if you don’t have one of your kill conditions online and they feel they have outs (like Affinity). Take it because you actually CAN stall out, though it’s rare.
Don’t go over 20 lands.
Emrakul + Karakas = Best friends.
Enchantress is one of those decks that will get a lot of draws unless you are really familiar with the deck. Make sure you get all the time extensions you can if something happens and try to play at a reasonable pace.
I think Enchantress is a blast to play and it’s very self challenging. It’s a great deck choice because no one prepares for it, use that to your advantage at your next Legacy tournament and let me know how you did.
Thanks for reading and if you want more articles from me, this where you let me know and please follow me on Twitter @en3myzero.
Sean aka en3myzero
Team Mana Deprived, Birds with Rancors
Also available on ManaDeprived.com