mana deprived

Birds with Rancors | Enchanting Legacy

 

Enchantress: The Movie.

 

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?

Practice makes you not look like a fool.

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:

 

The Core

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:

[card]Argothian Enchantress[/card]
[card]Enchantress’s Presence[/card]
[card]Solitary Confinement[/card]
[card]Elephant Grass[/card]
[card]Wild Growth[/card]
[card]Utopia Sprawl[/card]
[card]Replenish[/card]
[card]Sterling Grove[/card]
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

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]Blood Moon[/card]
[card]Words of War[/card] (second best win condition)
[card]Words of Wind[/card]
[card]Oblivion Ring[/card]
[card]Enlightened Tutor[/card] (good but card disadvantage)
[card]Mirri’s Guile[/card] (better than Library)
[card]Sylvan Library[/card]
[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]Moat[/card]
[card]Lignify[/card] (answer to an early Iona, Jin-Gitaxis)
[card]Exploration[/card]
[card]Living Wish[/card]
[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.

 

The Board

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]Karmic Justice[/card]
[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]Blood Moon[/card]
[card]Humility[/card] (Reanimator, Zoo)
[card]Aura of Silence[/card]
[card]Stony Silence[/card] (Affinity, Stoneblade, Scepter)
[card]Choke[/card]
Circle of Protection’s
[card]Nevermore[/card]
[card]Mindbreak Trap[/card] (Enchantress’s weakest matchup: combo)
[card]Ghostly Prison[/card]
[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).

 

The Deck I Played

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]
[creatures]
4 Argothian Enchantress
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
[/creatures]
[enchantments]
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 Choke
1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Runed Halo
1 Blood Moon
1 Ground Seal
[/enchantments]
[spells]
2 Replenish
[/spells]
[lands]
1 Karakas
2 Serras Sanctum
2 Arid Mesa
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
3 Plains
7 Forest
[/lands]
[sideboard]
3 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Vexing Shusher
2 Karmic Justice
1 Nevermore
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Stony Silence
1 Choke
1 Aura of Silence
1 Rule of Law
[/sideboard]
[/deck]

 

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.

 

A Couple Quick Notes

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.

BFFs.

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

   

Grand Prix Orlando 2012 REPORT

Continuing my tradition of writing the best tournament reports that no one ever reads, here is my report for Grand Prix Orlando 2012!

GP Orlando

Welcome.

I don’t go to a lot of GP’s but Orlando is my home turf so I got lucky this time. I literally live 5-10 minutes away from the venue which was the greatest thing in the world, I had home field advantage right?

Great day to spend inside all day with a bunch of sweaty dudes.

I hadn’t played Magic in a long time, probably around 4 months, because I seem to have lost my passion after Planeswalker points came out. The grind and the pressure of never missing an event was just too much for a person with a wife and a normal full time job.

However, it felt great to be back playing the game I love.

I decided to play UW Humans; it was a deck I really liked, was capable of winning and I just happen to have most of the cards to build it properly. I made some choices like running Swords of War and Peace over Angelic Destiny, Midnight Haunting main deck, and less 1-drops then normal. I can’t tell you if these choices were right but I thought they were good calls.

 

 

FRIDAY

I know the tournament organizers so I got to sneak in early and check things out Friday. It was pretty low key compared to GP Portland (my only other GP) when it finally opened. I’m guessing it was because of the low incentive to pre-register…a dog tag and a worthless foil seem like awesome incentives to me…no deck boxes, no packs, no playmats.

Going on eBay! …………..

They still had some Christmas decorations up.

I entered the TCG Qualifier and went 4-2 and JUST missed top 8 by some ridiculously small number, finishing in 9th. It was disappointing to just miss top 8 but I still won a playmat which I used as a souvenir to get signed by the pros just like I did at GP Portland and retire that mat.

Sharpie got a workout.

Coolest thing on Friday by far thought was meeting KYT of the Eh Team which I barely recognized from his Twitter picture (the glasses threw me off). I knew I was going to meet him at some time but the sooner the better and it was awesome to meet him before we were both too busy playing Magic and could actually chill and talk.

BFFs.

Jay Boosh signed my Magic bag way back at GP Portland, which I later dubbed the Boosh Bag (which sounded way better then the original name Boosh Sack) and I felt that I had to get KYT to sign it also. Don’t get jealous Jay but KYT signed his name in Chinese too, you need to step up your signing game bro.

KYT came with Alex Hayne and Joey Smith of Team Manadeprived and they were super awesome, I really can’t describe how great it was to hang out with them because they were all just so awesome. Alex is the best Canadian Magic player around and I highly suggest rooting for him at the next GP, while Joey is working his way up.

Also they are pretty awesome people.

KYT turned off data on his cell phone (international data sucks) and the hotels wifi wasn’t working correctly so I turned on the wifi hotspot in my phone to help him out. It was like the bat symbol but it was the KYT symbol instead…every time I was around he would find me because his phone would sign on automatically and he’d start getting a bunch of tweets.

A couple last minute deck tweeks after the TCG Qualifier and I was ready for Saturday.

Plus going home and sleeping in my own bed with wife was also pretty cool while most people were stuck crammed into cheap hotel rooms and eating bad Popeye’s food.

 

SATURDAY

In the GP I started out good, 4-2 with no byes but ended at 4-5 at the end of day 1 with a very disappointing final 3 games. If I was to summarize my professional Magic career with one phrase it would be “…and then I lost the last 3.”

I started out an 8 round PTQ before 5-0. And then I lost the last 3.

I think my call of Swords over Angelic Destiny was the right one, it won multiple games for me almost by itself. Grand Abolisher was a house all day as was Moorland Haunt and I ran a single Phantasmal Image main deck which I used defensively mostly.

I was hoping to make day 2 but I like to take it one game at a time and try to win each and every match without thinking of what round it is and I just couldn’t keep it up for whatever reason. I had some bad breaks getting mana screwed in two game threes but it happens and I’m extremely happy with my play overall. I felt myself get better and better as the tournament went on and that’s what I want.

I got to meet a lot more pros again and have them sign my top 16 TCG playmat from yesterday in between rounds including my hero Gerry T and the most underrated Channel Fireball member, Caleb Durward, who was also super nice. Caleb is super passionate about Magic and was super excited to show me his unique deck when I complimented his deck building skills.

Alex facing off with Caleb.

My wife, who is from Brazil, got to meet PVDDR which was nice for her…he’s the only Magic player she knows exists.

Playtesting.

SUNDAY

Sunday I entered the TCG Sealed Qualifier and sucked balls. I had such a grindy UW deck that I had 2 draws before I dropped. Yes, draws in sealed…

Funniest moment of the tournament was when the judge was announcing the TCG Player sealed qualifier and started it out by saying “Welcome gamers to the Star City Games Open…uhhh…”

There was an eruption of applause and laughter from the crowd and the judge turned so red…I felt so bad for him but, hey, it was classic.

While the finals were going on I smashed a Win-a-Box to end the weekend on a positive note and reaffirming that I am actually a decent Magic player still in my head. Next time I don’t make day 2 I should probably just play Win-a-Boxes all day since I’m undefeated in them still to this date.

That’s KYT’s signature!

I finished in time to watch the second game of the finals which was super fly. Congratulations to you Conely Woods, you earned it and are just playing unreal right now.

MONDAY aka THE BEST DAY EVER MADE

And then came Monday…

So I get to the hotel to pickup Joey, KYT and Alex for us to go to Universal Studios together (which is awesome already) and who just happens to walk past but Gerry-freaking-T. Obviously we tell him to come to Universal with us (which he was already planning on going to). He said sure.

H O L Y B A L L S.

Gerry T is going to Universal Studios with me.

H O L Y B A L L S.

I missed Alex in this shot…oh well.

Gerry already had his ticket but I got the other guys my employee discount on theirs and we were off! We met fellow Magic players Melissa DeTora and James Searles inside the park, two more super nice people.

I’m a firm believer that you should surround yourself with good people and this whole group was good people just awesome to spend the day with. I felt a little dumb at first since everyone else’s Magic IQ is a lot higher than mine but I caught up eventually in conversation.

When we passed the face painter I told Gerry T he should get his face painted……….like Alex Bertoncini. He didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

I also made sure everyone on the Hulk knew that Gerry T was riding with them but they were unimpressed. I don’t think they spoke English.

HOWEVER…

So what could have made Monday any more epic? Well when I got home from work, still on a high from hanging out with Gerry and KYT, my wife shows me the surprise of a lifetime…

OMGOMGOMG

She is pregnant with our first child.

What.

A.

Day.

Wednesday morning I gave the Mana Deprived crew a ride to the airport and we said our goodbyes, I told them the big news over breakfast and thanked them for being a part of the best day ever. And they asked me to make sure my story about Kibler in the bathroom from GP Portland was true which I assured them it was.

I want to give a special thanks to Gerry T (aka the coolest person ever), KYT, Alex, Joey, Melissa DeTora, and James for being a part of one of the biggest days of my life, one which I will never forget. You guys truly hold a special place in my heart and it’s crazy that a little stupid card game is the thing that brought us all together.

I mean how many people in the world can say that they rode the Hulk with Gerry T? Only a hand full and I’m one of them.

Waiting around because James forgot what his locker number was.

Alex “doing something cool.”

The money shot.

Extra thanks to all the awesome people I met at the GP which I can’t name here by name (I remember @manabase from twitter), you know who you are!

And hey, is Gerry a bad name for a girl? (I’m joking honey, I swear!)

Thanks for reading,
Sean Roden aka en3myzero
For enemyzero.com and manadeprived.com
twitter – @en3myzero