This week, we interrupt your regularly-scheduled history to bring you a tournament report! I got fifth at the SCG IQ Legacy 5k here at home in Worcester, and I figured I should prove that I actually exist in this day and age. Please read this as a medieval chronicle of dubious veracity.

The Deck

At this tournament, as in nearly all tournaments since the dawn of time, I ran G/W Enchantress. The list follows:

 

Maindeck:

4 [casthaven]Argothian Enchantress[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Enchantress’s Presence[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Green Sun’s Zenith[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Eidolon of Blossoms[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Wild Growth[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Utopia Sprawl[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Mirri’s Guile[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Elephant Grass[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Runed Halo[/casthaven]

2 [casthaven]Rest in Peace[/casthaven]

2 [casthaven]Sterling Grove[/casthaven]

2 [casthaven]Solitary Confinement[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Exploration[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Helm of Obedience[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Banishing Light[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Windswept Heath[/casthaven]

3 [casthaven]Misty Rainforest[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Savannah[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Dryad Arbor[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Karakas[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Plains[/casthaven]

4 [casthaven]Serra’s Sanctum[/casthaven]

5 [casthaven]Forest[/casthaven]

 

Sideboard:

4 [casthaven]Leyline of Sanctity[/casthaven]

3 [casthaven]Trinisphere[/casthaven]

2 [casthaven]Journey to Nowhere[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Sterling Grove[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Rest in Peace[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Enlightened Tutor[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Humility[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Oblivion Ring[/casthaven]

1 [casthaven]Choke[/casthaven]

 

The general theory of the deck is to play a draw engine ([casthaven]Enchantress’s Presence[/casthaven], [casthaven]Argothian Enchantress[/casthaven], or [casthaven]Eidolon of Blossoms[/casthaven]) and proceed to play a billion enchantments. Most of these enchantments have net-neutral cost if played early in the turn (ie: [casthaven]Wild Growth[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Utopia Sprawl[/casthaven] played on an untapped land, or any one-mana enchantment played with an untapped [casthaven]Serra’s Sanctum[/casthaven] on board), and [casthaven]Serra’s Sanctum[/casthaven] allows you to quickly accelerate off early board-developing permanents like the [casthaven]Wild Growth[/casthaven] effects or [casthaven]Mirri’s Guile[/casthaven].

You’ll eventually aim to win the game by playing [casthaven]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/casthaven] with [casthaven]Karakas[/casthaven] to loop infinite turns, which I will always refer to as “making spaghetti” and you should, too. You could just play [casthaven]Rest in Peace[/casthaven]/[casthaven]Helm of Obedience[/casthaven] to mill your opponent to death, but more than anything Enchantress is a prison deck. You succeed by locking your opponent out of relevant options and protecting yourself and your engine. [casthaven]Elephant Grass[/casthaven] is the cheapest option towards this end, and spells doom for a lot of lists relying upon [casthaven]Young Pyromancer[/casthaven] and low mana curves. At the top end, with two active Enchantress effects, you can play [casthaven]Solitary Confinement[/casthaven], which almost completely locks your opponent out of the game and allows you to assemble your win conditions in peace.

The Tournament

Immediately upon entering the tournament, I lost a round. I was paired against a very nice guy named Matt, who won the die roll and almost immediately played a [casthaven]Glistener Elf[/casthaven]. A deck with almost no blockers is pretty bad against Infect! I stole Game 1 by playing a bunch of copies of [casthaven]Elephant Grass[/casthaven], but in games two and three Mama Serra’s House of Spaghetti was overrun by Phyrexian patrons. In game three, without much of a board position, I managed to eke out a sliver of value when he triumphantly swung for the win and announced his [casthaven]Invigorate[/casthaven] – I cracked a [casthaven]Windswept Heath[/casthaven] to get my faithful Arbor to block. Though the judge upheld the block and loss of [casthaven]Invigorate[/casthaven] (which my opponent was totally cool about), I still lost the next turn. Confident that I was there just to have a good time, I signed the slip and moved on to a future in the 0-1 bracket.

NO PHYREXIANS ALLOWED

NO PHYREXIANS ALLOWED

Round Two, I was against another very nice person named Sean, who played a turn two [casthaven]Entomb[/casthaven] for “Big Meathooks” [casthaven]Griselbrand[/casthaven]. Another terrible matchup! Game 1, he reanimated a [casthaven]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/casthaven], naming green and locking me out of my beautiful hand of Enchantress effects and [casthaven]Sterling Grove[/casthaven]. My only out was to play [casthaven]Helm of Obedience[/casthaven] and pray for a hit with its activated ability. When he swung in, I activated Helm for 7 – and immediately got a [casthaven]Griselbrand[/casthaven] of my own! By the start of the next turn, I had a hand of 12 cards and access to green again, and I promptly assembled my combo and Helm’d him. Game two, I put down an early [casthaven]Humility[/casthaven] but can’t find [casthaven]Helm of Obedience[/casthaven], so poor Sean had to endure five turns of [casthaven]Argothian Enchantress[/casthaven] beatdown.

The wackiest card!

The wackiest card!

Round three, I was paired against 4-color Delver, and frankly I didn’t know what to expect from the list. I therefore played assiduously around [casthaven]Daze[/casthaven] and locked him out in games 1 and 3 with [casthaven]Solitary Confinement[/casthaven]. Afterwards, he revealed that his deck was almost entirely Grixis-colored, and so had limited [casthaven]Abrupt Decay[/casthaven] to get rid of my permanents.

Round four, I sat down across from a local player named Eric, who I knew was on Lands. This is a very good matchup for Enchantress, entirely by accident! You run an overwhelming majority of basic lands as your lasting mana sources, you have maindeck [casthaven]Rest in Peace[/casthaven], your threats are immune to [casthaven]Maze of Ith[/casthaven], [casthaven]Glacial Chasm[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Punishing Fire[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Elephant Grass[/casthaven] happens to have a line of text that says “Black creatures cannot attack you.” I got the Helm combo in two games.

Never mind the above caption - THIS is the wackiest card.

Never mind the above caption – THIS is the wackiest card. Did you know that Marit Lage and germ tokens are both Black?

At the start of round five, I sat down across from an empty chair and called a judge. My opponent, a very strong local player on Omnitell, showed up five minutes into the match, and immediately evened out the game loss with a turn 2 combo. Game three was as fortunate as (non)game 1, though – my opponent kept a very threatening hand with the full combo and permanent removal but no blue source, and I kept a fast hand with the full Helm package. On my turn four, after chaining together a stupid number of [casthaven]Wild Growth[/casthaven] effects, I fired off the combo and met no countermagic. Serra be praised. There was definitely a reverse tilt feeling in effect, where I felt bad for my acquaintance across the table and didn’t have enough of a friendship to offer some sincere condolences. Tilt stinks and I hope he’s having a good day today.

After matches and matches against diverse decks, the top tables seemed to be condensing into a Lands-apalooza. In rounds 6 and 7, I played strong local players on the deck (Louis and Jacob respectively), who each managed a game win despite again what I think is an unfavorable matchup. I was tired and did some sloppy counting on mana at one point or two, but I managed to make spaghetti and Helm in two games apiece. Miscounting mana is the realm of baddies like me, but it’s definitely used by folks who want to cheat, so I am glad my opponents called me on it.

Finally, in round 8, I came up against a local player on Grixis Delver against whom I’ve played a couple of times. I didn’t think I could afford to split – although I was in 8th place, I hadn’t seen my round one opponent around and was uncertain if my breakers would put me beneath other people at 19 points. We played it out, and once again slowing down to dodge [casthaven]Daze[/casthaven] saved my hide. I made Helm and spaghetti in two games and made Top 8 at 2nd seed. I think I made the right call in playing it out, but I would have preferred to have the both of us make Top 8…

Miscounting mana is the realm of baddies like me, but it’s definitely used by folks who want to cheat, so I am glad my opponents called me on it.

After waiting a little while longer, the Top Eight pairings were announced and I paired up against Anderson on Miracles. I always go into matches against this deck feeling like Enchantress is favored – my spells after the first engine piece don’t need to resolve to accrue value, I play variable mana costs with [casthaven]Green Sun’s Zenith[/casthaven], and spaghetti doesn’t care about countermagic. Game one I assembled a fast [casthaven]Argothian Enchantress[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Wild Growth[/casthaven], drew 10 cards on turn three, and got there. However, in games two and three, I mulliganed into reasonable hands, and Miracles just dismantled my engine pieces, one [casthaven]Counterspell[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Terminus[/casthaven] at a time. I lost 1-2 and was out of contention at fifth place.

THIS GUY >:C

THIS GUY >:C

All in all, the deck ran well for the day, but I think a lot of my victory was luck. After some ugly matchups early on, where I did my best with the tricks that Enchantress can manage, I got to face Lands three times, and my bad matchup in Omnitell got an unlucky hand and a miserable game loss. My matchup against Miracles in the end showcases what can go wrong – if your opponent counters or destroys all your engine pieces, Enchantress does *nothing*. Sometimes you can [casthaven]Mirri’s Guile[/casthaven] up a combo out of the blue, but frankly, many of your permanents do nothing or next to nothing on their own.

However, in a field of tempo, aggro, and fair control decks – barring Miracles, my personal enemy – I truly think Enchantress can perform very well. You incidentally have hate for a lot of lists and have a strong, proactive game plan in drawing 1223109312 cards and making spaghetti for infinite turns, plus a fast Helm combo which can spike opponents who do the right thing and aim to take your engine pieces. I definitely think the deck is faster than people give it credit for. I did not go to time at any point during the tournament, even in long, grindy matchups against Lands and Delver. If you think you want to try out a deck that draws a stupid number of cards and makes people irrationally mad at you, try Enchantress! However, if you think you’re going to face a good amount of combo, please do not play this deck, as it will be crushed.

Until next time, eat your spaghetti, and I’ll get back to history next week!

Curtis Wiemann can afford a better trash can now.

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