PRIMER -- Revised Enchantress Draft by CooberP

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: PRIMER -- Revised Enchantress Draft by CooberP

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Saturday, October 06, 2001 - 02:22 pm:

Dan Rosenheck aka CooberP, January 2002

(NOTE: When players outside Beyond Dominia use the name Enchantress, they usually mean a deck based around multiple Enchatnress cards and either cards like Ancestral Mask, or an infinite combo. The Enchantress described here has no relation to those old Type II decks.—Rakso)

The Deck Parfait archetype has existed for some time now as a cheap and powerful Type One control deck that excels in almost any metagame. While Enchantress has evolved away from the Parfait structure and card pool, it remains a control deck without counterspells that kills with Sacred Mesa. As such, it is highly recommended that aspiring Enchantress players first familiarize themselves with the main concepts behind Parfait.

Drawing Engine (6)
4 Land Tax
2 Scroll Rack

Survival Spells/Silver Bullets (19)
1 Balance
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Wrath of God
1 Humility
1 Seal of Cleansing
2 Aura of Silence
2 Story Circle
1 Ivory Mask
1 Powder Keg
2 Ivory Tower
2 Zuran Orb

Utility Spells (8)
1 Enlightened Tutor
2 Orim’s Chant
4 Argivian Find
1 Replenish

The Kill (4)
2 Sacred Mesa
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Soldevi Digger

Mana Sources & Lands (23)
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Diamond
1 Sol Ring
1 Lotus Petal
1 Library of Alexandria
13 Plains
1 Strip Mine
3 Wasteland

1 Aegis of Honor
1 Replenish
1 Spirit Link
2 Abolish
2 Abeyance
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Cursed Totem
1 Ivory Mask
1 Sacred Ground
1 Spiritual Focus
1 Masticore
1 Thran Lens
1 Jester’s Cap

Despite its success, Parfait never achieved Tier One T1 status due to two weaknesses inherent in its mono-white strategy:

1. It was slow. A strong opening for Parfait would be Plains, Land Tax, Zuran Orb. By contrast, Keeper decks frequently draw a second hand before their opponents have the chance to play their first land.

2. It had limited draw and almost no search capacity, requiring it to be heavily redundant. White has a grand total of one tutor available in T1 – Enlightened – and one draw engine, Land Tax/Scroll Rack. While Tax/Rack is an Ancestral Recall every turn when going, it requires allotting at least 7 maindeck slots to draw both halves with any sort of consistency. Moreover, it is often easy to play around. Beatdown decks require much less land to run than Parfait, and are happy to continue to lay creatures or disrupt the Parfait player at 2 mana while he helplessly waits for them to play another land. Combo decks finish off the Parfait player before he has the chance to use Tax/Rack once. And other control decks running a full complement of artifact mana can gain a huge mana advantage against the Parfait player waiting to play his third land until the opponent does.

The combination of a fragile draw engine and weak search capacity meant that Parfait had to devote a huge portion of its maindeck to defend itself against different strategies. Fully one-sixth of the Parfait maindeck is devoted to creature control. It runs three relatively expensive Auras of Silence to deal with opposing artifacts and enchantments, and three copies of Sacred Mesa, which are dead in the opening hand. It was heavily reliant on Argivian Find, which was frequently dead against aggro. Where other T1 control decks ran mana acceleration, utility cards, and draw and search, Parfait was full of second and third copies of cards that were dead against one or two thirds of the metagame. Even then, it was vulnerable to not having what it needed when it needed it.

See further:

(This was a deck made by the friend of Parfait’s creator, Raphael Caron aka K-Run. It had some influence on the initial Enchantress versions.—Rakso)

4 aura of silence
4 land tax
2 sylvan library
4 argothian enchantress
3 swords to plowshares
1 worship
1 enlightened tutor
4 sterling grove
2 zuran orb
1 ivory mask
2 story circle
1 abundance
2 opalescence
2 replenish
1 balance
1 crop rotation

1 black lotus
1 mox diamond
1 sol ring
1 serra’s sanctum
1 dust bowl
1 library of alexandria
4 forest
4 savannah
9 plains
1 mox pearl
1 mox emerald

4 city of solitude
1 choke
2 replenish
1 conversion
3 emerald charm
1 swords to plowshare
1 wrath of god
+ (it depends) )

In light of these weaknesses, a number of BD’ers (initial props go to Po, who came up with the idea of an enchantment-based green/white version called Popalescence) experimented with an entirely new deck adding green to address the draw and search weakness with two extremely powerful cards that had synergy with almost every card in the deck: Argothian Enchantress and Sterling Grove. This radically changed the deck to the point where it ran nothing like Parfait and strengthened it dramatically against mono blue strategies. But early versions ran suboptimal cards such as Wrath of God (which killed its own Enchantresses), Opalescence (expensive, prevented the use of effective mass creature control, and made the deck’s strength—tough to kill enchantments—vulnerable to more mundane opposing creature control) and four copies of Aura of Silence.

Basically, they were somewhat competitive, but unrefined, clunky Mana Drain fodder.

Yet the principal insights of these decks were very, very strong. Only two of Magic’s colors can destroy enchantments (green and white), and the deck could protect itself from removal with a full complement of Sterling Groves. The Groves also solved the search problem, making a huge portion of the deck quickly tutorable. The addition of Argothian Enchantress gave the deck another tremendous draw engine to complement Tax/Rack, as well as a game-ending lock against many decks with Worship.

With the Groves and sacrificeable artifact and enchantment removal, Replenish became an absolute behemoth, even more powerful than in its old T2 dominant era. Aside from acting as a Yawgmoth’s Will against counters, it let you reuse tutors and destroy opposing artifacts and enchantments over and over and over again. Early versions ran 2 or 3; subsequent playtesting showed that 4 was definitely the right number.

The green evolution had the potential for every card to have synergy with every other: Infuse Parfait’s silver bullet enchantments and original draw engine with Argothian Enchantress and Sylvan Library draw power, Sterling Grove search, and an emphasis on Replenish, and the possibilities were endless. Many cards long relegated to the scrap pile fit the deck perfectly.

With just green and white, the deck had explosive potential, but had trouble beating the tuned control decks that dominate Type One. Adding black for Duress to force through key spells and the ability to tutor for non-enchantments swung that matchup dramatically, although it made the deck’s mana base more vulnerable.

Though a control deck, modern Enchantress is a chameleon. It plays a very controlling style versus beatdown, locking down with Moat, Abyss, and Enchantress/Worship, while the same cards go for a sort of card advantage beatdown style itself against permission decks. If Enchantress is played correctly, you should wind up drawing attention from your neighbors with about 15 enchantments on the board plus Pegasus tokens by the late game.

Through the trial by fire of Neutral Ground, Enchantress has moved further and further away from Parfait and closer to classic control decks—a control deck heavy on tutors and recursion—though the lack of blue forces its answers happen to be proactive instead of reactive. Its defenses are white, its card drawing is green, and its disruption is black. My present version shares Sacred Mesa as a win condition with Parfait, yet little more.

Below is a decklist, with card-by-card and matchup analyses.
ENCHANTRESS 2002, CooberP, January 21, 2002
Draw (7)
4 Argothian Enchantress
2 Sylvan Library
1 Pursuit of Knowledge

Vs. Control (6)
3 Duress
1 Mind Twist
1 City of Solitude
1 Choke

Search (6)
4 Sterling Grove
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor

Recursion (5)
4 Replenish
1 Regrowth

Removal (5)
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Pariah
1 Karmic Justice
1 Balance
1 The Abyss

Staying Alive (3)
1 Moat
1 Worship
1 Overgrown Estate

Kill (2)
2 Sacred Mesa

Mana (26)
4 Savannah
4 City of Brass
3 Scrubland
3 Bayou
2 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Serra's Sanctum
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Sol Ring
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus

Sideboard (15)
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Still Life
1 Femeref Enchantress
1 Choke
1 Abolish
1 Aura Fracture
1 Compost
1 Circle of Protection: Red
1 City of Solitude
1 Carpet of Flowers
1 Ivory Mask
1 Thran Lens
1 Duress
1 Story Circle

4 City of Brass, 4 Savannah, 3 Bayou, 3 Scrubland: A 3-color mana base. The black duals run in fours if you’re missing Moxen.

1 Serra’s Sanctum: An absolutely critical card for the deck, it sometimes works as a Tolarian Academy and sometimes as a Black Lotus. It will get Wasted, and you only have one way to get it back. But it is a huge midgame mana burst that can often put you over the top or power a Sacred Mesa to combolicious heights. (Note: I remember being the first to post this for Tax/Rack White Weenie a long time before this combo was integrated into Parfait, and remember being the first to hate Serra’s Sanctum in my own casual deck. Many games, it just gives you mana after you’ve cast what you need, and the removal of Land Tax in Enchantress emphasizes the “midgame” in “midgame mana burst.”—Rakso)

2 Wasteland, 1 Strip Mine: Active Libraries can eat you alive. Go up to 4 Strips if you’re missing Moxen.

1 Library of Alexandria: Tap and draw. Rinse, lather, repeat. But don’t slow yourself down too much to keep it active.

1 Black Lotus, Mox Pearl, Mox Emerald, Mox Jet, Sol Ring: They make you go faster. Whoo.

1 Mox Sapphire, Mox Ruby: Just like T1 BBS, the deck is not Enchantress without a full complement of off-color Moxen. These are the cards that make it fast enough to compete with the format’s speediest beatdown decks and overpowered control monsters—you absolutely need to be able to play first-turn Enchantresses, to Grove second turn for a 4-cc answer you can play third turn. If you’re missing more than one Mox, the deck will simply be too slow to play in a competitive environment. An example against a Stompy deck with and without the off color Mox:

Them: Forest, Skyshroud Elite.
You: Savannah, Mox Ruby, Enchantress.
Them: Quirion Ranger, Rancor, swing for 4 (16), Land Grant.
You: Bayou, Grove, draw.
Them: Forest, Skyshroud Elite, Giant Growth, swing for 8 (8). EOT Grove for Moat with the Mox.
You: Savannah, Moat, draw. Them scoop.

Without the Mox, this goes:

Them: Forest, Elite.
You: Savannah.
Them: Ranger, Rancor, Grant, swing for 4 (16).
You: Bayou, Grove.
Them: Forest, Skyshroud Elite, Giant Growth, swing for 8 (8).
You: can’t Grove for Moat during your upkeep because you will only have two mana instead of four. You die.

If you want to play Enchantress and don’t have at least a Pearl and Emerald, get them. Note that you can take advantage of Black Lotus more than many decks and it is probably more important than the Ruby and Sapphire—Land/Lotus/Enchantress/Sylvan is your dream hand.

4 Argothian Enchantress: The deck’s namesake and its cheapest, most consistent, and toughest to remove card drawer. Devastating in multiples. An auto-win when paired with Worship against beatdown. Always play it first.

Despite its cost and untargetability, Enchantress will usually get countered and rarely stays on the board against control. It usually serves as hard-to-remove Ophidian or Goblin Welder—if they can’t get rid of it, they lose, but they usually can. That said, it draws out their counters so you can go nuts. Protect her like you would a Library of Alexandria, even using your only Seal of Cleansing on a Keg just to keep her alive. The Seal will come back, the Enchantress will not.

Note that Enchantress works even if your enchantment spell is countered, which lets you set up Replenish.

2 Sylvan Library: When they focus on getting rid of Enchantresses, this is the card that kills them. It is an incredibly powerful card that deserves to be the focus of a control deck. It’s your Ancestral Recall, treat it as such—it should always be your first tutor against control if it is not in your opening hand and is the card you most want on the table. It digs you three cards deep every turn to find mana or answers. Don’t be afraid to Sylvan aggressively against control to give you an edge in the early game, as you have Overgrown Estate to feed it later and play green Necropotence (Sacrifice a land, Pay 1 life: Draw a card).

But be careful about paying life to draw cards you don’t need just to get further ahead, because you have tons of reshuffling effects that permit you to see new cards you’ll need the life to draw. It is at its most effective when you are Groving for something that costs one more mana than what you have on the board; odds are, the mana source will be in the next two cards. A card drawer and searcher all in one, with rare exceptions, you *will not* beat a good control deck without this card.

There is one more trick that Sylvan offers you, and it is the deck’s defining mid-game play…

1 Pursuit of Knowledge: Let’s walk through the interaction. During your draw step, you use your Sylvan to draw two extra cards. You then skip drawing the cards with Pursuit to put counters on, so you don’t have to pay life. Skip your regular draw to put the third counter on, sacrifice and draw 7. (You may need to know how this works in a tournament).

A Stroke of Genius requires ten mana. This one-sided draw-7 requires two cards but one of them is broken on its own, and the two only cost 6 together. Drain their counters out with Duresses and Enchantresses to get this on the table. Odds are, you’ll get a Replenish in the next 7 and get to do it all over again.

Many a time at Neutral Ground, I have left a Sterling Grove on the board for a turn or two, baited out all their counters, and then Groved EOT for Pursuit, usually prompting a “Oh Crap!” When you beat Keeper, it usually looks like this:

Land, Mox, Enchantress – Force of Will.
Land, Sterling Grove—OK. EOT sac for Sylvan.
Land, Sylvan—Mana Drain (hopefully not into Mind Twist!).
Land, Duress, Replenish. Sac Grove for Pursuit of Knowledge…

Have fun.

The card is pretty bad on its own, but not entirely. Use it without Sylvan either when you have an Enchantress to feed it quickly, or against a topdecking mono blue player who can’t take advantage of the delay in your card drawing. Note that PoK also protects you from being decked.

The more famous Sylvan/Abundance is not necessary because Sylvan/Pursuit is simply more explosive.

3 Duress: Probably the best one-mana spell in the game after Ancestral Recall. It both takes their counterspell or worse and lets you know how many counters they’re holding—absolutely crucial for you to be able to bait intelligently and set up your game-winning Replenish. They’re exceedingly important in beating control decks. (NOTE: Since you want them Turn 1, they also force you into running 11 black sources + Lotus to support your splash color. Don’t make the mistake of removing black mana because you have just a handful of black spells.--Rakso)

1 City of Solitude: An “I Win” card if it stays on the board against control, as you are a deck with 95 percent proactive cards and your opponent has about 60-75% reactive cards. Note that it not only permits you to play whatever you want but also prevents opponents from responding to disruption, like Pariahing their Morphlings or tapping their lands in response to Wasteland. Mid-game, it’s a tutorable Duress that seals the game when Replenished. Do remember to play smart when it’s out though, as you have to Sterling Grove or make Pegasi on your turn. (NOTE: Mono blue control decks are more vulnerable; don’t be too complacent against Keeper’s larger array of tricks.—Rakso)

1 Choke: Quite simply, a hoser. If you can get it out, great. If you need it to draw a counter, tutor for it. Also seals a win after Replenish.

1 Mind Twist: Without Mana Drain and Mystical Tutor, you can’t abuse this card like Keeper can. But it is simply too powerful not to use. If you think you can force it through, DT or Vamp for it as it is the single most devastating spell in the game against an opponent with a full hand (alongside Balance).

4 Sterling Grove: With nearly a third of the deck enchantments, you can find whatever you need whenever you need it. And with 4 Replenishes, you can use these up to 16 times, so you are constantly running on a turbo-tutoring engine. Yes, they’re card disadvantage, but Replenish and Argothian Enchantress negate this effect. Don’t leave it on the board to protect what you’ve got unless you really have to, just Replenish it back.

If you are leaving it out, use it anyway right before a Replenish. A double Sterling Grove, usually Replenished out, makes all of your enchantments untargetable and puts all opposing targeted removal (AURA FRACTURE) to rest.

(NOTE: Aura Fracture was actually Dan Rosenheck’s own contribution to the Keeper sideboard. It is understandable why he now loathes the card…--Rakso)

1 Demonic Tutor, 1 Vampiric Tutor: Fetch what the Groves don’t; usually Replenishes, sometimes Balance or Mind Twist. But get Sylvan with these if you don’t have it already.

4 Replenish: A HIDEOUSLY DEGENERATE BROKEN MONSTER. Imagine if Yawgmoth’s Will read “Until end of turn, you may play cards in your graveyard as if they were in your hand. Cards played this way may be cast without paying their mana cost.”

Then imagine it was unrestricted.

Then imagine it cost just 4 mana, 3 colorless and one in your primary color.

In a deck that is primarily enchantments, this is the power of Replenish.

Consequently, against control, you are a Replenish deck. Smile each time your enchantments are countered or destroyed or you have to discard. You’ll get them back later; don’t worry. You run four, so don’t be afraid to use them aggressively, getting back just two enchantments (usually a Grove and a countered Sylvan or hoser) on the earlier side of things to swing momentum your way. A single resolved Replenish makes all your opponent’s defensive efforts up to that point moot. It takes a while to know when to Replenish, but once you get the hang of it you are on your way to dominance. You have *never* lost against control as long as you can topdeck one of these. This is the spell all your efforts are attempting to force through.

1 Regrowth: Regrowth is to Replenish as DT and Vamp are to Sterling Grove--for that Sanctum, Replenish, Enchantress, Balance, Duress, or Mind Twist you can’t get back.

1 Seal of Cleansing: Remember, you have four—they come back for seconds and thirds with Replenish.

1 Balance: Not always a Wrath due to Enchantresses, it’s still: a) one of the most powerful cards in the game; b) sets up Replenish when you have a big hand; and c) combos with Overgrown Estate.

1 Pariah: This crucial card buys you the time you need to get to Moat. Groveable and reusable creature removal that is also a Time Walk against aggro—a white Seal of Doom and Orim’s Chant all rolled into one for just one white mana and 2 colorless (easy with Moxen). If you’re staring down an early Negator, fetch this over Moat. The effects will amaze you.

It can even be Replenished onto Morphling! Note, however, that an intelligent opponent with a lot of mana can put up to 5 damage on the stack with Morphling, then pump Superman the other way and have him kill himself, pointing that damage directly at your head.

1 The Abyss: The best anticreature card ever printed. Note that if you have no Pegasus tokens out, Sacred Mesa still only costs 1W as you can sacrifice the token you target with Abyss, if you stack properly.

1 Karmic Justice: You are a permanent-based deck. If someone screws with your permanents, they deserve to get screwed with. Stops Wasteland, Sinkhole, Gorilla Shaman, and pesky Disenchant effects, as well as turning opposing mass removal (Nevinyrral’s Disk, Anarchy, Tranquil Domain) into one-sided Armageddon. Really really good against everything but Aura Fracture.

1 Worship: Passed over in Type One, it’s a godsend for this deck as it combos both with untargetable Enchantresses and Sacred Mesas. Beatdown decks will auto-scoop game one. Requires just one white mana and is your best bet against Sligh, which will otherwise burn you out when its creatures are Moated.

Note that damage is reduced rather than prevented, which means that you can’t be killed by a kickered Urza’s Rage but still have to discard to Hypnotic Specter.

1 Moat: Passed over by Keeper players, this is your other all-purpose answer to aggro. The only common flying creatures in T1 are Hypnotic Specter, Morphling, and Serendib Efreet. Superman and Dib fall flat to a subsequent Mesa or Pariah (Replenished onto Morphling) and Hyppie just gives you stuff to Replenish. The card you are looking to get against beatdown ASAP – if you’ve shuffled well and drawn decently, it should hit turn three.

1 Overgrown Estate: Strictly better than Zuran Orb in this deck. ZOrb's cost is obviously a plus, but you don't need its effect until you have mana on the board. By the time you're nearing 0 life, you should be able to pay GWB, and Enchantress almost always can. It's searchable, cantrippable, recurrable, and the 3 life instead of 2 actually makes a big difference. Trade lands one-for-one with Lightning Bolts and make sure to get yourself out of burn range if a Sligh opponent Anarchies. Use it to draw extra cards off Sylvan against control game one. (NOTE: The removal of the familiar Land Tax engine removed the need for an early Zuran Orb.)

2 Sacred Mesa: See the Parfait primer. Power it with Sanctum and don’t pay the upkeep if you’re about to Replenish. Can be used defensively in the midgame, until you can build enough tokens to win.

2 Swords to Plowshares, 1 Circle of Protection: Red, 1 Ivory Mask, 1 Story Circle: Bring yourself up to Parfait-level creature control games two and three against aggro.
1 Abolish: Against Gloom, Back to Basics, Blood Moon, and the like. (Another Seal if you prefer; it is, after all, an enchantment).
1 Carpet of Flowers: A huge mana advantage advantage, especially if you’re missing Moxen.
1 Compost: Heh. Black.
1 Choke, 1 City of Solitude: Extra hosers.
1 Still Life: Going beatdown against control decks that have sided out their anticreature cards is often a very strong strategy. If they can get rid of it, it just gets Replenished.
1 Thran Lens: Wish it was an enchantment. You need some way to respond to Hibernation/Wash Out. Protect this with a Seal if possible, as both this and your Enchantresses die to a Keg at 2.
1 Aura Fracture: My favorite card. Munch Back to Basics, Blood Moon, Nether Void, Dystopia, Oath of Druids, opposing Aura Fractures…it munches!
1 Femeref Enchantress: The answer to opposing Aura Fractures: Munch? Draw.
1 Duress: Up to 4 against control of this key card.

These are based largely on sanctioned tournament results, but matchup analyses derived solely from online playtesting are denoted with a *.

Stompy: At least 70/30 in your favor. Play Suicide Moat. After sideboarding, just make sure to keep a Grove out. If you lose to Stompy half the time, you don’t know how to play the deck.

Sligh: Used to be about 70/30, but for some reason I’ve been getting burnt out a lot, so I’m going to say 50/50. Not enough disruption to really hurt you and not enough speed to race you, but only Enchantress/Worship shuts down all of their options. Because of the cycling nature of all enchantments (in particular, against aggro because they cannot counter or Keg your Enchantresses) a maindeck COP:Red might not be a bad idea in burn filled environment. (NOTE: The addition of Moxen and more dual lands makes maindeck Sligh Gorilla Shamans and Wastelands more effective disruption now.—Rakso)

Suicide Black: Their discard sets you up for Replenish and their Negators get Pariahed, but their landkill is scary…if they can keep you below 4 mana, they can kill you. Use Pariah to buy time, then go for Moat or Worship if you have an Enchantress out. Without Land Tax, you go better than 40% but not quite 50/50 game 1. Better after sideboarding as their Dystopias should get Aura Fractured and their victims Replenished, but cards such as Gloom can be a real hassle. Compost is a strong SB option, as is Sacred Ground if you find yourself unable to get out Karmic Justice game one. 50/50 overall.

White Weenie*: Leave Groves out to protect Moat and win. 80/20.

Nether Void*: Slower than Suicide Black, Land Tax was very strong here and was worth Groving for if you can, as is the obvious Seal of Cleansing. Aura Fracture, my favorite card, is less important in Enchantress than in Keeper due to the four Replenishes, but should be in the sideboard depending on metagame. I would say 50/50.

Zoo*: Actually somewhat scary due to Moat-proof Dibs, but still at least 60/40 you and improving after sideboard. Because of Bolts and Dibs, play like you are playing against Sligh. Hopefully they aren’t fast enough, and you have time for both a Worship lock AND a Grove. Anyway, who plays Zoo? A tough matchup that depends on their ability to destroy enchantments.

Stacker*: Can they get Blood Moon before you can find a Seal? If so, you’ve got problems. If not, they’re Moated. 60/40.

Patriot*: This tailor-made metagame deck will give you more problems than most because their Meddling Mages will name Sterling Grove, making it impossible for you to find anything, Null Rods and Wastelands slow your mana, and Erasing Moat, Abyss, or Worship hurts bigtime. I want to say 40/60, but that might be a little generous.

Mono-U: Depends on the builds. If they can get Back to Basics before you can get a Seal, they win. If they can keep Ophidians from being Moated, they can keep up with your drawing and not run out of counters and win. If not, you win, as you are designed to overwhelm a counterwall. So 60/40. (NOTE: Again, the changes to the mana base, ironically, make Back to Basics good against Enchantress now, for those familiar with old versions. The removal of Land Tax makes Hibernation a stronger sideboard.—Rakso)

Keepers of all stripes: Your arch-nemesis. They have fewer counters than mono-blue, which is good. They run a lone D-Blow which can’t possibly keep up to you. Keep the stream of threats constant. Start with Enchantress, tutor for Sylvan, make them frantically try to keep up then overwhelm them with a Replenish or Sylvan/Pursuit. Draw counters with Duress and find openings for hosers or use them to get the last counter before you Replenish. Do your best not to walk into Mana Drain/Mind Twist.

Suicide Morphling is the best strategy against you if they can keep you from getting 2WW for Mesa. Game one is at least 60% you if you don’t screw up as you can completely overwhelm them if they don’t get a broken hand or a ton of counters; post-sideboard is tougher as Aura Fracture is a hungry hippo. Just remember, NOTHING is game as long as you have the threat of Replenish. Go for card advantage first, then use hosers to force through Replenish. The matchup simply comes down to whether you can Replenish or whether they can a) Mind Twist you without a Sylvan on the table or b) get a Morphling before you can get Mesa. Despite all my efforts to knock it from its perch, Keeper is a great deck. Metagamed against it as I am with maindeck Choke and City of Solitude, it’s 50/50.

(NOTE: 60% is probably a dream unless it’s 60% in Keeper’s favor. The old strategy against Enchantress was to simply focus on Enchantress and Scroll Rack, and taking those out made the deck too slow against Keeper’s superior card drawing. Even sideboarded Powder Kegs did the job.

With Tax/Rack removed and the mana base packing more nonbasics, the points of attack have shifted. Basically, stopping an Enchantress or Sylvan Library is imperative. That done, it becomes a matter of outdrawing Enchantress while slowing him down with counters and other disruption such as mana denial. With 8 effective counters, focus only on the most crucial threats; for example, Sterling Grove isn’t an immediate threat and should be let go of. Obviously, Enchantress can overload Keeper defenses with a good draw, but don’t give up too easily.

With Land Tax-Zuran Orb gone, going for a fast Morphling kill becomes easier. Even if he has an Enchantress out, a Morphling can still kill in 4 turns, so all your remaining counters have to do is stall. Also, a fast Morphling or even Fire can turn an early Sylvan back onto its user.

50/50 after sideboarding? Note that Enchantress has maindeck sideboard cards, while Keeper decks used—at most—just devoted 1 slot to a specialized anti-Parfait/Enchantress spell such as Wash Out. With enchantments accounting for almost all Enchantress’s threats now, note that Keeper is quite capable of playing dirty if it wants to, even with spells as simple as Tranquility. With such board sweepers, Keeper can outdraw Enchantress and just counter the Replenishes.

Note that many control players do not agree with the figures cited.—Rakso)

Parfait*: Hehe. Leave Groves on the table and draw your way to victory. 65/35.

OSE*: Blue and black don’t like enchantments. You have tons. Again, Disk begs for Replenish. Moat handles Mishras without fear of Response and makes them sac Masticores. City of Solitude isn’t the best strategy here; Sylvan Library is also weaker here than against Keeper as they can deal damage faster. Enchantress is very key. 55/45?

Oath*: This will be a loooooooooooooooong game. If you don’t have a Mesa out to block Morphling, letting them Oath can be a problem. But Oath players will often make the mistake of casting a Morphling, letting you Oath thinking you have no creatures…and letting you dump 10 enchantments into your graveyard to set up a Replenish as well as giving you a free Enchantress. Other than those subtleties, it’s just like playing Mono-U or Keeper (depending on the Oath build) and the percentages are similar.

Survival: If Survival stays on the board for more than two or three turns, you’re in trouble. If not, they’re not fast enough to stop you from either getting a Worship lock or going nuts. I tend to do retarded things against Survival, but the matchup is definitely no worse than 60/40.

TurboLand*: If they get an explosive turn 2 or 3 kill, well, you lost. If not, try to get Ivory Mask or Worship/Enchantress. I would say 40/60 overall, breaking down into 0/100 the first 3 turns and 60/40 you thereafter.

Academy*: Um…You’re screwed. Barring Lotus/Ivory Mask, you are probably dead. If not playing Ivory Mask, mulligan into a Duress, a Seal of Cleansing, or similar. Then pray. 15/85?

Other Crappy Combo*: You are the only deck in Type One that can really die to stuff like PandeBurst. Thank god the control players keep them out of the field.

Nevinyrral’s Disk/Tranquil Domain/Tranquil Grove/Pernicious Deed/Presence of the Master/Aura Fracture/Anarchy:

How do you spell Karmic Justice/Replenish?

Wash Out/Hibernation: When the fortress gets put back in your hand, you often can’t get it out again fast enough to avoid death.

Tormod’s Crypt: Thank god most people don’t play it anymore. Mask, an early weak Replenish, or Seal/Aura it. Anything to keep your graveyard going.

Jester’s Cap/Rootwater Thief: They can make you scramble to find your Mesa.

APPENDIX I: Read My Lips: No More Taxes (By Eric Spinelli aka Spin13)
Enchantress, just like any other control deck, is a mana hungry deck. Unfortunately, there is no card that comes close to paralleling the effects of Mana Drain for a non-blue-based control deck. Because of this lack of Mana Drain, the mana base of an Enchantress deck must be set up so that the deck does not stall getting to at least four mana, if not more. There is no Ancestral, Fact or Fiction, or other card drawer that can be cast either really cheaply, or with excess colorless mana from Mana Drain, with which to draw lands. However, with White as a base color, and only reaching into three colors total, Enchantress is capable of using Land Tax.
Land Tax has a few strengths going for it (for a look at Land Tax in other decks, see the appropriate sections of the Deck Parfait primer and White Weenie primer). First of all, Land Tax increases the number of cards in hand without using the Draw Step. This helps fuel other card drawers such as Library of Alexandria, and simulates drawn cards by making it less necessary for you to spend a draw, either regular or with Sylvan, drawing land (not guaranteed, but more likely). In addition to this, Land Tax fixes the mana base, and allows quick access to basic lands, which are inherently less vulnerable, that is not otherwise capable with such low numbers of certain land types.
In addition to solving mana problems, allowing the use of basic lands with ease, and drawing cards, Land Tax fits the theme of the deck of running Enchantments that are silver bullets. While cards like Sacred Ground are not global enough to be maindecked, Land Tax is a silver bullet versus decks running land destruction, specifically mono-black decks (ranging from Nether Void to Pox to Suicide). Even against decks that do not actively destroy the land, it can provide either a single boost of three cards, multiple boosts of cards, or just become another cantrip in the deck because of the Enchantresses.

There are a number of decks that run land destruction, or mana denial of forms, that can prove to be the downfall of a non-Land Tax using Enchantress deck. Keeper decks with Gorilla Shaman can build advantage through Moxen destruction as well as their powerful use of Mana Drain (and an often unanswerable Yawgmoth’s Will or Mind Twist). Mono-Blue decks can use Back to Basics to shut down a deck that cannot afford to run basic land because it fears it cannot access certain colors otherwise. Dwarven Miner cannot be answered maindeck without Karmic Justice or a sudden explosion of Moxen and an Abyss if it hits early against a deck with no basics, if the red mana fueling the Miner cannot be destroyed. Land Tax effectively wards against these decks.
As both a card drawer and a silver bullet, it is worthwhile playing. Here is an Enchantress deck built to use Land Tax. Land Tax’s downfall is that it can be played around by decks that do not incorporate land destruction into the main focus of the deck. Occassionally, splash color mana is unavaible. While these problems are rather rare, it can happen, but to minimize this, a splash must be exactly that. More than 5 or 6 splash cards requires more than just a couple basics and Cities of Brass.

4 Argothian Enchantress
4 Sterling Grove
2 Sylvan Library
1 City of Solitude
1 Regrowth
1 Overgrown Estate

3 Duress
1 Demonic Tutor
1 The Abyss

4 Replenish
1 Enlightened Tutor
2 Land Tax
2 Sacred Mesa
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Moat
1 Pariah
1 Balance
1 Worship
1 Karmic Justice
1 Pursuit of Knowledge

1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Pearl

1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
3 Wasteland
4 City of Brass
4 Savannah
1 Serra’s Sanctum
4 Plains
3 Forest
2 Swamp

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 04:52 am:

Kindly note the revisions.

By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 09:37 am:


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 12:16 pm:

Stupefied, melodramatic reactions not phrased in a humorous or otherwise entertaining manner shall be considered spam and promptly deleted.

By Spin13 (Spin13) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 12:30 pm:

Az: though I've never played the matchup in a tournament, I've spent numerous hours playing Enchantress versus OSE. The matchup -is- a fairly even one, and winning (from the perspective of the Enchantress player) it relies on what I call the Library Factor. In this matchup, Argothian Enchantress is like your LoA. Its one of those cards that your opponent has more ways to kill than you have of that card (LoA is usually 4:1, Enchantress is (against my OSE) 6:4 + Counters). Its one of those cards that really shouldn't be able to provide a long term advantage, but sometimes it does, and it wins because of that.

Sometimes you just can't save your Keg from their Seal and find an Edict before they draw 3 or 4 extra. Sometimes you spend your time killing an Enchantress and something else slips through. Sometimes a Moat with your Morphling on the bottom of your library gives them enough time to dig up a Mesa. But then again, sometimes you stop the Enchantresses, you Mind Twist them early, and you just win. Sometimes you force them to Replenish back their Mesa's along with their City of Solitude, and Time Walk/Masticore your way past Pegasus tokens. I'd likely put it 50/50 or maybe 55/45 in favor of OSE, but its likely not much more unbalanced than that.


By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 02:59 pm:

A note on matchup percentages to Azhrei, Rakso, and all the angry Keeper players.

OSE: This analysis is based on about 50 games played against Spin13's U/B version, which is pretty even if not (I think) slightly in Enchantress' favor. The UBR version packs Monkeys, which help, but Fire/Ice, which is just a cantrip unless I Sylvan down to nothing. Azhrei, if you get Apprentice I'd love to play you some matches so you can see for yourself.

Keeper: The 50/50 comes entirely from sanctioned matches and was confirmed by splitting 10 games 5-5 with Eric Wilkinson after playing at NG one Sunday. Here are the results to prove it:

Vs. Matt D'Avanzo: Win, 2-0; Loss, 2-0
Vs. Eric Wilkinson: Win, 2-1; Draw, 1-1
Vs. Raymond Lambert: Win, 2-0; Win, 2-1, Loss, 2-1 (although I just conceded to get out of there after losing my first three matches despite having 95 percent of my deck on the table and all his mana locked down.)
Vs. Steven Sadin: Loss, 2-1 (stupid sideboarded Calls of the Herd!)
Vs. Vincent Pau: Draw, 1-1

That said, I *did* get utterly and completely schooled by Matt when I bet him $10 Keeper couldn't take 6 of 10 from me, and lost a bunch more to Wilkinson that day too. I added a 4th Duress (which I often do at Neutral Ground anyway) but couldn't think of anything to cut, and was running 26 mana, all nonbasic, and 61 cards. I was absolutely savaged by Wastelands and really missed Land Tax and basics to provide the ability to tutor for Waste-proof lands, but a fully powered version just doesn't work with Tax and basics. I think two of Matt's wins he just outdrew and outplayed me, but four he just took advantage of my mana situation. I was, additionally, just having a bad day and didn't get one good draw, but those games exposed a BIG weakness in the deck that hadn't existed previously. I just cut a Scrubland and a Bayou for two Brushlands to better reflect what I was casting (10 black sources is fine for 3 Duress, not 4).
The Keeper/Enchantress matchup is very interesting. On the one hand, Enchantress is the beatdown player, attempting to overwhelm Keeper with threats and Replenish for the win. On the other, if Keeper plays like a control deck, it will lose--the longer the game goes, the bigger my graveyard gets and the more Enchantresses are on the board. Keeper wins by playing aggressively itself: disrupting my mana, going for the Mind Twist before I can get Enchantress and/or Sylvan on the table, or playing Suicide Morphling. It may be that I was doing so well against Keeper (yes, 60+ percent game one) because my opponents were still trying to play control. With Karmic Justice and Femeref Enchantress, it has better defenses against board sweepers, but Enchantress is still evolving--there are still cards that are too dead too often and its mana remains vulnerable. In addition, like any tutor-based control deck, it requires a tremendous number of decisions and a pilot probably more skillful than myself to outfox Neutral Ground's best Keeper players. Who knows where the matchup will go. Based on all my sanctioned results, it is 50/50. We'll see what happens in the future.

By Matt Caplan (Caplan) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 03:55 pm:

CooperP - Do I really see a Femeref Enchantress in the SB?

You're joking, right?

By Spin13 (Spin13) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 04:46 pm:

To add to that, even the times I played R-OSE against CooberP, it never really seemed more than 50/50 either way. While the U/b version doesn't have Monkeys, it has more ways to kill Enchantments, a maindeck Disk, and it still has Duress SB (which, for some odd reason, are better than REBs against non-blue decks....) :)

The Femeref in the SB is a product of CooberP being really janky, and trying to come up with an answer to Aura Fracture (other than travelling back in time and taping his mouth shut). As he said, its an evolving deck, and its untested. One copy is the most you'd ever see, but its not easy to Tutor for, so who knows if its worth it or not.

I've found the Keeper matchup to be about even. And yes, the way to beat Enchantress is to play Keeper like its OSE + Dismantling Blow :) There are times where I've outdrawn a Keeper deck like 2:1 and got a City of Solitude out, have nearly the entire board locked down, including a Pariah on a Morphling, and still die because I'm too low on life (damn stack tricks).


By Tangled (Tangled) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 09:11 pm:

Femeref Enchantress? Didn't realize you would actally use it CooberP?

By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 09:32 pm:

It's just boarded against Aura Fracture.

By Gzeiger (Gzeiger) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 12:19 am:

Isn't Karmic Justice way better? And searchable?

Spin - there are no stack tricks with Pariah. It's a replacement effect. Spirit Link will allow you to die before the life-gain resolves. Pariah will not - no damage is ever dealt to you, it is dealt to the enchanted creature *instead*.

By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:06 am:

Gzeiger -- KJ doesn't work against Aura Fracture. The card triggers on "destroys," not "would destroy," which means that it goes on the stack only when a noncreature permanent you control is actually destroyed rather than when the ability that would destroy it goes on the stack. As a result, the intelligent Aura Fracturer hits Karmic Justice first. When Karmic Justice goes to the graveyard, its ability goes on the stack (usually targeting Aura Fracture). In response, the Aura Fracturer can go nuts on opposing enchantments without fear of retribution.
And as for Pariah--the interaction is covered in the primer. A Pariahed Morphling (or any creature that can kill itself like Flowstone Hellion) can attack, put 5 damage on the stack, and then pump itself once more in response to 6/0. It dies as a state-based effect and the Pariah goes with it, leaving the 5 damage targeting the opposing player.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 05:43 am:

CooberP: Take the caveat on calculating odds if we put back an anti-mass enchantment/artifact sweeper in the side.

By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 11:54 am:

Rakso -- which exact sweeper are you talking about? Everything from Disk to Tranquility effects are covered by Justice, and Femeref is just gravy. Femeref is there to defend against Fracture. If you're talking about Wash Out or Hibernation, you'll definitely win the first time you play it cause I won't be expecting it. Then it's Thran Lens time.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 12:19 pm:

Whichever is most humiliating after we test.

You make it sound as though we have to wait till turn 20 and till you make a dozen enchantments before we decide to crash the party. ;)

By CooberP, the Aura Fracturer of B2Bs (Cooberp) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:32 pm:

Not at all. I'm saying that the more aggressively Keeper plays, the better it does against Enchantress. If you can keep Enchantress and Sylvan off the board or can get down a quick Morphling, your chances are very good. What I'm saying is that *if* I pull off a Replenish, my deck has built-in answers to mass removal.

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