Greetings once again to all my friends (and to readers who aren’t my friends)! Here we are in a post-Commander 2018 world where Wizards of the Coast gives us a whole set devoted only to our beloved highlander format.
This week, we’ll get a glimpse into what I’ve been jonesing to build for a hot minute: Enchantress. More specifically, a Bant Enchantress deck. The color combination of white, blue, and green has always been something interesting to me but the commanders… not so much. My podcasting co-host Dana Roach and I have lamented a few times the lack of diverse legendary creatures in this color combination, but this time I finally have a few options that actually pique my interest.
Before I get ahead of myself though, since this is your favorite crossover article series bringing 60-card decks to Commander proper, I suppose we should get down to the inspiration for this week’s brew.
One of the decks that always seems to make the rounds in Modern is all about laying down enchantments onto one creature and just beating down your enemies with it. As a friend or fan of this series, you know I am all about beating down with awesome creatures, so this intersection just seems natural. Slippery Bogle has made a name for itself – in face, it’s literally made a deck named after it – and with its natural hexproof, its deck focuses on creating one enormous creature thanks to Ethereal Armor and friends, plus Kor Spiritdancer to keep the cards moving throughout the game.
Yep, play some hard-to-interact-with creatures, slap them with a couple enchantments, and run the table. I love it. One thing that I know we can carry over into Commander from Modern is the ability to draw lots of cards off of our enchantments with all the Enchantress effects in the format. This of course comes from cards like Verduran Enchantress and Argothian Enchantress, which allow you to draw cards whenever you cast an enchantment spell. This style of deck has always been popular throughout the years, so it’s no surprise that the archetype has been popular in Commander as well.
Before Commander 2018 I would have struggled to decide who would lead the deck for a strategy like this. Going to the “Themes,” tab at EDHREC, we can immediately deduct that Auras are a fairly popular theme already. Commanders like Uril, the Miststalker, Zur, the Enchanter and the angelic sisters of Sigarda, Host of Herons plus Bruna, Light of Alabaster have a great deal of information to their collective themes already. With all these commanders, we even have a solid spread of color, with all five of the colors represented. However, none of these appeal to the general scheme of the enchantress playstyle that I really want, nor do they cover the Bant color scheme that I so badly want to play.
Enter Estrid, the Masked. Whoah momma…
Yeah man, talk about worth the wait. Bant colors? Check. Enchantment focused? Double check. In case you couldn’t tell, I love checking off boxes for my brews. If you don’t have a goal that you’re working towards when brewing, aren’t you spinning your wheels a bit? Being intentional when choosing your commanders always helps drive the brewing process. Commander 2018 and Estrid, the Masked certainly helps check important boxes to ensure it fills the goals I’ve been looking for with this archetype. Estrid embodies Modern Bogles because she helps create a team of tough-to-kill creatures that will smash our enemies.
If you really want to have your commander fill the role of a Slippery Bogle in your deck, you also have another new option: Tuvasa the Sunlit. I love me a fishy tribal Merfolk who fills two different roles: a three-color tribal commander OR a very different spin as an enchantment-focused beater that grows along with your battlefield. Versatile indeed. If you want a commander that beats down herself OR pumps your designated Bant-tastic beater, the third new legendary Kestia, the Cultivator gives another fun option. No matter how you want to play the Enchantress-focused build, you have three very unique options for all your portfolio diversity.
Another point we’ve covered a couple times in passing on the EDHRECast is the impact of smaller/aggressively costed creatures in a 100-card format. Sure, curving into your creatures on turns 1, 2, 3, etc. is pretty sweet in 60-card formats, but in a place where Wrath effects run rampant, you might be left a little… wanting. That’s why we get to upsize our beaters in addition to some of the sweeter suit-ups we put on them. Remember that those angelic sisters I mentioned that populate their own decks? Yeah, they’re great in the 99 of decks as well. Sigarda, Host of Herons is hexproof out of the box and is hard to get off the board without Wrath of God effects. This tacked-on bonus will be most welcome once we get moving with all of our early-game ramp that Estrid, the Masked makes possible.
Some other beaters that make for great targets with our Auras also carry over from some Modern decks. Take our endangered friend, Thrun, the Last Troll. Not only can he regenerate, he can’t be countered, which means we’ll always stick our threat. When you check out the Auras Theme page on EDHREC, you won’t even find Thrun anywhere on the page, which means that lots of players either are focusing on their commander to carry the beats, or they’re just not digging deep enough. With the planeswalking Estrid as our commander, she can’t be her own beater, so look for that number on Thrun to go up from here!
One interaction with Estrid that may not immediately jump out at you as “whoa, that nuts” is the wording of her +2 ability. It reads, “Untap each enchanted permanent you control.” What does this mean for us? It means we can put enchantments like Market Festival and Unbridled Growth onto our lands, letting them also untap with Estrid’s ability. Once our lands start tapping for 2 and 3 mana at at time, and multiple times a turn… dang. Think of the possibilities! Ok, so maybe it’s just like, lots of mana and pseudo-vigilance on all of our enchanted creatures, but that’s pretty great considering that it’s what we get for ticking our commander up in loyalty.
With the ability to churn out lots of mana each turn, combined with drawing cards hand over fist with a slew of our enchantress creatures, this has the makings of a very explosive Commander deck to match our Modern inspiration. To the list!
And there it is folks! An enchantment-matters brew that would give any Modern player Bogle-y eyes! There are so many different options to take these new Commander 2018 legendaries that it’s going to be hard to pick a specific direction. Plenty of magicians have been asking for some of these archetypes to get some support for a long time, and now we have plenty of options to brew! That is, enough to hold us over until next year…!
What cards are YOU most excited for in Commander 2018? Did you finally get the ‘artifacts matter’ commander you have been waiting for? Perhaps you’re more of a “I’m going to cast Brainstorm in Commander and there’s nothing you can do about it!” type? Or do you, like me, enjoy the exquisite enchantresses that let us draw cards and take names? Luckily, there is a deck for all of these! Let me know what you’re most excited about in the comments. Thanks for coming by once again everyone!