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Too-Specific Top 10 – Enchantment-On-A-Stick
Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know thatis the only black “Enchantress” with four toughness?)
This week, given all the excitement surrounding the release of Theros Beyond Death, we’re going to take a look at what happens when an enchantment and a creature love each other very much. That’s right, with all the new enchantment creatures making their entrances into the format, we’re going to take a look at the enchantment creatures of yore, as the brand new ones don’t have any play data yet. We have an immediate problem, however. Try and name the top enchantment creatures off the top of your head. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Okay, how many of them were Gods? All of them? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Top 10 Enchantment Creatures That Aren’t Gods
Any top ten list that just looks at the best enchantment creatures is going to be rife with the indestructible Theros Gods, which isn’t a bad thing… but doesn’t exactly make for an exciting list, either. As such, we’ll be eliminating them from consideration, but of course not without giving you a taste first:
Top 10 (Enchantment) Gods
being the best of the multicolored gods was a bit of a surprise for me, but other than that this is about what you’d expect. The mono-colored gods top the list because they’re able to be included in more decks by their nature, but the mono-white god is still the least played. is the go-to effect these days, is an indestructible with a very relevant “opponents can’t gain life” rider, and provides everything you could want to ensure card quality for an entire game while also allowing you to swing through for the win in the late game.
So, with the Gods out of the way, let’s jump right in with our official criteria for this week’s list:
Criteria: Cards that have both the enchantment and creature types, but not the specific “God” creature type. As is tradition, all results are ordered by how many decks they are included in on EDHREC.
While first strike is often seen as an underwhelming keyword, it cannot be overstated how relevant to combat it is when all of your creatures can deal damage first, no matter what. Ensuring that trades become entirely one-sided losses is worth a lot when it comes to swinging in en masse, and the nightmares this can cause for your opponents when it comes to whether they need to save their life or their resources are real. And that’s just on offense. Have you ever tried thinking about swinging into a board full of first strike creatures? Double and triple blocks can do some real work when they don’t have to worry at all about taking damage. Did I mention that all of this comes at the low low price of three mana, as opposed to the seven or eight you’re seeing for some of the other Archetypes?
One of the last words when it comes to Hatebears, does a great impression of , keeping those crazy turns that tend to crop up in the late game under control while also keeping you alive in the early game with its very relevant four toughness. Sure, it’s by definition easier to remove than its only-an-enchantment counterpart, but since when was taking up your opponents’ removal a bad thing?
is one of those cards that you read and just seems sort of… bad, at first glance. It has you wondering what all the hulabaloo is about, all the way up until an opponent casually slides one onto the table and then says you can take your turn. From then on, you realize that it’s an all too aptly named creature, as it makes every decision anyone makes for the rest of the game a living and breathing question mark. Should I play my engine piece? How about my draw spell? Is better for me or for my opponent right now? makes it so that the only safe moves are playing removal or mass removal, and even half of that can still go sideways if the original owner of the Chimera says “Okay, I’ll take that and you can have the Chimera.” What are they up to? Can they blink it somehow? Do they have the you’ve been digging for for three turns? Only time will tell.
In similar fashion to, is harder to remove than by definition, but is also much harder to splash in three-color decks like , although currently, both are played in over two-thirds of Nekusar decks, at an even higher rate than any of the effects that the archetype is named for.
Speaking of Archetypes, we get our second one already at number six on the list, and while I’ve always personally felt that it would make more sense in green than red, there’s no denying thatis extremely powerful. Giving all of your creatures trample has been a known excellent move ever since the first printing of back in Tempest, but denying your go-wide-green opponent exactly that effect can be a huge advantage as well. Take that, !
While it’s not quite, does a decent impression while also being a better blocker and a self-contained means to mill cards into your graveyard. Sure, that means it generally takes a backseat to both E-Wit and , but if you play in a deck that cares about enchantments or a meta that actually sees the proper amount of play, is worth the consideration. And then of course, there’s always the “why not both” defense…
While it takes a bit of imagination to see why the cheaperand are excellent at messing with combat on both offense and defense, no imagination is needed with . All your creatures fly, and none of your opponents’ do. This means all of your creatures are unblockable for whatever length of time manages to stay in play, and the most common form of evasion doesn’t work at all for your opponents when you’re thinking about defense. The bar is high for a six-mana creature these days, especially when it only has a 3/2 body… but this not only meets it, it exceeds it.
So in the intro I made a small joke about my pet cardbeing an enchantress, and many of you probably didn’t like that classification. Which is fine; we all have our own ideas about what an archetype or a strategy entails. That said, by any definition other than not having the “enchantress” title in the name, makes the cut, often even blowing the actual two- and three-mana enchantresses that draw cards on cast out of the water. Being able to blink enchantments or recur them from the graveyard en masse with a effect are already things you see in enchantment decks anyway. Being able to draw a card every time you do it for every enchantment that enters the battlefield is just nuts.
Eight mana is a lot of mana. A creature that costs that much should go a long way towards winning you the game. For me personally, I don’t know thatactually achieves that goal, but there is still no doubting that it’s a big deal when an opponent manages to resolve one. Board wipes still work for the most part, but you’re never quite fully aware of how many of your cards say “target” on them until you can’t target a full quarter of the board. The fact that it also every once in a while finds a relevant opposing creature that (used to) have hexproof is really just gravy for the person playing this very expensive yet very powerful Boar.
I know for myself,
can take care of just as easily as a can. That is… if you remember that Courser is an enchantment. So consider this your reminder, not only for the number one on this list, but for its entirety!
Even without considering the new additions from Theros Beyond Death, there are a whole bunch of enchantment creatures that still deserve a little praise despite not making our top ten. These seemed to fall into relevant categories, so I’ve gone ahead and grouped them as such.
Having hexproof as a player can really affect a game in a lot of unforeseen ways, most notably when it comes to burn spells like, which players often use to close out games. That makes relevant for a lot of decks looking to interrupt strategies so they can swing in with small efficient creatures, although not really as much so as . Denying players card advantage is especially crucial in the Hatebears strategy, as it’s not difficult for opponents to simply remove all of your threats as they crop up, especially if a table unites against you (as they are wont to do when it comes to seeing a on the table).
Enchantment… Enchant Creatures?
For those of us who don’t play Licids, but hasn’t been a very popular mechanic, probably due to the generally high Bestow costs overall. This also proves true of even the best of them, as they didn’t quite crack their way into the top ten and are instead relegated to niche positions just outside of it., the intricacies of the Bestow mechanic might be a bit unfamiliar. The basic gist of it is that you can play a creature as an Aura, which then becomes a creature itself with the same abilities if the enchanted creature leaves the battlefield. It was an obvious attempt to fix
An Enchantress, By Any Other Name
Constellation was a full mechanic based around triggered abilities from enchantments entering the battlefield, in the vein of the popular Enchantress cards from Magic: The Gathering’s history. You will note, however, that the only enchantment creature with Constellation to make the top ten list did have the word “draw” in its text box, whereas these ones do not. That is not a coincidence.
Flipping the Script
Do these count? Probably not. Am I a huge fan of them anyway? Absolutely.
What Do You Think?
Are you excited about the new Enchantment Creatures out of Theros Beyond Death? I know I am, but I also can’t help wondering…
And finally, what are your favorite enchantment creatures, from new sets and old ones? Do you like what Wizards is doing with the Theros focus on enchantments? Have you ever remembered that you can indeed remove awith that rotting away in your hand? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you at the multipurpose tables.