As I'm sure everyone else has seen by now, renowned deckbuilder and pro Tomoharu Saito proposed nearly 20 deck ideas, complete with Journey into Nyx idea, when the set was first released. One of the most interesting ones was a GW Enchantress type list that he posted. You can see the deck laid out in all its glory here (though I'm sure you've seen this tweet several times already by now):
【Standard】Deck1:GW Enchantment Special. #mtg #mtgjp #SaitoWayfinder pic.twitter.com/oJid1vMxxO— TomoharuSaito/トモハル (@TomoharuSaito) May 2, 2014
I sleeved up the deck and played it as soon as I could: the Friday that Journey into Nyx was officially released at FNM. I ended up making a couple changes to the deck (most notably I added one Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and moved one Sphere of Safety to the sideboard), but I also had the task of creating a sideboard from scratch. This is what I came up with:
1 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes2 Deicide2 Last Breath4 Nyx-Fleece Ram3 Pacifism2 Selesnya Charms1 Sphere of Safety
I felt like this covered my bases and I wanted the two Ajani, Mentor of Heroes against the control matchups as this deck was basically built to beat the aggro decks (or so it feels). I ended up going 3-0-2 in the swiss before losing in the Top 8 to my own misplay, but I knew then that this deck was the real deal. The only problem, I thought, was the control matchups. Despite all of our card advantage we have a lot of dead cards against them, so I wanted to make sure that our sideboard could handle the control decks a little bit better (despite beating UWR Control in the swiss). This was the list I ended up with for today's matches.
As you can see, I made quite a few changes from the original Saito list, which I'm not sure was tested. I'll go over the changes below after we can see how they performed in the deck.
GW Enchantress vs. Maze's End
GW Enchantress vs. RW Devotion
GW Enchantress vs. UW Devotion
GW Enchantress vs. Rakdos Midrange
First off, as I said, we wanted to shore up our control matchup since we had so many tools against the aggressive decks. For this purpose we began by adding three Mutavaults to the deck. Not only are they somewhat difficult for control decks to deal with, they also give us a decent target for the counters from Primeval Bounty if we don't have another in play. The deck is also two colors so we can deal with a few colorless lands.
When I played the deck for the first time, one thing I disliked was both the Font of Fertility and the Nylea's Presence. The Font was a horrible topdeck in the late game, and I rarely wanted to spend both my first and second turn searching out a single land (let alone the fact that if one of your first or second lands was a Temple, this wasn't even possible). I felt the same way about the Nylea's Presence; as our two-color deck never needed the mana fixing, this was basically a two mana cantrip that added to our enchantment count. I thought we could do better.
The first thing I did was replace a couple of Font of Fertility with Mana Bloom. I did this for a couple reasons. For one, the ability to search for a land with Font in the later turns, when we had a Primeval Bounty out, was useful. Sometimes we just needed the deck thinning and the life. For two, we didn't want four Mana Blooms as they can ramp us from two to four, but not from four to five. Basically, if you play Mana Bloom on turn two, you get one use out of it. This is often fine, but the extra mana turn after turn is also something we're looking for. All that aside, Mana Bloom is awesome in conjunction with Eidolon of Blossoms or Primeval Bounty in the late game, ensuring that you get to draw an extra card and put three +1/+1 counters on something when you cast it for "zero" every turn.
The thing we replaced Nylea's Presence with was three Nyx-Fleece Rams and the fourth Sylvan Caryatid. Caryatid is a card you pretty much always want on turn two, so not having four felt very strange. The Rams were a card I was very pleased with when I first tried them out: they're blockers for all the aggro decks, they're enchantments, they come down early, they gain you precious life, and they don't even have defender, so if you're able to pump them with either Ajani, Mentor of Heroes (which we did remove) or Primeval Bounty, you can even start attacking.
We also replaced one of the Karametra, God of Harvests with a Heliod, God of the Sun. The reason being that Deicide is a real card right now, and a good one at that. There were no less than two times that I had my Karametra, God of Harvests Deicided and the second copy removed from the deck. Heliod, God of the Sun not only prevents this problem, but it also gives us a little more game against control decks, what with being able to create creature tokens that are both creatures and enchantments. This not only gives us another token maker other than Elspeth, Sun's Champion, but it also allows us to draw a card for every four man we spend if we have an Eidolon of Blossoms in play. It's also worth noting that Heliod has the potential to be a very hard to deal with creature as well.
We had to build the sideboard ourselves. As I've mentioned several times, one thing we wanted to be better prepared for was the control matchup. We tried to figure out what cards were good against control decks in general in white and green, and we came to the decision of Advent of the Wurm and Voice of Resurgence. While we kept the Voices in the sideboard because they're much more aggressive and resilient, we figured it might just be better to switch from Advent to Boon Satyr. The card was cheaper, had only one less power, worked well with Sphere of Safety, and triggered Eidolon on Blossoms. These were enough reasons for me, but we could even bestow it onto something else if we wanted to, allowing us to keep a creature around after a Supreme Verdict.
This deck was immensely fun, and I think it's quite resilient. Melissa even wrote about a very similar deck (taken from the idea of this one and our games with it), adding blue to the list for more controlling elements and win conditions, which might be my "go to" deck for a little while. I just enjoyed all the synergies and all the card drawing. If you guys get a chance (and you should, as it isn't too expensive) I definitely recommend giving it a try.
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV