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Thread: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

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    Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    1. Deck Introduction
    2. Decklists
    3. Play Patterns
    4. Specific Interactions
    5. Card Choices
    6. Matchups

    1. Deck Introduction

    So what if you could play Enchantress, but not auto lose to fast combo? That's essentially the concept of the deck. Ursula had much flatter, less polarized matchups compared to other builds of Enchantresss. The Enchantress angle is less focused, so you don't get to walk over the decks that can't handle that, but in exchange you gain the ability to answer fast combo and hate bombs like Narset or All is Dust.

    The set was enabled by the printing of Estrid's Invocation, which provided a blue draw engine, and the final piece of the puzzle was Omen of the Sea, a powerful blue cantrip that gave us the necessary blue count while also comboing with Invocation. The latter card also provided the deck name: my naming for Enchantress variants at this point assumes that enchantresses = witches. Thus the blue version is named after the Sea witch.

    2. Decklists

    60 card version:

    4 Abundant Growth
    4 Utopia Sprawl
    3 Elephant Grass
    1 Mirri's Guile
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Argothian Enchantress
    3 Omen of the Sea
    1 Counterbalance
    2 Ground Seal
    4 Estrid's Invocation
    3 Reality Acid
    2 Riptide Chimera
    4 Force of Will
    2 Doomwake Giant
    1 Bayou
    1 Tropical Island
    4 misty Rainforest
    2 Prismatic Vista
    1 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Windswept Heath
    6 Forest
    3 Island

    Sideboard:

    2 Veil of Summer
    1 Elephant Grass
    2 Mystic Remora
    2 Back to Basics
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Force of Negation
    1 Seal of Primordium
    2 Destiny Spinner
    1 Karakas

    Yorion list:

    4 Abundant Growth
    4 Utopia Sprawl
    4 Wild Growth
    4 Elephant Grass
    2 Mystic Remora
    1 Mirri's Guile
    4 Omen of the Sea
    4 Argothian Enchantress
    2 Ground Seal
    4 Ice-fang Coatl
    4 Estrid's Invocation
    4 Reality Acid
    2 Force of Negation
    2 Enchantress's Presence
    3 Riptide Chimera
    2 Doomwake Giant
    4 Force of Will
    1 Karakas
    1 Bayou
    2 Tropical Island
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Prismatic Vista
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Wooded Foothills
    1 Windswept Heath
    7 Snow-covered Forest
    2 Snow-Covered Island

    Sideboard:

    1 Yorion, Sky Nomad
    2 Back to Basics
    3 Mindbreak Trap
    2 Enchantress's Presence
    2 Trial of Ambition
    2 Veil of summer
    1 Seal of Primordium
    2 Carpet of Flowers

    3. Play Patterns

    The deck has a few different play patterns. You want to either aim to establish an Enchantress and start cycling, or to get a draw engine going with Invocation + Abundant/Ground Seal/Omen. In a Yorion shell you'll sometimes want to just chain ETB effects into a turn 4 Yorion. And in either build there will be times you want to quickly establish a Realty Acid game plan.

    The best turn 1 play is generally Utopia Sprawl, as it enables the most options and gives you an additional land drop. Turn 2 whether you want to slam an Enchantress or end step Omen depends largely on what you think the opponent is doing or holding up. You can find yourself playing the control role and simply digging for FoW with Omen, while if you think they're a fair deck and they're tapped out, you'll generally want to slam the Enchantress. Forces can be used defensively against fair decks to make sure your draw engine sticks, or to counter a Plague Engineer or Narset.

    There aren't many decks that can beat you in the long game. Ground Seal stops the attrition plan of Lands, and you outdraw Yorion piles. Reality Acid is your main plan against Post decks game 1. The deck has a weakness to aggressive starts that I'm trying to address with the addition of Ice-fang. Another weakness the deck has is the clock and decision trees. Once your board starts developing you will be faced with many decisions and your upkeep step can become very time consuming. Reference some of the interactions below.

    Time management is important with this deck, particularly on MTGO. I recommend setting a lot of "always yields" - on Argothian, on Estrid's (but not "always yes or no"), on ETB effects, and on upkeeps. You have to reserve your clock for actually important decisions and there will be a lot of them.

    Stack your upkeep as follows:

    On the bottom: Cumulative upkeep, fading. Last to resolve so that these enchantments are more likely to be around earlier on the stack.
    Middle: Riptide Chimera. Able to bounce an Acid or Grass that's about to die.
    Top: Invocation. Here is has the maximum number of copy options, before Riptide has bounced anything or any upkeeps could not be paid.
    ?: Mirri's Guile. If you put it before Inovocation, it gives you the most information for what to copy. It can also help make sure you draw only the most useful of 2 top cards, if you're copying a blind draw like Abundant Growth or Ground Seal. If you're copying Omen of the Sea, there's little reason not to Scry first and then Guile. If you're digging for a specific card, it's better to Invocation first and dig deeper with Guile.

    Part 4. Specific Interactions

    This section is long and I'll try to start with the cards that have the most interaction.

    Invocation + Abundant Growth/Ground Seal/Omen of the Sea: an extra card a turn for the first two, with scry 2 with Omen.

    Invocation + Realty Acid: the upkeep after you copy Acid, you flicker Invocation, and the enchanted permanent gets sacced. Rinse and repeat. Worth noting that something like Sylvan Safekeeper or Mom don't protect the flickered copy from being enchanted.

    Invocation + Cumulative Upkeep: you copy an elephant Grass. Upkeep you put the upkeeps on the bottom of the stack,
    flicker, copying it again. Now you don't have to pay upkeep on the copy version. If you get two Invocations in play they can copy each other and you won't have to pay upkeep on either one.

    Invocation + Wild Growth/Sprawl: you can of course copy either for ramp or sprawl for mana fixing. More subtly, during your upkeep you may have the option of tapping and using the copied Wild Growth for either upkeep or to cast a flash spell, then bring it back as a different enchantment.

    Invocation + Trial of Ambition: pretty obvious

    Invocation + Riptide Chimera: try to avoid this as Riptide's ability is not an upkeep, just an unavoidable triggered ability.

    Invocation + Doomwake Giant: immediate -2/-2 to the opponent's board, and another copy of the Big Man.

    Invocation + Yorion: these actually don't play all that well together unless Invocation is copying Reality Acid. The reason is that invocation can't copy something that comes into play at the same time as it, so you need to always leave one enchantment on the board.

    Invocation vs Abrupt Decay: generally part of the strength of invocation is that removing it is card disadvantage. It's probably already replaced itself. However, if you have only one enchantment in play, be careful of opposing removal hitting that enchantment because if Invocation enters an empty board it loses its flicker ability. Luckily if this does happen, Yorion can reset it.

    Invocation vs Engineered Explosives: one downside of invocation is it can be much easier for EE to hit since it will often be one or two cc. Try to avoid walking into it.

    Invocation vs Ghost Quarter/Ass Trophy: likewise, try to avoid putting the copied abundant growth into an already enchanted land or a nonbasic.

    Riptide Chimera + Argothian Enchantress: Riptide helps assure that you'll have enchantments in hand to cycle with your girls.

    Riptide + ETB draw a card: same as for invocation but it costs mana and draws off of Enchantresses.

    Riptide + Omen of the Sea: same as above but you can also flash it in in response to the trigger.

    Riptide + cumulative upkeep: same as for invocation but same drawback/benefits as above.

    Riptide + Reality Acid: lets you reset the fading counters and kill a permanent.

    Riptide + Invocation: you should stack Chimera underneath the flicker. This way you'll have all your options for copying.

    Riptide + FoW/FoN: riptide can allow you to make sure you have the extra blue card in hand.

    Riptide + Doomwake: it's never ideal to bounce the Big Man, but you can gain fodder to use to kill other creatures.

    Yorion + ETB stuff: you know how this works

    Yorion + cumulative upkeep: resets the counters

    Yorion + Reality Acid: instantly kills what it's on and lets you pick a new target. Like flickering with Invocation, this doesn't target and they can't protect the permanent with mother of runes.

    Yorion + Doomwake/Riptide/Spinner: can give pseudo-vigilance by bringing them back untapped. Yorion plus Doomwake also has the benefit of giving a potential one sided board wipe.

    Yorion + Wild Growth/Sprawl: remember that if you have an untapped basic after resolving Yorion, it can be worthwhile to flicker your growths and bring them back in case you have or draw into any instant speed spells.

    Yorion + Karakas: reusable Yorion

    Yorion vs Oko: lets you restore your Doomelk or Elk Spinners.

    Abundant Growth + fetchlands : saves you a life but makes it waste-able. Also useful versus Blood Sun and similar anti-fetch hate.

    Omen of the Sea + Doomwake: having instant speed enchantments is very useful with Doomwake, especially against opposing Ice-fangs.

    Omen of the Sea vs Rishadan Port: Port is a traditional weakness for Enchantress. Having instant speed spells means getting to continue playing in response to a Port activation.

    Destiny Spinner vs Chalice of the Void: many people don't see this at first, but Spinner negates Chalice completely.

    Reality Acid vs Veil of Summer: if you suspect that the opponent is holding up Veil you can take the route of enchanting one of your own permanents and either starting to copy it with Invocation or flickering them together with Yorion.

    Reality Acid + Seal of Primordium: it's a 2-for-1 in their favor, but if you need something dead pronto it's an option.

    Reality Acid vs Daze: Acid is not ideal against Delver because hitting their lands is difficult.

    Carpet of Flowers vs Leovold: Carpet targets. Don't bring it in if you think they're on multiple Leos.

    5. Card Choices

    Utopia Sprawl: mana fixing and acceleration. Very good in the deck.

    Abundant Growth: Astrolabe enchantment that also enables Invocation. Automatic 4 of.

    Wild Growth: acceleration but no mana fixing. One of the greatest strengths of traditional Enchantress lists are the 8 ramp effects, but they're also a weakness as it means you're usually starting at 28 mana sources in a sixty card deck. In the Yorion list I think it's worth it to have more impactful turn 1 plays and because you can always use that mana with Yorion waiting in the wings. In the 60 card list they're not as good.

    Elephant Grass: the deck's main defense, I've often thought that the strength of Enchantress in any meta is probably dependent on the strength of Grass in that meta. Bad against big creatures that aren't Marit Lage or Angler. Great against Depths, Dredge, and go-wide plans.

    Mirri's Guile: redundant copies are useless and the first one is nice but not necessary.

    Mystic Remora: a powerhouse against some decks and useless against others. Has good synergy with several of our enablers and adds to the blue count.

    Arcum's Astrolabe: possible that running some number is a good idea though they only interact with Yorion and Ice-Fang.

    Brainstorm: enables Counterbalance and adds to blue count, but you need to run a lot of fetches to make it reliable.

    Argothian Enchantress: The most efficient of the enchantress effects and a must counter threat. Unfortunately weak to Plague Engineer. If she gets going though she will put you so far ahead against fair decks that they can't recover.

    Omen of the Sea: blue count, enchantment, etb ability, this card works well with every aspect of the deck.

    Ground Seal: mainly relevant against Dreadhorde, Snapcaster, LftL, and Mystic Sanctuary, with added benefits vs Reanimator, post-board Surgicals and other randomness.

    Trial of Ambition: great against Eldrazi and hate bears, but bad against stuff like Rabblemaster or Strix.

    Counterbalance: this was actually a big part of the initial deck idea but isn't terribly consistent. I think it's probably still good enough in the 60 card list but not with Yorion.

    Sylvan Library: without Uro and with a weakness to aggro in general I don't think this is good enough.

    Ice-Fang Coatl: without Yorion this probably doesn't make the cut. With him I think it might give us the help we need against fast beaters. Still testing.

    Destiny Spinner: a powerhouse against grindy decks and Chalice, also not bad at killing PWers. But very weak to Lightning Bolt and doesn't do much in hands without a lot of gas. Could be anywhere from a 2-of to 4-of.

    Seal of Primordium: efficient but matchup dependent. Not amazing synergy with any of the flicker stuff but sometimes copying it is good enough.

    Quiet Disrepair: I've thought about it but not tested. Better synergy with Invocation and Riptide but slower to fire.

    Estrid's Invocation: this is what the deck is built around. Automatic 4 of.

    Reality Acid: this card was borderline with just Riptide and Invocation as enablers, but Yorion not only makes it more consistent, but also faster at killing things.

    Enchantress's Presence: a must counter threat against fair decks but slow against lots of strategies, and more prone to being Decayed before you can get value out of it.

    Green Sun's Zenith: could be good with SB stuff like Collector Ouphe or Reclamation Sage, also enables Ice-Fang. For the moment I'm sticking with Presence in the interest of serving mana count.

    Riptide Chimera: can't be bolted, blocks delver, adds to blue count and works with many other cards in the deck. The upkeep can be a real pain though so I don't generally want the full set.

    Force of Negation: Can't be used defensively but most decks have things we worry about resolving.

    Disinformation Campaign: works very well with flickers but is bad against board presence. The black mana is also not trivial in the first couple turns.

    Doomwake Giant: expensive but a great finisher against any creature heavy deck. Weak to Oko, but Yorion helps us with that.

    Force of Will: I can't say anything that hasn't been said.

    6. Matchups

    Yorion Snoko
    Eldrazi Stompy
    UR Delver
    12 Post
    Gyruda
    Doomsday
    Reanimator
    Last edited by SpatulaOfTheAges; 05-21-2020 at 03:52 AM.
    Early one morning while making the round,
    I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down;
    I went right home and I went to bed,
    I stuck that lovin' .44 beneath my head.

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon
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    Re: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    Reserved
    Early one morning while making the round,
    I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down;
    I went right home and I went to bed,
    I stuck that lovin' .44 beneath my head.

  3. #3

    Re: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    Linking in the video of the yorion version: https://youtu.be/71ZAhqy-P1s. I enjoyed this one, pretty sweet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laser Brains View Post
    With the printing of Gigantosaurus, Thrashing Brontodon and Steel Leaf Champion the deck has evolved from good to very competitive. Anyway, give it a few play tests if you are interested and let me know what you think.

    Winter Maze
    Quote Originally Posted by CptHaddock View Post
    With veteran explorer I know that I 100% will not enjoy a 30 minute grindfest against someone who can barely afford dual lands and believes that their deck can cast a 10 mana 8/8.

  4. #4

    Re: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    As I mentionned on the Discord, the first few games I did were a blast. No Enchantress Presence was a problem sometimes (maybe a split?), but the feeling was great. Doomwake as a wincon feels extremely solid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Weapon X View Post
    The only glass cannon here is the pilot.
    I play decks with a lot of white enchantments, and white isn't even my favorite color.

  5. #5
    Hymn-Slinging Mod
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    Re: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    Post-Companion nerf now, should we be considering the 60 card version the go-to one for this?
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
    Kaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order

  6. #6

    Re: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    Card choice discussion:
    Is propoganda better than grass for blue count reasons?

    Is elspeths nightmare worth it as flexible if weak interaction vs both the board and combo?

    Since enchantress is all about drawing cards, is ominous seas worth it?

  7. #7
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    Re: Ursula (GUx Enchantress Control)

    Quote Originally Posted by H View Post
    Post-Companion nerf now, should we be considering the 60 card version the go-to one for this?
    Considering the ability of this deck to generate tons of mana, this may be one of the companion-driven decks that survives the additional 3 cost.
    Brainstorm Realist

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