Personalizing Commander 2018: Adaptive Enchantment

Posted in How to Build on August 7, 2018

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Yesterday I showed you how to personalize "Exquisite Invention," the blue-red artifacts deck from Commander (2018 Edition). In that article I covered a few of the reasons why you might want to swap out cards from your brand-new preconstructed deck, so lets just jump right into how I'd go about making "Adaptive Enchantment," the green-white-blue (Bant) enchantments deck, my own.

Adapting "Adaptive Enchantment"

Adaptive Enchantment is the Bant enchantments deck in Commander 2018, combining green, white, and blue into a creative and defense-oriented deck.

Adaptive Enchantment

COMMANDER: Estrid, the Masked
Instant (2)
1 Dismantling Blow 1 Bant Charm
Artifact (1)
1 Sol Ring
99 Cards

Again, we don't have a baseline of experience to draw from with updates, so we'll focus instead on enhancing what the deck does well already—make enchantment happen. (It's not not going to happen.)

Upsides:

Downsides:

  • Auras are a liability—if the creature is destroyed, you lose the Aura too.
  • Going wide to close a game out takes time and works against our battlefield-clearing spells.

In this deck, we're pulled in two directions: slow down to take over a game and pile up Auras on creatures to attack. The former wants ways to gain advantages and win without committing too many resources. The latter wants to go fast and quick with one or two superpowered creatures.

In this case, I feel slowing down and leaning into constant incremental value is the biggest value in the deck. While going big with Auras is always exciting, there are many more cards like Sigil of the Empty Throne than Bear Umbra.

  • Epic Proportions
  • Snake Umbra
  • Dismantling Blow
  • Bruna, Light of Alabaster
  • Loyal Unicorn
  • Dawn's Reflection

Low-Synergy Cards:

As we'll see in the "high synergy" section, there's a ton of room to amp up the power of our deck with enchantments that do even heavier lifting. Additionally, we can use low-risk ways to take over the game without having to go all-in on one or two creatures.

Here's a definitely-not-comprehensive list of ways to pump up our deck.

  • Sphere of Safety
  • Rhystic Study
  • Verduran Enchantress
  • Grasp of Fate
  • Starfield of Nyx
  • Thassa, God of the Sea
  • Greater Auramancy

High-Synergy Cards:

  • Ghostly Prison, Propaganda, and (especially) Sphere of Safety do a ton of work slowing opponents from attacking you. They can still hit others, but time is what we're interested in.
  • Rhystic Study is a potent enchantment for either slowing opponents down or drawing a bunch of extra cards.
  • While we're at it, "Enchantress" creatures like Mesa Enchantress, Verduran Enchantress, and Satyr Enchanter keep the cards flowing as we play out our enchantments.
  • Courser of Kruphix helps us play lands out of our library while padding our life total—and is an enchantment itself!
  • Grasp of Fate and Aura Shards are powerful removal spells that beef up our enchantment options.
  • Starfield of Nyx is among the most powerful enchantments we can add—letting us both make our enchantments a late-game victory option but also get back our best enchantment that was destroyed.Every. Turn. (It's very good.)
  • Gods from Theros block like Thassa, God of the Sea and Heliod, God of the Sun give us indestructible enchantments we can sink extra mana into and easily turn on as creatures later. They're win conditions we can count on.
  • Sterling Grove and Greater Auramancy are two more enchantments that can do incredible things for us. Protecting our enchantments from targeted removal makes them even harder to destroy, but searching up an enchantment on demand with Sterling Grove can change the game outright.

There are many more enchantment options—we didn't even look at Control Magic and other ways to just take things from opponents!—that can give us a cascade of value, but starting with some of the strongest and playing the deck to see how it feels has to happen next.

And then it's time to update the deck again.

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