Reaching for the Stars

Posted in From the Lab on April 30, 2014

By Mike Cannon

Mike Cannon started writing From the Lab at the end of 2012 after two years with GatheringMagic. He is an ardent casual player and loves finding uses for bad cards.

Welcome to the lab, everyone! It's Constellation Week here on DailyMTG, so I've cooked up a pair of decks that takes the mechanic to new heights. Constellation triggers whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield. Most of the effects are fairly mundane, so they're not great as one of the cogs of an infinite combo. However, they do work rather well as kill conditions.

If you can get an enchantment to enter the battlefield an arbitrarily large number of times, you can use the plethora of constellation triggers to kill your opponent. Whether you're boosting power and toughness, milling cards, or dealing direct damage, you can win the game on the spot.

A Wonderful Evening

Enchantments aren't the easiest thing to flicker in and out of play. After experimenting with some shenanigans involving Angelic Renewal and messing around with Drake Familiar for a bit, I had an idea. What if I just used creatures, instead? Creatures are easy to flicker repeatedly, and there are a whole lot more to choose from.

Of course, there is one little problem: Most creatures aren't enchantments. Fortunately, Enchanted Evening can fix that. By turning every permanent into an enchantment, you'll trigger constellation whenever anything enters the battlefield.

Enchanted Evening

This reminded me of a combo from Scars of Mirrodin block. If you played Phyrexian Metamorph and had it copy Leonin Relic-Warder, it would be an artifact and could exile itself. Then its other trigger would return it to the battlefield, and you could start the whole process over, triggering something like Soul Warden an arbitrarily large number of times.

The same trick works with Enchanted Evening. Leonin Relic-Warder can exile itself and return to the battlefield any number of times. To stop the loop, all you have to do is exile Enchanted Evening or another target instead when it enters the battlefield.

You'll still need a constellation card to trigger. Although Enchanted Evening could be cast with just white mana, I didn't see any reason not to choose blue as the second color for the deck. Thassa's Devourer will mill two cards whenever constellation triggers, quickly leaving your opponent with no cards in his or her library. Then all you have to do is end your turn and he or she will lose the game by trying to draw from an empty library.

Leonin Relic-Warder
Thassa's Devourer

Since two out of three combo pieces are enchantments, Idyllic Tutor can help you find them. In addition, Impulse and Forbidden Alchemy can dig through your deck to get a Leonin Relic-Warder or whatever else you need.

Banishing Light can deal with almost any troublesome permanent for just three mana. It can also be searched for with Idyllic Tutor if you're in a bind. For other problems, Mana Leak and Dissolve can do the job, so long as you have the mana open to cast them. They let you counter any spells that might kill you or one of your combo pieces.

Star Wards

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Pair of What?

After using Enchanted Evening, my next idea came easily. We've already turned creatures into enchantments, so why not go the other way and turn enchantments into creatures? Although most commonly seen trying to scare new judges in scenarios involving Humility, Opalescence does actually do some pretty cool things on its own.


For one thing, if it's on the board at the same time as Enchanted Evening, all lands will become 0/0 creatures and die immediately, placing a fair bit of tension between these two decks. For this deck, however, I'm more interested in Parallax Wave.

Parallax Wave is like the enchantment version of Leonin Relic-Warder. By turning it into a creature, it can remove a counter to exile itself. Then its other ability will trigger and return it to the battlefield with its starting five counters, ready to do it all over again.

Each time you do this, you trigger Grim Guardian, making your opponent lose 1 life. Also note that since Grim Guardian is an enchantment, Opalescence makes it a 3/3 instead of a 1/4.

Parallax Wave
Grim Guardian

Doom Blade and Go for the Throat will help control the battlefield while you get things set up, and Idyllic Tutor and Diabolic Tutor make sure you can put the combo together quickly. I also couldn't resist adding a single Oubliette to tutor for. Although Opalescence makes cards like this and Banishing Light more vulnerable to removal, it's nice to have the option if there's a noncreature permanent you need to deal with.

Finally, Mind Stone and Orzhov Signet help you cast all the four-mana spells in this deck a turn earlier, giving your game plan a little jump start. Since this deck doesn't have much it can cast on turn two anyway, they seemed like a great fit.

Grim Wave

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Non-Copyrighted Constellation Battles

The time has come to see which of our star-spangled warriors is the strongest. This shall be a battle for the ages. A long time from now, in a galaxy far, far away, people may still tell tales of this momentous occasion. Or not. Anyway, let's take this party down to the arena and watch the carnage unfold.

Game 1

Star Wards played lands and passed for the first two turns, then Grim Wave cast a Mind Stone. Star Wards played a land and ended the turn again. Grim Wave did the same, and Star Wards cast Forbidden Alchemy during the end step.

Star Wards played a land and passed again, and Grim Wave cast Diabolic Tutor. Star Wards countered it with Dissolve. Star Wards cast Idyllic Tutor for Enchanted Evening and passed the turn.

Grim Wave cast Orzhov Signet and passed back. Star Wards played a land and ended the turn, and Grim Wave did the same. Star Wards cast Impulse, which grabbed a second Impulse. The second Impulse got a land, and Star Wards passed the turn.

Grim Wave cast Parallax Wave and Mind Stone, then passed. Star Wards cast Enchanted Evening and ended the turn. Grim Wave cast Opalescence, which turned all lands in to 0/0s. Star Wards floated two mana, but Grim Wave moved to the second main phase, emptying mana pools. Grim Wave then used the three mana artifacts to cast Grim Guardian, completing the combo to win the game.

Orzhov Signet
Grim Guardian

Game 2

A turn-two Mind Stone for Grim Wave was the first play of the game, and Star Wards then cast Idyllic Tutor for Thassa's Devourer. Grim Wave cast a Diabolic Tutor, and Star Wards played a land and passed the turn. Grim Wave cast Orzhov Signet and passed back.

Star Wards cast Thassa's Devourer, milling two cards. Grim Wave cast Parallax Wave and ended the turn. Star Wards cast Banishing Light, exiling Parallax Wave, and passed. Grim Wave cast Grim Guardian and ended the turn. During the end step, Star Wards cast Forbidden Alchemy, getting a land. Star Wards untapped and cast Enchanted Evening and Leonin Relic-Warder, milling Grim Wave's entire deck.

Thassa's Devourer
Enchanted Evening

Game 3

Both sides started with lands again, and Grim Wave cast Orzhov Signet on turn two. Star Wards played a land and passed, and Grim Wave cast another Signet before tapping it to cast Idyllic Tutor. Star Wards countered it with Mana Leak.

Star Wards played a land and passed the turn, and Grim Wave cast Diabolic Tutor, which was met with a Dissolve. Star Wards played a land and passed the turn, and Grim Wave did the same. Star Wards then cast Enchanted Evening before ending the turn. Grim Wave cast Grim Guardian and Parallax Wave before passing back. Star Wards cast Forbidden Alchemy, then cast Banishing Light on Parallax Wave.

Grim Wave cast Mind Stone and sacrificed it to draw a card, then cast another Grim Guardian and passed the turn. Star Wards cast Impulse and passed back. Grim Wave cast Opalescence, and Star Wards cast Mana Leak, forcing Grim Wave to spend its remaining three mana. All lands died, and Grim Wave played Marsh Flats, which triggered the Grim Guardians before dying.

Faced with the inability to produce mana and the inevitability of Grim Guardian, Star Wards conceded.

Marsh Flats
Grim Guardian

On the Topic of Topics

The results are in, and all of you have helped choose what my topic for next week will be. Will it be Dinosaurs? Cars? Something more abstract? There's only one way to find out. Check back here next Wednesday to see which one won, and to discover what crazy decks I made around it. See ya!

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