How much do you like enchantments? I mean, really like enchantments? If your answer is: "Stop asking me already! I'm an enchantress," then I've got the deck for you. A team from Ann Arbor—cleverly called Team "Team Ann Arbor"—brought a deck packing 31 main-deck enchantments, 4 Kruphix's Insight and 25 land.
Stuart Parnes, Max McVety, and Grand Prix Cincinnati–winning and Pro Tour San Diego 2010 finalist Kyle Boggemes all sleeved up Green-White Constellation, and have been doing very well against the field, though for some players it took some convincing. And sadly, the one team member who refused to convert, Tyler Hill, did not fare as well in Constructed.
Parnes was the first player on the deck, taking Pascal Maynard's speculative list from ChannelFireball and tweaking it slightly. "I took one look at it, and said 'that's the exact kind of deck I like to play'… basically Green-White Control." He quickly discovered that it was actually a very good deck, and soon had Max McVety on board.
McVety said of his joining, "Once I saw it really has a positive game against just about everything, and it just loses to specific cards, I was in." (The cards he's referring to are Back to Nature, Tragic Arrogance, Perilous Vault, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. More on that later.)
McVety started working on the sideboard, and then early this week, the two found themselves a new member, Boggemes. About his conversion he said, "I was playing Green Devotion, but after the StarCityGames.com Open last weekend, all the emergent decks were good against it." So he made the switch. And then there were three.
A small team of players attacked the Standard metagame from a very unexpected angle this weekend.
Together they developed a sideboard that didn't dilute the enchantment count (which is extremely important for the enchantment-matters cards like Herald of the Pantheon, Eidolon of Blossoms, Kruphix's Insight, and Sigil of the Empty Throne), shored up some of the shakier match-ups and they were set to go.
So let's take a look under the hood. What is this deck's plan? Parnes said, "Basically just gain lots of life, then cast Sigil of the Empty Throne." Though that truncated quote is a bit reductive, that's the gist of the deck. Cards like Nyx-Fleece Ram, Courser of Kruphix, and Blossoming Sands all help to buy time while you're getting your engine online. Herald of the Pantheon, Eidolon of Blossoms, Frontier Siege, and Kruphix's Insight set you up, then Starfield of Nyx and Sigil of the Empty Throne knocks them down. After all, endless 4/4 Angels and recurring Banishing Lights (that draw you cards off the Eidolon, mind you) make for an easy win.
McVety illustrated the team's favorite play sequence for me. "The nut draw is turn two Herald of the Pantheon turn three, first main phase play Frontier Siege, then second main Courser of Kruphix, and turn four, do whatever you want. I have six mana and all my spells cost one less."
The plan against aggro, like Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact, is as McVety says, "gain a million life, exile all their things, then win." The gang is posting a very positive record against aggressive strategies, and it seems like that plan's a solid one (though third-ranked Lee Shi Tian's slightly larger, more creature-heavy Red Aggro proved difficult).
However, against big control decks like Abzan Control, the plan is different, but equally as simple. "Kill them as fast as you can; before they get Tragic Arrogance and Ugin." This match-up is where the sideboard Boon Satyrs really pull some weight.
"The Satyrs have really over-performed this weekend," McVety said. "One of your best plays against an Ugin is after they wipe the board for five [loyalty], you flash in a Boon Satyr at the end of turn and kill the Ugin on your attack."
Though Parnes qualified that by saying, "Yeah, but you really want something else to cast that turn as well," the fact that the 4/2 can take an unwinnable board position Game 1 and turn it into a potential equalizer for three mana is awesome.
Ironically, Parnes said you'll often side out the Starfield of Nyx if the opponent is removal heavy. "One time someone cast Bile Blight on my Banishing Lights. It was real bad." So kids, for your own sake, remember that one.
As far as the main deck, none of them said they would change it at all. "It really does exactly what it needs to." As far as the sideboard, Parnes said that the Tormod's Crypt might be wasted sideboard slots because the Rally the Ancestors threat didn't quite materialize as much as they thought, and it seemed none of them actually played the Nissa, Worldwaker. But McVety was adamant about most of it. "The Suspension Fields and Boon Satyrs are great, and the Plummets kills the auto loss, Stormbreath Dragon."
Whether McVety thought people should build the deck themselves, he said, "It really depends on how we do. There's really nothing to do against Back to Nature, other than accept your fate." So the more people who think this deck is good, the worse it gets.
Boggemes followed up saying, "I'll probably never play this deck again, really. But that has nothing to do with the deck's quality. It's fun as hell, and attacks from a completely different angle, but if people see it coming, it won't get you there."
So if you're willing to "accept your fate," love Green-White Control, and are an enchantress at heart, sleeve this bad boy up for a spin. Because honestly, there's nothing quite like drawing three cards off Kruphix's Insight, casting them at a discount, then getting to draw more cards for your trouble.