Part 2. The Aggro deck
Right. Off to the biggest of the challenges first.
As I have mentioned, I am no big aggro deck player. Actually, I don’t really like playing creatures with no other interesting ability than the ability to attack (LINK).
And as I mentioned in Part 1 of the MEGA series (LINK), the Enchantress is probably best suited to a midrange deck. Or a control/prison deck. Maybe combo. Definitely not aggro, I am afraid.
But I want to build a Verduran Enchantress aggro deck. It does not have to be tier1. It doesn’t even have to be good. But it most certainly has to be cool. And it will definitely be a great time to play (if not up against the harshest of tier1 opponents).
I have allied myself with three Danish Old School Enchantress Masterminds: Jonas Brincher Nielsen who never leaves his home without at least one playset of Verduran Enchantress and who has been brewing on Enchantress decks for so long, that there is probably not a single combination of cards, he has yet to try; Lasse Kramer Andersen who has drawn so many cards playing Enchantress, that at one point, he simply started drawing from his opponents’ deck; and Christian Arent who are so fond of his fine ladies, that he even resurrects them (although he did sell his Alpha Enchantresses to me)!
As you see, they are gentlemen as well as scholars (even though I must admit Lasse actually once killed me with his EnchantressCombo deck in his second turn – not too gentleman-ish, but it was VERY cool).
One could not ask for a stronger foundation – or better Messenger company for that matter. These guys will henceforth be known simply as the Trifecta, The Triumvirate, JoLaChri (that could actually almost be a name; Joe la Chri…) or by their names. You will see.
When I asked them to help me build an aggro deck, they were soon all the rage. Within about ten minutes of Messenger chatting on a completely normal Tuesday morning in February, we had discussed around 15 different cards and assembled two decklists.
But, of course, every criticism is on me!
First a bit more introductory text with a short definition
Just a little bit. I just want to share my (short) definition of an aggro deck.
For me aggro decks are decks that primarily win through attacking with small, mana-cheap creatures. They try to overrun the opponent before he/she gets their game going. Often the mana curve ends at three, and definitely tops at very few four-drops.
An aggro deck is often light on answers, but can include some reach in the form of burn, if the game goes long enough to render the small, cheap creatures useless.
RG denial aggro
So, the first list has nothing to do with the Trifecta. I conjured up this atrocity in the most humble part of my brewing dungeon. I just really wanted to play red – not least Kird Ape. Actually I wanted to play Kird Ape and Immolation – now there is some next level synergy!
But when laying out the cards, I found out I only have 1 Immolation! I am certain I had 5 at one point, and I am equally certain that I haven’t traded a playset away – who would ever trade for them?!? Anyways, this made the list a bit different, than what I had thought.
The basic plan is to play an early beater or two and then follow up with a Blood Moon, and maybe a Manabarbs. Refill your hand with the Lovely Enchantresses!
I would probably swap out two Giant Strength with two Immolation, as it also doubles as creature removal for some creatures.
The two Manabarbs could – and maybe should – be swapped with two Titania’s song.
Other than that the deck plays very straightforward.
I think it is a fun deck, with some great plays. And enchanting creatures is just wicked! I really like it. Especially in playtesting, were your creature will never get destroyed in response…
If you plan to take down your local gamestore with this cool, new deck you’ve just found on the Internet, I must say, I urge you to look further. This is not a very powerful deck, and the restrictions of having to play 4 Verduran Enchantress and about 15 Enchantments take a heavy toll here!
This is a crazy nice deck! I really really like it, at least.
But it also has both Lions, Spirit Link and Blessing! Oh my, Blessing! I know mine are only Revised, but there is just something about the card I really enjoy. Just look at it (again, excuse the horrible picture quality):
We have swapped a couple of enchantments out to be able to play Remove Enchantments. That means we only have 13 Enchantments. But we have some quite awesome threats in the form of Savannah Lions and Elvish Archers. Both are quite decent if enchanted with Blessing, and of course the complete magical Christmas land is having a Wombat enchanted with Blessing and Spirit Link.
We have to play some kind of removal, and of course Swords to Plowshares take the spot. Even though it gains our opponent life, it should be manageable.
The deck wants to chip away a chunk of life early, and then land a Wombat, draw some extra cards with Enchantress or Library-Spirit Link, make a GIANT WOMBAT and kill the opponent.
Even though it is an aggro deck, it leans somewhat heavily to midrange.
Again, it is obvious that the Enchantress package takes quite a toll on the build. But I like the deck, and it almost resembles something I could have built back in the schoolyard days!
Well, then comes the Tier1-wannabe.
(you already know about the picture quality)
Yep. This was the best bet the Triumvirate and I had on an actual Verduran Enchantress aggro deck contender in Old School. I must admit, that the decklist differs in some ways from the one JoLaChri and I made in the Messenger thread. Primarily because I have swapped in Vampire Bats instead of Will-‘o’-the-Wisp, going for more aggro than defense, and I have swapped in Elvish Archers for instead of Birds of Paradise for even more aggro. The first swap, I am fairly confidant in, the second maybe a mistake.
This deck is stronger than the previous two, primarily because of Unholy Strength (the fourth should of course have been in there instead of either an Aspect of Wolf or Paralyze, but it is missing along with my Immolations!) and Unstable Mutation. Both cards are way stronger than Aspect of Wolf and Blessing – or Giant Strength to round things off.
Furthermore Paralyze is actually a very okay “removal” spell – sometimes it buys us enough time to kill the opponent, sometimes just enough to find more Enchantments to make bigger threats!
The pair of Flights could probably have been something else, but just think of a flying Rapid Wombat! Right? Exactly!
The rest of the deck is mana and broken, expensive cards. Some even both.
As you may imagine, this deck also plays very straight-forward. Play threats. Make them bigger. Attack. Remove opposing blockers. Make more threats. Make them even more bigger. Attack!
The deck actually has a reasonable game-plan and can win in the air. And bear in mind, that in this deck our Enchanting Ladies can actually gain the ability fly, and surge an Unholy Strength, to take down the opposing foe.
Again, this will never be a tier1-deck, but it actually has a fighting chance, almost comparable to things like UG Tempo. Almost.
Wrapping it up
That was it for the go at an aggro Enchantress deck for the Old School format. I acknowledge that the decks featured in this post may not exactly have made Enchantress Great Again, but I assure you they have made my day several times. They are fun decks, that really give the feeling of playing back in the day. At least for me.
Some more generic thoughts on aggro Enchantress: As we all knew, it is almost impossible to make a dedicated aggro deck, based on Verduran Enchantress. It saddens me to say, that all of the above decks would be better if the four ladies were swapped for something else…
It is, of course, because the Verduran Enchantress herself is very costly, and it almost feels like you are stopping yourself in your tracks, when casting her, because you could have bolted something, played another threat or buffed one of your existing threads.
When I furthermore had the insane idea that there should always be four Enchantresses along with about 15 Enchantments in the decks in this series, you have so limited building space in an aggro deck, because you also need at least 15 creatures that can deal some damage. Preferably more!
The conclusion must be, that the ladies belong in a more tranquil environment. No no! Not Tranquility for Gods’s sake! Poor choice of words, on my behalf. They belong in a more transcended environment, one where there is less haste, less angry feelings and much, much more time.
More on that in the next part; Part 3: The Midrange/Control deck