Welcome to today’s Deck of the Day! Here we have a BO1 Standard deck submitted by Zedalve, utilizing all the best enchantments and synergies Standard currently has to offer so far. Also enjoy the indepth deck guide and gameplay video that comes along with it.
Mardu Enchantment and Tokens deck is a fires deck spec’d for the Bo1 meta that looks to survive long enough to use enchantments as token generators to snowball control of the board in the mid to late game. It has generous amounts of removal, both targeted and wipes. The enchantments are the main engine as they are the token generators and mana sinks. We run only a few creatures that support the enchantment strategy. There are a couple of variants out there, but this list has a couple pieces of sweet tech that enhance its performance
The deck cannot win until it gets to 4 mana. This is an issue with an aggressive meta but with Mardu colors we have a robust catalog of removal options. We are running 7 sweeps and 6 removal spells.
Our first wave of defense is 3x Deafening Clarion. This devastates Mono Red and Knights decks early on. We also have 4x Kaya’s Wrath. I prefer having slightly more Kaya’s Wrath as 3 damage is not always enough to take care of an opponent’s board, especially if they are running green.
Our 6 removal spells are appropriately both enchantments. We have 3x Oath of Kaya enchantments that help us stay healthy, remove key creatures, and most importantly stay on theme. For larger threats we hold 3x Prison Realms.
Other cards you may choose to substitute in:
- Cry of the Carnarium – good vs cats but -2 is not always enough, Clarion got the nod over this.
- Ritual of Soot – Conditional board wipe at 4 mana. Kaya’s Wrath wins every time in terms of utility, but this is easier to cast especially if you do not have a Fires on board yet.
- Revenge of Ravens – Included in the first version of the deck, more fun than anything and really slowed down wide strategies. However, Gruul and Mono Green match ups convinced me to remove this as it was too little, too late in many cases.
- Conclave Tribunal – Most other variants run this card, but we do not have enough creatures to convoke it efficiently. I prefer Prison Realm as it is faster, and a bonus scry is always nice.
Enchantments are the bread and butter of this deck. They are the main win conditions and value engines. The cornerstone is 4x Fires of Invention. This will allow us to play double spells turn 4 onward. But most importantly it keeps our mana untapped.
Untapped mana allows us to sink it into 2x Ethereal Absolution, 2x Dawn of Hope, 2x Theater of Horrors. These enchantments are the engines that generate advantage with good stuff like life gain, card draw, instant speed token generation, and graveyard hate. 3x Outlaws of Merriment is an enchantment that just provides relentless creature advantage and is a common win condition for this deck. It also synergizes with Theater of Horrors as the 1/2 token can proc its triggered ability. The finisher enchantment tech is 2x Divine Visitation with all the token generation, each generating a 4/4 flyer (5/5 if Absolution is out). This will end games quickly.
Other cards you may choose to substitute in:
- Smothering Tithe – Generates mana and taxes opponents. In the Bo1 meta this enchantment is too slow and with Fires, mana availability is not often a problem.
- Doom Foretold – We have the right colors but not enough disposable permanents to keep the pressure on our opponent.
- Captive Audience – This is a very viable top end card. It was a fun inclusion especially when it creates 5 tokens for you with Divine Visitation on board. However it might take a couple of turns before you get reasonable return on this one if you are not winning already.
- Dreadhorde Invasion – Really good card if you draw it early enough vs aggro, but feels bad drawing it late… when your life is low…
3x Starfield Mystic primarily serves as acceleration to a turn three Fires or Outlaws play, this is our gilded goose of sorts. More often than not, it serves as removal bait and chump fodder but the early benefits make it worthy to run. It becomes useless after turn 4 and I have never had more than 1 counter added to it.
The creature tech that makes this deck more effective are 2x Cavalier of Dawn. These are two additional removal spells on a stick that can target any permanent. Yes, the owner of the destroyed permanent does get a 3/3 token but that has never come back to haunt me. Cavalier can keep it at bay and attack worry-free with vigilance. Often you will target your own permanents such as an Oath of Kaya or extra Fires of Invention to generate that 3/3 golem or 4/4 flier depending on the board state. This is also a way to get back enchantments the opponent has destroyed. Often, I fetch back an extra copy of Oath of Kaya that I discarded to the legendary rule. The 6 toughness makes it a wall that your opponent will feel obligated to remove. That is just fine, we want to get those enchantments back in hand and online. If it were not for the triple white requirement I would be running more.
One copy of Liliana Dreadhorde General is a solid top end for us. All activations and the passive are great for this deck. +1 creates tokens just like our enchantments, sometimes Liliana will create an angel for us! It also provides emergency removal if we need it. We will have plenty of disposable token creatures that we can happily let die for free card draw. Furthermore, those tokens can easily protect her until she reaches her ultimate.
We are running 26 lands because it is imperative that we hit 4 and have access to our colors. We also want to have lands that come in untapped if possible, so we are running the full complement of Mardu shocklands, 4x Fabled Passage and only one copy of 1x Castle Ardenvale and 1x Castle Locthwain. Our enchantments do a better job than the Castles creating tokens and drawing cards, so we do not want to run more than this. I am avoiding scry lands as they do not provide an option of coming in untapped despite the scry benefit, but they can easily be used if necessary.
Even though we are running a high number of lands, this does not put us at a disadvantage late game if we fall into a top deck battle. With any enchantment engine on board we will not lose many of those battles, more mana just means more activations and gradual advantage.
We match up well with Red, Green, Black, and White if we hit our land drops. If red or white go wide, we have removal for that. If Green goes big, we can chump with tokens for turns and trap/wrath evasive threats. Many black removal cards are dead in hand due to our low creature count. They either must spend removal on replaceable token creatures or take out our Cavalier and recur an enchantment for us.
Blue is what this deck is weak against. Mardu colors provide limited defense vs blue as we cannot afford to dedicate slots for hand hate. Fortunately, I have not come across too much blue in Bo1. Those that I have faced it is just a matter of navigating around counter spells and hoping to get at least one powerful enchantment to stick on board and provide value.
Post Theros Beyond Death Upgrades
Theros Beyond Death is heavy with enchantments. A few have been spoiled that could slot in quite well when the set comes out.
- Idyllic Tutor – This can either fetch Fires on turn 3 or, if Fires is already on the board, this can let us choose any enchantment we want to play on that turn for our second spell
- Storm’s Wrath – This will likely replace Deafening Clarion, if the meta slows down.Archon of Falling Stars – Budget replacement for Cavalier.
- Archon of Sun’s Grace – This will for sure be in the sideboard when I develop a Bo3 version of this deck.
- Banishing Light – As if Prison Realm and Conclave Tribunal had a child. This will fill Prison Realm’s slot as I value the flexibility more than the scry.
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