Hey MTG Arena Zone readers, I just went 10-5 in the Neon Dynasty Championship, which placed me 21st out of 230 people. For this tournament, I brought a Lurrus Enchantress deck in Historic, where I went 6-2 with a list that I believe, if optimized, is one of the strongest decks in Historic.
While Enchantress decks have been around in Historic for as long as Sanctum Weaver, Sterling Grove, and Sythis, Harvest's Hand have been in the format, the enchantment options have only been improving. Typically, Enchantress decks play Enchantress's Presence and Sythis, Harvest's Hand for card draw, along with Solemnity and Nine Lives as a lock to prevent taking damage. These 3-mana enchantments are very powerful, but filling your deck with 3 mana enchantments can be quite slow, and those versions of the deck lose out on proactive threats by dedicating main board slots to expensive enchantments.
I realized shortly before the tournament that combined with the new Kamigawa cards Generous Visitor, Jukai Naturalist, Commune with Spirits, and Weaver of Harmony, there was a powerful version of enchantress that could work with Lurrus as a companion and is both explosive and resilient. As everyone has seen, Lurrus is an incredibly powerful magic card, and adding him as a companion is a huge benefit for any low-curve deck. Here, the cost of running only 1 and 2 drops is relatively low, and is actually what gives you space to play all of the powerful enchantments you want. Let’s take a look at the list:
Built around a core of the three best synergy two drops in the format, this Lurrus Enchantress deck is resilient, explosive, interactive, and powerful. Sanctum Weaver, Sterling Grove, and Sythis, Harvest's Hand are all incredible cards, and combined with 8 cantrips, a bunch of synergistic enchantments, and main board Rest in Peace, you get a deck that has solid matchups against Food, Phoenix, almost every graveyard strategy, most creature decks, and even has a chance against more controlling U/W decks.
For resilience, having access to Lurrus gives you a mana sink that makes you more resilient against wrath effects, and you can recur Sterling Groves to search for enchantments, Sythis to get back to drawing cards, or Candletrap for repeatable exiles. You miss out on many powerful enchantment effects by limiting yourself to 1 and 2 mana permanents, but there is more than enough value and ways to spend your mana in the deck to scale into late game against the grindiest of decks. The most important element of mastering this deck is the sequencing of the cards you play, which I’ll explain as we get into the specific card choices.
Sythis is the deck’s primary engine and what allows the deck to have explosive turns and keep up on value in grindy matchups. Literally half the deck is enchantments, and 8 of the remaining 12 cards are cantrips, meaning that almost every card you play with Sythis on the battlefield will draw more enchantments to play. It is rarely worth it to play Sythis when you can’t follow up with at least one enchantment, it’s sometimes necessary to search for her with Sterling Grove, and frequently correct to take her with Commune with Spirits. Without at least one copy of Sythis, the deck doesn’t function nearly as well and it is the most important card in nearly all matchups. The ability to recur Sythis with Lurrus is one of the primary advantages of having it as a companion. If you have no other two drops on turn two (something that should almost never happen you can risk playing Sythis, but most of the time you want to bait out a removal spell before you play her, and make sure that you can always play at least one enchantment after her in order to draw at least 1 card.
Both Sanctum Weaver and Jukai Naturalist provide important acceleration for the deck and allow for truly explosive turns, even with relatively few lands. Starting with the weaker of the two, Jukai Naturalist helps to accelerate the deck; reducing the cost of 16 cards in the deck makes it powerful, but not absurd.
That said, as an enchantment creature with Lifelink, it synergizes well with Generous Visitor and Weaver of Harmony, and the cost reduction allows for large tempo swings where you play multiple cheap enchantments in a turn. Jukai Naturalist is a great turn 3 play alongside another two mana enchantment, and often should be saved for that effect to optimize your mana usage.
Sanctum Weaver is a card in a league of its own. No other card in Historic can produce so much mana at such a low cost, and if unanswered, at most points in the game it will either end the game or put you insurmountably ahead. A turn two Sanctum Weaver gives you access to 4 or 5 mana on turn three, and only gets stronger from there. 1 mana enchantments are essentially free with a Sanctum Weaver on the battlefield as it will simply tap for an additional mana, making the combination with Jukai Naturalist quite explosive. When combined with Sythis, you can often draw and play upwards of 5 or 6 enchantments in a turn come late game.
The mana Sanctum Weaver provides is all the same color, so it’s important to consider which color mana you need more of in a turn. It’s easy to be spamming cheap spells and accidentally tap out of green or white mana you need in a turn, and it feels horrible every time . The final vital aspect of Sanctum Weaver is its ability to generate mana towards bringing Lurrus to hand and activating Destiny Spinner. Without Sanctum Weaver, Destiny Spinner becomes a lot harder to kill your opponent with, and spending 6 mana for Lurrus is quite prohibitive.
Commune with Spirits is an obvious inclusion in a deck with 48 cards for it to hit. The consistency of looking at the top 4 cards of your library and grabbing the best one is incredible for a deck so focused on finding specific engine cards. Digging towards Sythis, Sanctum Weaver, or any number of other enchantments you could need in a given situation is huge, and the ability to grab lands when you are desperate for them is a huge plus.
Combined with Abundant Harvest, the deck has 8 cantrips, which doesn’t rival the consistency of Phoenix, but puts the deck ahead of most others in terms of card selection. With the curve ending at two, and access to Abundant Harvest which guarantees a land, and Commune with Spirits which usually can find a land, you can often comfortably keep 1 land hands, and can get away with running only 18 lands. In the rare circumstances where it comes up, using either to draw the card you search for with Sterling Grove can get you the enchantment you need at a moment’s notice.These cards dramatically reduce variance, and help you consistently assemble the engine. The other consideration with these cards is when you can afford to use them for a land you need to use that turn. I’ll get more specific on mana base choices soon, but be aware that both Lair of the Hydra and Sunpetal Grove often enter tapped, and if you are relying on drawing an untapped land that won’t always be the case.
These two cards make up the backbone of this deck’s ability to win the game. Destiny Spinner is able to close out games quickly alongside a Sanctum Weaver and some enchantments, and is also a reasonably sized creature that turns off your opponent’s countermagic. The card is quite powerful, and appears as a two of only because there are so many other valuable cards to be running. Destiny Spinner is often good bait for removal on turn two, particularly against control decks, and can become quite threatening with a Weaver of Harmony or two on the board, or a counter from Jukai Naturalist.
Inspired by how powerful it was in Alchemy, I wanted to give Generous Visitor a try in Historic, and it did not disappoint. I had multiple games where I had the explosive synergy of Sythis, Sanctum Weaver, and Jukai Naturalist, and thanks to a few well timed Generous Visitor, I was able to deal 18 damage for a kill with a single attacker. The number of counters Generous Visitor can place is simply unreal, and having a very proactive threat that can hit the board as soon as turn 1 is huge.
Often a magnet for removal spells, Generous Visitor can clear the way for your other important cards, and kill your opponent if not respected. One very important thing to keep in mind about Generous Visitor is that it is the only target that can be stolen by Archmage's Charm, and therefore against blue control decks, it is important to side some out and try to put the +1/+1 counters on other creatures. The biggest restraint on Generous Visitor’s power level is the fact that Sterling Grove grants shroud, not hexproof, often forcing the Visitor to target itself with counters. This can be manipulated by sacrificing the Grove, but it is an interaction to have in mind while playing the deck.
With 18 Enchantment creatures to buff, Weaver of Harmony’s anthem effect is quite relevant for pressuring slower opponents and blocking against more aggressive ones. The activated ability of this card is what truly shines though, as there are so many things you can copy. For a single green mana and a tap of the Weaver, you can copy the Baffling End ability to exile an additional creature, Sythis’s ability to draw a card and gain a life, or the Destiny Spinner ability to animate a land and apply more pressure. In one edge case scenario, I even copied a Candletrap activation exiling their creature after my opponent tried to stifle the original. All of this combined with the fact that Weaver of Harmony is both an enchantment and gets its cost reduced by Jukai Naturalist makes it a very powerful addition to the Enchantress strategy.
Historic is a format defined by powerful graveyard interaction, and being able to main board Rest in Peace is a major draw for this deck. Between Phoenix, Food, reanimator strategies and more, RIP always finds some value, and in matchups where it truly does nothing it is easy enough to side out. As an enchantment, even if the graveyard is entirely irrelevant, you can still get value game one from Sythis, Harvest's Hand and Generous Visitor. The fact that RIP turns off additional value from Lurrus is certainly unfortunate, and thinking about when to play RIP is always important with the deck. In certain matchups (like against Food), you often want to play and get value off of Lurrus before you play Rest in Peace if given the opportunity. Against other decks like Phoenix, playing RIP as soon as possible is necessary, and it is ok to give up on the additional value from Lurrus; your deck is plenty powerful without it.
Sterling Grove is an absurdly powerful card in this deck, as the main protection against targeted removal of your important engines. Sterling Grove shuts all of that off, leaving itself, Generous Visitor, and Lurrus as the only available targets in the deck. If they ever attempt to kill Sterling Grove, a single mana will turn it into your best enchantment on top of your deck, which is often another Sterling Grove the following turn. Against matchups that are likely to be able to deal with enchantments, it is very important to leave up a mana, when you can, to activate Sterling Grove’s ability. Having your Grove removed when you can’t sacrifice it always feels bad!
This is one of the most important enablers for the deck as it really turns the game into a goldfishing exercise where you see how absurd the enchantment combos can get. Without access to board wipes, few decks can hope to get past Sterling Grove to kill your creatures, leaving you free to play cards like Sythis and Sanctum Weaver which can take over the game incredibly quickly when unanswered. The only thing to beware are board wipes as overextending yourself because you feel secure behind a Sterling Grove is an easy way to lose.
These are the removal spells of choice, both of which are incredibly powerful. Candletrap honestly might deserve a third or fourth copy as for 1 mana it stops the vast majority of threats in the metagame. Furthermore, Coven is very often enabled with this deck allowing you to exile any creature for 4 mana. With Lurrus, it becomes a repeatable, powerful removal spell that can easily stave off even the most aggressive starts. 1 mana enchantments are also at a premium, and being able to deploy a two drop alongside a removal spell on turn three is a huge tempo boost. Finally, against the Azorius and Orzhov aura decks around in the meta, Candletrap is often better than a full exile effect as it is one of the few cards that gets around Kaya's Ghostform.
The reasoning for Baffling End over Circle of Confinement is although both get the job done, if you’re going to be copying the ability with Weaver of Harmony, it is a lot better to give back a single 3/3 than both of their creatures. Otherwise, both are just cheap ways of interacting with creatures, and cover a lot of matchups, while synergizing with the rest of the deck.
The choices here are pretty standard. The Selesnya slow land is a reliable replacement if you don’t have all of the lands, and the mix of utility lands in Eiganjo, Boseju, and Lair of the hydra allows you to fit more interaction into the deck. The land count is quite low because of the 8 cantrips and cheap curve, and because with a few sanctum weavers you can generate a lot of mana off of only two or three lands
Rest in Peace is probably the single best graveyard hate card, and for those matchups having access to all 4 out of the board is important. This is insane against are Izzet Phoenix and Golgari Food, and in the matchups where you want RIP, you want to draw them as soon as possible so all 4 copies go a long way.
Access to cheap creature interaction is often important and can allow you to play a great control game when brought in alongside Fateful Absence. 12 Removal spells is more than enough to deal with the Auras decks common in the meta, and against other aggressive/creature-based decks like Affinity and Heliod’s company.
Fateful Absence serves a few purposes. First it is a cheap, instant-speed answer to Planeswalkers, which is particularly important against Blue-White Control and any deck playing Narset. In those matchups, it’s an easy swap for your other removal spells against control. Thanks to the fact that it is also a 2 mana unconditional kill spell, you can also easily side it in against more aggressive decks. Access to 12 removal spells post-board allows you to outvalue a lot of decks in grindy games.
Destiny Spinner, Ranger Class, and
Kami of Transcience
Alongside Ranger Class and Kami of Transience, Destiny Spinner is another card to try and deal with Blue-White control. Against that deck and similar matchups where your opponent has lots of cheap interaction and board wipes, it is essential to have a density of win conditions which Destiny Spinner, and Kami of Transience help with.
The Kami and Ranger Class offer additional card advantages while providing threats, making you more resilient to removal and Wrath effects, yet the dedicated control decks remain a pretty bad matchup for the deck. Because of this, it may be worth shifting sideboard slots to deal with other matchups. Potential replacements are Portable Hole if you’re worried about Food/Lurrus Decks, 2 more Candletrap as another option against aggro, Mana Tithe as an alternate way to fight Control, or many other powerful 1 and 2 mana enchantment options.
The nice thing about Enchantress as an archetype is because of Commune with Spirits, Sterling Grove, and Sythis, Harvest's Hand is that it is easy to find 1 of enchantments and there are many powerful silver bullet enchantments that you can put in the sideboard to deal with meta-specific problems.
|+2 Ranger Class||-4 Baffling End|
|+2 ||-2 Candletrap|
|+2 Destiny Spinner||-2 Weaver of Harmony|
|+4 Fateful Absence||-2 Jukai Naturalist|
This deck is doing a lot of cool things, and in the right meta is powerful enough to win games against all of the best decks in the format. The critical mass of powerful 1 and 2 mana enchantments leads to some of the most explosive and unfair turns of magic possible on Arena.
Sanctum Weaver and Sythis, Harvest's Hand provide such unfair amounts of mana and cards when coupled with enchantments, and together you can easily chain more than 5 enchantments in a turn leading to insurmountable board states.
While I feel like this is a powerful and smart way for enchantress to develop as a deck in the metagame, the new Kami of Transience is a potentially perfect enabler for non-Lurrus versions of enchantress and I look forward to testing and getting back to you with how that deck does.
Thanks to my success at the Neon Dynasty Championship I’m qualified for the New Capenna Championship, and will be streaming my preparation for that tournament, and Magic grind in general at twitch.tv/jshotwells. I’ll also continue to be writing for MTG Arena Zone, so look for more Historic deck techs soon! Thanks for reading!