Historic Selesnya Enchantress Deck Guide

Sythis, Harvest’s Hand Art by Ryan Yee
Sythis, Harvest’s Hand Art by Ryan Yee

Hi everyone and welcome to another article!

I’m back with some Historic action again and today I’m bringing you my take on many people’s favorite long time archetype across multiple formats: Enchantress. So far this is pretty much the only deck I’ve been playing and testing on Arena ladder and currently rest at #206 with 64% win rate as I prepare for a pretty intense tournament weekend.

Introduction

“Enchantress” is an enchantment based deck that tries to gain significant card advantage by using various engines that draw you cards upon casting Enchantment spells, keep aggressive decks at bay and deploy a powerful finisher to close the game out.

The first and the most important part of this puzzle has been completed with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons that now puts us at two core engines for the deck: Sythis, Harvest’s Hand and Enchantress’s Presence. This list actually goes on but we’ll get there in a second.

The part of surviving aggro gets trickier, since despite getting multiple cards from Modern format we don’t have access to Solitary Confinement. I’ve played my fair share of matches deploying its two card combo alternative Nine Lives + Solemnity. Despite having quite a few free wins after assembling this “lock” (Solemnity prevents adding counters to Nine Lives thus allowing you to keep it indefinitely and prevent all the damage) I came to the conclusion that ultimately the combo is not as reliable as one might initially think for various reasons:

All those thing in mind, I chose go with the “One Life Enchantress” as I like to call it and rely on some of the many other defensive enchantments: Baffling End, Banishing Light

And now for the fun part, winning the game.

In most cases our finisher will be assembling the Sanctum Weaver (another absolutely huge addition with Historic Horizons) and Destiny Spinner combo. Our goal is to play a lot of enchantments, generate a lot of mana with Weaver and turn our lands into massive creatures with haste and trample and kill our opponent in one attack.

Alternatively, you can always lean on Sigil of the Empty Throne to generate a massive army of 4/4 flying Angels to dominate the board.

Decklist

Selesnya Enchantress 

Planeswalkers (4)
4
Calix, Destiny's Hand
Creatures (1)
1
Setessan Champion
Enchantments (32)
4
Baffling End
4
Destiny Spinner
4
Sanctum Weaver
4
Sterling Grove
4
Sythis, Harvest's Hand
4
Wolfwillow Haven
3
Banishing Light
4
Enchantress's Presence
1
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Lands (23)
4
Branchloft Pathway
4
Forest
4
Plains
4
Scattered Groves
3
Sunpetal Grove
4
Temple Garden
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
3
Rest in Peace
2
Seal Away
2
Archon of Sun's Grace
2
Gideon's Intervention
2
Leyline of Sanctity
2
Wrath of God
2
Elspeth Conquers Death

Cards

So, we determined what our deck is trying to do. Let’s go into more detail on how to put it together by breaking down the cards from the main deck and sideboard.

Main Deck 

4x Sythis, Harvest’s Hand and 4x Enchantress’s Presence – the core of our deck and the main engines we’re looking to deploy to draw A LOT of cards, our success largely relies on having either of those in play.

4x Sterling Grove – another amazing and extremely important enchantment provided with Historic Horizons that serves two main purposes: protects ALL of our enchantments and allows us to tutor for missing pieces of the puzzle whether it’s an “Enchantress” effect or a finisher (Destiny Spinner or Sigil of the Empty Throne.)

4x Sanctum Weaver – yet another powerhouse brought via Historic Horizons and a major part of our success generating an absurd amount of mana which allows us to kill our opponent paired with Destiny Spinner or draw a ridiculous amount of cards in one go via our “Enchantresses”.

4x Destiny Spinner – our main win condition and built in counterspell protection for our enchantments and creatures while also being a solid early blocker with above-average stats.

4x Wolfwillow Haven – mana acceleration is another component of our deck that shouldn’t be overlooked. Casting more enchantments per turn, accelerating into a 4-drop and even serving as an emergency 2/2 – all are fantastic.

1x Sigil of the Empty Throne – another finisher and occasionally a free win if goes unchecked in the midgame, especially if we get to ramp into it.

4x Baffling End – respect the aggro, you can’t fall back to the Nine Lives/Solemnity lock and this is our answer to a myriad of early threat. For some time it felt great to run Sky Tether, but exiling creatures and not having to worry about a lot of annoying abilities is too good. Too bad Portable Hole is not an enchantment but we can’t complain since this deals with 3-mana threats as well.

3x Banishing Light – a great and versatile answer against anything, powered by counterspell protection from Destiny Spinner and Shroud from Sterling Grove we can feel even better about it.

1x Setessan Champion – one lesson I learned playing this deck – there are never too many engines. One might argue that it’s my “pet card” at the moment but it also makes it into Modern lists as a 1 of so I’m happy to replicate that.

4x Calix, Destiny’s Hand – what started for me as a 1 of slowly but surely turned into 4x. Once again, never too many engines. It’s a planeswalker from 2020 so I’d say it’s a good bet to run it. Yes, it’s not cheap but it  can do many important things immediately and has good starting loyalty.  Perhaps most importantly it is our only way to match Narset, Parter of Veils, a card that is very popular in the format and can shut us down singlehandedly.

The mana base of the deck is pretty straightforward – 23 lands. We do want to cast some 4-drops on curve but we also have 8 cards to ramp with which roughly counts as 4 extra lands. We also cannot afford to flood and 4 copies of Scattered Groves can help us with that even more.

Perhaps there are some ways to make more out of our mana-base since we don’t have any 1-drops at all. I experimented with a couple of copies of Bala Ged Recovery//Bala Ged Sanctuary but eventually decided to settle on a simple and consistent configuration.

Sideboard

3x Rest in Peace – a pretty important option for any white deck in Historic, it allows us to shut down many graveyard-reliant archetypes (Arcanist, Phoenix, Delirium, Gearhulk, Reanimator, Sacrifice) by itself.

2x Seal Away – as Baffling End moved into the main deck we have room for more defensive options.

2x Archon of Sun’s Grace – a big anti-aggro option that can take over the battlefield and recover our life total.

2x Gideon’s Intervention – combo oriented format makes this enchantment option very interesting, it’s a little tricky in closed deck list matches but usually we know what we’re going for (Indomitable Creativity, Bolas’s Citadel, Magma Opus, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Narset, Parter of Veils.)

2x Leyline of Sanctity – a great solution to a high count of hand disruption and Blood Artist combo decks.

2x Wrath of God – originally a solution to Serra’s Emissary, it can still find its mark against synergistic tribal creature decks (Elves, Merfolks, Goblins, Shamans or Slivers).

2x Elspeth Conquers Death – a solid anti-control/midrange option with all chapters of the saga doing an incredible amount of work for us.

Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Sterling Grove Art by Seb McKinnon
Sterling Grove Art by Seb McKinnon

One thing to note about the current state of the Historic format is that the metagame is currently wide-open, there hasn’t been a major competitive event yet so I will be breaking it down based on the archetypes I’ve faced most.

vs Jeskai/Azorius Control

OUTIN
-4 Baffling End+2 Gideon’s Intervention
+2 Elspeth Conquers Death

Keep in mind their three win conditions: Narset, Teferi, hardcast Shark Typhoon. Try to line up and protect your answers with Destiny Spinner and Sterling Grove, slam Calix if they tap out.

vs Jeskai/Izzet Creativity

OUTIN
-4 Baffling End+2 Gideon’s Intervention
-1 Setessan Champion+2 Wrath of God
+1 Elspeth Conquers Death

Same deal here but add another win condition to the list: Indomitable Creativity.

Note that you can still use Baffling End to remove the crab or dwarf token, Creativity for 2 is so much more dangerous than 1.

vs Jeskai Opus

OUTIN
-4 Baffling End+2 Gideon’s Intervention
-1 Setessan Champion+2 Elspeth Conquers Death
+1 Rest in Peace

Now replace Creativity with Magma Opus + Torrential Gearhulk. We do want to have an option for graveyard hate but we can’t commit to it because the planeswalkers are still in play.

vs Mono White Humans

OUTIN
-4 Calix, Destiny’s Hand+2 Seal Away
+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace

Be mindful of Ranger-Captain of Eos. If it hasn’t hit the field yet, prioritize casting and drawing off of noncreature spells first, that’s why we’re also keeping all of our Destiny Spinners here. Be disciplined with your removal spells, preserve your life total as much as possible and watch out for Faceless Haven attacks.

vs Rakdos Arcanist

OUTIN
-4 Calix, Destiny’s Hand+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace
-3 Destiny Spinner+2 Seal Away
+3 Rest in Peace

There’s a case here for Leyline of Sanctity but I still find the creature pressure to be a bigger concern than hand disruption. Just leaving one copy of Destiny Spinner here for when we’re ready to kill.

vs Mono Red/Izzet Phoenix

OUTIN
-4 Calix, Destiny’s Hand+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace
-3 Destiny Spinner+2 Seal Away
+3 Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace is your bread and butter but we also need to deal with some scary creatures here.

vs Jund Citadel

OUTIN
-3 Destiny Spinner+2 Leyline of Sanctity
-1 Sigil of the Empty Throne+2 Gideon’s Intervention

This is the main matchup for our Leyline, you can also name Bolas’s Citadel or Blood Artist with Intervention unless they’ve hit the field, remember that Intervention will not prevent loss of life.

vs Tribal Aggro (Elves, Merfolks, Goblins, Shamans, Slivers)

OUTIN
-4 Calix, Destiny’s Hand+2 Archon of Sun’s Grace
-2 Destiny Spinner+2 Seal Away
+2 Wrath of God

It’s hard to deal with some of these decks with single target removal alone so we’re bringing the good old Wraths. Despite them having ways to mitigate them via haste creatures or Collected Company you will often be able to find a window for a devastating board wipe.

Tips and Tricks

Sigil of the Empty Throne Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
Sigil of the Empty Throne Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen

Remember that the game starts with you successfully deploying one of the 13 engines, if you can’t get to any, most likely you’ll be sitting there like fish out of water and ultimately run out of time. You won’t have the Nine Lives lock to bail you out so you need to be proactive. Consider this when you mulligan and also don’t rely on Sterling Grove too much to tutor your first Enchantress effect, you’ll likely end up being too slow and get punished for not having Shroud in play.

Sanctum Weaver is often your strongest opener, you can use that to your advantage by forcing a removal spell or setting up a powerful turn 3.

Every enchantment adds a point of mana to Sanctum Weaver’s activation, but don’t forget that you can only add X amount of one color, think about how you want to tap, dual lands will help you mix it up.

Sterling Grove will not let you use Calix, Destiny’s Hand -3 on anything other than the Grove itself (Shroud), with two Groves in play you won’t be able to use his ability at all unless you sacrifice one first. However, it’s pretty satisfying to tuck something with Calix first and then play Grove to protect the targeted enchantment.

With Setessan Champion in play it’s possible to play your Sterling Grove and sacrifice it in response to the Constellation trigger to immediately draw the tutored enchantment, it’s not possible to do it with other Enchantresses however since they draw on cast.

The overall match clock shouldn’t be a concern but keep in mind the turn timer, once you get going you’ll be getting a lot of triggers, do your math in advance and don’t get too complacent!

That’s going to be it for my Selesnya Enchantress tech, I hope you enjoyed it, thank you for reading, good luck and most importantly have fun out there!

Rint

Maxim "Rint" Salmin started playing Magic in 2007 and has always been a Green-based aggro enthusiast. He's currently a streamer at twitch.tv/rintms and is notable for his Arena ladder and tournament performance with Mono-Green Stompy.

8 Responses

  1. Saiyabuza says:

    Seems very fun to play and very well written. So against aggro have you tried authority of the consuls?

  2. Will says:

    It looks like the decklist is incomplete. Where is Sythis?

  3. Will says:

    Where are the rest of the creatures in the decklist?

  4. hazaaz says:

    i saw that you put this deck at tier 4 in your bo1 list but there is not list at the end of the article, what would you change to this list for bo1? really good article!

    • Rint says:

      Thank you! I don’t play best of 1 at all, depends on what you’re facing most I guess,
      If you’re facing a lot of tribal aggro a couple Wraths could work, cause it’s also great vs Creativity.

  5. Lysergic says:

    Only 1 Setessen Champion?