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Temporary Lockdown Art by Bryan Sola

Top 5 Dominaria United Enchantment Decks in Explorer

Looking to play some Explorer with the new Dominaria United cards? Skura has his top five enchantments you should look out for and the best builds to put them in!

Dominaria United is out and a lot of people get excited about Legendary cards, throwbacks, Tribal decks. However, I want to draw your attention to the enchantments that this set has brought and how impactful they might be; some of them might even see play in eternal formats like Modern! Let’s dive deeper into five Explorer decks I reckon will be upgraded thanks to those additions from DMU.


Mono Black Aggro

Mono Black Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $236.44
Historic
best of 3
7 mythic
33 rare
2 uncommon
18 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (5)
3
Fatal Push
$11.97
2
Heartless Act
$0.70
Sorceries (4)
4
Thoughtseize
$87.96
Enchantments (2)
Lands (24)
18
Snow-Covered Swamp
$17.82
4
Faceless Haven
$3.16
60 Cards
$189.48
Sideboard
1
Fatal Push
$3.99
2
Duress
$0.50
2
Go Blank
$3.98
2
Pithing Needle
$1.18
15 Cards
$23.61

A supremely aggressive deck that’s low-to-the-ground and punishes any stumbles heavily.

Its ideal curve would include a one-drop creature, of which there are 9, into a two-drop, then disrupt with a removal spell or two and close out with a hasty Rankle, Master of Pranks.

Speaking of disruption, the deck is more interactive than one might assume. A full set of Thoughtseize can effectively poke holes in the opponent’s game plan, especially if they’ve mulliganed. Murderous Rider is a split hard removal and a threat. In addition, Fatal Push and Heartless Act tag virtually any creature for a relatively low cost. They can be used to either thwart the opposing plan or clear blockers and push through damage.

In this shell, I reckon Stronghold Arena will be particularly effective. Essentially, it’s a two-mana enchantment that allows you to draw a card whenever you’ve hit the opponent in combat. If you’re on the play, it’s possible that the one drop you played can already connect. As the deck plays so much removal, clearing the way is trivial and you get more resources to potentially draw even more removal. It’s possible that you might want to play more in the sideboard for grindy matchups where you deploy 2 creatures max and any damage matters as it draws you a card.


Enigmatic Incarnation

Enigmatic Incarnatin
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $646.03
Explorer
best of 3
2 mythic
56 rare
12 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Companion
80 Cards
$511.24
7 Cards
$77.73

The deck that brings all the Birthing Pod memories. The namesake, Enigmatic Incarnation, allows you to turn any enchantment into a creature whose cost is one higher than the sacrificed enchantment’s. Deck-building-wise it means you have to diversify between creatures and enchantments to both have sacrifice and tutor targets. However, there are permanents that are both so you can use them for either purpose.

As the deck is 4 colours, it plays a lot of shocklands and trilands which have their respective land types. This works in tandem with the new DMU card – Leyline Binding. With one Triome it already is an instant speed Oblivion Ring, and the cost can go down to 1W. Very versatile removal which has flash provides the deck with supreme interaction.

You can also opt for a less stable version with Red which would provide you with Fires of Invention and mountains in the mana base which further discount Leyline down to a single white. In addition, you can play Agent of Treachery which can conveniently be tutored if you sac Leyline.

In the Pioneer version, there is Nylea's Presence which gives a land every type so that already discounts it to {W}. When it comes to Arena, the deck will get a serious boost.


Azorius Control

UW Control
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $543.63
Explorer
best of 3
5 mythic
44 rare
6 uncommon
5 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (7)
Instants (15)
2
Dovin’s Veto
$7.98
1
Fateful Absence
$2.79
3
Absorb
$7.47
1
Memory Deluge
$1.29
Sorceries (5)
3
Supreme Verdict
$16.47
2
Farewell
$23.98
Enchantments (7)
2
Shark Typhoon
$25.98
60 Cards
$489.54

Azorius Control has been a mainstay in the format. Its versatile removal suite and powerful planeswalkers make it a force to be reckoned with. As any control deck, if the meta is read correctly and you can prepare your sideboard in anticipation of what people will bring, you’ll be miles ahead with the correct answers for the exact threats presented.

One of the issues the deck has is that, despite its supreme late game, it could get run over in the early game by Mono Red or Mono Black aggressive decks. The deck’s curve is high enough that it can’t really compete with its 2-3 mana spells against all one drops. This is where I believe Temporary Lockdown will come in handy and shore up the weakness.

In creature heavy metas, I absolutely see it as main deck inclusion, but it’s possible that you might have to relegate it to the sideboard sometimes. It exiles all the nonlands that cost 2 or less, including tokens and including your permanents. That’s why I suggest not playing cards like Portable Hole as the anti-synergy could bite you. Moreover, be careful not to choose enchantments with your Farewell as you’d bring back all the permanents previously exiled with Lockdown.


Mono Red Dragons

Red Dragons
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $301.54
Explorer
best of 3
12 mythic
27 rare
2 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Instants (7)
4
Dragon’s Fire
$1.00
Sorceries (2)
Artifacts (8)
Enchantments (2)
Lands (25)
12
Mountain
$3.00
4
Sulfur Falls
$23.96
1
Castle Embereth
$0.39
60 Cards
$347.08
Sideboard
2
Abrade
$0.50
2
Fry
$0.58
2
Blazing Volley
$0.50
1
Roiling Vortex
$1.29
15 Cards
$25.03

Dragons are not a heavily played tribe in Explorer but I do think they’ve got legs (and wings). It’s a robust Red midrange deck that presents strong evasive threats that are tough to deal with as removal such as Portable Hole or Fatal Push do not affect them. Dragon's Hoard helps you ramp and fix mana which then allows you to play Nicol Bolas, the Ravager, arguably the strongest and most efficient Dragon you could play. There are a lot of Dragon-related synergies in the deck so make sure you study the deck first. It’s also an interactive deck with plenty of removal spells to survive the early game to then transfer to mid-late and start dominating the battlefield.

DMU brings The Elder Dragon War saga with Read Ahead. All three chapters are useful: the first chapter is a mass removal spell against smaller creatures and by and large does not affect your board. The second is a Windfall effect that filters through the draw as you may have drawn a tad too many removal spells or top end. The last chapter, predictably, makes a Dragon. With the Read Ahead mechanic, you can play it and go straight to Windfall if the mass removal is irrelevant. In some situations, you might want a threat right away and you’ll cash it in for a Dragon. The flexibility makes it a pretty good constructed card.


Mono Blue Spirits

Mono Blue Spirits
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $137.18
Explorer
best of 3
0 mythic
23 rare
17 uncommon
20 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (23)
4
Spectral Sailor
$1.56
4
Rattlechains
$1.40
4
Supreme Phantom
$3.16
3
Shacklegeist
$1.05
Instants (9)
2
Lofty Denial
$0.50
Enchantments (6)
3
Combat Research
$2.97
Lands (22)
3
Faceless Haven
$2.37
60 Cards
$134.08
Sideboard
1
Dive Down
$0.25
2
Unsubstantiate
$0.50
2
Aether Gust
$1.58
3
Mystical Dispute
$10.47
15 Cards
$74.49

It’s a deck I’ve written about in detail in the past. It’s still a strong contender in the metagame thanks to its pressure, flash game, adaptability and versatile on-stack interaction. It can punish both unprepared and untrained opponents. Against this deck, you have to get your timing just right in order not to get blown out by Slip Out the Back or Rattlechains. It’s, furthermore, a very disruptive tempo deck that can deploy a threat and then control your game all throughout with countermagic and cards like Mausoleum Wanderer.

Its strongest draws included a turn two Curious Obsession and holding up Geistlight Snare or a protection spell. It allowed the deck to start pressuring the opponent and drawing more gas – which is more disruption and threats. Obsession has one major downside – it sacrifices if you haven’t attacked. It essentially forces you to try to keep pushing damage through even when it might be more optimal to stay on the defense.

There is a new effect akin to Curiosity and it’s Combat Research. It does not give the +1/+1, but also does not have the attacking restriction. As far as I am concerned, the best way is to play a higher total density of such effects and I’d opt for a 3/3 split. Should you happen to play some legendary creatures in the deck, Combat Research becomes much better with the buff and, more importantly, Ward.


Conclusion

With the set, the most focus was on Legendary and Tribal creatures but I think enchantments may have been overlooked, especially non-Saga ones. Interestingly, decks of different types benefit – aggro, midrange, control, tempo. Basically, the whole spectrum of macro-archetypes can add a little something something to their decks. It’s pretty rare that such a wide swathe of decks would get a boost.

Make sure to pick up some at your prerelease and pick them whilst drafting. They’ll be plenty useful in Constructed.

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Skura
Skura

Also known as Skura or IslandsInFront on Twitter and YouTube, Filip started his career upon the release of Gatecrash and has been passing the turn in all formats ever since. He coaches and creates written and video content, mainly centered around the control archetype. He is passionate about Magic game theory and countering spells. Outside of Magic, he is a fan of snooker/pool, chess and Project Management.

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