Here’s a quick tournament report recounting my surreal adventures piloting the following meme deck for 6 rounds at TWC3:
The big day was approaching and it was time to settle on a deck. For a couple of weeks I’d had the itch to sleeve up my BUG Enchantress deck and attempt to cantrip off some enchantments so the choice was easy. My BUG Enchantress deck is not the deck pictured above. It plays a black package of Hymn, Hippy, Sinkole, Paralyze all in 4-ofs in an attempt to disrupt the opponent enough so that the Enchantress can come out and start generating value out of cute combos like Skull of Orms+Blight+Icy or Skull of Orms+Animate Dead+Trike. The next day I get on “Skype” and start jamming game ones against fellow tundra wolf Nick la Terreur to shake the dust off. Nick wanted to test his “new deck” for the Challenge. It turned out his new deck was state of the art URb Counterburn and he proceeded to whip my ass with it game after game. I went to bed that night feeling a bit disgusted at the clunkiness of my engine so naturally my obsessive magic player brain started to explore alternatives. I’m not exactly sure how but I landed on the above build featuring my favorite creature as the only wincon, the Occhio Malefico. Having learned from my previous mistake I made sure to not try the deck out before the tournament so as to avoid having to get back to the drawing board. My expectation for the tournament was basically to hit the bottom tables fast enough to have some close and exciting battles against the other low tier decks of the tournament.
Round 1 with Kevin V. on “Paul’s deck”
Game 1. The first game of the night isn’t much of a contest because Kevin has all the removal for my Enchant Creature spells and Erhnam Djinn hits pretty hard.
Game 2. This game starts with him drawing lots of cards off of an unanswered Library of Alexandria. I Imprison an Erhnam Djinn then Spirit Link a dib. Feeling like I need to force the action I then proceed to Control Magic his linked dib. This displeases Kevin so he tutors for a Swords to Plowshare to use on his dib. At this point I topdeck the Mind Twist and hit him hard with it to finally push him off the Library train. The game proceeds slowly from this point on. He eventually produces a second Erhnam Djinn which I Control Magic. But lo! Just as the tides are turning Kevin calmly draws his card for the turn, pours 9 mana into his pool and shows me the heartbreaking Fireball. 0-1
Those were fun and close-ish games so we went at it again for fun. To my amazement I actually won this one!
Round 2 with Dylan K. on UWR Skies
Game 1. He Disenchants my T2 Sylvan Library so luckily for me he doesn’t have the answer when I Torment his dib (drawing a delicious card in the process). Control Magic on Serra draws me a second card and this one gets double bolted. Next up for Dylan is a beautiful Unlimited Shivan Dragon. This I use Imprison on, drawing a third card off Enchantress. But when a wild Drake appears, followed shortly after by a dib I need some help quick. The top of my deck delivers an Evil Eye and it appears I might be able to race! Indeed, the dib I’m tormenting has dealt him 8 damage thus far. I peel Chaos Orb to take out the Drake and this puts me ahead in the race! Meanwhile Dylan keeps drawing lands. But nothing’s over yet; I need to fade even more draw steps to close this out. Surely he will get there on the last draw step, they always do; he has SO MANY OUTS! But no! Another blank. And when he flips his top card to reveal what he would have drawn the next turn… it’s his own Chaos Orb! Phew! We definitely dodged a canon ball there! I gotta say, tight games like this are the reason I’m still playing this game after 26 years!
Game 2. We both mull to 5 but he has the combo of Library of Alexandria + Ancestral Recall to bounce back from it. But luck hasn’t forsaken me yet dear reader because Dylan gets stuck on 2 lands and is forced to discard to hand size a few times as I build a mana base and resolve an Evil Eye. He finally gathers enough mana to afford a Serra Angel over which we engage in a Control Magic battle. I win the battle by Orbing his Control Magic and he succombs to his Angel some turns later, flashing me a hand full of Counterspells that he never had the chance to cast. 1-1
Round 3 with Francois R. D. T. on The Pain Train (Blood Ed.)
Game 1. The game starts unusually slowly considering how aggressive François’ deck can be. His first creature is a T3 dib which I immediately take Control of. I follow up with Demonic Turor for Mind Twist but it immediately appears that this could backfire as François candidly goes “Cards in hand? 3? You’re down to 1.” as he puts a copy of Hymn to Tourach into his graveyard. But if you’ve been paying attention to how lucky I’ve been so far you probably won’t be surprised to learn that he missed the Twist. I know I wasn’t. Ok, my turn now. I untap and candidly go “Cards in hand? 5? You’re down to 1.” An Evil Eye soon after joined the dib in the war effort and we were scooping them up in no time.
Game 2. Here François builds a significant board presence but it’s all black so his onslaught is immediately halted when one of my two CoP: Black shows up. Next, I drop an Evil Eye and gear it up with a Spirit Link. I’m feeling good about the situation but then he goes Hymn to Tourach into The Rack into Demonic Tutor so we race Rack vs Eye for a while and it looks like I’m winning but he topdecks a Bolt just as I was about to leave Bolt range! I curse at him savagely but add “no offense” so none is taken. Phew! That was another insane nailbitter.
Game 3. I Imprison his two Specters while he chips at my dice with an Initiate of the Ebon Hand. In the end, the game turns into a race between my trusty combo of Evil Eye + Spirit Link against his 2 Initiates and 1 Order of the Ebon Hand. I hesitate to engage in the race at first because I fear that two Bolts from him could do me in. However I soon find a second Strip Mine to take out his two red sources and engage in the race after getting bolted once. I put him to 1 as he puts me to 4 and casts Psionic Blast for the draw.
Game 4. We have 5 minutes to seal the deal and he has a turbo start where he goes T1 Initiates, Hippy into T2 Hippy. However I’ve got a T2 CoP: Black which is enough to prevent him from killing me in the required time. I win the Orb flip off and marvel at my winning reccord. 2-1
Round 4 with Joel B. on Serratog
Game 1. I know Joel’ss on tog from sitting next to him previously so I’m hoping for no T1 Black Vise as I keep a hand that’s low on mana but has Ancestral Recall. My good fortune continues because he leads on T1 Anhk and I Ancestral into a Sylvan Library and two nonland mana sources. I quickly get up to 5 mana, casting Hymn to Tourach twice along the way on my thoroughly color screwed opponent. I then resolve an Evil Eye and enchant it with Spirit Link. On the following turn I Regrow Hymn and that abouts depletes Joel’s hand along with his hopes of killing the fearsome 3/6.
Game 2. He again has no T1 Vise but I have a T1 Ivory Tower. He chips at me with a tog and throws the occasional Bolt at me but the Tower makes his progress arduous. Then he casts Wheel of Fortune and passes with still no Black Vise to counteract my lifegain. On my turn I double Hymn him and hit… a Psychic Purge! I take 5 down to 11 and pass the turn to him with 2 Savannah up and 5 cards in hand. On his turn Joel simply sacrificed all 5 of his artifacts to make an 11/12 Atog and turned the critter sideways. Hats off to him for making such a daring play!
Game 3. I bottom a redundant copy of Spirit Link off a mull to 6. However my first draw step is the third copy of Spirit Link. This turns out to be just what I need though because Joel has a very fast Lotus-fueled Serra (!) as well as the Disenchant for the first Spirit Link. Afterwards I build a nice fort for myself out of 2 CoP: Red, a CoP: Blue and an Energy Flux but when he finds the Orb for the second Spirit Link Serra does quick work of me. 2-2
Round 5 with Scott B. on The Deck
Game 1. This was a completely unlikely 30 minutes grind in which my dicard spells did some serious heavy lifting. In particular, I made him discard Timetwister, Regrowth and Recall so that when the dust settled, my very last Evil Eye resolved and Scott scooped them up with no cards left in his library able to remove it.
Game 2. In this game also Hymn to Tourach made Scott’s life very difficult when it sniped The Abyss out of his hand. This I followed by dropping a menacing pair of Eyes on him. He Plow’d one of them but the other beat him down to just 2 life as his Tome activations proved futile. It is at this eleventh hour that Scott managed to find the missing Plow off an Ancestral. A Shivan Dragon and a Serra Angel then joined the battlefield on Scott’s side in quick succession but I had Spirit Link for the Dragon as well as 4 Birds eager to chump and a bunch of life to spare so the Angel proved insufficient to close out the game before the 5 extra turns of time. 3-2
Round 6 with Karl R. H. on Twiddlevault (Stasis version)
Game 1. Karl has a reasonable hand of Wheel + Howling Mine + infinite mana rocks but it suffers from not being able to cast the Wheel so I am able to snatch it with a Mind Twist for 3. I get rid of the Mine as soon as I can and attemps to contain his ressources with Strips and discard, going as far as Regrowing Mind Twist instead of Ancestral. I am succesful at this in no small part due to the 3 Enchantresses on which I dump every Enchant Creature that I find in order to cycle through my deck. I dig and dig to find a wincon but as fate would have it my 4 Evil Eyes were hidding in the last 6 cards of my library so I end up decking myself.
Game 2. I play an early Energy Flux which he Disenchants but I have a backup copy just in tow. A few turns later I fire off Mind Twist of 5 and follow up right after with 2 Eyes that do quick work of him.
Game 3. In this game Karl leads with T1 Sapphire, Sol Ring, Howling Mine so my T2 Energy Flux is crippling. I continue attacking his mana with Strip Mines and Chaos Orb and Demonic Tutor’d for an Eye which brought me the “W”. 4-2
So there you have it folks, that’s how I went 4-2 with Enchantress in this altogether pretty spiky field. TL;DR: a lot of luck, but that’s to be expected when you make daily offerings to Tourach. I hope reading the stories was at least half as interesting to you as it was to me living them. And lastly I want to thank all the people who attended the tournament for making it the success that it was as well as all the people involved in the organisation. Stay tuned for François’ TO report aboot the event later in the week.