Sythis, Harvest’s Hand | Illustration by Ryan Yee
Enchantments are one of the strongest card types in Magic. They provide constant value after the initial mana investment, often just by sitting in play without requiring more resources. They’re also among the hardest permanent types to remove.
Enchantments have been part of the game since its inception, so there’s plenty of support for them as an archetype throughout Magic’s history. One of the most prominent forms of support are the enchantresses, a blanket term for cards that let you draw cards when you play enchantments. Today’s Commander deck is built around enchantresses to create a powerful draw engine.
Eidolon of Blossoms | Illustration by Min Yum
Birds of Paradise
Shigeki, Jukai Visionary
Courser of Kruphix
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
Arasta of the Endless Web
Archon of Sun’s Grace
Eidolon of Blossoms
March of Otherworldly Light
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Veil of Summer
Rite of Harmony
Carpet of Flowers
Rest in Peace
Aura of Silence
Hall of Gemstone
Song of the Dryads
The Restoration of Eiganjo
Court of Grace
Elspeth Conquers Death
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Sphere of Safety
Starfield of Nyx
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Hall of Heliod’s Generosity
Temple of Plenty
This is a pretty traditional enchantress deck. It’s a mixture of pillow fort and stax strategies that impede your opponents’ gameplans and make it hard for them to pressure you, giving you time to win the game.
The enchantresses provide a solid base of card draw to help you find the pieces you need to lock things up and win. You’re mostly looking to win through an abundance of tokens with various cards that make tokens when you play enchantments. You’ll be able to make plenty of these tokens thanks to the high number of cards you draw.
Sythis, Harvest’s Hand is a perfect commander for this enchantress deck because it’s an enchantress itself. Whenever you cast an enchantment, Sythis lets you draw a card and gain a life. It’s everything you could want. Getting to start with a key piece in your command zone gives this deck incredible consistency. The lifegain can also add up over a long game.
Sythis also benefits from being an enchantment creature. If it dies early you can cast it later and trigger your other enchantresses to draw more cards. It’s also really cheap, letting you establish an early enchantress and recast it without great cost. It’s easy to start drawing with Sythis as soon as turn 2!
Enchanted, I’m Sure
Of course, Sythis isn’t the only enchantress in the deck. You’ve got a bundle of other cards to draw so that every enchantment draws you numerous cards.
Argothian Enchantress kicks things off as another very cheap enchantress. Shroud makes it practically impossible to kill this card without a board wipe. You can often get a few cards before that sort of effect gets played when played on turn 2.
Femeref Enchantress is a bit different than the other enchantresses. Instead of triggering when you play an enchantment, it triggers when they die. This helps build resiliency to removal.
Enchantress’s Presence is an enchantment enchantress, so it benefits from being harder to interact with than your other options.
Mesa Enchantress, Satyr Enchanter, and Verduran Enchantress are all the quintessential enchantresses that draw a card when you cast enchantments.
Setessan Champion pulls double duty as an enchantress that draws you cards while becoming a massive threat throughout the game.
Eidolon of Blossoms is the only enchantress besides Sythis that’s also an enchantment. It’s also the only one that triggers itself, drawing a card as soon as it enters play.
Now that you’ve got the enchantresses that draw you cards, you need ways to pay it off to win the game. This mostly takes the form of token generators.
Ajani’s Chosen is a pretty cheap option that comes down on turn 4 and starts making tokens.
Archon of Sun’s Grace is similar to Ajani’s Chosen, but better. Its tokens have flying and the Archon gives them lifelink, making it almost impossible to block or race when this card snowballs out of control.
Court of Grace benefits from being an enchantment itself. The monarch is fairly easy to defend with your swarms of token blockers and some of the other enchantments we’ll look at later, adding another consistent source of card draw.
Felidar Retreat is another enchantment that steadily creates tokens as you make land drops. It can also help make an established board better. It’s easy to make land drops consistently in this deck since you see a lot of cards.
Hallowed Haunting is a newer addition that quickly gets out of hand. You’ll soon amass an army of stout creatures if your opponents can’t trim the Spirits you create. It’s not hard to hit the 7-enchantment threshold.
Historian’s Boon generates tokens for every enchantment you play alongside the enchantresses that draw you endless cards. You’ve also got a few sagas to make Angels.
Sigil of the Empty Throne is the biggest of your token makers, and it makes the biggest tokens. Making a 4/4 for every enchantment adds up quickly.
Starfield of Nyx gets a nod as an honorary token maker. It also turns your enchantments into wincons, making them the beaters themselves. It also provides some resiliency by returning enchantments that are countered or destroyed.
This deck has some very powerful wincons, but it takes some time to get there. You’ve got some stax cards to help slow your opponents down that also trigger your enchantresses.
Blind Obedience is useful against creature and artifact decks. It’s especially good against decks using Treasures to storm off. It also provides a lot of reach to finish a game by tapping potential blockers and having extort.
Destiny Spinner is an important piece that protects your creatures and enchantments from counterspells and can provide a lethal mana sink in that late game.
Rest in Peace ensures opponents running graveyard-based strategies have a hard time cheating things into play.
Stony Silence provides a similar roadblock to artifact-based decks and also shuts off any Treasure shenanigans and punishes players who skimp on lands in favor of mana rocks.
Titania’s Song is your last anti-artifact card, turning artifacts into creatures. This instantly kills Treasures and shuts off tons of combos.
Ghostly Prison and Sphere of Safety both make it hard for your opponents to attack you, encouraging them to go after your other opponents instead.
Arasta of the Endless Web lets you benefit when your opponents cast instants and sorceries, growing your ranks and providing some protection against enemy fliers.
Hall of Gemstone might be the best stax piece in the deck, forcing your opponents to pick a single color of mana for their lands to produce all turn. This works well with your suite of artifact hate that prevents them from using mana rocks to fix their mana.
Karmic Justice wraps up the stax enchantments by punishing your opponents for trying to interact with your board, encouraging them to point their Disenchant elsewhere.
This deck’s also got some straight-up removal to help you stop your opponents when they slip around your stax pieces.
You’ve got some classics like Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares, but the real charm to this deck is the various enchantment removal spells that draw you cards while killing threats.
Ossification is a new card that provides a cheap Oblivion Ring effect that hits a wide range of threats.
Kenrith’s Transformation, Darksteel Mutation, and Song of the Dryads are all strong removal spells that are especially powerful when attached to enemy commanders since transforming the card doesn’t allow your opponents to return it to the command zone.
Elspeth Conquers Death is a super solid removal spell that offers plenty of extra value after removing a big threat.
The Mana Base
This deck sees a lot of cards, so you need a solid mana base filled with ramp options to give you the mana to play them. Lots of them are also enchantments to help fuel the draws further.
Birds of Paradise and Avacyn’s Pilgrim give you a pair of starting dorks that provide some fixing.
Arbor Elf is another turn 1 ramp option that benefits from some of the enchantment-based removal that lets your lands tap for extra mana.
Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth are auras that attach to lands and let them tap for an extra mana. These cards are really strong with Arbor Elf and are a bit stronger than your dorks since these can’t get Bolted.
Sanctum Weaver might be the best ramp card in the deck, producing obscene amounts of mana. It’s especially good with 1-mana enchantments that replace themselves with enchantresses and are mana-neutral with Weaver in play.
Jukai Naturalist and Transcendent Envoy are honorary mana dorks that make your other enchantments cheaper.
Exploration is another option that lets you start ramping from turn 1 and works well in a deck that sees so many cards.
As far as utility lands, Hall of Heliod’s Generosity makes it hard for your opponents to remove key pieces by buying them back.
You’re playing some pretty honest Magic here. Drawing cards, making tokens, and using stax effects to prevent your opponents from playing the game effectively. Fun stuff. One of the main things you want to look for when you’re playing this deck is ramp.
Ramp is incredibly important because drawing three or four cards a turn doesn’t do much if you can’t afford to cast the spells. Having Sythis in the command zone helps this deck have a wide range of opening hands. The main thing you want is some ramp and several cheap enchantments to get the ball rolling.
Interaction is also quite important, either as removal spells or stax pieces. You’re not a particularly fast deck, so you need to make sure you have some protection. Having an extra enchantress in your opening hand is also quite nice.
When it comes to playing the game, you want to make sure you have the stax pieces to impede your opponents so you can go wide. You can also get pretty aggressive. You’ve got a few tools to gain life and stop your opponents from attacking to keep you in the game. You can freely build up a large board without worrying too much about most board wipes since most of the threats in the deck are tokens that your enchantments passively generate.
Combos and Interactions
There aren’t many tricks to this deck. Most of your cards do what they say on the tin, which is usually drawing cards.
One neat little trick you have is to loop Elspeth Conquers Death and Shigeki, Jukai Visionary for a steady stream of removal. With Shigeki in your graveyard (likely from its ability) you can reanimate it with the saga’s final chapter.
You then return Shigeki to your hand with its ability and channel it to get Elspeth back, then it’ll be back in the graveyard to reanimate again. It’s fairly slow and you can’t even do it in the same turn since Shigeki has summoning sickness, but it’s one example of how this deck can grind out the value in a long game and use its mana.
Rule 0 Violations Check
This deck doesn’t have infinite combos, but stax decks are something that makes a lot of players salty. This probably isn’t the deck to break out in a playgroup of people you haven’t played with before. Hall of Gemstone and Drannith Magistrate are especially notable salt inducers.
There are some pricier cards in this deck you can cut for cheaper options.
Carpet of Flowers is an effective ramp piece with a price tag to match. This could get cut for another piece of enchantment-based ramp like Overgrowth.
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove is another powerful, but expensive ramp option. It can easily be replaced by something like Oracle of Mul Daya that lets you make extra land drops.
Hall of Heliod’s Generosity is a useful but unnecessary tool that could be cut for a color-producing land, or another utility land like Demolition Field.
Song of the Dryads can be replaced with Lignify which is a similar effect.
Enlightened Tutor is super helpful to let you find key enchantments at the right time, and you can get a similar, cheaper effect in Idyllic Tutor.
As an enchantments-matter commander, Sythis, Harvest’s Hand asks you to play a focused strategy to maximize it. This is one way to express that, but there’s tons of flexibility in how you can build an enchantress pillow fort deck. This list can be tweaked plenty to adapt to your playgroup. If nobody in your group plays artifacts and favors graveyard-based decks, cards like Stony Silence could be replaced with Ground Seal as appropriate.
You could also take Sythis in a different direction. It could function as a strong commander in a Voltron-style deck looking to load Sythis or another creature up with a bundle of enchantments like All That Glitters and Ancestral Mask that make Sythis into a massive beater, easily dealing 21 commander damage.
Hall of Heliod’s Generosity | Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren
Enchantments are one of Magic’s oldest and strongest card types. They provide so much value while asking so little of you and have fantastic support. Enchantresses let you draw tons of cards as long as you keep playing enchantments with a solid base of removal.
Enchantments are also a card type with a solid number of disruptive pieces to slow your opponents while you implement your gameplan for a well-rounded card type to build a deck around. What did you think of the list? How would you build your Sythis, Harvest’s Hand deck? Let me know in the comments below or the Draftsim Discord.
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