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When Enchantments Attack

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Starfield of Nyx is a card I’ve been enamored with ever since it was released. Battle for Zendikar added some great new tools to the mix, and I think it might be time to give the Starfield another shot. With a variety of different enchantments that exile creatures, this deck can keep your opponent’s creatures off the board, clearing the way for your animated enchantments to finish the job.

The Win Conditions

Starfield of Nyx
Starfield of Nyx will turn any enchantments you have lying around into creatures. Normally, this would be a bit of a mixed bag since that also allows them to die in combat. Fortunately, it also brings an enchantment back from the graveyard every upkeep, helping to nullify that problem. Still, it’s often best cast later rather than sooner, allowing you to win the game in a way your opponent doesn’t suspect.

Sigil of the Empty Throne is a real powerhouse in this deck. Sure, it requires a full turn of basically doing nothing, but 4/4 Angel tokens are no joke, and they can take over a game alarmingly quickly. If this stays on the battlefield for even just a turn or two, it can be almost impossible for your opponent to mount a comeback.

Since there are no creatures in the deck, Myth Realized will grow larger for every spell you cast. If played early, it will be a huge threat later in the game, capable of killing your opponent in just a few swings. Later on, it allows you to trigger Sigil of the Empty Throne for just 1 mana.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar has proven to be a real powerhouse in Standard. All three of his abilities are great, and they allow you to adapt to nearly any situation. In this deck, the Knight tokens help keep you alive against faster decks, while the emblem helps keep your enchantments alive in combat once Starfield of Nyx comes into play.

The Removal

The real strength of this deck lies in its ability to play a whole pile of removal spells that often come along with creatures, either in the form of Angel tokens or by becoming creatures themselves. Stasis Snare is probably the best of them, with flash allowing you to exile an attacker and make an Angel at instant speed.

Suspension Field
Silkwrap and Suspension Field both have their limitations, but costing only 2 mana is a huge upside. That cost greatly increases your early-game survivability. The presence of both also allows them to shore up each other’s weak points. There are few good creatures in Standard that dodge both—and almost none that you’re likely to see at a given tournament.

At first, Quarantine Field seems to be a late-game card that can mop up multiple troublesome creatures. While that is true, its main purpose is somewhat more innocuous. Unlike the other removal spells in the deck, Quarantine Field can exile any nonland permanent, giving the deck a way to deal with Planeswalkers that would otherwise keep generating value until taken out by an Angel token.

I wanted a bit more instant-speed removal in the deck, so I turned to Valorous Stance. Although its first mode is rarely relevant in this deck, the second allows you to take out the biggest, toughest creatures with ease. It also allows you to permanently deal with a threat that might otherwise come back when the enchantment that holds it is destroyed.

Particularly with cards like Hordeling Outburst in the format, aggro decks can often pump out creatures too quickly for your enchantments to keep up. That’s where End Hostilities comes in. It’s a simple, no-frills board wipe. Clear the battlefield of all creatures, and you buy yourself time to pump out more Angel tokens.

The Strategy

Sigil of the Empty Throne
The general game plan here isn’t much different from any other control deck. Remove the biggest threats, buy time, and set up your win condition. When you get down to the details, however, things change significantly. For one thing, you’ll want to cast Sigil of the Empty Throne at the earliest opportunity. If you can effectively skip a turn without dying immediately, do it. Its impact on the game is monumental, and it can quickly turn things around even from a losing position.

When you do have the Sigil, you’ll often want to cast your enchantments more aggressively than you otherwise would. It doesn’t really matter if you’re removing an insignificant creature—you’re making a 4/4 Angel along with it. However, I’ll usually hold onto one removal spell, often Quarantine Field, to deal with any unexpected surprises.

Against creature decks, you usually want to hang onto Starfield of Nyx until you can win the game that turn, or perhaps the next. Against other control decks, it’s usually best to cast it whenever you have an opening. The constant flow of creatures will be too much for most control decks to deal with. You just have to resolve the spell first.

Keep in mind that all these removal spells are either restricted to creatures your opponents control or leave you the option of exiling nothing. Since they’re just regular enchantments, you don’t need a target to cast them. With Starfield of Nyx on the battlefield, you can cast Stasis Snare as an instant-speed 3/3 even if your opponent doesn’t have any creatures.

One little rules note: With Starfield of Nyx active, Myth Realized will be a 1/1 creature with no creature types by default. Activating its ability will set its power and toughness to the number of lore counters on it until end of turn while also giving it the Monk and Avatar creature types.

This deck is certainly different from anything else you’ll find in Standard, and it functions in a way that most players won’t be prepared to handle. That alone can easily give you a few free wins along the way. If you’re looking for an off-the-wall deck that will take your opponents by surprise, give this one a try.


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