MtG: Auras! (Modern Format / Casual Decks)

Welcome, welcome and thrice welcome to yet another Magic: the Gathering deck article!

This time it will all be about the often overlooked and underestimated cousins of Equipments: Auras aka Enchant Creatures / Creature Enchantments! I really hope WotC will show some love to this less powerful and thus less used card type in the future. But let us have a look at what is already there. True, there is much more support for Artifacts in general and Equipment in particular, the latter being more “safe” to play as Equipment remains in play even when the bearer is destroyed, contrary to Auras, which die with their bearers (noramlly), but I would like to demonstrate with 3 Aura/Enchantment centered decks that these card types can rock as well if only played in the context of the right deck. Note: The decks I will showcase are intended for Modern Format / Casual play!

Let me start with what is probably the “best” of the three decks:

Enchant-a-Tog Powerdraw (V.1.0)

Creatures…16

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Noble Hierarch G

4 x Auratog 1W

4 x Verduran Enchtantress 1GG

2 x Mesa Enchantress 1WW

Instants…4

4 x Perilous Research 1U

Enchantments…20

4 x Rancor G

4 x Hatching Plans 1U

4 x Oblivion Ring 2W

4 x Copy Enchantment 2U

4 x Annex 2UU

Lands…20

4 x Seaside Citadel

10 x Forest

3 x Island

3 x Plains

About the Deck:

This deck has a lot going on. Massive damage from the well-known Auratog – Rancor Combo, massive card draw from the Enchantresses and an awesome draw combo I am going to elaborate on soon and, now get this, moderately cheap BLUE land destruction. That is right, this deck features blue land destruction – something which is usually only reserved for blue’s archenemy colors red and green. But first things first.

So for those who haven’t heard of it yet, the Auratog – Rancor Combo is pretty straightforward and rather cheap to pull off: Just enchant your Auratog with Rancor and sack the latter right away to give the ‘Tog a +2/+2 boost. Rancor will return to your hand as per its rules text so you can cast it again. Rinse and repeat as long as you have some green mana to spare. The last time you can cast Rancor, just leave it on Auratog so it gets an additional +2/+0 and, and this is crucial, trample. Then just attack for some massive damage. Furthermore, the raw draw power of the deck becomes apparent when you think about what happens if you have one (or even more) Enchantresses in play. Right, you will draw (a) card(s) each time you cast your Rancor, thus giving ‘Tog +2/+2 and drawing one or more cards for a minor investment of 1 green mana. That is pretty sweet I would say.

But I didn’t label this deck “Powerdraw” just for the draw you’ll get from the Enchantresses, no, in fact the deck includes a powerful 2 card draw combo I have been trying to implement in a deck for a long while. It involves a common and a so called “crap rare”, which is ostensibly so crappy that you get a playset for $1 USD or less nowadays. Please just look at both cards I am talking about and see the awesomeness for yourself:

Right, when you combine Hatching Plans with Perilous Research you get a fresh hand of 5 cards at the mere cost of 2UU. That amount of mana would normally draw you 2 – 3 cards so this is quite a good deal. And what is more, Perilous Research is not the only means to destroy Hatching Plans in order to draw 3 cards cheaply. Just feed it to your Auratog, which will result in a +2/+2 boost for the ‘Tog as well as 3 new cards for you. And all that at the mere cost of 1U!

OK on to what you may have been most curious about: The blue land destruction! Well this deck has, despite the cheap mana acceleration in form of Birds and Hierarch, this deck has a slower approach to winning, so these cards are actually quite a good fit.

The key to blue land destruction is Annex. Annex is an Enchant Land that gives you control over an opponent land. Not only is this some real blue land destruction at the cost of 2UU (one more converted mana cost than your standard, red Stone Rain) but it doubles as mid-game mana ramp for you, since your opponent will lose on land while you will gain one, even though it may be off color. What is really cool though is if you have Annex in play already, you can use Copy Enchantment to copy the Annex and steal yet another land, this time at the affordable cost of 2U, which is on par with the classic Stone Rain which would cost 2R, so 3 mana as well. Needless to say both Annex and Copy Enchantment will net you cards in case you got one or more Enchantresses out.

Indestructo-Land

Creatures…12

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Noble Hierarch G

4 x Trinket Mage 2U

Instants…4

4 x Harrow 2G

Sorceries…10

4 x Sylvan Scrying 1G

4 x Day of Judgment 2WW

2 x Rude Awakening 4G

Enchantments…10

4 x Living Terrain 3G

3 x Vastwood Zendikon 4G

3 x Earth Surge 4G

Lands…24

4 x Darksteel Citadel

4 x Treetop Village

10 x Forest

6 x Plains

About the Deck:

Compared to the Auratog deck discussed before, this one is really just a fun deck intended only for casual play. It is all about one combo: Enchanting the indestructible Darksteel Citadel with Living Terrain or Vastwood Zendikon to get a huge, indestructible Creature (either a 5/6 Treefolk or a 6/4 Elemental). Following up a third turn Living Terrain with a fourth turn Day of Judgment would raze your opponent’s defenses completely, leaving them totally unprotected against your indestructo-land beater!

In the best case scenario you’d play either a Bird or a Hierarch on turn one, follow up with Trinket Mage to tutor for Darksteel Citadel on turn two and play citadel enchanting it with Living Terrain on turn three and finally cast Day of Judgment on your fourth turn. You would then be able to attack with a 5/6 indestructible Treefolk with your opponent being utterly defenseless.

The deck got a few more tricks up its sleeve though: There are two ways of getting what is your key card from your deck into your hand reliably, in case you did not draw it in your opening hand. Either use Trinket Mage or Sylvan Scrying to get a hold of a copy of the all-important land. Rude Awakening is your backup win condition and Earth Surge will give a considerbale boost to your indestructo-lands/creatures (+2/+2) while the four Treetop Villages I also included will become 5/5s when animated.

As I said this is just a fun deck built around a semi-powerful but nice to pull off two card combo. Not intended for competitive play mind you!

Eldrazi Academy Deck (V.1.0):

Creatures…18

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Noble Hierarch G

4 x Thought Courier 1U

4 x Academy Researchers 1UU

4 x Nomad Mythmaker 2W

Sorceries…8

4 x Compulsive Research 2U

4 x Idyllic Tutor 2W

Enchantments…10

4 x Oblivion Ring 2W

2 x Gigantiform 3GG

4 x Eldrazi Conscription 8

Lands…24

4 x City of Brass

4 x Seaside Citadel

8 x Forest

4 x Island

4 x Plains

About the Deck:

This deck is very different from the previous two and it’s basic goal is to bring the most badass Aura available in Modern Format, Eldrazi Conscription into play attached to one of your creatures inexpensively, thus bypassing the tremendous cost to hard-cast Conscription (it costs 8 generic mana). Let us have a look at what Eldrazi Conscription does before discussing the ways to put it into play inexpensively and thus early on in the game.

So as you can see for yourself, this Aura is something worth building a deck around. So here are the two main ways of getting it into play cheaply, either through…

  • Academy Researchers: This is the most straightforward and fastest way to get Eldrazi Conscription into play. At the cost of 1UU, Academy Researchers lets you put an Aura from your hand into play attached to them. The Pros: This can happen as early as turn 2 with your one-mana mana makers. The Cons: You have to have Conscription in your hand to pull this off. Idyllic Tutor can help achive that relatively early on.
  • Nomad Mythmaker: This one costs 2W and taps at the cost of W to take an Aura from your graveyard and attach it to any of your creatures. Pros: You can attach the Aura from your graveyard to ANY of your Creatures. Prime target would be the Flying Birds of Paradise! Cons: You have to find a way to drop Eldrazi Conscription into your graveyard. This is why I rund 4 Thought Couriers and 4 Compulsive Research. Maybe that is not enough even and I should consider adding a few Thirst for Knowledge as additional “discard outlets”.

The rest of the deck is pretty much made out of cards to increase the odds of either one of the above combos happening. In the best case scenario you have Eldrazi Conscription and Academy Researchers in your opening hand and preferably a one-mana one-mana guy as well so you could in theory have a 12/12 trample, annihilator 2 Researcher in play by turn 2, which would be amazing. If you are not lucky enough to have the perfect starting hand, you’ll have to resort to fetching Eldrazi Conscription via Idyllic Tutor (possible on turn 2 through Birds or Hierarch) and then playing Academy Reserachers. If the Researchers don’t show up either, you’ll have to stall a bit until you can drop Conscription into your graveyard via Thought Courier or Compulsive Research and then put it into play for 1 white mana and slamm it onto one of your Creatures, preferably the flying Birds.

As some sort of backup, I included Gigantiform, which turns the enchanted Creature in a respectable 8/8 trampler. Nothing compared to what Eldrazi Conscription does but an 8/8 trampler quite possibly on turn 2 is nothing to sneeze at either!

 

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2 thoughts on “MtG: Auras! (Modern Format / Casual Decks)

  1. I’m a HUGE fan of Hatching Plans and Perilous Research. They’re both key parts of a red/blue Greater Gargadon deck I have that packs a ton of red, blue, and colorless permanents that do fun things when the die. The plan is to draw a lot of cards and attack with a lot of fast creatures like Spark Elemental while powering out a massive Greater Gargadon. Fun times!

    • Hey Nate!

      First of all thank you for reading my M:tG articles! 😀
      I know there are some other ways to make great use of Hatching Plans
      and Greater Gargadon I hadnt thought of before but seems like a great
      combo. I just love to do great things with certain “crap rares” and
      Hatching Plans is one of them. Thank you for being a reader once again!

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