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MTG Deck Tech: The Joy of Auras

With Wilds of Eldraine previews fresh off the presses, I wanted to use today's article to focus on Eriette of the Charmed Apple. Eriette is an Orhoz Commander costing 1WB and has two key features. First, each creature that's enchanted by an Aura you control can't attack you or planeswalkers you control. Second, at the beginning of your end step, each opponent loses X life and you gain X life, where X is the number of Auras you control. So we've got a White/Black enchantment commander with a focus on controlling the battlefield and pitting opponents against each other rather than our board.

Card Image: Eriette of the Charmed Apple

Disclaimer

I think this deck will see some changes once more of the set is revealed, especially with the new mechanic of Roles creating enchantments on the fly for you. For now, I wanted to see what could be done with cards currently released/revealed and what strategies might be available for a commander like Eriette.


Strategy

Eriette can go in different directions given the current card selection. Group Hug Enchantress would give your opponents plenty of tools to fight each other while leaving you to build your board and drain their life totals from the sidelines. A more aggressive strategy, much like the deck I have today, would use enchantments that weaken your opponents' creatures and steadily build up your life total for cards like Bolas's Citadel or Aetherflux Reservoir. The overall strategy of this deck is to drain your opponents' life using Eriette's second ability, then finish them off with flying tokens or by using the life you've gained to play the nastier cards in your deck.

Banes & Boons

The big focus of Eriette is using Auras as your main enchantments to benefit from her life drain effect. There are a total of 26 potential Auras in our deck. We can sort Auras into two piles: Banes & Boons. Banes will upset your opponents' board states by reducing their creatures to paperweights or just preventing them from hitting you, while Boons can be used as bargaining chips to direct a stronger creature toward your opponents rather than your board. Bargains are the name of the game in Eldraine, and every deal comes at a cost.

Banes

For our Banes, I put focus on disabling creature abilities or turning them into things like 1/1 insects or treasure tokens. Cards like Banewasp Affliction, Darksteel Mutation, and Minion's Return cover the Banes of the deck including us taking control of the creature when it dies, changing the creature into something relatively useless, or making our opponent lose value when the permanent dies.

Boons

Now for Boons, we can focus on buffing our own creatures or providing bargaining chips to avoid creatures being swung at us. Vow of Duty has Eriette's protection ability while also giving your opponent a vigilant creature. Other Boons can come at a cost, such as Ghoulish Impetus and Parasitic Impetus both providing some small benefits, but ultimately causing the creature to be goaded for as long as it is enchanted.

Gain & Pain

Eriette's life manipulation opens the door for doubling up on those gains or pains to ensure our opponents maintain a lower life total and we have plenty of life to deal with their boards when they can finally attack us. This deck isn't creature focused, only featuring a few notable creatures that still need you to have enchantments to get the most out of them.


Cards such as Alhammarret's Archive, Astarion, the Decadent, and Wound Reflection let us double our own life gain at the end step with Eriette's ability, or double the damage your opponents take from her.

Cards like these quickly become targets for removal, which is where we'll pack some protection such as Loran's Escape and recursion with Auramancer and Neva, Stalked by Nightmares.

Enchantment Utility

Finally, we have room to include tutors, card draw, and other utilities to get the most out of our Auras. For tutoring our best Auras as soon as possible cards like Open the Armory and Three Dreams scale with the cost, allowing us to get up to three of our best Auras for 5 mana.

Card draw is simple enough in an enchantment deck with Mesa Enchantress looking at our cast triggers while Hateful Eidolon nets us card draw when creatures with our Auras attached leave the battlefield.


Last but certainly not least we have several token generators providing creatures whenever we cast enchantments or when those enchantments leave the battlefield, namely Sigil of the Empty Throne, Archon of Sun's Grace, Knight of Doves, and Warehouse Tabby.

Notable Exclusions

There were quite a few cards I had to cut when making this deck, so I wanted to highlight some big ones here in case you feel this deck needs more of some strategy than others.


Sram, Senior Edificer provides additional card draw when playing Auras, but I wanted to pave the way for more creatures that could make Roles, whether through playing their Adventure side or their ETB effect creating the enchantment.

Card Image: Sram, Senior Edificer

Cards like Sphere of Safety, Silent Arbiter, and Umbra Mystic are great includes for a deck wanting a little more control than just what Eriette provides, but I wanted to highlight more Auras and going to combat with large token armies rather than just one or two creatures. Silent Arbiter with Xenk, Paladin Unbroken from the D&D movie set would be a notable combo for someone wanting to swing out with one large enchanted creature.

Conclusion

Eriette is a great Orhoz commander for those wanting to make a less traditional enchantress deck or for those Bolas's Citadel lovers wanting to get big gains from using their life total to play their Auras and prevent any giant creatures from coming your way. I'm excited to build this deck when Wilds of Eldraine releases in September!






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