Jumpstart: Historic Horizons has added almost 1,000 new cards to Arena, and I’m extremely excited to start delving into the new Historic metagame. There are a lot of different decks I want to explore, so keep your eyes peeled for many new Historic articles to come in the future!
For now, I decided to start my descent into Historic Horizons with an old favorite archetype: Enchantress. Enchantress started as a beloved Legacy deck and was recently ported over to Modern with Modern Horizons 2. Today, I’ll be porting that Modern deck over to my favorite format and discussing card selection, card interactions, and much more!
There are a handful of new and powerful cards coming to Arena for Historic Enchantress, but are they enough to make an impact on this archetype? I think so! Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, Sanctum Weaver, and Sterling Grove are some of the most powerful additions to Historic.
Sythis is a way for Enchantress to keep the card advantage flowing and fill the board with enchantment cards. Sure, we already got Enchantress’s Presence in Historic Anthology 3, and Setessan Champion was introduced in Theros Beyond Death. But with access to all of these draw engines, you can play as many cards as possible in one turn to overpower your opponents with one of your win conditions. An additional bonus of Sythis is that she gains you life whenever you cast an enchantment, which can be especially useful against many of the aggressive decks in the format, like Mono-Red and Gruul.
All of these ways to draw cards brings us to one of the most vital new cards in Historic: Sanctum Weaver. Sanctum Weaver produces mana based on the amount of enchantments you control. That may not seem very powerful, but Sanctum Weaver is often the reason you can play all the cards you draw. The card is especially important for fueling your win conditions, whether you’re sinking mana into Destiny Spinner or casting a spell Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. In Modern, Enchantress decks would often dig through their deck until they could cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. However, Historic doesn’t have access to Emrakul, so alternative wincons like Ulamog or Craterhoof Behemoth are important to include in your Enchantress list.
The last key card for Historic Enchantress is Sterling Grove. This card has two main functions in Enchantress decks: it can protect your enchantments by giving them shroud, and it allows you to tutor for any enchantment cards you may need. You could tutor for Destiny Spinner as a wincon or a way to sneak through your opponents’ counterspells, or you could even grab half of the Nine Lives/Solemnity combo. If you build your decks with a lot of one-of enchantments (such as Rest in Peace), Sterling Grove allows you to find those key hate cards when you need them.
Now that you’re familiar with the Enchantress game plan, let me show you the final decklist I’ve come up with.
My aim here was to create a consistent deck that focuses on powering out as many enchantments as possible, while simultaneously drawing more cards than the opponent. That meant there was little room for fancy one-ofs to tutor out with Sterling Grove or expensive wincons like Ulamog. Therefore, our main wincons in this deck are Destiny Spinner and Sigil of the Empty Throne. We can take all the time we want to win the game because most opponents won’t be able to deal with the Nine Lives/Solemnity combo, especially with Sterling Grove in play. Setessan Champion and Archon of Sun’s Grace serve as additional win conditions for the deck, if the other two plans don’t pan out.
The main deck is very linear, so we’ll be relying heavily on the sideboard in match-ups where we need to interact. For the most part, we’ll be leaning on hate cards like Rest in Peace, Gideon’s Intervention, and Overwhelming Splendor. I’ve also included a handful of board wipes for aggressive match-ups, so we can survive long enough to play out Nine Lives and Solemnity. I like this strategy heading into a completely open metagame, especially during new set releases. Everyone wants to try out their new cards, and they likely don’t have a lot of ways to react to Nine Lives/Solemnity pre-board. With Game One in the bag, we get to sideboard against a known entity, so we can catch them off guard with hate cards or be prepared for their worst.
Historic and Modern are wildly different formats, but I expect the play patterns of this deck to be similar. You’ll want to build up your board state with cards that will help you draw and play more cards. In the early turns, prioritize playing your card advantage engines, like Sanctum Weaver, Sythis, Setessan Champion, and Enchantress’s Presence. Sanctum Weaver is the card you’ll want to play first the most often, so you can start utilizing the additional mana as soon as possible. After having your mana generator and draw engines in play, you can start drawing your entire deck by casting various enchantments until you find one of your many win conditions.
Unfortunately, the game won’t always play out so nicely. If your opponent is on an aggressive strategy, you’ll need to prioritize getting Nine Lives and Solemnity into play quickly so you can give yourself a little breathing room to set up the rest of your game plan. On the other hand, if you’re playing against a control deck, you might have to value Sterling Grove and Destiny Spinner more highly to prevent your opponent from countering or targeting your enchantments. Luckily, you should know what you’re playing against relatively quickly and can pivot to one of these alternate plans, if necessary.
I’m really excited to work on new Historic decks as the format continues to develop. I’m very happy to be starting off the new season playing Enchantress, and I could see a deck like this becoming prevalent in the Historic metagame moving forward.
There are lots of new cards and archetypes to try and discover with Historic Horizons on Arena. What are you most excited to try out? Which cards are you happiest to see in this format? What would you like to see me try to brew next?
Thanks for reading, I’ll see y’all next time for another dive into the new Historic metagame!
Ally Warfield is a member of the Rivals League, a full-time streamer, and a Splinter Twin apologist. Her focus is in Historic and Standard, but she also loves to dabble in Vintage and Limited formats as well.