Monday, July 28, 2014

Commander Mondays: Zur the Enchanter

For some reason I like building and playing enchantment decks. Maybe it's because they are easy to play. Maybe it's because I'm used to playing them.

A couple years ago when Commander's Arsenal came out, I had the opportunity to buy one and open it. It had an oversized version of Zur the Enchanter so I had wanted to build a deck for some time, but I wanted the small sized version.

Around the same time, I was buying various older booster packs for openings on YouTube. I bought a single booster pack from Coldsnap because I wanted to and well...

So now that you've watched the video, let's get to the deck:

Zur the Enchanter

Legendary Creatures (4)

x1 Zur the Enchanter (Commander)
x1 Heliod, God of the Sun
x1 Medomai the Ageless
x1 Thassa, God of the Sea

Creatures (7)

x1 Azorius Guildmage
x1 Body Double
x1 Clone
x1 Duskmantle Seer
x1 Kor Sanctifier
x1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
x1 Wingsteed Rider

Enchantment Creatures (8)

x1 Archetype of Courage
x1 Celestial Archon
x1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
x1 Ghostblade Eidolon
x1 Herald of Torment
x1 Master of the Feast
x1 Riptide Chimera
x1 Underworld Coinsmith

Planeswalkers (4)

x1 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
x1 Jace Beleren
x1 Jace, Architect of Thought
x1 Venser, the Sojourner

Instants (2)

x1 Cyclonic Rift
x1 Dromar's Charm

Enchantments (33)

x1 Aqueous Form
x1 Banishing Light
x1 Claustrophobia
x1 Curse of Inertia
x1 Curse of the Forsaken
x1 Darksteel Mutation
x1 Dark Favor
x1 Detention Sphere
x1 Divine Favor
x1 Eel Umbra
x1 Ephara's Enlightnment
x1 Ephara's Radiance
x1 Ethereal Armor
x1 Font of Fortunes
x1 Font of Return
x1 Font of Vigor
x1 Ghostly Prison
x1 Ice Cage
x1 Infiltrator's Magemark
x1 Oblivion Ring
x1 Oppressive Rays
x1 Ordeal of Erebos
x1 Ordeal of Heliod
x1 Ordeal of Thassa
x1 Prison Term
x1 Propaganda
x1 Scourgemark
x1 Steel of the Godhead
x1 Sphere of Safety
x1 Vow of Duty
x1 Vow of Flight
x1 Vow of Malice
x1 Wind Zendikon

Artifacts (8)

x1 Azorius Signet
x1 Chromatic Lantern
x1 Dimir Signet
x1 Lightning Greaves
x1 Obelisk of Esper
x1 Ring of Three Wishes
x1 Sensei's Divining Top
x1 Sol Ring

Lands (34)

x1 Ancient Spring
x1 Arcane Sanctum
x1 Azorius Chancery
x1 Azorius Guildgate
x1 Barren Moor
x1 Celestial Colonnade
x1 Command Tower
x1 Creeping Tar Pit
x1 Dimir Aqueduct
x1 Dimir Guildgate
x1 Drowned Catacomb
x1 Esper Panorama
x1 Evolving Wilds
x1 Glacial Fortress
x1 Lonely Sandbar
x1 Opal Palace
x1 Orzhov Basilica
x1 Orzhov Guildgate
x1 Secluded Steppe
x1 Temple of Deceit
x1 Terramorphic Expase
x1 Thespian's Stage
x1 Vivid Creek
x1 Vivid Marsh
x1 Vivid Meadow
x1 Watery Grave
4x Plains
2x Island
2x Swamp

As with most EDH decks I build, I like the commander to have a purpose on the battlefield and not just be a collection of colors or an unplayed ability (like Oloro). The Theros Block was a really important group of sets for this deck due the large amount of enchantments and enchantment creatures.

Using Zur, the goal is to attack with him as soon and as often as possible. Most of the enchantments in this deck are three mana or less which allows Zur to search for them when he attacks. Early on, as much of the opening hand should be played as possible and then by turn 4, provided you can play four lands and have the appropriate colors, Zur the Enchanter should be played and should attack by turn five.

The earliest enchantments that should be grabbed are ideally Aqueous Form, Ethereal Armor, and Steel of the Godhead.

Aqueous Form  Ethereal Armor  Steel of the Godhead

Other ideal cards to grab are any of the Vows, Ordeals, Eel Umbra, Underworld Coinsmith, and Riptide Chimera.

Vow of Duty  Vow of Flight  Vow of Malice
Ordeal of Heliod  Ordeal of Thassa  Ordeal of Erebos
Riptide Chimera  Eel Umbra  Underworld Coinsmith

Granted a lot of these cards overlap each other (Aqueous Form and Steel of the Godhead both make the creature unblockable), but you can target other creatures or even double up just in case.

The Vows prevent it from being stolen and attacking you, the Ordeals give a boost and allow you an additional ability, eel Umbra protects it from being destroyed, Underworld Coinsmith beings gaining you life (and eating away at your opponents' life, and Riptide Chimera lets you return enchantments to cast again and trigger Constellation abilities, reattach to other creatures, or even take an Enchantment creature and allow you to recast it using Bestow.

Granted there are some changes that could be made, but I like this deck quite a bit. It has trouble against spells like Krosan Grip and then any graveyard emptying abilities, but I've been able to swing with lethal Commander damage within the first 10 turns.

This is definitely a fun deck, although many cards in here may cost a nice amount of money (for people on a budget, Zur is above $10 on TCGPlayer, Watery Grave remains above $10 due to its playability in many formats, some of the other lands are pretty expensive (like Celestial Colonnade and Creeping Tar Pit), Sensei's Divining Top is a pretty penny [I'm even using the From the Vault: Exiled version since that's what I have], and the Planeswalkers aren't too cheap either (although a couple are more easily obtained due to being in Standard).

This is definitely a pretty fun deck. Maybe it needs a couple more counter spells and maybe I need to add more creatures, but this is a pretty good deck.

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