Not a Moment’s Rest

This past weekend, I got a chance to play Vintage Artist Constructed for the first time at Grand Prix New Jersey. If you’re not familiar, the idea is every card in your 75 must be illustrated by the same artist - including basic lands. Restrictions breed creativity, as the saying goes, and that couldn’t be truer in Vintage Artist Constructed. Mike Linnemann has done a couple of great writeups on the format, but there are some decks you’ll only see by actually sitting down and playing with the mad scientists behind them:

Rebecca Guay Enchantress - Vintage Artist Constructed | Andrew Magrini

Enchantress's Presence
As a general principle, Creature decks get better as formats become more restrictive. There’s a certain number of games you’re going to win with random Grizzly Bears while other people are stuck trying to make their mana work or find whatever combinations of cards it is they’re trying to assemble. That may not exactly be true in Vintage Artist Constructed.

In general, this is a relatively slow format, but there aren’t many true Blue-based control decks. Andrew’s deck preys on that in a huge way. All he’s looking to do is untap with an Enchanted Evening in play to take over the game. The way you do that is with a combination of Path to Exile, Bitterblossom, and Moment’s Peace to buy you extra turns to hit an extra land drop or three. Once you stick an Enchanted Evening, you can untap and resolve either Calming Verse to destroy all of your opponent’s permanents, or Aura Fracture to let you start trading stray lands for your opponent’s best cards.

Enchantress's Presence is a reasonable engine for this style of deck, since you really need to find your combo before turn eight or so to realistically be in the game. Enchantress's Presence turning all of your cheap Enchantments into cantrips gives you more consistent access to your combo. Just as importantly, it gives you additional access to more copies of Enchantress's Presence, which puts huge pressure on control decks to deal with your card advantage engine, giving you an opening to force through your combo.

The sideboard gives you even better options to fight against various creature decks. Briar Patch is absurd against various decks focused on swarming with small creatures, forcing them to overcommit early to force through any damage at all and setting them up to get crushed by a Calming Verse. Similarly, Crackdown is an absurd haymaker against decks trying to win with large creatures, particularly in combination with Moment’s Peace and Respite to prevent your opponent’s attacks from doing anything before your Crackdown locks them out.

There’s a lot of room to try all manner of wacky things in Vintage Artist constructed, and it’s an incredible way to make fringe products much more exciting, since each piece of alternate art and every new basic land open up new worlds of possibility.

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