Killing Them Softly with Eriette

Unravel the power of Eriette in Magic: The Gathering. Learn how to master a softer strategy that leads to victorious gameplay.

This week, we are going to play a new deck with a little bit more of an old-school feel. We are going to be playing around with enchantments (don't worry, not Selesnya Enchantments). This time around, we are looking at Orzhov, and although we have a mostly creature-based deck, we will generate some enchantments with those creatures that allow Eriette of the Charmed Apple to turn into a win condition for us.

Orzhov, My First Love

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Believe it or not, Orzhov was the first Guild that I learned to appreciate back when I first started to take Magic seriously in 2014. I was able to amass fun combos with life drain that really made me enjoy gameplay, and it quickly became my favorite archetype. Nowadays, it is pretty easy to pull that off with just Mono Black, so that is why I play it so much. That being said, I will never turn down a fun Orzhov build - and that's what we have today.

Upon first glance, this deck may look like more of an aristocrat type of build. In some ways that is true, but we are using these aristocratic creatures for a particular purpose. Remember the ability from back in the day called Extort? Well this deck incorporates that ability in a few different ways, except in the modern MTG power creep world, we no longer have to pay mana for the extort ability. It's just a triggered ability that we get as an added bonus that helps make creatures and other permanents more powerful. Add up enough of it, and you have this sort of slow kill, poison you bit by bit deck. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I have to give credit to my podcast partner JayVillain, who created the deck. He and I have been talking about how we can make Eriette work in a deck since the card was released, and I'm excited that he may have finally found a way to make it competitive. Let's take a look at some of the relevant cards.

Key Cards in the Deck

Magic the Gathering Card - Spellbook Vendor - MTG Circle

Vendor is an important card here because it allows us to start generating some auras so that we can start to rack up our Eriette triggers. The creature also has vigilance, which is becoming increasingly relevant with the surgence of control decks that run The Wandering Emperor and seek to exile our tapped creatures. There are also some other cards in the deck that allow his ability to pop off a little extra.

Magic the Gathering Card - Delney, Streetwise Lookout - MTG Circle

Delney is a powerhouse in this deck. Not only does he let a lot of our triggers go off twice so that we can get double the value within our engines, but he also makes it so that a lot of our creatures can't be blocked. The simple solution on the other side of the board to our go-wide strategy would normally be to put down their own army of creatures that are simply larger than ours, thus stifling our attacks. Delney laughs in the face of that concept, and allows our creatures with power two or less to be unblockable by creatures with power three or higher. This allows us to get in for a lot of damage and can easily catch our opponent by surprise. Delney in my opinion is the card that green lights this entire deck. It was not as strong as it was before he came out with the new set, and a lot of the time Eriette felt like it wasn't doing enough. The fact that he can double her triggers is a game changer and makes not this deck and multiple other decks more relevant.

Magic the Gathering Card - Eriette of the Charmed Apple - MTG Circle

Eriette can often act as a finisher for us after we have built up our board state properly. Once we have the right amount of auras, and we've gotten in for a bunch of ping damage, she can come down post-combat and get a double trigger from Delney and often times close out the game. At times, it can feel as if the deck does not generate enough auras. Feel free to build your sideboard accordingly so that enough auras are on the board to be useful in the matchups that you see day to day.

Magic the Gathering Card - Wispdrinker Vampire - MTG Circle

Wispdrinker is a solid card for the deck. We love to have a flyer that can block ,and the creature has built-in extort. All we have to do is play creatures, and the vampire is draining the life of our opponents. It does have an activated ability to give all of our creatures deathtouch and lifelink. That may come in handy at certain times, but we would likely still play the card in the deck if it did not have that ability. The fact that it is an uncommon is also pretty useful, because a lot of the two and three mana creatures definitely will burn up some wild cards.

Sideboard Notes and Final Thoughts

The sideboard for the deck does include a few more auras to help trigger Eriette. There is also spot removal in case sorcery-speed enchantment removal seems too slow. Invasion of Gobakhan is also another useful spell that can create some helpful interactions with our opponent's hand, and delay their board wipe or Emperor and allow us to get in for a good bit of damage before they have any answers. Not to mention, we can sacrifice it to protect our creatures once we flip it. Soul-Guide Lantern is also in the sideboard due to the large amount of decks currently in Standard that interact with the graveyard. One could also make the argument that Pithing Needle could fit into the sideboard as well because most of the graveyard shenanigans involve Agatha's Soul Cauldron, but it is nice to have Lantern in case you go up against one of those pesky Squirming Emergence decks.

The deck feels really fun to play and it's refreshing to sit back and think that Orzhov can have a deck that is both aggressive, and has some fun combos at the same time. Do I think this deck is going to get you a Dreamhack Invite? Maybe there is a world that exists where it could, but ultimately, it could serve as a fun FNM deck to take to your LGS, or something to do some ranking up on Arena. It also plays really nicely in best of one, as Jay actually designed it that way because he plays mostly best of one. Even if you do want to try it out in a more competitive environment, the deck doesn't cost a lot of money to buy in paper, as Cavern of Souls takes up at least a third of the price as it is.

I am a Magic The Gathering competitive player, and streamer. I specialize in homebrew decks. My favorite formats are: Standard, Pioneer (Explorer on Arena), and EDH. I first started playing MTG in 2001, and have played on and off since then.

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