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This is a mid-range enchantment deck helmed by one of the coolest Abzan commanders printed: Anikthea, Hand of Erebos. The deck is focused around the commander's abilities and aims to do a few primary things: play enchantments, self-mill to set up interactions with the graveyard, and generate tokens for value (i.e. swarming the board, triggering ETB effects, and creating multiple instances of powerful/useful enchantments).

Because we have access to so many fun cards to build with in these themes, putting this deck together has been a bit frustrating. In its early stages it oftentimes felt like a pile of semi-synergistic cards that were missing one or two key pieces to really get going.

On the third draft of this decklist I finally felt comfortable enough to start playtesting with it. At this point I was focused on trying to make an army of enchantment creature tokens while buffing them with anthem and trample effects in order to swing in for alpha strikes. Since then, after a good amount of playtesting, the deck's focused has shifted slightly. Typically when version 3 of the deck would start to go off, my turns tended to get obnoxiously long, oftentimes without a way to close out the game until a couple of turns later.

This version of the deck (version 4) has removed a majority of the anthem and trample effects for cards like Grim Guardian and Mirkwood Bats in order to speed up the pace at which it can threaten to win and make it less reliant on alpha strikes. While mana-intensive and semi-convoluted, I've also opted to include the Three Blind Mice combo in this version of Anikthea as well (for a complete breakdown of the combo, please reference the Wombo section of this primer!). Similar to version 3, we're still leaning into milling ourselves with some powerful and repeatable mill effects so that we have a good pool of cards to choose from when we trigger Anikthea, Hand of Erebos' ETB and on attack ability.

On a semi-related note, while I still have not invested anywhere near as much time or energy into the zombie tribal brew of Anikthea that I've been tinkering with, you can check out the current draft of the deck here: Anikthea's Zombie Invasion.

As this is primarily a token deck we have a variety of ways to create a multitude of tokens.

-Anointed Procession, Parallel Lives, and Doubling Season: Since we lean heavily into enchantments and tokens Anointed Procession and Parallel Lives are MVP's; especially if we can create multiple copies of one/both of them to really shit out an absurd number of tokens. Doubling Season being five mana initially prevented it from making it into the deck; but it is a necessary component to the Three Blind Mice combo and also synergizes with our other strategies.

-Legion Loyalty helps us generate incredible value both with producing extra copies of important enchantment creatures as well as with getting extra copies of Anikthea, Hand of Erebos' attack trigger. Becausw it costs a hefty amount of mana, ideally we prefer recurring/reanimating this enchantment rather than hard-casting it.

-Ajani's Chosen and Archon of Sun's Grace help facilitate our go-wide strategy and are perfect fits in this deck since they specifically trigger when enchantments ETB rather than when cast. These two creatures can and will close out games all by themselves if allowed to get out of hand.

Because we are trying to make use of having cards in our graveyard, we're counting ways to self-mill as card advantage alongside typical sources of card draw.

-Eidolon of Blossoms and Setessan Champion are our only enchantress-like effects in this version of Anikthea because they specifically allow us to draw cards when enchantments enter the battlefield. Initially I had included a critical mass of the typical on-cast enchantresses, like Mesa Enchantress, but in this build of Anikthea we're more so focused on enchantments entering the battlefield rather than casting them; so I've opted for more self-mill forms of card advantage instead.

-Nyx Weaver and Mindwrack Harpy fill similar niches in this deck. Both are enchantment creatures that can help block flying attackers. More importantly, both consistently put a chunk of cards into our graveyard on each of our turns. Nyx Weaver also offers a way to recur any card from our graveyard in a pinch. Cemetery Tampering is also a nice source of card advantage each turn and notably is a may ability that we can opt out of if our yard is overfilled; and the Hideaway ability is just extra value on top of everything else.

-Commune with the Gods, Grisly Salvage, Kruphix's Insight, Underrealm Lich, and Vessel of Nascency are all very nice sources of card selection and advantage as they allow us to both sculpt our hand and our graveyard. Bonus points to Vessel of Nascency as we can take more advantage of it since it's an enchantment.

-Hermit Druid is one of our potentially most explosive self-mill pieces with only 8 basic lands in the deck (which can also make activating Hermit Druid be a bit of an ass clench). While we may only end up milling one or two cards with Hermit Druid, the potential to flip 90% of the deck into the yard is both extremely powerful but also makes us very susceptible to graveyard hate. With that in mind, and in consideration of the pace of this deck, I would recommend typically holding back playing Hermit Druid until closer to the midgame; when ready to turn the corner and go off or with graveyard protection at the ready.

-Mesmeric Orb is an MVP piece of card advantage in this deck; I just wish it was an enchantment! Because Mesmeric Orb can be a critical source of card advantage for us, and also tends to mill our opponents quite a bit, it typically ends up drawing out a piece of removal that could have targeted one of our finishers such as Grim Guardian or Three Blind Mice (Mindwrack Harpy can have a similar effect).

-Life from the Loam and The Mending of Dominaria both offer repeatable ways to self-mill chunks of cards; and notably both offer ways to get back lands that we may have milled in order to help hit land drops. The Mending of Dominaria offers additional utility as it's first two chapters help get creatures back into our hand that we don't want in the graveyard such as Setessan Champion and Underrealm Lich. Additionally, The Mending of Dominaria's third chapter also offers a much needed way to shuffle our graveyard back into our library, insulating us a bit from graveyard hate.

-While we're trying to keep as many cards on-theme as possible with this deck, I wanted to include a few standard, non-enchantment pieces of ramp in the form of Arcane Signet, Sol Ring, Jeweled Lotus, Three Visits, and Nature's Lore.

-Mirari's Wake: Extra mana is always appreciated and Mirari's Wake also provides an anthem affect to our tokens; helping to close out games. With multiple token copies this card gets out of hand very quickly and oftentimes will be dealt with; which can draw removal away from more critical components of this deck.

-Shigeki, Jukai Visionary is a card that feels tailor-made for Anikthea and is an auto-include in my opinion. Shigeki is a toolbox in itself by providing us with ramp, fuel for our graveyard, and in a pinch lets us put cards back in hand from the yard if an opponent has graveyard hate or if we want to cast them from hand.

-Sanctum Weaver and Smothering Tithe: Very cookie cutter and standard ramp options for an enchantress deck playing in white and green. Both have potential to generate very excessive amounts of mana; if allowed to do so.

-Jukai Naturalist, another common enchantress ramp option that helps us cast some of our higher costed enchantments but most importantly also reduces our commander's casting cost.

-Aura of Silence: One of my all-time favorite enchantments, Aura of Silence works as a stax piece, removal, and a way to get our own enchantments from the battlefield into our yard; which this deck benefits from being able to do. Aura Shards can also do double duty in a similar way by acting as removal for our opponent's problem artifacts and enchantments as well as serving as a way to get our own enchantments into the graveyard from the battlefield as needed.

-Wanna put a -1/-1 counter on all of your opponent's creatures? Wanna do it again? and again? and again? Doomwake Giant is another auto-include, MVP in Anikthea decks and can easily warp the game around itself if left unanswered.

-Oubliette is a really cool removal option in EDH because of the fun way that phasing works. I would recommend having the Gatherer page handy to help explain to newer players that, no, you can't put your commander back into the command zone when it's trapped in an Oubliette. Being able to make multiple copies of Oubliette with Anikthea is just extra icing on top. Seal of Cleansing is our other enchantment-based targeted removal option that allows us to destroy an artifact or an enchantment while also sacrificing itself and setting us up to make multiple copies of it to use and abuse.

-EDH Staples: Originally I only wanted to include only one piece of off-theme targeted removal and one off-theme boardwipe. To that end Farewell is an absolutely disgusting, flexible (and expensive) boardwipe option. I initially opted for Despark over Anguished Unmaking partially because of the lower mana cost, partially because historically I've played with Anguished Unmaking way more than Despark, and also because in my playgroup, if I need instant speed exile removal, the target typically has a mana cost of 4 or greater. After multiple rounds of playtesting I ultimately caved and also slotted in Stroke of Midnight, Anguished Unmaking, and Swords to Plowshares because while playing the deck it felt way too light on interaction; and these offer cheap, instant-speed, flexible options.

-Elixir of Immortality is another non-enchantment card that made the cut. Similar to The Mending of Dominaria, Elixir of Immortality gives us a panic button to shuffle our graveyard back into our deck in the event of graveyard hate/milling ourselves too hard.

-While I initially include more ways to repeatedly flicker creatures in the deck, Ephemerate is the one remaining way to repeatedly flicker our commander/other utility ETB pieces such as Doomwake Giant, Archon of Sun's Grace, and Eidolon of Blossoms. Ultimately the majority of flicker effect cards were cut in order to help focus the deck and try to prevent it from spreading too thinly across different strategies. Ephemerate survived the purge because it's instant speed with a cheap casting cost and because it also doubles as protection for Anikthea and other key creatures (as long as they aren't token copies of course!).

-Replenish and Phyrexian Reclamation give us the flexibility to reanimate/recur cards we've milled rather than having to exile said cards with Anikthea, Hand of Erebos. I am not 100% sold on if this is the right amount of recursion for this deck, and more playtesting will be needed.

-Sterling Grove doubles as both a much needed protection effect for all of our enchantments as well as a way to grab what we need from our deck in a pinch. Since it sacrifices itself, Sterling Grove sets us up for lines of play where we can further abuse it's tutoring ability by exiling it with our commander and making multiple copies of it. Idyllic Tutor and Demonic Tutor also provide some redundancy and additional ways to find whatever enchantment we may need from the deck.

-Teferi's Protection: Phasing with Teferi's Protection is very nice as it preserves our tokens. Similarily, Clever Concealment offers us a slightly more expensive, (but can also be convoked!), flexible version of Teferi's Protection.

-Heroic Intervention and Flawless Maneuver offer two more instances of instant-speed protection for our whole board.

-Mithril Coat is a fun new toy we're testing out. Since our commander is necessary for our main lines of play, having the ability to make her indestructible at instant speed for 3 mana, is very nice. I'm still debating putting in more targeted protection spells like Tyvar's Stand and Tamiyo's Safekeeping; more playtesting will be necessary.

-Ghostly Prison: I went back and forth a few times with including effects like Ghostly Prison, Sphere of Safety, Norn's Annex, and Marchesa's Decree in this deck. I didn't want to water down our gameplan by leaning too hard into pillow-forting, so ultimately I opted for just Ghostly Prison. It's the cheapest option and 2 extra mana per attacker definitely hampers our opponents; especially if we can make multiple copies of Ghostly Prison!

-Weaver of Harmony: This card was made for Anikthea and is an auto-include in this build. It's an enchantment itself so we can generate multiple copies, it provides an anthem effect to help close out games, and it also has an activated ability which lets us double up on Anikthea's triggered abilities. Amazin'. Flowering of the White Tree and Boon of the Spirit Realm are our other anthem effects that made it into version 4 of this deck. Concordant Crossroads also supports our ability to alpha strike by letting us swing in with our bois ASAP.

-Hallowed Haunting was a card I was initially hesistant to include as it cares about casting enchantments rather than enchantments entering the battlefield; but after playtesting the deck oh boy am I glad I kept it in! There's a good chance we meet the 7 enchantment threshold; and we definitely benefit from all of our creatures gaining flying and vigilance. Additionally, the spirits created can easily close out games all by themselves. Hallowed Haunting is a card that we benefit from dropping early in a game to sit around and be a slow burner. We can direct our options for copying tokens to the spirits created by Hallowed Haunting to force our opponents to have interaction, and then transition to our main gameplan with Anikthea, Hand of Erebos to close out games; and/or hold off and try to close out games with just Hallowed Haunting if our main gameplan gets disrupted.

-Grim Guardian, Bastion of Remembrance, and Mirkwood Bats: These are our pinger effects that help spice up the gameplay loops we're looking to achieve. Grim Guardian and Mirkwood Bats are absolutely nuts once the deck starts to do it's thing. Bastion of Remembrance provides value when our enchantment creatures initially die, and also provide us with additional value when our board of tokens gets wiped.

-Doubling Season + Anikthea, Hand of Erebos, + Three Blind Mice offer us a semi-convoluted combo to help close out games. Please see the following Wombo section for a detailed explanation.

Anikthea, Hand of Erebos + Doubling Season + Three Blind Mice

TL;DR: bringing back Three Blind Mice using Anikthea, Hand of Erebos’ ability, with Doubling Season on the board, allows us to make infinite creature tokens to swing out with (once they do not have summoning sickness).

-This combo requires: Either enough mana to cast Anikthea, Hand of Erebos from the command zone and/or hand or Anikthea, Hand of Erebos on the battlefield and able to attack, and Doubling Season on the battlefield, and Three Blind Mice in the graveyard.

-In order to end the game on the same turn this combo is activated, we need at least one of either: Concordant Crossroads, Grim Guardian, or Mirkwood Bats also on the battlefield. Please Note: Concordant Crossroads does not allow us to end the game on the same turn if we are starting the combo by attacking with Anikthea; as we will not have an opportunity to attack with our newly created token army.

Step 1: Either cast Anikthea or move to combat and declare Anikthea as an attacker in order to trigger her ability; targeting Three Blind Mice in the graveyard.

Step 2: Create two token copies of Three Blind Mice and put two lore counters on each thanks to Doubling Season.

Step 3: Due to both copies entering with 2 lore counters, we get both the first and second stage triggered abilities at the same time; resulting in four 1/1 mouse creature tokens (thanks Doubling Season!) and two instances of the Three Blind Mice “create a token that's a copy of target token you control” ability on the stack.

Step 4: Have each of the token copying abilities target one of the Three Blind Mice saga tokens, (or both them of if you're feeling special), resulting in four new copies of the Three Blind Mice saga entering with two lore counters each thanks to Doubling Season.

Step 5: Repeat from Step 3 until you've achieved some arbitrarily large number of token copies. At this point we can utilize the second stage of our Three Blind Mice sagas to make infinite copies of any other tokens we control as well.

When playing this deck we're aiming to pop off with our gameplan(s) more so in the mid game. That being said, we still want to incrementally build our boardstate in the early game, keeping pace with opponents while also holding back key engine pieces and finishers. Cards like Nyx Weaver, Shigeki, Jukai Visionary, Cemetery Tampering, Bastion of Remembrance, and Smothering Tithe that incrementally acrue us value are what we want to be playing early.

Hallowed Haunting, Ajani's Chosen, and Archon of Sun's Grace can also be great early game drops that can get out of hand on their own without relying on our main gameplan. Having the flexibility to utilize things Archon of Sun's Grace, Hallowed Haunting, and Ajani's Chosen, alongside one or two finishers to threaten to close out games give us more lines of play while also preserving our main gameplan to fall back on; and vice versa.

We want to force a point in the mid game where our opponents have used a good amount of their removal and/or wiped the board so that we can pivot into our main game plan; dropping our commander and rebuilding aggressively. Since we want our pieces in the graveyard we can also initiate a wipe ourselves with Pernicious Deed. In the early game Pernicious Deed is also a great piece to play as we can leverage it as a way to protect our pieces from exile-based removal by sacrificing Pernicious Deed and storing them in our graveyard instead.

A big part of piloting this deck (and honestly most decks) is attempting to influence the tempo of the game by reading your opponents and their boardstates in order to time plays appropriately. We typically don't want to dump our hand ASAP, especially because most of our card advantage comes from getting cards into the graveyard, not our hand.

Notably, we want to be mindful of The Mending of Dominaria's third chapter because, if we're not careful, it'll shuffle our graveyard back into our deck when we still want access to those cards.

-Calix, Guided by Fate: this card does what we want to do, I was just unhappy that he triggers only once per turn. Room could definitely be made to include him if desired.

-Mesa Enchantress and friends: We're purposefully not playing a ton of typical enchantress staples as a lot of them care about casting enchantments, and we're trying to focus on playing them from the yard. That being said, we're obviously still going to be casting a good number of enchantments with this deck and, if desired, more enchantress effects can be slotted in over self-mill effects.

-Song of the Worldsoul made it through 3 versions of the deck but was ultimately cut in version 4. It is definitely a fun card as it provides an additional route to get multiple copies of key enchantments whenever we cast any spell. However, it has a hefty mana cost and typically felt like it either made too little of an impact too late, or was more of a ‘win-more’ card; so I ultimately decided that I'd rather replace it with something like Bastion of Remembrance to close out games.

-Sigil of the Empty Throne was also in the deck for a good while, before ultimately being cut as it cares about casting and I felt like we had enough 'win-more' cards in this build.

-Growing Ranks: This card made it through two versions of the deck before inevitably being cut for something else. While populating each upkeep is useful, oftentimes Growing Ranks felt like a dead card in hand/yard and did not do enough to justify spending 5 mana on it. That being said, this deck would probably benefit from including more efficient populate options that we can utilize multiple times per turn.

-Mondrak, Glory Dominus: I opted to keep Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession, and Doubling Season over Mondrak, Glory Dominus as it isn't an enchantment. Room could definitely be made to include it if desired. Along a similar note, Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation   does not have a home in this deck at this time. Tripling creature tokens is incredibly powerful, but a six mana non-enchantment does not make the cut as of version 4 of this deck.

-Typical aristocrats pingers such as Cruel Celebrant, Zulaport Cutthroat, and Blood Artist: These did not make the cut at this time as we are not a dedicated aristocrat deck. Bastion of Remembrance made the cut because it's also an enchantment.

-Black Market Connections: A fun new black enchantment that does it all; there is rarely a turn we don't want to choose at least one of it's options. Bear in mind that Black Market Connections' ability is not a may ability and having multiple copies of Black Market Connections will start draining your life total very quickly (but life is a resource!). Black Market Connections made it through 3 versions of this deck before ultimately being cut for more protection/interaction.

-Braids, Arisen Nightmare: While she isn't an enchantment and doesn't fit our main game plan, Braids, Arisen Nightmare provides another route to getting our enchantments from the battlefield into our yard; while also pressuring our opponents to either sacrifice their permanents or give us more cards and chipping down their life totals. She made it through 3 versions of this deck before getting cut; and I miss playing her dearly. She may eventually sneak her way back in but for now she's cut for more efficient, targeted interaction.

-Seal of Primordium: a green version of Seal of Cleansing, this card easily has a spot in this deck if desired. I opted for more instant-speed interaction over a duplicate of Seal of Cleansing; but Seal of Cleansing may be slotted in at some point in the future. The utility of being able to use it to either blow up an opponent's permanent or blow up one of our own enchantments is pretty sweet with Anikthea; and the fact that it sacrifices itself so we can make more copies of it is great.

-Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood: While this is an enchantment-based combo, it does not synergize with the deck as a whole and would not be very efficient without dedicated support.

-Familiar Ground seems very, very good; essentially making our menacing enchantment creatures unblockable. Definitely has a spot in this deck if desired.

-Out of Time is an incredibly spicy piece of tech in this deck. If we bring Out of Time back as a creature with Anikthea, Hand of Erebos, it effectively phases out itself and every other creature on the battlefield forever. It is not included in this build because of the feel-bads that inevitably will occur when commanders get phased out for the rest of the game.

-Darksteel Mutation and Song of the Dryads removal effects: While very powerful in EDH, I ultimately opted not to play these removal options in this deck (outside of Oubliette); since they're auras and cannot be abused with Anikthea.

-Anthem Effects like Starlight Spectacular, Collective Blessing, and True Conviction: This deck initially slotted in all three of these cards to support ending the game with token alpha strikes. After playtesting with these cards I ultimately decided to not lean as heavily into them in order to make room for powerful pingers such as Grim Guardian, Mirkwood Bats, and Bastion of Remembrance.

-Trample effects like Glorious Sunrise, Song of Freyalise, Nylea's Forerunner, Nylea, God of the Hunt, and Primal Rage: This type of effect was initially included to support the alpha strike gameplan; although I was never fully sold on the idea that they were necessary since the Menace keyword provided by Anikthea supports getting damage in already. Ultimately these effects were cut for other finishers like Grim Guardian as well as more protection, interaction, and ramp options.

We're running some very expensive lands in our manabase as my playgroup is very proxy friendly and enjoys having smoother-running manabases. These lands are by no means necessary for playing the deck and can easily be replaced with a number of different cheap dual lands or even more basics.

Because I wanted to build around Anikthea and her abilities specifically, the overall power level and speed at which this deck can win is limited. If you're looking for an Abzan deck jamming cheap and powerful combos to win quickly (i.e. Witherbloom Apprentice + Chain of Smog); then this list is not what you're looking for.

Further playtesting is being conducted to determine if the deck would benefit from greater ratios of graveyard and/or board protection, card advantage, and token support. Additionally, leaning into more of an aristocrat style deck (with more ETB/LTB pingers and sacrifice outlets) could result in quicker wins with this deck. At some point I may also revisit leaning harder into alpha strikes and anthem effects if this current build gets stale or if I need more oomph when swinging in.

If you've somehow made it this far, thank you for your time and patience! I appreciate any and all questions, comments, and recommendations.

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93% Casual

Competitive

Date added 7 months
Last updated 3 weeks
Key combos
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

55 - 0 Rares

15 - 0 Uncommons

13 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.97
Tokens Cat 2/2 W, Copy Clone, Human 1/1 W, Human Soldier 1/1 W, Mouse 1/1 W, Pegasus 2/2 W, Spirit Cleric */* W, Treasure
Folders GOATED, 1. Good Decks, Other Players Decks
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