Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, March of the Machine: The Aftermath desparked a planeswalker we hardly know!
Calix, Guided by Fate is a 2/2 Legendary Enchantment Creature Human Druid for 1GW with a textbox that’ll bring OG Theros heads a ton of joy.
Time for a textbox:
“Constellation – Whenever Calix, Guided by Fate or another enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
Whenever Calix or an enchanted creature you control deals combat damage to a player, you may create a token that’s a copy of a nonlegendary enchantment you control. Do this only once each turn.”
Welcome back to Constellation town, population: me. I love this mechanic. Landfall for enchantments! Who could hate on that? Not to mention a really, really powerful combat effect. Personally, I’m going to toss him into my Estrid, the Masked deck and my Myrkul, Lord of Bones deck to try him out!
A few things to note:
- Calix has two abilities but only one is gated to once each turn. Constellation triggers every time an enchantment or Calix enters the battlefield under your control. This means if you flicker or reanimate or cast an enchantment, you’ll get that +1/+1 counter on at least Calix (unless he has shroud or protection from the source).
- Calix’s second ability triggers when he or an enchanted creature deals combat damage to a player, but only once. This means Battle Mastery or other double strike shenanigans won’t net you any extra triggers.
- The second ability is only Calix and enchanted creatures, so sorry enchantment creatures – you must have an aura on to get this fun going.
- The enchantment you copy must be non legendary. This is an easy hurdle to clear, but worth noting in case you thought Backgrounds might have been cool to stack.
Let’s pick some cards!
Auras For Getting Through
Since you need Calix or an enchanted creature to hit your opponents, you’ve gotta have ways to get through. Cards like Unquestioned Authority, Spirit Mantle, and Holy Mantle give the enchanted creature protection from creatures which makes it essentially unblockable. It does also mean that Calix can’t put +1/+1 counters on them anymore, but whatever, they serve another purpose now!
How about different kinds of protection? Flickering Ward allows you to pick a colour so you can reset and get through blockers as you need, plus it allows you to trigger all your enchantresses and Constellation triggers. Pentarch Ward and Benevolent Blessing are the other Auras I like in this vein.
What about making harder to block but not impossible? Canopy Cover is so much ridiculous value on an Aura. Alpha Authority defies your opponent to block your biggest creature. Shield of the Oversoul gives protection and evasion. Beastmaster’s Magemark makes blocking your creature a definite trade down. Angelic Gift draws a card and sends to the air and Shielded by Faith makes your creature indestructible. When all else fails, Rancor or Unflinching Courage for some trample damage.
Auras For Smacking
Eldrazi Conscription, Beastmaster’s Magemark, Empyrial Armor, Gleam of Authority, Hope Against Hope, Ordeal of Nylea, Mantle of the Ancients, Sage’s Reverie: you’ll already have ways to buff your creatures thanks to Calix’s Constellation trigger, but here’s a handful of Auras that give you a buff for smacking down.
All That Glitters, Ancestral Mask, and Ethereal Armor all care about how many enchantments you have and in this deck, you’ll have probably at least five every time you get in for a swing, making your opponents stare down a bunch of beefy creatures. Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr has this buff already but when you cast her for Disturb, you get another Aura for your trouble. Sage’s Reverie, and the relatively new Mantle of the Ancients give your enchanted creature a buff per Aura while also providing another upside respectively.
Ordeal of Nylea lets you crack in for a hit, get some lands out easy. Gleam of Authority sees those +1/+1 counters and rewards you for spreading them around. Hope Against Hope hopes you’ve got lots of creatures to buff your modified guy while Empyrial Armor looks at your hand size instead.
Enchantments To Copy
I’ll keep this simple: enchantments are some of the most powerful cards in the game. The card type runs deep and has a lot of fun to it. That said, some of them are more utility based and others win more. Let’s get into a few categories.
Let’s be honest, if you’re using your commander to copy the cards that copy tokens that you’re making, you’re already in a great position. Yes, Doubling Season is dope because you’re doubling your +1/+1 counters and turning that All That Glitters into a second, AND a third All That Glitters when you connect with Calix or an enchanted creature. But you’re already doing well, let’s be honest.
- Ramp – Mirari’s Wake, Nyxbloom Ancient, Smothering Tithe, Sanctum Weaver, Jukai Naturalist, Wild Growth effects (Overgrowth, Fertile Ground), and Dryad of Elysian Grove
I think all of these are worthy of an inclusion, not just to be copied but to get you there. Ramp is necessary to allow you to play your resources!
Make it difficult to attack you. “Why are you crying! It’s not impossible! You just have to pay 56 mana to attack me with one creature, that’s not crazy!”
Having a few of these are just gas to keep the engine going. Don’t copy Eidolon too much, you might deck yourself!
If you have enough Hardened Scales out, any of Calix’s Constellation triggers can be downright deadly. Clear the way with Grasp of Fate. Make Spirits with Hallowed Haunting. Protect your creatures with totem armor and use the best Umbra to get more mana for post combat. Cherry on top with Unnatural Growth doubling and doubling and doubling every combat. Here comes a big damage dot deck!
Everything Else I Want Talk About Quickly Because This Article is a Little Long!
Darksteel Mutation, Song of the Dryads, Kenrith’s Transformation, Oblivion Ring, Aura of Silence, Seal of Cleansing, Seal of Primordium, Chains of Custody, Planar Disruption, and many more to choose from that are fun and good to run.
You need good creatures to enchant! Yavimaya Enchantress, Setessan Champion, Mesa Enchantress, Femeref Enchantress, Satyr Enchanter, Archon of Sun’s Grace, Nylea’s Colossus, Mondrak, Glory Dominus, Kodama of the East Tree, Karametra, God of Harvests, Heliod, God of the Sun, Heliod, Sun-Crowned, Nylea, Keen-Eyed, and Nylea, God of the Hunt.
These creatures either care about, benefit from, or are enchantments that are hard to deal with, and therefore are perfect for wearing those Auras. The exceptions are probably Mondrak and Kodama of the East Tree just being great value. Copy an enchantment and get an extra land from hand to play? Thanks, Kodama. Copy an enchantment, get a second copy for your troubles? Thanks, Mondrak. Also, you can make it indestructible? Nice.
If you want to lean into Auras heavily…
Xenk, Paladin Unbroken gives Auras exalted which can get out of hand if you’re swinging with a single creature at a time. Kodama of the West Tree turns all those Aura-wearing and +1/+1 counter carrying creatures into Rampant Growths on combat damage.
Umbra Mystic gives all Auras Totem Armor, Kor Spiritdancer draws cards and gets huge, Sram, Senior Edificer draws you cards a bunch, and Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice is a toolbox creature that can be fun in the right build, but I personally am not a fan.
Ramp with big stats: Kami of Whispered Hopes, Gyre Sage, and Viridian Joiner each tap for mana equal to their power or their +1/+1 counters which means Calix’s Constellation trigger will have a few targets that’ll be big team players. Combine these with Tribute to the World Tree, you’ll have dorks that tap for two or three or four right when they can finally activate.
Weaver of Harmony is a fun little guy to remember in an enchantment deck, especially on Calix’s trigger. Helm of the Host is also great to put onto Calix because each instance of him will trigger independently. Calix, Destiny’s Hand is fun flavour to include that also is removal and recursion on a planeswalker.
Don’t forget to pack your lands. Yes, they’re expensive but they’re worth it. Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth, Hall of Heliod’s Generosity, and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx are all huge role players in this deck. If you can get your hands on a Serra’s Sanctum, go nuts, but $400 is a hard one to swallow.
That does it for this one! Who should I cover next? Let me know @mikecarrozza!