Eriette of the Charmed Apple Decks... But in Standard
had been a brief topic of discussion in Commander prior to Wilds of Eldraine's official MTG release, due to her optimization for the format. The general consensus is that her ability to control the board to protect her controller and drain everyone else is always a nice, prickly shell of defense that keeps you in check against sudden political tides in a single game.
In Standard, her theme is not as precise. Understandable, since there is only one opponent anyway no way to accelerate her use in every game efficiently, plus the rather restricted card pool compared to Explorer/Pioneer and Modern. That being said, her inclusion in MTG decks over the last few weeks still turned up several interesting results. I've compiled a few of these decks, and we shall briefly describe each of them, to see what specific flavor they truly offered, and if the deck is really worth stacking all the support each time you have the opportunity to cast her.
Topping Off Lotsa Auras
The classic tangential support never fails in maintaining the consistency of a deck that can support multiple themes. Eriette, in this case, works with Role tokens, specifically those that exclusively target the user's creatures. As such, she does double duty with. You either drain and get a bit of card advantage. Or, you maintain your position, and focus on larger drain numbers... if she happens to be drawn.
The potency of the deck comes from transforming Cursed Role tokes into direct pluses. Instead of something that degrades your creatures to 1/1's, you suddenly have flying 4/4's. Instead of a field liability, you get a free drain plus draw, or an edict removal if appropriate.
Eriette simply tops all of these investments with a life drain effect that occurs "immediately" at the end of your turn. She can either be a very annoying cumulative gain wall, a final push for lethal, or a critical defensive maneuver. All for that thematic inclusion advantage because more than 60% of the deck happens to already synergize with her directly (and thus still be able to use her second ability to great effect).
And, of course, never forget the cumulative deck fixing that Spellbook Vendor does each and every turn that it can put a Sorcerer Role token. Which, in this case, always puts you one step closer to keeping Eriette coming to the field every single game.
Main 60 cards (16 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (12)|
Lotsa Auras 2.0, Mode Shift Style
Technically almost the same build, but tweaked to balance indirect disruption with its Aura offensive strategies at the expense of making Eriette drain less life per game.attempts to whittle down the opponent's options at the start of the game, and then doubles as a sac fodder. being cheaply bargained so that its -5/-5 effect is always accessible (especially with ). And lastly, , which can be cast twice to exile almost any threat at almost no cost for this deck's theme.
The added card variety allows more synergies to come naturally per turn. And since the swapped cards more or less have a mana value of 2, there is no loss of curve and tempo. In fact, you are also a bit more free to choose which card would have the better value per mana used for that particular turn. As expected, though, consistency is somewhat lost, but at this point it's just more of a playstyle thing than anything else.
also takes special points in this deck, always managing to drop down with way, way more power and toughness whenever Wilds of Eldraine themes are involved. Maybe you can also stick in some copies there somewhere?
Main 60 cards (19 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)|
Optimized Drain or Double Disruption?
At this point, we are no longer just focusing on Auras, but we are just plain improving the life drain potential of the deck as well. This means the obligatory addition of. You heard that right. This card is simply perfect for this deck due to how it boils the opponent ever so slowly. It never seems like a threat until it is too late, made better with the option to transform it into a big lifelinker if you or your opponent don't have anything better to do. It also works well if you manage to land both the curse and Eriette on their respective mana curves while doing other control shenanigans.
In fact, such a simple combo can even slow down faster meta builds, even if you usually just ultimately lose most of the time. And if the deck takes off? The life gap is usually enough that other minor life drain cards typically added to these Orzhov decks should be enough for a finish.
and other pacifying cards that are legal in Standard are technically fair game in this build, although it does kind of make Eriette a bit redundant. This is the reason why I personally believe the is the more flexible choice here, functioning as a mini-removal of sorts, while still being able to synergize with BOTH effects of Eriette.
Main 60 cards (19 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (22)|
Cursing the Player Directly
So, even in a limited capacity, Eriette has been shown to be able to provide gains the player simply by timing her abilities perfectly, or lasting long enough that it snowballs. But it never solved the time-immemorial weakness of auras, which is that they simply disappear when the creature in question is no longer on the field.
To solve this, we do the next logical thing: enchant the player instead. These are still auras, so we retain the full benefit of Eriette's drain ability. We might not be able to stop creatures from attacking. But even in the event of a board wipe (or worse, no targets at all from the start),will still double-tick down an opponent's life every turn when she is around.
Because creatures are no longer the prime priority, the build tilts more towards a control or midrange type of strategy, which is reflected perfectly by the choice of colors that we have for player enchant auras. Also, for this particular build, we have the obligatory jank addition of a singleton. Would you get judged first, or get completely drained?
Main 60 cards (23 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (25)|
Everyone and Everything Gets an Aura
What's that? Enchant player auras aren't really working for you due to lack of variety? Well... that's true, we do have quite a limited card pool for that in MTG Standard at the moment. How about we focus on the viable player enchant auras first, then just slap any type of aura that is applicable to the build, situation, and color identity? This way, not only do we improve the consistency of non-combat aura performance, but we still kind of do the best of both worlds for Eriette's effect and intended play.
In fact, with a nice selection of auras this way, we actually don't have to stick to the typical control-type strategies anymore for the first four turns of any game. The caveat is that even with variety, you probably would not want to always go for multiple copies.
and , for example, might be tempting to spam around due to their mana efficiency and relevance to Eriette's first effect. But cards like will still be the better choice simply because they stick on so many more targets. can definitely snowball and provide offensive alternatives, but sticking to just two curses plus a way to search for them might be better for overall consistency.