Treasure Cruisin' with Daxos Enchantress

Hello and welcome to another installment of Treasure Cruisin'! Unfortunately, I was busy with work over the last week, so I could not push out an article. That is in the past, though, and today I decided to transition into another format. While my previous work certainly helps those who wish to buy into Modern, not everyone wants to play Modern. Thus, I opted to write about Magic's most popular format, Commander. Thanks to the Commander products Wizards of the Coast releases annually, acquiring a deck is not difficult or expensive. However, there are those who do not want to buy a preconstructed deck, or individuals like me who like the new commanders in these products but do not quite enjoy the feel of the deck. For those stuck in this predicament, I am here to help. I will offer budget upgrades for those who bought a precon; every card besides the commander will cost under two dollars USD. Without further ado, it is time to pull our good friend Daxos out of the Underworld and into the command zone for $62.

Up to date pricing can be found here.

Deck Overview

Daxos the Returned is an interesting commander to say the least. Many enchantress decks are green and white because there is far more support in green than in black. Usually this manifests under the rule of Karametra, God of the Harvest because she is an enchantment herself that ramps up the deck's mana. Selesnya enchantress also tends to be a pillow fort strategy, more concerned with making impenetrable defenses.

Daxos takes these standards and throws them out the window. Being in black instead of green means Daxos leads a unique enchantment-based strategy with interesting synergies and a range of options available to it. Black also gives the deck some raw power unavailable in Selesnya colors, and can also turn us into the aggressor if we have to. While this is a pillowfort deck, it also ends up being a prison strategy intent on forcing our opponents into a position where they cannot play Magic. While these situations are rare and dependent on the decks at the table, a clutch Oblivion Ring effect or a Sphere of Safety sometimes shuts down an entire game.

Spirit Token
Three arms and beard?
What more could you possibly want?

We also have a few Spirit synergies. Because Daxos churns out majestic beard Spirits, not only does he become our main win condition, but it also opens up some Spirit-matters cards for us to utilize. While these are few and far between, they are notable because they give Daxos some utility outside of unleashing a mighty army of beards. These are not integral to the deck, and can easily be removed if need be, but they are a fun part of the deck and include some cool cards that rarely see the light of day..


While it is impractical to cover all of the enchantments individually, many of them have the same role and can be grouped together. Several of the enchantments also fill multiple roles and could fit into many categories. For example, Ghostly Prison could be seen as a pillow fort card, because it diverts would-be attackers, or a prison card, because it limits the damage an opponent can attack for.

Speaking of stopping attackers, Sphere of Safety is basically a Ghostly Prison with a shot of adrenaline. It becomes more powerful for every enchantment we play, and activating Daxos fuels Sphere's tax. In other words, as we amass an army of Spirit tokens to close out the game, it becomes harder to stop us. In a similar vein, Authority of the Consuls can come down as early as turn one to begin gaining us life and it stops aggressive decks that can grant their creatures haste for a sudden kill. Blind Obedience also pulls double duty as a hate card for artifacts and can slow down mana rocks and some combos.

Talk to the hand. Better yet, talk to this glowing orb instead.

The majority of our spot removal are also enchantments so they trigger Daxos. Oblivion Ring and Banishing Light both hit nonland permanents and are versatile enough to deal with whatever is troubling us. Darksteel Mutation only neutralizes creatures but is still solid enough to warrant a slot alongside Prison Term, which can switch to a more threatening creature if need be. Seal of Doom is noteworthy because it just destroys creatures rather than putting them in a bubble like the various Oblivion Ring and Pacifism effects. Finally, Cast Out has flash, which can surprise an opponent and be used to cripple their defense at instant speed. Cycling is also nice, though largely irrelevant, as there will almost always be something worth exiling.

Of course, not every enchantment we play can protect us; we have to advance towards victory somehow. Thus, we also play cards that help fuel our game plan. Our card draw consists of enchantments such as Phyrexian Arena, which for a cost can draw us cards. The major downside to this plan is that they are permanents, which can be removed. However, the added experience counter means our celestial beards are more powerful and can inflict swift, bearded justice on our foes!

We run a few prison pieces to keep the table in check. Some of them are just annoying, like Bottomless Pit, and are simply disruption pieces for throwing our opponents off balance. Others, such as Aura of Silence, slow some strategies to a crawl thanks to mana tax or denying access to combo pieces. Then, we pack cards like Rule of Law and Curse of Exhaustion, which can lock down players or entire strategies. Because we run mana sinks that churn out tokens, we can spend our time taking over the game while our opponents are locked under our enchantments. While not technically a prison card, Karmic Justice destroys anyone's most important permanent if they destroy one of our noncreature permanents. Cards like Austere Command can become Armageddons for one of our opponents. While Karmic Justice does nothing on its own, it offers solid protection on a budget and is also very fun to play with.

We have many names for cards like this:
"bonkers," "the nuts," and "the table flipper 2000"
just to name a few.

I want to take this time to talk about Reconnaissance, a card that performs near endless tricks and certainly leads to some rules debates. The official oracle text for Reconnaissance is "{0}: Remove target attacking creature you control from combat and untap it." At face value, it appears as a way to force damage through. If an opponent has a beefy creature, and we have two smaller creatures, we can attack with both, and then our opponent blocks one. We can simply Reconnaissance the blocked creature back and then let the unblocked creature deal damage. Upon closer inspection, this card is secretly the most broken piece of cardboard in the entire deck! For one white mana, our creatures have vigilance because creatures are still considered to be "attacking" at the end of combat step. A savvy player can use this enchantment to untap their creatures after the damage step, a very powerful ability in situations that require dominating the board. Reconnaissance also allows us to abuse "whenever this creature attacks" triggers, and while we do not have any in our deck, it is possible that the table has something that may be beneficial to us. While all of this is tricky, the hilarity begins with double strike. Because first strike damage is separate from the normal damage phase, we can let our creatures deal first strike damage, and then use Reconnaissance to pull them back after they deal damage! This card is insane to say the least, and I highly recommend putting it into any white deck that wants to win with creatures or if the pilot loves complex interactions.


Because we only play a few creatures, almost all of them are utility creatures and not meant for beating down. Furthermore, we run five constellation creatures to give us incremental advantages over time. Not only do we get triggers for playing enchantments, but Daxos the Returned's tokens also trigger constellation. This means we have consistent ways to grind out the game if we need to. It is important to evaluate our constellation cards; Underworld Coinsmith, Doomwake Giant, Thoughtrender Lamia, Grim Guardian, Agent of Erebos, and noncreature enchantment Skybind; under the assumption that we can pay three mana to activate them. While many of these effects are underwhelming, they can generate an enormous advantage if left unchecked.

We will begin with Underworld Coinsmith and Grim Guardian. Both of these cards are similar. They each ping our opponents, and the Coinsmith also gains us life. While we have to pay life for the Coinsmith, we gain so much life in a typical game that it does not matter. We can use these abilities as a way to weaken the table slowly while they search for answers, and it also gives us a mana sink if we need it. As for Grim Guardian, we need Daxos to get the most out of our spear-wielding friend, but this is never an issue considering the command zone is easily accessible.

Doomwake Giant and Thoughtrender Lamia are much more proactive than the other constellation cards. The Giant can be a one-sided boardwipe, and is an instant speed combat trick when combined with our commander. The Lamia forces our opponents to discard and can quickly render the opposition hellbent in order to lock down the board. Once everyone is down to zero cards, we can use Daxos to make a Spirit on the draw step, effectively locking our opponents out of any draw step. We even get a creature to pummel them with!

Agent of Erebos is more akin to a prison card against certain strategies. Any graveyard-based deck is going to hate this card; exiling an entire graveyard on a whim is incredibly hard to beat. Even if there is not a deck that abuses the graveyard at the table, many decks have a few cards that use the graveyard as a resource. This makes Agent annoying, but not gamebreaking. It is a useful ability to have and certainly worth the slot.

While not technically a constellation card, Celestial Ancient is pretty close. We cannot use Daxos to trigger it, but we run a high density of enchantments that almost guarantee that Ancient will put a few counters on our team. Speaking of "almost constellation," Mesa Enchantress insures we maintain card parity when we play enchantments. This fuels us into the late game when played early and can continue to propel us forward if played late.

He Who Hungers simply rips hands apart and gives us selection to boot. We can simply sacrifice a Daxos Spirit to strip a player of their answers. This can give us an opening to eliminate a player, but does not allow us lock players out of their hand due to the ability being sorcery-speed. The soulshift is entirely irrelevant; the only target is Crypt Ghast, a card that will be covered later. This is a utility creature with a very powerful ability that we can abuse. Plus, it has a sick name; who could possibly not want to play with a card called He Who Hungers? With a title that awesome, it has to be played!

She has No Mercy literally on a stick!

Lastly, we have two protection creatures, Butcher of Malakir and Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts. Both of them force our opponents to attack other players, but Butcher can be offensive while Teysa is much better on defense. If we attack with Butcher in play, any blocks our opponents make can potentially be two-for-ones, where we lose a creature in order to kill two of their's. Additionally, Butcher is large enough to get involved in creature combat, a valuable asset when trying to eliminate a player from the game. That said, Teysa has a few tricks up her sleeve as well. Protection from creatures and vigilance is powerful because she can attack and then block the biggest threat from each player. Any creatures that get through our defenses become our Spirits, which means we have sacrifice fodder for He Who Hungers and have some chump blockers. Teysa wears Helm of the Gods better than any creature in our deck and can become a win condition that can deal large amounts of damage very quickly. She is a fantastic creature that is both offensive and defensive, although certainly better at the latter than the former.

Winning the Game

Once we have the board under control, we can attempt to win the game. Daxos is our best win condition if we can amass experience counters. Typically, five is enough, but the game will drag on long enough that we get upwards of eight or nine counters before we become the archenemy of the table. That said, if Daxos becomes shut down, we have an arsenal of token producers that can make a swarm at the drop of a hat. The slowest of these is Ajani's Chosen, which will make cats for us whenever an enchantment hits the table. Because they cannnot swarm the table on its own, it acts as a supplement to Daxos's ability. The tokens Daxos produces are enchantments, which means anytime we activate Daxos, we get a 2/2 Cat in addition to a Spirit. In a similar vein, Sigil of the Empty Throne generates angels whenever we cast an enchantment. While Daxos does not trigger the Sigil, the fact that it makes 4/4 fliers is enough to include it here.

We also run a few mana sinks outside Daxos to help generate tokens. Both Sacred Mesa and Drogskol Cavalry can dominate games if left unchecked. Mesa is cheaper to activate and is harder to remove than the Cavalry, though it does have a miniscule upkeep cost. That being said, we couldn't care less about swinging with a herd of Pegasuses when we have some Spirit synergies. Cavalry helps us out in that regard, gaining us life whenever a Spirit enters the battlefield. This is an incredibly useful stabilization tool against aggro decks and also triggers off of Daxos. However, Cavalry is much slower than Mesa Despite creature type synergies, we will more often be dumping our mana into our Pegasus farm than the Cavalry. 1/1's by themselves cannot kill every player at the table, and require buffs and anthem effects to become actual threats. To that end, we play Intangible Virtue, True Conviction, and Celestial Ancient. All of these make our board a significant threat; the Ancient also makes our board harder and harder to deal with. Outside of the token plan, there is the aforementioned Helm of the Gods, but it is much slower. Daxos with the Helm places 21 commander damage in reach, but this is an unlikely occurrence. Finally, Starfield of Nyx is both a win condition and recursion. Keep in mind, however, that our enchantments are much more vulnerable as creatures.

Other Stuff

We do run some odds and ends cards that are typical in most Commander decks. Artifact and enchantment removal, such as Return to Dust, is a must. Also necessary are broader removal spells like Utter End. While I mentioned card draw earlier, there are nonenchantment inclusions: Bloodgift Demon, Read the Bones, and Skullclamp. Finally, we do run three boardwipes. These are Day of Judgment, Extinguish All Hope, and Merciless Eviction. of Judgment is very simple, and needs no real explanation. Extinguish All Hope has the trick of never hitting our beard Spirits or our Starfield of Nyx enchantments. Eviction is the most versatile, along us to permanently remove troublesome permanents, even planeswalkers, which are normally one of the most difficult permanents to destroy.


Because there is not enchantment-based ramp within our colors and budget, we use the same artifact ramp that is so popular in the format. Sol Ring needs no introduction and sits with Worn Powerstone and Hedron Archive as our colorless mana acceleration. The rest of our artifacts provide colored mana fixing. A select few can be cracked in the lategame to draw cards. For lands, we run a slew of budget-friendly duals, 19 Plains, and 10 Swamps. Our only utility land is a copy of Bojuka Bog for hosing graveyards. With such a low opportunity cost, Bog fits right in and is a perfect budget utility land.


There are plenty of upgrades that can be made to this deck. Enchantments such as Greater Auramancy, Grave Pact, and Dictate of Erebos are all solid inclusions. If prison is something of interest, it would be expensive, but few cards are as fun as Moat, Chains of Mephistopholes, The Abyss, and Nether Void. Some enchantments-matter cards to keep eyes on are Replenish and Serra's Sanctum, while Academy Rector is a must-have in any deck like this. Speaking of tutors, Demonic Tutor and Enlightened Tutor gives us our answers and lockdown pieces when we need them.

As for upgrades that will not completely break the bank, Solemn Simulacrum is simply too good not to run, Anointed Procession is delightful with all of our tokens, and Heliod, God of the Sun is a buff for our team and can make tokens. Utility removal spells, such as Anguished Unmaking, are something to consider. Many iterations of Sorin are within a reasonable price, especially Sorin, Grim Nemesis. The manabase could also get upgraded on a budget. Godless Shrine is not very expensive, and there are several duals over $2 that are nowhere near fiscally improbable pickups. Black and White have plenty of valid card choices, too numerous to mention here, so feel free to pick whatever seems cool.

That wraps up this week Treasure Cruisin'! How do you feel about Daxos the Returned and his glorious beard Spirits? I think the deck is fun and powerful for its cost, but that is just my opinion. Did you like the budget restriction of all cards, exclusing commanders, being under $2, or would you prefer a more traditional route of the entire deck being less than a given price without a restriction on individual card cost? Is $2 too restrictive? I am eager to here what you have to say, so let me know in the comments what you think. Feel free to PM me with deck ideas or any other questions you have!

I'm regretful for the delays in getting this article up. Real life got in the way, and writing about Commander is exhausting. Furthermore, testing was difficult to do because I needed several games, and my games took hours to finish, as is typical of the format. However, I had a lot of fun doing it, and I hope to do more of these in the future. Going forward, we will be on a biweekly schedule of one article every two weeks, though I may try to pull a stunt and go for two in a row at some point. That said, I want to do something special for my next article: you are going to decide the next format! I have included a Strawpoll link. The poll will be down below, and your options are Modern, Legacy, Pauper, Commander, and Casual 60-card constructed. Voting will close on Sunday, July 16th, at 12:00 PM EST. On Monday morning, whichever is in the lead is officially the next week's format!

Now, before you blitz the comments with questions about the absence of Standard on this poll, allow me to explain. For starters, I do not play Standard; it is not how I enjoy playing Magic. Thus, I would have to learn the format before I would feel comfortable writing an article about it. Second, I do not want my work to have an expiration date. Due to Standard rotation, some articles would be irrelevant in a year or two. As such, it is not a format that I want to play or write about because my efforts would only last for a short period of time before withering away. Hence, I opted not to include Standard as an option.

That is all for this week! Stay tuned to the comments section on Monday, where I will announce the winner!



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