Author Topic: [Standard] Bant Incarnation Deck / Need Constructive Critics.  (Read 152 times)


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Hi everyone, I'm sure you already have seen a lot of list for this kind of deck but I think my own is quite unique and I come here to have your opinion on this.
Just keep in mind, while I want it to be "effective" I'm aware its a T2 deck at best and it's for my personnal pleasure on Magic with friends and other people in my town.

Here's the Deck. (Modified the 08/04 - OUT 2 Wolfwillow Haven and 3 Starfield Mystic - IN 3 Paradise Druide
 and 2 Sephara, Sky's Blade)
11/04 Even more modifications : OUT 3 Paradise Druid, 2 Sephara, Sky's Blade, 1 Knight of Autumn / IN 3 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, 1 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, 2 Arasta of the Endless Web + changed Mana Base.

Deck: Bant Incarnation Midrange

3 Breeding Pool
2 Castle Ardenvale
2 Castle Vantress
4 Fabled Passage
3 Forest
3 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
3 Plains
3 Temple Garden

3 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
4 Setessan Champion
2 Arasta of the Endless Web
4 Archon of Sun's Grace
1 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
1 Cavalier of Dawn
1 Cavalier of Gales
1 Dream Trawler

4 Omen of the Sea
1 Banishing Light
2 The First Iroan Games
4 Enigmatic Incarnation
2 Elspeth Conquers Death

4 Brought Back
2 Dance of the Manse

4 Aether Gust
3 Destiny Spinner
2 Dovin's Veto
2 Return to Nature
2 Mystical Dispute
2 Shifting Ceratops

It's a midrange deck based around Enigmatic Incarnation card and generating as much value as possible thanks to multiples draw engines and multiple synergies. You pratically never run out of plays and/or cards in hands unless you've a full lands hand or really rare and strange situation. This Deck was made to be consistent.
Obviously, I'm playing 24 lands for mana base, 2 Scry land only, and only 2 Fabled Passage (you will know why on Spells section)

Monster list :
4 Setessan Champion was an obvious choice since there is 15 Enchantments in the deck list, this provide huge draw power and either big walls or big threat thanks to his own ability.
4 Archon of the Sun's Grace because the synergy is too high and it's just a good card anyway. It save your life against aggro decks most of the time and put pressure on control decks.

Only 3 Paradise Druid because while I do want another ramp, I don't want to draw this on early Top decks situations against Aggro Decks and it's not a key card anyway.
I let 1 Knight of Autumn because Oven decks are still here and still can provide a good body against more control type decks.

1 Cavalier of Dawn because he brings a good "destroy" effect on anything and can be used on your own Omen of the Sea for exemple to expand your board if needed. The "on death" effect is obsviouly great here.

1 Cavalier of Gales This one is pretty interesting for multiples reasons. 1st its a huge flying body, 2 makes draw control and I explain why I like this point :
Sometimes you will have cards you want in the deck to be targeted by Enigmatic Incarnation Effect instead to be in your hand. This way the card is more proactive and comes out faster.
This card does that perfectly.
Extra bonus, if it dies and come back to the Deck, you can bring it another time for "free" and it happen often on your next turn or even in the same turn if you opponent as act during yours.
Minor bonus : drawing 3 cards give a nice boost to Dream Trawler when it happen.

Finally the top curve, 1 Dream Trawler. This card is so good it be a waste to pass on it. This card can be turn on a huge threat since this deck has a huge draw engine thanks to Setessan Champion. Dream Trawler can easily swing for 10+ damage per turn. This card is busted. I was playing 2 of it but came back to 1 because I'm an  unlucky "cursed" player and I do prefer consistency. I don't want it in my First Hand or soon after.

And 2 Sephara, Sky's Blade because she give a huge flying body with lifelink and a very good board swipe protection since most of my Deck has Flying. I'm playing 2 of theses in case of one Exile removal and because I don't have anything to bring it from the Deck. I've to draw it and play it. Hopefully pegasus tokens can be tapped easily to cast Sephara, Sky's Blade with ease.

Now comes the part I think where there will be objections, let's see together this part.

4 Omen of the Sea, first of all, I've tried 2 Omen and 2 Medomai's Prophecy to compare them. Omen is just better overall because of the instant draw in my opinion and can be used the same turn as food for E.Incarnation.
2 Scry +1 Draw, triggers Setessan Champion, Archon and even sometimes Starfield Mystic when sacrificed. Bring Setessan Champion or Knight of Autumn from Deck thanks to E.incarnation.

2 Wolfwillow Haven. This meta cheat mana a lot and we do the same thing. I don't like draw this card on late game and often finish as discarded. For this reason I only play 2 of it.
The ideal things it to play it on Turn 2 followed by a E.incarnation Turn 3, sacrificed for Setessan Champion and start the firework at Turn 4. I'm not 100% sure about this, Maybe should I play 2 others card instead but the fact it's a 2 Mana Cost enchant I can sacrifice to brings out 3Mana cost Creatures is big.

I'm playing 1 Banishing Light as a 1 off. It's still enchant, does help when you've it and need to remove something like Ajax or early Nissa for exemple. But 3 mana for this kind of removal isnt that good. I'm open to suggestion over this card.

Now 2 The First Iroan Games. My thought behind this card is to deploy a 3 Mana cost enchant which does pressure/bring a body. I play it over Omen of the Hunt for exemple because this last one is just a bad card, it does not help you against aggro and let a control type deck an another safe turn.
of course if you draw 2 cards its awesome; but its more used to be sacrificed on the 2 turn after the +3/+3 counter to bring out the Archon if not already deployed.

4 Enigmatic Incarnation; obviously 4 of them, it's the Key Card. Extra enigmatic incarnation on board can be sacrificed to brings out one of the 2 Cavaliers, this way, this will rarely be a Dead card in your hand or on board.

And comes the 2 ECD. Well this card is broken and fit this deck perfectly. All 3 turns are great and can even be used to brings out the Dream Trawler for instant pressure. Insane card.

Spells :

2 Dance of the Manse. Did you already played this card before ? Because this card is HUGE. It bring back everything you need, triggers Setessan champion and Archon like crazy, bring back a bunch of 4/4 if you paid 8 for that, new ECD for more controls.... well it's just firework at this point.
Its pretty easy to have a Setessan champion on board and Dream Trawler alive at the same time. Dance of the Manse can turn this duo into an OTK aswell. it's Self-explanatory.

And finally 4 Brought Back, the only Instant speed card of this deck. I've tested it on MTGA for verification.
You can cast this card after Enigmatic Incarnation effect is resolved, there is no problem. For exemple, you can sacrifice a ECD to brings out Dream Trawler and use this to play another time ECD on the same turn. That's crazy.
But this card does not only do that. If well played, you can also abuse this effect to bring back Fabled Passage from graveyard to cheat mana even more. This is F****** great !
The capacity to recover from boardswipe this way is huge too.

This is why there is only 2 Fabled Passage for 6 Basic lands. (and i'm not a rich guy; Lands are too expensive).

 4 Aether Gust because there is too much Simic base Deck, which means, Krasis, Cavalier of Torns, Nissa, Uro ...... AND Gruuls decks. I think the match-up is even worse against Gruul than RDW.
So I'm playing 4 of theses for reasons.

2 Shifting Ceratops / 2 Questing Beast. It's up to you. I prefer the flexibility of the Ceratops but I agree, Questing Beast is a really good choice aswell. My concern here was the money spent on this deck more than anything (QB = 25€ against 3€ for Ceratops ).

2 Return to Nature for instant answer to Embercleave, Oven or Uro.

3 Destiny Spinner. This one is here for big reasons. 1st, it's an enchantment creature so she does trigger Setessan Champion and Archon, 2nd, can be sacrificed if needed but I doubt you will sacrifice your sideboard. 3rd and Mainly because your entire deck except Brought Back and Dance of the Manse (so basically 90% of the deck) CAN'T be Countered.
She has a 2/3 body which is very nice for a 2 mana cost and can use her ability to poke your opponent in some rare occasions.

In addition to this girl, you find 2 Mystical Dispute and 2 Dovin's Veto. They are mainly used to counter Board Swipe and not the opponent's counters since Destiny Spinner already does prevent us to be countered. I keep 2 Mystical Dispute to counter things like Tefeiri, Dream trawler if they have etc.

This sideboard is like this because of the decks I encounter most of the time IRL.

Your others options in the Main Deck and the Sideboard are :

2 Shatter the Sky over 1 Aether Gust and 1 Destiny Spinner if you want more control against aggro match-up in sideboard.

1 Trostani Discordant if you encounter too much Thassa Blink Decks over 1 Destiny Spinner in Sideboard.

1 Spark Double over 1 Archon for more flexibility in Main Deck.

1 Tolsimir, friend to wolves over 1 Destiny Spinner in Sideboard if you encounter much more Aggro Decks.

and finally 2 Devout Decree over the Shiftings Ceratops / Questing Beast if you encounter too much RDW and Jund/Rakdos Decks in addition of the others options.

That's it. I hope you've understood the deck. Sorry if my English is not that good sometimes, it's not my native language.
Feel free to ask even more question if something isn't clear and I let you give me your opinion, your advices, your critics and your ideas because I'm only one average Magic Player.
The main Goal is to take pleasure (while winning most of the time if possible).
Last thing but not least, your critics and ideas should not change completly the decks in his actual form because of the financial aspect. I can adds minor things but absolutly not 4 Brazen Borrower + 4 Tefeiri +3 Uro or this kind of things.

Thanks you !
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 02:13:27 am by Ravencreest »


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Re: [Standard] Bant Incarnation Deck / Need Constructive Critics.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2020, 07:16:38 pm »


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Re: [Standard] Bant Incarnation Deck / Need Constructive Critics.
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 09:32:15 pm »
I see that your mana ratios don't jive with your color costs.

Do you find that this deck meets its color requirements regularly, or do you find cards stuck in your hand for a while until you have the right mana mix??

It is my intent to play this deck on Arena. I will keep you posted on results and considerations.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 01:18:30 pm by DelverMage »


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Re: [Standard] Bant Incarnation Deck / Need Constructive Critics.
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2020, 03:42:13 pm »
Early observations:
Adjustments to the color mix of the lands was needed.  So slight adjustment -1 Island, +1 Forest.

After 5 game adjustments:
I made more significant adjustments to try to increase the overall synergy of the main design of this deck.  This does NOT take into consideration $$$.
-3 Paradise Druid
-1 Knight of Autumn
-2 Sephara, Sky's Blade

+3 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove - Still lets you accelerate your mana, eliminates the mana color concern, plus it is an enchantment.  Great target for Enigmatic Incarnation and lets you get four mana creatures.
+1 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling - Bounces creatures, a good portion now of which are also enchantments, plus it is an enchantment.  Great target for Enigmatic Incarnation and lets you get five mana creatures.
+2 Arasta of the Endless Web - Punishes Red and Blue decks, plus it is an enchantment.  Great target for Enigmatic Incarnation and lets you get five mana creatures.

I also changed up the mana base.  I added in 2 Castle Ardenvale and 2 Castle Vantress, the come in to play untapped quite often, and mid to late game mana sinks that actually help.  I also bumped the Fabled Passage up to 4.  I got rid of the temples and lowered the number of shock lands to 3 of each.

After these adjustments my win ration on Play, is above 60%.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 06:26:16 pm by DelverMage »


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Re: [Standard] Bant Incarnation Deck / Need Constructive Critics.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 12:05:50 am »
I've no problem on my color requirements; I find it pretty easy on each turn.
I did test Paradise Druid, it don't give me what I wanted from, at origin it was 3 Starfield Mystic which was way more useful but weak to removal, on this slot I don't really know what to put in since I want a T2 to not be beaten by aggro decks too fast.
You're right on Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, I think it's better but cost more money. I will consider it again because I do know it's really good here.
I did test Sephara and found it usefull (at first it was recommanded by 2 personnes) but Idk for them, even if they bring board protection for most of my deck.
I already have Thassa and I'm missing only 1 Arasta of the Endless Web so the deck should be done quickly.
I didn't check the price of the 2 castle, but I guess it's more money, 2 more Fabled Passage same thing. BUT reducing shock land to 3 of each is good improve so I will make an financial effort for this.

Thx for your reply.

NA : Unless Wizard does not reprint Shock Lands once Ravnica go out of this cycle, this deck survive at 100% to any cycle change. That's nice.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 02:17:03 am by Ravencreest »


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Re: [Standard] Bant Incarnation Deck / Need Constructive Critics.
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2020, 06:24:48 pm »
My latest change has been to remove both of the Dance of the Manse and replace them with one Plain and one Island.

That card came off as a "Win More", and I never found myself in a spot where it would actually pull me out of a tough situation.

The extra land pretty much insures that I won't get mana hosed, and this deck does not sweat having a glut too much, there are plenty of ways to play extra lands or scry them away if you don't want them.

I have started playing this version in Ranked Standard  (Bo1), and not doing too bad.  Super fast decks are the big weakness here.  Any of the Mono Red decks mostly just have this deck dead by the beginning of turn 4.

An additional piece I found, in playing Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, is that the color mix of your lands doesn't matter while that card is in play.  That has been huge in a few games.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 06:27:58 pm by DelverMage »