I've read an article recently about the M 2013 core set and it states that:

Well, everyone knows creature enchantments aren’t playable...

Why exactly creature enchantments aren't playable? I'm talking about the context of Constructed games.


The simple, no-frills answer: creature enchantments aren't generally playable because they offer your opponent an easy 2-for-1 (or better, if you're the sort of person who likes to load creatures up with multiple Auras...)

Any removal spell that would have previously just taken out your creature now takes out all enchantments on that creature too, giving your opponent an easy route to significant card advantage. Not a situation you want to enter into lightly.

EDIT: The OP asked in the comments about Totem Armor. See this article by Mark Rosewater, in which he says:

The idea behind totem armor was to offset the inherent card disadvantage of Auras. Normally when you play an Aura on a creature you have the vulnerability of being "two-for-oned"—that is, your opponent can spend one card (a kill spell) to make you lose two cards (your creature and your Aura). Totem armor prevents the two-for-one because it saves your creature. The Aura acts as a safety net.

Straight from the horse's mouth there!

  • And what about enchantments I get back when the creature dies (like Rancor) or Totem Armors? – Adam Arold Nov 26 '12 at 13:21
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    Rancor is generally considered much more playable than your average creature enchantment, for that very reason. And the Totem Armor mechanic was specifically designed as a way to reduce the card disadvantage problem inherent in normal creature enchantments. – thesunneversets Nov 26 '12 at 13:23
  • @Adam, I've edited my response with some words by MaRo himself on the subject of Totem Armor, which I think back my position up quite nicely! – thesunneversets Nov 26 '12 at 13:26
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    @AdamArold There is a reason Rancor is currently a $3 uncommon. – Origami Robot Nov 26 '12 at 22:02
  • I got 3 of them ^^. – Adam Arold Nov 27 '12 at 0:39

The line you quote was, in that review, actually parodying the 'groupthink' that says that enchantments are never playable because of the risk of two-for-ones that thesunneversets's answer describes. While this is a good perspective to have in general, every card has to be evaluated on its own merits, and it's not uncommon for specific enchantments to offer so much power (or, notably, for the hexproof creatures available to be good enough) that they override this rule. Rancor itself is an exception because it mitigates the card-disadvantage problem by going back to hand for the next creature, making it more like an equipment than an enchantment in many ways; Moldervine Cloak served a similar role in a few decks from the original Ravnica-era standard; and just a year ago Angelic Destiny was a regular player in Blue-White aggro decks, as the perfect way of suiting up a Geist of St. Traft.

  • But the guy rated Rancor 1 on a scale of 5. I voted you up btw. – Adam Arold Nov 26 '12 at 19:46
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    @AdamArold Read the rest of the review for Rancor - after its limited review he gives the 'real' constructed review, where it gets a 3.0 (which is about right, by comparison with the other cards in that rating and the ones above and below). – Steven Stadnicki Nov 26 '12 at 20:19
  • Lol I automatically skipped the whole paragraph after I saw the 1. I'm actually playing Rancor so I did not understand why it is unplayable. – Adam Arold Nov 26 '12 at 20:34
  • The mention of Geist of St Traft reminds me that Hexproof is another mechanic that has, in recent years, significantly reduced the inherent risk of Auras... – thesunneversets Nov 26 '12 at 22:28
  • Enchantment Creature spells which can be cast as an instant can mitigate the 2for1 by gaining a card advantage when cast, eg to defeat an opponents attacking creature for no loss, or to counter a spell by giving protection. This means if they get 2for1'ed later, they still break even. – Nick Nov 27 '12 at 11:29

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