Illusionist's Stratagem


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Custom Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Aether Revolt (AER) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Illusionist's Stratagem


Exile up to two target creatures you control, then return those cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.

Draw a card.

Illusionist's Stratagem Discussion

Kogarashi on Interaction between Naru Meha and ...

4 days ago

Naru Meha would re-enter the battlefield while Illusionist's Stratagem is still on the stack, true. However, all triggers, including Naru Meha's ETB trigger, are put on the stack when a player would next receive priority. They don't go on the stack while a spell or ability is still resolving. So Illusionist's Stratagem must finish resolving before Naru Meha's ETB trigger is actually put on the stack and targets chosen.

So unfortunately, you can't copy Stratagem with Naru Meha if Stratagem is what flickered Naru Meha.

Joe_Ken_ on Interaction between Naru Meha and ...

4 days ago

Raging_Squiggle Thanks for the answer. If you have the time how does Naru Meha, Master Wizard interact with Illusionist's Stratagem since she would be flickered back in before the draw a card happens would you be able to use it to manipulate card draw by copying the spell as long as Naru Meha is a target for it.

mortalrage on The Great Depression Tazri Budget 40$

3 weeks ago

Marshal's Anthem is one of my favourite budget cards in my Tazri deck being fantastic for late-game recovery to make a final push or worst case it's just a nice anthem.

I would argue that Deadeye Navigator is so good in this deck that it's worth spending a few bucks for even for a super-budget build but if you don't want to buy it, Flickerform is another decent choice for the deck. For example, in a similar price range, I would say Deadeye is a lot better than Brago, King Eternal in this deck due to the amount of flexibility it provides, being able to cause rallies BEFORE combat, not to mention going infinite with Chasm Guide and Harabaz Druid .

I noticed some suggestions about Harmonize , but you could potentially go for something like Guardian Project (or similar effect) instead since the deck is already built around creature ETBs.

One more suggestion would be to try to include at least a couple more flicker instants such as Illusionist's Stratagem or Acrobatic Maneuver . Being able to flicker allies while you have Hero or Evangel on the field for protection is almost vital so you want to be able to do this consistently during other players' turns. Join the Ranks is in a similar position: never underestimate being able to get allies to hit the board at instant speed!

dingusdingo on The magic touch.

1 month ago

Alright lets break down your deck and take a peak.


Nothing too crazy with your land base. I'm not wild about the "two or fewer" lands, or the "two or more opponents" lands, but they work inside an EDH pod. Two or fewer is worse in my opinion. Forbidden Orchard is a card you should definitely consider, Gemstone Caverns as well. River of Tears is not reliable and I'm not a fan. Obviously the original Duals will serve you well here, but those are $$$.

Looks like your land base is trying to run High Tide as well as Tainted Pact . Those cards unfortunately aren't compatible, so you need to choose one package. I think Tainted Pact is a better choice because its a neat A + B with Laboratory Maniac , whereas you don't have a guaranteed outlet for all that High Tide mana. Consider trimming down to just 1x of all your lands, look at one time rainbow lands if you need budget Aether Hub Tendo Ice Bridge .


Simply put, you have too many win cons. Turn the slots from the weaker ones into support for your stronger ones.

Wanderwine Prophets is expensive to cast. It also requires combat damage to a player, meaning your combo is only live as long as you can swing freely. Regardless, its still a strong way to close games. You need to run proper support for reanimating. First, you need to increase reanimation density. Necromancy Apprentice Necromancer Exhume Shallow Grave . Next, you need to ensure you can get your reanimation targets to the graveyard. Careful Study is probably the only one I'd add, although there are certainly more options. Finally, it helps to have extra reanimation payloads in case Wanderwine is unavailable. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur and Consecrated Sphinx are both strong enough to cause you to run away with games from card advantage, most likely guaranteeing a win.

Next, Tainted Pact / Demonic Consultation + Laboratory Maniac . I think this is the strongest win condition you're currently running. Important that you pack density of "draw a card" effects to guarantee same turn winning. Make sure to optimize your land base so Tainted Pact is a guarantee!

Mind Over Matter + Azami, Lady of Scrolls is your weakest combo. Its needlessly expensive at 11 mana! The pieces are also the hardest to cast and tutor. The 4 blue in MoM makes it prohibitive sometimes, same with the 3 in Azami. The pieces are also found by the fewest amount of tutors you run, while the tainted pact combo is far more easily searchable.

Doomsday is strong but you are lacking some necessary cards. Gush and Gitaxian Probe will make your life far easier. Same with Lion's Eye Diamond . I would currently cut this from your deck.

Dualcaster Mage / Naru Meha, Master Wizard + Ghostly Flicker / Illusionist's Stratagem is also relatively weak. Requires you to hold then dump all the mana during the same turn, and 6-8 mana is not a fantastic range. The cards are also rather weak outside the combo, but not horrible. You can add additional value by getting more ETB creatures or blink effects for combo. Twinflame Heat Shimmer Cackling Counterpart Imperial Recruiter


Looks like you know what you're missing as far as moxen goes. You should also consider running the Signet cards, gives reliable ramp that avoids land hate. Also adds artifact density for when you get that Mox Opal . Wayfarer's Bauble is bad and should be cut.

Card Draw

You are lacking some card draw that would help you. Dark Confidant Mystic Remora Rhystic Study . Sensei's Divining Top works extremely well with fetchlands and would provide value here. Top would also allow value wincons to be inserted like Dramatic Scepter or Paradox Engine . Kess, Dissident Mage gives massive value here and helps you escape from grindy mid games against other control decks. Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister will obviously help here, but are $$$. Windfall is extremely strong as it neutralizes opponents who get massive card advantage early in the game, or helps you after you dump a fast hand.

Interaction and Removal

Pyroblast is worse than REB and you shouldn't run it. 13 counterspells is certainly too high, you can also cut another. You currently run three spells that can deal with a resolved enchantment, Chain of Vapor Galecaster Colossus and Venser, Shaper Savant . A Rule of Law or Arcane Laboratory that has resolved ends your game. Galecaster is pretty low value and should be removed. Dismember both hits for a lot off of Ad Naus and costs a lot on your Ad Naus to be low costed to cast. You should swap it out for a sweeper like Pyroclasm or Earthquake , you already have strong targeted removal. Abrade is the exception, and should be added due to its flexibility.

Closing Thoughts

You are definitely on the right track. Cast a critical eye towards anything 3+ CMC, as those greatly rob your Ad naus and are harder to cast. Archaeomancer and Galecaster Colossus specifically stand out as removes. Test out a few different Grixis flavored wincons and see which one feels the best based on the paper cards you have. Take a peek at Kiki Jiki + friends, as well as Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal . Kiki fits into reanimator, and dramatic scepter is extremely easy to slot and assemble. Test out Dualcaster/Meha with additional combo payoffs, because there are quite a few that let them combo off. Your deck is currently at a point where you need to start greatly considering card quality and slot intensiveness. The fewer slots, the easier to cast, the more the pieces have value alone outside the combo, the better. You also need to start considering the hate pieces other decks are going to run. How do you handle Torpor Orb for example?

JinShootingStar on In response, I’ll tap 7

1 month ago

I've tested Tolaria West A LOT. Islands are better because we run Back to Basics and High Tide , in the end was just a slow and mana intensive for me, very bad outside infinite mana situations.

My list uses Nimble Obstructionist to or counter a game-winning ability while replacing itself, to kill remove the Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and Tymna the Weaver from my meta AND provides a body to Illusionist's Stratagem infinite loops. It's the same reason why I run Venser, Shaper Savant , because with Ghostly Flicker I can just bounce everything from my opponent's battlefield.

dragonstryke58 on If a spell or ability ...

1 month ago

Ah right...I forgot to touch upon the items before...

From Rules:

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. A target that's no longer in the zone it was in when it was targeted is illegal. Other changes to the game state may cause a target to no longer be legal; for example, its characteristics may have changed or an effect may have changed the text of the spell. If the source of an ability has left the zone it was in, its last known information is used during this process. If all its targets, for every instance of the word "target," are now illegal, the spell or ability doesn't resolve. It's removed from the stack and, if it's a spell, put into its owner's graveyard. Otherwise, the spell or ability will resolve normally. Illegal targets, if any, won't be affected by parts of a resolving spell's effect for which they're illegal. Other parts of the effect for which those targets are not illegal may still affect them. If the spell or ability creates any continuous effects that affect game rules (see rule 613.10), those effects don't apply to illegal targets. If part of the effect requires information about an illegal target, it fails to determine any such information. Any part of the effect that requires that information won't happen.

So actually a Decimate that targeted four legal targets, but then a target became illegal (in stated case: the Commander's Sphere was sacrificed) would still resolve with illegal targets being unaffected.

Illusionist's Stratagem as you stated, would still resolve if only one of your creatures got removed due to not all of its targets being illegal.

And as Colgate mentioned, if you cast Cleanfall splicing Blessed Breath , it will not resolve if its only target was removed.

tl:dr - If all of a spell or ability's targets are illegal, it will not resolve.

Yesterday on If a spell or ability ...

1 month ago

I was under the impression when I was first learning Magic that once a spell failed in having 100% of its targets as it tried to resolve, it would be countered by the game (back when being countered by the game was a thing). So a Decimate I cast that targeted four legal permanents including a Commander's Sphere would fizzle if the controller of the Commander Sphere sacrificed it in response.

I later came to understand that as long as a spell has at least one legitimate target, it will try to resolve to its fullest ability. So if you cast Illusionist's Stratagem targeting two of your creatures and one gets removed in response, you would still blink the remaining creature and draw a card.

But was I still wrong? So if I cast Cleanfall w/ Blessed Breath , and the only target of the spell becomes illegal in some way, the rest of the spell will still resolve as normal?

Now, as I was typing out this next part, I realised I've been misreading Fblthp since his spoiler. For this next part of the question, just to help me understand the ruling, please pretend Fblthp's second ability triggers from being targeted by anything:

When I first saw the creatureless deck techs for Fblthp, the Lost that revolve around Proteus Staff , I thought somebody must have made an error because the staff's ability would fizzle when Fblthp gets shuffled away. But is it true that the Staff's ability will not only continue to resolve, but will also use the last known information of the creature to determine the missing permanent's controller when it was last on the battlefield?

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Illusionist's Stratagem occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%