Kess, Dissident Mage


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Vintage Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2017 (C17) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

Kess, Dissident Mage

Legendary Creature — Human Wizard

Flying During each of your turns, you may cast an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard. If a card cast this way would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

Price & Acquistion Set Price Alerts


Recent Decks

Kess, Dissident Mage Discussion

Megalomania on drive em crazy nekusar

8 hours ago

Kess, Dissident Mage? It seems like a good way to "keep the wheels running". Could potentially replace Charmbreaker Devils. Paradox Engine and Sensei's Divining Top might also be worth considering. Words of Wind might also be to your liking. It can be used to control multiple players at a time once you have a good amount of mana a draw engines in play.

kingyfyvf on Grixis Wizard Commander Help

1 day ago

This is my first commander deck I got a few months back and have built it up slowly but am in dire need of help finishing it. I know it is slow and probably bad but I like it and it suits me just fine. I like how it can focus on the graveyard but the only strategies I have for it is the Duskmantle Guildmage and Mindcrank set and the Sphinx's Tutelage. Any help is appreciated.

Commander: Inalla, Archmage Ritualist


Arcanis the Omnipotent


Bloodline Necromancer

Body Double

Duskmantle Guildmage

Etherium-Horn Sorcerer

Firefist Adept

Fleet Swallower

Galecaster Colossus

Garna, the Bloodflame

Harbinger of the Tides

Kess, Dissident Mage

Magus of the Abyss

Magus of the Mind

Mairsil, the Pretender

Marchesa, the Black Rose

Naru Meha, Master Wizard

Nin, the Pain Artist

Nivix Guildmage

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

Portal Mage

Puppeteer Clique

Sea Gate Oracle

Taigam, Sidisi's Hand

Vela the Night-Clad

Vindictive Lich


Caged Sun


Mirror Gallery

Sol Ring

Thought Vessel

Worn Powerstone


Curse of Opulence

Frenzied Rage


Shifting Shadow

Sphinx's Tutelage


Cauldron Dance

Chaos Warp

Comet Storm

Crosis's Charm

Mana Leak

Memory Plunder

Polymorphist's Jest

Rakdos Charm

Reality Shift

Silumgar's Command


Wizard's Lightning


Clone Legion

Day's Undoing

Decree of Pain

Final Parting

Karn's Temporal Sundering

Kindred Dominance

Necromantic Selection

Soul Salvage


Warlord's Fury

Weight of Memory


Jace, Memory Adept


Mountain x4

Island x10

Swamp x6

Dimir Aqueduct

Rakdos Carnarium

Izzet Boilerworks

Command Tower

Crumbling Necropolis

Exotic Orchard

Path of Ancestry

Swiftwater Cliffs

Dismal Backwater

Jwar Isle Refuge

Vivid Marsh

Vivid Creek

Vivid Crag

Evolving Wilds

Terramorphic Expanse

Temple of the False God

Grixis Panorama

Mystifying Maze

SynergyBuild on Kess

2 days ago

I am going to be honest, Kess, Dissident Mage is a value engine, not a straight build-around.

Grixis Twin is one of the most competitive Kess lists, I would base it off of that.

If you want to build it on a budget, you certainly can.

TheBloopKing on Clean up this Kess!!!

3 days ago

You don't have some staple wizards. Galecaster Colossus, Sigil Tracer, Azami, Lady of the Scrolls. Docent of Perfection  Flip isn't a wizard, but buffs wizards and creates more wizards.

Dark Ritual says "add 5 black mana" with Kess out on the field.

You are missing draw. Preordain, Brainstorm, Ponder, Serum Visions are all cheap ways to draw cards and keep cards in your hands. I feel you constantly sit with no cards in hand which isn't good with a spell based commander.

Dark Petition is a tutor you are missing. Also Mystical Tutor

Kess, Dissident Mage is a commander that needs spells. I have 32 spells in my deck and I feel I need more. 23 spells is not enough. You're almost better off running Marchesa, the Black Rose as your commander in this deck.

Counter-spells is needed also. I honestly don't know how you could run a spell based deck in blue, without running a couple counter-spells. Counterspell, Dispel, Negate, Counterflux, Mana Leak are all some you should consider.

SynergyBuild on [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier

3 days ago

We agree there! Well, Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge might argue otherwise, but generally I think Kess, Dissident Mage is better.

SynergyBuild on [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier

3 days ago

I have found that those lines are a tad risky, yet very playable. My only issue with it is normally the deck is just fine without those lines. I believe Intuition lines are the biggest downside to not playing Kess. I have also found when testing kess, though to be honest I haven't had a ton of games with my kess recently, that she normally wasn't needed unless I wnated to combo out with Intuition, I generally didn't cast her unless I had nothing else to do, which left me feeling that she doesn't matter a ton to the core of the deck. I mean the deck was great before she was released, and though the general consensus is that she is the best (In fact mine included), I don't believe she should be considered a "Tier 1" list, if we are only judging a deck by how much the commander synergizes with the deck.

I point was not that she isn't the best in any way, only that if I switched her out, that the deck would stand very well, and that means she doesn't synergize a ton. On the other hand The Gitrog Monster requires it's commander, it doesn't really stand at all without him. Does that mean The Gitrog Monster is better than Kess, Dissident Mage? No, of course it doesn't, and this list has him tiered lower than Kess, which proves gtoast99's theory wrong.

gtoast99 thought that this list was a bunch of decks "based" around the commander. The Gitrog Monster is, but Kess, Dissident Mage was not built solely to gain value from her ability. The only reason this theory was brought up was to combat my statement about how Karona, False God and other commanders with just good colors should be tier 2, and not tier 5.

Nothing was meant to say Kess, Dissident Mage was not the best commander for the decks like Grixis Storm or Grixis Twin. I apologize if that was what you got from it.

SynergyBuild on [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier

3 days ago

Kess is a powerful grixis twin list, Jeleva is grixis storm.

I honestly would argue against Karona, the False God being a worse commander for a twin list than Kess, Dissident Mage. Having access to better removal like Swords to Plowshares, Nature's Claim, etc. and Grand Abolisher, Abrupt Decay, Silence, Autumn's Veil, Life // Death and other such cards I think would be a useful addition.

To be honest, I think they would simply be different, neither worse, nor better.

SynergyBuild on [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier

3 days ago

Well, these discussions matter a lot.

Cromat may be a better commander than Mairsil, the Pretender at a Laboratory Maniac combo if the addition of green and white with support cards like Grand Abolisher, Silence, Abrupt Decay, Autumn's Veil, Nature's Claim, and Swords to Plowshares are good enough that you don't need a commander with minor benefits.

In that way, I think every 5 color commander should be Tier 2, as I can make any of them a decent list (or a hundred decent lists). No, they don't have to support a combo if their colors are powerful enough on their own.

On the other hand. I could run any random grixis commander, and build a list that though might be slightly worse than Kess, Dissident Mage, could make a very good deck using the shell of Grixis Twin. That deck might even be more powerful than Azami, Lady of Scrolls. Think about that. The fact that Karona, False God, with the list of Grixis Twin might be better than many tier 2 lists, yet is tier 5?

A Tier 5 list that is better than a tier 2 list, isn't a tier 5 list, yet at that point, the best decks should be the best decks, not the commanders at the helm of them. Think about stax decks, you can build a mono-red stax list that works (albeit not the best, but not bad or anything) and even use the commander of Zirilan of the Claw for a bit of removal if you cheat out one of the dragons that deals damage on ETB. That deck sure might whoop a Tier 3 list every time, with a mix of fast-paced stax, using Winter Orbs and Static Orbs, along with Sphere of Resistance and Thorn of Amethysts and some removal like Blasphemous Act, all the while setting up a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo for the win. That deck doesn't sound bad, right? Well Zirilan of the Claw is tier 4, apparently they can't even compete against tier 1 lists, but against them, it can work, red has Gamble, Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast, and all of the colorless stax options, along with more card draw than Hokori, Dust Drinker has, no, it isn't as powerful a commander if you don't include color, but if the color has more power, than the deck can, and the commander's deck is what the commander's power is derived from.

I understand this list will be making changes in the near future, I am excited for that, but until then, I still think most commanders (like 80% or so of them) can be made into a list that is competitive (Tier 1-2).

To be honest, I could probably write up a playable list for most commanders. I am probably going to do that soon.

Load more

Latest Commander