Kess, Dissident Mage

Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2017 (C17) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

Kess, Dissident Mage

Legendary Creature — Human Wizard

FlyingDuring 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.

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Kess, Dissident Mage Discussion

Polybius on Food Chain Prossh [[Budget Primer]]

22 hours ago

Shane.Allen: I win about 60% of the games I play.

Deck's I play against regularly:

So I'm always on my toes trying to stay competitive.

Spirits on WonderCats

3 days ago

Hi JAPuckett85,

Interesting update and feedback from your games. My opinion is that Arahbo, Roar of the World is already a Tier 4 Commander, and Selsnya () doesn't have any strong combos or synergies, and none that I've been able to create (yet) that involve only Cats!

Infect is the primary (and only) way Arahbo, Roar of the World can actually win. You're not going to bludgeon 3 other players in a pod for 40 damage and still be around to tell the tale. With the exception perhaps of Felidar Sovereign once in a blue moon, I don't think there's much else to build on.

What Tier commanders are in your pod?

Any Grixis () Commander don't rely on damage, eg. Kess, Dissident Mage, Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge, Show and Tell + Omniscience + Enter the Infinite to win or of course Laboratory Maniac.

Heck even Mono-, eg. Teferi, Temporal Archmage, use the same thing, or ultimate planeswalkers over and over.

Even Tier 1.5 Golgari () The Gitrog Monster doesn't care.

Tier 2 Mardu () eg. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death combo off.

Can keep going on and on, but without Infect, I can't see how Arahbo, Roar of the World would be worth playing, and how it would possibly win?

I guess in a pod like Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Nekusar, the Mindrazer, and Rakdos, Lord of Riots I could see thinking Infect wasn't fair. Heck, even Tier 4 Samut, Voice of Dissent single Commander damage hits.

None of these things are any more or less fair than Infect, and actually, they are MUCH easier to do than Infect. We only have Lost Leonin, Triumph of the Hordes and Grafted Exoskeleton to get the job done on 3 players anyway! Don't even get a Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon and Hatred in . It's an uphill battle before drawing the first card!

Very interesting. PS: I did put Archangel of Thune and Spike Feeder combo in my Arahbo, Roar of the World still testing it out, both kind of worked with the lifegain and counters sub-theme of my cat deck, but neither is a cat. Still trying to find some SOLID combos with cats, let me know if you've found any! Very easy to Tutor with the creature pulls and things like Chord of Calling.

Cheers!

Spirits on Kess, Dissident Mage

5 days ago

Cards that I don't like:

Darkwater Catacombs | In a turn 4/5 build, it's too slow. Basically useless in some situations and opposite of mana fixing

Fetid Pools | Enters tapped needs strong abilities, maybe turn 8 cycling would be good, but in a Turn 4/5 build, it's not a turn 1 through 4 land so shouldn't be in there

Great Furnace | I think you can fetch , a single on Turn 1 though 4 is terrible

Tolaria West | Great land, but what does it tutor for you that's a combo card, Mana Crypt is ok, but none of your combos are land based, I wouldn't run this. If you needed to fetch a specific land for a combo would be ok.

Big Cash $$$ Money Land Upgrades (Have fun with these): Underground Sea, Volcanic Island, Wooded Foothills (cheap!), Arid Mesa, Misty Rainforest, Verdant Catacombs, Marsh Flats

I would go down 1 net land to 36 as well.

Cut list:

Devastation Tide | Miracle is too random, want to control your spells not have them control you. And it's a sorcery, as an instant it would be ok.

Cryptic Command has a pretty High CMC with , it's instant so it's better than some of the other sorcery/creatures, but could be a problem. It's VERY good card though, I would keep it worth the hard casting cost.

Scroll Rack mana sponges, it's too random, and too slow for turn 4/5 deck

Tolaria West go down a land!

Tutor Plans?:

Beseech the Queen >> Necropotence or Show and Tell or Laboratory Maniac

Demonic Tutor >> Necropotence or Omniscience or Enter the Infinite

Fabricate >> Sensei's Divining Top or Seat of the Synod or Mana Crypt (Add) (Not really that utility, doesn't pull any combo pieces, could be a cut list, I would probably cut this card)

Gamble >> Necropotence (High Risk, High Reward) or Show and Tell or Demonic Tutor

Imperial Seal >> Necropotence or Omniscience or Enter the Infinite

Merchant Scroll >> Lim-Dul's Vault or Intuition (Add it) or Mystical Tutor

Personal Tutor >> Enter the Infinite or Show and Tell

Tunnel Vision (when used to tutor) >> Mizzix's Mastery! (Downside is it misses Omniscience so need something it can hit to put a card from graveyard into hand, best would be a card like that with flashback) OR Tunnel Vision >> Yawgmoth's Will. If it discards a Past in Flames get a couple shots. I think Kess, Dissident Mage can cast the Overload cost from the graveyard for Mizzix's Mastery too if you do get it looking for the Yawgmoth's Will which then cast the Yawgmoth's Will.

Throw an Imperial Recruiter in there as well to Tutor a Laboratory Maniac heh

Trinket Mage >> Sensei's Divining Top or Mana Crypt (Add). He doesn't pull combo pieces so he can be cut. Once you have Mana Crypt he only cost you , without it, he's not awesome.

Lim-Dul's Vault >> Any Tutor cluster or Any two combo cards, hard to plan this one because it relies on random cluster, or a Necropotence

Long-Term Plans >> Necropotence or Omniscience or Enter the Infinite

Mystical Tutor >> Show and Tell or Enter the Infinite

Tainted Pact >> Entire Library with Laboratory Maniac, or a specific solution, or to find a final combo piece

Vampiric Tutor >> Necropotence or Omniscience or Enter the Infinite

Summary: Harder to tutor items (Enchantment) should be priorities, Necropotence or Omniscience. Kess, Dissident Mage let's you recast and pull another item in most cases to finish the combo Omniscience + Enter the Infinite, lots of tutors pull Show and Tell for you.

Street Wraith, Doomsday (Don't need Lion's Eye Diamond you have other ways to win with it) honorable mention for adds.

Intuition, Mana Drain, Force of Will, Grim Tutor, Mana Crypt are all-stars.

Capture of Jingzhou and Temporal Manipulation are good too, but not necessary, you're really just trying to combo win with Show and Tell + Omniscience + Enter the Infinite would focus on getting there.

Don't need Thought Scour, it builds the graveyard for Kess, Dissident Mage but it's too dangerous if it pushes a Omniscience or Necropotence

Frantic Search is better if you have a way to recur-it, like a Nivix Guildmage, but it does give you more control on the discard. The problem arises when you only have 1 card in hand, becomes the same issue I'm sure you experience with the Scroll Rack.

Leyline of Anticipation can be cut, but I like it. Helps with protecting the top-decking tutors. Actually works against Kess, Dissident Mage though if you delay cast, in some random cases.

Dreadbore could just be another tutor that pulls Hero's Downfall they do the same thing anyway (or a Yawgmoth's Will if you need to recast Hero's Downfall and have used Kess, Dissident Mage. And it's a sorcery (YUCK)

You need the Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots for Phage the Untouchable and Laboratory Maniac. You could lose the Swiftfoot Boots since you do have Artifact tutors, but I bet they are pulling mana sources not boots.

Phyrexian Metamorph could go too if needed. 9 Artifacts, and 7 creatures, BUT, I would keep it to copy a Vendilion Clique or Snapcaster Mage or Laboratory Maniac to win.

Temporal Extortion could be wasted spell, since i doubt your doing the extra damage, but in multi-player perhaps it may resolve due to politics.

Time Warp could come out too if needed, high CMC extra turns. Useful for mid-range play though.

Need to research a way to bring a card from graveyard to hand, if it has flashback, that would be AMAZING!

dmarchillo on Nekusar Discard

5 days ago

First off, this is mean.

Second, I noticed that you have several cards that refer to instants/sorceries. I think that with your deck only containing 13% for those two categories, that you will find them to be inert cards. Kess, Dissident Mage is very cool and exciting, but the card will not be useful in a great deal of situations. I recognize that you will be drawing a great deal of cards as well as wheeling cards into your graveyard, which could help, but I'm not sure. She could probably stay.

Either way, Primal Amulet does not have a place in the deck. Four drop for a reduce cost isn't great, and you will never get the card to flip; in order to do so, you would need to cast 2/3 of the sorceries in your deck. After which, you won't have many left to cast.

Additionally, I have found that Charmbreaker Devils never really did the trick for me in the past. It is pricey (cmc), you are not going to be choosing what you get back, and it is slow- you get your first use of it a turn after casting it.

Rzepkanut on Ramos Cascade Flicker Storm +1/+1

1 week ago

Hey looks cool! Unfortunately i gotta be the bearer of bad news.... flicker effects won't trigger cascade on cascade creatures...or help Ramos much in any way here. If you want some more free spells to cast you can try Mind's Dilation, Oracle's Vault, Temporal Aperture, Mosswort Bridge. Maybe Kess, Dissident Mage for another value/recursion engine. Happy gathering :)

Sgtpopnfreash on Dr. Meandeck

1 week ago

Hey,I played your version of Kess, Dissident Mage and I like it. Have you thought of changing out Ad Nauseam for Consecrated Sphinx? Its kind of a strange change but without Aetherflux Reservoir I couldnt really Ad Nauseam for much and I felt the want for a blocker.

Sgtpopnfreash on Breya, She is over 9000

2 weeks ago

+1 I dont think Kess, Dissident Mage fits in this deck very well though.

FrigidOfficial on Inalla's Tap Studio (EDH Adaptive Combo)

2 weeks ago

Hey Pygmyrhino990! Glad you like the deck. I can go over each of the cards that are over $5 and explain why I think they're replaceable or not.

  • Chromatic Lantern is one of the best mana rocks in the game. The ability to get all of our colors online whenever we want is really great, especially since some of our strongest cards like Arcanis the Omnipotent, Dualcaster Mage, and Necropotence are all color intensive. I would likely just replace this with another mana rock if it were to be taken out.

  • Cyclonic Rift is an incredible one-sided board wipe. I would say that this card is a blue staple and that nothing can compare to it; if you want to run something like Devastation Tide, it could work, but it would be far less effective for a number of reasons.

  • Drowned Catacomb is just a pretty good land. You can replace this with a basic or enters-tapped dimir dual (such as Jwar Isle Refuge) depending on how fast your version of the deck is if you build it.

  • Gamble is a decent tutor that can pick up anything. For a much slower but more reliable tutor, there's always Diabolic Tutor.

  • Kess, Dissident Mage is a powerhouse. She can recur our cantrips and, on our turn, protect us if we're trying to combo and have a counterspell in the yard. If you don't own her, there really isn't a great replacement that does the same thing. Izzet Chronarch isn't too bad if you want more recursion, but Kess is just too good to give up in my opinion.

  • Kindred Discovery is a decent draw engine that can really help us get online if we make a lot of copies. A replacement for this could come in the form of a straight up draw spell such as Opportunity or a political enchantment such as Curse of Verbosity. The slot is really up to you though, as the card isn't necessary for the deck to be good an can likely be swapped out for whatever you would like.

  • Mystical Tutor is another blue staple that I don't think has any great replacements. Just a solid card overall.

  • Necropotence is the single best draw engine in the game. I almost always find a win very soon after it resolves. The best replacement for this is probably Phyrexian Arena; it's slow but consistent draw.

  • Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is a decent land that can probably be replaced with another land of your choice.

  • Paradox Engine is one of the main cards in this deck and one of the main ways we can accidentally or intentionally land a win. I can't think of anything that would replace this.

  • Patron Wizard is a really annoying card that does a LOT of work. It's incredibly expensive, though. There isn't really another card that has a similar effect, but you could try to run another counterspell or maybe play around with Ixalan's new Siren Stormtamer.

  • Reliquary Tower is another EDH staple that is probably fine to replace with any land of your choice.

  • Rhystic Study is a solid tax effect / draw engine that will be very annoying for your opponents. It's one of the better consistent draws in blue. This can be replaced with an upkeep extra draw effect such as Monastery Siege or another straight up draw spell if that's more up your alley. Merchant of Secrets is slow but not atrocious.

  • Sensei's Divining Top is just great fixing. I would try to pick one up when you can, as it has done wonders in most of my decks. If you don't want to spend the money, Sage of Epityr might be worth checking out as a one-time Top that filters garbage if we have some of our scry effects up.

  • Sigil Tracer is recurrable copy effect that can also hit our opponents' spells. It is a bit mana intensive, though. I don't love this card and you could play something like Wild Ricochet or Reverberate instead if you like the copy effect. If not, you can replace this with pretty much anything.

  • Sulfurous Springs is another good dual land that can be replaced with another land.

  • Thran Dynamo is just a big mana rock that can be replaced with another artifact that taps for multiple mana, such as Worn Powerstone.

  • Toxic Deluge is a solid board wipe that is cheap and gets around indestructible. You could try playing Languish or a destroy wipe such as Necromantic Selection or Kindred Dominance instead.

  • Wanderwine Prophets is an insanely annoying one card infinite turn combo if you can land it. It isn't integral to winning the game, however, and if you want another way to get infinite turns you could always replace it with Final Fortune (imprint Final Fortune on Isochron Scepter, at the end of the next turn use Sundial of the Infinite to avoid the lose the game trigger, repeat). If not, it can just be replaced with another high value wizard such as Havengul Lich or Vindictive Lich.

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