Kess, Dissident Mage

Legality

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

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Horizons (MH1) Mythic Rare
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.

Browse Alters

Kess, Dissident Mage Discussion

korakin on Rocket Science (Competitive)

13 hours ago

Hi there! This is one well-oiled machine of a deck. +1

I have one small question for you. I'm only a spectator to the Modern format. My main focus these days is on EDH, yet I'm wanting to get back into exploring 60-card formats. I'm curious about your thoughts about Kess, Dissident Mage ⁠— she crossed over into the Modern format from EDH thanks to MH1. As someone piloting a Grixis deck, do you think she's powerful enough to warrant building with?

Boza on Is modern horizons commander horizons?

3 weeks ago

Well, given that they were designing all those new cards specifically to be put into that set to be playable in modern, they really made sure that most are not really modern playable. Lets look at all the mythics:

Hexdrinker , Morophon, the Boundless , Serra the Benevolent , Yawgmoth, Thran Physician , Sword of Sinew and Steel , Sword of Truth and Justice , The First Sliver , Mox Tantalite , Unbound Flourishing - none of these have any place in modern deck. The swords are worse than existing ones, hexdriker is a vanilla 2/1 for 1, the sliver and morophon is expensive, serra and yawgmoth cost too much and do too little, does nothing until turn 3, where the mana acceleration rarely matters. However, all of the above, except hexdrinker, will be used in commander more.

The mythics made for Modern are Echo of Eons (still very good in commander), Kess, Dissident Mage (a reprint of legacy and commander staple), Ranger-Captain of Eos , Seasoned Pyromancer , Urza, Lord High Artificer (increbile in commander) - of the the mythics that may impact modern, only 2 are likely not to impact commander.

So, in the special set for modern, a total of 2/15 mythics have some chance to impact the format, while 13/15 appeal more to commander players.

The list expands a bit with the rares, but outside of the Horizon lands, the pickings are slim.

Rahvin_dom on Draconic Overlord

3 weeks ago

Got a chance to play at the LGS last night, and it was glorious.

I landed an early No Mercy , which effectively prevented my opponents from attacking me. The Nekusar player correctly informed the rest of the table that this was unwise, but they failed to listen. I was able to largely bide my time and build up mana, with Tezzeret, Artifice Master providing some card draw. I held up Cyclonic Rift and waited for the opportune moment.

That moment arrived after the Atraxa player had killed my other two opponents and was swinging in at me for a 1-shot Commander damage kill. I Rifted at the end of combat. He was already tapped out. At the end of his turn, I cast Wheel and Deal . He was sad. The God-Pharaoh was pleased.

On my turn, I landed Bolas's Citadel . I cast Vampiric Tutor from my hand to put Omniscience on the top, then cast it for 10 life off Citadel. Kess, Dissident Mage . Consecrated Sphinx . Draw 2 from Tezzeret. Whispering Madness on top, cast for 4 life. I filled my hand, and was able to use Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal to kill my opponent with an arbitrarily large Torment of Hailfire for the awesome flavor win.

It was a very good night.

dingusdingo on The magic touch.

1 month ago

Alright lets break down your deck and take a peak.

Lands

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 .

Wincons

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

Ramp

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?

Heliogabale on Needful Things

1 month ago

Cool deck!

Personally, I would lose the discard sub-theme and one-use cards like tutors and less-value draw to make room for cards with more synergy.

Suggestions for cuts :

  • Counterflux
  • Vision Skeins
  • Diabolic Tutor
  • Mystic Retrieval
  • Pull from the Deep
  • Liliana's Caress
  • Megrim
  • Waste Not
  • Geth's Grimoire

Suggestions for adds:

Hope this helps!

Spirits on Kaalia, Mirror Breaker EDH

1 month ago

Hi weezel,

I was getting pretty upset last week, when I saw God-Eternal Kefnet and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries then I saw the Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead , I abuse him with Oblivion Ring in other decks, Brago, the Banisher $50 EDH with Reveillark and Alesha, Boros' Crusade $50 EDH with Fiend Hunter , but this one BLEW my mind, it's so simple, good on it's own, and doesn't need any off-synergy cards!

Sounds like your having great success with this type of build! When T2-T4 good ol' Buried Alive is the back-up plan, in pretty good shape. He's the Master of Cruelties should never show mercy! If they winning on T7 that's pretty good too, no fun in dragging the game out past T5!

Agreed Hatred is just too much of a life commitment, even when casting it on a Lifelink creature, the initial burden of life is too much, Leonin Relic-Warder is far more value as an alternative win-con! I always find it strange that people fear Kaalia of the Vast , sit down at table with Kess, Dissident Mage , Prossh, Skyraider of Kher , and Derevi, Empyrial Tactician , it's wrong evaluation that Kaalia of the Vast is the highest threat, even if I resolve a Avacyn, Angel of Hope early.

Sneak Attack doesn't get me a Buried Alive so it's not as useful, in many cases (without a Razaketh, the Foulblooded or Rune-Scarred Demon ) for example. Sneak Attack needs other synergistic cards to be truly effective (unless you have a Razaketh, the Foulblooded )

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Kess, Dissident Mage occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.02%

UBR (Grixis): 0.87%