Sleeper Agent

Legality

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

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Tenth Edition (10E) Rare
Urza's Saga (USG) Rare

Combos Browse all

Sleeper Agent

Creature — Minion

When Sleeper Agent enters the battlefield, target opponent gains control of it.

At the beginning of your upkeep, Sleeper Agent deals 2 damage to you.

Sleeper Agent Discussion

GearsGames on Sleep Agent vs Player Hexproof

2 months ago

If the player has Hexproof via cards like or same effect as Leyline of Sanctity and I play Sleeper Agent Do they still get control of it or does it stay on my side of the field of play?

I feel like it should stay with me but, it's moving to their field of play so just wanted to double check since it's language states that it targets a player. (In this case one that is untargetable via Hexproof).

mfogle on Cyber Communists Plotting Red Revolt

6 months ago

awesome deck, love me some Xantcha. Have you considered cards like Hunted Horror , Sleeper Agent , or Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor ? Your deck seems to focus more on getting xantchas effect off, I don't know if these will fit, but can be fun polictaically and lend to group slug tactics.

triproberts12 on Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

6 months ago

I really like what you've done here, and I vote you build this deck. I can tell that, despite not having played very long, you've done your research. Haven't even seen Balduvian Warlord in a list yet, and it's some great tech. Plus you're running my favorite black card in EDH, Syphon Mind! Such value.

As for what to add, I think you could use another sac outlet or two for when Xantcha comes back to you after a player dies. Phyrexian Tower is a good investment. It only recently went from like $60 to $10 from the reprint, and I don't see it being reprinted any time soon.

Some other good cards to encourage combat and keep yourself protected are Koskun Falls , since it's the only Ghostly Prison in BR. No Mercy is a great deterrent, as well. Also, Maddening Imp is fun tech, but you can force combat more broadly with Angel's Trumpet , Fumiko the Lowblood , Goblin Spymaster , and Warmonger Hellkite .

As for helping Xantcha hit the mark, Cover of Darkness is excellent. Gotta love the old tribal cards that affect other player's creatures, and you're unlikely to get much splash effect from naming "Minion." Although, if you want to capitalize on it, Chainer, Dementia Master , Sleeper Agent (the OG Xantcha), and Phage the Untouchable could all play well into what you're doing. Chainer for the abundance of dying creatures. Agent, since no one will want to block it and for that sweet, sweet flavor. Phage, since no blockers should be a goal in your deck. Either way, Cover of Darkness should replace Whispersilk Cloak , since you can't equip creatures you don't control. Shizo, Death's Storehouse could also be good.

I think you could use a little more mana fixing, as well. Blood Crypt is unlikely to ever get cheaper than it is now. Temple of Malice is nice, and if you find yourself leaning black, Tainted Peak could be a good include, as well. Also, Rakdos Signet seems like a given.

As for cuts, I don't think Hissing Miasma is that great. Koskun Falls and No Mercy are much better deterrents. Shizo, Death's Storehouse is more mana-efficient than Rogue's Passage , and makes black mana, to boot. The Haunt of Hightower just seems too slow to be worth the cost if you're not building around it. Words of Waste seems like a loosing battle, since you'll need to be paying 3 mana to draw with Xantcha and activate the ability, so for every two times you combo, you're paying 6 mana and putting your opponents down 2 cards each and drawing 0 cards. For that 6 mana, you could just draw three cards, instead.

Good luck!

Madcookie on ETB effects on creatures stolen ...

10 months ago

@KablamoBoom If you were to Dominate Sleeper Agent you still don't get to retarget its ETB effect. People explained it but I see there is still some misunderstandings. MTGArena or Xmage is great at visualizing this type of stuff, but imagine the ETB as a separate "card", popping on the stack. You can remove the creature card from the battlefield, but its trigger "card" is still on the stack and is controlled by the person on whose side the creature entered the battlefield. Therefore with effects like Dominate that target stuff already on the battlefield, you don't control the ETB trigger and can't retarget it. Imagine we are playing commander with a third person. He casts Sleeper Agent and it resolves. He says "Madcookie will get the creature", you cast Dominate, before the trigger has resolved and steal it. Then the trigger which exists on the stack as "Madcookie gains control of this object eg.Sleeper Agent" resolves and you lose control of the creature and I gain control of it and will lose 2 life on my upkeep if it is still there.

Lastly I suggested Aethersnatch because I got the feeling you were interested in getting a certain ETB. Once a creature has entered the battlefield any ETB from it go on the stack and are controlled by the person whose side of the battlefield it entered play and as far as I know there aren't any cards that can steal triggers from the stack.

KablamoBoom on ETB effects on creatures stolen ...

10 months ago

@Boza Yeah, I think cards like Akroan Horse and Sleeper Agent were throwing me off. Both triggered abilities, both saying "you do X", and technically both work the same. But I guess if you Dominate a Sleeper Agent with the trigger on the stack your opponent still loses the life, not you. Some part of my brain gets its wires crossed when the creature still exists as its trigger is resolving.

Alkadron on Xantcha, Agent of Mayhem

11 months ago

HOLY MOTHER OF BEANS THIS DECK LOOKS SO COOL.

Never in my entire life did I imagine myself looking at contaminated bond and nettling curse and being like "Heck yeah those cards are gonna be awesome!"

You've truly created something outstanding here, friend, and I hope you're at least half as proud of it as I am excited about it.

That said:

Please update with some cool stories of playing this deck, I am intrigued to hear about how it does.

StopShot on I've built a more dynamic ...

11 months ago

@Xica, No, you're not wrong about those lines of plays, but Sleeper Agent isn't a turn one play. 100% of the time if I have a Monastery Swiftspear or Goblin Guide those will always go first. The thing about Agent is that he requires some thought. Aggressive decks like jund don't hold too much concern for their life totals given their mana bases along with Thoughtseize which would warrant using him just as a Shock in the late game as a finisher in this case. That's not true for all decks. Some decks might not even have any use for a free 3/3 like infect and so the Agent is played much earlier. Sometimes it's the equivalent of a 1 mana Char finishing them with a total of 4 damage while only dealing 3 to us. If I'm blind to a deck I'm playing against 80% of the time the agent is cast turns 3 or 4 and on odd hands the other 20% would be on turn 2. As you have said the Agent is only bad if I'm losing the race, and even then main-deck cards such as Niveous Wisps and Path to Exile while good for turning off blockers can also be used to turn off attackers if necessary as well, which is how those spells compliment each other.

Your point on Chalice of the Void however is irrefutable, but then again Chalice of the Void is a sideboard card. I do not see decks running it in the mainboard and just like Leyline of Sanctity would equally hose just about any burn deck, burn decks run cards in the sideboard so as to not fold under cards like Leyline of Sanctity or in this case Chalice of the Void. Just because they board it in doesn't mean it will be present in every game it's boarded in from (as having it in hand is a matter of chance), and just as equally every time it is played in game 2 or game 3 doesn't mean I will never have that answer in hand that was boarded in to respond back against it. (I can board in Shattering Spree or Smash to Smithereens if need be.)

Lastly sac outlets was a rather odd point to make as I don't believe there are any around. You brought up Viscera Seer which was a bridgevine semi-staple until Stitcher's Supplier was printed which practically removed all of them in favor of the supplier. Furthermore if they have a Bridge from Below wouldn't sac'ing the agent put the Sleeper Agent in my graveyard effectively exiling their Bridge from Below rather than give them a zombie token thus the point you brought up works to my advantage? Also Arcbound Ravager says sacrifice an artifact which the Sleeper Agent is not so I'm a bit baffled as to why you've brought that up as well unless I'm missing something here.

Again the Sleeper Agent is just one card and if there is a match-up that just so happens to have an advantage over one card that's not going to be the end of my deck as a whole. I'd argue there are more match-ups where the Agent is better in which justifies it's inclusion as burn decks tend to race better than most other decks.

I mean no ill-will for disagreeing with you like this, and yes damage that can target creatures as well can be important as that too provides flexibility, but unlike a lot of burn decks I'm running Shard Volley which can also target creatures if desperately needed for such situations and Path to Exile practically works for creatures as well, which makes up for the lack of Lightning Helix or Rift Bolt while doing so for less mana even. Plus cards like Lava Spike and the aforementioned Shard Volley can hit planeswalkers as well, so the options are still there in any case.

@DragonKing90, Goldfish turn-3 wins? Okay let me just stop you right there. You can not goldfish a turn 3 win by using Boros Charm, Searing Blaze, Lightning Helix, or Skullcrack. Run any scenario in your head using just one of those cards and the closest you get is 19 damage which arguably can be game even if it's not 20, but that's only if you try to squeeze in just one Boros Charm under the optimal circumstances. If you try to fit in 2 two-mana damage spells, even if we're generous and say they're both Boros Charm the amount of damage dealt by turn 3 decreases. Contradictory however the cards in my deck that aren't found in other burn lists such as Shard Volley, Bump in the Night, and Sleeper Agent can all be used to achieve 20 or more damage by turn 3. (These are facts as I'd invite you to do the calculations for yourself if you don't believe me.) In essence this deck can turn-3 win more consistently than your average burn deck, but this wasn't a point I wanted to make, because we're talking about gold-fishing and not real matches. I was only trying to draw comparisons to indicate potential to drum up interest in finding real results, not to win any kind of online forum debate. Regardless all there is to gather from is potential and speculation without data.

The point is professional Modern players often test their decks against many other archetypes so that they can obtain a better understanding of how well their deck performs in the meta. This can be done by religiously joining in most events or building the other archetypes themselves just to generate hypothetical matches. This is something I don't have as my local player-base does not run these decks, I don't have the cash to build different archetypes, and I'm simply not experienced enough to pilot those decks optimally to generate said results even if I could afford such decklists. All I can do is advertise on potential and speculation so that experienced Modern players who do regularly check their match-ups against burn may consider running a few hypothetical match-ups with my deck against theirs in order to generate real results on win/loss ratio as well as provide comparisons on their individual deck's win/loss ratio to traditional burn match-ups. I wouldn't be asking this if the speculation or potential I've ascertained through gold-fishing was bad as failing to generate positive outcomes through gold-fishing would never warrant further testing, but in this case from what speculation and potential I've been able to derive from gold-fishing I feel this deck deserves hypothetical matches to be conducted to determine it's odds. I'm not saying this is a better burn deck, just that it has enough potential to make it worth consideration to determine if that is the case, and if it's not the case that's fine but for now all we can do is float around "if it will" rather than "it does/does-not." As I've said before, I'm looking for results. You can use speculation to make any deck look as good or bad as you want it to be, but speculation is not synonymous with fact and it's the facts I'm most interested in.

Xica on I've built a more dynamic ...

11 months ago

StopShot

I have doubts about sleeper agent because lines like the following ones:

  • In a game against jund, they start with land drop + discard, on your turn 1 you give them Sleeper Agent. They swing with it for 3, then play Assassin's Trophy - and run out a Bloodbraid Elf or 2x Tarmogoyf/Scavenging Ooze on turn 3.

  • UW control can do the exact same line with Path to Exile - to ramp into their walkers, and run away with card advantage countering all your spells. -Relying too much on any single cmc is a deckbuilding COST.

  • You make yourself vulnerable to Chalice of the Void - which is going to be a great card, when everyone jumps on the jund bandwagon and ditches abrupt decay. (jund is basically "best 2 drop" tribal.deck - and you can get accidentally hit by the hate brought against them, from decks that can reliably ramp into early chalice)

  • If you are racing any deck, giving them a 3/3 is a BAD idea. Even if you are sometimes able to negate the downside with spells. This is not a card you would want to see against fast decks (yeah you can use your spells to tap it, or a Hollow One/Gurmag Angler/Vengevine

  • Against decks with sac outlet, this card simply gives free value t the opponent. Free scry with Viscera Seer (+ 2/2 body, of the have Bridge from Below in the grave), or more counters for hardened scales "affinity", if they have an Arcbound Ravager on the field.

I completely agree that the flexibility offered by cantrips is underappreciated. However i would caution against valueing it over the utility of "deals damage to any target" - as the any target can be key cards, you would easily loose the game to otherwise. Being able to kill walkers like an early Liliana of the Veil or Teferi, Hero of Dominaria can easily mean the difference between winning and loosing games. Yes, Eidolon of the Great Revel is a meta choice, its great in metagames with a lot of cheap spells. Its bad in rare metagems that have a lot of decks life dragon skred, or other similar decks, that you use your own eidolon to lock you out from casting any spell due the life loss.

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