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Mairsil, The Pretender

Commander / EDH UBR (Grixis)



The goal of this deck is just to have some janky Voltron fun. Cage as many cool abilities as quickly as possible and then have at it. Wincons include: Tree of Perdition/Hateflayer damage combo, infinite turns with Anthroplasm/Sage of Hours, infinite mill with Quicksilver Elemental/Knacksaw Clique/3-mana mana rock (Gilded Lotus or Primsmatic Geopscope), or the same but with Oona instead of Knacksaw and a 1-mana untap (Morphling or Torchling). Quicksilver Elemental allows you to bypass the "once per turn" clause and enables many of these abilities to go infinite. The other caged abilities are really just a good time, except for caging Nev's Disk. People hate that lol. The hardest part is just getting an ideal opening hand of 3/4 mana and a bounce or blink ability or a way to tutor for one. That may just be a personal problem for me though because I'll keep six garbage cards if the seventh is Aetherling ;) From there, it's smooth sailing.

Edit: I have removed the Anthroplasm/Sage of Hours combo because it was super easy to accomplish and it turns out that I am not a fan of playing or playing against extra turns haha. To each their own though.

Arcane Laboratory, Propaganda, Frozen Aether, and War's Toll are meant to stall your opponents since this deck is slow out of the gate. You need to buy some time to cage up your protection and combo pieces. Arcane Laboratory is probably the best at this since I have rarely come across a situation where I need to play more than one spell per turn with this deck after Mairsil is on board but it really does hinder your opponents.

Edit: I've taken out War's Toll since I feel it is the weakest of my "stax" pieces and feel that the slot was better suited for Guard Gomazoa, a cheap defense that's helpful early on or even late game. I guess I'll find out.

Haste is really important in this deck because you do have to broadcast what you're gonna do since all of your abilities are caged for everyone to see. It's risky to cage up Nev's Disk and not be able to threaten activating it the same turn since it makes you such a big target. Anger is great for this since it's usually pretty easy to dump cards into the graveyard with this deck, and Shriekdiver is a cheap, colorless haste enabler too. Boots would be fine except that you have to re-equip them every time you blink Mairsil, which you can't do if you blink him during your opponents' turns.

The -lings are crucial to this deck. Aetherling is the blink engine, Morphling is great for untap and shroud (flying can also be useful), Torchling for untap and redirects, and Endling to save Mairsil from having to be sacrificed or from his own Nev's Disk (and potentially Mindslaver combo if I ever get around to it). Galecaster Colossus is great for getting rid of pesky permanents without having to eat up mana or card slots in the deck, and Hex Parasite works wonders against Planeswalkers. Usually having only one blocker makes Darkness a must-include, in my opinion. It has saved me so many times.

This deck's biggest weakness is its reliance on Aetherling. Cavern Harpy and Riptide Laboratory are ok, but Aetherling doubles as protection as well as helping to cage lots of abilities really quickly. Not gonna lie, this deck barely works without Aetherling. BUT, with Aetherling, this deck is a nightmare for your opponents. Also (and I learned this the hard way), make sure you only blink Mairsil with Aetherling BEFORE moving to your or your opponents' endstep from main phase 2. If you do it at or during the end step, he won't come back into play until the next turn's end step.

Obvious upgrades include: the land base, Cyclonic Rift instead of Devastation Tide, Staff of Domination, Training Grounds, and more/better tutors and interaction, among others.

Edit: Got the Rift as a Christmas present!

Edit: I have added Ethereal Usher as a budget tutor for Aetherling. It can also grab Arcanis and Oona. Soothsaying is another recent addition as a cheap way to dig through the deck to find the cards I need to cage, and can stack the entire deck exactly how you want if it's used in combination with an infinite mana combo. Budget restricts my access to better tutors but these are effective alternatives. Traumatize is also a quick way to add lots of targets to your graveyard.

Edit: I have removed Traumatize again just because I personally have not gotten any value out of it, but your mileage may vary. It is still an objectively good card for this deck though.

My reasoning for not including Conjurer's Closet and Deadeye Navigator is that if you're relying on those two to blink Mairsil, you're too far into the game without Aetherling and by that point it's probably not going to matter anyway.

Edit: I have added Thassa, Deep Dwelling as a better alternative to Conjurer's Closet. She's indestructible so she can survive your own Nev's Disk, she costs one less to cast, and she has an additional tap ability that may or may not come in handy at some point. There is pretty much a zero percent chance she will ever be a creature because there are only a handful of blue mana symbols in the entire deck that don't get caged up but that's not really her purpose in this deck anyway. She's an additional free blink and that's pretty valuable on its own. Also, the constellation art looks dope.

In summation, this is absolutely my favorite deck to play. It's fun, it's interesting, and it wins its fair share of games. It takes some practice to get the hang of, but once you do, it is an absolute blast.


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29% Casual

71% Competitive

Date added 6 months
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

4 - 0 Mythic Rares

44 - 0 Rares

26 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.33
Tokens 1/1 Faerie Rogue
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