pie chart

A Smile a Day Keeps Death Away (Alesha Primer)

Commander / EDH Aristocrats Competitive Primer RBW (Mardu) Reanimator



Instant (1)

Creature (1)


Welcome to my Alesha deck. This deck is awesome to play, it can compete with a lot of other 80-90% decks but can also shift down a couple of gears if you have a more casual playgroup. The deck has a lot of lines and rewards you for learning its playstyle.

Since Alesha's ability allows us to only revive smaller creatures, thus deck is not about making big flashy plays that hit the opponents for massive damage, but rather a death by a thousand cuts playstyle

Alesha's colors and ability allow you to play a lot of different combos. While combos make the deck (obviously) better, I prefer to play a more grindy list that isn't as focussed on combos. I do run the combo Restoration Angel + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker , but only because these cards are amazing by themselves, and "accidentally" happen to combo together. I do not run the Murderous Redcap + Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit combo exactly for that reason, those creatures are far worse in a vacuum.

You should play this deck if:
  • You like to adapt your gameplan based on your opponents.
  • You like to generate value over time.
  • You like high-synergy decks.
  • You like a "death by a thousand cuts" playstyle.
  • You like being more under the radar.
  • You like picking off opponents one by one.

You should not play this deck if:
  • You like big flashy plays.
  • You like to have one big attack to win the game.
  • You like to deal massive amounts of damage.

The general gameplan is to just accumulate card advantage and hit the opponents for chipdamage. The deck is capable of playing the long game. The creature arsenal of this deck allows you to play more like toolbox deck, always getting the right answer at the right moment. When no answers are required, you can just grind for value with one of the many card-advantage generators in the deck.

Getting creatures in the grave.

We obviously first need to get creatures in the Graveyard before we bring them back with Alesha's ability. While we could just simply wait around for our creatures to die, there are plenty of ways to get them right where you need.

  • Entomb and Buried Alive are two obvious choices here, allowing to set up creatures for a relevant Alesha swing. Because these cards basically serve as tutors in this deck, you can always get the right cards for a certain situation.
  • Faithless Looting , Cathardic Reunion, Wheel of Fortune and Rix Maadi Reveler allow us to dump creatures straight from the hand into the Graveyard, while thinning the deck in the process.

Attacking with Alesha

Attacking with Alesha can be considered the single most important thing of the deck, as it is the main source for card advantage and toolboxing. While Alesha's 3/2 first strike stats hold up fine in the first few turns of the game, it gets drastically as the game progresses. To make sure we can keep the attacks coming, we need to give Alesha some form of combat protection.

As I mentioned before, this deck doesn't necessarily win all by itself, it rather grinds people out and benefits from opponents dealing damage to each other. There are a few ways to win by yourself though:

I will explain some card choices you might not see in every Alesha deck.

  • Grim Haruspex might be out of Alesha's range, but is still the most efficient creature to draw cards with upon death triggers. The deck has plenty of sacrifice outlets so it's pretty common to bring a creature back with Alesha, Sacrifice it, Draw a card, and do it all over next turn.
  • Rix Maadi Reveler is a card you love to see in your opening hand, but also holds up in the mid to late game. We will never be casting it for the spectacle cost, but the ability to loot a card helps to set up certain graveyard plays.
  • Victimize is a reanimation spell that I've been very impressed with. The sacrifice a creature clause is often not a problem, and it allows you to get your best two creatures back.
  • Nahiri, the Harbinger also allows us to dump creatures straight from the hand into the graveyard, while simultaneously dealing with problematic permanents. Her ultimate is pretty underwhelming in this deck though.
  • Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord is a card I'm currently testing out. I felt like the deck had some trouble gaining life and his -X ability allows us to bring back a lot of value-creatures.

While most Alesha decks are fairly similair at their base, there are some popular cards I decided not to run.

  • Mentor of the Meek is a card I recently cut, while I don't think it's a bad card per se, it was always a bit underwhelming, the card did not do enough by itself which made me never want to reanimate it with Alesha.
  • Ravenous Chupacabra is not strong enough for commander in my opinion, most threats you want to remove in commander either have hexproof, shroud or indestructible, making this card feel clunky and more than often just ending up as a 4 mana bear.
  • Gonti, Lord of Luxury is a bit too "RNG" for my taste, I rather have a card that I know can get direct value, without being depended on the opponents top four cards.
  • Disciple of Bolas is a card that I'm usually a big fan off. However, the creature line-up in this deck consists of small, efficient creature, often making Disciple rather underwhelming
  • Archetype of Finality has a pretty solid ability to support Alesha on her attacks, but unfortunately is just too damn expensive. 6 mana for a 2/3 with a narrow effect is not good enough in my opinion. Yes, you can bring her back with Alesha, but often enough it just ends up being a dead card in your hand

Thanks for reading! If you liked this primer please consider giving an upvote


Updates Add



100% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Top Ranked
Date added 6 months
Last updated a few seconds

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.06
Tokens 1/1 Servo, None Copy Clone, 1/1 Goblin, None Treasure, 2/2 Morph, 1/1 City's Blessing
Folders Alesha, My decks, combo decks
Ignored suggestions
Shared with