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Alesha, the Khan with the Iron Will

Commander / EDH RBW (Mardu)


Hello and welcome to Alesha, the Khan with the Iron Will. Just like in my last decklist Imperator Kurkesh, I plan to show you the pros, cons, and reasoning as to why you should want to play Alesha! Of course much like Kurkesh I will delve into my history with Alesha and how I came to build her.

Alesha came out in Fate Reforged and the copy I have now is my prerelease promo from back from Fate. At the time I was stoked for Khans which is my favorite block in the entire history of Magic, at the time I was very excited for what was to come from the Mardu Clan considering their Khan in the Khans set Zurgo Helmsmasher was at that time my go to choice for a Mardu General. He was everything I wanted at the time but I wanted to see what the Fate Khan would be, maybe an awesome ancient Orc or something but instead we got Alesha, and at the time I was so disappointed. I believed at that time that she was completely awful as General material BOY I was wrong, I would consider at this time Alesha is the BEST in the Mardu colors and I take back everything I have ever said about her.

Now flash forward to last Christmas where I had decided to get myself a gift which was this Alesha deck and its probably one of my favorite decks currently!

" War... It is the lifeblood of this world." - Grommash Hellscream, Warchief of the Iron Horde

Who is Alesha? Well Alesha, Who Smiles at Death is a 3 cost 3/2 with First Strike, costing and she has a Triggered Ability on attacking costing which allows you to return a creature from your Graveyard with power 2 or less to the battlefield tapped and attacking.

Alesha's ability is powerful and allows the recurring of many low powered creatures to build value and set up combos. This can also be used to bring out Master of Cruelties for one shot kills.

Personally I can't see any Mardu General better then Alesha she's the fastest, most brutal, and versatile. Well there other fun options, Queen Marchesa , or Zurgo Helmsmasher Alesha is by far the strongest.


-Comes out fast

-Abusable Effect


-Easily able to deal with all forms of Permanents

-Resistant to Counters


-Prone to Graveyard hate

-Well Resilient can easily be disrupted

-Usually has to go all in

Now how is Alesha resistant to counters? Well consider the following if you cast Imperial Recruiter and it is countered sure it goes to the grave but Alesha can easily recur that and get the effect again thus meaning countering creatures does not generate as much value.

Conversely countering other spells does hurt the gameplan we can at least recur sorceries with Anarchist which is good it can get us back Buried Alive or a Vindicate .

"Are you so eager to meet death? Look then upon the countless faces of your demise." - Grommash Hellscream, Warchief of the Iron Horde

Well Alesha herself does not set off Combos with her effect SHE can assemble combos and gain value with said effect which moves us towards victory.

Now we run several Combos in this build and there is even a coveted Turn 2 Miracle Win which is possible and with a minor alteration to this list can be a Turn 1 Win. But lets get to the Combos!

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Village Bell-Ringer + Impact Tremors This is infinite damage and infinite untaps for Kiki, now to assemble this suddenly and quickly usually we need to have both of these guys in the grave. But how can we get them both out quickly?

Karmic Guide + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Village Bell-Ringer Infinite Untap, on Kiki, and Infinite Bell Ringers to swarm the enemy.

Now this can also add in Tremors for the Infinite Damage as well but this combo focuses on playing Kiki through Guide before Combat is declared and then swarm the enemy.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Village Bell-Ringer + Zulaport Cutthroat is infinite life loss on end of turn.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Village Bell-Ringer + Zulaport + any sac outlet is infinite life loss plus some other effect, such as infinite Scry through Viscera Seer or Mana through Ashnod's Altar .

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Mirror Entity + Zulaport Cutthroat this is infinite LTBs and ETBs this is due to using Mirror Entity's effect like a mass sac outlet to cause you're entire board to die. This trigger's Lark's ability to return Guide and Entity, Guide then gets back Zulaport then rinse and repeat.

You can add other cards to this combo as well, such as Impact Tremors for infinite damage on the ETBs, and this can also work with any other sac outlet as well.

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Sun Titan + One Sac outlet, this makes infinite ETBs and LTBs as well as infinite recursion of any cmc 3 or less permanent allowing us to get back things we normally could not! You can additionally pair this combo with Zulaport or Tremors again for infinite damage/life loss.

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Gonti, Lord of Luxury + a sac outlet, this allows for again infinite ETBs and LTBs, and allows you to exile all opponents' libraries.

Murderous Redcap + Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit + a sac outlet is infinite damage via Bolster

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Anarchist + a Sac Outlet this allows you to infinitely recur Anarchist to get all your sorceries back to hand.

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Avalanche Riders + a Sac Outlet is infinite land destruction.

Karmic Guide + Revillark + Fiend Hunter + a Sac Outlet this allows us to Exile every creature besides our own.

Karmic Guide + Revillark + Leonin Relic-Warder + a Sac Outlet this allows us to Exile every Artifact and Enchantment besides our own.

Karmic Guide + Revillark + Tidehollow Sculler + a Sac Outlet this allows us to Exile all non lands in everyone else's hands.

Fiend Hunter + Sun Titan + Impact Tremors + a Sac Outlet this is infinite damage.

Fiend Hunter + Sun Titan + Ashnod's Altar + Mentor of the Meek this is Infinite Colorless Mana and Infinite Draw.

Fiend Hunter + Sun Titan + Ashnod's Altar + Withered Wretch this allows Infinite Mana again and all Opponent's Graveyards being exiled.

Now of course there are other types of combos such as replacing Zulaport with Blood Artist or Impact Tremors with Goblin Sharpshooter I didn't list these since its redundancy and I wish Sharpshooter was really Goblin Bombardment .

You can also add other pieces into the combos for more effects since all of these combos are either Infinite ETB or Infinite LTB sometimes both!

"There is no place to run, outsiders. This is MY world. We will find you!" - Grommash Hellscream, Warchief of the Iron Horde

Now we have a lot of combos some of them cost a lot of mana to hard cast, and some have multiple pieces so we need to find ways to get them together. We have lots of Tutors to do this both for creatures and cards in general, and we have Alesha's effect to pull things from our Grave but Alesha's effect requires us to be IN combat which can hamper some of our combos.

For that reason we run, Reanimate , and Animate Dead these allow us to grab pieces from our grave for cheap. Buried Alive allows us to pitch pieces to our grave I generally recommend pitching Anger since it allows us to have mass haste so we can play and swing Alesha right away and trigger her ability.

Victimize Also allows us to grab pieces and get a LTB on something. We also have Grand Abolisher and Boros Charm to protect us from interaction and from any form of Destroy effects.

"Rise up, Iron Horde! Bring your warchief their heads." - Grommash Hellscream, Warchief of the Iron Horde.

Alesha allows us for a LOT of value plays with her effect. Some of these involve recurring Solemn Simulacrum , Knight of the White Orchid , or Burnished Hart to get a land or a way to get lands to the battlefield. Recurring either Recruiter of the Guard or Imperial Recruiter to get pieces to our hand.

We can also use Mentor of the Meek plus Alesha to get some draw triggers. We can also use Reconnaissance to keep Alesha from actually getting into combat well still getting a trigger from her effect.

These just scratch the surface of what can happen with Alesha considering almost EVERY card in our deck has an ETB that is just waiting to be abused by Alesha's effect. Value for days!

"The Iron Horde is never beaten! I will NEVER surrender!" - Grommash Hellscream, Warchief of the Iron Horde

Because of how Alesha works I'm gunna walk us through a typical game and what you want to do!

When playing Alesha its important to know well you are resilient and can comeback going wide on to many combos will lead to defeat. For that reason its good to focus on getting one combo online with a fallback set up, for example casting Imperial Recruiter early game to then grab Viscera Seer or Carrion Feeder so we have an outlit ready in our hand and then using Diabolic Intent to sac our recruiter to Reanimate lets us set up for an Alesha trigger to get Recruiter back which can then get our Zulaport Cutthroat .

Now that we have this in play we just need to get our Sun Titan and Fiend Hunter to the graveyard, currently our only option in the deck right now is Buried Alive but this can also fill up other things for Titan to bring back when we use Reanimate.

Now we wait for the opportunity to go off, and then we set down our pieces and begin infinite life loss. This is how you have to play with Alesha, thinking of your next moves ahead and making lightning fast reactions to the board state.

Sometimes the combo you grab might not work in your favor which is why we can grab a tech card with our Buried Alive , such as Anarchist which we can recur with Alesha to get back our Intent or Buried to use again to set up another combo. Now of course all of this is implying things go our way and as we all know things won't go our way. Thus we need to be able to react accordingly and that's why we run a TON of removal this allows us to take card of pesky permanents and keep the board clear so Alesha can swing on in for triggers.

We can also use this removal to bait out counters from the enemy who might not want their Unwinding Clock to be gone but we might just need them to blow one counter so we can go off.

"This Wolf Still has Teeth" - Grommash Hellscream The Warchief of the Iron Horde

Here we shall discuss the reasoning for some of my card choices and how they factor into our game plan.

Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit Anafenza only has one real use in this deck, she combos with Murderous Redcap allowing you to with a sac outlet to combo off and win. She's also cheap allowing us to cast into her and Redcap very easily!

Anarchist Anarchist is a good tech card allowing us to grab our sorceries from the grave, it kinda costs a lot to hard cast but for a simple Alesha effect its pretty efficient.

Aven Mindcensor as much as this build isn't a stax build Mindcensor is a great way to control all forms of searching. Perfect tech card, and allows us to respond to the activation of a search effect!

Burnished Hart a card that could probably be cut but since we're playing colors that can't ramp out lands super hard I think it's pretty decent it can also be grabbed by Alesha from the grave so we can search for basics again!

Filth honestly hasn't done much outside of making your creatures able to attack anyone when an Urborg is on the field it really isn't that great, its more like a discount Reconnaissance gunna cut this I feel.

Goblin Sharpshooter gunna cut for Goblin Bombardment.

Knight of the White Orchid another ramp card can tutor shocks or duals and can be grabbed with Alesha.

Loxodon Gatekeeper This guy is an all star, locking down opponents and keeping us safe, he becomes a target quick but he can be grabbed by Alesha. Meaning unless exiled or tucked we can keep this guy with us and get him to keep eating removal.

Solemn Simulacrum Another way to ramp lands but without a conditional trigger like Orchid, and also gives us cards when it dies, again can be grabbed by Alesha to grab our basics and be a draw trigger.

Withered Wretch This guy DESTROYS reanimator and is why I run it, allows us to keep people's graveyards in check.

High Market A tech land but decently fantastic, it allows us to get a line started such as sacing a Reveillark to get a sac outlet creature and a Karmic Guide which brings back our Lark to sac the Lark and Guide to get the rest of a combo together.

Kher Keep Another tech land that brings us some tokens we can Skullclamp for card advantage.

Windbrisk Heights I dunno how to feel about this land I kind of like it but at the same time if you hideaway something really good and you can't get the trigger to activate you lose that card for the rest of the game. Might be cut in the future.

Day of Judgement this card is mostly here until I can get a Toxic Deluge .

Diabolic Tutor This card is going to get removed for Demonic Tutor when I can.

Aggravated Assault I'm gunna remove this card since I don't have a Sword of Feast and Famine if I had one I would totally run this card but as it is now. It never gets any use and is mostly a dead draw.

Reconnaissance Great way to protect Alesha when she swings to get her effect off. Can also protect Sun Titan or other attack trigger creatures.

Phyrexian Arena Good card advantage for a minimal price, can be a great turn 3 play, and with the right cards turn 2!

"I will show you what it means to be Warsong." - Grommash Hellscream, Warchief of the Iron Horde.

I mentioned before, that there is a turn 2 miracle play that lets you win and a way to make it turn 1 well time to run you through it.

Turn 1:

Play a land that can tap for , play Sol Ring and then pass the turn.

Turn 2:

Play another land that can tap for , use Ring and one to play Buried Alive sending, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker , Karmic Guide , and Village Bell-Ringer in the graveyard. Using the last play Reanimate getting back Guide, which will grab Kiki, tap Kiki to copy Guide, which then grabs Ringer which untaps Kiki thus creating infinite untaps of Kiki and Ringers which wins us the game.

Now how can we do this on Turn 1? To do this we need to add Dark Ritual to the deck. Currently it isn't in there but I plan to add it! So lets run through what it would be like with Ritual.

Turn 1:

Play a land that makes tap the land and play Ritual thus making .

Use one to play Soul Ring, tap Ring and use one to play Buried Alive getting Kiki, Guide, and Ringer. We now have one last use it to play Reanimate to get Guide, which gets Kiki, which makes a copy of Guide which gets Ringer which allows us to make infinite Ringers and win the game!

Now of course this can be interrupted, with things like Force of Will or Pact of Negation BUT if you get them to stop this with a Force of a Pact one they lose Force. Or two, they use Pact and that player loses the game.

This list I feel is decently optimized, its strong but there can be some more things added to it.

Phyrexian Altar is one thing that I think that can be added. It would make things more optimized since we can get infinite colored mana which would also let us use Aggravated Assault .

Demonic Tutor is another thing that can be added, as can Vampiric Tutor , Imperial Seal , and Grim Tutor .

Unfortunately Imperial and Grim are very very expensive so I doubt I'll ever get a chance to put them in this deck but as for Demonic and Vamp I can definitely get them in this deck.

Dark Ritual is something that is gunna be added so I don't think I need to talk much about it but its necessary for the Turn 1 win.

Entomb Def need this, this thing will help accelerate Alesha to new heights might actually tech Filth out for this!

Well there you have Alesha, the Khan with the Iron Will. I hope you all have enjoyed reading through this list and I can't wait to hear everyone's feedback, thank you!



39% Casual

61% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 6 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.84
Tokens 0/1 Kobold, None Copy Clone, 0/1 Kobold
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