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Description

People of Paliano! People of the High City!

It is my solemn duty to inform you that Brago, King of Paliano, is no more. His death shocked the city all those years ago; his spiritual continuance brought joy and relief to us all. Now, he has at last passed truly and forever beyond the veil. His long reign has come to an end, and his spirit is finally granted the eternal rest it deserves.

In his beneficent wisdom, our late king appointed a successor with the will and the strength to bring peace to his beloved city. As his designated heir, recognized by the sacred order of Custodi as his one true successor, I vow to uphold the laws of Paliano, to maintain order in the city, and to see that justice is served swiftly and even-handedly. Though I know that I will never be a worthy heir to a man whose commitment to his city transcended life itself, I must hope that, with the blessings of the Custodi, I am able to guide our fair city to a new age of prosperity. Those who might use this transition as an excuse for rebellion should know that treason will be answered, as it always has been, with the harshest punishments, while loyalty will be rewarded lavishly. May fortune smile upon Paliano!

Hail to the queen! Long may she reign!

Overview

Good evening, and welcome to my humble primer. Within these tabs you will find a recipe most potent for an archetype many enjoy, but few truly commit to: Aristocrats. You may be familiar with the idea of sacrificing creatures- so many Commander decks love to have some way to protect their commander from the dreaded prospect of another seizing control, or will happily throw in a single altar just to have some ramp.

But let's think... bigger, shall we?

After extensive debate with both myself and many other EDH players, I have come to conclude that Mardu is the best choice for our strategy. We are first and foremost a deck desgined for the late-game, and as such, we find ourselves turning to a color combination with every single form of removal one can imagine, from edicts and single-target creature removal to mass exile and land destruction.
Our dear Queen Marchesa is an excellent choice to command leadership of the deck. Her cunning, elegance and intelligence reap us bountiful rewards in the form of either an additional card each turn, granting us more of our control options, or a loyal 1/1 creature with haste and deathtouch, ready to serve us as needed. Other Mardu commanders offer either a far too grave-centric strategy, inconsistent value or are too aggressive for this strategy. For the unparalleled general utility Marchesa offers, she stands out amongst all other Mardu commanders, and rightly takes the throne.

Strategy

Aristocrats, monikered after the famous duo of Cartel Aristocrat and Falkenrath Aristocrat and their spectacular performances in Standard Pro Tours, is a strategy revolving around sacrificing creatures regularly to gain advantage over one's opponents. While the original decks aimed to make use of sacrificing to give its attacking creatures protection or indestructible, we aim to supplement a moderate pillowfort/removal package with powerful utilities and recursion, creating nightmarish engines that will pull us to victory.
Our options for sacrificing are quite varied, allowing us quite a number of rewards for our servants to give themselves for. Viscera Seer streamlines our draw order, Ashnod's Altar gives us extra mana should we wish it, Shivan Harvest destroys pesky opposing nonbasics like Cabal Coffers and Alchemist's Refuge, Hell's Caretaker lets us give up a pawn for any creature from our graveyard, and Altar of Dementia gives us a way to mill out opponents in the late game. While not a proper way to sacrifice creatures, Skullclamp is still a reliable way to place smaller creatures in the grave should the need arise.
In order to supply the deck with the manpower we need to start our engines, we've included a myriad of creatures and spells to produce the fodder of war. Doomed Dissenter, Feldon of the Third Path, Assemble the Legion and Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs all produce tokens for our outlets, while Sun Titan, Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Reveillark and Ravos, Soultender allow us to recur our followers from the graveyard to serve again.
We have no place for weakness in our hearts. We must stop all attempts to dethrone us at any cost. We carry with us a suite of single-target removal, with Malicious Affliction and Terminate chief amongst them. Merciless Eviction, Black Sun's Zenith and Vandalblast allow us to wipe the field of problems as we see fit, and Wear / Tear and Rakdos Charm will remove unpleasant support pieces from the board. Dictate of Erebos is a lock on the field, as our willing sacrifices thin our opponents' fields until they are bare of life, and Word of Seizing gives us control of the most powerful permanent on the field, with no opportunity for rebuttal.
Every queen worth her crown has some way to protect herself. Ghostly Prison, Sphere of Safety and Crawlspace all force incoming attackers to pay a price for their aggression, with Archangel of Tithes and Windborn Muse performing a similar role in a frailer but more easily accessible capacity. Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Mother of Runes and Authority of the Consuls all slow down the progress of our opponents' boards and provide us a great amount of room to breathe, and Grand Abolisher stops any interruptions from barging in during our turns.
When we want to get our hands dirty and send a final blow, we turn to more bombastic and aggressive options. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite gives a powerful anthem to our creatures and weakens or outright kills opposing ones, Zulaport Cutthroat drains the table for large amounts of life as we continue to sacrifice creatures, and Harsh Mentor and Kambal, Consul of Allocation tax the table to bring each dissenter within the range of a killing blow. Any of these pieces, once paired with our engines, can easily spell doom for our opponents.
Our sideboard seeks to supplement the deck with additional options to adapt as needed. Master of Cruelties, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Tajic, Blade of the Legion and Butcher of Malakir all add ways to kill, dropping life totals drastically through either a powerful triggered ability or the more simple solution of hitting for 7 each turn. Imposing Soverign and Iona, Shield of Emeria slow down opposing gameplans, and Disciple of Bolas and Thoughtpicker Witch give us more ways to sacrifice creatures against slower decks that we can set up more easily against.

If you feel that you can improve upon this design, please leave a suggestion below!

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Comments View Archive

Enral says... #1

If you're helming Alesha, the new card Hope of Ghirapur will be very useful. Eldrazi Displacer will also help blink your ETB creatures incase your commander is not available to abuse them.

January 29, 2017 6:17 p.m.

Die4Dethklok says... #2

I love both of these commanders for Mardu. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death was my first commander, and I'm working on a Marchesa deck atm. I wish Marchesa and Alesha could be partnered. Haha. That would be great.

January 29, 2017 9:17 p.m.

Looks like you run a moderate sized Pillow Fort. My only suggestions at this point are High Priest of Penance and Selfless Squire. Both are powerhouses in my Queen Marchesa pillow fort control deck. You could also sift through my list, you may find something interesting. Obviously different decks with different strategies, but seeing mine through the lens of your deck may spark some cross pollination. I will look through yours for some more suggestions. Also, +1 for taking this commander in a different direction.

January 29, 2017 9:57 p.m.

Leonantti says... #4

Nice to see others play Queen Marchesa too, this deck looks really interesting :)

July 11, 2017 3:34 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 10 months
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.14
Tokens 1/1 Assassin, 2/2 Zombie, 3/3 Ogre, Monarch, 1/1 Soldier, 6/6 Dragon, Elspeth
Folders The Queen, Commander, Cool stuff, Noice, EDH Designs, Cool Decks, ideas, You Will Serve, Even In Death, Commander, EDH, See all 14
Views 3300

Revision 13 See all

2 months ago)

-1 Orzhov Advokist main
+1 Odric, Lunarch Marshal main