Cunning Queen

"Those who seize power must have the means to hold it." Queen Marchesa

This is my attempt at a slightly different Queen Marchesa build. Unlike most decks I could find, this one doesn't revolve around building an army and overpowering the board: I prefer the Machiavellian approach of scheming and controlling your opponents in fighting each other for our own benefits.

While not every cards might the best possible choices, I tried to build a flavourful yet competitive multiplayer deck in the Black Rose's image: deceitful, calculating, devious, ruthless. Like the Queen I employ a network of assassins to carefully remove threats and protect the throne. Extort is used to slowly and sneakily weaken other players while we setup our play for power.

A major aspect of the strategy is to keep our intents obscure and avoid attention, all while making allies and supplying them with resources to kill others. This is why I opted for many Group Love cards (Ghirapur Orrery, Rite of the Raging Storm , Orzhov Advokist ) but also tried to avoid cards that would bring too much heat and hatred (Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Mogis, God of Slaughter, Polluted Bonds).

  • You like multiplayer and the politics aspect of EDH Commander
  • You can manage multiple combos
  • You like being in control and having multiple ways of winning
  • You're patient and enjoy slowly killing your opponents
  • You enjoy messy board states
  • You like graveyard interactions and reanimation
  • You're more into aggro decks, especially with big creatures
  • You would rather kill your opponents swiftly
  • You are very competitive

Key aspects of the deck

For those who don't know, Monarch is a player designation that was introduced in Conspiracy: Take the Crown. This mechanic fully works in the Commander format and allows the current monarch to draw a card at the beginning of his end step. (You can read the full rules here).

This card advantage is a great asset - especially since not a lot of players use it in EDH - and as soon as our Queen comes out we will automatically get it. Don't worry too much if you would come to lose the title: the deck is packed with other drawing power and it will just attract attention to someone else. We will also get nifty little assassins which might prove ket assets later in the game.

Unsurprisingly the main goal of this deck is to get enough protection on the board to allow us to boost our life, gain momentum and draw the cards we need to pull off combos.

There are many ways of protecting the throne: either by preventing players from attacking you, making sure we don't take any damage or simply having enough life points to absorb it all.

Here are a few cards & combos for this aspect:

One the best things about this deck is the vast array of ways you can win. I played multiple games where I had 2 or 3 different win conditions in my hand and could pull the trigger any time I wanted.

Based on the assumption that you will often have one of the highest life totals on the table, burning your opponents for the win is often going to be a solid option. The rest of the time you will have multiple alternatives to get the victory.

Here are a few cards & combos for this aspect:

With the amount of protection and all the love that this deck offers, probably nobody will want to attack us. That is not enough though: we need to make sure that they won't just sit and wait. Therefor I've added multiple cards that force creatures to attack, and some utilities to make sure we won't suffer from this.

Here are a few cards & combos for this aspect:

  • Illicit Auction is really fun and can turn out to be a great asset if nobody feel like bidding.
  • I wanted to include cards that gain control of creatures because it can cause a huge surprise and even possibly win games. Insurrection

The most important dimension for me when building a new deck is to always follow a theme. It provides me with a very coherent guideline and make sure that every games I play is like telling a story.

If you ask yourself why I didn't included Card X or Card Y it might simply be that it didn't quite fit in there. I value the fun and immersion way above the competitiveness but feel free to replace anything you want!

Here are a few cards & combos for this aspect:

I would LOVE to get your comments on this deck. Got any combo in mind, card suggestion, concerns, ways to improve it or whatever, please drop them in the comment section. And as always, if you like this deck don't forget to smash the +1 button!



RingoDingo92 says... #2

Interesting deck concept, no doubt. It wasn't easy for me to discern what's what in the deck without studying your various lists for several minutes, so you might want to consider revising that to help people help you, know what I mean? Anyway, at first glance I'd remove Aku Djinn, Wear / Tear, Rite of the Raging Storm, Luminarch Ascension, Divinity of Pride and Head Games. Some are just the casualties of cuts, some like Aku Djinn I don't understand how it benefits you. Anyway, I might look into Queen Marchesa myself too now, so thanks for the inspiration.

July 19, 2017 2:33 a.m.

FrankStar says... #3

Thanks a lot for the feedback RingoDingo92. Did you know about the dropdown filters to sort the categories displayed? I must've left the custom one by default, will change it so it doesn't confuse other people.

To answer you question about Aku Djinn it benefits me indirectly by playing the political game (I guess you could say group love). By helping my opponents get bigger and having a strong defence, I encourage them to kill each other and leave me alone. I reckon the Djinn might be a bit overkill though. Will adjust, thanks!

July 19, 2017 4:21 a.m.

RingoDingo92 says... #4

FrankStar Ah, no I did not, ha. Learn something new every day! It does soothe my soul to see the cards normally categorized, though.

Yeah but the Djinn can easily come back to bite you in the ass too. Some other cuts I'd consider would be End Hostilities (you already have a decent amount of board wipes) and Master of Cruelties. I love him, but he has a pretty small scope here. That's just how cuts go sometimes.

I'd also switch out Mardu Banner with Chromatic Lantern, no doubt. Unless you don't have a Lantern, then the Banner is an okay place holder. Good luck with continuing your cuts!

July 19, 2017 12:22 p.m.

FrankStar says... #5

RingoDingo92 brilliant suggestions. I absolutely agree with what you said and will update the deck. Thanks a lot for the help!

July 19, 2017 3:18 p.m.

Phill2016 says... #6

What about something like Visara the Dreadful? She's a living removal spell that flies and hits hard. She seems like she could find a place in your deck. Kind of like Royal Assassin, but bigger, harder to kill, more evasive, and with a stronger effect.

July 23, 2017 1:41 p.m.

Nice deck. I love Queen Marchesa. She has become my favorite commander, and my version has become my favorite deck of all time, and considering I started playing in 1994, that says something. I am happy with where my deck has evolved into, and I will be following your development to see if you take yours in a different direction that mine. As is stands, it looks like a lot of the differences are mostly based on my arbitrarily chosen low CMC limitation, and your desire to maintain theme. My biggest advice would be to limit your group hug style cards to ones that only give a bonus for directly forwarding your agenda. Cards like Duelist's Heritage function similarly to Avatar of Slaughter, but is only a benefit to your opponents when you choose, which can be whenever they attack one of your opponents. That will keep the guns pointed away from you. Check out my deck, there are lots of cards similar to that. If you want something that is more like Avatar of Slaughter, check out Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Still keeps all the guns pointed away from you, and is attached to a large evasive body. Anyway, +1 from me, and I will keep watching.

July 24, 2017 5:25 p.m.

Just found your deck. Looks very well thought out and fun to play. Think you can make room for Nahiri, the Harbinger? She is very versatile giving you card filtering, removal, and a tutor effect. I looked in the maybe and suggestions list but didn't see her. I have been playing with her since shadows released and she is very solid. That enchantment removal and card filtering alone has won me a ton of games. Check her out.

August 11, 2017 8:41 a.m.

FrankStar says... #9

Hyperalgialysis wow she is a nice fit indeed! Thanks for that, will find her a spot!

September 2, 2017 12:02 p.m.

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81% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 5 months
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 103
Avg. CMC 3.99
Tokens 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Elemental, 5/5 Demon, 1/1 Assassin, Monarch, 4/4 Angel, Nixilis
Folders Interesting, What Other People Made, hi, Liked Decks, EDH
Top rank #12 on 2017-07-24
Views 953

Revision 17 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Necropotence main
+1 Sol Ring main
-1 Chromatic Lantern main
-1 Sol Ring main
+1 Icy Manipulator main
+1 Duelist's Heritage main
-1 Royal Assassin main
-1 Pontiff of Blight main
-1 Council's Judgment main
-1 Vampiric Tutor main
-1 Blood Crypt main
+2 Mountain main
-1 Exsanguinate main
-2 Mountain main
+1 Maze of Ith main
+3 Plains main
+1 Nahiri, the Harbinger main
-1 Phyrexian Arena main
+1 Noxious Gearhulk main
-1 Avatar of Slaughter main
and 67 other change(s)