MTGO: nUKe13

“Rulers come and go, but my allegiance belongs to the throne.”

For Her Majesty, the Queen! God(s) save the Queen! Long may She reign!

I’m a big fan of Mardu strategies and when I saw Queen Marchesa (long may She reign) spoiled, I’d thought I’d try her out.

That’s when it was all over for me. I fell in love with my Queen and I have never wanted to use another commander since!

To be honest, in every MtG format, I play Mardu. Mardu never seems over-oppressive while simultaneously still feeling powerful/competitive.

Much of my inspiration comes from my time spent building and tinkering with the deck and testing out different variants. Other sources of inspiration come from:

  • EDHrec

  • Various YouTube spotlights/highlights and deck techs

  • Play group suggestions

The great thing about Mardu is it’s flexibility. This build has morphed from pillow-fort/prison, to stax/curses, to good stuff, to tokens, and finally settled on Monarch/Politics. I’m happy with the journey and I feel it has come to a triumphant conclusion as to the type of deck I want it to be.

This deck has felt the most interactive, decently competitive, and definitely the most fun as a Queen Marchesa (long may She reign) Monarch/Council build. Basically meant for multiplayer games where the deck pits and plots opponents against each other and sits behind effects that tax opponent for trying to take the “Crown” (Monarch) from us.

Let me know if there's anything you see that could be changed. Comments and critiques are appreciated!

“Those who seize power must have the means to hold it.”

Each card in this deck provides one (or multiple) of these focused purposes:

  • MONARCH - we play every card available to ensure the phrase "you become the monarch" is triggered. Also, sometimes, when the monarch is "reinstated" to where it should be, we gain additional effects on the trigger, like Custodi Lich or Palace Jailer. I mention that, since we also run grave recursion, it is important to time which creature goes "on the stack" at which moment, so we can optimally trigger the effects. I have found, since we run so many other creatures that give us the monarch, we don't necessarily need to play Queen Marchesa (long may She reign) on turn 3/4. This allows our commander to be played when we don't have the monarch and we don't have any creatures or effects to give it back to us. After all, a Queen doesn't need to be involved with every aspect; that's why She has her loyal subjects!

  • TAX - when I first built this deck, I was more concerned with protecting myself, and keeping opponent from attacking me, than actually having a proactive win condition. This lead to me being one of the last players on the table, but I didn't have anything strong enough to fight the opponent, who had spent the whole game accumulating a massive board presence. Therefore, the "tax" that the deck carries is mostly combat related. The tax comes in 2 forms: FIRST, a penalty for attacking us with creatures, with effects like Windborn Muse, Ghostly Prison, and even Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts. These tax efects Force the opponent to decide whether to devolve their own plan, or sacrifice that plan by attacking us. Also, Aura of Silence can be a nice addition that taxes powerful artifacts and enchantments from hitting the field, and can also be sacrificed to destroy one later in the game! SECOND, we have effects that tax our opponent from playing or activating their creatures and spells the turn they come down. Effects like Blind Obedience, Thalia, Heretic Cathar, and Authority of the Consuls force our opponents' creatures (and sometimes lands!) to come in tapped. In addition, we can use Royal Assassin to destroy whatever creature comes in tapped, or at least force the opponent to deal with Royal Assassin first. What this actually does, if the opponent has taken the monarch from us, allows another opponent to attack them, without there being a blocker for the opponent in possession of the monarch to block. Athreos, Shroud-Veiled, though it may seem slow, is a consistent, indestructible threat. The ability to bring powerful creatures back, regardless of whether they were exiled (since we run Orzhov removal) or destroyed (it is EDH, of course), is phenomenal. I used to run Orzhov Advokist in this spot, but it honestly felt like delaying the inevitable, whereas Athreos, Shroud-Veiled feels more proactive and valuable. Lastly, Grand Abolisher prevents the opponent from casting instants (or really doing anything) on our turn so we can develop our game plan in peace. Overall, these barriers provide protection, and encourage the group to attack each other, while we continue to influence the board state through edict effects, and spot removing any problematic card that would prevent a "fair" game of EDH.

  • VOTE - straight forward, these cards allow us to interact with the opponent. These cards include the keywords "Will of the Council", "Council's Dilemma", and even our spot removal can fill that spot. I've realized more and more that Mathas, Fiend Seeker and Xantcha, Sleeper Agent actually leads to inner disruption between players, basically forcing them to attack or destroy creatures to gain an advantage. What I like to do, and this depends on the play style and "rules" of the group that you play in, is ask the opponent what they would like us, the controller of the spell, to vote for. This way, we can see the game from their perspective. We can cut deals: "If I vote for 'x', can you take care of 'y' for me?" This makes the game interesting and interactive. It also can help form partnerships (temporarily, of course) to be able to help each other out.

Each of these “themes” of the deck provide an interactive experience for the group. DISCLAIMER: this deck is not "Group Hug". Honestly, in my opinion, sometimes Group Hug decks can really hurt decks that are not built to ramp that quickly. Rather, this deck, and one of the greatest aspects of EDH, seeks to make deals with the group. Though it may not have quick wins, so it is not as competitive in a 1v1 game, it is a really great way to get to know the group, interact, and have a non-oppressive presence on the board and in the group, making for a really fun game of EDH!

"Dinner and Politics don’t mix."


  • Athreos, Shroud-Veiled - this helps for the long game when we have survived because of all the taxing effects. Also, having indestructible is nice since we have a lot of edict and destroy effects. Play it safe and occasionally target your own creatures so you don’t become too hated by the table.

  • Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts - protection from creatures, and token generation make this creature a great game-ending presence. Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts technically can't be blocked, so she also can get us back the monarch, if need be. Great prison/control card.

  • Skyline Despot - like I said prior, since we run ALL of the monarch trigger cards, we are the monarch, most of the game. Skyline Despot rewards us by giving us big, evasive dragons to attack opponent when the coast is clear.

  • Kambal, Consul of Allocation - along with Garrulous Sycophant, Palace Siege, and Grudge Keeper, these cards slowly chip away at our opponents and threaten life total, especially later in the game.

  • Magister of Worth - if you really want to start some mayhem, play this, and convince everyone to choose "grace" and bring back all the creatures. It makes for an enormous game-deciding battle to occur (usually) and many "enter the battlefield" effects to alter the course of the game.

  • Xantcha, Sleeper Agent - the text "attacks each combat" is important, since Xantcha, Sleeper Agent has big stats and allows opponents to draw cards and drain each other. Another related card, that got cut from this version, was Crown of Doom, but Xantcha, Sleeper Agent fills the role well. We can also bring her back with the multiple graveyard recursion cards we play.

  • Custodi Squire - depending on how the group votes, this creature can be between acceptable and exceptional. If we are able to return a creature that triggers Monarch, great! If we return an artifact, well, that usually just ramps us. If enchantment, we can continue our chip damage or lock down so we can find another answer.

  • Throne Warden - no, it doesn’t have evasion, and yes, it starts small. But over the course of the game, we aren’t trying to out-aggro the opponent. We just hold onto the Monarch as long as possible and sit behind our defenses. If not dealt with, this creature will continually grow into a formidable threat.


  • Bite of the Black Rose - along with Coercive Portal, Mythos of Snapdax, and Merciless Eviction, all provide board clearing effects for us to take over. Since we played a more conservative game, waiting behind taxing effects to form our plans, we can then begin to play creatures and attack.

  • Disrupt Decorum - one of my favorite cards in commander, and probably in the whole game of MtG. This card, as I've heard others say as well, literally wins you games when you shouldn't have. When it looks like you are going to be attacked for lethal in the next turn, this is great to play and force opponents to "duke it out". Also, Teferi's Protection can fall under this category. Use Teferi's Protection during an opponent's combat step (as long as they don't have Questing Beast or any other "damage cannot be prevented" card) and when they have tapped out, you can encourage another opponent to attack into them.

  • Mythos of Snapdax - a relatively new addition, but this powerhouse is like a quasi-board wipe, except it hits everything, not just creatures. Most of the time, we aren’t worried about playing this on turn 4, so we have a few turns to make sure we can cast this for in order to grant us full control.

  • Palace Siege - along with Marchesa's Decree, and the aforementioned "tax" creatures, all provide chip damage that encourages opponents to deal with the card, or just interact with each other. Basically, "death by a thousand cuts". This ensures the opponents are not overly upset to the point where they want to attack us. Alternatively, we can bring back our creatures every turn to continually trigger Monarch, or simply out value the opponent.

  • Stolen Strategy - this card will be hated on when it drops, but hopefully we can play it at a time when some opponent's can't do anything about it for a couple turns. This allows us to use opponents' effects and save our cards in hand for when Stolen Strategy is ultimately hated off the field.

“I did offer them a choice...”

  • as I said previously, it depends on the style and rules of your play group, but I like to ask the group what they would like me to destroy or exile (we use Orzhov removal, the best in the game) or what they would like us to vote for. This allows the table to interact and acknowledge the board state of the other players.

  • don't (or don't feel like you have to) play Queen Marchesa (long may She reign) on turn 3/4. She can be used later in the game when we run out of monarch triggers to ensure we get those extra card draws and effects.

  • with Ballot Broker, Brago's Representative, and Grudge Keeper, we can either ping specific opponents for more damage, or we can spread the damage around. Again, this is up to the play group, but you can have the group "vote on your vote" to ensure alliances are made, or to see the board through the eyes of the opponent.

  • it's ok to wait behind some pillow fort effects (like Ghostly Prison) and let opponents develop their board state.

  • This is for a more competitive 1v1 game. We drop the politics and voting, since the opponent will always vote to benefit them the most, and go strictly tokens. Surprisingly, Queen Marchesa (long may She reign) makes a great token commander, since Mardu is a great color wedge for token generation, and the only way to take the Monarch is through combat damage.


“Hail to the true Queen! Long may She reign!”


Updates Add

I updated the deck, and built it into a primer so you all can see why I’ve built the deck the way I have.

Thank you to all who have used the deck as a guide. I want to apologize that it has changed so much, but I’m telling you: I think this is the kind of Queen Marchesa (long may She reign) deck you want to play! It makes for really great multiplayer games and it won’t get immediately hated off the table.

Just remember: with great Monarch power, comes great responsibility and restraint. Be like Queen Marchesa (long may She reign): strike when the moment is precisely opportune.

Let me know if there are any changes or critiques you would like to see in the deck, or even the primer!

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55% Casual

45% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 hours
Exclude colors UG
Splash colors WBR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

5 - 0 Mythic Rares

52 - 0 Rares

17 - 0 Uncommons

16 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.64
Tokens 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Assassin, None Treasure, 3/3 Ogre, Monarch, 1/1 Soldier, 6/6 Dragon
Folders marchesa ideas, Queen Marchesa, Marchesa, Edh decks, I - Interesting Decks, Her Majesty, EDH Ideas, Decks, edh, EDH Decks
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Revision 41 See all

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