This tribal deck focuses on heavy Wizard synergy. So much so, that I've decided to not run any non-Wizard creatures that otherwise would be staples in other Marchesa, the Black Rose decks (e.g. Zealous Conscripts). The deck was made to be able to compete with any deck except with the highest tier 1 decks (though it has taken a few games against those decks).

The general strategy is to play our commander, Marchesa, the Black Rose, a sacrifice outlet and as many wizards as possible for crazy and fun synergies. By having our wizards go through the graveyard and achieve lichdom, we usually assume a control role: victory by out-grinding and outlasting everyone with value.

When I was building this deck, I kept in mind that it'll be more fun to play if I have a plethora of options available for me and, as I play, discover new synergies and combos. Not only this, but everything is also in theme with my favorite D&D class - the Wizard!

In fantasy fiction, a lich (/lt/; from Old English 'li' meaning 'corpse') is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect and soul to his phylactery and thereby achieve a form of immortality. Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, bodies desiccated or completely skeletal. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as soldiers and servants. Unlike zombies, which are often depicted as mindless, a lich retains independent thought and is usually at least as intelligent as it was prior to its transformation.

Such sort of fluff fits perfectly the play style of the deck, as you get make long-term plans and cackle maniacally as your persistent (pun intended) wizards refuse to stay in the graveyard! Even your innocent-looking Faerie Wizards (looking at you, Sower of Temptation) soon become deliciously evil, controlling those undead minions through the scheming power of Marchesa, the Black Rose.

Usually, the first turns are spent on either pumping out Marchesa, the Black Rose on turn 3 thanks to mana acceleration that's slammed down on turn 2.

Another - usually better - way of going about things is to drop a creature like Sage of Fables, that will enable Marchesa, the Black Rose to come down both with a counter, and also give one to Sage of Fables through dethrone on the same turn.

You can start to look for crazy and fun synergies once a couple of things have been checked off the list:

  • Marchesa, the Black Rose is on the battlefield.
  • Wizards entering the battlefield will come with a +1/+1 counter, thanks to cards like Sage of Fables.
  • You've got yourself a sacrifice outlet, such as Viscera Seer
  • If you get to this state, the deck becomes incredibly fun and surprisingly complex to play, as I keep finding both a plethora of routes you can take in the game and new synergies to widen my eyes, which is exactly the reason I love playing the deck so much.

  • Yes, she reanimates herself.
  • Yes, a stolen creature with a +1/+1 counter will reanimate itself and come back under your control
  • Yes, the ability triggers on each end step.

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    To initiate an infinite amount of creature sacrifices, we first need a sacrifice outlet. Here is a list of the combo-relevant ones we have in our deck:

    Ashnod's AltarPhyrexian AltarThoughtpicker WitchViscera Seer

    (note that Barrin, Master Wizard and Voidmage Prodigy can't go infinite, as they require to target something in order to activate.)


    Next up, we need to input either Sage of Fables or Metallic Mimic to counteract the -1/-1 counter gained placed on our Persist creatures.


    Speaking of which, they are Glen Elendra Archmage and Puppeteer Clique. It's important to note that they don't come back through the delayed trigger of Marchesa, the Black Rose, but instead come back instantly by themselves.


    Next up, we need something to win the game by infinitely looping our Persist creatures. Some of such ways would be:

  • Thoughtpicker Witch - for exiling everyone's deck
  • Phyrexian Altar or Ashnod's Altar - for infinite mana.
  • Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Grim Haruspex or Magus of the Future with infinite mana - for infinite card draw. Just remember to sacrifice Grim Haruspex before you draw from an empty deck.
  • Flesh Carver - for infinite tokens.
  • With infinite mana we get:

  • Voidmage Prodigy - infinite counterspells
  • Vigean Graftmage, Azami, Lady of Scrolls - infinite card draw
  • Vigean Graftmage, Sigil Tracer, any spell - infinite copies of target spell
  • Vigean Graftmage, Patron Wizard infinite amount of mana our opponents need to pay for their spells or they get countered
  • Havengul Lich - all creatures from all graveyards under your control
  • Barrin, Master Wizard - infinite creature bounce
  • Please, I might have missed some combos, and would love to hear any that I've missed, so let me know. :)

    Remember to upvote if you like the deck!


    Updates Add

    So, I've made some cuts as well as new inclusions!


    Martyr of Frost


    Wizard Replica

    I think going for this route of including a "counterspell" package is a good idea, as our deck can now compete better in cEDH tables. They don't feel oppressive at all, and make the deck's average CMC cheaper.

    Sidisi's Faithful - I've tried to find room for this guy for a while. The card does a lot for how much it costs.

    Path of Ancestry - First I shied away from this card for the reason that it comes into play tapped. Luckily I tested it and found it to be quite good. I think it gets you around 3 to 5 scries per game.

    Force of Will - A card I've loved for a long time, not just because of its "power".


    Psychic Trance - As funny and flavour hitting this card is, I very rarely even get to cast it. I think, in the end, it's more fun to run cards that do things rather than not, even if they fit the theme extremely well.

    Phantasmal Image

    Phyrexian Metamorph

    The clone package has been shrinking down in my list to this point, where I don't have any clones anymore. As sweet and fun as they are, I've decided to have my whole deck be only wizards (Metallic Mimic being the only "kind of" exception. I don't miss them too much, as now we have space for more sweet wizards.

    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - Honestly, every time I've played it, I've either haven't needed as much black mana, or it has only benefitted my opponents. The only argument to keeping it is the amount of colorless lands we have, but even then I've found the mana base to be solid, especially in terms of how much black mana we get.

    Shadowmage Infiltrator - It sort of pains me to cut this, as I have a sweet Finkel foil of it, but I'm now shying away from cards that don't sacrifice themselves, have ETB/death trigger or otherwise synergise with our commander

    Riptide Director - To the same vein as Psychic Trance, the card just costs too much to play and activate, and we really don't have time to wait a whole round for a creature that doesn't do anything the moment it hits the board.

    Comments View Archive

    Compare to inventory
    Date added 1 year
    Last updated 2 months
    Exclude colors WG
    Splash colors R

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 3.32
    Tokens */* Horror
    Folders Look At, EDH, Decks I like, ideas, Wizards, Cool EDH, A EDH Playtest, Interesting Commander Decks, CMD Marchesa, EDH - Ideas, See all 26
    Top rank #4 on 2017-08-22
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    Revision 27 See all

    2 months ago)

    -1 Mana Crypt main
    +1 Grim HaruspexJA main
    -1 Thoughtpicker Witch main
    -1 Diabolic IntentJA main
    -1 Vigean GraftmageJA main
    -1 Cryptic Gateway main
    +1 Winding Canyons main
    +1 Thoughtpicker Witch main
    +1 Galecaster Colossus main
    -1 Insurrection main
    -1 Cytoplast Manipulator main
    -1 Wizard Replica main
    -1 Talisman of Dominance main
    -1 Sigil Tracer main
    +1 Unspeakable Symbol main
    -1 Mountain main
    +1 Cyclonic RiftJA main
    +1 Barrin, Master Wizard main
    -1 Bojuka BogZH main
    -1 Toxic Deluge main
    and 174 other change(s)