This tribal deck focuses on heavy synergy with Wizards, so much so, that I've decided to not run any non-Wizards that otherwise could be very much staples in other Marchesa, the Black Rose decks (e.g. Zealous Conscripts). The deck was made to be able to compete pretty much with any deck, except with the highest tier 1 tables (though it has taken a few games down 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, fun synergies. By having our wizards go through the graveyard and achieve lichdom, we usually assume a control role, winning by outgrinding 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. All of this while everything is in theme with my favorite D&D class - 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.

Once a couple of things have been checked off the list, you can start to look for crazy, fun synergies:

  • Marchesa, the Black Rose is on the battlefield.
  • Wizards entering the frame will come with a +1/+1 counter, through things 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, 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 +1/+1 will reanimate itself and come back under your control
  • Yes, the ability will work 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!



    Comments View Archive

    DrukenReaps says... #1

    Nice deck. I just recently started my own with Marchesa but the tribe is demons instead. I found a great interaction with her if you have a sac outlet and her and all the critters you sac have +1/+1 counters you then play Apocalypse. There are some other options that are effectively the same but apoc is probably the best and all your critters come back afterwords. Also seems worth pointing out that Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip's emblem and Lifeline perform similarly to Marchesa. Personally not using Lifeline since it hugs everyone but the emblem seems worth trying to get to. Anytime you do get to it you have your commander for the rest of the game.

    August 12, 2017 9:47 p.m.

    Enral says... #2

    Thoughts on replacing Marchesa with Inalla, Archmage Ritualist ?

    August 14, 2017 11:58 a.m.

    Teemursu says... #3

    Enral, I thought about it a lot and came to the conclusion that the deck would just be very different. It's not only the cards that synergise with Marchesa, the Black Rose directly, but also cards like sacrifice outlets suddenly become a lot worse, or rather less synergistic and less "planned" in the deck. I'm very tempted to still make another list and switch half the cards around or so whenever I feel like playing an Inalla, Archmage Ritualist deck.

    August 15, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    Teemursu says... #4

    Bhaal666, the Apocalypse is pretty great actually, wonder if there'd be a more flavor-hitting replacement for it. Unless it's the undead Wizards coming back/causing an Apocalypse, mmm...

    August 15, 2017 1:08 p.m.

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    Compare to inventory
    Date added 3 months
    Last updated 2 days
    Exclude colors WG
    Splash colors R

    This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

    Highlight illegal cards
    Illegal cards Bloodline Necromancer, Galecaster Colossus, Inalla, Archmage Ritualist, Mairsil, the Pretender, Vindictive Lich
    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 3.42
    Tokens */* Horror
    Folders Look At, EDH, Decks I like, ideas, Wizards
    Top rank #9 on 2017-08-20
    Views 2192