Marchesa Budget Deck

This is an MTGO deck, nothing else!

If you have the budget to build this in paper, then there are some adjustments you can make to bring the deck to another level and so, this large of an investment, would be better applied to a different list. As for MTGO, the story differs! This deck was built with 20-ish tickets, which to me is a very solid budget, and I barely cut any expenses.

While you might not see cards like Attrition, Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Reclamation in here, none of those is tremendously expensive in MTGO and so they will be easy upgrades if you want to go into them. This deck is made with the 20 tix budget in mind and so, streamlined towards the Splinter Twin combo.

Marchesa Early Game EDH

In here you'll see a lot of cantrips, cheap interaction and a really low curve in general. There's two ways your early game can go, and it's mostly up to you and whatever you feel like your opponents might be planning.

Either way you go, Marchesa will need to lose life, so you'd be smart to stay "invinting" to your opponents in the early game and take a few hits, otherwise you'll have to actively lose life (with cards like Hall of the Bandit Lord, Unspeakable Symbol, Talisman of Indulgence and such). If you can't turn on Dethrone, you'll have a hard time.

To protect you at each phase of the game, you'll have creatures like Mausoleum Wanderer, Siren Stormtamer and Glen Elendra Archmage, which you'll be able to use again and again if you make good use of Marchesa's ability.

The deck can work like a spell slinger deck in some ways, and doing so will allow you to dig deeper, faster either for answers that might keep your opponents' plans in check, or for your combo pieces. This deck isn't running Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, so to combo off you'll need Splinter Twin, but the missing piece will then be really easy to find, since this deck runs 4. If you manage to Vampiric Tutor in the early game, that's a perfect way to get Twin.
The deck is not creature heavy when compared to most Marchesa builds, but it certainly is reliable on keeping the board full. Cards like Sidisi's Faithful, Fleshbag Marauder and Chasm Skulker will pretty much grant you ways to flood your board faster than your opponents. Once you get your engine going with Marchesa and +1/+1 counters you will always be ahead, so try to use your creatures that require sacrifices after you've built up some counters. If you're not trying actively to lose life, try to keep poking your opponents. It's a dangerous game, of course, but you'll need to take some hits to make the most out of dethrone and it's better that happens in the early game, rather than later on when everybody is swinging with their huge beaters.

Marchesa Mid Game EDH

Marchesa is a commander for attrition games. If you set up your board correctly, you'll find yourself in a position to tempo out your opponents with pretty much anything you or them do, short of getting rid of Marchesa.

Your first priority in the mid game is to protect Marchesa, the Black Rose, she is the cornerstone of your game, and your whole board's shield.

Then, you can either find Herald of Secret Streams to make your creatures unblockable, or find some nasty ETB creatures and a sac outlet to keep gaining advantage. The cherry on top of the cake? Butcher of Malakir. Picture the following scenario: Herald of Secret Streams, Viscera Seer, Butcher of Malakir and Unspeakable Symbol in play, you find a Gray Merchant of Asphodel, get to attack, unblocked with it, sack it for Viscera Seer and filter the top of your deck, everyone else loses a creature, Gray Merchant of Asphodel comes back in the end of turn, pay 3 life and put a counter on it, sac it in the next opponent's turn, it comes back at the end of that turn again, and so on.

This interaction comes up more often than you might think and it's game ending on itself, even if it's not how we built the deck to win. It just goes to show how synergistic everything is in this deck (and it's a testament to the power of cards like Butcher of Malakir or Dictate of Erebos).

Sac outlets are really important in this deck, they will essentially allow you to blink your creatures, either as a form of protection, or as a way to use their ETB again and it's the best way we have to grind out mid game until we find ourselves a way to win.

Marchesa End Game EDH

Cards like Necropolis Regent, Grave Betrayal and Butcher of Malakir are the big spells this deck has up its sleeve. There are other gamebreaking effects, but most of them require your whole deck's synergies to show their whole potential, while these three, produce immense advantage for you on their own.

Of course, the game might not go that far since after all we are packing a modern-ban-worthy combo as our main win condition. Splinter Twin is incredibly cheap in MTGO, and so are Zealous Conscripts, Combat Celebrant, Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite - you can probably get them all for 1 ticket, or little more. By now you know how each of these work, but here we go:

Doesn't matter if you go for infinite copies or infinite additional combat phases, if you're not playing against any sort of prison deck, this will be enough to win you the game.

Magic Online Budget

MTGO is as a rule, cheaper than paper Magic, so while none of these potential upgrades will break the bank, they're meant for you only if you are looking to spend a few more tickets in your deck (and collection) or if you want to upgrade your deck after you've got the feel of its major strengths and weaknesses.

Below I go over some cards you should look into if you go looking for those further upgrades and some cards that should have been in this deck but I ultimately had to cut to fit the 20 tix budget I set to myself.

If you're looking for more cards in this build, here are a few suggestions that might interest you:
  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker - obviously an important inclusion if you're following the Splinter Twin plan, going around someone removing your Splinter Twin since you have no way to recurr it.

  • Attrition - Removal stamped on a sac outlet, perfect for any Marchesa deck

  • Phyrexian Reclamation - The best way to keep recycling creatures that end up in the graveyard. With strong ETBs that you want to take advantage from, this will often function like a permanent Yawgmoth's Will.

  • Purphoros, God of the Forge - Hard to deal with, combos with the rest of the Splinter Twin combo, going over any Propaganda effect - it's also great synergy with creatures coming back with Marchesa's ability.

  • Yahenni, Undying Partisan - It's price is probably somewhat boosted by standard playability, but it's a nearly impossible to deal with threat that functions as an additional sac outlet, worth the inclusion. It will probably drop to less than 0,1 tix after it rotates out of standard.

  • Mikaeus, the Unhallowed - Incredibly cheap in MTGO but still, some cuts had to be made to fit the budget. It's easilly an upgrade to Necropolis Regent and probably would invite the inclusion of Triskelion for another win condition.

  • Damnation, Toxic Deluge, Rhystic Study and Sneak Attack - these are the more expensive cards of this list, and you can easilly see how each of them would help bringing the deck to another level. If you have them or if you are willing to make that investment, they are definitely worthy inclusions.

Marchesa EDH Suggestions


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Date added 10 months
Last updated 10 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.95
Tokens 1/1 Squid
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