Why I made this: I had not yet explored the color white, I was interested in making an enchantment-based deck, and I love drawing cards. If you like any of the above, you will most likely enjoy this deck, as well.

Note: This deck has since taken strong influence from precociousapprentice's "Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control" deck but with my own little spin which focuses more on lifegain.


The purpose of this Queen Marchesa deck is to utilize pillowfort and political tactics to keep everyone occupied while building up our board presence (using Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker, Peacekeeper, Solitary Confinement, Darien, King of Kjeldor, etc..) with Marchesa out on the field as we continuously gain more and more card draw advantage. This will be used to piece together one of our wincon strategies stemming from Aetherflux Reservoir, Heartless Hidetsugu, Exquisite Blood, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, or Debt to the Deathless.

This deck is built to be a nuisance to our opponents we despise while simultaneously serving as a helping hand to our opponents we've buddied up with. The latter is mainly done through the use of the Monarch mechanic, in which case other players will be able to draw a card during their end step. Most of the time, we don't want this to happen, so we'll be focusing on voiding combat damage through Glacial Chasm, Solitary Confinement, Batwing Brume, Deflecting Palm, Gossamer Chains, Maze of Ith, etc.


Marchesa's deathtouch (as well as the deathtouch of the tokens she produces) allows us to make sure that at all times we have somewhat of an edge to pursue. If Monarch has been taken from us, it's doubtful that an opponent will block a deathtouch assassin with their Malignus just to keep me from gaining that end step card draw. If they've got tokens for fodder, however, this will be the kind of player we need to buddy-up with temporarily ("Hey Will, can I swing this token at you and regain Monarch? I'll give it back to you on your turn!"). In a friendly meta, this normally works out. Otherwise, we can recast Queen Marchesa or simply build up a token population of deathtouch blockers.

In any case, if we have monarch, we can continue to gain our much-wanted card draw advantage. Due to this card draw, we can endlessly keep Solitary Confinement on the field, ensuring that we cannot be the target of spells/abilities our opponents control and cannot be dealt damage. Bonus points with Necropotence or Alhammarret's Archive out on the field. This way we carelessly keep Solitary Confinement out or we double up on our life gain cards and double monarch draw at the end step. Sensei's Divining Top will also be very handy in top deck manipulation.


Solitary Confinement is a huge star in this deck, and is pretty much the center of it all. However, we have other ways of creating a similar effect. Solemnity works wonders with Glacial Chasm while Peacekeeper and Ghostly Prison hopefully keep creatures from attacking us, as well, thereby preventing the attacking triggers that might come from Kaalia of the Vast or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. In addition, if an opponent attempts to remove our pillowfort, we have Greater Auramancy and Boros Charm in the deck to attempt to prevent such foolery (Teferi's Protection and Eight-and-a-Half-Tails are also hanging around- Boros Charm and Teferi's Protection can also luckily be fetched with Sunforger at instant speed in case of emergency). It's always important to bring out Solitary Confinement- hopefully with a handy card like Enlightened Tutor, Gamble, or Demonic Tutor.

The card draw advantage ideally brings us to one of our endgame strategies:

  1. Luminarch Ascension : With a good pillowfort, this card can punch some serious holes in the lives of our opponents. Even better if teamed up with Anointed Procession, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, or Wound Reflection while we have damage prevention out. It is also noteworthy that we should play this enchantment and build its counters before playing Solemnity.

  2. Wound Reflection / Heartless Hidetsugu : These cards are not only great for withering down our opponents but also work as quite a dynamic duo on their own. With the Hidetsugu we can cut everyone's life in half and then watch in our end step as everyone dies or at least nearly dies by 1 life. They are also both great cards by themselves as Wound Reflection can make sure everyone else gets cut down while we stay on top, while Heartless Hidetsugu can stand like a ticking time bomb.

  3. (Funny) Deflecting Palm: if our opponent is about to hit us with Aetherflux Reservoir, or deal an incredible amount of lethal damage with one creature, deflecting palm is a fantastic way to give them a taste of their own medicine and possibly win the game as a result.

  4. Aetherflux Reservoir : With the amount of lifegain present in this deck, it's not too hard for us to build up the life from both the Reservoir as well as our other lifegain cards in order to start sniping people to close out the game. This works especially well with Exquisite Blood or Beacon of Immortality. The Beacon can immediately let us start sniping people while Exquisite Blood can let us snipe as many people as there are in the game since we gain back the life each time we pay it.

There are many other ways to win with different combinations of cards. Exquisite Blood with Aetherflux Reservoir can cause an unlimited activation of the Reservoir's ability until everyone is dead. Heartless Hidetsugu also works well with Exquisite Blood but isn't an immediate win- it is pretty close with Gisela, Blade of Goldnight out on the field though. Sunforger can be used to fetch wincons, as well, once everyone's life has withered down from combat and cards such as Harsh Mentor that keep those storm players in check. Price of Progress can be used as a finisher late game- but it's best to have an effect like Solitary Confinement or Glacial Chasm out when we do this. Otherwise we can afford the life loss if we've been gaining life with cards such as another potential wincon: Serra Ascendant. The Ascendant works very well with Vizkopa Guildmage since we can activate the Guildmage to make everyone else lose life when we gain that much. This also works as an infinite combo with Exquisite Blood.

Basically, start piecing cards together that can build to a wincon once you've gained control of the board.


Updates Add

Wanted to give this small update that after much playtesting, Enduring Ideal was not working out as a reliable wincon. Needing to copy the spell and have both the original and the copy not be subject to counterspells once people knew my strategy was most difficult to do. This was especially so when my hand would be clogged with enchantments only useful after having cast Enduring Ideal . Due to this, I have removed my hateful enchantments as well as the Enduring Ideal wincon to bring back some of my past reliable wincons for the deck as well as the lifegain theme. So far, this has worked out much better and has given us much more versatility for creating a wincon. I still consider this an enchantress deck due to the 19 enchantments present, but there are certainly more creatures, instants, and sorceries than there were before.


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