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Queen Marchesa

Hi everyone, welcome to the primer of my Marchesa's deck!

At its core this is a political deck packed with pillow-fort/rattlesnake cards that discourage other players to attack you and seek blood somewhere else. Once your defence is set you'll start forcing opponents to attack and they'll have though decisions to make.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Her Mardu colors offer all the right tools for this strategy.

and will allow us to assemble a strong defence with pillow-fort/rattlesnake cards while adding control elements to answer opponents threats.

is responsible for taking advantage of our opponents offence by forcing them to attack.

Queen Marchesa's abilities also embody perfectly what we want to accomplish as you can see on the "Commander Breakdown"panel below.

Queen Marchesa


Mana Cost:

  • 4 CMC on Mardu colors
  • 3-colors require proper mana fixing

Power/Toughness:

3/3

Ok stats for a 4cmc Commander. 7 hits to kill a player with commander damage.


Types:

Legendary Creature — Human Assassin

Cards relevant for Legendary supertype

Inclusions: Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep (first strike + deaththouch), Shizo, Death's Storehouse (evasion)

Mardu Humans

Mardu Assassins


Oracle Text:

Deathtouch, haste

When Queen Marchesa enters the battlefield, you become the monarch.

At the beginning of your upkeep, if an opponent is the monarch, create a 1/1 black Assassin creature token with deathtouch and haste.

Queen Marchesa is herself a rattlesnake (has Deathtouch) and having such a vicious ability available from the command zone makes a huge difference as we are able to play an attack deterrent spell from the get-go and virtually at any stage of the game.

The haste ability is not very relevant as it only comes handy on the early turns of the game were you can swing for some "free attacks" and very late game combined with evasion effects and/or double strike.

Her enters the battlefield ability is what really makes her an interesting commander though. Being the monarch is a great deal as it's a steady source of card advantage which is impossible to deal with, except if you take damage and lose it. The silver lining here is that losing the monarch is often something beneficial to us as our opponents start fighting for it when we are already ahead on resources and that fact will just weaken their positions. Basically we are often in a win-win situation and when that is no longer the case we can always just recast Marchesa and snag it back. Her low cost is quite important as we will often cast her multiple times during a game.

Besides the advantages we mentioned above, not having the monarch also has the benefit that on our upkeep we get a 1/1 assassin with haste and deathtouch. And guess what? These tokens are formidable. Opponents will not attack you unless they have some form of evasion and their haste combined with deathtouch makes them perfect to get back the monarchy if you really fancy an extra card on your end step.


Rulings:

Queen Marchesa Rulings

YES, if you like:

  • Interacting and adjusting your gameplan as the game progresses
  • Building pillow-forts, sit inside them with a full grip (of answers) and high life total
  • Having the flexibility to play defensively or aggressively
  • Evaluating for the right moment to take control over a game
  • Politics and forcing opponents to make undesired attacks
  • To subdue opponents without fighting

NO, if you like:

  • Being combo-centric
  • The combat step
  • Being pro-active rather than being re-active
  • Generating value over time
  • Playing Archenemy

Early game

Typically the initial goal is to assemble a proper defence using multiple creatures and/or enchantments ( No Mercy , ghostly prision, among others) that punish pretty hard attacking opponents allowing us to preserve resources and build upon them during the initial stages of the game.

Mid-game

On the second phase it's important to keep yourself high on resources (being the monarch without losing it helps a lot) and start playing the cards that force your opponents to attack. This means that if you successfully assembled a proper "fort" your opponents will be bashing each other's face and this attrition is key for us to be able to close the game on the late game.

Late game

Ideally you need do keep a low profile even in the late game. It's preferable that your opponents keep their focus trying hard to kill one another rather than to do it yourself. It is critical and also a lot of fun to be able to evaluate the right moment to switch from a passive spectator to an active aggressor because we do not have access to "I win" combos, or incredibly potent finishers, by choice. Weak opposition is often necessary to close the deal and ( Gisela, Blade of Goldnight , Avatar of Slaughter and/or Vicious Shadows ) make a pretty god job speeding up the attrition process and afterwards just end the game in our favour. The games will always be thrilling and close and that is just part of the charm of this deck.

Ramp/Fixing

Just a short disclaimer that the choices below determine greatly the speed of the deck and ultimately it's power level. The intention here was to create a focus/optimised deck (70%-80%) and therefore you won't see Mana Crypt or moxen of any kind.

Card Draw/Selection

  • Skullclamp : Has inherent synergy with the commander, it's a turn1 drop with no coloured mana requirements, draws plenty of cards and always has tokens around to "clamp" ( Queen Marchesa , Ogre Slumlord , Ophiomancer , Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts , Rite of the Raging Storm , to name a few). It's even often the case that I equip a creature that Skullclamp does not kill and then proceed to sac that creature to an ability or spell.

  • Sensei's Divining Top : It's an EDH staple and banned in many formats for a reason. Turn 1 drop,
    no coloured mana requirements, you can set up your draws making sure that you won't miss land drops on the early turns and have access to your power plays late game. But more importantly is quite hard to get rid of.

  • Scroll Rack : Card selection at its finest. Like the top it is also an early play, with no colored mana requirements, that allows you to send back uninteresting cards in your hand in exchange for an equivalent number of fresh cards that might be more relevant for the current stage of the game or board state. It is no tutor but has a cumulative value of granting a steady stream of answers/threats when you need them.

  • Phyrexian Arena / Bloodgift Demon : These two cards are no rocket science. They're on the deck for the slow but constant stream of cards they provide. They give you resources to out-grind the opposition. If the deck was designed for short explosive games I would probably replace them by the likes of Ancient Craving and Ambition's Cost . One cute thing about the Demon is that it targets, so you can finish of players at 1 life (if only there was a Master of Cruelties on the deck to help with this.. :) ). That fact that it flies is pretty relevant because the deck struggles a bit against decks relying on this form of evasion.

  • Xantcha, Sleeper Agent : What an amazingly designed card and what a perfect fit for the deck's theme and play style. It basically embodies the philosophy of the deck where you have this little "douche" chipping opponents life away meanwhile it's controller is being drained by everybody. I mean, who doesn't like to draw cards?! Important to mention that early game it hits very hard (5/5 for 3 mana) and late game can be given to the most "dangerous" player and the rest of the table can drain this player up.

Important to mention the cards that were chosen for other tasks but provide incidental card draw: Decree of Pain , Relic of Progenitus , Solemn Simulacrum and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon .

Tutors

The number of chosen tutors is premeditated allowing the deck to function but not to a point where they make the deck overly consistent finding the right answers/threats exactly when you need them. This keeps the games interesting and somewhat unpredictable.

  • Academy Rector : Very potent attack deterrent as the opponents normally do not attack me without evasive creatures and if I attack with it normally it doesn't get blocked (allowing me to easily recoup the Monarch). Really works as a pseudo-deaththouch creature in the sense that it shares the same combat dynamics of creatures that have that mechanic. Everyone knows what a dead rector represents. Tutoring a nasty enchantment directly into the battlefield. In our case we have 10+ enchantments with functions that can vary from pillow-fort ( No Mercy ), to instil attacks ( War's Toll ), finish games faster ( Vicious Shadows ), among others.

  • Arena Rector : Functionally it operates exactly as Academy Rector, the only difference here is that he gets Planeswalkers when he bites the dust. Normally tutors for Ugin, the Spirit Dragon which is tremendously versatile, can deal damage to a creature or a player, exile multiple pesky permanents, among others. The other choice is a far less potent one but it definitely goes very well with the theme of the deck ( Rowan Kenrith ). Typically you'll already have some sort of "force attacks" permanent on the battlefield so when you activate the -2 ability you'll get rid of all creatures an opponent control with toughness 3 or less. If this is not the case the +2 ability will force attacks and set up a mini board wipe the turn after.

  • Bitterheart Witch : Very similar to the rectors above but this witch tutors for curses when dead. Anything relevant to look for? Overwhelming Splendor !! The perfect tool to tame down that feisty opponent that stubbornly attacks you despite your defences and that relentlessly keeps depleting your resources. This will calm him/her down and his/hers abilities as well. The splendor is also pretty effective when you are on the offence and want to wane the defences of a certain player. Did I mention that the Rector tutors this as well!? The other tutor-able curse is Curse of the Nightly Hunt which is an hilarious spell that makes the cursed player make undesired attacks and basically make the hole table react to it.

  • Diabolic Intent : Tutor that shines when there are a lot of creatures to spare: Cof! Tokens! Cof! And specially when there are creatures that you actually want dead: Cof! Read the 3 ones above! Cof!

  • Demonic Tutor : TBD

Pillow-fort/Rattlesnakes

TBD

Scryfall

commander:WBR legal:commander -is:vanilla

Cut?

Weathered Wayfarer , Season of the Witch

Thank you for reading! If you liked the deck/primer please consider giving it an Upvote

Have any idea(s) on how to improve it? Your comment is appreciated!

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29% Casual

71% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 7 months
Last updated 3 weeks
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.72
Tokens 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, 3/3 Elephant, 3/3 Ogre, Monarch, 4/4 Angel, 1/1 Assassin, 1/1 Rat, None Rowan
Folders EDH (IRL), 75% Optimized EDH Decks, Saved Decks
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