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Reyhan&Ishai | Where Unstoppable Meets Immovable!

Commander / EDH Competitive Counters Four Color GWUB Ramp Tempo



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This deck is an endless Work In Progress! Feedback, suggestions and upvotes are always appreciated.

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, once known as the Dragonscale General, took a short lived lead of Abzan when Abzan's previous Khan surrendered to the dragonlord Dromoka. She clashed with Ojutai's brood, protecting her fellow Khan's but paid the ultimate price. Reyhan's brave act was in vain however as Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker, a diciple of Ojutai, already caught up to the Jeskai forcing them to bend the knee. But in a parallel universe where Ishai sided with Rayhan instead of Ojutai, a duo rose no dragonlord nor Khan stood a chance to!

This is where the unstoppable force meets the immovable object!

Ever heard of rule 704.K, the infamous legend rule?

The "If a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners graveyards. This is called the legend rule." rule? Well here in this deck, we are all about breaking that rule and use it to our own benefits thanks to Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, with her ability to copy-paste counters upon any allied death and commander-zoning (herself included!). Because yes! She and her "clones" their ability all trigger simultaneously when one die.

So you can get by now that this deck is about making creatures beefy and abuse what creatures do with counters. Still though, as Abzan as Reyhan is, she begged for blue to be in her color identity also. Which is where Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker blends in perfectly together with Reyhan. While looking like an underwhelming Managorger Hydra that can commander-damage and fly, Ishai provides us blue for that simic synergy while also let us splash white for cards like Duneblast, Selfless Squire and Gift of Immortality.

But why Reyhan, Last of the Abzan with Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker instead of lets say an Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, Kresh the Bloodbraided, Ghave, Guru of Spores or any other partner?

  • Reyhan or Ishai are almost always a guaranteed turn 3 drop since we only need 2 out of 4 colors to play them!
  • Is your magic group limited to no infinites? Can't you play your Ghave to your fullest because of said rule? Ever made 90 counters with just your general + one more card? Well make way Ghave, because Reyhan can!
  • The cost penalty upon commander-zoning a general is not shared between partners.
  • Even though commander-damage is not shared between partners, we will most likely be able to shift any power from one general to another may one of the two leave play. Suck on that, Kresh!
  • Reyhan is very good one vs. one while Ishai is very good in multiplayer making this deck very diverse to play.
  • "Partner" EDH decks start a game with "nine" instead of eight cards. We also care less about having a hand with no creatures than that other decks do.
  • A Reyhan or Ishai on the field does not look as scary as casting a Atraxa meaning they won't be removed as quickly. That until it's to late of course.
  • And by all means I think Ravos, Soultender and Tana, the Bloodsower hold great synergies with Reyhan on different views. Thrasios, Triton Hero has proved himself as tier 1 general and if i could choose I wished i had red over white in this deck's color identity (but except for the sub-par carddraw even a potato has more synergy with Reyhan than Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist or Kraum, Ludevic's Opus). But what makes Ishai so great is the fact that she's a flyer that holds true to that counter synergy. And personally i think Reyhan really needs that blue for cards like Rite of Replication and Deepglow Skate.

This deck of course does not come without cons.:

  • This deck is, like any +1/+1 counter deck, is weak to blink, bounce and exile effects.
  • Reanimation works against some of our "0" toughness creatures.
  • It might be frustrating to make a comeback after we lose all our counters.
  • This deck does not fare well against super fast aggro EDH's like Omnath, Locus of Mana, cruel control and the likes of Roon of the Hidden Realm.
  • Solemnity, Vampire Hexmage, Hex Parasite just shut us down completely.

While I'd rather have a match that turns into a 3 vs me "archenemy" game which i probably lose but still felt like a Nicol Bolas, a turn 5 win is possible with this deck and apart from the correct land we only need a Sol Ring + Blade of Selves in our opening hand to execute this! Easy huh?

Turn one:

Turn two:

Turn three:

  • Equip Reyhan with blade of selves, attack and place 6 x 3 counters on Reyhan as the tokens die by legend rule! We just deleted someone as fast as turn 3.
  • Alternatively only possible with burgeoning's case, have a Hardened Scales played turn 2 and enchant Reyhan with Mirror Mockery on turn 3. Attack and place 8 counters on Reyhan followed by casting Solidarity of Heroes to hit for 24! (This latter combination would be the royal flush among opening hands however).

Two more turns, two more deaths. They better have answers or scoop...

This deck can become a mathematical mess and whenever you make more Reyhan tokens, the more difficult the equation about placing counters becomes. But even if you're bad in math and don't know the way the stack works, then don't worry! I made a small cheat sheet.

How weird this might be Mirror Mockery, Blade of Selves and Rite of Replication are this decks base mass +1/+1 counter spells as tokens play the important aspect. The fist rule on placing counters with these cards are "Amount of Reyhan's (R) x Amount of Reyhan Token's (T) x amount of counters each dying creature has (C)". Let's start off easy:

Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo:

  • Enchanted on Reyhan and attacking Reyhan creates one copy of herself that dies instantly and both the copy as the original Reyhan their ability trigger. The amount of counters we can place are (2 x 1) x 3 = 6 +1/+1 counters.

Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo:

  • Equiped on Reyhan and attacking Reyhan creates two copies of herself that die instantly and both copies plus the original Reyhan their ability trigger over both copies. The amount of counters we can place are (3 x 2) x 3 = 18 +1/+1 counters.

Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo:

  • Targeting Reyhan, she gets up to five copies of herself that die instantly and all the copies plus the original Reyhan their ability trigger over each copy! The amount of counters we can place are (6 x 5) x 3 = 90 +1/+1 counters.

Note that with Rite of Replication we place 18 x 3 counters! And not necessarily we need to place all 90 counters on one specific target creature. Now let's go over three piece combo's:

Bramblewood Paragon: This triggers on any copy it's enter the battlefield. Our fist rule will now be R x T x (C+1).

  • Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo: 2 x 4 (8) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo: 6 x 4 (24) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo: 30 x 4 (120) +1/+1 counters

Hardened Scales: This triggers on any copy it's enter the battlefield and every time a ability places counters. Our fist rule will now be R x T x (C+2).

  • Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo: 2 x 5 (10) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo: 6 x 5 (30) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo: 30 x 5 (150) +1/+1 counters

Master Biomancer: Our fist rule will now be R x T x (C + MB's power), C will be 3 + the power of Master Biomancer.

  • Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo: 2 x C (10+) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo: 6 x C (30+) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo: 30 x C (150+) +1/+1 counters

Cathars' Crusade: Our fist rule will now be R x T x (C + T), don't forget to place a counter on all other non-Reyhan Token's for each copy also!

  • Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo: 2 x 4 (8) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo: 6 x 5 (30) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo: 30 x 13 (390) +1/+1 counters

Corpsejack Menace: Double counters on any copy it's enter the battlefield and every time a ability places counters. Our fist rule will now be R x T x ((C x 2) x 2).

  • Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo: 2 x 12 (24) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo: 6 x 12 (72) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo: 30 x 12 (360) +1/+1 counters

Doubling Season: Like corpsejack menace but also on tokens! Our fist rule will now be R x (T x 2) x ((C x 2) x 2).

  • Reyhan + Mirror mockery combo: 6 x 12 (72) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Blade of Selves combo: 20 x 12 (240) +1/+1 counters
  • Reyhan + Rite of Replication combo: 110 x 12 (1320) +1/+1 counters
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With Survival of the Fittest, what creatures to fetch?

I need protection.

I need utility.

I need power.

I need evasion.

I have power and need a finisher.

I need what is now dead.

Work in progress...



Imagine me this scenario:

  • Turn one Forest into Sol Ring into Blade of Selves
  • Turn two Swamp and tap all for Reyhan, Last of the Abzan
  • Turn three equip Reyhan with blade of selves and knock someone for 21 commander damage? As two "Reyhan copies" die and three Reyhan triggers go on the stack we distribute 18 counters onto Reyhan!

I feel like more protection was necessary. Abzan Ascendancy is exactly what that offers, like Living Death it lets me preserve my counters but on tokens. Champion of Lambholt and Vorel of the Hull Clade are good but only on very specific moments. I'd need to cheat the champion in at the right time to work her right, mostly these two just sit in my hand. Master Biomancer is on that same spot, however with Abzan Ascendancy now included i might want to give it another try. Song of the Dryads and Aura Shards rids me of annoying threats and Scavenging Ooze adds to the graveyard hate.

Then copied Enduring Scalelord makes for 2 infinite dragon's, but this is not my playstyle, so its scrapped for Orzhov Advokist, which gives me some political advantage. I'm also looking forward to Herald of Secret Streams


A well time Bioshift could easily sway the game to your favor

May 1, 2017 10:30 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #2

Yes, good observation! Let alone a Fate Transfer for stealing counters also. But Reyhan has this semi-bioshift mechanism build in her ability and I value cards like Berserk or Ashnod's Altar for a lethal swing just slightly more.

I have been debating about this instant many times before so thanks for the suggesting!

May 2, 2017 1:38 a.m.

one of the cheeki things i like to do with Bioshift that reyhan can't is bio shift counters from a blocked creature to an unblocked little dude for huge damage at instant speed

May 2, 2017 12:58 p.m.

also, ive found Abzan Falconer works wonders

May 2, 2017 1:04 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #5

That is very true, but sacrificing effects do too! (even if it costs me a creature) Abzan Falconer is very good, i just cannot fit a slot for him. But i might test a bit.

May 2, 2017 3:08 p.m.

Monitor says... #6

I'm having a great time with this. First playtest against one of my longtime magic partners went something like this: T1: Forest, Burgeoning T2: Forest x3, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds T3: Forest, tapped Selvala, Heart of the Wilds for Reyhan, Last of the Abzan then Solidarity of Heroes Then the concede. I dislike concessions and will myself play a losing game until there's no way out, but still...my board state was something like 14 mana on Turn 4. Mad props, deck builder! I'll be interested to see how your deck evolves, and how it differs now that I set up my own copy to mess around with. I had about half the card selection you did while cruising various synergies in witch-maw colors before stumbling on this glorious item. Keep it up!

May 16, 2017 5:54 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #7

Awesome! Happy to hear you're having a good time with Reyhan and Ishai. Selvala is such a crazy card on itself, let alone to this deck. Ordeal of Nylea, Hardened Scales and Mirror Mockery are also one of those drops that let you accelerate so quickly.

At the moment I'm having a few concerns about carddrawing, but other than that this deck runs pretty solid every match. It's allot of fun getting all the board attention.

May 16, 2017 6:09 p.m.

Redace878 says... #8

Hex Parasite is pretty bad, but what about Vampire Hexmage or even worse... Solemnity.

July 10, 2017 4:50 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #9

Solemnity is absolutely the bane of this deck and i guess Vampire Hexmage is too, but i just gave an example, let alone that solemnity wasn't out when i wrote the description yet. I'll update it.

July 10, 2017 5:02 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #10

This seems super fun: I find it a lot like my deck: Ravos + Reyhan = Countery Fun

August 24, 2017 12:31 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #11

Ahh yes, Reyhan and Ishai are absolutely my favorite generals to play! I'll take a look at your brew! ;)

August 24, 2017 1:13 p.m.

Saharez says... #12

How quickly does your deck get off the ground?

I think 6-8 mana ramp spells/rocks such as signets Farseek (into a shock land) could help you get off one of your commanders on turn 3, far more reliably.

September 16, 2017 5:27 a.m.

AkaAkuma says... #13

Uhhm, Reyhan always needs a 1 more piece combo to get off the ground and since people tend to not notice Ishai's strength until she becomes a 9/9, it can go very fast! for example a Hardened Scales+ishai, Mirror Mockery+Reyhan or the Kalonian Hydra makes for very fast games.

Reyhan or Ishai always are a reliable turn 3 play, which is why i don't really need 1 mana ramping spells and am also not a fan of putting any more mana rocks in this deck also, it's green enough to work without and i have creature fetching and global artifact removal in this deck. Instead i rather play creatures like Gyre Sage, Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds or the newly introduced Traverse the Outlands.

Farseek is nice, I have been thinking about adding this card in since i added a few shocklands recently, but i haven't thought about what to replace it for yet.

September 16, 2017 6:13 a.m.

Foxys92 says... #14

I just really, really love this deck! it looks soo fun, just.. I don't have understand the "kill 3" combo, someone can explain it to me?the idea is play Reyhan, Last of the Abzan and equip Blade of Selves on her, I attack with her (in this example I'm fighting with 3 other players) so I put some 3 tokens copy of her on play, until here is ok, each one of them is a 3/3 like her, for the legendary rules you destroy all the copies and all the counters go on the origina ones... but something here is wrong: 3 copies of her, all 3/3, is destroyed, so the original ones (3/3) take 3+3+3 counters on her, so she become a 12/12 and not a 21/21, I have maybe lost a passage?however a +1 for this super fun deck!

October 3, 2017 6:10 p.m.

Saharez says... #15

Hello Foxys92

Assuming 3 opponents, the Blade of Selves will add two copies of Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, attacking each other opponent.They immediately die due to the legendary rule.

All 3 Reyhan, Last of the Abzan triggers, giving 9 counters pr. dead Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, which you put on the last surviving Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, 18 counters + his initial 3.This brings him to 21 counters and lethal commander damage.

October 3, 2017 6:51 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #16

Yes! Thanks for filling in Saharez, haha. It is because both copies die at the exact same time and at that moment all "thee" Reyhans see and trigger on each other and them selves.

Note that these are 6 x 3 counters. You can put these all on one existing creature or on six different existing creatures (Including target opponent's creatures, because why not!).

October 3, 2017 7:30 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #17

But thanks for the up vote, appreciated! :D

October 3, 2017 7:38 p.m.

Feyamius says... #18

You could make good use of Death's Presence in this deck. ;)

October 8, 2017 6 a.m.

AkaAkuma says... #19

It actually was in here, but it made place for Gift of Immortality. In my opinion the card underperformed.

October 8, 2017 6:36 a.m.

Weepet says... #20

You said : "Living Death, Chasm Skulker, Victimize and Abzan Ascendancy are very interesting tools as they all help us keep our counters also even if the board becomes wiped for a brief moment. This is because once one of these spells resolve Reyhan's ability becomes placed on top of the stack and won't be looked at until the current spell is done, and at that moment we should have new creatures on the board!"

That is wrong. I think the guys at MTGSalvation explain it right

October 9, 2017 1:59 a.m.

Weepet says... #21

Was unable to link the link see this one : http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/magic-fundamentals/magic-rulings/762837-reyhan-abzan-ascendancy-and-board-wipes

October 9, 2017 2 a.m.

Feyamius says... #22

That just makes Yahenni three times more important.

October 9, 2017 3:02 a.m.

AkaAkuma says... #23

Mhm this is very interesting, especially since the likes of Living Death does work with cards like Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest (but then again Mazirek does not target things). Thanks you for the correction!

If this all is true then it will certainly hit this deck a bit, but there are always cards like Teferi's Protection to replace onto. I'm gonna look for some other ways to preserve my counters :)

October 9, 2017 5:25 a.m.

Feyamius says... #24

Don't take the creatures back to your hand from the grave but reanimate them directly onto the battlefield, then work with Skullbriar, the Walking Grave. That's how I do it in my Ghave build (that contains Reyhan as well).

October 9, 2017 11:42 a.m.

AkaAkuma says... #25

Ow that's a good one! Well I learned that Living Death in the end does work with Reyhan's ability, as on this one reyhan does chooses a target after the whole card has resolved, but for the likes of Chasm Skulker, Abzan Ascendancy and Gift of Immortality it does not as originally intended by fieldwipes, but that's okay. Chasm Skulker especially does it's job already by creating tokens.

Instead i'm gonna add some totem armor's like Bear Umbra and Eel Umbra, test around with the likes of Sheltering Light, Shield of the Oversoul, Bontu the Glorified and maybe Ghave, Guru of Spores, Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni or Deathbringer Regent.

October 9, 2017 12:47 p.m.

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73% Casual

27% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 6 months
Last updated 6 days
Exclude colors R
Splash colors W

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.20
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 2/2 Boar, 1/1 Squid
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