A fun lore video for those interested. I always like to get a little more into commanders with good lore.

I wasn't initially interested in Mairsil, the Pretender for a number of reasons, probably chief among them being the "only once each turn" clause. Recently though I've been wanting a deck that I can just throw fun cards into. All my other decks are so focused on a particular strategy that they don't allow for very many off the wall cards. Mairsil however just wants activated abilities and the only real limitation on him is no or .

This gives us access to every activateable in and that is a lot of crazy. I also haven't been all that interested in my old Karn, Silver Golem and some of the other artifact commanders combo off too quickly or too easily without really meaning to. Mairsil feels very calculated, if you go off it is because you meant to go off. So he can be built to just destroy but he can also be built more laid back. My intention is to have him be a little more laid back. That said I want this primer to be set up so that anyone who reads through can build Mairsil as competitive or uncompetitive as they wish.

I didn't put much effort into the manabase. A bunch of basics and then some non-basics. It generally works well enough. A few things are worth discussing though.

Inventors' Fair is rather strong. Incidental lifegain pretty much every turn it is out and the ability to go grab a specific artifact. That can be down right devastating with Mairsil if you just need that one specific answer to cage.

Flamekin Village gives haste for cheap. Mairsil absolutely needs haste whenever possible.

Minamo, School at Water's Edge is another untap effect for Mairsil. Even though each ability can only be used once each turn he seems to just get a lot of tap abilities. So the more untap there is the better.

There are a ton of mana rocks which tap for 3 mana of various types. Basalt Monolith, Dreamstone Hedron, Gilded Lotus, Mana Vault, Thran Dynamo.

Heartstone and Training Grounds make abusing multiple activated abilities really easy and save you a lot of mana for very little cost.

'The Cage' is simply a reference to any card which gets exiled with a cage counter on it.

Deciding what to cage and what not to cage is an interesting decision. You can cage that Whirler Rogue now and start poking people with mairsil immediately but if you don't have something to protect mairsil either in the cage or on the board he will die and then you will have to figure out how to cast him again. You can cage that Basalt Monolith or play it, caging it means you lose access to it when mairsil dies.

So before you cage a mana rock ask if you have enough mana and before you cage some offensive effect that will get people's attention make sure you can protect mairsil.

Another thing to address here is how to fill the cage. I like Conjurer's Closet, Blade of Selves, and Rite of Replication the most for doing this. Running some form of bounce or flicker is also a great idea.

You may notice two of those 'fill the cage' cards make copies of Mairsil. So I got to thinking what if I could keep the copies of him? Mirror Gallery allows us to have as many Mairsils as we want and this only takes one slot in the deck so you are not consuming a ton of slots for jank. Each of these Mairsils is a separate instance of Mairsil which allows you to use the same effect multiple times in a turn. Another way to do this is Pack Rat.

I don't really like it when people tell me I have to run such and such in a deck because of X, Y, Z reasons but I'm going to tell you some cards that you would be crazy not to run with Mairsil anyways.

AEtherling, Torchling, Morphling

These three just add so much to what Mairsil can do. can make him unblockable or flicker him or untap him or or give flying or shroud. can untap him or force a specific block to get rid of annoyances or redirect single target removal. All of these effects range from nice to have to HOLY FUCKING SHIT WHY WON'T IT DIE?!?!?!

I mean seriously instant speed redirect on your commander? Stupid... And if they are not using a single target effect just flicker him for .

Quicksilver Elemental

There isn't a lot to say about this beyond the fact it is ridiculous. For you no longer have to flicker, bounce, or otherwise replay mairsil to use his abilities multiple times in a turn. It doesn't matter if this is caged or on the field next to him. Every time you spend you can do all the things again. A lot like The Chain Veil but for Mairsil.

Haste deserves special attention because summoning sickness is annoying. We are looking to get stuff in the cage and then use it as much as possible. Flamekin Village, Bloodsworn Steward, Anger, Lightning Greaves, Skyship Stalker, Swiftfoot Boots, Urabrask the Hidden, and Fervor are all good choices. How many of these you feel the need to use is up to you but you will need haste.

Flickering, Bouncing, Copying, even Sacrifice and Reanimation can all be used to reuse Mairsil's abilities and go truly nuts. Some of the ways I like to do this follow:

Essence Flux, Ghostly Flicker, Nephalia Smuggler, Conjurer's Closet, Nim Deathmantle, Erratic Portal, Identity Thief, Voidwalk, Illusionist's Stratagem, Displace, Cloudstone Curio, Crystal Shard, Blade of Selves, Rite of Replication, Pack Rat

This by the way is why haste is important. Without haste repeating tap and untap abilities will be nigh impossible. Haste is actually more important than being able to untap.

So there are a lot of cool activateables that are easily abused normally. Things like Ashnod's Altar goes into literally hundreds of combos but in the cage it isn't all that useful. The real power of ashnod's is that you can do it as many times as you have creatures. Mairsil stipulates once each turn. Suddenly the easily abused cards like ashnod's don't look nearly as good. At least not to me.

In this section I have scoured the internet for activateables you might normally ignore but work really well with Mairsil. Some of them scale based on how much mana you put in others are just good for one use in a turn. It is nice when you can bounce Mairsil a few times in a turn or even go infinite with caged abilities but we don't want that to be the sole focus as it won't always be possible. People will learn your combos and they will stop them.

The following ones just want a lot of mana which makes them perfect if you go infinite mana or if you don't go infinite at all and just have a lot of mana. These will give you more bang for your buck than most activateables.

Aladdin's Lamp, Anthroplasm, Banshee, Cackling Witch, Chimeric Staff, Crypt Rats, Latulla, Keldon Overseer, Metathran Aerostat, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Snake Basket, Soothsaying, War Cadence, War Tax, Hex Parasite, Nin, the Pain Artist, Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief, Geth, Lord of the Vault

Nevinyrral's Disk, Boompile, Oblivion Stone, and Perilous Vault. The stone and vault are a little annoying to cage since your commander will go to the grave or command zone with them. Boompile is a 50/50 shot but you can save your commander when it does work and you can always use the disk and save Mairsil. The disk and the vault are the best options.

Mirror-Mad Phantasm caged and a Laboratory Maniac in play. activate mirror-mad putting Mairsil in the command zone, draw from now empty library, win. There are a bunch of ways to go about setting this one off and it doesn't interest me but I encourage you to go for it if you want.


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Date added 5 months
Last updated 2 months
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This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.20
Tokens 1/1 Construct, 0/1 Goat, 2/2 Zombie, Daretti
Folders My Commander, Mathas, Mairsil, mairsil, mairsil, Decks I like
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Revision 18 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Amaranthine Wall maybe
+1 Oona, Queen of the Fae maybe
+1 Mercurial Chemister maybe
+1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion maybe
+1 Havengul Lich maybe
+1 Fervor maybe
+1 Rings of Brighthearth maybe