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.

Mairsil suffers from the voltron problem. This might be the worse case of it I've ever seen in fact... Most of the creatures in most Mairsil decks get shoved into the cage to take advantage of their abilities so often Mairsil will be the only creature in play. Many of the artifacts are treated the same way. Luckily some the best methods of abusing Mairsil take the form of AEtherling, Mirage Mirror, and Pack Rat. More on these later.

Mairsil, unlike other commanders, can only be built one way unless you are only using his colors I guess. The only option with him is to use activated abilities, any other strategy and we should just use something else. There are several ways to go with activated abilities though. So keep reading ;)

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

My manabase is fairly basic, since it is mostly basic lands but there are some pieces I want to address.

Training Grounds and Heartstone might be the strongest permanents I've put in the deck. I count them as part of the manabase because they save me a ridiculous amount of mana over the course of a game and have won me more than a few games. It can be hard to see their value so over the course of six games that I got either out early I averaged how much mana they saved me and came up with 16. Their value will vary as one of those games the amount saved was 0 and another was 34 but if using high costed abilities these can be invaluable.

Prismatic Geoscope, Patron of the Moon, Gilded Lotus, and Dreamstone Hedron are often less about accelerating mana and more about keeping the ball rolling. They do accelerate you but they accelerate you in the mid to late game where acceleration is often times not as useful. Still being able to use Spikeshot Elder 3 times is better than 1 time.

Sol Ring, Rakdos Signet, Izzet Signet, and Dimir Signet are the true mana accelerators. These are played early enough to make a big difference in when Mairsil comes out to play.

Cephalid Coliseum and Inventors' Fair just add good value.

Hanweir Battlements and Flamekin Village give you the most important keyword Mairsil could ever ask for. It is a damn shame it isn't on him naturally.

Homeward Path because this deck does almost nothing if Mairsil, the Pretender is on your opponent's field instead of yours...

In the opener I said that I avoided Mairsil because of the "once each turn" clause in his text box. Well now I'm going to inform you of how we brake that.

AEtherling and Deadeye Navigator will flicker Mairsil. Flickering also protects from removal.

Quicksilver Elemental makes a new instance of all of his abilities. So each time you pay you can use any ability again this turn.

Mirage Mirror works very similarly to quicksilver but instead makes Mairsil into a new copy of himself for . In addition you can make him into a land in response to Wrath of God or other removal.

Pack Rat makes a token copy of Mairsil, you sacrifice the original and keep the new one. This allows you to use all his abilties again. This also dodges targeted removal.

The flickering and the Pack Rat will allow you to cage a new thing without having to recast mairsil. I think one of the mistakes other people make is using bounce which works but it puts Mairsil back in the hand. So you have to spend to recast him and wait until your turn... Or you could flicker for and keep the party going into your opponents turn.

The next thing needed is haste because we want to tap or maybe untap mairsil. Hanweir Battlements and Flamekin Village are a good start but Anger, Fervor, and Skyship Stalker are great too. Each time Mairsil is flickered or recast he will be summoning sick again and this means it is a whole turn before you get to do some of the best stuff. Keeping some of your abilities as mana only like using Spikeshot Elder instead of Hateflayer can really save your bacon!

You may have noticed that many of these can save Mairsil from removal so be careful on timing and use these towards the end of each opponent's turns to maximize their effectiveness. While the voltron problem is still a big annoyance for any Mairsil deck effective use of his abilities will mitigate it more than most decks can. Try to use tutors to fetch AEtherling, Mirage Mirror, or Pack Rat first as these are the most effective first pieces to cage. These will often be the difference between a win and a loss for Mairsil.

As mentioned in the opening there are several ways to go with actiated abilities. Here are the most obvious:

We could set up Mairsil with things like Vector Asp and Rogue's Passage and swing at the fences to knock players out one at a time.

We can combo people out of the game with Laboratory Maniac and Mirror-Mad Phantasm or other silly interactions.

While this could be counted as either of the above I think it deserves it's own spot. This method wants to stack counters of all kinds on Mairsil with effects like Anthroplasm and then attack for lethal or take all the turns with Sage of Hours. The reason I seperate this is becuase of how we abuse Mairsil.


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Date added 7 months
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This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.29
Tokens 1/1 Construct, 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Faerie Rogue
Folders My Commander, Mathas, Mairsil, mairsil, mairsil, Decks I like, Interesting Commander Decks, decks inspiration, idea decks, TTS Decks, See all 12
Top rank #44 on 2018-09-21
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Revision 31 See all

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