~ "Aristocrats, but then make it fashion." ~


One of the first Magic cards I saw was Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. I didn’t know much about the game at the time, but my boyfriend told me that I might like her. After I read , I felt inspired and probably spent a little too much money making this deck. Smizing at Death is all about Aristocrats, building up an army of tokens, and stripping down enemy defenses. Charge headlong into battle and smize until your eyes bleed!

Death is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be meaningless! When a creature you control dies, Cruel Celebrant and Zulaport Cutthroat steal life from all of your opponents and give it back to you. Blood Artist works similarly, but will also trigger when opposing creatures die. Judith, the Scourge Diva gives us an anthem effect and can damage any target, but only when your nontoken creatures die.

Damage isn't the only resource death can provide. Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos force your opponents to sacrifice their creatures, leaving them defenseless. Mardu colors aren't the best at mana ramp, but Pitiless Plunderer will help you with that. Elenda, the Dusk Rose explodes into an army of Vampire tokens. If you can manage to flip Liliana, Heretical Healer   and get her emblem, any creature that dies comes back under your control at end of turn. Teysa Karlov doubles your death triggers, gives your tokens vigilance and lifelink, and looks gorgeous while doing so.

Alesha can't bring anything back to life if it hasn't died yet. Don't have the mana to cast something yet? Don't worry! Buried Aliveand Entomb pull creatures straight from the library into the graveyard. You can also discard your creatures with Faithless Lootingor Seasoned Pyromancer. Key to the Cityprotects Alesha during combat, and you can pay to draw a card when it untaps. Nahiri, the Harbingercan serve as spot removal or tutor a card, but her +2 is her best asset. Normally, Lim-Dul's Paladinis not a good card... but somehow the wall of text on it makes it pretty decent in this deck.

Alesha is well known as a strong commander, so your opponents may try to keep her off of the battlefield. Don't worry! Spells like Unearth, Reanimate, and Animate Deadcan do her job for her. The latter two can also target creatures in your opponent's graveyards in a pinch. Karmic Guide, Vesperlark, and Loyal Retainerssacrifice themselves and revive the dead. Feldon of the Third Pathmakes a copy of something in your graveyard for a turn. Sun Titanis an auto-include, bringing back any of your permanents with a CMC of 3 or less.

Because you almost always want to attack with Alesha and company, you are vulnerable to counterattacks. To bolster your defenses, summon or reanimate creatures that create tokens, like Siege-Gang Commander or Priest of the Blood Rite. Tithe Takertaxes opponents on your turn before giving up the ghost. Mogg War Marshalsends itself back to the graveyard to find more friends. Angel of Inventionis a true all-star. Try making a copy of the Angel with Feldon of the Third Pathbefore reanimating it with Alesha! More tokens = more death triggers = more problems (for your opponents).

Elenda + Teysa = ❤

The best defense isn't always a good offense. For this deck to work, you need to keep Alesha and your aristocrats safe. Giver of Runes protects against damage and spells. Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots grant haste and are fashionable. If you reanimate a valuable creature tapped and attacking, expect it to be blocked. Iroas, God of Victory prevents damage to your attacking creatures, making it safer to swing out. Selfless Spirit can serve the same role, or protect you from board wipes. Reconnaissance may prevent Alesha from dealing damage, but sometimes it is wiser to keep your commander off of the front lines.

If your opponents try to exile your creatures (or you really want them back in the graveyard), use Viscera Seeror Ashnod's Altar to sacrifice them at instant speed. Yahenni, Undying Partisanis almost always indestructible, and Goblin Bombardment turns death into damage. With Phyrexian Tower you can sacrifice a creature and get the mana for Alesha to bring it back at the same time! Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is this deck's Swiss Army Knife, providing a sac outlet, removal, card advantage, and good fashion taste.

When Fiend Hunter and Leonin Relic-Warder enter the battlefield, their exile ability goes on the stack. Before that ability resolves, you can sacrifice them, triggering their "leaves the battlefield" ability. Because their first ability hasn't resolved, they haven't exiled anything yet, and can't return anything to your opponent. After this, their ETB ability will resolve, and you will have permanently exiled something.

Other spot removal includes:

Anguished Unmaking for nonland permanents.

Path to Exile and Swords to Plowsharesfor creatures.

Wear / Tear for artifacts/enchantments.

Fulminator Mage for nonbasic lands.

Kaya's Guile for graveyards.

Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead = Everybody loves infinite death triggers!

  1. Get Relic-Warder in your graveyard.
  2. Cast Animate Dead targeting Relic-Warder.
  3. When Relic-Warder enters, use its ability to exile Animate Dead.
  4. Relic-Warder is sacrificed because Animate Dead has left the battlefield. Your aristocrats have a party.
  5. Animate Dead is returned to the battlefield, and you must select a target that it could enchant. Select Leonin Relic-Warder and go back to step 3.

Fiend Hunter + Sun Titan + any sac outlet = Even more infinite death triggers!

  1. With Fiend Hunter in the graveyard, cast or attack with Sun Titan to reanimate it, OR with Sun Titan already on the battlefield, cast Fiend Hunter.
  2. When Fiend Hunter enters the battlefield, exile Sun Titan with its ability.
  3. Sacrifice Fiend Hunter. Smize.
  4. Sun Titan returns. Reanimate Fiend Hunter and return to step 2.


Updates Add


Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month
Exclude colors UG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

11 - 0 Mythic Rares

36 - 1 Rares

27 - 3 Uncommons

6 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.73
Tokens 1/1 Servo, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, 5/5 Demon, 2/2 Vampire, None Treasure, Liliana, None Copy Clone, 2/2 Zombie
Folders Yes, Commander
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