This my Yisan deck for Duel Commander.I have got into mtgtop8 several times, so you can find older versions of this deck there- Mtgtop8.

I have seen some Yisan Primers, but it was either for multiplayer or MTGO and it is very different. Multiplayer is played more as stax and MTGO Yisan has acces to much more mana. So i tried to create Primer for Duel Commander, hope this will help you to understand Yisan deck.

There are two major ways how to play Yisan. You can play more aggro with some Toolbox, or a lot of Toolbox with Combo. I prefer to play more Combo way so keep that in mind and i don't know why would you play Yisan as aggro, because Titania, Protector of Argoth is probably better for that, but feel free to change my mind.

Players asked me about other mono-green commanders so i decided to talk about them a little here. i have played almost all of them before i started with Yisan, so i can try little comparison. Let's start with my first commander.

Thrun, the Last Troll I am not going to give him too much credit. I played him as Land destruction / Voltron. It was fun, but i think he is just too slow, because meta with 20 life is very aggro and he is unable to compete with it. I tried to play him as a card and for commander swap, but my deck list just doesn't work for him, maybe if you play more aggro way. It was definetly worth a try against Baral, Chief of Compliance, but he is banned now.

Surrak, the Hunt Caller This is only playable mono-green commander i haven't played, but i have seen him in top8 several times, so it can't be so bad. I don't like just "aggro" decks, so it's not commander for me.

Titania, Protector of Argoth I have played her before Yisan was unbanned and it's definetly compettitive commander. So if you like aggro and mono-green, this will work. But as i said i like combo decks so when Yisan came back, i changed it immediately.

Nissa, Vastwood Seer   I liked this deck so much. Mono-green "control" was just funny for me, but change for 20 life simple killed her, because she is too slow for it.

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds I have played her for few months and it is funny deck and can be quite compettitive. She is just pure combo deck. It's fun to play Eldrazi turn 3, but she doesn't play too much disruption and decision making isn't too hard with her. But if you want fast combo deck, this is worth a try.

Why did i choose Yisan, the Wanderer Bard?

-i like concept of "control" mono-green, that's why i have played Nissa before and you can definetly control board with this deck even in opponent's turn.

-i don't want to play just simple aggro (no offensive for those who like them). I want to play deck with hard decision making and a lot of synergies.

-Yisan is just insanly consistent deck. Well, you have tutor in command zone.


-very consistent

-quite fast (unless you have to disrupt opponent)

-resilient to spot removals

-resilient to stax and contermagic (as long you have Yisan on board)

-great answers as Toolbox


-mass removals

-There are cards that just shut down your deck as Linvala, Keeper of Silence / Aven Mindcensor / Containment Priest / Hushwing Gryff, but they are not played very much

Main plan is just turn 2 Yisan, first use for Untap, second use Mana, third use Tutor to Wincon. Most of the times this deck kills just with damage, but you can find an infinite combo here.

You want to play Yisan ASAP and you want to just use his ability, if he survives. When Yisan is in game, you usually don't want to play cards from your hand in your turn, unless they are very good. While activating you just have to choose what is best in current situation. This is decision making you just have to learn with Yisan.


If you have at least 2 lands and something for turn 2 Yisan, you are good to go, but you can have good hand even without 1 CMC Mana elf (you have 2 CMC elf).

-Temur Sabertooth + Wirewood Symbiote + Big mana creature (at least 5) + any elf = infinite man. This is one of your win conditions. You can search for Woodland Bellowerand find something to win with. I like to search for Elvish Visionary, draw whole deck, Acidic Slime destroys all opponent's lands and keep playing Thought-Knot Seer to "mill" opponent.

-Sakura-Tribe Scout + Scryb Ranger + Dryad Arbor = just free blocks, but this works really well.

-Titania, Protector of Argoth + Sylvan Safekeeper = risky win condition, but works.

-Temur Sabertooth + Eternal Witness + Spore Frog = "infinite" fog. I really like to do this against mono-whites.

-Earthcraft / Arbor Elf + Wild Growth / Utopia Sprawl = with Earthcraft a lot of free mana. Just Earthcraft helps you with activating Yisan a lot.

-Questing Beast + Maze of Ith = If opponent blocks Questing Beast, you can maze it and only opponent's creature dies, because damage to it can't be prevented and Questing Beast will survive. Questing Beast is good against True-Name Nemesis too.

You can create a lot of synergies in this deck. Those are just my favourite to do.

Double Versing = if you activate Yisan, hold priority, untap Yisan and activate again, you get two tutors for creatures of the latest verse. For example, your Yisan is at 2 counters. You activate Yisan, hold priority, untap Yisan, then activate Yisan again. Yisan is now at 4 verse counters and you can search for two 4-cmc creatures.

Main paths:

1) Quirion Ranger, Priest of Titania, Fierce Empath for Craterhoof Behemoth

2) Wirewood Symbiote, Elvish Visionary, Double versing for Temur Sabertooth + Karametra's Acolyte

You should mostly go for path 1.

Other choices:


Arbor Elf if you have Wild Growth / Utopia Sprawl

Sakura-Tribe Scout if you have a lot of lands in your hand or you have Dryad Arbor

Spore Frog if opponent attacks with Umezawa's Jitte or just some huge attack

Sylvan Safekeeper if you need protection

Other Mana elves if you need some extra mana


Kraul Harpooner Good removal against flyers

Phyrexian Revoker is great answer against a lot of combo decks, walkers or some artifacts

Wall of Roots maybe when you need something on 3 CMC and you need extra mana to use Yisan again or when you need good blocker

Scavenging Ooze just grave hate

Scryb Ranger is not just for untap. You can use protection from blue for blocking Kraum / Kess or some random blue creatures

Fauna Shaman you search for her as response, when Yisan would be removed from battlefield.


Courser of Kruphix good blocker and life gain

Eternal Witness when you need to get win condition from graveyard

Ramunap Excavator this could be way to win, if you have wasteland and opponent has mana screw

Reclamation Sage when you need removal for enchantment or artifact


Obstinate Baloth just life gain

Thought-Knot Seer i like to search for him a lot. When i know opponent has something annoying in hand or when i want to win with Craterhoof Behemoth and want to be sure opponent doesnt have any answer against it.

Arasta of the Endless Web this is not choice for yisan, but more like tutor this with Birthing Pod / Eldritch Evolution. Good against Kess or Kraum decks.


Thragtusk just very good creature. Life gain, block, attack

Titania, Protector of Argoth can work as win condition

Whisperwood Elemental against mass removals


Great Oak Guardian i don't play 7 CMC so this is not that great for me, but i use him for Finale of Devastation. So i can untap mana elves with him to get more attackers, if i cast Finale with X=10. You can use him against some attacks- reach and turn every elf into valid blocker.

Primeval Titan i have never searched for him this way, but could work as win condition.

Woodland Bellower this is card you will usually choose when you get on this CMC. He is just so good.

Yisan deck list is heavily based on your meta, so everyone should have different deck list. I have created two extra deck lists where first is just core deck- list of cards you should play in every Yisan deck (based on my opinion) and second is full of cards that are worth to consider.

Core: Yisan - core

Changes: Yisan - choices

So after tons of games i have played with Yisan, i still like to try new cards. There are some core cards for me in this deck list, but i want to list cards that i am not really sure, if they are good enough.

City of Traitors

Rishadan Port

Winter Orb

Tangle Wire

Summoner's Pact


Updates Add


Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 weeks

This deck is Duel Commander legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

38 - 0 Rares

14 - 0 Uncommons

15 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.62
Tokens 0/1 Insect, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, 3/3 Beast, 1/1 Elemental, 2/2 Manifest
Folders Uncategorized, Uncategorized
Ignored suggestions
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