Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Historic Brawl Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death

Legendary Creature — Human Warrior

First strike

Whenever Alesha, Who Smiles at Death attacks, you may pay . If you do, return target creature card with power 2 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped and attacking.

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Crow_Umbra on Terrenos de Don Windgrace [Retired]

4 months ago

Thanks for checking out my decks as of recent, Profet93 I appreciate it. This is my second go at trying out a Lands strategy. Zimone and Dina were pretty interesting, but they felt like they were being pulled in a couple of different directions.

Since this deck is fairly new, I haven't had a chance to try it here yet. I used to run Insidious Dreams in my old Alesha, Who Smiles at Death deck. I liked it the times I played it there, but felt it was kinda clunky at 4 cmc, especially for a Mardu deck. I figured the mana cost wouldn't be as big of a deal in a deck with Green in it lol. I'm also playing it here because my one copy of Demonic Tutor is currently in my Burakos deck. I also figured I'd (ideally) be pitching Lands to the Discard requirement. If it under performs, It'll be one of my first swaps out.

  1. Petrified Field seems interesting. I agree that I'd want to limit the number of colorless mana producing lands I run, but could swap it for one of the others already in the deck.

  2. Lol I picked up a copy of Natural Affinity during one of my ordering batches. I'm sure that I'll give it a shot at some point.

  3. As for the Shamanic Revelation, I currently have about 6 creature token production effects in the 99. Still getting a feel for how consistently I can draw into at least one. In terms of a similarly costed draw effect, I was considering Stinging Study. 5 for always 5 seems decent.

capwner on "Master of Cruelties" - Budget but Strong?

4 months ago

As an x/4 in a no fury meta I think this card could potentially be good. The deck really wants Ragavan but yeah that's not very budget. Bowmasters too.

About 'understanding what to replace,' the way I think of it is, you know there are always more potential good cards than you can actually run in any deck, usually there are multiple good ways to build a deck. Every card should play into your synergy, except for sideboard cards which can attack something very specifically. And every card should be the best possible option for its slot (most versatility, most synergies with your other cards, most favorable in specific interactions vs. specific cards). Example, this is why I love Apostle's Blessing in here, it's versatile because it protects and evades, and these are both things your deck REALLY needs. And it's a cheap instant. Great card.

But now look at Goblin Tunneler, I see a card that is part of the gameplan, but it's also an x/1 non hasty creature and a 2 drop. This is going to fall short a lot of the time. Maybe a card like Wedding Invitation or Key to the City could be better in this slot. Generator Servant is great for the haste but it has the same weakness. Splitting that with artifact ramp like you did is good, maybe consider options like Pentad Prism but go with what you think plays the best. Molten Collapse is a strictly better Dreadbore and not expensive. Sunken Citadel might be a good land to combo with Rogue's Passage, maybe then Field of Ruin instead of Ghost Quarter? And Graven Cairns? On the lands topic I really like the idea posted above of adding Leechridden Swamp but you do need the fetches to really make it work.

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death has a nice effect but doesn't really synergize with anything besides bringing your Master back, which it can't even do vs. LB and Solitude. Maybe adding cards that combo with her like Fulminator Mage or Augur of Skulls could make her better. Lightning Greaves also makes her and a lot of your other creatures better too, this is a card I'd consider for a 1 or 2 of. But without adding more support, you might consider cutting Alesha and adding something along another angle.

I like Brainspoil, the tutor is nice because finding the Master is definitely a bottlneck in the deck. Grim Tutor is an option but a bit more expensive, Profane Tutor is affordable but has some problems. Having at least one other tutorable 5 drop would make your BS a lot better. 1 of Glarewielder would be kind of cute.

Hand disruption is another angle you might consider, it's really good for a slightly slower combo deck like this to nullify your opponent's big early plays and buy you a couple extra turns to combo them out. Collective Brutality is a pretty decent flexible card that also finishes your opponent.

In the end I think tuning your list and making cuts is about trying to make as many of these meaningful synergy connections between different cards as possible, getting the right amount of each type of effect you want (3 vs 4 of a specific effect like Dreadbore matters a lot vs some decks!), and then you cut either your lowest synergy cards, or effects you think you could safely go down a count on. Usually you want 6-8 ways of getting your key card in action, or 6+ of each combo piece/synergy if it involves multiple cards, and in a perfect world you want 4+ post board copies of HATE for particular meta decks, like 4 Leyline of the Void vs. Living End, or 8 killspells that can kill a Primeval Titan or Sheoldred. Your board cards should address aspects of other decks that really threaten you, no need to run those Leylines if you already beat that deck most of the time. It often comes down to having the right reactive cards, so you want good numbers of the ones you'll need the most.

Sorry for the whole ass book! It seemed like you wanted the help and I liked the concept/got into it a bit once I started looking. I think there's a lot of work and playtesting you could do to really optimize this, and maybe it could end up being pretty good+still affordable!

Crow_Umbra on Puro Pinche Party [Primer]

6 months ago

After your comment Profet93, I looked the deck over and decided to make a few updates:

Crow_Umbra on Where in the world is Carmen

7 months ago

No prob, happy to help! Hopefully the deck plays more smoothly for you.

I used to play Alesha, Who Smiles at Death for a couple of years, before converting the deck into Isshin. Her play pattern definitely has some similarities to Carmen in that both have an attack-based recursion. I figured some of that old Alesha tech would be right at home here, especially Sun Titan, Reveillark, and Karmic Guide. One of the things I found out early on with that deck is that it played a lot more smoothly when Alesha was a reanimation option, and not the primary reanimator that the deck relied on. The Reveillark/Karmic Guide loops can work with the free sac outlets and Aristocrats you already run.

Best of luck with your first irl play-throughs

Crow_Umbra on Ave, True to Caesar (Primer Prototype)

7 months ago

Totally understandable. I think checking out Isshin's EDHREC page, especially the token-focused variant should be a pretty close approximation of the kind of stuff that Caesar will want.

My only other suggestion would be to generally re-evaluate some of your token production slots, especially after you get some more playtest reps in. I think I counted about 20 creature token producing effects in your deck. You have a decent enough critical mass that you could probably cut 2-3 creature token producers. I used to run Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia, but that was mostly because I didn't want to buy a Bitterblossom lol. He's a token piece I think you could cut without missing much.

I wouldn't be surprised if Caesar ends up giving Isshin and Edgar a run for their money in terms of popularity for Mardu options. My love of Mardu started with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death until Isshin came along. Mardu has some of the most diverse design space in its commander options. Mr.House should be a lot of fun, I'm thinking of turning that precon into a Mr.House deck, depending on the amount of new dice rolling support that comes with it.

Crow_Umbra on Isshin (Unfinished)

8 months ago

Hi there, welcome to Isshin brewing! He can be a blast to play, especially once you get hone in on what you want to focus on. Since you're still trying to cut down to your final 100, I was wondering if you have a general theme you wanted to try out for Isshin, and what your general budget overall/per card is? Isshin is a lot of fun as a go-wide tokens build, but his wording also allows for forced combat control.

In looking at your build, I do have a few suggestions for cuts:

  • First of all, make sure to list Isshin as your Commander in the edit view by labeling with CMDR with an asterisk on either side of ""CMDR". The edit feature also has some formatting guides to help.

  • I think you can cut Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. I love her as a commander, and used to run her before converting her into Isshin about a year ago. Based off how her ability & Isshin's trigger interact, you would have to pay for her ability for each additional time Isshin triggers her.

  • Akroan Hoplite and/or Alpine Houndmaster could both be potential cuts. Their buff is board dependent to pop, and they lack Trample or Menace to really connect with their big damage.

  • I'd recommend swapping Glint-Sleeve Siphoner with Breena, the Demagogue. Glint-Sleeve is kinda slow and unreliable to get the draw. Although Breena can benefit your opponents, they may be less likely to attack you if they can benefit, meanwhile Breena will help grow threats on your board. She's def gotten huge in a few of my games and helped me close them out.

  • Shakedown Heavy is a card I was initially excited for, but soon realized that it can be removed from combat on its initial trigger. Also a kinda awkward means to draw 1 card.

  • I'd recommend swapping Plasma Jockey with Hammers of Moradin. Hammers of Moradin put in work, and the Myriad trigger pops off an additional time with Isshin, meaning you tap down 2 creatures per board, and make an additional Myriad token for opponents not defending your OG Hammers of Moradin.

  • Bane of Bala Ged is on the higher end of the curve and could potentially be cut. From playing Isshin for over a year now, I think ideally his curve should top out at 6cmc. It makes it more ideal to pop off multiple spells per turn in the mid-late game, instead of 1 bomb-y creature that might eat removal.

I hope these handful of suggested cuts are helpful to get you started. Would be happy to chat through some more potential cuts if you're interested. Best of luck with your deck, Isshin is a lot of fun!

Crow_Umbra on

9 months ago

Hi there Nezkul, generally speaking, I think Myriad is right at home in Isshin. Battle Angels of Tyr and Hammers of Moradin are both a couple of my favorite cards in my Isshin deck. Hammers of Moradin puts in lots of work clearing up lanes for aggro swings.

The combo you mentioned does have some nasty potential, but I do think it leans a bit more towards being telegraphed and mana intensive. I have used Master of Cruelties (MoC) to finish off someone before, but that was in my old Alesha, Who Smiles at Death deck, before I converted her into Isshin. I think MoC has a bit more viability in Reanimator decks, than in Isshin, because Reanimator decks can discard and reanimate MoC in the same turn. Without a Haste anthem of some kind, MoC will have to sit around a turn and be vulnerable to removal. The one time I pulled off a MoC kill, everyone else still left proceeded to rightfully focus me and finished me off next. Every game after, people suspected me of being able to set up MoC again, so I removed it from the deck.

As mentioned before Master of Cruelties (5 cmc) + Blade of Selves (6 mana to cast & equip) + Response / Resurgence (5 cmc) is fairly mana intensive to pull off over 1-2 turns at 16 total mana to pull off.

All of that being said, I do think that Myriad has a lot of viability when combined with Enter the Battlefield group-slug effects like Corpse Knight, Impact Tremors, Witty Roastmaster, and Purphoros, God of the Forge. Another potential heavy hitter in Myriad and token Isshin decks in general, is Devilish Valet. Its power can get out of hand with a couple of Myriad creatures swinging away.

If you want to check out some Myriad-focused Isshin decks, I'd recommend checking out some of the following:

If you do want to incorporate Blade of Selves in an extra combat combo, you can slap it on Aurelia, the Warleader. She's already strong on her own, that much more pushed with Isshin on the table, and nutty if you can get Blade of Selves on her with Isshin out. Even without Blade of Selves, she can act as a finisher for Isshin token decks.

Hope this helps!

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