Alesha, Who Smiles at Death

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander 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
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Tiny Leaders 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.

Recommendations View more recommendations

Crow-Umbra on Snowflake

1 month ago

No worries! You will get a better feel for the pacing of the deck the more you play it. I want to make sure that my suggestions are budget friendly enough, but I do want to make a couple of suggestions that are a bit pricey, but should be under $20 depending on the vendor.

Reconnaissance and Dolmen Gate can both help with board protections on swings. Akroma's Will is helpful in pulling double duty for offense and defensive anthems.

If you want some interaction against spot removal, then Tibalt's Trickery, Rebuff the Wicked, Dash Hopes, and Mana Tithe are kinda funky counter spells. There's also Faith's Reward as a post boardwipe response.

In general, getting more draw effects will be the best way to ensure that you're getting answers or staying stocked on creatures. Plumb the Forbidden can be used as a response to a boardwipe - just sacrifice all your creatures that would have died anyways and stock up for your next turn. Liliana's Standard Bearer is another post boardwipe refueling effect. It's kind of funny to use someone's board wipe against them.

In my experience playing Isshin, I don't really run any reanimation effects like Alesha, Who Smiles at Death (I adore her though). I think the reanimation and equipments are kinda clunky for an aggro deck like Isshin. I found more success having the cheapest CMC creatures or enchantments to quickly rebuild with after a board wipe. Board wipes don't hurt as much if you can be the first to rebuild and start swinging aggro again. In addition to Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, Fervor has really helped me keep the foot on the gas.

I'd also recommend Zhentarim Bandit as a budget option for treasure production.

Crow-Umbra on Clout Conquistadors

1 month ago

Thank you Andramalech! In my 4ish years playing EDH, Mardu has definitely grown to be my favorite three color combo. Sultai was my favorite for a bit, but I got kinda bored with it. My Mardu love started with my Alesha, Who Smiles at Death deck, Awkward Eye Contact with Death (retired), which got recycled into Isshin earlier this year. I don't currently own this Shanid deck; this list is more a running concept if I did decide to pick it up. Some of the pieces from the new Necron WH40K precon also have me reconsidering Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter lol.

Alesha was a fun balancing act between aggro, control, and mobilizing a combo. I changed her theme up about 2-3 times over the 2 years that I had the deck running. I know I'll eventually revisit her, but I'm having too much fun with Isshin and honing it more. My play group seems to be coming around on proxies, so I might proxy up her pieces that are currently in Isshin. I might end up with 3 proxied Mardu decks at this rate lol.

My meta tends to lean aggro and go-wide, so that's more or less where my love for beat-face strats comes from. I still love combos when they can fit with a deck.

I think that Mardu has received a lot of love from WotC in the past few years in terms of design diversity. I mean:

TheOfficialCreator on Pride Month (LGBT+ Tribal)

2 months ago

For reference, those cards are Sol Ring, Mana Confluence, Bearscape, Savor the Moment, Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Collective Voyage, Heartbeat of Spring, and Triumphant Reckoning.

Liliana, Saheeli, and Huatli are also queer, and Anhelo, the Painter's daughter marries another girl in the SNC story. That daughter is Errant, Street Artist.

Crow-Umbra on Musashi's Mosh Pit [Primer]

2 months ago

Thank you Andramalech, I truly appreciate it. My Isshin deck was previously my Alesha, Who Smiles at Death deck, before I recycled her to make this deck. Alesha was similarly loved and updated, and probably my 2nd longest running EDH deck at that point.

Isshin is for sure my favorite commander from this year, with Anhelo, the Painter in second place. As a kid, my dad showed me some of Akira Kurosawa's films like Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress. Throughout most of my childhood, my dad had this copy of Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings on one of his shelves in his home office. I saw it so often it became a background piece. He passed away a few years ago, and I find myself reconnecting with him in the strangest ways. As soon as I realized that Isshin was a nod to Musashi, I knew I had to go hard on this deck.

Barbarian_Sun_Pope on Saskia: The Human Element

5 months ago

Nice deck (+1), do you think Alesha, Who Smiles at Death would work here? I've had some success pairing her up with Isshin, Two Heavens as One, but I'm not sure if there's enough targets to make her worth it in this build.

golgarigirl on What makes a deck-worthy commander?

6 months ago

Sometimes it's a mechanic, sometimes it's a theme, sometimes the card just makes an impression. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death introduced herself by giving me a papercut. And as a foil at a time when foils were something special, she kind of stuck in my subconscious. The mechanic was interesting in and of itself as well!

I've always had an enchantment deck because it's my favorite card type (and maybe to stick it to all those artifact mages), and the deck got pared down from 5-color to Tuvasa the Sunlit after the last Theros set.

I have a tendency to like playing modern/legacy deck strategies in commander, so a few of my decks have taken that angle almost subconsciously (Omnath, Otrimi, and Oloro...omg, they all start with the same letter...are Legacy Lands, Modern Boggles, and Modern Soul Sisters respectively).

And Kresh the Bloodbraided was me sticking it to the one dude in my game store that had all the bikini Liliana alters. I wanted a beefcake that I could parrot his lewd comments toward and make him likewise uncomfortable to prove a point. But the deck is fun and I'm currently re-building it with New Capenna goodies. It's like welcoming back an old friend.


Either way, I like making it so my commander, though not always necessary for a successful game, makes an impact. To me, I might as well play a different format if the commander doesn't matter. Power level makes no difference if I'm having fun. I tend toward midrange-toolbox playstyles...and my commanders are either engine pieces or wincons in most cases.

Crow-Umbra on Musashi's Mosh Pit [Primer]

6 months ago

Thank you for the suggestion knightofzero21. It's kind of funny that I forgot about Corpse Knight, since I used to run it in my Alesha, Who Smiles at Death deck as a combo piece.

I do like Corpse Knight and don't mind the 2 color intensity. In my experience a 2 color 2 drop is about the same level of on-curve play as a 1 color 3 drop. Having played this deck numerous times already, I don't think I've ever felt mana screwed by color balance/fixing.

My current issue is figuring out what slots I want to change up. I haven't played with my friends in about a month. As much as I want to change 1-3 slots to test stuff out, I also kind of want to wait knowing that Commander Legends 2 is somehow already around the corner.

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