Kess, Dissident Mage
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Legality

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

Kess, Dissident Mage

Legendary Creature — Human Wizard

Flying

During each of your turns, you may cast an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard. If a spell cast this way would be put into your graveyard, exile it instead.

KBK7101 on Archenemy/Planeschase deck ideas

1 month ago

seshiro_of_the_orochi I actually really love the idea of mutating slivers. That sounds hilarious and terrifying at the same time!

My recommendation for this would be something like maybe Kess, Dissident Mage or Anhelo, the Painter? Spellslinger synergies that could go in multiple directions like tokens or discard or burn or something.

(Take this with a grain of salt. Never played Archenemy before)

beastmenwarrior on [Primer] Casting the Mythal *Update*

1 month ago

would it be worth replacing Kess, Dissident Mage with Lier, Disciple of the Drowned? Lier shuts off the decks counter spells which isn't great, but gives but also provides counter protection for combo turns and Lier allows you to cast all your cards in your graveyard rather then just one a turn.

wallisface on Trouble at the Old Mill!

3 months ago

The only draw card mill should ever need/want is Visions of Beyond. It’s pretty common for decks to run the full playset of these (or, at least 3-of).

Both Kess, Dissident Mage and Isochron Scepter are terrible cards for modern in general (and don’t get any better in mill), so i’d suggest avoiding them like the plague. Kess has a far-too-high mana cost, which effectively puts it out of the range of usefulness (4cmc cards have to have an immediate impact or they’re pretty useless). Scepter is just waay too slow, and far to easy to destroy, making it highly likely you’ll be spending the 2 mana to cast it, just to get “2-for-1’d”.

Epicurus on Trouble at the Old Mill!

3 months ago

I'd be concerned that you have no draw power in here. UB is great at adding draw, so there are a lot of good choices and I won't bore you with a list. I know that Snapcaster helps by allowing you to recur your mill spells, but it's a one-off since you're not running any flicker. I could forsee you running out of mill cards before your opponent runs out of library. Even with the Ruin Crabs, you only have 20 lands.

Would it be out of the question to splash in some red mana and add Kess, Dissident Mage? You already have Breaking and Entering in there, but no way to cast its second half. She's not exactly fast, but useable more than once, in case a game goes longer than anticipated. Or perhaps an Isochron Scepter just so that you can maintain the ability to mill when you get jazz hands (it's also fun to throw Drown in the Loch on that thing).

Just some thoughts. Cheers!

Spirits on Yuriko, Shadow of Fate EDH

3 months ago

Wow thanks Virlym!!!

Agreed Thrasios, Triton Hero or a Kess, Dissident Mage way more value for Fish-Consul, was hoping for some flavor, along with the easiest win in commander today. Goal is to build a fun, rogue style deck, but that I can play in High power format games, 8+. I'll think on the fish overnight, certainly is powerful (and lots of interaction in the format to deal with it, a couple you identified). Doomsday without fish wouldn't be good either, too much work and weird cards would have to be put in without it. I defintely want a focused strategy not just play stuff for needing to play it.

Agreed Mana Vault is wrong, not on curve, going to replace that one with something. Dark Ritual I think I might need, a T1 Opposition Agent or Nashi, Moon Sage's Scion, maybe an Arcane Signet into an Unblockable with a Sensei's Divining Top lots of scenarios I can see using that {b}{b}{b} Dauthi Voidwalker that grabs me a fetchland I can use to not miss my T3 land drop, etc.

For Mox Opal I haven't done an analysis "yet", i have calculated the hypergeometric probabilities and charted them, see Kaalia Deck, but it's generally low, even lower with no Mana Vault.

The land selection supports the Thassa's Oracle + Tainted Pact, if you have any duplicate cads (including basic lands) then Tainted Pact doesn't work as a Tutor or a win enabler. I included the basic & it's snow-covered counterpart for maximum coverage there. I'm prioritizing lands that 1) Never enter tapped, 2) are T1 useable lands. Spire of Industry might not be right, similar argument to Mox Opal what is it's activation probability. Could go back to Tarnished Citadel or Ancient Tomb maybe? I dont like the colorless, or maybe just an Island like Cephalid Coliseum. I've tried finding another dual colored land that meets the criteria but can't which is why I landed on Spire of Industry. If I abandon fish-pact, can add more basics.

Satoru Umezawa I had a hard time. His CMC4 activated ability is useless, I was more evaluating on the following 1) Whenever Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow commander ninjitsu, I get to a) Look at the top 3 cards of library, b) Choose one for my hand (a counterspell or land or something), c) was a ninja lol. Looking again, his ability isn't a "may" so he's actually going to break the sorcery speed top deck manipulators like Imperial Seal or Personal Tutor, so he's bad, needs to come out, the draw isn't worth disrupting the synergy of the deck.

Viscera Seer has goldfished ok with me so far, why i've liked him a) He is CMC 1, so could be an early swing unblocked to commander ninjitsu and doesn't cost much to recast, b) He can put Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow back into the command zone, so that she can commander ninjitsu in "unblockable" again, dont want her stuck on the board with no way to attack, c) The top deck manipulation helps drawing what you need when you need it or getting rid of a card so that you can connect with a bigger spell. He also protects my stuff from exile effects, or effects that might turn her into an indestructible insect or a land or whatever all those things want to do! d) Can block and sac against lifelink (if that matters, probably not), not giving their footing back when I'm trying to kill with my Yuriko ability. He's not critical value, but having a way to consistently cast that unblockable, commander ninjitsu, replay the unblockable and get Yuriko back in command zone, is good isn't it? Cunning Evasion dpes this for all ninjas where Viscera Seer only works with Yuriko.

Praetor's Grasp probably wrong. Reevaluating there thanks.

I don't like that Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar only triggers once, thought he was for each creature. Hmm. If unblocked draw a card. If blocked return to hand vs. if blocked return to hand. Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar gives them additional incentive to block, but not much more, it's an extra card per turn, with the unblockables it should be anyway, so like a Phyrexian Arena with a second ability? Easier to remove. Cunning Evasion really just de-incentifies the block, especially if Yuriko on the field, but most stuff is unblockable or will draw a card. So point taken, is the extra card here or there worth the extra mana, and making it easier to remove, hmm. Maybe both are good?

Opposition Agent agent certainly is good stuff, but it has so many benefits a) It's a CMC3 instant speed tutor (for a land, any card, multiple lands, etc). It's going to get you something you want b) It's an essential stax piece, the higher power you get, the more value he is, essentially it stax locks down oppoents lands (too many fetches not enough basics the higher you get), finding an answer to you board (no looking for a board wipe for your ninjas (high power usually have 1 or 2 and rely on tutors to find it when needed), or even looking for an answer to Yuriko. Opponents durtle under Opposition Agent unless they have a removal "in hand" forces them to draw into a solutions, under a restricted mana base, decks playing 10-20 tutors shuts down 20% of their deck, slows them down etc. Until they ban this card that should never have been printed, or at least printed in White instead, have to play him. In Mid>High games or lower, he's far less useful as you see more basic lands, or more enters tapped, more draw effects and fewer tutors understandably.

This is really fantastic discussions, appreciate it, hopefully not consuming too much of your time :)

Thousand-Faced Shadow, I got hyper focused on his CMC4 ninjitsu for a "lack luster" ability and didn't even consider he's a CMC1 with flying evasion built in, that's also a ninja! Who cares about his dumb ability! He's going in 100%.

Mist-Syndicate Naga he's really just a 3/1 for 3 (bad), no evasion (bad), ninjitsu is CMC3 (bad, why not CMC1?). He replicates and then exponentially populates, but you can't bounce the copies to hand to protect them, and as with exponential growth, it's the T1-3 growth that kills you, the game isn't going to go long enough for him to deliver the value he could, let's say on T14 of a game, his T4 swinging. It's extra draw, but how is this guy getting through all these times to draw the cards, and why would I even Ninjitsu him lol. Can't get there on this guy.

Moon-Circuit Hacker and Ninja of the Deep Hours I keep thinking about though, their Ninjitsu costs are reasonable, but can't decide what they take the place of, a control card? a tutor card? That tutor finds me a win-con piece, a big spell for Yuriko to hit with, or a Ninja that delivers more advantage. However, if Yuriko is offline for whatever reason, they can draw into a solution themselves. In reconsidering mode on those. Thought I was close to having the list, your points have made me reconsider so many things.

The other low-cost ninjitsu are a little too situational and for like Mid>High games where board state matters more. The higher you get, the less important a board state is, and other than disrupting 1 player at sorcery speed (since Ninjitsu is on your turn, during attack, and only unblocked) it's utility is low. If the games are 5-7 power level, things tend to come out, wait around a turn before they do their thing in 7+ "usually" the thing comes out and it's already done it's thing Dockside Extortionist or a creature with haste that activates, etc. There are some exceptions like an Esper Sentinel or something, but in general Destroy/bounce are usually bad, want Exile at instant speed to have more "interaction".

Doomsday isn't really necessary, it's just an easy T1 win-con that tutors all the cards in combo. I haven't figured the stack but probably 1BBBB (5CMC T1 win), 1BB with a dark ritual. I'll build the stacks but that seems right. T2 win with lots like Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox. I'm just not 100% sold if it's needed and also means can cut Plunge into Darkness as well, although I think Night's Whisper would still stay even without Doomsday. Fish-consul is UUB T1 or Fish-pact 1UUB, so there are more efficent lines than Doomsday. There is a BBB Doomsday win-line but too many cards that don't synergize well with the commander in the deck.

Thanks so much, a bunch more modifications to the decklist coming tonight! Was extremely helpful.

Niko9 on Advice For Olivia CMDR

7 months ago

I think RiotRunner789 is correct in saying that Olivia is probably not cEDH, but she can probably be very good.

Self mill seems like it would work well here. Necropotence can not only give you amazing draw and selection, but also allow you to discard good stuff to hand size that Olivia will come in and reanimate.

I play Bruna, the Fading Light  Meld which is similar, but in black and red you can get better mill. There are artifact mill that might be useful here though. Mesmeric Orb is great but will draw almost instant removal. Things like Shriekhorn Grindclock Codex Shredder Altar of Dementia Grindstoneare good and especially so if you can recur artifacts or use them extra times with something like Unwinding Clock. The clock also plays really nice with artifact lands. Oh, and always remember that milling your opponents can kill top deck tutors. Keeping your mill artifacts open until it's coming back to your turn can kill a lot of these effects.

The Underworld Cookbook can also be really nice to get biggies in the graveyard if you draw them, and also bring back creatures late game. Trading Post is just lovely, and 4cmc seems like a lot, but it always does something great for you.

Artifact strategy with Inventors' Fair can be great here. Also, black reanimation like Unearth are always going to work wonders. In my experience, it's not too useful to focus on expensive reanimation because that's what your commander wants to do, but smaller reanimation for value can be good.

The one thing to remember if you do any mill strategy is that you are going to mill your bombs away. It's often better to have ways to get things back than it is to play things that are great but you have no way to get back.

I don't have a ton of experience with B/R in edh, so take it all with a grain of salt for sure. I just wonder if Olivia would be better for cEDH in the 99. Having access to more colors is always a plus, and I'd think that Olivia would be very nice in something like Kess, Dissident Mage. Kess can recur reanimation spells that can bring out a nice hasty Olivia who can swing in and bring back another creature. Plus you get access to blue and all the sweet blue instants.

One big issue with Olivia in competitive groups is that your bomb is always there in the command zone. Most blue decks will try to save a counter spell just for her if they can. You could play discard and hand disruption to target blue players to help with this.

Hope it helps :) Olivia is looking cooler than ever, and it's such a great card. I just don't know if she can keep up with the speed of TandT, Malcolm, food chain, or really fast ad naus decks in cEDH.

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