Kess, Dissident Mage

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Custom Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Horizons (MH1) Mythic Rare
Commander 2017 (C17) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

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 card cast this way would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

Browse Alters

Kess, Dissident Mage Discussion

bossomus on Wheelin' & Dealin' (Damage)

4 days ago

Hey king-saproling!

Kederekt Parasite is definitely really good, and you've kind of convinced me on it.

With regard to what I took out, I decided that even though Dissipation Field does nonbo with Spiteful Visions , that it provides enough of disincentive for people attacking me that I'm okay with it. I also left Nin, the Pain Artist and Niv-Mizzet, Parun in the deck as they are really powerful cards which can jump me ahead a lot. With all of the duel lands I have, I have never been unable to cast Niv, and I also just think that Nin is good since she lets me sink mana into her if I don't have to counter something after a turn cycle. Lastly, I left in The Magic Mirror as it can provide a lot of card draw and value, and most of the time, I can cast it for not that much.

I did end up taking out Kess, Dissident Mage , Bone Miser , Prosperity , and Sphinx's Tutelage though. I agree with you on Sphinx's as it really only feels good in a 1v1 for mill. Kess and Bone Miser both felt like a mana sink which I always felt bad about since they only mildly synergize with the rest of my cards and require a lot of investment up front. Lastly, Prosperity just never felt as good as a wheel since everyone gets to hold their cards except for me.

Thanks again for all your help!

dbpunk on Commander Suggestions!

1 week ago

Here's the ones I had a lot of fun with. I changed each of these into tricolor decks, so it's the dual color paired with the tricolor it corresponds with. I think any of the 20 are pretty fun and unique in their own way.

Dragonlord Ojutai / Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest extra turns/control

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born /Muldrotha the Graveside mill/grave control

Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury / Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire goblin/dragon tribal

Mina and Denn, Wildborn / Surrak Dragonclaw cheating creatures/creature combo

Selvala, Explorer Returned / Mayael the Anima elf tribal/super ramp into creatures

Daxos the Returned / Ertai, the Corrupted enchantments and sacrifices

Meren of Clan Nel Toth / Anafenza, the Foremost sacrifices and +1/+1 counters

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter / Roon of the Hidden Realm bounce and etb abuse

Arjun, the Shifting Flame / Kess, Dissident Mage spell slinging and mass draw

Brion Stoutarm / Mathas, Fiend Seeker burn and destroy

Spirits on Kaalia, Mirror Breaker EDH

1 week ago

Hi again realsoupersand,

Had to fly out to Ottawa, ON in Canada for a bit, so back in action.

50% of the time, I win with my primary win-con, which is Buried Alive + Reanimate , generally between T1-4 depending on how much tutoring and mana ramps I have available. It's CMC4, which happens on T1 occassionally, T2/T3 more realistically.

Karmic Guide is a critical component of that combo, also, yes she is playable with Kaalia of the Vast . Also enables Razaketh, the Foulblooded from the graveyard, and provides for sac/tutor. It's usually never a dead draw, and at CMC5 is still playable from hand, on occasion if the game is going on, and the Protection: with Flying also has assisted occasionally. Other than her obvious CMC as just a recursion tool, she's generally been good, and a requirement for the primary win-con.

Angel of Despair is just a Vindicate for CMC7, its ridiculous and only 5/5 flying. However, it's what I ALWAYS Tainted Pact to when Show and Tell + Omniscience , unless they have Leyline of Anticipation it's "usually" good enough. I can tutor Anguished Unmaking , however, I have to give priority up with an Omniscience on the table, so it's far too late by then. Can also destroy other random threats if needed too. She's borderline for sure. Red Elemental Blast is too slow in this case.

Angelic Arbiter was answering the Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge but now it's always Kess, Dissident Mage . Also for Tooth and Nail type encounters (eg: Craterhoof Behemoth ) or any type of haste/recursion. All together stops a few. I usually just put 1 response to any situation, because I just tutor the exclusive solution needed.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope protects against MLD type situations, but she's not difficult to remove anyway, everyone's removal deals with her no problem. If she buys me an extra turn though, it's worth it. Can also put a player on a turn timer or make them act before prepared (no Force of Will for example), sometimes... Not the strongest for sure. Or like a The Gitrog Monster looping destroy maybe...

Balefire Dragon is again, just to solve specific issues or eliminate high value ground targets. Like the others, Tainted Pact to hand whenever, a situation calls for it. I tried to cut back on creature controls (ex: Damnation ) just because its not a creature world, but often creatures can be enablers.

Baneslayer Angel cut, served no purpose other than lifelink for the Hatred but the CMC5 was too much, and only removed a single opponent. Serra Ascendant T1 "usually" puts enough pressure on 1 player (usually )), who is now on a turn timer, spending life for tutoring becomes harder, and sometimes waste time removing it. Statistically found, I was usually nearly 1 turn earlier to win with Serra Ascendant , plus overcharges me for an early Necropotence or Razaketh, the Foulblooded win or Doom Whisperer win.

Phyrexian Arena is tough, high CMC, no return. It still the second highest played card in commander, and I don't know how else to draw? Mardu is a drawing nightmare. Have to think on it, how to deal with it but agreed, same issue is with Bloodgift Demon . I've had Skyline Despot recommended has a same turn impact (draw at EOT), but also, might be ramping oppponents draw too, especially if I have no way to reconnect on attack as Skyline Despot doesn't have trample.

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight has the added benefit of removing 1-damage win-cons like Impact Tremors , Blasting Station , Goblin Bombardment , Dragon Tempest (with 1 dragon), Etc... Also puts pressure on. Usually just for a specific application though. I think my interaction package is more similar to a Thoughtseize type application, where if I can't win early, I tutor what I need to address the specific threats, instead of using Instant spell to do them? If that makes sense. Gisela, the Broken Blade i've cut.

Hellkite Tyrant was specifically answering an almost consistent Breya, Etherium Shaper deck. It's been a while since C16 set now, so definitely seeing it less and less. Might help with Teferi, Temporal Archmage or Urza, Lord High Artificer on occasion. It wasn't enough on it's own though, it also needed a Linvala, Keeper of Silence to go with it. Prior to this, I had nothing to compete with Breya, Etherium Shaper , had no way to win.

Lyra Dawnbringer is on my cut list now, might become the Sire Of Insanity or something like that. Mother of Runes works good with Master of Cruelties , also can protect Kaalia of the Vast , makes guys like Balefire Dragon unblockable too, or protects a Razaketh, the Foulblooded and becomes Tutor mana, or blocks an early Infect attack. Slow yes, but has some utility. Also can protect my Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or Worldgorger Dragon causing me to win (instead of lose). It's borderline for sure, have to think about it. Aven Mindcensor feels good, looking for a way to include him as well as the Sire Of Insanity .

Steel Hellkite I tried for over a year, I would either, not be able to connect (no trample), or when I did, not enough mana to get the threat that I really needed to remove. I gave up on Steel Hellkite , also needs a Mother of Runes for support.

Ancient Tomb is back in, can't recall why I removed it. Think it screwed me one game with the colorless, but now that I've removed most of the colorless, it makes sense. Prismatic Vista isn't great, only 2 basics (can put in the snow's but for why), I like that it filters a land out (lower probability of drawing a land), but also destroys my mana-fixing as well, so agreed, unnecessary in this build, but feels weird.

I'm probably going to continue reducing CMC and reducing land counts as you've recommended, but needs some expensive 0-CMC rocks which I don't have, or some resource planning around alt. mana sources.

Overall goal is still to build for cEDH, understanding that consistency isn't going to push into more than a Tier-2.5/3 categorization, so I'll go over High Power again later lol.

Thinking about Interaction, I really don't want to go heavy into that with things like, Dismember or Lightning Bolt would rather let the opponents use their removal, and PRAY that I can sneak through a combo. If I combo T1 it has a fairly high success rate (other than a Pact of Negation which eliminated themselves) usually don't get stopped (Odd Force of Will or Swords to Plowshares here and there), T2 is still decently good, often others are still tutoring for a T3 win, but outside of T3 or beyond, usually I need to wait until someone tries to combo, and then is stopped, before I have a chance. I just go for it whenever I can though, increases winning % over trying to strategically go for it and being too late.

I think perhaps Red Elemental Blast or Pyroblast or both perhaps will be handy, Silence I wish it had Split Second (like Teferi's Protection ) because most combos don't have a "sorcery" speed interaction so doesn't stop. Can protect me on the turn I'm going for it like another Grand Abolisher but outside of that not highly useful. Will do some playtesting with it and see if it improves my completion % for combo and increases my combo win % because that's all that matters.

I decided not to go MLD, can Stax/MLD certainly is a strategy, but prefer just to ignore others, and just go for the win myself, win or lose. Plus I don't repopulate my hand nor ramp, so probably just slowing myself down instead of the opponents. Plus I don't have a Ravages of War so would require a financial commitment, would rather focus on finding a way to go for the win on T1-T3 more consistently.

I think if you found Kaalia of the Vast wasn't competitive using MLD before you dissolved that strategy, don't think it's the right course to go down either. Would rather try some out-of-the-box planning, and see if we can get her into a cEDH, which your comments are VERY helpful, and VERY appreciated. Think I've made some decent strides, still waiting for my card order to come in the mail so I can make some more cuts/adds to the deck!

I'll reply on high power shortly since it's lower priority, and hopefully you'll see my deck going in a stronger direction. Pushing that T1 probability up is key. I keep thinking there must be a T1 with Entomb and Goryo's Vengeance that I can do somehow? Razaketh, the Foulblooded would need another enabler, but there must be someone (like Griselbrand aka Griselbanned) to win with? Hmm.

SideBae on [cEDH] Chulane's Bounce House

3 weeks ago

I mean, my personal guess at the 'best' combo for this deck is the breakfast hulk package. You already have Flash and Protean Hulk , so fitting it in shouldn't be too hard. Basically you'd just have to run Cephalid Illusionist and Nomads en-Kor in addition to your Laboratory Maniac . Essentially what happens is you fetch all three with Protean Hulk 's trigger, then target the Cephalid Illusionist with Nomads en-Kor 's ability until your library is milled. (Because of the way it is worded, Nomads en-Kor doesn't actually need to have damage coming at it in order for it to target with its ability.) Then you'd just need to draw a card to win, since Laboratory Maniac is out already -- see Gitaxian Probe , your general, etc. If you choose to go this route, it may be helpful to think of your general as a value engine rather than an integral part of the combo, sort of like Kess, Dissident Mage or Tasigur, the Golden Fang .

I see that Finale of Devastation works well with infinite mana, but I still don't think it merits an include. My reasoning is that with infinite mana there're going to be easier ways to win, such s the Walking Ballista you mentioned. Generally you want your combo pieces to be as relevant as possible even without the full combo, since this will mean there'll be fewer 'dead'-ish cards in your deck. Natural Order to grab Craterhoof Behemoth is about as relevant as you can get, since it is a pretty easy way to eliminate a few players or even win on the spot.

I think if you focus the deck on one or two combos plus potentially a combat win-con (see Craterhoof Behemoth ), you'll find you have plenty of room in your list. This is one of the reasons that you want to focus on just a few combos in each deck: Since you're focused on them, you can include tutors, interaction, ramp and a whole lot else rather than four or five combo packages. In short, it'll let you have more relevant cards to top-deck and your average card power will go up. Tutors can help fetch the combo when you're ready to win... Worldly Tutor is a good way to grab Protean Hulk . Tangentially, Silence is a good way to protect your combo.

If you take my advice, that means you'll be able to cut some of the most unreliable/delicate combos. I've never been a fan of Cloud of Faeries or Peregrine Drake , so those'd be the first I'd cut. If you run tutors (which you do in the form of Eladamri's Call , Chord of Calling etc.) you don't have to run Whitemane Lion AND Kor Skyfisher AND Dream Stalker AND Shrieking Drake -- any two of these will do. My personal preference would be to Shrieking Drake because of its low CMC and Whitemane Lion because of its flash, but if you have a bunch of Mental Misstep players running around (I do) you may want to consider other options.

I think Uncage the Menagerie is probably just worse than a Green Sun's Zenith or Worldly Tutor . I'd cut it, but if your experience dictates otherwise please ignore me. (Note that GSZ can grab your Dryad Arbor turn one.)

Muddle the Mixture is, pardon the pun, a card I've always had mixed feelings about. I generally don't think it's very good, simply because it is three mana to transmute and you have to do that at sorcery speed. I also don't think the Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal loop is ideal in this deck, so cutting all three of those is on the table. Like I said in my first comment, I think you'd have more luck running cards like Collector Ouphe to slow down your opponents while you go for other combos like Flash with Protean Hulk .

I'm not sure, but I think Silence would probably be better than Ranger-Captain of Eos if you're going for a combo build.

Right. That's the best I've got for now. Let me know if I can help any more.

MoonHollow124 on My first modern deck. Improvements?

1 month ago

Lightning Bolt is just strictly better than Wizard's Lightning , so you should be at a 4/3 split or maybe even 4/4 if you are trying to go aggro. Skaab Ruinator is not that good because you have no way to get creatures in your graveyard. To slow things down, remove some aggro creatures and put in Kess, Dissident Mage , and to speed things up, try to lean into wizards with Soul-Scar Mage and Adeliz, the Cinder Wind . If you want to be midrange, Young Pyromancer could be good, as well as Fatal Push , or my favorite budget alternative Tragic Slip as removal. Serum Visions can help set up delver to flip earlier if you are all in delver. Remand can disrupt your opponent's tempo while cantripping on your side. I hope these can help you with your deck, and happy brewing!

th3d1v1n35h4d0w on big O

1 month ago

Kess, Dissident Mage for more arcane?

BMHKain on I thought about it. I'll ...

1 month ago

(CAUTION: A Huge List of CMDRS dead ahead. If you can't comply, remember that I apologized for the huge wall.)

Well, I was just told how to do a Folder, but to choose what for decks is another thing entirely. Especially if such decks are either:

A: What Everyone Plays B: Are good, but have since been outdated by a year C: Are Tribal Leaders in a Specific Sense (No Morophon, the Boundless please.) D: Not Underdog CMDRs. E: Other.

Let's Just assume we use that cEDH Deck Tier List One-by-One; but w/ a new rule for Playtesting such decks so none of the cEDH Decks win out of overall ratios ~100% of the time; CHANNELFIREBALL-style. That said, From using the Tier List, I require the following CMDR Decks to not have cEDH Level Power, but are these:

Tier 0:

Thrasios, Triton Hero & Tymna the Weaver Partners

Tier 1:

Kess, Dissident Mage

Kraum, Ludevic's Opus

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom

The First Sliver (Not as a Sliver Tribe Leader)

The Gitrog Monster

Urza, Lord High Artificer

Vial Smasher the Fierce

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

Zur the Enchanter

(NOTE: Unknown if Kraum, Ludevic's Opus & Vial Smasher the Fierce need to be Parters to be of this level.)

Tier 2:

Animar, Soul of Elements (Morph Decks not allowed.)

Baral, Chief of Compliance (Get your Counterspells Ready!)

Brago, King Eternal

Breya, Etherium Shaper

Circu, Dimir Lobotomist

Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

General Tazri (Mandatory Ally Tribe Leader)

Ghave, Guru of Spores

God-Eternal Kefnet

Godo, Bandit Warlord

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip

Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

Kykar, Wind's Fury

Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Mizzix of the Izmagnus

Momir Vig, Simic Visionary

Narset, Enlightened Master

Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Niv-Mizzet Reborn

Oona, Queen of the Fae

Prime Speaker Vannifar

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Ramos, Dragon Engine

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

Scion of the Ur-Dragon (Possible Dragon Tribe Leader)

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds

Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

Sidisi, Undead Vizier

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain

Taigam, Ojutai Master

Tana, the Bloodsower

Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Teferi, Temporal Archmage

The Mimeoplasm

Varolz, the Scar-Striped

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

Yarok, the Desecrated

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

Tier 3: WIP

But, yeah, you get the picture, right? Since I can't find such decks on my own to put in such a folder for decks worth testing against your own. Rules are as follows though:

  1. It needs to be up to date, prior to the Iona, Shield of Emeria & Paradox Engine bans & Painter's Servant unbanning/CMDR 2019's release; or just not include any of those at all.

  2. Each deck must not be of cEDH-level power; just imagine how much hell I'd have to playthrough against something just to beat a Thrasios/Tymna Partners deck just to have my claim on this notion nullified.

  3. Decks must include CMDRs that are Popular, were Popular as well as Tribal Decks w/ Good Tribe Leaders (For example: The First Sliver & Sliver Queen do not fit this category where Sliver Overlord does fit the Sliver Tribe Leadership. Scion of the Ur-Dragon & The Ur-Dragon can both count as Dragon Tribe CMDRs. Atraxa, Praetors' Voice is actually a bad CMDR to use in Superfriends, but Shines in all Counter Life. Make good use of that instead of making a 4< Color Walkers Deck. The rulings go on...)

I know this is too much for now, but I'm making a folder for Playtesting w/ decks as everyone kept telling me to do so; now I want to hold my end of the Bargain. But I seriously need help from you to do this. If you can find any decks here to add to such a Folder, put it on the comments below.

(& no, It's not like it's a personal thing! Anyone is allowed to use it when it's finished!)

SideBae on

1 month ago

So, I happen to be very much in accord with RNR_Gaming in the feeling that one-mana mana-dorks will greatly improve this deck. In my experience, in a four player game, people will have a lot of other threats to worry about than mana-dorks; and if the deck is built well, with an appropriate amount of card-draw, it'll recover from a board wipe rather well. That being said, if you want to go the route of enchantment ramp, there're a bunch not in the deck that you should consider. Utopia Sprawl is a favorite of mine, especially if you pair it with an Arbor Elf . Wild Growth , Elvish Guidance and (in the right meta) Carpet of Flowers can all also produce but-tons of mana.

Part of the reason I, and I suspect RNR_Gaming suggest dorks is because, being green, you have access to a lot of creature ramp that can replace artifact ramp. If that is done, you can run cards like Collector Ouphe or Stony Silence ; in competitive metas, these two cards can often times change the course of a game more than any other card. I love artifact ramp dearly -- Kess, Dissident Mage as Storm is my favorite EDH deck -- but it is simply not as good as one mana, dork-based ramp that dodges artifact hate.

One more reason to run dorks, though this one may not really be in accord with the theme of your deck, is that they go very well with the two best win-conditions green has to offer: Craterhoof Behemoth (AKA 'Hoof Daddy') and Triumph of the Hordes . If you use something like Natural Order to slam a Craterhoof for four mana while you have a critical mass of dorks out, you can rather easily end the game right away. Similarly, Triumph of the Hordes can snipe out an Oloro, Ageless Ascetic player like few other cards; Blightsteel Colossus is the only better attacker I can think of.

Give some thought to Sneak Attack . If you have three or four dragons in hand, smacking someone with them for that much red mana may well be what you need. Lathliss, Dragon Queen and Utvara Hellkite will also gain extra value from the ETB/attack triggers. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar has a similar effect that is arguably better than Sneak Attack .

In my experience (perhaps your is different), Path to Exile is really bad in EDH. In general, ramping opponents as a side-effect of removal in a format filled with high-cost, high-payoff strategies is going to be actively dangerous. Sometimes, Path to Exile can be good for removing blockers; however, there are better ways to do this, such as Taunting Elf or even just Renegade Tactics , which has the added bonus of not costing you a card. Same goes for Settle the Wreckage .

If your meta has any blue decks, Veil of Summer is really, really, REALLY good.

Your land-count is very high. If you want to spew out lands, consider Exploration and/or Burgeoning . These can help you get out of the gate much faster than your opponents, and work especially well with your Karoo lands, like Gruul Turf .

Wear / Tear is a good two-for-one. Decimate needs all of the mentioned four card types to be cast, but can be an even more powerful play than Wear / Tear .

Farseek is a ramp-sorcery that can grab typed non-basics; similarly, Nature's Lore does not have to grab a basic forest. I have generally had a good amount of luck with these two.

Flameshadow Conjuring seems like a pretty busted way to squeeze extra value out of your dragons. Notably, if you populate before you sac the token, you get to keep the copy of the original token.

Finally, Sylvan Library is a hallmark of competitive green decks. This is, for the first few turns it's out, a free draw three effect; after that, its card-sorting abilities are what make it good.

Alright man, good luck! That's all I can think of for now.

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Kess, Dissident Mage occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.02%

UBR (Grixis): 0.87%