Alesha is going to take a binder nap for a while starting 2/18/22. Mana base & other components will be recycled into Isshin

The Game Plan:

  1. Slow down opponents' early game using early game stax and hate effects.

  2. Utilize incremental damage effects to chip away at life totals and keep the rest of the table slowed while we establish a combo

  3. Combo off with one of the different combo line options available in the deck.

I love Alesha plain and simple. She is the first commander that I took a very detailed dive into once I started brewing decks more seriously. I think she is also the first deck that I built from scratch that wasn't an upgraded pre-con.

In the past almost two years since I first created Alesha, she's undergone a couple of major changes in themes and focus. With each new iteration, this deck became leaner and more focused as I honed in on the combos I thought were most viable and flexible, and learned how each iteration fared in my play-group's expanding and changing meta.

Menacing Combat Shenanigans

This was the first version of the deck that I created and played for about 6 months. This version of the deck focused more on utilizing creatures with Menace, as well as combat protection to help Alesha swing away and reanimate threatening creatures like Raving Dead and Master of Cruelties.

This version of the deck ran Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Goblin Bombardment / Altar of Dementia as it primary combo win-con. At the time, Buried Alive and Final Parting were the tutors utilized to find and assemble the pieces.

Since I was a fairly new EDH builder at the time, I was still getting a feel for how to balance different themes that push and pull on each other, as well how feasible it would be to get repeated value out of creatures with interesting ETB effects, but high CMC and 2 power. I think I tried too much of an ETB-matters tool-box to get a proper focus in that regard, and over-estimated how reliably I could swing with Alesha every combat.

Although the deck was able to occasionally threaten a combo win or knock off an unsuspecting player with an unblocked, Alesha-reanimated Master of Cruelties, the smaller creatures had a harder time getting through gummed up board-states. I also grew tired of jumping through hoops to reanimate cutesy creatures like Master of Cruelties, which ultimately painted a large target on me.

Aristocrats and Tokens

Over the course of the next few months, the deck slowly transitioned from being combat focused, to utilizing creatures which generated tokens on ETB, and Aristocrats enablers and pay-offs to grind up my tokens. Gone were the Master of Cruelty and Raving Deads, and in were Seasoned Pyromancer, Siege-Gang Commander, and Sling-Gang Lieutenant.

To trim down on the average CMC and improve the likelihood of drawing into answers and combos, I also cut cards like Final Parting and Moonlight Bargain for cheaper, and repeatable cards like Skullclamp and Hazoret's Monument.

I also expanded upon the combo-lines in the deck, and added cards which could fit in with the extant combo pieces. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker was a notable addition for its synergies with both Karmic Guide/Sac Outlet loops and Alesha's reanimation ability. The Murderous Redcap + Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit + Sac outlet combo replaced various combat shenanigans from the previous iterations.

The more I played this iteration of the deck the more I realized that the token generation effects felt lackluster. I was often faced with the dilemma of utilizing my board of tokens for chump blocks to keep myself alive long enough to combo, or to sacrifice my board to dig for answers when possible and leave myself open to swings. I grew to wish for effects that either helped me assemble combos, and protect them by disrupting interaction.

After playing the deck in versions that were more focused on combat and token production for Aristocrats shenanigans, I wanted to try making it more stax/hate focused. The combos are honestly a more primary game plan now, and the tax/hate effects are another means of protecting them and slowing down the table to make it possible.

  • Deafening Silence - Slow down other combos, spellslingers, and excessive ramp.
  • Cemetery Gatekeeper - Pinch of graveyard hate, and staples incidental damage to cards played with a shared type. Nice flexibility for what the damage can be stapled to.
  • Drannith Magistrate - No casting commanders and no sneaky alternate casting/playing shenanigans
  • Flamescroll Celebrant   - Hate on activated abilities, and has Revel in Silence   as an option on the back which also hates on planeswalkers.
  • Thalia, Guardian of Thraben - Slows down ramp early game, and taxes noncreature spells at all other phases of the game.
  • Archon of Emeria - A Rule of Law effect on a body. Slows down excessive ramp, and hates on spellslinger and combo decks. I like the additional hate on non-basics entering tapped.
  • Glowrider - Mo taxes
  • Mayhem Devil - Pings damage and hates on other Aristocrat decks.
  • Plague Engineer - Anti-creature token tech and anti-tribal tech. Tribal decks more often than not shit out creature tokens.

This deck has a few different infinite loop options available to help close out grindy games. These combos can be completed by using any of the recursion effects available.

Here are a few other Alesha decks that I used for inspiration. One of them had a pretty in-depth write up on card choices.

Just smiles


Updates Add

I'm going to give this deck a break and reuse pieces of it to build my Isshin, Two Heavens as One deck. Very excited that my Alesha deck has such an exciting successor. I think distance will make the heart grow fonder with Alesha, and I'll have an even better idea of how I'd like to rebuild her the next time around.

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Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 weeks
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

6 - 0 Mythic Rares

48 - 0 Rares

27 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.48
Tokens Copy Clone, Elemental 1/1 R, Illusion */* U, Treasure
Folders EDH, Decks, Decks to keep an eye on, Decks to try, interesannt, Aristocrats, Decks, Intriguing Decks, This looks dope., EDH Decks, See all 20
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Revision 107 See all

4 months ago)

-1 Blot Out the Sky maybe
-1 Cranial Plating maybe
+1 Insidious Dreams main