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First Among the Equals | Mairsil, the Pretender

Commander / EDH Clone Shapeshifter Tap/Untap UBR (Grixis) Voltron


"A Lust For Power"

I've been working and running a Mairsil, the Pretender deck ever since he was announced in the months leading up to Commander 2017. I had my first deck list together before the set even released he's had a place in my rotation for these last 5 years. Personally, I find him incredibly fascinating as a card, let alone a commander. He was incredibly underpowered in the Inalla, Archmage Ritualist deck that WotC released, but once commanding a deck specifically built for him, he can become the single strongest card in a pod with practically unending utility and options. He is a chance for me as a player and builder to look through a ton of old cards that have great activated abilities but are crippled by secondary effects, like Shauku, Endbringer and Pendant of Prosperity. He gives a lot of cards that could have been great if the rest of their description didn't over-limit them a chance, and as such is a morphing, changing, work-in-progress who hasn't stayed consistent in a decklist the entire time I've owned him. As a result, I'm not going to write a Primer for him that will just change after less than a year of playing and testing, but I'll still go over a good way to approach this deck below.

Needs Caged

AEtherling, Anthroplasm, Arcanis the Omnipotent, Asmodeus the Archfiend, Cavern Harpy, Endling, Galecaster Colossus, Hateflayer, Horseshoe Crab, Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, Kozilek, the Great Distortion, Morphling, Nezahal, Primal Tide, Pack Rat, Pestilent Souleater, Pili-Pala, Quicksilver Elemental, Sage of Hours, Shauku, Endbringer, Skyship Stalker, Spikeshot Elder, Torchling, Tree of Perdition, Gilded Lotus, Nevinyrral's Disk, Pendant of Prosperity, Perilous Vault, Staff of Domination

These cards either offer Mairsil, the Pretender an insane amount of utility or is just plain bad if it's on field. There pretty much isn't a time that I wouldn't want all of these caged, especially ones with tap symbols so we can untap Mairsil, the Pretender with Hateflayer or Pili-Pala.

Doesn't Need Caged

Anger, Deadeye Navigator, Geth, Lord of the Vault, Jace's Archivist, Mercurial Chemister, Oriq Loremage, Sakashima of a Thousand Faces, Soul of New Phyrexia, Spark Double, Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, Visara the Dreadful, Mirage Mirror, Shadowspear, Thousand-Year Elixir

Some of these still work just fine when caged, but all these cards either function well caged or uncaged or is simply harmful to have caged, such as Sakashima of a Thousand Faces who will no longer be a usable card once caged.

Synergies, Combos, Infinites

AEtherling + Anger + Mairsil, the Pretender + Nevinyrral's Disk = Destroy all creatures, artifacts and enchantments on each players turn.

Hateflayer + Mairsil, the Pretender + Tree of Perdition = Target opponent loses the game. Tap to reduce opponent's life total to 4, untap to deal 4 damage.

Mairsil, the Pretender + Morphling + Gilded Lotus + Quicksilver Elemental = Infinite colored mana. Infinite tap triggers.

Use Sakashima of a Thousand Faces, Spark Double, and caged Pack Rat to make copies of Mairsil, the Pretender for more effect uses a turn and more cage counters for each ETB. Pack Rat still works even if the Legend Rule still applies because it has to ETB as Mairsil, the Pretender before it is removed. Pack Rat also works to dodge spot removal as you can let something like Swords to Plowshares target Mairsil, the Pretender by making a copy with Pack Rat's ability and removing the nontoken version before the spell resolves, keeping a token copy of Mairsil, the Pretender on field with reset ability uses.

You can also take an extra turn every turn with 5 mana, caged Anthroplasm, and caged Sage of Hours, which takes very little to set up and continuously do.

I also wanted to mention that Chandra, Flamecaller is mainly just in the deck for her 0 cost as Mairsil, the Pretender can cage cards in the graveyard, so this basically functions as a whole-hand sized card draw + 1.

Hope you like what you see! Don't be surprised if this list randomly changes with a weird idea I come up with by effectively chopping up bad cards to make Mairsil, the Pretender the single best card in a Commander pod (in my opinion). If you've never made a Mairsil, the Pretender EDH or you're just looking for something unique, this Commander is definitely worth considering!


Updates Add


39% Casual

61% Competitive

Date added 3 months
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

12 - 0 Mythic Rares

52 - 0 Rares

10 - 0 Uncommons

10 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.78
Tokens Copy Clone, Elemental 3/1 R
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