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Marchesa: Queen of Pain (100% Altered)

Commander / EDH Aggro Control Multiplayer Pillow Fort RBW (Mardu)


Hello and welcome to my build of Queen Marchesa. This deck is a flexible Mardu control deck which relies on versatility, politics and cheap efficient threats to control and win the game. This is a deck that doesn’t win the game early - but is designed to disrupt your opponents’ plans while gaining more resources and options to secure your win.

The games that you can expect to play with this deck will be highly interactive and often down to the wire - never boring! This isn’t a linear deck - every game will be different. This deck is what I like to call the 100% 75% deck. It doesn't do anything unfair; it doesn't employ any infinite combos and it largely lets other players play their decks, but it is 100% built to be strong and earn every win.

You'll love this deck if:

...you enjoy having flexibility in your play and making tricky decisions while playing.

...you enjoy playing proactively yet patiently.

...you enjoy having answers to almost every situation.

...you enjoy playing a consistent deck.

...you enjoy playing a deck that can kill players out of nowhere, often using their own resources against them .

...you enjoy a deck that can virtually secure the win without your opponents knowing that it is coming.

...you enjoy a deck that can recover well.

...(More than anything) you enjoy feeling like you fought tooth and nail for every victory, and even if you lost - that you contributed significantly to most games.

You'll may not enjoy playing this deck if:

…you enjoy attacking with a 50/50 Dragon with trample, haste, indestructible, hexproof and horsemanship.

...you enjoy playing heavily creature based decks.

...you enjoy playing tribal decks.

...you enjoy straightforward play.

...you enjoy tripling your mana or ramping for a million lands.

...you enjoy running infinite combos.

This deck is all about playing lean and mean and provoking your opponents to make decisions that benefit you.

This deck is also a long term altering project with my end goal being having the entire deck altered - including the basic lands. I do the alters myself so its often whenever I feel in the mood to paint. There have been a few times when I have had 100% of the cards altered, but as I am constantly adding and taking out cards currently it is probably sitting at 80% altered.


Updates Add

I’ve recently taken Vampire Nighthawk and Gifted Aetherborn out of my list in exchange for some more utility, but I’m certainly going to try out their beefier new sibling: Nighthawk Scavenger. This now crosses over from simply a cheap deterrent from attacks, incremental lifegain and reliable regaining of the Monarch into the realm of Big Dumb Beater At a Discount. I’m curious to see how big this guy will regularly be.

Some interesting cards (Not inclusions)

Angel of Destiny - I really like this card, and if it has a home in any deck I think a more lifegain focused version of Queen Marchesa would be the place, with evasion effects and perhaps some haste enablers. I doubt this card will ever see much play, but its fun and relatively unique effect.

Archon of Emeria - A power-creeped spicey hate bear. Would slot nicely into a more Staxxy version of this deck

Leyline Tyrant - A super strong card. I’m pretty tempted to test it out as it has evasion, offers some big ramp (And mana when tapped out), and very occasionally can blast face. Vulnerable to removal, and seeing how our curve is pretty low and with very good ramp I’m not sure that the occasional extra mana would benefit us all that much.

Valakut Exploration - Red keeps getting better and better pseudo card draw, and this isn’t too bad. Finally red stuff doesn’t stay exiled! I think this would go well in a big R/G+ ramp deck such as Maelstrom Wanderer

Akiri, Fearless Voyager - We don’t run a lot of equipments in this deck, however the deck regularly tutors for them as they play key roles in the deck. Nevertheless I’m not sure how often this card will be relevant. A really strong card in the right deck, but I would likely need a couple more equipments to really get the most out of it. A lot of the time she will just be a 3/3 for 3.

Lithoform Engine - Hard to evaluate, but first impressions are that it is simply too expensive to use. I can see this as perhaps being a combo engine, but little outside of that.

Agadeem's Awakening  Flip - I think this is the best of the new lands for this deck and will definitely consider running it. I like flexible cards, even ones that come at a premium. The spell side would really only be best utilised when spending 6+ mana and only later into the game, however the land stapled to it means that the 80% of the time where you won’t want or be able to cast the spell it doesn’t sit as a dead card in your hand.

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Revision 75 See all

6 days ago)

+1 Aetherflux Reservoir main
-1 Curse of Opulence main
+1 Grand Abolisher main
-1 Mana Web main
+1 Sensei's Divining Top main
-1 Stolen Strategy main