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 Post subject: Queen Marchesa (themed deck, swapped to Mathas instead)
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-07 12:11 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
This deck has been replaced: see instead Mathas, the Instigator

Halfway through assembling this deck IRL it underwent a Reforge the Soul. Queen Marchesa's great and all, but she pits players against players which makes things personal and raises tension. Mathas lets me have players focus on individual creatures which is a helpful level of indirection.

Marchesa is also ironically bad for this game plan: the goal is to summon her, become the monarch, get hit once to lose the monarch, then never become the monarch again. That means I have to wall up but not too soon, and I don't want to summon her a second time until the endgame 1v1 because I don't want to take the monarch token away from anyone. (Why would I want to put a card I only want to summon once as my commander!? Such a card should just be in the 99.)

Mathas makes things more fun, lets players share in rewards, and is a commander I can freely keep summoning -- and I can even share him with Assault Suit for funsies.


I've been working on a Vorthos-ish theme deck built around Queen Marchesa (long may she reign). The goal has been to make a viable threatening deck while stickinng within certain story themes for cards.

The deck's story themes: Story themes are: vindictiveness, cruelty, riches, regalness, soldiers, knights, aristocracy, oppression, exploitation, death, antiheroes, civilisation, mercilessness, tyranny. (Avoid: actual heroes.)
The more a card fits these themes the better; some compromise can be made if the card's majorly useful to the deck, but a card can't go against these themes completely. I've avoided heroic figures like Chandra since it's other players' jobs to play the heroes vs this deck. :)
It's not important to stick within Marchesa's plane, but it's important the card could plausibly exist "on her side" in a sense, or be something she could exploit as a queen of civilisation to her advantage. E.g. the deck has Ravos, Soultender and Ankle Shanker and Kambal, Chief of Allocation, but doesn't have Descent of the Dragons, but Wight of Precinct Six could fit since it's (unfortunately) an actual part of the city.

Budget: Keep the deck around $100-$120 tops. (Currently apparently around $105, which is OK.)

Meta: Friendly local gaming store where the Commander 2016 precons are roughly equal match for power level. Friendly folks who aren't strongly intent on winning but on having fun with interesting decks (but that includes posing a viable chance of winning). AFAIK no superpowered decks running tutors or infinite combos.

The game plan & stuff I'm seeking feedback on:
My game plan is to let my opponents keep the Monarch token between themselves more often than I have it, and hopefully fight over it. (If they don't, Goblin Spymaster and Grenzo, Havoc Raiser are there to help it along.) I'd like to use cards like Duelist's Heritage and Brutal Hordechief to help shape combat between them, and use the ability to provide effects like that to make bargains and alliances with players. When I do have the monarch token, I want it to be difficult but not impossible to take it back off me -- so I have Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs and Marchesa's Decree but not Blazing Archon. I do want it back in their hands eventually; I want the token to spur interaction. The deck has a moderate lifegain theme, potentially turned lethal with Cliffhaven Vampire, Vizkopa Guildmage and Debt to the Deathless.

What I'm unsure of is if this deck is consistently powerful enough. It's got some potentially explosive cards in it -- e.g. Odric, Lunarch Master potentially gives everything I have deathtouch and haste for 4CMC if Marchesa's on the board -- and has some decent recursion, but I'm not sure it can stand to deliver on a win condition, or if it might push over other decks over too easily once it can (e.g. with Victory's Herald).

I've added a list of "maybe" cards I took note of while building the deck, below the deck list itself. I've annotated some cards with what they'd do in particular, and some such as Wight of Precinct Six or Ghastly Conscription would be interesting thematic fits but would maybe not be useful in this game plan unless I can fill graveyards with a lot more creatures cards (via blue & black-blue mill).

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden and Boros Battleshaper in particular are cards I think would be super useful in the deck (Grenzo can even be returned by Alesha, Who Smiles at Death and still be quite useful) but I haven't been able to figure out what I should remove in order to fit them in.

I would appreciate guidance on whether there's mechanically and thematically appropriate cards for the deck I've overlooked (not in the deck or maybe list), and on whether there's trades you think I should make to make the power level more consistent and to let this deck pose a genuine threat.


(P) = Protection vs wipes, attackers, etc.
(Rez) = Resurrection/reanimation
(CA) = Card advantage, draw
(Lifegain) = Involved in a lifegain strategy
(X) = Removal
★ = Major part of a win condition
♛ = Makes me the Monarch

Commander: Queen Marchesa (CA) ♛ (long may she reign)

Monarch token text: "At the beginning of your end step, draw a card. Whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, its controller becomes the monarch." If the Monarch leaves the game, the active player becomes the Monarch; if the active player is the one leaving the game, the next player in turn order becomes the Monarch. -- Monarch rules

Creature (32)
Adriana, Captain of the Guard
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death (Rez)
Ankle Shanker
Bastion Protector (P)
Brutal Hordechief
Charmbreaker Devils (Rez-ish)
Cliffhaven Vampire (Lifegain)
Goblin Spymaster
Grenzo, Havoc Raiser
Guardian of the Gateless (P)
Iroas, God of Victory
Kambal, Consul of Allocation (Lifegain)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (P)
Mentor of the Meek (CA)
Noxious Gearhulk (X) (Lifegain)
Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Orzhov Advokist (P)
Pontiff of Blight (Lifegain)
Protector of the Crown (P)
Ravos, Soultender (Rez)
Runehorn Hellkite (CA)
Selfless Squire (P)
Skyline Despot
Solemn Simulacrum
Souls of the Faultless (P) (Lifegain)
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Thorn of the Black Rose
Treasury Thrull (Rez) (Lifegain)
Tymna the Weaver (CA)
Tyrant's Familiar (X)
Victory's Herald (Lifegain)
Vizkopa Guildmage (Lifegain)

Artifact (8)
Assault Suit
Commander's Sphere
Conqueror's Flail (P)
Darksteel Ingot
Lightning Greaves (P)
Sol Ring
Sunforger (CA), mainly to tutor out protections or removals
Sword of Vengeance (Lifegain)

Sorcery (6)
Ancient Craving (CA)
Beacon of Unrest (Rez) - can target an opponent's graveyard.
Debt to the Deathless (Lifegain)
Fumigate (X) (Lifegain)
Grave Upheaval (Rez) - can target an opponent's graveyard.
Victimize (Rez)

Enchantment (7)
Assemble the Legion
Duelist's Heritage
Frenzied Fugue
Greed (CA)
Marchesa's Decree (P)
Palace Siege (Rez) (Lifegain)
True Conviction (Lifegain)

Instant (9)
Boros Charm (P)
Chaos Warp (X)
Comeuppance (P)
Crackling Doom (X)
Curtains' Call (X)
Entrapment Maneuver (P)
Faith's Reward (P)
Utter End (X)
Wretched Confluence (Rez) (CA)

Land (37)
5x Plains
4x Mountain
4x Swamp
Bloodfell Caves
Boros Garrison
Command Tower
Dragonskull Summit
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Inspiring Vantage
Looming Spires (utility land)
Mortuary Mire (Rez)
Myriad Landscape
Nomad Outpost
Opal Palace
Orzhov Basilica
Rakdos Carnarium
Rupture Spire
Scoured Barrens
Shadowblood Ridge
Slayers' Stronghold (utility land)
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion (utility land)
Temple of the False God
Terramorphic Expanse
Throne of the High City (utility land)
Wind-Scarred Crag
Windbrisk Heights (utility land)

These are other cards I ran into for various purposes while building this deck. Many were in it at one point or another.

Card advantage:
Dragon Mage (wheel effect which would also fill opponents' graveyards)
Grenzo, Dungeon Warden (fills my graveyard with rez targets, but can also remove my own noncreature spells)
Reforge the Soul (wheel effect again)
Seer's Sundial
Underworld Connections

Ghastly Conscription (most effective when graveyards are filled up)
Odric, Master Tactician ("nothing blocks" is a valid choice)

Other thematic stuff:
Cruel Entertainment
Curse of Vengeance
Fumiko the Lowblood
Gratuitous Violence
Hedonist's Trove
Wight of Precinct Six (can grow big if I could fill graveyards; see wheel effects in card advantage)

Boros Reckoner
Ghostly Prison
Grand Abolisher
Harvester of Souls (big blocking/attacking body with deathtouch that helps me draw)
Sphere of Safety
Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts (things that hit me get destroyed)
Trespasser's Curse
Unquestioned Authority
Boros Battleshaper (interacts with everyone's combats, but don't know if it's worth 7CMC)
Campaign of Vengeance
Carnage Gladiator
Collective Effort
Frontline Medic
Grappling Hook
Key to the City
Knights of the Black Rose
Legion Loyalist
Mass Mutiny
Skeleton Key (evasion)
Zealous Conscripts (borrow a creature)

Dawn to Dusk (plus can bring back an enchantment of my own)
Eliminate the Competition
High Priest of Penance
Necromantic Selection
Parting Thoughts (good combo with Orzhov Advokist)
Ride Down (especially used in combat between two other players)
Sublime Exhalation
Volcanic Offering
Wear / Tear

Open the Vaults (for enchantments + artifacts, which includes Noxious Gearhulk)
Return to Dust

Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.

Last edited by spacemonaut on 2017-Sep-15 3:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen Marchesa: themed, needs help on power level
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-07 3:44 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
A couple of changes I'm thinking of making...

(out, removed --> in, added)

Odric, Lunarch Marshal --> Boros Battleshaper
Odric is really explosive in power level and I think I'd rather not have a "deathtouch on everything" card (which is the reason I also left out Vault of the Archangel). Boros Battleshaper lets me meddle in absolutely every combat, which lets me do favors for people, which is really strongly in keeping with what I'd like to do with this deck.

Thorn of the Black Rose --> Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
I don't necessarily need the extra Monarch trigger, but Grenzo could give me a different kind of card advantage. (It might dump useful cards in my graveyard that I never get back. That's OK to me, since there's no big difference between "sat unused at the bottom of my library" vs "sat unused in my graveyard".) Both can be brought back with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, and Grenzo is just fine being brought back only as a 2/2.

Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.

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