Rhystic Study; Kess, Dissident Mage

by Prophet of Kruphix on 10 October 2017, Tuesday

Prophet of Kruphix

The "Prophet of Kruphix" is the biggest EDH fan, and presents "Rhystic Study", a dedicated Commander column! Commander is a casual format that is designed for everyone to have a lot of fun!

Rhystic Study


Rhystic Study: Kess, Dissident Mage


Kess, Dissident Mage


Greetings, chosen one... Welcome to the 48th column of "Rhystic Study"!

Kess, Dissident Mage is one of the newest Grixis Commanders to be printed and it is a pretty powerful one. For four mana, you get a win condition (which is best protected by Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots, and you can even throw in Champion's Helm if you like) as well as a card advantage machine that churns out and endless stream of resources for you.

This deck is great against one-versus-one duel, or against two other players, but you'l be stretching it if you tried to take on four or five other players! Let's find out how to build a dedicated control deck that's efficient and competitive.




Building Blocks #1: Filling Up Your Graveyard


Since you get to enjoy casting instants and sorceries out of your graveyard, let's find the best way to fill them up! Since you want to be gaining card advantage instead of losing them, I don't recommend cards like Careful Study, Faithless Looting, or Frantic Search. Instead, try to play cards that can fulfill the role of filling your graveyard while giving you card advantage!

With so many cards available, it shouldn't be hard! Here are just some examples!


Thought Scour Fact or Fiction Entomb Search for Azcanta Intuition Forbidden Alchemy



Building Blocks #2: Creatures Who Love Spells


We're going to be playing a lot of spells, right? How about including some creatures who love spells as much as we do? These creatures have natural synergy with the entire deck built around Kess, Dissident Mage!


Baral, Chief of Compliance Goblin Electromancer Docent of Perfection Nightscape Familiar Keranos, God of Storms The Locust God Talrand, Sky Summoner Young Pyromancer Melek, Izzet Paragon Snapcaster Mage Jace, Vryn's Prodigy




Building Blocks #4: Removal and Disruption

Part of our game plan is to stay alive and prolong the game such that we can fully take advantage of Kess, Dissident Mage. Once we get the ball rolling, we're playing an additional free spell every turn, which means it is in our interest to just deal with our opponents threats one-for-one and then recoup the card economy later.

For that purpose, we would like to load up our deck with cheap and efficient removals and countermagic!


Blasphemous Act Crosis's Charm Mana Drain Cryptic Command Kolaghan's Command Silumgar's Command Force of Will Terminate Toxic Deluge




Building Blocks #4: Big, Impactful Spells


After gaining card advantage, stabilizing the board, and having a fistful of cards, we also want some spells to help us finish out the game. Aside from attacking with our beatsticks and overwhelming our opponents with card advantage, here are some cards which can cripple your opponents and close out the game very quickly!


Cruel Ultimatum Mizzix's Mastery Decree of Pain Rise of the Dark Realms Cyclonic Rift Vandalblast Blatant Thievery Expropriate




The Final Product!


Adding in some standard Commander mana rocks and tutors, we arrive at the following framework:


Rhystic Study: Kess, Dissident Mage (Commander - Others)

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Kess, Dissident Mage is nothing super fancy, but it has a very efficient ability. In addition, a lot of these cards are readily available through reprints such as Commander sets, Eternal Masters, Vintage Masters, Modern Masters, and your Modern decks. It's rather easy to build because many of you Commander enthusiasts already own majority of the cards. The best advantage of building this deck is, you'll be able to swap out Kess, Dissident Mage for another Grixis Commander and still have a different game!

However, before that, enjoy Kess, Dissident Mage!



Prophet of Kruphix

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