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Khans of Tarkir in EDH: Narset, Enlightened Master

Here are a couple facts about Duel Commander:

  1. The format is pretty fast
  2. Blue is by far the best color of the format.

But, another fact about magic players in general is that we like to play spells for free and if you are a Commander player, you are probably a little interested in one of Khans of Tarkir’s legendary creatures.

Narset, Enlightened Master: reppin’ the Jeskai clan. Narset, Enlightened Master is a very explosive card with the ability to play multiple spells for free. But, before we go on lets take a closer look at her. Narset, Enlightened Master is a 3URW 3/2 with first strike, hexproof, and has a very powerful ability that says whenever she attacks, exile the top 4 cards of your library, until end of turn you may cast non-creature cards exiled with Narset, Enlightened Master this turn without paying their mana costs. THAT’S CRAZY. So what you wanna do is get her on the board as fast as possible and get her swinging.

With that being said, the game plan for Narset, Enlightened Master is pretty much set for a control strategy, but how you go about that is up to you. I would imagine that you can go full control with card draw, removal, and planeswalkers; only using Narset as extra value whenever you are able to attack. Or you can try to use her as a combo-ish commander. Similar to Maelstrom Wanderer, where you use mana rocks to ramp up for a turn 4 Narset, Enlightened Master and go off by playing big powerhouse spells for free, in conjunction with cards like relentless assault that allow Narset, Enlightened Master extra combat phases during the same turn.

Either way you go I found that there are three universal truths to building a Narset, Enlightened Master deck. Truth number one deals with creatures, since Narset’s ability is unable to cast creature spells it’s hard to include creatures in the list but some creatures are so good as utility that you have to play them. Specifically cards like Snapcaster Mage, who is able to keep you ahead in the early game by recasting a Pyroclasm or reusing a Lightning Bolt to weaken your opponent’s board. And, Generator Servant, who not only acts as a mana accelerator for Narset, Enlightened Master but also leads into the second universal truth: haste.

Generator Servant [M15] Hall of the Bandit Lord [CHK]

I found that haste can be a huge factor when playing Narset, since her ability needs you to attack, with out haste you will be a sitting duck for a full turn before you can even trigger Narset, Enlightened Master's ability. And, even though she has hexproof there are many spells that are able to take her out. So by including cards like Generator Servant and Hall of the Bandit Lord your matchup against decks with heavy removal takes a dramatic increase.

The third and final truth deals with counter spells. The problem with these is that control and combo decks usually run them not only to survive the early game but to make victory inevitable. The tricky thing with Narset, Enlightened Master is to run a balance of counters so that you have enough to survive the early game but as little as possible to prevent flipping counters with Narset, Enlightened Master's ability. Ideally you will play a bunch of counters that can actually do things if flipped, so cards like Cryptic Command and Izzet Charm are great!


Ponder [LRW] Preordain [M11] Brainstorm [ICE]

So is Narset, Enlightened Master the commander for you? As I mentioned earlier her ability pretty much locks you into control. So if you like to swing with creatures Narset, Enlightened Master is probably not your cup of tea. But if control is what you like then Narset, Enlightened Master could be the general you are looking for. But with that being said keep in mind that swinging with Narset, Enlightened Master is a game of chance and there will be times where you whiff on her ability. So remember to include cards in your build that are able to manipulate the top cards of your deck. Ponder, Preordain, and Brainstorm are great with Narset, Enlightened Master giving you the ability to play as many spells as possible with a Narset, Enlightened Master trigger.

If you are interested in seeing what direction I went with the deck check out my list down below. It isn’t perfect but I think it’s a great start. So put it together, test, and make changes where you need to. So what do you guys think of Narset, Enlightened Master? Would you play the attrition game or go big or go home with massive spells? Let me know in the comments.

Narset, Enlightened Master is a very interesting commander and perfect for a player who is looking for a different kind of control deck. I hope you guys give her a go and get excited about duel commander! Until next time, keep shuffling magic players.


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