Commanding Opinion: Narset, Enlightened Master

I may have accidentally jumped on the bandwagon way too early on this one. Though on the financial side of things, that’s probably a good thing.

narsetenlightenedmaster

This little card has caused the majority extra combat card/extra turn cards to spike ridiculously in price.

[card]Aggravated Assault[/card] – $3.00 to $10.50 as of now

[card]Beacon of Tomorrows[/card] – $3.51 to $8.30, settled at $6.99

[card]Savage Beating[/card] – $1.97 to $5.12 as of now

[card]Seize the Day[/card] – $0.50 to $4.97, now settled at $3.22

[card]Time Stretch[/card] – $6.50 to $9.08, now settled at $8.55

[card]Waves of Aggression[/card] – .$1.59 to $7 dollars; now settled at $6.17

[card]World at War[/card] – $0.38 to $0.70 as of now

All of these prices are directly influenced by the printing of Narset – but why?

Well, [card]Narset, Enlightened Master[/card]. regardless of her $1.16 price tag, is influencing prices all the way across the board, and for just one reason – Commander.

Since there are so few Wedge-colored Legendary creatures, they’re all getting some attention. Sadly, the majority of the new Wedge Legendaries are actually fairly disappointing. [card]Tasigur, the Golden Claw[/card] and [card]Yasova Dragonclaw[/card] are the only other commanders from Khans of Tarkir Block that I’m really interested in.

For 3URW, Narset is a 3/2 Legendary Human Monk with First Strike and Hexproof. While the power and toughness are a little low for the mana cost, the ability is the real reason why.

Whenever Narset, Enlightened Master attacks, exile the top four cards of your library. Until end of turn, you may cast noncreature cards exiled with Narset this turn without paying their mana costs.

As a Johnny, any card that lets me cast cards for free gets my attention pretty quickly. The limitation of noncreature is easily fixed – just don’t play any creatures!

Since we’re in blue and going creatureless, we already have access to a very powerful card in [card]Proteus Staff[/card].

proteus staff

 

While regular ones have just been gradually going up, foil ones spiked to 15 around the same time as the rest of the cards mentioned here.

2U, tap: Put target creature on the bottom of its owner’s library. That creature’s controller reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a creature card. The player puts that card into play and the rest on the bottom of his or her library in any order. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery

At a first glance, it seems like a way to tuck annoying creatures or dig through your deck for a cool creature (which are definitely other uses in other decks) – until you realize the second to last line.

Since you go all the way to the bottom of your library to get Narset back off of Proteus Staff, you get to put your entire library back in whatever order you want – allowing you to set up as many attacks with Narset as you want.

Something like this:

[Deck]
[Swing 1]
Waves of Aggression
Swords to Plowshares
Arcane Denial
Eel Umbra
[/Swing 1]
[Swing 2]
Eldrazi Conscription
Time Warp
Fury of the Horde
Savage Beating
[/Swing 2]
[Swing 3]
Time Stretch
Steel of the Godhead
Howl of the Horde
Walk the Aeons
[/Swing 3]
[Swing 4]
Remand
Omniscience
Sword of Feast and Famine
Seize the Day
[/Swing 4]
[Swing 5]
Counterspell
Aggravated Assault
Sol RIng
Mana Vault
[/Swing 5]
[/Top of Library]
[/Deck]

And so on. You can space the cards out to get pretty much as many combats as you want, and then go for an infinite combat combo with these two cards:

Aggravated Assault sword of feast and famine

[card]Aggravated Assault[/card] allows us to pay 3RR in order to take an additional Combat Phase, and [Card]Sword of Feast and Famine[/card] untaps all of your lands every time the equipped creature deals combat damage. As long as you have lands tappi9ng for a total of 5 or more mana, you have infinite combats, letting Narset swing at players until everyone (other than you, of course) is dead.

crab umbra eel umbra

The umbra, [card]Crab Umbra[/card], [card]Eel Umbra[/card], [card]Felidar Umbra[/card], and [card]Hyena Umbra[/card] are less for the added abilities and more for the added Totem Armor, giving Narset another layer of protection while swinging in. [card]Drake Umbra[/card] , [card]Elend Umbra[/card] and [card]Mammoth Umbra[/card] are all more options that you’re free to play, I decided to stick with just these 4.

felidar umbrahyena umbra

At the very least, [card]Crab Umbra[/card] adds the utility of being able to untap Narset to block other players from hitting you, and [card]Eel Umbra[/card] can flash in to surprise someone expecting to wipe Narset off the board with a board wipe like [card]Damnation[/card] [card]Wrath of God[/card].

eldrazi conscriptionsteel of the godhead

In addition to extra combats, [card]Eldrazi Conscription[/card] makes sure the players you’re swinging at will be out of permanents and are unable to block her what-so-ever. Meanwhile [card]Steel of the Godhead[/card] makes her unblockable and gives your life a boost with the added lifelink.

[deck title=Narset Enlightened Master]
[Creatures]
Narset, Enlightened Master
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
Aggravated Assault
Arcane Denial
Aura of Silence
Azorius Signet
Basalt Monolith
Batterskull
Beacon of Tomorrows
Boros Signet
Coalition Relic
Chromatic Lantern
Commander’s Sphere
Counterspell
Crab Umbra
Cyclonic Rift
Darksteel Ingot
Darksteel Plate
Eel Umbra
Enlightened Tutor
Expedition Map
Eldrazi Conscription
Felidar Umbra
Fury of the Horde
Gilded Lotus
Grim Monolith
Hammer of Purphoros
Howl of the Horde
Hyena Umbra
Izzet Signet
Karn Liberated
Long-Term Plans
Mana Vault
Mass Hysteria
Mystical Tutor
Omniscience
Pact of Negation
Path to Exile
Proteus Staff
Reiterate
Relentless Assault
Remand
Rewind
Savage Beating
Scroll Rack
Seize The Day
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Spelljack
Steel of the Godhead
Supreme Verdict
Sword of Feast and Famine
Swords to Plowshares
Swan Song
Temporal Mastery
Temporal Trespass
Tezzeret the Seeker
Thran Dynamo
Time Stretch
Time Warp
Unstable Obelisk
Walk the Aeons
Waves of Aggression
Wild Ricochet
World at War
Worn Powerstone
[/Spells]
[Land]
Ancient Den
Battlefield Forge
Cavern of Souls
Celestial Colonnade
City of Brass
Command Tower
Flooded Strand
Glacial Fortress
Great Furnace
Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
3 Mountain
Mystic Monastery
NImbus Maze
Opal Palace
3 Plains
Reflecting Pool
Sacred Foundry
Seachrome Coast
Seat of the Synod
Shivan Reef
Slayers’ Stronghold
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls
Temple of Enlightenment
Temple of Epiphany
Temple of the False God
Temple of Triumph
[/Land]
[/deck]

Overall, the deck is to just swing with Narset and have hilarity ensue. The land count is on the low side and there are no creatures to maximize the number of cards that Narset’s ability is able to hit. The very high density of mana rocks is to both get mana off of Narset’s ability and to rush her into play quickly by playing them early to ramp as fast as possible.

armageddoncataclysm

Personally, I’m choosing to avoid the land destruction package – but that doesn’t mean you have to! It’s really up to your play group if you’re going to play them, but I personally don’t. When I’m attacking as many times as I want, there’s no real reason to nuke the board. However, the deck plays very well with them, especially with the huge number of mana rocks.

[deck title=Land Destruction]
[Spells]
Armageddon
Boom // Bust
Cataclysm
Catastrophe
Impending Disaster
Obliterate
Ravages of War
Razia’s Purification
[/Spells]
[/deck]

temporal manipulationcapture of jingzhou

[card]Temporal Manipulation[/card] is definitely a note-worthy card that I’m excluding from my list, only based on the availability of the card. They’re around $90 dollars right now, but if you’re playing on MTGO, they’re closer to $7 and aren’t too unreasonable. [card]Capture of Jingzhou[/card] on the other hand is $500 in paper, but is also still only about $2.50 on MTGO.

Now, this is mostly a deck that’s fun to solitaire and is built for larger groups that )hopefully) don’t gang up on players based on their Commander choice. In 1v1, as long as they don’t kill you before you get out Narset is pretty easily your game if you get a decent swing.

Until next time,

David M. Rowell

PS: f you personally decide not to go creatureless, here’s the few creatures I’d recommend playing.

academy rector

[card]Academy Rector[/card] is an easy way to tutor out [card]Omniscience[/card] and [card]Aggravated Assault[/card].

generator servant

A turn 2 or turn 3 [card]Generator Servant[/card] is an easy turn 4 Narset as long as you’re hitting your colors fine.

nomad mythmaker

Mostly important to a Aura-heavy build, but being able to recover the umbras and [card]Eldrazi Conscription[/card] is pretty solid.

sovereigns of lost alara

Giving Narset +1/+1 and searching out a [card]Eldrazi Conscription[/card] or a helpful umbra? Count me in on [card]Sovereigns of Lost Alara[/card].

stoneforge

One of the strongest tutors in Magic, [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card] tutors out [card]Sword of Feast and Famine[/card] and [card]Batterskull[/card] to name a few.

About the Author
David Rowell is just your average Commander player - has way too many decks built and all of his value is sitting in them. His favorites include Narset, Sedris, and Mayael. When he isn't playing or writing about magic, he's working as an assistant manager for Dollar Tree - got to have something to pay for that Magic habit.

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