Narset: Attaining Enlightenment

It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything here, but with Khans of Tarkir on the horizon, I just can’t keep my mouth shut concerning the new Legendary Creatures we’re getting our hands on in the coming weeks. All of the Khans have their strengths, all have their weaknesses, but that’s a given. No card is perfect, they all have a downfall, and that’s something every magic player accepts. Zurgo Helmsmasher is only indestructible on your turn, every other turn, he’s entirely susceptible to removal. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant is strong in her own right, but is entirely a “build-around-me” general, keeping your strategy–for the most part–very narrow. And Anafenza, the Foremost…well, personally I consider her to be very weak all around. Similar to the Triad of Fates from Theros. Very cool, has some neat abilities, but the strength just isn’t there.

However, when it comes to Commander, one Khan stands out above the rest, and everybody knows it.


Narset, Enlightened Master is, by all means, busted as a commander. Despite the fact that her power and toughness in comparison to her CMC are rather weak, her abilities more than make up the deficit. Three power is nothing to necessarily scoff at, but with first strike, it’s more than decent. And two toughness is unarguably pitiful, but the fact that she has Hexproof provides the necessary cover you need to make her work.

The real money, however, comes in her non-keyword ability. When I saw what she did, I almost thought that it was a joke. A faux spoiler. Because lets be honest, that ability is insane. Essentially, she can cast anything in the game for free, as long as it’s not a Creature. That means Enchantments, Artifacts, Sorceries and Instants are all fair game, and its more than possible to create a deck without creatures.

Narset has some obvious synergy. She makes a fantastic Voltron commander, as you can cast all Equipment and Auras without paying their mana cost, only paying the equip cost when necessary, and the potential for abuse of extra turn cards is phenomenal. However, these two types of strategies are not necessarily where I see Narset excelling.

There are a few specific cards that you’re just always going to want to hit with Narset, namely Omniscience and any turn that provides you with extra combat steps and main phases. For this reason, we pack our deck down with these abilities, as well as ways to search out these spells. Enlightened Tutor and Mystical Tutor excel in this deck, allowing you to search out and cast any spell you want in a turn for essentially one mana.

Omniscience   World at War   Waves of Aggression   Time Warp   Enlightened Tutor   Mystical Tutor

After making a proxy list and playing out a few games with friends, my theories were confirmed. Not only is Narset powerful, she’s also surprisingly consistent, winning on turn six or seven almost every game I played. And the best part about it? My opponents couldn’t do anything about it. Their only chance was to keep Narset from hitting the board, and the deck packs enough counterspells to prevent that from happening. Once she’s on board, they have to board wipe, or the “combo” follows, and the game comes to a screeching halt until it wins.

Granted, this kind of play style may be frowned upon in a lot of groups, but nonetheless, it’s fun. Narset, Enlightened Master is quite possibly the All-Star Commander of the set, and well worth looking into. I’ll be providing my list below, so feel free to take a look, try it out, and comment below.

Commander: Narset, Enlightened Master


Aurelia, the Warleader
Consecrated Sphinx
Nivix Guildmage


 Beacon of Tomorrows
 Blatant Thievery
 Cerebral Eruption
 Council’s Judgment
 Enter the Infinite
 Fury of the Horde
 Idyllic Tutor
 Minds Aglow
 Mind’s Desire
 Molten Psyche
 Razia’s Purification
 Recurring Insight
 Relentless Assault
 Seize the Day
 Temporal Cascade
 Temporal Mastery
 Time Spiral
 Time Stretch
 Time Warp
 Walk the Aeons
 Waves of Aggression
 Wheel of Fate
 Wheel of Fortune
 World at War


 Enlightened Tutor
 Faerie Trickery
 Last Word
 Mystical Tutor
 Pact of Negation
 Savage Beating
 Wild Ricochet


x Cast Through Time
x Mind Over Matter
x Omniscience
x Scourge of the Nobilis
x Steel of the Godhead


 Azorius Signet
 Chromatic Lantern
 Coalition Relic
 Gilded Lotus
 Izzet Signet
 Sol Ring
 Sword of Body and Mind
 Sword of Feast and Famine
 Sword of Fire and Ice
 Sword of Light and Shadow
 Sword of War and Peace
 Temple Bell
 Thran Dynamo


 Arid Mesa
 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
 Cascade Bluffs
 Celestial Colonnade
 Clifftop Retreat
 Command Tower
 Glacial Fortress
 Hall of the Bandit Lord
 Hallowed Fountain
 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
 Mystic Gate
 Mystic Monastery
 Nimbus Maze
 Opal Palace
 Reflecting Pool
 Reliquary Tower
 Sacred Foundry
 Scalding Tarn
 Steam Vents
 Sulfur Falls


As always, thank you for reading. Feel free to leave all comments, questions and ideas in the comment section below, and keep a look out for new content in the coming weeks.


Evan Erickson

Author: Evan Erickson

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