Today we are going to take a look at the various Narset lists that can be run in EDH. Narset has been a pet deck of mine for a while, and after playing it for quite some time I’ve found a whole bunch of really fun strategies that can be played around her. From the commonly played extra turns deck, to monk tribal. So let’s get into what Narset brings to the table!
First let’s take a look at Narset’s card. With a converted mana cost of 6 (three colorless, one blue, one red and one white), Narset is on the higher end of mana costs. However once she hits the field, she can very easily sway a game in your favor. Not only does she have hexproof, which prevents your opponents from easily removing her, but she also has first strike, which makes her an absolute powerhouse in combat. But where Narset really shines is her triggered ability which activates whenever she attacks. This ability exiles the top four cards of your library and allows you to cast all non creatures spells exiled this way for free until the end of the turn. The free spell slinging is what makes Narset so good in EDH, and it’s what allows us to make some incredibly fun, and also some incredibly broken decks. Also it is important to note that you can cast instants before blocking and combat damage occurs, and even if Narset is removed from the battlefield, you can still cast the spells exiled with her that turn for free until the end of the turn.
Now let’s get into the various flavors of Narset that can be created. I won’t be going through every card, but I’ll provide an example decklist for the Narset turns deck to start with, and highlight its major features. Then I will go through the various other strategies that can be played with Narset and how to alter the base turns list for each strategy. The mana base is not a budget mana base. For budget options I recommend just replacing all the more expensive dual lands and utility lands with the pain lands, the scry lands, the life lands and a few basic lands as well.
Starting with a classic, we are going to take a look at the Narset turns deck. This deck has the ability to very easily go infinite and consistently win the game around turn 5-8. This is arguably the most competitive version of Narset you can run, and it is a real powerhouse once you land Narset on the field.
The list I have been running is not a full fledged combo list, I combined a combo list with a value based control list because I felt the combo version was not resilient enough for the meta I play in. If you want to turn this list into the super fast combo version, then just replace a lot of the control and value cards with extra turn/combat phase cards.
Narset Midrange Turns
The main combo in this deck involves casting Enter the Infinite leaving only Beacon of Tomorrows in your library. Then with beacon of tomorrows you can net 2 turns every one turn, by casting it with an omiscience in play and then attacking with Narset. Since Beacon of Tomorrows shuffles back into your library every time you cast it, it becomes very easy to abuse with essentially ifinite turns.
The rest of the deck plays very similarly to a control/tempo/ramp deck that focuses on getting lots of incremental value out of Narset, and playing her as quickly as possible. A lot of times the deck doesn’t even win with the infinite combo, simply winning with the pure value that Narset brings to the table.
While there are a lot of cards in the deck that are incredibly powerful, some notable cards that aren’t run in every list which I’ve found to be incredibly powerful are: Dack Fayden, Monastery Mentor, and Metallurgic Summonings.
Even though it is a creature and seemingly doesn’t synergize at all with the deck, Monastery Mentor can get out of hand so quickly in this list, making a token army of prowess monks. Sometimes it can exceed 10-20 creatures at a time in one game.
While the Narset turns deck is incredibly powerful, the deck does suffer from some consistency issues, and it also is not for a more casually oriented play group.
Running a superfriends deck with Narset can be quite a blast to play. Casting free planeswalkers every turn is just absolutely amazing, however it may make you become a target from the entire table. Generally a Narset Superfriends list will want to play Ugin, Karn, most of the Chandras, Venser, most of the Jaces, Tezzeret, Saheeli, and Tamiyo.
It’s also an option to throw in some pillowfort spells such as Crawlspace and Ghostly Prison to protect all of your planeswalkers from opposing creatures.
It’s not exactly tribal, but all of the monks generally synergize with non-creature spells and enchantments. Usually it is a pretty good play to run lot’s of enchantments that buff creatures, and targeted removal spells. Most monks in Magic have some form of prowess, so with Narset’s free spell slinging, the monks will get out of hand really quickly.
Some good monks to start out with are:
- Dragon-Style Twins
- Mistfire Adept
- Monastery Mentor
- Ojutai Exemplars
- Graceblade Artisan
- Sage-Eye Avengers
- Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest
- Soulfire Grand Master
- Strongarm Monk
Running Narset as an enchantment voltron deck is also a fairly solid option. Instead of opting to win with an infinite combo, a pilot of this deck is opting to with with almost exclusively commander damage. Running a bunch of buffing enchantments, such as: Eldrazi Conscription, Steel of Godhead, and Daybreak Cornet. Plus a lot of really poweful equipment cards including most of the swords, can turn Narset into a “fair” voltron powerhouse.
Another version of this deck, for the control players out there, is pure control and or pillowfort. By using Narset’s ability to play a bunch of control cards, a player can quickly and efficiently build an effective board state to gum up all of your opponent’s shenanigans. Some cards that can work well for this strategy are: Stasis, Ghostly Prison, Crawlspace, Winter Orb, and Defense Grid.
While this strategy can be fairly powerful, if you choose to play the more aggressive stax type control decks, be warned it may not be fun for a lot of other players who play against it. So be sure to ask your play group if they are okay with playing against a deck like that.
Well that about sums up most of the strategies that you can play using Narset as your commander. Did we miss any? Have you made any fun or powerful decks with Narset? If so, feel free to leave any of your questions, comments, or concerns in the section below.
And as always, happy gaming!