Posts Tagged ‘alesha’

This week in Magic: Tiny Leaders – Alesha, Who Smiles at Death


Welcome back for another “This week in Magic.” This week, we’re going to cover a fun subject that has gone viral over the past several weeks, Tiny Leaders. This is a variant of the Commander format and has become so popular that, thanks to the new FNM format rules, has even begun making its FNM debut all over the country.


So let’s jump right into things. By now you’re wondering what some of the major differences are between Commander and Tiny Leaders. The biggest difference is that we’re dealing with a deck half the size of a Commander deck. Instead of 100 cards, we’re now dealing with 50 cards including your commander. Another major rule change is that everything in the deck (even your commander) cannot have a converted mana cost greater than three.


Some additional rules include starting at 25 life, there is no more commander damage, as well as a slightly modified banned list. Another important rule is that this format is specifically made for 1v1. Oh, I forgot to mention, you can have a side board of up to ten cards. For more information on that, you can click here.


It’s funny because by really limiting the player in their deck building, it created a larger challenge, which, in my opinion, is what makes Tiny Leaders a lot of fun to play.


For my first Tiny Leaders deck, I chose to run with Alesha, Who Smiles At Death. The reason I chose her was because she was the only Tiny Leader I owned at the time. However, while she may be a last minute addition to the team, she packs quite the punch and has a great ability to boot. Also, she is technically the only Mardu colored leader available.


Here is what my deck list looks like right now:


Creatures (22):
1 Alshea, Who Smiles at Death
1 Gnarled Scarhide
1 Banisher Priest
1 Master of Pearls
1 Mardu Shadowspear
1 Spiteful Returned
1 Generator Servant
1 Bloodsoaked Champion
1 Underworld Coinsmith
1 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Seeker of the Way
1 Chandra’s Phoenix
1 Borderland Marauder
1 Mardu Skullhunter
1 Tormented Hero
1 Mardu Strike Leader
1 War-Name Aspirant
1 Mardu Woe-Reaper
1 Torch Fiend
1 Mardu Hordechief
1 Battle Brawler


Spells (10):
1 Unearth
1 Act on Impulse
1 Crater’s Claws
1 Wild Slash
1 Barrage of Boulders
1 Mardu Charm
1 Spear of Helliod
1 Mardu Ascendancy
1 Harsh Sustenance
1 Deflecting Palm


Lands (17):
2 Mountain
2 Swamp
2 Plain
1 Scoured Barrens
1 Cave of Koilos
1 Boodfell Caves
1 Isolated Chapel
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Temple of Silence
1 Nomad Outpost
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Godless Shrine
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Wild Scarred-Crag


The entire time I was building the deck, I tried to stay on course as much as possible. What I mean by “stay on course” is that I tried to stick with creatures that had a come into play ability. Or, in the example of Torch Fiend, have a creature whose ability I can use and then bring it back with Alesha. Some of the best creatures in the deck are those with the raid abilities. The cool interaction is that when you bring a creature with raid back from the graveyard with Alesha, it should trigger the ability.


As far as other spells go, there weren’t many I could think of that I felt were essential for the deck. One card did stand out, and that was Unearth. Not only is it cheap, but it can bring back any creature from your graveyard back into play. The only downside is that we have one shot with it. So use the spell wisely. Act On Impulse was another spell I felt really belonged into the deck. In a format where the CMC is extremely low, if you draw Act On Impulse late game where you have the mana to support it, we could be talking about a huge game changer.


Many of the other spells are pretty self-explanitory, but my favorite, overall, has to be Mardu Ascendancy. With all of the one and two drops in the deck, there is reason that this card will be abused quite a bit. It will also help end things quickly by supporting a possible large number for Harsh Sustenance.


What the deck will need work on is the mana base. If you couldn’t tell by now, I kind of threw it all together. It’s obviously missing a Blood Crypt and a Temple of Malice, but is there anything else? Depending on my curve, I may not actually need them. Up to now, I had not really thought about it.


Before I let you go for this week, I’d like to give you an assignment. I’m going to be putting some more work into the deck, but I’d like your help doing this. Take a good look at the list I have going. In the comment section below, let me know what you would add or take out of the deck. I’m fairly sure there is a card or two that I am overlooking. Is the overall strategy of the deck working for you?


That’s it for now. My hopes is that this format catches on around here. If it does, then I’d love to keep exploring it some more. There are plenty of Tiny Leaders out there. Is there a Tiny Leader you’d like to see me work on? Let me know. Until next week…


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!


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