Deck of the Week: When Glissa Met the Necrons

Remember that time Glissa met the Necrons? No? Well, you certainly will after Bennie Smith introduces his newest Commander brew!

Glissa, the Traitor, illustrated by Chris Rahn

I’ve been playing and loving Glissa, the Traitor ever since Mirrodin Besieged was released, starting with loving it in various incarnations in Standard (starting here in A Glissa of Hope), and a really brief foray into one of the Eternal formats (Extended? Modern?) before I realized having your lynchpin card die to Lightning Bolt is a really, really bad idea.

Glissa, the Traitor

Eventually I built a Glissa deck in Commander and had fun with it a few years before eventually taking it apart to build something else. My interest in Glissa was reignited when Tolarian Community College’s The Professor asked me to collaborate with him on a Glissa, the Traitor deck tech for his YouTube channel, which was super fun!

I rebuilt the deck a few years back and put it back into rotation.  But over time I realized I was reaching for the deck on the shelf less and less when looking for something to battle with.  I mean, how much more Golgari artifact recursion does one need to experience in their life?

Thankfully, Magic’s Universes Beyond new Commander decks featuring Warhammer 40,000 brought the perfect way to inject a brand new play experience into this old favorite—the Necrons are artifact creatures with tons of cool abilities, and really gel nicely with the synergies built around Glissa.  Once I got my hands on the Necon Dynasties deck I tore it apart and completely reworked my Glissa deck.  I’m super stoked to share it with you, so let’s dig in!

Nifty Necrons

Psychomancer Lychguard Illuminor Szeras Skorpekh Lord Imotekh the Stormlord Cryptek Anrakyr the Traveller Necron Deathmark Trazyn the Infinite

I don’t have all of the Necrons in the deck because many of them are higher cost and I do try to pay attention to my mana curve, but Psychomancer is right-sized at two mana for a 1/1 flier with some life drain attached.  Lychguard is sweet because quite a few of the Necrons I’ve added to the deck are legendary creatures. Speaking of legendary Necrons, Illuminor Szeras lets you sacrifice another creature to add an amount of black mana to your mana pool equal to the mana value of the sacrificed creature. Sacrificing artifact creatures for value and getting them back with Glissa is exactly the sort of thing I want to be doing.  Imotekh the Stormlord generates sweet value when one or more artifacts leave your graveyard, creating two 2/2 Necron Warrior tokens; but that’s not all!  At the beginning of combat on your turn you can make another one of your artifact creatures gain +2/+2 and menace until the end of the turn.  Anrakyr the Traveller lets you cast an artifact spell by paying life instead of mana, which mean you can potentially have a really big turn casting multiple spells.

Trazyn the Infinite calls to mind another one of my all-time favorite cards Necrotic Ooze, but it’s a little more restrictive than my Oozy buddy.  Still, having all the activated abilities of any artifacts in your graveyard certainly can lead to some serious shenanigans!

Cryptek functions a bit like Nim Deathmantle, protecting one other artifact creature you control from death by bringing it back to the battlefield. Lastly, I’ve got Necron Deathmark, which is a juiced up Ravenous Chupacabra for one extra mana.

The other Necrons didn’t make the cut because they didn’t fit completely into Glissa’s synergies, or might have been victim of an already crowded high mana slot.

Other Nifty Artifact Creatures

Hangarback Walker Phyrexian Revoker Scrap Trawler Kuldotha Forgemaster

Holdovers from previous incarnations of the deck, these artifact creatures have stood the test of time. I particularly like Phyrexian Revoker here since it’s usually pretty easy to get it dead and brought back from the graveyard if you need to reset the named card for it. I’m particularly looking forward to sacrificing three artifacts with some number of cool activated abilities to search up Trazyn the Infinite for shenanigans!


Pili-Pala Sculpting Steel Biotransference Trading Post Whip of Erebos Monster Manual

Speaking of shenanigans, Pili-Pala’s ability to untap is going to lead to wild things with Trazyn.  Trading Post is always awesome in artifact-heavy decks, and I’m looking forward to giving Monster Manual a try here too.  Biotransference is a super-weird card that is mostly here to turn Glissa into an artifact creature, and to give each of your artifact spells a one life kicker that makes a 2/2 Necron Warrior artifact creature token.

Whip of Erebos is mostly just here for the lifelink, which typically comes in quite handy when games boil down to attacks and counterattacks. But being able to bring back a dead creature with haste might occasionally be clutch.

Card Draw

Chronomancer Investigator's Journal Skeleton Shard Mask of Griselbrand Harmonize Memory Jar Canoptek Spyder Bolas's Citadel

Oh look, there’s another Necron—Chronomancer, which can sacrifice another artifact to draw a card!  Canoptek Spyder is an aggressive 4/4 flier for five mana, and lets you draw a card whenever another nontoken artifact creature or Vehicle enters the battlefield under your control. Memory Jar’s downside of making you discard any cards you don’t pay from the Jar’s effect is pretty well blunted in this deck since any artifacts you discard will likely make its way back to your hand with Glissa’s ability.

Investigator’s Journal is the sort of grindy value card I love that doesn’t usually play as great as I want it to, but in this deck you can cycle it off early before anyone has a bunch a creatures and then get it back with Glissa and replay it for a bunch of suspect counters.


Nature's Claim Tear Asunder Go for the Throat Sylvok Replica Phyrexian Scriptures Damnation Their Name is Death Duplicant Noxious Gearhulk Spine of Ish Sah

Golgari has access to a lot of great removal options and I’ve included a bunch of them here.  I really love Tear Asunder from Dominaria United and have been slotting it into almost every deck I can. With a new heavy focus on artifact creatures like the Necrons, I’m excited to add Phyrexian Scriptures to the deck.  If I don’t happen to have Biotransference on the battlefield, the first chapter can make Glissa into an artifact creature before chapter two destroys all nonartifact creatures. Warhammer 40,000 brings more a more immediate version of that effect with the excellently named Their Name is Death!


Welding Jar Manifold Key Nihil Spellbomb Mirage Mirror Canoptek Scarab Swarm Eldrazi Monument

I always appreciate another way to hose the graveyard deck’s graveyard, so I was happy to add the new card Canoptek Scarab Swarm.  This is also a sweet card to sacrifice and bring back for more graveyard suppression, hopefully generating a few 1/1 flying Insect tokens along the way.

Mirage Mirror is always a good time, it scales so nicely with what your opponents are playing and I’m glad to have it in a deck where artifacts can come back from the graveyard.


Vorpal Sword Skullclamp Shadowspear Swiftfoot Boots Blackblade Reforged Cranial Plating

As a long time D&D fan, I love the flavor of Vorpal Sword but struggled to find a place for it until I thought to put it in Glissa. Glissa’s deathtouch means that opponents might be loath to block with a valuable creature when it attacks but equipped with Vorpal Sword means they’ve got to block Glissa.

The new artwork for Skullclamp is super-metal so I’m going to swap that in for my old artwork version, along with Cranial Plating!

Mana Ramp

Sol Ring Plague Myr Golgari Signet Talisman of Resilience Mimic Dire Mimic Relic of Legends Commander's Sphere Scuttlemutt Solemn Simulacrum

My go-to ramp spells in green decks are the huge amount of quality sorcery spells like Nature’s Lore and Rampant Growth, but in a heavy artifact theme I’m leaning instead on the artifact rocks that you’d expect such as a Signet and Talisman along with Solemn Simulacrum, but I’m also excited to try out Mimic and Dire Mimic here, which can provide a temporary mana boost early but potentially come back later and become attackers.

Scuttlemutt is a longtime favorite card of mine, I really love how it can be used to keep protection from green or black effects from leaving you helpless.

So, here is the decklist as it stands today:

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What would you put in your Glissa, the Traitor deck that I may have missed here?  What do you think of the new Necron creatures?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

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