MTG Commander Deck Of The Week: Sefris Of The Hidden Ways

As he prepares for a charity stream in honor of the late Sheldon Menery, Bennie Smith shares his Commander Deck of the Week, built around Sefris of the Hidden Ways.

Sefris of the Hidden Ways
Sefris of the Hidden Ways, illustrated by Ryan Pancoast

This weekend, there’s a big charity event in honor of Sheldon Menery to benefit the Moffitt Cancer Center. The Commander Rules Committee channel on Twitch will be hosting Commander pods all day Saturday and Sunday, with lots of friends of Sheldon and Commander content creators playing to celebrate Sheldon’s legacy and raising money to help fight cancer. I have the privilege of playing with some cool folks in Pod 3 on Saturday at 4 PM Eastern time, so please stop by to say hello and watch shenanigans ensue!

When trying to decide what deck to play for the event, I decided to look over the decklists that Sheldon kept on Archidekt and see what decks we have in common.  Both of us have an extensive number of decks in paper, but I was pleasantly surprised to see not much overlap between us, which I think is a testament to how many options there are for commanders in the format, and just how much individualism can manifest in choosing which legend to build around, not to mention particular card choices for each deck.  Richard Garfield really gave us a delightfully robust and creative game when he launched Magic: The Gathering!


I was happy to see that Sheldon and I each had decks built around Sefris of the Hidden Ways. I know we both have a long history of loving Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop role-playing games, and I always got the sense that he loved the dungeon mechanics first introduced with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms and expanded with Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate as much as I do. This seemed like the perfect deck to play in his honor, and I wanted to share my decklist with you here today.

Sefris of the Hidden Ways

Sefris was printed as the face card for one of the Forgotten Realms Commander precon decks that obviously focused on the dungeon mechanic, and that precon deck was the basis for Sheldon’s deck. I built mine from scratch, but there is obviously a bunch of overlap.

Sefris triggers each time one or more creature cards are put into your graveyard from anywhere in a turn, once a turn, letting you venture into the dungeon. You can do this with creatures that sacrifice themselves for profit, or having a sacrifice outlet, or cycling creatures, milling creatures, discarding creatures, or even just good old-fashioned dying in combat. Each time you complete a dungeon, Sefris’s create undead ability triggers, letting you put a creature card from your graveyard onto the battlefield. 


The initiative mechanic from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate took things to another level because Undercity was such a powerful dungeon. It made a huge impact even in Legacy, resulting in the banning of White Plume Adventurer. If you can, you’ll typically want to cast an initiative card first before casting your commander or another venture into the dungeon card so you can start on Undercity and get to leverage its powerful effects. Remember, when you’re already in a dungeon, both venture into the dungeon and initiative will take you further into that dungeon. 

Okay, adventurers! Get your torches, Fifty Feet of Rope, and iron rations, and let’s dive in!

Venture into the Dungeon

Dungeon Descent Immovable Rod Triumphant Adventurer Yuan-Ti Malison Thorough Investigation Cloister Gargoyle Nadaar, Selfless Paladin Barrowin of Clan Undurr Midnight Pathlighter Radiant Solar

Midnight Pathlighter is bonkers, providing a powerful evasion ability and letting you venture into the dungeon whenever one or more of your creatures deal combat damage to an opponent. Barrowin of Clan Undurr supports the Reanimator themes of Sefris. Dungeon Descent is a bit clunky due to its onerous activation cost and timing, but I’ve got a soft spot for the module-style lands and so it’s got a slot in my deck. 

Immovable Rod seems like it would be clunky due to its high activation cost, but I’ve found the card overperforms whenever I draw it in the mid-game. Getting to “turn off” any problematic permanent is quite good.

Take the Initiative

White Plume Adventurer Dungeoneer's Pack Seasoned Dungeoneer Ravenloft Adventurer Sarevok's Tome Trailblazer's Torch From the Catacombs Undercellar Sweep Rilsa Rael, Kingpin Tomb of Horrors Adventurer

Ah, here’s the jackpot, nabbing the initiative and opening up the Undercity dungeon! White Plume Adventurer is the cheapest way to do it, but it’s well worth investing more mana to get the ball rolling. I really like Sarevok’s Tome in the sort of grindy games this deck thrives in, nabbing the initiative and giving you a mana rock for four mana, and then it upgrades once you’ve completed a dungeon. From the Catacombs also plays well with the reanimation theme.

Undercellar Sweep overperforms, helping to expand your battlefield presence, and even if you lose the initiative, if you attack the person who has it, you still get the extra creatures that may let you take it back. 

My favorite card is probably Tomb of Horrors Adventurer. Not only is it a callback to the most infamous classic Dungeons & Dragons dungeon crawls ever made, but being able to copy spells – sometimes twice! – is one of the most fun things you can do in Commander!

Dungeons Matter

Dungeon Delver Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker

What’s better than looting a dungeon room?  Finding twice the loot, of course!


Priest of Fell Rites Victimize Karmic Guide Sister Hospitaller

I’m running these cards to leverage the reanimation theme even further and not rely on Sefris doing all the heavy lifting. I love Sister Hospitaller here since it gives you the Karmic Guide upside, plus some lifegain that’ll certainly be helpful at times. 

Card Draw

Skullclamp Night's Whisper Fell Stinger Grim Haruspex

While exploring dungeons is basically card advantage in this deck, I still wanted to have some other card draw to help keep the gas flowing. Fell Stinger and Grim Haruspex get the nod over other options since they are creatures that can be brought back again and again.


Swords to Plowshares Allay Reality Shift Despark Contraband Livestock Dauntless Dismantler Vampire Hexmage Kitesail Larcenist Loran of the Third Path Supreme Verdict Crush Contraband Ravenous Chupacabra Time Wipe Exterminatus

Creature-based removal cards such as Ravenous Chupacabra and Loran of the Third Path earn additional slots since we can bring them back from the graveyard. I’m excited to try a few creatures from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan; Kitesail Larcenist turns one artifact or creature each opponent controls into a Treasure, and they’ve got to decide whether to use the Treasure or leave it alone and hope the Larcenist dies to removal.

And then there’s Dauntless Dismantler, which hoses Treasure combo decks like a laser by making all artifacts your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped. You can easily cash it in for one white mana to destroy all zero-mana-value artifacts, such as Treasures, Clues, Food or Maps, or spend more mana to destroy artifacts with a higher mana value.


Vault of the Archangel Barrow-Blade Reconnaissance Mother of Runes Nihil Spellbomb Selfless Spirit Negate Pippin, Guard of the Citadel Abuelo, Ancestral Echo Boromir, Warden of the Tower Inquisitor Greyfax Clever Concealment Inkshield

The all-stars here are Selfless Spirit and Boromir, Warden of the Tower. Each can be sacrificed to make your team indestructible for the team, which quite nicely combines with a creature sweeper like Supreme Verdict to blow away everyone else’s creatures. When they die, you’ll get to trigger Sefris to venture into the dungeon, and once you complete that dungeon, you can reanimate one of them to do it all over again.

I’m looking forward to trying Abuelo, Ancestral Echo since so many of my creatures have a dungeon ability that triggers when they enter the battlefield. It can even target artifacts, letting a player blink Sarevok’s Tome or Trailblazer’s Torch to get the initiative trigger.

Just this week, I added Inkshield to the deck, since Sheldon designed the card and it was a favorite of his. I hope I get to surprise someone in Saturday’s game!

Mana Ramp

Sol Ring Wayfarer's Bauble Arcane Signet Chromatic Lantern Solemn Simulacrum

Since I’m looking for a grindy game with this deck, I’m mostly interested in fixing my mana rather than ramping hard. Sarevok’s Tome offers some additional ramp, and most of the dungeons give you a Treasure token here and there, so I’m usually fine on the mana front. 

The Deck

Okay, here’s the full decklist!

Sefris of the Hidden Ways
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 11-17-2023
Magic Card Back

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

So, what must-have cards might I have missed including here?  What is your favorite dungeon card in Magic?

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. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!