Big Daddy Brews: Treasure Kess

BDB Treasure Kess.jpg

Ixalan has arrived. Commander 2017 has been around for a little while now too. I have yet to focus on the newest Commander set, so I’m going to do that today. I’m also going to cover one of Commander’s newest win conditions from Ixalan: Revel in Riches. Today’s deck will also feature zero creatures outside of its legendary leader. What creature is best suited to lead a solo expedition for bounty beyond the imagination? Kess, Dissident Mage, of course. I’ll begin with the list and then break it down from there.

Kess, Dissindent Mage by Izzy ©2017 by Wizards of the Coast

Commander: [card]Kess, Dissident Mage[/card]

1[card]Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast[/card]
1 [card]Pact of Negation[/card]
1 [card]Brainstorm[/card]
1 [card]Gamble[/card]
1 [card]Opt[/card]
1 [card]Ponder[/card]
1 [card]Pongify[/card]
1 [card]Preordain[/card]
1 [card]Rapid Hybridization[/card]
1 [card]Serum Visions[/card]
1 [card]Sleight of Hand[/card]
1 [card]Swan Song[/card]
1 [card]Turn Aside[/card]
1 [card]Vampiric Tutor[/card]
1 [card]Vandalblast[/card]
1 [card]Arcane Denial[/card]
1 [card]Counterspell[/card]
1 [card]Cyclonic Rift[/card]
1 [card]Demonic Tutor[/card]
1 [card]Reality Shift[/card]
1 [card]Terminate[/card]
1 [card]Bontu’s Last Reckoning[/card]
1 [card]Intuition[/card]
1 [card]Savor the Moment[/card]
1 [card]Toxic Deluge[/card]
1 [card]Wheel of Fortune[/card]
1 [card]Windfall[/card]
1 [card]Chain Reaction[/card]
1 [card]Damnation[/card]
1 [card]Insidious Dreams[/card]
1 [card]Confirm Suspicions[/card]
1 [card]Dark Petition[/card]
1 [card]Hour of Devastation[/card]
1 [card]Increasing Ambition[/card]
1 [card]Spell Swindle[/card]
1 [card]Time Warp[/card]
1 [card]Behold the Beyond[/card]
1 [card]Dig Through Time[/card]
1 [card]Blasphemous Act[/card]
1 [card]Sol Ring[/card]
1 [card]Dimir Signet[/card]
1 [card]Izzet Signet[/card]
1 [card]Rakdos Signet[/card]
1 [card]Talisman of Dominance[/card]
1 [card]Talisman of Indulgence[/card]
1 [card]Treasure Map[/card]
1 [card]Chromatic Lantern[/card]
1 [card]Coalition Relic[/card]
1 [card]Commander’s Sphere[/card]
1 [card]Darksteel Ingot[/card]
1 [card]Darksteel Plate[/card]
1 [card]Mystic Remora[/card]
1 [card]Search for Azcanta[/card]
1 [card]Propaganda[/card]
1 [card]Rhystic Study[/card]
1 [card]Trail of Evidence[/card]
1 [card]Mechanized Production[/card]
1 [card]Metallurgic Summonings[/card]
1 [card]Revel in Riches[/card]
1 [card]Ash Barrens[/card]
1 [card]Blood Crypt[/card]
1 [card]Bojuka Bog[/card]
1 [card]Command Tower[/card]
1 [card]Crumbling Necropolis[/card]
1 [card]Darksteel Citadel[/card]
1 [card]Desolate Lighthouse[/card]
1 [card]Dragonskull Summit[/card]
1 [card]Drowned Catacomb[/card]
1 [card]Evolving Wilds[/card]
1 [card]Forbidden Orchard[/card]
1 [card]Great Furnace[/card]
1 [card]Grixis Panorama[/card]
7 [card]Island[/card]
4 [card]Mountain[/card]
1 [card]Seat of the Synod[/card]
1 [card]Smoldering Marsh[/card]
1 [card]Steam Vents[/card]
1 [card]Sulfur Falls[/card]
1 [card]Sunken Hollow[/card]
5 [card]Swamp[/card]
1 [card]Temple of Deceit[/card]
1 [card]Temple of Epiphany[/card]
1 [card]Temple of Malice[/card]
1 [card]Terramorphic Expanse[/card]
1 [card]Vault of Whispers[/card]
1 [card]Watery Grave[/card]

Revel Black Market.jpg

There have been some comparisons made between Revel in Riches and Black Market. Personally, I don’t agree with them. If you want to play Revel in Riches as a way to generate color fixing mana when an opposing creature dies, you can, of course. I just have reservations about the card when used that way. First, I just don’t think it’s very good. The strength of Black Market is that it gives you mana every turn, not just one (a single charge counter versus a single Treasure) and that the amount of mana it gives you can grow to an absurd amount. Beyond that, I’m not eager to give my opponents any extra incentive to attack me because my weird ramp enchantment happens to have the words “you win the game” printed on it. With this in mind, I recommend trying to wait as long as possible to deploy the enchantment. Ideally, Revel in Riches will be cast in the same turn as a board wipe that will generate ten Treasure tokens.

Toxic Bontu Act.jpg

Casting Revel in Riches the same turn that a sweeper is cast is an expensive proposition. As such the deck wants to play the cheapest sweepers it can. Blasphemous Act can be reduced to as low as one mana when the opponents control at least ten creatures. That makes the requisite cost to win the game a very manageable six mana. The deck wants such a high number of sweepers that there are some four and even a single five mana sweeper, but the combo will typically rely on the cheaper variants. Bontu’s Last Reckoning’s drawback is negligible since, in theory, Revel in Riches wins the game the same turn that Reckoning prevents lands from untapping.

Mech Trail Metal.jpg

Mechanized Production is the deck’s backup win condition. The deck is not built to take optimal advantage of Mechanized Production, but I was uncomfortable featuring a single way to win the game in a format as diverse and high variance as Commander. Trail of Evidence and Confirm Suspicions help make Clue tokens while Metallurgic Summonings and Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast make Construct tokens. The deck features enough spells that unsuspecting opponents will allow the deck to accrue enough of these tokens to pull out a win with Mechanized Production. In truly desperate times it’s possible to enchant an indestructible Darksteel artifact and then try to stall the game with enough sweepers and disruption to eek out a win.


Thanks to Kess’s ability to cast spells from the graveyard the deck can take the downside to powerful spells such as these and turn them into an advantage. Intuition basically becomes triple Demonic Tutor while Insidious Dreams card disadvantage is mostly nullified by Kess. Behold the Beyond allows the deck the to tutor for Revel in Riches, a sweeper, and a piece of countermagic or an extra turn spell without losing access to the discarded cards should something go awry. Wheel of Fortune and Windfall serve as powerful draw spells that advantage the Kess deck more than decks that cannot abuse their graveyard.


Like any Blue combo deck, the deck features a large number of cantrips and card selection spells. The cantrips in particular work incredibly well with Kess. Looking at three cards for a single mana is powerful when it’s card parity. It’s broken when it’s generating card advantage.

Well, folks, this deck is not the most broken I’ve ever featured on the site, but it is one of the jankiest. Revel in Riches is an odd card to build around and while I’m sure a more tuned version of the deck exists, I think this is a fun way to start building it. I chose Kess because she lets you cast your sweepers to buy time if you have to, but still allows the sweeper to be functionally in your hand afterward. An important thing when sweepers are combo pieces. Additionally, Kess gives access to blue card draw/selection spells an additional time to help dig for combo pieces at a faster rate. A more pillow fort based deck that aims to slow the game down and make combat difficult, but still allows large creature based armies to accrue is another way to go. Esper would be great for this take both because you get access to white sweepers and white enchantment tutors.

I hope you liked this take on a newer Commander and one of Ixalan’s funkiest enchantments! I hope to see you next time on Big Daddy Brews!

-Brandon “Big Daddy B” Dauer
Twitter: @BrandonDauer
Instagram: midwest.brandon

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