Tuesday Night Takeover

Cleopatra, Exiled Pharaoh Legends Brewed EDH

“Everything we do, everything we are, begins and ends with ourselves.”

Art:Cleopatra, Exiled Pharaoh by Mandy Jurgens

Cleopatra is here to bring all of the legends past and present to mess up your opponent’s days! Cleopatra is a sweet commander for a deck focusing on legends which I think works well within the gameplay and works well within the flavor as well. If you love various Golgari legends or just love swinging with creatures that are 30/30’s or bigger this is most certainly the deck for you. This is a deck that is packed to the brim with huge creatures, card draw, and removal, and those are the three things that this deck does the best. Cleopatra is a card I have been very interested in since spoiler season, and in testing, it is such a blast to play and is perfect for players of any skill level. I am so excited to showcase this one today, without further adieu lets get it!

The Deck:

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Cleopatra, Exiled Pharaoh Legends!

Commander (1)
Cleopatra, Exiled Pharaoh

Creatures (32)
Birds of Paradise
Delighted Halfling
Bristly Bill, Spine Sower
Kurbis, Harvest Celebrant
Winding Constrictor
Arwen, Weaver of Hope
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Evolution Sage
Fain, the Broker
Glissa Sunslayer
Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager
Grismold, the Dreadsower
Honest Rutstein
Kami of Whispered Hopes
Kodama of the West Tree
Legolas Greenleaf
Pir, Imaginative Rascal
Reki, the History of Kamigawa
Reyhan, Last of the Abzan
Rhonas the Indomitable
Rishkar, Peema Renegade
Yahenni, Undying Partisan
Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig
Aveline de Grandpre
Corpsejack Menace
Forgotten Ancient
Lily Bowen, Raging Grandma
Emissary Green
Kalonian Hydra
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
Agent Frank Horrigan

Instants (12)
Ancient Animus
Assassin’s Trophy
Beast Within
Heroic Intervention
Infernal Grasp
Momentous Fall
Nasty End
Revitalizing Repast
Tear Asunder

Sorceries (10)
Fangs of Kalonia
Flare of Cultivation
Kodama’s Reach
Last March of the Ents
Life’s Legacy
Rise of the Witch-king
Skyshroud Claim
Time of Need
Unnatural Restoration

Artifacts (6)
Sol Ring
The Ozolith
Arcane Signet
Ozolith, the Shattered Spire
Power Fist
Talisman of Resilience

Enchantments (4)
Hardened Scales
Vraska Joins Up
Branching Evolution
Court of Garenbrig
Lands (35)
Bojuka Bog
Command Tower
15 Forest
Overgrown Tomb
10 Swamp
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
The Shire
Twilight Mire
Undergrowth Stadium
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth

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Why Cleopatra, Exiled Pharoah?

Cleopatra is a huge part of our deck; we always cast them as soon as we are able to; this allows us to buff up our legends throughout the turns, and the card draw we get off of Cleopatra is straight-up ridiculous and allows us to get super ahead in card advantage. With Cleopatra and many other cards in the deck, we will never have an empty hand. We don’t have much protection from her, but we have a decent amount of ramp and mana production, so we can typically re-cast her with ease. We don’t need to ever cast Cleopatra as the deck can function albeit a bit slower without them but they help a ton.


The overall gameplan of the deck is extremely simple; we are looking for a hand with two to three lands, a couple of game creatures, and maybe some removal. Then it’s just cast our commander as soon as we possibly can and then cast all of our payoffs and creatures and then from there swing to your heart’s content and hit like a truck. The gameplan is simple but the deck is pretty simple overall as well.

Deck Matchups:

Since this is EDH, there are an absolute ton of things that can tip a game in your favor or out of it. While an archetype may seem favorable, there are absolutely good and bad commanders for our deck to go up against; I have included both these, which were all played among my testing groups using various decks, and I have included the sample size for clarity purposes. This is just meant to be a guide after testing a bunch of games with this deck!

The information below is notes about specific decks that were featured in our testing pods and how we fared against them. Naturally, EDH is a multiplayer game, so these are just a summary of my notes against different commanders and strategies. When we test these decks we try to test to its strengths and weaknesses to give a full spectrum of what the deck has to offer. Various commanders and archetypes/strategies are used to get the most accurate information.

Commanders, we have a good matchup against:

Ezio Auditore da Firenze Record against Ezio Auditore da Firenze 5-0

This is a great matchup for us. We have a few instances in the deck that allow us to gain a ton of life, which makes it quite hard for our opponents to activate Ezio’s ability. We also typically overrun them in combat, and there isn’t much they can do.

Ezuri, Claw of Progress Record against Ezuri, Claw of Progress 5-2

It’s a true counters vs counters matchup. Sadly for Ezuri, we are quite a bit faster, and we don’t have access to the same counter-magic that they do. We still have a ton of speed compared to them, and we can also function without our commander while they cannot. Most Ezuri lists run the dreaded Sage of Hours, so that is something to watch out for, but other than that, this is a great matchup for us.

Nahiri, Forged in Fury Record against Nahiri, Forged in Fury 4-0

Voltron decks are just overall great for us; we have the removal to deal with them and can keep their commander and their best creatures off of the board. We don’t have much of an answer for artifacts/enchantments, but we can reliably kill the creatures while we develop our board.

Commanders, we have a tough matchup against:

Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph Record against Ghyrson Starn 2-5

We struggle Immenssely against decks that don’t care about combat and just deal straight-up damage, and Ghyrson can output a tremendous amount of damage; our only recourse here is to keep their commander off of the board and, more importantly, be fast and hit hard and, focus them. This is a tough but winnable matchup.

The Face of Boe Record against The Face of Boe 0-4

This is an awful matchup for us; even when I drew hands that were crazy aggressive, I still had trouble competing with this deck; they are just a lot quicker than us and can dominate in the early-game with cards like Greater Gargadon. This is a tough matchup, they often pack a lot of counterspells so removing their commander is not always easy.

Ziatora, the Incinerator Record against Ziatora 2-2

Ziatora is another deck that focuses on non-combat damage, and they come packing a ton of huge creatures that can rival some of the life-gain we have in our deck; we are often a little bit faster than them, but if we lose tempo or one misstep, and they can easily take over the game, this is a tough matchup.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


We absolutely had to include Delighted Halfling, which is perfect for the deck and is basically a second copy of Birds of Paradise which we also run. Even without Cleopatra on the board, we get a ton of value out of Grismold, the Dreadsower, which also can build a little bit of goodwill with our opponents since we give them chump blockers. If we get into a bad combat situation or fall victim to something that affects us in combat, we can use Kurbis, Harvest Celebrant as a great way to protect our buffed-up creatures, which, for the most part, is pretty much all of them. Since we are entirely focused on legends, we had to include Reki, the History of Kamigawa, which is a strong, cheap, and consistent source of card draw in the deck, a lot of our creatures are cheap so being able to consistently refill our hand helps us fulfill the overall gameplan. We also have some insane cards that care about counters in our deck, like Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, and Corpsejack Menace. If we land either of these, it is not very good for our opponents. There are so many awesome cards that make our creatures crazy big and boost us like crazy when its time to go to combat, one-shots are absolutely possible within this deck.


We have quite a bit of removal at an instant speed, which allows us to take out opponents’ threats and, most importantly, clear the way for us in combat. Atomize is a little bit of a pricy removal spell, but we get a proliferation out of it, which helps balance the cost and make it a lot more worth it for the deck. Nasty End is such a great draw spell for the deck; two mana sac a legend and draw three at instant speed is a rate I will take every day of the week; this card is strong, and in the mid-late game when we have a lot of mana can be a great way to instant speed dig for more removal. Another late-game mana dump is Silkguard, which is a great card offensively and defensively. Being able to buff up our creatures and give them hexproof is very strong.


Since we are in Golgari and have a decently high overall cost, we absolutely had to include some ramp like Kodama's Reach and Cultivate, which are both great ways to get ahead early and can be cast a little earlier with the help of our mana-creatures. We also have Flare of Cultivation, which is very cool, and being able to do it for free is shockingly easy to do. Now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of our sorcery package. Last March of the Ents is a crazy card in general, but in this deck, it is actually diabolical in testing. I was able to draw thirty cards with this and put a ton of creatures into play, and since we can easily ramp into this, we can cast it quite early. Fangs of Kalonia is another nasty card for only six mana. Doubling the counters on all of our creatures is insane, especially combined with some of the other counter-doubling effects. Time of Need is the perfect card for this deck and a great way to grab most creatures. There are a few cards we can’t grab, but for the most part, we can grab a lot of the deck. Rise of the Witch-king is a great card for us because we can edict our opponetns and get one of our creatures back, I find this card shines very well against Voltron strategies or pretty much any deck that focuses on their commander or just a few creatures.


This is a double Ozolith deck, and that is an amazing thing to have; while Ozolith, the Shattered Spire provides an effect just like Hardened Scales, we also have The Ozolith which is crazy and can help us play through single-target removal, while losing our creatures is never fun being able to recover all of those counters is super strong! Power Fist is by far the best artifact in our deck, the trample and getting counters equal to the damage we dealt allows us to deal a ludicrous amount of damage to our opponents.


We don’t have a lot of enchantments in the deck. Still, all of the ones we have are quite impactful, with my personal favorite being Vraska Joins Up; putting a deathtouch counter on our entire board is crazy, and being able to draw a ton of cards from all of our legends is a great option as well, this cards provides a ridiculous amount of card draw and utility for only two mana. Hardened Scales and Branching Evolution are both great ways to get extra counters on our creatures and allow us to get bigger and better as the turns go on. Last but certainly not least, we have Court of Garenbrig, which can make your creatures get crazy big as long as we are the monarch. Luckily, we are able to keep the monarch usually because we have a huge well of creatures that are hard to get through in combat.

Land Base:

Overall we have a pretty simple landbase; my personal favorite cards in our landbase are Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth; these both provide excellent mana-fixing for the deck and can allow us to make our lands overall better. Takenuma, Abandoned Mire is great as well, especially because it only costs one a good majority of the time, and being able to return some of the best creatures we have is great. Beyond that, we have some fast non-basics like Overgrown Tomb and Undergrowth Stadium, as well as just a bunch of basics. We are technically running thirty-six lands because of Revitalizing Repast // Old-Growth Grove, but we very rarely use it for its land side. I like this landbase a lot, and in testing, I found it to be strong and efficient for the deck.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We have an absolute ton of card draw within the deck, from our commander and other sources.
  • We are great in combat and can beat the most aggressive or mid-range strategies.
  • We can easily one-shot opponents once our creatures start getting bigger.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • For a lot of the early game we rely on Cleopatra.
  • Our commander is a huge removal magnet because they provide a ton of utility.
  • We have a tough matchup against control strategies or any decks that disrupt combat.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:


Cleopatra is such a fun commander, who doesn’t love legends and counters! For me this is a true best of both worlds kind of deck and combines two of my favorite archetypes. We also have access to a ton of card draw within this deck which helps us keep up with some of the fastest decks in the format. I have been having so much fun with this one. If you have a Cleopatra list please share it with us we’d love to see it. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!