Last updated on December 7, 2023
Missy | Illustration by Ekaterina Burmak
“I’m going to kill you in a minute. I’m not even kidding. You’re going to be as dead as a fish on a slab any second now, all floppy and making smells. But don’t tell the boys. This is our secret girl plan.”
-Missy, to Osgood
Confession time: I am not, nor have I ever been a Whovian. But I’ve known them. Heck, one of my friends in high school was a Superwholock Tumblr user. What a time to be online….
If you’re not already acquainted, meet Missy, an iteration of a character known as “The Master”. The recurring character, not that other one that also exists in Doctor Who canon (because of course there’s another Master). This specific incarnation faced off against the Eleventh (Matt Smith) and Twelfth (Peter Capaldi) Doctors in the Doctor Who series, but how can you build a deck for Missy to face them at a Commander table?
Allons-y! Wait, that’s the David Tennant one….
Blood Artist | Illustration by Johannes Voss
Bane of the Living
Braids, Arisen Nightmare
Davros, Dalek Creator
Dragon's Eye Savants
Ixidor, Reality Sculptor
Mahadi, Emporium Master
Priest of Forgotten Gods
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Since the Missy card itself is designed to fit into the Planechase formats, I didn’t want to make this deck over-expensive. I went a little more for flavor, sticking to the morph creature theme and slipping in some Doctor Who cards as relevant. Since there’s a lot of morph creatures here that can serve as your interaction, there’s nearly as many creatures as there are lands.
As far as I understand it, The Master is basically like a cross between the Doctor and the lead character in Quantum Leap. No, really. The Doctor regenerates, but the Master has both regenerated and taken over other characters’ bodies. How villainous. And yes, like the Doctor, the Master is a time lord. Missy is the lone female incarnation of the Master so far. I guess that makes her a time lady?
This Grixis () rogue commander is pretty much built for Planechase variations with its final ability, and this is a Commander deck, so naturally, it fits with Commander Planechase. At last! A better way to make sure chaos ensues than rolling a planar die or making players vote with the will of the planeswalkers.
But I’ve buried the lede: This is a creature theft commander! Any nonartifact creature that dies can be returned to the battlefield facedown under your control as a 2/2 Cyberman, including your opponents’. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with tokens: A creature token that dies goes to the graveyard and triggers Missy’s ability, but it’ll disappear into nothingness as a state-based action before Missy’s ability can resolve. By the time it does, there’s nothing left to return to the battlefield.
No matter; I’m sure we can find some other way to take advantage of this ability. As someone who remembers the days of morph and manifest, there’s only one path forward.
Seriously, why not? Missy is a commander that’ll bring your creatures back facedown, ready to morph again. One nice thing is that your morph creatures are just colorless, not artifacts, so they can still come back as cybermen.
Your most flexible morph creature is Vesuvan Shapeshifter, which you can use to copy anything on the board. You don’t have to commit to it either, whether you wind up sacrificing it or using its own ability to turn the shapeshifter facedown.
Dragon's Eye Savants lets you peek at an opponent’s hand when you flip it, although you won’t be able to morph it unless you have a blue card in hand to reveal.
Willbender lets you redirect a spell or ability when you morph it. It’s a form of protection that can prove to be lifesaving depending on the situation.
Kadena's Silencer is cheap to megamorph, which you can do at instant speed to counter multiple abilities. Stratus Dancer can be used similarly to counter an instant or sorcery, while Voidmage Apprentice isn’t so restricted.
Primordial Mist helps you to get more face-down morph creatures onto the board. Ugin's Mastery gives you two creatures for the price of one when you cast your colorless morphs. It also lets you recover one of your manifested creatures under certain attack conditions.
The Cyber-Controller gives you more ways to get face-down creatures onto your side of the board, most importantly your opponents’ creatures. Its +1/+1 buff to artifact creatures is appreciated, especially since it makes it easy to deal 3 damage to an opponent during your turn.
This header is misleading because there are all sorts of options for you to flicker your creatures. But you know. Gotta make the reference when you can.
Naturally, blinking is here to turn over your creatures that don’t have morph abilities. For the most part, your morph creatures won’t really benefit from being blinked since they’ll return face-up; a blinked morph creature doesn’t flip on the board, so it doesn’t trigger “when this creature morphs” and similar abilities.
Primordial Mist serves as a kind of slow flicker. You still have to pay the card’s cost, but at least you have a way to return a Manifested or Cybermanned Blood Artist. It also gives you extra value by letting you play a manifested Counterspell.
Priest of Forgotten Gods is both a mana-generating sacrifice outlet and a way to kill more of your opponents’ creatures, leaving them ripe for the picking.
This wouldn’t be much of a red+ sacrifice deck without Goblin Bombardment.
Your first death payoffs are Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat, because of course they are. Mayhem Devil is also on the roster to do some pinging every time you and your opponents sacrifice permanents, including the many tokens we all sac for perks.
Grim Haruspex has a card draw payoff, and it’s one of the few morph creatures here that doesn’t have an effect specifically when you morph them.
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge is one of the higher-cost nonland cards in this deck, and that’s because it’s so, so good for you. All your creatures (commander included) have affinity for artifacts, as does Tezzeret. Given all the Cyberman creatures you’ll have on top of your mana rocks, the X for that +2 loyalty ability should give you some sweet lifegain. Oh, and it deals damage too? Brutal.
Cyberman Patrol and Cybermen Squadron are here to give their cohorts afflict 3 and myriad, respectively. The Squadron may cost 7 mana unless Tezzeret’s on board, but I want to include other WHO cards if they feel like they make sense.
If you manage to deal 3 damage to an opponent during your turn, Davros, Dalek Creator can give you all kinds of value. Dalek tokens are the starter, but making your opponents choose between discarding and letting you draw is especially good.
The Valeyard provides chaotic goodness for this Missy deck. Doubling your commander’s villainous choice triggers alone can provide all kinds of good value, whether your opponents take the damage, give you cards, or both.
A mid-to-late-game Death in Heaven can help to widen your board a lot, though your opponents will have plenty of time to deal with it.
Since this is a Planechase deck, I’ve stuck in a Start the TARDIS to give you some less random options to leave an unfavorable plane.
I’ve slotted in Delete because it’s a WHO card and because it doesn’t hit your artifact creatures. There’s the issue that it’ll burn you for damage too, but that might not matter depending on what you pay for X and how much of your lifegain you’ve been able to start using.
For our purposes, I’ve put together a 10-card planar deck with 8 planes and 2 phenomenon cards. You can of course have more cards in the planar deck (although phenomena are capped at 2), but these are what I wanted to highlight for this deck. No, I don’t care if these wind up giving my opponents benefits when they’re the planar controller; that’s part of the appeal and chaos of Planechase.
If you’re building your planar deck from scratch, target planes that give you perks that last beyond the end of your turn. Since Missy’s second ability triggers on your end step, you don’t want to make your opponents’ choice easy by having something like The Zephyr Maze’s chaos to ensue.
Antarctic Research Base is in this planar deck because its chaos ability cares about the number of artifacts you have. City of the Daleks is even better considering that its main ability is an attack trigger that cares about your artifacts. Generating Daleks that you then sacrifice is just silly, like it was made for a deck similar to this (but probably more Dalek-focused). While less immediately synergistic, Aplan Mortarium’s chaos ability adds to your artifact count.
Besieged Viking Village’s abilities can give you +1/+1 counters, while chaos lets you put an indestructible counter on one of your creatures. Bloodhill Bastion’s static effect is pure aggression, while the chaos can add to the blink part of this deck’s strategy.
Gavony is fairly straightforward by giving creatures keyword abilities. Grixis isn’t just here because it matches the color identity of this deck: Your face-down cybermen will finally wind up in the graveyard when they die, leaving their original cards behind. This plane gives you some ways to get them back.
The Pit, er, pits angels and demons against each other and is all kinds of creature sacrificing goodness.
A Grixis color identity doesn’t give you access to green, so forget most ramp spells. As a result, this deck is filled with mana rocks like Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, and the on-color Signets and Talismans. Fellwar Stone and Relic of Sauron round out the group.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is a fixer, turning your Izzet duals into tri-color lands and your basics into duals.
This deck has multiple ways to go infinite if you combine Ashnod's Altar with some of your other pieces. You’ll need many of them on board before you can go off, and I didn’t include Demonic Tutor, so going infinite is probably a wincon you stumble upon rather than the one you plan for.
You’ll want an opening hand with a decent number of lands and mana rocks. Missy costs 6 mana, so you want every advantage you can get from the start. You’ll have to judge whether you want to spend 3 mana for your morph creatures or if you want to cast your 1- and 2-mana creatures as-is to establish your opening board. Don’t be discouraged if you take a few early swings and look like you’re trailing early. You’ve got more than a few lifegain options, and some of them gain you life in bunches (hello, Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge).
Once Missy’s out, you can afford to play defensively while you build a wider board. Remember that you can gain from combats that don’t even involve you: The opponent on your left attacks the opponent on your right, each has creatures that die, and you get to put any nontokens face-down on your side of the board. Thanks, friends!
Also, keep in mind that some of your interaction comes in the form of your morph creatures, but you can morph your creatures at any time, including at instant speed. Your removal is almost your only way to deal with fliers unless they block you. You’ve only got the 1-toughness Stratus Dancer unless you use Vesuvan Shapeshifter to copy something.
Between your sweepers and Ixidron, you’ve got multiple ways to reset the board as needed. Usually, these can also benefit you with death triggers. Keep your flicker spells handy for when your important non-morph creatures are turned facedown, whether you’re manifesting or bringing them back as cybermen. It can be especially useful for recovering after you’ve used your Their Name Is Death.
I’ll highlight how you can go infinite with this deck, but if you don’t wind up going that route, your win conditions are going to come from going wide with your cybermen (and perhaps your Daleks) or dealing direct damage through Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge’s +2 loyalty ability.
The main combos that this deck generates involve Missy, Ashnod's Altar, and your morph creatures. With your commander on board, non-artifact creatures that you sacrifice return to the battlefield face-down. You gain 2 mana when you sac to the Altar, but there’s some of these morph creatures that can go infinite under the right circumstances.
Let’s start with Ruthless Ripper. Sacrifice it to Ashnod's Altar to gain cc mana. Missy brings the Ripper back face-down as a Cyberman. You can then reveal a black card from your hand to flip the Ripper, making an opponent lose 2 life. Rinse and repeat for infinite colorless mana, infinite ETB/LTB/sac/death triggers and an insta-kill if nobody can stop you.
You don’t just need Ruthless Ripper to pull off these loops. If Pitiless Plunderer is on board to give you Treasure when you sacrifice your creatures, you can use some of those morph abilities with mana costs attached to them. They won’t be as impactful because most of the other “when this creature morphs” abilities don’t do much for an infinite loop. Of course, if you’ve got your other death triggers like Mayhem Devil, you can still have a way to burn out your opponents.
Considering you’re likely playing this in a Planechase setting, you’re probably already having a Rule 0 chat, like about how you’re handling the planar deck(s).
Playgroups that don’t enjoy infinite loops at all may sour at this deck, but you saw how many pieces there are and how many chances there are for interaction. If your opponent doesn’t see you coming, that’s kind of on them. And if they do and can’t interact, it’s either bad card luck, bad sequencing (they already used their interaction), or bad deckbuilding. In other words, get good.
I’ve tried to keep most of this deck budget-conscious because I can’t predict the cost of the Doctor Who cards as I sit here typing. The only exception is that I haven’t cheaped out on the mana base in the slightest, so that’s the first place to make cuts. (Trust me, I could only afford to proxy a mana base like this myself). Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth isn’t totally necessary here. The fixing is nice, but it’s not like you’re running swampwalk creatures here. Any other tri-lands or dual lands that you don’t have or don’t want to pay for can just be swapped for whatever common dual lands you have lying around.
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge and Pitiless Plunderer are the next most expensive cards here. It’ll be tough to get value from a cheaper card; this Tezzeret is a darn fine artifact planeswalker, while the pirate gives you lots of Treasure over the course of a game.
If money is no question and you’re looking for higher budget cards, swap out the Negate for Fierce Guardianship, Aphetto Runecaster for Rhystic Study, and Delete for Blood Money or Toxic Deluge. I also didn’t include Thassa, Deep-Dwelling so that I could slide in a few more WHO cards, but you can opt for the god over a card with a similar mana value.
You could always lean more into the death payoff element of Missy’s abilities rather than focus on morph. I went this direction because there are fewer options for morph in general, so it’s fun to try something new. Sacrifice and aristocrats commanders are a dime a dozen, but morph? Not so.
If you’re leaning sacrifice, the Grand Ossuary plane can give you more counters as an additional death payoff, and Lair of the Ashen Idol can be an additional sacrifice payoff. And of course, you can always pack your deck with some Fling effects.
You could also lean into the Planechase aspect a bit more; there are three Path cards that can fit this deck’s colors (Path of the Enigma, Path of the Pyromancer, and Path of the Schemer), but their main abilities don’t synergize well with what this deck does. You’re not looking to mill or discard much with this deck, and blue has so many better card draw options. But, if you’re going for pure chaos with the will of the planeswalkers ability, then have at it! If you do, The Valeyard will give you the chance to put your thumb on the scale while voting.
If you’re going for pure flavor, the other versions of The Master are mostly in Dimir and Rakdos colors, so you could run them all here, in theory. Emphasis on theory; the synergy isn’t obvious, but if you’re into roleplaying the commander, you could have lots of fun with such a build.
Deadly Dispute | Illustration by Irina Nordsol
With this Missy deck, you should be all set to tell humankind to bring out their dead.
Doctor Who has brought along a bunch of new commanders for us to build around, and it’s neat that Wizards decided to tie this Universes Beyond product into the Planechase format. I don’t know if we’ll get any more Planechase support any time soon; the last time was March of the Machine, but that’s more natural given the story elements at play. In the meantime, we have Missy and a bunch of other timey-wimey stuff to keep us busy.
How would you build your Missy Commander deck? Which planes and phenomenon cards would you put into a planar deck built just for Missy? And what do you think about playing Planechase in Commander games? Let me know in the comments below, or planeswalk over to the Draftsim Discord!
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