For three mana, a 3/2 with first strike isn't
bad at all. Really, any three-power, first
strike card is going to be pretty good, since
it's not often that there are a lot of
4-toughness creatures on the board. Red also has
plenty of cheap ways to give a creature a power
boost at instant speed. The fact that she can
pull a smaller creature back out of the 'yard
every time she attacks is a strong ability as
well, since it gives your monored aggro deck a
way to gain card advantage without having to
draw cards. Alesha could easily be the flagstone
of a solid Mardu aggro deck, ensuring you always
have a force to attack with.
Alesha's mechanical design is an interesting one
that we've seen a few times down the years, but
never on a mono-red card. Granted, it requires
white or black mana, and I think she counts as a
red-black-white card for Commander, but the fact
is that dual lands easily let you use her in a
deck with no other white or black cards. The
fact that there's no shortage of viable targets
in red or white or black leads me to think that
in the right context, she could easily become a
new, even more aggressive version of Reveillark.
Even making other cheap Mardu warriors
essentially unkillable is kind of scary.
Today's card of the day is Alesha, Who Smiles
at Death which is a three mana Red 3/2 Legendary
with First Strike and whenever it attacks you
may pay two White or Black to return target
creature with power two or less from your
graveyard into play tapped and attacking.
This is a fantastic card for Boros, Rakdos, or
Mardu aggro decks and there is no shortage of
creatures in Standard or Modern to target with
the effect. The mana base has to skew more
White or Black instead of Red to reliably
activate the effect on turn four for the attack,
though that is the most notable drawback.
Overall this will see play in decks that can
take advantage of the effect and has quite a bit
of potential in Commander and Casual for
combining with low power evasive or effect based
In Limited this is a solid card for a first pick
in Booster even if the effect is ignored as a
three mana 3/2 with First Strike is very strong
in the format. Drafting into White or
Black to use the effect is a beneficial strategy
for the card advantage and actually removing
Alesha in combat should be somewhat difficult
for an opponent. For Sealed this can be
splashed if White or Black are going to be the
primary color or just played if Red is being
used as it works well either way.
I can see Alesha being a big help to aggressive
Mardu strategies. The biggest problem they have
can often be stalling out in the mid/late game.
Alesha can come out at restock the battlefield.
The 3 power first strike helps her survive
combat, but she's still small enough where it's
certainly no given.
In limited, this is a complete bomb as any kind
of chance to re-use cards is a huge benefit, and
there are fewer big creatures that can beat her