I’ve been trying to decide on a control deck for multiplayer EDH purposes. The theme would basically be preventing or punishing my opponents for doing things to me or my permanents while incentivizing them to harm each other via curses and things of that nature. I’ve had a few commanders in mind for it but it’s hard to pin one down because there’s things in different colors that are great.
Those two guides totally changed my view on control in Commander. A few takeaways in TL;DR form (But seriously read the guides)...
1. If you layer too much protection on yourself, you become "The Problem". Commander has evolved a lot since 2010 - no longer do people see someone throw up Ghostly Prison + Norn's Annex + Darien, King of Kjeldor+ Aurification and think "huh, better go elsewhere and leave this dude alone". They see all that and think "huh, I better dedicate every single resource in my arsenal to killing this guy and his stuff before the game becomes unwinnable". Nothing gets everyone's attention and suspicion faster (if they are smart, at least) than telling them "No, leave me alone" too much.
2. Political power in Magic doesn't come from "group hugging" effects like Gahiji, Honored One or Howling Mine. True political power is the ability to barter on command. That's the entire point of Dirk's Phelddagrif - you have the power to LITERALLY say "how many hippos do you need to attack someone else today?" instead of relying on the lame "but you get an extra card a turn from the Mine!!!". That's less present in the Marchesa list, but you can still see cards like Suspicious Bookcase and Duelist's Heritage, which can be used to bargain. More powerful, however, is the ability of these cards to equalize - to give "help" to a "weaker" player who is attacking the "Problem" players, contributing lethal damage and taking out threats to your own victory without actually doing any dirty work yourself.
3. Great control is having the ability to answer any threat with swift, instantaneous violence. Notice how both of those decks, rather than overrelying on walls and hugs for control, are loaded to the absolute gills with single-target or single-opponent removal. Playing STAX or Wrath of God just makes you the enemy of all fun and life - but being able to nuke every single useful card of the foe who refused to play nice makes you seem like you're just defending yourself and will teach your group to ignore your warnings at their peril.