This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Let's Kill

598462_4152858385486_1784579768_n Hey, I’m back after a short break to bring you more “Let’s Kill” content here on Commandercast.com. I’m planning on writing this series every other week so be sure to check back later to read more. This week I’m going to look at a midrange variant of Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, Green Prossh. Please criticiize/comment below with what you think. I’m trying to make this series the best it can possible be.

When I picture a good game of Commander I often think of a chaotic game of Super Smash bros. Items are being thrown, Smash attacks are taking out multiple opponents, and that guy who has one life left grabs the smash ball to make a come back. Green Prossh is a deck that is trying to land lots of various smash attacks and occasionally edge guard opponents from being able to stabilize.

There are three main archtypes of Prossh that I have identified while playing and observing others play. There’s combo which consists of food chain and other jund goodstuff cards stacked together. Control decks can run numerous variants of Gravepact to grind creature decks to a halt and pack a punch with a host of permanent denying effects that have a nostalgic lure similar of Karador, Ghost Chieftain.

Green Prossh is the aggro midrange variant looking to maximize its ability to deploy threats and be consistent while at the same time fighting away other players’ attempts of comboing off. Let’s take a look.

Dem Ratios

This deck archtype focuses on a ratio of support cards, threats, and ramp that allow the deck to have consistent opening hands and draws. This means that I choose to run no tutors so that I can maximize each category and gain an advantage in the number of threats I can draw any given game. Right now I run roughly a 33:22:22:22 split of Lands, threats, support cards, and ramp.

Da Manabase

Let’s Stress basics. We want every land we play to come into play untapped so we can ramp as much as possible and play our threats right out of the gate. Not only does this increase the speed of which we can play Prossh but also how much we expose ourselves to land destruction and various anti nonbasic land effects like back to basics. It also allows green ramp cards to function late in the game. If you cast rampant growth late in the game with a dedicated nonbasic manabase with lots of fancy lands you might not be able to find another land. It can get seriously awkward with Boundless Realms.

The Green from Green Prossh comes from its reliance on green. It runs lots of forests so it can reliably cultivate into red and black where needed. A Volrath’s Stronghold or a winding canyons would be good, but stay away as nonbasics as much as possible. Stick to a few duals, shocks, filters and thats all you should need. This is especially true if you are running mana dorks or rocks that also have the ability to produce colors. Note: don’t ever accept a tempting offer from a Prossh player running Tempt with discovery. It will always lead to bad things.

Dat Prossh

You want a ambitious manabase so that you can deploy your threats earlier. In the late game mana can be just as important in either depending how much genesis wave is valued or how many threats you can dump after a huge draw off of life’s legacy. Thankfully the more you ramp the easier it is to ramp then cast spells that support Prossh’s abilities. Let’s Take a look at Prossh:

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He makes dudes which scale in number as his cost increases. He’s a formidable 5/5 flier who can sometimes eat guys and fly over to finish someone off with 21 commander damage. Prossh’s true ability is to offer his pilot an additional resource: Kobolds. They can be used to feed Prossh, make mana, thrown at players or creatures, block, or swing in with the team. Throwing them away uselessly means you might get attacked for lethal when you could have chumped blocked. Blocking the first attacker coming at you might let greater threats through. Playing this deck revolves alot around using your Kobolds wisely; it can make or break your games.

Support Da Dragon

Beyond Xenagos, God of Revels there are lots of interesting support cards that allow you to use Prossh and his kobolds to good use.

There always seems to be a Purphoros, God of the Forge lurking around the corner in a Prossh deck but there are other enchantments that are just as enabling as the red god himself. Goblin bombardment seems to be one of the strongest because it can both stop people from winning the game through creature based combo and close out the game by dealing direct damage. Kyren Negotiations is another card that leverages your Kobold resource. I always like to imagine my army of Kobolds with blowdarts harassing my opponent while I sit back on defense. Note how you can tap creatures who are summoning sick to use the enchantment’s ability.

Phyrexian Plaguelord and Rage Thrower are ways we can use our Kobolds that I don’t see other Prossh decks using. Rage thrower can end games on its own and the Plaguelord adds another element of control while being both a sac outlet and a 4/4 beater. Note how as the game goes longer and Prossh has more mana available thanks to his dedicated ramp strategy these cards get better. The more mana you have the more tokens you can flood the board and feed to these guys.

Planeswalkers are actually some of the best support options I think Prossh has to offer. Walkers like Xenagos, The Reveler can propel you to enormous amounts of mana with a mini genesis wave ult to boot. Most of the Garruks are good and the new M14/M15 Chandra, Pyromaster might be playable with her +0 ability to propel you into the late game.

Prossh has actually given me the most pleasure with playing with planeswalkers in EDH. Because he is a 5/5 fatty flier he can defend them from air attackers and scare off minor raids by other creatures. The Kobolds make attacking into Prossh a mess and can make sure a planeswalker gets to activate a few times. Usually planeswalkers get stomped on right after you play them but Prossh can defy this rule.

My current favorite support card is Whip of Erebos. I like it because it works on two different metrics of a game of EDH. It lets Prossh sustain his life total to leverage cards like Erebos, God of the dead and Sylvan Library. Aggro usually can’t keep up with you after you gain hordes of life. The artifact enchantment also lets you bring back guys from your graveyard for a turn with haste. Because it works on two different metrics it is hard to deny the value of this card in a game. Rest in peace only turns off half the card. My previous favorite was skullclamp because drawing cards is fun but the new theros artifact enchantment is just oh so sexy.

Mechanically speaking Birthing pod is probably the deadliest card in the deck. After creatures with enter the battlefield clauses have had their fun they can be saced away to find new creatures. Prossh’s 6 mana cost is actually really relevant because it allows us to find Chancellor of the forge or Avenger of Zendikar and then the next turn get the infamous Craterhoof Behemoth. Hoof there it is. Don’t be afraid to eat away Prossh because secretly its what the deck wants. Recasting Prossh does give you more Kobolds which give more opportunities for Prossh to be larger.

Dem Six Drop Boyz

Using a ramp deck allows us to get our threats quickly. I focused on the 6 slot specifically for this deck so that I could aim to get a powerful card out quickly after casting Prossh. Once my threat is deployed I can add support cards and ramp to accelerate my mana count. The farther above 6 my mana count goes the more I can cast Prossh/threats and add support cards alongside them. Once I hit 12 available mana I can deploy multiple big threats in a single turn.

Lurking Predators is a card that both leverages its type and cheating things into play. It creates creatures for you for free just as long as your opponents are casting spells. Yet it requires enchantment removal to get rid of. The longevity and ability to force threats through makes this card criminally underplayed.

I’ve chosen to play Ob Nixilis, Unshackled in my build and he is underwhelming. People usually see him as an extreme threat and I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. His mana cost makes him awkward to cast early enough to punish other players for ramping or searching, and he usually eats a removal spell right after he comes out. Honestly I think his best ability is his ability to grow. Lots of creatures die in EDH, especially if you are playing Prossh. The Unshackled can balloon into a giant fatty that can fly over and trample through blockers to victory.

Nacatl War-Pride is a ace in the hole. If you are in a creature meta he is a must. Being able to charge into an opponent’s army and create lots of cats and then sac them after combat to your support cards feels really good. Note that you can attack a token player with the War-pride and then declare all the tokens as attacking another player.

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed and Bane of Progress are bullet hate cards. They crush the matchups they are good against and usually only deal minimal damage to your own strategy.

Sire of Insanity and his little brother Mindslicer do a good job of ending the game if you are ahead on board. Prossh isn’t a deck you want to stage a topdeck war against. They can also be good dummies to soak up removal if you think your opponents are saving it for your real threats.

Dragonlair Spider and Ogre Slumlord, even though he isn’t a 6 drop, serve as token mamas. They might not be as quick or streamlined as Avenger of Zendikar or Chancellor of the Forge but if the game stalls then they will produce a higher yield of tokens and you can just bash in with a lot of 1/1 spider and rats which want to get their death touch teeth into your opponents blockers. Beyond making lots of creatures the tokens can also be used to fuel Prossh or lots of the support cards like Sadistic Hypnotist.

Special Baddies

Other baddies that I think deserve a special spot are Olivia Voldaren and Kaervek the Merciless. Normally Olivia suffers from not having enough mana to use her abilities but the amount of green and ramp in this deck lets her machine gun people down and steal cool stuff easily. Kaervek is nice because his ability only relies on fuel from your opponents. Sometimes I use him to snipe lots of creatures. Other times I just pick out the biggest threat at the table and deal all the damage to his/her face. I like both these cards because they can serve both a controlling and aggressive role where I need them to.

As an extra kicker I run Death Cloud. It is kind of like Genesis wave but on a different metric. Basically you play Death Cloud when you are ahead with creatures and play it for enough X value to waste all the lands in the game. This usually leaves a few big creatures intact on your side of the board after all the tokens sac themselves to Death Cloud.

Grave Titan?

I used to love Grave Titan, but honestly I think he has lost his luster. I think people overvalue his ability to make little 2/2s and kill him even when there are greater threats on the board. Soul of Innistrad might be better than him because of his ability to recycle creatures from the graveyard. They both have the same P/T stats but while Grave titan creates immediate effect I think in a war of attrition Innistrad should win.

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Let’s Kill Prossh

The most difficult part of fighting this deck is that silver bullet cards don’t work against it. The threats and support cards all vary in type and what elements they rely on. Some rely on Kobolds, others are immune to destruction (the theros gods) and some have to be interacted with on the stack like Death Cloud or Life’s Legacy. Cards like Goblin Bombardment make it so Prossh can win the game without ever attacking. This flexibility means that a Green Prossh deck almost always has a way to play the game.

From a control perspective you are not going to be able to stop Prossh forever but you can slow it down and make it stumble. Countering ramp isn’t unreasonable. The deck relies so heavily on ramp to find its colors and accelerate its resource count. Going 1 for 1 with removal is OK against Prossh but there comes a point where Prossh can accelerate its card draw or ability to deploy threats at a faster rate and that’s where removal starts to become irrelevant. Removal is already bad enough against enter the battlefield creatures.

Knowing when to pull the trigger against Prossh is difficult but not impossible. Try to cripple Prossh’s ability to leverage early game mana or card draw against you. If you can do that and then capitalize with your own resources you can set up to win the game before Prossh can rebuild. Hinderseems good to put the Prossh deck off its base resource of Kobolds, but it really doesn’t matter that much. The deck can function without Prossh and even if you do counter Prossh your opponent still gets Kobolds.

If your playing aggro things are much worse. I think you’d be better off improving your deck than trying to run removal to deal with Prossh’s threats. Racing becomes difficult after Prossh is cast because it litters the attack lane with blockers. Perhaps trying to leverage indirect damage through guys like Purphoros, God of the Forge would work.

Combo decks should steer clear of trying to dilute their decks to fight Green Prossh. They should focus on racing and trying to win the game before the Prossh Deck can find an interactive card that stops their combo.

By Color

By color blue is oddly the worst color to be playing against Prossh. Going 1 for 1 with counterspells isn’t efficient and leaves you open to other player’s threats. I think blue is put in the scenario of the control player as stated above; you have to counter a big backbreaking spell then try to race to capitalize to victory.

White is so-so. All its hatebears don’t have enough spread to efficiently negate the large size of the threats Prossh can deploy. Even if you turn off the creatures they are still big and can smack you. The only hate card that I think can make Prossh stutter is Suppression Field because it turns off Prossh and stops sac outlets from being efficient.

Green and Red is a straight up race. None of their removal is efficient enough. I can picture Burning-Tree Shaman dealing lots of damage to Prossh.

Black probably has the best game against Prossh because it can be fast, tutor for what it needs and then close out with a huge spell or combo.

Summary

Green Prossh is a ramp deck trying to leverage tokens and mana against opponents.  As the game goes longer Prossh can more easily capitalize with threats that are both proactive and interactive. The threats are varied so it is harder to punish a Prossh deck for overextending into any category. While slowing down Prossh is nice, you have to kill the Prossh player to know your safe.You are probably better off racing Prossh than you are being reactive towards Prossh.

Comments below. Tweet me if you want a specific commander done for a future Let’s Kill and I will consider it. Remember I am doing these every other week  so be sure to check back soon. Thanks for reading!

@HayesTheHayes

Hayesthehayes@gmail.com

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