11053256_10206508757343415_3155709458365301609_n Hey again! Hayes The Hayes back again with another edition of “Let’s Kill”, where we explore a specific legendary creature and the archtype(s) they command. We’ll take a look at the core of the archtype, why it is or isn’t impactful against other archtypes, and other specific tricks or sequences critical to the archtype that will give you deeper insights. This article series is built to support people who want to learn more about a archtype so they can play better with or against it.

This set of “Let’s Kill” articles will be special because there will be multiple written about Prossh. I’ve found that there are so many ways to build and play Prossh that I’ve decided to dedicate multiple articles to him. You can find the links to the other Prossh articles right below the picture of Prossh. Each one is dedicated to a different archtype that Prossh can fulfill.

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Now Let’s Kill Prossh, Skyraider of Kher!

(Midrange)

Prossh is one of the commanders who came out of the Commander 2013 product series. He’s powerful because he gives players access to three colors to pull cards from and has an ability that triggers on cast. To boot the commander itself is a sizeable 5/5 flier that can sacrifice his tokens to himself to make Commander damage kills much more possible. We’ll check out the core of the midrange deck and how it plays into the strategy of Prossh. Then I’ll give you my perspective on the best ways to combat the Midrange Prossh deck and how Prossh players can prepare for possible counter-setups.

Here’s the core of the deck:

Main Strategy:

The goal of Prossh Midrange is to either attrition the rest of the table by being more mana efficient or to attack for lethal with either Prossh or the other creatures in the deck. Part of the reason this deck is solid is because it is really good at dodging sweepers. It is difficult to rely on only one type of permanent while piloting this deck and because of this the only mass removal spells that actually matter to us are the ones that say: destroy all nonland permanents. If your opponents are trading one for one with your threats this is OK: Prossh is really good at transitioning into the late game.

The deck’s topdecking ability is super strong and beyond the ramp spells all the other cards in the deck can be used to push through damage or block someone else’s strategy. In addition to being good at trading resources, Prossh is also capable of threatening fast kills if you have certain starting hands armed with mana acceleration. Let’s take a look at a few of the key players from each category. I won’t explain each one described in my shell of the deck but if you want to inquire on specific choices feel free to reach me through my contact info (twitter, @hayesthehayes).

Creatures:

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Casting this guy often feels feeding Lebron James an alley oop slam deck. He’s best if you can quickly ramp into him, but he also has implications in the mid/late game. He decapitates blue decks and his triggered ability can close the game out by himself if you are ahead on board.

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Zap. Zap Zap. Whenever your opponents cast spells you get to snipe their relevant creatures or take the damage to their face. Great at picking apart decks that rely on synergy.

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Our silver bullets against decks that rely heavily on one strategy. Bane destroys artifacts and enchantments. Ruric Thar punishes the spellslinger decks. Olivia Voldaren wrecks voltron strategies or decks that rely on a fist full of huge creatures. Note that these creature’s power and toughness can be very relevant if the game stalls and we are forced to attack/block.

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This guy gets his own spot because he is the best removal in the deck besides Goblin Bombardment. You make enough tokens in this deck that he can -1/-1 the biggest threats and his secondary feature as a sac outlet can lead to you being able to recast Prossh over and over.

Sorceries:

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The best ramp card in our deck. If nobody says yes we can fetch Gaea’s Cradle. If everyone says yes we can get Cradle, Wolf Run, and others to possibly kill someone that same turn.

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In the super early game these can fetch ramp creatures or in the mid game they can fetch us hate cards (Bane of Progress, Ruric Thar) and threaten to end the game (Craterhoof Behemoth).

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This card is devestating to almost all decks. Against the tribal/aggro decks it decimates their creatures. Against the non-creature decks/blue decks it strangles their mana base. If you have a starting hand with ramp in it you can make having everyone sac 4 lands beneficial to you instead of symmetrical. This effect is also good if you have a planeswalker or two because they generally favor games that are prolonged.

Instants:

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The only instant in the deck. Ta-da! It gets creatures, it is good because it can be reactive or proactive. Also note that you can tap your swarms of tokens/kobolds in order to help pay for X.

Planeswalkers:

Note: Planeswalkers in this deck are surprisingly good because they dodge a lot of forms of mass removal and because Prossh makes tons of kobolds it can be modestly easy to defend your planeswalkers to eventually threaten an emblem ability.

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Domri Rade

He’s good at going +1 to possibly draw you a card, but he’s really in the deck to use his fight ability aggressively and to potentially threaten his ultimate in longer games. He has cute synergy with Liliana Vess (-2 Lili, then +1 domri to get a creature right to your hand) or with Sarkhan Vol (Steal someone’s creature, have it trade in a fight with another creature).

Sarkhan Vol

I think people don’t normally respect this card but in this deck he plays the role of a haste enabler while at the same time adding exponential value to the swarms of tokens he can make.

Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury

Hey, let’s make some mana dorks! Or if we don’t care about that we get to randomly destroy someone’s utility artifact/enchantment. Kind of similar with Domri Rade, don’t be afraid to take her to a low loyalty in order to destroy crucial enemy permanents.

Xenagos, The reveler

The second Gaea’s Cradle, except that it can also create red mana. I would argue that this card is the best planeswalker available to the Jund family of decks.

Artifacts:

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This card is critical because sometimes we have to gain life in order to race aggro decks, but also because it lets us recur our threats. Note how with Prossh you can play your threat (say, Craterhoof Behemoth), sac it to Prossh, then target it with Whip of Erebos to get it into play again that same turn. This card has a great clash pack promo that is foil.

Skullclamp

You have kolbods. They are willing to die for you! Draw some cards.

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Birthing Pod is normally classified as a classic “good stuff” card, but in this deck it has interesting implications. Because Prossh has a converted mana cost of 6 we have a reliable way to search for 7 cmc creatures, namely Avenger of Zendikar and Chancellor of the forge. These let us develop our field and create a swarm of creatures. If our opponent doesn’t interact with us we can untap and search for Craterhoof Behemoth (7 cmc to 8 cmc) and decimate everyone.

Pod is also good at taking creatures who have already served their purpose and transforming them into useful creatures. But you already knew that.

Enchantments:

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This is one of the more feared enchantments in this deck. It makes the game inevitable and even his activated ability can end games if you have a swarm of creatures on the field.

Evolutionary Leap

This card is incredible, you should check it out if you haven’t seen it in action. Lord forbid if you are able to assemble this plus a Gaea’s Cradle. It’s usually better than skull clamp because you are guaranteed a creature from the kobold you are sacing. In addition to being a value engine it is a sac outlet that you can sac Prossh to.

Goblin Bombardment

This alongside Phyrexian Plaguelord are our main ways of interacting with our opponents while it is their turn. It lets us reset our Prossh and control the board while sometimes threatening lethal damage.

Lands:

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This card is legendary with good reason; in the single turn you play it you can ritual and chain into multiple other green spells for supreme value. The trick with playing this card is knowing when to reveal that you have it because once you show it you will be on everyone’s radar.

How to defeat Prossh

Prossh is really good at trading resources because in the late game his ability to make tokens on cast will bring a feeling of inevitability to your opponents. Like any inevitable commander, the only true way to defeat them is to kill them. Saying “I’ll deal with that problem later” doesn’t usually work against Prossh. When thinking about the Prossh midrange deck I think the best way to fight it is to be faster and more flexible. Part of Prossh’s game plan is to be unpredictable and cast strong spells at sorcery speed. Since Prossh doesn’t invest heavily into any one category of threat you can’t really hate out his threats. But if you are fast or nimble you can keep the Prossh player guessing as to what you’re going to do next and possibly kill them and/or the rest of the table before you yourself can be stopped. Cards to watch out for that are in the deck to specifically stop fast decks are Goblin Bombardment and Phyrexian Plaguelord.

Prossh is also non-interactive in the first few turns of the game and is really exposed to cards like Strip mine to take it off of green mana or a well timed counterspell to stop a ramp spell. If you are going to counter anything early in the game, it should be a Prossh ramp spell. While Prossh is totally capable of playing a fair game of magic his ramp spells allow for fast kills or ways to be more efficient later on in the game.

If you have a deck that tries to set up really early in the game Prossh is usually unable to disrupt it unless it has a ramp heavy starting hand that curves out into a punishing creature or sorcery.

Alternatively; because this type of Prossh build runs mainly sorcery speed effects you could choose to deploy all of your threats in one single turn and win the game before Prossh can interact with you.

The counter setup to the idea of racing against Prossh would be the Prossh player cutting late game cards like Ugin, The spirit Dragon and replacing them with stuff like Pyroclasm, Abrupt Decay or even Lightning Bolt.

Should Prossh be banned?

I personally don’t think that Prossh should be banned. While Prossh (the card itself) is hard to hate against the card does cost more mana to recast and in this version of Prossh the deck isn’t usually stopping you from playing the game. If your local playgroup is constantly getting crushed by Prossh it might be more of an issue of how your deck matches up to your opponents’ decks and perhaps you should scale down your deck to match their playstyle or let them know how to better combat Prossh.

There are tons of commanders who can be built to be oppressive and offensive and Prossh can for sure be played that way. Does that mean that Prossh is for some reason a special snowflake in this pile of “tier 1” commanders? I don’t think so. I actually kind of like commanders who have an inevitable feeling to them; I don’t like games that drag on forever and want games to end before I start feeling salty.

 

That wraps up this issue of “let’s Kill”. Feel free to comment below with any criticisms or relevant stories about Prossh you wish to share. I can also be reached on twitter with the tag @hayesthehayes.