The Spirit of EDH – Prossh, Skyraider of Value

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Hello everyone! I’m Literally a Ghost That Pushes Over Candles and welcome back to The Spirit of EDH. This week we’re going back towards valuetown with a deck looking mostly to compound its resources until a critical mass allows you to end the game any number of ways, custom fit to your playgroup. We’re talking about the infamous Prossh, Skyraider of Kher and his horde of Kobold worshippers. As always, before I break down the deck further and discuss the choices I’ve made and glaringly not made, let’s take a look at the decklist:

Commander
1 x Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Creatures (24)
1 x Viscera Seer
1 x Blood Artist
1 x Dark-Dweller Oracle
1 x Elder of Laurels
1 x Eternal Witness
1 x Hanweir Garrison
1 x Ophiomancer
1 x Plaguecrafter
1 x Quagmire Druid
1 x Stronghold Assassin
1 x Beast Whisperer
1 x Meren of Clan Nel Toth
1 x Pitiless Plunderer
1 x Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 x Sengir Autocrat
1 x Smothering Abomination
1 x Mitotic Slime
1 x Nesting Dragon
1 x Tendershoot Dryad
1 x Demon of Dark Schemes
1 x Dragon Broodmother
1 x Izoni, Thousand-Eyed
1 x Avenger of Zendikar

Planeswalkers (6)
1 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 x Garruk Relentless
1 x Vraska, Golgari Queen
1 x Xenagos, the Reveler
1 x Vraska, Relic Seeker
1 x Garruk, Apex Predator
Spells (30)
1 x Release the Gremlins
1 x Skullclamp
1 x Artifact Mutation
1 x Cryptolith Rite
1 x Golgari Signet
1 x Hull Breach
1 x Rakdos Signet
1 x Sylvan Library
1 x Beast Within
1 x Chord of Calling
1 x Commander's Sphere
1 x Cultivate
1 x Fecundity
1 x Growing Rites of Itlimoc
1 x Indomitable Creativity
1 x Kodama's Reach
1 x Phyrexian Arena
1 x Showstopper
1 x Sundering Vitae
1 x Reincarnation
1 x Aetherworks Marvel
1 x Deathreap Ritual
1 x Fresh Meat
1 x Harmonize
1 x Pattern of Rebirth
1 x Reality Scramble
1 x Rite of Belzenlok
1 x Eldrazi Monument
1 x Eliminate the Competition
1 x Status // Statue
1 x Praetor's Counsel
Lands (39)
1 x Blood Crypt
1 x Bloodstained Mire
1 x Command Tower
1 x Dragonskull Summit
1 x Fire-Lit Thicket
5 x Forest
1 x Golgari Rot Farm
1 x Graven Cairns
1 x Grim Backwoods
1 x Gruul Turf
1 x Hanweir Battlements
1 x High Market
1 x Kher Keep
1 x Luxury Suite
5 x Mountain
1 x Opal Palace
1 x Overgrown TOmb
1 x Phyrexian Tower
1 x Rakdos Carnarium
1 x Rootbound Crag
1 x Savage Lands
1 x Stomping Grounds
4 x Swamp
1 x Temple of Abandon
1 x Temple of Malady
1 x Twilight MIre
1 x Westvale Abbey
1 x Woodland Cemetery

His Mighty Overlordship

“When you cast Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, create X 0/1 Kobold creature tokens named Kobolds of Kher Keep, where X is the amount of mana spent to cast Prossh.”

Prossh, despite demanding subjugation and tributes, is most desirable as a commander for his ability to consistently make tokens. The first time he’s cast, you earn yourself a half-dozen disposable creatures, increasing each time you need to recast him from your command zone. The command tax might increase his cost, but it also increases the number of tokens he generates. As with a lot of commander decks, we’re built to take advantage of the fact that we will always have access to this source of creatures. Even counterspells won’t stop the Kobolds from arriving via this cast trigger!

“Sacrifice another creature: Prossh gets +1/+0 until end of turn.”

One of the reasons Prossh is so dangerous is his ability to kill someone in a single attack. Twenty-one points of commander damage are all it takes to knock someone out of the game, which equates to sixteen creatures plus Prossh’s base power 5 if you’ve got no other source of power. Considering how easy it is to generate power just by casting Prossh, as well as accounting for any other sources of power, the threat he presents is a very real one.
A deck built around Prossh seeks to take advantage of one, or both of these abilities. In our case, we seek to take advantage fully of his ability: A consistant source of bodies to make use of. They’ll fall into categories of token generation, sacrifice benefits and go-wide strategies, which work synergistically similar to Ghave, Guru of Spores.

Offer Your Subservience to Prossh!

1 x Hanweir Garrison
1 x Ophiomancer
1 x Sengir Autocrat
1 x Mitotic Slime
1 x Nesting Dragon
1 x Tendershoot Dryad
1 x Dragon Broodmother
1 x Izoni, Thousand-Eyed
1 x Avenger of Zendikar
1 x Release the Gremlins
1 x Artifact Mutation
1 x Rite of Belzenlok

1 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 x Garruk Relentless
1 x Xenagos, the Reveler
1 x Vraska, Relic Seeker
1 x Garruk, Apex Predator

1 x Kher Keep

Ophiomancer and Tendershoot Dryad – Both of these cards have similar strengths and those strengths should not be understated. Ophiomancer is a card that can be underestimated but if you can make use of sacrificing a creature on each persons upkeep, then you have a steady access to bodies. Tendershoot Dryad, meanwhile, is two mana more but you get to keep stacking up on those bodies. In both cases, you have a stream of tokens to make use of in one way or another.

Mitotic Slime – One body makes two bodies makes four bodies for seven in total. Mitotic Slime is a great card to have access to, both as an annoying blocker and a great source of additional tokens. Other cards of a similar cost, like even Tendershoot Dryad, can produce this many bodies, but none so consistently.

Nesting Dragon – A landfall card that makes bodies isn’t inherently good for our strategy, which is why we’re not running Rampaging Baloths. However, the eggs that Nesting Dragon lays turn into dragons by dying, as that’s the closest approximation to hatching in game terms. What this means is each token is two tokens, for use of sacrificing, as well as wrath protection.

Release the Gremlins and Artifact Mutation – Sometimes, for a deck to be synergistic, you need to make sure even your utility cards add to your central plan. For this reason, our By Force is more expensive to allow us to make tokens at the same time, and our Shatter spawns a bunch of Saprolings.

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Garruk Relentless, Xenagos, the Reveler, Vraska, Relic Seeker, Garruk, Apex Predator – In the same way that our deck is built to take advantage of the consistency of our commander, all of these planeswalkers create tokens as one of their non-minus abilities. Similar to an enchantment like Awakening Zone but with more utility in their other abilities. Nissa can pump our team with counters, Garruk (once transformed) can Survival of the Fittest a creature from our board, Xenagos makes a ton of mana, Vraksa acts as removal and Garruk is removal as well. Of course, our number of bodies makes it a lot easier to protect them and get them to the ultimate.

Offer Your Body to Prossh!

1 x Viscera Seer
1 x Blood Artist
1 x Dark-Dweller Oracle
1 x Plaguecrafter
1 x Quagmire Druid
1 x Stronghold Assassin
1 x Meren of Clan Nel Toth
1 x Pitiless Plunderer
1 x Smothering Abomination
1 x Demon of Dark Schemes
1 x Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

1 x Grim Backwoods
1 x High Market
1 x Phyrexian Tower
1 x Westvale Abbey
1 x Skullclamp
1 x Fecundity
1 x Indomitable Creativity
1 x Showstopper
1 x Reincarnation
1 x Aetherworks Marvel
1 x Deathreap Ritual
1 x Fresh Meat
1 x Pattern of Rebirth
1 x Reality Scramble
1 x Eldrazi Monument
1 x Eliminate the Competition

1 x Garruk Relentless
1 x Vraska, Golgari Queen

Viscera Seer, Dark-Dweller Oracle, Stronghold Assassin and Izoni, Thousand-Eyed – Our commander isn’t invulnerable. Prossh will die and our opponents will do their best to keep him gone. For this reason, we can’t count on always having access to him as a repeatable sacrifice outlet. In his place, we have this assortment of cards. Viscera Seer is free, Dusk-Dweller Oracle grants us card advantage, Stronghold Assassin acts as repeatable removal and Izoni is expensive but consistent card advantage. Between these four repeatable abilities, plus some slower ones, we will always have access to a sacrifice outlet.

Quagmire Druid – While we do already have some token-making artifact removal, Quagmire Druid takes care of our enchantment removal in a repeatable way. While this slimy druid does require a body to make his magic work, he will take care of any enchantment problem we might have.

Demon of Dark Schemes and Aetherworks Marvel – These two cards are mostly self contained, so you don’t need to worry about a realistic energy economy. They work nearly the same as using charge counters, with two exceptions: If you get both, they work together and if one is destroyed and you get it back you retain the counters you already earned. Both of these cards generate energy whenever a creature of ours dies, though the Demon counts all creatures and Aetherworks counts any of our permanents. What this comes out to is the Demon is a powerful reanimation source and Aetherworks Marvel is an insane value generator.

Fecundity and Deathreap Ritual – Card advantage engines in their own right, both of them draw you cards for the death of your creatures. Fecundity affects everyone, even though you’ll be able to make better use of it than your opponents, and Deathreap Ritual only works once per turn. However, the consistent advantage these cards offer will set you miles ahead of your opponents, or catch you up in an instant. Even one cast of Prossh can equate to a full new grip.

Reality Scramble – This card serves two purposes. On one hand, you can use it to turn a token into a real card from your deck, be it a Kobold into Meren of Clan Nel Toth or a Treasure into Eldrazi Monument. On another hand, it can turn your late land drops into real spells, with the strong Retrace ability. What this means is you’re never in a bad topdeck mode, so long as you have something to Scramble!

High Market and Phyrexian Tower – Our sacrifice outlets are important, so it’s necessary to have ones that are harder to remove. Both these lands act as sacrifice outlets that are much harder to remove than normal sacrifice outlets. High Market is nearly costless but offers little in return for a sacrifice, whereas Phyrexian Tower can act as powerful ramp if you’re in the situation to use both of them. Turning Kobolds of Kher Keep into a weird Rite of Flame can skip you ahead a full turn of land drops.

Go Forth For Your Overlordship!

1 x Elder of Laurels
1 x Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 x Cryptolith Rite
1 x Chord of Calling
1 x Growing Rites of Itlimoc
1 x Sundering Vitae
1 x Eldrazi Monument

1 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar

Elder of Laurels – My decklist has a strong emphasis on the tokens side of Prossh, rather than his ability to instantly kill someone through commander damage. However, Elder of Laurels is a conceit that sometimes, someone simply needs to be knocked out of the game. This unassuming human will turn any one of your unblocked attackers into a lethal threat, if you have a wide enough board or enough mana.

Growing Rites of Itlimoc – A three-mana impluse isn’t the type of effect I would rave over. However, with how many tokens we can create, transforming this enchantment is child’s play. There won’t be many times you’ll pass a turn after casting this and don’t immedietly flip it. On the reverse side is Gaea’s Cradle lookalike, in Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun. If there was ever a way to skyrocket your mana forward, this would be it.

Eldrazi Monument – A more traditional go-wide win condition, Eldrazi Monument grants +1/+1, flying and indestructible to your whole board. Storm Crow might not seem threatening, but when your commander summons six or more indestructible Storm Crows each turn? Then they seem a little more dangerous. The downside of this artifact is laughable. We must sacrifice a creature on our upkeep or lose control of the Monument, which is more of an upside than a cost for us!

The Spice Corner

Showstopper – Not a traditional removal spell, this card turns all of your creatures into a Shock-in-a-Bottle. What this means is, if someone tries to wrath away your small creatures with something like Golden Demise or similar, you can turn it against them and ping away their creatures. In addition, if you have a surplus of small bodies and a similar surplus of creatures you need dead, this card will solve those problems quickly. I’ve had this card be useful each time I’ve drawn it so far, so I would say its worked for me.

Eliminate the Competition – A five-mana Plague Wind isn’t something to scoff at, when that effect is usually 9 mana. What it does, require, is another surplus of expendable creatures. What this card can do, however, is quickly close out a game by turning your 0/1’s into a painful In Garruk’s Wake.

Hanweir, the Writing Township – Yes, I’ve put it into another of my decks. Yes, I have gotten Hanweir melded once, thank you very much. Hanweir Garrison creates tokens we can feed to Prossh, or other sacrifice outlets, and Hanweir Battlements can give Prossh haste, or one of our utility creatures like Strongh old Assassin or Quagmire Druid. But besides all that, Hanweir, the Writhing Township is my second favorite “Card” in all of Magic, second only to my namesake in Topplegeist.

Other Considerations

There are two things I want to talk about if you’re looking to change the deck around. The first would be the elephant in the room that I have yet to discuss: Food Chain. An infinite combo with only your commander, Food Chain allows you to exile a creature to get its cost plus one back in mana to spend on only creatures. What this means is your first cast of Prossh allows you to exile him for 7 mana and each of his six tokens for 6 more mana, a total of 13. Spending 8 of that still nets us a gain which therefore means we can do this for as many tokens or mana as we wish. Finding a way to win from there is either a way to give Prossh haste, to instantly kill someone, or using our infinite creature mana in another way. In additon, Prossh allows us access to Squee, the Immortal and Eternal Scourge, two other creatures that combo infinitely with Food Chain.

Cards like Gobling Bushwaker, Chancellor of the Forge, Purphoros, God of the Forge all end the game the turn you assemble the combo. Mix in some tutors like Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor and Diabolic Intent and you’ve got a powerful deck. Now, cEDH isn’t my bag and my guess is the people reading my articles aren’t too interested in playing these types of tuned decks either. If you are, however, then I would suggest finding a cEDH authority to find a finely tuned Food Chain Prossh deck.

The other consideration, of course, is killing with Prossh. Adding in more cards that allow this type of victory without rebuilding the deck isn’t difficult. Cards like Boltwing Marauder and Xenagos, God of Revels, plus any equipment you might want to use, help make Prossh much bigger, much faster. Combine those with Madrush Cyclops or Fires of Yavimaya to give him haste and you’ll be OTK’ing your opponents in no time!

Parting Thoughts

Prossh can be a very scary commander to face down, so don’t be surprised if he bites the dust each time you cast him. What this means for you, however, is that your opponent is often focusing their attention in the wrong direction. The value you accumulate with your stacking aristocrats-like pieces will pull you ahead of your opponents before they realize the real threat was never Prossh: It was his minions.

So tell me, what did you think? Did I offer information you thought was helpful, raise some insights you might not have thought of, miss stuff you thought I should mention, or any other thoughts I didn’t call out? Leave a comment below to let me know, or you can haunt me directly on Twitter (@FrigglishTGhost) or spook my email (AMillionDifferentColors@Gmail.com).
Make sure you join me next week, where I’ll be talking about Knights and Dragons tribal! Yes, a mix of both tribes in one deck with Sylvia Brightspear and Korvath Brightflame!

Until then, may the Spirit of EDH possess you with creativity.
— Literally a Ghost that Pushes Over Candles

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