Before I get to Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, who is incidentally a filthy, filthy general, I want to give an update on Derevi. After I wrote my article last week, I had some thoughts regarding the structure of that deck. By design, I am running almost zero mulldrifters in that deck, since I am focusing on tap abilities over come into play abilities. But tap abilities, at least EDH-playable ones, tend to drive a creature into the baneslayer class. And having a deck full of baneslayers is pretty fun. For me at least. It got kind of masturbatory, what with me turning every untap into more power or card advantage. The other night, Dana and I were playing her Sygg, River Cutthroat deck against Prossh and then Derevi. Prossh won, which was somewhat surprising, because Sygg is a super powerful deck. Derevi didn’t get a chance to win. After about 20 minutes Dana gave up in frustration. Words were exchanged. So let’s get back to focusing on Prossh.

Dana put it well: “Playing against Prossh is like playing against Valakut. There’s a lot of inevitability.” As it stands, Prossh does two things really well. First, he creates a lot of tokens in an uncounterable fashion that enter the battlefield at the same time. It’s a useful ability, and it makes cards like Champion of Lambholt and Beastmaster Ascension shine. Second, he provides your opponents with a potential clock. It doesn’t take many hits for him to kill your opponent; just three the first time you cast him, and he gets more lethal as the game goes on. Now, I tend to not be a huge fan of combat Commanders, so I decided to focus on turning the reliable flood of weak bodies into a fighting army of Kobolds of Kher Keep. This meant force multipliers, and luckily Jund has plenty of those. Here’s my list:

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Tokens: Army of the Damned; Avenger of Zendikar; Chancellor of the Forge; Dragon Broodmother; Dragonlair Spider; Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder; Mycoloth; Necrogenesis; Ophiomancer; Parallel Lives; Tempt with Vengeance

Force Multipliers: Beastmaster Ascension; Bow of Nylea; Champion of Lambholt; Contested War Zone; Curse of Predation; Elder of Laurels; Five-Alarm Fire; Gaea’s Anthem; Gruul War Chant; Hellrider; Hero of Oxid Ridge; Hit // Run; Instigator Gang // Wildblood Pack; Leyline of Vitality; Mikaeus, the Unhallowed; Moonveil Dragon; Necropolis Regent; Ogre Battledriver; Purphoros, God of the Forge; Sarkhan Vol; Spidersilk Armor; Whip of Erebos; Wild Beastmaster

Cards, Cards, Cards: Carnage Altar; Deadbridge Chant; Dragon Appeasement; Explosive Vegetation; Farseek; Fecundity; Perilous Forays; Phyrexian Vault; Rampant Growth; Ranger’s Path; Reaper of the Wilds; Rites of Flourishing; Sarkhan the Mad; Skullclamp; Sol Ring; Spoils of Victory; Untamed Wilds; Viscera Seer; Xenagos, the Reveler

Utilities: Blood Artist; Deathbringer Thoctar; Goblin Bombardment; Greater Gargadon; Nullmage Shepherd; Nylea, God of the Hunt; Quagmire Druid; Shattergang Brothers

Basic-Typed Lands: Blood Crypt; Dryad Arbor; Forest x4; Leechridden Swamp; Mountain x4; Overgrown Tomb; Sapseep Forest; Stomping Ground; Swamp x3

Fancy Lands: Command Tower; Darigaaz’s Caldera; Keldon Necropolis; Kher Keep; Kessig Wolf Run; Golgari Guildgate; Golgari Rot Farm; Great Furnace; Grim Backwoods; Gruul Guildgate; Gruul Turf; Opal Palace; Phyrexian Tower; Rakdos Carnarium; Rakdos Guildgate; Savage Lands; Skarrg, the Rage Pits; Temple of the False God; Thespian’s Stage; Tree of Tales; Vault of Whispers

I’d like to highlight some card choices and classifications before telling you how it plays. Bow of Nylea, Champion of Lambholt, and Whip of Erebos are all force multipliers in my mind not because they add any power or toughness to my army, but because of how they change combat. Whip of Erebos makes it harder to swing in on my army of tokens, because the toughness boost lets me mass block things more profitably (which is pretty sweet when it gains you a bunch of life in the process). Champion of Lambholt and Bow of Nylea are force multipliers because they make blocking hard, if not impossible. When a light breeze could take out the individual members of your team, it’s easy to get your army cherry picked to pieces. If they can’t be blocked, or if blocking would mean a trade, the math gets a lot better. Spidersilk Armor and Leyline of Vitality might seem odd, since my team is going to have higher toughness to start, but it makes swinging in to me an even more difficult proposition. Xenagos doesn’t look like he’s got the most synergy, but he provides an impressive amount of mana and lets me do things like cast Prossh and then follow up with Chancellor of the Forge. Sarkhan the Mad also doesn’t look relevant, but it’s a draw outlet that also can combo with Prossh to dome my opponent should I ever sac up his power. Prossh is a dragon, after all! And while some people would go all in on mulldrifter ramp, I decided to go for quality over bodies. Perilous Forays already makes me want to play basic-typed lands, so I may as well be playing all the ramp spells that can search out my duals and utilities in a pinch.

She plays like a dream, perhaps unsurprisingly. The Valakut comparison is so apt because you’re a midrange deck that doesn’t particularly need to play aggressively to win. You just survive, hanging out with a complicated board state, and eventually you cast your general. In one of the games, Dana Spell Crumpled Prossh the first time I cast him, but the card advantage from those six initial Kobolds of Kher Keep managed to get me there even without access to my commander. And in another game I won just by casting my general. Purphoros, God of the Forge domed Dana for 32 damage, since I cast Prossh for eight mana with Parallel Lives on the board.

Of course, the deck has some weaknesses. One of those games would have been solidly Dana’s had she survived to untap; cards like Massacre Wurm and Rakdos Charm are amazing when your opponent is intentionally playing out a swarm of practically useless tokens. There’s no good out to countermagic other than just playing through it, and your removal is limited to two sac outlets, a Bow, the Shattergang Brothers, and the Hit half of one of your force multipliers. Oh, and it’s weak to the skies as well. This last thing is something I am considering trying to fix via Spider Spawning, but there aren’t usually a ton of creatures in my graveyard when I’ve played it.

But all in all it’s a brutal deck. The whole flock of new commanders are more powerful than they look, and of them I still think Prossh might take the prize for most broken. Next week we’ll look at the main competition Prossh has in that title, as I’ll be running you through my take on Oloro, Ageless Ascetic. Suffice it to say, the deck is pretty good, and on theme. Most of these commanders would be great in any “good stuff” or control shells, but I find that playing to their particular nuances is more rewarding in the long run.

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