Raiding The Skies With Prossh, Skyraider of Kher (Deck Tech) – A Commander for Everyone by Paul Palmer
Whether you’re a Timmy, a Johnny or a Spike everyone loves the feeling of hitting their opponent in the face with big dudes. Some of the biggest of these are dragons. That’s where this deck’s general comes into play.
[draft]Prossh, Skyraider of Kher[/draft]
This deck is a personal project of mine. After my first article I made a deck with [card]Omnath, Locus of Rage[/card] as the general however I always felt like it was missing something and it needed some kind of development. I decided after some playtesting with the deck that it needed a little more power behind its general whilst also not needing to rely on the general for a win. The problem that the Omnath deck had was that if its general was dying a lot and if it was not constantly playing lands it ran out of gas very quickly. Luckily there are some commanders that benefit from being recast for more mana, which Prossh is one of.
Flight of the Valkyries
Every raid boss needs a crew and Prossh is no exception. First is one of those ”big dudes” I was talking about. [card]Dragonlord Atarka[/card] was the biggest card in Standard before [card]Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger[/card] showed his face. Atarka is used as a removal spell a lot of the time and this is no different in Commander, killing planeswalkers like [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card] or someone’s commander is very useful, put that on top of an 8/8 flying trample body and you have yourself a very powerful card.
The next in Prossh’s raid squad is [card]Butcher of Malakir[/card]. This card combines perfectly with the general’s ability to sacrifice your creatures, buffing your general and forcing your opponents to sacrifice their creatures is a powerful combination. The last two fill in much more of a support role. [card]Hornet Queen[/card] is a pseudo-removal spell, creating fodder to power-up Prossh and with deathtouch itself you can kill your opponents with your giant dragon and have a lethal blocker. [card]Pia and Kiran Nalaar[/card], or as I like to call them ‘Mum and Dad’, also bring in tokens for Prossh to eat or for them to shoot at your opponents to deal 2 damage, this can be used to mop up some of your opponents smaller, utility-based creatures or to hit them in the face.
Butcher of Malakir
Pia and Kiran Nalaar[/draft]
As I’ve mentioned in other articles I’ve written I love playing goblins. I’ve played a mono red [card]Krenko, Mob Boss[/card] commander deck before however he provides a very different role in this deck. Along with [card]Siege-Gang Commander[/card] and [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] Krenko can create excessively large numbers of goblins which then become literal [card]Dragon Fodder[/card] for Prossh.
As I mentioned above, this deck’s base was an old commander deck with [card]Omnath, Locus of Rage[/card] as its general. Omnath provides this deck with two very powerful tools, generation of powerful tokens which can be used with Prossh and a Lightning Bolt every time an Elemental dies, something easy to do with as many sacrifice outlets as this deck has. Another powerful card that works incredibly well with Prossh is [card]Grave Titan[/card]. A powerhouse by itself this card can take over games if left alone, with a general like Prossh this cards’ power level increases by providing tokens to increase the amount of commander damage you can dish out.
The last of the powerful token generators is [card]Avenger of Zendikar[/card], another card for creating a big enough snack for Prossh to be able to kill your opponents in one hit. One of the biggest elements of commander is ramping into the bigger and more powerful cards in your deck. This works in two ways with the Avenger, you can play it faster and you get more tokens.
[draft]Krenko, Mob Boss
Omnath, Locus of Rage
Avenger of Zendikar[/draft]
How to Win With Green Cards: A Guide for Dummies
Some of the strongest key words in Magic are those that give evasion – Flying, Intimidate, Landwalk, etc. Green isn’t well known for these keywords but it does get the next best thing, trample. The most powerful of these cards is [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card], a staple in all kinds of green decks, especially those that run a number of token generators as it increases the impact from the hoofs ETB effect. The next most impactful trample card that is included in this deck is [card]Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger[/card], a large 7/6 body that gives you more mana while messing with your opponents. This card will draw a lot of hate towards you almost definitely getting you killed. This can either win you the game or get you hated out and you probably won’t get to play it twice in the same playgroup. This third card epitomises Gruul very well. [card]Xenagos, God of Revel[/card] hits hard and fast doubling a creatures power and giving them trample to get them to make contact with your opponents much easier. Xenagos works perfectly with this decks general, his ability means that you only need to make Prossh into an 11 power creature to to kill an opponent in one hit.
The last of these creatures is [card]Vorapede[/card]. This card should almost always be considered a 6/5 creature thanks to its Undying ability in conjunction with the large number of sacrificing outlets in the deck. Another positive of this card is the fact that is has vigilance, it’s a strong beater that can then also be used to kill a lot of the more powerful creatures in the format on the defence.
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Xenagos, God of Revels
Filling in the Gaps
The last of these ‘Ground Support’ style cards fill in that ‘Support’ role, a bunch of utility creatures that fill in the gaps that the green core of this deck lacks. This section starts with removal, [card]Acidic Slime[/card] and [card]Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre[/card], these two are replacements for the lack of spot removal that this deck has. [card]Acidic Slime[/card] is enchantment and artifact removal on a body that can kill any size of creature with deathtouch while Ulamog can destroy any permanent when cast was well as being a 10/10 creature with Annihilator, a powerful mechanic that closes games out very quickly.
Another utility creature also fits into this removal section but has a second use, reanimation. [card]Sheoldred, Whispering One[/card] is one of the Praetors with power comparable to the others of her creature type ([card]Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur[/card] and [card]Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite[/card]), this card is so powerful in this deck thanks to the number of enter the battlefield effects such as [card]Grave Titan[/card] and [card]Avenger of Zendikar[/card].
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Sheoldred, Whispering One[/draft]
Finding Your Win
There are lots of ways to find your win conditions, from single-mana cantrips like [card]Brainstorm[/card] and [card]Ponder[/card] to the game winning draws that cards like [card]Enter the Infinite[/card] provide. The decks takes a couple of different routes to finding its win cards. The first of these is by drawing a bunch of cards. Thanks to the fact that none of the colours in [card]Prossh, Skyraider of Kher[/card]’s colour identity are blue there are none of the strong cantrips, instead the card drawing is much more reliant on permanents; enchantments and artifacts.
[card]Skullclamp[/card] is one of my favourite cards, it generates a ton of value off of the game’s smaller and less useful creatures such as mana dorks in the later stages of the game and in this case, tokens. This card synergises with two of the decks other powerful draw engines, [card]Fecundity[/card] and [card]Deathreap Ritual[/card]. [card]Fecundity[/card] makes [card]Skullclamp[/card] effectively draw you three cards and [card]Deathreap Ritual[/card] lets your draw cards in other players turns.
Like these cards there is another that lets your draw cards based on creatures’ deaths. [card]Decree of Pain[/card] becomes more powerful the more creatures you control, in a deck with so many token generators this card can quite easily let you draw ten or more cards in one go, making it very easy to find cards like [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] and [card]Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre[/card] much easier.
The last of the creature based card advantage isn’t actually drawing cards but is scrying. [card]Viscera Seer[/card] is a sacrifice outlet with upside while [card]Catacomb Sifter[/card] and [card]Shadows of the Past[/card] let you do even more off of the death of your tokens. The next card draw engine is [card]Phyrexian Arena[/card] a powerful source of card advantage that when played on curve can help you get to a winning position much quicker.
The other way of getting hold of the deck’s win conditions is via tutors. Tutors are often considered one of the more degenerate card types in commander. Reaching your infinite combos with one card cuts games very short. One of the stronger cards in this deck is [card]Kessig Wolf Run[/card] as it can make Prossh reach the magical 21 power much easier whilst also giving it trample. To find this card there is a copy of [card]Crop Rotation[/card], this card lets you play a forest and then sacrifice the same forest to find one of the more powerful lands like [card]Kessig Wolf Run[/card] or [card]Hall of the Bandit Lord[/card].
This deck also runs the more typical tutors of these colours. [card]Demonic Tutor[/card], a card that lets you find what you need for the very reasonable price of 1B. [card]Tooth and Nail[/card], a tutor that can find varying power levels of cards depending on the plaly group you are with. Got a group full of Spikes with high powered decks? [card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/card] and [card]Zealous Conscripts[/card] for an instant win. More of a low powered play group? Look for [card]Xenagos, God of Revels[/card] and [card]Wurmcoil Engine[/card] for some of that sweet, sweet lifelink action.
Finally are the two Modern-banned powerhouses that are [card]Birthing Pod[/card] and [card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card]. Pod has the potential for huge value with all of the ‘enter the battlefield’ effects that the deck has. The other card, [card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card] can find any green creature in the deck and put it directly into play, this is so powerful as the decks strongest cards are green ([card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] I’m looking at you).
Tooth and Nail
Green Sun’s Zenith[/draft]
It’s time to R-R-R-R Ramp!
Being in green gives this deck something that a lot of other multi-coloured decks don’t have. Strong ramp potential. I didn’t have a [card]Sol Ring[/card] to hand when making this deck, hence its absence however it does run a copy of [card]Thran Dynamo[/card] as its biggest nonland mana source. The rest of the deck’s ramp comes from creatures. There are several one-drop, 1/1’s [card]Elvish Mystic[/card], [card]Birds of Paradise[/card] and [card]Elves of Deep Shadow[/card] being three of these. These work very well with Skullclamp giving you a lot of card draw potential, the same with [card]Wood Elves[/card]. There is also [card]Oracle of Mul Daya[/card], a [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] that allows you to play two lands a turn, synergising with [card]Omnath, Locus of Rage[/card] whilst also giving you a lot of information as to what your future plays and draws will be. Thanks to all of these elves I decided to put in [card]Elvish Archdruid[/card], buffing your other elves whilst becoming a huge source of mana when you have multiple other elves in play.
Oracle of Mul Daya[/draft]
I Couldn’t Think of a Funny Pun About Removal
With green being in this there is a lot of enchantment and artifact removal, no one likes playing against [card]Possibility Storm[/card]. The first of these is [card]Hull Breach[/card], a two mana sorcery that allows you to destroy both an enchantment and an artifact (or either one), this is one of the more powerful removal spells thanks to the power of versatile spells in commander. The second piece of spot removal is [card]Beast Within[/card], this card can destroy any permanent, another powerful versatile removal spell, something that is very important in commander. Another removal spell in this deck works well with cards like [card]Skullclamp[/card] and [card]Elvish Archdruid[/card] thanks to its creature type and its one toughness, this card is [card]Reclamation Sage[/card] a card that has synergy with a lot of the cards in this deck.
The last of this deck’s removal is all Planeswalker based, [card]Sarkhan the Mad[/card] and [card]Karn Liberated[/card]. These cards are both very powerful against Indestructible permanents, Sarkhan forces players to sacrifice their creatures, this can be used to either destroy an enemy creature or to turn one of your tokens into a 5/5 dragon. Think of him as this deck’s equivilant of Daenerys Targaryen, leading his army of tokens and his dragons into battle. Karn on the other hand exiles permanents. Unlike Sarkhan there is no positive to removing your own spells but he can remove any tricky permanent from the game.
Sarkhan the Mad
Gotta go Fast
Thanks to the red in this deck there are a lot of ways to give Prossh and your other strong creatures haste. While building the deck I decided that if I was going to focus on Prossh as one of the main win conditions he needed some kind of protection. For this I added [card]Lightning Greaves[/card], a source of giving Prossh both Haste and Shroud to speed up defeating opponents whilst also protecting the decks biggest, and quickest, method of closing out games.
The next two cards are very similar, the same mana cost and the same main use. [card]Hammer of Purphoros[/card] and [card]Fires of Yavimaya[/card]. Two permanents that give haste making token generators very powerful while also making searching for Craterhoof and Avenger off of [card]Tooth and Nail[/card] a killer combo. The last of these haste enablers is [card]Anger[/card] while it only gives haste when in the graveyard the sacrifice outlets in the deck make it very easy to get it there.
That’s the last of the interesting cards in the deck. The rest is your generic Jund ”Good Stuff”. Here is the deck list:
[deck]Prossh, Skyraider of Kher
Birds of Paradise
Elves of Deep Shadow
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Krenko, Mob Boss
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Oracle of Mul Daya
Disciple of Bolas
Xenagos, God of Revels
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Butcher of Malakir
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Omnath, Locus of Rage
Avenger of Zendikar
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre[/deck]
Instants and Sorceries
Tooth and Nail
Decree of Pain
Army of the Damned
Green Sun’s Zenith[/deck]
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sword of Feast and Famine
Hammer of Purphoros
Shadows of the Past
Fires of Yavimaya
[deck]Sarkhan the Mad
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Kessig Wolf Run
Hall of the Bandit Lord
Temple of the False God
City of Brass
Temple of Malice
Temple of Malady
Temple of Abandon
Well there’s the deck. What Commander 2015 cards do you think would fit into this deck? I’m definitely going to put [card]Meren of Clan Nel Toth[/card] into this deck alongside what I like to call ”baby Craterhoof”, Pathbreaker Ibex.
Thanks for Reading
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