Hi everyone, and welcome to the latest installment of MTGO Commander. Some people have been asking me to finally post my Prossh combo deck that I build for tournaments. So I finally decided to do that today and share it with you:
Making the case for combo
There are different ways to build a competitive Prossh deck. But I ended up doing a combo build because I think this strategy is the most consistent and efficient way to beat 3 other opponents in a Commander tournament pod.
I first built my Prossh deck with a hyper-aggressive build that was centered on cards like Beastmaster Ascension and Shared Animosity. Purphoros was also in the deck While it was fun to kill people out of nowhere through beatdown, I found out that this strategy was very clunky because most of the time, you need more than one turn to win. Playing with haste enablers can make things faster, but I found out that playing cards like Fires of Yavimaya can make things more awkward if you did not draw these cards early.
It is also easier for your opponent to have an answer ready since this strategy relies on the combat step. Blockers can give you problems since the Kobold tokens do not have evasion so chump blocking can give your opponent more time to look for answers. Most of the time, you are stuck with whatever tokens Prossh makes. So the loss of damage caused by even one chump-blocked Kobold slows the deck and gives more time for your opponent to look for answer. Sacrificing multiple tokens to pump Prossh is only good as a last ditch effort since your opponent can just save his instant kill spell for Prossh.
I decided to focus on combo, specifically, on Food Chain, because this strategy does not have the same problems the aggro deck version has since it can win in one turn, is harder to disrupt, and is not slowed down by chump blockers or removal. The deck normally end games around turn 4 and turn 6 when it is disrupted. I have also tried my best to make the deck resilient to control decks as much as possible to help (I have to give credit to mtgsalvation user ISBPathfinder since I got most of my win conditions and disruption ideas from his own Prossh thread discussion).
Food Chain is your primary engine. Read up on the combos involving this card and practice how to do the combo in MTGO. I am saying this because this list is made to go against top decks for a tournament and if you are reading this, then you’re probably planning to do the same thing. The combo is easy. But remember that there are no shortcuts online and you have to do each step of the combo. Practice and be prepared because most of the time, your opponent will wait you out just in case you make a mistake.
Phyrexian Altar and Ashnod’s Altar are your fallbacks in case Food Chain is removed. These two artifacts, ideally, should be played together. But they can also work on their own, but at a slower pace compared to Food Chain.
Beastmaster Ascension is probably the least effective enabler in the deck for multiplayer. But it can catch your opponents off guard and at the very least, can one-shot the most threatening opponent (aside from you) on the table.
Using Food Chain requires us to focus on creature finishers since only creatures can be cast of Food Chain mana. This is the reason why cards like Goblin Bombardment were eventually removed from the list. Purphoros is the exception because he is the only that needs to be in play first before we cast Prossh.
Chancellor of the Forge doubles the tokens you have and often can be enough to finish off everyone in one attack step. Ditto for Goblin Bushwacker. Extractor Demon provides an alternate win condition if it’s not possible to reduce our opponents’ lives to zero.
There a lot possible combos and synergies you can do with Prossh. But these are the ones that worked for me the best in my experience. Other possible interactions you can try include
The main purpose of these creatures is to accelerate you into casting both Prossh and Food Chain at the same turn. Cast a few mana elves, cast Food Chain, and then exile those dudes to cast Prossh and start going off. This is the ideal position you should shoot for, and this can happen as early as turn three.
Of course, this doesn’t happen often as we would like, so just take what you can and make sure you cast a couple of dudes at your early turns. Even without Food Chain, a handful of mana dudes can help you cast Prossh as early as turn 4, which is already something your opponents can sweat about.
Skullmulcher is an important cog because it refills your hand and at the same time, act as a large threat/hindrance for your opponents. Casting this creature is necessary when you already have Prossh and his tokens, but have no engine piece to abuse. The
The idea of include these cards in the main deck is a metagame choice. I am expecting a heavy blue meta, so having blue hate cards in the main deck is not a bad idea since blue decks are the only ones that can reliably disrupt our combo.
Carpet of Flowers has been really good for me. The extra mana it provides is such a boon that it sets up your kill almost a turn faster. Boil and Choke are good cards against blue decks, especially if you can follow them up immediately by casting Food Chain. Defense Grid, Red Elemental Response and Guttural provide some sort of protection against counters, specifically, against free counters like Pact of Negation or Force of Will. Make sure to have a land untapped to cast the latter two spells since you can’t cast them off Food Chain mana.
City of Solitude and Dosan are a bit clunky because they also slow you down if you need to remove a bothersome permanent or if you want to use Prossh’s ability. However, these two play an important role in the fight against blue decks so I just have to live with them.
In the end, you should consider the disruption package as your ‘flex slots’. These cards are meant to attack a specific meta I have in mind, and the same thing may not apply to you. Feel free to modify these cards as you see fit.
These card are meant to remove whatever annoying permanent your opponents may cast before you start your combo. Honestly, I think I have too much removal in the deck, but I am sticking with them for now since I am never sad if I get to draw some.
Tutors/Card Draw/Mana Rocks
No surprises here. All of these are staples and you should expect to see most of them in competitive decks, especially the mana rocks.
A couple of notes though. Dimir Machination’s main function is to search for either Food Chain or Beastmaster Ascension. Gamble is a good tech against tuck. Crop Rotation is actually a holdover when I still ran Glacial Chasm to stop other combo decks. But now it’s mainly here to look for Gaea’s Cradle which is crucial in some situations.
Winning with Food Chain
In this strategy, I only needed to find Food Chain to win and I can do it was early as turn three. An important thing to remember is that your win conditions should be creatures now so you can cast them with your Food Chain mana.
(I have to give credit to mtgsalvation user ISBPathfinder since I got most of my win conditions and disruption ideas from his own Prossh thread discussion).
1. Reduce all of your opponent’s life to zero life with Purphoros, God of the Forge in play.
2. Make enough tokens to kill all of your opponents in one attack step pairing the Kobold tokens with either Goblin Bushwhacker or Chancellor of the Forge. Beastmaster Ascension is also in the deck to further speed-up your kill.
3. Mill everyone using Extractor Demon
4. Swing for 21 Commander damage by pumping Prossh.
Making a deck around Food Chain means we need to play with creatures. For starters, we need creatures that can help develop our mana, mostly through mana creatures like Llanowar Elves and Priest of Titiana or creatures that adds mana to your pool when they come into play like Priest of Urabrask. Not only do they accelerate you to casting Prossh, they can also add more mana to your pool when you exile them using Food Chain. This part here is important; each creature in play essentially acts as mini Black Lotus for you. So make sure you have a few creatures in play before you try to go off.
Using creatures as your win conditions also has a number of advantages. Since the deck is using Food Chain as its primary mana engine, the mana cost of your win conditions are irrelevant since you are almost assured to have enough mana to cast them. While I decided to make this deck as fast as possible, you can choose whatever creature you like in these spots.
The number of tutors that we can use to search for these creatures also increases. The deck already runs the usual suspects of Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Grim Tutor, Imperial Seal, Gamble and Diabolic Intent to search for Food Chain, while cards like Goblin Matron and Fierce Empath to search for your finishers.
Instant speed enchantment removal is the deck’s main weakness. Most of the time, cards like Dosan and City of Solitude are enough to thwart these effects. But there are situations wherein one of your opponents has an answer ready for Food Chain and you cannot really do anything about that. If you are paired against other blue decks, you have to choose the right situation to cast Food Chain. Denying your opponent’s mana is a top priority so hate cards like Defense Grid or Dosan should be played first before your combo pieces. Counter spells are also annoying, but often, the main deck blue hate is enough to quash counter-heavy control decks.
This is probably my most competitive deck and I am happy with it. Prossh is my favorite general and I am glad I made a deck that highlights just how powerful he is.
Sadly, recent changes to work have made it virtually impossible for me to join the player-run Commander tournaments now, so this deck would likely seat in the sidelines for now. I really do not like playing this deck against random opponents in MTGO, except on weekends when I expect other people to bring their meanest decks, so you probably won’t see me piloting it when you see me in MTGO.