Over the last several years commander has been healthy and exploding in popularity. If you are newer, then you will not remember a time when the Prophet of Kruphix was allowed in EDH. It was banned for a reason. Mostly because it allowed Simic decks to do what it wanted to do very efficiently. When it hit the battlefield it was a must answer card otherwise the game would get out of hand rather quickly. Let’s take a walk down memory land look at The Prophet and then build a card package that is similar in effect.
Two excellent abilities stapled into one.
The first sentence of the card states “Untap all creatures and lands you control during each other player’s untap step.” This is an amazing ability. Magic the Gathering is a game about resources and resource management. You can read about this concept here. This card resets your resources on every turn. The Prophet’s second ability (We will cover it in a moment.) will allow you to use those resources essentially letting you take a turn every time your opponent takes a turn.
these things allow you to be as aggressive as you want as any tapped creatures will untap. Go ahead feel the Darkside of the force and attack. Use the creature tap abilities like Darth Vader and the force choke. Then use them again the next turn. “Apology accepted Admiral Ozzel.” The value is quite impressive. The important take away is that this ability scales in power the more players that are at the table. Even if a deck only uses mana sinks five mana for this ability is worth it.
The Prophet does even more. The second part of the text box reads, “You may cast creature cards as though they had flash.” This allows you to cast cards on your opponent’s turns. You can cast them as you need them on anybody’s turn. It allows you to build an overwhelming presence as the game progresses around the table. This opens up casting all your sorceries on your turn and then as gameplay progresses through your opponents’ turns you can play the instants and creatures in your hand as you need them. This feeds into reactive gameplay that Simic often likes to accomplish. Most importantly you can wait to cast your biggest beaters at the end step right before your turn to give them haste and wreck the board. This denies your opponent’s knowledge and gives you an advantage that can be difficult to overcome.
Building a Prophet of Kruphex Package
With these abilities, it is understandable why The Prophet was banned. Both abilities stapled on one card is an efficiency of resources that just takes over games. The card slots saved by this efficiency can be applied to bringing the prophet to the hand or battlefield faster and making sure he will continue to survive after he is played. There will always be mana open for a counterspell to remove any card that would attack The Prophet. In this case, we will showcase several cards that when we combine them will provide abilities similar to The Prophet of Kruphix
How many cards you invest in a package is up to you but a minimum of three cads should be assigned to each subpackage or ability that is on The Prophet as a baseline and increase it from there. Three cards will give an average of seeing one card in each subpackage once every three games in the first five turns. This does not include any cards that will allow you to tutor for one or draw additional cards. A 10% chance of seeing both subpackages in any one game is achieved at this level. The one in ten chance allows for varied gameplay while not eating up too many card slots for other deck strategies. It adds a reasonable twist to your deck. When it occurs it is something to be cherished as long as it is out on the battlefield for the deck synergies it brings.
The maximum number for such a package is fifteen cards splitting the subpackages to seven and eight cards each. Any more cards and you start taking away the decks ability to accomplish any other strategy it wants to accomplish. With this distribution, it gives you a forty percent chance of seeing one card in each subpackage per game. At this level, you still have a less than one in two chances for achieving the Prophet of Kruphix abilities. This points out how difficult it can be to build multiple themes in a deck and to achieve them all. Of course to reach this density of cards you might need to include some tutors to make it happen a little more frequently.
Subpackage One: Untapping Stuff
The ability to untap creatures and lands on one card is rare. In most cases, we are going to have to decide what we want to untap. Our biggest concern is mana generation as that will fuel our flash abilities and any mana sinks a deck decides to use. While there may be several instants and sorceries to do this, a single-use card does not build an advantage for the deck accruing value. For this reason, we need to find this ability on a permanent and not an instant or sorcery.
Below is a list of cards that accomplish this in order of strength of the card. This exercise focuses on Simic colors as that is the color identity of the Prophet of Kruphix. For both subpackages you can find other color combinations that have these effects. For Example Zacama, Primal Hunger. In many cases, we will need to settle for an additional untap per rotation cycle as opposed to each turn.
- Seedborn Muse
- Patron of the Orachi: Synergizes with Painter’s Servant and Prismatic Omen
- Wilderness Reclamation
- Bear Umbra
- Unwinding Clock: Synergizes with Myconosynth Lattice
- Sword of Feast and Famine
- Nature’s Will
- Dramatic Reversal and Isochron Scepter: Is capable of infinite mana.
- Murkfiend Liege: Synergizes with Jolrael, Empress of Beasts but beware board wipes.
- Quest for Renewal: Synergizes with Jolrael Empress of Beasts but beware board wipes
- Curse of Bounty: can get multiple activations per turn but unpredictable
- Intruder Alarm: Combos with Kazandu Tuskcaller or Cloudstone Curio and Aluren
- Aluren: Doesn’t Untap but gives free cards CMC 3 or less. Synergizes with Cloudstone Curio add ETB for value loops.
- Merrow Commerce: Only Merfolk very narrow
Subpackage Two Flash
Just as with untapping things we are sticking to Simic colors only. Not all cards will allow us to flash in every type of spell so some of these cards are sprinkled in your deck for flavor. Blue is the critical color as this allows you to keep mana up for counterspells and still use the mana before you untap to build your board. Just like with the Untapping Stuff Subpackage some of these cards do not affect everything. It is up to you to decide how deep you wish to go with this list. Even with a package of fifteen cards, the odds are against you seeing a card from each subpackage every game and being able to combine them. One time flash effects are not included.
- Vedalken Orrery
- Leyline of Anticipation
- Alchemist’s Refuge
- Teferi Mage of Zhalfir
- Vivien Champion of the Wilds
- Winding Canyons
- Yeva, Nature’s Herald
- Aluren: all players may use this ability. Synergizes with Cloudstone Curio
- Shimmer Myr
- Vernal Equinox: Any player may use this ability
Just like several recent Magic the Gathering releases building a suite of Prophet of Kruphix deck is not for everyone. It is excellent for players who like to play reactive games and enjoy playing synergy or value deck archetypes. Using Kruphix, God of Horizons or Omnath, Locus of Mana lets you store extra mana to be used later and helps lock in extra value. When building your next Simic deck consider a Prophet Package and whether it is right for your deck.
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