Progenitus Control

Jul
02

Progenitus Control

If you like to have fun, Commander (formerly known as EDH) is the format for you. For those of you who have never heard of Commander, it’s a one hundred card singleton format (i.e. no multiple copies of cards outside of basic lands) with a focus shifted to multiplayer play. This slows the format down considerably, and for good reason. If someone goes hard in the first 4-5 turns of a game, they either get focused and die or just outright win. The second game for a very fast, mean deck in Commander never goes as well. With this in mind, I brewed around Progenitus focusing on control of the board, arguably the slowest general in the slowest format followed by the slowest archetype of play.

What type of card gives slow, incremental advantages over a long game, you ask? The answer, especially in five colors, is pretty obvious – Planeswalkers! As such, I loaded up on these (exactly twenty at the time of writing this article, with another two slated to be included, G/W Ajani and G/B Garruk). Without further ado, let’s look at the list!

Planeswalkers

  • Ajani Goldmane
  • Ajani Steadfast
  • Ajani Vengeant
  • Chandra, Pyromaster
  • Dack Fayden
  • Elspeth, Knight-Errant
  • Garruk, Primal Hunter
  • Garruk Wildspeaker
  • Gideon, Champion of Justice
  • Jace, Architect of Thought
  • Jace, the Mind Sculptor
  • Karn Liberated
  • Liliana of the Veil
  • Liliana Vess
  • Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
  • Nissa, Worldwaker
  • Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
  • Sorin Markov
  • Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
  • Vraska the Unseen

Artifacts

  • Chromatic Lantern
  • Coalition Relic
  • Contagion Engine
  • Rings of Brighthearth
  • Sol Ring

Sorcerys

  •  Austere Command
  • Beacon of Unrest
  • Blasphemous Act
  • Bonfire of the Damned
  • Creeping Renaissance
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Genesis Wave
  • Idyllic Tutor
  • Maelstrom Pulse
  • Reanimate
  • Supreme Verdict
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Vindicate
  • Wrath of God

Instants

  • Bant Charm
  • Beast Within
  • Counterspell
  • Cyclonic Rift
  • Enlightened Tutor
  • Hinder
  • Mortify
  • Path to Exile
  • Putrefy
  • Spell Crumple
  • Swords to Plowshares
  • Voidslime

Enchantments

  •  Copy Artifact
  • Copy Enchantment
  • Detention Sphere
  • Doubling Season
  • Ghostly Prison
  • Mana Reflection
  • Mirari’s Wake
  • Pernicious Deed
  • Phyrexian Arena
  • Sphere of Safety

Creatures

  • Phyrexian Metamorph
  • Sen Triplets
  • Snapcaster Mage

I am purposely not including a land base with this list. My reasoning is that with the correct land base (all of the Onslaught/Zendikar fetches, with duals and shocks) this deck can be and is borderline oppressive and among the people that frequent Board Knight, it isn’t really feasible for filling the social contract of a game of EDH. This is a slow and steady deck at heart – if I were shooting for a respectable land base, I’d include the shock lands, check lands, pain lands, a few of each basic, Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds. The only lands I would 100% include (due to availability and usefulness) are Command Tower, Reliquary Tower, and Strip Mine. Land destruction is frowned upon as a rule of thumb, but eventually you’ll play a game where Ghave hits a Gaea’s Cradle and then wish you had one.

This deck overall isn’t a permission deck – it focuses much more on controlling board state, and in failing that, turtles until it can via Ghostly Prison/Sphere of Safety + 8 other enchantments. I included the two enchantment tutors for those specifically, but they have the added bonus of grabbing a Mana Reflection or Doubling Season as well.

A few of the more fun interactions of this deck:

  • Hinder/Spell Crumple + Tunnel Vision will mill out a player’s entire library. Not recommended unless a player has really, really earned it.
  • Countering a general with Hinder or Spell Crumple puts it on the bottom of the library. Really nice for shutting down high-priority generals. Looking at you, Kaalia and Uril and Ezuri and Edric and Sliver Overlord and Omnath and Animar.
  • Doubling Season doubles all of the counters that are placed on a Planeswalker as it enters play, allowing for a number of ultimate abilities to be used immediately. This does not double the counters placed for using the ability (that’s a cost, not covered under DS’s wording).
  • Rings of Brighthearth copies any Planeswalker’s ability, but will not add the counters a second time. Adding counters is still a cost to be paid to use the ability.
  • Contagion Engine, in this deck, reads: Pay 4, tap: add two counters to every Planeswalker you control. A timely Contagion Engine can also destroy a person’s board (-1/-1 counters get around indestructible).

If you decide playing this style of deck is for you, I hope you take some of the suggestions given in this list! Control is not for everybody, though, and in my next article I’ll be tackling one of my favorite archetypes of all time – tribal – and making use of some newer cards to brew a more agro list around Brago, King Eternal and his legion of spooky ghosts.

About Greg Miller

I'm a senior computer science student with a passion for loving others by being as huge of a jerk playing Magic: the Gathering as possible. I've been playing Magic since the Rise of the Eldrazi block, and I play mainly Commander and Modern.

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