The Commanders Chair #3 – Ominous Teachings
Last week, I mentioned the combination of Prismatic Omen and Vedalken Shackles. There was a comment posted this weekend inquiring if a deck could possibly be built around Prismatic Omen. I started to type up an answer when I realized that the response was going to be an article in itself.
I have been using Prismatic Omen in my Commander decks for some time. I started including Prismatic Omen in five color decks alongside Mycosynth Lattice as a major mana fixer. After all, what could be better than not having to care which land you tap for mana. Prismatic Omen even lets you tap lands like Eye of Ugin for mana. I would include large, normally difficult spells to cast like Cruel Ultimatum.
The realization that this card could be used for more came after an opponent played Tsunami, destroying every one of my lands. I obviously lost that particular game, but it gave me an epiphany. While I never made Prismatic Omen the center of my decks, I did start including cards that were given power by it being in play. There are over a hundred cards available in Commander that have some sort of synergy with Prismatic Omen. While I can’t cover all of them, I can go over many of the powerful ways you can use Prismatic Omen to supercharge a Commander deck.
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle – I don’t think you can mention Prismatic Omen without mentioning the card that made it famous. You can still pull off your Primeval Titan or Scapeshift workout by including Vesuva in your deck as a second Valakut.
Koth of the Hammer – What do Koth and the Prismatic Omen have in common? Both survive Obliterate and its cousins. Planeswalkers are notoriously hard to deal with in Commander. If you are playing red-green you will also have access to Doubling Season. If you haven’t seen Doubling Season combined with planeswalkers, let me warn you. It is a frightening combination. They enter the battlefield with 2x the number of counter. This allows ultimate abilities to go off at an alarming speed. Koth is one of the planeswalkers that will be able to use his ultimate immediately and still be alive for the rest of the game. His second ability isn’t too shabby for mana acceleration either.
Jaws of Stone – There are a good number of spells that work like this one. Jaws of Stone is especially nice, since you can kill more than one creature and use the leftovers to sling some rocks into the face of you opponents. Honorable mention goes to Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit for the ability to kill creature after creature with relative ease. There are also swamp varieties of this spell in the form of Corrupt and Tendrils of Corruption.
Mind Sludge – Empty their hand and crush their spirit. Remember, for anything that depends on the number of swamps you control that Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth can be used as redundancy alongside the Prismatic Omen.
Mutilate – This card is generally well known as a good mono-black sweeper. It has a special place in my heart for being one of only two cards that sweep the board based on a single land type. The other is Floodgate, which is difficult to use.
Nightmare Incursion – Of all the cards in Commander that can exile cards from a players library, this one scares me the most, with Sadistic Sacrament coming in a very close second. I don’t really care about losing a few cards from a deck. However, this card gives the potential to cripple a player for the rest of the game.
Naked Singularity – This card can shut a game down almost as quickly as an Armageddon. With the Prismatic Omen in play all of your lands can still create any color. Meanwhile, anyone with a mono-colored deck will be stuff creating colorless mana for the rest of the game. A special mention goes to the little known card Reality Twist that shuts down anyone not singing the blues.
Boosting Creature Stats
There are cards that encourage you to play basic lands in mono-colored decks. They are either creatures with power and toughness equal to a land type or a spell that enhances creatures based on a basic land type.
Creatures – Nightmare, Dauntless Dourbark, and Tidewalker are great examples of the types of creatures you would look for to go along with Prismatic Omen. With the Prismatic Omen on the battlefield these creatures effectively become Dakkon Blackblade.
Enhancement Spells – Granite Grip, Armored Ascension, Nightmare Lash and Blanchwood Armor can turn a low power and toughness general into a death clock in short order. Just imagine your opponents feeling nice and comfortable that they play Pithing Needle against Adun Oakenshield, only to be threatened as it turns sideways and puts them into the red zone thanks to one of these spells.
Prismatic Omen is one of the best mana fixers in Commander. It can also be used as a devise in accelerating you mana curve if combined with the right cards.
Cabal Coffers, Magus of the Coffersand RofellosLlanowar Emissary–These cards allow you to tap for mana equal to the number of either swamps or forests you control. Rofellos is so good; he is one of the two banned generals. When you can use all three of these cards to their fullest, at the same time, your opponents will have a hard time keeping up.
Gauntlet of Might, Keeper of Progenitus, Vernal Bloom, and Nirkana Revenant – My favorite of this type of accelerant is Keeper of Progenitus. It can help out your opponents, but it allows you to double mana of any color rather than just a particular color. I like it better than Mana Flare, since it doesn’t help the evil blue and black mages. They do just fine helping themselves.
High Tide and Bubbling Muck–High tide has been given a lot of attention in legacy, while Bubbling Much has been all but forgotten. High Tide has a huge advantage over Bubbling Muck in Commander. All other things aside, High Tide is an instant. That means it can be imprinted on Isochron Scepter and used to your heart’s desire.
Mechanics and Cycles
Domain – This is the most synergistic card mechanic that relates to Prismatic Omen. Prismatic Omen allows you to have the full domain trigger without having 5 lands or expensive duals. Remember, you don’t need to have all five colors in your deck for Prismatic Omen to give you 5 land types. Prismatic Omen lets you activate domain cards like Manaforce Mace even in a mono-green deck.
Draco – Some cards are considered to have domain, even if it isn’t printed on the card. This was a mechanic that was on several cards already but it took them a little bit to put a phrase to it. If you check the official rewording of many cards, they now have Domain. Draco is only good if you have enough land types to not pay his upkeep cost. With the Prismatic Omen he is a 9/9 flyer for 6, with no downside.
Allied Strategies – 5 cards for 5 mana? It’s no Ancestral Recall, but it gets the job done.
Gaea’s Might – I generally do not like these kind of one turn buffs for creatures. But, spending one mana for +5/+5 is a significant upgrade over Giant Growth. Although, it is not as good as Primal Bellow for joining up with Prismatic Omen.
Tribal Flames – 5 damage and it only costs two mana, this is one of the reasons domain zoo was such a strong deck.
Incarnations – Anger, Wonder, Brawn, Valor and Filth all require that you have a particular basic land in play for them to be active. These cards are always fun to throw in a deck. Angeris the most used. I like how Filth works alongside Urborg even better than how it works with Prismatic Omen. It both activates Filth’s ability and gives your creatures the lands to walk over. Wonder is particularly good with Stormtide Leviathan, as it locks down your enemies, without hindering yourself.
Hedge-Mages – Duergar, Gwylion, Hag,Noggle, and Selkie make up the cycle of Hedge-Mages. They require you to have 2 lands of 2 types of basic lands to have their abilities trigger. Duergar is my favorite of the five with his ability to destroy both an artifact and an enchantment when he enters the battlefield.
Affinity – Affinity always sounds like the boogeyman when it comes to Magic the Gathering. The phrase is linked with the affinity decks that rules standard some years back. This deck plan was so good, that we still see affinity deck in competitive legacy play. When it comes to Prismatic Omen, I am not talking about the scary kind of affinity. Dross Golem, Oxidda Golem, Razor Golem, Spire Golem and Tangle Golem have land based affinity. These may not be the biggest, strongest creatures around. But, who doesn’t like to play cards for free? One of the most interesting aspects of these affinity golems is that they have a blank color identity and can be played in any deck.
Emeria, The Sky Ruin – This is a continual source of recursion back that places creatures directly into play. It is incredibly hard for opponents to battle past an active Emeria. I think this land could find a spot in most mono-white decks.
Beacon of Creation – I like all the beacons in Commander. This is the only one that directly works with the Prismatic Omen and it works very well. You end up quickly generating an endless swarm of tokens to overwhelm your enemies.
Flow of Ideas – This can end up being the greatest card draw you can get for the mana. The later you play it, the better it is.
Dominaria’s Judgment – Give all of your creatures protection from all colors until the end of the turn. This will either make your creatures the perfect attacker or the perfect blockers.
Last Stand – Last, but certainly not least. This my favorite card to play along with Prismatic Omen. You get each effect for the amount of lands you have in play. With prismatic omen in play, the bare minimum this does is having an opponent lose 10 life, deal 5 damage to a creature, put 5 1/1 saprolings into play, gain 10 life, then loot for 5 cards. This spell only costs 5 mana and that is the minimum it will do.
There are many, many more cards that work well with Prismatic Omen. Even if you don’t play any of the above cards, Prismatic Omen is still an amazing mana fixer. If you play a multi-color deck that has green in it already, I encourage you to give this enchantment a shot and see how it works for you.
For anyone who is interested, I will be starting a contest this week. I will be taking submissions until the 30th. I would like to see creative, original and effective designs for a Reaper King deck. The winner will receive a foil Reaper King and a foil promo Wheel of Fortune, along with some other random foil or foreign Commander Cards. Depending on how many submissions there are, I may also give prizes to a few runner ups. Email me your decklist to email@example.com
As a bonus, here is a deck idea for legacy built around Prismatic Omen.
Posted on April 12, 2011, in Articles, The Commander's Chair and tagged casual, Commander, Commander's Chair, design, EDH, Magic the Gathering, MTG, MTGO, Multiplayer, SwordsToPlow. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.