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Ben Pilots Progenitus in EDH

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When Trick approached me to write articles for ManaNation.com, I was extremely excited for the opportunity and, truthfully, I still am. There is a lot of Magic going on and Florida Magic specifically is growing by leaps and bounds. The last two months have literally involved me spending every weekend at a pre-release, GPT, PTQ, PT, GP, or some other alphabet soup style acronym. For the better part this hasn't been troublesome as far as article deadlines are concerned, however my flight back from Austin was delayed, which became an issue last weekend. As such I missed my Tuesday article and would like to apologize to my readers. That being said I have a fun contest at the end of the article which will hopefully make up for my lack of an appearance last week.

But first, some EDH discussion! I've been trying to find the pieces to update my monoblack list we've been working on. It seems as though Coffin Queen is quite the problem card to locate. That being said I think I'm going to shelve the MBC list for the next week or so in favor of my second favorite EDH deck, Progenitus. I've made a few changes to the list in the past few weeks and I'd like to give you the updated deck:

[deck author="Ben McDole" title="Progenitus EDH" align="center"]

1 Progenitus

1 Incendiary Command

1 Chandra Nalaar

1 Obliterate

1 Enlightened Tutor

1 Idyllic Tutor

1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

1 Wrath of God

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Jace Beleren

1 Intuition

1 Bribery

1 Telemin Performance

1 Tezzeret the Seeker

1 Time Spiral

1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Tainted Pact

1 Grim Tutor

1 Cruel Tutor

1 Beseech the Queen

1 Damnation

1 Diabolic Tutor

1 Liliana Vess

1 Tsabo's Decree

1 Sorin Markov

1 Farseek

1 Rampant Growth

1 Nature's Spiral

1 Gaea's Blessing

1 Nature's Lore

1 Regrowth

1 Kodama's Reach

1 Krosan Grip

1 Harmonize

1 Garruk Wildspeaker

1 Restock

1 All Suns' Dawn

1 Mana Crypt

1 Mana Vault

1 Sol Ring

1 Sensei's Divining Top

1 Mindstone

1 Coldsteel Heart

1 Coalition Relic

1 Rings of Brighthearth

1 Mindslaver

1 Sterling Grove

1 Pernicious Deed

1 Vindicate

1 Putrefy

1 Cerebral Vortex

1 Sarkhan Vol

1 Ajani Vengeant

1 Bituminous Blast

1 Maelstrom Nexus

1 Void

1 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

1 Misty Rainforest

1 Scalding Tarn

1 Marsh Flats

1 Arid Mesa

1 Verdant Catacombs

1 Windswept Heath

1 Polluted Delta

1 Flooded Strand

1 Wooded foothills

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Krosan Verge

1 Tropical Island

1 Underground Sea

1 Scrubland

1 Badlands

1 Savannah

1 Bayou

1 Taiga

1 Volcanic Island

1 Tundra

1 Plateau

1 Temple Garden

1 Godless Shrine

1 Breeding Pool

1 Hallowed Fountain

1 Sacred Foundry

1 Blood Crypt

1 Steam Vents

1 Overgrown Tomb

1 Watery Grave

1 Stomping Ground

1 Mountain

1 Island

1 Forest

1 Plains

1 Swamp

1 Vesuva

1 Temple of the False God

1 Ancient Tomb

1 Maze of Ith

1 Academy Ruins

1 Reflecting Pool[/deck]

ProgenitusAs you can see Zendikar has been good to Progenitus. Zendikar gives Progenitus the full complement of ten fetches to really bling out the mana base. In order to make room for the extra fetches I've removed the Shards block tri-lands and the two Vivids which were in the deck. I have noticed the extra point of pain isn't a big deal and the ability to make sure you keep tempo is just too important to ignore.

In addition to the fetches Zendikar has also given the deck a heady new way to finish off players, Sorin Markov. Sorin combines the ability to drain someone for thirty life with my favorite card in EDH, Mindslaver. In our league if you Mindslaver someone and use their turn to take out another player you get the points for the kill, adding a very strategic aspect to taking someone else's turn. It's also difficult to overlook the fun of using someone's own cards against them!

There's also a rather pricey new addition in Grim Tutor. Grim Tutor offers a saucy boost to our already potent suite of tutor effects. For those of you who are curious, I picked up Grim Tutor at PT Austin. Working an event like a Pro Tour you are given a box as compensation for your time for the week and a pack of judge foils. While I certainly keep most of my judge foils, the ones I do sell I feel obligated to spend the money on something magic related, in this case, a Grim Tutor. I hope to be upgrading to an Imperial Seal as well in the future.

I've had a few people ask me how and what you should be doing with this deck, so I want to run through a few strategy elements. The first few turns are all about acceleration and smoothing. There are a few elements in the deck meant to simply fix mana and create some acceleration. Progenitus commands some powerful spells, but they're also very mana intensive. Be sure to think carefully when using fetch lands and search outlets, as the wrong color mana can really set you back.

Once the deck has been thoroughly accelerated it's really pretty hard to go wrong. Everything in the deck is fun to cast and planeswalkers are essentially free sorceries and forcefields every turn. There are plenty of recursion effects in the deck, so do not be too concerned when your planeswalkers get attacked. They're just taking one for the team to let you survive to a devastating late game.

Maelstrom NexusWhile I did say that it's hard to go wrong, there is an ideal situation, which is first tutoring for Maelstrom Nexus. Nexus allows nearly every spell you cast to become a two for one, which can be a real disaster for your opponents. Bituminous Blast cascading into Ajani Vengeant, Sorin cascading into Void, the absolutely absurd amount of card advantage generated by Nexus makes it a big target, but if it stays on the board for longer than one turn you probably win the game. A side tip, Nexus only affects the first spell you cast on your turn, so instants such as Putrefy will give you cascade on your opponents turn. Remember that the cascade ability lets you cast the spell during the resolution of the trigger, so you get to ignore timing restrictions and go wild!

Another piece of strategy advice is to remember that the spell being cascaded into resolves before the spell causing cascade. I have ended many games by casting Progenitus and cascading into either Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker or better yet, Obliterate. General damage has taken home many a pod for me. Unless your name happens to be Brian Kibler it's very difficult to race Progenitus, particularly when it is essentially unblockable. Let the hydra seal up the late game. On a side note, Progenitus has protection from everything, which means it can't be blocked, enchanted, damaged, equipped, fortified, or targeted (remember the acronym BE DEFT). Progenitus won't be damaged by global damage effects (Earthquake), but will be killed by global destruction effects (Wrath of God), or even a sufficient number of toughness reductions (Mutilate).

Phage the Untouchable.fullOne noticeable change is the lack of Phage the Untouchable in the deck. Phage won me a few games on the back of my opponent trying to Telemin Performance me and coming up lose, or trying to Bribery me and coming up empty, but the gimmick got a little stale. There were a few times I cast Phage and actually swung to victory, but those times are far outnumbered by the amount she spent being Mind Controlled, Control Magicked, Sower of Temptationed, or some other such nonsense.

I also find that Phage doesn't play well with my second favorite win condition, Obliterate. I've been in love with Obliterate since I started playing during Invasion block. It just struck me as such a great spell to combat those uppity blue mages with their Absorbs and their Undermines and their fast cars and loud music. Obliterate manages to make short work of whatever resistance your opponents were planning while keeping your planeswalkers around. There's something particularly satisfying about Obliterating then using Liliana's ultimate ability and beating someone with their own creatures. Funny story though, if Phage is in your graveyard it's not such an instant win at all! Unfortunately for Phage she had to go so Obliterate could stay.

If you have the inclination to play big Timmy splashy spells then you should give this deck a shot. Don't let the price tag scare you off, I built this deck piece by piece and it's come a long way since its humble beginnings. There's something very satisfying about cascading off every spell you cast.

Next week I'd like to showcase an old favorite that has gotten a lot of new toys recently, a semi-budget mono-blue EDH deck called Layer1/Layer2. It's named after the infamous judge layers from the interaction of continuous effects. It's a ton of fun and not too pricey either so I think everyone will enjoy it.

While I have the opportunity I'd also like to announce a contest I'm holding. While in Austin I got to meet a few of my favorite magic writers Nick Sabin, Riki Hayashi, Max Knowlan, and James Elliott. They write for a variety of sites and usually alternate their articles, but they all have one thing in common, a neat ending catch phrase! James has "may your next topdeck be lucky," Riki has "always call a judge," Max has (my favorite) "stay out of the penalty box." Ok, so Nick doesn't have a cool saying, but you get the idea. So I've decided if I'm going to write for Trick I need a cool slogan. This is where my readers save the day!

For the next two weeks I'm going to be taking submissions for a cool end of article slogan. At the end of two weeks I'm going to be announcing a winner. The winner of the slogan contest will receive one judge foil Demonic Tutor! All you have to do is give me the coolest sounding slogan and I will help you pimp your EDH deck to show off to all your friends. Here's how you enter, just e-mail me your full name and the slogan to Ben.McDole@gmail.com and I'll do the rest!

Demonic Tutor

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