For my Spoiler Spotlight this week, I want to consider the possibilities offered by Prophet of Kruphix.
This card has two interesting abilities. The first is reminiscent of [card]Seedborn Muse[/card], which has been entertaining casual players with high jinks for some time and has even seen sideboard play in Pro Tour deck lists. Traditionally, players use Seedborn Muse to get more activated abilities out of their creatures, or through cards like [card]Opposition[/card]. Being able to use your cards twice as often is clearly a sweet upside.
You could also use this sort of effect to allow you to tap out in your turn and yet still protect yourself with counterspells on your opponent’s turn.
While Seedborn Muse saw only fringe competitive play, the addition of the second ability to the card could push it over the edge. Importantly, the second ability gives you the [card]opportunity[/card] to cast more cards on your opponents turn, which was always a limitation of Seedborn Muse. You might untap all your mana but then have nothing to do with it. Prophet does not have that problem.
In many cases, giving a creature flash massively upgrades its playability. Many creatures have cool effects but never see play because they lack enters-the-battlefield triggers and will be stopped before they can attack. By flashing them in at the end of your opponent’s turn, they are going to be up and running in the minimal amount of time.
There are a couple of creatures that spring to mind here. In particular, I like the idea of flashing in the new Sphinx: Medomai, the Ageless for that surprise extra turn. Equally, [card]Kalonian Hydra[/card] might like to surprise people, and [card]Progenitor Mimic[/card] would love to see your upkeep step as soon as possible, assuming there is something good to copy.
While you can flash creatures in, it’s a good idea to have some other mana sinks available in the form of activated abilities. For example, monstrosity. This actually makes monstrosity a lot more tempting for Constructed. On my turn I play Polukranous, World Eater, and then on your turn I activate its ability to kill a whole bunch of your creatures. You might like to consider going into white for this, as there are a lot of token-making effects in Standard at the moment, and [card trostani, selesnya’s voice]Trostani[/card] would be horrifying when used twice as often.
The danger of this sort of card is in designing a whole deck to go around it, and then watching it fall apart when you don’t draw the Prophet.
Following the thought of counterspells, I was reminded of a UG spell that hasn’t seen much play yet in Standard but that I love. I’m talking, of course, about [card]Plasm Capture[/card]. I like adding this card to a Prophet deck, as in order for Prophet to work well you want a bunch of mana sinks. Plasm Capture should allow you to make use of all those mana sinks in the absence of Prophet. So you can either power out some big creatures early or play something like Polukranous and activate his ability.
I think this deck would really benefit from using [card]Garruk, Caller of Beasts[/card]. Sure he’s expensive, but I’m planning to run a bunch of mana dudes in this list anyway, so between those and Plasma Capture, I hope to get him out promptly. He should help us to find the Prophet using his +1, and once Prophet is in play he can keep our hand stocked to keep throwing out creatures in our opponent’s end step.
In terms of other counterspells, I’m not planning for the list to look like a proper permission deck, but some amount of interaction with your opponent is important and Prophet makes counterspells even more appealing. My first choice would be [card]Syncopate[/card]. Normally [card]Syncopate[/card] can be really awkward as you need to have more mana than your opponent, even after casting your own spells. Prophet ensures you will have enough mana (well, assuming you didn’t get mana-screwed).
With mana getting worse, I’m undecided whether this deck needs to be two colors or can afford to go into a third. Plasma Capture certainly makes you want to go two-color as its commitment is heavy. However, going into white lets me play the Sphinx, which I just adore the idea of flashing in. As one of the mana creatures I’m planning to play is [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card], maybe a light splash will be fine. Without the full set spoiled yet, it’s hard to be certain what the best way to utilize Prophet will be, but I have a list for you to peruse anyway:
[deck]4 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
2 Manaweft Sliver
2 Scavenging Ooze
3 Polukranos, World Eater
3 Nylea, God of the Hunt
4 Plasm Capture
3 Prophet of Kruphix
3 Kalonian Hydra
1 Medomai, the Ageless
1 Progenitor Mimic
2 Prime Speaker, Zegana
2 Garruk, Caller of Beasts
4 Breeding Pool
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Simic Guildgate
4 Temple Garden
4 Hallowed Fountain
Feel free to make suggestions in the comments or on Twitter @onionpixie. I hope you have enjoyed this Spoiler Spotlight and are as excited about Theros as I am! See you next week.