Prophecy often makes the shortlist of “Worst Magic sets ever,” and I’m not here to tell you that that title is entirely undeserved. When it comes to 60-card formats, the set hasn’t done a whole lot. Prophecy was considered weak when the set was released and it hasn’t done anything over the last quarter century to change that.
When it comes to Commander the set fares a little bit better. Prophecy’s most notable Commander contribution is Rhystic Study. Love it or hate it, it’s one of the most heavily played cards in the format. There’s a pretty steep drop off after that, though. There isn’t another card in the set that could accurately be described as “seeing significant play” in Commander.
Still, as underwhelming as Prophecy is, the set does feature a few diamonds in the rough. In this article, I’m going to give you my picks for the 5 most underrated Prophecy cards that you should seriously consider running in your Commander decks.
Underrated Commander: Mageta the Lion
Masques Block features dozens of creatures with the “Spellshaper” type. These all have activated abilities that mimic instant or sorcery spells. You pay a mana cost and discard one or two cards and get that spell’s effect.
In Mageta’s case, the spell he can cast over and over again is Wrath of God. And he can even do it at Instant speed! Importantly, Mageta leaves himself untouched and that means you’re always going to come out ahead when you use his ability.
In addition to giving you a creature that can repeatedly cast one of the most powerful White spells of all time, a good Mageta deck should also have a graveyard sub-theme. This isn’t something you see very often in White, but if you can discard cards to Mageta that give you value out of the graveyard, you’re going to be even happier about playing him.
If you’re Wrathing the whole board and discarding Sevinne’s Reclamation and/or Increasing Devotion to do it, you’re going to be really frustrating your opponents. Because not only is Mageta sticking around, you’re going to cast something from the graveyard that allows you to completely rebuild your board.
Avatar of Woe
A 6/5 with Fear isn’t the most imposing creature ever. But that’s okay, because the Avatar’s power comes from its activated ability. It can tap to destroy a creature with no questions asked.
Don’t let the high mana cost scare you away! In Commander you’re often going to be paying two Black mana to cast it by the mid-game.
This is because its cost reduction effect checks all graveyards for 10 creatures, so the larger your pod the more likely it is you can get the Avatar going. If you’re playing a graveyard deck yourself, the Avatar should virtually always make the cut in your deck.
Task Mage Assembly
Masques Block was the first time that Wizards of the Coast printed a ton of cards intended for multiplayer. Task Mage Assembly is one of many Prophecy cards that have abilities that any player can use. These can be a lot of fun in Commander.
Task Mage Assembly is a really interesting example of this, giving everyone the ability to pay 2 generic mana to do 1 damage to a creature at Sorcery speed. Obviously, you don’t want to toss the Assembly into just any Red deck, but there are some Commanders who can take advantage of it.
The best way to do that is to break Assembly’s symmetry. You can do this by making sure your creatures actually like being damaged. If you do that, your opponents won’t be using the Assembly on your stuff and you’ll also be able to get a big advantage out of targeting your own creatures with it.
Overburden is another symmetrical Enchantment where you need to find ways to break its symmetry, but once you do you can really reap the rewards. In most decks you really don’t want to force yourself to bounce your own lands, but there are some situations where that’s precisely what you want to do.
If you have a landfall Commander like Aesi, Tatyova, or Omnath, you can find yourself reaping the benefits of bouncing all those lands. Meanwhile, your opponents are going to find themselves set back on mana every time they play a creature.
White doesn’t have very many playable free spells, but Abolish is definitely one of those. If you cast it normally, it’s a worse version of Disenchant. However, your opponent really isn’t going to be expecting you to cast this when you’re tapped out and it isn’t that hard to get them to play into a trap.
Plus, it can destroy Sol Ring on turn one. I don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be said.
What did you think of this article? Would you like to see more like it? What set should I look at next time? Let me know over on X.
Jacob has been playing Magic for the better part of 24 years, and he especially loves playing Magic’s Limited formats. He also holds a PhD in history from the University of Oklahoma. In 2015, he started his YouTube channel, “Nizzahon Magic,” where he combines his interests with many videos covering Magic’s competitive history. When he’s not playing Magic or making Magic content, he can be found teaching college-level history courses or caring for a menagerie of pets with his wife.