Profaner of the Dead

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Custom Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) Rare

Combos Browse all

Related Questions

Profaner of the Dead

Creature — Naga Wizard

Exploit (When this creature enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a creature.)

When Profaner of the Dead exploits a creature, return to their owners' hands all creatures your opponents control with toughness less than the exploited creature's toughness.

Profaner of the Dead Discussion

Rzepkanut on Cyclonic Rift replacement.

4 months ago

One of the closest things to the rift is Profaner of the Dead , but most people don't know about it for some reason. I love the card, its super useful for many strategies.

SynergyBuild on Why Cyclonic Rift is not ...

6 months ago

In EDH, when a player with a blue source and at least mana in other sources open on a field. It is a threat. It is a threat not because of a 7 mana spell, but a 2 mana spell, not a spell that deals damage, counters spell, destroys permanents, tutors, or cheats costs, but a bounce spell.

Cyclonic Rift , C-Rift, the big wave, whatever you call it, people know it as one of the strongest, most backbreaking spells in all of EDH, if not the best card in the format.

I am here to say that is isn't.


Part of my series on why other popular staples aren't good ( Phyrexian Arena , Rampant Growth ), or are simply not good in a specific way ( Rhystic Study ), I am not here to deny the power that a card like Cyclonic Rift has, but simply that it isn't a good enough card to warrant the hate or love that it receives.

Before I go over why it isn't good, I need to go over why at nearly every power level, it is good.


In casual EDH, the 50% or less, the Precons, the jank, lies it's the weakest state.

That is where all removal spells, sweepers, or countermagic is the weakest, especially bounce. If no one has threatening boards, why remove them. You'd rather spend 7 mana on a spell to improve yours most of the time, yet those games go long, the Cyclonic Rift acts as a Fog to save you, Sleep to get in for damage, or real removal if you use it on a player's end step if they have to discard just after.

Almost all cards that show heavy play at higher levels show some play at lower ones, and while the price-tag may limit it for most casual players, it does work.

At the 75% or the middle tiers of EDH, where I think EDH players mostly lie, it where it is the most powerful. IF it destroyed any number of target nonland permanents, it would be weaker, because of three reasons:

  • 75% decks often use permanent-based engines to support their gameplan. Think Beast Whisperer along with a deck full of cheap elves, or Paradox Engine in a deck will a lot of Temple Bell effects and mana rocks.

  • These decks and their creators often expect opponents to remove threats, so have many threats to remove.

  • They try to protect against sweepers, the only punishing cards for going so wide, with anti-sweepers, think Heroic Intervention , or Boros Charm , and protect against some single-target removal with effects like Darksteel Plate .

Because of this, and because indestructible and hexproof don't protect against a mass bounce effect, along with Cyclonic Rift being the only mass bounce at instant speed that doesn't affect you at all, and doesn't target, it is truly the best anti-75% sweeper by many standards.

In the competitive setting, while not bad, it is mostly relegated to being a 2 mana Chain of Vapor or a Into the Roil that doesn't draw a card, that can let a combo deck get through stax locks once in a blue moon.

Don't get me wrong, being relegated to a slightly worse Chain of Vapor isn't an insult. Chain of Vapor is possible the best removal in cEDH, as decks like Kess consultation or P-Hulk variants Laboratory Maniac wins, and for 1 blue mana, or two in the case of Cyclonic Rift , you get to bounce their wincon as they draw off an empty deck, so they lose...

That is some powerful stuff.


So why isn't it the best EDH card, an efficient spell in nearly any metagame? 2 options for removal, one that crushes many lists and the other a sleek and useful trick?

Because it isn't hyper-efficient, nor is it unbeatable, nor is it irreplaceable.

To start, many cEDH decks that run it run consistent amounts of countermagic to protect it's possible great effect, and numerous cards could fit the spot. It isn't alone. Blink of an Eye , the second Into the Roil has been used over it in many combo lists that more mana-efficient options and many forget the slot all-together, in favor of a cantrip or other removal spell like Abrade or whatever. It isn't very dominant there, and so is easy to explain why it wouldn't be amazing there.

In casual lists, Cyclonic Rift costs about as much as half of many of the casual decks, or even more than some entire casual decks that I have seen. Bringing money-cards wins there, as would a Consecrated Sphinx that costs less money, and I'd wager would have more powerful an effect. Again, an easy argument, but I believe it works.

The really hard place to argue against Cyclonic Rift on the surface is the middle tiers. The 75% lists. Legitimately, I think it is because in the 75% players don't consistently a highly interactive 'metagame'. They just prefer to be interactive 'ingame'.


This comes down to theory, however, when a deck, for example, an elf list abusing the Llanowar Elves style effects along with untap effects to keep making mana, dumping it into something like Ezuri, Renegade Leader . All of that deck and many others get shut down by Null Rod . While that card may be less powerful than other cards against any random deck, as many players know exactly what decks they face, they can play to those decks.

This means general removal, like Anguished Unmaking may be worse if artifacts and walkers don't see much play, you'd rather Mortify . Or if instant speed doesn't help you much, as a lot of City of Solitude / Dosan the Falling Leaf effects exist in your meta, Vindicate , etc.

This is pretty basic knowledge, however, the point here is that there are many, many replacements for Cyclonic Rift in different metagames, and I want to share the ones, only in mono-blue, that in the 75% are why Cyclonic Rift is overrated.

This isn't to say it isn't the best, but that if many, many replacements cost way less $$$ and are occasionally better, that one card shouldn't be considered the best in every situation.


Replacements:

Aether Gale , sorcery, only hits six things, has to hit your things if you don't have enough targets of only your opponents, targets, etc. Yes, there are reasons this is clearly worse.

Why is it better? Politically, you don't have to hit cards from players you team with. Similarly, if you like the Howling Mine on someone's field, don't bounce it. Someone Banishing Light ed someone else's threat you can't deal with? Don't bounce it.

Also, 18 cents. Compared to ~20 dollars and I think it is a steal for budget lists.

Also, it is 2 mana cheaper, despite not being an occasional Disperse .

Evacuation , the downside is simple, it doesn't hit non-creatures, and bounces your own things.

The upsides are for decks that want their own things bounced. ETB effects like Mulldrifter (You can respond to the sacrifice on evoke if you want!), Archaeomancer (infinite sweepers by returning Evacuation , or just recur another card), Duplicant , Solemn Simulacrum , etc.

It is 5 mana too, still an instant, and is only 2-3 dollars right now.

Other options for this could be AEtherize , Whelming Wave , Inundate , Engulf the Shore , Profaner of the Dead , or Scourge of Fleets if you just want mass creature bounce, each with ups and downs, some that only hit opposing creatures, some that are instants, some with graveyard synergies, etc.

For mass nonland bounce that doesn't target? There are tons of options, plenty with lower mana costs than Cyclonic Rift .

Take Coastal Breach . It does a mass bounce for just 4 mana (with 3 opponents), leaving you enough to rebuild first, and being able to be cast much faster, making up slightly for the sorcery speed.

Or Crush of Tentacles , 6 mana? 5 mana and an 8/8, it needs to be in a deck with enough cheap drops to hit surge to be worth it, but an option.

Devastation Tide is a personal favorite, if you run Aminatou, Brainstorm , a lot of scry, Mystical Tutor , Long-Term Plans , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , or are lucky, it is a 2 mana bounce everything. Really strong, however, sorcery (unless you cast it with Miracle on an opponents turn.

Run really high mana cards? Displacement Wave can be better,

Like a big creature attached? Kederekt Leviathan . It even comboes with flicker effects, or can be repeated for 2 mana with an effect like Animate Dead or 3 mana at instant speed whenever with Necromancy in black/blue.

Only need to target one player for political reasons? River's Rebuke .

A lot of one color in the meta? Wash Out

Artifacts/Enchantments? Reduce to Dreams

Even outside of bounce effects, Ixidron can do work xD


Point is, there are options. Even outside of blue, sweepers that can get around the normal protection is seriously strong. Terminus , Hallowed Burial , along with most mass exile effects in white from Play of the Game to Final Judgement / Descend upon the Sinful to the new Urza's Ruinous Blast , etc. Mercilous Eviction in W/B, the -x/-x effects in black like Toxic Deluge or Black Sun's Zenith , etc. in any color, Perilous Vault exists.

These are half of why I think Cyclonic Rift is overrated. Not because it isn't great at what it does, but that it isn't that much better than the rest.

The other half is simple.

Every color (sorry colorless) has answers to Cyclonic Rift off the top of my head.

White? Teferi's Protection , Lapse of Certainty it.

Blue? Swan Song it. Dispel it.

Black? Many lists abuse cards like Inquisition of Kozilek or other discard to remove powerful cards from opposing decks.

Red? Pyroblast or Red Elemental Blast are cEDH staples and are very efficient.

Green? Ugh... Yeah, I guess some colors don't have answers...

EDIT: griffstick said Seedtime . This is beautiful xD

(Gutteral Response if they ever make hybrid legal in mono-colored xD)

That's all. Thoughts?

lonesentinel on In response...permanent-ly!

6 months ago

spiral_te thanks for comments/suggestions!

I agree for point 1-7.

  • The original reason I put in Expedition Map is that I based the deck around the 6 flash-enablers. Theres no way to tutor for Vedalken Orrery and Leyline of Anticipation , and only Momir to tutor for Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and Yeva, Nature's Herald . So the Map is my efficient way to tutor out Alchemist's Refuge and Winding Canyons . I would shift over to a Ulvenwald Hydra for this purpose but I do not have one.

  • Void Grafter is just part of the 'my creature can do what an instant can do' such as Dive Down or Mizzium Skin but I guess this is pretty situational and I would have to leave 3 mana open always.

  • I agree for the cuts to Kiora's follower, but not for Gyre engineer. Both were meant to be manadorks and I was guessing I need to ramp fast to be able to cast things on multiple turns. Genesis hydra was just thematic of the 'cheating creatures out'.

  • For Prowling Serpopard/Gaea's Herald, it's not really needed in my playgroup, since I'm the one that usually plays counterspells most of the time.

  • I'm looking to slot in Kederekt Leviathan for a 'cyclonic rift' effect that can be used twice due to unearth. But my considerations are that I'll need to build up my board again, so this would probably be used more when I'm behind. So i've opted to put in Profaner of the Dead and Scourge of Fleets as my AOE boardclear instead. What are your thoughts on adding the Leviathan?

Still need to cut 5 more :(

semsandberg on Impenetrable Shield [Aggro Combo]

7 months ago

Hey Vlasiax, i hope suggestions are appreciated. I like your deck a lot, cause it has this kind of typical wall deck. But let me give you two suggestions outside the theme. First: Profaner of the Dead , I had great experiences with him, especially in multiplayer and second: Spidersilk Armor . If you like, check out my own deck: Executive Order 13767 Suggestions are welcome!

Strangelove on Marchesa, the Black Rose EDH: Steal Yo Gurl!

7 months ago

Hey Shinwizzles, nice list! +1

Here's a version I made for under $30: Black Rose [Budget]

It's a got a huge pool in the maybeboard, check it out.

No one mentioned Flayer of the Hatebound . Auto-include, imo. With a sac engine, it does at least 9 damage at the end of each turn (36+ damage by your next upkeep)!

Geralf's Mindcrusher similarly mills 10-40.

Brine Shaman is cool.

Feast on the Fallen ?

On theme, I'm seeing neither Molten Primordial nor Mob Rule . There's also Macabre Mockery and Overtaker .

Abyssal Gatekeeper , Fleshbag Marauder (and friends), and Profaner of the Dead are brutal. I would definitely swap out some of the lesser betrayal ( Portent of Betrayal , CMC 4+, etc) for these.

Graft: I feel like Graft + Sac Engine + Marchesa is very strong. The only way your opponents can clear this combo is to waste a ton of removal (3+ to remove Marchesa), or wait for your Graft trigger (if you overextend your combo). Vigean Graftmage protects Marchesa immediately on turn 4. They're also good fodder, like anything with Undying, to feed things like Altar of Dementia once each turn.

Shout out to Demon's Herald ! I've been looking for an excuse to play Prince of Thralls ... Maybe it's on-theme? I love these two.

Cheers!

Heliogabale on Executive Order 13767

8 months ago

I am from Montreal, but I have family in Germany, although I don't get to go as often as I would like. I have not met many players from there, it is nice to have a diverse view on the game!

To answer your first question honestly, there are people who have different play style; some are aggro, some are combo... I am greedy. This is often my downfall, but when I see something with a big potential I can't resist the urge. I have not had a chance to test this deck as much as I would like, but effectively this card may end up making place to something else, perhaps your suggestion of Profaner of the Dead .

Of course if you play 1vs1 the signets and some ramp is definitely a good idea, as well as keeping the mana curve low. If you think about it, none of your 5 or 6 CMC cards are essential to your deck, and could be replaced with 3 or 4 CMC.

Because of that I think Serra's Blessing is right for you. You could also add tutors for you High Alert, like Sterling Grove and Enlightened Tutor , a few pillows like Propaganda and Ghostly Prison or some counterspells.

Go an buy the Bident already, it costs 0,40 Euro! :)

Cheers,

semsandberg on We Don't Need No Education

8 months ago

Heyho,

you know I like your deck a lot, but I have to recommend you Profaner of the Dead . I know he looks a bit weird, but especially if you are in a multiplayer game, he works really really great and it's a funny wincon. :)

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Profaner of the Dead occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.0%