Collected Company - Obosh
(Obosh, the Preypiercer | Art by Daarken)
Time to Make a New Friend
Companions are a game-changer: they give us access to a free card from the start of the game in exchange for some deckbuilding retrictions. Here on the new Collected Company series, we're going to take a look at all of them and see how can build around them.
In this first installment, we'll be taking a look at Obosh, the Preypiercer. For the cost of only including cards with an odd converted mana cost, we get an odd version of a Furnace of Rath effect. We just need to be careful because it only works on odd-costed cards, which means that tokens are a no-go.
Quick notes on Obosh as a Companion:
I can't highlight enough how good it is to always have this type of effect in our "opening hand". It helps both in terms of consistency, since we don't need to look for it, and it allows for some recovery potential for aggressive decks running low on cards in hand.
There are many interesting things we can do when having direct access to a damage-doubler: burn spells, generic aggro, or even group slug. It's just a generic good effect!
The cost of losing even-numbered cards is pretty huge for non-green decks, especially at two mana, the number of the higher-quality mana rocks. On the other hand, green aligns great with the odd cost curve. One-mana mana dorks ramp nicely into three-mana spells.
- Rakdos CHarm
- Demonic Tutor
- Purphoros, God of the Forge
- Thrill of Possibility
- Tectonic Reformation
- Crypt Ghast
- Solemn Simulacrum
- Arcane Signet
Let's take a quick look at some commanders that fit Obosh, the Preypiercer's restriction:
Vial Smasher the Fierce is a powerful commander; her ability to chip away at the rest of the table just by playing cards is quite good. Aside from that, she has a lot versatility because of her ability to bring another commander along, which can add up to two new colors to the deck's color identity. The boost in damage that Obosh, the Preypiercer enables effectively halves our clock, which grants quite a lot of value considering that it's free.
Judith, the Scourge Diva is truly a great aggressive commander. She act as a Glorious Anthem effect while also providing value when our creatures get destroyed. Obosh, the Preypiercer is a natural addition to Judith's lists, as its restriction isn't all that restrictive for a deck that wants a bunch of tiny creatures, and it pulls double duty by getting more value from Judith's pump and the leave-the-battlefield trigger.
- Blood Artist
- Impact Tremors
- Goblin Bombardment
- Priest of Forgotten Gods
- Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
- Nightmare Shepherd
- Grave Pact
- Dreadhorde Butcher
Nekusar, the Mindrazer is one of those commanders that has a clear gameplan and a lot of ways to build. Damage-doubling effects might not be the most exciting with Nekusar; after all, they are a bit "win more." However, considering that once we adjust our deck accordingly there's virtually no cost whatsoever, it's free real estate!
So how does Nekusar adapt to this new restriction? Actually, pretty well. Most of the wheels cost three mana, while there are some at five, too, and so is the usual support suite, like Underworld Dreams. The biggest problem with this restriction is the lack of two-mana rocks, which are crucial for both fixing and accelerating.
- Cyclonic Rift
- Echo of Eons
- Time Spiral
- Howling Mine
- Spiteful Visions
- Geth's Grimoire
- Talisman of Dominance
- Consecrated Sphinx
'Power matters' tribal (e.g. Ball Lightning) is a pretty interesting archetype; it tries to leverage cheap, high-powered creatures to put our opponents on a fast clock. What makes them even more interesting is the fact that the format is very hostile toward aggressive creatures, with many board wipes and removal spells finding homes in most if not all EDH decks. These creatures, however, don't care about them. In fact, they benefit from them.
What does Obosh, the Preypiercer bring to the table for this kind of deck? He's straight-up gas. Having damage-doubling effects is great when we're trying to burn opponents with beefy creatures, and the addition of one of those effects readily available to us not only makes finding this effect more reliable, but it also takes some pressure from our deck since we don't need to include as many similar effects, leading to the inclusion of a higher number of threats available to us.
Kresh the Bloodbraided brings the green color identity to the archetype, which is great because it allow us to pack mana dorks and better ramp effects like Cultivate and others like it. He also provides a consistent threat that gives us the out of Voltroning people out of the game.
The deck is pretty threat-heavy: we're packing a few of the Ball Lightning effects, which, as I mentioned before, are cheap, evasive beaters that have plenty of synergy potential. Stalking Vengeance and Anax, Hardened in the Forge work great with our low-toughness, high-power creatures. Quartzwood Crasher is a powerful new addition to the archetype: we are already filled with trample creatures.
The inclusion of Obosh, the Preypiercer takes the pressure off our support suite, as we have a relevant ninth card in our opening hand. As such, there are more slots that can be dedicated to more essential matters, like card draw and recursion. Elemental Bond, Kavu Lair, and Garruk's Packleader not only are a great way to have a constant flow of cards, they also work great with our recursion pieces. Greven, Predator Captain and Return of the Wildspeaker complete our card draw suite with a much-needed card advantage package. Victimize and Living Death are two explosive recursion pieces that allow us to push for some extra damage. Journey to Nowhere and Phyrexian Reclamation are a constant source of recursion; while not as explosive as the aforementioned pieces, they do allow us to win the long game.
We have an extremely color-intensive deck. After all, it's pretty hard to cast multiple cards like Ball Lightning, Lightning Skelemental, or Groundbreaker on the same turn. This makes building a mana base especially crucial; our one-mana mana dorks, while a bit underwhelming at times, can provide some early game acceleration and they do chip some damage specially with Obosh, the Preypiercer out. Filter lands like Fire-Lit Thicket are essential to turn an off-color dork, like Llanowar Elves, into a relevant color, which can be the difference between being able to cast one more spell or not. This deck is playing the full nine fetches paired with a bunch of dual-typed lands. While not budget-friendly at all, this is another way to dramatically increase the deck's consistency.
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
At five mana, Obosh, the Preypiercer works pretty well as a top curve threat in aggro decks. However, what if we built a slow shell where we try to stick him around for a couple of turns? Group Slug is an archetype that tends to chip away at the rest of the table with hate pieces. It might not seem like the most friendly archetype, but it sure helps slowing down the table.
Damage-doubling effects tend to fit in this type of shell, since they tend to be global effects, and they not only help us chip our opponents' life totals away faster with our own pieces, but they carry some indirect source of damage since our opponents will also do more damage. Obosh, the Preypiercer checks some of those boxes. It might not accelerate the game as fast as Dictate of the Twin Gods, and the deckbuilding cost of not having even costed cards is definitely steep; however, it's still quite a powerful effect to have as the ninth card.
The chosen commander for the deck is Kelsien, the Plague. His kit rewards the slow and grind game play that a Group Slug deck provides and Obosh pulls double duty, helping with killing creatures with Kelsien's tap ability and making him a faster clock. In fact, Kelsien fits right into our curve. In the early stages of the game, he helps us stabilize the board, and by the late game, he becomes a threat.
There are several types of hate pieces that we're carrying. Spellshock and Painful Quandary punish players for casting spells, while Deafening Clarion and Rule of Law stop them altogether. Polluted Bonds and Zo-Zu the Punisher will make sure people think twice before starting accelerating on us, they won't be online in the early game but the longer the game goes, the better they get. Everlasting Torment, Rampaging Ferocidon. and Sulfuric Vortex are all crucial pieces of our strategy, providing a hard clock for our deck while also adding more utility.
Since our deck is dedicated to passively dealing damage, our threats don't need to be that explosive. Take Rite of the Raging Storm, for example: it provides a reliable clock and adds an extra body for us to shoot with our commander. Vicious Shadows has the potential to deal lots of damage, but even if it's only dealing 1-2 damage per creature, our constant ability to trigger it, coupled with Obosh's ability, is enough to pull its weight.
One important note on the list is the prevalence of lose life and token effects. They don't work with Obosh, the Preypiercer, but they are really necessary with the limited card pool and all.
Kelsien/Obosh Group Slug
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship
Obosh, the Preypiercer is a powerful tool for many commanders. Damage-doubling effects tend to be great with many commanders, but due to their "win more" nature, they can be a dead draw. This is where the Companion ability truly shines: it allow decks that normally wouldn't want to invest in those type of effects to have access to it.
That's it for this Collected Company! What do you think about this article? What are your thoughts on Obosh? What Companion do you want to see covered next? Share your opinions in the comments.