How to Play the Prismari Performance Precon in EDH
This is the complete guide to successfully piloting the Prismari Performance preconstructed deck, commanded by Zaffai, Thunder Conductor. This guide contains everything needed to pilot the deck to victory straight out of the box!
At first glance, Prismari Performance may seem like a spellslinger deck looking to resolve giant spells, but the instants and sorceries actually mostly exist to support and create creatures which the deck will eventually beat down with. Zaffai himself will primarily be creating 4/4 Elemental tokens rather than dishing out 10 damage, since the deck only contains 3 spells capable of meeting that requirement. This is a critical part to understanding the deck: recognizing that creature beatdown will be the primary win condition.
Zaffai wants spells that go pretty big, with a mana value of at least 5, and this deck has 20 of them. This first grouping contains the better half of them:
- Aether Gale, and to a lesser extent, Aetherspouts, serve as playable interaction that can keep pressure off while also creating 4/4 Elementals via Zaffai. Volcanic Vision can be a one-sided board wipe that also returns the best instant or sorcery from the graveyard for a second use and is one of the best cards in the precon. Blasphemous Act makes an appearance as well as a stellar board wipe and one of the strongest cards included in the precon.
- Mana Geyser and Brass’s Bounty make large amounts of mana that will be used to power out even larger spells later, and are usually free to cast.
- Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time won’t be at their finest in this deck, but they’ll still pull their weight and help the deck churn through its library. Apex of Power adds mana and gives its caster card to use it on, and importantly triggers Zaffai’s final magecraft ability.
The remainder of 5 mana value spells tend not to provide as much value and should most likely be prioritized lower than those listed above:
- Creative Technique is a lot of mana to gamble on a random spell, and won’t often be worth it. Fiery Fall and Traumatic Visions might as well be cantrips that always draw lands, because casting either one feels pretty miserable, even when getting a 4/4 token.
- Fiery Encore and Mind’s Desire are part of the reason players miscategorize Prismari Performance as a spellslinger deck: they encourage Storm, but the deck itself doesn’t, meaning these cards will perform rather poorly.
- Rousing Refrain and Inspiring Refrain feel a little overcosted and won’t make too big of a splash; the Suspend 3 clause makes them glacially slow.
- Call the Skybreaker and Elemental Masterpiece just create big tokens; the deck is already doing that with Zaffai out, and having redundancy is nice, but these are certainly subpar Commander cards, even at the preconstructed deck power level.
Those expensive spells will be supporting the handful of win conditions the deck has access to. Combining extra 4/4’s with these effects can lead to powerful swings.
- Talrand, Sky Summoner and Metallurgic Summonings spew out even more tokens so the deck can swarm opponents and build lethal attacks even through blockers.
- Rionya, Fire Dancer only requires one or two spells to be cast prior and always creates at least one token copy of a creature, so even a 4/4 Elemental can cause some heavy damage to be thrown around. This is especially dangerous with a giant monster like Inferno Project in play.
- Swarm Intelligence and Veyran, Voice of Duality give the deck some needed “oomph,” and basically double up Zaffai’s magecraft triggers for an even bigger board.
- Surge to Victory is an interesting finisher that wants its caster to go wide, and once they do, it heavily rewards them with multiple copies of some giant spell, while also creating game-ending power boosts and lots of 4/4’s post-combat with Zaffai.
The deck doesn’t entirely rely on Zaffai and spell backup; it also has a few Commander cards that are entirely threatening on their own, which usually isn’t the case for many precons.
- Etali, Primal Storm simply needs to attack once before its controller gains a stranglehold on the game. It provides so much free card advantage and mana advantage that it can dominate games if protected properly.
- Diluvian Primordial copies the best spell each opponent has cast that game, which can steal wins almost entirely on its own, depending on the power of the exiled cards. It doesn’t require any building around and will pack a punch whether Prismari Performance is doing its thing or not.
- Sunbird’s Invocation turns every future spell into two spells, and it can run away with games given enough time. It’s a rock solid card advantage engine that doesn’t need any spellslinger synergy to function.
Prismari Performance does perform well as a beatdown deck backed up by spellslinging subthemes, but some of the creatures in the deck won’t be pulling their weight a decent amount of the time.
- The deck has almost no way to sneak Living Lore through opposing defense, and even then, all it does is essentially give a spell flashback on a delay.
- Sly Instigator just has nothing to do with the game plan of this particular deck, but could do a good job elsewhere.
- Radiant Performer and Naru Meha, Master Wizard are expensive to set up and won’t offer much of a reward. The deck isn’t very interested in the weak bodies they offer, and the upside of resolving them at the right time just isn’t there in this deck.
As a whole, the Prismari Performance precon may look like a spellslinger deck at first glance, but digging deeper reveals its core of large creatures, splashy spells, and high damage output. Mastering the deck’s strengths and preparing for its weaknesses can mean the difference between a victory and a loss.