(Null Profusion | Art by Kev Walker)
Reduce, Reuse, and Null Profusion?
Welcome back to The Toolbox! Here, we take a look at underplayed cards and evaluate where they ought to see more play. Today we’re taking a look at another Planar Chaos card: Null Profusion!
For those that don’t know, this is a color-shifted version of the Tempest card Recycle. Even though each one has the significant drawback of reducing your hand size to two and skipping your draw step, the card draw can just make that irrelevant in the right deck. Some people swear by the power of these cards, and others say that they’re unplayable. Personally, I could write about or play either in the right deck and be happy.
Finding the right home for a card as restrictive and powerful as Null Profusion is very challenging, so let’s start by taking a look at the EDHREC page!
Haakon is one of the most unique and confusing commanders out there, but trust me, it can actually work. Essentially, the deck relies on Command Beacon and Netherborn Altar to get Haakon into your hand. From there you have to discard him to be able to cast him from the bin. Finally, the deck tries to assemble an infinite loop, such as Haakon, Stromgald Scourge, Blacklance Paragon, Phyrexian Altar, and Bontu’s Monument, to take out the table. Null Profusion is used as a draw engine for when the deck doesn’t have an immediate win, as well as as a discard outlet for Haakon. If you would like to know more about this off-the-wall commander and other lines of play the deck has, take a look at the article that Ben Doolittle wrote on Haakon in his series, Conditions Allow!
Moving past Haakon, Null Profusion is a great way to just go nuts in Damia decks. With her card draw in the upkeep, both downsides of Profusion becomes pretty irrelevant with all the cards that you can see in a turn. Then there’s Toshiro Umezawa, a control deck that uses Profusion as a draw engine to break parity with the opponents and grind the game out.
So there are ways to not only make excellent use of the draw, and there are ways to make the discard irrelevant; what decks should Null Profusion see more play in?
Son of Storm
There is no other way to put it: K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth is a terrifying commander to sit across from! This Horror not only makes all black mana symbols into Phyrexian mana, but he also grows whenever his controller casts a black spell. This, all combined with lifelink, has spawned a very unique combination of Devotion, life loss, and Storm brews. Now comes the question: is Null Profusion a viable inclusion for this deck?
As a starting point, let’s look at Joey Schultz’s Storm brew in this article to investigate how Null Profusion can help.
To supplement the absolute insanity of K’rrik being able to make everything effectively free, card draw is necessary to keep the Storm going. Something that can be easily missed is that K’rrik also affects activated abilities, making Greed and Vilis, Broker of Blood absolutely nuts! There’s also Necropotence, but drawing the cards at the end of the turn is a legitimate drawback. To supplement the card draw suite of the deck, the black draw spells—such as Sign in Blood, and Succumb to Temptation—are very common and often needed to go off consistently.
Even with all of these other ways of drawing cards, something that is apparently seen in only 2.06% of K’rrik decks is Null Profusion. With K’rrik out, Profusion is only four mana for an enchantment that draws you a card every time you cast a Dark Ritual or Blood Celebrant, and even from just playing a land! Profusion is also the only draw engine not taxing on your life total, which is great for when a Harsh Mentor is out.
In the words of Joseph Schultz of the EDHRECast, Null Profusion is, “Far and away the best card I could ever hope to draw in the middle of the Storm.” If you don’t believe either of us, please go take a look at his article as well as the decklist!
Greatness at Any Cost
The Value God
There are very few commanders that can even come close to being in contention for the throne of value that The Scarab God sits upon. As if being able to Eternalize creatures from any graveyard into 4/4 Zombies and returning to hand at the next end step after death wasn’t enough, it also slowly grinds games out with life loss and scrying at the beginning of your upkeep! What can’t The Scarab God do?!
Something that it can do with Null Profusion is absolutely decimate your opponents with card advantage. Generating a massive horde with The Scarab God is not challenging, especially when the deck is chock-full of Zombies. Then comes the next upkeep, when The Scarab God brings your opponents down a peg, but there’s also a scry that basically just lets you stack your deck. Then, with Null Profusion, you can just play Zombie, into Zombie, into Zombie, until there is nothing that your opponents can do about it!
There is the question about how much of a downside the reduced hand size is, but Zombies have a way of coming back from the grave. For example, Gisa and Geralf, Phyrexian Delver, and Zombie Apocalypse all want to bring their friends back from the graveyard. If all this doesn’t convince you, the best I can do is say to take a look at the decklist and find a The Scarab God deck to play against!
For the Horde
Return of the Daxos!
Out of the experience counter commanders, Daxos, the Returned is by far my favorite because of the out-of-the-box enchantress flavor. Not only does he offer an alternative to the typical Selesnya options such as Karametra, God of Harvests, but Daxos also has the ability to make a much wider board presence. Why should an enchantress deck be running such a restrictive draw engine, you may ask?
A big loss of playing Orzhov over Selesnya is losing the ability to play all of the enchantresses except Mesa Enchantress, including Enchantress’s Presence, Eidolon of Blossoms, Verduran Enchantress, etc. The constant card draw from these cards paired with restrictive enchantments such as Aura of Silence, and Ghostly Prison are how enchantress decks lock opponents out of the game.
While the restriction of Null Profusion is a legitimate concern, I think that it’s still one of the best, underutilized card draw options out there. Before you take out your pitchforks and take to the comments, yes, Daxos has access to Arguel’s Blood Fast // Temple of Aclazotz, Greed, and Necropotence. The issue with these cards, and why they’re all played in fewer than 33% of Daxos decks, is the fact that relying on your life for card draw can be very dangerous when your Sphere of Safety gets destroyed. With Profusion, this is much less of a problem, and it doesn’t cost mana for every card drawn. Phyrexian Arena, and Underworld Connections are legitimate considerations as well, but the decks still needs a raw engine to really go off.
Finally, Null Profusion may be a bit hefty at six mana, but there are ways to jump the curve, such as Starfield Mystic, Black Market, Serra’s Sanctum, and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Any of these will quickly get Profusion onto the field and get you churning through your deck.
If you aren’t convinced yet, the best thing to do is take a look at the decklist!
Returned for Elspeth
Thank you all for your continued support of the series! I hope that you all enjoyed reading this installment, and I hope that you’ve found a new home for Null Profusion. Do you think these commanders pair well with Null Profusion? Do you think I’m overestimating this card, or do you agree it’s highly underrated? What other cards are you hoping to see get their place in the limelight? Let’s talk about it in the comments below. Everything is a bit crazy and uncertain right now, so everyone please stay safe and have a great week!