In our continuing effort to bring you the top Magic: The Gathering Commander coverage, Star City Games proudly brings you the next in our Interview With… series, in which we talk to the relevant figures of Magic and of Commander in candid—and often revealing—fashion.
Few characters in recent history have been as divisive as Prophet of Kruphix. With her recent banning, we thought it was a good time to have a conversation and get her side of the story. She flatly rejected an interview with our flagship Commander writer Sheldon Menery, calling him several names unprintable on a family website and threatening “If I ever see that [deleted] in an alley, I will cut him.” Instead, we sent ace reporter Zanzibar Jones, whom you’ll remember from interviewing Kresh and, more recently, Yasova. Of course, there was his first spot talking with Sheldon himself. That work got him a regular spot in our stable of freelance writers. With Prophet of Kruphix reluctant to speak with anyone from the Rules Committee, Zanzibar was our go-to guy. Here are his notes:
It turned out that our schedules synched up while I was in Los Angeles to visit my girl Aujanue Ellis, who was shooting an episode of Quantico. I had time because I never go to that set. Too many police. Even if they’re just actors, you know what I mean.
You’ll see that Prophet—who about halfway into the interview insisted that I call her Cyndi—only alludes to why she’s in LA. We met at LA’s famous Formosa Cafe, which you’ll remember from films like LA Confidential. She’s definitely sharp; you can’t be blue-green without having some brains. The vibe I caught off of her was like preacher’s kid gone off to college, on her own for the first time.
Her look has certainly changed. She’s thrown away the diaphanous robes in favor of a pair of snug-fitting jeans and a flannel shirt that she said she got from Eddie Vedder. She was occasionally lucid, occasionally rambling, but always insightful. She chain-smoked filterless cigarettes until the manager came over and told her to stop—after which point, she only smoked three or four through the rest of the interview. I’m still not sure why he didn’t call the cops, but I’m glad he didn’t. A brother only needs so much trouble.
SCG (ZJ): Why do you think you got banned?
Prophet: Why do you think I got banned?
SCG (ZJ): Naw, we’re not going to roll like that. If you just want to sit here and have a few drinks, get funky, and see what happens, that’s Kool & the Gang, but if we’re going to interview, we’ll do it right.
SCG (ZJ): So, why do you think it happened?
Prophet: I don’t want to come off as someone who attributes everything wrong in the world to men, but sometimes the shoe fits.
SCG (ZJ): What are you saying?
Prophet: Braids? Erayo? Women. Now me. Would you be surprised to know that even Primeval Titan and Sylvan Primordial are genderfluid? I bet you already knew that. Yet Deadeye Navigator still roams free. I’m not saying that there’s a conscious bias against female characters from the Rules Committee. I’m just saying maybe they need to think about the message they’re sending to girls.
SCG (ZJ): But they supported you for a long time. I could argue they stayed with you through a few pretty rough patches where some brothers were screaming for your blood. They only took action when you became a little too radioactive.
Prophet: Yeah, a girl gets to the top of the heap, and The Man drags her down.
SCG (ZJ): Listen, I’ve been fighting the fight for a minute and I know something about The Man. This ain’t that.
Prophet: Then why do you think that is?
SCG (ZJ): We agreed I’d ask the questions.
Prophet: Sure. Isn’t it funny that we’re meeting where Lana Turner got discovered? Oh, wait. That was a question. It seems pretty funny that we’re meeting where Lana Turner got discovered. Objectification of women, much? Maybe we’ll run into somebody interesting. Like Guy Pearce. Or Chris Hemsworth. I’d untap him on your turn, if you know what I mean. That booth over there looks like it’s someplace you’d see The Most Interesting Man in the World. That’d be hot.
SCG (ZJ): So what brings you to Los Angeles? Are you trying to get into show business?
Prophet: I’ve had some offers. I’m going to the San Fernando Valley tomorrow to do some interviews.
SCG (ZJ): Anything you can talk about?
Prophet: Honey, talk is worth a nickel.
SCG (ZJ): I’m not sure what that means.
Prophet: I bet you don’t.
SCG (ZJ): Any other plans you want to discuss?
Prophet: Well, Magic is dead to me. It’s not like I was getting played in any other format. I obviously rotated out of Standard. Modern players say I “cost too much.” Five. I cost five. You can’t call me high-maintenance because I pay for myself on the opponent’s turn! I’m the model of a 21st-century woman, damn it. By the way, I’m picking up the check for these drinks.
SCG (ZJ): I think I’m on an expense account.
Prophet: No, forget that, I’m paying.
SCG (ZJ): Okay, solid. Have you traveled any with your new-found freedom?
Prophet: I was just in Las Vegas.
SCG (ZJ): What did you do?
Prophet: All the things you do in Vegas. Gamble, drink, pay too much money for everything. Brush off frat boys who think they’re Frank Sinatra. I think I saw your boss at a UFC fight.
SCG (ZJ): Well, he’s not really my boss since I’m a freelancer.
Prophet: Whatever. I think I saw him trying to hit on Ronda Rousey.
SCG (ZJ): Even if you’re making that up, that sounds like it could be true.
Prophet: Whatever. Anyway, I played blackjack until they kicked me out for taking hits on other players’ turns. Said I was messing with the math or something. I got comped some tickets for Blue Man Group.
SCG (ZJ): How was the show?
Prophet: I didn’t go.
SCG (ZJ): Why not?
Prophet: Because it’s not Blue and Green Man Group, obv.
SCG (ZJ): Even though you’re on the banned list now, you still must have fond memories of being Prophet of Kruphix.
Prophet: I actually don’t go by that name anymore.
SCG (ZJ): Wait, what?
Prophet: Well, I’m not really singing the praises of Kruphix, God of Horizons any longer, so it didn’t seem right to keep calling myself that.
SCG (ZJ): So what should we call you?
Prophet: Cyndi. Y first, then i.
SCG (ZJ): Please don’t tell me there’s a little heart over the i.
Cyndi: Of course not! What do you think is wrong with me? I’m not a twelve-year-old reading Tiger Beat. It’s not a heart, it’s a pizza emoji.
SCG (ZJ): That doesn’t make any sense.
Cyndi: What, a girl can’t like pizza?
SCG (ZJ): So why Cyndi?
Cyndi: To make a long story short, the name Cynthia comes from an epithet given to the moon goddess Artemis, the Greek version of Diana. She was goddess of the hunt, forests, archery, all kind of cool thing. I know Nylea, God of the Hunt is a version of Diana, but I like the things she stands for. I kept the Y after the I because that’s how it’s spelled in the full version of the name.
SCG (ZJ): Right, but why not do that and put the more traditional y at the end?
Cyndi: Because then it would look like Syfy, and that [deleted] confuses the hell out of everyone.
SCG (ZJ): Speaking of TV, are you watching anything lately?
Cyndi: Well, now that I have lots more time on my hands, I’m catching up on stuff I missed while was out doing Kruphix’s work. I binged House of Cards and both seasons of Fargo last weekend. I watched a few episodes of The Shannara Chronicles on MTV. It’s okay so far, although I think the characters are a little juvenile. Kind of MTV-appropriate. The production value is solid, and that druid guy is pretty hunky in that “hey, I’m super-serious and have scars everywhere” way.
SCG (ZJ): Do you miss anyone from the Commander decks?
Cyndi: As angry as I am at your buddy Sheldon and his cronies, I can’t take it out on the people I worked with. When we were hanging out with Animar, Soul of Elements, Jalira, Master Polymorphist and I had some great times together. We were always turning nothing of consequence into something cool. I still have a lot of respect for the creatures out there battling every day. They do difficult things sometimes. I just hope that Seedborn Muse can carry on my work.
SCG (ZJ): Do you think that now that you’re gone, people will stop complaining about Deadeye Navigator?
Cyndi: He’s garbage without me.
SCG (ZJ): Turning back to your own work, we were talking about folks you’ll miss being together with.
Cyndi: When it comes down to it, I’ll miss everybody. I enjoyed being the fuel for all kinds of broken stuff. I was happy when I could just untap everyone and all those nice lands all the time and let creatures come in whenever they wanted. I loved my work, and I’ll miss it. I just have to move onto a new chapter in my life, that’s all. I was thinking about trying out BASE jumping. Or opening a tattoo parlor. Somebody should really invent a new, better format. You know, one in which I’m legal. And when I said I liked working with everybody, that even goes for Deadeye Navigator, despite him being a [deleted] [deleted] [deleted]. We had some times.
SCG (ZJ): I know you weren’t legal with them long, but how about anyone from Oath of the Gatewatch?
Cyndi: Well, clearly, I would have really loved to spend some time with both Endbringer and Blinky the Eldrazi (writer’s note: that’s Eldrazi Displacer). I know Endbringer doesn’t need me all that bad because it untaps itself, but I would have helped with the mana. And me and Blinky would have made you forget about Deadeye Navigator, that [deleted] [deleted].
SCG (ZJ): You think that Blinky has a chance of getting banned?
Cyndi: Probably not. Those guys on the RC are meatheads. Someone should ban them. Here’s to the glorious revolution, overthrowing the tyrannical RC and all they stand for!
SCG (ZJ): If you were on the RC, what would you change? Would you argue to ban or unban anything in particular?
Cyndi: I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to the banned list, blue is the oppressed majority. America has this weird relationship with success, right? We all want to be successful, but then we vilify the people who achieve. Blue is the achiever, so it gets unfairly targeted when it comes to banned cards. I’ll tell you what—if I were just green, or God forbid, red, I would have never gotten banned.
SCG (ZJ): Seriously?
Cyndi: Yeah, I swear. If I was blue/red, they’d be building new precons based on me, because those Izzet commanders are [deleted].
SCG (ZJ): That seems a little unfair and kind of undercuts your point about blue.
Cyndi: Whatever. You know what really pisses me off? Cigarette machines. They used to be in every bar, but now when you run out of smokes, you have to go the store. But I guess this is where I’m supposed to tell the kids that they shouldn’t smoke. So don’t smoke, kids. And stay in school. And play your Fogs.
SCG (ZJ): Let’s try to get back to funky town.
Cyndi: What were we talking about?
SCG (ZJ): If you were on the RC.
Cyndi: Okay, first of all, I’d get rid of one of the Canadians.
SCG (ZJ): What?
Cyndi: Don’t get me wrong, Gavin and Alex are both great and have done wonderful things for the format. I’m just saying that two Canadians is too many. Canada still needs to apologize for Loverboy. You know how bad Loverboy sucks? Not even Rush can make up for them. Not even Rush and Triumph together, and that’s saying something. This would be a step in that direction.
SCG (ZJ): We’re drifting off topic a little.
Cyndi: Yeah, I guess you want to talk about cards. I don’t think I’d unban anything. If you forced me to, Painter’s Servant would probably be the safest to bring off, but “least dangerous” is still unsafe. As bad as some people make out Recurring Nightmare to be, I think there might be enough good graveyard hate these days to make it not so bad. Sure, some folks could abuse it, but that speaks to motivation more than anything. I think it might be able to be played fairly. I know the RC doesn’t do test unbans—which I support, because the messaging confusion would get out of hand—but maybe some local groups could unban it and give it a whirl. I think they’ll find that, like Kokusho, the Evening Star, it’s not as bad now as it was back in the day.
SCG (ZJ): Anything you’d put on the list?
Cyndi: After all I’ve said about Deadeye Navigator, I wouldn’t put it on the list, because then I wouldn’t have anything to swear about. I know there’s stuff that people whine about, but I don’t think there’s anything toxic to the format at the moment. I’m trying to be not bitter here.
SCG (ZJ): How long are you going to be in LA?
Cyndi: I’m making that trip to the Valley tomorrow, and then Val Kilmer invited me to spend a few days on his ranch.
SCG (ZJ): Seems kind of random.
Cyndi: What are you talking about? Val knows how to party. He’s into mind expansion and all that stuff.
SCG (ZJ): So now that you don’t have a home in any Commander decks, where will you relocate to?
Cyndi: You know as well as I do where I’ll end up. Trade binders and dollar rare bins everywhere.
SCG (ZJ): Seems like as good a place as any to end. Thanks for talking to us today. Any last words?
Cyndi: Yep. I hate Deadeye Navigator.
This week’s Deck Without Comment is The Mill-Meoplasm.
- 1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Willbender
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 1 Yavimaya Elder
- 1 Eater of the Dead
- 1 Vulturous Zombie
- 1 Big Game Hunter
- 1 Riftsweeper
- 1 Puppeteer Clique
- 1 Woodfall Primus
- 1 Extractor Demon
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- 1 Necrotic Ooze
- 1 Mindshrieker
- 1 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
- 1 Consuming Aberration
- 1 Duskmantle Guildmage
- 1 Sepulchral Primordial
- 1 Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker
- 1 Notion Thief
- 1 Jace's Mindseeker
- 1 Phenax, God of Deception
- 1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
- 1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
- 1 Strip Mine
- 8 Forest
- 1 Reflecting Pool
- 6 Swamp
- 5 Island
- 1 Underground Sea
- 1 Tropical Island
- 1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
- 1 Overgrown Tomb
- 1 Watery Grave
- 1 Breeding Pool
- 1 Gilt-Leaf Palace
- 1 Twilight Mire
- 1 Exotic Orchard
- 1 Drowned Catacomb
- 1 Command Tower
- 1 Hinterland Harbor
- 1 Grim Backwoods
- 1 Opulent Palace
- 1 Spire of Industry
- 1 Sensei's Divining Top
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Regrowth
- 1 Chains of Mephistopheles
- 1 Darksteel Ingot
- 1 Kodama's Reach
- 1 Traumatize
- 1 Oversold Cemetery
- 1 Aether Snap
- 1 Scrabbling Claws
- 1 Mesmeric Orb
- 1 Crystal Shard
- 1 Evacuation
- 1 Altar of Dementia
- 1 Greater Good
- 1 Skyshroud Claim
- 1 Pernicious Deed
- 1 Fact or Fiction
- 1 Far Wanderings
- 1 Cloudstone Curio
- 1 Sudden Spoiling
- 1 Damnation
- 1 Jace Beleren
- 1 Rite of Consumption
- 1 Life's Finale
- 1 Mindcrank
- 1 Spider Spawning
- 1 Essence Harvest
- 1 Psychic Spiral
- 1 Mind Grind
- 1 Rise of the Dark Realms
- 1 In Garruk's Wake
- 1 Altar of the Brood
- 1 Villainous Wealth
- 1 Talent of the Telepath
- 1 Arachnogenesis
Check out our awesome Deck List Database for the last versions of all my decks:
AURELIA GOES TO WAR;
CHILDREN of a LESSER GOD;
DEMONS OF KAALIA;
EREBOS and the HALLS OF THE DEAD;
HELIOD, GOD OF ENCHANTMENTS;
DREAMING OF INTET;
FORGE OF PURPHOROS;
KARN, BEATDOWN GOLEM;
HALLOWEEN WITH KARADOR;
KARRTHUS, WHO RAINS FIRE FROM THE SKY;
KRESH INTO THE RED ZONE;
LAZAV, SHAPESHIFTING MASTERMIND;
ZOMBIES OF TRESSERHORN;
MELEK’S MOLTEN MIND GRIND;
MERIEKE’S ESPER CONTROL;
NATH of the VALUE LEAF;
NYLEA OF THE WOODLAND REALM;
OBZEDAT, GHOST KILLER;
PURPLE HIPPOS and MARO SORCERERS;
ZEGANA and a DICE BAG;
YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF;
RURIC THAR AND HIS BEASTLY FIGHT CLUB;
THASSA, GOD OF MERFOLK;
THE ALTAR of THRAXIMUNDAR;
TROSTANI and HER ANGELS;
THE THREAT OF YASOVA;
If you’d like to follow the adventures of my Monday Night RPG group (in a campaign that’s been alive since 1987 and is just now getting started with a new saga called “The Lost Cities of Nevinor”), ask for an invitation to the Facebook group “Sheldon Menery’s Monday Night Gamers.”