Quote from Pokken »Yeah, so I think the issue with PE is fundamentally is that it's not so good that casuals don't play it and ruin games with accidental combos. That plus it being a really strong and fairly accessible combo enabler in a lot of decks means you see it in a lot of 75% decks. And then it's also playable in CEDH.
Being both competitive and casual makes it even worse than POK for me, when you combine in how much more annoying it is to remove at instant speed in comparison (and how much less punishing it is when you do so in most cases).
And for a little more exegesis on my favorite quote from the Prophet thread:
If we look at a statistical breakdown of the commander metagame we can see that PoK is in the top 20 creatures of all commander beating out many monocolor bombs that are considered staples, such as Deadeye Navigator, Craterhoof Behemoth, Terastadon, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, and Woodfall Primus. You are more likely to see a PoK in a random opponents deck then any of the cards listed.
I did some more prevalence research by the way. At the time PoK was running rampant, it was in the vicinity of the 20th most played creature in EDH and it was the only multicolored creature to be there.
I give you the 20th most played creature in EDH today:
Xenagos, God of Revels https://edhrec.com/cards/xenagos-god-of-revels
It is in 13% of decks it can go in and a total of 5600 decks out of 44878 decks.
The closest comparison to it (the next most common UG creature) is Prime Speaker Zegana) in 6561 of 53567 decks (at 23rd).
So for all of you "prophet was in every UG decK!!!" people it is extremely likely that Prophet was in around 7000-10000 of 54000 decks.
It was probably in fewer decks than Paradox Engine is in now, though its prevalence rate is higher because it's UG specific vs. being able to be played in any deck.
So the next time you feel the urge to say "Prophet was played way more than Paradox Engine!" This is almost certainly incorrect.
Thats far from enough data to make the sort of closing statement you just did.
First of all, though somewhat unrelated to my other points, more people are playing edh today than when prophet was legal, so comparing raw numbers without adjusting for this inflation would be disingenuous. More people could theoretically be playing PE while it still being played in a lower percentage of total decks.
But relevant to the point that the data you provide doesn't back up your assertion: you make a lot of guesses based on other cards being similarly ranked but with no data showing that this is a valid correlation. There may, for instance, be more spread between places today while the places could have been more clustered when prophet was legal. To be more clear, the difference between tenth place and twentieth today could be (and this is pulled from my ass as I'm not actually looking it up) 4,000 decks, while in Prophets day it may have been 1000. The 20th most played creature today could be ran in a significantly lower percentage of decks than the 20th most played creature 8 years ago. In order to compare Prophet to cards that have similar rankings today and have it be relevant, you'd have to show that the deck percentages are about the same for each ranked place as they were in Prophets day.
More glaringly, you haven't actually shown what percentage of decks run PE, so you only provide half the answer (and based on flawed data at that). I did do the homework on this though, and I'm seeing it as being in 6 percent of listed decks.
Further, there is a severe problem with the way EDHrec ranks creatures. Xenagod, ranked 20th in the past 2 years, appears in fewer decks than Zegana, ranked 23rd. Despite this he makes up a larger share of decks that could run him, because there are fewer RGx decks than UGx decks. Zegana is also more narrow that Prophet (she wants decently sized creatures so she can draw lots of cards, whereas Prophet wants things that can be cast at instant speed, which includes any creature due to its ability, and/or activated abilities that require taps or mana. It's good everywhere, and it's a massive bomb.
It's a shame I can't find data from back then, I'd really like to see the numbers. I'd also like to see the top commanders list. For PE it's a who's who of broken artifact commanders and cEDH perennials, with it's more casual guys being legendary eldrazi, Seton, and Memnarch. Prophet, otoh, was showing up under more casual commanders. That's an important difference, problematic casual omnipresence doesn't look at cEDH numbers.