I have a plan to build a deck that can get Progenitus on to the battlefield on turn 3 (it's an ongoing joke between my friends and I on who could get Progenitus out quickest with the cards we currently have), but I'm unsure about whether or not I would be allowed Progenitus in my deck at all.

My plan is based on a red/green deck, but obviously Progenitus needs all 5 colours to cast. Within the rules, can I include him anyway? I assume I can, as there are ways of getting him out without casting him, and including cards you don't have the colours for seems more like a stupid move rather than a rule breaking one, but I'm unable to find anything specific about whether or not you have the right colours to include a card in your deck or not.

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    This is actually a quite normal strategy. Turn one Llanowar Elves, then later using, for example, Natural Order to put Progenitus into play. Many other ways to do it. Such strategies are commonly used even in monogreen decks that have no way of producing non-green mana. (And no, it's not stupid. It's usually more stupid to try and actually cast Progenitus, to be honest.)
    – Eff
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 11:14
  • 3
    It's also common in reanimator decks to have creatures you couldn't hard cast. Some cards have alternative casting costs or uses without being cast, like Squee, goblin Nabob combined with Bazaar of Baghdad and it's perfectly fine.
    – JollyJoker
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 12:24
  • @JollyJoker Yes, reanimation (e.g. Entomb+Reanimate) decks are another popular way to "cheat" big creatures into play. You can even do it at instant speed. Other strong ways include Sneak Attack and Show and Tell.
    – Eff
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 12:45
  • 6
    There is a deck called "manaless dredge" that actually runs zero lands! channelfireball.com/articles/…
    – Tim B
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 17:14
  • 2
    Folks, if you want to answer the question please just post an answer, and if you want to suggest things that might be missing from existing answers, please do so in comments on those answers.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 4:46

4 Answers 4


If you are playing a typical constructed game, there is nothing that stops you from putting Progenitus in your deck even if you don't have anything that will give you the mana required to cast it. The Magic Tournament Rules for constructed tournaments don't have such restrictions: Deck Construction Restrictions.

On the other hand, there are formats which won't allow you to put Progenitus in your deck, unless specific conditions are met. One example is Commander, where you would need a Commander of all colors (or make Progenitus your Commander).

  • 1
    You might want to note that just because your general is all 5 colours, you don't necessarily need to be able to produce all 5 colours of mana. This will result in you being unable to cast your general, but it's still legal. Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 17:27

Yes, you can include 4 copies of Progenitus into any deck.

Generally, you can include up to 4 copies of any card into any deck. There are restrictions to deck building, but the color of a card or what mana is required to cast it, compared to what colors of mana your lands can produce, is not one of those restrictions. The only commonly played format where card color matters for deck construction is Commander, where you can't include cards outside of your commander's color identity.

Restrictions to deck building include:

  • You can include any number of basic lands (basic Plains, Islands, Swamps, Mountains, Forests, Wastes) in your deck in any constructed format.
  • You can include any number of other cards in your deck if they say so on the card (e.g. Relentless Rats)
  • Set formats that are composed of sets in which a card has not been printed, for example Standard.
  • Formats in which a card is banned (zero copies allowed) or restricted (1 copy allowed), or that have a general restriction (e.g. Highlander, Commander)
  • Commander format, where you can only cards that match your commander's color identity. Unless your commander is Progenitus or also has all 5 colors as its identity, you couldn't include Progenitus in commander.

In addition to the other answers here, Reanimator decks specifically make use of cards that they can't cast. The way these decks work is to get big creatures with useful abilities into the graveyard, using cards like Buried Alive, Entomb or Putrid Imp then bring them back onto the field faster than you could have cast them normally with cards like Reanimate, Animate Dead, Exhume and Living Death. Many of these decks run only black mana source, since all the spells that make it run are black, but they make use of creatures in all 5 colors.

There are other effects that are less common but can make use of off color creatures, things like Elvish Piper, Quicksilver Amulet, Sneak Attack or Show and Tell all put creatures from the hand into play without needing to cast them, Master Transmuter can do the same for artifacts that have colored costs outside the colors you are playing.

This is not the case for Commander/EDH or rare formats like Star, where your colors in your deck are specifically restricted. In Commander/EDH mana symbols on the cards in your deck must appear on your commander, meaning for a 5 color card to be in your deck your commander must also have a 5 color identity. Star decks are restricted to being all a single color, and each differnt from the colored played by the other players (forming the mtg enemy colored star), though this format is very rarely played.


Actually, the answer to the question is yes, even for Commander. You may include the card in your deck regardless of whether or not, as posed in your question your land setup has the ability to cast the card, so long as your Commander has all the necessary colors. For example, you could use Sliver Overlord or Horde of Notions as your Commander to make all five colors legal, and then build the deck as you described, putting only red and green mana sources in the deck. Commander in no way requires you to put mana support for all the colors of your Commander in the deck, it just forbids putting any cards in that aren't in the Commander's color identity.

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