Thada Adel: The Biggest, Bluest Beatdown

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Mookie
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

That's a lovely ring you have there. It sure would be a shame if something were to happen to it....
- Thada Adel, Acquisitor.




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Introduction

If I were to describe my deckbuilding habits, I would identify myself as a Johnny - I enjoy putting together weird contraptions and combinations of cards. I place restrictions on my deckbuilding, and see what sort of things I can make within those constraints.

This is not a Johnny deck. This is 100% pure, unfiltered Timmy. It functions as a ramp deck, using Thada's ability to steal mana rocks from its opponents, then using that mana to cast giant robots, leviathans, and eldritch horrors to beat down with.

Interested? Read on.


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Commander Analysis



Mana cost:
At 3 mana, Thada is capable of coming down early and being recast many times, especially if we're able to ramp a bit. Her color identity is monoblue, which has both pros and cons - we get access to the best counterspells and card draw, but we also have some difficulty interacting with resolved permanents.

Type: Legendary Creature - Merfolk Rogue.
As a Merfolk, Thada is capable of benefiting from many tribal support cards. There are also some support cards for Rogues (most notably the Prowl mechanic).

Stats: 2/2
As a 2/2 for 3 mana, Thada Adel qualifies as a Gray Ogre - not particularly impressive statwise. It is difficult for her to knock out opponents via commander damage, and with only two toughness, she can be taken out by most damage-based removal. Fortunately, she is relatively cheap to recase.

Islandwalk
Thada loves islands, and wants to spread that love to the rest of the world. Islandwalk means that if our opponents have islands, then she can't be blocked. This means that Thada is usually going to be able to attack safely. If your opponents don't happen to have Islands, there are ways to fix that...

Whenever Thada Adel, Acquisitor deals combat damage to a player, search that player's library for an artifact card and exile it. Then that player shuffles their library. Until end of turn, you may play that card.
The most important text on Thada, and the main ability the deck is built around. Thada is capable of acquiring our opponents' artifacts and bringing them under our control. This opens up a lot of possibilities, depending on what our opponents are running.


You may enjoy this deck if:
-you like monoblue and want to share that love
-you want all the Sol Rings
-you enjoy beating down with large monsters
-you value having knowledge of your opponents' decks
-you want your deck to play differently from game to game


This deck may not be for you if:
-you hate winning via combat
-your opponents won't let you touch their cards
-you prefer a reactive gameplan
-you're not comfortable losing to Cyclonic Rift


Other Commander Options
Arcum Daggson - another monoblue artifact-based commander. Usually more focused on combo than ramp. His ability allows large noncreature artifacts to be cheated out.

Braids, Conjurer Adept - another good blue Timmy commander, she allows you to cheat out all sorts of large nonsense... at the cost of your opponents also getting that benefit.

Jalira, Master Polymorphist - similar to Braids, she's great at cheating out all sorts of giant creatures.

Muzzio, Visionary Architect - another artifact commander that cheats things out. He actually seems like an excellent alternative for a deck focused primarily on beating down with giant robots, although a bit lacking in the non-metallic beatdown category...

Patron of the Moon - another monoblue ramp commander, although more focused on lands than artifact mana.

Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca - if you want to build merfolk tribal, take a look at him. This deck is not what you're looking for.


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Decklist

Decklist by Function
Approximate Total Cost:


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Using Thada

Let's take a closer look at Thada's ability:
Whenever Thada Adel, Acquisitor deals combat damage to a player, search that player's library for an artifact card and exile it. Then that player shuffles their library. Until end of turn, you may play that card.

Thada is, in some ways, reliant on our opponents' decks - if our opponents have artifacts that support our gameplan, great! If they don't, then our position will be significantly more awkward. As a result, when you first sit down at the table and see what your opponents are playing, it is a good idea to form a mental model of what your sort of artifacts may be present in your opponents' decks - are they going to have a bunch of mana rocks? Equipment? Perhaps random combo pieces? Once we actually connect with Thada, we will be able to confirm or deny those suspicions (and also form a better understanding of what our opponents' gameplans are), but until then, our opponents are a mystery.

Fortunately, the vast majority of decks run one card in particular: Sol Ring. It is one of the most efficient mana rocks available, and will be the first artifact you plunder in the vast majority of situations - your default opening line for many games will involve casting Thada on turn 3, then stealing a Sol Ring on turn 4 and using it to start accelerating.

There are several other classes of cards to keep an eye out for when looking for artifacts:

Other mana rocks - our curve is fairly high, so taking a Mind Stone or Thran Dynamo is totally reasonable.

Equipment - our commander has evasion, so commander damage is a valid win condition if we can give her enough power from equipment. Alternatively, many of our other creatures enjoy having extra keywords (such as lifelink, double strike, or hexproof). Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots are particularly attractive, since they both protect our creatures and allow Thada to come out swinging if she gets removed.

Colored artifacts - by default, we don't have a ton of ways to produce nonblue mana. If you suspect you may need to steal a colored artifact such as Whip of Erebos or Sphinx of the Steel Wind, then it may be worth preemptively stealing the colored sources necessary for them.

Combo pieces - most combo decks have enough redundancy that taking one or two pieces will just be an annoyance. However, if you suspect an opponent is only capable of winning via something like Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal, feel free to shut them down.

Utility - sometimes, you want card draw from something like Mind's Eye. Sometimes, you want grave hate from something like Relic of Progenitus. Sometimes, you want to nuke the board with something like Oblivion Stone. Keep an eye out for solutions to problems - in a pinch, it can be possible to work together with an opponent if they happen to have an answer somewhere in their deck.

One final note: although we may have claimed these artifacts by right of conquest, these aren't actually ours. This means that cards like Cyclonic Rift are particularly painful, since we both lose the artifact while also granting them to our opponents. Additionally, if most of our board is stolen from an opponent, we are incentivized to keep that opponent around - if that player concedes or gets knocked out, we will also lose all their stuff, which can cause problems. If you have the ability to promote a 'concede only at sorcery speed' house rule, I highly recommend doing so.

Also: make sure to return all cards to their owners at the end of the game! While stealing cards in-game is alright, stealing cards out-of-game is frowned upon.


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Card Discussion

a brief note on card choices
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Something to note when looking over these cards is that I have a self-imposed budget restriction of $2 per card, with exceptions for things I happen to already own or trade for. As a result, when looking over the card choices, I will recommend focusing more on the categories of cards than the individual selections. If you have a bunch of bulk rare octopi in your trade binder that you want to play with, great! If you own a foil collection of Eldrazi and Swords of X and Y, those are also great options. This deck isn't built around any specific card synergies, so it's pretty flexible in what it can include.
ramp
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This deck's primary gameplan is to ramp into fatties. Our primary methodology is to use our opponent's mana rocks, but having access to our own makes that strategy more consistent.
  • Everflowing Chalice - a flexible mana rock which scales nicely into the lategame.
  • Sol Ring - one of the most broken mana rocks ever printed. Also the #1 target for Thada's ability.
  • Dowsing Dagger - Thada's islandwalk makes it pretty easy to flip, at which point we have a mana rock that doesn't get hit by artifact removal.
  • Fellwar Stone - 2 cost for 1 mana is a fair rate, and this has the incidental upside of allowing us to cast colored artifacts from opponents' decks.
  • Mind Stone - ramps early, cycles late.
  • Inspiring Statuary - we often have equipment or other random artifacts lying around, and turning them into extra mana rocks is a nice perk.
  • Midnight Clock - ramps early, then cashes in for a new hand later. This deck doesn't have many graveyard synergies, so shuffling stuff back is a minor upside.
  • Thaumatic Compass - not technically ramp, but hitting all our land drops is good. The flip side is also useful, and allows us to attack with our fatties a bit more safely.
  • Hedron Archive - the middle sibling of the Mind Stone triplets. Ramps early, and cycles in a pinch.
  • Thran Dynamo - an incredibly dense mana rock. Lets us jump directly into the big stuff.
  • Gilded Lotus - slightly less efficient than Thran Dynamo, but colored mana is nice.
  • Thryx, the Sudden Storm - provides a slight mana discount (and counter protection) for our expensive spells, and also acts as an evasive beater and surprise blocker.
  • Oblivion Sower - we don't have that much exile, but this is another source of land-based ramp, which provides more resiliency against artifact removal.
other options
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  • Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, and other fast mana - totally reasonable options for ramping if you have the budget.
  • High Tide - a one-shot effect. This isn't a storm deck, so it isn't as good here as it may be elsewhere, but still worth consideration. You may want to play extra Islands.
  • Solemn Simulacrum - a format staple. We don't benefit as much from it as other decks can, but it's still good.
  • Omniscience - a mix of ramp and payoff.
  • Wayfarer's Bauble - not the most efficient ramp, but getting a land is a significant upside.
  • Etherium Sculptor - good if you find yourself casting a lot of cheap artifacts in a single turn.
  • Grand Architect - turns your blue creatures into mana dorks. We don't have a ton of small creatures to tap though. Combos with Pili-Pala, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Caged Sun, Extraplanar Lens and Gauntlet of Power - solid mana doublers, and a great payoff for being monocolor.
  • Worn Powerstone - another efficient mana rock.
  • Dreamstone Hedron - the largest of the Mind Stone triplets. As with the others, it provides mana when we want it, and cycles when we have enough.
threats
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Our primary win condition is beating down with giant creatures, occasionally supported by equipment to make them even more threatening. As a general rule, when evaluating a threat, you should consider three points:
-Does it have evasion? (will we actually be able to win with it when it attacks?)
-Does it have protection? (will it live long enough to attack with it?)
-Does it provide value? (if it dies before it attacks, do we still benefit?)

Ideally, creatures will provide at least two of those three points.

Creatures
  • Stormsurge Kraken - hexproof, and occasionally draws us cards.
  • Soul of New Phyrexia - has the upside of protecting our entire board, then doing it again from the graveyard.
  • Steel Hellkite - if you have a lot of mana available, Steel Hellkite is a decent mana sink. Also another answer to troublesome permanents.
  • Memnarch - a very slow card, but can dominate a game if it gets left alone. Steal mana rocks, then use the extra mana to steal more mana!
  • Nezahal, Primal Tide - hard to kill and draws a bunch of extra cards. What's not to like?
  • Sphinx of Uthuun - Sphinx-or-Fiction at the very least replaces itself. If you want to go heavier on sphinxes, consider Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign as another inclusion.
  • Stormtide Leviathan - serves dual-duty here as a beater and a one-sided Moat - a lot of our threats have flying.
  • Colossus of Akros - my personal nickname for it is 'The Mailman'. There's something special about swinging with a hasty, trampling, double striking 20/20.
  • Artisan of Kozilek - the only Eldrazi currently in my list, but that's mostly due to budget considerations. Reanimating a fatty is good falue.
  • Ancient Stone Idol - discount beef that sticks around after a board wipe. Also, you get to announce that your opponents have activated your trap card.
  • Metalwork Colossus - often comes down for free, and occasionally recurs itself. In terms of size to mana ratio, it's hard to beat.
Noncreatures
  • Mechanized Production - usually functions as a ramp card to generate more mana rocks, but it's pretty flexible. You'll usually win from the value it generates before the win condition itself becomes relevant.
  • Rite of Replication - good value as long as people are playing good creatures.
  • Mind's Dilation - can dominate a game if left unchecked... or you can exile a bunch of lands to feed Oblivion Sower. It's a bit high-variance.
other options
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card draw
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Few things are as awkward as having a ton of mana and nothing to spend it on. In a pinch, you can search for something with Thada, but keeping your hand stocked is preferable. This deck can generate a lot of mana, which allows us to lean into bigger draw spells over cantrips.
  • Finale of Revelation - casting this for full value isn't that difficult. Even if it isn't for 10 or more, still a reasonable draw spell.
  • Tome of Legends - turns Thada attacks directly into card draw at a reasonable rate.
  • Emry, Lurker of the Loch - we run a lot of artifacts, and sometimes they end up in our graveyard. What better way to get them back?
  • Treasure Mage - not technically card draw, but this deck is running a variety of expensive artifacts, which should be capable of solving most problems.
  • Tribute Mage - will often grab Lightning Greaves, but there is a solid toolbox for it with card draw and ramp.
  • One with the Machine - Often a draw-7, and occasionally even more. One of the best payoffs for playing big artifacts.
  • Thopter Spy Network - Thopter generation is pretty consistent, which means the card draw is usually also consistent. Note that it triggers seperately for each player you hit - if you hit three different opponents, you draw three cards.
  • Rush of Knowledge - another payoff for running big things.
  • Shimmer Dragon - evasive beater that turns extra artifacts into draw
  • Staff of Nin - not the most efficient card draw, but it gets fetched by Treasure Mage.
  • Into the Story - draws four cards for four mana, assuming sufficient cards in graveyards.
other options
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Too many to list, but here are a few options...
  • Blue Sun's Zenith, Pull from Tomorrow, and other X spells - you pay a premium for the scaling, but they're solid mana sinks.
  • Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise - we don't have much ability to fill the graveyard, but we also don't run much recursion, so delving it away is a minimal cost. Better if you're running more cantrips or other cheap spells.
  • Ponder, Preordain, and other cantrips - this is a low-synergy deck, which means that digging for specific cards is not quite as valuable. On the other hand, they do make hitting the right combination of ramp spells and payoffs more consistent.
  • Fact or Fiction - more efficient card draw, and useful if you want to fill the graveyard.
  • Manifold Insights - at many tables, this is a draw three for three mana.
interaction
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Interaction in this serves double duty - protecting our own threats and getting rid of our opponents' threats. Being monoblue, we have access to the best counterspells, which are capable of dealing with most threats, but require us to hold open mana. On the other hand, we don't have access to the most efficient removal spells, forcing us to go a bit bigger in our answers.
  • Swan Song - one of the best counterspells available, in terms of cost to effect.
  • Arcane Denial - another efficient counterspell, which also cantrips. In a pinch, you can counter one of your own spells for extra draw. We're not a dedicated control deck, so the card disadvantage isn't quite as relevant.
  • Counterspell - the original. Cheap and efficient.
  • Cyclonic Rift- one of the most powerful tools in blue's arsenal. Note that it is absolutely devastating when played against us (due to it bouncing a bunch of efficient mana rocks to our opponents' hands), which is why this deck has so many counterspells capable of stopping it.
  • Narset's Reversal - can be a tempo play, but stealing a massive Torment of Hailfire is massive style points.
  • Negate - being easier to cast than Counterspell isn't that important when we are monoblue, but my experience is that the spells you most want to counter are usually noncreatures.
  • Psychic Surgery - a bit of a pet card, but it works well with Thada's ability (which forces our opponents to shuffle). Fantastic if your meta has a lot of cards like Vampiric Tutor, which put things on top of the deck.
  • Archmage's Charm - steals Sol Rings, counters stuff, or draws cards. It provides a lot of flexibility.
  • Back to Basics - not a card for everyone, but this deck is pretty good at supporting it - high basic count, and little reliance on nonbasics.
  • Crystal Shard - primarily here for bouncing our own stuff to hand to protect it from removal and board wipes, but you can also retrigger ETB effects. Occasionally also useful for bouncing opponents' creatures if they aren't paying attention.
  • Imprisoned in the Moon - an excellent answer to enemy commanders (and other things too).
  • Engulf the Shore - we run a lot of islands, and some very large creatures. There is a good chance that this will be capable of bouncing every creature on the board except one of our fatties, at instant speed.
  • Padeem, Consul of Innovation - giving our artifacts hexproof is nice. If you can get some card draw from her, even better.
  • Agent of Treachery - steals anything, and draws cards. What's not to love?
  • All Is Dust - deals with most problems, while leaving our mana rocks (and some of our fatties) alive. Consider running more colorless threats to make it even more one-sided.
  • Blatant Thievery - one of the better interactive spells available, since it's capable of stealing anything.
  • Scourge of Fleets - one-sided Engulf the Shore.
other options
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  • Mana Drain, Force of Will, Mystic Confluence, and other countermagic - there are a lot of options available. This deck often functions by casting one large spell on its own turn, so prioritizing cheaper countermagic is recommended - cheap spells are easier to hold up while still advancing our own board.
  • Stoic Rebuttal - requires a bit of setup to be as efficient as Counterspell, but the condition is usually easy to achieve.
  • Pongify, Reality Shift, Curse of the Swine, and other spot removal - blue doesn't have access to the most efficient removal, but consider them if you find yourself needing more.
  • Vedalken Shackles, Control Magic, and other theft effects - more answers to problem cards. It's definitely possible to build Thada as a theft-based deck.
  • Karn Liberated, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Spine of Ish Sah, and other colorless removal - usually inefficient, but also good at dealing with pretty much anything. We do generate a lot of mana, so it's possible to run some more expensive interation, but try not to let your curve get too high.
  • Ixidron - not quite a board wipe, but usually close enough.
  • Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir - makes it easier for us to hold up mana on other players' turns, and also shuts down enemy countermagic and interaction.
  • Duplicant and Phyrexian Ingester - not the most efficient creature removal, but it gets the job done. Also fetchable with Treasure Mage.
equipment
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Equipment in this deck serves two functions - it lets us get in hits with Thada more consistently, and it lets us turn our large creatures into even scarier threats. When considering equipment, it is important to note that most of the creatures are already large and/or evasive, so a minor bonus like trample or +2/+2 usually doesn't have much impact - you really want your equipment to have a multiplicative bonus, instead of an additive one.
  • Blackblade Reforged - makes dealing lethal commander damage with Thada significantly easier, but also goes well with other legendary creatures (or even non-legendary ones, if you have enough mana)
  • Lightning Greaves - makes our creatures harder to kill, and lets them attack immediately. Haste is particularly valuable for Thada, since needing to wait an entire turn cycle to steal something is a pain. Needing to cast her first does reduce the number of things we can steal + cast though.
  • Mask of Memory - we have an evasive general, which makes saboteur effects particularly attractive.
  • Swiftfoot Boots - as with Greaves, haste and protection are both very useful.
  • Fireshrieker - doubling Thada triggers is great. Letting our giant creatures deal twice as much damage is also fantastic.
  • Batterskull - monoblue doesn't have much access to lifegain, but throwing Batterskull on something big allows for a lot of of it.
other options
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  • Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Feast and Famine, and other Swords of X and Y - all solid choices if you have access to them. Most of them mix together a bit of protection and card advantage, and having an evasive general makes it easier to get hits in.
  • Loxodon Warhammer and other keyword-granting equipment - as mentioned previously, you usually want your equipment to work as a multiplier, so keywords are often better than raw stats. Lifelink, double strike, haste, hexproof, and shroud are particularly useful.
  • Sword of Vengeance - haste is the main draw here, but vigilance means our large creatures can both attack and block safely.
  • Strata Scythe - we run a lot of basic Islands, so it often gives +6/+6 or more, and grows to truly silly numbers if there are multiple other Blue players at the table.
islandwalk
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While many decks play islands, some decks need a little help before we can safely attack them with Thada.
  • Aquitect's Will - makes something an island and cantrips (Thada is a merfolk). Pretty much the gold standard.
  • Spreading Seas - as above, but it also shuts down problematic lands (such as Maze of Ith or Cabal Coffers).
  • Quicksilver Fountain - gives islands to everyone on the table. If it lives long enough, it can really mess with our opponents' manabases, but we're usually happy if it lives a single turn cycle - I've never seen it live long enough for the counters to be removed.
lands
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We're a monocolor deck, which means a manabase with only basic Islands is a totally reasonable starting point, but we can also fit in a few colorless utility lands. A good target is 29 untapped blue sources, which gives a 90% chance of casting Thada on curve. This deck is running slightly fewer than that out of consideration for how many colorless spells it casts, but adjust as your prefer.
  • Island x24 - basics are the gold standard of lands - they tap for colored mana, enter untapped, and aren't vulnerable to nonbasic hate. You can play normal islands for Strata Scythe, or Snow-Covered Islands if you want to use cards like Scrying Sheets and Extraplanar Lens.
  • Blighted Cataract - cycles if you find yourself flooding out.
  • Buried Ruin - we run a lot of artifacts, so it's occasionally useful to recur one that dies.
  • Exotic Orchard - a bit of fixing for casting colored artifacts.
  • Inventors' Fair - incidental lifegain, and tutors if we need something specific.
  • Myriad Landscape - a bit of ramp that doesn't get hit by artifact removal.
  • Mystic Sanctuary - usually enters untapped, and a bit of recursion.
  • Reliquary Tower - it has a bit of a bad reputation, but it's a pretty good fit here - we have a small number of very large card draw spells (we'll often overfill our hand, but not be able to do so consistently), a high curve (getting below the hand size limit takes time), and minimal recursion (if we discard something, it's not coming back).
  • Rogue's Passage - we have a commander that cares about dealing combat damage, and the rest of our creatures are big and stompy.
  • Shrine of the Forsaken Gods - we have a high curve, and cast a lot of colorless spells.
  • Spire of Industry - a bit more fixing for colored artifacts.
  • Tectonic Edge - a bit of nonbasic hate. Maze of Ith is particularly annoying, since it shuts down Thada.
other options
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Strategy

This deck's primary gameplan is to ramp into casting large creatures, then beat down with those creatures. Most of the deck's strategy is focused on doing so as consistently as possible.

Opening Hand
The first thing you want to do when evaluating a hand is to make sure it can cast Thada. Beyond that, look for a bit of ramp or card draw - an ideal hand will usually be 3-4 lands, a piece of ramp, a piece of card draw, and some sort of threat. However, Thada's ability means that we may be able to get some of those things from our opponents' decks, which means that the initial hand can actually be pretty flexible.

Early Game
Your first priority will usually be to get Thada down and start attacking, at which point you can begin accumulating Sol Rings and other ramp. Try to plan out your next few plays - it may be worth using a counterspell on turn 2 on an enemy commander if you think all of your mana will be accounted for in the coming turns.

Mid Game
At this point, you should have around 5-7 mana, ideally after hitting a few times with Thada. Begin deploying threats - not so many that you force an opponent to cast a board wipe, but try to develop enough power that you can start delivering consistent damage to your opponents. Continue hitting people with Thada and acquiring mana rocks.

Late Game
Continue deploying threats, but try to hold up countermagic for any problems - whether they be a mass artifact removal spell, a board wipe, or something else. Cast some card draw spells if you find yourself low on action. Alternatively, use Thada to find some utility artifacts or threats. At this point, your opponents may be running low on artifacts worth stealing, which means your gameplan will be less about connecting with Thada and more about connecting with fatties - hasty 10+ power beaters are capable of closing games pretty fast.


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Change Log

changelog
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7/16/2019 - initial version
7/19/2019 - finished updating with card explanations and strategy
8/18/2019 - tweaked formatting
9/4/2021
Last edited by Mookie 2 months ago, edited 8 times in total.

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benjameenbear
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Post by benjameenbear » 2 years ago

I love this idea. You seem pretty light on card advantage, actually. Do you generally find yourself not needing a new hand as frequently since you're probably stealing so much mana?

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Iso
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Post by Iso » 2 years ago

I absolutely adored my Thada Adel deck, where my goal was to steal everyone's Sol Rings and then win off of Mechanized Production or Blue Sun's Zenith. The deck eventually became Atraxa Artifact Goodstuff Tokens, which was a blast to play. (My other primary win con was Revel in Riches.) That said, it's neat to see a different take on the "steal ALL the rings!" deck - keep it up. :thumbsup:

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Mookie
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

benjameenbear wrote:
2 years ago
I love this idea. You seem pretty light on card advantage, actually. Do you generally find yourself not needing a new hand as frequently since you're probably stealing so much mana?
Things usually work out alright, though it can depend on what my opponents are playing - if I can steal something like Mind's Eye or The Immortal Sun, then that can help, but even something like Mind Stone or Relic of Progenitus can be stolen to cycle in a pinch.

Ultimately though, I would actually say that the bigger contributor to keeping a full grip is the relatively high curve - it can be difficult to deploy multiple 6+ drops in a single turn. If we do draw a bunch of extra cards from something like One With the Machine, it will often take a couple of turn cycles to empty our hand again. That isn't completely a downside though - the deck is pretty light on recursion, so not accidentally overextending into a board wipe can be useful.

There are also a lot of mana sinks and options for card draw not explicitly called out, such as Memnarch, bouncing my own creatures with ETB effects with Crystal Shard, and paying for equipment. I actually used to be running more card draw (Blue Sun's Zenith, Sphinx of Magosi, Reverse Engineer, etc), but found myself never really needing it.
Iso wrote:
2 years ago
I absolutely adored my Thada Adel deck, where my goal was to steal everyone's Sol Rings and then win off of Mechanized Production or Blue Sun's Zenith. The deck eventually became Atraxa Artifact Goodstuff Tokens, which was a blast to play. (My other primary win con was Revel in Riches.) That said, it's neat to see a different take on the "steal ALL the rings!" deck - keep it up. :thumbsup:
Ha, glad you like it! I'm slightly curious what led you to Atraxa (opposed to Breya, Etherium Shaper, who seems like a more natural fit for artifact tokens).

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OCPunisher
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Post by OCPunisher » 2 years ago

I have to ask about Strata Scythe given the recent printing of Blackblade Reforged. Same equip cost for Thada, slightly bigger bonus, doesn't take a land out of your deck...
A deck for every color: Rakdos | Lord | Heliod | Yeva | Tetsuko | Scarab | Kykar | Kozz | Athreos | Haldan/Pako

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Mookie
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

OCPunisher wrote:
2 years ago
I have to ask about Strata Scythe given the recent printing of Blackblade Reforged. Same equip cost for Thada, slightly bigger bonus, doesn't take a land out of your deck...
The main reason I'm running Scythe over Blackblade is because most of the creatures in the current iteration of the deck aren't legendary, and I value the cheaper equip cost when throwing it on non-Thada creatures (equip 7 is a lot). The size bonus difference also isn't as big as you may think - it's fairly common for an opponent to also have a couple Islands to contribute (since it doesn't only count your own Islands). Blackblade is certainly a reasonable inclusion if you want to focus more on winning via commander damage.

Fun fact: I've contemplated running an alternate version of the deck running more expensive legends (such as Eldrazi titans) to abuse Thran Temporal Gateway and Quicksilver Amulet. Blackblade would be awesome in that version of the deck.

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Iso
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Post by Iso » 2 years ago

Mookie wrote:
2 years ago
Iso wrote:
2 years ago
I absolutely adored my Thada Adel deck, where my goal was to steal everyone's Sol Rings and then win off of Mechanized Production or Blue Sun's Zenith. The deck eventually became Atraxa Artifact Goodstuff Tokens, which was a blast to play. (My other primary win con was Revel in Riches.) That said, it's neat to see a different take on the "steal ALL the rings!" deck - keep it up. :thumbsup:
Ha, glad you like it! I'm slightly curious what led you to Atraxa (opposed to Breya, Etherium Shaper, who seems like a more natural fit for artifact tokens).
Parallel Lives, Doubling Season, Primal Vigor, Glissa, the Traitor.

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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

Throne of Eldraine is out, so I'm going through my various decks and logging thoughts on new cards. The set has a minor artifact theme (especially in the Alela, Artful Provocateur Brawl precon), plus some interesting colored artifacts.

Emry, Lurker of the Loch - not a ton of graveyard synergies in this deck or artifacts that sacrifice themselves, but she should consistently come down for cheap. The deck is currently very light on recursion, so not bad as a way to get back any artifacts that get blown up (or creatures that get killed).

Midnight Clock - one of my favorite cards in the set, interestingly enough. Not particularly efficient as a mana rock, but turning into a Timetwister after a few turn cycles is a nice upside. As mentioned, not a ton of recursion, so shuffling things back is pretty much just pure upside, and drawing seven is rarely bad.

Into the Story - four mana for four cards is a good deal. Worth playing as Fact or Fiction #2. Does need cards to get put into graveyards though, which this deck isn't always able to do.

Castle Vantress - snap include, mostly because it should always enter untapped. Scry 2 isn't the most impressive upside, but it's a solid mana sink. A bit awkward with Back to Basics though.

Mystic Sanctuary - remember the 'minimal recursion' thing? Grabbing back something like Cyclonic Rift or Blatant Thievery is pretty good. Not entirely free though, since it goes on top of the deck.

Shimmer Dragon - evasive, often hexproof, and draws a bunch of cards. Seems like another excellent inclusion.

Tome of Legends - a reasonable option for card draw, since Thada wants to be attacking consistently. Not sure if it's better than Bident of Thassa, but it's cheaper and doesn't need as much support (plus it cantrips by itself).

Arcane Signet - only taps for one color, which makes me unsure whether it is better than Mind Stone. Depends on how many two mana rocks I want.

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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

Finally got a pile of new cards to test out, after not having any updates for a while.

Adds: Cuts:

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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

Had an amusing game today - definitely the fastest start this deck has ever had. I've noticed that getting down Thada down a turn sooner tends to be really, really strong.... but I had no idea exactly how good it is to attack with Thada two turns early.

T1 Island, Sol Ring, Mind Stone
T2 Island, Thada, Lightning Greaves. Attack with Thada, steal and cast a Mox Amber
T3 Island, attack with Thada. Steal and cast Sol Ring, then follow it up with Agent of Treachery and steal an opponent's commander. Draw three off Agent, because this is a fair and reasonable opener.

Proceeded to get one-shot by the Kaalia of the Vast deck a few turns later (they tutored up Master of Cruelties off Rune-Scarred Demon). Can't say I didn't deserve it, but it was certainly an amusing experience. Makes me contemplate running Lotus Petal or something to T2 Thada more consistently.

Did sort of find myself wanting Frost Titan back in the deck though - locking down commanders from attacking is pretty good, and this deck is pretty light on removal otherwise. I'll keep an eye out to see if I can find a cut for it.

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Post by LaHistorica » 11 months ago

Cool and well-rounded decklist, but I guess it has been shelved because of Covid-19 for the time being?
Fun fact: I've contemplated running an alternate version of the deck running more expensive legends (such as Eldrazi titans) to abuse Thran Temporal Gateway and Quicksilver Amulet. Blackblade would be awesome in that version of the deck.
I actually like that you did not include the Eldrazi titans but went for flavourful and cheaper beaters. I am also surprised by how (relatively) cheap the list is. When I converted the list to MCM prices in euros, purchasing everything would amount to about €90.
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1 year ago
Did sort of find myself wanting Frost Titan back in the deck though - locking down commanders from attacking is pretty good, and this deck is pretty light on removal otherwise. I'll keep an eye out to see if I can find a cut for it.
Months ago I made an Azorius midrange list with Dragonlord Ojutai for a night playing in a bar as its commander and one of the all-stars that night was Frost Titan. I was surprised by how strong that card can be (never really played it before in EDH). It locked down scary players/cards and was also a great tool politically.

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Post by Mookie » 11 months ago

LaHistorica wrote:
11 months ago
Cool and well-rounded decklist, but I guess it has been shelved because of Covid-19 for the time being?
Thanks! Yeah, I've been playing a lot less due to Covid, but this deck in particular is impossible to play remotely due to Thada. It's possible that I could swap to a different commander (such as Braids, Conjurer Adept or Urza, Lord High Artificer), but that would require pretty significant changes. I could maybe swap in Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator + Sakashima of a Thousand Faces without needing that many changes, but creating a treasure on combat damage is a massive downgrade from creating a Sol Ring.

Eldrazi titans are excluded primarily due to budget reasons - I try to keep my purchases under $2/card, which results in my decks being relatively budget. That said, I do like that this is definitely a style of deck that can be built cheaply - the topend beaters can be pretty much anything, as long as it has big stats and either some nice keywords or a bit of utility. (I'd like to run the titans because they have both keywords *and* utility, but that's why they're expensive)

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Post by Mookie » 2 months ago

First update in a long time, since I've finally been able to play in person again. These changes are actually part of my backlog - there are a bunch of new cards that have come out since the last update that I'm interested in, but figured I might as well test out the cards I actually have on hand first. These cuts are more based on me craving novelty than a sense of the cards underperforming - there are definitely pros and cons to all the cards here.
  • Strata ScytheBlackblade Reforged - as mentioned previously, I've considered Blackblade before, but decided against it because I like being able to equip my non-legendary fatties. However, I've noticed myself leaning towards using it for commander damage recently, at which point Blackblade is a bit better than Strata Scythe.
  • Fact or FictionInto the Story - more conditional, but it is a four mana draw four. Will switch back if graveyards don't fill up consistently enough, but my lack of graveyard synergies for Fact or Fiction have always bothered me.
  • Worn PowerstoneArchmage's Charm - a bit of a cheeky swap, but stealing a Sol Ring seems relevant. Archmage's Charm is a very flexible spell in general, and since this deck is mono-blue, I figure I might as well test it out.
  • Dreamstone HedronMidnight Clock - Clock provides ramp that gets cashed in for card draw after a few turns, but in a more efficient way than Dreamstone Hedron.
  • DuplicantThryx, the Sudden Storm - testing Thryx out, since all of its text (flash, evasion, mana reduction, counter protection) is relevant here. Duplicant may come back if I find myself wanting more removal though, since fetching it off Treasure Mage can be relevant.

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