Poroskooppi rises like a phoenix from the ash! Poroskooppi will cover interesting commander decklists, deck archetypes or delicious details every Thursday! In every article, you will also find the status of the Poro Tour and weekly tournament points. Wednesday's modern x-0 decklists will be published in Poroskooppi as well.
This week in Poroskooppi Deck Check we will look into Thassa's Oracle, a card introduced in Theros Beyond Death.
Milling out the cards from the player's deck has been part of Magic The Gathering since the dawn of the game. Drawing a card when you have zero cards left in your library leads to the player losing the game. The original Innistrad set introduced the card Laboratory Maniac which affected the game: if it's controller would draw a card when they have no cards left in their deck the player will win the game instead. In commander format, this became a new wincon and the whole new deck archetype was built around this effect most of the time using Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact to empty the player's library and winning by drawing a card.
More gas and an extra wincon were introduced in War of the Spark when Wizards printed Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. All War of The Spark planeswalkers have a static ability and Jace's ability is the same as Laboratory Maniac's: drawing from an empty deck wins the game for its controller.
Both of these cards have some special requirements: you'll have to draw a card to win the game. The +1 ability of Jace, Wielder of Mysteries lets the player draw a card but removing the planeswalker in response to the activation would lead to the loss of the player. With Laboratory Maniac you will need a spell or ability to draw a card and it also might leave the battlefield before the draw resolves leading to losing the game as well.
One of the most hyped spoilers in Theros Beyond Death was Thassa's Oracle. Whilst Jace and Laboratory Maniac require drawing a card Thassa's Oracle has ETB ability that will win you the game if you have no cards in your library. Oracle doesn't really need other cards or abilities to win the game except itself. The mana cost is also very low: casting the card costs only two blue mana.
This makes Thassa's Oracle a slightly stronger card as it doesn't really need so many other cards or ability activations to win the game. Removing the Oracle in response to its trigger doesn't help if the player has no cards in their deck. There are also fewer answers to ETB triggered abilities than there is, for example, creature removal. Best answers for the ability are either stifle effects or cards that stop the enters the battlefield -triggers like Torpor Orb or Hushbringer.
The featured deck in this week's Deck Check has four colors and two commanders. Tymna the Weaver and Thrasios, Triton Here is considered one of the strongest duo (if not the strongest of them all) in the competitive commander scene. The only color not played in this deck is red. The stronger commander decks usually play certain commanders to achieve the wanted color combination. In this deck, the commanders provide one of the most crucial resources in Magic The Gathering: card advantage.
Tymna and Thrasios have all the other colors except red in their color identity thus letting the player play various powerful cards from strong answers to combo enablers in their deck.
In this deck, the win is achieved usually by the following methods: The player will cast either Demonic Consultation, Tainted Pact or activate the ability of Hermit Druid to get rid of all cards in their library and then win with the Thassa's Oracle's trigger or drawing a card from an empty library with either Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries on the battlefield. Tainted Pact, Demonic Consultation, and Hermit Druid can be cast or activated at instant speed. The important thing to take note is that this list doesn't play a single basic land which means that the Hermit Druid activation will mill the whole library when activated.
Tainted Pact, Demonic Consultation or Hermit Druid's ability will put the player's whole remaining library to exile or to player's graveyard.
As the deck has four colors it also wields various answers to threats, lots of card draw and deck tutoring effects. This leads to consistency in finding the combo and also to protect it. From blue, the deck plays strong counterspells such as Force of Will, Flusterstorm and Mana Drain. Green combined with black offers a variety of removals for problematic permanents, especially artifacts or enchantments. Cards to mention are Abrupt Decay which cannot be countered and Force of Vigor which can be cast with an alternate "exile a green card from your hand" cost if it is not the player's own turn. Green provides also good tutors such as Finale of Devastation and Neoform.
From White color, there are cards in the deck such as Silence and Angel's Grace, which protect the combo. The Angel's Grace can also prevent another player from winning the game.
Black is a very strong color in commander as it offers strong tutor effects. The one to mention is an iconic card, Demonic Tutor. Besides the tutors, this deck also plays Ad Nauseam which can fill player's hand with multiple cards in a deck like this that has a very low mana curve.
Budget wise the deck is more on the expensive side of mid-budget decks. It plays strong cards and it naturally affects the price of the deck. Also, four colors raise the demand and price for the mana base. The main wincon itself is not that expensive and they can be implemented also to decks that play fewer colors thus being a bit less expensive. Despite that, there is a reason to maximize your game strategy by adding more variety to your card choices. And, in this case, more is more.
Deck by Tyko Lundberg
Seppo Toikka conquered his way to a flawless 4-0 record but was unwilling to reveal his super-secret deck tech, as Poro Tour Modern #1 looms just around the corner. There are still a couple of slots left in the tournament so you'd better hurry if you want to join this year's first Poro Tour main event! You can find the updated Poro Point leaderboard for this season from here.
PoroFest weekend also offers much more Magic activity than just Poro Tour Modern #1. On Sunday there will be full Commander mayhem in form of Commander Sunday. There is also a Rookie Only Chaos Booster Draft at 11:30 AM on Sunday. Let's have an epic Magic weekend on 29.2 - 1.3.
Have a great weekend all!
Pekka "Löhis" Löhönen