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Blink and You'll Miss It


Howdy, everybody! I hope you're all self-quarantining and staying safe. I personally don't plan on going out for the foreseeable future until things settle down quite a bit, unless I'm picking up take out or have a need for groceries, and I would suggest that everyone else do the same; things are getting hairy out there.

This week we're going to talk about a card I have liked since I saw it spoiled: Venser, the Sojourner.

Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
...Wait, no. The other mythic rare that blinks creatures with "enters the battlefield" triggers every turn for immense value: Thassa, Deep-Dwelling! I think I first saw this card being played in an Elementals deck, and when coupled with things like Risen Reef and Omnath, Locus of the Roil, it was pretty impressive. I think one thing you want to acknowledge before you play a deck with Thassa - that isn't Mono-Blue, anyway - is that the percentage of the time she'll be a creature is pretty low. Like, probably below 20% I'd say. Even so, the ability to tap a creature down can be extremely useful, and obviously we're here for her blink ability.

As you may know, I take deck critique submissions (or deck donations, as they're sometimes referred to) over on my Twitch channel. The shell of the deck we're going to be playing today was submitted to me by my good buddy and long time supporter Brandyn, otherwise known as Superfritz88. This was the deck he sent over and had me try out.

As was told to me after the fact, the sideboard was basically thrown together before the deck was submitted. So in addition to that, we made quite a few notable changes. Instead of going over them here, I'll show you the final list, and we can take note of what changed and what stayed the same

This was the list that we landed on at the end of our testing.

Fblthp, the Lost
Some of the cards were great and did exactly what we wanted them to do in the deck. Surprisingly, Fblthp, the Lost (or Fabloop if you're Rob) was one of them. We wanted to make sure we always had something to do on turn two, and Fblthp helps out with that. As for our other two-drop, we also removed one of the Charming Princes because, while versatile, we had the blink ability well-handled by Thassa herself, and drawing a card from Fblthp was almost always better than scrying 2.

We took out all copies of Thassa's Oracle because it was both rough on the mana, and somewhat unexciting as a 1/3 that let you simply rearrange the top of your deck. We were never winning with the card, so it was basically just a creature we could blink with Thassa herself, even though this would never be our first choice.

As for everything that costs five or more mana, we kind of reworked the whole package. We went from this:

To this:

So we went from nine options to ten, but I like how we ended up. Cavalier of Gales didn't do anything exciting other than net us some cards, which is what so much of the rest of our deck is already doing. One beautiful interaction was targeting Thassa with Cavalier of Dawn. She doesn't die due to being indestructible, but you still get the 3/3. When you do it again at the end of the turn, you're left with two 3/3s and a 5/6, which is a nice little package. It can also just kill things like planeswalkers or Titans if need be. While losing both Thassa's Oracle and Cavalier of Gales were a blow to our devotion, I didn't feel like it ever really mattered that much.

Dream Trawler
Realizing that Dream Trawler was significantly better than Dream Eater wasn't terribly difficult. Dream Trawler is one of the hardest creatures to deal with in Standard right now, no matter which side of the board the card is on. Going up to two felt like a no brainer. In fact, Dream Trawler is so hard to deal with for us, it's one of the main reasons we added two copies of Shatter the Sky to the deck. Alternatively, however, one of the best ways we had for dealing with Dream Trawler was, surprisingly, just tapping it down every turn with Thassa. Sure, this can be mana intensive, but the deck is actually quite good about hitting its land drops.

We also added another copy of Elspeth Conquers Death, because it's one of the best cards we could be playing. Seriously, this card does it all. It hits basically every permanent, nearly gives you a turn free of counters and responses, and then gets back something like a Teferi, Cavalier, Golos, or Dream Trawlers from our graveyard. It's some of the best removal we could ask for, and we can even bounce it before it resolves with our own Teferi.

The last changes we made to the deck were in the mana base. We added one Steam Vents, one Temple Garden, and one Godless Shrine. These were just for fun, and so that we would have a way to activate Golos if it came down to it. You're welcome to replace them with basic lands if you want, but having access to them could be helpful in the late game, especially if we're able to blink Golos even one time. We also added two Castle Ardenvale, because in a two-color deck, there is really very little reason not to. The card is basically free when you run as many Plains as we do.

And if you want to see the deck in action, be sure to check out the following video.

A pretty nice update was that Superfritz really loved the changes we made, and managed to take the deck all the way to Platinum on MTG Arena, which is pretty crazy, and very rewarding to hear. If you guys are ever interested in supporting the stream and having me take your deck for a spin, definitely feel free to reach out! I may even write about it!

Until next week, thank you guys so much for reading, I love you all, and please, please be safe out there. Don't go to Magic events, as much as you want to support your local stores, and just lie low for a bit. Also, be sure and leave a comment down below with what you think of the deck, or if you have any ideas or suggestions, and use promo code FRANK5 for 5% off! I'll catch you guys next week!

Frank Lepore

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