MtG: Thrullfest

Thrullfest, a Magic The Gathering deck
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This is an all-black Thrull-themed standard deck that leverages black’s necromantic capabilities to provide a fairly deep-pocketed ability to insta-summon creatures from graveyards on the cheap. It can also summon an endless supply of 0/1 Thrull tokens via Breeding Pits and then promote these tokens +1/+1 via Thrull Champions; accordingly, this deck can play a deep, deep endgame if it has to. Usually it is fast enough, Thrulls being fairly cheap creatures, that this is not required.

Thrullfest is an Ice Age-era deck that has been tweaked with two more modern cards from the Tempest set. Being Thrull-themed, the largest proportion of non-land cards are from Fallen Empires, by far, with 24 of 40 cards (and 18 of 22 creatures). Of the other cards, six are core, six are Ice Age, two are Legends, and two are the aforementioned Tempest cards.

The theme runs deep; 16 of the 22 creature cards are members of the Thrull class. Additionally, six of the 18 non-creature spells are Thrull-related. Of the non-Thrull creatures, two are juggernauts- large creatures with trample and first strike- and four are medium-sized flyers for some semblance of air defense. The average casting cost for creatures is 3.8 mana; for Thrulls the average is 3.2 mana.

A third (six cards) of the 18 non-creature spells are for insta-summoning from graveyards. As well as allowing you to easily return slain creatures to play, thus making their lives less important (which itself provides some nice flexibility), this capability can offset the downside of utilizing the various sacrificial abilities that Thrulls are known for. You can also use it to get big creatures out cheap by discarding them when given the opportunity.

Of the other spells, four provide additional aerial defense, four are creature buffs, two spawn endless 0/1 Thrull tokens, and two are those sick Hecatombs that allow you to tap a Swamp to do a point of damage. These last allow for destructively efficient use of one’s land later in the game during periods when summoning is not necessary; they require you to sacrifice four creatures when they come into play, which is extremely off-putting for most decks, but not really a huge deal for this one.

This is an old, well-played deck that is pretty much in settled form. The modern addition of two Sadistic Glee spells increases the deck’s ability to tactically promote creatures, and does so in a manner that takes advantage of this deck’s tendency to see lots of creatures go to the graveyard. Thrullfest usually wins by overwhelming the opponent’s defenses via wave after wave of attacks. Its biggest weakness is probably either horde decks that get excellent traction early or decks that are built specifically with a lot of anti-black capabilities. Horde decks that stumble early, though, are in for nothing but frustration as this deck can field ridiculous numbers of creatures once it gets clicking; I’ve actually had opponents just give up in this scenario.

(c) 2018 Old Man Metal

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