Decided to put a thread up for my Thada deck, which is growing shinier and shinier with every combat phase/eBay purchase.
This deck began when I managed to acquire foil copies of three cards: Memnarch, Darksteel Forge, and Mycosynth Lattice. They all generally seemed to work together, and I had recently started acquiring more and more foil artifacts. So, naturally I started writing up a Memnarch list.
However, I already had a Geth list that was entirely devoted to making huge chunks of mana and pumping it all through the Commander, and it didn't seem like a good idea to just make a blue version of Geth. Furthermore, most of the other mono-blue commanders (Azami, Teferi, etc) were widely considered to be "too broken". After scouring through a bunch of lists on this site, I eventually settled on Thada. She's cheap in both monetary and casting costs, has subtle yet very relevant abilities, and she's BLUE!
This deck isn't meant to be uber-competitive, despite the presence of Darksteel Forge, Nevinyrral's Disk, Mycosynth Lattice, and Memnarch. Rather, it's mostly just a giant pile of shiny artifacts that somehow happen to work well enough together. Card choices are also partially influenced by their foil availability (for example, I replaced Jace, the Mind Sculptor with Jace Beleren since the former is $300 and rising for a foil copy, but the latter is < $20). That being said, there are also some foils I couldn't play with despite having foil copies.
How about Grand Architect? Pumps Thada and your other creatures, and can help pump out artifacts.
Yeah, Sol Ring or Mana Vault or the like is usually the first thing I dig up when I attack with her, so I generally get enough ramp that way.
The problem with Grand Architect is that I would need to potentially tap Thada for mana instead of attacking with her. The pump part isn't all that relevant because I'm usually not trying to win through general damage. Plus, I'm pretty light on actual blue creatures outside of Thada herself, and I don't think wasting time on changing the color of creatures is where I want to be.
I've been thinking of swapping out some of the more expensive mana rocks (namely Gilded Lotus) for the cheaper 2cc artifacts (Sky Diamond, Coldsteel Heart, etc) in an effort to lower the overall curve a bit. The problem is that my ideal curve is really awkward:
- On turn 2, I need 2 mana to cast an equipment
- On turn 3, I need 5 mana: 3 to cast Thada, 1 to equip her, and 1 more to pay for the Sol Ring or the Top that I steal when I attack.
@your list of good cards: Some good suggestions in there, definitely a couple of things I failed to find. I'll try to touch on some of them:
- Mana Crypt: Never really considered that it might finally be time to acquire one of these...and the foil is about the same price as the non-foil.
- Mox Diamond: Another good one I somehow failed to consider. If I could drop it on any of the first three turns, it would solve a lot of problems.
- Chrome Mox: I don't think I run enough non-artifact, non-land cards for this.
- Everflowing Chalice: Cut it because it wasn't as efficient as other rocks.
- Coldsteel Heart, all other 2cc mana rocks: they're on my radar, possibly coming in for Gilded Lotus and other 3cc rocks.
- Sapphire Medallion: Probably not enough blue spells to play this one.
- Ancestral Vision: I really don't like waiting that long for three cards. I might be dead in three turns.
- Sword of Feast and Famine: Totally missed the part about the untap trigger and how well it would work with Thada. And I have a foil sitting around!
- Portcullis: Another one I totally missed.
I think you run a lot of lands. I would cut two for mana stones if you really think you need more... I think that a lot of people run far too many of them though. They are bad draws in the late game and your general is the master of stealing mana. Right now you have 6 mana stones AND you will be stealing Sol Rings hopefully so you should have a lot of mana.
You should be running Spreading Seas if you aren't already. It replaces itself and makes your general hit someone you normally couldn't.
I think the overall point it to combo off correct? There are other win conditions but combo is the strongest I see so I'm assuming that is plan A. Maybe some Ponder or Perordain could help you find what find what you need late game and smooth out the early and middle game for you. Hopefully some filter like that will help you hit all your land drops early and find the combos late game. Just some suggestions.
How? You can only activate Ghost Town on someone else's turn.
Hrm, I can kind of see it, since QSF checks at the end of turn, though it works better with Oboro. Target Oboro, ability on the stack, bounce Oboro, play Oboro. You can't do that with Ghost Town, though. You can only prevent it from becoming an Island, which still helps, but it doesn't protect your other lands like Oboro can.
EDIT: Swapped out Gilded Lotus for SoFaF, despite the awesome Portugese Mirrodin foil Lotus that I have.
Another EDIT: So, I have an Italian Mirrodin foil Mindslaver sitting around. Normally, I'm very much against this card because it's extremely un-fun and it's way too easy to lock someone out of the game. However, it's a shiny artifact and Thada is all about stealing stuff. So, the question is this: does Mindslaver fit the theme and flavor of this deck enough to overcome the general doucheyness that comes with playing it?
Played a couple of games last night with Thada, with some unfortunate results.
Game 1, vs Gisela, Kresh, and Ghave
- I thought I got off to a pretty good start here. Quicksilver Fountain started turning things into Islands and I was able to get Thada on the board, along with a Pristine Talisman, a Caged Sun, and a bunch of other manas. Then Kresh cast a Dragon Broodmother, made a round of flying tokens, and then cast Triumph of the Hordes for the win.
Game 2, vs the same three decks.
- This one also started off pretty good. Quicksilver Fountain was again doing its job, although converting my own non-basics (Academy Ruins, etc) into Islands wasn't great. The Ghave player eliminated Kresh, and then I dropped Ensnaring Bridge to try and hold off a very large Ghave. Unfortunately, he had enough mana to turn Ghave into a lot of small guys and then used the Overrun ability from Garruk Wildspeaker to win.
Game 3, vs Avacyn and Starke
- Kept a hand with two Islands and Oboro. I dropped Thada on turn three instead of Vessel of Endless Rest, but then Starke used Dwarven Blastminer to nuke Oboro. I drew a Lonely Sandbar, cycled it, and never saw another land.
- The winners here were Quicksilver Fountain, Pristine Talisman, and Knowledge Exploitation. Fountain came down several times and did exactly what it was supposed to do: make Islands. The Talisman was very subtle yet effective, and I dropped some Knowledge (Exploitation) for both its prowl cost and its regular cost.
- Unfortunately, the biggest downfall here was the complete lack of removal spells and smaller mana rocks. I got stuck with a hand full of expensive spells way too often, and I wasn't able to effectively answer any of the threats on the board.
Going forward, I'm pretty sure I'll have to seriously think about either cutting a bunch of the big expensive artifacts in favor of smaller ones or more removal, or else just revert back to using Memnarch as my commander.
EDIT: One more option is to run Arcum Dagsson as my commander, since I recently acquired a foil copy online. However, Arcum fits squarely into the category of "overly-powerful mono-blue commander", and there isn't much in the way of creativity with him.
I think the deck might be better suited to a Sword of X and Y strategy with Thada as the leader to a voltron strategy. Blue has a lot of ways of searching for artifacts and being able to steal other peoples equipment will let her get big fast.
I might have been wrong about your land count if you found yourself getting mana screwed. But if you lower your curve and go away from combos I bet the deck will run a lot smoother and need fewer mana sources.
So, the current question I have is whether or not to cut one or more pieces of protection equipment from my list, likely for either another draw spell or another cheap mana rock like Coldsteel Heart.
- Mindslaver: the current poll results are 3 to 2 in favor of it.
- Meekstone seemed pretty weak in my list, and I'm thinking that the same could likely be said for Ensnaring Bridge. They don't actually remove threats...they just delay them.
- Not sure if Myr Retriever and Junk Diver are worth it, simply because there are very few sac outlets available, and I don't run any of them.
- Deadeye Navigator probably belongs in a deck with more creatures, and despite the non-bo with stolen artifacts, Master Transmuter might be better.
Cloud Key was actually very nice when I got it out, as was Etherium Sculptor. Casting stolen Tops and Sol Rings for free was rather convenient.
Treasure Mage wasn't great. Haven't had a chance to use Arcum (my foil one just arrived), but I imagine that sacrificing a stolen Top to put my Darksteel Forge into play would be rather useful, and I have a fair number of ways to protect him.
I like Darksteel Plate - it's tough to kill and yet very unassuming...doesn't scream "KILL ME" the way a Sword does, for example.
Will + Seas are definitely on the radar...I actually found a random foil Will in a box of old Lorwyn stuff from way back when.
I too run a really kick ass foil Thada deck but the concept I run is a bit different then yours. Lately, my deck has begun to call it the "Deck That's So Bad It Plays Someone Else's." I run a complete mono blue steal theme, not counter control like most blue decks. Have a look see. The link to my deck is in my signature.