MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander

Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out
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Author:  Segrus [ 2014-May-31 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

At the promise made to maiden77, I'm posting this Thromok decklist. It's still a pretty casual list, but I've been having some trouble getting it to do more or less what I want.

Now, this isn't to say the deck is terrible, or that I have some crazy theme going on here (for once...)--I even manage to get a few threats out here and there; however, deckbuilding for Thromok is a little tricky. The main problem is having to do exactly the same things as other token decks, except it has to take it one step further in casting and attacking with Thromok.

This leads to a whole lot of wasted effort. If you don't think Thromok is a token deck, then try blowing three creatures for Devour and meet either immediate removal or not having access to haste at the time to then meet mass removal. Thromok is a huge risk creature: when you hit true, it's a 36/36 trample, haste; when you whiff, you cry for three turns while you hope to draw something relevant, and then someone ends your misery so Thromok doesn't come back.

Build History:
1.) My usual strategy: thrown cards at it until something sticks. Nothing coherent, and nothing to write home about. TONS of whiffing, with random lucky opening hands sometimes.

2.) R/G Good Stuff: lasted a long time. It works well enough, because then I'm not relying as much on nailing Thromok at the correct time. The downfall of this deck is the amount of boredom sucking out my soul. The only thing worse than beating a dead horse is betting on one.

3.) Trample/Haste FTW: current build. There is just enough token production to make Thromok really, really scary; however, there isn't so much I look like every other token deck. I've put a ton of trample and haste effects in an attempt to OHKO people via BIG/BIG Thromok. At the same time, the deck has some other legs to stand on if I'm not confident Thromok can make it under whatever the current conditions are.

The current build is still very "good stuff" if I'm completely honest with myself, but I want to think it isn't so bad.

4.) ??????????

What doesn't work for me:
1.) Straight Token build: boring. It's fun to make 100 tokens, and then epic to make Thromok 10,000/10,000...but 25/25 really does work just as well, and making 100 token gets boring for me really fast. Nothing meant to downplay how good token decks are, in fact they can be really tough to beat without the right cards; however, this isn't that deck.

2.) Elves. It might be more interesting to try making the deck more heavily focused on generating elf tokens and load the list with elves. Might even be good; heck, might be really good!

Oh, Thromok? Yeah, what'cha saying? I can't hear you over all of these awesome elves! Who cares about Thromok? Case in point.

Thromok the Insatiable

Planeswalkers: (4)
Domri Rade
Sarkhan Vol
Xenagos, the Reveler

Creatures: (29)
Acidic Slime
Ant Queen
Arbor Elf
Archetype of Endurance
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Dragonlair Spider
Elvish Mystic
Eternal Witness
Farhaven Elf
Giant Adephage
Goblin Rabblemaster
Homura, Human Ascendant
Hornet Queen
Imperious Perfect
Llanowar Elves
Nemata, Grove Guardian
Oracle of Mul Daya
Pyreheart Wolf
Reclamation Sage
Regal Force
Solemn Simulacrum
Soul of the Harvest
Spearbreaker Behemoth
Wolfbriar Elemental
Wood Elves
Yavimaya Elder

Artifacts: (7)
Chariot of Victory
Dragon Throne of Tarkir
Emerald Medallion
Loreseeker's Stone
Mimic Vat
Ring of Kalonia
Slate of Ancestry

Enchantments: (14)
Awakening Zone
Doubling Season
Fires of Yavimaya
Fruit of the First Tree
Impact Tremors
In the Web of War
Parallel Lives
Primal Rage
Squirrel Nest
Sylvan Library
Warstorm Surge

Instants: (2)
Beast Within
Fresh Meat

Sorceries: (7)
Collective Unconscious
Descent of Dragons
Explosive Vegetation
Fungal Sprouting
Rampant Growth
Skyshroud Claim

Lands: (37)
Copperline Gorge
Haunted Fengraf
Karplusan Forest
Kessig Wolf Run
Khalni Garden
Mossfire Valley
Mosswort Bridge
Mountain Valley
Rogue's Passage
Rootbound Crag
Skarrg, the Rage Pits
Stomping Ground
Terramorphic Expanse
Winding Canyons
12 x Forest
11 x Mountain

Ideal Additions I'm Aware Of:
1. Berserk: the obtusely high price tag prevents me from buying four of these and calling it a day.
2. Garruks 1 & 2: I have so many decks which could probably use one or both of these, and obviously they are really good; however, reading suggestions about adding Garruks to every green deck in existence is beginning to encourage me to actively vomit. I know I'm guilty of it, and I'm making myself queasy. Ideally, this deck probably would do marginally better, but I don't think I'm at the point of splitting hairs.
3. Creature Tutors (any of Sylvan Tutor, Survival of the Fittest, Fauna Shaman, Green Sun's Zenith, Summoner's Pact...): it would make the deck better, but I'm sticking to my "replace tutors with more threats" philosophy. There's a couple of creature tutors now, which should be enough for hitting problematic cards at the right time. This is one place I draw the line to keep the deck more casual.

Other Possible Additions:
Relentless Assault
Solidarity of Heroes
Champion of Lambholt (Pyreheart Wolf is taking this one's place currently, because Undying is really awesome)
Savage Summoning
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx--used to be in here to get big mana, but I don't think I currently have enough creatures to support it properly. Always a possibility though.

I'm making the effort right now to apologize if anything above is slightly offensive. I've played this deck a lot in the past, and I'm quite fond of it. Thromok appeals to me on a very basic level: a need of mine to crush people with a single, really big creature. So I'm sorry if I get touchy about something with unnecessary aggression. Also, I'm mostly kidding about a lot of it, and if you just absolutely have to suggest Garruk I promise I won't throw up on you.

Author:  GoodbyeWorld [ 2014-May-31 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

I know you don't want a token deck per see, but Overrun style cards works both ways for your list... As Thromok is likely one shotting people, who cares if it costs 5 to give him trample...

Just throwing a few more cards out there.

In the Web of War already in
Ogre Battledriver
Yeva, Nature's Herald
Savage Summoning

Basically cards that work well semi wide + tall and cards that allow you to sneak a Thromok in unexpectedly.

Author:  Segrus [ 2014-Jun-01 5:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

GoodbyeWorld wrote:
I know you don't want a token deck per see, but Overrun style cards works both ways for your list... As Thromok is likely one shotting people, who cares if it costs 5 to give him trample...

It does matter to a certain extent. Thromok really needs a surprise attack factor to be most effective, which means I'm normally trying to play it and immediately attack via haste (because, well, big creatures cause people to freak out and play out all of their removal). 10 mana is a lot to be had all at once, and while I am in green the focus hasn't been entirely on ramping. I think Relentless Assault might be better at that point, and I think I'll put that one up above.

GoodbyeWorld wrote:
Ogre Battledriver
Yeva, Nature's Herald
Savage Summoning

Basically cards that work well semi wide + tall and cards that allow you to sneak a Thromok in unexpectedly.

If I happen upon another Ogre Battledriver (I only managed to get one or two in M14, and both are currently being used), I will probably put him in place of the big Cyclops haste-granter.

Yeva had been in the deck, but I had never gotten her to work out. She just always seems to die before I'm able to really make her effective--meaning having enough mana up to cast her and something else in a single turn cycle. Savage Summoning might work better, and I'll have to give it some thought.

Author:  mmcgeach [ 2014-Jun-01 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

I have a thromok deck too, one a little different (with a combo finish); but I agree that Thromok is basically a very hard deck to play & build because you have to perfectly balance the ramp, card draw, token makers, and token consumers.

Some cards I've liked:
symbiotic wurm : probably my number 1 natural order target. This guy is awesome wrath insurance.
hornet queen : 5 bodies for 1 card - that enables a 25/25 thromok. The flying deathtouch blockers are also frequently relevant.
wort, the raidmother : produces tokens, doubles some of the sneakier spells. Speaking of things to double, in addition to natural order, I'd recommend green sun's zenith.
fresh meat : more great wrath insurance; plus synergies with the devour plan.
kessig wolf run / hall of the bandit lord : trample & haste on lands. Uber value. This used to be better when primeval titan was legal, but I've started using tempt with discovery, and that sometimes amounts to the same thing.
saproling burst : its 1 card that makes six tokens, or five tokens on the following turn. This passes the test : anything that makes 5 or more tokens for Thromok to eat is a win. Also nutty with doubling season.

I dunno if you still feel like you need more card draw, but if so... Regal Force, Harmonize, Greater Good / Momentous Fall have all been really good for me. Also Tower of Fortunes, which is just fine to go along with the ramp in green.

FYI: Berserk is so cool; but basically win-more. I mean, you've already produced tokens, cast thromok, devoured them, attacked with thromok... you don't need berserk at that point. The dream scenario is using it to kill two of your opponent's creatures when they attack each other; which I find basically never comes up. I dunno, if you get one, I guess the flexibility of the dual use might make it worth running; but for me its not.

Author:  maiden77 [ 2014-Jun-01 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Hey dude, nice list! First thing I notice is the lack of Fervor which is basically a must, especially given that you have all the rest of the haste granters in here.

Next is, I think that the lack of flyers or interaction with flyers will be your undoing more often than you think. Obviously we saw my dragons have a good go at that, but even with a more laid back flying deck it could start hurting you. Its harder for you to race given your set up requirements so I don't think this can be too relied upon alone. I still think it would be prudent to play something that affects flyers. Something like Gravity Well?

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2014-Jun-02 1:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Mana Echoes? Loved it in Ulasht.

Author:  Segrus [ 2014-Jun-02 6:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Shabbaman wrote:
Mana Echoes? Loved it in Ulasht.

Are you sure? Without more token generators, I feel the mana I could get will be few and far between; however, if I am lucky enough to have kept a token generator online, then I'm not going to want to cast many more spells for fear of over-committing to the board.

I would be all over this card if this deck was meant to be closer to a straight token build, but otherwise it seems very "meh?"
maiden77 wrote:
Fervor...lack of flyers...Gravity Well?

Fervor probably should be on the list somewhere, good catch. Thankfully, it's also a cheap card. I just put that weird cyclops in, but I wasn't too impressed with it to begin with. I liked it slightly better than Mass Hysteria, which is why it got a spot in the first place.

As far as flying creatures goes...well, I think it might be a little unfair to judge this deck based on what you've seen playing Karrthus. Even having Gravity Well won't help me too much against four or five 4/4 or greater dragons, especially in the late game when I'll likely still be recovering from a couple wrath effects. In addition to this, your Karrthus deck is pretty brutal in terms of mana production, which isn't reflected (haha, Mana Reflection--get it?) on my side of the board. Urborg into Coffers into Thespian's Stage into Vorinclex into Mana Reflection is going to be hard for anybody to keep up with. All I mean is the matches probably aren't representative of the overall flying creature problem.

The second problem is what cards to pull out? There are some loose cards on the list--Wild Beastmaster, Giant Adephage, Hydra Omnivore, Rubblehulk, Polukranos, and maybe Gruul Ragebeast--which are personal favorites more or less, but *could* come out without disrupting other parts of the deck. Flying protection is in most cases immiscible with the other parts of the deck, so I very few spaces without taking away from card draw, token generation, haste/trample, ramp, or protection. Hornet Queen would probably be a good inclusion here, probably in place of the Beastmaster (which I really, really want to work--as in Rubblehulk onto it and giggle with glee). I would take out Polukranos, but it's ability to eat other creatures is pretty stellar, which means Rubblehulk or Omnivore are the most obvious choices to remove for one something like Gravity Well. Jugan might also work...but I don't have another one handy since my only copy went into the Polukranos deck.
mmcgeach wrote:

There's a good chance I'm going to be trying Hornet Queen again, as I mentioned just above. I had it in the first build, and for some reason wasn't impressed with it--except I don't recall why anymore. Symbiotic Wurm is certainly possible, but I don't have much confidence Wort is going to be more than pay 6, get three pieces of food. Fresh Meat is just a card I haven't ever owned, so it might be a card I look into later.

As far as Kessig Wolf Run...well, this deck is like the second child of a family: even if it is the baby in the family, most likely all it's ever going to get is hand-me-downs from the eldest sibling. I probably have two or three other decks with Wolf Run, plus my Cube has one, and all of them are unlikely to move until I'm deconstructing the deck for good.

My Legacy Elves deck might be losing another Regal Force, I'm just not certain where I want to put Regal Force in.

Author:  Rasalom [ 2014-Jun-02 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

More haste? Yes please. I love this card.. it does exactly what you want for Thromok.. Messenger's Speed, plus try these...Mark of Fury, Racecourse Fury. Also, you might try Xenagos, God of Revels as he just makes things worse for your opponents if you play fatties.

Plus, if people are waiting for you to cast your general, and you have a few fatties out, you can turn the board over with Savage Beating... just don't cast your general.

Author:  maiden77 [ 2014-Jun-02 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

i understand the flying bit, I am reflecting my own experience when my token deck was strictly wolves and werewolves and I struggled like hell against flyers. I will crack out my gfs angel deck and see if the fight is any better. The deck doesn't end up with quad mana lol just good honest plains with the odd mountain thrown in. Recursion abounds of course but nothing silly. That might be a better deck to show up and possible holes in the flying portion. I just go for flyers or fighting them whenever I build a deck as I always have, maybe I am overselling flyers!? DO NOT REMOVE GIANT ADEPHAGE. It's epic and I love it! 8)

Author:  Wolfram [ 2014-Jun-02 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Is there a particular reason for not running Urabrask the Hidden? He's a lot better than the cyclops.

Author:  Segrus [ 2014-Jun-02 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

So...I decided to put my Ruric Thar list on hold for the moment while I determine what I actually want to do with that sucker. This afforded me some cards which I didn't have access to before; therefore, these are my current changes:

- Cyclops of Eternal Fury
- Wild Beastmaster
- Rubblehulk
- Gruul Ragebeast
- Kazandu Refuge

+ Fervor
+ Eternal Witness
+ Hornet Queen
+ Homura, Human Ascendant
+ Kessig Wolf Run

Cyclops for Fervor--easy switch. I barely blinked.
Wild Beastmaster with one less way to make everything else crazy big is just not worth it, and Eternal Witness is really needed. I also don't change mana cost between the two of them.
Hornet Queen for Rubblehulk for some flying protection and food fodder.
Ragebeast for Homura is a little more involved: Ragebeast is spectacular whenever you are making Giant Adephage tokens...but its effect gets significantly worse whenever all of your 1/1 tokens are suiciding themselves and you're trying to keep them out to eat them later (because Ragebeast's ability isn't optional). Also, Ragebeast never wants to be devoured. Homura wants to be eaten and grants me more flying protection. In addition to that, it acts almost like a trample effect by making Thromok potentially unblockable (stretching a little there, but less potential blockers equals better for me).

Finally, Wolf Run because...well...Wolf Run. I didn't want to sacrifice on either my basic Forests or Mountains, and the Gorge Refuge is one of the weaker non-basic lands.

I'm going to test this version out before I try to make any more changes.
Wolfram wrote:
Is there a particular reason for not running Urabrask the Hidden? He's a lot better than the cyclops.

Because I only own one, and I believe he's being used elsewhere. For now Fervor will do, and the lower mana cost appeals to me as well.

Author:  maiden77 [ 2014-Jun-03 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

plus fervor is harder to kill than Urabrask, and Urabrask tends to make you the archenemy as people don't like their stuff entering tapped IMO. I like the changes and look forward to seeing them when I bring my Lazav deck back from the dead!

Author:  mmcgeach [ 2014-Jun-03 7:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Homura is nice tech. I wish he cost less than 6. Might be better in a build that leveraged the token-swarm plan more, tho.

Edit: also, this is a really great deck to leverage the token making production in green with the awesome, game-ending power of Purphoros, God of the Forge. Even a couple efficient token makers is all it takes...

I think my suggestion would be to drop 1 or 2 of the dozen haste-enablers and add a few more consistent token producers...

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2014-Jun-05 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Purphoros and tokens is half a deck, you don't need much else. It's a bit hard to get a good look at your deck list here at this campsite in Tuscany though, so I take your word for it if Mana Echoes doesn't fit in. I would change the deck to make it fit, it's one of the most broken things you can do in R/G. The other route is ramp plus fat, but then I wouldn't pick Omnomnom as your general.

Author:  Segrus [ 2014-Jun-05 6:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thromok--Eat Your Heart Out

Shabbaman wrote:
Purphoros and tokens is half a deck, you don't need much else. It's a bit hard to get a good look at your deck list here at this campsite in Tuscany though, so I take your word for it if Mana Echoes doesn't fit in. I would change the deck to make it fit, it's one of the most broken things you can do in R/G. The other route is ramp plus fat, but then I wouldn't pick Omnomnom as your general.

I hope you won't take it too personally if I say No.

When your advice is effectively, "you're playing this deck wrong, it should be Purphoros tokens or you should play a different general," I start having a hard time taking you seriously as a commenter, or at the very least we have different objectives for this list. I didn't put it in the original post because I don't like making a big deal about it--everyone has their own opinion--but I don't like the god cards, and I don't intend to play them in any of the decks I own. If that means I'm playing with a sub-par list, I've already accepted those terms.

To be honest, one of my problems is I need to work harder at playing the deck better, and that's something I have to do on my own. Otherwise, as I said in the original post, I'm not going to go the straight token route. I'm not going to switch to a different legendary creature. I'm very aware of the broken nature of Mana Echoes, I have it in the somewhat competitive Krenko deck I own. This deck isn't meant to be truly competitive or broken--I'm not taking it to the LGS in an effort to 'win' a tournament.

I have a list of changes I'm planning to make when I have the chance, and if they work out in the next couple of games I play then I'll post the changes.

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