– Theros Beyond Death
February 17, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 2.92
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Despite the awkward questions it might raise among opponents of the Dredge archetype, I really, really like any card that gives you a whole alternative way to approach a game of Magic. Thassa’s Oracle is no exception. While it’s a reasonably good card on its own – a draw step manipulation of this type invariably is, even when you’re looking at the minimum two cards – you’re probably paying attention because of that minor “win the game” clause. So there are two ways to do it: get your devotion high enough, or get your library small enough. Both methods are surprisingly plausible without having to resort to obscure cards. I don’t know if the Oracle fits well in an otherwise aggressive Merfolk deck, but it would be pretty amusing to see it as an “oops, I win” plan B. And self-milling of various kinds exists at a decent level in Theros Beyond Death, expanding to extremely powerful options in larger formats, from the obvious dredge cards to the quirky choices like Leveler.
Thassa’s Oracle is, maybe surprisingly, one of the more sought-after cards in Theros Beyond Death, thanks to some interesting wording on its effect. Anything that lets you potentially win the game on the spot is rather dangerous, and Thassa’s Oracle gives blue decks that might be on the “Laboratory Maniac”-style plan another way to screw their opponents over.
The effect looks interesting, and it’s two separate things, so let’s look at what they are.
* If your devotion to blue is less than the number of cards in your library, you filter through, at minimum, the top two cards of your library, with the option to leave the best one on top.
* If your devotion to blue is greater than the number of cards in your library, you win the game on the spot if the effect is able to resolve.
If you’re in an early game, Thassa’s Oracle can help you dig to find the pieces to help you win. A 1/3 is a solid body, and while the double blue isn’t an ideal mana cost to try and wrangle, mono-blue doesn’t mind, and the presence of devotion means color-intensive costs are less of a downside than usual. Not being legendary means you can try to keep digging with more copies (and can copy to dig even deeper!), and a blue deck can eventually set itself up to win with this card.
Of course, deeper formats have more ways to abuse Thassa’s Oracle, and it sees healthy play in every non-rotating format (Pioneer, Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage). There are ways to set up Thassa’s Oracle’s effect to abuse it (such as using Doomsday to dig it out or using Demonic Consultation to empty your deck as the effect resolves). The options to make this creature a “you win” button increase with more degenerate cards in a format, and so Thassa’s Oracle will likely keep seeing play wherever people can abuse her. She’s maybe not an ideal Standard card, but she can do things there while doing more abusive things in more expansive formats.
Hello Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re looking at a card that’s been making waves in Pioneer! Thassa’s Oracle.
So why is this scrying fish so special?
Well when it lands in play you look at the top X cards of your library is devotion to blue, yadda yadda yadda, ‘you win the game.’
That’s the line of text that got every Johnny’s brain clickin’ and a tickin’ and it caused a buyout of a certain Eldrazi Inverter that has been a wrecking ball through the Pioneer environment. This card has been likened to the old Splinter Twin control decks in the early days of Modern, where it’s a 2 card combo that basically wins the game. (Dropping an inverter then this oracle for insta-win.)
So does this card find a home outside of the Pioneer Combo decks? Unfortunately it seems to be a one trick pony as it probably won’t see much play outside of a commander deck based around Lab Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, but that’s fine. Not every card is meant to be a bomb in every format!
In Limited this guy is.. not great either, a 1/3 body is a decent blocker and having a scry 2 as a baseline ability for a creature isn’t terrible, but it’s not something that is going to make or break your U/X deck in draft.
Constructed 4/5 – A win condition in Dimir Inverter decks but outside of it, not so great, might find a home in some Merfolk builds.
Limited 1/5 – Following BREAD for basic draft strategy this lands firmly in D as in, Dud. It’s fine if you’re already in blue and there isn’t much left in the pack though..
Commander 2/5 – Another win condition for the Lab Maniac Commander build.
Cube 1/5 – This does not go here. Not at all.
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