Thassa Is Busted

Thanks to an invitation from Wizards to MTG Arena’s Theros Beyond Death Early Access event on Thursday, I’ve already gotten a chance to try the new Standard format. Today I want to share with you what I found, and which cards and decks over- or underperformed for me. You can also watch the full VOD here.

I mostly took inspiration from Gerry Thompson and Bryan Gottlieb brews on Arena Decklists.

These are some of the decks that I enjoyed playing the most with. They mostly revolve around what I think will turn out to be the best card in the set: Thassa, Deep-Dwelling.

Mono-Blue Devotion

A Mono-Blue Devotion MTG Standard deck.
Click to enlarge.
20 Island
4 Castle Vantress
4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
4 Fblthp, the Lost
2 Agent of Treachery
2 Spectral Sailor
3 Arcanist's Owl
4 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft
4 Gadwick, the Wizened
4 Thassa's Oracle
3 Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner
2 Mass Manipulation
4 Nyx Lotus
Arena Export

2 Mass Manipulation (RNA) 42

4 Fblthp, the Lost (WAR) 50

3 Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner (WAR) 232

2 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76

3 Arcanist’s Owl (ELD) 206

20 Island (ELD) 254

4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

4 Gadwick, the Wizened (ELD) 48

4 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling (THB) 71

4 Thassa’s Oracle (THB) 73

4 Nyx Lotus (THB) 235

2 Agent of Treachery (M20) 43


The first deck that really impressed me was this Mono-Blue Devotion deck and I immediately won six or seven games in a row. Thassa, Deep-Dwelling is incredible and it works really nicely with Thassa’s Oracle and Fblthp, which help you find the missing pieces. Later in the game, Thassa + Agent of Treachery is an absolutely deadly combination that usually ends the game. Agent comes into play, you steal any of their permanents, at the end of turn you flicker Agent with Thassa and steal one more thing. Absolutely disgusting.

Nyx Lotus

Nyx Lotus also overperformed, and in combination with Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner you can either use it as soon as turn 4 or get twice as much mana. It’s not hard to get into situations where you are casting Gadwick for X=15 or stealing all of their threats with Mass Manipulation.

The only issue I would be careful about is playing so many 4-of legendaries. Between Thassa, Nyx Lotus, Gadwick, Kiora, and Fblthp you are looking at 19-20 legendary permanents, which means that you will get stuck with multiple extra copies in your hand.

This deck made me want to get the Thassa + Agent combo online as soon as possible, so I built a U/G Ramp deck using these cards.

U/G Thassa Agent Ramp

U/G Thassa Agent Ramp deck from Standard
Click to enlarge.
6 Island
7 Forest
4 Breeding Pool
4 Temple of Mystery
2 Castle Vantress
2 Fabled Passage
4 Gilded Goose
3 Paradise Druid
4 Leafkin Druid
3 Cloudkin Seer
4 Risen Reef
2 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft
4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
3 Cavalier of Gales
1 Cavalier of Thorns
4 Agent of Treachery
3 Gadwick, the Wizened
Arena Export

4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling (THB) 71

6 Island (ELD) 257

4 Agent of Treachery (M20) 43

4 Risen Reef (M20) 217

7 Forest (ELD) 269

4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178

1 Cavalier of Thorns (M20) 167

4 Gilded Goose (ELD) 160

2 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

3 Cavalier of Gales (M20) 52

3 Gadwick, the Wizened (ELD) 48

3 Cloudkin Seer (M20) 54

3 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

4 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

2 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244


This deck is trying to abuse Thassa as much as possible. I’m not entirely convinced about Gilded Goose as a good enough 1-mana accelerant here, but it does get reset by Thassa for free. You could play Arboreal Grazer instead, but then your deck needs 26-28 lands.

The idea here is to play Risen Reef or Cloudkin Seer into Thassa and start generating card advantage, follow it up with one of the Cavaliers and find Agent and steal everything they have.

This deck also performed nicely, but I am still not sure about what the best early game for this deck is. Being able to get ahead on mana is nice, but losing Thassa’s Oracle and an easy way to get to 5 devotion to blue hurts a little bit.

Thassa kept impressing me, so next I tried a version with white.

U/W Thassa

U/W Thassa deck from MTG Standard
Click to enlarge.
5 Plains
7 Island
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Castle Vantress
2 Fabled Passage
4 Temple of Enlightenment
4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
3 Deputy of Detention
4 Fblthp, the Lost
3 Elite Guardmage
3 Agent of Treachery
3 Cavalier of Gales
4 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft
1 Dream Trawler
4 Thassa's Oracle
3 Gadwick, the Wizened
4 Teferi, Time Raveler
Arena Export

4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling (THB) 71

7 Island (ELD) 257

4 Thassa’s Oracle (THB) 73

4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221

5 Plains (ELD) 253

3 Elite Guardmage (WAR) 195

4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39

3 Agent of Treachery (M20) 43

3 Cavalier of Gales (M20) 52

3 Deputy of Detention (RNA) 165

4 Fblthp, the Lost (WAR) 50

3 Gadwick, the Wizened (ELD) 48

4 Temple of Enlightenment (THB) 246

2 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251

1 Dream Trawler (THB) 214

2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242


I noticed that everyone was mostly focusing on doing their thing and not on killing my permanents, so I wanted access to Teferi and Deputy of Detention.

This deck could have had too many cards at the top end and perhaps it needs an extra land or two, but maybe I just kept drawing all the expensive cards.

Dream Trawler

One card that overperformed for me was Dream Trawler, which is a giant flying card-drawing threat that you need to kill with a sweeper, otherwise it’s going to kill you. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a staple of the format. I will definitely be trying to use it as a finisher in U/W Control decks, something the deck really missed until now.

Next time, I want to try a Bant version with some more sweet targets for Thassa like Knight of Autumn and Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves.

The last deck I enjoyed playing was U/R Fires.

Izzet Purphoros Fires

Izzet Purphoros Fires deck from MTG Arena
Click to enlarge.
2 Island
9 Mountain
4 Steam Vents
4 Temple of Epiphany
2 Castle Vantress
4 Fabled Passage
4 Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded
3 Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
4 Cavalier of Flame
1 Drakuseth, Maw of Flames - Promo Pack
1 Bonecrusher Giant/Stomp
3 Ox of Agonas
4 Shimmer of Possibility
4 Fires of Invention
4 Omen of the Sea
4 Thirst for Meaning
3 Storm's Wrath
Arena Export

4 Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded (THB) 150

9 Mountain (ELD) 265

4 Cavalier of Flame (M20) 125

3 Ox of Agonas (THB) 147

3 Ilharg, the Raze-Boar (WAR) 133

1 Drakuseth, Maw of Flames (M20) 136

4 Shimmer of Possibility (RNA) 51

2 Island (ELD) 257

4 Thirst for Meaning (THB) 74

4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125

3 Storm’s Wrath (THB) 157

4 Omen of the Sea (THB) 58

4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

4 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253

4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257

2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

1 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115


This list actually comes from a blog post someone linked me to in Twitch chat. At first I was skeptical about Storm’s Wrath because I kept running into Thassa decks, but it overperformed.

Thirst for Meaning and Omen of the Sea are nice new card selection additions that help you find Fires for turn 4, which is the most important card of the deck.

On turn 4, the ideal scenario is that you play Fires of Invention and sweep the board with Storm’s Wrath. Being able to deal 4 damage instead of 3 with Deafening Clarion can be a pretty big deal against cards like Questing Beast and dealing damage to all planeswalkers in the process makes this card very good.

Afterward, there are multiple synergies between the creatures. Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded works similarly to Sneak Attack and it also grants all your other creatures haste. Between Purphoros and Cavalier of Flames, you should be able to always attack with everything right away. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar and Drakuseth are two more fatties that help you close the game as fast as possible. I wasn’t super impressed with Ox of Agonas because the 4/2 body is just too bad, but they can help you find more creatures in the late game when you don’t need anymore lands and you can discard it to Cavalier of Flames and bring it from the graveyard. It might be better to just play more Drakuseth though, especially if there are a lot of creature decks.

The last Thassa deck I tried was from the brewmaster himself, Crokeyz.

Crokeyz Temur

Crokeyz Temur Deck List from Standard on MTG Arena
Click to enlarge.
2 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Island
4 Steam Vents
4 Breeding Pool
4 Stomping Ground
1 Temple of Epiphany
3 Temple of Mystery
2 Castle Vantress
1 Fabled Passage
2 Temple of Abandon
3 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
3 Hydroid Krasis
2 Paradise Druid
3 Cavalier of Thorns
4 Leafkin Druid
3 Omnath, Locus of the Roil
4 Risen Reef
4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
2 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
3 Neoform
4 Claim the Firstborn
Arena Export

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242

3 Cavalier of Thorns (M20) 167

2 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126

4 Claim the Firstborn (ELD) 118

1 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

2 Forest (ELD) 269

3 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

1 Island (ELD) 257

4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178

1 Mountain (ELD) 265

3 Neoform (WAR) 206

4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World (WAR) 169

3 Omnath, Locus of the Roil (M20) 216

2 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

4 Risen Reef (M20) 217

4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257

4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259

2 Temple of Abandon (THB) 244

1 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253

3 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255

3 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling (THB) 71


This deck is a mix of Temur Elementals with Thassa synergy, and Neoform to tie it all together.

I’m a little skeptical of Chandra, Acolyte of Flame because of the mana, but overall the deck felt pretty strong.

Keep in mind that Thassa doesn’t say “under its owner’s control,” so if you steal something with Claim the Firstborn or The Akroan War, you just get to keep it for the rest of the game.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first day of brewing with THB and I can’t wait to try more decks like R/B Sacrifice with Woe Strider, ramp decks with Nyxbloom Ancient, constellation decks with Setessan Champion and U/W Control with Thassa’s Intervention, Banishing Light, and Dream Trawler as a finisher.

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