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Commander Top 10: Thryx, The Sudden Storm

Bennie Smith builds around Theros Beyond Death superstar Thryx, the Sudden Storm! What will he cast with Thryx and oodles of Islands?

Thryx, the Sudden Storm, illustrated by Mathias Kollros

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We’ve had a full week to digest Theros Beyond Death and played with some of the cards during Prerelease weekend.  Commander fans must be excited to get their hands on some of these cards—I know I am!

I’ve brewed up a few decklists around some of the new legends already, and for this week I’m going to step a bit outside my typical approach to Commander and embrace the Way of the Island with this incredibly cool new card:

I’m really excited about this card and plan to put a copy in a few of my existing decks:  Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer for sure; possibly Volrath, the Shapestealer; and if I can reliably make the mana work I’d love to have it in my Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis.  But I also think it’s an absurdly good card for Commander—big and splashy spells are why we play the format, and with Thryx on the battlefield they cost one mana less to cast and can’t be countered.

To make it even cooler, Thryx has flash, which means you can cast it for five mana at the end of an opponent’s turn, untap, and then potentially cast a spell that costs six or seven mana that can’t be countered. 

In the Theros Beyond Death release notes there was some clarification on how Thryx works, so for convenience I’m replicating it here:

To determine the total cost of a spell, start with the mana cost or alternative cost you’re paying, add any cost increases, then apply any cost reductions (such as that of Thryx). The converted mana cost of the spell remains unchanged, no matter what the total cost to cast it was.

For spells with {X} in their mana costs, use the value chosen for X to determine the spell’s converted mana cost.

Thryx’s last ability doesn’t apply to itself while it’s a spell.

A spell or ability that counters spells can still target spells you control with converted mana cost 5 or greater. When that spell or ability resolves, your spell won’t be countered, but any additional effects of the countering spell or ability will still happen.

If Thryx enters the battlefield while a spell with converted mana cost 5 or greater that you cast is on the stack, that spell can’t be countered, even though you don’t get the {1} discount.

Players can’t attempt to remove Thryx to raise the cost of a spell you wish to cast, but they can remove it to allow their spells and abilities to counter your spells.

So how should we build a deck around Thryx?  That seems to be obvious—chock-full of big and splashy spells we can cast ahead of schedule and not worry about being countered!  Let’s get into it.

1. Mind’s Dilation

One of the first things I did when brewing up this list was to look for seven-mana spells that would be awesome to cast the turn after we’ve flashed in Thryx, and Mind’s Dilation quickly topped the list.  This is a scary enchantment for your opponents to allow to resolve, so being able to cast it for just six mana and not worry about it being countered is huge.  If your next opponent casts a spell to destroy it, you’ll still get one trigger from it and potential value.  If you’re able to go a couple of turns with this on the battlefield, things are going quite well for you.

I’ve included some other big spells that are awesome to cast at a discount:

Time Stop is a Get Out of Jail Free card for Commander, and will save you from a wide variety of sticky situations—from a lethal combat step to an avalanche of triggered abilities or if someone is trying to combo kill with storm.  It’s one of the first cards I reach for when building a mono-blue deck and being able to cast it for cheaper is awesome!

2. The Immortal Sun

I really love how Thryx shaves a mana off spells that cost five or more mana, so I’d like to lean into shaving off more mana costs.  The Immortal Sun does that and more—it hoses planeswalkers, draws a card each turn, and boosts all your creatures by +1/+1.  Also, it costs just five mana to cast when Thyrx is on the battlefield!

I’m including some more of these sorts of cards:

I particularly love Inspiring Statuary in this deck since I’ll be having a fair amount of artifacts that don’t already tap for its effect, so I might as well tap them to help cast nonartifact spells with improvise!

3. Finale of Revelation

Okay, so what we really want to use with Thryx are X-spells that always scale a pip higher thanks to Thryx, and the big daddy of them all if we have enough mana is Finale of Revelation.  If we have enough mana and can get the value for X at ten or higher the effect is crazy powerful, and of course it would be heartbreaking if an opponent countered the spell, so we really love that Thryx makes it easier to cast and protects it from being countered.

We’ll also want plenty of other awesome X-spells:

4. Shimmer Dragon

In addition to the draw power we have in the cards above, we’ll want even more—this is a blue deck after all and we’ll want to keep a full grip and play a land every turn.  Shimmer Dragon likes that we’ll be including a fair number of artifacts in this deck since odds are going to be good that we’ll have four or more to make it hexproof in addition to its formidable 5/6 flying body.  Tapping each pair of untapped artifacts we control to draw a card will keep the good times rolling.

I’m including a fair number of other ways to for raw card draw, card selection, and some cycling lands too:

5. Whirlwind Denial

We are a blue deck and so it’s to be expected that we’ll have some counterspells. 

In Commander my philosophy is to hold counterspells for what I call “hero moments” – when someone has established themselves as the Big Bad at the table and is casting something that will otherwise win the game, your counterspell might be the only thing that saves that day.  Sometimes counterspells aren’t up to the task, like when there’s some combination that produces a whole bunch of triggers that are going to runaway with the game.  That’s why Whirlwind Denial is so awesome—not only can it stop a spell from resolving, but it can also counter a bunch of triggers if the controller doesn’t have enough extra mana up.  And honestly, if someone’s cast some huge, game-winning spell or series of spells, chances are good they won’t have that extra four mana.

No, no, and… no.  Here’s some more no:

6. God-Eternal Kefnet

Since our deck will include a fair number of instants and sorceries, I really love God-Eternal Kefnet.  If you reveal an X-spell with the trigger and you have Thryx on the battlefield, that’s three free pips for X and you don’t even need to spend the card to get the effect! 

I also really like Kefnet since it’s another flying body that’s so resistant to removal spells. Once you draw it it’ll be a factor for the rest of the game unless your opponents counter it.

I’m including some other cards that do nice things with all our noncreature spells:

I particularly love having a good reason to play The Mirari Conjecture, an awesome card featuring amazing artwork by my good friend James Arnold, who does awesome graphic design work for Wizards of the Coast!

7. Sword of Feast and Famine

Since Thryx can enter the battlefield with flash, the typical play pattern will be to cast it during an opponent’s end step, untap, and then have plenty of mana open to do whatever you need to do.  Equipment is another good thing to have plenty of open mana for and a good body to attach it to, and one of the very best is Sword of Feast and Famine.  Not only is green one of the most popular colors in the format, but if you deal combat damage with the equipped creature, you get to untap all your lands so you can hold them up for instant-speed spells.

I’ve included a few other cards that do fun things for our Thryx:

8. Venser, Shaper Savant

I do want to have some other high-quality creatures in case Thryx has had a tough time staying on the battlefield.  Venser, Shaper Savant is a very flexible and fantastic tool to have in this deck—not only can you remove an uncounterable spell from the stack to buy you a turn, but you can even cast Venser and then bounce Venser right back to your hand.  This does fun things with triggers from Gadwick, the Wizened and Kefnet’s Monument

Here are some other cool creature spells I’ve added to the deck:

I really like the abilities tied to Naiad of Hidden Coves and Wavebreak Hippocamp given how many instants and flash spells are in the deck.

9. Shadowspear

Okay, here’s the deal—do whatever you can to get a copy of Shadowspear for nearly every Commander deck you have.  This card is made to solve so many problems that come up in our format.  No longer is it going to be a viable strategy to cheat out Avacyn, Angel of Hope and equip it with Swiftfoot Boots so that all your permanents are nearly impossible to deal with.  For just one mana, Shadowspear punches right through all that nonsense—permanents your opponents control lose hexproof and indestructible until end of turn.  That right there is music to my ears—that is the sweet, sweet sound of interaction coming to a table near you.

And this ability is just there on this one-mana artifact—it doesn’t even need to be equipped to do this!  And when it is equipped, it gives the creature +1/+1, trample and lifelink.  This is a Commander staple, and Thryx will gladly take this effect. Some other great cards to interact with our opponents:

Soul-Guide Lantern is another superb Commander card that should find room in every Commander deck out there.  We should all put more ways to interact with graveyards is our decks, and this one is a slam-dunk inclusion.

10. Gilded Lotus

Every good Commander deck has a number of mana accelerants, and this one is no exception, but I especially love Gilded Lotus for this line of play:  end of turn, flash out Thryx.  Untap, play a land, and cast Gilded Lotus for four mana.  Since Gilded Lotus gives you back three mana, you now have enough mana to cast a six-mana spell if you want after casting Gilded Lotus!

I’m also running plenty of the usual suspects:

Terrain Generator is going to do some great work here with all the extra card draw, and since we’ll be holding mana up and occasionally not using it, we can spend two mana to tap Terrain Generator and put an Island onto the battlefield here and there.

Okay, so here’s how the deck ended up:


What do you think?  Are there any cards I’ve overlooked?  If you see any new cards from Theros Beyond Death that should find a home here, let me know!

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun! 

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