May 23, 2017

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Partners Without a Partner - Thrasios, Triton Hero

Welcome to the tenth article in my Partners Without a Partner Series! By the end of this article, we'll have brewed up one half-deck for each colour pair within the Partners. That's enough to mash them all together in pairs to get five separate decks to battle with!

The Blue-Green guild offers us two Partners. We're going with Thrasios, Triton Hero. Kydele's ability to turn card draw into extra mana for a turn demands to be built around, and the restrictions of this project mean we can't reliably have the pieces we'd need to make the most of it. That means Kydele's just going to be a mana dork, so why not run the superior Simic support partner, Thrasios!

The theme that runs rampant in the Simic guild is +1/+1 counters. I'm not worried about going deep on this theme, since all the cards work well on their own, and any synergistic ones just ask that Thrasios' other Partner brings creatures along. In case you haven't been following the series so far, they do! Let's break down some of the things this deck is looking to do.

When we're brewing up a Green deck that wants +1/+1 counters, Forgotten Ancient is an all-star. It will get huge on its own, but it can also share those counters with another creature better suited to be attacking. I also like Simic Manipulator in this half-deck. It's a card that can sometimes fly under the radar, but it eventually threatens to nab an opponent's key creature, or even one of their Commanders! Especially if we have a way to move counters around. Looking at you, Forgotten Ancient. Finally, I want to mention Hardened Scales. It'll be fun to see how much enchantment hate this card draws out, considering it will likely only synergize with this half of our deck. But the half it works with will have very hard scales.

Any decent Commander deck is going to have some mana ramp and card draw, and Thrasios' batch of cards gets to do things on theme! Fertilid is a fantastic ramp card on its own, and being able to add +1/+1 counters to it really puts it over the top. Fathom mage is another example of combining theme with some card draw. Whether we're casting bigger creatures, or "merely" adding +1/+1 to it, we're getting extra cards. And what Blue deck doesn't run any counter magic? Draining Whelk, although a bit pricey, turns an opponent's spell into a large threat that demands another spell to answer!

A few gems hiding out in this side of the deck include Chasm Skulker. This is a creature that demands an answer quick, otherwise, even if you manage to destroy it when you begin to feel threatened by the amount of +1/+1 counters on it, it'll turn into tons of little islandwalkers! And unless they're already out, there's almost certainly another player out there running islands. Plaxcaster Frogling protects most of the decks creatures very well from pointed destruction. And once we can distribute some counters to the other Partner's creatures, that protection extends to our entire board. And as a finisher, Primordial Hydra will end games in short order. This gets out of hand pretty quickly, if gone unanswered!

Since we're in the Simic colours, and we're running +1/+1 counters, we have access to the most dangerous card in the strategy. Vorel of the Hull Clade will take our already large cards, and make them get out of hand. Don't forget about activating it on the last end step, then again in your main phase. That's the old Tim Horton's play. The double-double. We can also copy our favourite creature on the field with Altered Ego, only ours will be a bit bigger thanks to our counters! And one of my favourite mechanics, retrace, shows up on Spitting Image. We can keep spamming the ugliest threats with all the extra lands in our hand in the late game.

So, that's the deck, and the last Partner we're going to brew around! But that's not all for the series! In two weeks I'll put out one more article to go over how to mash them together, land bases, and some things I discovered while putting this all together. For now, take a look at the decklist and let me know what you might have done differently.