Thassa Devotion Deck with Master of Waves and Bident of Thassa
September 23, 2013 | Posted by Dee
When Thassa, God of the Sea and Master of Waves were spoiled at the beginning of this month, I felt like a blue devotion deck could be pretty good in Theros Standand. Thassa and Master looked like powerful cards and they compliment each other well.
I thought Tidebinder Mage would have a big impact in post-rotation Standard. With her casting cost, she is a good devotion enabler at the two drop spot.
Also, in my research of Return to Ravnica block, Nightveil Specter was one of the top cards in the format. With a mana cost of triple blue, it could quickly turn Thassa into a creature and give you a bunch of Elemental tokens from Master.
I started building a deck right away. This forum thread about the best devotion enablers was very helpful during the process.
Here’s my current decklist. I recommend it for your next Standard tournament.
Click the links below to buy cards from this deck on eBay.
Main Deck Analysis
While playtesting on Cockatrice, I saw people trying out Thassa in control builds but I think she is much better in a creature-heavy aggro or midrange deck because you need a lot of solid attackers to fully take advantage of all her abilities.
A control deck can’t really use Thassa’s unblockable ability effectively because it focuses on defense rather than attacking. Also, creatures are the best early plays to reach five devotion quickly and you definitely want to be in attack mode with an indestructible 5/5 for three mana.
Master fits the creature-heavy strategy because he can give you a lot of creature tokens to swarm your opponent and kill him before he has a chance to setup a reasonable defense.
With these things in mind, the creature base was pretty straightforward to build. Cloudfin Raptor, Judge’s Familiar, Frostburn Weird, Tidebinder Mage, and Nightveil Specter are much better than the alternatives at their mana curve spots.
Raptor allows you to become aggressive right away in the air. You can evolve it to 3/4 with Frostburn Weird and even to 4/5 if you drop Thassa on the board as a 5/5 creature. I’ve won many games by just beating down with big Raptors.
Judge’s Familiar is probably the weakest card in the deck but it’s still decent. It evolves Raptor on turn two for only one mana. One common play is turn one Raptor and then turn two scry land and Judge’s Familiar.
The 1/1 flyer slows down decks with a lot of sorceries and instants. For example, stopping Anger of the Gods on turn three is pretty key. Flying works very well with Bident.
As you can guess, Tidebinder Mage is a high variance card. Against decks with a lot of red or green creatures, she slows them down a lot while attacking for two and powering Thassa and Master.
But if she doesn’t have any targets, she can be mediocre especially if you don’t draw Thassa or Master. I wish I could play a different card at times but she really is the best option along with Frostburn Weird at the two drop spot.
You could cut her and play less two-drops but this deck wants to get to five devotion quickly for Thassa. Also, Tidebinder Mage gives you more explosive starts with Master.
She’s another early creature for triggering Bident. Sometimes she just draws you a lot of cards with Bident against decks with few creatures because your opponent has to use his removal spells on more powerful creatures like Nightveil Specter and Master.
Frostburn Weird is solid because he’s a great blocker against fast decks. With four toughness, he keeps Rakdos Cacklers and Burning-Tree Emissaries at bay and he doesn’t die to Lightning Strike.
He only attacks for one but you can activate his ability to give him up to four power. Just watch out for instant speed burn spells like Magma Jet and Lightning Strike because his toughness goes down when you increase his power.
Nightveil Specter has been impressive in playtesting. It saw a lot of play in Return to Ravnica block but I didn’t think it would be that good in Theros Standard.
The 2/3 flyer doesn’t die to Doom Blade or Magma Jet. Against aggro, Nightveil Specter is a decent blocker. For instance, it matches up well against 2/2s like Burning-Tree Emissary and Fiendslayer Paladin.
It has flying, which is great with Bident. Nightveil Specter’s combat damage ability is a game-winner if your opponent can’t kill it right away. Even though it only attacks for two damage, you gain a lot of card advantage when it hits your opponent multiple times.
You can play the lands exiled by Nightveil Specter so you’ll find yourself casting non blue or black spells if you get in a couple of hits. On turn four, sometimes you need a fourth land to play Master, Bident, or Jace. Nightveil Specter can give it to you by dealing combat damage to your opponent.
Against blue or black decks, she can easily dominate because you are playing those colors. I’ve cast many of my opponents’ counterspells with Nightveil Specter. Your opponent must kill it right away. Otherwise, you’ll just bury him with card advantage.
Master of Waves is another creature that demands a removal spell right away or you’ll attack for a ton of damage with many 2/1 tokens. Plus, Master and his minions interact very well with Bident.
Master has protection from red so it can’t be targeted by many premium removal spells including Mizzium Mortars, Magma Jet, Lightning Strike, Dreadbore, and Warleader’s Helix. As you can imagine, Master destroys Mono Red Aggro, a deck I expect to be popular early in the season because it’s so proactive and it gained a lot from
Also, Master is excellent in multiples. Other copies give you more tokens and all the tokens get another +1/+1 boost. I’ve won a couple games where I just played back to back Masters and smashed my opponent with a massive horde of 3/2 Elementals.
Thassa gives the deck a lot of flexibility. I wish I could play four copies but I found that she’s not that good against decks with board sweepers or a lot of spot removal. Against these decks, it can be tough to get five devotion on the board so Thassa is not as effective
Also, she’s legendary. Drawing a second copy of her is often pretty bad.
That said, she’s still a central part of the deck. She ocassionally comes down right away as a 5/5 creature to buff Raptor. She gives you scry 1 every turn to make your draws more consistent. Quick tip: put a marker like dice on top of your library to remind you to scry on your upkeep.
When she becomes a creature, she’s huge at 5/5 for only three mana and she survives most removal spells because she’s indestructible. Her unblockable ability allows you to push through lethal damage or draw cards with Bident.
Speaking of her weapon, the legendary enchantment artifact is the MVP against mass removal. Cards like Supreme Verdict and Anger of the Gods are very good against this deck but Bident helps you overcome the card disadvantage for those spells.
The deck has 12 flyers and Thassa’s unblockable ability so it’s not too difficult to hit your opponent and draw cards with Bident. I haven’t had a situation where Bident’s activated ability proved useful but it’s nice to have the option.
I would love to play four copies of Thassa’s weapon but sadly, Bident is legendary so drawing multiples is pretty bad.
Thassa and Bident is a really strong combination because they give you three devotion and in game one, most decks don’t have ways to deal with either card. Once you have those two cards on the board, even if you have nothing else, all you need is to play is a two-drop creature and you can attacking with Thassa right away while threatening to draw cards.
The 2 Jaces are like the fourth and fifth Bidents. As a planeswalker, he’s harder to remove than a creature so he’s good at giving you two devotion. Against fast decks, he’s better than Bident because he allows you to race with his +1 ability. This ability slows down your opponent a lot if he has a swarm of small creatures.
Unfortunately, with the new Hero’s Downfall, it’s a lot easier to kill planeswalkers. But if they use that card to destroy Jace, that means one less removal spell for Nightveil Specter and Master. Also, Jace gives you card advantage against slow decks.
The optimal removal suite is highly dependent on your local metagame. For example, if you have a lot of black creature decks, Doom Blade should be something else. You could try Devour Flesh or Ultimate Price instead.
Far // Away is a flexible spell that has a lot of value in many different situations. The bounce side of the spell slows down fast decks so you can race them.
Bounce is also good against decks with a lot of creatures that cost four or more. It only costs two to bounce so you get a big tempo boost when you return something like Desecration Demon or Kalonian Hydra back to your opponent’s hand.
In some matchups, you’ll use the bounce to save a key creature like Master or NIghtveil Specter.
The sacrifice effect of the fuse spell is good at killing Obzedat or Blood Baron of Vizkopa in Esper Control decks. On the play, you can even kill the hexproof Sylvan Caryatid before your opponent taps it for mana.
With 24 lands, this deck regularly gets to five mana so you can fuse Far // Away to really wreck your opponent.
In the mana base, you’ve got 1 Mutavault and 1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. The manland combos well with Thassa’s unblockable ability and Bident.
The legendary Theros land works well because the deck has a decent amount of mana sinks. You’ve got Frostburn Weird’s ability and Thassa’s unblockable ability. Also, Nykthos can ramp to five or six mana on turn four.
I splashed black instead of going mono blue for strong cheap removal and Thoughtseize. Supreme Verdict is great against this deck because it is uncounterable and it wipes out your devotion from creatures. Also, the Azorius sweeper kills Master and all his tokens in one swoop.
Bident is solid against Supreme but it’s legendary so it’s tough to play four copies. Thoughtseize gets around the uncounterability of Supreme so it gets a well-earned spot in the sideboard.
Against decks with a lot of pinpoint removal, Negate is a lifesaver. Whether you’re countering Detention Sphere or Doom Blade, Negate is good at protecting your permanents.
Domestication is pretty cool tech. It gives you two devotion while stealing problematic creatures such as Boros Reckoner, Ash Zealot, and Precinct Captain.
Doom Blade and AEtherize slow down fast aggro decks. Dark Betrayal is one of the best sideboard cards in Theros. It’s awesome to kill Desecration Demon or Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch at instant speed for only one mana.
The most important sideboarding rule for this deck is never cut a creature. For example, you may be tempted to take out Tidebinder Mage if she doesn’t have any targets. However, that move just makes Thassa, Bident, and Master worse.
You shouldn’t cut any creatures to keep your devotion potential high and to have enough attackers for Bident.
Here are two common sideboard plans. Against Supreme Verdict decks with very few creatures, I go:
-2 Doom Blade
-2 Far // Away
Against Mono Red Aggro, I sideboard like this:
+2 Doom Blade
This deck is fun to play because it has many different avenues to victory.
Sometimes you win with Raptor beats. Other times Master of Waves crushes your opponent because she can’t find an answer. In some games, the board gets cluttered with creatures and Thassa helps you win by making creatures unblockable.
Against a red or green deck, you might draw multiple Tidebinder Mages and just tempo them out. In other games, you’ll draw a ton of cards with Bident and just bury your opponent with card advantage.
One common way of winning is the unchecked Nightveil Specter. Sometimes it just hits your opponent a couple of times and you play multiple cards you don’t own.