Some of the most powerful lines of text in Magic include the words “you win the game” and here we have our newest addition that was spoiled for Theros: Beyond Death. When reading the Thassa’s Oracle spoiler and combing through its wall of text it looked like a boring scry style effect equal to your devotion to blue, until you get to the last line. If your devotion is greater than or equal to the number of cards in your deck you win the game. Let’s look into this and see where this new win condition fits.
So first off let’s compare to Laboratory Maniac and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries since it’s inevitable. Unlike Lab Man and Jace, Thassa’s Oracle is an enter the battlefield effect rather than a replacement effect so with the correct set up you don’t need to wait to draw a card. It is also cheaper to play than either of them at 2 mana rather than 3 or 4. The disadvantage is the increased difficulty of draw yourself to death effects. Unlike the other two if you would lose if you draw with an empty library so there is a bit more counting and planning if you wish to do it that way.
Of course you don’t need to go the draw yourself to deck route, emptying your library is perfectly valid as well. We’ve gone through the Mesmeric Orb and Basalt Monolith combo but we have some other ways to completely deck yourself for Thassa’s Oracle. The jankiest option being Leveler but you can Tooth and Nail or Victimize for them both which is an advantage I suppose. The instant options are Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact to just empty your deck in response to Thassa’s Oracles enter the battlefield effect.
The biggest strength is even if they destroy Thassa’s Oracle in response that it checks if your devotion is greater or equal to the number of cards in your deck. So if your devotion is zero and you have zero cards in your deck then if I do my math, carry the one, divide by zero. that seems equal. The biggest weakness is any Stifle effect, unlike Lab Man and Jace you won’t be able to just try again by drawing a card you would need to flicker Thassa’s Oracle or some other method to try again.
So, would you run this combo? How did you feel about the Theros spoilers? Let me know if you would and how you would play this.
It’s been a very quick rise to power for Thassa’s Oracle so let’s touch up the Combo with some more variants and options you can use with it.
Inverter of Truth: The combo with Thassa’s Oracle has made a splash in the Pioneer format but we’re here for Commander where we don’t have the 4 of redundancy. Additional options include Paradigm Shift and to a more expensive casting degree Morality Shift. While your graveyard may not be empty you’ll know the contents and it will probably be significantly lower card count than what was in your deck.
Some creature options to deck yourself with. Divining Witch is a spellshaper which turns any card in your hand into a Demonic Consultation. Hermit Druid is a well known self mill option but to run it without hitting a basic land means you have to run a completely non basic land base.
Thought Lash came back into view when Jace, Wielder of Mysteries was released but it’s still a very effective way to exile your library. As an added bonus it’ll add some blue devotion for the effect.
In Modern there used to be a deck around Ad Nauseam and not dying by using Angel’s Grace and Phyrexian Unlife. In this case we still want to prevent ourselves from dying but can also use a cheaper option to cast, Spoils of the Vault. Spoils is more akin to Demonic Consultation but as long as you don’t die from life loss they’ll all function as we need for Thassa’s Oracle.
Lastly let’s do a Doomsday pile. There are a number of ways to use this including just winning from having 5 devotion to blue. Combining it with carts like Frantic Search and Thought Scour will help but Fact or Fiction will pull the whole pile. Thassa’s Oracle naturally has 2 devotion so if you’re not worried about it being destroyed in response then any cards that draw 3 cards like Thirst of Knowledge or Thirst for Meaning before or in response to the trigger would be enough.
There are a ton of ways to empty your deck but it starts to take more and more pieces to do. Exile it, mill it, or draw it all, it doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you have cards equal or less to your devotion to blue then Thassa’s Oracle will win you the game.
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