Perhaps I’m a bit biased towards Boros, but I just don’t find the Thrive and Thrash Gatecrash Event Deck nearly as good as its Boros Rally counterpart. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a ton of value to be had here! Yet again, Wizards has reprinted Thragtusk, making this the third time it’s been included in an Event Deck (will we see the secondary market price drop at all yet?) I will say, though, this one is not quite as easily playable out of the box. It’s definitely the trickier of the two to play. But it’s got some really good stuff in it, and if you’re a Simic (blue/green) player or are looking for some important pieces for a RUG (red/blue/green) deck, it’s worth your $25. Let’s take a look.
The Guildgates are always welcome, but unlike the other deck, there’s no regular dual land in here. A Hinterland Harbor would have immediately made this deck a steal at its current MSRP, so if I have any complaint with this mana base, that would be it. And what’s with the one Mountain, you ask? There is a reason for it, and the two Evolving Wilds should give you a chance to fetch it.
2 Acidic Slime
4 Arbor Elf
3 Borderland Ranger
1 Deadeye Navigator
1 Dungeon Geists
2 Fog Bank
1 Gruul Ragebeast
2 Mist Raven
1 Sphinx of Uthuun
3 Strangleroot Geist
1 Wolfir Silverheart
1 Yeva, Nature’s Herald
The creature line-up actually has a lot of very interesting stuff in it, including a few great value rares. While I’m not the biggest fan of Gruul Ragebeast, if you can get him on the board, you have a good chance at finishing that game off. His automatic fight trigger does have its place in this deck, so he works. Wolfir Silverheart is a great card hands-down, as well as Dungeon Geists, both cards that are at home in many decks. Thragtusk should need no introduction. Gain 5 life and when he’s removed from the field get a 3/3 beast token. Works well, and that’s why people covet so many copies of it.
Yeva, Nature’s Herald is an interesting little card. She has Flash and gives all of your green creatures Flash. I’m definitely a fan of this in the deck, but the rest of the creature line-up, to me, seems a bit underwhelming when you consider how much great Simic stuff lives in Gatecrash!
Three Strangleroot Geists are a staple of green decks. The Arbor Elves and Borderland Rangers get you your manas. Mist Raven is a nice little control card and Fog Bank protects your life points. Then you have Sphinx of Uthuun and Deadeye Navigator. This is where the deck gets a little meh for me. Deadeye Navigator has a nice interaction with Thragtusk, Sphinx, Dungeon Geists, and perhaps Mist Raven and Borderland Ranger. So there are a lot of interesting control elements here. But you ask, how will you be able to get quickly enough to these higher mana spells?
The Non-Creature spells in this deck are what make the seemingly odd creature line-up make more sense. The Bramblecrush can take care of an annoying planeswalker, enchantment, or even one of your opponent’s lands to keep them off of the colors they may need. Farseek grabs your Islands and one Mountain. Ground Assault is a nice little removal card (that requires your one Mountain!) Urban Evolution looks pricey but it’s worth the cost, as you draw three cards and can play an additional land card during that turn. Verdant Haven is a nice little enchantment that gains you 2 life and makes the enchanted land give you an extra mana of any color when you tap it. So now it becomes possible to cast an Acidic Slime on perhaps even Turn 4, if you hit everything right. These spells are what makes this deck work.
My biggest issue here is that one Mountain. It’s not vitally important that you have that Mountain early in the game, but who knows, you could end up having it milled or discarded and your red spells become useless (which you can survive with happening, but who wants to dead-draw a red card without your one Mountain?) Otherwise, it’s a fairly solid, if not tricky to pilot, passive-aggressive control deck.
The majority of the sideboard allows you to go more towards control with Dissipate, Naturalize, and Negate. You also have three copies of Rancor and a playset of Flames of the Firebrand to make you more aggressive if the match-up calls for it.
All in all, it’s not at all a bad deal for the money. It’s worth picking up simply for the pieces that it comes with. I’m just not crazy about the deck. I’d have to actually play with it to change my mind about it, but it’s not one I’d feel comfortable playing. If you like what you see, it’s definitely one to consider brewing off of, but I know that there are much better ways to go. I like Simic Charm over Mist Raven. Experiment One is a great one-drop that you could flash in with Yeva. I feel like this deck focuses too much on building up mana to hit your combo pieces early. All someone has to do is ping off your Arbor Elves and Fog Banks and the more aggressive decks will rip this list to shreds.
I think to make this work you have to focus on Control or you have to focus on board presence. I see RUG being a good way to build off of this. I would personally say this is a great foundation for a very good Simic or RUG deck but I think it needs work to be competitive in the Standard meta-game.