The cEDH Archetypes #06 - Thieves and Wheels
14/07/20 0 comments
We've reached a point where everything explained in the previous articles will converge into a single deck: today is the long-awaited day to talk about Wheels & ThievesEdit Article
THE COMBOWhen we talked about the Hatebears, I used this session to explain the general concept and function of the cards so named, which will be repeated in this article. The idea of a card characterized as a thief comes from Notion Thief, which was part of the cEDH scene for a long time, generating value by locking the opponent. Recently, the format has undergone radical change. First with the launch of collections with a high power level and the printing of important pieces for the current builds (see War of the Spark and Modern Horizons), and then with the ban of Paradox Engine and Flash leading to the death of the Flash / Hulk decks. All this culminated in a point where the gameplay leads the player to aim for the highest value in a short time. These fact might have motivated a player to, on a tedious day looking at our dear thief alone in the middle of a bulk of cards, improve what we already saw on the Nekusar, the Mindrazer decks, but this time, as efficiently as possible. With the concept in hand, it was all a matter of playing the Professor Utonium and using the companion commanders along with the Demonic Consultation package and some drops of the Element X to bring the renowned Opus Thief to life. After popping-up on the metagame, the four-color deck headed by Tymna the Weaver and Kraum, Ludevic's Opus started to gain more relevance, mainly by competing with Flash / Hulk builds like Tymna & Thrasios (which were already presented as tier 0). Its strategy was to use ordinary cards in constructions optimized as wheel effects combined with stax related to opponents' draws to break the symmetry of the table. More and more, the archetype got popular among the players and was seen more, being better used and having the spotlight in a format that is now Flash free.
COMMANDERSInitially, the Opus Thief build was exclusive to Tymna & Kraum, but over time the archetype became a way to assemble the deck, being able to integrate almost any list of three or more colors. So I decided to dedicate this session to show builds that have a different development for the same principle. With that in mind, I would like you to consider Kenrith, the Returned King and so many others who adapt the idea of 4C T&K following the same construction idea, but with different generals. The all stars of Opus Thief are Notion Thief and Alms Collector. Together with Tymna, they guarantee extra draws, and, in addition, they also work very well at instant speed, and can be fitted in response to a spell or ability that an opponent controls. Next to them, we have Narset, Parter of Veils and Smothering Tithe, cards from the same block and that, once they arrived, dominated the format. On the wheel side, we have the classics Wheel of Fortune, Timetwister and Windfall, which started to come together with Whispering Madness to guarantee redundancy, but, in the end , the biggest innovation in this sense was the addition of Winds of Change and Burning Inquiry, promoting a great asymmetry when combined with a thief effect. To finish the game we have the Demonic Consultation, Tainted Pact, Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Thassa's Oracle pack together with the Ad Nauseam + Angel's Grace combo which is viable since we have acess to white.
VARIATIONSAs I said before, what was initially an archetype became a way to build your deck. Any strategy with a color pie compatible with the concept of thieves can take advantage of this type of synergy, even more nowadays with massive draw effects present in all builds of the metagame.
HONORABLE MENTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES BUDGETAgain, I will use this session to leave a list of cards that can help anyone who wants to build their deck with the thieves subtheme. Not all of them are viable for the cEDH , but they can cause an impact on a battlefield of a slightly lower power level.
CONCLUSIONI believe to have presented today an example of innovation. I have heard a lot that the cEDH is consolidated and that nothing new can come up, but I am always seeing strategies that have come up with more value than the previous ones. I will keeping insist on motivating you to always try to innovate. Of course, in certain situations, the performance limit has already been reached, but that is not a rule, and knowing that the format is based on value we can try to find something that takes us a step further.