Home > Musings > Quick Hits: Chapin Is (half) Right About Thrun

Quick Hits: Chapin Is (half) Right About Thrun

First, the card in question:

Pretty great creature, right? I personally love it, as it’s a throwback to one of my favorite green creatures ever, Troll Ascetic. My initial reaction was that I was a bit scared of it, being a control player. How do you answer this guy? Can’t target him. Can’t bounce him with Jace. Can’t tap him with Frost Titan or Tumble Magnet. Can’t Wrath him if they have mana to regenerate…etc.

Enter – Patrick Chapin:

Okay, so let’s think.

  • Sacrifice effects will work. (Gatekeeper of Malakir & Consuming Vapors immediately spring to mind.) There are 109 nonland cards in the current Standard (pre-Mirrodin Besieged) that have the word “sacrifice” on them. While some of them don’t apply (e.g. Arc Runner, cards that create Eldrazi Spawn tokens), a good chunk of them are potential answers to Thrun.
  • Anything that gives -1/-1 counters will work. This includes anything that has infect or grants it can answer Thrun. Here are 19 cards that fit that category, a list that will grow when Thrun & the rest of Besieged becomes legal. Also, don’t forget about the new black sweeper, Black Sun’s Zenith. Seems good.
  • A Thrun of your own will take out an opposing Thrun. People have been doing this to Jace for nearly a year. Thrun’s legendary status is a liability. And you don’t even have to be playing green. If you’re able to copy Thrun (without targeting) with a card like, say, Clone, then the legendary rule will kick in to destroy all copies of Thrun in play.
  • Or, you could just block it. Thrun is just a 4/4, so anything with 5 toughness will sit and block him all day. Here’s a list of 89 creatures in Standard (again, pre-MBS) that will make Thrun look a bit foolish. Token generators like Elspeth Tirel and Avenger of Zendikar will also keep Thrun from being very effective.

So yeah, when Patrick tweeted that there are 60 answers to Thrun in Standard, he was half right. Looks to me that there are at least double* that.

*=Obviously some answers will be better than others, but this is just a start to get the juices flowing.

EDIT: Just wanted to add this comment from Twitter, as it’s a good thing to keep in mind:

In other words, leaving an “incapacitated” Thrun in play (in Greg’s example, giving him three -1/-1 counters instead of four) will keep your opponent from easily playing another one. It’s quite likely that your opponent will just use the 1/1 Thrun as a chump blocker, so if that’s relevant to you (i.e., if you plan to win by attacking on the ground), you may want to factor in whether it makes sense to leave your opponent with a chump or to remove the Thrun entirely.

(This is why I love this game! So many decisions!)

Follow me on Twitter @affinityforblue.
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  1. D. Mantel
    January 26, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Also of note…proliferate doesn’t target the creature so any -1/-1 on a him will get things started

    • January 26, 2011 at 5:21 am

      Good point! I wrote this up pretty quickly, so I figured I’d miss some things. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Jon Snow
    January 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

    All is Dust!

  3. dangthing
    February 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Those might be answers but do we really want to be rigging up our decks with randoms to deal with one creature? Black Sun’s Zenith will work but will also nail anything that you happen to have on the field especially anything small. Infect works…if they let you block him. A thrun with Sword of Feast and Famine on him make infect absolutely useless or if they give him first strike for 3 mana it makes infect useless. Thrun by himself isn’t that scary but throw something else on him and he can be mean. Clone is super easy against him but with fauna shaman they can simply grab another one. Sacrifice is a no go because they can just throw out that anti-sacrifice elf from Rise. He won’t be that good in decks where he was just thrown into but decks built about him turn nasty real quick.

    • February 14, 2011 at 3:12 am

      Everything that you’re saying is true, but the scenarios you’re mentioning require more work from the Thrun player. Don’t get me wrong, Thrun is a good card; the point was, he’s not unbeatable, there are plenty of options across all colors for an opponent to deal with him.

      I mean, I could make a pretty mean creature with just a Whispersilk Cloak and Darksteel Plate 🙂

  1. January 26, 2011 at 5:48 am

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