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Magic the Gathering - What Wizards Won't Tell You - Deck #2 Thallid Shooter

I'm an Air Force veteran who was stationed in Guam at one point.

This is the second deck from the book What the Wizards Won't Tell You by Gregg Stanley. It's called Thallid Shooter. This deck baffles me. There are so many random cards that don't need to be in here. There are so many cards that are good and need four of. Lets fix this mess and make a fun casual vintage deck with cards from this era. Links to the tapped out visual decklists are in the caption of the images. Just click that link to read detailed information about each card.


Usually creature decks have a tough time replenishing themselves after going through an opponent. Deck #10 (Hack em) overcame the problem with a variety of approaches. This deck does it by breeding counters; there are nine breeding cards and three sol nets in the deck. The color specific cards are used as your horde passes through various players.

— Gregg Stanley

Use Hollow Trees and Swarven Hold to power up your sol nets when Plagues exterminate the horde. Use Delif's cube early and savor it since this is probably the only deck it will ever be useful in. If you really get your life up there you can safely Channel/Hurricane the whole table. Its best defense against flyers and damage every turn type cards is the sol nets.

— Gregg Stanley

Why does the description say there are three soul nets (mispelled multiple times in this book as sol nets), then the decklist has four? This is the most confusing part for me. Was this a typo? Why are soul nets so important to this deck? He claims you could protect yourself from fliers and get enough to channel/hurricane. Although, there is only one channel and one hurricane in the deck. Protecting from evasion attackers with life gain dependent on your creatures dying doesn't make sense, because you can't block them and die... Outside of commander, why would soul nets be important in any deck worth mentioning them? Anyways...

Lets take some cards out. Why have these lands Hollow Trees, Dwarven Hold, Maze of Ith. There are no expensive cards to cast. Maze of Ith is cool but seems out of place to be overly defensive and slowing down games. Why would you want 4 soul nets? Gaining life doesn't win you the game, it slows it down. Why the sol ring, again nothing big to cast or rush for mana. Delif's cube is pointless. Dancing Scimitar is a cool blocker, but why not just be very aggressive on the ground and ignore the sky? No fliers is better than bad fliers. Ring of renewal is a bad card. Regrowth, tsunami, channel and hurricane are all good cards, but out of place for this deck. If this deck needed a sideboard, some of these cards might work... but we are not building a sideboard, lets pull Red elemental blast, dragon whelp, dwarven catapult and flashfire. Goblin war drums and granite gargoyle are just bad. Disintegrate is good, but I thing changing it to another fireball might be a better option.

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How can you call this "Thallid Shooter" and not have Thorn Thallids... the thallids that...shoot. I put 4 of those in this deck. Meekston works great in this deck, every creature except Keldon Warlord is small, why not have 4 to make sure it's drawn? Every red deck from this era should have 4x lightning bolts, no question. It's a very powerful card that works in any deck. Thallid Devourer is a great card, why not have four? Night Soil is an OK card, not great, but has it's uses. Just like any good enchantment, two is a good idea. 3-4 is too much and becomes dead cards late game. Two is just enough to increase likeliness of drawing but not as a dead card late game. Elvish Farmer rocks, why not bring four of those in here for more Saprolings? If we don't draw a meekstone, Keldon Warlord will win a game if we have a ton of saprolings out. If meekstone is out it's a powerful blocker while saprolings attack. We need four of him. Orcish Oriflamme will win the game and a great reason to splash red for thallid decks this era. Lets throw four of those in here. why not go four fireballs so we have 8 removal in this deck? I know I rail about not stalling games, but a few Spore Flowers would be good in this deck for a fog effect. You could swing out with an army of saprolings and then not have to worry about retaliation next turn because you could just negate all damage for a turn.


I think is deck is a ton better than the original abomination from this book. You should always have 4 of each good card in your deck, so you have a better chance to draw the card. This book talks a lot about statistics and even printed a multiple page cipher of how to determine the possibility of drawing a card, yet does not put four of each good card in their decklists... You should have a good number of removal cards in every deck if possible, unless you have a combo deck or some alternative way to win the game. Magic is usually a game of battle between the opponents creatures and your creatures, if you can kill their creatures outside of battle you will have the upper hand.

I honestly think this deck would be better if you went mono green. Although, I wanted to edit this deck to be as close to the original as I could get, without adding as many new cards as necessary. Mono color decks might have less options because of color restriction, but I always like the removal of complication and the removal of the possibility of being mana screwed.

Let me know in the comments what you would have done to fix this deck. Do you think I did a good job? Look at my other Magic the Gathering Articles!

© 2020 Ian McGonigal

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