What We Learn from Thraben Inspector

Thraben Inspector
Traben Inspector is the best one-drop. Really!

First let’s look at Max McVety’s Invitational-winning Mono-White Humans deck:

4 Always Watching
1 Archangel of Tithes
4 Consul’s Lieutenant
4 Declaration in Stone
3 Dragon Hunter
3 Gryff’s Boon
4 Knight of the White Orchid
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
2 Stasis Snare
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Town Gossipmonger

20 Plains

sb:
3 Archangel of Tithes
2 Eerie Interlude
2 Hallowed Moonlight
3 Hanweir Militia Captain
1 Hidden Dragonslayer
3 Silkwrap
1 Stasis Snare

Patrick and Michael opine lovingly on Max’s mana base. He has these amazing lands! They come into play untapped every time. They always make the right color of mana! It is like he has twenty copies of City of Brass that never hurt him!

Max’s deck has a low mana base of “only” twenty basic Plains. This gives him a disproportionate number of good draws in topdeck situations.

In return, he “has” to play a ton of cheap creatures (so he can take advantage of the first turn, where he can slam a one drop with a very high level of regularity).

Mike thinks Kytheon, Hero of Akros is obviously the best (at least it is the most powerful)… Isn’t it weird that there are three Dragon Hunters before the fourth copy of Kytheon?

The truth is, Max’s winning deck list has lots and lots of one drops — over a dozen. The best one is Thraben Inspector. Here’s why:

  • Traben Inspector is a 1/2 for one mana. This deck has lots of 1/1 and 2/1 creatures… The second point of toughness can be important for resisting certain kinds of interactions.
  • Thraben Inspector is a lot like Elvish Visionary (a cross-format Staple). It is a super cheap creature that can draw extra cards… And is in a good tribe [like Elvish Visionary]
  • Thraben Inspector is a great way to use your mana early, and gives you useful things to do with your mana later in the game.

Mono-White Humans is obviously strong, winning such a key tournament… But it’s not the only take.

Check out Tom “The Boss” Ross’s version of Mono-White Humans:

4 Always Watching
3 Anointer of Champions
2 Consul’s Lieutenant
4 Declaration in Stone
4 Dragon Hunter
4 Expedition Envoy
2 Gryff’s Boon
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Town Gossipmonger
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros

18 Plains

sb:
4 Hanweir Militia Captain
2 Lantern Scout
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Gryff’s Boon
3 Silkwrap
2 Westvale Abbey

Tom’s deck is even more extreme!

Twenty Plains was too many! Welcome to eighteen basic Plains!

Mike is baffled that a deck with even more one drops than Max’s still only plays three copies of Kytheon, Hero of Akros… And Patrick tricks him into falling in love with one of Tom’s unique interactions.

All this and a discussion of the future evolution of G/R Eldrazi in “What We Learn from Thraben Inspector”:

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