Why a Magic the Gathering Vanilla Creature Holds a Special Place in My Heart

A vanilla creature from the Scars of Mirrodin set called Razorfield Thresher once single-handedly allowed me to beat Karn Liberated!

Razorfield Thresher holds a special place in my heart.  It may just be a lowly artifact creature with awesome flavor text.  But this Thresher once won an important match in the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 PC video game. This was the very card in which this author beat Karn Liberated, the final boss of that entire game.

You’re probably wondering how the heck a 6/4 artifact creature that costs 7 mana could beat the most difficult planeswalker in the game at that point. It was simple. I had a way to bounce his big artifact creature back to his hand after he brought it out with Tinker; pretty sure it was a simple Unsummon. Karn then got mana-screwed and didn’t draw any of his free-to-cast Mox mana artifacts. In the meantime, I got up to seven mana and cast Razorfield Thresher.

The best part was that the Thresher was only in my deck as a total joke. It was a random card in one of the pre-constructed decks that the game offered. So, lover of jank that I am, it was just begging to be played. Since Karn was able to do nothing for several turns, I simply beat him in the face for 6 damage for a few turns. I then proceeded to win target game.

Now that, my friends, is why Razorfield Thresher is awesome. Of course, would you ever play Thresher in an ACTUAL deck?

Honestly, I did a little digging around to figure out the best possible deck for Razorfield Thresher. Back when I first penned a version of this article in 2015, I found a Jasmine Boreal Commander deck which was built around big, dumb vanilla creatures that included a copy of Thresher in the deck list. The big draw of this deck is being able to play a Green Enchantment called Muraganda Petroglyphs which gives creatures with no abilities +2/+2.

Since 2015, there have been a couple more Legendary Creatures which boost creatures with no abilities. One of these is Ruxa, Patient Professor, a Mono Green Commander who when he enters the battlefield can get back a creature with no abilities back to your hand from your graveyard. He also gives your creatures with no abilities +1/+1. However, his final ability is the most important, as creatures with no abilities you control can assign their combat damage as if they weren’t blocked.

The better of the two however is a new version of Jasmine Boreal called Jasmine Boreal of the Seven. She has two abilities, one of which taps for a Green and White mana which can only be spent to cast creatures with no abilities. Also, creatures you control with no abilities can’t be blocked. Now, while Razorfield Thresher is particularly fun to play in such a deck, a Jasmine Boreal of the Seven deck is going to focus on tokens that have no abilities as their primary attackers. The Thresher is nowhere to be seen in EDH deck lists today, but you could certainly include a copy if you wanted to. After all a 6/4 for 7 generic mana is only very slightly behind the curve of many other colored creatures in these sorts of decks.

While I’m not sure how competitive such a no abilities creature-based deck is, there are plenty of strong vanilla creatures, along with lots of creature buffing enchantments that would make it at least a fun viable kitchen table deck. Plus, you have so many vanilla token creation options to flood the board very quickly. It could be a really nice jank home brew sort of Commander deck, my very favorite to play.

Still, nothing will beat my fond memories of watching Karn Liberated’s life total fall to zero with nothing but a Razorfield Thresher rapidly beating him down while his hand presumably filled up with unplayable high-casting cost artifacts. You never know when that filler vanilla creature at common will actually win a game of Magic the Gathering. While he’s been forgotten by the Magic community at large, there is a reason still to play Razorfield Thresher, even if it’s not the optimal choice, and that’s enough to make it worth me writing about!

Have you ever played Razorfield Thresher, even just in Limited? Would you ever play it just for fun?

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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