Treasury Thrull | Illustration by Lucas Graciano
Do you ever feel like a thrull at work? Well, take a break and consume some great MTG rankings!
Today we look at the thrull creature type and rank the best ones. These servant-like creatures aren’t particularly widely used cards, but they can have some value for specific builds.
What’s the difference between a zombie and a thrull? Are any thrulls worth consideration for competitive decks in any formats? Do thrulls have feelings? I’ll answer most of these questions and rank all the thrulls below. Enjoy!
What Are Thrulls in MTG?
Grasping Thrull | Illustration by Seb McKinnon
Thrulls are creatures that are given life from a gathering of dead flesh, usually black magic. These aren’t to be confused with zombies, which are reanimated undead creatures. Thrulls are living creatures, and are created using different processes. They’re often used for ritual sacrifice to release the mana stored in them. Thrulls are in majority black with a few white, Orzhov (), and one Rakdos () card.
The first thrull, Armor Thrull, was released in the Fallen Empires set, and there are very rarely new thrulls released. The last set to have a thrull was Core Set 2020.
I don’t know why a 4/4 creature with no extra text would also have a negative effect for you. Derelor is a burden on black decks for not much value. I believe this is an old-style card that needs to just remain in your collection.
#23. Feral Abomination
Feral Abomination is a big boy thrull creature. A massive creature with deathtouch plays a little differently, but it can be an effective deterrent.
What’s not effective is the 6-mana value.
#22. Grasping Thrull
Grasping Thrull is an expensive card that has little place in competitive decks. The 5-mana value and middling stats make this card easy to pass over.
I enjoyed it a little in Limited, but there’s no need to include it in your Constructed decks.
#21. Morgue Thrull
Morgue Thrull is a reanimator’s deck card through and through. You get at least one more creature in the graveyard and the possibility of three useful cards in your graveyard.
It seriously lacks individual value, but it can work with cards like Ghoultree or Grave Strength.
#20. Thrull Wizard
Are you sick of black removal ruining your time? Thrull Wizard is a creature with an activated ability to counter a black spell unless an opponent pays more mana. Three mana for a 1/1 creature that only can counter one color isn’t going to be worth it to you.
#19. Mourning Thrull
Mourning Thrull is a cheap flying option with text that reads like lifelink. It’s easy to cast and benefits from being pumped up by other effects. Nothing exciting here, but it’s a practical small creature.
#18. Exhumer Thrull
Exhumer Thrull is an expensive way to return creature cards to your hand. The value is the chance to return two creatures from the graveyard.
The cost of 6-mana value and the fact that it doesn’t return the creatures to the battlefield limit this card’s value.
#17. Mindstab Thrull
Mindstab Thrull shares a similar loss in value to Necrite, with slightly less value in my opinion. Making an opponent discard three cards is wonderful, but I fear this creature will be easily removed. Either that or it may be too late by the time it can attack unblocked.
Forcing an opponent to discard can have great benefits, but Mindstab Thrull has too many requirements to make this happen.
Necrite would have a seemingly good ability if it weren’t for a little bit of text: “unblocked.” This just puts too many requirements on a small creature to make it worth playing.
#15. Ostiary Thrull
I love creatures that can tap an opponent’s creatures for cheap, and at instant speed. Ostiary Thrull can do just this, but at an inefficient price.
This technique is best saved for cards like Benalish Trapper, not this overpriced thrull.
#14. Kingpin’s Pet
The extort ability is a solid strategy for pinging your opponent with extra mana you control. Kingpin's Pet can be a creature to ensure you always have the chance to extort your opponent.
With small stats and no additional text, I wish the mana value for this card were lower. You want to extort quickly and often.
#13. Thrull Champion
Thrull Champion is the answer to your burning desire to make a thrull tribal deck. It pumps your thrulls and allows you to take any that your opponents may control. This likely won’t happen, but I did find a thrull tribal Commander deck on TappedOut.
Your thrulls and Thrull Champion can build up with commanders like Ravos, Soultender or Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools.
#12. Debtors’ Transport
Afterlife is a wonderful ability for Orzhov and aristocrat decks. Debtors' Transport can deal some great damage then help your board presence with two spirits when it dies.
The 6-cost is a bit steep, but this can have some value when surrounded by the right cards.
#11. Absolver Thrull
Absolver Thrull works as a great enchantment hate card. You have the chance to remove two enchantments, which can decimate an opponent’s strategy.
The 4-cost and stats aren’t great, so this card may stay a decent sideboard piece.
#10. Armor Thrull
I like the interactions that can be had with Armor Troll. It can be used as a blocker and sacrificed as a combat trick for another of your creatures.
I wish it cost two mana instead of three, but this card has some value because it gives a counter and more toughness.
#9. Blood Vassal
Blood Vassal is a wonderful way to ramp up your black mana. It can deal with creatures in combat and also give you sacrifice triggers. The interactions here are great and can help your mono-black decks keep up with the other aggressive colors.
#8. Rakdos Ickspitter
Rakdos Ickspitter is all on its own as the only red thrull. It also has a different playstyle than some of the other thrulls. You don’t want to sacrifice this card, but figure out ways to untap it for more damage.
Ickspitter can benefit from cards like Paradox Engine and Umbral Mantle.
#7. Blood Pet
I believe that Blood Pet is going to be a better mana play than Blood Vessel. You can play this card quicker and ramp your mana up as soon as you need it.
This is a simple creature that helps speed up your deck and can benefit death triggers.
#6. Dutiful Thrull
Dutiful Thrull is your weeny blocker or your ritual sacrifice that keeps coming back. The regenerate ability can help protect you for multiple turns or be used as an easy sacrifice option. Make sure to keep a Swamp available and this Dutiful Thrull will serve you well.
#5. Thrull Surgeon
Thrull Surgeon is a good creature to plan multiple benefits around. This card fits into an aristocrat deck with its sacrifice activated ability. You can remove a card from a player’s hand and trigger a card like Grave Pact.
#4. Basal Thrull
Basal Thrull is going to be your best option for the thrulls that sacrifice for mana. The 2-mana cost is reasonable, and the two mana from the sacrifice is great.
This can help you to play cards like Phyrexian Obliterator ahead of schedule.
#3. Maw of the Obzedat
Maw of the Obzedat fits well into the thrull and aristocrat identity. You can build your thrull or small creature army, mass attack, and sacrifice some creatures to pump all your other creatures after blockers are declared.
I like this strategy, and I think it can be effective on occasion.
#2. Treasury Thrull
Treasury Thrull is a nice addition to the Orzhov playstyle. The extort ability lets you use extra mana to transfer life from your opponent to you, and the attacking ability is also wonderful for returning your most valuable cards from the graveyard to your hand.
The 6-mana cost lessens the value, but this card serves some purpose in Singleton formats and Orzhov aristocrat decks.
#1. Thrull Parasite
Thrull Parasite is one of the best extort creatures for your builds. The one mana gets the extort ability onto the battlefield and allows you to start using your extra mana to ping your opponent, and the activated ability to remove counters from a permanent is also an interesting interaction to take advantage of against certain playstyles.
Best Thrull Payoffs
If your goal is to make a thrull tribal deck, pair cards like Szat's Will and Soul Exchange with Thrull Champion.
Thrulls fit well into aristocrat decks and the different aspects of the strategy.
Sacrifice your thrulls to better help Braids, Arisen Nightmare, Mayhem Devil, or Carrion Feeder.
Sacrificing or not, your thrull’s deaths help cards like Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim, Mahadi, Emporium Master, and Drivnod, Carnage Dominus.
Use your thrulls as cannon fodder for cards like Rite of Oblivion, Bone Splinters, or Eliminate the Competition.
Use those thrulls for resources with cards like Deadly Dispute, Ashnod's Altar, and Moldervine Reclamation.
Let’s not forget some planeswalkers and commanders can benefit from your subservient thrulls, like Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, and Ayara, First of Locthwain.
Maw of the Obzedat | Illustration by Randy Gallegos
Thrulls are generally servants of darker powers; they don’t stand strongly on their own. Good thing MTG isn’t about one card, but rather strategies. The thrull creature type can fit well into many popular strategies for the black and Orzhov color schemes.
What do you think of the thrulls? Do you hope to get some more in the future, or are you over these subservient beings? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
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