Card Evaluation: Thalia and The Gitrog Monster

Since 2010, Maverick fan’s have loved finding a new Green Sun’s Zenith target. Recent spoilers for March of the Machine have brought us just that in Thalia and The Gitrog Monster…but is this card the real deal or are players hopping on a bandwagon too soon?

Creatures in Maverick have a role, a sole reason for their inclusion. At first glance, I don’t see too much offered by this creature at 4 mana but I’m always happy to dive in and be proven wrong.

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In this article I’m going to break down Thalia and The Gitrog Monster which I’ll be referring to as Thalog [pronounced THAR-LOG] from here on out. But first, enjoy the incredible artwork that accompanies this card.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster

Artist: Howard Lyon

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster {1}{W}{B}{G}

Thalog has a few things going for it, the biggest is we have a new Green Sun’s Zenith target to consider. Being Abzan colours, Thalog can be pitched to both Endurance and Solitude which currently see play across most Maverick archetypes. Being a black creature is also relevant right now thanks to Snuff Out’s increase in play.

But where does Thalog fit? Being a 4-CMC creature and a legendary one at that, you’re not going to want multiple copies in your 75. Most Maverick lists run between 0-1 4-CMC creatures so this likely fights for the slot currently occupied by Questing Beast or Shifting Ceratops.


Legendary Creature — Human Frog Horror

A legendary creature is both a benefit and a drawback when it comes to Legacy. Karakas is currently a great way to keep threats like Boo and Uro off the board and also protect your own creatures from removal. This also means in certain situations, you can give Thalog pseudo-vigilance by attacking, then returning her with Karakas before recasting in your 2nd main phase.

Yes Karakas is a great way to answer Thalog, but if that Karakas isn’t already in play it’s coming in tapped…it’s coming in tapped against a deck that typically runs 3-4 Wastelands and multiple ways to find a copy.

Her creature types aren’t too relevant in Legacy right now. She is a human so most Plague Engineer decks (Echo, echoo!) will have some effect on negating her strength, but still, as a 3/3 first strike, death touch creature I don’t see that being a real issue.

Fun fact: If you come up against a deck with Thing in the Ice (as you do in Legacy), Thalog won’t be returned once Ice is flipped thanks to it being a Horror! Value!

First strike, Deathtouch

Just like Kaldra Compleat (which exiles), Thalog is going to be a beast frog on defence and attack. She is going to be next to impossible to remove via combat damage without some form of opposing protection.


But is the combination of first strike and deathtouch good enough right now?

Sure they are fantastic when combined, but when looking at the current metagame of Seasoned Dungeoneer’s (pro-creatures) and flying threats out of Delver…when is this going to be truly relevant? It will be great in the other midrange matchups, but even so with cards like Mother of Runes, Karakas and popular creature removal, I don’t see it being as relevant as some may hope.

Currently we have a 4 mana creature that doesn’t do a whole lot once it hits the field. Let’s see if that changes with the next line of text…

You may play an additional land on each of your turns.

In decks that don’t really abuse this effect (think Lands with Life from the Loam) I find this type of effect often a little win-more.

This however, is the first line of text that potentially gives you real value straight away. At worst, you don’t have a land and Thalog is removed from play. At best, you get an additional land drop, potentially holding up Karakas or Wastelanding a vital land on your opponents side.

For Maverick this effect this great when paired with Ramunap Excavator, or Sylvan Library when at a high enough life total. Otherwise I don’t see this being too relevant as Maverick tends to run out of gas at the best of times without the cards above to keep resources flowing.

In saying that, I could see a build with Scryb Ranger working well, as you’d be able to use Ranger a little more effectively with the additional allowance on land drops.

How often have you got to turn 4 or 5 and had an extra few lands in hand to drop onto the battlefield?

Creatures and non-basic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

Although they do pop up from time to time, I wouldn’t say a stock list of Maverick has ever played around with Archon of Emeria or Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Those are the creatures I think of when I read this text.

Archon of Emeria

What else is common between these cards? They are often played in Ancient Tomb decks with fast mana to get them online as early as turn 1. That’s when you need to get these creatures down to maximize the power of this effect, not during the mid-game.

Thalog coming down turn 4, potentially turn 3 could just be too slow in all honestly. How often have you come to turn 4-5 against top-tier decks and found you wanting this ability? If anything I believe this effect only increases our already good matchup vs decks like Lands and Cloudpost without having a great deal of benefit vs those we suffer against (fast combo, go-wide strategies).

Most of the time for Maverick, the creatures you care about coming in tapped are those ambushing your attackers in Endurance or Ice-Fang Coatl…but if your threat has first strike and deathtouch, do you really care about them anymore?

Again, for those who still play against a Sneak & Show player every so often this is a great effect against them…but at 4 mana? I’m not sold sadly.


Whenever Thalia and The Gitrog Monster attacks, sacrifice a creature or land, then draw a card.

The key wording here is whenever Thalog attacks. Not when it deals damage, not when it gets x counters added to it…just when she attacks. This means if you want to sacrifice a Noble Hierarch, you still get the exalted trigger.

This effect reminds me of Vraska, another 4CMC threat that allows you to trade in resources you’ve already developed on the board for a new card off the top of your deck.

Filling your graveyard with lands is relevant to Knight of the Reliquary’s and Elvish Reclaimer’s power. Filling it with creatures can be relevant for builds running Scavenging Ooze (although we haven’t seen many lists running Ooze since Endurance entered the format).

There’s also some tricks this ability brings to the deck, as you can Endurance your graveyard back into your deck after sacrificing to then tutor for either the card just sacrificed.

The elephant in the room. For you to really get value off this card, you need it to stay in play and attack. How often do you see that happening? If she does get to attack, you’re also not going up on cards most of the time and if anything, filtering through your deck.

I know Uro is a beast in its own world, but look at the straight value you gain from its ETB and attack trigger compared to Thalog – not even close.

I sadly just don’t see her ever getting close to attacking in a meaningful way thanks to the abundance of creature removal in Legacy.

Power & Toughness: 4/4

Being a 4/4 isn’t as relevant in combat thanks to first strike & death touch, but there’s some minor advantages here:

  • Can’t be killed by a Lightning Bolt or most red sweepers 🔥
  • Isn’t reliant on the graveyard unlike Knight of the Reliquary

TLDR: Pros & Cons

– Can be saved via Karakas
– Can be pitched to Endurance
– Can be pitched to Solitude
– Cannot be targeted with Snuff Out
– Doesn’t die to a single Lightning Bolt
– Is very hard to remove (if not impossible for some decks) via combat damage
– Allows you to ramp your mana (especially when coupled with Ramunap)


– Can be returned to hand via an opposing Karakas
– Its effect on the game needs to be added to the board sooner
– It doesn’t offer meaningful value the turn it comes down
– Needs to survive a turn AND attack for its ability to trigger
It doesn’t fill a role that the deck has struggled to fill

My take: What’s Thalog’s role?

Overall, I think we’ll see Thalog in Legacy on arrival but players will soon realise it just isn’t up to par. I don’t believe it fills any gaps the deck currently has (fast combo, true card advantage, early card filtration) and only makes our already solid matchups, better (Lands-based decks, other midrange, creature-based strategies).

Not being a 4-CMC threat with haste is the last straw for me. It’s very hard for me to play this over a bomb like Questing Beast which has an array of advantages and has got me out of many, many tough situations.

What would it take for me to really consider her? Well…this.

But hey, I hope to see some creative takes on Legacy builds with her in it!

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As usual, take care and play fair


About Douges

Hey! Douges here - Founder of the GreenSunsZenith. I've been playing Magic since 2013 and Legacy since 2014. I'm a Death & Taxes pilot turned Maverick aficionado who created the GreenSunsZenith as a resource for both beginners & experts of the Legacy Maverick archetype. I've been fortunate enough to be a guest on several Eternal & Legacy podcasts including Everyday Eternal, Deep Analysis with Brian Coval & Phil Gallagher, The Canadian Threshold, Archetype Influencers and the Dark Depths Podcast You can reach out to me through my social links below. I stream via Twitch on Thursday nights (7:30pm AEST) & Sunday mornings (10:30am AEST). Please let me know if you don't find anything on the site that you'd like to see. If you'd like to support the GreenSunsZenith, I have a Patreon account you can support the platform through :)

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