“You should make a Thanksgiving deck with a bunch of Food cards in it,” Erik said.
“Ok.” So I did.
Finding cards to fit the theme is the easy part. I also wanted the deck to have a way to win, while still allowing for a bunch of janky theme cards. This deck isn’t competitive or consistent, but it has won games. It’s fun to play only because of the theme. I’d call it a 4-5/10 on the power scale, and fun enough to play once a year.
The Thanksgiving theme covers two very different perspectives on Thanksgiving: a progressive critique of the traditional story of pilgrims arriving in the bountiful new world on three ships, and a modern progressive stuck at a stereotypical dysfunctional family Thanksgiving dinner. I built this deck as a parody specifically because I don’t like Thanksgiving and what it stands for. Nothing here should be interpreted as endorsement of the holiday or the concepts traditionally associated with it.
(Update: I have learned, and changed my mind. If this article is accurate when it says that the national holiday of Thanksgiving was created by president Lincoln to help win the war against slaveholders, then I’m all for it. I just don’t like celebrating colonialism. https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/november-28-2019)
The theme cards are almost all green and white, and I wanted the deck to work, so Chulane, Teller of Tales seemed like a good choice for commander. A combo win condition could be added with only a few cards, and Chulane’s card draw and ramp make it that much easier to get the combo in hand.
I settled on an easy combo I am not likely to use in decks I play more often: Palinchron and Panharmonicon, for infinite mana. I added a handful of X spells for win (or just epic game end) conditions, but if I revise the deck I’d like to remove most of them. Playtesting revealed the other now-obvious benefit Chulane provides: with infinite Palinchron castings, you can draw as much of your deck as you need to find a win card, and then Chulane bounces himself back into your hand so you avoid milling yourself to death.
I didn’t add High Tide as a backup plan because of the low Island count. I did choose green enchantment ramp and multi-mana lands, to provide an alternative to Panharmonicon: If I can get 12 mana out of 7 lands, that’s enough for Palinchron to generate infinite mana.
The theme portion of the deck is used primarily as blocking fodder and ways to trigger Chulane, but there are also several theme cards that are more useful.
As for the budget… I didn’t actually buy the expensive cards for this deck, I had them on hand. I’m not that crazy… if I were, I’d add artifact tutor cards such as Enlightened Tutor.
Come on, tell me Palinchron doesn’t look like a roasted turkey?
A Thanksgiving Story