How to WIN with Thaddius Brood: A Beginners Guide


We analyzed 500.000 matches featuring Thaddius Brood. This is a beginners guide on how to play Thaddius based on the results.

The guide features an introduction to Thaddius and his most important cards. Win rates across all mana limits, win rate in different rules and against different summoners. We also cover team setup at a range of manas, and we discuss the best options for first card purchases to expand your Thaddius deck.

Introducing Thaddius Brood

Thaddius is a death summoner that befriended a dark entity that drove him mad. Although madness is not usually a good thing, it granted Thaddius power - slimy ones as evident from his artwork ;) Through his dark rituals, he later caught the attention of Doctor Blight, which allowed Thaddius to join the ranks of the Chaos legion. These days he can be found sewing death wherever he goes.

Thaddius is a four mana summoner that reduces the health and magic damage of the opponent by one. As many have experienced when using Bortus, reducing magic damage can be huge in the lower leagues bronze and silver, where few cards have more than two magic damage. Two attack monsters are turned into one attack dummies. Thaddius costs one more mana to play than Bortus. The additional one mana allows Thaddius to reduce the health of all enemy monsters by one if they have more than one hp (it will not kill the monsters that has only one health). This can be thought of as initially dealing one damage to all monsters with more than one hp, which is obviously great.

Thaddius's ability is similar to the weaken: but actually better because the effect can not be removed, whereas weaken can be removed by killing the monsters with the ability.

Comments on Death decks

Previously we have noticed that Death summoners have not been great in lower leagues. Thaddius did good in Bronze, but bad in Silver. This is not that strange since death summoners mostly provide negative effects to the opponent's team instead of increasing the strength of your own team. Our take on this is that debuffing the opponents can easily miss (e.g. if you bet your opponent will play magic and put all eggs in that basket, it has a 1/3 chance of missing, since there are 3 attack types: magic, ranged and melee). Hence it is not a winning strategy unless you know something more. Buffing your own team is rarely bad because you know what you will play. However, this argument might mainly concern beginners, as experienced players are likely to predict the deck of their opponents better.

Important new Chaos Death monsters

Chaos legion has brought many great cards which have already changed meta. Cursed Windeku costs only 6 mana and has 9 hp with the thorns ability. Windeku has become a staple card in the death deck, providing a very powerful frontline.
The sneak strategy wasn't really viable at higher mana matches before chaos legion for the death splinter. Silent Sha-vi has changed that, and when it is combined with Uraeus, they dish out heavy damage to the backline. Another strategy that has emerged with the Chaos league was termed the "The weakening" by @bulldog1205. The weakening consists of stacking health reducing monsters and summoners. With the currently available cards, it is possible to reduce the health of the enemy monsters by five before the match starts:

You bet the redemption from the slimeball and sapper will hurt.

This is not feasible for new decks but is incredibly powerful in higher leagues. Riftwing is a powerful front line tank with the scavenging ability, and Life Sapper is a great addition to the death deck, oftentimes stealing loads of hp and ending up being the last monster standing.

Win rates at different manas

The average win rate of Thaddius over the 500.000 matches is 47.5%. That is below 50%, which suggests that he is more misplayed than successfully played. It seems the player base still has to figure out what niche Thaddius should fill. When we stratify the win rate on matches set to different mana levels, we obtain the following figure.


There is a significant drop in the win rate when mana is more than 20, and another drop from that when it is above 30. From this, we can derive some simple rules of thumb such as:

  • Thaddius is good below 20 mana
  • Probably don't play Thaddius above 30 mana.

Win rate in different rules

The following table shows the winrate of Thaddius in different rulesets.

— Rule — — Win rate —
Unprotected 0.54
Noxious Fumes 0.54
Keep Your Distance 0.51
Standard 0.50
Little League 0.50
Armored Up 0.49
Back to Basics 0.49
Broken Arrows 0.49
Healed Out 0.49
Lost Legendaries 0.48
Rise of the Commons 0.48
Holy Protection 0.48
Explosive Weaponry 0.47
Heavy Hitters 0.47
Odd Ones Out 0.47
Taking Sides 0.46
Super Sneak 0.46
Target Practice 0.46
Melee Mayhem 0.46
Close Range 0.46
Stampede 0.46
Aim True 0.46
Spreading Fury 0.46
Equal Opportunity 0.44
Reverse Speed 0.44
Earthquake 0.44
Up Close & Personal 0.44
Even Stevens 0.43
Weak Magic 0.43
Silenced Summoners 0.43
Lost Magic 0.43
Equalizer 0.42
Fog of War 0.41

Thaddius performs best in Unprotected, Noxious Fumes, and Keep Your Distance. In Unprotected, Cursed Windeku gets to shine since his thorns strike directly at the monsters health. Additionally, there is very little armor in the death deck, so the negative effect is very small for Thaddius.

The Death splinter now has many magic monsters, and among the older editions there are many monsters with sneak and snipe. Magic damage plays well in Noxious Fumes and Keep your distance which explains why Thaddius performs well there. Riftwing is also extremely powerful in both Earthquake and Noxious Fumes, but the death deck in total is not great in Earthquake.

It is somewhat interesting to note that the standard ruleset if one of the best for Thaddius. This suggest that his deck is not very easy to adapt to most rules, and he cannot capitalize as much on the altered effects in different rules.

Thaddius performs worst in rulesets that weaken magic damage or snipe such as Fog of War, Lost Magic, and Weak Magic. Equalizer renders his health reduction less powerful since most monsters obtain a significant amount of health in these matches.
In total it seems that in the new meta, death remains a deck that is based on magic and ranged damage. The exception is very low mana battles where Cursed Windeku carry most of the weight.

— Summoner — — Win rate —
Obsidian 0.74
Wizard of Eastwood 0.62
Bortus 0.59
Contessa L'ament 0.58
Thaddius Brood 0.50
Mother Khala 0.47
Pyre 0.44
General Sloan 0.40
Kelya Frendul 0.39
Tarsa 0.36
Drake of Arnak 0.31

Thaddius performs best against Obsidian, Wizard, Bortus and Contessa. Bortus and Obsidian both commonly use many magic monsters, and therefore Thaddius's summoner ability effectively reduces the damage output of these teams. In fact, if one compares Thaddius and Obsidian one can see that Thaddius nerfs Obsidian more than she buffs her own team (+1 magic vs -1 magic and -1 health).

The high win rate against Wizard is more surprising but it could be explained by the fact that very few death monsters have any armor (see the team suggestions below), e.g Cursed Windeku has a very high health pool but no armor. This makes Wizards ability likely to be wasted against Thaddius, while the health reduction and magic reduction from Thaddius are likely to hurt the Wizard.

Similarly, Thaddius win a lot against Contessa. Contessa only decreases ranged attack which isn't enough to stop Thaddius, who relies on magic and often the melee and thorns from the Windeku.

Thaddius is heavily countered by Drake of Arnak and Tarsa. Drake of Arnak will often play Djinn Chwala which is a more powerful, although slightly more expensive, version of Cursed Windeku. The armor he provides also makes taking down the Windeku less painful. Tarsa has very good options for taking out the mid and backline of your team, leaving Cursed Windeku to fight alone. You should likely avoid these two matchups unless you have a very good reason to want them.

Team setup

We have established the situations where you want to play Thaddius: Mana below 30, and preferably against magic teams, typically Obsidian or Bortus, or against Wizard, and even against Contessa in death matchups.

Now, let's look at which monsters you want to use when you decide to play him:
We will not consider every single mana option, but provide an set of examples that should be sufficient as a basis for selecting teams for the remaining mana options. The following team suggestions are based on win rates at each specific mana limit. For each mana limit, we set up the team by exploring which monster combinations have the highest win rates. Positioning is the authors’ suggestion based on examination of a selection of matches, so it is not set in stone.
12 mana:

12 mana:

Here, the position of Life Sapper allows him to drain health before entering the front line. Similarly, the position furthest to the back is exposed to sneak.

13 mana:

Windeku carries takes care of any big frontline, and Death Elemental snipes any troublesome backline characters such as Scavo Hireling.

14 mana:

15 mana:

You can play the setup with Cursed Windeku as well at any of these lower mana limits. The choice should be based on whether you expect melee attackers or not. If you expect Tarsa or Kelya as your opponent, go with Cursed Windeku. Also, the Equalizer rule makes the small-monster setup very strong.

16 mana:

17 mana:

18 mana:

19 mana:

20 mana:

This setup is particularly good with the Equalizer or Noxious Fumes rulesets.

Above 20 mana, the overall win rate is pretty bad for Thaddius Brood. You might still want to play him if you expect magic damage based teams.

25 mana:

30 mana:

36 mana:

42 mana, with a melee favored ruleset (for magic favored, go with a setup like the 36 mana team)
, ,

99 mana:

Expanding your deck

If you want to expand your Thaddius deck, the following cards are your best options: They are sorted based on the win rate for level 1 cards. The best card is the first one, and we have only included cards that cost less than 10$ at the time of writing (for Tarsa we did a 5$ limit, but for Thaddius, this covers few of the best performing cards):

These cards primarily expand your deck for higher mana matches, with stronger ranged monsters to replace or go along the Dhampir Stalker and good options for tanks in Earthquake and Noxious Fumes matches. There are also several flying cards, which have good utility versus melee or ranged decks.

Closing remarks

We hope you found this guide useful. We have tried to provide a comprehensive guide for Thaddius. Match statistics were used in all parts of this guide. Very little information has been based on the authors' opinions. This makes the guide reliable at the time of writing, but it will also mean that the statistics and best teams presented here can change over time.
Let us know if this guide has helped you, and if you have any other comments or suggestions please let us know.

Please also check out our other content:

Beginner Guides
Beginners guide - General Sloan
Beginners guide - Tarsa

Summoner and Card statistics
Best Legendary Cards of Chaos Legion - Week 1 statistics
Chaos summoners - Week 1 statistics

Rule set strategies
We are also creating guides for specific rules. You can find them here:
Strategycorner with Mammuter #5: How to WIN in Reverse Speed
Strategycorner with Mammuter #4: How to WIN in Melee Mayhem
Strategycorner with Mammuter #3: Noxious Fumes

If you would like to see more of this content, please let us know, like and share the post. Also, if you have not yet started playing Splinterlands, you can join and support me and the same time with the following link

Join Splinterlands

Another way to support us is through card delegations or donations. If you want to do that, we are @kalkulus and @mammuter.

Until next time,


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Great post full of useful information and statistical data on the cards you analyzed.
You put effort into writing this post and I really enjoyed your post.