December introduced an absolute fun format to the league: Old School Brawl.
Basically this is a 60 card version of Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) where every player chooses a commander and all cards are only 1ofs. Main rules are based on Atlantic. The Singleton style makes it a bit more random and ensures that a lot of cards that you can’t fit in your deck will see play while the 60 card limit is adapted to the limited choice of cards in OS 93 94.
Further reading about OS Brawl can be found here: sentineloldschoolmtg.com/old-school-brawl-a-93-94-commander-variant
Since a long time I was thinking if I can somehow play my Sol'kanar the Swamp King in my normal deck, so the choice for my commander was simple. As I never played Commander or OS Brawl – though I still have a 100 card Highlander deck from the 90s – I did some research and found a tournament report done by TimmyTalks (notice the videos came out after I build my deck). In addition my 7pts Singleton experience told me that there is not as much good creature or artifact removal as in “normal” formats, so I wanted to play Royal Assassin, Xenic Poltergeist with Nettling Imp, all strong red burn spells and some more small combos (Icy, Guardian Beast, Tawnos’ Coffin…) but I had to cut some cards and decided to play only cards I own and I am missing the Guardian Beast. So here is my deck:
I think it is strong, though I did some spicy choices that need some time and Mana to pay off. Btw. do you know where I got the Tome from? 🙂
Please find all videos and my comment on the matches below:
The first match against Mario was already the worst case: Game 1 he starts with Mishra's Factory and both Moxen into Sol Ring and a Su-Chi. I have a land plus Mox but need to build up Mana to answer the Su-Chi. Unfortunately he follows up with shatter, his commander Sunastian Falconer and the turn after a Stone Rain. Not much I – or any Brawl deck – can do there.
Game 2 Mario starts with a land, but actually has the Moxen again and the second turn he puts them down, destroy my Mox and my land. This is followed by his 5 Mana commander, me being on 2 lands. Then he drops a Sol Ring and Two-Headed Giant of Foriys and I think again “oh shit, no way I can handle this”, having lands, an air-elemental and Jayemdae Tome in hand. I draw a Black Lotus, forget that I could play my commander Sol'kanar the Swamp King and play the Air Elemental as 1:1 blocker against his 4/4s. If I would have played my Sol’Kanar, I maybe would have won this as I drew into Demonic Tutor, Drain Life and tutored a Dark Ritual to cast a 4 dmg & 4 life drain on his creatures, gaining 2 more life with my Swamp King. But I played the Elemental first so Mario swung with his commander only (having enough Mana to recast it twice) and I took too much damage. After I chump blocked his commander he re-played it and attacked for 8, bringing me to zero. At this point I could have played my commander even without lotus and when Mario tells me, we revert the board (for fun, I officially lost already) and I play Sol’Kanar instead of using my tome. Unfortunately, he draws into Berserk and Pyrotechnics and manages to kill me before I can get the tome advantage.
That was very aggressive and fast and it seems it is just what his deck was build for. Btw. there is a third game after our talk, that lasted a bit longer. 🙂
After having lost the first I was a bit nervous about my second match. Would my deck be strong enough? Do I do such a nasty mistake again as forgetting I can play my commander? Well let’s see:
Thomas is playing Tor Wauki and starts with a Swamp and – nothing – that’s it! So I’m happy we might have a match here. 🙂
He continues with playing knight & order, which gives me time to develop my Mana. Still he manages to make enough damage to bring me down before I could have won the next turn.
Game 2 I get a bit lucky as he can’t find an answer to my Serendib Efreet and the game ends pretty unspectacular.
Game 3 is a strong showing of my deck’s potential, ending it quickly in my favour.
So let’s move on to Match 3!
My next opponent is Stefan who has a nice Tetsuo Umezawa as his commander. Definitely not my favored match-up.
He brings strong creatures and manages to walk in time, making our games real exciting exchanges. I think that’s how OS Brawl should be played. Please watch the video to see what happens. 🙂
In the end I get the right answers and can take this match for me.
Match 4 against Jochen playing the strong Gwendlyn Di Corci.
**sorry for the audio only game 1 – please advance to 50 minutes**
I don’t remember too much from this game, only that Jochen seemed to be a bit unlucky in game 2 and drew his red Mana one turn too late.
Next match – semi final against Julian! Julian is often in the finals and just a strong player. This time he chose Tetsuo Umezawa and his deck was absolutely competitive, not putting in any spices as I did. Nevertheless I could have won at least a game, but in both games he just had the right answers in perfect timing. Maybe I did a small mistake, igniting my Nevinyrral's Disk a bit too early. In the end I could only wish him the best for the final match!
So it’s time for the final. Mario with Sunastian Falconer against Julian with Tetsuo Umezawa!
If you like you can check out the deck photos below before watching the video that I streamed even though I didn’t make it myself.
Below are the deck photos of the two finalists:
The games were a bit similar to mine against Mario, so you can guess who won. Not the most interesting match to watch, but is also shows how strong the quick beat down plan from Mario was against the many slower Brawl decks.
Thanks for reading and see you in our league!
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