Spring is here, my «Back to where it all began» project is finished, so I jumped the ODOL league for the first time in nearly one and a half years to try it out. In fact, I hadn’t played a swedish deck since January 2021, so even if I belived my deck was good, I was afraid that being away from the format for so long would make it difficult for me to do really well.
My deck of choice was of course Monoblack, which was the first archetype I played when starting with Oldschool magic. Here’s my 75:
This deck is pretty different from what I played back then, and I have to say that I think the maindeck is pretty much tuned to the max. Black Lotus would be the only card I’d play here, if I had owned it. When building it there was a couple of different things that was considered. I opted to play 16 Swamps, leaving out Mana Vault which would seem like a nice fit here with 4 Su-Chi, 3 Disks, 2 Sengir Vampire and Mind Twist. The reason was that I feel in many matchups the need for 2 black mana on turn two is really important, either for Black Knight or Sinkhole. Playing 18 black sources instead of 17, gave me a 4% bigger chance of BB turn two. Might seem a bit to serious for many people, but I kinda like tuning decks and manabases to the max. Enough with the deck-tech, and on to the matches. I’ll write more in-depth about the deck and the sideboard in a future deck-tech, when I have enough matches and stats to work with.
Match 1 vs Pablo (Monored)
When Pablo slammed a mountain and a Black Vise on turn one after winning the coinflip, I knew I was in trouble. Red decks are a pretty hard matchup I think, unless I can draw many creatures and connect with a Drain Life or two. He also played out some goblin weenies and a Copper Tablet, which did some real damage until I got to blow them away with a Disk. He played another Tablet after I cleared the board though, and the game was his soon after.
I took out 3 Underworld Dreams for 2 Terrors and a Maze for the sideboarded games, which would give me a bit more defence against his army of goblins.
Going first in game 2 was a big advantage for me, since he probably sided out his Vises here. I had more creatures to clog up the board this time, and were lucky enough to draw a couple of Drain Lifes that gave me some breathingspace. My bigger creatures were tough for him to handle, and I won the game rather easily.
In game 3 I had a ok starting hand with creatures and a Drain Life, but it was a bit short on land. He went mountain into Winds of Change on his first turn, and the shuffle and re-draw actually gave me one more land and still a Drain Life, so I was pretty happy with it. We both played some creatures and after a few turns back and forth where I took some burn damage, I Mind Twisted his hand. I was still sitting with Drain Life and a Sengir, feeling pretty confident. On the top of his deck was…Wheel of Fortune! Oh man, this could be devestating for me. Thankfully a new hand gave me a second Drain Life and a couple of Su-Chi’s. This proved to be too hot to handle, and the match was mine.
Match 2 vs Matt (Clay-Disco)
From what I’ve heared, Matt is pretty much a staple in the ODOL playoffs, so I was expecting a tough match here. From what I saw in a long game 1, his deck seemed very similar the The Deck. I eeked out a win by applying pressure with creatures, factories and Underworld Dreams, while destroying his factories and Mazes with Sinkhole. When it seemed like he had stabilized, a Drain Life sealed it after he had run of of Counterspells. He drew a ton of card off Jayemdae Tome this game, so I felt pretty lucky for winning.
My sideboard is pretty good against controldecks I think. I put in 2 Warp Artifact, 3 Gloom and 2 Greed for 4 Su-Chi, 1 Drain Life, 1 Maze, 1 Disk.
My starting 7 was pretty crazy. I had no lands but a Mox Jet, Hypnotic, Underworld Dreams, Black Knight, Warp Artifact and 2 Dark Rituals. I was on the draw and could actually play out most of my hand even without drawing a land on the first turn, so I took the risk of keeping. Turn one didn’t give me a land, but I ramped out a Specter with a Ritual. It got plowed, but I drew a swamp and cast a Black Knight. He played a Book, and when not drawing a land the choice was to either play Dreams off a Ritual or a Warp Artifact. I had drawn a Sengir so decided I wanted to save my Ritual for that. I missed yet another land-drop, but the clock was there with a Knight and Warp Artifact, so I used the Ritual for a freshly drawn Gloom. He managed to stop the Knight with a Maze, but I finally drew my third land to play the Underworld Dreams. He needed to dig for some answers but the two black enchantment won me the game soon after.
Match 3 vs Leon (BR Land-destruction)
Leon was a nice Dutch player, which I actually had bought some cards from on mcm. His deck of choice was a BR midrangy deck with Sedge Trolls, Ankhs, burn and a full playset of both Sinkhole and Stone Rain. Game 1 was an absolute nailbiter, where a turn two Anhk of Mishra made me think about every land-drop I made. He also had some pressure with a Troll and Atog, and I did alot of chump-blocking in this game. Thankfully I drew alot of creatures, and managed to get some damage in with a Vampire while factories and Knights gave their lives to preserve my lifetotal. In the end, the Vampire gave me the win the turn before I would die myself.
I sided in 2 Will-o-the-Wisp, 2 Terror and a Maze, while taking out 4 Dreams and a Disk. This was exactly the matchup I wanted to try the Will-o’s in, as I felt he had no answer to them while stopping the Trolls and Atogs. And it played out that eay in the beginning, Will-o came down turn 2 and 3, and effectively stopped his Troll and Su-Chi. Then i drew a Mind Twist to take care of his hand when he was tapped out. On the top of his deck…..Fireball! Jeez, yet another topdeck after a Twist. This took care of my two Will-o’s, and after some landestruction from him, I never recovered. In game 3 it was my turn to destroy some lands. A turn 1 Hypnotic actually got to live for a number of turns, while I backed it up with a couple of Sinkholes and an Orb. When he finally dealt with the Specter a Knight had joined the party, and ended the game alongside some factories a few turns later.
Match 4 vs Erik (UG Berserk)
The next match was against Erik from Germany and his aggressive UG deck. He took a mulligan in game 1, and I managed to play an early Specter. He had Chaos Orb for it though, and managed to nullify his mulligan with a Ancestral Recall. I had a Dreams in play, so it hurt a bit, and a second copy of the black emchantment came soon after. He was winning the race though, thanks to Pendelhaven buffing up his creatures so I could’nt block with Black Knight. The Knight kept an Argothian Pixie at bay though, and two Drain Lifes from my side helped me win the race. On to game 2, same sideboarding as against Pablo here.
He had a really fast start here, with a Llanowar Elves and two Scryb Sprites down by turn 2. Thankfully I had a Disk which took care of his team before they could do to much damage. I drew a Maze that met an Orb, so he could attack for a few turns with a Pendelhaven-pumped Zephyr Falcon. I did some attacking myself with a couple of factories, and slammed a Sengir Vampire. It died to a Giant Growthed Falcon, but this bought me a turn in which I attacked with 2 Factories and finished him of with a Drain Life.
Match 5 vs Phil (4-color Djinns&Efreets)
Phil had a pretty sweet 4-color deck where he played almost very Djinn and Efreet printed in oldschool. During the games I saw Erhnams, Juzams, Serendibs, Mahamotis, and even Old Man of the Sea. Cool stuff!
In game one I got to start first, which proved to be pretty important. He had a fast start with a turn 1 Sol Ring, but I had Sinkhole for his land. That gave me some an extra turn to draw some answers to a total of 3 Erhnam Djinns. I managed to hit one with Chaos Orb, and took care of the rest with a Disk before taking to much damage. The key to game 1 was when he played a Bottle of Suleiman, and activated it. If he would’ve won the flip he’d probably win the game since I only had a Sengir Vampire in play. Lucky for me he lost the flip, took 5 damage, and the Sengir could win me the game soon after.
Against his big dudes I sided in 2 Will-o’s, 2 Terror and an extra Maze of Ith. Out went 4 Dreams and one Black Knight.
He countered my first spell, a Hypnotic Specter, with Mana Drain, and used the extra Mana to play a turn 3 Juzam. I stumbled on land for a turn, but used a Demonic Tutor to find a Maze. He summoned a Serendib as well, but I drew a land and could power out a Sengir thanks to a Dark Ritual. A Mahamoti on his side was Terrorized and the Djinns were taking his lifetotal down. A Drain Life then sealed the deal.
So this went a bit better then expected! Sure, I was a bit lucky in some spots maybe, but the deck seemed really solid and I played pretty good I think. Now on to the quarterfinals!
Quarterfinals vs Albert (Beast/Orb combo)
My quarterfinal match was against Albert from Germany. His deck was pretty sweet, and our game 1 was maybe key to the entire match. He had a really fast start with Tundra into Ancestral, a Mox Pearl, Mox Emerald and Sol Ring. All I could do on my turn two was to play a Black Knight and pass. He then played another land, Mana Vault and Mind Twisted away my entire hand. On to game 2, haha.
So what to sideboard here? I basically only saw the restricted cards of his deck, so I figured he was on some «The Deck»-ish build. In with 3 Glooms, 2 Warp Artifact and 2 Greed.
Game 2 was pretty onesided as I managed to control the board with Sinkholes, while Warp Artifact, Underworld Dreams and Black Knight did some work. He also stumbled a bit on land, which rarely is a good thing against monoblack.
Game 3 was a really close one, where the boardadvantage went back and forth. He had a good start with Factories and Copy Artifact to make more Factories, but I managed to clear the board with Disk, and played a Gloom. I followed up with a Hypnotic Specter which he stole with Control Magic, I had a feeling he had one, so I played the Specter first then followed up with a Sengir Vampire the turn after. What he then played was the nail in my coffin though, a second Control Magic, yuck! I couldn’t find a Disk in time, and he won soon after. It turned out he was not on the usual control deck, but on a Beast/Orb combo deck, so me siding in 3 Glooms was pretty bad since his only white card was a Balance.
Oh well, making it to the quarterfinals in the comeback tournament isn’t that bad.