ODOL(Online Dutch Oldschool League) October

Last months ODOL was so much fun that I signed up for the October league as well. A small twist of rules were made by the tournament organizer this time, Mishra's Factory was restricted! There have been murmurs of a Factory restriction for some time now, and I'm not quite sure what I feel about the matter myself. Mishra's Factory is obviously really powerful, and it makes some cards a lot worse. Kird Apes especially, has seen far less play thanks to the little man-land, along with other weenies like White & Black Knights. It also makes mana-bases a bit worse since they take up spots were duals could be played. But the card has been a staple in old-school since the beginning of time, and I'm sure that many people will hate to see it restricted.

Will we see new decks rise to the top now? I have my doubts, but I think that Zoo decks, and especially White and Pink weenie decks will be more popular.

Last month I went for a rather spicy deck-choice, and I was tinkering with a Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore and Sage of Lat-Nam deck at some point, and even wanted to play a nearly monoblack Yawgmoth Demon deck now, but I cast aside those ideas as I couldn't get hold of Mana Vaults in time.

My deck of choice this month will be Black(u) Disaster with a tiny white splash for Balance. I initially wanted to fit Disenchants into my deck, but with only 1 Scrubland and two City of Brass in my collection, the white sources are just to few. However, I feel that Balance fits really nice into the deck. Maybe some time in the future I've gotten hold of 3 more Scrublands and a Mox Pearl to up the white mana count. This is what I'm registering for the league:

I've been thinking alot about cutting Black Knight from the deck for some time, but this month I'm pretty sure they will be good. Factory used to stop Black Knights cold, but they are now down to one copy in each deck, and I also predict more weenie decks were Black Knight seems pretty nice. The rest of the maindeck is probably pretty self explanatory, some might feel that I should play Terror over Paralyze, but I think Paralyze is a better choice because of all the Su-Chi's that are running rampant right now. The sideboard is pretty decent I think, with a few options vs basically every other deck.

Match 1 vs SacrificeBall:

In the first match I got to play vs a fellow norwegian and NOSMTG member, Ole. His deck of choice was a really cool brew which he called SacrificeBall. This is the 75 he played:

Ole and another NOSMTG member, Audun, created this deck and when I first looked at the list I thought, what a cool and dangerous brew. The deck looked like it could generate an enormous amount of mana in the first couple of turns, which could be used for devastating Mind Twists or lethal Fireballs. It could also go the beatdown route with early Su-Chi's and Ruhk Eggs. We actually played 4 games vs each other a couple of nights before ODOL, with the score being 2-2, and we both felt this matchup was pretty even.

Game 1: My plan to beat Ole was to get an early Hypnotic out, and start chipping away on his hand, or to control the game long enough to win with Underworld Dreams which I knew he'll have a hard time dealing with. This plan went straight to the fiery pits of hell, when I kept a really slow hand with 4 lands and no gas. The moment I said keep, I knew it was terrible. Major brainfart. He went beatdown with Su-Chi and a Rukh token on me this game and I quickly scooped up my cards.

Game 2: I sided out 3 Black Knights and 2 Sengir Vampires and brought in 3 Energy Flux and 2 Blue Elemental Blasts for game 2. My plan was still to win with Hypnotics and Underworld Dreams, but now I could also disrupt his artifacts and red cards. My starting hand is pretty nice with two Hypnotics, Sinkhole, Mox Jet and a couple of lands. He deals with my first Hypnotic and plays an Animate Dead on it, but I chose to play Paralyze on it to get through with my Hypnotic as fast as possible. I quickly deploy 2 Underworld Dreams and win the game pretty fast. After the match Ole said he made a really bad keep as well, so that's 1-1 in games and 1-1 in bad keeps, haha.

Game 3: On to the decisive game, lets have a good one this time. He starts of with Strip Mine and Black Lotus, myself with Urborg, Mox Sapphire and Chaos Orb. He then goes land, Time Walk and I can smell trouble. Thankfully his next turn is just Rukh Egg and Strip my Urborg, so I'm kinda relieved that the Mind Twist is still in his deck somewhere. On to me and I play Dark Ritual into Sinkhole and Orb-flip on his lands to deny him any mana. I also had a Sinkhole ready for his next land. He plays Tundra and pass, I destroy it and he then plays another land. I go Dark Ritual into Su-Chi, and when he chumps with his Egg, I have a Blue Elemental Blast ready for his token. I play Underworld Dreams and he stumbles on land for a few turns, playing only 2 Mana Vaults and a Triskelion. I offer a Su-Chi and Trikes trade, and he has to take it because Underworld Dreams and tapped Vaults are eating away on his life pretty fast. He draws no answers for Dreams and the comeback is complete.

2-1 Win

Match 2 vs WUB Tax Control

Game 1: This time I get to play vs the tournament organizer, Henk. He gets to go first and keeps his seven, I learned my lesson from game 1 vs Ole and mulligan my 5 land hand. The six card hand is pretty sweet and I play land, Mox Sapphire into Time Walk, and on my Time Walk turn an Ancestral Recall to fill up my hand. Then I add a Black Knight to the board and end my turn. He plays a Land Tax in addition to his turn 1 Ivory Tower, yuck. This is a combo that renders my Sinkholes useless, and I know now that we're probably in for a long game, at least if I'm going to win. Turns go back and forth with me chipping away with the Black Knight for a few turns, and turning off his Ivory Tower with a Mind Twist. After a while he establishes a stronger board than me with a Serra Angel, Sengir Vampire with Paralyze on it and after some time an Air Elemental. I only have a Hypnotic Specter and the Black Knight in play, but a Balance in hand which leaves me with one option to stay alive. I somehow have to get rid of my own creatures in the next two or three turns, or he will kill me with his flying team. On my first try I attack with the Black Knight hoping he will block, and then I can chump with the Specter and play Balance on my next turn. He think's for a bit, but doesn't fall for it and takes two damage. On his turn he pays to untap Sengir, swings with his team and I get to block Serra with Hypnotic while removing the Vampire from combat with a Maze of Ith. Now I'm dead in two turns if he doesn't block the Knight. I have some thin hope though, because his life total isn't that high, so if he thinks I might have a Drain Life or two, he might just block. On my turn I attack with the Knight and he blocks with Sengir, yes. I play a land, the Balance and wipes his creatures and six-card hand. Phew. I lose 5 lands in the process, but who cares, I'm still alive. On to topdeck mode. I feel like I might have an edge now because I play more win conditions than him, but I have only 3 mana available. My first draw is a Su-Chi, which is fine, but I need another land to play it. Next turn provides a land, great. He doesn't do much and I attack him down to 6 and play a Demonic Tutor, what to fetch? I think about Underworld Dreams, but figure if I get a Black Knight, he might have no outs for it. Also, if he doesn't deal with the Su-Chi, he's dead on my next attack. On his turn he Disenchants the Su-Chi, crap, but I still have the Knight. I draw no more gas, but he doesn't either, and the Knight seales the deal. What an awesome game 1!

Game 2: Having eeked out a win in game 1 I feel pretty comfortable when I can side in Glooms and Terror's for the mostly useless Sinkholes. He starts with a Ivory tower again, I have pretty nice start myself with a turn 1 Black Knight. I also have a Gloom in my hand, along with two Underworld Dreams. He orbs my Knight on my turn which allows me to deploy the Gloom with him being tapped out. Next turn I almost were to greedy with a Mind Twist I just drew, but decided to play it for 4 instead of playing a Underworld Dreams. I knock two Disenchants out of his hand, which just might have won me the match. A couple of turns later I also have the two Dreams in play, and he can't find enough land or more Disenchants, and Henk end the match with a Timetwister for 14 damage. GGs Henk, and thanks for organizing this tournament!

2-0 Win

Match 3 vs Monoblue PowerMonolith

Game 1: In match 3 I play vs Tristan and his monoblue PowerArtifact deck. My third dieroll loss is a fact, and he starts with Island and Sol Ring. On my turn I go Swamp into Sol Ring. On to him and he plays Basalt Monolith, but misses a land drop, and I take advantage of that and Sinkhole his lone Island on my turn. He misses yet another land drop, but manages to play a Su-Chi with his two artifacts, only to have me Paralyze it on my turn. I also deploy a threat in Black Knight. He stumbles yet another two turns while I add a Sengir Vampire and Underworld Dreams to my board. While feeling pretty confident at this point, I know that if he draws a land, he can untap the monolith and do all sorts of crazy stuff in no-time. He draws two lands in a row, and plays Power Artifact on his Monolith to have access to infinite mana. With all that mana he plays another Su-Chi, Tetravus and a Dragon Engine which holds back my team. Problem is that he's down to two life, and needs a Braingeyser to win next turn. He whiffs on that topdeck and game 1 is mine.

Game 2: I board out 3 Black Knights for 3 Energy Flux for game 2, thinking that an early Flux vs a half artifact, half blue deck has to be killer. Sadly, he mulligans to 5 while I mulligan to 6, so this game becomes pretty amputated. I do my best to keep him off land this game with 2 Sinkholes, but he still doesn't miss a land drop. I also got two Hypnotic Specters, one dies to a Triskelion, but the other keeps chipping away at his hand and lifetotal. I feel that the Specter might be the key to winning this game, and decide I want to protect it by all costs. I figure his only way to deal with it is to either play another Trikes or a Tetravus, or to copy the existing Trikes with Copy Artifact. With him having three Islands and a tapped Monolith in play, I Tutor for a Strip Mine, destroys one Island to keep him from untapping his Monolith, then Orb the Trikes so that he cannot copy it. This works out pretty well as on his next turn he plays a Copy Artifact on his Basalt Monolith and discard Tetravus to my attacking Specter. On my next turn I play an Underworld Dreams to put him on a faster clock which thankfully is fast enough because my next four draws are lands and Dark Rituals.

2-0 Win

Match 4 vs Sligh

So far, so good! I'm 3-0(6-1), and with Ole having played all his matches going 4-1(9-4), I can lock top8 already with a 2-0 win here. With a 0-2 loss things will be rough, because I'll then need my opponent this round to lose one of his remaining matches while I win my last match 2-0, tense!

Game 1: My opponent goes first, which seems to be the case this ODOL haha, and plays mountain and Chain Lightning to the face. I almost certainly know that I'm up against some mono red or at least heavy red deck, and can start to plan to keep my life total high as long as possible. I have a decent hand with a couple of Black Knights which are great vs these kind of decks, but the first one gets bolted and then I get smacked in the face with a Ball Lightning. Yikes, down to 11 already. I play my second Knight which also draws a bolt, but thankfully he has no followup. My turn 4 Hypnotic gets Fireballed, and this is fine with me, my 3 creatures has saved my lifetotal a lot. I play Su-Chi to try to add some pressure, and he plays an Orcish Artillery, that could be a problem. I think for a while and opt to tutor for a Maze of Ith to stop any more Ball Lightnings which would be the end of me, because I need to start attacking with the Su-Chi to try to race the Artillery. He does nothing but play a land on his turn once again, but when I try to attack with the Su-Chi, he Shatters it. I use a freshly deployed Chaos Orb to deal with the Artillery, and he puts me down to 9 and himself to 13. I also Sinkhole him down to 3 lands, and the turn after he misses a land drop and plays a Goblin of the Flarg. I Mind Twist his last two cards which are Ball Lightning and Dragon Whelp, phew. He doesn't draw any more gas, and I win pretty fast thanks to another Su-Chi and Underworld Dreams.

Game 2: For game 2 I side in 2 Terrors, a Drain Life and 2 Blue Elemental Blast for 4 Sinkholes and a Juzam Djinn. He start off pretty fast with Brass Man, Ironclaw Orcs and the Artillery while I just have two lands. I can Terror the Artillery before it can do any damage, and play a Chaos Orb with mana open on my turn. He attacks me down to 14 and play yet another Orc, and I fail on my Orb flip, hurl. I drew a Balance for the turn, but no white mana yet, so I instead take out his hand with Mind Twist. Blood Moon, Balloon Brigade and Chain Lightning goes to the yard. He's once again in topdeck mode, but has some real pressure on the board. He attacks me down to 9, before I play a Sengir Vampire. His Artillery from the top meets a Blue Blast and I play a couple of Hypnotics which can start beating him down. Sengir Vampire bites the dust on an alpha strike plus Lightning Bolt, but the attack was a 3-for-1 for me so that's ok. I chose to play a Drain Life for 4 on him to give me some breathing space and I-m now winning the race with a Hypnotic vs Brass Man. He draws nothing useful and when two more Hypnotics join the party, he scoops up his cards. Yay, top8 locked!

2-0 Win

Match 5: BYE

Match 5 doesn't happen because my opponent got sick and had to drop from the league, hope you had a speedy recovery Bas! But it didn't really matter because I had already won the group.

4-0 in matches, 8-1 in games, pretty sweet!

Quarterfinals vs BR Midrange

Game 1: On to the quarterfinals vs nice guy from Belgium named Benjamin. We had a long chat both before and after the match, good times. I win the die roll for the first time this month, and get off to a great start with turn 1 Hypnotic. He plays swamp and Mox Ruby, but has no answer for the hippie which brings him down to 18 and takes a City of Brass from his hand. I also add some more pressure with a Black Knight. On his turn he plays a Mind Twist for two, taking Sengir Vampire and Demonic Tutor from my hand, leaving me with a Su-Chi. I send him down to 14, taking another City from his hand and then destroy one of his lands with a Sinkhole I just drew. He stumbles on land for a turn, then goes down to 10 and loses a Black Knight, but plays a land and Sedge Troll on his next turn. I finally draw a third land and can play Specter numero dos, but it dies quickly to Chain Lightning. The next turn the other Specter gets hit by a Lightning Bolt and if I can't find my fourth land soon, he might be able to turn things around. Mishra's Factory is luckily what I draw and I can finally play the Su-Chi. He does nothing and I can alpha-strike for the win with my three creatures.

Game 2: I actually think the matchup will be better after sideboarding when I bring in 2 Terrors, 2 Blue Elemental Blast and a Drain Life, taking out the Black Knights and 2 Sinkholes to go a bit more controlling. Sadly I have to mulligan, but the 6 card hand is fine but a bit slow. He starts with Dark Ritual into Underworld Dreams and also a Mox Ruby, yikes! I just play lands the first two turns while he invites a Sedge Troll to the party. I Paralyze it to buy some time, but he plays Maze of Ith, and does the untap after damage thing. He's then tapped out and I can Orb the Troll on my turn and play a Specter off a Dark Ritual. He plays just a land and passes, while I play a Sengir Vampire, can I really turn it around? On to him and he slams a Shivan Dragon, but takes 4 damage from Cities of Brass in the process. I play a Juzam while holding a Sinkhole in hand to play on the Maze next turn, and when he attacks with the Dragon I double-block taking it down along with my two fliers. On my turn I destroy the Maze and put him down to 8 with Juzam. I'm at 9 so I'm clearly winning this race now. His draw is blank and I attack with Juzam, and play Underworld Dreams which puts him down to 2 on his turn, nothing can save him now right? He topdecks Maze of Ith which can hold back the Juzam which along with Dreams takes me down to 5. He goes down to 1, draws.... Lightning Bolt! Oh lord almighty... Two topdecks in a row in the right order ends the game in his favor, yuck.

Game 3: For the final game I take out 1 Underworld Dreams to put back a Sinkhole for those pesky Mazes. Sadly I have to mulligan again, the 6 card hand seems ok, but a bit too much land and I even put a Dark Ritual on the bottom while keeping one in my hand. He plays a turn 1 and 2 Black Knight, I Paralyze one, but he plays land, Underworld Dreams and can untap it next turn. I draw nothing but lands for the rest of the game and the Balance in my hand which could have saved me, stays there due to the lack of white mana. GGs Benjamin and good luck in the semi!

Allright, the run ended in the quarters, but once again I had a great time. Maybe if it hadn't been for my stubbornness to play only swedish legal cards, I would have more Scrublands and Disenchant in my deck, and not die to Underworld Dreams, you never know. I will surely play next ODOL as well, with a spicier deck this time, so be on the look for a new tournament report in a month or so.