Brasslands TO Report


The Event

On April 20, 2024, the citizens of brass hosted the inaugural edition of BRASSLANDS, a boreal old school Magic: The Gathering charity tournament in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event took place at See-Scape, a science fiction themed bar tucked away in the junction neighbourhood where the citizens meet for their regular play night.

Canadian Old School players were hungry for 4-Strip fun as the registration cap was reached the week the event was announced. On the day of the event, 51 players from Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia battled through six rounds of Swiss.

Six rounds and some raffles

Players were greeted at the registration table by some DIY pins, stamped cards and drink koozies.

Announcements commenced across two floors which was a little awkward and matches were tracked through Tolaria. This led to a bit of confusion as some folks joined the event last second which meant they were double registered. Once we worked out the technical glitches, rounds started flowing smoothly and we kept a strict 50 min match time which resulted in a few matches going to orb flips throughout the day.

Let’s just say the lighting in the venue was very ambient.

The weather throughout the day was wild with a mix of cloud, rain, hail, snow and sun! Once it warmed up later in the afternoon, some folks decided to battle on the rooftop patio.

We had door prizes between rounds 2-6 and these included goodies such as coasters graciously donated by 401 games, prize packs from Jason Shaw and a gem mint Merfolk of the Pearl Trident randomly raffled to a deck with 10+ merfolk in the list.

Before the final round, we drew raffle prizes from the cups that folks had been tossing tickets into throughout the day. We had a great selection of prizes donated from a number of folks including a rubber backed cloth print of the iconic meanie, Serendib Efreet.

The top tables were filled with Atogs, robots, genies and even Cockatrices!

Two players were tied at 5-0 going into the final match where Raymond Mitchell on Golem took down Justin Glanzer (first oldschool event!) on blue-black.

Additional photos from the event can be found here

Top 4

David Lee created these amazing alters depicting Toronto landmarks which were awarded to the top four.

Final standings

1Raymond Mitchell60018
2Justin Glanzer51015
3Derrick Boyce51015
4Nick Chen51015
5Kevin Vanier51015
6Jesse Moulton51015
7Matthew Wood42012
8Alistair Ingram42012
9Joel Bowers42012
10Joseph Skrepnek42012
11Kostas Tataropoulos42012
12Mike Yam42012
13Sebastian Dube42012
14Andrew Ruschpler42012
15Karl Rivest Hamois42012
16Andrew Luciow42012
17Aaron Donst42012
18Laurence Boulanger42012
19alexandre blanchette3309
20Chris Sternad3309
21Dominic Beaudry3309
23Ivan Khatchatourian3309
24Kiley Rider3309
25Michael Tisi3309
26jason shaw3309
27Matthew Michels3309
28Shane Chiasson3309
29Micah Bates3309
30James Duncan3309
31Yanick Blanchet3309
32Derek Shank3309
33Pav Toronto (@PavZed)3309
34Christian Arcand2406
35Peter Soltesz2406
36Dayle Forgie2406
37Jaclyn Reed2406
38Brian Wilkinson2406
39Chelsea Skrepnek2406
40Chris Roszell2406
41Aaron Sherban2406
42Louis Emond2406
43Alex Rennet2406
44Mark Story2406
45Cameron Gilpin2406
46Oliver Orrell2406
47Dylan Kibbee2406
48Andrew Oyen1503
49Michael Micek1503
50Laura Wilkinson1503
51Suppa (Chris Suppa)1503

The decks

Toronto has never had the spikiest events and this event was another mix of fun, casual, pet and meta decks with very few The Deck or Shops lists.

All deck photos can be found here

Interview with the champ

Interview with Raymond Mitchell, who won 6 straight matches on his way to becoming the new Toronto Old School champion! Raymond only dropped 2 games all day.

Q. How did you prepare for BRASSLANDS?

A. My buddy Aaron Sherban flew in from Nova Scotia the day before the tournament. Turned out that locked him in for the Flying Man prize. We chilled and eventually tested our decks later that evening once my baby fell asleep. I tried to enjoy Lion, Dib, Bolt, but it just didn’t seem as good as ‘Tog or even feel like my jam. I threw together the Shops deck that I played at Eternal Weekend last December. I changed only 5 cards in the 75: all 4 Su-Chi became Golems and the Recall in the side became a 3rd Offering.

Q. What do you most look forward to with events like this?

A. The gathering is the best part! I started playing in a couple of the online monthly events since the pandemic dropped, especially X Point which I helped to create. But, in-person Magic is the best Magic. And 4 Strips is the best way to play Old School. 4 Strips doesn’t make non-games. Not at all. Strips allow us to solve the problem lands of Old School: Library [of Alexandria], Maze [of Ith], Maze, and blue duals.

Q. What are your thoughts on your Golem deck?

A. Joe Nash got me thinking about Obsianus Golem again at EW [Eternal Weekend], last December. He beat me with Golems in his Shops deck. Since this weekend was the first time I’d picked up Shops since EW, I figured I’d give the Golems a go.

They do seem really good. I cut the Su-Chi for them. Su-Chi always died and usually did 4 damage to me with the mana-burn. My whole team now costs 6 mana, which usually doesn’t matter. The stability is worth waiting to reach 6 mana. 

I’m on 32 mana this build. Everyone says that’s wrong. It felt right to me. I may even try 33 or 34 [maindeck] mana if I start testing Mana Vaults again.

Looking ahead, I’d definitely up the Tetravus count from 3 to 4. I always wanted him to fly overhead on a clogged board ie. Pixies or Djinns or to block a Dib. Splitting ‘Bus [Tetravus] is really great vs Maze, too.

I sided out Abyss in half of my matches and rarely really needed it when I did have access to 4 real mana. I sided out Mind Twist in all of my matches. The card feels bad and doesn’t seem necessary.

Balance was always really good and easy to abuse to swing games. I really want to maindeck 1-2 Offering. The lifegain alone is worth it. But Shops is already 60-40 vs ‘Tog.

I do miss Coffin [Tawnos’s Coffin]. That might be worth a try once I’m at at least 8 ‘bots with counters. Birds and Dogs [Clockwork Avian, Clockwork Beast] might be fun, too. 

It was a really fun event, as always.

I’ve done well with Shops in Toronto only because the meta is low on Robots and Keeper [The Deck]. People aren’t seeing the brown decks very much so they’re not siding as much artifact hate. For example, I didn’t get hit with: Offering, Dust to Dust or Shatterstorm this event. I saw 1 Disk all day. If people want to beat Shops, they’ll have to shift their sideboards to do so which weakens them versus other matches. The meta always shifts around. I haven’t played Shops in back to back events, either. I always mix it up. But, whenever I have played Shops in Toronto, I’ve made the Finals.

Tournament report from the champ

Round summary:

Round 1 Raymond lost the die-roll but defeated Ivan Khatchatourian in 2 games. Ivan opened-up Game 1 with back to back Argothian Pixies! Ivan was on mono-G Aggro.

Round 2 lost the die-roll but defeated Dominic Beaudry in 2 games. Dom also opened-up one Game 1 on back to back Argothian Pixies! Dominic was on 8-Lions WUG Aggro.

Round 3 Raymond defeated Brandon Somos in 2 games. Brandon had defeated Raymond in the SummerSlamm, last year. Brando was on Bu dudes and Dreams. 

Game 1, Raymond rode a Turn 1 Tetravus to victory. 

Game 2 Brandon landed an early Underworld Dreams. Twister put Raymond under 10 life. Pestilence landed with Raymond behind by 4 life. Brandon activated Pestilence 5 times in Raymond’s end-step to pressure his life total and to remove his Tetravus. However, he was caught off guard by Raymond’s response with a Divine Offering from his sideboard! Pestilence died. Raymond proceeded to beatdown with Factories for the win. Anticipating Disks, Raymond had brought in Offering x3.

Round 4 Raymond lost the die-roll but defeated Joel Bowers in 3 games. Joel utterly destroyed Raymond with a timely Hurkyl’s Recall handing Raymond his first game loss. Joel hammered Raymond to 2 life in game 3, but couldn’t mise a burn spell before Raymond’s Robots took him down 4 turns later.

Round 5 Raymond defeated Derrick Boyce in 2 games. Derrick was piloting a really cool GWu deck featuring Cockatrice! Raymond was openly rooting for the rogue Cockatrice deck to win. 

Game 1 was defined by fast tempo Lions and Pixies before Raymond turned the corner and spammed the board with metal monsters.

Game 2, Raymond was disrupted early by Strip Mine, artifact destruction and Blood Moon. Derrick stymied Raymond’s attempt to destroy his Moon with his Chaos Orb by destroying Raymond’s Orb in response to activation with Disenchant. After many turns Raymond effectively hijacked the Moon by keeping Birds off the table with Trike and Balance. Raymond attacked into 2 untapped 4/5 Erhnam Djinn with 2 4/4 Trikes [Triskelion]. Derrick blocked both only to lose both Djinns to another pair of Trikes that hit the board, immediately. Derrick killed 2 Golems with defensive Fireballs to survive. Derricked revealed a Balance stranded in-hand with no access to White mana from his Savannahs on-board because of his own Moon!

Round 6 [Finals] Raymond lost the die-roll but defeated newcomer Justin Glanzer in 3 games. 

Justin scooped Game 1 to Icy Manipulator x2 holding down both his Juzam Djinn and Serendib Efreet.

Game 2, Justin took immediate control by Ritual’ing-out a Turn 1 Hypnotic Specter. He followed this up with an Energy Flux. Not only did Raymond never manage to recover, he never managed to put more than 3 mana on-board!

Game 3 was a repeat of Game 2. Justin took immediate control by Ritual’ing-out a Turn 1 Hypnotic Specter which he again followed-up with an Energy Flux. Raymond took a pounding but managed to Disenchant the Flux and remove the Hyppie with a Trike. Robots soon made short-work of things.

A community event

The community raised a total of $2,800 split between The Sharing Place and Parkdale Community Food Bank, two local food banks that serve neighbourhoods we’ve called home for our regular play night for years.

Huge thanks to all who attended the event, especially those who made the trek from out of town and out of Province.

This event was organized by committee and community and would not have been possible without the efforts of Brian Bogdon, Joel Bowers, Cameron Gilpin, Eric Do, Tristan Bates, and Jason Shaw.

Closing remarks

The event was a ton of fun and despite a few hiccups throughout the day, ran pretty smooth. We got a ton of great feedback about what worked and what we need to improve on for next time. See you at BRASSLANDS 2 next spring!