Saturday, 19 September 2020 marked the main event for the online incarnation of the East Coast’s late Summer event, that followed in the naming tradition of n00bcoM 2020, LobstercoM! I’d been sitting on the idea for this deck for Ages, hoping for an in-person event to debut it, but as we all know, Covid era North America in 2020 has put a halt to that happening. So, this event seemed like a great compromise as it was sure to be a large playing field with lots of spicy decks. Obviously, I wasn’t attempting to win the Swiss with this deck, but wanted to get in a few good combos for the day.
Before diving into the events of the day, I wanted to run through my decklist a little bit and talk about my inspiration and design choices. In the Before Old School Times, I found this Pauper Walls deck and absolutely loved playing it. At Winter Blast earlier this year, I got to talking about it and remembered Stone Giant as a card and wanted to use it to Fling creatures at opponents and immediately bought an HP Alpha one from Face to Face onsite. I should have been less impetuous because Stone Giant does NOT fling creatures, it gives a creature flying until end of turn. I had to think of other ways to make this happen, and Sword of the Ages is the way to do this.
Glyph meant I needed Walls, and I decided on x/5 walls since a five toughness is so difficult to deal with in Old School, and they needed to have some Power in order to kill stuff off and improve the efficiency of the Sword toss. Wall of Wonder has proven fantastic in testing. Yeah, it’s four mana to cast and four to be able to attack, but against creatureless decks, it often gets in for five before dying, and it enables Sword very well. Wall of Swords is always a welcome draw as it keeps Angels away, and can kill any smaller threats. Wall of Fire is the only wall that I’m not terribly excited about. Firebreathing is nice and I’m sure that it’s kept opponents from attacking, but I almost want it to be a Living Wall for ease of casting and Regen.
The combo package is pretty diverse, in my opinion. Obviously, Righteousness and Glyph of Destruction enable the Sword plan to do maximum damage. Righteousness is also good for post sideboard when I swap Wall of Fire for Serendibs to transform into more of a mid range deck. One line of play that I’ve adored since childhood is to declare blockers, Righteousness a creature, and then activate Arena before damage to crush something. Diamond Valley is also great because I can Glyph of Destruction, then sac the creature to Diamond Valley to gain 5 life, or to turn an opponents removal into life gain for me. Anything to draw the game out long enough for me to get Sword and counter magic is useful here. Siren’s Call are necessary once players are onto my game plan as they’ll likely sit back and craft their hand until they have answers, so these can speed that up for me. Arena has been wonderful removal for me on it’s own as all of my walls can deal some damage, so I can use it to avoid being overrun by weenies.
When I first got into Magic, I was immediately drawn to white magic. Personal Incarnation was the first rare I remember pulling, and it was a 6/6 so of course I had to play it. I didn’t understand life as a resource at all, which led to me playing very grindy, immensely defensive decks, full of Wall of Swords, Righteousness, Blaze of Glory, Spirit Link, Arena, Maze of Ith, Castle, Eye for an Eye, Reverse Damage, and lots of CoPs. This deck gave me the opportunity to use a handful of those cards, as well as play a very defensive deck, making it feel very much like my early years, but turned up to 11 with combos, synergies, and Power.
Or see the list on deckbox
Round 1: 0-2 vs Joe Taylor on Blue Tempo
To kick off the day, I faced off against a very cool blue deck that basically went Flying Men, Lord of Atlantis, ‘dib, and topped out at Serndip Djinn, with counters and Unstable Mutation to tie the room together. It was way faster than my deck could reasonably deal with, which was completely expected of the early rounds for me. However, I did get to use Arena to feed Flying Men to my Walls, which I absolutely loved. In game two, I was on the ropes and things looked bad, that is, until I pulled out a Blaze of Glory onto my Wall of Swords to block all 5 attacking creatures and buy myself a few more turns before ultimately dying to a Serendib Djinn.
Very fun games and got me loosened up and seeing what the deck can do, aside from just throwing walls at people.
Round 2: 0-2 vs Tim Moran on UWR Good Stuff
This round was very swingy and then very grindy. I turn one Spirit Linked his ‘dib, which I rode for ten or so turns to get a huge life advantage, but he had out a Maze of Ith and that was about it, which kept my Wall of Wonder at bay until he was eventually able to finish me off. I did however get to Sword of the Ages my first wall of the day, so that felt great.
Round 3: 1-2 vs Brian Limbacher Puppet Master Tetravus
As anyone who has spent time around me can attest, I’m terrible with names, so when the cams came on and I saw Brian and heard his voice, I immediately remembered playing him at The Battle of Roundy Corners at the taco bar one night during Eternal Weekend, and also GenCon a few weeks earlier. I knew I was in for some fun games of Old School.
I didn’t take good notes, but his deck did ridiculous things by Doppelgangering Puppet Mastered Tetravuses and ClockWork Beasts to essentially give counters to another creature. Game one I’m pretty certain I got beat down by a Beast, Game two I was able to Glyph a Wall of Swords and then Sword of the Ages to the dome for lethal, and I gotta say, it absolutely felt great to pull off the combo. Game 3 though, highlight of the event, by a mile! I don’t recall the board state, but it looked like a close match, he attacked with a Tetravus and I block with Wall of Swords, they should bounce, right? Well, not when the Tetravus is triple Berserked! Yeah, three Berserks on that thing to hit me with 32 trample! This is magic as far as I’m concerned. I’ll take a L to something like this every day of the week.
Round 4: 0-2 vs Rich Sponholz on Black Rack
Round Four against SpoonerMan of the HACKS and we enjoyed ourselves mightily. Game one, my Wall of Swords held back his threats for far too long, literally, because we both forgot that Order of the Ebon Hand have protection from white until it came up in game two! Regardless, Rich gave me a helluva run and he ended up at a respectable 22nd place on the day.
Unfortunately Round 4 ended up being all I could squeeze in for that day as kids were getting restless, and a few minutes after dropping, we received a call that a good friend needed a ride to the emergency vet for her kitten, and in the words of Letterkenny:
However, there was also a massive charity raffle that I bought some tickets to, and I ended up winning twice! I got one of the amazing Beasts of the Bay Loupe + Swag bags, which I’d meant to pickup during the Pacific charity auctions earlier this year but forgot. The other raffle I won was for the custom made wooden deck box, a relic that looks gorgeous and will bring a lot of class to a deck.
Massive thanks to the NEOS folks and DFB for organizing a weekend of events, and even more importantly, raising over $10 thousand dollars for charity over the three days! That is some next level fundraising right there and inspiration as well as aspirations for all of us.