Brooding in the tower
Watching o’er his land
Holding ev’ry creature
Helplessly they stand
Gaze into his prisms
Knowing they are near
Lead them to the dungeons
Spectres numb with fear
They bow defeated
~ Rush, The Necromancer
The days grow short as autumn descends. After our summer’s-long hiatus, a quartet of hearty mages Gathered to again test their mettle with OS-EDH. The setting moved from Moss’ stronghold in Logan Square to EDH neophyte Bob Agra’s West Town abode. Would our time away and new blood yield technological innovation? A light rain drizzled Sunday morning as the generals assembled with their chosen Elder Dragons:
Piquard: Arcades Sabboth (Bant)
Agra: Odahviing, the Soaring (Jeskai)
Moss: Palladia-Mors (Naya)
Semmens: Vaevictis Asmadi (Jund)
G1: Copper Tablet Supremacy
We began innocently enough, with Tool’s Fear Inoculum on the stereo and a typical land-go, land-go start. Moss deployed Copper Tablet, promising to do his part to speed up the game. Then Semmens placed his own Tablet on the battlefield and thus each combatant took a Shock on his upkeep. Piquard did his utmost to staunch the bleeding, playing both Wooden Sphere and Ivory Cup. Bob burned an early Power Sink on Shane’s Powerleech, drawing a nonplussed reaction from his opponents. We then saw our first piece of new tech: Soul Net! After consultation with numerous artificers, Piquard decided to see if the Soul Net’s lifegain from creature removal could put him over the top. Ultimately, the artifact would serve as card draw fodder for the Sage of Lat Nam.
With our white-heavy roster (feat. Bant, Jeskai & Naya), we settled into a removal-heavy game that saw many Tranquility, Dust to Dust, Desert Twister (Forked, no less), Disenchants, Divine Offerings, and so on. Bob’s Hive Detonated in his own hands. Tablets continued to whittle away. Piquard cast Karma to put Semmens near critical, then Shane responded with a mighty Earthquake that served as his own death blow but left all remaining players in dire condition. Bob followed by KO’ing Piquard, and stood at 5 lives to Moss’ 6. After some rules lawyering by Moss, Odahviing remained grounded on his side of the battlefield, rendered helpless by a combination of Gravity Sphere and Moat.* Bob went for the pyrrhic victory, attempting to use Inferno to draw the game, but a timely use of the humble Crumble onto his own Copper Tablet let Moss survive the conflagration and eek out the victory in game one.
*Odahviing’s ability states that if he attacks, he gives all other attacking creatures flying. However, Gravity Sphere removes flying from Odahviing, so with Moat the dragon is precluded from attacking.
G2: Living Planes, Dead Game
Thanks to a pair of Tablets, game one moved along briskly and the generals decided to squeeze in another round before Bob had to skedaddle to Soldier Field. Game two was anything but brisk, as it quickly devolved into a degenerate control match favoring the Naya wizard and an early Power Surge. Shane soon thereafter played Living Lands, which upped the anxiety level immensely. Not only did all lands enter the battlefield with summoning sickness (a ruling that Moss nearly angle shot to play a Powerleech before being called out during the Actually Phase), but all lands became susceptible to the many forms of removal. Bob played a Rod of Ruin, which was quickly dispatched. We knew Earthquake loomed in Shane’s deck, plus he had Pyramids to protect his own stash. Moss first unleashed Tsunami, then Pyrotechnics, then Falling Star onto Agra and Piquard, the effect of which was to keep their blue and white mana bases from developing. Wrath of God was a boogeyman that threatened to end the game entirely. Meanwhile, Bob played a Manabarbs which served to speed up, and later end the game via submission after Moss used Regrowth to replay Power Surge and capture a second victory. The power level of enchantments in this game proved too much. Even with multiple Tranquilities, Disenchants, Chaos Orbs and Nev’s Disks in the field, they didn’t appear in a timely enough fashion to clear out enchantments’ destabilizing effects. Living Plane + myriad direct damage spells were particularly devastating.
Creatures were essentially useless on the day, which focused heavily on defensive positioning, resource denial, global damage dealing, board-warping effects and X-spells. Not even in a utility role were creatures functional as Shane’s Willow Satyr, Bob’s Aladdin and Piquard’s Rubinia Soulsinger netted zero stolen permanents. Moss callously forewent using any creatures to push Naya’s enchantment package to its very limit. At our next OS-EDH meetup, we’ll try a “creatures first” iteration that will make use of a Victory Points mini-game akin to the Djinn-Efreet War variant originated by InQuest Magazine and later detailed here and here by Eternal Central. This project has been in development by our OS-EDH crew for a few months and the timing now seems right to give it a whirl.