Sunday, August 4, 2019

Oathbreaker: Colorless Ugin, the Ineffable / All Is Dust

A couple of years ago, I went all in on Colorless cards. Robots! There's something about artifacts that always lit me up. I still scroll to the bottom when spoilers come out for a new set just so I can see the sweet new colorless cards first.

Thanks to MTG Arena, I've had the opportunity to play with the new sets as they come out. It's easy to jump into a game online and playing down in the silver bracket means that I can jam janky decks without ruining someone else's day. I've even been able to play a full colorless deck in Standard!

The metal army can grow quickly and is backed up by a couple of different versions of Karn, Ugin, and Mystic Forge. That's quite a Magic card!

One thing that I don't like about Old School is that I don't get to play with the new cards. It's a double-edged sword. Not having new cards enter the card pool means that there are boundaries. Good cards continue to be good. The metagame can develop in different directions, but not so wildly that I can't adapt a few sideboard cards and still have a chance. Those are all good things for someone that doesn't have the time to play often. The downside is that I can't play with the new cards!

My weekly gaming group doesn't play competitive Magic. They don't play Old School. They play a lot of different games, including Magic. But it's casual. Commander was always too time-consuming for this group. Magic is something we play while we are setting up another game. Or waiting for a game to finish. It's a quick game we play between other things. So, we decided to give the Oathbreaker format a try.

Since I am into colorless cards, this felt like the perfect opportunity to put together a budget Ugin, the Ineffable / All Is Dust deck. Nothing in the deck is more than a dollar or two except Ugin and Dust. Most cards are well under a dollar. The format bans a lot of the fast mana. But you get access to a planeswalker as your Oathbreaker and a signature spell that you can cast only if you have your Oathbreaker in play.

The one-two punch of Ugin and All is Dust works well. The games play out quickly, which meets the criteria for my gaming group. And, the focus on the planeswaker makes for interesting play patterns. The smaller decks at 60 cards compared to 100 cards for Commander also makes the deckbuilding more accessible. If you haven't given Oathbreaker a try, War of the Spark gave us a lot of new planeswalkers at reasonable prices. Give it a try!

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