Hello everybody and welcome back to another article of Brawl Haul! I am back after a short break with some more Ikoria Brawl decks to share. There is not much else to say so let us just jump into this week’s deck!
The main goal of this deck is to get the Ozolith into play, put a variety of different counters on it, and then swing in with a creature with a variety of counters. Each creature in the deck either ramps us to get our larger creatures out faster, creatures that enter with counters, or just general support creatures.
What does Vivien, Monsters' Advocate do for the Deck?
One of the big ramp payoffs for the deck is Vivien, which gives us a ton of value. The two passive abilities are able to help churn through the deck somewhat quickly, especially with the help of some of our other value engines. Her uptick creates a strong blocker, as well as being able to power up the Ozolith. Finally, her downtick lets us find whichever creature we would want in a certain given moment.
Our Second Commander, The Ozolith
While normally I am not a fan of running essential cards that cannot be tutored for, this deck was designed to be used with The Ozolith. The deck can function without it but it spirals out of control when able to double/triple up on every counter we give to our creatures. The Ozolith lets us double-dip on a good majority of our creatures as even when they die, a good majority of their power carry over, and depending on how long it has been out, the Ozolith can turn any creature into a massive threat every single turn. While I would not recommend hard mulliganing for it, it definitely impacts them a lot, causing me to keep rough hands just because the Ozolith was there, or throwing backhands that were almost keepable.
Ramping out Early
Like every other green deck under the sun, our early game consists of playing ramp to help bring us into the midgame faster than our opponents. While a lot of thee ramp cards are standard, such as Paradise Druid, there are a few that work exceptionally well due to synergizing with the main goal of the deck as well. These cards are Incubation Druid, New Horizons, and Fertilid.
While being very common in a lot of my lists, Incubation druid is able to do some very silly stuff in the deck as it is rather easy to get counters on it to power it up, with one of the best ways being through another notable card, New Horizons. While not common, every time I was able to play Paradise Druid on two into New Horizons on three, I won the game. Even without comboing the two cards, New Horizons is a decent three mana ramp card that helps power up The Ozolith. The final notable ramp card is Fertilid, which albeit slow, can work very well with the Ozolith as either being a continuous form of ramp or by being a chump blocker that puts counters onto the Ozolith. Something else that can be notable about the card is that we can target the opponent, which if they are playing a deck that does not run basic lands, can be used to shuffle the opponent’s deck. While a marginal case for sure, it can be great against Niv-Mizzet decks to ruin their scrying, which even if it is not the right play, is hilarious to do.
As mentioned a bit earlier, Vivien is able to turn our deck into a toolbox for different types of keywords. For those who are not familiar with that term, toolbox decks tend to be ones that run a variety of niche cards with a way of tutoring for them when they are needed. In the case of this deck, Vivien is able to search for specific keywords to help our creatures get in for damage. The cards that provide counters the most easily are Stonecoil Serpent, Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, Nissa, Who Shakes the World, and Crystalline Giant.
Stonecoil Serpent is the most efficient way of putting +1/+1 counters onto the field, with a 1 for 1 rate. Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig is another great way of putting +1/+1 counters onto the Ozolith, as well as just being a massive creature that can easily get in for damage. Nissa, Who Shakes the World is another great way of getting counters onto the Ozolith as whenever one of the lands dies, it puts 3 +1/+1 counters. This combined with the fact Nissa is already a strong card on her own makes her a great tool for ending the game quickly. Crystalline Giant is the main card that puts a variety of keywords onto the Ozolith that cannot normally be gotten in our color identity, such as hexproof, flying, and first strike.
Closing out the Game
While the Ozolith is usually enough to help close out the game for us, there are a couple more cards dedicated to ending the game as soon as they hit the field. The cards that do this best are Biogenic Upgrade, Mowu, Loyal Companion, and Trollbred Guardian.
Biogenic Upgrade is a great card in this deck as it either finishes the opponent the turn its played or will cause an absurd amount of counters to go onto the Ozolith, which will eventually end the game. The card can cause a huge amount of stats to enter play for only 6 mana, and given that a lot of our creatures already provide counters, this card often gave at least +8/+8 distributed among my creatures. Mowu, Loyal Companion is another great card for putting a ton of counters on our creatures as it puts an extra one itself every time it gets a counter from something, this results in a similar effect to Biogenic Upgrade where it either just kills the opponent or puts a ton of stats onto the Ozolith to have it finish people off. Finally, Trollbred Guardian is an overrun effect for the deck, giving every one of our creatures trample to just flunge at our opponent to finish them off.
Other Notable Cards
There are a couple of other cards that stand out in the deck as being a powerhouse in the deck for being strong enablers. The cards that stick out the most are Leyline of Abundance, Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter, and Titanoth Rex.
Leyline of Abundance is great at pulling us out of the early game significantly faster. Due to having a ton of cheap mana dorks, the deck is able to take advantage of the Leyline very well. This also works well with another strong card for our deck, Jiang Yanggu. The ability to turn all of our creatures into mana dorks, which either let us flood the board more. Finally, Titanoth Rex is essentially a combat trick to give a creature trample. This not only gives us some surprising burst but then the counter also is then used by the Ozolith to turn all our future creatures into better threats.
Strengths and Weaknesses
This deck is the type of deck that when it goes off, it wins the game nine times out of ten. The Ozolith is such a strong card that the deck’s win rate skyrockets when we draw and play it, which makes sense considering the fact the deck is based around the card so much. Out of a sample size of around 50 games where I was able to have the Ozolith hit the field, I own 40 of them for an 80% win rate
That being said, the deck is significantly worse when we do not see the Ozolith. While it still functions, it is significantly less effective. Because of this, decks that prevent us from resolving the Ozolith tend to be the worst matchups for this deck, as well as those that run a lot of artifact removal.
If you are interested in checking out this week’s decklist, here is a link to it!
I have had a huge love-hate relationship with this deck as on one hand, this deck is absurdly fun when you are able to use the Ozolith, but without it, it is a slog of a deck to play. Due to this, I am torn on whether to recommend playing it because it is such a polarizing experience. I had a good time with it, but it is also my own theorycraft and so I am somewhat biased towards it. Not much else to say about the deck, to be honest. The Ozolith has been super fun to toy with but unfortunately, there is just no way of making it more consistent.
That is all it for this week’s article, I hope you enjoyed it! Like always, if there is any card that interests you and want to see my take on it, make sure to let me know! Until then, good luck brewing!