Coming from a MTG tournament player’s background, I’ve always had a spot in my heart for tournaments. I love the excitement of doing well and the thrill of competition, and it’s always been a blast to compete. Hence, every year, my little EDH playgroup has hosted a massive EDH tournament between our decks, to crown a champion. This tournament is called The EDH Battle Royale, and this year will mark the sixth time we have done this.
The play-in division is in full swing, and competition is fierce as each player’s decks vie to win a slot in the main tourney!
It’s time for The EDH Battle Royale VI!
Setting the stage:
• To read the introduction to The EDH Battle Royale VI, click here.
• To read about the first secret entrant this year, Brianna’s Xmas deck, Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, click here.
• To read about the second secret entrant this year, Darby’s Xmas deck, The Locust God, click here.
Play-in Match 6: My Ezuri, Renegade Leader vs. The Gitrog Monster vs. Nekusar, the Mindrazer
Everyone expected this matchup to be a blowout in favor of the lightning-quick Elves, but Nekusar had other plans, dropping a Damnation on them on turn four, and Wrathing them again and again every two turns after that. Under no real pressure thanks to his constant barrage of sweeper spells, Nekusar was able to quickly assemble a board of utterly lethal card-drawing effects and ways to punish people for drawing cards, and eventually locks his foes under a Price of Knowledge, killing them outright with full hands.
In a surprising turn of events, Nekusar the Mindrazer utterly dominates this match and advances to the main event!
Play-in Match 7: Darby’s Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper vs. Daxos the Returned vs. Yeva, Nature’s Herald
This was actually a very even matchup, and one that had to be played very carefully from each side. As a deck full of counterspells, Noyan Dar had to make sure that Yeva herself didn’t ever stay in play (playing creatures as instants would really let Yeva play around Noyan Dar’s counterspells), while each player also had to balance the threat of Daxos 2.0, who was just a constantly growing threat, a one-man army.
In the end, Noyan Dar is able to very carefully shape a board the way that he wants it, through creative use of counterspells and board wipes, and after a devastating recurring Bane of Progress from Yeva wipes Daxos’s board full of enchantments clean, Noyan Dar uses two huge, unstoppable land-creatures to beat the snot out of his opponents. After copying Yeva’s Seedborn Muse with a Rite of Replication, Noyan Dar can even play his instant cards, and untap on each player’s turn to counter their spells.
Faced with too many counterspells and too much card advantage, after a lengthy battle, Daxos 2.0 and Yeva eventually succomb, and Darby’s next winner is Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper!
Play-in Match 8: Brianna’s Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest vs. Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch vs. Karlov of the Ghost Council
This match was a bloodbath. A Soul Warden and Karlov came into play in the first few turns for the Orzhov general, and Karlov quickly grew out of control, with neither foe ever able to deal with him.
With the ability to remove his own +1/+1 counters to exile a creature, Karlov basically had this game on lockdown, and kills the other two with general damage quickly and decisively.
Going into this match, everyone expected Shu Yun (one of the more dominant generals and a finalist from last year’s event) to be a force to be reckoned with, but the poor Monk just could not handle Karlov’s removal ability.
Our next victor is Brianna’s Karlov of the Ghost Council, who destroys his two foes with aggressive lifegain, and advances!
Play-in Match 9: My Saffi Eriksdotter vs. Rasputin Dreamweaver vs. Bruna, Light of Alabaster
This matchup was a grudge match, as each of these three hold a grudge against the other two. Saffi was robbed of a second championship in the finals of The EDH Battle Royale IV by Rasputin Dreamweaver, who beat her with a massive miracle’d Entreat the Angels. Saffi is more than ready to get revenge on Rasputin today. Meanwhile, Bruna is a general that has been knocked out of Battle Royales in the past in the quarterfinals each time (and notably, once each by Saffi and by Rasputin), so she is determined and ready to get farther this year in the event.
This matchup is quite even, as each foe plays out their creatures, and board wipes to remove the other players’ creatures in turn, and the match stays at parity for quite some time. However, while each player manages to stay at a very high life total, and creatures are constantly Wrathed, Bruna is quietly building up a graveyard full of Auras, discarded from her many card-drawing spells.
When the time is right, Bruna herself enters the battlefield to a herald of angel’s trumpets, suits herself up with a ton of Auras, and just cleans house; Rasputin is dealt 19 general damage by her in the first attack, Saffi takes a lethal 21 in the next attack, and finally Rasputin takes lethal damage on her third and final attack, with Bruna herself being protected the entire time by classic Aura Vanishing.
In one fell swoop, Bruna, Light of Alabaster eliminates two former Battle Royale champions, and advances to the main event!
So there you have it, we have three more winners, as my Nekusar, the Mindrazer and Bruna, Light of Alabaster, Darby’s Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper, and Brianna’s Karlov of the Ghost Council all win their preliminary matches and advance to the main event!