An Introduction to Oathbreaker

Oathbreaker is a new Magic: the Gathering format that I recently started playing. I have to say: It’s super exciting. The biggest issue I have with it so far is that I can’t decide what deck to build. For those that don’t know, Oathbreaker is format similar to Commander in that it is singleton and contains the vintage card pool, but the starting life total is 20 and the deck size is 60. This format was also intended to be much quicker to play leading to more enjoyable games  instead of a longer, drawn out affairs.

Where this format breaks away from Commander is that instead of a General that is a legendary creature, that spot is taken by a planeswalker of your choice. Your chosen planeswalker is your Oathbreaker. In addition to your Oathbreaker planeswalker, you must choose a ‘signature spell.’ This spell must be within the color identity of your Oathbreaker just like the normal deck construction constraints of any Commander format. Both the Oathbreaker and their signature spell have the regular commander rule of being able to be cast multiple times with the additional cost of two generic mana for each subsequent cast.One thing of note is that the signature spell my only be cast while your Oathbreaker is on the battlefield under your control. 

This is a format that has already been covered by other sources as well. If you’re interested in seeing the Professor’s take on the format that can be seen here. If you’re looking for a more exact rule-set along with the banned list than I would suggest looking here. Today I’d like to take some time to highlight some bigger combos of the format that look fun to play, and some other directions that can be taken to highlight the flavor the format has to offer to deck builders. Some of my favorites include:

This is one of the most powerful combos in the format. It might not drip with flavor, but being able to cast Windfall with Narset on the battlefield is a sure route to a full hand while leaving all your opponents with only a single card as Narset will prevent any future cards from entering their hands.

This might be one of the most broken interactions available in the format in terms of recurability. Saheeli is about to spit out piles of servos while Thoughtcast keeps getting reduced in cost making it able to ignore the costs of each additional cast. There are countless things you can do with all the servos being created and Thoughtcast is just a start. 

I absolutely LOVE playing land-based decks in Modern and Legacy. Wrenn and Six is one of the newest planeswalkers to hit the game and is a great Life from the Loam substitute for any land-based strategy. Crop Rotation is a cheap spell and doesn’t need to be cast many times to take over a game, be it finding an early Wasteland to mana screw someone or putting together Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage to kill all your opponents one attack at a time. 

A completely colorless deck isn’t hard to make with the release of various Eldrazi cards over the years and enough mana producing artifacts to ramp out anything you desire. This time I would suggest making your desire Ugin along with a board wipe that will take out each and every permanent on the battlefield, except for your own.

This is one of the more fun combinations that can still pack a punch. While the life gain might not be the most enticing part of the combo, being able to have a Doran-like ability and a cheap card that can give your team +5 or even +10 toughness if cast twice in the same turn can kill multiple players in one large attack. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to combinations and the most important part is making a deck that you will enjoy, game after game.

Until next time,

Daryl Ayers

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