Karol’s Crazy Brewz – Pump ‘n’ Thump with Oldhim

In the last few weeks, we got used to Oldhim representing hard control. The reactive tank hero, that just aims to stop everything that is thrown his way. However, this isn’t the only way to play our old friend. Oldhim can pack a punch with the combination of pumps, Pummels and Thumps. By combining powerful pumps like Earthlore Surge and Thump’s ability, we can create powerful turns that blow our opponents right out of the water. This is a no-nonsense, pure action Oldhim build, not for the faint of heart. 


Class: Guardian
Hero: Oldhim, Grandfather of Eternity
Weapons: Anothos
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Goliath Gauntlet, Ironrot Legs, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Tectonic Plating, Time Skippers

(3) Disable (red)
(3) Earthlore Surge (red)
(3) Endless Winter (red)
(3) Fate Foreseen (red)
(3) Pummel (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Spinal Crush (red)
(3) Thump (red)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(3) Righteous Cleansing (yellow)
(3) Thump (yellow)
(3) Autumn's Touch (blue)
(3) Awakening (blue)
(3) Chokeslam (blue)
(3) Cranial Crush (blue)
(3) Crush Confidence (blue)
(3) Debilitate (blue)
(3) Disable (blue)
(3) Earthlore Surge (blue)
(2) Energy Potion (blue)
(3) Glacial Footsteps (blue)
(1) Pulse of Isenloft (blue)
(3) Pummel (blue)
(3) Tear Asunder (blue)
(3) Thump (blue)



Header - Pummels and Thumps

Pummel (Red) (Regular)Thump (Red) (Regular)

The combination of these two cards is at the core of the deck. By correctly timing a Pummel onto a Thump, the attack starts to threaten double discard, which is huge against decks that thrive with many cards in their hand. Decks like Lexi, aggro Boltyn and Katsu all like to keep as many cards in hand, because their turns rely on chaining many attacks together. A single discard can throw a huge spanner in the works for these card hungry heroes.

However, it’s also important to understand how Thump and Pummel actually interact in regards to defense reactions. When we play Pummel on a Thump, the attack gains dominate once Pummel resolves. Before that, both players have priority and our opponent can play as many defense reactions, from hand and Arsenal, as they like. This is why it’s important to have a think about whether defense reactions blow out your play, or if it’s safe to do so. If you’re putting your opponent on a defense reaction in Arsenal, defending up and recalibrating your attack later can be a good idea.


Header - Other Pumps

Earthlore Surge (Red) (Regular)Goliath GauntletTear Asunder (Regular)

The deck also runs six copies of Earthlore Surge, Goliath Gauntlet and Tear Asunder to keep those Thumps pumped. Earthlore Surge gives us that perfect pump from two pitched blues, to play out the pump and follow it up with Thump. The ability to Thump for 11 from a red Earthlore Surge is super powerful, while the blue one gives us a nice boost and can be pitched to Oldhim’s hero ability. Tear Asunder is a great pump that works well with Thump if we created a Seismic Surge the turn before – Thump and Tear can be played out with a clean two-blue card pitch and threatens a whooping three-card discard – perfect effect on a dominated attack. 

Goliath Gauntlet on the other hand, fulfills that crucial role of having a pump on board. This is especially relevant if we’re falling behind on tempo and need a solid counter attack to regain some of that tempo. Goliath pairs up nicely with a Seismic Surge, to be able to pump the Thump on a single blue pitch and get that momentum back.


Header - Big Attacks

Spinal Crush (Regular)Endless Winter (Regular)Disable (Red) (Regular)

The deck runs a lot of big swings that help us maintain that tempo. Spinal Crush, Endless Winter and Disable (Red) are great at pressuring the opponent, and can be included in the list, depending on what we’re versing. Spinal Crush is great against go-wide decks like Lexi, but isn’t as effective against some go-tall decks, like Bravo. Similarly, Endless Winter can punish decks that activate abilities often, like Katsu or Dash, but isn’t as good against heroes like Briar or Bravo. Disable (Red) is great to sideboard in against decks that heavily rely on their Arsenal like Chane and combo Boltyn. All three of these attacks have something in common and all three work extremely well with Seismic Surges and our pumps. Spinal Crush and Disable work great with Pummels and Earthlore Surges, while Endless Winter doesn’t even need a Seismic Surge to work well with the pumps. 

Righteous Cleansing is a great yellow pitch attack against Prism and threatens a powerful on hit effect against a wide array of decks. It can mess with Chane, or take out a key combo piece from decks like Saber Boltyn or OTK Viserai.


Header - Equipment

Anothos (Regular)Tectonic Plating (Rainbow Foil)Arcanite Skullcap (Rainbow Foil)Ironrot Legs (Regular)

This deck is straight earth and is a true representation of how the concept of tempo works in Flesh and Blood. This is why Anothos is our bread and butter. When we’re not Thumping, solid swings for four or six can help to close out a game. When we’re setting up our Arsenal or a Seismic Surge for a powerful attack, Anothos helps to keep chipping away at our opponent’s life total.

The most critical piece of equipment for the deck is Tectonic Plating, as we heavily rely on the one-cost discount from Seismic Surges. An alternative to this would have to be Heartened Cross Strap, as it helps push those five-cost attacks to only a single blue pitch.

Head and legs are usually perfectly fine with some of the simple defense equipment – Arcanite Skullcap and Ironrot Legs. The head piece can easily be replaced by Helm of Isen’s Peak – a helm with some serious set up potential. We can simply pitch a red to activate it, Arsenal one of the pumps and pass, knowing we will have many defensive and offensive options with the one extra point of Intelligence.


Header - Why Oldhim?

While pumping and Thumping can work in both Guardians, Oldhim gives us the very nicely costed Earthlore Surge – it works amazingly with our attacks, most importantly the Thump. Also, as great as Bravo’s ability is with our big attacks, we can easily switch on the dominate on our Thumps, which is the core component of our deck. 

Endless Winter becomes a great tempo card in most matchups. We can play it out with a single blue pitch off a Seismic Surge from the turn before. A two-card hand that swings for eight with a relevant on-hit is great value, even without the fusion. 

Another key component of the deck is Awakening. With clever life manipulation, we’re able to swing in virtually for free. Holding back a Pummel or Earthlore Surge in Arsenal means we can search for the most relevant attack at the time and often back it up with a surprise pump or Pummel off a 4 card hand. 


Header - The Spice

Energy Potion (Regular)Remembrance (Regular)

Energy Potion is a hidden gem when it comes to any Pummel-heavy deck. Getting this card out into play creates mind games of its own. It not only makes it easier for us to play out those Earthlore Surges and Pummels, but it constantly threatens these cards. There’s nothing more satisfying than attacking in with a Spinal Crush with an Energy Potion out and a card in Arsenal, just to see our opponent overblock it to save themselves from a potential Pummel, even if we don’t have it! The card isn’t the easiest to get out into play, but once it’s out there, it can help us string together those powerful turns. 

The list runs one copy of Remembrance for two reasons. First, in case we verse a Prism, it can help deal with the Great Library of Solana. It can also get those crucial power cards late game in a control mirror and it’s nice knowing that there is that single card backup against fatigue. 


Header - Alternative Directions

Emerging Avalanche (Red) (Regular)Ice Quake (Red) (Regular)Channel Lake Frigid (Regular)Strength of Sequoia (Red) (Regular)

Another reason to explore Oldhim as our hero of choice is the many directions we have available to customize the list based on our local metagame. Ice, especially cards like Emerging Avalanche, Ice Quake and Channel Lake Frigid can be great against decks that run low resource cost decks. Against these opponents, Frostbites and our hero ability are great at slowing them down. In this build, we would switch to Winter’s Wail, as those hammer swings would be much easier to back up with Ice cards. 

On the Earth side, we have access to Strength of Sequoia as the primary build around. The power of Strength of Sequoia comes from having access to two Seismic Surges in a single turn – one from Tectonic Plating and the second from fusing Strength of Sequoia. The best thing about having a pair of Seismic Surges is how it interacts with our five and three-cost attacks – Spinal Crushes and Disables, Oaken Olds and Crush Confidences. The five-cost attacks would only cost three, meaning we can play them out with a single blue pitch. The three-cost attacks only cost one, meaning we can back these up with an Earthlore Surge or Pummel with a single blue pitch. That’s some great value right there.  

This list is a perfect starting point for you to experiment with a midrange Oldhim build. It’s a great deck to learn the concepts of disruption and tempo and can give you a clear idea on how you want to evolve your Oldhim game. Is it Ice? Is it Earth? Or continuing with even more pumps for the Thumps? Before you know it, you will be adding three more Pummels to crush your opponent’s face in. 

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