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Some answers about next weekend

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April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

 -T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

April is here, and with it Easter and the Oldschool World Championship. A murder of ragtag jesters and spell slingers gathering in Gothenburg. Whatever it may lack in order and sanction, it makes up for in panache and recklessness. This is oldschool oldschool. April 19th Rotary Pub hosts the 12th annual Easter gathering in 93/94, and the 11th annual n00bcon. Like most times before, we will break some records.


I've been getting a lot of messages about the how, what and whens of the tournament(s), so I used my l33t h4xxor skills and put up a web page with some info.


While the page could once upon a time be described as "rad", it isn't super user friendly (no WCAG 2.0), so I'll just recap the most common quandaries here.

How many people are at the main event?
The Rotary Pub caps at 120 players. Howeve…

The 3rd Party Magic Set

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Most of us have, at some point or another, experimented with creating our own Magic cards. Be it in notebooks, with scissors, with pens, or by using one of the fancy tools of the information age.


These are ways for us to express creativity within the boundaries of our own play group (or in some cases - like with Mox Crystal - for our home made formats). But once, in 1996, a small group of people took this to the next level. They created a full new set, got it acknowledged by WotC, and even held a release event for the expansion.

This set had some prominent people working on it. Artist included Jeff Brain (who made the art for the spellground playmats), it was published by Japji Khalsa, and it was designed by Donald X Vaccarino who later won Spiel des Jahres for his card game Dominion. Donald X was also a designer friend of Richard Garfield, and is one of the guys credited with the 6th Edition rules;  the rule set that introduced things like "the stack" to the game.

The set …

How a Knight of Thorn became the Paladin of the North

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Warriors of light are not perfect. Their beauty lies in accepting this fact and still desiring to grow and to learn. The way of the Paladin is to seek knowledge of that which truly is, to strive to learn his own inner nature, and do whatever is needed to bring light to the world. Not for glory, not for gain. The Paladin becomes a Paladin because it is his will. Such was the will of Mari Steinhage of the Netherlands. It is my pleasure to share his ascension. Enjoy! /Mg out


Old school is definitely on the rise in the Netherlands. With 3 tournament organizers in 2017 we have grown to 7 organizers with, one or more, confirmed tournaments for 2019 (minus 10 persons gigs excluded). Combined with the fact that the Netherlands are quite compact, all can be reached within 3 hours, we probably are the country with the highest tournament per square kilometer ratio. For me personally this is perfect to try different decks. I can imagine that if the opportunities would be less that I would stick …

The six-player playmat

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Hm. My plans on writing in-depth about event cards, an exhaustive report from ViennaGeddon, and stories on 93/94 tournaments in 2008 appears to take more concentration than my current sleep schedule offer. In this The New Life, some things have to give, and regular blogging is apparently one of them.

So I'm thinking smaller. I can just write something short to clear my head. Show something strange that may have alluded the radars of all but the most crazy collectors. For the deeper I dig into the rabbit holes of old school trinkets, the more strange gems are to be found. Like, scrapped sets and strange playtest cards and mid-90s memorabilia that I can find no good references of elsewhere online.

Today, let's talk about a particular piece of cloth.

Some of you may know that I'm a big fan of them Khalsa-Brain playmats. I wrote a post about them back in 2014. If you are unfamiliar with the mid-90s history of playmats, first of all, I guess congrats on your social life. Second…

Maze's End

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Not much time for writing these days. Wouldn't trade the infant-parenting lifestyle for anything, but I can see that updates around here may get a little more sporadic in the coming months. At least until sleeping is somewhat back on the schedule.


Anyway. Some weeks ago I penned a buzzfeed style listicle about "hard to unsee" art details. Perhaps not my most rigorous dive into journalism, but it did get a larger than usual number of upvotes on reddit I suppose.


Right now, I'm very happy that I wrote it. For listicles need their fact checkers, and the fact checker to correct me this time was indeed a legend among our legends.


So from the horses mouth, there is in fact a dude stuck in the Maze of Ith. We just got some of the details wrong last time. This is how the attacking creature went lost:


This was of course a rare opportunity to dig deeper, and I had a lot of questions on my mind. The communication was facilitated by a wonderful person named Brenda. I've cut …

Gathering of the Knights of Thorn V

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Joep Meddens is a venerable name in the halls of old mages. A gatherer of fellow wizards in the Netherlands, a content creator of note, and a master brewer in most formats. At the last Fishliver Oil Cup in Genoa he reached the elimination rounds in both the main tournament and the EC event; innovating with his signature Geddonless Geddon in the main event and razing opposition with a blue/black pile that I can only refer to as "Joep School" in the EC event. This is the third time we get to hear one of his stories on this blag; be sure to check out the previously regaled tales from his Frost Giant Cup and Hill Giant Cup. It is my pleasure to share Joep's experience from the latest showdown with the Knights of Thorn. This is a tale of a man and his ghoulish horde of  zombies. Enjoy! /Mg out

Are we on 5 of these already? This old school thing seems to definitely be sticking in The Netherlands. After October's Frost Giant Cup, December could not come quick enough for Dut…

2018 Retrospective

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Wait, are we a thing now?



Last week I was perusing a few customary end-of-the year articles as I'm wont to do when December draws to an end. One over at Channel Fireball caught my eye.

"Hey", I said. "They're ranking nische formats this year. Maybe Oldschool will get a moment in the sun? It is a format." I read through the article and got the status on Two-Headed Giant, BattleBox and the likes, but nothing about 93/94. Oh whelp. Then I stumble upon this one:

And behold.

When did that happen? Apparently some straw broke the camels back this year. While we certainly crawled from a deep underground to a more shallow soil, I did not expect us filthy casuals to rub elbows with actual supported formats. But now it appears that we are a thing in the eyes of The Grander Community. This brings great responsibility. I think we might need to start wearing hats.

It seems we've reached a point where the format has a mythos. Sometime in December - around the tim…