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Legendary cycles

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A few months ago, we looked at the worst mana fixers in 93/94. This time we'll look at my personal top5 "worst cycles" from Legends. It is kind of amusing that there are enough weak cycles in the set to make a list like this btw :)

Legends is a very large set. For one, it is larger than Beta. It is also larger than the three other legal expansions in 93/94 combined (Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and The Dark). There is a handful of very powerful cards in the set; like Mana Drain, Mirror Universe and The Abyss, but there's also a vast amount of sub-par cards in there. Lets dive into some of the more infamous parts of Legends.

5. Mana Batteries

The Mana Batteries aren't as horrible as the other cards on the list here, it's just that their casting cost makes them utterly unplayable in every conceivable format. The cards would be actually good if they costed half as much to cast (two mana for these isn't an unreasonable wish either, they were printed betwe…

Thunder TaxEdge

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Christmas coming up! This week we'll take a quick look at a sweet deck in the seasons colors.

There are two main approaches to Tax Edge we've seen a the top tables thus far. One is pretty much just an extension of traditional White Weenie, with some Plateaus and a mountain added to support Land's Edge and Lightning Bolt. The other approach is creatureless, and uses cards like Ivory Tower and full sets of Howling Mine.

The Thunder Tax Edge is somewhat in between those two. It only supports 6 creatures (4 Thunder Spirit and 2 Serra Angel), but is still much more aggressive than the creatureless version, and have a better late game than the version supporting White Knights and Savannah Lions. This "midrange version" of Tax Edge have not been represented in the last few tournaments, but I think that it has a pretty good matchup against most of the decks that we've seen in the last top8s. It may need some tweaks, but it's nonetheless really fun to play :)


CREAT…

The arguments on Fallen Empires

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Two topics about legality have been discussed vividly since the format started 2007. One was regarding Chaos Orb, and how we could legalize it while both maintaining the flavor of the card and avoiding messy play areas with spread out cards. The other one is regarding the legality of Fallen Empires. The issue with Chaos Orb was solved about two years ago, and we haven't looked back. The topic with Fallen Empires is still being discussed, and was brought up again during last BSK.

At its most basic, the arguments against Fallen Empires are the facts that it was easy to obtain as sealed product after 1994, and that it's inherent attainability makes the deck building process much less involved. You can still buy a sealed box with 60 FE boosters for about $150-200, and that very fact makes it less appealing as "true old school". Complex card searching and suboptimal deck building is an important part of the format, and legalizing an overprinted expansion is not really in …

Colossus Skull

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Ahh, the man that is GaJol. I've written about his tech twice before, once about the old Skull of Orm deck and once about his distress deck. I'm not really sure exactly what he's up to these days, but the word on the street is that he's back in Sweden again for the foreseeable future.

GaJol teamed up with Viktor "Oldschool" to prepare for BSK. The deck he put together is definitely one of my favorites from the tournament. I'm not really sure what is maindeck and what is sideboard here though. I believe that the cards on the last row are most of the sideboard, except for the fourth Priest of Yawgmoth and the Berserk, and that the two All Hallow's Eve are supposed to be in the board.

Revisting the Grail

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At BSK I finalized a trade for a particular card that I'd had my eyes on for over six months. I've wanted the card for as long as I've played, but this specific copy was the one I'd been trying to get since n00bcon. I only know about 4 or 5 copies of alpha Black Lotus in Sweden, and I've only seen two of them IRL, but this was my favorite copy of the few I know to exist :)

I know around 15 years of the card's history. It was acquired by a guy in Texas around 97/98, and then sold to Roland Johansson in 2005. Among it's sightings in Gothenburg, Roland played the card to the finals of the Gothcon Vintage tournament in 2007, and won that tournament again with the card in 2008. There is actually a previous picture of the card at this blog as well, from my short deck tech about Roland's machine head ponza from n00bcon 5. I wonder who opened the card, and if that person was more impressed of a Craw Wurm or something from that pack. Not an impossible scenario.

White winner

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This format can at times look somewhat expensive. One could argue that it would be cheaper to play - and get new decks for - Type 2 for about 40 years than to buy a deck like Freespace's 5c Machine Head. That may be true, but nonetheless there are very viable budget alternatives in 93/94. Black Lotus and Moxen are great cards, but they are probably less broken in 93/94 than they would be in any sanctioned format. Playing skill and evaluating the meta goes a long way, even when battling uphill against power.

One of the players that illustrates this is Henrik "Brorsan" Jerberg. Brorsan is one of the driving players from Varberg, hosting his own Brorsan Invitational each year and contributing greatly to the older casual scene in his town. He does own full power (for his cube, of course ;)), but he doesn't play it himself in Old School tournaments. Nonetheless, he won both Kingvitational in June and BSK 2013 two weeks ago with slightly different takes on white weenie.

Br…

BSK 2013 top8 decks

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The decks to beat section have been updated with 7 of the 8 decks from the elemination rounds at BSK 2013. The missing deck is Brorsan's winning WW list, but the other sweet decks can now be viewed in full glory. I'm sure I'll discuss some of these decks in more detail in the future, as well as some of the decks that didn't make the cut (in particular GaJol's reanimate deck was awesome).

The Djinns and Efreets are showing up in big numbers this time. As control has been somewhat weakened, the big Arabian Night's creatures can dominate the board more easily.

 The only card played in all 8 decks is Strip Mine. Some other cards that are played in a majority of the decks include Black Lotus, Sol Ring and Mishra's Factory. The most copies of a non-land card is Berserk, with no less than 16 copies in the top8. I guess that cards like Moat, Terror and City in a Bottle will become more popular soon :)

The Powertwist Dream deck

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In the coming weeks I'll be showing some of the decks played at BSK. We'll start with Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson's Powertwist Dream deck.

Viktor mainly builds his decks on his own, and then rigorously tests them against a gauntlet of his other decks to see how his creations play out. The first version of this deck was played at n00bcon 4 (Easter 2012). That version wasn't tested that much, and Viktor opted to play some other strange decks during BSK 2012, n00bcon 5, and Kingvitational. After some more playtesting and tweaks though, Powertwist Dream really broke some backs at BSK last weekend. It looks somewhat yanky and strange, but this version really holds together surprisingly well.

The deck's main win conditions are Underworld Dreams combined with multiple draw7 spells, or Mirror Universe followed by Fireball. Game 2 it also has a group of evasive creatures. As the opponent most probably sideboards out creature removal, cards like Serendib Djinn and …

A casual report of BSK 2013

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Weekends like this really warms up the cold November rain. It included a tour back to the pubs of my old university, learning Roborally with my girlfriend, an awesome Vintage tournament at BSK, and finally getting my hands on the most powerful of the Power. Most of all though, it was time for the annual Old School Shark tournament at Scandic Plaza in Borås.

I was planning to stay with Honka and Freespace. We were to compete as the dreaded Team Lederhaups, but Honka could unfortunatly not make it due to exams. Instead the third bed in our suite was filled by the amazing deckbuilder and all-round good guy Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson.

I'm still building on my Project M deck, and I had some new additions for this tournament. Since Kingvitational, I'd added Terror, Time Walk and Forcefield to the maindeck, and updated my sideboard. Turns out that Abomination stops most creatures in the format, and that Copy Artifact is awesome. This is what I had sleeved up:

Due to a com…

Beware of Magic the gathering!

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It's easy for people to find things they don't approve of. Be it jazz music, Elvis's hips, horror films, or Dungeons and Dragons. One of the latest crazes about this have been violent video games. Before the GTA era however, Magic was seen as a dangerous influence by many of the more fundamental groups. As last weekend's tech session in Gothenburg didn't pan out, I'll instead write a little about the dangers of playing Magic. Beware!

To set the stage, in the mid 90's there actually was quite a big stirring around the morality of RPGs. Magic joined the ranks as the first fantasy card game, and even big media was somewhat worried. Washinton Post had this to say (Under the Spell of 'Magic' by Aimee Miller; Washington Post; 7-27-94.):

"Unlike Dungeons and Dragons, which became an infamous tool for occultists, Magic has not developed an outside mythology. 'This draws on the milieu, the fantasy of Dungeons and Dragons' says Richard Garfield, t…

Something BSK this way comes

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I felt I needed to do a hat trick on the Shakespeare references in the last three titles. I'll stop now :)

BSK 2013 coming up! In ten days, I'll be going to Borås for one of the two "nerd peaks" of my year. I've got the hotel room booked, my vacation cleared for Friday the 1st of November, and I'm ready for some last-minute tech this Saturday with my team mates. Good times will be had.

It's a little sad that many of the formats old key players wont be able to make it to this BSK though. Kids and work in other countries makes arrangements like this hard to attend (as well as the fact that BSK collides with Bazaar of Moxen this year). Of the 6 old shark winners, only Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson will be able to join, so the field seems wide open. Additionally, at least two more of the usual The Deck-players will be at BoM, so it really looks like some of the more unconventional decks may have time to shine. I assume that the coming DTB update with…

93/94 by any other name

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I usually try to write my posts when I'm travelling between Oslo and Gothenburg each weekend, but this time sleep took the upper hand of the ride. Currently, I have about 15 topics on my "to write"-list (apart from tournament stuff), but I still aim to update the blog about once a week. I much prefer to have a solid stream of posts throughout the year, than to simply post stuff once a day for a month and then get writers block. Also, posting once a day would be really time consuming ;)

Anyway, as I didn't do any brainstorming at the bus (I think this weeks topic were supposed to be about Goblin decks), I will "wing" this post with something completely different, and write about a topic that comes up quite a lot while discussing the Old School format; the name 93/94. People often ask why we don't allow Revised or Fallen Empires, and I'll try to answer this as good as I can.

In the mid 2000s, I was a part of a fairly decent eternal team. In order to i…

Time Walk and Hamlet 1:5:190

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That's an obscure title.

About 18 years ago, I remember a guy at TV-spelsbörsen pointing at a card on their "Wall of Magic". Tv-spelsbörsen was one of the local gaming stores in Gothenburg in the 90's, and one of the walls in the store was completely covered in color proxies of every magic card ever printed at that point. I remember many days staring at the wall and trying to learn all the cards. I still didn't really know which cards were good, but I do remember this guy talking to a friend of his, and pointing at Time Walk, stating that it was the best Magic card ever printed. I knew he probably had a point, but I didn't really understand why. It felt like Polar Kraken would be a superior win condition.

Two years later, I remember a guy approaching me at BSK 1997. He was looking to sell 7 cards, and asked me if I would give him 2000 kr (about $300) for two Moxes, four Underground Sea and a Time Walk; it was a pretty good deal even back then. 14-year old me …