tisdag 19 mars 2013

Juzam, ponderings, and Bay Area old school

This is my mecca:

It's been so many years since I first layed my eyes on Juzam. I've attempted to get one at least five times; the first time I really tried to trade for one was almost 15 years ago. In some way, I understand that the monetary value of my foiled Mind Sculptors are about the same as this dude, in all other ways they are miles apart. I feel kind of an awe towards Juzam, and that is nothing I can say about most of my cards. I bought my first yesterday.

This is a hard format to get into, and an emotional way to play magic. As we grow, more ideas of what old school magic should be are voiced. How do we maintain rules while still maintain feeling? When can we break the 7-set rule, the ban/restricted list, or the idea of competition without eventually breaking the spirit of some of the players with different ideas of nostalgia, or with different goals of why they play? These are very hard questions, and after additional feedback from players it's something that I've been thinking a lot about lately. My way of ideal magic may not be the same way as other players, and who are we to judge if someone loves to play with Sewers of Estark or Artist Proof cards? I don't know.

Another thing I've been thinking about is however once again the Ali from Cairo deck from my German tech books. Gawd that pile is awesome! If someone plays 4-off Ali at n00bcon I'll be almost as impressed as if someone breaks Mana Vortex.

Two weeks away from n00bcon btw, on that same note. Here are some of the prizes for our pimping heroes:

I have my eyes on the orginal painting of the pin :)

Finally, the first guy in the San Francisco bay area has joined the community! I worked in the City in 2006, and I'd love to at some point come back to break Dustin's classic Howling Mine vs Argothian Pixies matchup ;)

Classy man with classy cards!


tisdag 12 mars 2013

Abusing Fork

I first though about writing a post on the Ali from Cairo deck from my German Magic deck books, but after reading the first few chapters of Stephen Menendian's History of Vintage (http://www.eternalcentral.com/?p=3289, well worth a few bucks), I felt that I wanted to share Mark Chalice awesome Fork Recursion deck:

4 Fork
1 Ancestral Recall
2 Mana Drain
2 Storm Seeker

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind Twist
1 Braingeyser
1 Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Channel
1 Regrowth
1 Stream of Life
1 Wheel of Fortune
2 Fireball

Enchantments (5)
1 Copy Artifact
3 Fastbond
1 Dark Heart of the Wood
4 Howling Mine
1 Chaos Orb
1 Mirror Universe
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

2 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Badlands
3 City of Brass
4 Taiga
3 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine

This deck is one of the main reasons that Fork has been restricted up until now (and one of the reasons it was restricted in 95). As the deck contains Dark Heart of the Wood, we can be certain that Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson would build some strange version of this deck (presumably with a Gravity Sphere combo as alternative wincon though).

Viktor. Abusing Dark Heart of the Wood since '95
For other players, this deck also looks like a proper alternative to the other really powerful control decks. Apart from playing most of the restricted list, this deck can fairly consistantly gain as many turns as desired. Once you start forking Time Walks and Twisters, you'll eventually reach a point where you have multiple Forks, Time Walk and Regrowth; with the Howling Mines you'll abuse your extra turns even more. Eventually you'll win using a combination of Ancestral, Fork and Storm Seeker. This deck is ridiculously awesome, but still it might be too powerful to allow an unrestriction of Fork in the future.

In other news, I've got a few new cards to my blue/black deck, in particular another beta disk, a City of Brass and a Mirror Universe. I really like Mirror Universe, and I feel like it's one of the old legendary cards, alongside cards like Juzam and the power cards. I also find it amusing that it is very close to broken in 93/94, and completely unplayable in all other formats. With a few additions coming up in the next few weeks, I'll have a list completed before n00bcon. It still lacks around 15-20 card before I'll feel it's finished (it currently lack any power, any duals, workshop, drain, juzam, and more), but it is at a point where I feel I can sit back and pick up the last cards when I have money and opportunity. It'll probably take a year and a half more to finish.

Next weekend I'm going on a conference somewhere, but the weekend after that I hope to have a chance to tweak my orb-flipping skills back in Regensburg again. Less than three weeks until I'm back in my favourite pub in Sweden and get to play sweet dudes from all over the country in n00bcon 5!

söndag 3 mars 2013

Regensburg part II

Last Friday, I attended what is here known as Starkbier fest. The lederhosen was on, the maß was drunk, and the beer was stark.

I'm the dude on the left, the beer is a Löwenbräu doppelbock. So far good times.

Strangely, I had a slight hangover during Saturday. I spent the evening doing the perfect thing for a slow day, playing me some old school in Regensburg!

I had collected a few new cards since last time, in particular a Vesuvan Doppelganger. Fun fact about Vesvan: if you let it copy itself, it'll get more instances of the copy ability. Hence, you could potentially play a really strange sequence if you combine it with creatures with activated abilities which you could use during your upkeep; or with Xenic Poltergeist to do shenanigans with different artifacts.

Martin played a new build, a clearly unbeatable Elemental deck, with 3 of each of the Fire, Water, Earth and Air. When your Serendib Efreet and Su-chi stares down at an Air Elemental and an Earth Elemental, times are though. I think I got into some Guardian Beast/Disk lockdown once, but 12 big dudes and infinte Mana Drains are hard to beat. Alex also had slimmed and improved his deck from last time, now with the full playset of Triskelions, and Abysses aplenty. No basic lands though, so my redwhite deck had some edge if i managed to get a Blood Moon down. I'm starting to think that it's correct to play Howling Mine in red/white btw, and probably cut most of the creatures. It's kinda hard to play a weenie properly if you have to have 8+ slots for maindeck hate (Cities in bottles, Blood moons, Dust to dusts, etc). I got to buy one of his Strip Mines (with the Tower), so now I finally have that one for my blue/black deck as well. I guess I'll be finished with that deck sometime before 2015. These are the latest additions:

When I was about to leave, the awesome Martin and Alex gave me a ridiculously sweet parting gift:

These are two books covering the metagame, decklists and tournament rules in Germany around the time of alliances. This was pretty much when many of concepts we use to play now evolved (i.e. when they actually restricted Balance). Last week I mentioned Land Equilibrium as a card I'd like to see in a deck; behold the land equilibrium deck (the MCM tournaments were btw huge tournaments in the mid 90's):

Also included are things like the Ali from Cairo deck, multiple versions of Weissman, and lots of tech and tricks before we all had access to this on the web. One of my favorite things about a few of the lists can be shown here:

Yep, that list wants to play with Library of Leng from A/B/U, as the revised and 4th versions have slightly different text (in particular, the newer versions remove the discard phase, where Necropotence used to give you cards in pre-6th rules). These lists are from before oracle text was a thing; and if you wanted to play with Iron Star you'd be well advised to find one from unlimited. Times have changed for sure :)