Long run

"Nice to see shots of decks (like the last one) that aren't packing power. While power makes for the most impressive and awe-inspiring photos, not everyone has it and it's not the end-all of what the format is about. Play with what you have and what you have the means to acquire. 93/94 is a marathon."
- Matt Shields, comment on Thomas Nilsen's Weaving magical tales at the Adventurers' Guild House

No secret I agree with Matt. 93/94 is one of the absolute worst formats to play if you want some instant gratification and then move on to the next quick fix. Building a deck here is not a sprint, and it's up to you when decide when to stop. Or at least slow down. My stop sign for the Project M deck after a three year run was the Beta duals. The price tag was simply to high, and I decided to play the deck with basics instead (yeah, I could technically play Unlimited duals, but that's kinda missing the point with the deck).
And hey, I managed to top8 n00bcon 5 with this version of Project M before I had any duals nor Power cards in the deck (except a Juzam, which technically is five Power). I was the only player in the top8 who didn't play multiple Mana Drains btw. Good thing to restrict that one.
Some players slow down at Unlimited versions of cards, some slow down before any duals. But at a certain point, when you've managed to get your first 60, every new card you get for your deck is a big deal. A one-off dual counts. A second Erhnam Djinn counts. Those decks tell a story about the format that few other decks can do. You would probably never see a guy at a Legacy GP playing a deck with two Force of Wills as he couldn't afford the playset. There are no Dredge players at the top tables in a Vintage tournament with less than four Bazaars. And some players in even newer formats can flat out neglect to play with their decks before they have all the cards some list on the internet tell them they need. That's not how Magic was played in the old days, and that's not the way to play 93/94.

There were 21 players competing in Drammen a couple of weeks ago. Three of the players in the top8 played zero Power cards. One of the decks in the top8 that did play Power cards was this one:
Mads Gårdvik Kihl's A Deck
I will call this deck A Deck, because it is clearly not The Deck yet. It isn't an ordinary UW control either; it plays Cities of Brass and Fellwar Stones to gain access to Regrowth, and it only plays four wincons. This is a 3-color The Deck with less than half of the Power cards and some unconventional card choices, maybe due to availability. Pretty damn cool. And it placed third in the tournament.

But the real Mages of the People in the Top8 were Bjørn-Einar, Kenneth, and Thorbjørn.

I'm not sure what to call Kenneth's deck. I've had the chance to play against it once (at Arcon in Oslo where Kenneth ended up in the finals), and it is deceptively strong. It just kills all your stuff and attacks with huge creatures, and all the way it still somehow seems to play "fair" Magic. It kinda reminds me of ErhnamGeddon in play style, but has less low-impact cards (like elves and mana birds), and instead more fire and removal.
Kenneth's WR Midrange
Thorbjørn's TaxEdge incorporates the synergy between Relic Barrier and Winter Orb alongside the Land Tax / Land's Edge combo to make it more prison-combo than usual. Thorbjørn was one of the first adopters of 93/94 in Oslo, and he has been on TaxEdge ever since he started. I'm not sure if he'll ever want to take the plunge for a Mox or two. The deck clearly works wonders as it.
Thorbjørn's TaxEdge
And finally we have Bjørn-Einar's Sligh deck. Bjørn-Einar started playing Magic in 1994 and is one of the pioneers playing 93/94 over Skype. This was however his first ever IRL tournament, a mere 22 years after he first picked up Magic cards. Very impressive début!
Bjørn-Einar's Goblin Sligh
I had the chance to meet up with Bjørn-Einar last Saturday afternoon to grab a beer and a few games at a local pub. We discussed the Sligh archetype a little, and we had both ended up on the idea that Ydwen Efreet might be the best offensive three-drop in the deck. My latest build of Sligh had cut the Goblin Kings altogether (mostly they are either Gray Ogre or they die) to play the full playset Ydwen, and I saw that Bjørn-Einar's latest build also played them in multiples.
They won't swim over Moats though. That Goblin Balloon Brigade / Goblin Wizard combo did however do an amazing job keeping Spirit Linked Serra Angel at bay. Magic!
What else is going on around the world? Enough for a bullet point list:
  • There are 84 players signed up for the Eternal Weekend old school tournament in Ohio in late October so far! Damn impressive! I don't think that the first edition of the European Eternal Weekend will even have a 93/94 tournament this year. We do however have BSK to look forward to for us Scandinavians, taking place in early November. So far there's about 40 players signed up for that one. Would be cool to break 64 so we get a seven round swiss :) Anyone from Stockholm or Norway up for the challenge?
  • Danny Friedman posted an awesome format primer at his Understanding Ancestral Recall blog. I highly recommend checking it out! Great musings and tech, as always.
  • Geena keeps creating sweet content at Nomad Gamer, one of her latest posts are about the Moxen. Some interesting trivia and lore mixed in with the cards.
  • Guillaume Soucy updated the Argivian Restoration blog with his story from GP Montreal and the 93/94 side event event there. He also recently completed his P9, which of course is wicked rad (as we said in '94).
  • There is a whole other blog about 93/94 out there that I for some reason had missed until last week, The Wizard's Tower. Speaking of today's topic of powerless decks, Taylor's latest post Kitchen Table Black Magic have some more content on that note. If you only have time to read one of his posts now though, I would start with 93/94 Magic and Some Existentialism.
  • I put this last, as it should take some time to savor this one. Our Shaman Ben Perry's vulgar display of power on the MtgUnderground blog. That one is a month old, so maybe you already read it. In that case, it's good enough to read again.
No lack of content these days. What makes me happy is that even though we might have some slight differences in legal sets or restricted cards among some communities, that same 93/94 (or MtgUnderground) mentality is found with all the different players producing content about the format. That casual attitude and jovial approach to the game is far more important for "real 93/94" than having a Lotus in your deck will ever be.


  1. The information was given only one day or two ago, but there will be 93/94 at the European Eternal Weekend. It will be on saturday, more information on the Bazar of Moxen website.


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