lördag 11 mars 2017

The Wak-Wak deck library

*Rod Serling voice*

An universal truth for those dabbling in charms: cherish what you believe. Whether you walk in Tolarian cloaks or in goblin caves; imitation is only flattery. It was for the mage herself to scribble the pages of her spellbook, expressing the modus operandi of her conjuring with self reflection.
 

Paint a picture of an atypical librarian. Add a cunning smile, a sharp pressed suit and a glass of fine scotch in hand. The man you see is Gordon Andersson. While submitting that a library of libraries will never offer the unassailable wisdom so often craved, it will perhaps supply perspective. Maybe even inspiration. It is said that every master penman knows the virtues of reading.

Gordon Anderson. A man who built an index for inspiration. This is his story. /Mg out

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

A few of the cards I with played back then.
My name is Gordon Andersson and maybe you’ve seen that name pop up on the blog here and there the last year. For those who don’t know me, here is a short introduction. I started playing Magic in 1995 when my brother introduced it to me with a 4th edition starter. Even then I was fascinated by the look and feel of the older cards but as many other players around that time I could never get my hands on any as they were near impossible to find.

So when I got the opportunity to play 93/94 a couple of years ago I fell in love instantly. Now I’ve only been playing 93/94 actively for about 2 years and it’s pushed away every other format I used to play. With my friend Daniel “Paddan” Sunhede I organize tournaments and events in Stockholm, Sweden. But I still felt that I wanted to give even more to the community, so last summer I started a “small” project which now can be found on wak-wak.se/decks.

It's five o'clock somewhere

This is from that exact day when I got the idea. By the way, I do not recommend this bourbon.
The idea came to me one afternoon when I sat down on my balcony with a glass of whisky to enjoy one of the few warm and sunny Swedish summer days. I sat with my computer and answered questions from a couple of people who we’re interested in the format. The questions where the same as always; Why isn’t revised legal? Is there a budget deck? Can you play without power? Isn’t just The Deck the best so why play anything else?

My answer was also the same as it always is: ­– “You can build whatever you want to play, so just play the cards you love. There are a bunch of different decks because it’s all about having fun, not just about winning”

This is when I usually sent a link to the “Decks to Beat” section of the Old School Blog but I as it usually only shows the top decks of each event (hence the name Decks to Beat) I wasn’t completely happy with that. That’s when it hit me; how about building a site listing all the different decks in the format, both good and bad? That way people can see how big the format really is, and also get some inspiration for what to brew themselves. 

I immediately started to list all the deck archetypes I could come up with and after asking around I soon had a list of about 40 decks. I then started to think about what information people would like a site like that to have about each deck. A couple of questions that ran through my head was: Should I write about if it’s a tier 1 or tier 2 deck? Should I list the main colors of the deck? Maybe there also should be a card list with the most used cards? 

We Built This City

Join the stream on Sundays! More info at wak-wak.se/streaming
I soon settled on “less is more”. It was important for me to NOT build a netdecking site. The whole reason was to give people inspiration and show how many different decks they actually could build. So I decided quite quickly to only have the most relevant information about each deck; main color, what type of deck it is (Combo, Control etc.), a short description mentioning often used cards and some wonkier choices, and last but not least a picture of ONE sample deck. Because what is 93/94 without having nice pictures of beautiful decks to look at? 

Then it took a little bit over half a year to write about every deck archetype and to set up a page on our local community’s webpage (which I manage). A couple of weeks ago the site was at last “finished” and I was ready to launch it! I clicked publish and then went on to tell the world about it on the Super Sunday stream on Twitch. Super Sunday is a stream we do on Sundays where people all around the world play Old School magic against each other via Skype and you should absolutely check it out!

Description of a Strange Man

The deck that’s my deck of choice right now, The Beast. You can soon read about it on the site.
So the reason I built the site was to give people inspiration and show them how many different decks they can play in the format. Right now you can find around 40 decks or deck archetypes on the site. Each deck has a short description written about it which first of all describes the decks overall game plan. The description also gives you a short rundown about what cards are the most commonly used and play key roles in the deck. Some decks also list some more unusual, but fun, cards that you could choose to play and also what splashes are the most common.

All the decks are categorized in four different deck types; Aggro, Midrange, Control and Combo. Of course some decks have some overlap but I’ve tried my best so that you at least can identify approximately what type of deck we’re talking about.

I’ve also added a search function which can be used in a couple of different ways. You can of course search for deck names but a more useful function is probably being able to search for specific cards. Not all cards that are played in a deck is searchable but every card that is mentioned in the description is searchable. So if you want to play a deck where Dark Ritual plays a big part, just search for it and you’ll get a list. I’m thinking of adding a database with more cards than the once mentioned but that will be a future project. But one thing I have added is a database with what the main colors of each deck are. So if you want a red deck, just search for red and if you want it to be more colors just add them to the search.

I don’t want to talk about it


Lastly we have the most important function of the whole site. I you go to a deck page and scroll down to the bottom you will find a commenting section. I put it there after realizing that there isn’t a forum anywhere online where you can discuss the different decks, like Vintage has The Mana Drain and Legacy has The Source. So please use that function to post pictures of your own lists, discuss cards you like, cards you think is overrated and more.

Tell me why

Ok, maybe you have some questions after looking at the site and reading all of the above? I’ve already gotten some feedback and questions about the site so why not give you some answers to the most frequent subjects.

1. Why don’t you publish decklist in written form?
There is a couple of reasons for this. First of all, it’s in the spirit of the format. 93/94 is a format where esthetics is important and that’s why we see pictures instead of lists from almost every event. We want to see all the beautiful decks and if someone has an all Alpha deck except for an unsummon or something like that. The second reason is the one I’ve written about above, I don’t want this to be a netdecking site and written lists would make netdecking easier.

2. You should publish more pictures of each deck
This is something that I thought about doing but decided not to. As said above, I don’t want this to be a netdecking resource so I just want to show one nice list for the esthetics. Most of the times the picture doesn’t even show one of the best lists out there.

3. Can’t we get a card list for each deck of all the different cards it can play?
The short answer is no. And the reason is the same as the questions above. I do not want to give away everything; you need to do some brewing yourself. Isn’t it more fun to come up with card choices by yourself?

Holding out for a Hero

The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been amazing, thank you all very much! I already have at least another 10 deck archetypes to write about and I’m sure there will be more soon. If you feel that the site is missing an archetypes, or if you have any other feedback, please send me an email at wakwakmtg@gmail.com. 

Thank you for reading!


Ps. Yes, all of the headings are song titles and Tell me why should be the Neil Young song.

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