No. Today's story is none of these. Reflecting over 2017 is more like this:
I got a Christmas card from Spain. Perhaps this is the best allegory for my year in Old School Mtg. It shows growing communities, building bridges between them, and how our culture embrace doing nice things just because they are nice.
2017 was a great year for slingers of old spells. We've had a couple of 100+ player tournaments in 2017, along with a handful international gatherings in the 80-player range, casually shattering previous attendance highs. But the really cool growth is in the local communities. The Netherlands community has grown from a small handful enthusiasts to hosting 40-player gatherings in just a year. There is an actual community with tournaments in Switzerland now. The UK scene has become a force to be reckoned with and activity in Norway is well beyond what is was a year ago. There are French national championships as well as major Danish tournaments. In Yekaterinburg, Russia, we hear reports from 93/94 FNMs, and players from the Philippines show of their tech on instagram. Many players I talk to tells of a doubling or more in active players in 2017.
|2017 Team Championship Winners.|
|Enjoying some old fossil I found, hanging out far away from conventional civilization, and showing some love with a rectangular object. Acting like a typical Old School player ;)|
|A Beta White Knight. This should be used as sweet tech rather than an uninspired insult.|
But rather than presuming that this could be a sign of decline in 93/94 content, this is simply a passing, or distribution, of the proverbial torch. Content creation, in particular in the form of blogs, increased vastly in 2017. Here are no less than eight new old school blogs that produced their first post in 2017 and have kept delivering:
Counterclockwise from the top: French Boars, Wak-Wak blog, Brothers of Fire, Old School Ron, Music City Old School Mtg, End of Turn Draw a Card, 52-Week Beta and The Magician's Blog. Welcome to the blogosphere!
And the fire won't burn out at this place, even though the posts are a little more irregular. I have like infinite shit to say and the communities are thriving. There are piles of rarities, trivia and format variants from the mid-90s we haven't even touched on yet.
|Like the Alpha-only format that only allows penny sleeves ;) I don't know how popular August-93 will become as a 93/94 house rule format - it is after all ridiculous in every way of measuring - but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw tournaments in things like 93/94 pauper in the coming year.|
- Magic: the Puzzling
A short history of sleeves, and a deeper look at one of the stranger rarities from the mid 90s; Black Lotus and Chaos Orb puzzles from Ultra Pro.
- Some Pre B&R Meta Ranting
The first factual top tier meta analysis on this blog, trying to answer some questions about dominant strategies and cards before the annual B&R update.
- This Month in Oldschool: August 2017
My first try at writing a monthly recap post about the things going on in 93/94. September, October and November followed suit, though I did not do one for December as this retrospective post is so similar in format.
- Boating, flipping, and catapulting on the Stockholm archipelago
David Chambers from the Berlin community writes about his adventures on a boat in the Stockholm Archipelago.
- On Books and Bannings
Svante Landgraf, these days more familiar as the writer on the End of Turn Draw a Card blog, share his plans for control in the event of a Jayemdae Tome restriction.
- Rhine is on fire: The Raging River Gathering
Florian von Bredow sets Rhine on fire and hosts the first international Ante tournament in a couple of decades.
- Tomato Tomato: Three styles of Old School Magic in three weeks
Marty Silenus travels between the US Eternal Weekend, the Italian Fishliver Oil Cup, and an apartment in Gothenburg to get deep into three schools of old school in three weeks.
- Old School Commander
Dyan de Rochemont from Alkmaar shares his story and introduces the merits of 100-card singleton multiplayer old school.
- “In Praise Of” Part 3: Land Tax
I could have picked a lot of posts from the Brothers of Fire Blog here. I really enjoy the "In Praise Of" posts, where one of the players in the community give praise to a particular card they cherish (like Fork, Spell Blast and, here, Land Tax). This particular one also shares a very nice "state of the format" for the end of 2017 in the UK community.
- Icy Venom in the Steel City
Dave Firth Bard writs an excellent chronicle about his exploits during the EC Eternal Weekend. Equipped with passion and Psychic Venoms he battles his way through the largest 93/94 tournament the world has seen yet.
- Everyone remembers their first taste of power
Old School Ron is a very good writer, with a somewhat different approach to storytelling than the majority of the other active 93/94 blogs. His post are often on shorter side and leaves you with questions or ponderings rather than simple answers. I really enjoy his blog. In this post he muses about his first piece of power.
2017 certainly was a sweet year for our community. I'm excited to see what 2018 will bring. Hope to see a bunch of you along the road :)