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Visar inlägg från augusti, 2018

Old School Magic is Love; a story from Denmark

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"An emotional format." Why is that? Some, perhaps most, answers to that question focus on something intangible. The culture, the people, the game play, the gatherings. But there is also a tangible part to make Old School Magic what it is. The cards themselves tell a story. Call it history, nostalgia or childhood dreams; something is embodied on that quarter century old 63 x 88 mm piece of cardboard. This is a slice of life from Emil Thirup-Sorknæs of Copenhagen, a regular at the Danish Old School scene and one of the brains and hearts behind the DOS-tournaments. Enjoy! /Mg out

A couple of weeks ago a regular at the Danish Old School community’s Facebook-page posted the photos below, along with a description of a horrible washing machine malfunction and some less-than-advisable storage of Old School cards (i.e. in the basement). This flooding came during one of the worst droughts in Danish history, so, naturally, the shock and horror in the community reached some heights.
The…

The tale of the crippled beggar

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So this might be the epitome of the occasional "Ha, I don't have an editor!"-posts. Hopefully somebody might enjoy the concept or the plain oddity as content goes. Flow is inspired by the 14th century Syrian manuscripts; the translation of the frame story in the end is a version suggested by Husain Haddawy (though not verbatim). This was fun to write.

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It is said, O wise and happy King, that one morning the caliph Harun-al Rashid woke up and said "Today I shall walk in my city as a common man to observe my people and learn of their piety. For there is no other power but that of God." The caliph and his most trusted vizier Ja'far then dressed up as merchants and walked down the streets of Baghdad.
When they had wandered the city for some time, the caliph laid his eyes upon a beggar with no legs. Among all the people in his land, this man was surely the lowest. His hunger was such that his skin hung like ragged silk over his ribs and his arms were as thin…

Tar Heels, Gamecocks, and Bulldogs, oh my!

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West Coast, Chicago, New England. Perhaps the strongholds a casual observer would state encompass the majority of the US old school scene. But as many veteran invokers will attest, most old school players in the New World are waiting in the weeds, not craving to stick their head too high above the horizon. Ask the Juzamnauts or TopDecked, or ask the road warriors of the Carolinas. They will tell you this goes deeper than the media platforms, and that what matters is the gathering. That and charity. Also beer. And weirdly complex Chaos Orb flips. This is Dean Costakis story from his third tournament with The Magical Hacks in South Carolina. Enjoy! /Mg out

Life is resilient and often manifests in places where one least expects to find it. So, too, is the case with Old School. Unlike other Old School hotbeds in the States, the Southeastern region of the United States is not particularly well-known for its looming skyscrapers, public transportation hubs, or highly concentrated metropolita…

Hammers and nails

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When I started playing, the perceived power level of a card was directly correlated to the size of the numbers in the lower right corner. Eventually we got a little better at evaluating cards and building decks, and at some point it became clear that Mahamothi Djinn was in fact better than Leviathan. The months kept passing, and as we progressed we found ourselves caring about mana cost, tempo and consistency in a way we didn’t see when we first picked up the cards.
Erhnam Djinn was better than Craw Wurm. I should play four Hypnotic Specters. Cards should be playable on their own, but if they also had synergy that could turn them greater than the sum of the parts we were golden.
I remember reading in a magazine, probably around the time of Mirage, that understanding that Shivan Dragon wasn’t really a good card was a big step towards becoming a good player. Wildfire Emissary was better after all. And smart people played control; big creatures were for kids that didn’t und…