The n00bcon top8, part 1

Winning is not everything, not even the main thing. However, getting to the n00bcon top8 is quite a feat.

A great majority of the tournament players back in the mid 90s didn't have the same understanding of the game as we have today; with tempo, card advantage, who's-the-beatdown and whatnot. The players at our world championship are probably, on average, better than they were at the actual worlds 94. In the midst of our casual environment, we have players with backgrounds from national teams at Worlds, former Pros, the formerly consensus master of Legacy in Sweden, a former Vintage national champion, and players with impressive records from previous 93/94 tournaments. Amongst all the beer and laughs, there is a competition, and the competition is skilled. Building a deck in this format is hard, time consuming, and expensive. Winning with, and tuning, said deck is even harder.

Getting to the top8 shows that you have what it used to take to be a champ; before it was called Vintage, before it was called Type 1, when it was simply called Magic.

But again, if you had a good time and got to chat with some sweet people, you did it right regardless of the final standings. We'll get back to more sweet and inspiring decks from n00bcon in the coming weeks, but for now, let's take a look at the first half of the top8.

5-8th players: Elof, Åland, Icelander and Freespace
For frequent readers of this blog, or eternal players in Sweden in general, last year's winner Elof needs little introduction. For many years he's been considered one of the absolute top eternal players in the country, having won most tournaments of note in Sweden at some point. On the international stage, he's only played a couple of eternal GPs, but the ones he played he has finished in the top64. When the Scandinavian masters in Legacy was held a few years back, he emerged the winner there as well. He is also the only player in the format to have won more than a single Giant Shark, currently holding three of them. His deck of choice for n00bcon was a monoblue control deck. He wrote a tournament report in Swedish, and hopefully he'll translate it and post it here ;)

Hurkyl's into Amnesia for the stab.
Next up we have Åland. Åland won the swiss, being the only player at 6-0 before the elimination rounds. Ranked 4 in the pimpvitational race for 2013/2014 without even attending BSK (due to Bazaar of Moxen at the same time), he is a force to be reckoned with. He is an eternal player of rank, and one of the top performing players in the format to have yet to win a Giant Shark. Åland is an avid The Deck player, and had teamed up with pimpvitational winner Jocke Almelund to optimize their Decks before the tournament. Among the more interesting things here are the sideboard Time Vault to break the control mirror.

And 2-off sideboard Lightning Bolt. Next level.
Next up is Icelander, and god is this a sweet take on The Deck. Icelander top8'd last n00bcon as well, and finished top4 in last summer's Kingvitational 0.5. Other than that I actually know pretty little about him as far as Magic goes. What I do know is that he is both a humble winner and smiling loser, and always seems to have his spirit on top. This is the first time I've seen him playing The Deck, and he plays a Deck with maindeck Nicol Bolas, which he hard casts. That is sweet.

Nicol Bolas. Now that's a wincon.
Rounding up the first half of the top8 we have Freespace. It would probably be feasible to have blog only devoted to Freespace's antics in the Swedish magic scene during the early 2000s; once one of the top ranked Vintage players in the country, and at the same time a pretty controversial character in the community. On a personal level, I and Freespace go back about 10 years, and we have been long time friends both with and without magic in the equation. His deck is a Juzam Smash/Machine Head/5C$20k, which has been optimized to survive City in a Bottle and beat the Berserk mirror. It is actually pretty satisfying to lose against a turn two double Berserk on Juzam (which I got to experience during round 2 of the tournament).

Freespace's given name is btw Johan, hence the techy sideboard card ;)
I'll follow up with the rest of the top8 soon, and after that, we'll take a look at some other sweet tech (like the Moss Monster deck and Enchantress). Other people who played and haven't sent me decks are very welcome to do so.


  1. Sweet, so very sweet! What a nice way to start this day 8D


  2. icelander played the 1996 world championships as a member of team Iceland!

    btw, 15th card in my sideboard is Moat which I returend to Almelund before the picture.


  3. @Åland: Haha, I did not know that. Very impressive!

    @Mikael Magnusson: Den postades på vårt teams formumbord på svenska magic. Skall kolla om han har tid att översätta och vill dela den.

  4. Han spelade inte bara i VM 1996, han kom även på plats 119 av 125 deltagare :)

    1. Haha. =D

      Något som vore asfett för bloggen vore ett eller annat gästinlägg från dig om tiden från förr. =D

    2. Snackade nyligen med en känd veteran gällande artiklar/blogposter om formatet, och saker är på gång. Vill inte säga för mycket ännu, men jag tror att vi får lite mer internationell uppmärksamhet snart.


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