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Banned and Restricted update 2014

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Each year after n00bcon, a group of organizers and players take a look at the B/R-list to see if something should to be changed. Below are a few of the cards we discussed, and an actual update to our list :)

Library of Alexandria and Mind Twist
I'm grouping these two together. If you're playing a control deck and your opponent starts with Library, you are very unlikely to win. If you're playing aggroor midrange, and your opponent starts with Mind Twist, you are very unlikely to win. Of course, an aggro deck will also have big problems with the Library, but can sometimes race it; and a control deck will have a real problem if Mind Twisted, but they can occasionally claw back the card loss. The arguments against the "unfairness" of the two cards are very similar in the end, but different types of players tend to focus on different cards. Whether any of these cards (or both) should be banned is a discussion that was very much alive even in the mid 90s. An interesting…

Showdown in Eudemonia

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Last weekend Eudo Games hosted an Old School tournament in Berkeley, CA. Blaine Christiansen, the organizer of the tournament, sent over lots of nice pictures, and explained a little about their take on old school Magic:

"Most of us around here are new to the format, but our first event was very successful.  We have a fairly strong Vintage scene in Northern California, with several players who have been playing Magic since the beginning.  Our approach to Old School Magic is less focused on collecting and more focused on playing with old cards. For this tournament we allowed Fallen Empires, Revised, Chronicles, and foreign cards, just to try to get as many people interested as possible. Future tournaments will experiment with the restricted list and with legal sets."

The first Berkeley tournament hosted 10 players, which is impressive. It took us in Sweden well over a year before we had a tournament with double digit attendees :) 

Adam Telleen noted similarities betwe…

Inquisitions and Leprechauns

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This will be a short post, as I need to prepare for the national holiday in Norway tomorrow. I've celebrated national holidays in a few different countries; Independence Day in San Francisco, Bastille Day in Paris, Nationaldagen in the Swedish woods, and St Andrews Day in Edinburgh. Nothing beats the 17 of May in Oslo though. The entire city suits up.

I was actually trying to write a proper introduction about the decks here. Muse about the Arvika players, and maybe add something about the spirit of the format, which these guys embodies with passion. Guest are coming over for the weekend in less than an hour though, so I'll let the decklists do the talking. What I will say is that I'm very impressed, and certainly hope to see more of these guys!



I hope to get some pics from Eudemonia during the weekend. Good luck to all of you who'll play, and I hope you too will experience the joy of facing an Ifh-Biff Efreet enchanted with Green Ward :)

Eureka!

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In many settings throughout the years, this card has been an amusing curiosity:

There were some cases of people trying to build tournament decks around it though. Most of them looked something like the one in this German Magic book:

Now, this deck is pretty easy to dismiss; it only plays 19 mana sources, 17 pretty random fatties (e.g. three different Elder Dragons and a pair of Craw Giants), and a single Concordant Crossroads. Our next list from last n00bcon is a little harder to dismiss though.

Sveby was one of the 93/94 format's first players, starting his tech back in 2007. One of his more memorable decks is the Shahrazad/Tormod's Crypt deck from n00bcon 2. That interaction stopped working after the exile zone was introduced to the game during the summer of 2009 (exiled cards in subgames weren't returned to the library in the main game before that), and he went on to build new odd decks.

Sveby's deck of choice this easter was a new take on Eureka, a deck that both t…

Alpha pimp, part 2

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A while back I wrote a post about some cards which I prefer in the Alpha version. I felt like writing some more random posts in between the n00bcon decktechs, so today we'll look at some more odd Alpha cards. These are much rarer than the ones from my previous post, but may be interesting even if they are not as affordable. Maybe you've missed them :)

Five cards in Alpha were never playtested. They were designed "top-down" in pretty much the last minute of development in order to make use of some otherwise unused artwork. One rare card of each color were added this way, and some of them have among the strangest art in the set. Word of Command, with arguably the least artistic art in Magic, was the black one. Fay Jones's Stasis, with arguably the most artistic art in Magic, was the blue one. The green card turned out to be one of the most important green creatures of all time; the inconspicuous Birds of Paradise. I do not know why the Alpha version of the Birds ha…

Enchantress

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Shortly after the release of Ice Age in 1995, a master deckbuilder named Mark Chalice won a 50 person tournament i Costa Mesa, CA. The deck he used for the tournament was was called Vercursion Recursion.

Mark had previously built the Fork Recursion deck, a deck that consequently got Fork on the restricted list (and is the main reason we have Fork restricted in 93/94). When he couldn't use Fork anymore, he realized that Verduran Enchantess could be used as an engine, and went on to build the first known Enchantress deck. The Vercursion Recursion deck heavily relied on 4 copies of Forgotten Lore from Ice Age, and took good use of Mesmeric Trance and Zuran Orb from that same set.

Last n00bcon, Mats Karlsson took the opportunity to build an Enchantress deck himself, and created a deck that, in terms of card pool, predates the first known version of Enchantress. Mats borrowed the deck to a friend of his, Kenneth Mossberg, who piloted it to some awesome board states at the tournament. K…