Brews, casualties, and scanners

This escalated quickly. International tournaments in Italy with 30 players, multiple facebook groups about the format, and a lot of opinions about what people like or dislike about the format. It's often the about same things; the legal sets, how we approach reprints, and the B&R are cause of a lot of discussions.

It is fun to see that people share the passion. The guys who are organizing the facebook groups are doing a great job to help players in the community connect. It is more fun to build decks if you actually have someone to play against, and a tournament is usually more fun if you are twelve players than if you are four.
Kind of like that a board state is more fun with three Triskelions than one.
For me, it's important to keep it on a casual level though. I'll of course keep updating this blog as I've done for the last three years, and I'll keep hosting n00bcon Championships and smaller tournaments as I've done the last seven. But I wont go too deep and try to organize the format in other locations in a more structured way. Partly because I don't have the time, and partly because I don't really feel the need to play #mtgunderground in a more structured setting (thanks for the hashtag, DrSuperstition). One thing that I think is worth mentioning though is that allowing proxies will make the experience of the format quite different from what we've been doing here. I think it's important to ask yourselves what you are looking for in the format when deciding on local variations of 93/94. Is it Vintage style tournaments with a smaller card pool, or is it an excuse to hang out with good people and enjoy old beautiful cards and beer? I guess both are viable options, but the choice is easy for me. Proxy tournaments where I can use any cards I want and actually get something valuable out of winning doesn't really do it for me in this format. If I'm playing a tournament with mostly new players, like a month back in Oslo, I'd rather leave my Project M and power at home and play my less powerful monogreen to get more interactive matches. And if there would be "real" prices at stage, I would be much more inclined to add my Lotus and Library to the deck, maybe even a set of Tropicals to get access to blue power. The ambience is different when you are playing for a Mana Drain or Juzam compared to when you are playing for a Relic Barrier autographed by the players.
Can't deny the great ambience caused by playing monogreen :) Black Vise into Ice Storm into Erhnam is bound to make some friends.
If I want to play against opted decks with power, I play Vintage. My goal here is to block Juzam Djinn with Riven Turnbull and turn Factories into Swamps with a Cyclopean Tomb, preferably one without the casting cost printed on it. Maybe transmute a Fellwar Stone into Primal Clay or Channel out a Mirror Universe.

Speaking of Mirror Universe, a few readers have asked how we decide how to change our B&R. Basically we have a smaller Swedish forum at where we invite anyone who has organized a 93/94-tournament and a few of the more prolific players in Scandinavia. We also ask around quite a lot, and look at tournament results (both from Scandinavia and other groups). Eventually we reach some sort of consensus, though everyone don't necessarily agree on everything. If I were to roam completely free, I would probably legalize Rebirth. You don't have to ante if you don't want to with that card after all ;)
It is sorcery speed life gain at a cost of six mana (and potentially hundreds of dollars). How can this not be ok?
So anyway, I've spent the last three weekends in London, then in Montenegro, and last weekend celebrating the Norwegian national holidays with friends staying over. I hence haven't had that much time to write something well researched or though out. Being the master planner I am though, I did prepare a post three weeks ago. When I read it again today I felt uncomfortable posting it. It was about me trying to understand how to scan boosters, sorting defects of Legends boxes, and how to find out what's in sealed product from before 4th Edition. I found it fairly entertaining as an historical curiosity about how lousy the packaging and sorting processes used to be, and I did manage to tear a Legends booster in the process (along with seriously wrinkling a The Dark booster), but in the end I don't want to spread the word on how to properly do it. Judging by the emails I've received after my posts on fake cards, booster scanning could be a very touchy subject.
Though I did open a sweet Willow Satyr in the process.
So, instead I started to write a post about which beer you should pair with which deck, and how to metagame by looking at what your opponents are drinking. Did not manage tie the bow on that one yet though. I can tell you that a player drinking something non-alcoholic has high probability of playing The Deck and that a player drinking Double Dog or an American barley wine have pretty good odds of being on some black Bazaar combo (like Colossus Skull or The Machine). It's all very scientific.
Ah, yes, Yeti imperial stout. Clearly Underworld Dreams and/or Juzams ahead.
Let's end today's rant with a couple of decklists from n00bcon 7. Enjoy Ehrnamgeddon and The Burning Abyss.
Macensi's Erhnamgeddon
Axelsson's Burning Abyss


  1. Sweet post mg! 8) I can tell you that the decks looks better then they worked 8P


    1. Well they look great ;) Thanks for the pics!

  2. Totally agree with your approach to the format. I would hate it seeing T8 lists looking all the same and oldschool becoming only a "Vintage light". Everybody who is crying now for proxies and for more competition did not understand the basic idea and the spirit of the format. It should be a format for people who just love the old cards and who are willing to spend some effort for collecting them. Like you I would rather play at a tournament w/o prices and only 4-8 players sharing the passion than playing at a 32+ tournament where people are playing with repainted basic lands and dropping out after round 4 because they are at 1-3 and have no chance anymore for the 1st price card.

    The only thing what I maybe would take into consideration is to allow CE/IE, FBB and m-a-y-b-e Revised. I think the 94 feeling is still alive with these editions and it would not change the overall format drastically....should I mention here that I only own FBB duals?? ;-)

    Beside that: thumbs up for your dedication to the format!!

    See you in....Regensburg????? :-)


    1. Thanks Alex :) Yeah, looking forward to the next opportunity to play against you in that pub in Regensburg. My deck is stronger now than two and a half years ago ;) (Damn btw, it has already been over two years since we met!)

  3. I prefer Imperial Stout when playing The Deck. After a while I tend to switch to IPA/DIPA and then something around ~5%.


  4. Great post. Continue to love the blog and your passion for the game.
    As Americans we generally miss the point of everything, or try very hard to make it our own without understanding it fully. Likewise, we also know that we are surrounded with other Americans and to get them to do anything there has to be incentive.
    When I started the #mtgunderground movement, it wasn't necessarily about #oldschoolmtg but rather a way to break away from over organized tournament magic that benefits the organizers more than the players. It was about separating oneself from your DCI number. Oldschool was a natural fit. It is growing here, not necessarily into what I had hoped, but at least it's growing. I don't know where it will go, but it won't keep me from hosting a small event at my apartment this weekend where buy in is a pint of whiskey and winner gets a turkey and avocado sandwich made by the last place player from things found in my fridge.
    That's all I got. Love what you do. Look forward to continued words on the format And your events.

    1. That was a beautiful reply. Thank you for brightening my day.

    2. That sounds awesome man. And thanks a lot for the positive feedback. I might have something you could be interested in, in terms of #mtgunderground. I'll try and send you a mail tonight with some info.

  5. There's a store near me that runs Modern tournaments with ten proxies allowed. I find even that disturbing, because part of what attracted me to Magic in the first place was the beauty of the cards themselves. I've never been able to hold a proxy, even a high-quality one or even in a testing environment, without feeling a little empty. In short, the game is not just about the gameplay.

    I applaud you for the positions you've stated in this post, and especially for reminding us that Magic's original design intention was not for each group to play exactly the same way with exactly the same decks.

  6. Interesting article. However, I am an advocate for proxies. I love Magic as a game and the cards are just pawns in the design. I understand the importance of trading card culture. But I think there is much more interest for Magic as a card game then it was originally intended as a "trading card game." If Old School format was released as a box set with the whole Power 9 and restricted cards in it, I say that would be innovative. What I see in Old School format is that it is trying to resurrected Magic in it's original state as a functioning, healthy, and organic card game. The scene would also be healthy and passionate. It's not possible for players to have extremely different decks every time to play with because players will chose the most essential cards to play with (power 9) and as well know and understand all existing cards. I want to experience Magic as a card game and not as some silly variant of 1000 blank cards.


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