Danish brews, part I

Today we have a special treat! Hans Henrik Rasmussen started playing Magic around Antiquities, and a couple of years ago he was the first Danish player to contact me about 93/94. Since then he has been brewing a lot. His playgroup has a few house rules, but all the decks are legal within "official" 93/94 rules as well. I think they look awesome, and I hope I get the chance to see them in action some day! Enjoy! /Mg

So, for the last I don’t know how many months, I’ve thought about sending you some Danish tech – since I, exactly like Elof, make a constant stream of decks that I think others could get some fun out of seeing – and of course when I saw his post on your blog recently, I just had to finally get this thing done (and I’m thinking the more deck lists the merrier!).

And with the Danish summer being even more disappointing than usual, I will send you a bunch here while I have the time to do it. Another reason for my wanting to send you this, is also that I really, really appreciate your work, and I thought that you deserved a little free content so that you could take a week off :)

I will cover what I think is relevant about each deck and then people can ask if there is anything that is unclear. I know that I myself am always most interested in seeing the list.

First, I just want to make a few notes about our few house rules over here.
  • No Power 10 (gasp!): We played Type 1 for years back then so we know how good it feels to play a Time Walk, an Ancestral Recall or a first turn Lotus, but our reasons for not playing these are as follows: 
    • We sold our power cards long ago (not that it is only a budget issue, though I would probably be lying if I said I would leave them in the binder if I still had them).
    • The fun, I think, in playing Old School is not in casting the very best cards ever made, but in casting Gauntlet of Might and growing my Goblin Balloon Brigade flying it over my opponent’s Kird Ape, stealing my opponent’s beta Hypnotic Specter with an Old Man of the Sea or reanimating a Colossus of Sardia.
    • Much as you pointed out in your recent post about removing Library of Alexandria, some of these cards really don’t make for interesting games, but are just too swingy.
    • With these cards available, deck space becomes way more limited as the list of must-includes grow, and the option of adding blue to every deck becomes very hard to ignore.
  • Alpha editions of Orcish Oriflamme and Orcish Artillery have the casting cost printed on the cards: Why not make two pretty unplayable cards into two good, but in no way broken, cards?
Well, on to the decks!

UR Ali (Ali boma ye)
I have made many lists featuring Ali from Cairo, and this is probably the most basic a.k.a. less janky one. It is a lot about not having the combo pieces that aren’t any good by themselves stuck in your hand while waiting for Ali, and also a lot of times Ali doesn’t do anything since your life total aren’t that low, so this list is also about insuring that you are using your life points as a resource.
Ali boma ye
The 2 Spectral Cloak and the Jade Monolith plus 2 Transmute Artifact gives you a good chance of assembling the combo without over committing. Really, the best combo is Ali from Cairo plus counterspells.

Orcish Artillery is great here and I could see adding a third, but it does get a bit suicidal sometimes so 2 are good for now – also since I want to keep all 4 Electric Eel which sometimes aren’t that impressive but which also are able to build the early pressure that makes an opponent have to dedicate resources that frees you up to assembling the combo (more specifically use his Lightning Bolts and Swords to Plowshares so that he doesn’t do it in response to you playing Spectral Shield on Ali) – and then win whenever down the road (Braingeyser or Bolts à Recall à More Bolts are ways of doing this if your opponent has had his creature defense set up).

No room for Mishra’s Factories since you need both RR and UU (and really, UUUU to cast Spectral Shield with Counterspell backup) reliably.

Maybe the Forcefield in the main should trade places with the Mirror Universe in the board.

The sideboarded Dwarven Demolition Team is obviously to crush the numerous Wall decks. Mountain Yeti is great against White Weenie and also lets you win through your opponents defenses if he has a Mountain out (or you’ve played a Blood Moon). Cyclopean Tomb, Disrupting Scepter and Mirror Universe all take advantage of the 2 Transmute Artifact in the main.

Note: Having been on both sides of the Ali combo, I can attest to the fact that it is extremely frustrating to play against for an unprepared opponent (meaning one without Disk, Earthquake, Wrath etc.), so bring a second deck!

Power Colossus
As shown with both this deck and the one below, I am a huge fan of your recent unrestrictions and have built a lot of decks using the new combos. This one I like a lot since it combines several powerful combos while still having few cards that are useless on their own.
Power Colossus
Transmute Artifact is an obvious choice for the Power Monolith combo, but what is maybe not quite as obvious is that it can act as an Entomb for the 2 Colossus of Sardia. You simply neglect to pay the difference in casting cost and then Colossus goes to the graveyard where you can then fetch it with Animate Dead. And should a Colossus be stuck in your hand it is also a fine win condition when you have the combo out as you can easily both play and untap it. Also, remember that you can chain Colossusses (Colossi?), so that if you reanimate one, you can attack with it and then transmute it into another to avoid the untap cost. Basalt Monolith can be sacked to Transmute Artifact and besides isn’t a terrible card to speed up a Fireball or a Mirror Universe, and Power Artifact can be used on Jayemdae Tome and Disrupting Scepter to good effect. Especially on Jayemdae Tome it is surprisingly good. I’ve only included 3 Monolith since the space is tight, and it can be fetched with Transmute Artifact.

Sometimes the Power Monolith combo will just be there, and sometimes the Colossus Animate Dead combo will – if you have neither Power Artifact or Animate Dead in hand you should probably hold on to that Transmute Artifact.

Guardian Beasts in the sideboard are to enable the Chaos Orb combo when that seems a good option (with Transmute Artifact to fetch the Orb) or combo with Rocket Launcher or just to protect against artifact destruction in post-board games. Greed is awesome against any deck that doesn’t attack your life total and the rest is basic stuff.

Some of the other lists I’ve fooled around with have used Dragon Engine and Carrion Ants as the kill and foregoing red and Fireballs, and I could see maybe sideboarding 2-3 of the former if you need to apply a little pressure in some matchups or just have a decent blocker that can become win condition. It works with Power Artifact too… But still, Fireball is probably too good a card not to include.

I would like to add 1 Copy Artifact if I could find the room.

MonoGreen Mirror
Inspired by Magnus’s MonoGreen and the unrestriction of Mirror Universe, this deck is based on the many green cards that work well with the Mirror: Sylvan Library, Ifh-Biff Efreet and Force of Nature. Especially the last one can be ridiculous if you start a turn by letting the Force of Nature trigger give you 8 damage and then sacrifice the Mirror to instead make the opponent suffer the 8 damage after which you attack with the Force putting him down up to another 8 (depending on how much he is able to put in front of it). Best case, that’s 16 in one go. Finally, Channel is acting as Gaea’s Touch number 4 since it also synergizes well with Mirror Universe. I’ve thought about adding Wormwood Treefolk instead of Craw Wurms to have even more self-damage and also lower the curve a bit, but I like having the possibility of playing a turn 3 Wurm.
Monogreen Mirror.
The deck can play out both pretty controlling, having a total of 9 land destruction cards (4 Ice Storms, 3 Desert Twister, Strip Mine and Chaos Orb) as well as 2 Icy Manipulators and the 2 Scavenger Folk, and can also take the aggro route with a fast big creature, or just a Llanowar Elves followed by Ifh-Biff Efreet which can deal 5 a turn on its own.

The sideboard is just basic stuff, but I have also toyed with an alternate, transformational sideboard which looks like this. 
Alternative sideboard
Playing Eureka turn 2 (turn 1 Llanowar Elves, turn 2 Gaea’s Touch plus extra land and then sacrifice Touch) and then putting for example Mirror Universe and Book of Rass into play is quite fun, and adding Titania’s Song doesn’t make it any less so. Or a turn 3 Eureka with Craw Wurm, Ifh-Biff Efreet and Icy Manipulator.

Any and all questions are welcome. Thanks for reading and have fun (if you’re not having fun, you’re probably playing some other format)!


(That's not all from Hans! He sent me no less than six lists, also including Old School Lands, Goblins, and Monowhite Sulieman. I'll post the rest of the lists by the end of the week to avoid tech overload in this post :) /Mg)


  1. Now I really want to build a Monogreen Mirror deck!

    Btw, I think the way you handle the price barriers of certain cards is great. Banning the power cards seems to breed a lot of creativity and exciting decks that might have been lost if you had simply decided to take the "easy route" and allow proxies. I hope I'll get the chance to play with you guys some day :)

  2. That would be great! Let me know if you're in town :-). And yes, though the power 10 are undeniably cool (Time Walk is one of my absolute favorites) they are not cards that you build a deck around (with the possible exception being The Deck). Even Atog decks can work without moxen. So we could sell off unlimited duals, workshop, Gauntlet of Might, juzams etc to buy power but I don't think that would be more fun :-). Certainly, proxies are a big no-no. Best thing would of course be to just win the lottery...


  3. Haha, we have almost the exact ideas for Ali from Cairo! Awesome :D Really like the idea with banned power (I assume Time Vault is legal since it's only recently considerd to be the 10 power). Love those crazy decks yu got and look forward to reading more about them!

    (Also Disco-Troll is probebly going online next month!)


  4. Great minds ... :) And yes, Time Vault is legal (so Power 10 = P9 + LoA) - I recently suffered from delusions of grandeur with regards to my bank account and purchased a beta one only to discover, when it arrived, that it was a re-back(!) Magnus's excellent article on fake cards helped a lot here btw. So that one is on a hold for now ...

    I'm very much looking forward to Disco-Troll and more decks from you!


  5. I have a question for ju Hans, about your "Alpha rule". What will an Cyclopean Tomb cost to play and will Elvish Archers be an worthless 1/2 with first strike? Or does it only affect Orcish Oriflamme and Orcish Artillery?


  6. Well, I did consider Cyclopean Tomb and I figure that it is another type of misprint since it really should have had a 0 in the cc to fall under the same rule. So it is "obviously" a mistake (as in even during alpha it would have looked odd) and 4 it is. Noone here has any alpha Elvish Archers but it would of course be pretty heartless to enforce it as a 1/2 on someone that did. In any case it would't add playable cards like with the orcish cards.

    Thanks for reading!


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