The Arvika top8, part 2

Let's step right in.

Top8 players: Gordon Andersson, Alexander Hasthi, Thomas Nilsen and Mikael Mällroth.
Gordon Andersson has dabbled with cards since close to the dawn of Magic. He remembers the days when we didn't want to spend $3 on a Revised booster as the fresh 4th Edition packs just had hit the shelves. In his magic career, he has been very active in the "grown-up Magic" community and helped starting a few initiatives in his home town of Stockholm. For some reason though, it took a while until he crossed paths with the 93/94 community. In the last year the Stockholm scene has grown a lot, and Gordon is one of the main characters in the new arena. This summer he'll start up the first annual 93/94 tournament in the Swedish capital, The Ivory Cup. Join if you have the chance, it looks like a sweet gathering!

He played his first old school tournament at Nebraska's War in December last year when he and Berlin travelled down to swing Eternal and show southern Europe how we tap old school in the north. He faced Berlin in the finals of the tournament. A few months later, he played his second tournament, this time at L.I.G.G. in Stockholm, where he again faced off against Berlin in the finals. In Arvika he got stopped cold by KungMarkus in the quarterfinals, but he can still brag about reaching the elimination rounds in three out of three tries with his UR Burn deck. The deck has some nice innovations, in particular that Gordon plays the full set of Flying Men; here without Unstable Mutations to back them up. In his deck they pretty much act like Lightning Bolt 9-12. He can usually land one early and get in at least three points of damage before anyone will consider doing something about it.
Gordon's UR Burn
Alexander Hasthi is also a fairly new addition to the format. You'll occasionally see him swinging his cards in Oslo's main LGS Outland during Tuesdays, but I think that this was his first actual tournament in old school Magic. Throughout the swiss, he seemed somewhat baffled by the power level of his deck. In the end, he was the only guy to go through the swiss with a 6-0 record. Dead Guy Ale is an awesome deck though. The first guy I saw play it, Eneas, took his build to an 8th place finish at the 40-player BSK 2014. Second time I saw it was in the hands of Andreas Rośen in the top8 of the 55-player BSK 2015. The deck is clearly good. It plays four Juzams after all.

Hasthi takes the denial strategy of BW a step further and complements his beatsticks and spotremoval with Armageddon. It looks like a really solid addition.
Alexander Hasthi's Dead Guy Ale.
Speaking of Norwegian rookies, few can hold a candle to Thomas Nilsen last season. He was the first native Norwegian to compete in a 93/94 tournament when he showed up (and won) Joypad Open almost a year ago. After that, he travelled with me and Hardy to Växjö to battle in the annual 93/94 tournament at Wexio and ended up at second place there. He continued to promote the format back in Oslo, and even hosted his own tournament with Vintage and 93/94 to help bring the local community a little closer together. He finished last year by reaching the semi-finals in Moss and successfully completing his Beta P9 before new years. Among his other skills, he works as a graphic designer and is a very skilled card alterer.

Thomas keeps on breaking the Power Monolith deck a little further with each go. The version of the deck he took to the finals of Arvika looks like an immensely powerful build. May look slightly durdly, and may have a price tag comparable to a small house in the suburbs, but I must say I prefer this version to the one I played during the tournament. Even if the power levels would be similar, this one looks a lot more fun to play :)
Thomas's Power Monolith
And finally we have Mikael Mällroth, the master of Magic cards, flutes and whiskey. Mällroth has been a core player in the Swedish Magic scene for decades. The former National DCI Manager is currently responsible for Magic at the local gaming store in Karlstad, and have organized event such as the first ever Old School FNM. Mällroth is a welcoming and generous member of the community, and was one of the biggest (and earliest) contributors to the #MtgForLife campaign. He also has one sick collection of Magic cards and wiskey. His wife is also a player, which may be a good thing, as his collection takes up a room and includes (at least) a playsets of every card printed since Revised. His current goal is to build a players collection of 93/94; i.e. 4-ofs of all legal non-restricted cards in that format as well, which at this point is finished to 95%. That is one daunting project. It will require a person to obtain 4-ofs of cards like North Star, Urza's Miter and Pyramids after all.

Mällroth's pet deck is UGR Zoo, commonly referred to as Lestree Zoo by the 93/94 players these day. Before the tournament, he cut three Ice Storms to make room for two Shatters and a Fork maindeck, which he used to great advantage throughout the day and eventually won him the Festival. This is one sweet deck. It really feels like old school Magic. 
Mällroth's Lestree Zoo


  1. I must give Berlin credit for the "innovation" of 4 Flying men without the Unstables. He and I tested a lot and talked about the deck, the different ways it could be built and card choices. He was the one suggesting 4 Flying Men as he thought I should go more aggro. I listened to that but not the words about cutting counterspells as I've loved the phrase and "archetype" counterburn since mid to late 90's. Maybe that's why he always beats me :)

  2. Great tech, as always. Interesting is the complete absence of The Deck in the Top 8.

    1. Yeah, it's fairly unusual. There was a few in the tournament though. The three players on 4-2 who missed top8 on tiebreakers were Erhnam Burn'em, The Copy Deck and WW btw.

    2. Well, I built my "Scepter Time" with the base of a "The Deck" and just tested "is it possible to exchange any wincons from the deck and still call it playable?". I would say the answer is yes. I'm thinking about writing a report about the experience.

    3. @Elof: Do it! Would like to hear about it :)

    4. @Elof. Yeah, I'd also look forward to read your report. :)

  3. Thank you for another interesting post!

    The highest praise I can offer to your blog is that it makes me want to go and play Magic. There are not many websites that do that nowadays. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks a lot man, I'm very happy to hear that!


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