Fishliver Oil Cup Top16

I must confess I kinda enjoy not opening the floodgates on decklists too quickly. Sure, we lose some instant gratification by not getting the info as soon as it is available, but on the other hand it gives players a chance to reveal their own tech in the way they see fit - with own reports and such - and may give a little more lasting feeling from the events. And lest we not forget, back in the oldschool days decklists weren't public at all. Once they were, you'd still have to wait a few weeks until you got your hands on the latest magazine.
Or in the case of The Wizards' Tournament, about a year.
There's a good handful sweet reports from the Fishliver Oil Cup on the webosphere now. Svante Landgraf wrote Pictures of Genoa over at End of turn, draw a card; the honorable winner Francesco posted his tales on a glorious "altervista" page; Flafoux shared some great experiences on French Boars; Bryan had a sweet interview with Martin Berlin about the tournament on the All Tings Considered Podcast; and Wak-Wak have posted all the streams. I think it is about time we can spoil the top decks in good conscience. The Fishliver Oil Cup hosts sent them over a few days after the event, and gave me the privilege to reveal them :)

Before that I must state once again how much I appreciate all the content contributions to this blog in the last months. It both give some spectacular insight to other sides of the community, as well as give me personally some spare time to write for players outside this particular corner of the Magic blagosphere. (Which I btw did, so if you speak Swedish, or are a fan of google translate, you might want to check out this part of an article series on SvenskaMagic about the most powerful cards in the earliest sets. Also, if you have a site or blog, feel free to ask if you want me to write something in particular for you.)

What else? I'd be amiss not to give a shout out to Eternal Central and the fifth annual Eternal Weekend that took place November 4th. Awesome organization by Jaco and the crew, inspiring contributions to charity, and once again taking back the title for "largest old school event yet". 181 wizards showed up this time! It is not possible to fit that many players at the Rotary Pub where we host n00bcon, so I guess Fishliver Oil Cup will have to raise to the occasion and give Jaco a run for the title next year ;) Check out decks and photos from the event here at Eternal Central. Tipping my hat :)

Anyways, Fishliver Oil Cup decklists! I have 16 of them right here, so I'll try and be quick in my presentations to avoid making this a proper marathon post. Goal is no more than three sentences for each deck. Let's go!

Fishliver Oil Cup Ed. 2, Main Tournament Top 16

Francesco Delfino's Unspoiled Burn. 1st place.
Glorious Francesco drew inspiration from the Shahrazade Sick Burn article on Eternal Central for his deck at the EC-rules tournament the Friday before the main event. It put him in the top8 of that gathering, so he decided to cut all the power cards, update it for Italian rules (i.e. "Swedish B&R"), and try to win the prize for Best Unpowered Deck at the 115 player main tournament. He then went on to win the whole thing. Check out Francesco's full report here.
Leo Bruder's Workshop Aggro. 2nd place.
Leo Bruder from Germany followed up his Top4 at Fishliver Oil last year with a Top2 this time; sporting a deadly artifact aggro deck. In the wake of restricted Workshop, Leo opted for the full set of Mana Vaults, which also combos real well with his Sages of Lat-Nam. Also note the sweet Animate Dead tech.
Marco Signorini's BWu Dead Guy. 3-4th place.
Marco's new take on Dead Guy took him all the way to the top 4. Apart from the fairly straight-forward blue splash for Power and deadly Energy Fluxes, one of the more interesting choices here is going down to a single maindeck Sinkhole. Also the playmat, I guess ;)
Martin Berlin's CounterBurn. 3-4th place.
2016 World Champion Martin Berlin brought the pain with this extremely well tuned CounterBurn. I think this may be the first time I've seen him sport UR Burn; last time I saw him on Fishliver Oil he top8'd with TwiddleVault, and he won his Worlds title with The Deck. We could note the omission of Recall in this take of the strategy.
Alban Lauter's LauterDeck. 5-8th place.
2018 World Champion Alban Lauter took his signature LauterDeck to the top8 this time; actually a slightly worse performance than last year when he placed 2nd. Alban is a brilliant player and great sport, but we should all mock him for playing 16 cards in his sideboard. Or could it be that he didn't put his Shark in his deck?!
Kevin Olivotto's The Deck. 5-8th place.
Now this is a beautiful pile of cards! Kevin sported the top placed The Deck in the tournament, and give us some really interesting options in the "flex slots". In particular we take note of his two copies of The Abyss, the two Stone Rains, and cutting down to three maindeck Tomes. Also sideboard Icy!
Marc Lanigra's Troll Disco. 5-8th place.
Famed Alpha-collector and champion of the inaugural Wizards' Tournament Marc Lanigra Troll us all by opting for an almost completely wb deck. The fact that he randomly plays a maindeck Twiddle is just icing on the Troll cake (Marc is often known by his nickname Twiedel). And let us gasp in disbelief over that he doesn't even play Timetwister here. TT is not only a good card, but arguably Marc's signature Power card as he won the Vintage World Championship where the new art of Timetwister was the top prize, and he even has TT art as his profile picture on facebook. And not least the outlandish style of playing wb as an apparent "budget option", while a good amount of the cards are revealed to be Summer Magic on closer inspection. This is a Troll decklist if I ever saw one.
Marco Rocchetti's Disaster. 5-8th place.
We had the 2016 and 2018 World champions representing themselves in this top8, but it is up to Marco to represent the 2017 World champion's strategy; the black Disaster. Marc's evolution of the deck includes going up to the full playset of Juzam, but in particular adding Disenchant and Swords to the deck to give it better answers and a more rounded sideboard plan.
Andrea Braida's BraidaDeck. 5-8th place.
The third deck with Juzam in the top8! Andrea Braida is no stranger to the Fishliver Oil Cup top8 with his signature BraidaDeck. This is a fantastic deck played by a fantastic man; Braida and his pile of sweetness in many ways encapsulates the spirit of the Italian players for me.
Andre Brunet's LauterDeck. 9-16th place.
It is kinda funny how some decks just become so closely associated with a player. Most Italians I've met would refer to the previous deck as BraidaDeck; and most aggro brewers would be able to recant the differences between Lestree Zoo and Cermak Zoo. So I'll state that Andre's pile is a LauterDeck. But oldschool deck lists are obviously not simply a list of card names, but rather the cards themselves. So let's bask in the fact that Andre have beautifully Star Wars altered Balance, Demonic Tutor, and all four Counterspells. And then let's question why the Strip Mine have a Scaled Wurm alter rather than a Sarlacc ;)
Jocke Almelund's The Deck. 9-16th place.
So Jocke has like five n00bcon top8s and is generally credited with being one of the guys who evolved The Deck from its 1994 form to the more modern adaptation. And now he's playing Icy Manipulator maindeck. Along with Kevin's sideboard Icy, we might be on the verge of a new trend here.
Joep Medden's GW Geddon (without Armageddon). 9-16th place.
Joep Medden's has quickly become one of the most renowned players from the Netherlands scene. Just a few weeks ago he shared his story from winning the inaugural Frost Giant cup, and here we see him sporting an ErhnamGeddon without Armageddon. What the actual balls. Really impressive list, and well worth a second look. I mean, no Birds to get extra sick value from the miser's Ifh-Biff. Spice!
Marco Buti's Atog Burn. 9-16th place.
Marco's Atog Burn can be interpreted as the love child between Sligh and Workshop Aggro. This time he's splashing blue not only for Power, but also a couple of Psionic Blasts. Note that the Blood Moons are relegated to the sideboard, and that the maindeck split of artifact removal is 2-1 in favor of Detonate to Shatter.
Miguel Angel Diaz Gonzalez's The Deck. 9-16th place.
Miguel gives us the third and final The Deck of the Top16. And this one have some spicy choices. If we look at the "flex slots" we see that he opts out of e.g. Stone Rain, the 4th Tome, and The Abyss in favor of two Moat, Transmute Artifact and Sylvan Library. But the real spice is that he completely cuts Mishra's Factory, giving him the opportunity to go down to 28 mana producers. And yeah, that's a single Fireball and a Serra as the sole wincons.
Per Rönnkvist's ErhnamGeddon. 9-16th place.
Unlike Joep, Per got the memo that ErhnamGeddon plays geddon. There are a couple of things I really like with this tech; one is the focus on agressive starts and the weenie suit of no less than seventeen 1-2 drop attackers (counting the factories). These guys force the opponent to commit to the board or waste removal before the geddon hits. The other thing I find sweet is how "clean" the deck is; no splashing blue for power nor black for Tutor/Twist. Just get your mana right and start pressuring.
Yuri Ancarani's Next Level Disaster. 9-16th place.
Yuri! As one of the pioneers to push a broad adaptation of "house rules" for 93/94, Yuri properly fanned the flames of the international oldschool scene. Similar to Marco, Yuri opted to take the Disaster strategy to the next level. And boy is this some sweet tech. Look at the four maindeck Energy Fluxes. Then look at the sideboard and take in one of the most surprising transformation sideboards I've ever seen. Then take an extra look at the Juzams, as Juzam always deserves some additional admiration.

So that's the main tournament's Top16 for you! Properly diverse strategies (though only a single deck that didn't opt for any blue cards). Fishliver Oil Cup keeps the streak in leaving little to ask in terms of tech and inspiring builds.

Next up we'll look into the top8 of the Columbus Night EC tournament, as well as a short meta breakdown of the full field at Fishliver Oil Cup. Might take a deeper look at the Eternal Weekend Top8 as well. And then it's time to start exploring some strange cards in preparation for next year's Arvika Festival.


  1. Fun fact: this was Per’s first time playing 93/94, (he was sort of lured into it, as he was mainly going for the Premodern tourney), so extra props to him for making top 16, and he also had a great time. I lended him the deck, which is built with my leftovers. UR burn (it was the first time I played it, yes) conveniently doesn’t use pearls or emeralds. :)

    1. That's a great story :) Hope to see him again, and very interesting deck. How did you like playing UR Burn btw?

    2. It was ok, I did not have a miserable time with it like you. :) Mana screw aside, you tend to barely win or barely lose with the deck. I prefer winning big hehe and decks that do more powerful/splashy things fit my playstyle better. I’d recommend adding an extra Island to the deck, it was hard to cast Control Magic from the board eg.


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