Danish Brews: Part III

Things may move a little slow around here. But to break the fasting I recently got the chance to bring you a most glorious feast. Hans Henrik Rasmussen's Danish Brews Part I & II are among my very favorite post on this blog, and in Magic brewing generally regardless of context. Four years since the last one, and well worth the wait, it is my absolute pleasure to present Danish Brews: Part III. Enjoy! /Mg out

  1. Back in 2015 when I did the first Danish Brews write-up we didn’t have power cards – that has changed (for the better).
  2. It’s been a while since they’ve appeared on the table, but I’d still say paying 1R for the Alpha versions of Orcish Oriflamme and Orcish Artillery is nothing to be ashamed of. Which by the way is very apropos of the latest (at the time of writing this) All tings considered podcast where they discuss changing various old school cards from bad to playable.
Now, on to the three (well, four really) decks I’d like to show you today. Like last time, I’ll try to keep it short(ish) and will be very happy to discuss them further in the comments. Unlike last time, however, I’ve included lots of photos which I hope you’ll enjoy.

Dragon Rock
I had one Gauntlet of Might about a quarter of a century ago (and never saw another one back then) and I always thought it was the most insane card ever. As is the allure of Old School (and internet shopping) now suddenly obtaining a playset is possible and it was one of the first “expensive” cards I got years ago when I started playing Old School.


As you can read in the earlier Danish Brews post write-up I did back in 2015 I originally tried the Gauntlet in Goblins (and Kobolds), but certainly their use is not limited to the various little green men. Rather, it makes sense to focus on its ability to be a one-sided Mana Flare, and this is what this deck does while also utilizing one of the latest unrestrictions that is taylormade for this deck:

I remember trading for my first Fork back in the day from an older kid. I can’t remember what I traded him for it but I remember vividly that I got screwed.

The unrestriction of Fork was a great move. It is such a cool swiss army knife type of card: It copies your already huge Fireball, your opponent’s Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Mind Twist and Demonic Tutor, your opponent’s removal spells – and it counters the Counterspell that was about to ruin your day.

And here is the decklist with notes below:

Dragon Rock

The Fireballs, Shivan Dragons and Rock Hydras serve as the mana sinks and can all get lethal extremely fast. Rock Hydras can even be cast as only a 2/2 and then grow bigger later on.

The Mana Vaults serve both as a way to play a turn one Gauntlet of Might and to play your big mana spells when you don’t have a Gauntlet. Candelabra of Tawnos is of course insane once you’ve got a Gauntlet or two in play. Jayemdae Tome can easily be tap two lands: draw a card.

The sideboard has Tranquility to remove Circle of Protection: Red and Mountain Yeti which with a Gaunlet out is a creature that can’t be killed by neither Swords to Plowshares nor Lightning Bolt and which is unblockable with a Blood Moon in play. And then the usual suspects: REB and Shatter and an Earthquake against fast weenie decks.


The list is way faster than I first expected it to be and can kill on turn 4 pretty easily. Here are three gameplay photos to highlight what it can do:

Turn 4 kill.

That’s two 9/9 Rock Hydras on turn 4.

I think I did about 36 damage on the following turn.

Concerning possible changes I think that Fork is so insane that I should probably add 4 Volcanic and maybe a single City of Brass plus Ancestral and Time Walk instead of a creature and one other card. I could even see adding Badlands to play a single Demonic Tutor just to be able to tutor for two Fireballs or 2 Gauntlets (or hey, do both and tutor for both Ancestral and Time Walk).

Concerning Fork I would also like to note that playing four in a UR deck is quite brutal. When I do, I simply consider it part of an “I win” combo with Ancestral Recall since Forking an Ancestral usually leads to victory. Forking a Psionic Blast for 8 damage is also a lot of reach that comes out of nowhere.

Wb Jihad (but in a nice way)
This deck started with the dual ambition of taking advantage of the best so-called anthem effect in old school, the quite busted Jihad, and making a deck that had no dead cards versus creatureless decks.

Top candidate for least likely card ever to get reprinted.

Providing +2/+1 for three white mana is really quite busted in old school. I usually play at least one in the sideboard when I play White Weenie (even as just a temporary boost it can be quite a brutal surprise), and had Jihad not had any further requirements I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t have been a mainstay in the maindeck. Whether its requirement is satisfied is however not necessarily something that is up to your opponent to control. Enter a card from one of the least powerful magic cycles ever printed:

Looks dead to me!

If your opponent is low on colored permanents or only has creatures that can he can make sure gets killed in combat, you can use Deathlace to turn one of your opponent’s lands black and all your Jihads are now live (unless your opponent destroys his own land which isn’t exactly a horrible outcome for you).

Wb Jihad


With 4 +2/+1s and 4 Crusades in the deck, it is now possible to forego the stable Swords to Plowshares and instead play Preacher along with everyone’s favorite leper Abu Ja’far. Against a creatureless opponent StP would be useless and Preacher and Abu almost as well, but with Jihad on board, these 1/1s and 0/1s can suddenly grow into real threats. The Diamond Valley is just for that sweet Preacher interaction.

Abu brings the pain

Deathlace can also be used to turn one of your opponent’s creatures black, so that you can block it with White Knight or destroy it with Exorcist or Norther Paladin. Paladin can even take out any permanent if needed. And he can grow quite big:

9/7 Northern Paladin.

Bant Enchantress
Draw engines in Old School aren’t that easy to come by and Vesuvan Enchantress is certainly one of the most potent. I’ve made loads of Old School Enchantress decks after having been enchanted (sorry) with it back when it appeared in Type 1, and I’ve always sought to make it less all-in combo-y and more aggro-controlish. And this is where I’ve ended up. It’s a list with a lot of internal combos which I’ll comment on over below: 

Bant Enchantress


Or if you want to get really funky you can make room for these in the sideboard--allowing for the Control Magic/Diamond Valley/Skull of Orm-maximum-jank lock (obviously best suited for the players who used to tear the wings off of flies when they were kids).

So going over the individual cards we have:

Remove Enchantments: This deck’s Glimpse of Nature. With all the cheap enchantments (10 1cc and 4 2cc) this can draw huge amounts of cards in the mid- or late game. Can also remove opponent’s Control Magic and can help transfer your own Control Magic or Spirit Link to a better target.

Big turn ahead.

...where I got to draw a lot of cards and play all this.

...and after successfully flipping the three Orbs.

Consecrate Land: Play it on Mishra’s Factories to make something as unusual in Old School as an indestructible creature or use it to protect a Wild Growth’ed land from destruction (later on you can always bounce it with Remove Enchantments and then place it on a factory) and of course it can also protect Library of Alexandria.

Talk about doing a Moat impression--and that Strip Mine won’t help you

Spirit Link: Against opposing creatures and to be played on our own for a nice life gain that can be turned into cards via Sylvan Library against control decks. Is also good with Serendib Efreet, negating the self damage.

Copy Artifact: Often acts as a Fellwar Stone that draws you one or more cards with a Mox (on either side of the table) and an Enchantress in play. Can also copy Mishra’s Factory and Su-Chis as well as your opponent’s Triskelion.

Ifh-Biff Efreet: A beating with Spirit Link and against Flying Men, Scryb Sprites and Birds of Paradise. Is also a fast clock with its potential to deal 5 damage a turn.

Serendib Efreet: The best non-Lightning Boltable creature to serve as a target for the creature enchantments and to provide pressure so your opponent can’t just sit with their removal waiting to kill your Enchantresses.

Su-Chi: Same as above plus can be copied with Copy artifact.

The Candelabra is just a good value card. Good with Wild Growth, with Mishra’s Factory and Library of Alexandria and for color fixing.

Control Magic: Most underplayed Old School card. It really is insane. Especially when it draws you a card or more. Remember that you can play it on your own creature to draw a card (and it’s always possible to replace it later via Remove Enchantments).

Unstable Mutation: Another 1cc enchantment that is especially good with Remove Enchantments and with the Ifh-Biff Efreet.

That Shivan isn’t so great for you now is it?

Another Dragon about to desert.

Bonus: Tax Djinn
Just while typing this up, I noticed that someone had made a nice comment on the Part II and asked to see the Land Tax/Serendib Djinn deck that I mentioned in passing back then. So here, without (much) further ado is the list. I hope that someone finds it fun and again, I will happily discuss it further in the comments, but I guess it’s pretty straight-forward: Land Tax fuels the Djinn (and Djinn fuels the Tax by getting you low on lands) and works very well with Jalum Tome (and you won’t have the mana for Jayemdae) and the recently unrestricted Recall discarding lands to draw cards or get them back from your graveyard. Tolaria to minimize damage from blue-producing lands (and just to play Tolaria). Savannah Lions to provide cheap and early pressure. It would be great to get a few Fellwar Stones in here, but space is limited. Braingeyser is too expensive and is omitted. Land Equilibrium in the sideboard to bring in versus The Deck to stop them from getting to the point where they can use Jayemdae Tome every turn and still do other stuff. 

It flies, it burns, its got really crazy hair.
Sorry, I haven’t got a photo of this, but here is the list:

4 Savannah Lions
4 Serendib Efreet
3 Serendib Djinn
1 Old Man of the Sea

4 Land Tax

4 Counterspell
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Disenchant
3 Recall
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Mana Drain
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister

2 Jalum Tome
1 Black Lotus
1 Chaos Orb
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

3 City of Brass
5 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Plains
1 Tolaria
3 Tundra

1 Old Man of the Sea
2 King Suleiman
1 Greater Realm of Preservation
4 Land Equilibrium
1 Disenchant
1 Holy Light
3 Power Sink
1 Psionic Blast
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Note 1: I did try a funkier version with COP: Blue to stop the Efreet/Djinn self damage while providing defense in combination with Sleight of Mind, but that was probably going a little too deep.

Note 2: The Recalls make me one to revisted my Recall Reanimator that I put together after the unrestriction. It wasn’t quite there, but man, it’s a cool 4-of.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading this and thanks for doing so!


  1. Thank you Hans, and Magnus for posting it on the blog. It was very much worth the wait. Very inspirational brews again and once again liberating to see cards from outside the classic top 200 card pool. Hans you are a brewmaster and ambassador for innovation in Old School Magic. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the very nice words!


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