I hope you are well and you are enjoying the spring season and especially (for those who join) the upcoming N00bcon 11 in Sweden. There will be two participants of Legion Urborg (Leo and Alex) fighting for the Shark- wish them luck 🙂 I will not play at N00bcon, but as many of you know, we will host a parallel tournament. The famous „Urborg Feast 2019“ will take place at John Scott’s Avenyn Pub. The winner of the tournament will travel directly to Rotary Pub to play as 8th participant of the Top 8 from N00bcon. Fun and easy, not?
The whole weekend will be packed with Magic action. I heard for Saturday from a Highlander-tournament, hosted by brothers of fire, the „main event“ hosted by Kalle Nord and also the Saturday Smash in the „Irish Embassy Pub“ and at Sunday the ABU Block Party. Its going to be great, also for non-N00bcon participants 🙂 So prepare your decks, dices and playmats and get ready to rumble. Having said playmat, i finally ordered my once and for lifetime playmat:
So damn cool – thank you Mark Aronowiz and Dan Frazier 🙂
As the title of this blog indicates, i would like to share some thougts of mine regarding a possible restricted-list rule change. The restricted list makes absolutely sense and it would definitely be insane to change it wildly. But there are some cards which maybe deserve a second look, especially if there would be a new „restricted to two“-rule active. I was thinking about this „restricted to two“ since i was jumping into Oldschool. Mostly because a restriction to one seems to harsh for some cards but also an unrestriction to four seems maybe unhealthy. I bring down my thoughts and hope to trigger a nice and cool discussion, without bad feelings and/or aggressive comments. I really think this could either freshen up the format or it is just a silly thought. Maybe some tournaments will show if somebody has the courage to try it out 😉
As a start let‘s have a look into the restriction list. Valuable candidates for discussion in my opinion are:
Channel, Regrowth, Workshop, Strip Mine, Time Vault.
Second, lets look into the valuable candidates to „cut down“. I think that Mishra‘s Factory, Maze of Ith are valuable candidates. In Addition, there could be an experimental cut on “most played staples” to cut them down to two. Maybe this “cut to two” could even be used for “most played staples” to shake the Tier-1 Decks a little bit and bring more brewing to the table?
Channel-Fireball is very powerful. But at least it is the most iconic combo ever „invented“ in Magic. The question here is, will Channel push some combo Decks over the top? Personally i think that Combo could need a push. This could also boost red-green Decks a little bit, which should be a great thing – or not?
Regrowth is a very nice card and its power-level seems massively overrated. With Recall unrestricted and not abused, also Regrowth could be a possible candidate to „level up“. Green cards deserve more play and if they push green decks, let them please. In Vintage and Legacy already unrestricted, a tryout could bring more clarity.
The Workshop is already unrestricted in EC and Atlantic. I do not think that a second Workshop will push things „over the top“. Well, i wrote in a previous article that i could even think of an unrestricted Workshop in Swedish. The Workshop gives you a massive boost in turn 1 and 2. But the second Shop is not a good thing, as you cannot untap a mana vault nor use it for useful non-artifact spells or activation cost. And if the Opponent can handle a turn 1 or 2 Trike/Su-Shi, one will get out of speed quickly.
Here we are – „another Strip Mine discussion“ – or not? Strip Mine is one of the most debated Oldschool staples i ever read through (followed by Maze of Ith). I personally think that 4 Strip Mine is definitely to much for the format. But to cut it down (resp. lift it up) to two, this could add some interesting Deckteching without wrecking all decks for the more lucky strip mine drawer at the table. If the Factory gets stripped down to two, maybe it is not wise to lift up Strip Mine to two. But either this or the other could be done in my opinion.
Time Vault is also one of those cards, which in my could be unrestricted at all. But at least i would allow 2 in a deck. In Oldschool, the „Key“ is missing to go infinite. And if somebody will brew a Xenic Poltergeist-Saddlebags-Vault-Deck and has success – well this one deserves it. Also some nice Animate Artifact-Instill Energy Combos would be cool. Or just the classy twiddle-vault with a higher access to Vault. Combo should be pushed in Oldschool. Don‘t you think?
The factory is one of the most played 4-of in Oldschool. Most of the decks play a playset – the reason is crystal clear: strong, versatile and uncounterable. I heard a lot of discussions recently about the power level of this card. The factory is not dominating the format in an isolated way (as every deck has access to it) and it has also a fair price range as it got reprinted a lot. Still it would be interesting to restrict it to give „unplayable“ creatures like the white/black knight and Juggernaut maybe more battlefield time. I am unsure if a „restrict to two“ would generate this effect or if it has to be full restricted, but also here maybe a brave tournament organizer will give it a try.
Maze of Ith:
Maze is also an often debated card. I personally do not think that Maze has/will take over the format if it is unrestricted but i would be willing to try and restrict it to two – also to take some „wind out of the sails“ of all doomsayers. Also, it is true that it can be annoying to play with creatures against 2+ Maze – but it is not unbeatable. Especially with Factories one can „outplay“ the mazes and even pump another if you can attack with multiple Factories. There are only a few decks which use 3+ Maze so maybe it is not even worth it to restrict it to two – as it did not take over the format at all.
Maybe there are other cards which deserve a look – let me know if you have any ideas 🙂
„Invented“ in Sweden, the Gentlemen‘s rule states to exclude Mind Twist and Library of Alexandria from any Decks. Background is to avoid „non games“ if one player hits a turn 1 Library or hits a Lotus and Mox fuelled Mind Twist in Turn 1/2. It‘s not about banning or complaining – its more an agreement of both players to make the game „fairer“ for both participants. The Gentlemen agree, that Oldschool should more be about flipping Orbs, slamming Earth Elementals and casting Leviathan‘s than building the best Tier-1 Net Deck and win at any price. Again – its not offensive against competitive players but should be read more as ideologic group. All the written below is not written in stone but shall be read as a good example „how to act as a true Oldschool Gentlemen“.
- In a Gentlemen‘s game, we exclude or exchange Mind Twist and Library from our Decks. Really true Gentlemen do not even include the card in their tournament Deck 😉
- We as Gentlemen do not judge any non-Gentlemen for „not being a Gentlemen“. We try to explain what we do but if anyone refuses, its fine.
- We like to play more „casual“ than competitive – but always with a kind of competitive edge (it makes most of the time no sense to e.g. exclude Power just for the sake of „more oldschoolness“). Sometimes also a Gentlemen can build a Spicy Tier 1 Deck – its not a crime 😉
- We love the game and also love to actually play Magic – therefore it is absolutely common (but not written in stone) that a Gentlemen grants any opponent multiple mulligans to 6 rather than letting the opponent going down to 5, 4, 3, etc.
- We want to celebrate our matches in a friendly and warm enviroment – it is absolutely common to give the other player hints about possible next actions („please be aware, i have an untapped Mishra‘s factory which i can pump to 3/3“ or „yes you can take that action back“ etc.)
So if you feel the spirit and also want to join our cause, feel free to sign-up for the Gentlemen‘s group at facebook:
I wish you a successful rest of the week and stay Oldschool.
Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg