„Restrict to two“ and Gentlemen Club

Fellow Oldschoolers

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:

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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.

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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?

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Channel:
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:
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.

Mishra‘s Workshop:
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.

Strip Mine:
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:
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?

Mishra‘s Factory:
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 🙂

Gentlemen’s Club

Gentlements

„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:

Join

I wish you a successful rest of the week and stay Oldschool.

Regards

Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Report from Castle Frankenstein

Dear Oldschool community

I am happy to present you a guest report from one of our fellow Urborg-Legionnaires Phy. He stood the ground for our valuable cause at Castle Frankenstein in Germany and wrote about his adventures.

Also, please keep in mind that N00bcon is in one month – it’s going to be an exciting weekend of Magic in Gothenburg. We host also tournaments for non-participants of N00bcon:

Urborg Feast parallel Tournament to N00bcon – winner goes directly into Top8 of N00bcon 2019

Saturday Smash – fight for honour

Sunday ABU Block party – Brew the fun out of your Deck

and of course the famous Urborg Lake Cruise at 8. of June 2019

And don’t forget to join the Gentlemens Club if you are a true Oldschool Gent 😉

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Enough Chitchat about the exciting times which lie ahead – lets deep dive into the tournament report of Raphael Ehrensperger:

 

Beer and Orb flipping in Darmstadt

a premodern / old school tournament report by PHY

With great excitement I await the postman. Luggage is packed and all main and sideboard cards are in the deck boxes – only the cut-off vest is still missing! As the newest member of the Legion Urborg and their only representative at the Alpha Castle tournament at Castle Frankenstein, I want to be dressed accordingly. One hour before my departure the parcel courier actually arrives at my door and I can finally put on my black denim vest and head off to the train.

After a good six and a half hours and several “Goldfish” tests, I arrive in Darmstadt. The sky is grey, but it is a bit warmer than at home. Check-in at the hotel and off to JK Entertainment, just about 15 minutes walking distance. In the store, the touchscreen with the single-card list and the showcase with the top-end cards stand out: Foil Rares and Mythics , Masterpieces and UMA Box Topper . A few shelves with booster displays and accessories as well as playing tables on two floors complete the picture and in the corner is a small fridge with soft drinks.

FNM: Ravnica Allegiance Booster Draft

Shortly after my arrival the FNM starts. First pick Pestilent Spirit and a few good Rakdos creatures, burn spells and some green spells give me the hope that i might overrun my opponents with an aggressive BRg / Jund Deck.

Surprise: My first round is broadcast in the in-house Twitch Stream!

Game one of the first round is over quickly, after my opponent plays no further spells than a glass of the Guildpact. But in the second game the tide turns and I lose to the superior power of his Gruul creatures boosted by Glass of the Guildpact. The third game I lose, as well as rounds two and three. I will spare you the details, but I would like to mention that I was shocked by the colour-imbalance of the boosters in this Draft . Due to the often one-sided card distribution, the usual signals, to which one is accustomed to as a draft player are practically non-existant in Ravnica Allegiance, as well as its predecessor Guilds of Ravnica. I got several good picks late in the draft even though the players to both sides drafted the same colours as i did.

A beer at the hotel bar after the draft and off to bed.

After a rich breakfast on Saturday morning, I visit the Mathildenhöhe, the architectural highlight of Darmstadt. The Art Nouveau buildings, park, and the recently renovated Art Nouveau public bath built between 1899-1914 are worth the visit. As it suddenly begins to drizzle, I get indoors in the Cafe Chaos, which lives up to its name in a positive sense. Food and drink at a fair price and a great atmosphere – here I could well imagine weekly game evenings.

After the rain disappears as suddenly as it came, I go back to the store of JK Entertainment, where the 1st German Premodern Championship takes place.

Due to an accident, some players, including my first opponent, are late, which gives me some time to get to know the meta and the players for the first time.

I’m playing Dementia Drake, a combo deck that tries to sacrifice an Iridescent Drake enchanted with Abduction to Altar of Dementia over and over, milling the opponents whole library in the process.

My first opponent Karl Pfeiffer from Nuremberg makes short work of me an my deck with his Three Deuce deck. Savannah Lions, Llanowar Elves, Skyshroud Elite and Rancor are just too fast. Congratulation Karl to your strong Top8 place with this skill-intensive deck!

On round two I meet an exceptional player. Lidwina Schaub is just eight years old and has traveled with her dad Felix from Rottenburg to her first Magic tournament. Matching her Sligh deck, she wears an orange cape and a red ribbon braided into her hair. Skillfully she keeps back spells or effects until the right moment: Lightning Bolt in response to the Iridescent Drake trigger, sacrifices Mogg Fanatics post-combat to inflict the last point of damage, and so on. Only with great effort and good luck do I manage to win the match. As the two games for the round are finished fast there is still enough time left for two rematches, which I lose horribly. Beware, she will soon be shaking up the legacy and maybe the old school scene!

 

Round three I play against Adrien Boulet from France, piloting a mix of Bargain Storm and Trix. One game he can win with Rituals into Yawgmoths Bargain, Illusions of Grandeur for twenty extra lives – drawin cards and going to one life, then plays second Illusions plus Donate and a Disenchant for the win. In the other two games my combo is faster though: The third game I manage to win on turn two: T1 Ancient Tomb , Mox Diamond (discarding a land), Altar of Dementia, Cabal Therapy on myself (discarding Abduction), T2 Llanowar Wastes  and Dementia Drake and mill, go!

Motivated and with two wins I meet UW Turbo Oath in round four : After I manage to resolve the combo in Game one, I mill my opponents  the deck two cards at a time until the first of his two main deck Gaea’s Blessing announces my defeat! Capsize plus Counterspell leave me no chance of defeating him with combat damage , so I surrender shortly thereafter. The one-of Morphling and the seemingly endless card advantage thanks to Horn of Greed and Exploration in connection with counters of local hero Jens Jaeger are enough to let him triumph. He made Top8 and also wrote a tournament report.

The last round I lose without resolving the combo against Patrick Pecjak’s The Rock. Huge Terravores and Ravenous Baloth stomp me to a quick death.

I finished 11th out of 18 with two wins and as it was my first premodern tournament I am happy with my result, as I got a lot of experience.

Before the cut to the Top8, the prize distribution takes place with booster prizes from Urza’s Saga, Mirage, Ice Age and other old editions.  After the Top8, the winner Julian Nazarenus who played Reanimator receives a Lightning Angel poster signed by RK Post.

Organizer Philip “Flippi” Böhm, Adrien Boulet, Nicolas Steger from Texas – who took the opportunity to visit Germany and play the two tournaments this weekend! – and I embark to the restaurant Braustüb’l opposite Central Station, where the first of two Chaos Orb flip contests is held. Together with a few Old Schoolers from Germany, Belgium and Sweden we enjoy a delicious dinner and Craft Beer.

With an Oversized 6×9 Promo Chaos Orb we try to hit an Oversized Shivan Dragon, which proves to be significantly harder than with normal cards. Niels from Frankfurt wins the knock-out against Nick and takes home the Chaos Orb, severely wounded, the Shivan Dragon retires and will not face the brave heroes again until Sunday evening. Of course, we also test our decks and give us advice on fine-tuning.

Alpha Castle Tournament

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On Sunday Flippi picks me up with his car and we drive to Castle Frankenstein, where about 90 guests soon arrive. After a castle tour and a Frankenstein performance in rainy weather, we head to the castle restaurant, where a delicious buffet and our opponents are already waiting for the first round. During the whole tournament I drink “Schwarzbier”, dark beer with a nice roasted malt taste.

Each round, the opponents are randomly drawn with white and black knights.

I’m playing a white weenie deck which I call “Holy War”, because it’s theme reminds me of the crusades to Jerusalem in the late 11th and early 12th centuries.

Deck Phy

Beer One, Round One I’m playing against Frank Pollich from Munich, who sat opposite me while eating. Like me, he recently discovered Old School Magic. Unlike me, he had not played magic for almost twenty years. His fully powered deck with 27 mana sources is based on an old deck he built in the nineties: Erhnam Djinn, Storm Seeker, Fireball and Timetwister, Wheel of Fortune and Black Vise. One game I manage to win, the other he plays a lethal Fireball. After I dump my first Chaos Orb flip of the tournament, he manages to kill my permanents with Nevinyrrals Disk and soon after the damage from Black Vise with a refilled hand is enough to crush me again.

1-2. As a consolation prize for the botched Chaos Orb, I get a Beta Benalish Hero from Flippi!

Beer Two, Round Two I overrun Tim Herzenstiel from Frankfurt in the first game before he can do anything with his Mono Black Deck, playing beautiful German FBB cards. Game 2 he manages an early lock-down with a Gloom, but thanks to Land Tax and White Knights / Order of Leitbur I eventually win this game as well. 2-0.

Beer Three, Round Three against Belgian player Antoine Rottiers’ Troll Disco. As I enjoy the opportunity to speak french, we agree to converse in his native tongue. As I miss with my Chaos Orb for the second time today, the card advantage from his first turn Library is too overwhelming and despite abeing able to press him with a creature and two crusades, a Disc and two Trolls can finally tip the scales in his favor. In the second game I finally manage to hit with the Orb, but shortly thereafter I get a stupid idea and play an Armageddon. Thanks to his Guardian Beast / Chaos Orb combo I lose without a card on the board and we laugh about my stupid move, 0-2.

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Antoine has written an excellent tournament report as well!

For the second missed Chaos Orb, I get at least another consolation prize: Alpha Death Ward!

In the fourth round, again I meet my third German opponent Peter Hamm with a beautiful black bordered Mono Red deck. Two very similar games with T1 Brass Man, T2 Ironclaw Orcs, T3 Orcish Artillery for starters and a Dragon Whelp in one game and an Earthquake in the other deliver the coup-de-grace to me and my Crusaders. The two CoP: Red out of my sideboard never showed up. 0-2. Beer four arrived a bit late, but was therefore drunk all the faster!

Round five I meet Matthew Rickhuss from England, with a Mono Blue Deck without Power. As a Strip Mine eliminates his only island in the first game, my weenies manage to overrun him. For the second game I am in need of my fifth beer: Since my Crusade gets countered, Tim (Prodigal Sorcerer) can kill my X/1 creatures and two of his Control Magic (from the sideboard?) steal my two White Knights, who along with Tim defeat me in a couple of turns. In the third game I’m luckier as an Icatian Javelineer, White Knight and a Disenchant on Control Magic are enough to win. 2-1

Last round, sixth beer. I already met Tom Buggenhout from Belgium at the Chaos Orb Contest on Saturday evening and thus we both knew what the other one was playing. For the second time this Sunday I was thrilled to play against Mono Black, this time against a Triple Sleeved Deck exclusively with A/B/U and original printings. Tom opens with T1 Dark Ritual and Hypnotic Specter, which I fortunately can answer with Swords to Plowshares on my first turn. Then I can weaken his mana base long enough with a Strip Mine for him to be brought to his knees by several crusading Order of Leitbur and White Knights. The second game takes a long time, we both build a board presence and can inflict a few points of damage. With a White Knight on Crusade and Disenchant I can get a few points of damage around three Mishra’s Factories and with a full attack and the ping of a Icatian Javelineers I’m finally able to deal enough damage to put an end to his suffering despite a Su-Chi. Surprisingly 2-0!

At the conclusion, the prizes are awarded. The player with six wins and the highest score receives an alpha Castle and the three players with the highest total number of points receive an altered Beta Castle each. There are also various prizes for creative deck building. Unfortunately my deck wasn’t knightly enough for the desired “Most Knightly Deck” prize and with my 3-3 end-result I din’t get any prize.

Shortly before departing, I can tick off one of the cards on my Want list: finally, I may call a Preacher my own!

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Then I’m off to the Pizzeria Antik Lokales for the Final Chaos Orb Flip Contest.

Again, I have no luck in the first run and enjoy a Guinness instead. At the end of an exciting showdown Moritz Nazarenus wins the Oversized Chaos Orb and the defeated Shivan Dragon.

Shortly before midnight, the company dissolves, and I walk to the Hotel Moxy where I meet Thomas Ribet, Pieter Gulinck and my opponent from the last round Tom at the bar and play a few more rounds with Tom and Pieter.

Thomas helps me to get my first Unlimited Island and thanks to Tom I now have a playset of Oath of Druids for Premodern. At 2 o’clock my eighth beer is as drunk as I am and due to playing errors getting more frequent we call it a day.

Conclusion: It was fun playing this meta and B&R, because I love Fallen Empires. With my deck building decisions I’m pretty satisfied. In the future I will be back to maindeck Balance and the playset Disenchants and try to get three Thunder Spirits. I prefer only to be able to play one strip mine, that will also make it easier to stay on 60 cards!

I’m changing my decks back to Swedish B&R, Ravenna Reprint Policy, because my next OS tournament is a home game: Urborg Feast Cruise on Lake Lucerne!

What deck I’ll be playing there will be kept a secret for a while…

Thanks to Flippi Böhm and JK Entertainment for this unforgettable weekend and to Felix Schaub for the additional photos of the Premodern Tournament!

 

 

Building friendships in Vienna

Fellow Oldschoolers

A marvelous and excellent weekend of Magic, Beer and new friends came to an end today. The legendary „Viennageddon“ took place in (obviously) Vienna, Austria (no, not Australia 😉 ) The new community, founded by Mitja Held and named „Lions of Austria“ opened their doors for this famous festival of Magic. As i am a huge fan of two-day-events, i booked the flight already last year. My preparation was kind of unhealthy, as i visited a huge carnival-party the evening before my flight… I went home at 3am and had to leave at 6.30am to catch my flight. Well done bro…

But finally i arrived in Vienna and took an Uber to go to the location. After a 30 minute ride i arrived. The Lions of Austria have been already there and first thing Mitja does is ordering me a „Konterbier“ 😉 as we had 1 hour left until the tournament started, everybody was excited an played some pre-matches.

I tried to bring an experimential Time Vault Deck with white (for disenchants). Retrospectively, i think its not a good choice compared what red has to offer with Bolts, Shatters and Red Blasts:

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I did exactly zero times untap the Vault but used Twiddel for various situations – including untapping a mana vault. I fell totally in love with this card 🙂

At 1pm, the tournament started and i faced my first opponent which played Lauter.dec (Lions, Serendibs, Counter, Removal). After three close games he managed to win due the fact that he drew about 8000 Disenchant/Divine Offering and even countered an off-color  mox emerald – haha. Ah yes, and below you see game one, turn one – that’s magic 😉 So i started the tournament with a loss in my books. 4963CC00-A09F-4700-9237-200970DB3259

Second match was against Roman Pulker and his Erniegeddon – short story even shorter –  i lost 2-0 in about 15 minutes. He Ernied-Geddoned and Disenchanted my whole gameplan and i had no chance. Not much to see here, bro. 0-2

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As i lost so horribly, the mtg-god gave me a bye and (for now) the first win of this event – i enjoyed the freed up time to drink more beer and take some photos and some rest:

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Next round i faced the winner of last year‘s Viennageddon. Rolf and his 5 Color Rukh-Egg-Diamond-Valley-Serra Angel-Sengir Vampire-S‘ol Kanar-Control Magic and many more ultra cool cards-build. Also this time, luck was not on my side (or is it the pilot? Haha) and i lost 2-0. Awesome what one can do with Diamond Valley, Rukh Egg and Animate Dead 🙂

I was thinking that i must be the worst pilot in this tournament but for round five, i was paired against an equaly (bad? Haha) unlucky player 😉 The mighty Magnus was sitting opposite to me at the table and we shuffled our cards. He played mono Black distress. We both agreed, that our decks are strong and that out of some unlucky constellations we ended up here. Never would we blame the cans of beer we drank or (at least on my side) the missing sleeptime. Actually this match was one the most interesting and interactive on my side – my Deck finally did what it should do: 1. win 2. be fast 3. Twiddle!!!!! We agreed that both do post something on our Blog – maybe (hopefully 😉 ) Magnus‘ view and  writedown of the events is completely different to mine- haha.

After the match we did send our regards to Arvika and their tournament 🙂

The tournament winner was finally Oliver Polak and his ATOG-Smash! List. He won against Olof Robersson and his „The Deck“. As Oliver cannot join the N00bcon, the slot goes to Gothenburg local Olof – congratulations mate!

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After some more beer and „Stamperl“ i decided at 10pm to call it a day and went to the Hotel Schild – knowingly that at 9am (Sunday) there will be a „Frühschoppen-City-Tour“ with the guys – hell yeah! At 9.30 we hitted the city and first thing was – everyone gets a beer and a „Käsekracher“ (saussage with cheese). Cool start in the day 🙂

We went sightseeing with famous architect Roman Pulker, talked about Hank Scorpio and other Simpsons characters, laughed and had a great time. Again at 1pm the second tournament started and we prepared accordingly. I decided to change my deck and tried this pile:

9171ad6e-4fd6-4252-a515-0d675fddf6d5.jpegJap, no black splash.

The tournament started and i had to fight Gabriele Magliano, himself part of the organizational committee of the famous fishliveroil cup in Genova. Its so cool that there have been 6 different communites which battled for the second N00bcon slot. We had a nice fight but finally i managed to overcome his GRUW aggro-burn deck – especially my Circle of Protection: Red was awesome 🙂 I won the first round and had to face the organiser himself – Mitja Held.

Mitja played a really decent and cool Lands-Deck. As Mitja is also part of Legion Urborg, we talked about our Decks beforehand and therefore we both knew what we have to expect. In addition Mitja did drink some (hahaha) wine at saturday and was kind of dizzy at the match. Nevertheless, he did beat me in first game and i did beat him in second game as he did sideboard out his disenchants. And my Circle of Protection: Red paired with an active Icy and a City of Brass on his side brought him down slowly but steady. The we moved into the third game – that one was awesome. I had to go down to 5 with a crappy hand and in turn 4 he Twisted me even to 0 cards. Still i was able to recover and we battled for about 40 minutes and had kind of a „mexican standoff“ as i had tons of mana and he had only Power Sinks to counter my counterspells for his Fireball. Drew, did things, waited, checked and finally, i had no counterspells left and he launched the deadly fireball. Wow – what a game 🙂

1-1 and the next opponent was Jason and his Underworld-Winds combo Deck. It was like the fifth time in both tournament that i got twisted to 0 in turn 2 or 3… Also, Jason managed to play 2 Maze of Ith and i thought i will lose for sure. The god of luck gave me 3 Mishras and i managed to bring 4 Damage each turn to Jason and after 5 additional tursn, i really won game 1 🙂

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Second game was in his favour as i did board out my creature removal and he boarded in his Atogs… such a mean trick Jason 🙂 (by the way third game they went back to sideboard and my boarded CoP: Red and Swords are useless again). Just as we thought this match cannot be more iconic, the following happened in game 3. I was at 6 life and we had kind of a mexican standoff. Jason was on 4 cards, i was on 6. He played Winds of Change and i thought, that he will have one or two flash counter to protect. I decided to counter, he countered and that gave him the two new cards (5 for me) with the intention: what can possibly go wrong? He drew Black Vise and Timetwister… Oh my god… This is Oldschool. Unfortunately for him i drew a lot of instants and other solutions (including a fireball which targeted directly his face) and finally won 2-1. wow – what a game.

Next game was against yesterday‘s N00bcon slot winner Olof and his UWArtifact aggro. We played before the tournament so we knew our Decks and also what possibly can happen. The first game we played for about 40 Minutes and finally i managed to beat him down. Lucky me. Unfortunately, we were not able to finish the second game and i even took away his first extra turn with a time walk on my side. Therefore i won 1-0.

Final match against Oliver, the winner of yesterday‘s tournament and his Atog Smash. First game i played Land, Mox, Sol Ring, Lotus, Serendib. He had no answer to this fast start and we moved very fast to second game. In the second one he stole away my pretty Angels twice and i got beaten up by my mind controlled beauties – harsh judgement. In the third game i got (again -haha) Mind Twisted in turn 2 to 0 cards. Lucky draws kept me in the games but finally i did a greedy turn and then a veeeeeery aggressive Atog closed the deal for Oliver. Oliver was also this time successful but had to leave early and did not play for Top 4. Therefore i was „lucky loser“ on 5th place and was in Top 4.

I played against a very similar Deck but without red. I won first game with a first turn serendib and counter backup from second turn onwards jand we moved quickly to second game. Second game readers – one of the most crazy games i ever had (and possible never will have again)… We battled for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, drank various beers during the course of the day. In this match 3 balances resolved, 2 Timetwister, 2 Braingeyser for 7 each, all Serra Angels on both sides have been removed and/or killed for good, playsets of Mishra‘s factories have been spotted, 10+ counterspells resolved. I managed to balance two times 6 cards away from my opponent… And after those 80 minutes I GOT DECKED…

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no cards left in the Library… hahaha. Good game Martin! Third game was quick and dirty, i got stripped, disenchanted and cutted of from the mana completely. Zero Chances of winning there. Good thing is that Martin is the one who won the tournament and the N00bcon slot 🙂 nice (the nice gentlemen with the crown).

E982D2B5-11AB-47F6-98B7-DCF88AA07E1BSo it was sunday evening and a fine weekend of Magic was over. Thank you very much, Lions of Austria, Mitja Held and Team and all participants to this great event. Urborg approves 🙂 I did also not go back with empty hands and received a price for my rankings – an Encyclopedia which has to be signed by everybody at the tournament. niiiiceeeee! Now i hope to welcome you guys at the Urborg Boat tour at June 8. in Switzerland.

As always – stay Oldschool and may the first turn Library be with you.

Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg

 

 

Join the Heresy – order the Batch

Fellow Oldschoolers

Today a great achievment got unlocked on our path to victory 🙂 The new batches arrived and as a true supporter, you can order them here. Just let me know how many you need, your address incl. country and i will send them as soon i received the money via paypal. I will contact you directly via email to let you know my paypal data. Prices are incl. shipping. If you order more than one, i will let you know the amended price. I can also deliver them to Viennageddon or N00bcon.

(Urborg is for height comparison)

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ORDER ME

Switzerland: CHF 16.00

Europe: EUR 17.00

USA/rest of the World: USD 18.00

See you soon at

Urborg Feast in Gothenburg

Urborg Lake Cruise in Lucerne (Switzerland)

As always – stay oldschool and may the first turn library be with you

Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg

 

 

Pirate Party in Hann(g)over

Dear Oldschoolers

This weekend was under the premise of mutiny, feasting and playing Oldschool pirate style. I am talking about the „Appetite for Destruction“ tournament in Hannover. 32 pirates did meet within the Black Pearl Erlebnisgastronomie in Hannover to play for three tickets to N00bcon 2019. I was also one of those silly pirates – and i battled hard 😉

 

As usual in Germany, one can earn „Hero Points“ (and the one with the most Hero points is the actual victor of the tournament, not the one which wins Top8/4). This time, all was in view of „pirate Arrrr“ or „damn pirates“ (no pirates mentioned):

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I choose to walk the „damn Pirates“-route and did not include black, blue nor any reference to pirates. Additional, i spiced my Deck up with six cards which contain „inappropriate artwork“ – S*x and Violence (Blood Lust, Pyrotechnics, Personal Incarnation, Fire Elemental, Serra Angel, Inferno):

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With this build i started into the tournament and faced as first match a (greedy) 5 color good stuff deck. We both had not such a strong start hand but mine contained a Lion which did lead to an aggressive start. Also a Serra Angel did hit the table but got burned away. I saw an Ehrnam Djinn on the other side paired with Fireballs, Bolts and a Silvan Library. I drew lots and lots of Mana Sources (including the Mana Vaults) – good thing i play Fireball and did seal the first game with a Fireball for 7. I sideboarded in the 3 blood moon for Blood Lust, Preacher, Inferno as i did not see any basic Land and started the second game. My opponent had to mulligan to six and played Land, Mox, Mox go. I started with a Lion and did again attack aggressively. I slammed down a third turn blood moon and disenchanted his white Mox to cut him off white. Unfortunately, i did not find my second basic plains until turn 6 or 7. But on the other side of the table, the Lotus or Chaos Orb was the only out and after the Lotus did saw playing, the game was to much in  my favour and i closed the Deal. The Fire Elemental did 10 Damage during two games 🙂

Second match i played a true pirate – seven basic islands and 8 creatures with Island Walk. First time ever i saw Segovian Leviathan in play at a tournament – nice 🙂 We battled through and again my Lions did hit the table. Also a Serra Angel made it but was sealed within a Coffin (of Tawnos) for quite a time. One disenchant later the Angel still could not attack due to a Maze of Ith. A Thunder Spirit for support was needed to win the first game. I sideboarded my Red Blasts and more Artifact removal for the CiaB, Blood Lust, Inferno, Incarnation and Fire Elemental. Second game was quite the same story – Lions into Thunder Spirit into Serra Angel. Opponent had a book of Rath in play which took his live in addition to my attacks. Also this time, a Leviathan did see the battlefield but without any Islands on my side no Islandwalk. The Serra/Thunder spirit combo sealed the deal for the second win.

Third match was against the organizer of the event – Florian von Bredow. We battled 3 days ago within the Winter Derby and he managed to win 2-1. I hope this would not be repeated 🙂 His Robots.dec is incredibly fast and can bring threads in turn one and two which i have to handle. As usual, i started with the Lions first turn 🙂 But they got bolted away from Flo. We managed to battle each other with various threads, but Flo unfortunately drew to much land and my Serra Angel (again Serra – best.creature.ever) did attack for the win in the first game. Nothing crazy to report here. I sideboarded all my artifact solutions and two Red Blast. Incarnation, Blood Lust, CiaB, Fire Elemental and Inferno had to go. Second game i had to mulligan to six and still had not such a good hand. Flo started as he should with Robots – first Turn Su-Chi, second Turn Trike. I managed to get rid of both but had no threads on my own on the battlefield. I casted a Wheel of Fortune which sealed my downfall as Flo managed to cast Vault, Time Walk, Mind Twist (my hand) and still had a Su-Chi. This japanese delicacy brought me to zero very quick. Third game was quite the same story – mulligan to six and not a real good hand to keep. Got Twisted for two and lost one Disenchant. Also a Balance did not safe me as Flo managed to draw a Sage of Lat Nam and Timetwister to refill our hands. But the game was to advanced that this additional draw could safe me and he won 2-1. Nice games – and i lost against the second of the tournament, so no shame at all.

The fourth match we had to play outside of the tables as it was to crowded. We did choose a nice spot near the fireplace to battle.

 

Aggro-Atog was my opponents Deck – hard nut to crack. I started with Mox Pearl and Land Tax. My opponent had (unfortunately) also a Mox (red), bolted me and gave mne the turn. So no searching on my side. I played Lions and go. On his side, Land, Black Vise, go. What a mess – i can look for Lands but get in pain one turn later. I decided to look up for two Lands, played a mana Vault and go. With Black Vise my opponent played lands and threads (Atog, Bolts, Ank) and brought me down to less than 10 lands. In the meantime i had a Serra Angel in play but was down to 3. A wheel of fortune Sealed the deal as i could Sword my Angel and Disenchant my tapped vault but still was on 3 life. A full Hand on the side of an Aggro player with red means most of the time „game“ – and a Bolt/Chain combo killed me then. Second game was really tight and intense. We managed to bring each other down to 9 (me) resp. 4 (him). I had a Circle of Protection: Red in play very early which automatically re-routed every burn to my creature(s). A lot of „Draw-Go“ later i casted a Winds of Change which brought me nothing but two Lands and a Balance. The Balance was useful to get rid of his creatures but from the top of the Library a Chaos Orb did hit the table and got rid of the Circle. From now on, it will be even harder for me to win… After other unsuccesful draws we had to go to extra time – still his life was on 4. I would need a Serra, Pyrotechnics or Fireball and can close it. But none of those came and the second game ended in a draw. 1-1-0 and i was 2-2. Cool games but unfortunate for me not to draw more burn…

I kept my spot near the fireplace, ordered two beers because i played Richard Lessmann and his Troll Disco (one beer was for him obviously). I was really afraid of the Disco as i need to get rid of a Disk fast – otherwise i lose to much. On the same page i need to get him under pressure fast which means to „overextend“ the board. Tricky. First game was all about the burn spells. I did draw multiple bolts, he did draw multiple bolts and a Fireball (to get rid of my Serra Angel). But finally a Thunder Spirit survived the Boltfest and managed to fly to victory. But not without active support of a strip mine which got rid of the Maze of ith. I boarded my 3 Red Blast and 3 additional artifact removal and got rid of Blood Lust, Preacher, CiaB, Incarnation, Inferno, Fire Elemental. We started the second game and Richard dropped down Land, Mox, Mox, Lotus, Braingeyser for 4. I put a Land and „go“. With additional Troll and other action, he managed to build up a quite impressing board, before Mind Twisting my hand for all Cards 🙂 This game was not winnable and i got beaten down by a Troll and a Factory Worker. We moved to game 3. Fast start on my side with Lion, Lion. Both got Fireballed away (overextending for the win -haha). But still i could manage to bring other threads on the table and a Serra Angel made its appearance on the Battlefield. Richard did put a Disk on the table with 4 open blue Mana. I had to try – and disenchanted the Disk. What then happened you see on the picture:

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Counter war‘s for the win 🙂 Unfortunately for him i had a third Blast on my Hand and countered also his Ancestral. This brought me in pole position and i sealed the deal after a very nice match. I finished with a 3-2 record with my „burning Lion and Angel“-Deck 🙂

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We from Legion Urborg made 12. 16. and 26. – the SiaB guys made 21. and 24 – therefore victory is ours for this time our fellow rivals – haha.

After the regular rounds, the winner of the „Hero“-points got crowned. I had quite a bunch of points and a good match record – but finally this fine gentlemen won with his zero-power-7-islands-islandwalk-inappropriate Art.dec – congratulations my friend 🙂 I got in second and received this beautiful wooden painting for my collection. Thank you very much Florian and Marc.

 

After the tournament the Top 4 got played and Wilfred managed to win this tournament, Florian went in second- congratulations. As the first and second already had a N00bcon invite, the ticket was for the winner of the „small final“. Daniele Brunazzo managed to defeat Koos Cramer and therefore got the invite – congratulations my friend 🙂

We also played some Alpha40 action – my Deck was very succesful and i managed to defeat Erwin Demmer, Johnny Myrbacka and Alex Pick. Nice games mates 🙂

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We celebrated the whole event, the winners and organizers during the pirate feast dinner in the evening. We ate, drank, laughed, had fun and drank even more. The event was a blast, cool people, nice location, lots of beer and meat and playing Magic – what does one want more?

Thank you again very much Florian von Bredow and Marc Lanigra. Count me in for next time in Hann(g)over – it was a blast. Also thanks to Erwin and the dutch-crew, Johnny and Nick for the many laughters we had. And Nick – its called „Kinderens“ haha

Best regards and stay Oldschool

Christian aka Lord M from Legion Urborg

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Winter is here – going 7-1

Fellow Oldschoolers

I was really excited to join the current Winter Derby. Thanks to Dave Firth Bard, this marvelous event takes place every year. With more than 140 participants, this one was the second biggest old school tournament in the history of Old School –  nice achievment. With a lot of playtesting and discussing, i had to decide between my lovely Troll Disco and the GUW aggro-midrange pile. I took advise from my wife (she takes the decicions upon card art and nice colors 😉 ). She was keen, that a pile with “those nice pixies” and “this beautiful landscape (savannah)” will be it. So this pile of cards went into the battle:

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With the current build, the strategy is obviously to bring a hitter on the battlefield and distract the opponent with Icy and/or Armageddon. Most of the time, this is sufficient to win 🙂 For now i would definitively change the Pixies with Prodigal Sorcerers (spicy!) and would include 4 Birds of Paradise instead of the Split with Llanowar. Also i would cut the Pendelhaven and include one Basic Forest to stabilize the Mana base.

The first match i had to play was against Paul Fiero. Paul did play an absolute stunning but nightmarish deck for my pile – Living Plane. The first game was a gunner-feast for his  Tim’s and even a Pirate Ship made an appearance 🙂 I even managed to Disenchant a Living Plane just to see another one coming. I sideboarded my Psi Blasts and Tranquility. My starting hand contained one of the Blast and i managed to draw antother one. Those two i needed to shoot at two Tim’s. Ice Storms have been thrown and a Wheel of Fortune did not gave Paul any new Land… One of my Serra Angels got Control Magic’ed but a well timed Disenchant closed the Deal. The Ehrnam Dijnn was tapped down due to a meekstone and so the Angel was needed. The third game started very fast on my side – Land, Mox, Birds, Llanowar, Serendib. Paul’s Chaos Orb did hit my Serendib. I managed to bring my own Chaos orb on the table and keep this open for backup. Later in the game  a Serra Angel was on my side. Paul resolved a Pyrotechnics onto Elf/Elf/Bird/me instead of killing the Angel. I sat down on two lands but with an Angel and a Chaos Orb in play which closed the game 2-1 for me. Fun fact was that i did not see one single Armageddon in 3 games 🙂

The second match was against mono red Goblins. An early army of Goblins was attacking and a Serendib Efreet on my side gave me additional pain. Fortunately, i did disenchant the evil Gauntlet of Might and blocked an attacking Ball Lightning with my Serendib to prevent even more damage. I could stabilize and brought more blockers including a Serra Angel on the table which gave me the win. I sideboarded two Circle of Protection: Red and two Psi Blast plus 3 blue blast. As i dropped the Circle of Protection very early and the opponent did not play Chaos Orb or other Disenchant-effects, the game was over as soon it hitted the table. Unfortunate for Phil Shary and his Goblin-Horde.

In the third match i faced Norton Fantenberg and his black/red Underworld Dreams combo. My starting hand allowed me to bring a first turn Serendib on the table. Unfortunately, Norton had only Strip Mine in play and did not manage to draw other lands than a Mishra’s Factory which i responded with Argothian Pixies. This game was over very fast. The second game was driven by Mishra-on-Mishra action on both sides. Also Norton resolved a City in a bottle and Mind Twisted my Hand. With 2 Disenchants already in my Graveyard (which targeted Underworld Dreams) it was really hard to find a Serra Angel as i did draw my Djinns and Efreets but was unable to play them. Finally i got lucky as a resolved Serra closed the deal. Fun fact was that until the last turn, Norton could win with a Fireball-draw, which not happened…

The final game within Batch one was against Matthew Simon and his Deck. In the first game i did not see much of his Deck despite a Kismet and a howling mine, i assumed it will be kind of a Stasis-List. An active Icy Manipulator did bring me in pole position with my flying army and we started the second game. Fortunately i was able to tap down each upkeep a plains, otherwise there would be 4 Serra Angels battling on his side which sandbagged in his hand… Second game was really fun and enjoying – we casted 3 Timetwister in a row, filled our hands, played our spells, destroyed the threads of each other and filled our hands 🙂 a well timed Armageddon paired with an active Serendib Efreet and Chaos Orb gave me the win as Matthew could not stabilize out of this. Also a Disenchant on his Orb saved my Efreet from the Graveyard. With this match i started with 4-0 into the second Batch.

The first game of batch II was against Ben Twitchen from the “brothers of fire”. We meet before in London and Genova and it was nice to face him for this game. Ben also went 7-1 and his Parfait Deck brought him this record. The first game started and i kept a not very strong hand but with possibility to bring down an Ehrnam on turn 3. Ben managed to Sword the Djinn away and to bring down an early Relic Barrier/Howling Mine which gave him a lot of card advantage. Without drawing a single Disenchant, Ben closed the deal with a resolved Titania’s song and i got killed by a walking 6/6 Mirror 🙂 I added 3 Energy Flux, 2 Divine Offerings for 2 Swords, 1 Leydruid 1 Serendib Efreet and one Silvan Library. Second game i mulliganed to 6 cards and kept a cool but risky hand: Strip Mine, Sol Ring, Ehrnam, Birds, Energy Flux, Serendib. No colored Mana source but incredible solutions and i was on the draw. Fortuna was not with me and i did draw no source until turn 4. As i managed to bring down the Energy Flux without responding from Ben, the game turned out very interesting and it was a long run. Ben’s Cyclopean Tombs turned my lands step-by-step into swamps and he did not find a solution for the Flux. I disenchanted Titania’s Song and the only win con on his side was Karma. I could not handle it and finally after 35 Minutes he won also the second game 🙂 well played my friend 🙂

Next one was interesting – i literally played against “my own Deck”. Aaron Palaian and myself are playing a lot online and also discuss about Deck Tech and other more or less interesting facts. Aaron built a Troll Disco and together we teched the deck to his current version. Therefore i knew exactly what i was playing against (to be fair: he also knew my deck). First game i attacked very fast with second and third turn Pixies and Llanowar. Aaron resolved a maindeck Earthquake (this was not one of my proposals haha) and caught me by surprise. With an empty board i had to face a resolved Shivan Dragon which burned me at the stake. Second game was close – an early Serendib Efreet hitted the table. Aaron was not able to find appropriate colored mana sources to respond and he sat down with swamps and a strip mine. Still the game did go on as there was also a Maze of Ith on his side and we fought us down to 3 (him) resp. 4 (me) lives. My second Serendib and no Bolt response brought me the victory. The third game was also very close as we played our spells, the Disk destroyed the board, played new threads, sworded/bolted/fireballed it away and went to Topdeck-Mode. Finally i could tap Down 7 Mana (with Moxen and Sol Ring) and did resolve a Balance with 3 Lands into play. After the table was cleaned with no creatures left, my last card in hand was Serra Angel. His last card was Shivan Dragon… With an active Sol Ring in Play, he needed one Land draw to resolve the Shivan and open up the game again. He did not draw the land but i did draw my Chaos Orb which targeted the Sol Ring. My Serra then attacked for the win as Aaron could not get the Shivan on the table or draw an appropriate answer. Phew… Nice one…

Elias Gröndahl from Siab was my next opponent. We from Legion Urborg and Stockholm in a bottle try to find the “stronger tribe” and we take every battle as friendly contest. Elias and myself are organizing the Urborg Feast at N00bcon and therefore it was also a nice chat round within the match. In the first game i could manage to put the famous first turn library on the battlefield. This card advantage of  7 cards broght me the victory as my threads (Serendibs, Serra’s, Ehrnams) kept entering the battlefield every time Elias got rid of them. One can truly say that this Library gave me the win. But revenge came immediately in second game. I had an incredible starting hand with Birds, Serendib, Mox Sapphire, Ancestral, Sol Ring, Ehrnam, Tropical. Elias had to go down to 6 Cards but managed to play down his hand (Land, Lotus, Mox, Fellwar and Wheel of Fortune)… Which buried my dreams of a quick creature beatdown. I drew four Lands in the new hand and i could not stabilize and the game did go to Elias. It was nice to get beaten by two Shvan Dragons 🙂 The third game was also tight. I boarded in Energy Flux as i saw a lot of artifacts in game 1 and 2. Actually, it was a good choice as Elias drew (unfortunately) more artifacts than lands. Therefore his mana base was not as stable as expected. Paired with my Armageddons, he was not fast enough to bring business to the table. The game was still interesting and lasted for 45 minutes and Elias resolved two Chaos Orb’s (Regrowth) but targetted my lands (tropical and Tundra). Retrospectively the Energy Flux should have been the target as he drew as written to much artifact mana instead of lands. Finally two Serra Angels faced one Shivan Dragon, which was Orbed away and i did attack for the win.

Now i was 6-1 and played Rajah James with his “Chains of Mephistopheles/Library of Leng/Lock you out”-deck 😉 The first game was all about mana – i started with zero Lands but two moxen, Birds, Serendib Efreet, Erhnam, Sol Ring and Silvan Library. Luckily for me, he played Land Tax in turn one buth without any additional Land Drop but one, he never got to use the Tax. I was sitting on 5 Mana which was all i needed to play all my spells successfully. The Ehrnam and Serendib did fight their way through his defense and we moved on to game 2. I sideboarded the Tranquilities, 1 Energy Flux and 2 Divine Offerings and boarded out the Silvan Libraries, 2 Swords and one Ehrnam  because i was afraid of City in a Bottle. The game started and i got locked out completely very fast – i could not handle “the Abyss” and had no further creature on the table. My Factories have been gunned down and Rajah managed to have 2 Ivory Tower, 1 Silvan Library and 2 Library of Leng in play 🙂 He drew always 3 cards, paid 8 live, got 8-12 live back and filled his hand. After some time i decided that it’s better to move into game 3, as there was literally no real possibility for me to win. Another sideboard change (add of 2 Psi Blast for 1 Sword and 1 Serendib) and we started game 3. I did land a turn 2 Library of Alexandria and brought some threads on the table. Rajah managed to bring a lot of mana artifact resources on the table and Armageddon’ed away the lands including the Library. Interestingly, i wanted to do the same move to cut him off one color – my Armageddon was ready to be played but then he did it for me 🙂 with birds and artifact mana sitting in my hand, i brought down 4 mana which is enough for most of my Deck to run smoothly. Rajah did some greedy Silvan Library Draws and went down to 8 Life. I Psi Blasted him to 4 and casted Ehrnam. He brought down an Ali from Cairo which i managed to blast away to open the floor for the final 4 damage with my Ehrnam Djinn. Wonderful games and cool interactions 🙂

It was a great experience to play online against those wonderful decks and now i am looking forward into the Top 16 to play even more nice games. The first Deck i have to beat is a Troll Disco – i did it once, i can do it again 🙂

Have fun, enjoy Oldschool and good luck for 2019 🙂

Regards
Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg

 

 

 

 

Training Day @ Castle Urborg

Dear Oldschoolers

The new year started and with it also the ambitions for us players. Last year we got the achievment unlocked to found one part of a growing Swiss community – the Legion Urborg. We decided also to onboard foreigners as proud members of our Legion but form the core with regular “training days” in Switzerland. Of course everybody is invited, but a travel from Hamburg to Zurich “just” for 4 hours of Oldschool seems a little bit over the top (right Alex Pick? ;-).

So far the success of the Legion as a team is overseeable (we went to the team worlds, drank a lot of Moretti-beer and achieved the 14th rank out of 15 players – haha). Leo Bruder on the other hand managed to play the final at Fishliveroil Cup in Genova – and came out of it as second best player of the tournament. Nice. Personally, i achieved to collect all 40 oldschool-Duals unlimited (plus 4 AN City of Brass) in 2018. The next step already started as i have exactly one Alpha Plateau – another 37 Years to go and maybe then i will have all black bordered 🙂

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But enough of the past – lets deep dive into 2019 and our ambitions. As a cool and nice Legion we want to achieve as much fun out of the tournaments as possible. Yes we would like to go to Top 8 but foremost we want to enjoy the game and ensure our opponents, that against a member of the Legion it is always a pleasure to play. Therefore we also brew decent decks with cards we like the most. Those decks will not always be Tier 1 – but should offer nice games to both players. Good thing that everybody has his/her own preferences so brewing will never end 🙂

At 10. January we assembled the first time with our brand new Jackets:

We decided to do a small tournament to test our brews and have some fun. There was a fourth player in the room but one has to take the photo 🙂 (thank you Raphi “Phy” Ehrensperger). Next time we arrange that a fifth person is available.

I tested my brewing project “Black/Green Aggro” as i want to go to top 8 in 2019 at a decent tournament with 16+ players:

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The other players brought Troll Disco (Leo), UW Sky-Control (Dani) and WW (Phy, Atlantic Rules) to the table. First game i faced Dani and his UW Sky-Control.  First game he started with Lotus, Library, Serendib. I started with Lotus, Bayou, Erhnam. He sworded the Erhnam away…  i stabilized and managed to win first game because a well timed (and unforeseen) Trike. After sideboarding, we started the second game which was horrible to play against… 4 Counterspells in 5 turns – what a mess 😉 i did not manage to bring something relevant to the table and got beaten by a Sword wielding beauty 🙂

Third game was a shock – i misinterpreted a Tropical for a Bayou and kept my hand. I did not manage to draw any black source, also with Silvan Library AND Library of Alexandria on the table… With Counter-Backup and Serra + Serendib, Dani closed the third game quickly. Stupid me… Tropical for Bayou… Time to buy new glasses 😉

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I lost 2-1 and was unhappy about my eyes and brain, but was positive to fight Leo and his Troll Disco. Again first game i had a decent start with a Bird into Hippie and Silvan Library (which got countered) but next turn i Regrowth’ed Library and brought it on the table. I also survived a Disk and closed the deal (just to mention: look at the 6th picture, you see a Chaos Orb in the Grave of Leo but no permanent in mine… hmmm…). Second game i also had a decent start with some mana issues on the opposite side of the table. I was quite sure to win that thing with a second turn Erhnam and Terror to bring the evil Troll to his end. He stabilized with an unresponded Disk and cleaned the table. I was not able to recover because i played a greedy Hypnotic Specter with no creature left in my hand. Third Game was also intense – a lot of grinding and looking for answers. I managed to bring a Sengir Vampire on the battlefield just to hear “Black Vampire down” as it got hit by a giant ball of fire. Finally the card advantage out of a Braingeyser brought Leo to pole position and he defeated me 2-1. Still no bad statistics as the games have been incredibly close. Fun to play and interesting.

Third match was against Phy and his White Weenie build. He is playing a lot of Atlantic and we agreed that it is fine to leave the deck as it is. As it gets even stronger with Fallen Empires, it is a well welcomed challenge for our Swedish-Decks. First game started and Phy did put Javeliners on the battlefield. Bad news for my Birds of Paradise… Second to fourth turn he putted one White Knight and two Orders. All i did was taking damage and building up mana and playing a Hypnotic. Until turn five as i did put down a Triskelion. With no Disenchant at hand this was very bad news for Phy and we moved on to game 2.

Game two was really quick sealed as i managed to put down a very early Gloom – not beatable for Phy as he was mana screwed and he could not even cast a Swords to Plowshares as he did sit on 3 Mana for quite a while… Nothing else to see here as he did not draw the saving Chaos Orb.

 

at the end of the Training Day, we also played some really casual rounds of Oldschool – you find some impressions below. (Have you ever been beaten by a 20/5 trampling Juzam?)

Overall it gave me more insights in my deck and i decided, to change something. Early heavy creature pressure is nice, but with the cost of a Dark Ritual, Lotus etc. its very expensive if the hitter get’s traded 2:1 against a Sword to Plowshares. It seems i need to add more control/removal elements. I will try to add red for bolts/wheel and Underworld Dreams. The mana base will be very fragile and i have to see if it is still manageable to bring BBB early on the battlefield. As i have only single mana cost (despite of black), i have to risk it. Keep you posted 🙂

As always, i wish you decent Oldschool games and a lot of first turn Libraries

Regards

Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg

 

 

Brewing Station – Green/Black

Fellow Oldschoolers

The new year has started and with it also a full new year of Oldschool opportunities, tournaments, discussions and of course new brews. The beauty about the format is, that with no new cards coming in, we have to brew new things with the limited cardpool we have. One of my new year intention 2019 is, to go into Top 8 with a Green/Black Oldschool Aggro Deck.

Both colors are in my (aggro) point of view,  underplayed. Especially the glorious Juzam Dijnn does not see a lot of play outside of Black Disaster decks. As i have 4 of them lying around in my binder, they should definately see the light of the battlefield more often. In the beginnings of my Oldschool-career, i was fascinated by mono black Disaster. Unfortunately, the mono black strategy does not like me so much and my draws have been terrible over a long time period… My good friend Dani then (well) advised me to keep my hands of the mono black deck and go into other archetypes. Without a viable mono black build, my Juzam Dijns stayed in the folder for to long now. As introduced, for 2019 i decided to brew a BG-aggro build which shall be fast and deadly. As i am also a huge fan of Force of Nature (and i own a BETA-one), it shall also go into this build.

Strategy:
– Put one bolt/blast-proof heavy hitter fast on the table
– Try to bring the opponent as fast as possible to 0 life
– do not get paired against heavy Moat/Maze Decks
– igonre that City in a Bottle is a thing

With this quite simple and effective strategy in mind, let‘s start the brewing:

Speed
Green and Black are both valuable candidates to get speed. Birds of Paradise and Elves valuable candidates for additional mana. Birds have no attack power so i will split the ratio between Power/Mana accordingly. As we want to have increased chances to have  two black mana in the second turn to cast a Juzam, i will walk through Deep Shadow forest instead of Llanowar. Also, to have Attack Power on the table, i will split the Birds/Elves Ratio 2/4. With Pendelhaven available this makes more sense. To add even more speed, i will add 4 Dark Rituals to the mix.

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Hitters
Green and Black offer some of the best hitters within the whole format. As stated, we ignore that City in Bottle is a thing resp. try to avoid having 2+ AN creatures on the table. With the support of the mana dorks, we should often have 3+ mana available (of which 2 are black in the second turn). Therefore hypnotic Specter seems absolutely reasonable to add. Especially to have also some flyers around if the opponent casts an early Moat. The second (black) flyer is Sengir Vampire which give also some late game (bolt-proof) support to the mix. To give the opponent as early as possible a bad time, i add two different Djinn‘s – Ehrnam and Juzam. I think that the ratio of 4 Juzams/2 Ehrnams makes sense and so shall it be. And as written in the introduction, i also want to play one Force of Nature so it will also be in the Deck. I know that the Manabase will not be perfectly balanced to support a very early Force of Nature – but sometimes one has to weight spice over mathematics 😉

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Strategic support
Chaos Orb and Sol Ring are obvious and i have not to explain 🙂

Green offers some of the sweetest support cards for such a speed-beatdown decktype. We definately want to abuse Silvan Library for card advantage and/or proper draws. Also Regrowth helps a lot to recycle already used „restricted“ cards. To deliver the final blow to the opponent, a good number of Berserk shall close the deal. Berserk also helps to get rid of a Juzam Djinn if he cannot do anything else but ping you for one each turn (i.e. if opponent has a Maze or White Knight etc.). In the worst case you can also get rid of one of the opponents creatures – but as said, worst case scenario only… And some Crumble will help the Maindeck to get rid of nasty artifacts if they hit the table. I am quite unsure about the amount of crumble – i think 4 is to many as i need creature speed. I will do a first test with 2 Crumble main and 2 in Sideboard. Also i will have only one source to get rid of an enchantment – Chaos Orb. Demonic Tutor will help to find the Orb if needed. I am also thinking of playing one Tranquility main – but for the moment they will be sideboard tech. Personally i do not like Mind Twist at all but it‘s a strong part of each Deck which contains Black as „natural source“.

To support the aggro strategy i will in the first cut also add two blue cards. Time Walk and Ancestral will help to achieve victory faster resp. more efficient. The Manabase will contain anyway 4 City of Brass and i can add Tropicals to the mix without harming the Manabase.

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Manabase
I will need a lot of Forests to cast Force of Nature. Also, as much as possible Lands which can generate Black should also generate Green ( Bayou and City of Brass). To get more access to blue i will put two Tropical Island into the Mix. As Mishra‘s Factory is producing no colored Mana, i will skip this Land for the Deck – obviously it will be a little less Aggro but the Manabase will be much more stable. Pendelhaven as a one-off will support the Elves-Strategy and Library/Strip Mine is in most Deck an „auto include“ anyway. The Moxen and Lotus dito. With 7 Basic Lands this is one of the most „blood-moon-stable“ Decks i ever played 🙂

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Sideboard
White cards disrupt me alot – especially Moat, Spirit Link, Swords and the latter. So 3 Gloom should help. Also early flyers can disrupt my plan so 2 Terror should bring them to the graveyard (not 100% sure about Terror at the moment – testing will tell). The two additional crumble are already mentioned in the earlier part of the article. Concordant Crossroads supports against the Abyss and against non-creature Decks. Energy Flux is to avoid losses against heavy artifact decks. 2 Tranquility will clean up the way through Moats, Underworld Dreams, Circle of Protection, Spirit Link etc. Finally, the Ice Storms are to destroy cumbersome Maze of Ith‘s if they hit the table.

I think this first version of the sideboard is quite versatile and helps against a lot of decks.
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Overall i like the idea a lot of berserking my way through the opponents creatures. In some test games i already held i was able to Berserk, Regrowth, Berserk my Juzam and attack for a solid 20 Damages incl. trample 🙂 Living the dream 🙂

There are a lot of cards on the waiting list which also want to see the light of the battlefield:

– Iff Biffh
– whirling Dervish
– Killer Bees (soooo many Forests 😉 )
– Avoid Fate
– Scavenger Folk
– Argothian Pixies

and many more.

Hopefully this deck will bring me fun and interesting games with a lot of Berserking through.

As always: Play the game at your table as you like it and let the Oldschool Spirit never die

Regards

Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg

About Rules – the Atlantic Ruleset

Fellow Oldschoolers

The New England Oldschool Community recently announced a new rule set which they call „Atlantic“. The new rule set is a „best of both worlds“ and should represent a possible way for players to enrich their play stile. I personally like a lot if the community is discussing on a regular basis the current status quo, the recent metagame, structural or other changes etc. I also like that there are multiple sets of B&R lists within the various communities around the world. Such a multiverse of different ways to play definitively enriches that beautiful format and should not destroy it – (this will really happen if we listen to some comment writers on Facebook and co.)

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As an European player and mostly familiar with the Swedish B&R, i would like to highlight the major changes from the Swedish rule set to the Atlantic one. I will highlight my personal views and some personal experience, if i have any in the respective topic. Overall i am very happy with the current rule set (Modern rule set with all advantages and disadvantages, including scry and mulligan etc.). I am not a fan of introducing new rules or rule changes to the modern rule set (like mana burn and the latter), but more to this later. I personally think the Swedish B&R is very balanced and addresses a lot of various issues properly – i like to play Swedish-Style and i enjoy the fun out of it a lot. Please be aware that Swedish B&R has (directly) nothing to do with the available cardpool. In Europe, most of the tournaments are played within the Ravenna-Reprint policy (all cards with old framework and non-foiled are allowed to play).

Enough introduction, let‘s go into the topics:

Strip Mine
Within the EC-rule set, Strip Mine is unrestricted.  This fact does surprise most of the European players, as we simple cannot think about playing 4 Strip Mine. Every time i am playing EC-rules or have a discussion with European players about this fact, we agree very fast that this possibly is not a very good decision. I saw a lot of games which have been decided with the 2nd, 3rd and/or 4th strip mine. And the fact that this effect is simply un-counterable (i know, there are ways but literally nobody plays pyramids or consecrate land my friends), it makes it even worse. Within all other discussions there is always the „but Library of Alexandria…“ argument. We all know that it is kind of annoying to lose against turn one Library. But honestly, count how many times this really happens. And how many times one keeps a greedy, Library including hand just to run into the one Strip mine or Sinkhole or City in a Bottle or Mind Twist for two or or or…  Also the argument of Maze of Ith is not really valid, but more to Maze later in this Blog. So overall i completely agree to restrict Strip Mine and not let it live unrestricted. If there will be anytime discussions about a „light restriction“ (2 allowed instead of one) be my guest to have the discussion about putting the Strip Mine on this List.

Personal opinion: i like this decision from NEOS (New England Oldschool)

Fallen Empires
The Fallen Empires set most of the time is (together with Homelands) treated as the weakest of all expansions. I totally agree to this statement. Also there is one card included, which (in my point of view) does not fit into the Oldschool-Cardpool and just does not feel right – Hymn to Tourach. Overall i have no bad feelings at all about this additional set. It even can support that Merfolk is a real deck (grab your Lords of Atlantis). Also the Order of xyxyx do support WW respectively Black Aggro in some cases. And with Aeolipile, even mono green get‘s a chance to deal some direct damage. The Europoeans are quite happy that Fallen Empires is not part of the legal cardpool, mostly because of this card. Therefore i am really surprised that Hymn is not even on the „watchlist“ for restriction – but City in a Bottle is (according to a Facebook post of Dave Firth Bard).

Personal opinion: It‘s OK for me that FE is not in the EU cardpool. For the Atlantic Format i think an additional variety for Decks is interesting.

Mana Burn
This topic is quite different to address, as it does not concern in anyway the B&R nor the available card pool. I like the idea of „playing by the old rules“ but to be honest i rather would stick with an official rule set as a whole rather than just adding/removing something. Mana burn was/is quite an interesting/hindering conception for some Archetypes (Su-Chi, Mana Flare etc.) resp. wizards created cards just to address this topic (Power Surge). Also an Icy Manipulator turns most Lands into a City of Brass for the opponent. As a consequence, also Mana Drain is getting worse and could be unrestricted in a format with mana burn. But again, i am not a fan of squeezing in rule-parts of older rule set’s into an existing rule set (like the Modern rule set we use in Europe). One has to be aware that in the beginnings of Magic, also the Mulligan-Rule was completely different.

Personal opinion: Most of the time it will affect Su-Chi players and overall i am not a fan of this rule so i would rather play with the original Modern rules than „Modern but …“.

Recall
To be honest, there is not much to say about un-restrict recall. In Europe there is a bulletproof view that Recall is not to strong. It is not even an „auto include“ just as the other powerful blue cards (Twister, Walk, Ancestral, Braingeyser). Maybe in a very specific shell – but i would embrace a new strong Deck archetype very much if Recall can help this Deck over the top. A lot of the time one will sit at the table and would wish for another card than Recall in his/her hand because either no valid Graveyard targets, not enough mana to „abuse“ or not the proper cards in hand to discard… Yes there are turns in which you can discard two lands and get Ancestral + Time Walk back – but those moves are very rare.

Personal opinion: absolutely save to un-restrict

Workshops
This one caught me on the left foot – as a former Vintage-Player i always hated to play against MUD. First turn Workshop did burn its claws so deep in my brain that in the first second thought „they are crazy to do that“. After some seconds of breathing into a plastic bag i gave a serious thought about it. The workshops are really strong in Oldschool – but as a matter of fact mostly they push the first creature respectively the start hand of the player. Sure, a hand with one Su-Chi and one Trike which see the battlefield constantly on turn 1 and 2 are scary but not unbeatable. If one can stabilize this jump-start (Disenchant, Crumble, Swords etc.) each Workshop that is drawn after the first is (mostly) a bad draw for the artifact player. Especially as they do not help to untap the Mana Vault at all. And to be honest to buy 3 Workshops now „just“ for this one Deck seems like a really expensive investment.

Personal opinion: Overall the Shop would also be on the „restrict to two“ favorites, but i assume i can live with four.

Maze of Ith
introduction: in Europe there is proof that 4 Maze are fine. I have to be honest, i rarely see so much comments about a rule change as i saw on Facebook about Maze. It seems that a big part of the community foresee an apocalypse within the format if they are unrestricted. I saw a lot of arguments that the European „proof of safety“ is not valid for the US community because of the card pool (Fallen Empires). Yes it is true that with Fallen Empires Merfolk, WW and Goblins receive a huge push and can be counted as Tier 2.x Decks. But to use this as argument for Maze of Ith – i doubt. In the same perspective one could say to restrict Earthquake, Wrath of God, Fireball ant the latter because those cards disrupt those heavy creature based strategies massively but: dear community – really?  Also it is true that there are some control Decks which play currently 2 (two) Maze‘s main and sometimes one in Sideboard (UWb Skyes or Lauter.dec and Troll Disco). They do not play 4 main because a lot of the time one needs „business“ rather than defense tactics to win. Also there are ways to beat one or even two maze with creature heavy Decks: Armageddon, Ice Storm, Time Elemental, Twiddle, Icy Manipulator (!), Sinkhole etc. Also, the Fallen Empires boosted Decks win most of the time because of Islandwalk or Mountainwalk, So the Maze cannot be used with his full power (to stop an incoming attack completely due the negative combat math).

Personal opinion: It‘s fine to un-restrict and it will not tear apart the format. Yes there is a need to adapt the main- or sideboard of creature heavy decks but isn‘t that the interesting thing about a format with no new added cards?

Shahrazad
Usually i can write stuff about cards, here i cannot so well.  I totally dislike the mechanic of Shahrazad and honestly i cannot understand why this card is not banned. Or at least changed into Oldschool-manner like: „play Sharazad, do Chaos Orb flips until one player misses, that player loses half his/her life, round up“. I really also cannot see any Deck which can use Shahrazad as useful addition. But i assume that there is a reason behind this decision (un-restrict resp. not restrict), which i cannot see through. If anyone can enlighten me, feel free to do 🙂

Personal opinion: See text – change the Card to Chaos Orb flips and the loser of the flips loses half his/her life. Maybe you can even add „the players lose 10 Minutes of Game time for this current match“…

Not on the List: Hymn to Tourach
Please restrict or ban this card in the format 😉

Overall i have to say that i like a „best of two worlds“ rule set. I made my points on some of the changes. I would be happy to see your opinion in the comments and feel free to challenge my opinions.

As always: stay Oldschool, enjoy the format with friends and bend the rules at your table as you like them 🙂

Regards

Christian aka Lord M from Legion Urborg

 

 

Shandalar – The most hidden Gem

Since i started actively playing Oldschool and therefore joined the (felt) thousand various Facebook-groups, i got in contact with various nice and interesting people around the world. A big part of it all are also the online matches in which the precious Oldschool cards get played in front of a webcam.

As a player of the “old ages” in 1993/1994 (and the following years), there was no fancy Skype or appear.in available –  as a matter of fact, internet was invented but not as functional as today. Therefore we had to wait until 1997 as the famous Sid Meier created the most hidden Gem for us players: Magic the Gathering aka Shandalar. Imagine, you can build a Deck with Oldschool only cards and fight against evil mages within their realm. The game was revolutionary and brought us so much fun in the days of the past. Therefore i would like to introduce to all players this great hidden Gem. If you played it, i am sure you want to play it right now. If it’s new for you be warned: it will suck you in and you will spend hours and hours with it. By the way: Here you find the tutorial and installation guideline.

Welcome to Shandalar

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With the current installation link, you will receive automatic access to ABU, LEG, ANT, AN and The Dark. Therefore great fun awaits you in building and teching your deck. Have you ever imagined to play 4 “contract from below” main and use them accordingly? Did you ever want to cast multiple time walks and Ancestral in one Deck? Well – here u go.

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The easiest way to start is to chose a familiar color for your mage and the easiest mode (Apprentice). Your starting Deck will be either one, two, three or four colored. If you start the hard mode, you will not even have more than one basic land added for some of your colors… haha.

starting DeckAs soon you hit the road with your Deck you should try to get rid of one or two colors and buy as many basic lands as you can within villages and cities. You can also buy other cards you like if you have the money to spare 🙂

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Its a lot of fun to travel the world, meet interesting mages, and fight them to get more and better cards for your Deck. The travelling is very intuitive and one can travel from village to village…

Travel…or just seek out for aggressive competitors (like the Mandurang…)

Mandurang

overall this game is still one of my favored games of all the time. Sometimes i just start the game if i have 30 minutes spare time and i try to beat some evil creatures of Shandalar. I hope i have re-enlightned the torch of any nostalgic player or even brought “younger” Oldschoolers into a really great and fantastic way of playing this tremendous format if nobody is around on Skype or appear.in 🙂

I wish you a nice Christmas time and follow my blog 🙂

Christian aka Lord M from Legion Urborg