Here we are again, fellow Old Schoolers! Today I am going to address the elephant in the room, the “hot new” format that everyone is talking and playing in Old School. We are going to explain how it works, why is so popular and, of course, a lot of deck picks!!
What is 7 Points Singleton?
Is an Old School format, with all the allowed sets (ABU, Arabian, Legends, The Dark and Fallen Empires), but with a different B&R list. It has mana burn and the London mulligan, and you play with a 60 card deck WITHOUT SIDEBOARD. Reprints are allowed, with the original art, of course. The only banned cards are the ante cards, and the Restricted… well, you are playing only one of each (Singleton, remember?) so instead we have this chart:
As you can see, the cards are numbered from one to four. On your deck you can only play a total of SEVEN points, hence the name. The rest of the cards can be played without any problem (think as their value is 0) but always one of each, except basic lands: you can play all the basic lands you want.
Why is so popular the format?
With this numbered value, the format does not require you to play the expensive cards: on the four points slot is worth more the Sol ring than the Lotus, believe me. If you wanna play more than a colour, you really don’t need the duals because you can only play one of each. With all the lately buyouts of cards from the (infamous) Reserved list and all the prices going up like crazy, including white border like Chronicles and Revised (look at Revised duals, scream loud and come back if you wish), this format is the most budget friendly you can find inside Old School.
Another thing that makes this format so fun is that there are no oppressive cards. Cards that in Old School are very good and played 4x like Serendib efreet or Black vise, here there is only one of them in all the deck, so you can deal with them easy or you can end up not seeing them at all in the match. Usual decks of the format are one or two colour decks, with a lot of different cards trying to do the same thing. Let’s take a look to the first deck photo of the day:
As you can see in this Monoblack deck by our friend Andoni Perez, there are only two knights: Black knight and Order of the Ebon hand. You can´t play all eight of them so you are forced to find alternatives, and let me warn you, Old School cards in general are pretty bad. So he plays Erg Raiders, Hassran ogress and Cyclopean mummy (go and search what they do, I´ll wait here laughing because they are bad); the same for the other mana costs and for all the spells.
Clearly, you have to search for the best card on each of the mana costs that fits the plan you want, and here is the third thing that makes this format so enjoyable: the deckbuilding. You have to adapt to your pool, to your pocket and of course to the game plan. You can stay for hours searching cards in your collection or in the web that fits what you want, because netdecking in this format is difficult. In part, because there are not a lot of tournaments yet, and mostly because the cards other players play are worse in your deck. For example, if you want to buy the deck above, it has a Chaos and a Su-chi that are very expensive, so you have work searching for substitutes!
The deck I posted is the typical monocolour aggro deck, to keep things easy. But in this format you can play whatever you want. Let’s take a look to the second deck of the day:
Cyril Terroy made this combo-control deck. This deck tries to play the long game, controlling the early game with counters and some control cards to lock you and end up killing with one of his fatties or comboing you in the face. It has two funny combos in it: Guardian Beast with Chaos orb (to destroy a permanent each turn) and Power artifact with Basalth monolith (that nets infinite mana and kills you usually with Rocket launcher).
This format is all about fun and you don´t have to play the typical aggro deck or the all pimp combo deck. You can play whatever makes you happy. Look at this “man legend”:
This man had a complete Legends set at home and said “why not” and here we are with this beauty. It looks very fun to play and plays three colours. It may sound like crazy in Singleton, but there is not much land destruction (playing three colours and one of each card there are about 6 Stone rain) and you can only play one Strip mine. The people play three and four colours easily. Look at this Elephant Zoo by Tristana Matt:
This is an Unpowered deck. In this format, Unpowered is different than the rest of Old School and Vintage formats: it means that you don’t play any card on the chart above. Think about it as playing a 0 Point Singleton. And yes, this format exists too, and in 7 Points they give prizes to the best Unpowered deck.
To end well the article, here is a pair of links to the Youtube channel of my friend Resti “Old School Mtg Channel” with some matches of this beautiful format:
What do you think about this format? If you were willing to play Old School but thought that is expensive, this can be a very cheap and fun way to come in. If you have any question regarding to this format (or Old School), you can hit me on Twitter @diliz13 or write in the comments. I am waiting your feedback! Until next time, don’t forget to play Serendib that costs 0 points!
¡Buenas de nuevo, Old Schoolers! Hoy os traigo toda la información que necesitáis saber para iniciaros en el “nuevo” formato de Old School que lo está petando. Vamos a ver en qué consiste, las claves de que se juegue tanto y por supuesto un montón de fotos de mazos, que es la razón por la que leéis mis artículos ;p.
¿Qué es 7 Points Singleton?
Es un formato que, dentro de los sets que comportan Old School (ABU, Arabian, Legends, The Dark y Fallen Empires), se puede jugar tan sólo una carta de cada en un mazo de 60 cartas SIN BANQUILLO. Usa las reglas de Old, con quemadura de maná y mulligan moderno; pero eso no es todo, hay mucha más miga. En lugar de tener una lista de prohibidas y restringidas normal, sólo tiene una de prohibidas (las cartas de ante están prohibidas, para qué restringir si sólo puedes llevar una de cada) y luego este curioso cuadro:
Este cuadro es lo que da nombre al formato. Como veis, hay algunas cartas que tienen un valor numérico del uno al cuatro. Pues en total en tu mazo sólo puedes sumar SIETE puntos, de ahí lo de 7 Points. Y no olvidemos que es Singleton, es decir, una de cada. Las cartas que no están en el cuadro suman 0 puntos, es decir, se pueden jugar sin ningún tipo de problema (siempre 1x). Lo único que se permite jugar más de una son las tierras básicas, de las que puedes llevar todas las que quieras.
¿Por qué es tan popular el formato?
Al tener las cartas numeradas, el formato no requiere jugar Pack. De hecho la mayoría de la gente coge el Sol ring en el rango de los 4 puntos porque es mejor a partida larga para acelerar. Además, aunque juegues varios colores, sólo puedes jugar una dual de cada (y ni siquiera son necesarias), con lo que el formato es realmente amigable con el bolsillo o budget, como se suele decir. Con todos los buyout que se están dando de la (maldita) Reserved list y el precio al que están llegando incluso cartas de Revised, es el mejor formato porque te aceptan reprints en borde blanco (con dibujo original, eso sí) y además sólo tienes que conseguir una carta de cada. Aunque esto es como todo, la gente se viene arriba y gasta más dinero para el último hueco que le quedaba o incluso pimpea todo el mazo entero para que quede precioso.
Otra de las maravillas de este formato es que no vas a ver nada opresivo, porque cartas que son buenas como Black vise y Serendib efreet que normalmente verías de 4 en 4, aquí puede salirle o puedes no olerlas en toda la partida. Lo habitual es ver mazos de uno o dos colores, con muchas cartas diferentes intentando hacer una misma cosa. El problema que tiene Old School es que las cartas son malísimas, literalmente. Veamos por ejemplo este mazo:
Como podéis ver, en este deck de nuestro compañero de Liga Andoni Perez, hay un sólo Caballero negro y otro Order of the Ebon hand. Al no poder meter directamente ocho caballeros, te ves obligado a buscar sustitutos, y de ahí los Erg raiders y las Ogress. Lo mismo se aplica a los costes uno y tres y a los hechizos. Claramente, hay que buscar la mejor alternativa dentro de lo malas que son, y ahí está el tercer punto que hace que este formato resalte tanto: la diversión de construir un mazo.
Tienes que adaptarte a tu pool, a tu bolsillo y a lo que pretendes conseguir. Te puedes tirar horas buscando en tus colecciones o en internet a ver qué carta puede suplir ese coste 3 que tanto te gusta en todos los mazos y que aquí sólo llevas uno. Además, es más difícil hacer netdecking (copiar mazo, de toda la vida) porque no hay tantos torneos y además, lo que para unos ha funcionado para otros es malísimo o simplemente no tienen la carta. El deck de arriba, sin ir más lejos, es realmente barato; pero claro, tenemos un Chaos Orb y un Su-chi que se nos van de las manos. ¡Ya tenéis trabajo buscando sustitutos si queréis haceros una Monoblack!
En este caso os he puesto un mazo bastante sencillo, con un toque claramente agresivo y unas pocas cartas de control. Pero vamos a seguir explorando este formato tan maravilloso e intentando descubrir diferentes arquetipos:
Este es un mazo de control-combo construido por Cyril Terroy. Trata de alargar la partida todo lo que puede con counters y cartas de control para luego matarte o con un pino o con alguno de sus combos. Hay dos bastante divertidos: Guardian Beast con Chaos orb con el que puedes romper un permanente por turno y Power artifact con Basalth monolith con el que te das maná infinito (y matas con Rocket launcher).
Como veis, no todo tiene que ser agresivo y barato, también puedes tener un mazo “pimp” bonito y con cartas caras, además de jugar los combos que más te llamen. Mirad por ejemplo al “hombre leyenda”:
Teniendo la colección de Legends entera en casa dijo “para qué me voy a complicar” y desde luego le ha quedado una obra de arte ¡que tiene pinta de ser muy divertida! Y sí, juega tres colores que no son pocos. Pero eso no es un impedimento a la hora de construir, porque hay pocos petatierras (aunque metas uno de cada jugando tres colores no llegan a 6) y sólo se puede jugar una cantera (os recuerdo de nuevo lo de singleton). Así que la gente que de verdad se anima ha llegado a jugar mazos de cuatro colores también. Mirad esta preciosa Unpowered Elephant Zoo de Tristana Matt:
En este formato, el Unpowered sería algo diferente a lo que estamos acostumbrados. Se trata de no jugar ninguna carta que sume puntos (aunque sea uno). Es decir, vendría a ser algo así como 0 Point Singleton en el que el cuadro inicial son las cartas prohibidas. Y sí, este formato también se juega y en los torneos de 7 point se dan premios al mejor o mejores de los Unpowered.
Para acabar, os dejo un par de vídeos de nuestro amigo Resti en su canal “Old School Mtg Channel” en la que aparecen una partidas de este formato, con varios mazos muy habituales:
¿Qué os ha parecido el formato? Para los que estabais dudando en introduciros dentro del Old por los precios esta puede ser una solución bastante económica y muy divertida. Cualquier pregunta que os surja de este formato (o de Old School en general) no dudéis en preguntármela en mi Twitter @diliz13 o en los comentarios. Hasta la próxima y no lo olvidéis, ¡hay que jugar Serendib que vale 0 puntos!
Hello folks! It has been a month or so from my last article, the first part of the UR Counterburn deck. We started with the history and some insights on the deck, so today for the second part we are going to get more “modern” and put in a sideboard guide. As you may know, this is my favourite deck and I put hours, a lot of effort and so much love to finish this deck full black bordered with Swedish rules. So let´s start with a photo of what I am playing today!
Disclaimer: this is my UK rules version (1 strip, 1 Shop, no FE) and is adapted to the metagame of our league El Norte no Olvida (North Remembers). Also, I am not a pro player or anything like that so don´t think that this guide is the law ;).
The main thing that changes playing UK rules is the mana base: I play 25, including all the jewelry, and with four strips we could easily play 28 or 29. The deck looks easy to play but is more difficult than you think. It was the first agrocontrol deck as we saw in the history article, so you may want to study well this classic article from Mike Flores called “Who’s the beatdown”:
Why? May you ask. It’s simple: You have to know very well when you are the aggressor and when the control role. To put an easy example: if you waste a bolt killing a creature that didn’t bother you instead of keeping it for later to burn the opponent, maybe the match will end with they at two life and you are missing that bolt you cast on a Lion when you had a Mishra to block. In this kind of deck you are going to be evaluating all the time which role are you according to the cards on your hands and on the table; there are situations that from control you would become the aggressor to kill the opponent with an alpha strike or viceversa, moments that you may stay untapped to block.
Well, the best place to start is taking a look to the maindeck. Is a somewhat standard list, what Olle Rade and Stephen Menendian had been playing and tweaking for years. The only addition that can be considered “mine” is playing four Black vise in the main. It makes your start more explosive, your Wheel and Twister become better, and above all, there is a very important reason: it makes your deck less weak to a City in a Bottle. Also, in UK rules, the strongest card is Library of Alexandria, and with 4 Vises the opponents think a lot about using it or no. People play a lot of cards on the place of vises, and I think they are okey too:
Flying men: this card is great, but if you play Vise in turn 1 I think it will do more damage than a flying men during the match. Flying men is easier to kill too, because is a creature. Also, City in a Bottle.
More control cards: a Recall and a pair of Power sink or maybe more Fireballs. It´s not a bad option if you wanna play more controllish. But for the aggro plan, the vises are better than more burn because you already play the best burn spells of the format.
Trump cards: this is the option I could choose if weren´t playing vises. Strong cards that can change the match on his own, like Blood Moon, Serendib Djinn, Control Magic… the best thing is you only play 1-2 of these so you can combine them.
The rest of the cards are in “normal” numbers, is more or less what people play. But if you want to discuss them I am always up in the comments. Let’s get to the central part of the article: The Sideboard. That’s what I play:
I’ve tried to make it polyvalent. You can change cards to adapt it to your metagame, I normally play more artifact hate (Artifact blast) because I hate Shops, you know. I am putting here the top matchups and how to sideboard against them from my point of view. To make it easier, I have put deck photos from the latest Winter Derby (Editor’s note: maybe is not the latest, the original article is old).
+ 4 VS artifacts + 2 Blood moon + 2 REB + 2 Gloom
(Abyss version) – 1 Timetwister – 1 Time walk – 4 Serendib efreet – 4 Chain lightning
The best way to start is with the all around the world hated control deck, because is the most difficult to side again. You really want all the burn to kill him, but at the same time you want the REBs and the artifact destroying cards to kill that damn Jayemdaes. The problem (as always with the SB) isn’t what to get in: is what to get out. Keep in mind that the Deck player will get in Ivory towers, the BEBs and two (always two) CoP: Red. I get out Chains because they are sorceries, but never forget in this matchup you are the aggressor 100%.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can sideboard differently on the play or on the draw. For example, if I have seen no Abyss and I go first I keep the Serendib in. If I am on the draw, I´ll probably get them out. Other option versus deck like this that you know the match will be long is to put in one more card and play 61 to change the Land / Spell ratio. Never forget that sideboarding is nor a perfect technique, it depends on them too. If you can sneak the Blood Moon and destroy the colored Mox that’s all! But if the game goes long is probably worse for you.
UR COUNTERBURN (MIRROR)
+ 2 REB + 2 BEB
– 4 Chain lightning OR -2 Chain -2 Counterspell
This pairing is all about who draws better, because both play the same cards. It depends on your hand if you want to tap to play spells or if you want to wait with mana up to cast Counterspell and when they tap, dump your hand. That said, we are favoured in the mirror because we play the vises and if we have one on turn 1, he will likely tap to cast spells.
If you play Control magic on the SB is a great card for the mirror, but be careful for the REBs. Also, if the opponent plays Flying men, you can side in Psychic purgue to kill them (better than the Chain, in the mirror is horrible) and if they cast Mind twist on you… well is funny to watch their expression.
LAUTER.DECK (UWb CONTROL)
+ 2 Blood moon + 2 REB
– 2 Chain lightning – 2 Counterspell
Is a similar deck but better than UR I think, because they gain access to Swords and Disenchant. But they don’t play a lot of basic lands so here is the deal. If you play a Moon, he can at least give you some turns to put the match ahead and win with the reach of our burn spells. REBs are great and the vises are MVP because they have high casting costs.
+ 2 Psychic purgue + 1 Earthquake + 1 Shatter
– 4 Chain lightning (on the play) – 4 Black vise (on the draw)
It´s not a difficult pairing because without Fallen empires Monoblack loses his Hymn to Tourach that was their best card, so we change some burn for another. If you have seen a blue splash, you can also put in the two REBs. In this pairing you are gonna be the control, shooting to anything that moves and countering the big spells. When the match is controlled, then we play our Dib and run it to victory. They don´t play much kills, so if you have a turn two Serendib and some counters, play it and cross fingers.
The vises go out against this deck because they dump their hand fast. If you have seen a creature heavy deck, take out the vises on the play too. Another thing to keep in mind is the blue splash. If you see Underground seas or Citys or the Library, maybe it’s worth to take the four vises and a burn spell to take in the Moons, because it shuts up Mishra´s too. I always keep Shatters in because of the Nevynirrals but it is all on you.
+1 Earthquake + 1 Shatter + 2 Gloom
– 4 Black vise
+ 1 Earthquake + 2 Gloom + 2 BEB
(Pink Weenie) – 4 Black vise – 1 Counterspell
The same as before: take the vises out because they dump their hand fast. A turn 1-2 Gloom is the best play you can achieve against them, and the Earthquake is MVP. I have searched it with the Demonic so many times against them. In this pairing we are the control player, because they play as much Swords as we play Dibs, so it’s always better to keep control of the board and play them as a finisher.
Against Pink Weenie we have the BEB, but they put in REBs too. Take care of the CoP: Red that they will likely put in. Our burn is for the creatures in this matchup, and we don’t have to worry to finish the match until we have the board clean. If we see a lot of toughness 1 creatures, we must put in the Psychic purgues; they can kill a Lion or a Javelineer.
ARABIAN AGGRO (QUICKSILVER)
+ 2 Blood moon + 2 REB + 2 BEB
– 4 Chain lightning – 2 Counterspell (-2 Shatter si no lleva muchas Mishras)
As you can see, I almost always take out some counters for Elemental blasts. We have a card that does the same for 1 mana less and we don’t want to overload on counters. Our MVP here is the Blood Moon because they don’t play basics. The Chain always goes out because is our worst burn spell and they can fork it to us. Another option, if there are a lot of Quicksilver in your LGS, is to put two City in a Bottle on the SB and take Serendibs out, playing a full Counterburn deck.
Against no basics decks our primary plan is to cast a Blood Moon and play defending it until we ride to victory, including shattering coloured moxen. One of the best things of playing UR is our rock solid manabase, that can win easily 4-5 colour fantasy decks.
+2 psychic purgue + 2 BEB + 1 Earthquake
– 4 Black vise – 1 Chain lightning
In this case, they play smaller critters but a lot of growing spells. We have to be carefull when to play the burn spells because a Giant growth can make us cry. We are on control here and Earthquake is MVP. As you can see, the general idea vs aggro is to take out vises and put in control cards. For example, against Monogreen Stompy, we could sideboard similarly.
+ 4 petacacharros + 2 BEB + 2 REB
– 4 Chain lightning – 4 Black vise
Most Atog decks play a UR base with some splash for powerful cards: black for Demonic and Mind twist, green for Regrowth or Berserk, white for Balance and Disenchant. The main idea is that all the Atog deck play the same burn spells and a lot of continuous damage artifacts. The chains here go out because they can pay RR easily. Here we are the control but be careful with the slow keeps because turn 1 Vise and turn 2 Ankh is an easy win for Atog…
+ 4 VS artifacts + 2 REB
– 2 Chain lightning – 4 Black vise
Similar to Atog on how we have to play, we have to be very careful here because they can have a very strong start. Energy flux are MVP here, but they can do a lot of damage with Triskis. Be aware that they can animate a Triskelion and play a “lightning” to finish you. This kind of deck is very powerful and that’s why I put a lot of more artifact hate in my SB.
+ 2 REB + 1 Shatter
– 3 Chain lightning
They play basic lands and a lot of birds and jewelry so the Blood moon are no great here. But as always, is up to what you have seen in the first match. You have to save the counters for the big spells or the big creatures and forget the rest. Pro tip: if you can, keep always lands in hand. It’s obvious but people forgets about this, and our decks works with 3-4 mana easily. The vises here are great because punish a slow start.
+ 2 BEB + 2 REB + 1 Shatter
– 4 Chain lightning – 1 Timetwister
Dificult pairing, where counters are going to be cast on both sides. Ours are gonna trying to get those pesky regenerating trolls. The matches are going to be win (or lose) because of the card advantage; with Library, a timely Mind twist or a big Geyser. It’s not worth keeping burn spells on hand because they don’t have lifegain and we can’t kill their creatures, except for bolt for Mishras maybe.
Take out bad cards and put in the great cards J. Jokes aside, the cards you don’t want on the second match are Vises and Chains. If we put in Elemental blasts, we can take out counters. We have always to have clear what we want to put in, and the rest is all about math.
That’s all for today, folks! I hope you aren’t bored, and if you have read all it down here, thank you! As I have said it in the beginning this is my point of view, but I am always open to discuss and to learn new things. You can contact me here on the comments or in Twitter @diliz13. See you son and keep your decks black bordered!
Welcome all to another article of mine! I started in Old School Madrid talking about decks for beginners, and the last time I talked about Old School formats. Now, it’s time to diversify and to write something more complete (not professional because I am a bad player and Old School is for fun). And what could be better to end the year than talking about my pet deck? This is going to be long so I have divided in two articles; this is the first part.
When I started to play Old School, it was not played outside of Sweden. So I had to play my Quicksilver (Arabian aggro) deck in Vintage events (with four Force of Will, because why not). But when Old School started to catch adepts in Spain, we (two friends and I) started to organize the monthly League North Remembers, and suddenly we were a growing community of 20 players in the North of Spain. People started to play better decks, we started to make contact with the rest of the communities here in Spain (Liga Madrileña, Liga Ilicitana, Asturian Crusaders, Liga Catalana, and a long etc.)
So what the hell has this to do with the article Diliz? Wait, wait, I am arriving to it. When the people started to play better decks at tournaments, there were better answers and better sideboard tech at the same time. So when a lot of people started to play City in a Bottle (even maindeck!), my Quicksilver was not a great deck anymore. I searched for answers, and I immediately falled in love: UR was my new deck. I have played UR for years, in Legacy, Vintage, even in Modern! But in Old School, it had all I needed.
But I think I am going too fast. Let’s start off with some history about aggrocontrol decks: Years ago, decks were categorized in two archetypes: Aggro and Control. On the fast side, the leader was Zoo, and on the slow side, it was the Deck. There was no Aggrocontrol as we know it, all the decks were polarized with either a lot of creatures or no creatures at all. Here you have a link to the past to see what I say with your own eyes:
So –you would ask– how is we all have heard about UR? This deck started to post results later, thanks to the innovative ideas of Alan Comer and his deck called Turbo Xerox. This guy posted a second place in South California Regionals on June of 1997 with this deck:
Do you see anything strange? Exactly! No rares on the deck, only commons and uncommons. A marvellous and very cheap deck. What? Oh, I am sorry, but is what people thought when saw this deck on the finals. But there is a VERY IMPORTANT detail that no one saw: there were only 17 islands in the deck. To compare, the winner of the same event played 24 lands and Thawing glaciers to search them for. Alan was a genius, and turned around all the Weissmann principles. Instead of making a long mana base, with half of the deck lands and/or stones, he made the absolute opposite and made the shortest mana base his deck could support. The theory proposed by this genius is this: for each PLAYSET you play with 1-2 mana cost, you can cut TWO lands from the deck.
This deck has twelve cantrips on the deck (3 playsets), so he cut down 6 lands. Also, the mana curve is low so he trimmed down to a 17 land total. Being a MonoBlue deck, all lands are islands so you could never have colour problems; and with no Thawing glaciers, you could be cantripping in opponent’s eot instead of saving mana for thawning glaciers. So in late game, it was most probably for you to be drawing gas and great spells instead or lands.
Meanwhile, in another place, Erik Lauer was working with Andrew Cuneo in a deck they unveiled making top 8 on 1998 World Championship:
1 Rainbow Efreet
4 Force Spike
3 Mana Leak
1 Memory Lapse
4 Whispers of the Muse
4 Nevinyrral’s Disk
4 Stalking Stones
4 Sea Sprite
This deck, nowadays known as Draw & Go, was the epitome of control decks, because you played every spell in opponents turn, and all you did in your turn was draw and say “go”, hence the name. But back in 1997, Darwin Kastle (Avalanche Riders Invitational winner) took a more aggressive version of Lauer’s deck, putting in it Alan Comer’s ideas and with his friend Paul created one of the first decks we can truly call Counterburn:
PAUL MCCABE 1997 World Championship Top 8
4 Cloud Elemental
2 Frenetic Efreet
3 Suq’Ata Lancer
1 Wildfire Emissary
4 Force of Will
3 Mind Stone
2 City of Brass
2 Undiscovered Paradise
1 Phyrexian furnace
4 Knight of the Mists
1 Nevinyrral’s Disk
1 Serrated Arrows
Ah, at last! After all this annoying spam a real Counterburn deck! There is only a problem: in Old School Visions and Alliances are not allowed sets, so this deck is not legal. But if you have paid attention, we have learned two things:
First is that UR in Old School was created later, with all the knowledge we have nowadays.
Second is the composition of the deck, full of counters and burn and with few creatures as a finisher. What if I put here a photo of the deck so we can see it better?
This is Olle Rade’s deck, known as Sylvan Safekeeper (another Invitational winner), designer of the UR delver deck in Legacy and la few times top 8 in N00bcon. As we can subtract from the photo, the deck is Swedish legal, so no reprints and only 1 strip mine. Let’s go card by card:
CREATURES: The ideal number is somewhere between five and ten. In this deck there are nine. You don’t want a lot of creatures, with one or two strikes of one of them is enough for us. For example, Menendian’s version only plays 5 djinns and a Control magic with no flying men.
COUNTERS: It’s all up on you, but I have never played more tan nine. This man plays five, the best of the format without doubt, 4 Counterspell and a Mana drain. Other playable counters in Old School are these:
BURN SPELLS: The ideal number is somewhere between eight and fifty! Olle Rade plays thirteen, near the maximum. This guy goes for the throat with all playsets of the best burn spells in the format and a Fireboll to pentakill… and I love it! It’s a solid plan, with a pair of attacks, some pain from his own City of Brass and the opponent is dead before he has time to think about it. Of course, burn is to kill blockers first, but with all this direct damage is the best finisher in the deck too.
THE PACK: The rest of the cards are normally P9 or some powerfull restricted cards worth to splash like Demonic tutor and Mind twist.
The truth is that when I started playing it, I thought I will miss some white cards like Swords to plowshares or Disenchant, or maybe some CoP. This is not the case. You have the shatters and the Energy fluxes to kill artifacts, and the enchantments don’t really affect you. Moat is bad because you play all flyers, and the Abyss… well, you play counters or you can go full burn. And playing only two colours (or a little splash) has some advantages, namedly BLOOD MOON that crushes all the multicolour fantasies out there.
BONUS: I know you love the photos, so here you have two other decks. The first is a UR Atog with a pair of videos of me playing it (badly), and the second one is a more Budget UR eel.
This is all for this horrible 2020. I hope you are all safe and having a great Christmas; next year can’t be worse! Be careful with the Corona, and play all the Old School you can. If you have comments or wanna ask something, hit me up in Twitter: @diliz13
Hello Oldschoolers! How is your quarantine going? I hope you all are safe and willing to read another Old School article. You know that out here there are a lot of Old School rules: some of them with 1 strip mine, other with 4, some with infinite plague rats and others with ante before you start the match. All of them have been summarized in this chart:
So you knew all of this, and in your area they play Atlantic or EC and you are fine. But every week playing with the same rules can be boring, considering that we have a very pool of limited cards (ABU + Arabian + Antiquities + Legends + Fallen empires). Sometimes, changing the B&R list is not enough to have fun, and as our community is amazing, has created a lot of formats or “subformats” in Old School.
A common way to create some variation within the format without deterring it spirit has been introducing another year or another collection into the pool, thus creating a subformat. There are a lot of examples for this: Scryings, Old School 93-95, Old School with Ice Age… and we can continue ‘til the end of the page. But you are really really sick of playing against the same the Deck again and again (see what I did here?) you’re desperately striving for a change; but you truly love Old School and don’t wanna play Modern (or you don’t own a pool). What’s the solution? Subformats! Here you have some very interesting and fun to play Old School 93-94 subformats to enjoy with friends!
Commander is not exclusive to judges anymore: you can play Commander with the same rules but with a 93-94 pool. There are a lot of interesting Legendary creatures in Legends. 100 cards of the colour of your Commander, a bunch of friends and you can have fun all the night!
Singleton is about the same, but you only play with 60 cards and without a Commander. Here you have a URB deck with all the possible Commanders to admire what a beautiful format can be this (deck credits @guillemnicolau):
7 POINT SINGLETON
So you loved the Singleton idea but you don´t have money to buy an entire Commander deck, nor any Power pieces. Don’t worry! Although his name looks like Poker, this format is for you. We take the most powerful cards on Old School and we score them from 1 to 4:
4 POINTS: Ancestral recall, Black lotus, Library of Alexandria, Sol ring
3 POINTS: Demonic tutor, Mind twist, 5 Moxen, Time Walk
2 POINTS: Armageddon, Black vise, Channel, Land Tax, Mishra´s Workshop
1 POINT: Balance, Braingeyser, City in a bottle, Dark ritual, Hymn to Tourach, Mana Drain, Mana vault, Moat, Maze of Ith, Recall, Regrowth, Sylvan library, The Abyss, Timetwister, Wheel of fortune, Winter orb.
The cards not listed here cost 0 points, but don´t forget this is singleton! When making a deck, you can only have 7 points in your deck, hence the name of the format. There are some examples:
The dices are here to mark the cards for the TOs, to see the deck is legal on the format. As you can see, the last deck is very cheap and easy to make. This format is very fun and could make a great entry point for a lot of newcomers from other formats to Old School.
Do you remember when Wizards made the first Team GP? GPs of three person teams what the hell is this? If I recall it correctly, the first one was a Modern GP, and in each team you could only play a playset of each card between the three people. Well, we have adapted this to Old School, with a change or two:
First, due to COVID-19 the tournaments following these rules have been celebrated online so all the three decks are run by the same person (changing deck between rounds).
Second, as we have restricted card, you can only play one copy between the three decks.
As we play without proxies, this format is very fun because we have to search all our pool for playables and make some janky decks that are truly humorous. What the people normally does is to play some decent deck and the rest are “leftovers”. Here you have a pair of decks to see what I am talking about:
So everybody likes to play Cube in Magic Online! Who doesn’t like to combine broken cards with totally useless picks? In Old School this is a hyperbole. You can have an Ancestral and a 0/3 wall in the same deck… and it works! I can say how to make a Cube because it’s all up to your tastes and preferences, but here you have a pair of links of 360 Old School cards to start from somewhere:
All I can say is that you cube as we do, with beers and bbq, it’s better for you if you play with proxies because as the night approaches there can be accidents and card losses ;p. Also, here you have a cube seen on Twitter. What’s your p1p1?
Welcome to the millionaires format! The only cards allowed here are cards from the very first edition of Magic: Alpha. As you probably thought, this is a very expensive format, but at the same time a very enjoyable one. You play with a 40 card only-Alpha-deck without sideboard, and the matches are best of 3. Even if you are rich, you can´t play all the crazy stuff you are thinking about because there are a lot of restricted and “semirestricted” cards with a lot of incompatibilities between them. If you are interested, as it is difficult to explain, here you have the link to the rules:
As you can see, the format has 7 different groups of playable cards and a banned list. Of the first four groups (Fast Mana, Power, Destructive and Card Draw) you can only play a card of each. Not one copy of each card, just one copy of one of the cards. “Restricted” cards work like restrictions in other formats, which means only one copy of each card; in the “Rares” and “Moderated” group up to 3 copies of each card can be played, and the rest of the cards that are not in any of the aforementioned lists can be inserted in any amount. You could have as many copies as you want! So you can play 17 forest and 23 War Mammoths for example.
As I said, the format’s layout is a bit complicated, but don’t worry; the people is not rich and they play straightforward decks, basically aggro. But enough chat and better start watching the photos. Warning! For adults only.
If you want more photos like this, you should follow @SMenendian on Twitter. Here is his latest report, with more photos:
If you loved Alpha 40, but now you are angry and envious like me because you don’t own the money to buy the cards and you want something similar but kinder to your pocket, don’t search anymore: Revised 40 is your format. As its twin, you play 40 card decks but they are Revised, not Alpha. The biggest two problems are gone: cards are cheap and power level is much lower. The rules are easier to understand too:
Most important change comparing to other constructed formats is that you don’t play playsets, only 3 of each rare and uncommon. You can play infinite commons though. Be careful with the card choice because there are more uncommons than you think. Here you have some interesting constructions:
As we have seen through this journey, Old School is a very open format with a lot of possibilities in deck construction and formats. In our “North Remembers” league, every year we change B&R to make it more fun and change the way people constructs decks. I would really love to play some of these formats as a one-day-tournament or as a side event for the people who didn’t make the top 8 cut for example. I really like how Revised 40 or 7 Point Singleton play.
As always, thank for reading. I really appreciate your feedback, and you know you can find me in Twitter as @diliz13 for anything you want to know (or to teach me) about Old School. Take care and buy Alpha!