12 months, 12 decks (IV) Evil Eye Control


Hello again, old school folks!

I see more and more decklists that include the card this deck revolves around: Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore (Evil Eye for friends). More and more players are realizing the potential of this strange and, in my opinion, underrated card. I`m going to tell my experience from the first deck that I created with evil eyes, back in December 2018, on the fourth tournament of the third LMOS, where I won the award for the most creative deck


That day, long ago, in December 2018, my opponents asked what «that» was doing every time this card was casted for five mana, or they just laughed a lot. I can assure you that it was a very fun day. The origin of the reason for this idea was that it seemed to me that Evil Eye had good synergy with Will-o-the-Wisp. It seemed like the perfect team to me: evil eyes attacked and Will defended, back then Maze of Ith was still restricted in Eternal Central

First version: Evil Eye Attack

During this time I have been working on the deck, working it little by little, but it wasn´t until my friend and founder of this blog, Luis Eguizabal, put together his own version and got a good result (top 4):

Evil Eye Control by Luis, a top design

Luis managed to work the idea and take it to its best level. It´s a deck that works very well against creatures, being a nightmare against decks that don´t have Swords to Plowshares, it also added Mirror Universe, Library of Alexandria, or Guardian Beast, which gave it a touch of quality and, above all, it worked very well the mana base –I can assure you that you will almost never get stuck against Strip Mine, they will have to resort to Armaggedon to get it–, it also managed to improve the sideboard a lot.

The perfect team

Let’s stop for a moment on the Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore card: it’s a 3/6 for 5 mana, the first thing that comes to mind is that Sengir Vampire is a flying 4/4 for the same cost and it can swell, yes, it´s true, but it dies with Psionic Blast, instead the eye or they play swords or double Lightning Bolt or it doesn´t die, and it´s practically unblockable (almost nobody plays walls), it can block Juzam, Juggernaut, Su- Chi, Triskelion, etc, doesn´t have double black cost, which I think is more important than it seems (especially to play it in splash or with other colors and in case you get stuck with double swamp), it can seem like a lot of mana but it must be taken into account that black is one of the colors with the best accelerators; Its biggest flaw is that it´s a card to build the deck around it, because the one that you can only attack with eyes is a great handicap, but if your deck is prepared to clean the battlefield and that there are only eyes on the battlefield…

Now yes, this is my version

Evil Eye Control… ¿Version 4.0?


  • The idea of ​​the deck is to slow down the opponent’s game as much as possible to exhaust resources until you play a disk and then cast your Evil Eyes as if they were a finisher. This is the rough plan. For Evil Eye to be devastating we run a series of cards that work in a similar way: they help defend you from creatures, while the eye is undermining the life of the opponent without opposition. The Maze, Icy, Will, Disks, Royal, etc, generate this effect. If you already combine them with each other, it will be more difficult for the opponent to hit you because he needs more and varied resources. Power 3 of Eye may seem insufficient compared to other creatures considered finishers, such as Juzam Djinn or Serra Angel, but if we combine it with Underworld Dreams or an opponent’s Serendib Efreet it cannot attack you (something more common than it seems), life points go down faster.
  • There are other key cards in the deck. Underworld Dreams may seem that isn`t compatible with disks or with Mirror Universe, but it´s that it is not intended to be played on turn one with Dark Ritual, if not rather after a disk, or in the middle of the game. It´s very useful against cards like Ancestral Recall, Wheel of Fortune or Timetwistter, or annul Sylvan Library or Jayemdae Tome, they´ll have to think twice before playing them.
This would be an ideal game
  • Icy Manipulator has a problem similar to Underworld Dreams, being permanent it goes away with the effect of the disk, and that is why the deck only has one, but once the disk is played it can protect us and it can also rotate almost anything, even City of Brass of the opponent that will help us to scratch some life points. Let’s not forget the combo with Royal Assassin.
  • When Maze of Ith was unrestricted I was very happy, first because it´s a card that I love and second because it would be the perfect ally for Evil Eye, and on top of that it cannot be countered, is true that the opponent can destroy it with Strip Mine and that 4 are allowed in the format, but normally the opponent uses the Mines to try to get you black, or to kill your Mishras, so that when you play the Maze they will no longer have Strip Mine to be able to get rid of it.
  • Drain Life is a slow card, but in this deck it´s essential, more than one game is won by changing lives with the Mirror and finishing with Drain Life. Against aggro decks it´s essential to hold or kill annoying creatures, and against control decks it will help us to draw more cards combined with Greed.
  • Hymn to Tourach may seem not to be so good as it doesn´t have fast creatures to put pressure, and it´s true, but in this deck they serve to slow down the opponent’s game even more (which is what the deck is based on) and maybe hopefully we take some Swords or Fireballs along the way. It helps to take away annoying cards that can win us.
  • One of the big differences between Luis’s deck and mine is the use of Dark Rituals, I don’t play them to ramp up in the first turns, but because I see them fundamental against some pairing, for example, against Atog, the Black Vise and Ankh of Mishra are going to make you dust until you can cast something, the only option is to play the Dark Ritual to play a disk as soon as possible, sometimes you have very high costs in hand and thanks to this card you can play them before, such as Mirror Universe, or the eyes. Dark Ritual can be a horrible card at the topdeck, but in this deck it will always be useful because you can take advantage of it in a Drain Life or Mind Twist (especially this card needs them because we aren´t playing any pieces from P9), they are also good to look for something with Demonic Tutor and play it on the same turn. Another difference is that I don´t run Paralyze, not even on the sideboard, the reason is that they don´t works with Maze of Ith, the combination of these two cards is what is called a «nombo».
  • Mirror Universe is fundamental, one of our big problems is that it loses against decks with many sparks and if there is no Mirror we have very few chances, but when we play it the game turns around and we will surely win, because we can control the creatures very well of the opponent but we cannot do anything against his sparks. Fireball at the late game is a card that usually wins us, hence the importance of the Mirror to be able to play it before they play us a lethal ball and if we remove it before with Hymn to Tourach, much the better.
  • We reached the star card of the deck, Nevinyrral`s Disk. Without the playset the deck doesn’t hold up, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to after playing it all this time. Monoblack is the color that neither enchantments nor artifacts can be removed, and any monoblack aggro deck usually has base disks, but in this deck they are even more important because it´s designed to play after the disk, in an aggro monoblack you get to accumulate many permanents and sometimes it is not so good to play the disk because you balances the game, not here, here you know that if you resolve a disk the game is going to turn in your favor, because the opponent’s resources will have been wasted (unless be a The Deck) and they will have fewer creatures that will be easier to control. The cards that combine very well with Nevinyrral’s Disk we have already named them throughout the article: Maze of Ith, Will-o-the-Wisp, Mishra`s Factory, Evil Eye …
  • There are cards that aren’t in the deck because I haven´t got them, but it´s clear that Library of Alexandria is a must have, as in most decks. Guardian Beast isn´t essential but it´s like a small wall that blocks creatures and protects your artifacts even from your own disks, and the combo with Chaos Orb is devastating. City in a Bottle is another obvious improvement for the sideboard.
  • There are other cards that could be included. Pestilence is usually played in these types of decks, but it´s risky against burn decks, and I find it slow and counterproductive to play it, but a copy could be included. I like Howl From Beyond, having creatures with evasion can be a good way to end the game on the fast track; it´s also an elegant way to use the Dark Ritual. Zelyon Sword has a similar use and it can help make the eyes more powerful, but it´s permanent and goes with the disk, and it´s a predictable and slow card. Haunting Winds is a very interesting card for the sideboard against Atog and Worshop, the handicap is that it also damage you.
  • Our greatest enemy is The Deck, without a doubt it´s our worst pairing, all his cards go well against us, Disenchant, Swords to Plowshares, The Abyss, Moat, Mirror Universe, Fireball, they´ll beat us. Our only basic option is to get lucky with the disks and Underworld Dreams. On game two things change a bit because we have Disrupting Scepter, Hypnotic Specter, who will be annoying and we will play to draw more cards thanks to Greed. Burn decks are dangerous too, but it’s better pairing than The Deck because we can recover thanks to Drain Life. Armageddon is another card that will crush us, to lose two Maze of Ith can be terrible, it´s another very difficult pairing. The combination of Ankh of Mishra and Black Vise also beats us because we need to go down one land every turn, if we don’t activate quick disk the game is going to get ugly. Ivory Tower will be our best resource in this case. Winter Orb is also devastating, prison decks are also difficult to fight, especially if we are tap the lands continuously, hence the importance of the Dark Ritual and being able to cast the disk earlier. Blood Moon also annoys us a lot because it eliminates us at once Maze of Ith, Strip Mine and Mishra’s Factory but it causes a curious acceleration effect because if we have a Maze in play that land will become a mountain and we will have another land. Suddenly, so maybe we can download that winning Disk or an Evil eye, or the saving Mirror Universe.
  • Our draw engine is limited because we only have 3 cards that allow us to draw more (with Library of Alexandria). Jayemdae Tome is essential, we accumulate a lot of mana and it´s a way to help us avoid flooing by having so many lands, and Greed is a card that against aggro is quite bad but against control is excellent because it´s fast.
  • The deck runs 29 lands, but 8 of them cannot be counted as a mana base since the Maze don´t give mana and the Strip Mines have to be counted as resources, so with the four Dark Ritual there are 25 sources of mana, which I see enough. The important thing is to know how many swamps you need to get double black mana as soon as possible, and the deck plays 17 black sources and you can’t play not one less.

Old School MTg Channel!

Before we finish we have a surprise. Thanks to the great work of our friend Resti we can include a game recorded on «Old School MTG Channel«, his YouTube channel where he is posting different games, so you can see in action the deck we are analyzing today: Evil Eye Control vs Merfolks!:

If you have not subscribed to his channel, I recommend that you do so, you will watch weekly videos of Old School (EC & Swedish rules) and Premodern games. Thanks, Resti!


We have a control deck (no blue) built around a creature like Evil Eye. If I play it in single color, it´s so that it doesn´t lose its essence, and because it turns out to be more budget than any version with other colors in which you have to include Dual Lands. I have honestly really enjoyed designing and playing this deck. If you have played a similar version or simply want to tell me your opinion, I will be happy to hear from you, you can do so through the comments on this blog or on my Instagram account: @retroplayermtg

Until next time!


12 months, 12 decks (III): Titania Fungusaur

Titania Fungusaur

Hello again old school folks! It’s been a long time since I last wrote here. Throughout the world a turbulent time is being experienced due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us have been confined in our homes and living with tension the events. The terrible information that we see every day in the news, the difficulty in getting some cards, and personal matters that are irrelevant, have not allowed me to focus on writing, but here we are again, and we are going to continue with the challenge we set ourselves at the beginning of the year.
Things have changed since then – and unexpectedly. During the confinement I have played a lot of Old school and Premodern and formats as new as Legacy96 (all online, of course), even a tournament where I tried the idea of this deck.
I hope that you are all well, and I hope that you enjoy today’s article and for a few minutes you escape from the reality that we have to live these days, this is my small contribution.


The idea of combining Titania´s Song with Fungusaur may seem absurd. At first glance they look like cards that have nothing in common. I wanted to play Fungusaur, but I also wanted to do it differently than usual, that is, in a BG deck with Pestilence or Cuombajj Witches, an idea that I love, by the way. I started to investigate and I came across Rod of Ruin, I liked the combo, although it was a bit expensive to play, but cost 4 could be profitable for Titania´s Song, since it would become a 4/4 that previously would have removed some life points. I wondered if the two cards could coexist in the same strategy, and I got down to work.

Titania Fungusaur 1.0

In this version I played Rod of Ruin and Fungusaur in the main, but it was very weak against removal and the artifact was very slow. The sensations were good ending with a 2-2. At least this result indicated that the deck could work, so I kept working and got to the next version:

Captura 2020-06-07 a las 15.20.08


  • As we said before, Fungusaur is weak against removal (a simple spark kills it) so I thought of another plan. Avoid Fate was an option, but I had to put the playset in to be effective, and at some point I would have to use them to defend my artifacts, so Fungusaur would continue taking all the removal. I saw that in some versions of Titania sideboards creatures played, and I thought that was the key to the plan. As a base, he would play a prison style deck, without creatures, and in the second game he would play a deck with more victory conditions and that was designed so that he wasn’t so prone to succumb to our biggest enemies: Energy Flux or Shatterstorm. I designed a sideboard with a selection of creatures that would works well against certain decks. The opponent, if he doesn’t see creatures in the first game, it’s normal that he will remove some removal, we know that Lightning Bolt is almost never going to be removed but Chain Lightning and some Swords to include hate against artifacts.
  • Playing the deck is how I discovered that there was another card with which Fungusaur works better than with Rod of Ruin, this was Desert, which is faster and more effective, and also it helped me defend myself in the first turns of fast creatures like Savannah Lions (The lions are dying of thirst in the desert XD), it also provides mana, so you have to play the playset. Having 2 in the battlefield plus a Fungusaur and free way (something easy to get in this deck) we will put on it 2 counters each turn, becoming it a good finisher. I rarely used the Rod of Ruin to inflate the Fungusaur, so I ended up removing it. You could also play Triskelion because Fungusaur growth up with each of his shots.
  • Fellwar Stone is the first card I think of when I build a deck based on Titania´s Song, I never play less than 4, especially playing unpowered. It provides acceleration and mana of «almost any color», many times thanks to the opponent’s City of Brass, and is a potential 2/2 for when we have to attack. We also have the classic Toolbox for prison style decks: Icy Manipulator, Howling Mine, Winter Orb and Relic Barrier. In my opinion I think that you have to include 3 Icy Manipulators for the versatility of the card, it has control ability, «removal», and it’s a 4/4 with Titania´s Song on the table; mines can range from 3 to 4 but would not include less than 3 because it’s the main part of our draw engine; 2 orbs is enough, because they can easily be dead card in hand, and sometimes benefits the opponent more than us – remember this version is unpowered – and Relic Barrier, a card of which I am a declared fan, for two mana can tap Mishra’s Factory, Tetravus, Triskelion, Su-Chi, Mana Vault, etc. Although people play 2 to 4 copies, that depends on how you build your deck, the handicap of this card is that against some decks it loses effectiveness because at most it will tap a Sol Ring, but it’s very important in our strategy to tap our own mines and orbs, and it’s a nightmare for artifact decks.
  • As a prison deck without blue it’s necessary to play with white since we need to protect ourselves at the beginning of the game to be able to develop our game, Swords to Plowshares, Disenchant and Balance are essential, especially Swords that combine very well with Mirror Universe.
    · When I started to investigate possible cards I realized that there was one that I had never seen play, at least in a tournament, that card was Nova Pentacle and it has been one of the great discoveries because it works quite well, its disadvantage is that it was not can activate if no creatures are in play, making it worse against UR or Burn decks, but in a deck without creatures like this, or in which, sometimes, your only creature will be Fungusaur, it’s worth spending a slot in it. It’s not a substitute for Icy Manipulator, but can be combined with it, since the advantage of the Pentacle is that it eliminates the creature while Icy Manipulator does not. With Titania´s Song in play it’s a 4/4 not insignificant. If we combine it with Desert we can kill creatures that are asymmetric in strength and resistance, such as Ernham Djinn, Kird Ape, etc., since we are going to redirect the damage and normally the opponent will choose to do that damage to the same creature that is attacking and to the At the end of the combat phase we will do that last point of damage with the desert, enough to annihilate it. It’s a card that once its power is understood the opponent always wants to get rid of it. I think that 2 copies can be played if you have a lot of capacity to generate mana since its activation cost is high, but I think that one copy is the optimal amount.
  • FCCEDFAF-8E6E-4E5D-B319-7E132A54C499
    Are you sure you want to redirect the damage?
  • One of the cards that improved the deck compared to the first version was Mana Vault, because it accelerates to play before Icy Manipulator or Mirror Universe, or with Mind Twist. When I played without this card the opponent’s Strip Mines frustrated me and didn’t let me play anything, but thanks to the Vault I can play a Fellwar and a Relic in the same turn, or Relic and Mine at the same time, something necessary in this deck.
  • We already know the power of Mirror Universe, we aren’t going to discover America, it was another considerable improvement because the deck in the first version always lost against decks with many sparks like Atog or UR, because you could not do anything against bolts and Chain Lightning but this card changed things a lot, because in addition to being able to look for it with the Demonic Tutor at the appropriate time, it combines very well with Sylvan and Mana Vault and once it’s resolved – protecting it with Avoid Fate if necessary – you only have to cast Titania´ s Song and attack with any of the artifacts you have on the battlefield, with which we could say that the Mirror Universe is one of our victory conditions.
  • Our main objective is to play one artifact after another while we are changing lives for cards (with Sylvan Library) or stealing extra cards with the mines and controlling the table with Relic Barrier, Icy Manipulator, Winter Orb, Swords, Disenchant … until let’s accumulate a sufficient quantity of artifacts to play a deadly Titania´s Song with which we’ll finish with a single blow to the adversary. The most important thing is to avoid being countered because Disenchant allows you to attack that turn (remember that once it comes into play, if Titania´s Song leaves the game, the effect continues until the end of the turn) and normally you play this card to win although sometimes you are forced to play it before time because perhaps you are forced of lives and you have to kill in 2 turns instead of one.
  • For this unpowered version I chose the splash to black to be able to play the 2 best cards of that color: Demonic Tutor and Mind Twist. With the Tutor we’ll look for our bombs, such as Mirror or Balance, Titania´s Song or Chaos Orb, or a saving Disenchant to remove Moat, or his inseparable and most faithful friend: Mind Twist. This card is devastating and although we play without the P9 by generating so much mana and, especially, thanks to Mana Vault, the Twist we play will be quite effective.
  • The mana base is solid and although there are 3 colors with the 2 city of Brass, Scrubland and Swamp you can manage to play the splash to black, since many times you will get that color thanks to Fellwar Stone. In the photo a swamp appears but in that slot it’s best to put a Bayou, a card that I currently don’t have. Deserts are great to take on the first few turns versus quick decks of small creatures. The deck doesn’t suffer much against Blood Moon because it has many basic lands but there can still be games where it’s an annoying card.
  • Our greatest enemy is Energy Flux and a single turn in which we have to deal with this enchantment can be devastating, that’s why the deck is designed to face this card, first with the sideboard with all the creatures we run and with the that we do not have to pay with the Flux on the battlefield. As we see in the deck photo, we have Wirling Dervish against Monoblack, Preacher will be a nightmare for many decks, especially for those whose removal is only Swords and have been removed for the second game. Fungusaur will become a not inconsiderable finisher thanks to the combo with Desert and in 4 turns they can end the game. Serra Angel will be for those decks with Moat. The other cards are to reinforce our strategy against aggro or control.
    City in a Bottle can be annoying but we can deal with it, although it can destroy our mana base by taking away the deserts and the City of Brass.
    UR or any deck with many sparks are very dangerous and Mirror Universe will be our main weapon to beat them, we have Circle of Protection: Red, a true classic.
  • Monoblack has the Gloom and the knights with protection against white that will annul our swords and then Icy Manipulator will be our “removal” to fight them, we’ll also need massive removal like Balance or Wrath of God. Underworld Dreams is also very dangerous, being able to enter the first turn thanks to Dark Ritual and for that we have Tranquility on the sideboard, which will be in many cases as the fifth Disenchant that skips the Gloom.
  • Time Walk, which would be our best card if we played with blue, is a fearsome enemy because if the opponent manages to nullify our permanent tapping artifacts, and Howling Mine is in play and untapped, he or she can get many cards if plays several turns in a row, it’s a difficult move to foresee and can throw overboard all the work we have done, so be careful.
  • Obviously, all decks that play white will also put us in trouble because Disenchant will most likely play and Dust to Dust will be the sideboard that we have the most to fear. Against Disenchant we have Avoid Fate, but against Dust to Dust we only have the creatures that we put from the sideboard or try to break the double target with our Strip Mines and Chaos Orb.
  • Could include a copy of Guardian Beast to protect our artifacts against Nevinyrral’s Disk or combine with Chaos Orb. Maze of Ith is a great candidate and I played it in some versions but I had to choose between developing the mana base (Maze spends a land drop) or having more protection against creatures.
  • Some cards are necessary although they don’t appear in the deck, ignoring p9, but Library of Alexandria is necessary, The Abyss could be very well in main although it would not work with our current sideboard. If you have Mishra´s Workshop it’s also a great card for this deck full of artifacts.
  • It’s necessary to change your way of thinking with the use of the Strip Mines, since they are normally used as removal, but in this case they have to be used as one more land. If they are included it’s more to combat Library of Alexandria, although they can always be used at specific times such as breaking the double blue in case you intuit that there is a Counterspell or for the double white and stop a Moat or Dust to Dust from going cast. But they will normally be used as one more land that gives mana.
  • Another key card on the sideboard is Avoid Fate, I like to play 2 in main deck but if we sideboard our creatures, it’s best to put 2 more, and since the opponent will have removed part of his removal, the 4 Avoid Fate will be much more effective .
Fungusaur in action


We’ve here one of those decks built around a single card, which at first glance seems to have a unique condition of victory but that has some surprises, especially when we sideboard unstoppable Fungusaur that will devour everything in their path in just a few turns to the opponent’s amazement. As always, I would love to hear your opinions and you can tell me something through the blog comments or on my Instagram account: @retroplayermtg 
And you know, take good care of yourself in these difficult times. Until next time!

12 months, 12 decks (II): Atog Weenie

Atog Weenie



Hi, folks old school! Here we are again with the challenge #12months12decks, if you need to refresh your memory or know what this is about click here

Ornithopter is one of those cards to which we all love in one way or another, it’s an iconic card from old times, although it didn’t see much play in the time of Revised. When Mirrodin was published, we did realize its true potential, expansion where «Affinity» emerged, the terrifying deck of artifacts… days in which we knew that after Ornithopter will came a Cranial Plating, a play with which still I have nightmares.
The idea of the deck was born because I wanted to play Ornithopter in Old School, his affinity with Atog is more than obvious, but by itself it’s not very dangerous, until you play a Blood Lust, and the opponent begins to look at him with a little more of respect, but let’s not get ahead, let’s start by seeing the deck, I played a similar list on the last day of the league with which I was ninth:

Captura 2020-03-06 a las 2.09.29
Atog Weenie 2.0


  • Why call the deck «weenie» and not «sligh«? Well, when I first thought about the deck I had seen quite a few decklists that combined Atog with Black Vise, Su-Chi or Ankh of Mishra, or with other creatures that weren’t artifacts, such as Serendib Efreet or Savannah Lions, but none played small creatures artifact and that’s what I based on to design it, in an army of low-cost creatures that were scratching the life of the opponent and when they were no longer useful were food for Atog, thus fulfilling a double function, that’s why it comes closer to the concept of «weenie»
  • Like White Weenie or Black Weenie, it’s based on low-cost creatures and some disruption and in some way pump them. The best artifact creature of cost 1 in Old School is Brass Man, that was an easy choice. For a mana we have a 1/3 that if you want to untap it, you have to pay one colorless mana in upkeep, and if we can’t untap it, it will be food for Atog. He is able to stop Savannah Lions, Mishra Factory or Black Knight, not bad. Ornithopter is another artifact that we should include, by itself it’s no big deal, it enters free, flies and is a blocker of Hypnotic Specter, Serendib or Serra Angel, apart from being food for Atog, but combined with Blood Lust becomes more dangerous. Atog is our best creature, our «finisher», the bad thing is that it’s red and Circle of Protection: Red (from now on COP: Red) is played a lot.
  • Battering Ram: I know it’s one of the most controversial cards in the deck, but then I explain the reasons why I included this card that is never played (unless you are playing a cube). As I said before, the concept of the deck is based on the «weenie concept», and in Old School Battering Ram is the only creature artifact of cost 2, we have the Ornithopter of cost 0, Brass Man of cost 1, the next in the list is Battering Ram, if wego to the next one on the list (cost 3) we have Onulet, Dragon Engine, Yotian Soldier … but the mana curve soar and in a 4-Strip Mine format and unpowered if the curve is high we run the risk of not being able to play them for to get stuck -and they would become dead cards in hand- hence playing Battering Ram, because we’ll be able to cast it on most occasions, it also has other advantages, its ability to win banding in the pre-combat phase is quite useful because we can attack with Atog and protect him if we see an unfavorable situation at the battlefield, and I already tell you that the two in attack will become virtually 2/3 which, in practice, will be almost unblockable, because if they block them all the damage will go to Battering Ram and we will save the Atog. Then there’s his second ability that if we find a wall, no matter how big, it will fall. And another reason to play it’s that there’s nothing more epic than winning a game by hitting with Battering Ram, I assure you.
  • Ankh of Mishra and Copper Tablet: normally all Atog decks play with 4 Ankh of Mishra and occasionally some Copper Tablet, there’s no need to explain their power, starting T1 with Black Vise and T2 Ankh is almost a «prison style». I designed the deck with a ratio of 3 + 1 respectively. I decided on this combination because the Ankh of Mishra at an advanced game loses power, but the Copper Tablet, on the other hand, at an advanced game is good enough to scratch those points of life that resist us; I always want to see an Ankh in my opening hand and the Copper at late game, I even won a game thanks to Copper Tablet.
  • I think that without Blood Lust the Ornithopter would be worse. A typical start for this deck is T1 Mishra, Brass Man and Ornithopter, T2 Mountain and attack with Brass Man and the Ornithopter plus Blood Lust, which takes 5 lifes points. Logically, in the second game it’s more difficult to do this because the opponent is already prevented.
  • The red color isn’t famous for its ability to draw cards, so the only card we have to draw is Wheel of Fortune, amazing card, in this deck is decisive, as you have several Black Vise on the battlefield and get to solve the Wheel It can be very painful for the opponent.
  • Balance is undoubtedly another of our MVPs, I played it as the only white card in main (you can also play in the sideboard), and it’s one of the few cards we have to confront big creatures such as Serra Angel, Juzam Djinn, Shivan Dragon etc. . It may seem incongruous to play it in the same deck along with Black Vise, for its enormous discarding power, but being so versatile we can have both in the main. As we also put many creatures on the battlefield we can do the trick of feeding Atog in response to Balance being resolved and it will surely be larger than the creature chosen by the opponent (unless it’s a Colossus of Sardia).
  • We have 20 mana sources plus 4 Strip Mines, having so much artifact we can put the 8 colorless lands. Mishra`s Factory is essential and combines well with Atog, being the second best creature in the deck. We have 6 sources that give white to play our sideboard, and with that amount I have managed well, I have not missed the white color in any game.
  • Obviously, one of our worst pairings is The Deck, which has a lot of cards against us: Moat, Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolt, Blue Elemental Blast, Disenchant, etc … but which decks are going well against The Deck? Few, of course. Nor do we like decks with big creatures like Erhnangeddon, or Workshops decks. Triskelion is our public enemy number 1, it will clean the battlefield as if it were an Wrath of God. Energy Flux is another of our worst nightmares, we want to have Red Elemental Blast at hand, or Disenchant. Sedge Troll will also put us in trouble as we only have Balance to get rid of. Of course, COP: Red, we’ll have to destroy as soon as we can.
    Dust to Dust being a sorcery won’t be so scary to answer if we have Atog (And maybe it’s the opponent who has to exile his artifacts). We like the decks that runs Serendib Efreet because, although they do a lot of damage from above, we can play the race to see who does more damage. Monoblack, unless you get an early Juzam down, it can be a good pairing since with our removal we kill half an army.
  • Our star card on the sideboard is undoubtedly Disenchant, essential. It’s the reason why I play with white and not with another color, it will help us break COP: Red, Moat, Tetravus, Energy Flux, etc., the list is long. The second best option is Red Elemental Blast, as it helps you fight Counterspell, Energy Flux, Serendib, etc. Then the rest is a matter of the local metagame, Winter Orb against control, City in a Bottle, Swords, Meekstone
  • As possible cards to include we have Jalum Tome, which is an artifact and draw engine. Orcish Mechanics also seems good option but it takes away artifacts that might come in handy for the Atog. Aeolipile is more direct damage than skips COP: Red. Aladdin, although the bad thing is its cost 4 that is high in the mana curve. We could even play Tawno´s Weaponry because it’s an cheap artifact and would give Ornithopter a plus.
  • I think the splash to white is important, with blue you gain P9 and Serendib, with black Demonic Tutor and Gloom, with green Sylvan Library and Regrowth, but with white you gain Balance and Disenchant that for as it’s thought the deck seems to me better, Disenchant are critical against many strategies. Maybe with black you can make a good deck, but Gloom aren’t as decisive as the Disenchant. Monored I don’t see it effective enough because if opponent plays a COP: Red you won’t be able to do practically anything.
Atog & Friends


That’s all for today! With this deck we give a twist to the classic Atog deck (and budget-friendly). Thank you for reading and we’re waiting for you next month with a new post of #12months12decks I hope you liked it. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram and I would love to hear your impressions through the comments or on my Instagram account: @retroplayermtg
Until next time!

12 months, 12 decks (I): Soldiers!

The Challenge: 12 months, 12 decks

Hello, folks old school! I have proposed a challenge for this 2020: throughout the year I will try to write a deck tech one every month. The deck will be played on the corresponding monthly day of the Madrid Old School League (LMOSEternal Central rules). Obviously, the decks will be built with the cards that I’ve got (almost always), this means that they will be unpowered decklist because I haven’t got the P9. Adding the P9 has no mystery, it’s quite simple, and you can include it if you have those cards, although it’s always difficult to ignore playing the color blue.
The motivation to launch this monthly challenge is to explore, discover, and investigate the format; The pool of Old School 93-94 is limited and, even so, I’ve the feeling that there are many cards that are not played because the players have not discovered their true potential, or because they don’t appear in the list that made top 8 in the XXXX tournament. Throughout this year my intention is to play some cards that are not usually seen at the battlefield, the type of cards for which players usually ask the same question: «but what does that do?» In fact, in this first article there are up to two cards that I have not seen that have been played in any other deck.
A notice: they will not be tier 1 decks, nor tier 2, the idea is that are different strategies, that anyone can build and play them. The intention isn’t to assemble the most bizarre cards you find, but to build decks that work and, above all, that are fun!
This challenge occurred to me inspired in part by Danish Brews’ articles, published on the Mg blog and written by Hans Henrik Rasmussen and Jaco’s deck techs that he published in June 2017 on the Eternal Central website , articles that I highly recommend reading.
Now, we start with the first deck tech of the year …



The idea of this deck came about by chance, I was digging through my Fallen Empires collection and found Dwarven Lieutenant.


I liked his ability and I looked at Scryfall to see how many dwarves were in Old School. There were six, and not very good. You couldn’t make a thematic deck around them. I remembered its white version, Icatian Lieutenant.


I  wondered, «How many soldiers will there be in Old School?» And I had a pleasant surprise, in Scryfall there were nineteen, «that was much better,» I thought. There are so many because many of them are erratized in the Oracle / Gatherer, for example, Yotian Soldier in Antiquities is an «artifact creature» and in Oracle it’s «artifact creature – soldier». As you play with what the card says today, it’s something we can take advantage of (something similar happens with zombies). I got down to work and chose the best ones considering that I would have to play around Icatian Lieutenant.
This was the result:

Soldiers! 2.0


  • At first glance it may seem like a Pink Weenie variant because they share several cards, but the tricks are different. While the Pink Weenie is based on Crusade, Land Tax, Armageddom, Soldiers deck is based on tribal creatures, on Goblin War Drums, and is more «burn.»
  • Icatian Lieutenant: At the beginning I played to combine it with Dwarven Lieutenant, but in the end I decided only for the white creature since including the dwarf complicated the base of mana and I preferred to opt for one color more than the other. The mechanic is really interesting and can also pump itself. All the creatures in the deck are soldiers except the Factories and Savannah Lions, that entering the list because they are one of the most efficient creatures of Old School, the second best one drop of the format, just behind the Kird Ape.
  • The soldiers: it’s a very aggro deck, so the soldiers had to be the most aggressive. Icatian Javalineer is a staple in White Weenie and being also a soldier we can take advantage of it even once he has «thrown» his javelin. Dwarven Soldier enters the deck curve very well and isn’t affected by Gloom (one of our greatest enemies) and his ability is good againts Ironclaws Orcs, so used in Sligh decks. Yotian Soldier, apart from being a soldier, provides that defense plus that the deck sometimes needs, because of its resistance it doesn’t die easily from sparks or Earthquake, or The Abyss (another of our enemies), it has vigilance and can stop black / white knights of the opponent, or Mishras, and helps scratch those life points that can give us the game; Its greatest weakness is that it’s an easy target for Shatter or Disenchant, you can’t have everything …
  • Goblin War Drums is, apart from Icatian Lieutenant, another of the cards I’ve never seen anyone play, and in this deck it’s quite interesting. You can play it as a trick by keeping it in your hand until you see the right moment to throw the bomb and boom, your creatures will be practically unblockable, it’s true that to take advantage of it you need many creatures in the deck, and this deck has up until 22. I think two is the correct number, since every War Drums you draw will be a dead card if you already have one at the table, you have to be careful with the Disenchant of the opponent since if they play it in combat phase you can lose many creatures, but if you play it with the surprise factor it can give you the game because many players trust the defense to creatures such as Serra Angel or Mishras. And the truth that seeing the menace mechanic in 93-94 is something that you will rarely be able to see. It’s a more effective card than it seems and works very well with the ability of Icatian Lieutenant to pump creatures that the opponent cannot block.
  • Wheel of Fortune is our draw engine, and it will help us to refuel our hand when we have expend all our resources and discard the opponent’s hand specially if it plays control. One of the most important cards in the deck, of course.
  • Chaos Orb and Disenchant are fundamental cards, the Chaos for obvious reasons, and the Disenchant because there are enchantments that if they are on the battlefield beat us, such as Moat, The Abyss, Drop of Honey or Icy Manipulator, for example.
  • Mana base: Since there isn’t much double cost (we only have four white double cost cards) with two City of Brass we can manage, and we can run all the colorless lands, which in this deck are really useful. The Plateau must also play all four.
  • Mishra’s Factories are crucial because they bring that extra speed that the deck needs at all times, making T1 Savannah Lions, T2 Javalineer or Dwarven Soldier plus a Mishra is more important than it seems because in T3 you are going to start doing it a lot of damage if the opponent don’t have an answer. They are also good blockers and a very  fast and difficult creature to kill and combines very well with Goblin War Drums. We can play all 4 perfectly because we don’t run too many double costs in the deck.
  • The deck is fast and puts under pressure from the first turn. You’ve to play it with joy, if on the first turn you’ve a Chain Lightning and you don’t have Lions, don’t think about it, cast it, the goal is to finish the opponent as soon as possible. Cards like Goblin War Drums help attack without thinking much about the consequences.
  • Our worst enemies, we have already named some, are cards like Gloom, which will slow down our game although it will not paralyze it completely thanks to our red cards, Earthquake that will be like an Wrath of God, Wrath of God, Disks, Moat that having no flying creatures will cancel us leaving us alone with Disenchant or the sparks to finish the game, The Abyss, Drop of Honey, etc … so think well where are you going to expend those Disenchant. Then there are decks that aren’t good pairing, such as Workshop, for its huge and fast creatures, Bant / Erhnamgeddom, for the Erhnam and Serra Angel that are creatures that will cost us a lot to deal with, or RUG Tempo / Aggro in its many variants already that their creature curve is more powerful than ours and they have a lot of removal.
  • The sideboard will always depend on the metagame of your area, but once we see the enemies to beat we can say that a necessary card is City in a Bottle (which does not appear in the photo because I haven’t got) to stop decks that abuse from Serendib and Erhnam. Dust to Dust, Damping Field or Shatterstorm against The Deck and Workshop, Black Vise against The Deck and its Ivory Tower, Falling Star against Monoblack and Pink Weenie, Preacher and Meekstone against Erhnamgeddom, Bant, etc …
  • You could consider other cards like Fireball, which as a topdeck is wonderful and is a staple in the red color, but I tried it and the balls didn’t get to be larger than 3 in most cases, because in a format with 4 Strip Mine and in a deck like this with hardly any artifacts to generate mana is less effective, so instead I decided to include the fourth Chain Lightning. As for other soldiers, I considered Dwarven Lieutenant, but, as I said, it complicated my mana base. Pikemen has Banding and First Strike but for its cost there are better options. Righteous Avengers can be an interesting sideboard card but its high cost makes it impossible to play.
I love to play underrated cards


Soldiers! (in my opinion) is a deck with a more aggressive point than the classic Pink Weenie, a little faster, and that doesn’t depend so much on the double costs of our creatures, with which we can put all the colorless lands (Strip Mine and Mishras) that will be crucial in our strategy. I encourage you to try it and I will be happy that if you play it tell me how it went. You can reach me through the comments of the blog or in my Instagram account @retroplayermtg where you can follow the challenge through the #12meses12mazos, or #12months12decks hashtags.
Thanks for reading!