Aaaahh yes! An old fashioned. That is what I call a cocktail – I know my ice-cube game is not impressive, but it doesn’t matter much. It works!
It is also so aptly named. And yesterday I did something that seemed as old-fashioned as buying things in physical stores and inviting more than four people to your house for your birthday: I was hanging out with three awesome guys, playing actual paper Magic!
It was great! Even though it was only for a couple of hours for my part (the stretch of time between putting the kids to sleep and having to hurry to bed, because the kids will wake you up at 5:40…).
Peter, Thomas, The Other Thomas and myself met in Thomas’ workshop (he prints stuff unto fabric – yep, that will come in handy at a later point), and simply played some friendly games of Old School Magic, drank some beer, a bottle of “Peanut No’er” and some “Duchess’ cherry wine” – no the last one is not slang, it was a bottle Peter had given me for the loan of some duals a couple of months back. It was very sugary sweet. Very!
It wasn’t until I got there and rolled out my playmat, that it really hit me, how much I have missed gatherings like that the last 8 (!!!) months. I don’t think I have actually played against a physically present opponent since September 2020. It is complete absurdity!
But yesterday, Thursday the 13th of May 2021, I was on the loose again. And it was a blast!
The short story is this: I played three games against Peter – lost two, changed deck, won the third. Then I played against Thomas two times and won both. There was also trash-talking and very great ideas about our upcoming team and the brand that will be established to support it. But more on that, when it is all ready.
The slightly longer story about my great evening goes as follows
Peter tapping my Energy…
Well, he wasn’t actually tapping my energy. Quite the opposite, actually. It is a play on words. You may understand in a short while…
I had brought two decks to this gathering, one MonoBlack robot deck themed around summoning the dark lord himself (Lord of the Pit) through various Dark Rituals and a clergy of Priests of Yagmoth and Hells’ Caretakers. The complete list will be the topic for another post some time, it is first and foremost a Theme Deck, and I have enjoyed brewing on it immensely.
I hadn’t played it until this fateful evening, and now Peter invited me to a dance. I had to comply, and I had to try and smash him with the dark lord himself!
Now, a little introduction of Peter might be in place: Peter is one of those great, quirky-minded spellslingers who will always rather play one of his own thought-out synergies, than copy something found in other peoples’ decklists. This is great. It also means, that it is very difficult to guess what you are up against, until the game is over – and sometimes, you still don’t have a clue. But it is always filled to the brim with an immense feeling of Old School nostalgia.
So, it turns out, he was playing mono blue – it should be mentioned, that Peter does not own power. His deck was a collection of a great variety of lovely cardboard – Psychic Venom, Phantasmal Terrain, Phantasmal Forces and the mighty synergy between Lifetap and Magical Hack.
But, alas, also Energy Flux.
Playing mono black, I did not care too much about his turn 2 Lifetap, but soon did I start to care, when he played his Magical Hack. My 4 swamps on the board suddenly looked rather silly. And when he followed it all up with an Energy Flux, it was very much akin to a hard lock…
He then killed me with my own Tetravus he had Control Magic’d and a Zephyr Falcon. From 4th!
The second match looked a lot like the first. Except he was kind enough to kill me with a Serendib Efreet…
Then I switched to one of my MEGA decks. This one:
I hadn’t really played it before, but Oh My! I am even more in love with this list after having played some games with it.
Even though Peter tried to hinder my game plan by playing three (!) Psychic Venoms within the first five turns, and then added three (!!) Phantasmal Terrains and an Energy Flux, I managed to pull the long one. My boardstate at the end of the game was one of those, dreams are made off:
After this, we went to the roof of the building. That was also great. We drank a beer, looked at the view (which was beautiful), and tried to figure out exactly how Colossus of Sardia works with Maze of Ith. Much debacle. Much fun. Such epiphany! Expect some crazy brews to come out of this!
And then Thomas wanted to test his deck and skills against my Enchantress deck…
On the Balance with Thomas
Thomas (Larsen) has played Magic for about a year. He is also rather invested in it, and has started building up a collection of jewellery. That is some dedication!
He plays a rather fearsome ErhnamGeddon deck – primarily GW but with a decent splash of fire and lightning. It is not a bad deck, I can assure you!
But I can also assure you, that Enchantress is just great!
We played two games, but Thomas never really had much of a chance. I was actually very frightened about his Armageddons, but I managed to be able to play around them, and he did not draw them, at the right moment. He did, however, draw Balance on the right moment in both games. My God that is a great card. I know it is played all over, and it is restricted, but somehow it still almost seems underplayed and underrated!
Well, he simply could not keep up with my card advantage and two Control Magic in the first game.
In game two, I had two active Icy Manipulators in turn three (Sol Ring and Copy Artifact) – that wasn’t exactly friendly from my side.
But they were both very enjoyable games, and ones were I could actually test one of my MEGA decks against an opposing deck I didn’t really know how my deck would handle. It was some great games.
Anyway. After this, I had to get to my bike, and get home. Kids and all.
But I did not leave until I witnessed a very schoolyardy exchange of spells:
Peter and The Other Thomas was playing a game between an RBW Underworld Dreams-Serra Angel-Burn deck (The Other Thomas) and an RG Cockatrice-False Orders-Burn deck (Peter).
Peter taps out to play Channel and Fireball Thomas. But he cannot kill him. The maneuver diminishes the life total in the game to 2. Both players a one life!
Peter has three Maze of Ith on the board, Thomas has one card in hand and a Serra Angel on the board.
Thomas takes his turn. Draws a Wheel of Fortune. Plays it, leaving mana open to be able to play any red spell and almost certainly also an underworld dreams (would require a Dark Ritual or a B-producing land). If he can just draw it!
He draws a hand of Dark Ritual, Serra Angel, 4 lands and… Mind Twist!
He is only able to Mind Twist Peter for 5. Peter discards… Lightning Bolt! Takes his turn and plays a Fireball x=1.
The SUSPENSE! It was too much, now I really had to head home. But what a couple of hours it had been!
So here’s to all you great Old School players out there, playing the Old Fashioned way: Cheers!