Sunday, November 28, 2021

Spice for the love of wombats: Combat Wombat

This is a post without a tournament report. It's just some ramblings about things that I like in oldschool magic. 

Those of you who have read all the tournament reports or have played me in real life know that there are some cards that I love but really are not that good. Or sometimes just plain bad. I love Hell's caretaker, for instance, and I'm also a big fan of Eureka with Elder Dragons. But this post is about something even worse than that, but I'm not letting go of the idea. It's about Rabid Wombat. 

A deck with Rabid Wombat is, like the decks I mentioned earlier with Hell's caretaker, something that goes back to the time of Chronicles. I've a single real Legens Wombat ever since I got one in a trade somewhere early 1995. I thought it would be fun to build a deck with it, but I never got around to it until Chronicles came out and I was able to get 3 more wombats for about nothing in value. Which, by the way, is precisely what they're worth if you look at how good they are. I built a deck with wombats, and it sucked very bad. I mean bigtime. Spirit link (a renaissance or 4th edition one at the time) was of course the enchantment of choice you would play with a wombat, but every time I got around to playing it on the wombat, my opponent would have something like a Sengir Vampire out. Or a thicket basilisk. Yes, really, people played with that card at the time. And the wombat would just suck because you would net a lot of cards just to get through and do something useful. And usually with 3 or more enchantments on it, it would just get terrored. After a while, I just gave up on the idea, but like many nostalgic deck ideas, it got back to me when I was playing oldschool.  

The deck has been part of some of my tournament reports, but always as a sidenote when I took the deck with me to tournaments and played with it between rounds. You may have seen action shots of me or Peter playing it in between rounds of the Uthden Troll Cup or The first IRL Scryings tournament. I also had it with me on several occasions of Knights of Thorn or Hill/Frost Giant tournaments. But, like I said, it was always as an afterthought and I love the deck so much I think it deserves it's own post. 

After I got a second and a third LG wombat I felt I could start building a new version of the wombat deck. The goal would not be a tier 1 of 2 or even 3 deck, but a deck that would not always lose like my Leviathan/Colossus of Sardia deck. Maybe I'll do a post on that useless creation (if you ever want to win) somewhere in the future. 

I started off with 4 wombats and then started trading for SL enchantments, starting off with spirit links of course. After a couple of games with the first version of the deck I realized my wombats were pretty much always destroyed the moment I tried to play an enchantment on them, so I added power sinks to tap out my opponent to make sure I could at least attack with an enchanted wombat at least once. The first version tried to utilize unstable mutation and berserks which I thought were fitting for the foaming at the mouth wombat. The deck would win on occasion, but that would be one in about 15 times or so against tier 2 decks. After an afternoon of playtesting, I put in the other card I had been thinking about giving a place in this deck: Verduran Enchantress. When I first thought of the OS deck with wombats I tried to remember what my old chronicles version looked like and I remembered I had 2 enchantresses in that version. I do like enchantresses, to give you an idea how much:

This is the number of Verduran Enchantresses I needed at any given time in the 1995-1998 era, because she would be in several decks in multiples, all the time. So much that most of my usual magic opponents were pretty much sick of her after I while, which is when I put her away for a while. Enchantress and Wombat do seem like a match made in heaven, and version 0.2 with Enchantress in there was much better. Then there was the trying out of what enchantments to use, how to get my opponent to tap out, etc. etc. At first I tried to play the deck as a combo deck, meaning I would try to get enchantress in play, than dump a wombat and a whole lot of enchantments in play (including instill energy) and then kill my opponent in one turn. That usually did not work. The enchantresses would get removed, or the wombat, or both. Or it would take more than one turn, and then unstable mutation was getting much worse quickly, even killing my wombats and occasional enchantress. After a while I started playing it more like a deck that would need several turns and be more careful and patient. Unstables went out for holy strength, I added flight after an encounter with moat and invisibility after several instances with regenerating nuisances like Trolls and Wisps. And then, to make sure my creatures would stay in play, spectral cloak. These are also great against other stuff that targets wombats to ruin my party, like mazes and icies. 

In the best scenario there will be at least 2 enchantments on the wombat, one being a spectral cloak. A 4/5 you cannot target is pretty ok. If it is 5/7 because the other enchantment is a holy strength, even better. 

The dream: invisible life-gaining untargetable wombat

I also tried other enchantments in the deck, like dance of many and fastbond, but those tend to go towards the combo idea, and the more patient version just seems more reliant. There was one logical choice after some more testing, and that was animate dead. Both the Wombat and Enchantress have this big bull's eye on them, because cards like that are never in a deck by coincidence. They usually have this "kill it now before it spreads" reaction from my opponents, so animate is a good addition to get one or the other back if you're not up against swords to plowshares. I also tried multiple versions of Sylvan Library, but I left one and took out the other in favor of more wombat enchantments. 

Wombat back from the dead after being bolted

After I already had 4 LG wombats, I got a nice signed version that is now happily in my deck. The wombats have made for some great wins, it's really funny when it works because you can just see how clunky it is, even when it works. 

here my opponent gives up after 2 attacks. I'm on 52 life :) Oh, and a big THANK YOU to the makers of Tolaria. You guys are doing a great job!

The deck still loses more than it wins, but there are some pretty good matchups. It seems to have a good chance against mono green and decks that rely only on bolts to get rid of creatures. Others are a lot harder to win, but hey, one does not play OS to win, but to play with the cards you love. And I certainly love this deck. Here it is, in all it's Swedish legal glory: 

What other deck could contain invisibility, flight and holy strength and still win every now and then? :)

Just in case you're wondering: the basic lands are in there, because blood moon kills me instantly otherwise :) I hope you like my ramblings about old cardboard, let me know if you do on I will be posting more on less competitive decks in the future.  Till next time!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Gaea's Avengers 2021

I can't really remember when I signed up for the gaea's avengers. In my memory it is somewhere in spring when we still thought that Covid would be over by the time it was November. Turns that took a lot longer than we thought. In the meantime, after I had already committed to playing in Belgium in November, I heard Ron was going to hold the Uthden Troll cup in the same weekend (on the same day). So I also would have to miss that. Too bad, but stuff doesn't always turn out the way you want to. This also was the case for my reanimator deck with All hallow's eve I had built, thinking that would never reach top 8, but at least win some games. 

After being thoroughly crushed 0-15 in a test afternoon against Peter (who wasn't even playing tier1 decks to test against) I decided not to take this deck to Belgium. If I'm going to drive a couple of hours to a tournament I want to win one match at least and this was not going to happen with this deck, obviously. So I built something else, some good stuff deck with a couple of Erhnams, Su-Chi's and my newly found Two-headed Giant of Forys. I didn't do a lot of testing with it and it was a deck I had not played before, but I had a feeling that it would be okay. Maybe good enough to reach Top 8. I wanted a deck that at least had that potential because I was going to go together with Fulco, and he wanted to go for a T8 spot with a Deadguy on steroids deck. That way we both would at least have to potential to reach for a top spot. 

On the day of the tournament, we showed our QR-code to get in. We were early, so I played a couple of games against Fulco with my green reprint budget brew while other people were coming in. I spotted a lot of familiar faces and it was good to see them all again in real life. I was also happy I had put on some warm clothing as the mandatory venting meant it was not that warm if you were close to the open windows :) But hey, anything for a nice OS tournament! Playing IRL is the best. 

Round one I got to play against Christoph, whom I met online somewhere during the 2020 corona crisis and we played several evenings online. This was the first time I was meeting him in real life and we got to play in the first round. Chris was playing a red guy ale deck, so a Deadguy ale with bolts as an addition. I won the diceroll and was off to a strong start: 

I was also able to quickly remove the hypnotic specter which would have ripped away my hand, which meant the Su-Chi could do a lot of damage very quickly, and that was game 1. 

Game number 2 was, ehm, ... how shall I put this: 

I told myself to remember there was also something like gentlemen's rules, and offer my opponents to play without the instant win cards. Here I had forgotten and it was very much in my favor, the library gave me like 5 extra cards or so and the effect of that is very bad. Pretty soon an Erhnam showed up on turn 3 and that did a lot of damage. 

I took out one of Chris his lands with a Chaos orb to keep him low on mana. Did I mention how stupid Chaos orb is? Can we please ban this stupid thing?

But, undeterred, Chris use the one weapon that would mean a big blow, balance!

I had taken into account that that might happen, so I had kept my Ancestral recall which I had fetched with my demonic tutor in my had, just in case he would play balance. That meant I would be able to get back in the game pretty quickly after he did. It also gave me that other tremendously stupid card that should be banned in this format to make sure I would win this one. 

So after I had gotten back from the balance, I was able to stay ahead and beat Chris with factories and eventually an Erhnam and a Su-Chu:

Round 2, RW Ankh Vise burn. Unfortunately, I forgot his name. I was expecting to write this piece the day after, but since it's a couple of weeks ago now, I have forgotten :( What I did not forget was how fast this game was over. I had kept an okay but not so fast opening hand without moxes or a sol ring, and that came to beat me over the head when he dropped a first turn vise. No disenchants showed up also, so I took a massive amount of damage from it, which was accompanied by a lot of burn and factories. I tried stopping the onslaught with a Su-Chi, which was plowed away immediately. I was just not drawing enough threats between the lands which meant I was too far behind to get back. 0-1. 

The second game I was again taking damage from a black vise from turn one, and I weant all in on a surprise: playing time walk, which came trough, and then dropping Erhnam Djinn and Serra Angel for 8 damage. 

I would have taken the second game the next turn, if not for: 

Balance indeed. Such a balanced card :p

I was too far behind in damage and he just drew some more burn cards, so it was over very quickly. So after 2 rounds, I was 1-1. 

Round 3: Malte with Dragonfly weenie

I don't know when I first saw this deck with emerald dragonflies in it, but from the moment I first saw it, I was sold. I loved the deck with the chance to first strike a Serra Angel or a Su-Chi to death. So of course I have a great deal of respect for Malte, who has a good claim of coming up with the idea. It was an honor to play the inventor of a deck that I really like. This time I did remember the gentlemen's idea, so I proposed removing library and mind twist from our decks. Malte does not play a library, but agreed to move the twist from his deck and I took out both the Lib and the Twist. I was happy we did, this made for much more interesting games. Malte started off by destroying one of my lands. 

He then produced some weenies, of which I was able to stop one with a swords to plowshares, and then I played an Erhnam Djinn. Malte was afraid I would produce more, so he took out my Mox Emerald to prevent me from getting more and bigger creatures. 

I took some more hits from a forestwalking and flying dragonfly, but then able to cast the Two-headed Giant of Forys, which is of course quite awesome against a weenie swarm. It game me the opportunity to attack with the Djinn, and then dimish his group of weenies with a balance. 

Malte kept the kird ape and the dragonfly, so I would have to be mindful of a giant growth somewhere. I decided that if he had one, it was going to happen anyway, so I went on the offensive with the giant and the Djinn. That gave me the first game. 

The second game Malte started off with a mox emerald and a forest, playing both an Elf and a scavenger folk. Off to a quick start there!

I did not want an onslaught quite from the beginning so I decided to control magic his Elf to make sure I wouldn't take too much damage from creatures plus the copper tablet he had sideboarded in. This was a good decision, because it came very, very close. I had to swords to plowshare my own Su-Chi to make sure I didn't die. In the deciding turn I had a fireball on hand tried to see what he would do. I attacked with Su-Chi. If he had blocked, I could have taken out the other creatures left with the fireball. If he didn't block, I would be able to fireball him for 3, and that was also enough. Malte decided not t block and try and kill me next turn, but fortunately for me, I had the deciding fireball on hand, and that was game. 

These were very tense and long games, it was really a pleasure playing against Malte. We chatted on for the rest for the round about the ideas he had for the deck and then it was time for the next round. This would be a lot less exiting. 

Round 4: Carl with Troll Disco

I was so busy shuffling I forgot to ask Carl to play gentlemen rules, and because we didn't, that decided the game. Game one is summed up in 1 image: 

We both had a library, he had a strip mine, I didn't. That was basically it. I tried to keep up with a Sylvan library, but Carl countered that. From there all I could hope for was getting a mind twist with my Counterspell, because it took Carl a pretty long time to get to more than 2 blue mana on the board. But I did not get the Mind twist, so that was it. Carl drew somewhere between 10 and 20 extra cards, so there was nothing I could do but lose. 

Game 2 was decided by an early mind twist which took pretty much everything I had, so that wasn't much of a game either. 2-2 after 4 rounds and the match against Carl was not much of a game because I could not do anything. Less exiting than I had hoped for. Carl is an excellent player and  I was looking forward to some good games, but that's magic for you. 

Round 5: Benjamin with B/W life-gain deck with Serra Angels. This was a really interesting build with walls, diamond valleys, Ivory Towers and Greed for card draw. Greed and Ivory tower is one of those combo's I tried in the past but never seemed to work, but he got it working very well. He also agreed to play gentlemen's rules so no twist or library to make sure there would actually be game from both sides. 

The first game I tried getting through but since I did not draw any disenchants and my opponent had started off with Ivory Tower, he as gaining a lot of life. I decided to call it quits after he played a Greed with another tower and conceded the first game. Even if I had creatures on the board, it would not matter. He was drawing 3 times the cards I was, and gaining life on top of that. There was no way I would win that and then still have time for second game. I would have to go for game 2 and 3 to win this. The second game, he took out quite a lot of my offense, removing my Su-Chi's and disenchanting my control magic. The upside was that way he did not have that may cards in his hand, so if  towers showed up, at least he would not be gaining a lot of life. 

Eventually he started gaining some life, but I got beating with both a Serra and a Djinn, so he did not got to draw a lot of cards with the greed. 

In the end, I got to win the second game because of the pressure kept on. The third game was also with an early Ivory Tower. He also did not play a lot of lands, to keep cards in his hand I supposed. Meanwhile I was wondering if my decision to keep a hand with an Ancestral Recall but no colored mana was a mistake. I was on the draw, so I figured there was plenty of opportunity to get lands, but that took a while. 

All the while, he was gaining life and it was a bit frustrating to not draw into blue mana (or any many for that matter). Fortunately in turn 5 or 6, a Mox Sapphire showed up. I played the Ancestral Recall, and got some more mana to work with. But at first, no creatures. So I played a braingeyser for 3, and again, no creatures. By that time I was a bit miffed because more and more life was accumulating across the table, causing my opponent to wonder why I was not satisfied with drawing that many cards. Fortunately, A Su-Chi showed up to get in some damage. 

He plowed my Su-Chi, my two headed Giant and disenchanted my factory, keeping the damage I could do low. I had kept in my control magic because of the Serra Angels I had seen in game one, but decided to use it on his wall of light instead to be able to keep beating with my Djinn. 

That proved to be the winning play, because the Djinn went all the way to win the game and match 2-1. Wow, that were really long games and even though I thought his deck would be vulnerable against mine, it proved remarkably resistant. I never felt sure I would take the match, so that made winning it feel so much better and exiting. I figured a top 8 would be out of the question, and it was. I was in for a surprise though! There were some raffle prices handed out and the last one was for the guy that ended 9th and would not play top 9, and that was me! It was quite a prize too! An unlimited Sol Ring! Wow! I had not expected that! Thanks to Simon and Peter for this amazing prize!!

This is what you get for ending 9th!

I also gathered some more SL cards, a couple of glooms (just in case I ever decide to play black in a SL tournament) and I think probably the last of the really iconic cards from unlimited I never actually owned, but, like the Two headed Giant, had a strange attraction to me. I'm looking forward to playing the Blaze of Glory with my Cockatrice :) 

We stayed around for a couple of more games and see how the Top 8 turned out. Since it was a couple hours drive and I had to drop of Fulco first before going home, we did not stay until the final, but we were able to see some of the quarter and semifinals games. I got to cheer on Tim, who had reached another top 8 with his monogreen build, with almost no power (just one Mox Emerald). There was also a new face in the top 8. 

how it feels to play your first OS Top 8 :)

Turns out, there were more mono color decks in T8, here mono red artifacts goes head-to-head against mono black:

And here are of course, some shots of mono green in the Top 8:

And Carl playing Troll Disco against something that looks like 5-color-green. 

By this time, it was getting a bit late and we had not had dinner yet, so we started our journey home. I dropped off Fulco after a great day, and put these back into the binder. 

Fulco told me that when they showed up and actually stayed on the board, they did great. Unfortunately, showing up and staying did not happen that often. So in the end, we both did not enter the top 8, but had a lot of fun, met a lot of nice people and had great games and talks over old cardboard. I'm already looking forward to the next one, thanks to Peter and Simon for organizing this great day and thanks for all the people that showed up to flop some old cardboard. You guys are the greatest! Thanks and until next time!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The four casting cost Legends rares

I hadn't noticed this before, but I dawned on me when I got 3 All hallow's eves at the latest Camel Trophy. Somehow, the 4CC Legends rares have been cards that I've always had a fascination for. They just do such interesting things. And even though I also was attracted to rare things like a mox or a black lotus, they never quite had the same mystical quality for me that Legends rares had, so I thought I would write my own little tribute to the 4cc Legends rares that have been a big part of my magic life over the years. 

First off, the first one that grabbed my fascination: 

Just to remind you, when I started playing in the Netherlands in 1994, there were very few legends cards that you could buy. There were almost no stores that had boosters older than Fallen Empires in stock. 

Living plane grabbed my attention because the first guy to teach about playing more seriously had a deck with this card. At first I didn't really see it, because how would you win with a deck with no creatures? But when I played against it and then saw my "Magic Sensei" Marc played it against other people on a gaming convention, it struck a chord in me. In the earlier versions, he would play a red/white/green version with some ice storms and stone rains, and then he would turn bolts and swords to plowshares into land destruction spells as well. A later version of this deck (just after ice age came out) utilized Fiery justice and Stormbind to pretty much lock an opponent out of the game. When he wasn't destroying lands, he would attack with his lands, doing a lot of damage so the deck was also pretty quick. After I watched him play an afternoon on a gaming convention (he played for ante) and took home a big pile of cards back to the hotel, even winning against a fully powered U/W control deck, I knew I wanted to play a version of this deck myself. But how on earth would I find 4 living planes? That was pretty hard, but by the time I had 3, I could play a prett y solid version of this deck, and it pretty consistently beat all the players in my local playgroup over and over again. 

There was however, a problem, which would lead me to the next Legends rare in my career. There was someone who would put up a pretty good fight against my Living plane deck, which was painfully obvious when he in one of the games played mox pearl, mox sapphire, balance. And he then crushed my because I had no way to come back from that with no lands. And he would do that some more in our casual games, which lead me to think about how I would be able to play land destruction and make it impossible for someone to break out of that. That's when I first spotted the next 4cc rare that I would go back to over and over again in the next years (even though others came by that I built decks with):

Nether void was one of those cards that I thought would solve my problem. And when it did, it did so in spectacular fashion, leaving my opponents squirming because there was absolutely no way to power your way out of this. I played this card on some tournaments as well, where in one game I had to point out to my opponent that playing 3 dark rituals would not really work here, because they also had a cost of 4 mana each. I've tried several versions of decks with land destruction in different color combinations. And even though some of them were pretty good (the green/black version with sinkhole/ice storm and a couple of Juzam djinns did pretty well. In retrospect, I also should have added Erhnam Djinn, but I didn't think of that at the time. It was also the only deck in which I successfully used Oath of Lim-Dul before the Mirage block came out. Then I also played a couple of versions with winter orb and time elemental before I went on to the next 4cc rare, because I kept being run over by weenies with this land destruction deck. I was by then also more interested about winning in other ways than destroying my opponents' lands. Which lead to my first deck with: 

It took me a while to get a hold of this card. One of my friends had one, and someone in the local gameshop had one, but those were the only ones I knew off and there was no functioning internet that would make it easy for me to get one with a few clicks. This was also the first time I heard about something called a Weissman deck. Even though the decklist was almost complete on some message boards, I didn't know were to look. I did know moat was in that deck, so I had to have one. Or two, maybe, as the Weissman deck was rumored to have 2. It took quite a lot of trading and convincing before I finally got my hands on my first one. And the first time it was in play, it felt amazing. My opponents creatures would just stand there, useless. This was the first time I started to understand the concept of card advantage, the usefulness of stopping multiple cards with just one. It was also the time when finding information about magic cards became a bit easier because the Duelist and Inquest magazines were becoming available in the Netherlands. I think this was somewhere in the spring of 1995 but it could have been a bit later. This was also when I first started playing tournaments more regularly and noticed that decks with a lot of quick flying creatures would get in the way of my control deck with moats and usually some combination of flying creatures, usually Serra Angels, because they were just the best fit. I wanted something to get rid of that, and turned to another 4cc rare to fix my problem. 

The Abyss did wonders for my deck. I would play with Moat/Abyss combinations main deck, usually 1 or 2 moats and 1 Abyss main deck (for a time, one is all I had because there simply weren't any more available in the stores I traded and bought cards. Abyss was also an expensive card over here at the time, not much less than a very played mox. A very played mox would set you back about 120 guilders at the time, while an The Abyss was about 80, just to get some idea of how valuable the card was at the time. This was the time I was buying my expensive cards (funny if you think about how much they cost now..) with the money from my newspaper job and other assorted jobs that didn't pay well. Fortunately I didn't drink or smoke, so I could spend all my money on cardboard). I had to work about 6 evenings to be able to buy an Abyss, but it was very much worth it. My deck with Moat/Abyss and Tetravus for a kill card was amazing in several tournaments. I had to borrow the Tetravus from my good friend Rene, because I didn't have one. I've had a couple of tournaments were I had 7 swiss rounds and win 6 of the matches 2-0 and 1 2-1. I thought it was amazing and even though other cards were also important in my wins, nothing beat seeing both Moat and Abyss lying next to each other on the table. 

Winning is nice, but it gets a bit old after a while and then I started looking for other more interesting (and harder) ways to win games. I noticed after a while that I also didn't need winning as much as when I had just started playing to actually enjoy the game of Magic. For a while, my good friend Rene and I thought about breaking land equilibrium. He had managed to get a hold of a couple of English versions, and like most of the time with Legends rares in 1996, this meant he had all of the known versions in the region. I ended up trading 3 Italian ones over the course of several months and I still have them. I haven't played as much with them as I wanted though and plan to make an OS deck with them somewhere in the near future. 

Rene was more insistent on breaking the card and he got his wish just after Urza's saga came out. He built his vintage deck with 1 (yes, one) land in it. A single Tolarian academy. The rest of the deck was filled with mana artifacts and he would just drop a land Equilibrium somewhere in the first couple of turns, then play balance and his opponents would usually just sit there for a couple turns and then scoop. Especially when he also played his Nether Void, a card Rene had started to appreciate after seeing me play with it. I thought the deck was hilarious. And it was also pretty good, Rene ended second on a pretty competitive vintage (it was called Type 1 then) tournament with it. I still think it was amazing idea and he had tuned it remarkably. Unfortunately, soon after that tournament pretty much all mana artifacts became restricted in Type 1 and that sort of destroyed the effectiveness of this idea. To this day, Rene's deck idea makes me smile because he took one of those weird legends cards, and then just tried and tuned around it until it worked. And when it did, it was so much more awesome than just beating your opponents with Serra Angels and Hypnotic Specters :) 

In the meantime, I was flipping through my cards and found another creature that caught my fancy and I started building around this guy, another 4cc Legends card:

It was mainly hell's caretaker and Tetravusses, but I had missed how great Triskelion would have been in that deck, so I cannot claim to have invented something like The Machine by myself at the time. It did contain 4 white boarder Tetravus and some other big creatures (like colossus of Sardia) that I would put in play after I had ditched them with Jalum Tome and a single Bazaar of Baghdad. I thought that card was crap ( I was infected with the card advantage is everything idea) but thought it was funny to play in a deck like this. It was pretty good in the concept, but I didn't want to admit it. The thing was a joke to me. When the deck worked, it was great. I would just sit there and make more and more creatures. Usually though, it didn't work that well, because the Hell's caretaker had this big bulls eye on it's forehead, so it would leave play before it could do anything. Since most of my opponents were playing with white and Swords to plowshares was reprinted in pretty much all the sets, this deck lost more than it won. But when it did... I would just have this great big grin on my face that would last the rest of my day. So I was very happy to complete my playset of Legends Hell's caretakers last year, and now I sometimes play with 4 AQ Tetravus and 4 LG Hell's caretaker. And it feels wonderful when it does work, it hasn't lost that special feeling when you get to activate this weird 4cc 1/1 guy. 

The next 4 casting cost Legends rare I only started to appreciate after I had been playing OS with Swedish Rules for a while. In fact, the 4 copies of it I own have been in my trading binder for the longest part of the time I've had them. I played with them a couple of times after I had found my 4th one (For about a year I had only 3 copies without being able to find a 4th one) and then sort of lost interest in the gimmicky feel of dropping big creatures. Eureka had increased my appreciation of Scaled Wurm from Ice Age, though :) 

So when I quit playing in 1999, the Eureka's had been in my trading binder for more than a year, and then they stayed there for 5 years before I invented the Ancient format after 8th edition came out. But there were so many other decks for me to play in Ancient that they never came out. For a while, we had been mixing Ancient and the French version of OS in Eindhoven and I thought about playing with them again, but didn't. I almost traded them away for unlimited dual lands (i didn't have more than 7 of those at the time, and Swedish legal tournaments had just started to become a big thing in our country at the time) but the trader offered me so little for them ( I think it was like 30% under the lowest going market value) while pricing his UL duals about 25% over market value that it felt like being ripped off. I was so offended I took them out of my binder then and there and decided to just keep them and make a deck with them. And I'm glad I did! I have played several versions of Eureka and it is sooo much fun. I have been tuning the deck some, but my most favourite version is the one I played in a Dutch OS tournament (I think it was in one of the giant tournaments by Joep Meddens) in which I used a lot multi-color Legends (next to a shivan and a mahamoti djinn) to kill my opponent with after I could pull of a Eureka. One of my matches is on the Timmy Talks channel: Eureka vs Counterburn. I still love this deck and love playing it. It's obviously not the best deck, but the Eureka has definitely found a place in my MTG-heart. There's not a lot than can beat the feeling of attacking with a couple of gold legends with Concordant Crossroads in play after your opponent taps out and you get to play a Eureka. 

Next up are some other 4cc Legends cards I also like a lot, though I've played with them a lot less: 

Arboria is one of those cards that you just keep trying with. I've even tried this card with stuff like rod of ruin, but obviously the best way to go about it is Millstone/Island sanctuary (or combine it with Moat, one of the other favorites). I've also tried with Prodigal sorcerers. These decks usually don't perform as well as I would like. I think in one tournament I lost all of my matches with an Arboria Variant. I had fun, don't get me wrong, but it's just not a very good card :)

Next also a card that I haven't played much with, mostly because my experiences with it in a bit more competitive environments is so ghastly: 

I've played master of the hunt in several decks with a lot of green obviously, and tried with versions where the one copy I have (I just had to have one, even though I didn't really understand at the time why I traded for it. Now I know: it's a 4cc Legends rare, and therefore it does something weird with my brain :)) replaced a Erhnam Djinn in an armageddon deck. I would make a couple tokes and play armageddon, or use the tokens to block, or stuff like that. But it would almost always suck. Badly. Maybe I just haven't found the right deck for it. 

The next one I have wanted ever since I first saw one, but it would take about 20 years before I finally would get my hands on it. I've noted in one of my earlier posts that I was happy to acquire this one during the corona pandemic, I suppose I wanted to get one to sooth my bad feelings about being in a lockdown. 

I haven't played with it yet, but it makes me happy to just look at it. I'm sure that when I'm able to tap it (maybe in an OS brawl or something) I will be smiling the entire evening. 

The next one I also wanted, even though I decided to never buy it. It has just such amazing art, and the idea behind it, a Pixy Queen, is just so amazing. You just start making stories in your head looking at the card. 

But the price was ridiculous, so I was telling myself I wouldn't spend $100 on a card that does nothing and is obviously worse than Master of the Hunt. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to. Peter has had one for years now, and decided to give me the card as a birthday present and for all the times I gave him a ride to OS tournaments. Now it sits happily in my binder with playing cards and I enjoy looking at it every time I get to the page where it sits next to master of the hunt :) 

There was one 4cc Legends rare that also caught my fancy after I had discovered how much fun the Eureka deck is and how enjoyable it was to play that deck, and this was a card with some of the coolest artwork in Legends, I think: All Hallow's eve. Unfortunately, by the time I decided I would like to play it, the price had already gone into the ridiculous territory. So when I could buy 3 italian ones for a good price (well, by today's standards I suppose) from one of the OS regulars from Belgium, I decided it was now or never. 

I shelled out the cash and just built my first couple of decks with it. And I enjoy the card thoroughly, even though I'm missing some cards to make an optimal build (like more Bazaars of Baghdad. And that is definitely not going to happen. Jalum Tome and mind bomb work also). I'm currently in my 4th build in which I also play Hell's caretaker and even though the deck is obviously not as good as a Moat/Abyss control deck, I do have a lot of fun playing it. And the art, it's just wonderful. It gives me just as amazing a feeling as the other 4cc rares. I mean: scream counters, what's not to like? It feels different than cards from later sets. Legendary. Wondrous. Amazing. Different than all the other card mechanics, with weird and wonderful artwork. I love the 4cc Legends rares. Unfortunately I don't have all of them, but every time I see one, it feels that bit extra special and adds something to OS games that already are great by themselves. 

Thanks for reading, thanks to all of the OS community. I would have quit Magic a long time ago if it weren't for you guys. Thanks again and see you at a tournament soon! 

Honorable mentions:

There are some cards that unfortunately don't have the right casting cost for this piece, but I also like playing with because they have the same cool Legends feel as the others.  

I've played with both (the serpent generator even in an Abyss only version of my control deck without moat, and that has also won me a tournament back in the day) and the Sword of the ages in a deck with fatties where it could function as sort of a time walk. It would just be in play, you would attack with 2 big creatures, than sack the sword and win. I know. Both of them are not that good, but they're special to me in a way. I suppose the whole Legends set is.