The n00bcon X Decks

After n00bcon was over this year I set out to try to collect all the decks from the tournament so we could publish them for everyones enjoyment. I wasn't able to get a picture of every single deck, but except for a single player I at least got the deck name or a list. So here are 121 of the 122 decks played at n00bcon X.

The number is how many match points the pilot got in the swiss, but they are not in order after tie breakers. If you click on a deck you can also see notes on some of them as a couple of cards can differ from the picture and actual deck played. 

Thank you all for helping me doing this!

/Gordon

Brewing the CandleFactroy

I promised you guys a small post about my brew CandleFactory so here it is. I’ll go through the idea I had, my testing and what I found works and not.

(You can find the tournament report and introduction to the deck here.)

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So many fun interactions

The Idea

So, the idea for the deck is quite simple and it started with me liking Candelabra of Tawnos and buying a second one. The plan was to build something with Mana Flare but I began having fun with a stupid Lands deck instead. That didn’t work out and I put aside the Candelabras and instead focused on re-brewing my Field of Dreams deck (Kevin Costner.dec) and while brewing on that one I dug up my seldom used Copy Artifacts. That’s when it hit me, one of my favorite things to do with Copy Artifact is to copy an activated Mishra’s Factory (you then end up with an UN-activated Mishra’s Factory that is an Land Enchantment) and as Factory is good with Candle that might be something worth playing.

version 0.1

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The idea struck me about an hour before my friend Johan Råberg was going to come over for a couple of games so I just put together something rough to test against him in that hour. As Factories, Copy Artifacts and Candelabras is far from a complete deck I quickly decided to also put in my absolut favorite combo in the format Guardian Beast + Chaos Orb. And if you want that combo you should probably have some Transmute Artifact to be able to find the restricted Orb. And if you have Transmute and Guardian Beast you should also play some fun artifacts to get and protect so I added Icy Manipulator, Jayemdae Tome, Su-Chi, Triskelion and some junk I don’t remember. Of course I also added a couple of Maze of Ith as they are amazing with Candelabra. Add a bunch of mana and restricted cards and you have my first version.

After some goldfishing though I felt it was a little boring to use the Candelabra for only Factory and Library of Alexandria (now, that’s a thing of beauty!) so I actually added 2 Fireball and 1 Mana Flare just for the sake of it.

After Johan came and we played some magic the deck actually worked better than expected and I got to win against Johan both with Mana Flare, Candle+Factory, copying Su-Chi/Triskelions and Beast combo. The problem was however that it was super vulnerable to Armageddon so I wanted counterspells. That’s how the red package went out. It was mostly just cute anyway.

The week after

I didn’t think much about the deck after that until Johan once again came over for some games the day before the tournament Alphaspelen 3. Then I actually tried some new builds and decided to play it at the tournament. The reason however, was mostly because when he went home I went to sleep so I didn’t have the time to build a new deck. I actually didn’t even build a sideboard and just took 15 good cards right before leaving for the tournament.

But let’s rewind to the day before the tournament. As said before I had removed the red Mana Flare package for Couterspells and that was what I tried this evening to much success. The last thing I changed was to remove red completely and instead put in white. The reason I still had red was to have Red Elemental Blast against Energy Flux. But I decided white was better because of being able to also Disenchant Underworld Dreams, this is a slow deck after all.

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Which one should I choose?

tournament findings

As I’ve already done a tournament report that is not what I’m going to do here. Instead I’m going to write about a couple of findings from playing the deck.

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  1. Copying one of my three threats was something I did more than I expected and it was great having that choice to be able to win quickly when needed. This also protected the Guardian Beasts for a late game combo, as the opponent used removal on my other threats. Don’t know what the right number of threats are though.
  2. The Reconstruction is nice but sometimes it just get stuck in your hand. Don’t know if I should cut it or not (I probably should, but I love it!).
  3. Having more than one Candle in play can be amazing but the deck becomes real mana hungry when you want to activate a couple of Factories and also untap them a couple of times. I now own a third one but I think two is the right number with Transmute and Copy Artifact.
  4. Copying Icy Manipulator was fun and I quite often did it and won by using Icy as mana denial. I would love to play more Icy Manipulators to actually have this is one of the main plans.
  5. Two Guardian Beast seemed like the right number, sometimes they block small critters, sometimes they allow you to combo and sometimes they just protect stuff as they were designed to do.
  6. It’s always nice with a counterspell in hand to protect the combo or against Armageddon but as the deck mostly plays out like a tap out control deck I think three is enough.
  7. The split between Mana Vault and Fellwar Stone is something I’m not sure about. Mana Vault is amazing as we play a lot of 4-drops and with Transmute you can get rid of it as well. Therefore, I would like more. But as Factory and Candle is so mana intensive we also need a steady source of mana, like Fellwar. I’ll probably continue to play a split.

 

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sideboard findings

  1. I liked being able to board in more Beasts, maybe I even would want one more. Mostly against creature decks with Swords to Plowshares. Against those decks my creature plan is so much worse than theirs so it’s really good to be able to combo in the late game. It also gives us two more good blockers.

  2. The Disrupting Scepter was just there because I had no idea what to put in the sideboard.

  3. The Ivory Towers should probably be cut as we are a tap out control deck and want to play our cards instead of keeping them i our hand as you can do with Swords and Counterspell.

  4. A COP: Red should be a good inclusion because sometimes you can get in control but still have a long way to go before you can kill the opponent. If he or she plays burn that is a big problem with only three counterspells.

  5. Against control decks, and maybe also combo decks, one more counterspell would be nice to have access to in the sideboard.

  6. Sure, we play Guardian Beast but one City in a Bottle could be nice as a Transmute target against Arabian aggro and more.

 

 

Brewing

Actually I haven’t played much more with the deck so I don’t have many more findings to write about. I have however brewed and thought about it a bit to see what different directions you could go with the deck.

I’ve narrowed my ideas down to four main builds but keep in mind these are all just rough sketches.

CandleBeast

This is the version I played at the tournament. Skipping the red, skipping going aggro, and playing the Guardian Beast combo. There is however a couple of ways to build this as well. I’ve looked into playing the beast in the sideboard and The Abyss main, or the other way around. Mostly to have different game plans depending on the matchup. But I haven’t gotten this to work yet. But sure, with The Abyss main you become really good against creature decks and against control I think the combo is the best.

The Abyss Aggro

This build skips the beats and instead plays The Abyss, as it is amazing with Maze of Ith. It also adds a couple of more artifact creatures to go with the Abyss and it’s probably the best version. It is however also the most boring build as you more often than not loose track of the main idea, copying factories and using Candelabra. And you also loose the beast combo. In this build I've also decided to cut Counterspell and Transmute Artifact as there is no combo to tutor for or protect. Lastly I also switched to playing 4 Mana Vault instead of a split between Fellwars and Vaults as this deck wants to ramp out a creature quick and copy it.

The Abyss Control

You can do the same as in the above build but instead of more creatures add more Icy Manipulator to become more of a tap out control. In this build the copy factory plan is still valid and good. I like this quite a bit as it does everything I want, except comboing with Guardian Beast. I also added more books and cut a Transmute Artifact as I don’t need to find the combo.

Light the Candle 

This is the first version I tried, the one that splashes red for Mana Flare and a couple of Fireballs. I don’t think this will be even close to as good as the other builds but it’s absolutely the version that will give you the most varied game play, as you have so many different game plans in the same deck. It makes the Candles even better but without a Fireball in hand you don’t want to play Mana Flare so it’s a bit clunky. That’s why I only play one. The cards to cut is harder though. You want Counterspell to protect one of your two combos but there isn’t much else to cut. Maybe the artifact creatures, but then you really need to draw a factory for your Copy Artifacts to do anything.

That’s all my thoughts for now. I will continue to brew on this for a while and test different things, but I wanted to share my initial thoughts about the deck. I lean towards playing either the Icy control with The Abyss or a more opted version of what I played last time. The Abyss version is probably the one which is most true to my initial idea of copying Factory and hitting hard with Candelabra of Tawnos. But then again, the beast combo is just so fun.

/Gordon

Decklists from Alphaspelen 3

This will be the shortest post yet and mainly consist of images as I thought people would like to see what decks were played yesterday at the tournament Alphaspelen 3. So here they are in order of placement in the tournament.

I'm also working on a tournament report that will come up later this week and also an in-depth article about my deck with a couple of different variations built on the same theme. But you will probably need to wait a week or two for that one.

/Gordon

Ps. Thanks to Magnus Engdal who made it possible to photograph every participants deck.

Time Vault in Field of Dreams

Could Time Vault actually be good in this deck?

Could Time Vault actually be good in this deck?

One of my absolute favorite decks in old school is the not often seen Field of Dreams deck. Here in Stockholm we most often call it Kevin Costner after the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner (thank you Per for coming up with that name!).

You can read more about the deck in the archetype section (here) but the main plan is to survive long enough until you can get both Field of Dreams and a Millstone on the table. After that you mill your opponent every time they have a card you don’t want them to draw on the top of their library. Two well proven strategies is to give them all mana or no mana (yes, this deck is pure evil (and yes, I like parenthesis)).

I’ve played this deck a few times before but never in a big tournament so I was thinking of taking this to the next big event in Sweden. Therefore, yesterday I once again sleeved it up and took it to our monthly pub gathering. This time with a new “super secret” tech, Time Vault.

This is the deck right now. Except for the Timetwister which I now have cut.

The plan with Time Vault was to help when you’ve got the lock in. Sometimes you only have one Millstone and if you mill away a good spell and two cards down there is another good spell you can be in trouble. Even with two Millstones this can happen so my plan was to use Time Vault to minimise the risk of the opponent drawing something good. So when I know the opponent is just going to draw a land or something else that doesn’t matter I let him take another turn and untap my Time Vault. Then if I’m in a spot later on when I’ve milled him but he still has a good card on top I can take another turn and another shot at it. It’s also quite good when you want to use all your mana for a Braingeyser or if you want to attack with Mishras but then have mana up for a Counterspell and some milling.

It worked a lot better than expected and with Field of Dreams the Time Vault actually became a good card, even without Millstone.

/Gordon

A Report from the Scandinavian Championship

And also, We have a blog now!

Yes, you read that correctly. From now one we will try to give you guys even more old school content. How often will we update the blog? Who knows, but we promise to do our best to at least update once a month. Most of all, we just wanted a place where we could share our thoughts that don’t end up in the podcast or other places. That means you will mostly find short posts here, but we'll start it of with two longer posts and here is the first one.

In our first blog post ever, we’re going to have a look at a couple of decks. More specifically we’re going to take a look at all the decks which the Stockholm crew played last weekend at the Scandinavian Championship of 93/94 in Arvika with over 40 players. Some of decks also come with a short story from the player who played it. But without further ado, here are the decks!

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Max Weltz – White Zoo

Earlier tournaments Max have played either Troll Disco or PowerMonolith but this time he went for an aggro deck, and as you can read in his story, he didn’t get much practice in before the tournament.

“I played the deck for the first time on the train there but got some help from Andreas Cermak, who usually plays this style of deck, to tune it a bit before the tournament started. I ended up going 3-3 after losing 2 matches against early Blood Moon and then against fellow Stockholm crew member Andreas Rosén who just was to aggro for me to handle.”

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Andreas Cermak – White Zoo

Andreas hasn't played old school for long but has put up amazing results during that short time. As usual he played his signature White Zoo deck and his only comment from this tournament was “Died to Mono Black”, which is a shame because I would have loved to see his two Karma in the Sideboard to do their thing.

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Jonas Rebenius – White Weenie

When Jonas started playing this format White Weenie was his go to deck and now he’s back! Here is his short story from the day.

“Right before the tournament started Kung Markus (the organizer) announced that there would be a price for best placed unpowered deck and as WW doesn’t play much power I decided to remove the Lotus and the Pearl from the deck. I just got a couple of minutes to do the change and without two plains to put in the mana base got a little bit unstable but who cares, right?

Instead Björn Myrbacka lent me two Tividar’s Crusade and maybe that wasn’t bad because the deck who took home the price for best unpowered deck was a Goblins deck.

I started out 3-0 and was feeling good! The wins where against White Zoo, a mono black Pestilence deck (which should just not happen) and then Troll Disco. But then my luck ran out, turn one Gloom into Black Knight spelled a quick death when I realised I didn’t have a Chaos Orb in the Deck. And in the last round I lost against Gordon Andersson which is almost a tradition now.”

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Peter Engström – UWR Control

Peter is one of the Stockholm crew’s newest players but he has been able to get quite the 93/94 collection in a short time as he had a lot of Modern staples. The deck he’s been working on is a blue, white and red control deck with a lot of basics so he can play two Blood Moon main deck. Just before the tournament he was able to get hold of a couple of Underground Sea so this time he also splashed for Mind Twist and Demonic Tutor. A cool deck that will probably end up as The Deck as Peter get more cards.

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Johan Råberg – Machine Head

Johan has sold almost every non-old school card he had to instead invest in old school cards. And what a collection it has become as he is trying to get everything black bordered. Here is his story.

“The idea behind my deck was that I wanted to play all the cards I love. That meant every color, at least one of each dual, Birds of Paradise, restricted cards and a nice selection of big monsters. I ended up going 3-3 after losing to fellow Stockholmers Björn Myrbacka and Yann Franzén. The worst moment of the day was probably when I saw a lotus hit the board on the first turn, being sacrificed for red and then all lands where mountains for the rest of the game. No, I did not win that one.”

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Björn Myrbacka – Dreams Control

Björn first played 1,5 years ago after trying to sell some old cards and met an old school player who told him about the format. He’s been hooked ever since and is now buying black bordered cards like there is no tomorrow. And it is the black border that decided his deck for this tournament.

“The reason why I played the deck and build I did was because I really wanted to use my newly acquired black bordered Howling Mines. That made me build a more controlling and slower version of the classic Trick Deck. The plan was to control the game and keep my Howling Mines tapped with Icy and Relic Barrier until I could win the game with a draw 7 or when I had more than one Underworld Dreams in play.

I ended up going 3-2-1 after I lost to Andreas Cermak and the winner Jimmie and got a draw against Kalle Nord. Other than that, I would say Balance was a MVP as always.

And as a fun fact, I won ALL of my pre-boarded games the whole weekend, from when we got on the train until we arrived in Stockholm the day after (we played a lot on the train). That must mean that I can’t sideboard for s**t so at least I know what to practice now and why it went so well later in the night in the Hövveturnering (a single elimination tournament for those who didn’t top 8 where you only play one duel).”

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Andreas Rosén – Arabian Aggro (Lestree Zoo)

Andreas has been playing for quite some time now and he usually does fairly well. This tournament was no exception.

“I didn’t want to drive to Arvika all by myself so I asked a friend if he wanted to play and luckily he said yes. That meant I needed to put together two functioning decks with my cards and that decided the deck I played. I built one White and Blue Parfait deck for my friend and copied Martin Berlin’s Arabian Aggro list from a couple of tournaments ago for myself. I went 4-2 in the swiss losing against The Deck and a Red, Black and White deck that was too aggressive for me. Then I sadly lost in the quarterfinal against Jimmie who later won the tournament.”

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Yann Franzén – Eureka!

Yann is probably Stockholm’s craziest and most fun brewer and you never know what he will show up with. Last time it was Lich Mirror but for Arvika he came with a more classic (but just as fun) deck, Eureka! The picture is a little bit wrong though, he took out one Colossus of Sardia and one Fellwar Stone to ad his two newly bought Concordant Crossroads, a card I think is essential for the deck. Sorry to say I only think Yann got two wins in the time but for a first time with the deck that isn’t so bad. He probably should had have at least one more win because he played me (Gordon Andersson) and it is a horrible matchup for me, but more on that soon.

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Gordon Andersson – Fork Recursion Combo

And then we had me, going there to at last play the deck I’ve been brewing on for many months. Some of you may have seen the development on Instagram or read about it when it got its place in the Deck Archetype section of the site a couple of weeks ago. The deck for the day was Fork Recursion Combo and it actually went much better than expected. I actually think this is a “real” deck even if we’ve never seen it at a tournament since Mark Chalice played it in 1994.

Step one for the deck is to play Howling Mine, Sylvan Library so you can draw your restricted cards, then play Fastbond to be able to utilize all the extra cards better than the opponent. After that you start to Fork restricted cards and try to loop Time Walk over and over again until you either switch life with a Mirror Universe or get to 13 mana for a Fireball+Fork win.

First, I got to win against Stasis, then just barley lose to Kalle Nord after I scooped so we could get a third game in. He won the fifth turn in time with my worst matchup Parfait. After that I won against my second worst matchup, a Trick Deck, because I had playtested A LOT against that. My forth match was against Andreas Rosén which is supposed to be a great matchup but I didn’t draw anything and he steam rolled me. My last two wins was the most interesting ones. First against Yann Franzén on Eureka which is a faster combo deck so I was in a world of trouble. Luckily for me I was able to find Mana Drain in all of our games and even recur it to stop all of his Eurekas. Sorry Yann!

The last match was against Jonas Rebenius on White Weenie, a matchup I think I have a slight edge in as their clock isn’t that fast. But the Disenchants could be a problem. When Jonas had two Circle of Protection: Red on the board and my only wincon is two Fireballs it looked grim, but forking his Disenchant on my Mirror Universe and then Chaos Orbing the last one got me through it.

/Gordon