Gordon's Old School Archetype Cube

A couple of cards in the cube... and one Lord of the Pit, don't know why he is there.

A while back we had a tournament in Stockholm that was a bit special. The tournament was an invitational where all players that had placed last in an earlier tournament were invited, the Stockholm Rag Men.

The price for the tournament was an invite for this years n00bcon and as that was a pretty sought-after price I was afraid that some players may become to competitive for my liking. Therefore, I decided that we would do a cube draft, that way people wouldn’t build UR Counterburn, The Deck and more just to compete. Then there was the question of how to build the cube as I didn’t want it to be just another Old School Cube, we already have one of those in Stockholm.

Then I came up with the idea idea of an archetype cube. What I mean with an archetype cube is a cube built on old school deck archetypes where you not only draft the best cards, but instead need to try to draft an existing deck archetype in the format. Decks like Sligh, PowerMonolith, Eureka, White Weenie and more.

As the old school card pool is quite small this wasn't possible if you did it in the standard highlander way of building a cube. It's pretty hard to build PowerMonolith in a cube with only one Power Artifact and one Basalt Monolith.

Building the cube

So I started by listing a bunch of archetypes I wanted to support and then added the important cards for those archetypes. The next step was then to change at least some of the cards to less played alternatives. Like changing a Counterspell to a Power Sink, and things like that.

Then I cut some of the archetypes that used too many narrow cards, one example is Atog, that needs a lot of cheap artifacts to work.

Last but not least, I tried to trim and correct the specific numbers of each card. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have 4 of each dual to make it easy to splash and play multiple colors. I also wanted to have 4 of each widely played staple as their would probably be more than one player at the table who wanted to draft those. A couple of examples are cards like Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshares and Serendib Efreet. Then we had cards like Millstone, that isn't a staple but can be played in very many decks. It is a great wincon for control decks, it is a must in Field of Dreams combo and Sylvan Library players would probably also want one. Therefore I needed more of them than I first thought.

The plan after that was to have 3 of each card that was important for an archetype, and 2 of each good card that neither was super important or a staple. The cards that only got one copy each were the fun offs, cards that don't really see much constructed plan but are cool and fun old school cards that should be in the cube. A few examples are Dragon Whelp, Royal Assassin, and Desert Twister.

I also decided to only have one of all the restricted cards, except for Chaos Orb. The reason for that one in particular was that some decks need answers to things like Moat, and also because it probably is the most old school card there is. Also, as Guardian Beast is in the cube I wanted it to be possible for people to get that combo.

And talking about Moat, there are some evil cards like that one, that many decks almost can't beat. So I decided to only have one of each in the cube. For example, you will only find one The Abyss and one Ali from Cairo.

This was the first plan at least, but it didn't really end up like that after I started to cut down the cube to 360 cards. After the cuts there weren't many cards that had 4 copies of them in the cube. I just didn't have room. The staples that got 4 copies each were Counterspell, Swords to Plowshares, Disenchant, Birds of Paradise, Sinkhole, Lightning Bolt and Fellwar Stone. I also needed to keep 4 copies of Savannah Lions and White Knight as white just has to few good creatures without Fallen Empires. 

The archetypes that I ended up supporting in the cube were the following: 

  1. Field of Dreams Combo
  2. Reanimator
  3. Eureka
  4. UR Aggro
  5. Sligh
  6. White Weenie
  7. Green Ramp
  8. Machine Head
  9. Ponza
  10. Guardian Beast/Transmute Toolbox
  11. Parfait
  12. Trick Deck (Underworld Dreams)
  13. Zoo/Erhnam Burn'em
  14. UG Berserk
  15. UW Control
  16. Artifact Aggro
  17. PowerMonolith
  18. CandleFlare
  19. Deadguy Ale
  20. Erhnamgeddon

You can find the cube list here. That is how it was at the time for the tournament.

How it played out

I wont write a tournament report but here are at least some pictures from the gathering and also 7/8 of the decks that were drafted. I'm pretty happy with the turnout and think the cube worked as I wanted with clear archetypes like Zoo, White Weenie, Ponza and Field of Dreams/CandleFlare (yes, that was mine) being played. 

The decks

Some pictures from the tournament

 

 

So, that is the story about the first version of the cube and how the first draft ended up. There are probably a lot of things that should be changed, and I have some ideas already, but I will keep them for myself for future blog post. Except for a couple of things: 

  1. TaxEdge probably should be an archetype in the cube.
  2. Some combo cards may need to be cut to 2 instead of 3.
  3. Maybe 4 Strip Mines, 4 Sinkholes and 3 Ice Storms are a bit borring according to some people (you can see what Seb thinks about that in the pictures hehe).

 

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for the cube, or just want to say what you think about it, please comment below.

Here is a link to the cube as it was for the tournament.

And if you want to do a test draft, you can do it here.

 

Tron part 2

So, it’s time for part two of my adventure with Tron in old school. Last time I wrote about my initial thoughts about the problems with Tron so let’s start with a short recap.

And if  you haven't read the first part you can find it here.

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The Recap

The big problem is that Tron takes 12 slots and if you add all the other “must include” mana sources it ends up taking almost all the mana source slots without giving you the ability to play colored spells. And as Tron is unreliable you can’t play over the top expensive spells, so the big question is why we should try to assemble tron instead of just playing Fellwar and Mana Vaults which is much more consistent? I ended up thinking Fireball was the way to go to try make a tron deck viable. The reason for this is that Fireball can be good both with and without Tron assembled. Now let’s see how that has gone.

The mana

So, I started by building a deck with waaay to many mana sources as I wanted to play 12 Urza lands, 5 Moxen, Lotus, Sol Ring, Library of Alexandria, Strip Mine, Mishra's Workshop and 4 Mishra’s Factory. After that I needed to add colored sources for my idea to work, that’s when it started to get a little crazy. I started trying to add just 6 sources to have a total of 7 with the mox. I knew that was actually way too few, but with a total of 32 sources that was already at least 2 more sources than I wanted. I decided to go for 4 Volcanic Island and 2 City of Brass so I also could play blue power and not only a couple of Fireballs. I goldfished a bit and as I thought, it was unplayable. I added two more City of Brass and played a whooping 34 mana sources which of course isn’t a good solution. As I wasn’t planning on playing that many colored spells and most of them were late game spells, 9 sources were actually ok. Not good, but ok.

To bring down the total count I did the unthinkable, I cut all four Mishra’s Factory. Maybe not the best idea but let us leave the mana base like this for now and look at how the deck actually could look like. Usually I’d start there but as the mana base is the foundation of this deck and also it’s biggest problem, I needed to start there for this particular brew.

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So much mana

The idea

So how do we continue this build? My first idea was to try to draw a lot of cards so we could assemble Tron. The cards I tried out were Jalum Tome, Jayemdae Tome and also Sindbad. Sindbad seemed like a good choice as lands are what we want. Maybe then we also could play with more mana sources as mentioned above? I even tried adding Sylvan Library for the Sindbads to work better and give me more chances to draw the Urza lands. But no, that didn’t work at all. The deck didn’t do anything as the lands and card draw took up most slots. And I still weren’t able to assemble Tron that often. So this idea was a no go.

Maybe I could ad Millstones to combo with Sylvan? Then I could also maybe play Field of Dreams... but then I have no use of Tron anymore.

My next plan was to completely skip thinking about assembling Tron and just play a Su-Chi, Triskelion, Fireballs and power. The thing about this idea is that I probably needs Mana Vault or Fellwar Stone for ramping into those creatures. But as said many times before, there isn’t space for more mana sources. But I couldn’t come up with a better idea so I went with this.

The cards

So let’s talk about the card choices of my rough sketch.

30 Mana sources

These are described and pictured above. (Forgot the Workshop in the picture)

7 Restricted cards

Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Timetwister, Recall, Braingeyser, Wheel of Fortune and Chaos Orb. Not much to say about these cards are there? They are good and if you have them, you should play them.

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5 X-spells

I have no idea why I went for 5 but it seemed like a good number to start on. It should mean that we will draw at least two X-spells each game and as the plan is to burn out the opponent it seemed good. Some playtesting is required to really decide what number is the best. By the way, I went for 4 Fireball and 1 Disintegrate as I love the ability to split up the Fireball.

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12 Creatures

I started by adding a playset of all the good artifact creatures in the format; Juggernaut, Su-Chi and Triskelion. There are other playable creatures like Dragon Engine and Tetravus but I wanted to try with just the best first and see if I need more after some playtesting. Dragon Engine would be cool as it becomes quite dangerous with Tron assembled but it’s not a great card.

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6 Flex slots

This is the part that is least thought through but I started out with 2 Jayemdae Tome, 1 Jalum Tome, 1 Disrupting Scepter and 2 Candelabra of Tawnos. But this quickly changed quite a bit. The Candelabra is only good with Tron as I removed the Factories so those got cut. Too many tomes and the scepter made it hard to activate them all without Tron so I cut the scepter and the Jalum Tome. I could probably add a third Jayemdae Tome but I actually don’t own one more. That left me with 4 slots and I that’s when I realized I didn’t have any removal or protection from flying creatures so I added two Maze of Ith. The other two slots became Copy Artifacts as I do play a couple of blue sources. I’m not sure how reliable it is to cast them early so I don’t know if they are any good. But I’ll try for now. Another card that could be added is Icy Manipulator as it can be a little bit of everything; removal, wincon (with City of Brass), mana denial or you could use it to tap down blockers. But with so many 4-drops I’ll test the Copy Artifacts for now. Maybe we could also splash black for Demonic and Mind Twist as we are playing 5 sources of black mana?

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The play

So just what is the plan of the deck as it looks right now? The threats are almost the same as in the classic blue red artifact aggro deck but the plan is quite different. That deck uses Mana Vault to power out an early threat and then can copy it with Copy Artifact to put on massive amounts of pressure early on. This deck however, doesn’t have any Mana Vaults and also play 4 more 4-drop creatures, so the plan is a little bit different. We sacrifice the early game with the plan to put out one threat every turn from turn 3 (we should be able to draw one mox) and onwards. That’s is the reason we play so many creatures and maybe even should play more. I also count the Jayemdae Tome as a threat as it will take over the game if it stays in play.

If the opponent is able to deal with the constant stream of threats we have our late game plan which consists of turning the opponent to ashes with a ball o fire. The longer the game goes on, the greater chance of assembling Tron to be able to cast Fireballs for 10+ damage. That’s why I decided to go with 5 X-spells as drawing two probably should close out the game if it goes long.

The big problem here is of course artifact hate and aggressive decks that kill us before we can get our plan rolling. We are however playing both red and blue which gives us access to BEB and REB against opposing burn, Energy Flux, Serendib Efreets, Shatterstorm and things like that. Also if we decide not to play Copy Artifact we only play 5 blue spells and maybe can think about playing Blood Moon in the sideboard if we think that would be more powerful than the Tron plan in some matchups.

The end

I haven’t yet tested the deck so this is just theory crafting right now but as I see it the above plan is at least in theory viable. Maybe the deck isn’t good and maybe it’s just better to play a more solid mana base with more ramp in the form of Fellwar Stone and also Mishra’s Factory. But who knows, maybe Tron kan steal a couple of games here and there and therefore is worth it.

I’ll sleeve it up and test is, tune it and come back with a part three I think. But we should not expect any miracles from this deck is my gut feeling.

PS. 

This post was written at the same time as the first post and I have since gotten more ideas on how to build Tron in old school. But this was my first thought process on how to make it viable. The only other viable idea I have heard of is making a Parfait style mono brown deck that can utilize the card draw to draw tron. That is a good idea as those decks often want to plat lots of cards in the same turn and therefore can use the mana and still play relatively inexpensive stuff for when you don't assemble Tron. Maybe I'll write more about that one in the future!

Old School Tron - Viable or not?

I’m a super big fan of artifacts, in all possible formats. I even have a mono brown EDH deck, built before wastes were printed so the mana base is a bit crazy. That’s why I’ve always wanted to build a mono brown deck in 93/94 so I wanted to share my initial thoughts about this and why I actually haven’t done this yet.

Disclaimer:

But first I would like to say that what I write here will only be true if you play by the Swedish B&R. The reason for this is that there is a really big difference between the Eternal Central rules and the Swedish ones when it comes to mono brown and that is that the EC rules permit four Workshops. This will be written with the premise that only one Mishra’s Workshop is allowed.

Let's start with the mana base

The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking mono brown in 93/94 are the Urza lands so that is where I will start my build. The premise from now on is therefore that I want to play Tron in 93/94. With that said, let’s start by looking at the deck’s mana base.

After we start with the 12 Urza lands other lands we should add to our deck is of course 4 Mishra’s Factory, 1 Mishra’s Workshop, 1 Strip Mine and 1 Library of Alexandria. No deck should be without them, at least if you don’t need colored mana. And then we have the seven restricted artifact sources, 5 moxen, Black Lotus and Sol Ring. This brings us to a total of 26 mana sources which is a good starting point for any deck. If the deck has a low mana curve we could go down to 24 - 25 sources and if it’s a control deck or a deck with a really high curve we should probably go up to 28 or maybe even 29 sources. As we just added all the essential mana sources and got 26 sources we’re clearly not going to try to build a deck with a low curve because there is no mana source we can cut. Also, the Urza lands can sometimes give us us an amazing amount of mana so we absolutely don’t want to be a low curve deck because then there is no point of playing the Urza lands. That instead leaves us with 3 slots left for the mana base and I would say either 3 Fellwar Stones or 3 Mana Vaults seems good here depending on how we build the deck. We could also add three colored sources which with a mox and lotus would give us a total of 5 sources of that color, probably not enough for even a slight splash.

Trouble on the horizon

This is where the trouble begin. The whole idea with playing the Urza lands is that we can get a lot of mana. Therefore, we should play expensive spells to utilize that fact. The problem however is that the Urza lands are unreliable and we probably will play more games that not without being able to assemble the three different pieces. So if we play too expensive spells we won't be able to cast them in many of our games. That doesn’t seem that good, so what should we do about that? I only see three possible solutions for this problem so let’s have a look at them.

Solution #1

The first idea I had was to take the easy way out and not play super expensive cards. Maybe instead top the curve with a couple of Triskelions (which still is pretty expensive) and otherwise focus on Su-Chi, Icy Manipulator and things like that. The problem with this solution is that if we’re not going to go all in on expensive spells and instead play Su-Chi and Triskelion, why are we even playing the Urza lands? We could instead just play Artifact Aggro with Mana Vaults as acceleration and also then be able to play colored spells. Once again the Urza lands and therefore the deck loses it’s purpose.

Expensive enough?

Read more about Artifact Aggro here

Solution #2

The second solution I can think of is playing cards that aren’t too expensive to play but can act as mana sinks when we are able to assemble tron. So what mana sinks are there in the format? This is the list I came up with:

  • Dragon Engine (Not good but at least playable)
  • Rocket Launcher (Same as above)
  • Candelabra of Tawnos (A perfect card for the deck)
  • Barl’s Cage (Pretty ok with tron but otherwise bad)
  • Reflecting Mirror (Maybe in the sideboard against burn?)
  • Rakalite (Just too bad of a card)

Yeah, that doesn’t work. But we also have a couple of mono artifacts with expensive activation costs that could be considered mana sinks, as we can use them and still have mana over for other things. These are the ones that springs to mind:

  • Al-Abara’s Carpet (A little too expensive)
  • Ring of Immortals (Could be good but too expensive)
  • The Hive (Same as above but a tiny bit better)
  • Disrupting Scepter (This could work but it’s not an amazing card)
  • Jayemdae Tome (We all know this is definitely going into the deck)
  • Jalum tome (This one can also help us find the tron pieces so it may make the cut)

Ok, after having looked at this I’m not convinced this will work. Playing to many of these cards will make the deck too clunky if we once again don’t have all three Urza lands on the battlefield.

 

Solution #3

The third solution is where I am right now but it instead gives us another problem. I think the solution is to play spells with variable mana cost, X-spells. Spells like Fireball and Braingeyser are good even without assembling tron and if we do they are amazing! This is why we started to look at the mana base because if you remember we could only fit 5 sources of colored mana. So this will give us a deck the is unreliable when it both comes to assemble the Urza lands and actually getting the colored sources we need.

So how do we solve this? This is where I’m at now and I will give you an update at a later date on how the brewing has gone. But the first thoughts are to cut Mishra’s Factory (which could be considered a sin) or go up in mana sources to 31 or so. Neither seems good but we’ll see.

alpha-signed-fireball

Time to splash!

To be continued...

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

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