Old Frame MTG. Lesson from the First Year of the Newest Oldest Format

Hi old framers! 

As a way to celebrate the first year of this format, I thought about using this chance to have a little looking back, looking forward type of reflection. I basically wanted to go over the different decks and archetypes people have played, what decks have done well and not so well, and finish with a small overview of what may lie ahead.

Before going in, I want to say something about the data I used to analyze our first year’s metagame. I basically went into the MTG Old Frame website, downloaded the pictures of the decks from here, and started counting! I found 49 decks this way. These decks were played across our initial 7 leagues of the format (average 7 decks per league).

Getting these 49 decks was the best I could do with the information I had access to because not everyone has shared their deck picture during each league. Also, I have the impression that people who have done well are more likely to share their deck picture compared to people who did not do so well in a given league. That being said, I believe I have about 65% of the real sample of decks, so while I am missing some information, I think the sample is representative enough of what has happened over the past few months.

As a side note, starting with the eight edition of the league, I’ll try to be a bit more active following the metagame and see what people play and what decks do well, etc.

What archetypes did people play during the first year?

The Table below summarizes the answer to this question. I have to say that the metagame looks quite diverse to me, with almost all old school archetypes being represented plus a few new ones that have emerged thanks to the current rules (ie, Stifle Nought).

As expected, the metagame has more control, combo and control/combo strategies than aggro ones, but given that WoTC philosophy at the time consisted on printing very powerful spells alongside shitty creatures, that is not a huge surprise… 

Archetype%
Draw Go (Keeper, Shining)510%
Dreadnought (All variants)510%
Grow a Tog (Includes Hulk Smash)714%
Null Rod (Fish, Threshold, Bazaar)612%
Stax (TNT, Mono-Brown, 5-Color)714%
Storm (TPS, Doomsday)816%
Other Decks (Combo)816%
Other Decks (Aggro)36%
Total 49100%
Table 1. Archetype representation across the initial 7 leagues

What archetypes did well during the first year?

Let’s see what archetypes have been represented in the Top 4 positions across the initial seven leagues.  

The first thing that jumps out is that storm decks in Top 4 positions rank somewhat higher than the other archetypes. That being said, the table also shows that all archetypes that have been played have made Top 4 at least once (even aggro decks!). I take this as evidence of a decently balanced and diverse metagame!

Archetype%
Draw go (Keeper, shining)414%
Dreadnought (all variants)414%
Grow a Tog (includes hulk smash)27%
Null rod (Fish, threshold, bazar)311%
Stax (TNT, mono brown, 5-color)518%
Storm (TPS, doomsday)621%
Other decks (combo)311%
Other decks (aggro)13%
Total 28100%
Table 2. Archetype representation in top 4 decks across the initial 7 leagues

Let’s now try to make more of a fair comparison of what archetypes have done well given their overall representation in the metagame. In other words, some decks may appear more in Top 4 positions because there is more people playing them or because they over perform against other decks (or a combination of both). So, let’s combine the previous two tables into one and compare the percentage of deck representation with that of top 4 positions


Archetype
Decks registered Top4 positions
%%
Draw go (Keeper, shining)510%414%
Dreadnought (all variants)510%414%
Grow a Tog (includes hulk smash)714%27%
Null rod (Fish, threshold, bazar)612%311%
Stax (TNT, mono brown, 5-color)714%518%
Storm (TPS, doomsday)816%621%
Other decks (combo)816%311%
Other decks (aggro)36%13%
Total 49100%28100%
Table 3. Overall archetype representation and Top 4 positions

As expected, some decks tend to be slightly more represented in top4 positions given their metagame share. Draw Go, Dreadnought, Stax, and Storm tend to have a higher chance of making Top 4 positions given their overall share of the metagame. Draw Go and Storm strategies were among the best archetypes in 2003, so it is not surprising that they do quite well in today’s leagues. Stax became one of the best vintage decks a little later with the printing of Trinisphere, but it is nice to see it doing so well without the extra tools it got from Mirrodin block. It looks like Old Karn paired with Spheres of Resistance and 5 Wastelands are good enough to bully blue mages out of a game! 

In a beautiful turn of events, Dreadnought strategies rank among the best ones in the format! Looks like our metagame will have to learn to live with the constant menace of the 12/12 trampler.

I think what surprised me the most about this table is that Tog strategies haven’t done so well all things considered. This is quite surprising since they did REALLY well in 2003. They even slowly kick out of the format the slower Draw Go decks, such as the Keeper or the Shining. I guess, we have to only wait until one player puts together the right combination of spells, Quirion Dryads, and Psychatogs to take over the format!  

So, what are the actual decks that made top 4?

This is probably a good time to stop talking about deck archetypes in an abstract form and start talking about actual decks!

The following table shows the actual decks people have successfully piloted into Top 4 positions:

WinnerRunner upSemi finalistSemi finalistNotes
Grow a TogTPSCadaverous bloomUbr DreadnoughtJuly 2020*
Ubr DreadnoughtUr StaxTPSStax (mono brown)September 2020*
TPSUr StaxBazaar Survival (aka, Oshawa Stompy)Burning wish control (aka, Burning Robadeck)December 2020*
TPSTNTThe shiningGrow a Tog (aka, the 63 card special)February 2021
DoomsdayTPSUbr DreadnoughtOath of druidsMarch 2021
TNTSuicide blackUwb DreadnoughtThe shiningApril 2021
Ugw threshold (aka, Bear Deck Wins)Urw FishTrixKeeperJune 2021
Table 4. Summary of Old Frame decks reaching top4 over the initial 7 leagues
* Merchant scroll was unrestricted during these 3 leagues. 

The added value of this table is that it shows changes in deck representation over time. Storm was quite well represented in top 4 positions during the first few leagues, but it fell out of flavor in the last two ones. I think this is a combination of (1) people moved into other decks and (2) the metagame as a whole has learned how to fight mages who were up to no good! 

It is also nice to see that several top 4s have included a very “random”/unexpected deck. Cadaverous Bloom did quite well in the first league, Survival in the third, Oath in the fifth, Mono Black in the sixth, and in the seventh Trix was joined by two fish decks! This shows that it is quite possible and realistically to make top 4 with virtually any deck in this format. The element of surprise (and the fun of playing them) seems to really pay off!  

The last league provides strong evidence that the metagame keeps evolving and adapting over time. Null Rod is becoming a serious and credible threat, so Storm and blue mages will have to respect it. I personally love to see that even with this fix pool of cards, the format is not yet 100% resolved (even though it is almost 20 years old)

Let’s see some of those Top4 decks, shall we!

I want to highlight a few of the decks that have done quite well and that I expect are able to successfully and reliably continue to do well. In a future article, I want to talk about some of the less mainstream combo decks (eg, Oath, Dragon, Trix and the like) as well as the other possible sweet and janky brews the format has to offer (eg, Survival, Reap, and others).

Luke Tooker’s Keeper is a powerful draw go deck that seeks to control the early to mid game with removal, counterspells, and mana denial. After assembling a solid board position, the deck can close the game with a deadly Morphling or some tokens.

Karl Akbari’s The Shining plays similarly to the Keeper in the early turns. But it plays red to have access to a Burning Wish board. This deck can close the game with a single Psychatog but it is more common to do so with a lethal Tendrils

Vedast Sanxis Catalan’s TNT has proven to be one of the more successful Workshop strategies. This deck was known as the people’s favorites for a while given its non-blue non-traditional combo oriented approach to attack the format with mana denial, sphere effects, powerful and fast creatures and some techy silver bullets

Kim Karl Pfeiffer’s Ubw version and Michael Arnold’s Ubr version show two different approaches to the phyrexian dreadnought archetype. The Ubw version more closely follows the one commonly played in the premodern format. This one seeks to reliably cast the 12/12 on T1-2 (or on T2-3 after Meddling Mage blocked the opponents’ key card or draw out a counterspell in the process). On the other hand, the Ubr version traded some of those explosive elements for a slightly more controlling suite. You can see Michael’s deck putting up a beautiful and impressive game against Storm on our Youtube channel by clicking here.

On the storm front, James Whitehouse has been the only pilot brave enough to bring Doomsday into a league. With the upcoming availability of 4 personal tutor, I wonder who will be the next!

Here is yours truly’s take on TPS. I don’t want to say much here since I’m finishing a primer on the deck that I will share with you shortly. I’ll link it here once it is ready to go.

Fabio Zanasi’s Uwr fish deck is a classic Null Rod based deck. The deck uses Standstill and Curiosity as card draw engines while it attacks the opponent’s development with mana denial and cheap counterspells, while slowly hits with small efficient creatures and manlands.  You can see this in action against another Null Rod deck here.

I’ll finish this section with another deck of my own,  Ugw threshold aka Bear Deck Wins !

I think this deck can very successfully fight the metagame as it stands now. I wrote a premier on this deck that you can read in the link above. 

What else can we expect to see moving forward?

Despite the powerful spells, with broken combinations of cards, and the nostalgia of playing with 20+ year old cards, one of the main attractive features we have seen thus far are people’s decks. I am, just take a minute to really look at these beauties 

Raymond Mitchell’s beautiful collection shines (pun intended) in his decks

Vedast’s decks are also very shiny 

Speaking of shiny cards, some people (coff coff Karl coff coff) go out of their way to make their deck as shiny as possible !

In all fairness, not all beauty comes from shiny cards in oriental languages. For instance, Alex Caviris’ choice of power 9 cards shows its own kind of beauty. 

And yes, we don’t care which cards you choose to play; in the end, we just want to jam!

What now?

Starting from the september 2021 league, four more expansions will become legal in the format (ie, Starter 1999 and the three Portal sets). The addition of sweet tutors and other nice cards will not only reinforce some of the existing decks, but also open new possibilities. From the top of my mind, I’m sure that Grim long will become a viable strategy now and I suspect more people will try to assemble different types of A+B combos with more success. We will see more decks such as Trix, Vault-Key based decks, etc. With more people trying to assemble two card combos while paying precious life to get there, aggro decks and Null Rod based strategies should become more viable strategies and successful strategies.

I don’t want to dwell much on what may happen since I can’t predict the future, but I am 100% certain of the fact that I am excited to play good old frame magic!

Bear Deck Wins

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
3 Null Rod

CREATURES

4 Meddling Mage
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
2 Daze
4 Force of Will
1 Gush
2 Mental Note
1 Misdirection
4 Stifle
2 Swords to Plowshares

SORCERIES

1 Deep Analysis
1 Time Walk

LANDS

2 Flooded Strand
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
4 Wasteland

SIDEBOARD

1 Balance
1 Compost
1 Disenchant
2 Hydroblast
1 Misdirection
3 Naturalize
1 Null Rod
1 Powder Keg
2 Swords to Plowshares
2 Tormod’s Crypt

Mox Sapphire

Introduction to Bear Deck Wins

This article will be the first in what I hope is a series of primers and deck techs for Old Frame MTG. I want to write about a few of the decks I’ve played with the hope of making publicly available some of the lessons I’ve gathered in a way that does not easily get lost in fb. I also aim to motivate people to try this fun format and/or some of these decks!

Today I want to start this series by writing about a somewhat unusual deck that could be described as Bant tempo threshold, or maybe bant delverless delver. But I strongly prefer Bear Deck Wins!

Just for reference, in case this is the first time you hear about Old Frame MTG, we play Magic the Gathering with the current rules using cards printed between 1993 and 2003, so basically everything printed between Alpha and Scourge (hence the name of the format). We have a small restricted list (for the power 9 and other similar bombs, such as Yawgmoth’s will, bargain, etc.) and a tiny banned list (for ante cards, chaos orb, and the like). So it is basically everything but not really everything. For reference,  the rules of the Old Frame format as well as the current banned and restricted list can be found on our website here.

Some background and how Bear Deck Wins came to exist

I want to start with a little bit of history here. While I did not play Vintage back in 2003, I have played every old frame league since we started the format a little bit more than a year ago (around mid 2020). Since we began playing this fantastic format, I have been wanting to come up with a tempo strategy that plays well against the more established and dominant decks of the format. From a personal point of view, I enjoy playing tempo strategies. One of my favorite decks of old times is the classic Canadian Threshold (currently known as temur delver). Anyway, the idea of playing a tempo deck in Old Frame has been in the back of my head for a while, but I haven’t fully committed to trying one such deck.

That changed about two leagues ago.

I was having quite a lot of fun (and some success if I may add) finishing games counting to 10 and then casting a lethal tendrils of agony piloting The Perfect Storm (TPS for friends), but I decided it was time for a change. Storm was clearly the dominating deck of the format and there was some discussion about the need of banning something. I didn’t think the deck needed anything banned because as a pilot I knew the weaknesses of the deck and how to play against it. This resulted in me wanting to “prove” that the beast could be defeated. So, I decided it was the time to try a tempo deck that was capable of consistently beating up Storm. This is what I first tried:

Ubg “Sultai” Threshold

I included a full mana denial package coupled with 8 threshold bears and shadow mage infiltrator for incremental card advantage. My goal was to beat up storm and draw cards with Finkel. To be honest, I didn’t expect to do well against the rest of the field. In any case, I did not play against storm nor did I manage to draw a single card with Finkel. The joke is on me I suppose 😛

Despite my luck (or lack thereof?), I realized that the deck was not so much as a meme against the rest of the field as I originally expected it to be! I also learned a couple of valuable lessons in the process. First, the deck needed more creatures since 9 is not even close to enough to quickly bring down an opponent down to 0. Second, Finkel SUCKS! It is way too slow to beat and even slower to draw cards in this type of deck. This was a pity because I really wanted it to be good since I loved the card. But, I guess the ones to blame are the WOTC R&D guys who decided to print an uncommon card in the same set in the same colors as a the rare card with the world champion’s face in it. Anyhow, the third problem was that I realized that duress is not very good in a non-combo deck that needs to close the game fast using “small” creatures. Fourth, the deck had a problem dealing with other widely used creatures, such as phyrexian dreadnought, early game quirion dryads, or late game psychatog. Finally, I was desperately missing some way to create either virtual or real card advantage.

After some thought I realized that black was not a good color for what this deck wanted to do. I considered red (i.e., pyroblast, lightning bolt, fire // ice, and grim lavamancer), but I did love how that deck looked. I was basically forced to consider white (aka the worst color in magic in 2021, which coincidentally was also the worst color in 2003). I was skeptical about trying white at first, but I discovered that this color really resolved all the problems the deck had! Swords to plowshares can deal with every creature in the format (except my own nimble mongoose), meddling mage not only increases the creature count up to the ideal 12 but also helps to create virtual card advantage (by leaving unplayable cards in your opponent’s hands), balance is an incredibly unbalanced card, and disenchant can help to split the naturalize effects into two colors (and with different names, which has a small advantage against other meddling mages or cabal therapies). Also, for card advantage purposes I wanted to try deep analysis since it works quite well in conjunction with mental note.

This is the deck I run in the June league… Behold Bear Deck Wins

Bear Deck Wins or Ugw “Bant” Threshold, or delverless delver

Despite the deck being just a pile of “bad cards,” the deck plays quite well! I don’t want to do a full tournament report since that is now the goal of this article but I will say that I won the June league and the deck runs quite smoothly! I went 4:0 in the group stage winning 2:1 vs mana drain control, 2:0 vs Uwr fish, 2:0 vs TNT, and 2:1 vs TPS. I won 2:0 vs “donate + illusions of grandeur” in the semifinals and 3:2 against Uwr fish in the finals. We recorded and uploaded the final match on our youtube channel. You can watch the game here!

So how does the deck work?

The deck uses a tempo strategy whose plan is to employ a mana denial role with wasteland, strip mine, stifle, and null rods while hitting your opponent’s life total with threshold powered hate bears. It is important to note that the deck does not want to play a long game since it does not have an active play to consistently gain card advantage. That is why the “counters” package is rather small and focused (just 4 Force of Will, 2 dazes, and 1 maindeck misdirection with zero mana drains). Normally these are used proactively to resolve a key spell or just to stop the bomb that is going to kill you. Most of the time you let your opponent resolve their set up spells and counter their key one. 

I’ll share some deck notes and somewhat random thoughts for anyone who wants to play this deck in our next league

  • If you dazed a spell or stifled a fetch land on G1, it is relatively correct to board some of those out (especially if you are on the draw on G2). Daze and stifle are not particularly strong cards in Old frame, and they quickly lose their effectiveness when your opponent can afford to correctly play around them. The best deal you can get here is that your opponent plays around them but you have them in your sideboard
  • Sometimes, it is correct to let your opponent draw off their ancestral recall since your plan more often than not involves you winning the game empty handed while your opponent still has a few cards in hand that they are unable to play. Again, the rule of thumb is that you let your opponent resolve their set up spells and fight their key spell. 
  • If you don’t have threshold but you are close to getting there, it is correct to cast your spells before combat in case your opponent wants to pick a fight and help you get to 7 cards in the graveyard
  • Resolving a nimble mongoose is often more important than solving other creatures since once it’s in play it is VERY hard to remove (just watch out for burning wish into innocent blood!)
  • Many times, you can’t afford to play your brainstorms perfectly (ie, by returning two bad cards and shuffling with a wasteland). So, it is often correct to brainstorm somewhat more aggressively in order to find the missing creature to start beating your opponents down to zero!
  • Your opponent’s quirion dryads will grow larger very quickly, and they basically stop most of your attacks until they can draw you out of the game. Same applies to late game psychatogs (early game ones are somewhat easier to handle). Those are the spells that you can’t let your opponent resolve (or alternatively plow them as fast as possible)
  • In most matches, you are the beatdown unless you are playing against a fast combo deck (ie, storm or dreadnought), in that case you are the control. 

What is unique about this deck that we didn’t know in 2003?

Circa 2003 several decks ran null rod to combat decks that relied on powerful artifacts to accelerate their game plan. That being said, most null rod decks from that time did not run moxes or black lotuses at all (probably because people who owned power used it and those without fought them using null rod). Since our format is 100% proxy friendly, we are able to play with the best combination of cards without worrying about budget. And I think that is the beauty of it! 

What changes would I make moving forward?

Mental note severely underperformed throughout the leagues I played it. The goal for the card was to accelerate getting up to threshold but that did not happen as consistently as I expected (or much at all to be honest). I think it is correct to run an instant speed cantrip in that slot. Why instant speed you ask? Because you want to leave up mana for a T1 stifle and still have the option to use that mana in case your opponent does not crack a fetch land on their first turn. Therefore, this leaves us two main candidates, peek and opt. While I haven’t tested any of these two options, in theory any one of them may be correct. That being said, I am currently more inclined to advocate for peek over opt. While opt gives more flexibility in terms of card selection, I think this deck values more the value of information of knowing your opponent hand over digging a card deeper. Most of the cards in the deck are somewhat interchangeable and similar in power level, so for this deck I think it is more important to know how to plan the game. Related, since mental note is leaving the deck, I would switch deep analysis for a merchant scroll. In the sideboard, I would switch the powder keg for another compost. I don’t think powder keg is very good but compost is quite good against TPS and fantastic against mono black!

In sum, these are the changes I would make to the deck moving forward:

Mainboard:

– 2 mental note

– 1 deep analysis

+ 2 peek (or opt if peek happens to underperform)

+ 1 merchant scroll

Sideboard:

– 1 powder keg

+ 1 compost

What about a sideboard guide?

This is how I would sideboard if I were to play the updated deck today. However, I don’t claim these choices are going to always be 100% correct all the time. Just adapt your choices when you think it matters! That being said, the goal of the sideboard guide is to give potentially new players of the deck (or of the format) an idea on how to play the deck and diminish the cost of playing it in our next league !

vs blue control decks using mana drain

– 2 daze

– 1/2 stifle (to make room for swords to plowshares)

+ 1 null rod

+ 1 misdirection

+ 1/2 swords to plowshares (only if they play quirion dryads)

vs storm (TPS, doomsday)

– 2 cantrips

– 1 misdirection

– 1/2 dazes (only on the draw)

+ 2 compost

+ 1 null rod

+ 1/2 naturalize/disenchant

vs Uwr fish

– 3 null rod

– 2 cantrips (on the play)

– 2 dazes (on the draw)

+ 1 balance

+ 2 swords to plowshares

+ 1 naturalize/disenchant

+ 1 misdirection

vs TNT

– 2 daze

– 1 misdirection

– 2 peek

– 1 stifle (on the draw)

– 1 null rod (on the play)

+ 4 naturalize/disenchant

+ 2 swords to plowshares

vs dreadnought

– 3 null rod

– 2 stifle

– 2 mongoose

+ 1 balance

+ 2 swords to plowshares

+ 4 naturalize/disenchant

Some final thoughts

I’m about 2000 words in, so I’ll make this quickly. I obviously did not design this deck 100% from scratch but I developed it by looking at old deck lists as a reference and took things from there. We stand on the shoulders of giants, rights? The deck also greatly benefited from talks with some of the other Old Frame grinders and friends. Our community is truly awesome!

While I don’t think this deck is the tier 0 of the format, I really think it is a very good and powerful one! You can really win games out of nowhere with an early stifle or wasteland and you have a decent plan against every deck in the format. But you know, this is vintage, so every now and then someone will just T1 kill you! And when that happens, just enjoy the showI also think this deck is very fun to play. It has some interesting combat math to it that is not quite common to most eternal formats. I also think it is a very good deck choice for someone to start playing Old Frame for the first time coming from Legacy or Premodern (especially if you haven’t played Vintage or didn’t play it back in the good ol’ days).

Fish

ARTIFACTS

1 Mox Sapphire
3 Null Rod

CREATURES

4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Manta Riders
4 Rootwater Thief

INSTANTS

4 Force of Will
4 Misdirection
1 Psionic Blast

SORCERIES

1 Time Walk

ENCHANTMENTS

4 Curiosity
4 Standstill

LANDS

4 Faerie Conclave
9 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Maze of Ith
4 Mishra’s Factory
1 Strip Mine
2 Wasteland

SIDEBOARD

4 Annul
1 Boomerang
2 Chill
1 Gilded Drake
2 Legacy’s Allure
1 Maze of Ith
2 Suq’Ata Firewalker
2 Wasteland

Black Lotus

Reap

ARTIFACTS

4 Distorting Lens
1 Mox Emerald
1 Sol Ring

CREATURES

1 Gorilla Shaman

INSTANTS

4 Accumulated Knowledge
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Blue Elemental Blast
4 Brainstorm
3 Cunning Wish
1 Disrupt
1 Fire/Ice
4 Force of Will
1 Misdirection
1 Mystical Tutor
4 Pyroblast
2 Reap
4 Red Elemental Blast

SORCERIES

1 Merchant Scroll
1 Time Walk
1 Regrowth

ENCHANTMENTS

1 Sylvan Library

LANDS

1 Flooded Strand
1 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
4 Tropical Island
4 Volcanic Island
3 Wasteland

SIDEBOARD

1 Counterspell
1 Disrupt
1 Dwarven Blastminer
1 Flaming Gambit
1 Gorilla Shaman
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Hydroblast
1 Intuition
1 Misdirection
2 Naturalize
2 Pyrokinesis
1 Reap
1 Timetwister

Black Lotus

High Tide

ARTIFACTS

1 Lotus Petal
3 Nevinyrral’s Disk

CREATURES

4 Palinchron

INSTANTS

1 Brain Freeze
1 Capsize
2 Disrupt
1 Fact or Fiction
4 Force of Will
1 Frantic Search
4 High Tide
2 Impulse
1 Intuition
4 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Stroke of Genius
3 Turnabout

SORCERIES

1 Amnesia
1 Braingeyser
2 Merchant Scroll
1 Mind’s Desire
1 Time Spiral
1 Timetwister

LANDS

20 Island

SIDEBOARD

3 Back to Basics
1 Betrayal
3 Chill
2 Hibernation
3 Hydroblast
1 Jester’s Cap
2 Stifle

Black Lotus

Keeper

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

CREATURES

2 Gorilla Shaman

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
3 Cunning Wish
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Fire/Ice
4 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Skeletal Scrying
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Vampiric Tutor

SORCERIES

1 Balance
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mind Twist
1 Time Walk
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

ENCHANTMENTS

1 Future Sight
1 Goblin Trenches
1 The Abyss

LANDS

1 City of Brass
2 Flooded Strand
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
3 Tundra
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

SIDEBOARD

1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Circle of Protection: Red
1 Coffin Purge
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Disenchant
1 Energy Flux
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Flaming Gambit
4 Red Elemental Blast
1 Shattering Pulse
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Swords to Plowshares

Black Lotus

Grafted Skullcap

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
4 Grafted Skullcap
2 Karn, Silver Golem
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Memory Jar
4 Metalworker
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
3 Powder Keg
4 Smokestack
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Tangle Wire
2 Nether Void

CREATURES

4 Goblin Welder

LANDS

4 Badlands
2 City of Traitors
4 Mishra’s Workshop
1 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
2 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

SIDEBOARD

2 Arcane Laboratory
2 Caltrops
3 Jester’s Cap
2 Karn, Silver Golem
3 Null Brooch
1 Powder Keg
2 Tormod’s Crypt

Black Lotus

Tendrils

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Grim Monolith
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Memory Jar
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
4 Dark Ritual
4 Force of Will
1 Frantic Search
2 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor

SORCERIES

1 Demonic Tutor
4 Duress
1 Mind’s Desire
3 Tendrils of Agony
1 Time Spiral
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Tinker
1 Windfall
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

ENCHANTMENTS

1 Necropotence
1 Yawgmoth’s Bargain

LANDS

2 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
2 Scrubland
1 Tolarian Academy
3 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island

SIDEBOARD

3 Abeyance
2 Coffin Purge
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
2 Hydroblast
3 Phyrexian Negator
1 Rushing River
3 Stifle

Black Lotus

Reanimate

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire

CREATURES

4 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
2 Phantom Nishoba
1 Reya Dawnbringer
1 Spirit of the Night
4 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Verdant Force

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Circular Logic
1 Entomb
4 Force of Will
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor

SORCERIES

2 Careful Study
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Duress
4 Exhume
4 Reanimate
1 Time Walk

LANDS

1 Badlands
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Polluted Delta
2 Swamp
4 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island

SIDEBOARD

2 Energy Flux
1 Mox Ruby
3 Null Rod
3 Red Elemental Blast
3 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Zombie Infestation

Black Lotus

Animate Dragon

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

CREATURES

1 Ambassador Laquatus
4 Squee, Goblin Nabob
4 Worldgorger Dragon

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Force of Will
4 Intuition
1 Rushing River
1 Vampiric Tutor

SORCERIES

1 Demonic Tutor
2 Duress
1 Time Walk
1 Wheel of Fortune

ENCHANTMENTS

3 Animate Dead
2 Compulsion
2 Dance of the Dead
3 Necromancy

LANDS

4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
2 Underground River
4 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island

SIDEBOARD

1 Coffin Purge
1 Deep Analysis
2 Duress
1 Entomb
4 Magus of the Unseen
3 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Verdant Force

Black Lotus

Stompy

ARTIFACTS

1 Mox Emerald

CREATURES

4 Basking Rootwalla
3 Pouncing Jaguar
4 River Boa
4 Scryb Sprites
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Xantid Swarm

INSTANTS

4 Berserk
4 Giant Growth
4 Invigorate

ENCHANTMENTS

3 Briar Shield
4 Rancor
3 Seal of Strength

LANDS

8 Forest
1 Pendelhaven
2 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills

SIDEBOARD

4 Compost
4 Naturalize
4 Phyrexian Furnace
3 Tempting Wurm

Black Lotus

TnT

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Grim Monolith
4 Juggernaut
1 Karn, Silver Golem
1 Masticore
1 Memory Jar
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Su-Chi
2 Triskelion

CREATURES

1 Anger
1 Elvish Lyrist
4 Goblin Welder
1 Quirion Ranger
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall

SORCERIES

1 Time Walk
1 Tinker

ENCHANTMENTS

4 Survival of the Fittest

LANDS

4 Mishra’s Workshop
1 Strip Mine
4 Taiga
3 Tropical Island
1 Volcanic Island
2 Wasteland
4 Wooded Foothills

SIDEBOARD

2 Blood Moon
2 Compost
1 Genesis
3 Jester’s Cap
4 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Viashino Heretic
1 Wonder

Black Lotus

Rector Trix

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

CREATURES

4 Academy Rector

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
3 Brainstorm
4 Dark Ritual
4 Force of Will
1 Rushing River
1 Vampiric Tutor

SORCERIES

4 Cabal Therapy
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Donate
3 Duress
1 Time Walk
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

ENCHANTMENTS

3 Illusions of Grandeur
1 Necropotence
1 Yawgmoth’s Bargain

LANDS

2 Gemstone Mine
4 Polluted Delta
3 Scrubland
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Tundra
4 Underground Sea

SIDEBOARD

2 Abeyance
2 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Duress
1 Illusions of Grandeur
1 Island
4 Phyrexian Negator
2 Seal of Cleansing
2 Stifle

Black Lotus

Stax

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Grim Monolith
1 Jester’s Cap
2 Karn, Silver Golem
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Memory Jar
1 Metalworker
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Smokestack
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Tangle Wire
1 Triskelion

CREATURES

4 Goblin Welder

INSTANTS

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Meditate

SORCERIES

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Tinker
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

LANDS

1 Badlands
1 Island
4 Mishra’s Workshop
4 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Underground Sea
4 Volcanic Island

SIDEBOARD

3 Blood Moon
3 Bottle Gnomes
1 Jester’s Cap
3 Rack and Ruin
3 Red Elemental Blast
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Triskelion

Black Lotus

Grow

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire

CREATURES

4 Quirion Dryad
3 Psychatog

INSTANTS

1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
3 Counterspell
2 Cunning Wish
3 Daze
4 Force of Will
1 Gush
3 Misdirection
1 Stifle

SORCERIES

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
2 Merchant Scroll
3 Sleight of Hand
1 Regrowth
1 Time Walk

LANDS

2 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
4 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea

SIDEBOARD

1 Berserk
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Diabolic Edict
2 Duress
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Ghastly Demise
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Misdirection
2 Naturalize
2 Smother
1 Stifle
1 Submerge

Black Lotus


Hulk Smash

ARTIFACTS

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

CREATURES

3 Psychatog

INSTANTS

4 Accumulated Knowledge
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
3 Cunning Wish
4 Force of Will
2 Intuition
4 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor

SORCERIES

1 Demonic Tutor
3 Duress
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
2 Deep Analysis
2 Merchant Scroll
1 Time Walk

LANDS

3 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Polluted Delta
2 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island

SIDEBOARD

1 Artifact Mutation
1 Berserk
1 Blue Elemental Blast
3 Coffin Purge
1 Fire/Ice
1 Lim-Dul’s Vault
1 Mind Twist
1 Naturalize
2 Pernicious Deed
3 Red Elemental Blast

Black Lotus