Old School: The Eternal Struggle

It has been a while since I last wrote here (6 months, in fact!), which also coincides with the limited opportunities I get to play face-to-face games. But much has transpired- new decks have been built, ideas have continued to percolate, a new format tried out…and prices on our beloved cards have continued to blow through every ceiling that was previously ‘all-time high’.

For those of you that caught my title pun, I didn’t actually play V:TES back in the day. Decipher Star Wars CCG ate up my disposable income once I moved on from Magic, and now that I think of it, I have a couple of pretty cool deck boxes that I am going to have to dig out to house 93/94 decks.

                                         (current deck boxes in use that I had kept from ‘back in the day’- 1996)

(classic Decipher Star Wars CCG deckboxes that I dug out of the dark recesses of a plastic storage bin, not coincidentally also full of boxes and binders of the old Star Wars cards! I think that Han frozen in carbonite will make a good home for my mono Blue artifact deck).


Last time I wrote, my 93/94 decks consisted of: mono Blue artifact ramp with Urza lands, R/G Kird Ape Berserk, Flying Men aggro blue (splashing green for Pendelhaven and pump) and mono Black. Since then, I have done some tuning and put some thought into how I might accomplish those upgrades (thanks to the Old School Discord server for being a great community!). In mono blue, I added a second Transmute Artifact to find what I need in a given situation and an Unlimited Nevinyrral’s Disk as a great answer to search up. Kird Ape Berserk now has a playset of the powerful green pump spell and 3/4 Taiga are Unlimited. Flying Men aggro has smoothed out its mana base with another Tropical Island, and mono black has found an Arabian Nights Sorceress Queen.

My most recent creation is a W/R fliers deck, with Rukh Eggs. All of my one- and two-drops are removal or are helping me get more mana to leverage the Land Tax, and then flying creatures can take over from there. If I get lucky, the Rukh Egg can block or be hatched from a timely Earthquake. Two Fellwar Stone are there in place of Mox Ruby and Mox Pearl, and with this many flying creatures it would be a luxury to have a Moat, but those are three cards that are currently out of my reach.

I don’t think that I’m taking enough advantage of cracking the eggs; perhaps adding the Preacher/City of Shadows combo would help accomplish that goal more consistently.

My nemesis:

This is the pride and joy of the friend who encouraged me to make my first 93/94 deck, and it’s pretty good at what it does- drawing cards, resetting hands and dealing damage one at a time from Black Vise and Underworld Dreams (often stacked together for double the fun!). I have been able to beat this beast of a deck on occasion (it’s weak to an early Blood Moon), but I really need to manage my removal and have early pressure in order to end the game before he can get his engine going.

The newest format that I was introduced to last month by my playgroup was one that I think would be a great way to introduce old/lapsed players to the world of 93/94- 60 card singleton, with restricted cards banned (sorry, Sol Ring and Chaos Orb), and further constricted to ABU cards (or same art/frame). I initially misunderstood the explanation, and built a G/W deck using EC rules. This left me with a nice curve and disruption, but I had used 17 cards from expansions that weren’t legal! Playing definitely hit the nostalgia notes for me, as when I first played the game having four of one card (especially a rare or a card from an older set) was not very common.  When you draw your powerful threat (or Lure a Thicket Basilisk) it feels like you’ve accomplished something!

My goal for next time is to have played more over the summer, and to have another deck to discuss. I’m hoping that it will be mono red, with Atog and artifacts.


  1. Interesting tid-bit on the Rukh Egg – Richard Garfield stated that it wasn’t the egg hatching, but the mother bird coming to avenge her offspring. 🙂

  2. We are also looking to try out 60 card Highlander with the restricted list banned, but allowing expansions up to FE. Core set only is pretty tough, gotta dig deep to find ~40 playables with a realistic curve there!

  3. City of Shadows exiles, and Rukh egg says “when Rukh Egg dies…” So while the city is fun with preacher, it won’t help you get Rukh tokens. Diamond Valley can though.

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