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Invading the Bay

Note, I’m terrible at remembering peoples’ names, and even though I went into this night with the intent of taking loads of pictures and writing down names for each match, well, neither of those really happened.  The entire night happened so quickly that taking out my notebook didn’t even cross my mind.  I’m also certain that I’m missing at least one match in here, but again, I can’t recall what it was. I’m fortunate enough in life that I was able to take the summer to spend time with my kiddos and to free up my wife’s time a bit more to focus on her business.  It was fantastic, but it had to end eventually.  Job hunting began in early September, resulting in a company wanting to fly me out to their office in San Francisco towards the end of that month.  I was excited for the job opportunity as [ … ]

If You Play Your Cards Right

Last night, Monday 5 October, a group of strangers (well, some friends as well) met up at Bar With No Name here in Toronto to play with 25 year old cardboard.  Leading up to it, I was worried that people wouldn’t show up or that too many people would show up for the space.  We were lucky in that the bar was pretty quiet when we arrived, so we were able to carve out five tables for the ten of us to play. I arrived to see my friend Chris already hanging out with a fellow old schooler, Joel, so I joined them and chatted for a few.  The few became more, and it soon became evident that it was time to claim our tables, order some food and drinks, and get things going.  In total, we had 9 players and a spectator, with 3 of them being total strangers [ … ]

Bands with other Torontonians

I’m tapping my to band with some other locals to play the best kind of Magic! In continuing to try and grow the Toronto Old School scene, I’m publicly announcing that 5 November, 2018, around 8:30pm, some of us will be meeting up at Bar With No Name, located at 1651 Bloor Street West in Toronto. If you have questions, the easiest way to get at me is on twitter as @jasonious. I’m hoping there’s enough space available for us to take over a few tables and play some games. I’d love to discuss other locations with people who are interested, as BWNN isn’t huge, and with it being cold and wet out, their patio is closed. Generally speaking, we’ve been playing Eternal Central rules (reprints allowed, 4 Strips, etc) but are open to other formats. In the interest of growing the community, if you are interested at all but [ … ]

A Promising Start Towards Toronto Community

Now, I’m not exactly the superstitious type, but I really hope that I’m not jinxing anything by writing this so soon.  Not superstitious but absolutely optimistic and the last two nights have been full of fun, optimism, meeting new people, playing against different decks, and generally forming bonds. When my regular playgroup first played Old School and came up with this ridiculous website idea, I had high hopes of building something in the Toronto area.  It’s been slow going due to life outside of card games, so I’ve basically only played Old School with those same folks and haven’t expanded much beyond them.  We’ve had 2 or 3 other people come over once or twice, and that’s about it. Don’t misread that as criticism, we play often and it’s a rad group of folks!  Going back to the origins though, I found a blog post about some players in Toronto way [ … ]

Combo Time (pt 1)

Well, it’s been a busy summer of not playing nearly as much Old School as I’d have liked, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Sometimes it’s nice to be away from our hobbies so that we can truly appreciate them. It also helps that I spent most of my summer at our Tiny Cabin out of the city with my wife and kiddos enjoying my time off from working. Anyhow, that’s not what I’m here to write about! The other night, I did get a chance to play some cards with my regular playgroup, which is where I learned about an amazing combo. We have one regular in particular who has gone all in on getting Power and _good_ cards for the format which makes it exciting to play against him. He’s been known to run Powered Winds of Dreams combo, so that’s what I was expecting. Instead, I was greeted [ … ]

Wolf Tribe

   A while back, I found this post from Music City Old School about mono-green budget weenie deck and was enamored with it.  It runs a bunch of cheap, efficient creatures and a full set of to lock out the opponent while constantly having threats to drop.  I played it a handful of times with my usual group as it was and then started tweaking it to my personal liking.  I was pleasantly surprised when I returned to the article to see the update about removing a bunch of stuff and adding in a load of wolves.  Be still, my beating heart!  I’d made very similar changes once I realized that the old green wolves worked very well in the deck.  I tried to get to fit as well, but it just doesn’t work very well. Since I played it a bunch of times, I realized that I wanted more [ … ]

Citizens of Brass Tournament

It’s been a while since our last post, but that doesn’t mean that nothings been going on.  Quite the contrary!  We organized and played our first tournament amongst our usual play group a few weekends ago.  It was a lovely afternoon here in Toronto, which means that we got to sling some spells outside.  All in all, it was a fantastic day, and I think that all of the players very much enjoyed old cards, grilled/smoked foods, and plenty of beverages.  Oh, and playing for the chance to win this, rather appropriate, old school prize, which we of course signed and altered as we saw fit, so as to follow the old school culture we’ve seen around.  It happened to be a player’s birthday, so we figured a Candle of Brass made sense. We wanted to keep our first tournament fairly low-key, so we didn’t bother with using technology to [ … ]

My History with Magic, part 1

Since getting into the Old School format, I’ve thought quite a lot on my history with the game, what I like, why I continue to play, what has brought me back to it after selling out, etc.  There are two main answers to these: nostalgia and friendship.  I have a hunch that these are fairly universal in the Magic world on the whole, and particularly true for most of the Old School players.  I’ve never been a good player, but I’ve always enjoyed playing.  It’s a reason to hang out w/ friends and have some focused, social fun. My introduction to the game was with my friend Nick, while visiting two brothers for some D&D playing while in high school.  The older of the brothers was a year older than me, and had a few decks of a game called Magic the Gathering that he and his brother were figuring [ … ]

Candleflare Brewing

Since the days of yore, I’ve loved  and have sought to play decks using it. In Legacy, I’ve built and played High Tide and 12 Post, and tried to get fun builds together using Tron Lands.  Since diving into Old School, I knew that I wanted to play a deck that I can use my Candelabras in, so pairing it with  seemed like an obvious choice.  I’ve read lots of articles on various webpages about CandleFlare decks, so had some good inspiration. What direction the deck should go, aside from red, was much less obvious.  Having played  in Legacy, it made sense to include blue so that I could exploit that further, as well as provide a play method that I’m already familiar with.  In testing though, I’ve realized that the card draw that makes Legacy High Tide possible, in the form of , , and as well as the tutoring abilities [ … ]

Drawing Cards

Long ago, in the early days of Magic, the concept of card advantage wasn’t a thing, and certainly wasn’t exploited like it is in the current formats.  Ice Age introduced us to , a card that now dominates in any format it’s legal in, but before that, there were some competitive decks that began to understand the true power of drawing cards.  Looking at an obvious example from Old School, The Deck, which runs four s, , , , and a , it’s a powerhouse of card advantage.  We all know that the blue Power spells are very powerful, as is an early Library, but what about the card drawing artifacts?  The main ones in the format are , , , and . is the cheapest to cast, allowing for very early card draw, but it’s also reciprocal, thus speeding up your opponent as well. Lots of decks pair the [ … ]