Oldschool Tales 4 by Francesco Delfino


Fishliver Oil Cup "Edizione 2" - 2018


This article is just a descriptive/barren report of the deck that I brought to the Fishliver Oil Cup and the results obtained during the tournament.

It was impossible to merge the whole experience, so involving and enriching, into a single report.



Friday Columbus Night – Side event in the lighthouse - 70 players


The night before the tournament I played the side event with American rules. I brought a list UWR, Patriot or Jeskai as they now call this color combination.

Nothing particularly new, I had seen earlier on the Eternal Central website this article: http://www.eternalcentral.com/old-school-magic-93-94-shahrazads-sick-burn/

which proposed 4 Shahrazads maindeck.

I immediately liked the list, because the American format is very fast and it is difficult to get 4 or more mana to play high-power cards. Not to mention that Hymn to Tourach can blow up the most fragile game plans.

To play the list I had in mind I needed several cards not in my possession including 4 Plateau, 2 Psionic Blast and 2 Chain Lightning (all kindly lent by Megu) and Shahrazad, found only in two copies (one always from Megu and the other from Braida). I inserted these two as sideboard cards: I did not want to go extra time and play all the games at the Chaos Orb Flipping Contest.

L'immagine può contenere: cielo e spazio all'aperto


I finished the tournament in sixth place on 70 players, despite lost in the first round against Charlie Hahn (mirror match): now I understand the true strength of the Icatian Javelineers! I then lost in Top8 against the excellent Philippe Steinisch with Dark Ritual and Hymn to Tourach... it does not surprise me that was a monoblack deck to with the Eternal Central tournament!

Having a very low mana curve (I did not even play Braingeyser) I did not find the Moxes very useful, just good for casting a Serendib Efreet in the first round or pushing a start with Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister.



The following day, however, I wanted to play the main event without p9, to try to win, as in 2017, the prize for the best-unpowered deck. A result although modest without p9 it would have made me very proud (as well as it would have given me a good excuse for a bad placement: D).



Fishliver Oil Cup - Main Event in the Columbus Sea Hotel


The morning of the tournament was quite busy (I did not sleep much) and I did not have much time to decide which deck to bring.

Having no more Land's Edge and Winds of Change (and not being able to play them Chronicles) I abandoned the idea of ​​rebuilding the unpowered list of Tax Edge with which I had made Top16 the previous year. So I decided to make some changes to the deck that I already had in the Deck Box, putting the p9 in the drawer.

White and red are the strongest colors to play without p9, 8 Lightning, 4 Swords to Plowshares, 4 Disenchant ... they are certainly among the best cards in the format. I still remember the list RW (some now call it Pinkwhite or Boros) by Cesare Saldarini, with whom I played in a small tournament in Mendrisio in Switzerland.

Two weeks before the tournament I finally decided to buy 4 Savannah Lions revised. After Alban’s victory at Noobcon I have seen them in a lot of lists, all freely inspired by his own. Testing them, I understand that with many removals for Mishra's Factory, they are one of the best drop at 1 that you could wish for. In the kind of deck I've built, where red is essential, they play the role Jackal Pup once had in the Burn / Sligh deck.

If the lions are the best creature, Black Vise is certainly the best starter ... even if at times it behaves only as a simple "Lightning Bolt" (on the play) or "Shock" (on the draw). In the Swedish format you can play 4: impossible not to insert a set in a deck that is a real "tempo deck".

Strip Mine is here restricted so I decided to play a small number of lands, only 18 (with 23 drops at 1, excluding cards with the double specific red and blue mana. Playing two Serra Angel and several white sideboard cards (including Karma and Dust to Dust) I then inserted two plains (found FBB in the box), also useful against Blood Moon.

Unfortunately, I forgot to remove a Shahrazad from the sideboard: in the Swedish ban list, it is restricted to one. I usually take great care in preparing the list and the deck, but I was very tired of preparing and playing the previous event.

The space left by the p9 allowed me to add some “hating” cards against the strongest decks: Red Elemental Blast, Divine Offering, Energy Flux and 2 Hurkyl's Recall.

Hurkyl’s Recall is a rather underestimated card that in this list has different uses.


1- It helps me to save time by bouncing for example two Mox and a Fellwar Stone, or a Mishra (activated) at the end of the turn, making the opponent drop one land.
2- Clear the field of artifact creatures like Su-Chi, Juggernaut, Triskelion (played perhaps with Mana Vault) and allow Lions and Mishras to pass.
3- Increase the cards in my opponent's hand in his upkeep, causing him more damage with Black Vise.
4- EOT is a good way to make the opponent discard cards.
5- Re-shuffle or discard all artifacts if played in response to a Timetwist or Wheel of Fortune


The use of Hurkyl's as a bouncer for creatures reminded me of Unsummon: so I inserted one from the binder (the only one I had). The presence of blue is however motivated only by Psionic Blast. Using them together with lightning and Black Vise maximizes the firepower and the type of strategy. It is very rare for our opponent to use a Counterspell on a shot. In order not to expose too much to Red Elemental Blast, I decided not to include the Serendib Efreet, a choice that goes well with the two Cities In a Bottle maindeck (useful in the worst case to destroy some City of Brass). The best creatures of the format are in fact Arabian and Quicksilver deck (URG) is probably our worst matchup. Juzam is also the most beloved creature and a Swords to Plowshares or two shots are an excessive waste of resources to eliminate it.
If I had the Thunder Spirits I would have probably inserted them instead of the Serra Angels... even if a drop to 5 is the best topdeck in the late in game, when perhaps the aggressive strength of the deck was absorbed by the opponent.

So this was my final choice:



// 60 Mainboard


// 6 Creature

4 Savannah Lions
2 Serra Angel

// 6 Sorcery

1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Balance

4 Chain Lightning


// 1 Enchantment
1 Energy Flux


// 8 Artifact

1 Sol Ring
1 Chaos Orb

2 City in a Bottle
4 Black Vise 


// 21 Instant

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Disenchant

1 Red Elemental Blast

4 Swords to Plowshares

2 Hurkyl's Recall

4 Psionic Blast

1 Unsummon

1 Divine Offering 


// 18 Land

3 Plateau
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
3 Volcanic Island
4 Tundra
4 Mishra's Factory

2 Plains


// 15 Sideboard

// 5 Enchantment
1 Karma
2 Circle of Protection: Black
2 Circle of Protection: Red
1 Energy Flux

// 7 Instant
1 Divine Offering

2 Red Elemental Blast
3 Blue Elemental Blast

// 3 Sorcery
2 1 Shahrazad

1 Dust to Dust



Not thinking of going much further in the tournament. I have not kept track of many notes on the matches... I therefore try to reconstruct the progress of the tournament based on how much I remember, maybe some games are ended 2 to 1 and not 2 to 0 or vice versa.


The Tournament - 115 players


115 players at the start, great participation this year! Fishliver is confirmed as one of the biggest tournaments in Oldschool with the Central Weekend and the Noobcon.


Round 1 - Renato De Zuani – Erhnamgeddon

G1 My opponent's deck seems to be a monogreen aggro. I decide to use some shots on his little creatures (elves), to prevent him from developing much mana. Some shots are enough to close the game thanks to the advantage dug by a Black Vise (on which he plays a Desert Twister in the sixth turn).

Not recognizing the opponent deck as one of the format's tiers I decide not to change almost anything, inserting only the second Divine Offering instead of the useless Red Elemental Blast.

G2 In the second game I realize that I am actually playing against an Erhnamgeddon, so I still plan to use the shots and the Disenchant to destroy its mana accelerators. I suffer some damage for a couple of Argothian Pixies but I can then close the game using a Wheel of Fortune with two Black Vises in play.

W 2-0



Round 2 - Joakim Almelund - The Deck

G1 Land Mox Fellwar Stone... I immediately understand that Joakim plays the most rigorous version of The Deck, with only the Mirror Universe / Fireball synergy. My deck does not suffer particularly The Abyss, I can incredibly win the first game thanks to a Black Vise and a series of shots, sometimes played in my main phase. Hurkyl's Recall proved to be very useful for slowing down and increasing the number of Black Vise damage in upkeep.

I insert from the sideboard what I can: Dust to Dust, 2 Reb, Energy Flux and 1 Shahrazad. I take out 2 City in a Bottle, 1 Unsummon and 2 StP.

G2 I'm probably wrong to use two Divine Offering on two Tomes and so he closes with Mirror Universe, with me at 30 life points and he at 4.

G3 I can get it to 10 life, but will then close with the combo in the fourth additional round. He too will end up in Top16.

L 1-2


Round 3 - Matteo Monica - White Weenie

G1 I start with a Black Vise, he sees only one plain for a few turns, but allows him to play several Tundra Wolves, but not to empty his hand. The first strike of the Wolves blocks my Lions, the next White Knights my Mishra. Fortunately, the advantage gained by Black Vise is enough to make me win thanks to some shots.

In sideboard, I have practically nothing. I limit myself to removing from the main 2 City in a Bottle and 1 Reb inserting 1 Shahrazad, Dust to Dust and Divine Offering.

G2 Actually my opponent plays Land Tax but without Fellwar Stone or other sources of artifact mana. With only one creature, he manages to bring me up to 4 life points until I can find a Serra Angel that definitely moves the equilibrium race. In a condition of advantage, I decided to play Shahrazad, hoping to halve his life, still being at 21. I actually lose the extra game (outclassed by Crusade and small creatures) and I will find myself at 2 life points and then at 1 ... score with which I will win thanks to Serra Angel and a Savannah Lions.

W 2-0


Round 4 - Sander Jagersma - Disco Troll RB

G1 In the first game, I suffer a Mind Twist and I cannot contain a Sedge Troll.

+2 CoP Red +2 CoP Black, +1 Divine Offering, +1 Dust to Dust, +3 Beb, +1 Karma.
-2 City in a Bottle, -1 Reb, -1 Unsummon, -1 Energy Flux, -2 Hurkyl's Recall, -1 Black Vise, -2 Psionic Blast

G2 In the second game he goes fast with a Dark Ritual and a Hypnotic Specter and then with a Sedge Troll. Fortunately, I see two StP and after sending him up to 27 life points I can win by attacking only with Mishra and playing Karma, which will ultimately prove decisive.

+1 Shahrazad -1 Black Vise

G3 In the third game he gains control of the board playing a Sedge Troll and a Mishra on which I have no answers. I can only do him some damage with Black Vise and with me at 7 and he at 16 life points I play a Shahrazad. We will not have time to finish the extra game that will end with me at 16 and him at 13. I probably would have won this extra game but there was no time to finish the game. Draw.

D 1-1


Round 5 - Riccardo Bongiovanni – Erhnamgeddon

Too bad to meet Riccardo at the fifth round, a Ligurian friend and an excellent player. I know that today he plays Erhnamgeddon.

G1 The first match I can start very fast playing around a Mishra, eliminating its accelerating creatures and casting at the right time a City in Bottle that makes one of his Erhnam Djinn discarded.

Also for this match-up I do not have much sideboard, I decide to insert only Dust to Dust, Divine Offering, Energy Flux and 1 Shahrazad removing 1 Reb and 2 Hurkyl's Recall.

G2 The second game I can do some damage with Black Vise and bring it up to 12 life points attacking with a Savannah Lions. But he manages to drop a Serra Angel and, in a position of disadvantage, I decide to play a Shahrazad. He thinks a lot, then decide to concede the game and at 6 life I can close with two lightning in my hand. Without them I would probably have lost at his next turn.

W 2-0



Round 6 - Bastien Pasdeloup - The Deck

A decisive match to enter the final rounds, “The Deck” is not the deck I wanted to meet but I am happy to play against Bastien with whom I had spoken in the previous weeks when he was planning to come to Genoa.

G1 I can put pressure from the first round thanks to a Black Vise, as happened in the other match against The Deck. He cannot find Mirror Universe and I close the game with some lightning.

I modify the deck as in the match against Joackim.

G2 It is one of the most beautiful games during the tournament. Despite a blackout we continued to play with the light of the phones. Thanks to some Mishra and a Serra Angel manages to bring me low life points until, with him at 8, I decide to play Shahrazad! I can win the extra game with the usual mix of creatures, shots and Vise. I also win the main game remaining only 4 life points!

W 2-0

Final standings after Swiss

I finish the Swiss by placing 14th in Top16! I'm the best-ranked unpowered deck and therefore I win a Guardian Beast!

Happy to find out then that it is Renato, my first opponent (also unpowered) to win the Mox Jet to extraction!



Top16 - Per Rönnkvist – Erhnamgeddon

Per's deck is a solid Erhnamgeddon with Argothian Pixies (excellent choice against all Mishra and various artifact decks). He runs the Elves of Deep Shadow (one of my favorite cards) instead of the Birds of Paradise to be even more aggro. Too bad not to have seen his “Spitting Slug” on the board! I would have concede the game immediately!

G1 I cannot contain the explosive start of my opponent in the first game, not finding enough removals.

I remove the Reb and a Hurkyl's Recall and insert Divine Offering and Dust to Dust

G2 I decide to play more aggressively by burning off the creatures that provide mana to him. Thanks to a Library of Alexandria I can draw enough cards to keep the game under control.

G3 It's a hard fought game which I do not remember very much about: we both go down in life points and I can make the difference at the end thanks to the shots.

W 2-1



Top8 - Alban Lauter - Esper Lions

I arrive at the Alban’s table after he played a grueling match against Braida.

G1 In the first game “there is no match”, he only sees a land and maybe a Mox Emerald. A devastating Black Vise brings him up to 11, and then I close with two Psionic and a Lightning.

I enter 2 Reb and 1 Divine Offering taking out 2 City in a Bottle and 1 Hurkyl's Recall.

G2 It is another one-way game. I hold a hand that was probably to mulligan and I am not rewarded: I can only do three damage and die from a Savannah Lion and Mishra.

G3 It's the only match fought: however, he goes in partial "flood", never finding cards from high power level. We both go down in life and I win the match maybe for a higher concentration of spells than mana sources.


Top4 - Marco Signorini - Esper Aggro (mostly B)

After beating the Noobcon champion I get ready to face the only player still undefeated of the tournament (8-0 at that time). However, I am not entirely sure of the story of the match.

G1 He plays a Juzam with a Dark Ritual, I have a very explosive hand with Black Vise and several shots. I decide to take the first 5 damages and then use my creatures to block. He plays another Juzam Djinn but I close in my turn with Psionic Blast and Lightning. He probably could not find the blue mana to play the blue p9 left in his hand.

I enter 2 Cop Black, 1 Karma instead of 2 Hurkyl's Recall, 1 Energy Flux

G2 After having suffered some land disruptions I find Sol Ring and I can cast Karma. He decides to play the third swamp anyway to try to close in combo with Underworld Dreams and Timetwister but I have luckily a Disenchant in response. In the following rounds I cast a Serra Angel that definitely moves to my advantage the race.

W 2-0



Final - Leo Bruder - UBR Artifact Grixis (animate dead/abyss)

I do not know the Leo’s deck, then I will realize that I have found the best match-up of the tournament in the final, playing him different artifacts.

G1 It is a game decided by my Library of Alexandria. He plays Mana Vault and a Triskelion on which I have a Disenchant. Then I cast an Unsummon on the same Triskelion (resumed with Animate Dead) but thanks to the advantage cards and the Black Vise (played in the first round) I can close the game in a few with different shots.

I insert Dust to Dust, Energy Flux, Divine Offering, 1 Shahrazad, 1 Reb and I remove 2 City in a Bottle, 1 Serra Angel and 2 Black Vise.

G2 It is a hard fought game in which he casts Gloom and I reply with Energy Flux. I use the Orb Chaos to destroy one of his Underground Sea, the only blue and black source: this perhaps proves decisive, despite having to wait several turns before being able to play Disenchant on his Gloom. Fundamental is at the end Hurkyl's Recall with which I rebound a Su Chi and all his artifacts and I can attack with my little creatures.



A result like this goes beyond the best expectations. The deck is certainly solid but I think I have been also lucky, especially in those games where I saw Library of Alexandria or my opponents died from Black Vise without being able to empty their hands. Certainly the deck is very solid and redundant, certainly I'll try it inserting at least the three blue P9!