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
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
particularly new, I had seen earlier on the
Eternal Central website this article:
which proposed 4 Shahrazads
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.
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
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
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.
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
4- EOT is a good way to make the opponent
5- Re-shuffle or discard all artifacts if
played in response to a Timetwist or Wheel
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
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
4 Chain Lightning
// 1 Enchantment
1 Energy Flux
// 8 Artifact
1 Sol Ring
1 Chaos Orb
2 City in a Bottle
// 21 Instant
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Red Elemental Blast
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Hurkyl's Recall
4 Psionic Blast
1 Divine Offering
// 18 Land
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
3 Volcanic Island
4 Mishra's Factory
// 15 Sideboard
// 5 Enchantment
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.
- 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.
1 - Renato De Zuani – Erhnamgeddon
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
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.
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.
- Joakim Almelund - The Deck
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
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.
3 - Matteo Monica - White Weenie
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
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
- Sander Jagersma - Disco Troll RB
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
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
+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.
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.
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.
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
- Bastien Pasdeloup - The Deck
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.
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.
modify the deck as in the match against Joackim.
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
standings after Swiss
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!
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
G1 I cannot contain the explosive start
of my opponent in the first game, not finding
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
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.
Alban Lauter - Esper Lions
I arrive at the
Alban’s table after he played a grueling match
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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!