My Life of Magic: An Introduction

Hello ladies and gentlenerds!

This is Sam, aka Vaultboyhunter, and this week I am going to do kind of an introduction article. Why? Well I am just getting in the swing of things at writing articles, but I also want to introduce myself a little. I’ve made a handful of videos for the YouTube channel and one of them I made was kind of a video diary of my favorite decks of all time. I like looking back at a players favorite decks as they have worked through learning the game, and the years after. So join me in a look back through time and space to some of my favorite decks of all time.

Here is the video of me rambling for an hour about my decks!

I thought I would give the deck lists, the time frame I would have played them, and why I liked the deck so much!

[d title=”WURG Zoo”]
Creatures
4 Erhnam Djinn
4 Serendib Efreet
4 Kird Ape
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Savannah Lions
Instants
4 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Lightning Bolt
Artifact
1 Sol Ring
4 Lotus Petal
Sorcery
1 Wheel of Fortune
Lands
4 Savannah
4 Tropical Island
4 Plateau
4 Volcanic Island
4 Tundra
[/d]

I played this WURG Zoo deck during 1997. The deck it was designed to beat was a Necro Deck being piloted expertly by the owner of my then local game shop. To get around the power that was Necro in its prime I played fast effective creatures and all the low casting cost spells I could. I crammed the deck full of the best instant spells I could find, including [c]Swords to Plowshares[/c], [c]Counterspell[/c], [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], and [c]Force of Will[/c]. I love Zoo to this day, and this is by far my favorite build of it. A fun play was to drop land, [c]Sol Ring[/c], [c]Lotus Petal[/c], and then [c]Wheel of Fortune[/c] all in my first turn. Refill my hand, and assist my opponent in taking a mulligan.

[d title=”Red Green Strip Vise”]
Creatures
4 Orcish Lumberjack
4 Birds of Paradise
Instants
4 Sudden Impact
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Incinerate
Artifact
4 Lotus Petal
1 Sol Ring
4 Black Vise
Sorcery
4 Stone Rain
4 Thermokarst
4 Pillage
1 Wheel of Fortune
Lands
4 Taiga
4 Karplusan Forest
4 Strip Mine
4 Wasteland
4 Forest
[/d]

This deck was all about evil things. Kill all the lands. Drop a [c]Black Vise[/c]. Win. Lots of cheap ramp spells to fuel the evil things. Wizards actually killed this deck when they restricted [c]Strip Mine[/c]. Which was just mean. But necessary. This would have been during 1997, after Tempest was released.

[d title=”Flagpole Sitter”]
Creatures
4 Wall of Blossoms
4 Tradewind Rider
4 Man-o’-War
4 Birds of Paradise
Instant
4 Counterspell
3 Swords to Plowshares
3 Whispers of the Muse
4 Force of Will
3 Dismiss
2 Capsize
Sorcery
3 Armageddon
Artifact
4 Lotus Petal
Lands
4 Strip Mine
4 Wasteland
4 Tundra
4 Tropical Island
4 Savannah
[/d]

So this deck was also during 1997. Wow, I played a lot of different decks this year. This deck is all about the hard lock between [c]Tradewind Rider[/c] and [c]Armageddon[/c]. This was about the time I started to understand the joy and beauty of card advantage, and Tempest Block was full of great card advantage cards like [c]Wall of Blossoms[/c], or as I called it, Wall of Awesome. This deck was a thing of beauty, and it was named after a song by the one-hit wonders Harvey Danger.

[d title=”Nether Go”]
Creatures
3 Nether Spirit
Instants
4 Counterspell
4 Absorb
4 Undermine
4 Fact or Fiction
4 Accumulated Knowledge
4 Recoil
3 Dromar’s Charm
2 Cremate
Sorcery
4 Vindicate
3 Wrath of God
Land
4 Underground River
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Adarkar Wastes
3 Plains
4 Island
3 Swamp
[/d]

First off you may notice a big gap in the time frame of the last two decks. I had quit playing during the broken mess of Urza’s Block. It was a total mess. Maro himself described Urza’s block as being early-game shuffling, mid-game drawing, and end-game turn one. No thank you, sir. My break was a short one though. I got back into Magic near the end of Masques Block, and right before Invasion. Invasion block is to this day my favorite Magic block. It really hit on all notes for me. ‘Nether Go’ is probably my all time favorite control deck. Mostly rares, lots of counters, kill, bounce, and board wipes, and [c]Nether Spirit[/c] is so hard to get rid of. To this day Wizards hasn’t printed such an easy-to-get-back creature, and I bet they never will. This deck includes my two favorite card drawing engines: [c]Accumulated Knowledge[/c] and [c]Fact or Fiction[/c]. I met my then-girlfriend / now-wife while playing this deck in October of 2001, and sold all my cards to buy her a bulldog.

Never buy a bulldog.

[d title=”Dromar Control”]
Creatures
2 Dromar, the Banisher
4 Shadowmage Infiltrator
4 Meddling Mage
3 Vodalian Zombie
3 Galina’s Knight
Instant
4 Counterspell
4 Absorb
4 Undermine
4 Fact Or Fiction
Sorcery
4 Vindicate
Lands
4 Underground River
6 Island
3 Plains
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Adarkar Wastes
3 Swamp
[/d]

A portion of the cards I sold to get the mistake that was Fergie the Bulldog included this deck. Masques Block rotated out, and Odds Block rotated in. This deck kept my love alive for my three favorite colors, Blue, White, and Black. [c]Shadowmage Infiltrator[/c] is a great card to this day, and the protection creatures were great at just getting there. The Invasion support spells are an amazing set of spells, powering both ‘Nether Go’, and ‘Dromar Control.’

[d title=”Pre Ban Affinity”]
Creature
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Ornithopter
4 Atog
4 Frogmite
4 Myr Enforcer
4 Disciple of the Vault
Instants
4 Shrapnel Blast
Sorcery
4 Thoughtcast
Artifact
4 Cranial Plating
4 Chromatic Sphere
Lands
4 Great Furnace
4 Vault of Whispers
4 Ancient Den
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Seat of the Synod
[/d]

The Ban Hammer fell on this over-powered, crazy deck, and it fell hard. This is the only deck I have ever played that lost so many cards at once. 28 cards. Dead from one day to the next. But before the Ban Hammer this deck was so stupid fast it could just kill and kill and kill. It would have destroyed the game much faster then Urza’s block ever could. Thankfully, [c]Cranial Plating[/c] is banned in Pauper. As it is, Affinity is still a super strong deck. This deck proves I can be the King of Spikes when I have an unlimited budget for Magic cards.

[d title=”Solar Flare”]
Creatures
3 Angel of Despair
4 Thought Courier
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
3 Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
3 Nekrataal
Sorcery
4 Compulsive Research
4 Zombify
Artifact
3 Dimir Signet
3 Orzhov Signet
3 Azorius Signet
Enchantment
2 Debtors’ Knell
Lands
5 Island
4 Watery Grave
3 Plains
4 Swamp
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Godless Shrine
[/d]

I clearly remember playing this build of Solar Flare during 2006 as a tribal deck. I had just started playing MTGO (as opposed to just paper Magic), and I loved the freedom that being able to play and draft at any hour of the day or night gave me. I am pretty sure I am 4 humans short in the list, and I have looked through Gatherer to find the 4, but I am just not sure what they could be. I love Reanimator decks, and look, Esper is back! Not that it ever really left me.

[d title=”Eminent Domain”]
Creatures
3 Yosei, the Morning Star
3 Kokusho, the Evening Star
Instant
4 Remand
Sorcery
4 Wildfire
Artifacts
4 Icy Manipulator
2 Izzet Signet
2 Rakdos Signet
4 Spectral Searchlight
Enchantments
4 Annex
4 Dream Leash
2 Copy Enchantment
Lands
3 Watery Grave
3 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Blood Crypt
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Steam Vents
3 Izzet Boilerworks
3 Godless Shrine
[/d]

Adrian Sullivan designed this deck during the Ravnica / Kamigawa Standard season. It was the most rough of all rogue decks. Steal lands with [c]Annex[/c] and [c]Dream Leash[/c] and ramp with the [c]Izzet Signet[/c] and [c]Rakdos Signet[/c] and [c]Spectral Searchlight[/c] then drop a Legendary Dragon into play and blow up the world with [c]Wildfire[/c]. [c]Spectral Searchlight[/c] was also a sneaky win condition, as you could give your opponent a mana of a color they can’t use, and just watch them choke on the burn. Oh mana burn, how I miss you.

For all you foreign peoples out there here is a link about what the term Eminent Domain means in the USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain

[d title=”Pauper Delver”]
Creatures
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Spire Golem
4 Phantasmal Bear
4 Spellstutter Sprite
Instant
4 Counterspell
4 Gush
4 Daze
Sorcery
4 Preordain
4 Ponder
4 Gitaxian Probe
Lands
16 Island
[/d]

When Time Spiral hit, I quit Magic. I hated the set. I also just wanted to focus on other things in life. I was gone for a long time this time and I missed 6 blocks. I became a big video gamer and comic book nerd. I watched a lot of Let’s Plays on YouTube, and one day on a whim I YouTube searched for Magic, and found a lot of nerds putting up videos. I found Mikey K and Pauper and fell back in love. With Innistrad came Delver, and a deep love was born. I love that Insect Aberration so much. This is the deck that brought me back to Magic, and to one of my favorite formats of all time, Pauper! Thanks for the videos, Mikey, without you I may have never came back to Magic!

[d title=”Silverblack RUG Tron”]
Creatures
4 Artisan of Kozilek
4 Mulldrifter
4 Brutalizer Exarch
3 Acidic Slime
2 Eternal Witness
Sorcery
3 Reap and Sow
3 Sylvan Scrying
4 Firespout
Artifacts
4 Chromatic Star
4 Prophetic Prism
2 Gruul Signet
1 Crystal Shard
Lands
4 Forest
4 Urza’s Power Plant
1 Shimmering Grotto
1 Urza’s Factory
4 Urza’s Tower
2 Vivid Crag
2 Vivid Creek
4 Urza’s Mine
[/d]

One of the coolest things that happened during my long break was Wizards started to support Player Run Events. I tried a ton of the different PRE events out there and Silverblack became just one of my all time favorite all time formats ever. If you ever come back, Niabock, know that I will be the first guy to get people back to Silverblack on Wednesday nights. I love Tron. So much, and this is a Tron deck with so much value. It drips value like a coffee maker drips Folgers. Am I going to play this in the League? Is it going to be super shiny foiled out? Maybe!

[d title=”Boros Kitty”]
Creatures
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Glint Hawk
3 Sanctum Gargoyle
3 Kor Sanctifiers
4 Perilous Myr
Instants
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Lightning Bolt
Sorcery
3 Kuldotha Rebirth
Artifacts
4 Prophetic Prism
4 Ichor Wellspring
Enchantments
3 Journey to Nowhere
Lands
5 Mountain
3 Plains
4 Kabira Crossroads
4 Great Furnace
4 Ancient Den
[/d]

Oh, Boros Kitty. I love you so much I am going to defend you forever. Your ability to be the aggro deck against control. The slow grind control against aggro. You have game against so many decks. I am your champion for the Pauper Gauntlet: Season Two, and I promise you that we can make it to the end together. Dan can get us there, and we can claim the championship two years in a row, Boros Kitty. I know we can.

This is a build I have been playing around with. It’s not the build I am submitting to the Gauntlet. But that leads us to the end of this article and a segue to my next article. Next week is going to be all about the Boros Kitty. We are really going to get inside the deck, and the sideboard, and talk about what 75 we are going to see Dan running this year.

Thank you all for joining me for this fun trip down memory lane, I would love to hear about all of your favorite decks in the comments or on MTGO.

Until next week may your land ratio be right, and may you never have the flood or the screw

Sam Olliso
Vaultboyhunter on MTGO

Published by

Sam Olliso

Sam Olliso (vaultboyhunter) started playing magic between Ice Age and 4th Edition, when he was in high school in the 1990s The first Rare he ever ripped was Force of Nature. His favorite card is Counterspell, favorite land Island. He has an amazing wife, a beautiful little baby boy. He enjoys PRE events, is a casual player with Spikey tendencies, and long walks on the beach. Add him on MTGO and message him for an add buddy if you want. He is mostly friendly with strangers, especially if you have candy.