Snow forests seem to be an odd choice to make the world burn.
Previously I shared my rediscovery of this early era of Magic and now it's time to (finally!) break down my Old School deck for you. It's a green and red aggro deck built around Ehrnam Djinn and Kird Apes. Now this is a work in progress and will get totally wiped by any serious deck in the format since it is missing all of the fast artifact mana (namely the Moxen and Black Lotus). I'm totally OK with this because it is still great in "casual" 93/94 games and I can build on this list for a lifetime, taking all the time in the world to add the high-dollar cards and "pimp" the cards I do have without worrying about the card pool changing. This makes me a happy girl!
Originally I was going to build a standard Ehrnamgeddon deck. I have always played green and white and without a doubt it is the premier green and white deck in the format, and maybe of all time. A great Old School article at Star City has a breakdown of Ehrnamgeddon if you want to check it out. That deck will be infinitely more competitive than this build, but I have never liked playing land destruction. I know it is a important part of the eternal formats, but it has always felt like dirty pool and I hate playing against it as well. I always tell new players that it is super important to "play what you love" in Magic, but it is infinitely more important that you do when building a vintage deck. This is an expensive investment and you want to have fun with the end result. So... I eliminated white and went red / green bringing some of my favorite cards of the era along for the ride. Let's take a look!
So this guy is the star of the show and the most expensive card in the deck. Erhnam gives a creature your opponent controls forestwalk, which is why it was most often paired with Armageddon. Even without running the land destruction, this creature is still one of the most under-costed cards in the format. It's pure beatdown - delivering four damage for a converted mana cost of four. Remember, creatures were not (on average) as efficient as they are in the modern game, and with five toughness this djinn is really difficult to get rid of, short of spot removal.
So this is the unconventional pick for my deck and one of my favorite cards of all time. Rukh Egg is an 0/3 creature that comes back from the graveyard as a 4/4 flyer. Players typically use a burn spell to kill their own eggs, but it is also an effective deterrent to the white mage running Wrath of God. Incidentally, this was one of the first cards to ever see errata, when players started building decks consisting of just 40 Rukh Eggs. Crazy. The addition of a single Feldon's Cane in the sideboard allows you to shuffle your graveyard into your library and cast another four eggs in a longer matches.
A Legends card unbelievably printed at common. Chain Lightning gives your red deck four more slots of aggro burn. It's a sorcery and not as effective when playing an opponent also in red, but it more than earns its slot in the deck. I typically use the Chain Lightnings for egg destruction and save my Lightning Bolts for creature removal.
Here you go - the original creature for the deck they just called "Zoo". One of the most efficient creatures ever printed, this ape is flat out amazing when you drop it with a Taiga on turn numero uno. In my playgroup we affectionately called it the "cheese monkey". The great news is the Arabian Nights printing is still very affordable. Run four of him in your deck.
Another amazing card from the Legends expansion. This card is so crazy overpowered it hasn't seen "standard" play since it rotated out in the mid-nineties. Don't think of the library as a card draw engine. Think of it as a free Brainstorm every turn. You know, that card that is restricted in Vintage. Choosing from the top three cards in you library is a huge advantage. It took a while for people to figure out how good this card was when Legends was released, but this humble little uncommon shot up in price as players figured out how good it really was.
So that's the meat and potatoes of my deck. Check out the link at the top of the article if you want the entire list. It is fun and (relatively) inexpensive. You can even start playing with just basic lands until you can afford a few of those oddly named Taiga. I definitely play old school magic for the nostalgia factor and this deck delivers. Even the art is classic. Sandra Everingham, Amy Weber, Ken Meyer, Jr. and Christopher Rush. That's a heck of a lineup. Enjoy the deck!
This article is the fourth part of an ongoing series of articles revisiting the Golden Age of Magic, 1993-94. If you enjoyed it, check out "Beta. Old School.", "Rabbit Hole." and "Legends." to catch up.