A little while ago I put word out there to see if anyone wanted to sling cards a few days before Christmas. For whatever reason I had a strong urge to jam in one more Old School meet up before Christmas. I think many others felt the same because a total of eight people showed up which is the most we’ve ever had for a non-tournament meet up.
We met up at the usual spot, Granfanally’s Pizza Pub. Most of us showed up around 7 and ordered food and shot the bull for a while. A part of why I really wanted to meet up before Christmas is I was dying to try out a mono blue deck I have been messing around with. The place was more busy than usual but there were two large tables empty almost as if they were reserved for us.
I have a slight infatuation with mono colored decks. With blue, I really love the look of some of the cards: Flying Men, Serendib Efreet (the AR version), Merfolk of the Pearl Trident, and Psionic Blast. I’d probably be better off switching out some of the cards here for others. The two Glasses of Urza are in the deck simply because I think they look awesome. They actually exceeded my expectation a little bit. At times it was helpful to see my opponent’s hand. If it cost any more than 1 mana, however, it might be hard to justify keeping it in the deck for fun. Juggernaut, Su-Chi, or even Lord of Atlantis might work better in place of the Merfolk but there’s a level of nostalgia for me with the Merfolk. So they got the spot reserved for now. And of course Time Walk, Ancestral Recall, and Time Twister wouldn’t hurt either in the deck either.
The deck has the blue aggro cards typically seen in any RUG or UR burn deck: Flying Men, Serendib Efreet, Unstable Mutation, Psionic Blast. And I threw in a bunch of control cards like Counterspell, Force Spike, Unsummon, and Amnesia. Psionic Blast can be control if it has to be too. Ideally I imagined it to work like this: In the early game get out a Merfolk or Flying Men enchanted with Unstable Mutation for some quick damage, counter as much as possible or Psionic Blast what doesn’t get countered, at some point get out a Serendib Efreet or two and chip away life. Finish with a Serendib Efreet for the win. Or a Psionic Blast to the opponent. It never ended up working that way.
Once we finished our food I played against a guy named Ryan who came with Ash. Ryan is fairly new to Magic. It’s awesome that someone getting into Magic for the first time was attracted to Old School over any other format! Anyways, he borrowed Dave’s Dead Guy Ale deck and beat me in three games. I never drew any Counterspells but I drew plenty of Force Spikes and they worked pretty well in early game. The game I ended up winning I was able to secure the win with a Serendib Djinn which was satisfying.
After that I played against Dave who used a mono green deck of only 1/1 creatures. I remembered seeing a deck like that on the Old School MTG blog a while back and was really intrigued by it simply because it was mono green. He beat me in two games. Both of the games I was drawing primarily land while he was able to quickly build up an army of 1/1s that became overwhelming. We played one more game in hopes of me getting better draws which I did, but I still wasn’t able to beat him.
After that I got another beer and socialized. I started watching a game halfway through between Ash and Dave. Ash has a pretty awesome Eureka deck which he uses to get out a bunch of Colossus of Sardias and other big hard to cast creatures. Dave was playing a mono white prison deck. By the time I started watching Dave had the table on lockdown with a Winter Orb and Ash’s graveyard had three Serras that Dave had Swordsed (Plowshared?). Eventually Ash Disenchanted the Orb and was able to get out his Eureka. He put out a Mahamoti, 2 Colossuses, and the fourth Serra. Ash won soon after.
The night was soon wrapping up but Ryan and I played one more quick game before leaving. Between the four Sinkholes and the Strip Mine in his deck he was able to pretty much consistently destroy my land as I put it out. Fortunately this was a game where I drew way too much land so it didn’t matter much. He played a Black Knight but that’s all he was able to get out. I had a Mutated Serendib Efreet which won me the game. At that point it was pretty late and I packed up my cards and went to close my tab and we headed out.
So was the mono blue deck any good? It didn’t perform well at the meet up. I drew maybe a total of three Counterspells? And I seemed to draw the Amnesias every time but was never able to play them. I’ve since taken them out. Over Christmas, however, I played some Magic against my brother. He used his modern decks and the mono blue performed exactly as it was designed to. I won the majority of the games. I had taken out the Amnesias and put in another Unsummon and a Mahamoti Djinn. The Djinn has the same converted mana cost as Amnesia and I never ended up playing it. I should probably replace that with a fourth Unsummon. Overall, I think it’s a pretty fun deck. I think I’ll keep messing around with it.