[Free Article] C-c-combo in Old School

This is the biggest, most epic Old School article I've written since my complete history of The Deck.

It's got decklists here that haven't ever been published on the internet because they are from old Magic books or Duelist magazines, and some new decks of my own design.

It's a long read, but it's more than worth it. Enjoy!



last edited by Smmenen

I was hoping there would be a section on Lich combo and your article did not disappoint. I have tried to brew my own lists with Lich/Dark Heart/Fastbond combo to test with (mine were far worse than the George Baxter list that was posted). It's a difficult engine to build around for sure in 93/94 and I think it's open for innovation.

Interestingly, it's also one of the most expensive decks possible in Old School, requiring full power, many dual lands, and possibly Juzams if your list calls for them.

Yeah - I don't think there is any question that Lich combo becomes much easier to swing if you add Ice Age. My 93/94 list (which I didn't post) also ran BoPs. But the best route is probably just make it like MirrorBall, running max Sylvans, and a bunch of Mirror Universe, and try to eventually combo out with Lich/Fastbond/Dark Heart.

I really hope people have a much better understanding of the possibilities for combo after reading this. It's a pretty uncovered area of Old School magic. It's also hella fun.

Interesting lists. There is 1 I am surprised I did not see that involves 4 Hurkyll's Recall and 4 Candelabra of Tawnos/4 Mana Flare. I noticed only 1 copy of Candelabra in the lists that used them. Is the card restricted under most old school rules?

@Serracollector said in [Free Article] C-c-combo in Old School:

Interesting lists. There is 1 I am surprised I did not see that involves 4 Hurkyll's Recall and 4 Candelabra of Tawnos/4 Mana Flare. I noticed only 1 copy of Candelabra in the lists that used them. Is the card restricted under most old school rules?

I mentioned that deck/ archetype, but didn't present it. It's in my 93/94 History of Vintage chapter. No, those cards are generally unrestricted.

I organized the article into 6 archetypes, and that deck didn't really fit into any of the one's I focused on:

  1. Underworld Dreams Combo
  2. Power Monolith Combo
  3. Tax-Edge Combo
  4. Lich Combo
  5. Time Vault Combo
  6. Recursion combo

Very nice article! I've recently been trying to brew up a type of MirrorBall deck myself, and I agree that this facet of Old School is very unexplored, and it's really fun. I must admit I never considered going the route of Lich and Dark Heart of the Wood.

I was hoping to learn more about Hurkyl's Recall Fireball too, and you didn't disappoint. If you recall, I had brewed up that deck when we played at Eternal Weekend (but I had no idea it was an archetype from 1994 when I did). I'd be curious to see what a modern rendition would look like, since my own version was quite unoptimized and consisted of cards I could get in time.

Another combo I've seen people play at events I've been to is what people call "The Machine/Coffin", which uses Hell's Caretaker or Tawnos' Coffin along with Triskellion. There's probably more combos out there and I'm really glad your article has put combo in the spotlight a bit, so more people explore this facet of Old School!

last edited by Hrishi

@Hrishi The Machine is a deck I wrote about in my History of Vintage, but it's a Reanimator deck. I may have mentioned it in Chapter 9 of this series.

For convenience, all of the chapters are now cross-referenced with the same index so you can go to any chapter from any article!

I'm actually brewing up my own take on Enchantress with a mana flare/fireball kill instead of the recursion lock that the linked deck shows up. It should be exciting, although dealing with Enchantress's fragility is very difficult.

avoid fate is required in enchantress I think.

@mediumsteve You using Oath of Nissa? EDIT: Sorry to everyone... my brain is clearly fried... I gotta shut up for a couple days and quit posting nonsense.

last edited by Topical_Island

@Topical_Island Doubtful since its old school? Lol. I imagine it revolves around Wild Growth, Ley Druid, Twiddle, Mana Flare, Enchantress, and Dance of the Many and Fireball.Avoid Fate is good but so is Spectral Cloak, since I imagine the blue splash for Twiddle, power, and Dance of the Many. At least thats the route I would take.

last edited by Serracollector

I talked about Enchantress in here, and I think I posted Mark Chalice's Vercursion deck.

This article really is a one-stop shop for Combo in Old School. I not only have every major archetype, but I have the theory behind it and the structures that shape the combo potential in the format.

It's especially useful for people who are sick of just playing The Deck and Aggro decks. Combo has tremendous, untapped potential. I really hope we see alot more combo in old school.

@Smmenen the reason why you cannot find any historical lists with basalt monolith and power artifact is because basalt monolith recieved power level erratta that said mana from basalt monolith could not be used to untap basalt monolith.

It was designed to stop combo decks that were using goblin rocket launcher if I am remembering my 23 year old combo decks correctly. They were blue black decks being used right before legends was released.

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