[Old School] Building a Better Prison Deck

The conclusion of my 12-part Old School series on VintageMagic.com.


There are some old Type I decks in this article that have never been published online before.

Please let me know what you think!

  • Stephen
last edited by Smmenen

Thank you for an interesting read. Great job!

A card that I feel should be explored more in prison shells is Time Vault. Skipping a turn with a lock in place is essentially free.

I ran the relic barrier, howling mine, winter orb, icy deck years ago, but I always ran Titania's song as a win condition. As a side note, Titanias Song also shutsoff mana rocks, and straight up kills moxen. I would highly consider it as a 1-2 of as a OTK finisher. Great article as always steve.

@serracollector I also play Titania's Song Prison, but it can't be usaed that much as a mana denial card since it also shuts off your Icy/Barrier/Mine/Orb engine. There are a few games where you can play it early and have a massive board advantage though - just watch out for Balance/Wrath 😛

@hardy in Icy/Orb decks Vault is usually not that good. But in Stasis or Field of Dreams it's insane! 🙂

last edited by fsecco

Yeah, Wak-Wak just put up a post about Time Vault in Field of Dreams: http://www.wak-wak.se/blog/2017-10-3/time-vault-in-field-of-dreams

As I understand, Song is mostly the kill condition in its deck? As in you drop it and swing for a turn or two and win?

@mediumsteve Yes it's mainly just the wincon. It's cheaper than Fireball - but suffers against Moat though. Having green instead of Red also makes you have access to Sylvan Library and Avoid Fate. Sylvan with Howling Mines are just absurd. But there ARE times where playing a Song early will make your board so advantageous creature-wise (while killing opposing Moxen) that it's the wise choice to make. It usually happens when you have an early Workshop and drop a bunch of Icy Manipulators / Copy Artifacts.

ps: green also helps you play Time Walk + Song since you have Regrowth for Walk.

@smmenen Do you have any idea what were the Presence of the Master meant to counter? Moat? CoP? Maybe Energy Flux (but that would be a sideboard card, right?)

(Zak has 1 SB, Justice has 1 MD)

PS: Presence of the Master could be so much more... it could destroy all other enchantments when it came into play, essencially banning enchantments from play. Or it could at the very least be an Enchant World... Weeping for the missed opportunity 😢

last edited by fsecco

Excellent article as usual, @Smmenen. I particularly like the look back at the historical decklists from these micro-eras, as it provides a fun snapshot of what winning decks looked like at the time, and the thought process about what was important to them (for example, the number of Fireballs in a deck, number of Disenchants, etc.).

@mediumsteve said in [Old School] Building a Better Prison Deck:

As I understand, Song is mostly the kill condition in its deck? As in you drop it and swing for a turn or two and win?

Yes. Song is what you do at the very end, once you have a controlling position. You don't really want to run it out before then, because it turns off the abilities of your artifacts that you are using to accrue incremental advantages. I wrote about one version of the deck on EC (http://www.eternalcentral.com/old-school-magic-93-94-ugw-titanias-prison/), but there are plenty of different variants and color combinations worth exploring, and is something you could play long term without really getting bored, if you keep tinkering with different color combinations. It's definitely one of the most stylistic kill conditions in 93-94.

Thanks everyone!

Winter Orb decks don't get nearly the attention they deserve. I've enjoyed playing them since I first started playing "Old School," and I thought this would be a great topic for my final article in this series.

I hope folks enjoyed the entire series!

@jaco I loved that series Jaco, thanks for that! Land Tax with Rainbow Vale seems awesome - just like Oath-Orchard 😛

The one thing I love about Titania's Song is that Disenchant can't answer it: if they do, the effect lasts until end of turn so it's useless if you have lethal on board.

From what I remember, copyartifact does NOT count as an artifact even while copying one, so it should not be affected by tits song?

It functions just like the other card once it's on the battlefield, "except it's an enchantment in addition to its other types."

@serracollector said in [Old School] Building a Better Prison Deck:

From what I remember, copyartifact does NOT count as an artifact even while copying one, so it should not be affected by tits song?

Not to add insult to injury, but the Alpha version says "enchantment copy is affected by cards that affect either enchantments or artifacts". It never worked your way.

I just remember someone once telling me that Copy Artifact didn't count as an artifact for Tolarian Academy. Sorry for my ignorance. On a different sidenote, playing green also gives you access to Tranquility, a much underused card in Old School.

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