Holiday Musings

I'm not sure how much Old School 96 ever gets played, but it feels like there's a narrow space wedged between Magic 95 (which allows Ice Age and Homelands) and Premodern that houses a few iconic (and arguably oldschool) cards that don't have anyplace to call home. I know Alliances is technically legal in Premodern and that the Eternal Central Middle School variant even allows Force of Will, but I'm not talking about four-of Vintage and Legacy staples so much as cards whose day in the sun largely ended two decades ago. Lake of the Dead, for example.

Whether or not LotD ever makes a splash in Premodern, at least it's still listed in over 2,000 decks on EDHREC.

Back in the 90s, one of my close friends hoarded a lone copy of this card, along with several Revised duals that he refused to trade or play. That only made our lust for the unhallowed pond greater and more intense. I never even really knew if the card was good. Maybe part of the reason I never bought one was that I badly wanted it to be, and feared the disappointment that might follow if I wasn't able to make it work. It wasn't until recently, reading through the book Deckade by Mike Flores that I came to understand how powerful Lake-Drain was in its time. I have to admit that it makes me happy to think about.

The above two copies were acquired in a buylist trade as a way of kicking off a bucket list item. Whether I end up using them or not, Lake of the Dead is a card that brings me joy even if all I do is stare at it under the shimmering gloss of a binder page.

I used to keep multiple three-rings filled with Modern and Legacy cards. Now I only have one, and all it contains is a handful of pages for cards I truly covet.

Looking back in time a little further and speaking of MtG literature, these books have been pretty entertaining. Reading about oldschool formats in the actual context of back in the day is humbling. Though I suppose back then it was just "school."

Tucked in one of the back covers, I found a NM signed medical authorization form dated February 1996. Decided I'd better leave it there for safekeeping.

Poring over historical content on early Type 1 and Type 2 Magic was part of the inspiration for diving into the Ice Age era for my 2019 project. The holiday season helped me gather more assets for the endeavor, and at this point I'm just waiting for a couple Fallen Empires packs to arrive in the mail.

Not sure how the two M19 packs made it into this photo; someone should probably have a word with the site editor.

Sean and I decided our entry point to be a starter deck of Ice Age and one pack each of 4th Edition, Homelands, and Fallen Empires. That should give a decent variety of generally unplayable chaff from which to build our initial decks. More on that in the weeks to come.

Last thing I'll mention is that Santa brought our seven-year-old an iPad for Christmas. She'd been asking about it for weeks, and over the course of the past year we've gone from having a first-grader obsessed with My Little Pony and Harry Potter to a pre-tween text messaging her cousin and negotiating with us for screen time. I'm sure it only gets worse from here, but at the same time it's pretty amazing how thoughtful and clever they can be. One of the presents I got to open this year was a stack of homemade Magic cards (all red, because that's the color she used when I taught her some of the ropes a few months back).

Basic Mountains, adopting the modern-day textless templating with no tap symbol. 

"Fireballs rain down; lose ten life."

"Your creature is deadly poisoned; next turn you will die."

Somehow this slipped into the package, though it doesn't hold a candle to the card below.

What's clear is that this is a red, 4/4 dragon that will somehow be responsible for sending all creatures to the graveyard.

Really thought the iPad was going to be top gift this year. Happy to be wrong.


  1. Haha, this was a wonderful read :)

    1. Now I want another copy of Lake of the Dead too... I've always loved the card if for nothing else than its awesome art.

    2. Thanks for the props! Yes, someday I'd like to build an early type 2 Necrodeck using LotD to play with my local 93/94 group... it's probably not worth losing friends over, though. :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts