I used to play a lot of blue/black control, and that will emerge as a common theme in these vignettes. I played other colors too, but I was enamored of the blue/black combination and early on happened to get some pretty good cards for casual decks in those colors. But in this case, it wasn't me! I bring up Scalpelexis because of a deck built and piloted by my longtime friend Nick, former CPA member Al0ysiusHWWW. I joined the CPA when I was still in high school. At the time, I didn't have a job and my family was struggling with money. I wasn't buying new cards and my collection had stagnated, with a range of cards, but nearly everything I owned was from sets between Ice Age and Planeshift, with some Fallen Empires and Revised thrown in for good measure. In high school, I was sort of defined as the guy who only played with the old cards, while my classmates were playing Threshold decks and such. At one point, I traded all of my cards newer than Prophecy over to Nick, who intended to sell them, and the two of us had a sort of pact to only play with pre-Invasion cards. There are some old forum posts here at the CPA (from 2004) where I mentioned my self-imposed pre-Invasion restriction. It seems strange in hindsight, but it was mostly just a whim that extended itself out into something bigger because I had no money and because Nick had joined me in the endeavor. Nick broke before I did, and the deck he built with "new" cards was called "Psychological Warfare." It was, relative to the stuff I saw in my local playgroups back then, a monster of a blue/black control deck. It would probably look silly and archaic today, but back then it was a force to be reckoned with. It had many of the usual suspects for blue/black control: stuff like Duress, Hymn to Tourach, Force of Will, Counterspell, etc. It might have even run Sinkhole. I forget. All this stuff was pretty affordable back then. Legacy wasn't a format yet and there wasn't a huge market for those cards. The deck took its time establishing control and began setting out to get rid of the opponent's library. the main mill cards I remember were Millstone and Grindstone (another card that is now on the expensive side but was cheap back then). Many decks were monocolor, heavy in one color, or ran a lot of gold cards with similar color combinations, and Grindstone could get several hits off such decks. When Nick piloted Psychological Warfare, his preferred method for finishing his victims was Guiltfeeder, which could often win in a single attack. But Guiltfeeder wasn't the card that scared me. Scalpelexis was. If I was playing a control deck, I probably wouldn't have enough flying blockers to stop Scalpelexis, and even if I killed one, I might not have anything to get rid of the second one or the third one. If he got two of these on the board, it was almost certainly game over. If I was playing an aggro deck, a 1/5 blocker was a problem and if he could slow me down or remove my threats, it could make short work of my library. If I was playing a combo deck, I was in a frantic race to get my key cards into my hand where they'd be safe from Scalpelexis. Gaea's Blessing, my favorite anti-mill tool, was useless against the card. Sometimes a single Scalpelexis would eat 20 cards. Sometimes I'd find the tools I needed to break through Nick's counterspells and kill every Scalpelexis, but the damage was already done and my library was too depleted to finish him off before I'd be decked.