The Tentacled One
In 2017, I started writing these reminiscent "Magic Memories" forum posts because it was more convenient than trying to write full-length articles for the front page, but still got me that good old Magic-writing fix. I wrote about a bunch of cards I'd used over the years and my memories of those cards. About a year later, the "Magic Memories" posts inspired a series of front page articles with the concept "I Have No Memory." In those articles, I combed through every set in Magic's history to introduce new cards. For each set, I identified a card that I'd never used in any of my own decks, but one that I was interested in and wanted to use some day. As I stated in the introduction to the first article in that series, this was done because I was fascinated with the card Underworld Dreams and had been examining uses for it, but had technically never played with it up to that point.
In Magic Memories, I’ve stuck with cards that I actually played at some point. And there are a lot more. While looking for historical information on Fastbond, I came across an article by Stephen Menendian on the “Vintage Magic” website. For stuff like "The Comboist Manifesto" that thing is a treasure trove. The web has a great deal of information to offer about contemporary combo decks, and with a little digging it’s not too hard to learn about some combo decks from the old days, going all the way back to ProsBloom in 1997. But information on combo decks from before that is sparse. I was particularly intrigued by the descriptions of Underworld Dreams combo decks. I’ve been looking at Underworld Dreams for a future Commander deck, and I’ve been aware of the card for a long time because I had it played against me back when I was new to the game. By coincidence, the card has been cropping up in both things I’ve read and in old memories I’d pondered. But it’s not really an appropriate subject for my traditional “Magic Memories” treatment: I’ve never owned or played with the card at any time!
Often, when I post a Magic Memories thread, other CPA members chime in about their own experience with the card. There were also some mentions of not ever having used the card or of not remembering it. So I decided to write this, an article about cards that I have not used. Giving the matter only a slight amount of thought, the formula that I settled on for doing this was to go chronologically through every Magic set that introduced new cards and selecting the new card that most piqued my interest. For some sets, there were several candidates. For others, I struggled to find a card that I had no memory of using and still thought was a cool card. Perhaps you’ll be surprised at how I’ve never played with your favorite card. Or perhaps you’ll say, “I’ve never even heard of that card.” I do not know. Read on and find out.
So now we come full-circle. Underworld Dreams gets a Magic Memories thread! I forget when I picked up my first copy, but I now own a full playset and the prize of my collection is my now-complete Old School Underworld Dreams deck (sideboard still needs work). Now, I can't pretend to have the depth of experience with this card that I have with some of my better established Magic Memories. Two years or so of Memories won't make up for the previous twenty-something years of me not playing the card. Still, there's a bit to talk about here.This set is huge, introducing more new cards than any other set in the game. While there are several that I’ve never played with, most of them are mediocre cards anyway. Considering how much I like Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister, it’s a wonder that I’ve never put Underworld Dreams into a deck. Although it was reprinted in some core sets, I’ve never owned a copy. The original Legends version looks extremely cool and I’ll be on the lookout for it now. Considering that Underworld Dreams is a Dark Ritual payload and a strong synergy with Wheel of Fortune, it’s kind of surreal that I’ve never, ever used it.