Zak Dolan's 1994 World Championship Diary

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by Spiderman, May 20, 2005.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Zak Dolan's 1994 World Championship Diary

    I just saw this on magicthegathering and can't believe I missed it when it first came out in August, although it was under Magic Arcana, a place I normally don't check.

    I remember reading about the Championship in the Duelist and I guess like a lot of others, tried to figure out what was in Zak's deck (hence, I got a chuckle out of his mentioning that Mark Rosewater asked him not to reveal the contents of his deck 'cause it'd get copied :) ). It inspired me to buy a Library of Alexandria for $20, the most I've spent for a card then and since, and use Sylvan Library a lot more (wasn't in his deck but Bertrand's).

    Anyway, good nostalgia reading and what Magic was like "back in the day".
  2. Force of Will Smith New Member

    This is really sweet... i also like the play by play... cause just goldfishing these decks makes them seem like complete piles...

    I attached both decks in apprentice.. in case you want to try em out... 2ndly..

    i wonder what extended versions of these decks would be.. minus the power nine and replacing some of the older inferior cards...

    Any ideas?

    //NAME: Zak Dolan (Winner)
    // Lands:
    2 Strip Mine
    4 Tundra
    4 Tropical Island
    4 Savannah
    1 Library of Alexandria
    // Creatures:
    4 Serra Angel
    1 Ley Druid
    1 Birds of Paradise
    1 Vesuvan Doppelganger
    1 Time Elemental
    2 Old Man of the Sea
    1 Clone
    // Artifacts:
    2 Meekstone
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Winter Orb
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Ivory Tower
    1 Icy Manipulator
    1 Howling Mine
    1 Black Vise
    // Spells:
    1 Wrath of God
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Kismet
    2 Disenchant
    1 Armageddon
    1 Regrowth
    1 Time Walk
    1 Timetwister
    2 Stasis
    1 Siren's Call
    1 Recall
    1 Mana Drain
    1 Control Magic
    1 Ancestral Recall
    SB: 1 Winter Blast
    SB: 1 Kismet
    SB: 1 Sleight of Mind
    SB: 1 Reverse Damage
    SB: 1 Presence of the Master
    SB: 1 Power Sink
    SB: 1 Magical Hack
    SB: 2 Karma
    SB: 1 Floral Spuzzem
    SB: 1 In the Eye of Chaos
    SB: 1 Diamond Valley
    SB: 1 Copy Artifact
    SB: 1 Circle of Protection: Red
    SB: 1 Chaos Orb

    //NAME: Bertrand's Deck (Finalist)
    // Land:
    4 Mishra's Factory
    4 Volcanic Island
    4 Tropical Island
    2 Bayou
    4 Taiga
    2 City of Brass
    // Artifacts:
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Icy Manipulator
    1 Chaos Orb
    // Creatures:
    2 Whirling Dervish
    3 Birds of Paradise
    4 Kird Ape
    3 Argothian Pixies
    // Spells:
    4 Chain Lightning
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Fireball
    2 Psionic Blast
    1 Mind Twist
    1 Channel
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Control Magic
    1 Regrowth
    1 Time Walk
    1 Ancestral Recall
    // Sideboard:
    SB: 2 Tsunami
    SB: 4 Serendib Efreet
    SB: 2 Lifeforce
    SB: 1 Forcefield
    SB: 1 Flashfires
    SB: 3 Disintegrate
    SB: 1 Control Magic
    SB: 1 City in a Bottle

    Attached Files:

  3. evan d New Member

    A spuzzem in the sideboard. Yeah!
  4. Force of Will Smith New Member

    yeah i saw that... its amazing how even back then, when all players drawed at their first turn, and with moxes and lotus... nothing was really too impressive
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    That might help strengthen the thought that Type 1 IS playable without the Moxes and Lotus (which are only 6 cards out of 60). There's always the "god hands" of course, but you can get those in any format.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, this deck is pretty old. Type I is more refined now. It is difficult to take unpowered decks and pit them against powered decks, but I don't think it's impossible. Maybe U/R Fish or Food Chain Goblins...
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Strictly speaking from an opening hand perspective, it's still all chance and the odds remain the same of getting Moxes and Lotus (with a decent shuffle). Diggers and searching cards might have improved though for subsequent hands.
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Search cards do play a role. And while we have seen some powerful cards printed since 1994 (Yawgmoth's Will comes to mind), I think one big difference is that deckbuilding has become more developed in the decade or so since this deck was made.

    But while there are differences, there are also some obvious similarities between how decks were designed then and how they are designed now.

    Also, I find it interesting that decklists I see from back then used Chaos Orb so much...
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    <sigh> Why is it interesting?
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, anything can be interesting. Things don't need justification to be interesting. But the Chaos Orb deal is particularly interesting to me because it was once widely used, but was banned everywhere before I started playing (and it's expensive enough to buy that I've never seen it used in casual play). So I've never gotten to see the card in action. And while it seems to me that it would be too risky (no matter how skilled you are, you're unlikely to make it all that amazing) to play, decklists from way back very often include it.

    That raises a few questions. How good was Chaos Orb? Was it really worth it to use in decks, or was it partly the novelty of throwing a card like that? If it were reprinted, would people use it as much now in tournament decks?
  11. TomB Administrative Assistant

    It appeared in many decks, caused many hissy fits, and forced all smart old school players to play with all their cards spread out, so as to avoid having the Orb touch too much when it fell.

    It took me YEARS to unlearn the habit of having my side of the playing field more closely resemble a game of Concentration (with all the cards face up)...:eek:
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I've never seen it in action either. And I don't know how tightly players played with their side of the table and their cards. But if it was played alot before its banning, it had to be somewhat useful. Deck building wasn't THAT bad back then :)
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    No, and it isn't that bad now either. But I can picture something like Chaos Orb or Falling Star seeing a lot of use nowadays, even if its effect wasn't all that great (just on the off-chance that a lucky throw could be made). Still, I have heard a lot of "Chaos Orb" stories from days gone by, and it makes me wonder how common such occurences were. I can't picture having much luck with the card, but apparently some people did...
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Actually, it WAS that bad compared to today. No one really knew the theory of the "mana curve" that was introduced with the Sligh deck. Card advantage was just beginning to be understood, either in terms of drawing or board position or whatever (Zak said he was convinced by a buddy? to take out Balance!)

    Individuals might have known them but it wasn't widespread (Zak said in following articles in the Duelist how he realized faster tempo playing ala more lands or mana artifacts; drawing cards; or denying his opponent lands was very beneficial and to his advantage while building his Championship deck).
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Okay, I thought you said it was NOT that bad earlier. How bad is "that" bad anyway?

    I mean, the rest of your post seems fine to me. But with this first line, you seem to be sending mixed messages...
  16. Ferret CPA Founder, Slacker

    True. Nowadays, there isn't that much Deck building. The sets being pumped out make deck synergy almost too easy in Standard. Someone takes a look at how to build a strong deck and everyone else uses it. I know that's been going on for over a decade, but back then the first guy that built the deck actually had to go through dozens of revisions before the deck worked the way they wanted it. Now, all you have to do is get a pre-con deck and tweak it until it's what you want to use to win. Then, everyone clones it and the rest of us get bored.


  17. Force of Will Smith New Member

    yeah right now... im doing to make an extended deck that exploits

    one with nothing
    jeweled amulet
    scroll of origin
    ideas unbound
    its hard :(
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, I guess I'm plugging the formats I actually follow (again). But in Vintage and Legacy, each new set enters a much larger card pool than it does in Standard, and only a few cards ever make it into existing decks or create new ones. Of course, there's still netdecking and all that, but the only environment that can avoid being cut-throat is a casual one (and here I think Legacy is friendlier to casual players than any other tournament format).

    At least the netdecks are being made by the ingenuity of some of the players, rather than being almost entirely driven by synergies built into sets by WotC...
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    You're right, I'm not sure what I was thinking either <scratches head>

    I slightly disagree with Ferret; although the pre-cons seem to make deck building easier, on first glance they're really nothing no one's not going to put together anyway. I don't think anyone's going to win a tourney with a pre-con straight out of the box - it's the tweaking of it that matters and that's still "deck building". The Internet just speeds the availability of the info; if it had been around then, there's no doubt that Zak and Bertrem's deck would have been posted right away and Mark Rosewater wouldn't have been able to control it, unlike it just being published in the Duelist or whatever.

    Sets do have more of a "theme" now instead of the more "random" spells and creatures from Alpha/Beta, but Fallen Empires clearly had themes and cards you could build around and that was 95. Same with Ice Age, another big release that year.
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You bring up a good point. However, I also see what Ferret is getting at. The synergies between cards nowadays (although I'd pinpoint the beginning of this at Invasion) seem to be created deliberately in order to mandate what sort of decks will be played (in Standard, at least). Of course, older sets do have some cards that seem made for each other (When Sengir Autocrat was printed, I'm sure some players thought immediately of Hecatomb, and there are more obvious ones like Academy Rector/Yawgmoth's Bargain in the same set). So I think it's true that there have always been somewhat obvious synergies in Magic. And, as you pointed out, there is still some amount of deckbuilding.

    There were themes in Fallen Empires (and further back, for that matter) that one could build a deck around, I agree. Perhaps the difference then, is that now one can't build a competitive deck (at least not in formats like Standard, where the cardpool is so small) that is NOT based around the themes given to a set or block...

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