[Old School] Star Format Mono Color Deck Ideas



  • So, many people here on TMD remember the heady days of the early 90's, where Magic was Magic, Ancestral Recall was just an interesting blue card you got and Contract From Below saved you from losing your SWEET Lord of the Pit.

    Nostalgia (mawkishness?) has bred Old School, which seems to be bringing back these pre-Internet era feelings to some degree. BUT. It has also had me itching for a reboot of one of my favorite casual formats: Star.

    If you aren't familiar, Star is a multiplayer variant for 5 players, where players next to you are allies and players across from you are enemies. You can only attack enemies, but can target ally permanents with spells and effects. Spells or effects that target opponents cannot target allies. Also, often times players use a variant where allies can intercede or block during combat between two (adjacent) enemies, allowing them to keep one alive and strategically prevent one or the other from winning.

    In a very popular extension of this format, the 5 players used mono-color decks, each based on one of the 5 colors. Whether artifacts are allowed or not was usually up to house rules, but generally they were okay as long as they didn't make up the bulk of the deck.

    In any case. I want to revive this format with friends, a couple of which are novice players, but in a nod to Vintage and the growing Old School community, would like to build some decks that give players a taste of the fun and elegance, and okay, sometimes sheer winsome clunkiness, of early MtG.

    That said, I would love to get some ideas from all you folks on what you would consider your favorite "Old School" mono-colored lists, maybe with the following considerations:

    1. No cards printed after...let's say Fallen Empires...take that, AUTUMN WILLOW!
    2. Using the current restricted list insofar as it applies, but probably excluding the P9 unless you think Timetwister is just too much fun for words or whathaveyou.
    3. Current rules (i.e. no mana burn, vault works like today, use the stack, etc)
    4. Decks should be the factory showroom floor for that color in the olden days. Which is to say, there are fun combos, but the deck shouldn't revolve around a particular combo to win.

    Anyway, I look forward to pulling together some of these decks and can't wait to hear what everyone thinks, if anyone thinks this is a worthwhile pursuit at all!



  • we talked about this in my group. and we have tossed around the idea of a 'brown' player than can only use colorless cards. (workshop and urza decks)
    Id love to throw down some lifeforce.



  • I guess Lifeforce brings out the question: Should such a format pull out the color hosers. Like should White be able to run Conversion and CoP? I feel like the answer would be no somehow. Like white should be doing things like Kismet, Jihad, Moat, Heavens Gate / Martyrs Cry. Y'know, Awesome things.



  • I used to play that format back in the days, and we definitively did not allow the color hosers (they unbalance the games too much and some colors have exactly no answer to them). We allowed allies to block in combat because this allowed very fun diplomaty/tactical.
    Here are some hints, IMHO :

    • Black deck should be either the classic control black or a more suicide one. Both are quite iconic and Old school deck lists can be a good start. I would add a few random slots such as royal assassin and/or sorceress queen for the flavour (actually you could do the same for each color).
    • White could go wheeny obviously.
    • Green could ramp into Fatties (force of nature, craw giant, ...). A friend of mine used to play that and he could have a force of nature attack at turn 3 quite easily, maybe a less all-in version could be designed. Green weakness was the lack of flying creature.
    • Red could go into Goblin deck as it was the first tribal deck that really succeed in tornaments but i am not sure it would be strong enough in such a format (blood moon is not good here). Blasts spells are a must but it would be more fun to have blast be only a tool to help a main strategy.
    • Blue should have a lot of control spells (counter, control magic, ...) and a few good flying creatures.

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