I remember seeing a different version of this running around Gencon in 1997 or 98? I think there was another Mirage card that made it even more potent (Shallow Grave??).
I recall some cool guy hit Randy Beuhler's Necro deck with a 1st turn Hasted Nicol Bolas in the warm up tourney. Was a pretty awesome weekend. I think Randy went on to win Gencon with a mono-black Necro deck. Great metagame back then: MonoRed-Zoo-Necro-Mirror- and viable rogue decks.
The tournament was a success. We had 10 players show up despite a ton of people who couldn't make it, and I believe everyone who played took a picture of their deck, which is posted in the Bay Area Old School group. Most importantly, I think everyone really enjoyed the format.
Restricting Necro was definitely the right call, not because it's too good, but because without restricted Necro, there other interesting strategies wouldn't have emerged.
I went 5-0 with Reanimator, which was SO much fun. I'll write a tournament report with more pics for Vintage magic, which should go up in January.
Ice Age was really good. I think Ice Age solves many problems in 93/94 - namely, the dominance of The Deck. Ice Age opens up broad new areas for strategic play, makes non-control strategies better, and is just really interesting.
I think Ice Age Old School is exceptionally deep as well, and it will be some time before things are figured out. I highly recommend Ice Age for folks who are on the fence. But, like us, I recommend restricting Necro so that other Ice Age cards come into focus.
Even as a singleton, Necropotence sees plenty of play in this format, as shapes games. We have to remember that games go longer in Old School, so even a restricted Necropotence has a great chance of making an impact.
This is cool, but for those experimenting with the 1995 format, it is much more appealing with unrestricted Necropotence, and definitely helps give black decks and others more tools against UWx and URx control decks of the era. As most of you will soon discover, Necro is good, but the format still is not only about Necro, because there is not a ton to do with it, unless you start adding mediocre cards like Dark Ritual into your deck to accommodate it. Necro + Lich + Dark Heart of the Wood + Zuran Orb is one of the better combo decks of the card pool, and it's still pretty flaccid and inconsistent (just like Underworld Dreams combo of the era, which is the other main combo deck that will utilize Necro, but still also loses to many of the same things). Whether you allow 1 (restricted), 2 (ala a limited list), or 4 Necros, test it all out and see what you love from 1995! As Steve said, it's full of cool cards that open up a slightly different feeling Old School format.
Did anyone show up with a Stormbind Zoo deck?
I certainly have no interest in coercing any other group into my preferred B&R schema, but I will emphasize that I think Ice Age Old School formats are better for NEW groups with Necro restricted.
NOT because Necro is too good or can't be beaten, but because without Necro restricted, the other Ice Age tactics do not get as much oxygen. In our environment, there were multiple Land Tax/Brainstorm/Zuran Orb decks. There are combo decks with Glacial Chasm. Recursion decks with Forgotten Lore. And I played Reanimator.
Those decks are still really good even in a Necro environment, but with Necro unrestricted, the format becomes much more polarized into: 1) Necro decks, 2) decks that beat Necro decks, and 3) other decks (usually, that lose to Necro).
As I've said before, it's up to each group/community, but I feel that the communities that permit unrestricted Necropotence are applying B&R list standards used in competitive formats, like Vintage. As a causal format - and especially for groups exploring Ice Age for the first time - I think it's more important to give other strategies room to breathe.
I wrote about this here: http://www.vintagemagic.com/blog/old-school-magic-chapter-6-banning-and-restricting-in-old-school/
Lest you think that restricting Necropotence "defeats the purpose of Ice Age," I will attest, having loaned out a Necro Weenie deck, that restricted Necropotence comes up frequently. Because these games are pretty slow, I'd say that even as a singleton, Necropotence comes up at least once every match I've played with mono black.
Necropotence is a powerhouse, even restricted, and playing with Restricted Necropotence in Vintage does not reflect how frequently it arises in Old School, a much slower format.
But if you are a group with deep experience in Ice Age, and aren't exploring the possibilities in the format, then I think unrestricted Necropotence makes alot more sense. But I promise that unrestricted Necropotence definitely undermines the exploratory potential of Ice Age.
Hi everyone, apparently Eudo has scheduled another Old School event with Ice Age this Sunday! This will probably be the last Ice Age event for a while. So come on and join in the fun! http://www.eudogames.com/magic/170312-old-school-magic