Old School Magic 93-94 is a type of “throwback” format that focuses on cards that were printed in 1993 and 1994 (the first 2 years of Magic). This is meant to harken back to a simpler time in Magic’s history, where many rare and nostalgic cards are played by those seeking to recapture the excitement and feel of Magic’s early periods. This format was popularized by some Swedish players in 2007, and variants have now taken hold and become more popular the last few years in the USA, Canada, across Europe, and beyond. Our friends over at Old School MtG do a wonderful job promoting and covering 93/94 Magic, so be sure to check them out, as well as various Old School community groups that have now popped up on Facebook.
One feature about unsanctioned “unofficial” formats that are run by players is that varying groups (whether they be regional or otherwise) can experiment and play with different groups of cards, different Restricted Lists, and even different tournament rules. This flexibility breeds creativity, fun, and replayability, as Old School rarely “grows old” when you have the latitude to try a wide array of different variables. Different groups in the United States, and different groups in Europe favor different Banned & Restricted Lists, and we view this as a unique feature of Old School (and not a defect, per se).
Old School 93-94 Rules
All Old School 93-94 tournaments that Eternal Central hosts will use the rules below.
Note: last updated July 19, 2016, to reflect Nalathni Dragon legality.
Old School 93-94 decks may consist of cards from these sets printed in 1993-94:
Collector’s Edition (CE)
International Collector’s Edition (IE)
Additional Sets and Cards Allowed (ie. REPRINTS)
Tournaments hosted by Eternal Central also allow all non-foil cards from the sets above, that were reprinted IN ANY LANGUAGE with the original frame and original art. So for example, a Chronicles City of Brass, Fifth Edition Wrath of God, Time Spiral Psionic Blast, and Collector’s Edition Mox Ruby would all be legal (original frame + original art), while an Ice Age Swords to Plowshares or Arena 1996 Counterspell would not be legal (different art). The misprinted Revised Serendib Efreet (with Ifh-Biff Efreet’s art, and green border) is of course allowed, because it was printed in one of the original sets in 1994 (Revised). We always encourage you to seek out the oldest and coolest versions of cards you can find, but these can serve as your de facto substitutes for the cards printed in 93-94. Absolutely no proxies and fake cards allowed. Finally, the following promotional cards from 1994 are also legal: Arena, Sewers of Estark, and Nalathni Dragon.
Constructed decks must contain a minimum of 60 cards (no maximum deck size; however, you must be able to shuffle your deck with no assistance). If a player wishes to use a sideboard, it can contain up to 15 cards. With the exception of basic land cards (Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest), a player’s combined deck and sideboard may not contain more than 4 of any individual card, counted by its English card title equivalent.
The following cards are banned by EC in 93-94 tournaments:
• Bronze Tablet
• Contract from Below
• Demonic Attorney
• Jeweled Bird
• Tempest Efreet
The following cards are restricted by EC in 93-94 tournaments (maximum of 1 of each card per deck):
• Ancestral Recall
• Black Lotus
• Chaos Orb
• Demonic Tutor
• Library of Alexandria
• Mana Drain
• Maze of Ith
• Mind Twist
• Mox Emerald
• Mox Jet
• Mox Pearl
• Mox Ruby
• Mox Sapphire
• Sol Ring
• Time Vault
• Time Walk
• Wheel of Fortune
The following cards are on the Watch List by EC in 93-94 tournaments (unrestricted, but constantly being monitored):
• Strip Mine
Notable Rules/Differences from Modern Era of Magic
– MANA BURN STILL HAPPENS (as in, players lose 1 point of life for each unused mana in the mana pool at the end of each phase)
– THE FOLLOWING CARDS WILL HAVE THE UPDATED ORACLE TEXT, AS SHOWN BELOW:
1, Tap: Choose a nontoken permanent on the battlefield. If Chaos Orb is on the battlefield, flip Chaos Orb onto the battlefield from a height of at least one foot. If Chaos Orb turns over completely at least once during the flip, and lands resting on the chosen permanent, destroy that permanent. Then destroy Chaos Orb.
(Note: because of how Chaos Orb is worded, with it being destroyed after a flip, it can still be Disenchanted or Shattered in response to the activation. This is consistent with the wording of Chaos Orb not being sacrificed upon activation, as it probably would with modern templating.)
No Draws in EC Tournaments
In order to encourage the maximum amount of Magic and matches being played (and disincentivize draws and concession for seeding), we enforce a strict no draw policy (intentional or otherwise). After 50 minutes if there was a tied match, the tie breaker will be a sudden death Chaos Orb flipping contest, similar to a hockey or soccer overtime shootout. If both players make or miss the Chaos Orb flip in the same round, repeat the process. The first person to make it while the other person misses will be declared the winner of the match. The point of Old School is to play Old School, so we always encourage everyone to play quickly and have fun each round, and this tournament structure has worked very well to that end.