Argothian Treehouse
Andy Van Zandt


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Argothian Treehouse
with Andy Van Zandt

Formats That Don't Matter: Oversized Cards

Ok, today I'm talking about the Older oversized cards, not the ones that come in boxes of 8th edition. The BIG ones. I'm sure you've seen them, packaged with various magazines, as giveaways for arena league (which is where most of the different ones came from), etc. On the back, they all say "Not For Play Use", which is simply not the case. I'd like to touch on a
few issues that may come up when playing with said cards. For those few of you out there who have enough to.

The Good-
You get to play with old favorites! Juzam Djinn, Chaos Orb, Sol'Kanar the Swamp King! All available in this format. And aside from a couple of cards (like Necropotence), there are very few game-breakers or infinite combos, and lucky you, there are Abeyances and Disenchants to handle them! Although for some reason, they seem to have printed 99% of the Cadaverous Bloom
deck's key cards. Most of the win conditions are fatty fliers like Shivan Dragon and Serra Angel, and you've got Black Lotus so you're not waiting 8 turns to get going. But do you go all out, or sit for a couple of turns on your Library of Alexandria to draw some extra cards? Also on the list of
good things is the fact that some of the most common cards were basic lands- they were given out en masse as door prizes for arena leagues. Another bonus is that almost all the cards are black bordered, with the exceptions of (I think solely) Shivan and Jester's Cap, which were both free inside magazines.

The Bad-
These cards are NOT as readily available as even your average foil rare.
For your convenience, here are a few sites that sell them:

I'm sure you could google up a couple more, and that may seem like a lot of sites, but a lot of sites don't sell them, and basically none of them include oversized cards on their buy list. Additionally, since they aren't as readily available, and since there's not a huge market for them, prices are extremely sporadic. Most sites want 10-20 dollars per card, and there's
rarely any rhyme or reason to which cards are more expensive than others. Basic land are usually 5-10 dollars, and a couple cards, like Library of Alexandria and Cursed Scroll, tend towards the 20-25 dollar range. The money card though, despite it being packaged free in an old magic Homelands comic (if memory serves), is the Rebecca Guay alternate art Serra Angel.
I've got one myself, and it's generally priced around 50-60 dollars. These cards, in my eyes, are NOT worth that much money, and cardhaus's prices on them seem a little more reasonable than the other sites. I can't imagine any of the places sell that many of them. Maybe you have to pay extra just because the place keeps such oddities in-stock. <shrugs>

Another mark on the bad side for this format is that not many people have enough cards for a complete deck. I personally have over 130 cards, but half of them are various lands, so even though I can make a deck, it's not a finely tuned war machine. That can be a positive thing though, because I don't think there are many people out there with the cards for a complete
and functioning cad bloom deck. And then there are the annoying people who have that 1 card (the only oversized card they own) in the front of their binder, and they refuse to trade it to you, on the basis that they "like having it", or something equally annoying.

The Fun-
No banned or restricted list! You get to play with 4 Black Lotus, 4 Chaos Orb, and 4 Library of Alexandria! There are even Unglued cards like Squirrel Farm and Incoming! available for use! Do you remember who did the art on Infernal Contract? There's also the Aswan Jaguar, which was packaged with the old Magic computer game, and requires you to determine a random
creature type from those in your opponent's deck. Wee! I'd personally suggest playing Chaos Orbs as 3 mana Desert Twisters, rather than playing a game that'll probably take up your whole living room floor, just so that everyone can space out their cards adequately.

By the by, if anyone has some random oversized cards sitting around and wants to mail them to me, I'd love donations! Also, if anyone wants to work out some trades, I've got a couple extra oversized Shivans and Jester's Caps, and a LOT of extra Karplusan Forests and Adarkar Wastes, and several individual other things, if you're looking for something in particular. I
already have 4 Chaos Orbs and non-Guay Serras, but I'll take anything if you just have it lieing around collecting dust. For questions, comments, donations, or trades, shoot me an email.

You can reach Andy at:

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