Selecting 9th Edition Dilemma: Animal Magnetism!

For this week’s dilemma, we have the earth-shaking choice between two amazing spells: Animal Magnetism and Weird Harvest. Let me tell you that this is, without a doubt, the hardest choice we’ll have to make as a community during the entire Selecting 9th Edition promotion.

Welcome back everyone! I’ve once again triumphed over my hapless opponent. For this week’s dilemma, we have the earth-shaking choice between two amazing spells: Animal Magnetism and Weird Harvest. Let me tell you that this is, without a doubt, the hardest choice we’ll have to make as a community during the entire Selecting 9th Edition promotion. I could not imagine this decision being any tougher were Wizards to pair up other Green titans of the past, such as Grizzly Bears versus Barbary Apes, Snowblind versus Aisling Leprechaun or Wood Elemental versus Ravenous Baloth. Nay, Animal Magnetism and Weird Harvest have been the staples of many player’s decks since the dawn of Nick Eisel rise to Magic superstardom.

The choice for me is clear. To quote Bennie Smith,”Animal Magnetism is the Green Fact or Fiction.” Look at the power of Fact or Fiction!

San Diego Masters First Place Fact or Fiction deck as piloted by Ryan Fuller:


4 Psychatog


4 Aether Burst

4 Counterspell

4 Fact or Fiction

2 Force Spike

1 Gainsay

4 Memory Lapse

4 Peek

4 Predict

3 Repulse

3 Undermine


4 Cephalid Coliseum

9 Island

4 Salt Marsh

2 Swamp

4 Underground River


3 Disrupt

1 Divert

1 Force Spike

1 Gainsay

3 Hibernation

2 Lobotomy

4 Slay

Wow! Fact and Fiction and Animal Magnetism sure have a lot in common! Both of them require that you reveal exactly five cards to your opponent. Both of them require that your opponent makes a choice of which card you might get. Each of them only costs one specific color of mana, so they are both easily splashable. Animal Magnetism has the slight edge because, unlike Fact or Fiction, it cannot be countered by Flash Counter!

Carl Winter piloted this deck to the Type One Gen Con Championships in 2003:


3 Psychatog


4 Accumulated Knowledge

1 Ancestral Recall

4 Animal Magnetism

1 Black Lotus

4 Brainstorm

3 Cunning Wish

2 Deep Analysis

1 Demonic Tutor

3 Duress

4 Force of Will

2 Intuition

4 Mana Drain

2 Merchant Scroll

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Sol Ring

1 Time Walk

1 Yawgmoth’s Will


3 Flooded Strand

2 Island

1 Library of Alexandria

2 Polluted Delta

2 Tropical Island

4 Underground Sea

3 Volcanic Island


1 Artifact Mutation

1 Berserk

1 Blue Elemental Blast

3 Coffin Purge

1 Fire/Ice

1 Lim-Dul’s Vault

1 Mind Twist

1 Naturalize

2 Pernicious Deed

3 Red Elemental Blast

“The Animal Magnetisms were the key to the deck,” Carl wrote in an alternate reality.”I would have played twenty of that card if it were Relentless Rats! With Fact or Fiction restricted, I decided it was better to skip the card from my deck all together. Why have an inconsistent card drawing card in my deck when I could run four Animal Magnetism? Unlike Fact or Fiction, I’m always going to end up with a minimum of four cards in my graveyard – sometimes even five, if I miss one of my three Togs to begin with! Wow, just think of how much I could flash back Deep Analysis. It’s great that I only have Psychatogs as the creatures in my deck, because it turns the Animal Magnetism… into no choice at all!” Alternate reality Carl Winter then took another hit off of his crack pipe before sauntering off into the sewers to train with his tweener altered karate salamanders – Menendatello, Stantonardo, JPangelo, and Ralph.

By contrast, here’s the Weird Harvest deck that finished in the top 150 at this year’s T1 Gen Con World Championships:

The Knutson Special:


4 Elvish Spirit Guide

4 Worldgorger Dragon


4 All Sun’s Dawn

1 Channel

4 Crucible of Worlds

1 Mind Twist

4 Weird Harvest

1 Yawgmoth’s broken Will


4 Bazaar of Baghdad

4 Diamond Valley

4 Gaea’s Cradle

4 Halls of Mist

4 Ice Floe

1 Maze of Ith

4 Oasis

4 Safe Haven

4 Serra’s Sanctum

4 Sorrow’s Path

1 Tolarian Academy


1 Burning Wish

1 Cunning Wish

4 Death Wish

4 Golden Wish

4 Living Wish

1 Ring of Maruf

You’ll notice that this deck runs some of the most broken cards ever in Vintage! The way this deck wins is so simple that I don’t need to explain it. It should be obvious. Very obvious. So obvious that anyone who can’t win with this deck shouldn’t be allowed to vote for Weird Harvest!

There’s some stiff competition here, but when I want to make a final decision, I always defer to the best Magic player in the history of the game. Let’s see which of these cards he used to win one of his several Pro Tours!

Kia Beddu’s Pro Tour winning deck from New Orleans:



4 Accumulated Knowledge

4 Animal Magnetism

2 Brainstorm

1 Capsize

4 Counterspell

4 Donate

3 Fire/Ice

4 Force of Will

4 Illusions of Grandeur

1 Impulse

3 Intuition

4 Merchant Scroll

4 Sapphire Medallion


14 Island

4 Shivan Reef

4 Volcanic Island


1 Hibernation

2 Hydroblast

3 Morphling

4 Pyroblast

3 Pyroclasm

2 Stroke of Genius

Kia was bristling with pride at this deck built of fine German ingenuity.”Vas ist das? It is my finest creation! I vill crush all those who oppose me vith zis Trix deck I haff gebuilten!” Kia cackled with glee, high fiving his teammates Birk Daberowski and David Geddes.”I am so much better zen everyone else in ze game zat I can play with ze useless and dead cards and still vin! Glory to the fatherland!”

The most dominant deck in history, most will agree, was Necropotence during the Black summer. There were three variants on this deck. One of them was mono-Black, and the other two were Black with a splash of Green.

Maybe or maybe not Randy Buehler PT Chicago winning deck:


1 Ihsan’s Shade

4 Knight of Stromgald

4 Order of the Ebon Hand


4 Animal Magnetism

4 Demonic Consultation

3 Disenchant

4 Drain Life

2 Hurricane

4 Hymn to Tourach

4 Necropotence

2 Unyaro Bee Sting


2 Bad River

4 Bayou

3 Gemstone Mine

3 Lake of the Dead

4 Scrubland[/author]“][author name="Scrubland"]Scrubland[/author]

8 Swamp


2 Circle of Protection: Black

1 Disenchant

3 Honorable Passage

1 Hurricane

2 Mind Warp

3 Lifeforce

3 Terror

How explosive can you get? On the very third turn, this deck can drop Lake of the Dead, tap Bayou for a Green, sacrifice it for four Black, and cast Animal Magnetism for Ihsan’s Shade! Life does not get any better than a protection from white 5/5 Legend on the third turn.

The other Black/Green Necropotence deck was run by Ted Knutson


4 Abyssal Specter

4 Knight of Stromgald

4 Sengir Vampire


4 Dark Ritual

4 Demonic Consultation

4 Drain Life

4 Hymn to Tourach

4 Necropotence

4 Nevinyrral’s Disk

4 Weird Harvest


4 Mishra’s Factory

16 Forest


15 Swamp

The goal of Ted’s deck was to cast a huge Weird Harvest in the first game, revealing all the creatures in his deck to his opponent. In the second game, he would sideboard out all twelve of his creatures plus three Mishra’s Factory and then ride Weird Harvest to another victory. Unfortunately for Ted, that victory was usually his opponent’s.

I’m just kidding of course – Ted would never get onto the Pro Tour.

Anyhow, I hope that this little history lesson today will make your choice clear – winners like Kia and Carl”Splinter” Winter and Nick Eisel play Animal Magnetism, while losers like Ted Knutson, Ted Knutson, and Josh Rider play Weird Harvest. Vote now! Vote Animal Magnetism!