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Browse > Paul Sligh Orcish Librarian (Original Sligh) - 2nd Atlanta Pro Tour Qualifier April 21 1996

Paul Sligh Orcish Librarian (Original Sligh) -... by JasonVorthos

Report Deck Name
$ 134.10
0.16 tix
8 Rare, 29 Uncommon, 26 Common

Format: Free Form
User Submitted Deck
Deck Date: Jan 20, 2022

Creatures (25)
4 Brass Man $ 1.00
2 Dwarven Trader $ 0.56
2 Goblins of the Flarg $ 0.40
3 Dwarven Lieutenant $ 0.90
4 Ironclaw Orcs $ 0.88
2 Orcish Librarian $ 0.96
2 Brothers of Fire $ 1.48
2 Orcish Artillery $ 0.48
2 Orcish Cannoneers $ 0.52
2 Dragon Whelp $ 0.56
Spells (11)
1 Detonate $ 0.25
1 Fireball $ 0.24
4 Lightning Bolt $ 4.48
4 Incinerate $ 1.00
1 Shatter $ 0.22
Artifacts (1)
1 Black Vise $ 1.00
Enchantments (1)
1 Immolation $ 0.21
Lands (23)
2 Dwarven Ruins $ 2.00
4 Mishra's Factory $ 10.00
13 Mountain $ 10.27
4 Strip Mine $ 63.24
Sideboard (15)
1 Zuran Orb $ 4.99
3 Active Volcano $ 1.47
1 Detonate $ 4.00
1 Fireball $ 0.24
1 Meekstone $ 6.73
1 Shatter $ 0.22
1 An-Zerrin Ruins $ 2.14
4 Manabarbs $ 12.76
2 Serrated Arrows $ 0.90
76 Cards Total
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  0 tix
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  $ 1 / wk
Creatures (25)
4 Brass Man 4 Unc.
2 Dwarven Trader 2 Comm.
2 Goblins of the Flarg 2 Comm.
3 Dwarven Lieutenant 3 Unc.
4 Ironclaw Orcs 4 Comm.
2 Orcish Librarian 2 Rare
2 Brothers of Fire 2 Unc.
2 Orcish Artillery 2 Unc.
2 Orcish Cannoneers 2 Unc.
2 Dragon Whelp 2 Unc.
Spells (11)
1 Detonate 1 Unc.
1 Fireball 1 Comm.
4 Lightning Bolt 4 Comm.
4 Incinerate 4 Comm.
1 Shatter 1 Comm.
Artifacts (1)
1 Black Vise 1 Unc.
Enchantments (1)
1 Immolation 1 Comm.
Lands (23)
2 Dwarven Ruins 2 Unc.
4 Mishra's Factory 4 Unc.
13 Mountain
4 Strip Mine 4 Unc.
Sideboard (15)
1 Zuran Orb 1 Unc.
3 Active Volcano 3 Comm.
1 Detonate 1 Unc.
1 Fireball 1 Comm.
1 Meekstone 1 Rare
1 Shatter 1 Comm.
1 An-Zerrin Ruins 1 Rare
4 Manabarbs 4 Rare
2 Serrated Arrows 2 Comm.
76 Cards Total
Shopping Cart Icon Buy from Cardhoarder
  0 tix
Shopping Cart Icon Rent from Cardhoarder
  $ 1 / wk

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Mana Values

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Sample Hand

Deck Primer / Description

Chris Page - Mishra's Factory - The Duelist Magazine #5 - Summer 1995

Jesse Chounard - Some Type II strategy - - 14-04-1996
About type II meta Prison vs Necro vs Erhnamgeddon

David Doust - Atlanta Pro-tour qualifier tournament report - - 24-04-1996

Beth Moursund, Paul Hugues & Mark Rosewater - Running The Numbers - Duelist #12 - September 1996 - p23
About the Meta of the 1996 Northwest & Great Lakes Regional Championships

Frank Kusumoto - School of Sligh-Kimes – – 08-11-1996

Beth Moursund - Deck Deconstruction: Burn, Baby, Burn - The Duelist Magazine #15 - December 1996

Mike Flores - The Paris Metagame: A Newbie's Guide - - 26-02-1997

Beth Moursun - Sligh/Geeba - Duelist #17 - June 1997 - p43

David Price - The Art of Beatdown - The Duelist Magazine #29 - September 1998

Mike Flores - Who's the Beatdown? - StarCity Games - 01-01-1999

Ben Bleiweiss - Tap One Mountain - WOTC Website - 27-02-2002

Mike Flores - The Philosophy of Fire - StarCity Games - 23-04-2004

Alex Shvartsman - Famous Red Decks in Magic History - WOTC Website - 22-07-2004

Mike Flores – Throwing It Back Red Style – WOTC Website – 01-12-2004

Mike Flores - Deckade: 10 Years of Decks, Thoughts, and Theory! - Google Read - 2006

Mike Flores - I Never Metagame I didn't Like: The History of the Magic Metagame - WOTC Website - 01-06-2009
About Sligh

Mike Flores - Flores Friday – Nine Decks You May Have Never Heard Of… - Star City Games - 02-12-2011
About Paul Sligh

Jay Schneider of Red Deck Wins and The Mana Curve – Ep 310 - Kitchen Table Magic Podcast - 28-11-2017

David Saunders - Sligh as a fox: the origins of Red Deck Wins – Game Tyrant - November 2019

Mike Flores - Eight Decks No One Liked to Play Against - CoolStuffInc - 08-12-2020

JasonVorthos - Histoire de Magic the Gathering - 1996 - Partie 2 - Alliances - Terrain Basique Youtube - 31-05-2021

Rhystic Study - Red Deck Win - 07-05-2022

JasonKeays - #DeckOfTheDay ; Paul Sligh - Twitter - 08-06-2023

We had a good showing at this qualifier, 82 competitors participated! So I guess that the heavy promotion that we were doing paid off. Once again, I tried to mimic the New York Pro-tour as close as possible and everybody enjoyed themselves. The tournament itself ran very smoothly and professionally, and players appreciated the fact that there is actually cool events being held in the South and they can too have a taste of the Pro-tour!
As I stated in the last Pro-tour Qualifier Tournament Report, I anticipated a massive amount of Necopotence Decks, and sure enough, out of 82, there were 26 Necropotence Decks! And guess what? 5 of them made it to the final 8! Together with a really goofy red deck ( which I am going to list for you! ), a Blue/White Deck and a Red/Green Deck.
The goofy ( no offense) red deck that made it to the finals uncontested, and almost won the whole tournament looks on the surface like a deck that you would make out of people's unwanted commons, but I guess was effective enough to beat everybody except in the finals!
Paul Sligh's Orcish Librarian Deck Up till now, I still do not understand how this deck got as far as it did, but it did. The math worked out, I guess!!! One side note, Team Stupid from Orlando, Florida printed new shirts for this event and came in force! I think I saw at least 6 of them, and
Patrick Vanbeek ( one of the prime member of the Stupid Team actually won a slot at the Long Beach Pro Tour! ) also ran a Necro deck. The tournament was won by Joshua Bradford from Florida, and of course, what else, with a Necro deck!!!!!!!!!!
David Doust - Atlanta Pro-tour qualifier tournament report - - 24-04-1996

The Sligh deck is an odd looking deck that utilizes many scoffed at cards - for good reason usually - but is illustrative of how a well designed mono-color deck can get by with slightly substandard cards by utilizing its color’s strengths (and a good sideboard). It is also instructive to see how the concepts
of selective mana-denial and card advantage can be integrated successfully with the goal of killing your opponent quickly. In some ways I think this mirrors the successfulness of the four hymn Necro, which strove to do much the same. In essence, the Sligh deck is a mono-red weenie control deck,
just as many versions of the Necro deck were mono-black weenie control decks. It also illustrates how a deck that begins with an overall strategy, a plan if you will, can be competitive without a major expenditure of money (less than $60 w/sideboard). Encouraging reports have come in from all over
the country - and the world - on the effectiveness of the Sligh deck in the tournament environment.
The original Sligh deck, called “Geeba”, was created by Jay Schneider, using the following guidelines Concept #1: The most important one. The Mana Curve. A true Sligh deck (and any good active deck) is optimized to use the mana curve that comes from playing one land per turn, and using ALL of it's mana on every turn. This is done using a "tiered" system. When you look at a Sligh deck you should see “slots”, not specific cards. Taking this approach Sligh looks like this:
1 mana slot: 9-13
2 mana slot: 6-8
3 mana slot: 3-5
4 mana slot: 1-3
X spell: 2-3
Concept #2: Card Advantage. It doesn't look like it but Sligh is built on card advantage. The key is selective card advantage. All of the cards in Sligh are effective by themselves. Sligh is very effective at killing all of an opponents creatures, thereby rendering creature support cards useless. Orcish Artillery represent the culmination of this principle, i.e. a useful card in and of itself that also gains card advantage if it’s special ability is used just once.
Concept #3: How the attack progresses. First on the ground, which an opposing deck should eventually stop. Then in the air. If this attack is stopped then finish them off with direct damage.
No color problems. Fast but steadily increasing pressure (a result of the tiered progression.) ManaBarbs are the sideboard answer to (almost) everything. Artifact Damage, i.e., the Brass Men, plink away through COP:Red, thus providing a colorless source of damage. Mishra’s Factories have the same advantage. With the current heavy use of mass creature destruction Factories provide a hedge.
One criticism of the deck is that it is hosed by COP:Red. Besides the use of Artifact damage sources and Manabarbs, another common solution to the COP is the siege. Attack with waves every turn, don't let them use their mana and eventually draw more critters than they have mana. Also, there is the sideboard solution, Manabarbs.
Frank Kusumoto - School of Sligh-Kimes – – 08-11-1996

The Sligh deck was named for Paul Sligh, who used it to great success in an Atlanta qualifier last year. The Sligh deck runs on a "mana curve," meaning that the deck uses many low casting cost spells, and few spells of casting cost 4 or greater. It is significant in that it uses very poor creatures, yet is able to beat very good decks, by its mana efficiency and large number of direct damage spells. Sligh decks tend to be very versatile because their offensive threats (generally weenie creatures) also have a double purpose. Gorilla Shamans and Goblin Tinkerers can attack, but they can also remove artifacts. Brothers of Fire and Orcish Artillery/Cannoneers can attack, but they can also burn opposing creatures or the opponent himself. Because of the low casting costs associated with the Sligh deck, and its large number of instants, it is very difficult to lock. Pat Chapin is the most important player of the Sligh deck in recent months, placing first out of the Swiss rounds at Pro Tour Dallas, and recently qualifying for the Paris Master Division; Dave Price and Jason Stahl have also done very well with this deck.
Mike Flores - The Paris Metagame: A Newbie's Guide - - 26-02-1997

The Sligh/Geeba deck first drew wide attention in a 1996 Pro Tour Qualifier in Atlanta. Not only did Paul Sligh take second place out of eighty-two participants, but he went undefeated through all the Swiss rounds, quarterfinals, and semifinals.Along the way, the Geeba deck even beat the Necrodeck that eventually won the tournament. After the tournament, David Doust posted a report on the Internet that described the deck as Paul Sligh Orcish Librarian deck... a goofy (no offense) red deck that... looks on the surface like a deck that would make out of people's unwanted commons. As the deck received more and more attention, the name Sligh deck stuck. Sligh decks are currently among the most popular tournament decks, and continue to do well. The deck isn't based around specific cards. Instead, a Sligh deck is built around a mana curve. The goal of the deck is to spend all its mana every turn, making the most efficient use of its resources and overwhelming the opponent. The mana curve Jay Schneider now recommends is as follows: 1 mana (9-13), 2 mana (6-8), 3 mana (1-5). Most of the Sligh deck is composed of creatures, and all of the creatures should be mana efficient. For each mana cost, chose the best power/toughness available. Creatures with direct-damage capabilities are valuable, since you can use them to pick off your opponent creatures from a distance and attack with them when your opponent is undefended.
Beth Moursun - Sligh/Geeba - Duelist #17 - June 1997

Originally, these constructions used reasonably costed creatures in conjunction with removal spells to burst through enemy defenses. Creatures such as Orcish Artillery and Brothers of Fire combined with direct damage spells like Incinerate and Lightning Bolt to clear the way for Ironclaw Orcs and Ball Lightnings. Over time, the deck became more and more mana efficient, trading utility for pure speed. The Artillery became Cursed Scrolls, and Ironclaw Orcs became Jackal Pups. But still, the cornerstone of the deck was the direct damage spell.

Ben Bleiweiss - Tap One Mountain - WOTC Website - 27-02-2002

The most successful and – I will venture – the most important red deck ever is Sligh. This name references a mono-red deck featuring small, fast creatures combined with direct damage. This archetype is especially key because it advanced the overall Magic strategy by making the concept of mana curve mainstream. Mana curve is an application of math to Magic where you attempt to maximize your chances of utilizing every point of mana that you are able to generate every single turn. The deck is named after Paul Sligh, who played it at a Pro Tour Qualifier held in Atlanta on April 21, 1996. Although it is commonly told that he won the qualifier, Sligh actually finished in second place, losing to a Necropotence deck in the finals. One of the things to remember looking at this deck list is that the format it was played in required you to build the deck using 5 cards from every legal expansion set. Although the deck ended up named after Paul Sligh, it was designed by Jay Schneider – a popular Internet writer and deck builder from the Atlanta area at the time. Shortly thereafter various Sligh builds were running rampant in the metagame. Players would even adjust their Sligh decks for the mirror, using Keeper of Kookus! Others would play 3 to 5-color Sligh, splashing for powerful off-color cards such as Armageddon and Derelor .
Alex Shvartsman - Famous Red Deck In Magic History – WOTC Website – 22-07-2004

It all started at a PTQ in Atlanta, during the first high point of Necropotence's long and decorated history. An odd looking deck with some atrocious synergies made us re-think how Magic is played, how we should put together decks, and when a game begins. This deck was played by Paul Sligh to a second place finish in that PTQ, which explains the moniker "Sligh". In those days, second place would pick up a PT slot, so, along with a tiny bit of Internet hype, the name stuck. In reality, the deck (alternately called "Geeba" or "The Orcish Librarian Deck") was designed by Jay Schneider, a significant deck builder even today, whereas Sligh's namesake has been little seen or heard from in the past eight years. If this deck looks... sub-optimal -- for example seeing Goblins of the Flarg alongside Dwarven Trader -- you must remember that during this first PTQ format, players were "Home-dicapped". Everyone had to play five cards minimum from each of the available card sets, including the much-maligned Homelands (hence the nickname). That is why you will find many old lists where Necropotence decks sideboard City of Brass and Recall or fast beatdown decks play Homelands lands that come into play tapped. Even with its unfortunate limitations, the principles of this original deck changed how constructed Magic is played on a basic level, how players approach card selection in constructed decks so fundamentally that you might take its principles for granted today. In the past, Magic decks started play around... turn four. The deck that won PT1 had a mana flashpoint at for Wrath of God and didn't do much along the way. Its plan was totally confused, with far too many different ways to win and mana that is embarrassing from a modern standpoint. Maybe some decks started on turn two. The deck that came in second place did have a couple of Whirling Dervishes... and a couple of copies of Order of Leitbur. In the same deck. The idea that the beatdown should begin on turn ONE (excepting a Dark Ritual + Hypnotic Specter opening, of course) was totally foreign. Besides showing players that they could start the beatdown from the very first turn, the Sligh deck, as a single color design, emphasized consistency. Moreover, it scaled the number of cards chosen at particular converted mana costs based on consistent drops. While the original PT1 decks may have had clusters of pump knights, for the most part, they just played whatever cards seemed good, regardless of cost. Schneider's deck, on the other hand, sought to tap out every turn, filling in mana holes on turns one, two, three, and beyond. For a point of comparison, consider that one eventual Champion played a R/W deck at PT1 that included four copies of Orgg, Serra Angel, AND Shivan Dragon! Any of those creatures is probably better than Dwarven Lieutenant... but is any of them going to regularly do more damage in a game considering their relative speeds? The concept of tiering one's drops based on playing a land and then tapping out came to be called the Mana Curve, and is a design principle that is used by every single viable tournament deck in today's constructed formats. Lose to a Lantern Kami, followed by a Leonin Skyhunter, then a Glorious Anthem? Thank Jay Schneider. Did the Sligh deck give up card power, at least in relation to the decks of its era? It sure did. But because it started playing Magic earlier, Sligh could capitalize on a Wrath of God tap-out more effectively than its contemporaries. In addition, the low mana costs of the Sligh deck helped it break Strip Mine better than any other deck. While a G/W deck might be struggling to hit four mana for its Erhnam Djinn, Sligh could manage the opponent's lands, burn a blocker, and play out a 2/1 creature, knowing that a solid hit the next turn was inevitable. Almost every player who has ever cracked a pack has probably tried to put together a burn deck, but Sligh was arguably the first tournament deck that looked to burn redundancy specifically. In the same way that it saw Dwarven Trader and Goblins of the Flarg as interchangeable, said that Ironclaw Orcs and Dwarven Lieutenant are about as good as one another by how they sat on the mana curve rather than reading their text boxes, the Sligh deck said "I know that Incinerate isn't quite as good as Lightning Bolt, but I'd rather be able to play with both than just choose the better one." In the halls of then-accepted Magic strategy, where the absolute best cards were almost universally chosen with an outlook to handle every kind of opponent, this was a maverick idea. Last, and perhaps most interestingly, Sligh created a world where utility creatures were not only played, but celebrated. Cards like Swords to Plowshares held utility creatures back, but even before that premiere elimination spell rotated out of Standard, Sligh ran cards like Orcish Librarian ("the red Browse") and both Orcish Cannoneers and Orcish Artillery. While some players saw the synergy of those Orcs with Circle of Protection: Red or Spirit Link, Sligh just sort of said "all by themselves, these cards are just good against pump knights"... and they were. And they took down many an Order, many a Knight, and got pointed directly at plenty of players' faces too.
Mike Flores - Throwing It Back Red Style - WOTC Website - 01-12-2004

To understand Sligh, you must understand the meta. The tournament scene in 1996 was dominated by Necropotence grinding out combo wins by using life as a resource, which was extremely novel at the time. It was extremely fast, but as a result of trading life for cards, it often dropped into dangerous territory quite quickly.Despite being a mono red deck, it played a more control role, burning out creatures to let your own through. Because Necro used life as a resource, one could view Sligh as a resource denial deck. After all, every point of damage is one fewer card they get. By playing efficient creatures and spells every turn, it overwhelmed the opponent with advantage based around the mana curve. It’s an established fact now that whoever spends the most mana generally wins the game, but back then the concept of mana efficiency was much less established. With plenty of mana sinks like Brass Man, Brothers of Fire, and Dragon Whelp, every mana was ensured to be put to good use. Type II (now Standard) rotated, years passed, and the deck never really left, generally under the name Red Deck Wins or Burn. Its descendants have touched nearly every format. Modern, Legacy, and Pauper Burn; Kuldoltha Red; Ramunap Red; even Zoo, Atarka Red
David Saunders - Sligh as a fox: the origins of Red Deck Wins – Game Tyrant - November 2019

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