Bed came early Friday night. I didn’t go to team Modern Masters sealed practice. I didn’t go to FNM. I went home, edited Zac Clark’s article, and went to bed. The cold or allergies I was experiencing demanded rest. If I was going to perform well at Saturday’s PTQ sacrifices for sleep needed to be made.

Monique, Birdlaw, Hugh, and I loaded into Monique’s sweet Cadillac and zoomed to Poughkeepsie in record time. “I’m off Bonfires,” Hugh said. Everyone but Birdlaw decided to play Jund Midrange for the PTQ. We discussed the advantages of playing Abrupt Decay or Dreadbore. We discussed the largely aggro meta game we expected. We discussed the downfall of blue. “But you said Bonfire is so good in the mirror,” I reminded Hugh. He said it didn’t matter. Hugh was also off Sire of Insanity almost completely, too.

None if this mattered to Birdlaw. He was playing Bant Hexproof.

The list I went with looked something like this:

Jund Midrange by Matt, Hugh, and Monique

Creatures (12)
Sire of Insanity
Huntmaster of the Fells
Olivia Voldaren

Spells (23)
Rakdos’s Return
Liliana of the Veil
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Ground Seal
Abrupt Decay
Rakdos Keyrune
Pillar of Flame
Mizzium Mortars
Lands (25)
Woodland Cemetery
Kessig Wolf Run
Overgrown Tomb
Cavern of Souls
Dragonskull Summit
Rootbound Crag
Blood Crypt
Stomping Ground

Sideboard (15)
Ground Seal
Barter in Blood
Golgari Charm
Vraska the Unseen
Sire of Insanity
Underworld Connections
Golgari Charm
Sever the Bloodline

Monique, Hugh, and me all had very similar but different versions of this deck.


City kids’ minds are blown when they are around anything green and witness any water that’s not running into a sewer.


Hugh would not shut up about this gazebo.

I’ll save myself the pain and suffering of a legit full blown tourney report and cut to the chase. I picked the wrong fucking deck on the wrong fucking day. The meta was not all aggro decks as we anticipated. I played UWR Tempo/Control twice and the Jund mirror twice. Three of my four matches were about resolving mulligans and deciding whether or not to keep a mulligan to five with one land and three Thragtusks. The most difficult part of the day was to convince Monique and Rob, both also out of it at X-2, that grinding points wasn’t as awesome as getting the fuck out of this weird hotel and getting back home before dark (I hear Poughkeepsie has an actual werewolf problem and I wasn’t interested in sticking around to find out).


This is Sam. He’s a nice guy.

Round one I had a blast playing Sam. I just barely beat him at a recent Grand Prix Trial. He is not a speedy Magic player and he’s aware of this. I had to remind the both of us to pick up our pace a couple of times. There’s a chance I offended his friend who had come to cheer him on when he asked if he was bothering me by talking and I said he was welcome to watch but we were running low on time after a long game one and an almost as long game two so he couldn’t distract Sam if at all possible. It wasn’t my intention to offend. I just wanted to finish (read: win) our match before time.

I was kinda frustrated but not tilted after I’d made two pretty serious misplays game one (which I won) and game two (which I scooped before actually losing because I knew we were short on time). Game three I mulled to five so maybe being in turns was going to be ok. I had him dead on board turn seven if we were allowed to keep going but I bet he had some tricks up his sleeve. I like playing Sam. Our match was mad slow and I’d have rather had a winner and a loser than a tie. Ties are unsatisfying! Still, no horrible.


This is William.

William is very good at Magic. He was also playing Jund. I had to mulligan. He beat me by casting better spells faster and in greater quantity in both games.


I was excited to play at table 69. If you’ve seen Billy Madison 100 times as a kid and an adult then you understand.


This is Craig.

I’m not sure if I was feeling totally helpless at this point, but I think I did. The previous match I never at any point had a chance of winning. Round three wasn’t going to raise my morale.

Craig was on UWR Tempo/Control. Great. I started in on the “I write for this blog called Hipsters of the Coast and I’d like to take a photo of you to accompany my article” and he said “I heard your spiel last round.” I laughed. He wore headphones all match and I asked him what he was listening to. He said Disturbed. I know of them but couldn’t tell you the name of a single Disturbed song. Sometimes I wonder what I’d listen to if I wore headphones during a match. I’d probably keep the sound off and just be a weirdo wearing soundless headphones.

I sat next to Birdlaw that round. We both lost quickly and ran to the $10 buffet upstairs and wolfed down a pound of veggies, ravioli, chicken parm, and whatever else they had. Five cupcakes made it into my belly.

Before I left for the buffet I had said “Losing at table 69 is such a disappointment,” to Craig.

“I wouldn’t know,” he countered with a sort of evil smile. I hate counterspells.

I told Monique I was ready to go whenever. This deck and I weren’t gonna do it that day.


Table 69 was again my home in round four!!


This is Chas.

Chas tore me appart with more Jund mirror fun. He told crazy stories about his life in the military. He’s a cook. At the end of our match he showed me a video of some dudes he works with and himself jousting in an enormous kitchen. At some point in the video both jousters fell out of whatever large wheeled container was filling in for a horse. Chas gets his opponent into a choke hold and eventually punches him in the face. That signaled the end of the joust, I think. I’m glad he didn’t show this to me at the beginning of our match!

That’s it. We were the fuck outta there. This is my worst PTQ record ever.


There was so much nature it turned Birdlaw and Hugh into silhouettes.


Monique and Birdlaw ascend the beautiful staircase that serves as the only too and fro the Magic dungeon in the basement ballroom of a Best Western affiliate hotel and the outside world.

We all laughed our asses off the duration of the two hour ride back to the city. Everyone did horribly so we didn’t talk much Magic.

I told the group that I think i don’t even like Magic and that I take these trips because I enjoy the car rides and jokes so much. Hugh agreed that it was probably true.

Hugh and I tried to add more fuel to the Rolex vs. Birdlaw war that’s been brewing for a few months. The two are mortal enemies at this point and we’re only interested in making it worse. “Call him Timex, Birdlaw,” I told him. “That’ll really piss him off!” Birdlaw laughed and said he had no problem with Hunter whatsoever. “We know, Rob. We don’t think Hunter knows, though, and we like causing trouble.” Rob rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders as if to say “You guys are the worst.” That assessment seems fair.

Wrong deck, wrong day. We all agreed. I should’ve played Junk Aristocrats again. Oh well. On to GP Vegas, baby!!

Thanks for reading!

With love,

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