4:58 p.m. I wander around the concrete jungle aimlessly as hordes of people push and shove their way to their destinations. My senses are flooded by couture handbags, small dog yaps, and a scent which I cannot decide whether palatable or rancid.

I’m in the colorful heart of the West Village on my way to Fat Cat, a unique jazz lounge/adult playpen hosting a slew of gaming opportunities including shuffleboard, ping ping, pool, and a few tabletop classics.

I apprehensively enter the belly of the overweight feline, feeling my way through the dark staircase with bated breath. Upon reaching the landing, my ears are suddenly inundated with the melodic sounds of a sultry sax accompanied by a smooth double bass. “This cat’s got some rhythm,” I think to myself as I progress deeper into the darkness. The latency of my pupillary response causes me to see an unidentifiable scamper in the distance. I focus my attention to an unsuspecting booth to my left and notice something peculiar; there are two dark figures sitting there, glaring at me with an intensity that cannot be ignored. I slowly approach them, blinking a few times until I am close enough to have them in my focus. Crouching down slightly, I carefully move in and— Oh no, I’ve been spotted! The two creatures of the night stealthily concealed a third pack member! A nimble blue-eyed beast swoops in from behind and quietly whispers, “are you ready to draft?”


Hipsters’ own Hunter, Shawn, and Dave, along with Rob, Kadar, Dustin, Erica, and myself are all meeting up for a casual DGR draft. I end up with a pretty lack-luster Boros build:

My Draft Deck

Creatures (16)
Riot Piker
Warmind Infantry
Gore-House Chainwalker
Armored Transport
Azorius Arrester
Rakdos Shred-Freak
Frostburn Weird
Cryptborn Horror
Daring Skyjek
Boros Mastiff
Fortress Cyclops

Spells (7)
Warleader's Helix
Martial Glory
Rootborn Defenses
Knight Watch
Lyev Decree
Five-Alarm Fire
Madcap Skills


Round 1 vs. Dave My opponent happily hums the Star Wars Theme followed by an impromptu beat-box session. His colorful deck (WURG) includes hard to deal with threats like Elusive Krasis, Scion of Vitu-Ghazi, and Master Biomancer. Game one, I apply a lot of pressure with some early aggression but my opponent manages to stabilize at 3 life. He makes a swift comeback and ends the game with an army of 3/3 fliers and an unblockable dude. I barely make it out of the two game slaughter alive.


Round 2 vs. Kadar This Brooklyn based artist and dog lover came to the table wielding an awesomely vibrant playmat and an equally vibrant four color deck. He was seated upstream of me during the draft and although we cut into each others colors a bit, I knew he had a very power Obzedat, Ghost Council that I had to be aware of. Five-Alarm Fire blasts my opponent for 10 damage during game one but isn’t very exciting otherwise. Game two also goes in my favor due to my opponent’s  severe mana screw.


Round 3 vs. Dustin My opponent is wearing a fabulous Propahandhi T-shirt prominently displaying a monstrous alien shedding its skin. After I give my complements, he tells me a story of how a parent scolded him on the subway one day for scaring her child with that very shirt. We play three very dynamic games which end in me being killed by a Blast of Geniused Coursers’ Accord for exactsies.

All in all, it was a great night filled with great people. As always, thanks for reading.

Monique Garraud is a Brooklyn native who started playing Magic in 2011. “Grinding It Out” is her weekly take on the trials, tribulations, and joys of being a competitive tournament player. You can follow her on Twitter @MoniqueGarraud.

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