Li Xu has relentlessly and thoroughly  influenced me to re-up my interest and passion for Modern. His love of the gentleman’s format is infectious, his ranting and raving and sense of humor in his recent Hipsters article convinced me, once and for all, that it’s the main format for me to focus on within the constructed multiverse. I took the following Melira Pod list to Tuesday Night Magic at Twenty Sided Store and achieved a 2-2 record.


Melira Pod

Creatures (28)
Birds of Paradise
Cartel Aristocrat
Deathrite Shaman
Eternal Witness
Kitchen Finks
Melira, Sylvok Outcast
Murderous Redcap
Noble Hierarch
Orzhov Pontiff
Phyrexian Metamorph
Qasali Pridemage
Ranger of Eos
Viscera Seer
Voice of Resurgence
Wall of Roots

Spells (9)
Abrupt Decay
Birthing Pod
Chord of Calling
Lands (23)
Gavony Township
Godless Shrine
Misty Rainforest
Overgrown Tomb
Razorverge Thicket
Temple Garden
Verdant Catacombs
Woodland Cemetery

Sideboard (15)
Ethersworn Canonist
Harmonic Sliver
Kataki, War’s Wage
Obstinate Baloth
Rain of Tears

There’s a version that runs one Spike Feeder and one Archangel of Thune for infinite life combo fun (remove a counter, gain life off of the Feeder, then Archangel gives it and EVERYTHING counters, then you keep doing it forevs). I asked Orlando how much the store was selling the Angel for and when $40 was his answer I said “Forget it.”

There were other cards I was picking up for Reid Duke’s Modern Bogle/Hexproof deck and, as usual, I bought as much from Twenty Sided as they had and the rest off of TCG Player. See, I wanna have all of the Modern decks I’d ever want to play, you know, before they’re totally impossible to afford. With these recent purchases I will have the following decks: Jund, GR Aggro, Tribal Zoo, Tribal Ghost Zoo, GW Hate Bears, Melira & Kiki Pods, Kibler Naya, and GW Hexproof. I’ve been playing with Jeremey Schofield’s Domri Obliterator deck, too.

Anyway, I went with Melira Pod this week and here’s how things went down.


This is Brook. He’s one of my favorite guys to play Magic with. I beat him by Chord of Calling some Finks into play with Melira and a sac outlet, when he tapped out for one reason or another. I defeated him again with a pretty aggressive beat down plan. Maybe I sided out my Pods. I can’t remember. I feel like Pod is the shittiest card in Pod because it leads you down these roads where you’re stuck spending life and mana and maybe not doing anything. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s the sickest shit ever. I like Chord the best, freals.



This is Bobby. Bobby was playing a mill deck featuring Mind Funeral. Mill decks are second only to counterspell decks when it comes to Magic strategies I fucking can’t stand. They’re only second because they usually suck. Bobby was a nice guy about it, tried to keep the conversation going and semi-lively, but honestly, when he played the first Mind Funeral I almost right clicked and then selected “Concede Match” right on out of the store for a between rounds smoothie (read: milkshake). Both games he was dead the turn after he milled my final card. A total thrill.



Nicholas here burnt my face off. I didn’t stand a chance. I guess he had to rip a burn spell on his last turn of the second game or he’d have lost. He did so he won. I didn’t see fuck-all Kitchen Finks (‘cept the one I cast game one that he responded to with Skullcrack, sigh). Nick didn’t say much but he laughed at my jokes and I appreciate that.



Garrett was on mono red goblins. His deck was cool. We playtested between rounds to cheer me up after that punk Nick beat me (and that milling bastard Bobby took me out round two). It worked. Garrett’s easy going ways launched me out of my depression. I damn near asked him to run away with me and live happily in a non-Magic universe together but I remembered we both have girlfriends.



This is Garrett’s sweet Cavern of Souls alter. He ranted a bit about how shitty Cavern of Souls art is and how it looks like every other Magic card. I let him rant because I appreciate when others let me rant—and for once someone actually did a pretty funny alter. I support “pretty funny”.



Alex was on some white weenie action and I combo’d off on him both games. When I went to Murderous Redcap him he said “Oh I’ve seen this annoying combo before,” and scooped up his cards. When it happened game two he said to his friend, “He’s playing that annoying combo where he does infinite damage.” He was right, I was.

Thursday Kadar, Hugh, and I went to see Pacific Rim after I got out of my weekly therapy session. Hugh had free tickets so I bought us a humungous popcorn. Kadar bought off-brand Twizzlers and we bit the ends off of them so we could use them as straws. Hugh said that soda and off-brand Twizzlers used as straws tasted like cough syrup. He was right but I liked it.


We got out of the theater totally stoked on monsters fighting robots, took a leak, and then ran into GP Providence Champion Andrew Longo by the butter dispenser. He’d taken his lady to see Pacific Rim, too. She got a kick out of me asking to get my photo taken with him. What a guy! It’s rare that one gets to stand with such a fantastic star of the game. What an actual thrill (not like the sarcastic thrill I had before when I said playing Bobby’s mill deck was a thrill—because that wasn’t fun at all).



Friday morning I had a meeting with this guy. He’s going to make the new Hipsters of the Coast t-shirts. The meeting went well.



Later that afternoon Kadar and I made it to the store in time to play in the early draft. This deck I made was pretty sweet. Hugh said I didn’t need the second Paladin, and should’ve traded a Verdant Haven for a first strike knight-bear. He’s really good at limited and probably right. I couldn’t have been more excited about three Rumbling Baloth‘s and two Briarpack Alphas.



Round one Hugh barely beat me, as usual.



Round two Matt had mana troubles game one and couldn’t deal with Advocate of the Beast plus any number of Baloth’s in game two.



I’m batting about .500 against Jason. This match brought my average to something like .575. Game two Jason scooped on turn five. It felt great.

Overall I had a great time drafting M14 and super enjoyed my deck filled with beasts and ways to make beasts bestier. Getting to play green monsters keeps this green monster happy.



I took a look in the back room to see what I could see and I caught young master Kulik battling Thraglusk in epic fashion. Thraglusk is stoked in this photo because he was beating the human Grumpy Cat.

After a quick salad it was time for FNM where I was IRL test driving a version of Jund Mid-range I’d been messing with online. I took this deck to the PTQ in Jersey on Saturday.


Jund Mid-Range

Creatures (16)
Huntmaster of the Fells
Lifebane Zombie
Olivia Voldaren
Scavenging Ooze

Spells (19)
Bonfire of the Damned
Doom Blade
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Mizzium Mortars
Rakdos’s Return
Tragic Slip
Lands (25)
Blood Crypt
Dragonskull Summit
Kessig Wolf Run
Overgrown Tomb
Rootbound Crag
Stomping Ground
Woodland Cemetery

Sideboard (15)
Barter in Blood
Curse of Death’s Hold
Golgari Charm
Liliana of the Veil
Rakdos’s Return
Pillar of Flame
Underworld Connections


Dustin and I playtested for half an hour before round one started and I beat him every game. He crushed me in two games when the games counted. He was playing UWR Flash. Once the Sphinx’s Revelations start coming down Jund is pretty screwed.


Dave, the world’s cutest robot, was playing some imaginary deck with Young Pyromancer. I crushed him. It didn’t even feel that awesome because I love Dave and it hurt me to see him not put up a fight. I’m not even sure he actually did anything. He agreed to let me take his photo only if Kadar would lend his hat for the photo. I asked him to hold up his deck’s main card. Dave played zero of them during our match. Josh brilliant photobombed Dave. What a cut-up.



I asked Dave to pose with the card he needed to not lose. It was Far // Away.



During my match with Dave, Tony walked by and was wearing a Matt Jones shirt, so I took his photo.



Shit, I get to play  Li, too?! WHAT A NIGHT!!! Li and I played three awesome games where we were both up or down at various times. Bonfire of the Damned was, as usual when it decides to show up, the all-star and I took the match.



AND KADAR?!? AWESOME. I won game one handedly. Kadar counterspelled me out of the next two games. What a dick. I mean I get that he’s my best friend (see the above playmat) and all, but best friends don’t let best friends play counter magic. You dig?

You think that was enough Magic? It wasn’t. I got up early to meet Fettoblaster, Mike, and Tony at 56th Street on the east side to pick up Josh’s ride and head to Jersey for a PTQ. I’m going to run through this super fast. I finished the day 4-4. Mike and Tony left after they lost two rounds (Tony lost round three to me). I stayed on because Josh was on the way to Top 8’ing. He lost his win and in to Top 8. We had a nice ride home.


This is what Tony’s deck registration system looks like.



Mat with one “T” was playing a mono black control deck. He flooded game two and I beat him while trying to figure out what his deck did game one.


The guy sitting next to Mat had these sweet tokens made to the likeness of members of his community.



Dan was on GWB Reanimator, a deck I thought was dead for whatever reason. We played two close games and a third in which he flooded.



Tony, having already succumbed to a photograph request (see the featured image of this article), agreed to having his Hipsters of the Coast business card-token featuring Mike Simpson art, photographed in his stead. I think it’s a ghost-sperm. Tony was on UWR Flash and his deck didn’t work very well for him and I won. I started off the day 3-0, my best start ever. I didn’t defeat another player all day.



This guy is a some-times pro though I didn’t know that when we started playing. Osyp slaughtered me game one. I played a spell on his turn when he had a Voice of Resurgence in play. WOW I FELT DUMB. He got a free creature. Sigh. Game two he mulled to five and I had unlimited Thragtusks and other slow but perfect cards. Game three he mulled to five again, seemed about to tilt, and then I drew several lands in a row and he drew perfectly. Oh well.



One of two opponents I played that were TOTALLY FREAKING HILARIOUS. Adam was on Jund but more different Jund with HUGE Garruk. I was jealous he was playing huge Garruk. I told Adam he looks like Buzz from Melvins and he said “Who’re Melvins?” and I almost cried. Kids these days. {{headshake}}



Andrew here Kibler GR’d me to death. He was quiet which probably made me talk more than normal (which seems impossible but can happen). We both had ACL/MCL surgeries so I used that as conversational common ground. It didn’t work that well but we had good-ish games. His Dragons mowed me down even though it took maybe 70 of them.



Joe, my round seven opponent, didn’t show up. I walked over to the dealers and bought some Primeval Bountys and a promo Scavenging Ooze. Buying cards makes me feel better.



Christian and his Boros Human deck featuring the day ruining Brave the Elements, totally kicked my ass. Seems people were out to get Jund. Game two featured Burning Earth (aka The Jund Slayer). DAMMIT! Even so, I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun playing a match of Magic. We made shit-tons of jokes throughout our entire match and laughed and laughed and laughed. Adam (aka Buzz Osborne) from round five was sitting to my left. He aided us in the hilarity. I put out a Hipsters token and just wrote “Beast” on it. He said, “That’s a disgrace, gimme that,” and then drew the best beast ever (which I’ll save for an upcoming Arting Around article featuring tokens people draw). It was a beautiful gesture.

Man, I wish I could lose this match all over again just to laugh and joke and have fun with my fellow idiots. Sometimes I really love the Magic community and it’s bonus-nice when I travel to foreign lands and the community stays excellent.

So, a little analysis of my work at this PTQ: I lost most of my matches because of two play mistakes, a few bits of mana flood, and some bad draws. What can ya do? I’d play the same deck if I had this day to do over again, I’d just shuffle more. Or maybe I’d shuffle more differently. It wasn’t even the Dragons and the Burning Earths that did me in, really. Misplays and Flood: The Matt Jones Story.

It was a quick ride back to the city with Josh, because he drives fast, though not as fast as Monique. On the ride I learned he has bizarre taste in music.



Once you’re knee deep in … weird music, you may as well go all the way with Vol. 2.




Thanks for reading! See you next week!

Much love,
MTGO: The_Obliterator

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