“All spells are counterspells, really.”
“That’s how you’re justifying playing blue?”
—Conversation between me and Hunter Rolex Slaton at Kadar Brock’s opening at The Hole one Wednesday night

I’m not sure what’s happening to me. For years I’ve made claims of hating permission based Magic, mostly counter-magic. Thing is, what isn’t permission based? A Doom Blade denies permission for a creature to exist. Mana screw or flood denies you the ability to play Magic at all. Even creatures, my favorite things ever, permit you to live or die by attacking you and your planeswalkers. In Magic: The Gathering, the collectible card game of strategy and imagination* every thing you do is permission based. The cranky battle I’ve been fighting all of this time is horse shit. I’m playing counterspells.

Also, I like to draw cards. A lot.

Jen was once again busy on Tuesday night. I spent a couple hours after work riding my bike around the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, deposited myself at Persons of Interest to de-Wolverine myself, walked to Twenty Sided, signed up for the draft, grabbed some bros, and loaded up on delicious grease and carbs at Blue Collar.

We got back to the store, fat on burgers and fries, well before the 7:30 start time. I found myself on the left of Young Abe (not Abe “Thraglusk”) and he was a good guy to joke around with during the draft. It’s always good to have one person you can focus your humor on to lighten the seriousness that is drafting. Pack one pick one was Nephalia Seakite. The pack was lousy with bad cards. I kept taking blue cards until I got passed a late pick Elvish Mystic that lead me to believe green had to be open. I ended up with three. Pack one pick seven Opportunity sealed the deal. I was once again Blue Green. Abe started talking about his GB Auras/Hexproof deck and told me he won a draft with a less good version of this build recently. It looked pretty intimidating. I swapped a maindeck Plummet for Naturalize in the event that I got paired with him round one, which I did.

“Jones! What colors did you draft?” inquired James Bathurst.

“Blue Green,” I replied.


M14 Draft Deck—Creatures and Spells

Spells (8)
Giant Growth
Ranger’s Guile
Hunt the Weak
Lands (17)

Relavent Sideboard Cards (6)
Giant Spider
Phantom Warrior
Predatory Sliver

Round One vs. Young Abe’s GB Hexproof/Auras


Young Abe was really stoked about his deck. When I asked if I could take his photo for the blog he said yes and asked if I’d write more than  the “Abe beat me” I wrote the last time we played. I said it depended on the outcome. Game one Abe mulled to six, wasn’t able to suit up any hexproof guys with enchantments, and folded before laying so much as a finger on my life total.

Game two Abe had a Gladecover Scout wearing multiple Dark Favors and a Trollhide. He crushed me.

Game three there’s a pivotal turn that Abe attacked with a well dressed Gladecover Scout and I double blocked and killed the fancy elf with Witchstalker and Rumbling Baloth. He ran out of gas after that.

We played a bonus fourth game and Abe didn’t draw or play enough different lands and took a direct route to the stomping ground that is my limited play as of late (back pat, back pat).

On paper our match looked like this:



Round Two vs. Quint’s RW Two-Butts


Quint’s back to the game after a serious absence. We’re buds on Facebook, it seems all artists are, and he’d seen all of my posts about Magic and the articles I write for this site. He’s debating on when to tell his girlfriend he’s returned to the game. My advice was to tell her as soon as you can and be super posi about it. “Better than going to a bar every night after work,” I said. “It’s true,” said everyone in response.

Anyway, I’d seen some of Quint’s round one match so knew I was up against a non-blue deck playing white. I figured I had a pretty good shot.

Of our match I remember our banter, laughing, and winning. Quint had some lousy draws and mine were smoothed out with Divination and Opportunity both games. His x-1 or x-2 butt creatures didn’t fair well against my Baloths and Witchstalkers (or Seakite, etc.). A treat to play you, Quint! You’ve got the right Magic attitude and I hope to see you around more on Tuesdays and Fridays!



Johnny Cheng and I split in the finals.


I missed Johnny and was happy to see him at the store again. Sometimes I harass him over Facebook chat—it’s just not the same as real life.

I was gonna go home but didn’t really have anything to go home to so I stayed around and shot the shit with Luis and Orlando for another half hour. I opened my packs (and kept them together as a sealed pool for practice) which contained nothing of value.

Blue has been a consistent partner in my recent non-losing limited decks. I said, out loud, to Luis just the other day, “I felt OK about casting it because I had Negate as back up,” and he almost passed out. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!?

Thanks for reading.

Much love,
MTGO: The_Obliterator


*not the real tag line

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