The American Bison is the greatest and most amazing mammal on the face of the earth. Even Wikipedia, champion of passionlessness, agrees:

The American bison (Bison bison), also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North Americain massive herds, became nearly extinct by a combination of commercial hunting and slaughter in the 19th century and introduction of bovine diseases from domestic cattle, and has made a recent resurgence largely restricted to a few national parks and reserves. Their historical range roughly comprised a triangle between the Great Bear Lake in Canada’s far northwest, south to the Mexican states of Durango and Nuevo León, and east to the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States (nearly to the Atlantic tidewater in some areas) from New York to Georgia and per some sources down to Florida.[2][3]

The American Bison is the greatest and most amazing mammal on the face of the earth.

Two subspecies or ecotypes have been described: the plains bison (Bison bison bison), smaller in size and with a more rounded hump, and the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae)—the larger of the two and having a taller, square hump.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Furthermore, it has been suggested that the plains bison consists of a northern (Bison bison montanae) and a southern subspecies, bringing the total to three.[7] However, this is generally not supported. The wood bison is one of the largest wild species of bovid in the world, surpassed by only the Asian gaur and wild water buffalo. It is the largest extant land animal in the Americas.

There is a great sculpture called something like “The National Monument to How Seriously Awesome the American Bison is” right outside the Philadelphia museum of Art. Look at its majesty.


Philadelphia is a fine city, for the following additional reasons:

1. Reading Terminal Market.
2. Dinic’s (in Reading Terminal Market) – order their Italian pulled pork sandwich with spinach and whatever cheese they recommend, eat it, and realize life can be about this good but will never ever be better.
3. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Van Gogh rain painting.

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4. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Cy Twombly room. I’ve cried in this room on the first two visits. I did not cry this third time. “One Tone” Mike Simpson said it was ok and that he liked the red one on the left the best.




5. The Pennsylvania Convention Center. It has so many rooms of varying size. What a great place for events. Adequate bathrooms. High level of cleanliness. It’s the best.

Mike and I arrived at Eternal Weekend a day early so we were well rested on the day of the Legacy Championships and had some time to see the Jason Rhodes show at the ICA and the PMA (due to aforemntioned Van Gogh painting and Twombly room).

When we went to the venue to check in we saw that there were Vintage and Legacy grinders going on and a super FNM. I had my GR Ramp deck on me (Nykthos, Polukronos, etc.) so signed myself up for Standard and then won the whole thing besting the following dudes:



Smashed Esper control. Brett’s deck wasn’t cooperating with him.



Nate’s deck either! He had to mull to five game three. He was on a more different version of GR ramp than me that included Ember Swallowers ‘n shit.



Mason was hilarious and fully energized. He played mono B. His deck didn’t do much of anything my deck couldn’t handle. We traded some FNM promos (we each got eight for being in the event) that he needed for his cube and I got a Nightveil Specter that I’m gonna trade to Longo.



Richard was on mono R. Both of the dudes locked in locked in battle for the spot to face me in the finals were on variations of mono R. Richard played Monique at an SCG event and said hello at a later PTQ (she wrote about it here). He’s a super good guy and it crushed me to smash him. GR monsters did what monsters do and I was able to stabilize after initial assaults thanks to Scavenging Ooze. Richard was one point of damage away from beating me the turn before I dealt him lethal in game two, and he kept going over the numbers in his head, but they wouldn’t add up to a victory for him. Finally he extended a hand and, boom!, I was 4-0 at FNM in a foreign land playing one of my favorite decks ever. Hooray! Then they gave me my prize, an FNM promo Swords to Plowshares (selling on SCG for $149.99, I sold it for $90 to MTG deals and used that money to buy an Underground Sea for a new obsession of mine).



That’s what I look like in the eyes of One Tone Simpson. My hair wasn’t so hot but it can’t always be. The next morning I put my teeth back in and headed to the convention center, stopping first for some kinda elitist coffee that was just “ok” (flirting with baristas more than makes up for average coffee). Mike “Combo Master” Herbig and  ol’ One Tone Simpson in tow, I made it to the con. cent. (that’s short for convention center) shortly after coffee acquisition.

I had to fill out a deck reg sheet because I left mine at the Best Western, and then the player meeting happened, and then pairings went up.

I ended up 5-4 at the close of business that day. My target was 5-3, thinking there’d be eight rounds (if you remember from last week). Anytime I’m over .500 in a tournament as long and grueling as this I’m pretty stoked. This marks my first large Legacy tournament and that makes going over .500 much sweeter.

I was playing Jund. It looked like this:

Punishing Jund

Creatures (16)
Bloodbraid Elf
Dark Confidant
Deathrite Shaman

Planeswalkers (4)
Liliana of the Veil
Lands (23)
Bloodstained Mire
Grove of the Burnwillows
Verdant Catacombs
Wooded Foothills

Spells (17)
Sylvan Library
Abrupt Decay
Lightning Bolt
Punishing Fire
Hymn to Tourach
Inquisition of Kozilek

Sideboard (16)
Nihil Spellbomb
Toxic Deluge
Ancient Grudge
Golgari Charm
Hymn to Tourach
Life from the Loam

Here’re my opponents.

Round One—Brian’s Miracles


Miracles. It was kinda awesome. I had the shaking nervous energy that one has at big events when the format is new and fresh and exciting to you and everything amazing and intense hinges on every single play. I freaked out when I thought a Terminus was an Entreat the Angels but it wasn’t. I tucked my creatures under my library and then proceeded to Jund a bunch, murder his hand, and top deck better. Then I won. 1-0.

Round Two—Alex’s Delver of a Non-RUG Variety*


Punishing Fire was the best card in this match. Er, well, Punishing Fire, Alex’s mulliganning, and his mana flood. 2-0.

*I said non-Rug variety because boy oh boy do I have a hard time playing against RUG Delver. Mongoose, Goyf, counters, burn.

Round Three—Nick’s Dreadstill


Nick played a nutty deck I’d never heard off that he called Dreadstill. Abrupt Decay is his worst enemy because it kills his Phyrexian Dreadnaughts. As I didn’t know his deck I asked him to send me his list when he could so I could include it here for you. Seems ridiculous and fun and why not share? I won this match 2-0. After round three I had yet to drop a single game. 3-0.


Lands (20)
Mishra’s Factory
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Volcanic Island

Creatures (10)
Vendilion Clique
Phyrexian Dreadnought
Delver of Secrets

Spells (30)
Sensei’s Diving Top
Lightning Bolt
Force of Will
Sideboard (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Red Elemental Blast
Tormod’s Crypt
Grafdigger’s Cage
Spell Pierce

Nick had this to say about his deck:

Sideboard is a big mess, didn’t know what to expect going in and this was the first tournament I’ve played this deck at in years. Going forward I think I’d move a divert to the board and play a 5th burn spell, probably forked bolt, over it. And with death and taxes and elves doing so well I might want a third Rough/Tumble in there as well.

OH! And he had some really cool altered art lands that he was gracious enough to send me a photo of! Check’em out!


No offense to the other peeps I played matches with on Eternal Weekend, but Nick was the most fun. Our conversation was really light and interesting and we had a blast. 3-0 (hadn’t lost a game at this point).

Before the start of round four the standings sheet looked like this:

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Round Four—Eric’s Fish featuring True-Name Nemesis


Misplays galore and I’m down two of three games in a match against Eric. Merfolk. Taken out by Merfolk. His True-Name Nemesis technology should’ve been easily Golgari Charmed and Toxic Deluged but I played like a goon and lost. No tilt, though. We had good games (if wonky on my part) and had tons of fun. 3-1.

Round Five—Chad’s Dredge


I’m not sure that Chad and I shook hands after our match. I wasn’t very happy. Playing against Dredge is the fucking worst. Well, one of the worst, but it’s all the same kinda worst. Li told me that sometimes there’ll be pretty impossible matchups and that I shouldn’t take it to heart. Losing isn’t fun regardless of the matchup (unless your opponent is hilarious, super kind, etc.). Chad’s into football, gambling, and day trading.

This matchup is amongst the worst for Jund. There’s very little I can do other than board wipe, kill my own dudes to destroy Bridge from Below and hopefully Nihil Spellbomb his brains out games two and three. To be brutally honest I don’t know the matchup well enough and learned a lot in discussion with friends after my match. I couldn’t wait to leave the table after round four. 3-2.

Round Six—Bob’s BUG Delver


You ever have that moment when you cast Dark Confidant and you’re about to say “play Bob” and then you realize your opponent’s name is Bob and you think maybe he’s not gonna like that so you say “Dark Confidant” instead? Nah, me either. I said “play you” anytime I dropped a Dark Confidant and Bob laughed. Or maybe I made all of this up.

This is the second round that I was in with a chance and flubbed it. BUMMER. I don’t remember the specific plays but there were better plays for sure more than once. Bob was a laugh riot to play against and I definitely shook his hand when I got up from the table. 3-3.

Round Seven—James Million’s Goblins


James Million is in the running for greatest name of an Anglo of all time. Seriously. James Million. Damn.

Anyway, I learned that Goblin Lackey needs to die as soon as he hits the table and that reading the cards is still a valid response when someone plays a card you haven’t heard of before. Even after a big ol’ mistake of letting a Lackey live cost me dearly I was able to Jund him out of game one. Game two was worse as my P-Fires were all trained on his Lackeys and he drew a lot of lands. Another lovely fella to play Magic: The Legacy with. 4-3.

Round Eight—Josh’s RDW


RDW, super fun. Really, had a blast this match. 4-4.

Note: It was nice to sit near Dylan. He said some funny shit to his very non-responsive opponent.

Round Nine—Wei’s Death & Taxes


Jund tears D&T apart. I wish I could play against D&T every round forever if I’m on Jund. I don’t think Wei and I’ve played before but we definitely know each other and it was good to finally sit across from him at a tournament. I think he missed a few Rashidan Port taps that would’ve screwed me up a bit. Does a D&T player always choose to port one of his/her opponent’s lands every turn during their upkeep? I think any time you can you sure do. What do you think, internet?

All in all his Mother of Runes‘ didn’t stay online long if at all, and his Crusaders were mostly on break. A fantastically friendly way to end an excellent and incredibly well run tournament.

5-4 was about what I expected to do and I’d have been pretty unhappy with a less good record. I expect to do better at GP DC and have taken some steps to do so.

I ate a lot of shit for buying Underground Sea and Tropical Island while at the convention center. I have pretty high hopes.

Thanks for reading!

MTGO: The_Obliterator

Artist, cheerleader. Matt started playing at the end of The Dark, hit his stride during Mirage block, and quit Magic after finding booze, drugs, and sex during freshman year of art school. In 2011 or 2012 Twenty Sided Store opened eight blocks from his apartment in Williamburg, Brooklyn. He kept my distance for a few months due to fear of the game’s power over him and eventually caved. His main MTG interests are Unhinged lands, Modern, Legacy, and anything non-permission based (counterspells are bullshit). Power and Toughness is Matt’s weekly summation/journal article and he writes an Arting Around article now and then pertaining to similar things but, you know, about art and MTG.

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