Grand Prix tournaments are my favorite way to experience Magic: The Gathering (the collectable card game of strategy and imagination). My heart sank when I read that GP DC would be Legacy, a format I’ve little experience with and what experience I do have has been pretty shitty. Keith Blackwell suggested I try Robert Lopuski’s SCG Baltimore second place finishing Punishing Jund list.

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
Life from the Loam

Sideboard (15)
Nihil Spellbomb
Ancient Grudge
Golgari Charm
Surgical Extraction
Umezawa’s Jitte

I love Bloodbraid Elf. Let’s have a look at her wiry majesty.

Bad ass.

She doesn’t give a flying flip. She’s here to SMASH. I’ll look past her shitty tribal tattoo that she probably got in the 90s, that’s how much I like her.

Here’s a pretty sick alter:

I didn’t like this next one at first but Ghost Dog’s so good that I changed my mind.


So, yeah. Bloodbraid Elf is sweet. It’s chaotic. It adds some janky awesomeness where there was only regular flavored awesomeness. I’ve written about it before. When I was playing Maverick I kept thinking “man, this is boring,” because it was. BBE + Hymn to Tourach = chaotic fun! Flipping the randomly discarded cards to reveal potentially awesome or horrifyingly mundane (usually lands) discard is the best. BBE into HtT = amazeballs if one’s opponent has any cards. If they don’t have cards then BBE into HtT ≠  amazeballs, just regular balls. Maybe it’s just the cascade trigger itself that’s exciting, though. Maybe there are other decks that run some cool cards and also have cascade triggers going off.

[Author’s note: Funny, I write sort of sporatically throughout the week when a combination of day job, art work making, playing Magic, and playing basketball allows. I’m back at my desk (aka bed) in my room Sunday evening (November 3) after a long weekend of Magic. It felt like a mostly pleasurable eternity. I remember what I was trying to do with the article, make jokes, show art, talk about why I like Bloodbraid Elf and its awesomeness, but there’s a distance between what I wrote and what I want to write (a tournament report from the Legacy portion of Eternal Weekend. I’m saving that for next weekend because my article is due  to go live in a couple hours and I’ve already got 400 words above these and I want to start sleeving up a deck for Monday Legacy at Twenty Sided that is probably impossible for most people to believe I’ll be playing. It’d be a good thing to write about, too. We’ll see. So, what I think I’m saying is that time is a very interesting thing as are intention and impermanence. End note.]

ANYWAY. I have been a combined 10-6 with it at Twenty Sided Store Legacy events over four weeks. I expect to go 5-3 this Eternal Weekend in Philly, based on the advanced calculations of this artist.

This past Monday at Twenty Sided Store’s increasingly populated Legacy tournament I went 1-3 and here’s who I played (and some comments about the matches):


I have never played Mario “Squirtle” Martinez in a sanctioned constructed Magic: The Gathering match when he wasn’t on JUND. He has crossed back over to Punishing Jund (that is: my kinda Jund). I mulled to something like one card game one by virtue of mulling to four (my seven had a Wasteland and only a Wasteland for mana, my six had the same, my five had none, and my four had two), being Thoughtseized, and then Hymn to Tourached. Game two was a seriously intense and good game of Magic that Squirtle won because I couldn’t kill his freaking Deathrite Shaman. Would’ve been nice to have a real game one but what the flip can you do sometimes, ya know? Nothing, that’s what.




Charlie was playing some kind of Delver deck. The mongoose kind. RUG Delver. We had a rough game one, a rougher (for Charlie) game two, and a pretty close game three. This was a real match of Magic, and though I lost I didn’t feel like I wasted my time, I learned a lot, and had a blast. RUG is the hardest Delver for me to murder because of the burn and the Goose.



This match was the most frustrating. I love Justin, he’s good people. He’s part of the group I’ve been playtesting with that includes Li “Grumpy Old Man” Xu, Mike “Lady Killer” Herbig, Mike “One Tone” Simpson, and Garrett “I haven’t thought of a clever/funny knickname yet” Koeppicus. I was excited to play Magic with him. Thing is, he super trolls Monday Night Legacy with his Lands deck (or some other equally annoying and unhelpful for practicing purposes match-up).

I can feel people mentally arguing with me, but come on, it’s no fun. He beat me game one in some manner (who cares?) and then maybe before we started or maybe at the end of game one or maybe just after we started game two I scooped up my cards and went to get dinner. Justin seemed upset that I quit our match so quickly. What’s the point of playing a match up like this? It’s like I showed up to a basketball game super stoked to play basketball because I love playing basketball and come to find out we’re really playing football. I fucking hate football. Football and football culture combines numerous things I dislike into a single sport (and I like sports in general). This is a good metaphor, trust me.

As politely and emotionlessly as I could, I explained to Justin that it wasn’t him, it’s his deck, and that I don’t come to Monday Night Legacy to be trolled (unless it’s verbally by Brook Li and even that can wear on a fella). Moral of the story, if you sit across from me during any Magic event and you’ve got a bridge over your head be prepared for me being pissed, pretty emo, and leaving our match before it’s over. I’m not interested.

The salad I ordered, picked up, and ate was freaking delicious.



Garrett was 1-2 going into this round. I was 0-3. I beat him very easily in two straight games (he was on Shardless BUG, I think, and that’s a pretty good matchup for me). His lands and deck hated his guts. He mulled 100 times. I gave him the win though and we split packs. I didn’t open anything of note in mine. Garrett’s a great guy to play a match of Magic with, even when his deck isn’t shitting all over him and giving you free wins.

And that’s it. Worst showing at a Legacy event so far. The heart wasn’t in the cards a week ago. Maybe it’ll be there tonight when I play a new deck at Monday Night Legacy. See you there!

Tune in next week for my write up about Eternal Weekend’s Legacy event. See if my 5-3 prediction was correct. I’ll give you a hint: there ended up being nine rounds. Oops!

Thanks for reading,

MTGO: The_Obliterator













* This astrix in Power and Toughness will always mean that there’s some kind of hidden content, like albums in the 90s, in the article. This week’s is about how awesome the Eternal Weekend PTQ wasn’t (for me).

So many more Hipsters members and Twenty Sided Store players were in Philly for the PTQ than the Legacy event. There was a lot of hilarious joke making banter prior to seating assignments. Zac Clark and I battled Legacy Jund vs. Legacy Fish. We split one game a piece before the players meeting cut the testing session short.


Hugh was assigned table 69 for the players meeting.

The pool I opened sucked. The pool I was passed also sucked. My rares were that shitty blue creature that maybe copies spells or something (I only had three other playable blue cards), Soldier of the Pantheon, Temple of Abandon, and … wait lemme look, I probably saved most of them … Hundred-Handed One, Nighthowler, and some other awful rare. I got a foil Gray Merchant of Asphodel, too. My deck had multiple Favored Hoplites, oh who gives a sit? It was super mediocre. I tried to go WB but the B made my curve way too high and didn’t give me enough non-one drop dudes. I went with WR. Didn’t matter.



This guy was a total sweetheart but slaughtered me. He missed a few scry triggers that didn’t matter as his Wavecrash Triton kept all my dudes tapped down for infinite turns. It was suited up with Aqueous Form (the source of the missed scrying) and an Ordeal of Draw Cards. I couldn’t do anything. I’ve never dropped from a PTQ so quickly but I didn’t want to play this shitty deck anymore so I put a check under “drop” and threw my cards in the trash.

I bought some cards I need for this Monday night, had some artists draw some more ogres for me, and then went to Dinic’s and ate the greatest sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life.


When I got home the following text conversation took place:

Zach Barash: How’re things in Philly going?

Me: I’m on a bus back to the city.

Zac Clark: I dropped.

Me: Legacy was great. Limited remains hugely dependent on having an ok to fantastic pool. Mediocre pools can’t bring much success without some serious odds defying or cheating.




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