Our bus left from Chinatown at 10am and arrived in Philly for the GP at noon.


I love Chinatown. It has the best deals.


Alex loves Hugh.


Kadar loves dairy products.


Donuts are not food.


Only 30 people showed up for the tournament.

Just kidding. it ended up being like 1,700 or 1,900 or something.

Most of us jumped into a grinder. My round one opponent was super cranky, played slowly, and was angry with me game three when I said we should try to pick up the pace. There were five minutes left in the round and he was taking a couple minutes to decide to play a basic land and pass the turn or not play a basic land and pass the turn. He played the basic land and passed the turn. “I give you time on your turns,” he snarled. “Yeah, but I have decisions to make on my turn and I make them quickly,” I thought, but did not say out loud.

I defeated him in three games with my crazy Brimaz/Spear deck. Shitting out 2/2s for free is the way to be. Even the free 2/2s didn’t make the experience awesome. Cranky is rarely awesome.


It should be a crime to smash such a handsome man. Since it’s not a crime I smashed Dom. I love Dom. We had a great time playing Magic together.

Bonus trivia: According to the DCI, Dom’s name is “Unknown, Unknown.”


I played two or three games against Iain and didn’t win enough of them. Grinder one: dead in third round.


Fellow grinders Kadar and Nick agreed that drowning our sorrows in a Dinic’s sandwich was a great idea.We were correct. The guy at the Dinic’s counter made me turn my Yankees hat around before he’d serve me. Hilarious. I’d do damn near anything for a Dinic’s sandwich so it was fine. I’ve been thinking a lot about liking one team over another (or any nationalistic-like feelings). I live in NY and like going to Yankees and Mets games because the Yankees and Mets are teams in New York. If I lived in Oakland I’d go to Athletics games. It doesn’t matter to me. My identity isn’t tied to where to where I live.


This is how sweet my grinder deck looked.


Philadelphia is beautiful.


We followed a gaggle of judges to the market the next morning. The number of versions of black that are available to judges continues to astound me.


The Reading Terminal Market is an amazing place for  breakfast. Kadar and Fettoblaster decided on some kind of greasy complicated something. I went with oatmeal. It was one of many possible correct decisions. Fettoblaster hated our waitress almost as much as she hated him. He spilled his coffee all over the counter before we left. He said it wasn’t on purpose. I don’t know that I agree.


Zac has a new sponsor. He’s a tremendous proponent of energy drinks.

Our pools were given out and I’ve still got my deck somewhere but I’m in Rochester visiting my family to celebrate the return of spring or the imaginary rising of a dead human-god from a grave, or whatever, so it’s in a box back in Brooklyn. I had two Wingsteed Riders, two Akroan Flying Mans, and few heroic enablers beyond Fish-Bestow and Ghostblade Killers. They’re six-drops, so you can imagine how some of my less landy games went. I was excited, kind of, but knew my deck had mad weaknesses.


Round one of the GP I faced Garrett, a second-wave Twenty Sider (that is, he’s part of the new batch of gamers going to Twenty Sided, so I don’t know him well but maybe have seen him around; LGS’s, like all social things involving humans, can be a little Vendillion).

Game one I had mana issues and thought, “Oh great, I get to lose my first round and will probably shortly drop and not get to play this kind of sweet deck.” Game two I had to Griptide my own Ghostblade Killer at the end of Garrett’s turn so I could redeploy it onto my 1/1 unblockable blue guy. “Nice play,” he said as I swung for lethal.

Game three Garrett was at three life and he blocked a 1/x creature and didn’t block my 3/x creature. I feel like he thought he had our life totals confused so I asked, “You’re dead?” He looked down and said, “Shoot, I had our life totals switched.” I let him take back his block despite the ridicule I’d later get from Colette and others (I didn’t even tell Longo for fear of some kind of death stare which will probably now come in the form of an instant message). I had him dead on board the following turn ten different ways, and it was his first GP and I didn’t want his experience to be shitty or his memory to be, “Oh yeah, GP Philly, where that asshole from Hipsters wouldn’t let me take back my obvious blocking error due to discrepancies in life total.” After the match he said he’d have been fine with me not letting him take back his block and I’m sure he would have been. Garrett’s a nice guy and we had a fun match. I told him to be careful, that there were a lot of hyper-competitive people playing Magic in the room that day and none of them would’ve let him reassign blockers. He said he was aware. (1-0)

Next week I’m gonna talk a lot about competition and how our approach to it is probably not as helpful as it could be.


Dylan was mana screwed both of our games in round two. (2-0)

Round three I played a guy that declined to have his photo taken. I said that it was fine, I get that people don’t like having their picture taken and he said it wasn’t that. I asked what it was then and he told me that he played another Hipster who referred to him as King Asshole in an article. I said “Oh! You mean Hunter!” He said yes, and told me of Hunter’s slow play at a PTQ for prize money that drove him insane. I said, “Yeah, Hunter’s a methodical player, it can be maddening.” King Asshole curved his mouth into a laughing snarl and we had a nice match despite all three of our games being decided by mana screw in some form (a mulligan to five in game three by King Asshole sealed his fate). (3-0)


Zach smashed me in round four; I was mana-screwed twice. (3-1)


Round five Brian put the hurt on me, too. One of our two games involved me being color-screwed (after a mulligan). His deck was very good. (3-2)


Kevin was the second most fun match of the day for me. We had a good chat throughout the match. Mana screw was involved and I won 2-0. (4-2)


Kadar was at the table across from mine for round seven. We both lost.


Danny, my round seven opponent, had an absolutely insane deck (he said he only lost due to mana screw and didn’t imagine losing for any other reason).

The guy to Danny’s left, upon hearing me give my bit about writing for HOTC and asking to take a photo, spoke up and said an article he read about getting sober and playing Magic really helped him as he, too, was an addict and used Magic as a means to get through it. “That’s great!” I told him. “I didn’t much like the ending were he went back to drinking,” he told me. I said, “That’s OK, doesn’t mean you have to.” He smiled.

Danny then tore me apart and my tournament was over.

Charles, Kadar, Forker, Fettoblaster, and me all went into the murder pit (where we saw human feces), onto the subway, and ended up at a Phillies game.


No fraternal transit police were seen during our journey through SEPTA and the murder pit.


I love baseball. I love going to baseball games. I don’t care which teams are playing. The stadiums are all amazing. The food is insanely bad for you and delicious. I even bought a Phillies hat to blend in. I’m grateful that these four dudes spent my birthday eve with me at the game. Pretty sure we all had a blast.


Kadar prefers old man hats. He looks good in them so it makes sense.


Abe was asking for updates and I responded to him with a photo from the stadium so he knew we were out. He responded with “fuck baseball.”


Kids these days.

The Phillies won on a walk-off home run in the 10th inning. I’d previously never seen this before. It was awesome.

I woke up early on my 34th birthday and got on the 8:30am Yo! Bus back to NYC. I didn’t want to spend the day indoors losing drafts or stuck registering another sealed pool. Whenever my attitude towards Magic is “I don’t want to be stuck …” it’s best to give it a rest for the day.


Philadelphia is an ancient city with some really cool architecture.


Old buildings everywhere. This one would make a great art museum.


It’s always good to return home to the greatest city in the world. Upon reaching my studio I made the dopest pictures in ages.

Love to all,
Matt Jones
MTGO: The_Obliterator
Twitter: Die_Obliterator
Twitch: twitch.tv/mattjonesrules

Matt Jones is a sometimes PWP grinder, all the time spell slinger, and one passionate dude. He started playing at the end of Revised and quit at Exodus. Upon sobriety and running out of self-help groups to join, Jones picked Magic back up at New Phyrexia, found his favorite non-Necropotence card, Phyrexian Obliterator, and earned himself a nickname. He loves Constructed and tolerates Limited.

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