On a dark and stormy night sometime last week, after my first group therapy session in a while, the ScryDucks battled Steve. Week one of the second season of Team Draft League was upon us.


Matt, Sam, and Sergei. Together they form Steve.

I’d only looked at Journey cards maybe once during our Journey spoiler article a few weeks ago. My plan was to read cards, confuse and distract other drafters not immune to my powers, via through witty and/or insane banter, and end up in UG. GR is what I got and whilst my deck wasn’t bonkers it was far from bad. Here’s how the matches went down.

Round One vs. Matt

Game one Matt is mana screwed and I win.
Game two Matt is mana screwed and I win.

Round Two vs. Sam

I had a lot of fun this round because Sam is a quirkily hilarious dude.
Game one I’m pretty slow out of the gate and Sam gets Abhorrent Overlord and six jabronies on the table. I lose.
Game two I don’t remember what happened but I think Sam was mana screwed and my deck ruled. I won.


Game one I Wayfinder’d four lands. My next five draws? Lands. I had shuffled a ton that game prior to presenting so don’t give me any “you need to shuffle better” bullshit.

Game three was the best game of the evening. Sam needed to not draw an enchantment to give his Marshmist Titan fear and I’d win on the next turn. He drew the enchantment and I lost.

Round Three vs. Sergei

Game one Sergei would draw for the turn, sigh, and pass the turn. He’d then flash a creature in when I moved to attacks. At some point I commented on the sigh-mindgame aspect of his play and he said something like “oh really? I didn’t realize.” I kinda laughed it off. Anyway, I was color screwed after mull to six and didn’t come out of it until way too late. I lost.
Game two Sergei had some kinda mana problems and though I was color screwed I only drew on color spells and rode them to victory.
Game three was long. It came down to a top deck war. Sergei and I drew tons of lands. Eventually he drew a Griptide a couple turns before I swung all in (mostly out of boredom), debated for an hour about using it, finally did, and I flipped the table and kicked everyone out of my studio, kinda.

Of eight games five were decided by mana screw or flood. One turned into a super boring top deck war. I had one ok game and one awesome game (in which I lost) with Sam. No offense to my teammates or Steve, but it kind felt like we didn’t really do anything.

For the last two weeks I’ve been in Europe and, aside from writing the Hipsters of the Coast mailing list to say I wasn’t going to be able to write articles for two weeks despite my best intentions to do so, I didn’t think about Magic cards much. It seemed silly to not go to museums, galleries, hang with smart and funny art dealers and gallery directors and artists so I could let you know what I thought about new cards I hadn’t looked at yet. I barely looked for Magic stores while in Brussels, Paris, and Amsterdam. A certain amount of personal guilt is associated with this lack of enthusiasm for something I often love a great deal.

I just had this email conversation with a good friend from another division of the art world (he’s the director of a gallery-like entity):

Did you get any cool MTG cards in French during your time abroad?
Your time is locked – 1pm on Saturday.  That good for you?  

Will I see you later at The Hole?

I didn’t buy a single MTG card. I’ve been kinda not into it with all the work I’ve been doing (and traveling and all that). I played last night and barely cared/wished I was making work or reading. It’s a crazy shift in my life. I’ve been excited about MTG cards for two solid years and now playing feels like an obligation.
1PM Saturday, perfect.

I’ll certainly be at the Hole celebrating my main man’s awesome new work!

Love ya,
Really?  That’s more than a little shocking.  I loved seeing how excited you were for the German cards.  That sort of enthusiasm was just really inspiring. 
really. i don’t have any desire to play. it’s too time consuming and i have so many ideas and so many good things going forwards i just want to make art, write about art, see art, and read about art.
The game itself was besides the point.  The enthusiasm for something that I didn’t understand was what I admired.  
I was talking to Hunter “ProTour” Slaton today about how whiney and disinterested I feel in regards to Magic. He said the best articles I write are the ones were the real Matt Jones comes through. So get ready to read a lot about art.
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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