Hey guys and gals,

I’ve been getting along with people I have no business getting along with.

I had a great time at Grand Prix DC/Dulles despite hating the holy hell out of Theros Block Limited Magic: The Gathering.

I told Hunter that I think I’ve been having a better time playing Magic since starting to train with Elevate.


There are lots of game apps on my iPhone. Most of the games are for killing time. The idea of killing time is disturbing. Time is a precious resource that I don’t want to throw away. Figuring this out has lead me on an app search. I wanted something to replace all the time killing apps, something that used my time more efficiently for the betterment of all mankind (i.e. me). I deleted the time killing games and started training with Elevate anytime I’d get the urge to kill time.


My time with my friends is now even awesomer. My brain goes into compassionate autopilot, it assesses which roles I can play in a given situation. Am I the listener? An adviser? How can I help? Do I have a story to tell? Am I the entertainment? How can I be of service to the people around me? How can I use my time in this context to its fullest?

Sometimes people just need to be heard. Sometimes people talk in ways that totally drive me up a fucking wall. I often think it’s my place to correct them because I think they need correcting. They need to be clearer. They need to say what they mean and not wander into whichever generalized hyperbole strikes their fancy. My response and interpretation are, of course, all about me and what I want. That’s not compassionate. That’s not being a good dude. People have different needs and express themselves in a buncha different ways. It’s all cool as long as no one is getting hurt. Most of the time people aren’t getting hurt.

I’d feel like a reel shit if I didn’t share something with you that I’ve found incredibly helpful. Here you go. Elevate.


Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning, put on my T-Rex shirt an ex-girlfriend gave me, and took a selfie in the shitter at the Dulles Expo Center. It was game time.


A ton of people wanted to Magically kick each others’ asses.


Look at them all.

I’m not sure if my pool was good or bad. It’s hard for me to get a read on that shit. I had my favorite card in MTG: Ancient Greece Limited, Courser of Kruphix. Maybe white or blue were stronger than red. You’ll never know because I’m not going to show you my whole pool. I had to play green cuz there were more cards of quality than quality cards in other colors. Harness by Force tipped the scales towards green/red. That card wins games. As Andy Longo always says, “Good card is good.”*



Every game I won involved Harness by Force.


On Instagram I made some joke about my brother, Jeff, showing up the GP. He didn’t. He was at home in Ontario with his wife and kids. I also made some joke about him having two byes but it wasn’t very good.



John was a fun opponent. I punted game one. Games two and three were won with Harness by Force and probably unwinnable without it.



Michel’s deck was good. I managed to steal a game from him but never stood a chance. He had Stormbreath Dragon, Dawnbreaker Charioteers, and other good cards with flying. My only game against flying were some Fleetwood Sandals and they got Revoked every game. Our games, lopsided as they were, involved many jokes and excellent banter. I hope he day two’d.


Before round three Dave and Hunter battled. They were both coming off of two byes. Dave’s deck sucked. Hunter’s deck seemed ok. Later that day I found Dave signing up for side events as I was signing up for side events. (Spoiler alert!) We symul-dropped from the main event at X-3.



Alan, an actor and employee at a Shakespeare museum that houses the largest collection of authentic Shakespeare related memorabilia on Earth (more than any museum in England), beat the fuck out of me. He was a terrific opponent with a very good deck. Later in the day I found out he didn’t quite make day two.


“I’m sorry if I’m cranky or short with you, I just had a shitty round and I’ve got a headache.”—Thomas, my round three opponent.


When Thomas played a creature he’d say “Here’s a min-0-tar” or “I’ll play another idiot,” ‘cuz he didn’t like his deck and only blue creatures aren’t idiots (or so he told me).

He thwomped me, hard. His min-o-taurs, backed up by Dictate of Erebos and Font of Return, played nicely with my flood game one.

Thomas was no longer cranky.


The old 7/11. Seven spells, eleven lands. Great.

Thomas kept saying “Sorry, sorry,” as the flood waters rose.

He beat me more quickly game two.  I threw an X next to “drop” on the results slip and could hardly wait to not play with these cards again.

I removed my Courser (it’s worth $17!) and performed the familiar “Limited Fucking Sucks” ritual.

Hopefully I’ll never have to draft or sealed Theros block ever again. Once Journey was added to the mix I had no idea what to fucking do in draft. It is the most frustrating format I can remember. Maybe Elevate will help me remember more frustrating draft formats. It’s good to know what I love about Magic. I like practicing decks that contain cards I enjoy playing. If I have to play Reckless Reveler again I’ll fucking shoot myself in the face. It is the 2/1 embodiment of boring.

GP DC was the last Limited GP I’ll ever do. It is not worth my limited Magic time to hope I win the Magic lottery, hope my brain works well enough to build a good deck out of whatever average pool I receive, and then struggle through ten hours playing cards I’m not that interested in playing. Sealed Magic is, for me, a piece of shit and I don’t play with my shit.

At some point in the day Sean did an impression of Mark Rosewater talking about how stoked he is on Khans of Tarkir.

We all had a friendly laugh at MaRo’s enthusiasm. What a good weirdo!

The rest of the day I played in Constructed events and learned a lot. You’ll have to wait until next week for that ‘cuz my word count is already around 1000 and Bones will totally yell at me if I go beyond the limit established in the Hipsters of the Coast rules of conduct. I’ve got to do my daily Elevate session anyway.

Thanks for reading!

Much love,

Matt Jones (born 1980, Rochester, New York) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY.  Matt works between a variety of inter-related genres that explore mythology, archaeology, ancient history, theoretical physics, comedy, and the paranormal—all developed and inspired by research and personal experience. Together his bodies of work form a way for Matt to evaluate, negotiate, and play with the world around him. You can check out his art at www.mattjonesrules.com.

Matt’s played Magic since early 1995, took a break for a decade or so, and came back to the game the weekend after the Scars of Mirrodin release. With Hugh Kramer he formed New York’s Team Draft League and is one of the original writers for Hipsters of the Coast. Matt’s been sober for seven years.

*Andy never ever says “Good card is good.”

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