Guys, I lied to you. I didn’t play Infinity (AKA Affinity, AKA Robots) with Ensoul Artifact (AKA Big Scissors). I had the best intentions of following through on this. Infinity seemed like a super shitty choice for the PTQ with infinite copies of Stony Silence, 100,000 romoval spells, and other bullshit to generally hate our metal friends out of a positive and winning experience at the Palisades Mall. Instead, I played TarmoTwin. Li loves this deck and I love Huntmaster of the Fells. This means I get expert advice from an expert and I get to play my favorite non-cascade card in the game of Magic. YES!

Kadar and I tested a bunch (with Forker and The Werb) the Friday before the tournament.


The Werb had “better shit to do” at some point in the evening and ditched us.


So we went to an SVA (School of Visual Arts) alumni exhibition in nearby Bushwick. Our friend Jamie Schnieder had work in the show. Her practice involves witchcraft (which is really cool). The work in the photo isn’t by Jamie.


The Werb’s “better shit” was done and we reconviened at Kadar’s apartment for testing. I think Forker quit Modern five or six times that day. “I’m more of a mid-range player, I think,” he said. It’s like hearing myself speak from a couple years ago. I kept telling him that he needs to play his deck more so he’s better at it but,  yeah, Infinity ain’t so hot right now.

Everyone’s ontime to the car in the morning, even the Tanimal! We made one shitty wrong turn that killed five minutes but made it to the mall unscathed with plenty of time to spare. Here’re my eight opponents at the PTQ and what I remember of their decks (left to right, top to bottom).


Round one vs. Jeremy’s Blue Tron (L). Round two vs Magou’s Junk (L). Round Three vs. Adam’s Amulet of Vigor Combo (Draw, he gave me the win ‘cuz he dropped). Round four vs. a bag of runts (my opponent was a no-show, so I went candy hunting, W). Round five vs. William’s Jund, I think (W). Round six vs. Zack’s Scapeshift (1-1 when he dropped to play in another tournament and gave me the W, video below). Round seven vs. Erik and his bored girlfriend on a deck I don’t remember but stood no chance against (L). Round eight vs. Christopher’s wack-ass non-Slippery Bogle hexproof deck (W, more on this match below).

5-3, only winning two actual matches on my own (the rest are no-shows or concessions).

Round one Jeremy really wanted to win the PTQ and said as much. After two meaningless counter magic filled games I told him I hoped he crushed everyone all day long and meant it. I don’t think he Top 8’d but the kid’s got the mohawk and determination to be a champion.


Adam (from round three) drew me this awesome wolf token when I threw down a blank HOTC business card for my Huntmaster generated wolf. “You don’t have a wolf token?! Gimme that!” and he slammed this wolf down. Awesome.

I’d never played against Amulet of Vigor Combo prior to this event. Wow. Should be an auto-win I think, if my head’s out of my ass (it wasn’t).

Here’s a video of Zack beating me in round six with Scapeshift game two of round six.

I recorded it on a whim because I thought it’d be funny to have a video of Scapeshift going off and ending with a concession. It was relevant between rounds six and seven when Zack and I got called to the judges table. Zack had already split for a Modern tournament he thought he could win in his home state of Connecticut. I showed up and the judge showed me our clearly sketchy results slip. The wins and losses were crossed out and rewritten to show that I won on two games. My signature was in a different color pen than Zack’s (he filled out the slip). Handing it in I didn’t think anything of it ‘cuz Zack had conceded and dropped.

I told the judge what happened and he said he couldn’t take my word for it. “Oh! Wait! I recorded his concession!” I gleefully stated. “Really?” the judge asked. “Yes.” I took my iPhone out of my pocket and presented the judge with the video of Zack going off and conceding to me with all the Valakut triggers on the stack. The judge laughed and asked how we knew it was from the match in question. “Seriously?!” I asked. “No, you’re good,” I love a judge with a sense of humor.


My match with Christopher had more laughs in it than any before. I got to combo kill him both games and it was still funny for both of us. Just laughed and laughed and laughed. We made countless jokes. “I don’t care if you win, man, but you’re funny as shit,” one guy said to me, he was playing next to us. Minutes before the match I drank a Five Hour Energy which accounts for the lunacy.


I asked Christopher to draw a token, too. This is what he came up with. I think he spelled “flying” wrong his first try. It’s a bear angel with a sword, top hat, and eye patch. Christopher is out of his mind. I love this token. He wouldn’t let me keep it.


Look at this beautiful sight! Huntmaster!


And THIS beautiful sight! Dave “Bones” McCoy was the number one seed in the Top 8 (he lost to Tron in the quarter finals).


These prizes were pretty weak.


My breakers were the worst of the players with 15 points and I got 41st place.


Li cashed, tho. Baller.


We went to TGIFridays and I ate the smallest lobster tail ever. It was delicious and pathetic.


I’m not sure what’s happening in this photo.


Kadar got smooshed by three people joining him to sit in a made-for-three-people subway seat. They were incredibly jovial people and the whole thing was hilarious.

Here’s the decklist. I cut an Electrolyze for another Flame Slash. Killing Restos, Linvala, and, you know, anything, before turn three seems like a pretty sweet idea. Electrolyze doesn’t allow that.

I have a 2:4 ratio for Pestermites and Deceiver Exarchs ‘cuz Exarchs don’t die to Lightning Bolt and I want that card to be a blank (‘cuz that’s what Li told me I wanted).

Huntmaster Twin

Creatures (16)
Huntmaster of the Fells
Deceiver Exarch
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (22)
Cryptic Command
Flame Slash
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Serum Visions
Splinter Twin
Lands (22)
Breeding Pool
Hinterland Harbor
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Sulfur Falls
Tectonic Edge

Sideboard (15)
Ancient Grudge
Anger of the Gods
Engineered Explosives
Keranos, God of Storms
Relic of Progenitus
Thrun, the Last Troll
Thundermaw Hellkite
Unravel the AEther

Next week I’ll recap the Bridgewater PTQ (most likely) and any changes to this deck that I made (we’re thinking of Obstinate Baloths in the sideboard for Burn and Jund variants).

Thanks for reading!


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

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.

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