The final PTQ I’ll probably ever attend* was an 0-2 bust.  I played the Junk list Kadar was running. Round one my opponent, playing Infinity, pile shuffled my deck when I presented it to him. I asked if he minded if I riffle shuffled it ‘cuz the pile shuffle felt weird. He said he minded and I called a judge. The judge said my opponent’s pile shuffle of my deck was fine. Kinda rude/dickish though, right? RIGHT?!? After he smashed me, pile-shuffle-opponent left the gifted HOTC draw-your-own-token business card at the table.


This heartless action hurt my feelings. But, as they say in the rooms, “feelings aren’t facts,” so I trudged on to round two.


Game one my Pod opponent mulled and I Thoughtseized and then he died. Game two he smashed. Game three I punted, and conceded prior to the match’s conclusion ‘cuz while “feelings aren’t facts” they have a fuckton of power over my attitude. I mulliganned my day and drew a Dinic’s sandwich and the afternoon Phillies game.


Knowing when to mulligan is important. The Phillies game recharged me. I splurged on a fourth row seat, got the hint of a sunburn, and watched the Phils beat the piss out of the Cards. I wish Albert Pujols still played for the Cards. Poo holes. Cracks me up.

I made it to MoMAPS1 a couple of days before the Maria Lassnig show closed. Her work is super. I noticed a lot of similarities between her work and the work of other artists. 20120822_Kippenberger_Sick_Egg_Fotor_Collage

Lassnig’s and (my art hero) Martin Kippenberger’s signatures look similar. dekooning_tryptich_Fotor_Collage

Lassnig paintings from the 60s look like late DeKooning paintings from the 8os/90s.

Martin Kippenberger_Fotor_Collage

Even my friend Brian Dulaney’s work, top right, seems to have a familiarity with Lassnig’s zombies. Another Kippenberger (bottom right) seals his fate as an inspired-by-Lassnig artist. And I wonder …


How an artist goes from painting the above picture …


To this picture, and then …


This painting, over the course of a career? It’s inspiring to see this much change in an artist’s work over many years. Seems she was no wimp and worked from a very powerful place from within.

I turned one of her more known paintings into a Liliana Vess alter.


I couldn’t resist making a Polymorph, too.


The show runs through September 7th so you’ve got a whole week to check it out!

Most of my Magic time is spent thinking about Legacy and how much I enjoy Shardless BUG. Cascade is my favorite mechanic. It’s goofy and random and powerful. Even when it’s not random (thanks Brainstorm), it’s still heaps of value based fun.

Shardless BUG

Main (60)
Abrupt Decay
Ancestral Vision
Baleful Strix
Creeping Tar Pit
Deathrite Shaman
Force of Will
Hymn to Tourach
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Liliana of the Veil
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Shardless Agent
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Wasteland Sideboard
Sideboard (15)
Force of Will
Golgari Charm
Hymn to Tourach
Nihil Spellbomb
Toxic Deluge

“What do you think of Shardless BUG?” I asked my Legacy specialist buddy Justin. “It’s a tier two deck,” he responded. Tier 2!!! He then explained to me how hard it is to not be super greedy with Shardless. You always want to cascade into Ancestral Visions, but that’s often not the right thing to do,” he explained. “A regular pilot makes Shardless a tier two deck. A great pilot makes it a very good tier one deck.”

I was telling Matt (of Guido’s Pasta Party fame) that I can’t play Tombstalker BUG because it doesn’t seem to be as much fun. Where’s the hilarity and chance? Where’s the goofy? Guido agreed that Shardless is more fun, for sure.

Former and original Hipsters writer Li and our friend Evan have been helping me test against RUG Delver and Infect (their two decks).


They’ve been exceptionally good at walking me through lines of play and talking over sideboarding with me. We’re traveling to SCG in Somerset Sunday morning. Good luck, us!

I keep thinking of this line in Maria Lassnig’s Wikipedia page, “Critics have pointed to the influence that Lassnig’s work had on contemporary artists like Nicole EisenmanDana SchutzThomas Schütte, and Amy Sillman.” It’s so true. I wonder if these artists would be making work today without her.

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.

*I can’t imagine going to any Limited PTQs. Sealed is my least favorite way to experience MTG. If Khans is sick then I’ll maybe go to a couple Limited PTQs (Standard ones, too, if the format isn’t shitty). It feels very unlikely. I doubt I’ll put much effort into PTQQs once that stuff starts happening.

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