I can’t stop playing Khans of Tarkir Limited. It’s just the goddamn best. I have fun when I lose for shit’s sake.

Saturday I drafted three times IRL (4-4-1 record).


One of the decks I drafted (the worst one).

Later that evening I drafted twice on MTGO with Kadar and sometimes Magic player Mark Thomas Gibson.


Mark and Kadar playing MTGO with me in my studio.

We did poorly. MTGO screwed with us. It deprived us mana many turns. We experienced lag endlessly which lead to some shitty F6-based turn skips.

Keep your hands off of F6, kids!

But, shit, I don’t really have any idea what to write about. Khans of Tarkir is a goddamn joy to play. Some decks are good. Drafting is sometimes hard. Pros probably have advice about this. I try to stay mono-color for as long as possible and then move into bomby things or things I have the non-basic lands for. I try to do all of these things. I succeed probably 10% of the time and usually go hard into the colors of whatever the most fun cards I draft are.

Talking about drafting makes me want to draft NOW. But first, an imaginary conversation between me and an Ankle Shanker, over Facebook chat. I’ll pepper it with images from Destiny and the weekend’s drafting and Pro Tour viewing.

He’s not so bad and actually quite the intellectual.

Ankle Shanker: Did you make coffee or did you drink poison?

Matt Jones: I drank poison.

Ankle Shanker: FUCK!

Matt Jones: I have zero of those ingredients, Shankler. ZERO

Ankle Shanker: Get Zevia soda. It’s like cheat codes.

Matt Jones: Where the hell do I even BUY THEM?!?

Ankle Shanker: Tastes like soda, doesn’t murder you.

Matt Jones: SHANKS! I LIVE IN THE BUSHWICK!!!! Anyway, what the hell can I write my article on this week? I just don’t care to write one. I don’t know anything anyone hasn’t already written about in regards to Khans of Tarkir Limited. I’ve only played one match of Standard in the new environment. Drafting is the most fun ever, but seriously, what’s there to write about?

Ankle Shanker: LOL

Matt Jones: I want the whole article to say “I love playing Khans of Tarkir.” The end.


Texture in painting.

Ankle Shanker: I am writing about TEXTURE IN PAINTING.

Matt Jones: Are you?!?!? Hit me.

Ankle Shanker: Look what I just wrote:

Texture in Painting

What Rembrandt did better than any other was make the materiality of the paint representational. He allowed us to see the substantiality in things we would normally know only by touch.

Matt Jones: oh daaaaaaamn!

Ankle Shanker: I don’t know what I’m doing.

Matt Jones: Ha-ha. It’s cool, no one does. Send me the whole thing when you’re done.

Ankle Shanker: I can’t. It’s too embarassing, to send to an artist.

Matt Jones: All i’m doing is bitching about Ari Lax’s in-game manner. And, it’s not embarrassing, Ankle Shankler. I’m an artist, not an elitist prick. You’re safe with me.

Ankle Shanker: Oh, I didn’t know there was difference between artist and elitist prick.

Matt Jones: I think everything is pretty hilarious. Berger kept making jokes about how he wasn’t a rich artist like me so he had to buy packs off of me this weekend and how he didn’t have a PS4. He was cracking me up.


Berger the Charming.

Ankle Shanker: Ha-ha.

Matt Jones: That PS4 is two X-Mas gifts in a row for me. You know what I get this year?!? NOTHING!

Ankle Shanker: I get socks. I used to hate it. Now I love getting socks.

Matt Jones: I have always loved getting socks; though, I don’t think I have a grip on what kind of socks aren’t shitty. They’re all kind of the same level of mediocre.

Ankle Shanker: When I was a kid all I wanted was Nintendo games. Now I’d rather get socks.

Matt Jones: I’d still rather have Nintendo games.


A non-Nintendo game.

Ankle Shankler: I have an idea for your article. I wrote 500 words to my mom, Mrs. Shanker, about why I hate this guy and his article that she sent me (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/opinion/sunday/brunch-is-for-jerks.html).

Matt Jones: Oh, cool. This is probably better than an article I’d write that said, “I love Khans of Tarkir so much I have fun even when I lose!”

Ankle Shanker: Maybe. Anyway, here it is:

Brunch Is for Jerks
By Ankle Shanker

Wow, this article was not written by a happy man.

My main problem is the way he initially presents his argument: After recounting his previous brunch excesses, he shares, “But now that I have a young daughter, brunch is completely impractical.” So it was totally fine to do some ridiculous brunching back in his younger years, but now that he is old and has other responsibilities, the people doing exactly what he likely did now ruin his life. GET OFF MY LAWN etc.

I’m feeling revved up and don’t want to work on homework stuff right now so I will continue.

“Once the domain of Easter Sunday, it has become a twice-weekly symbol of our culture’s increasing desire to reject adulthood. It’s about throwing out not only the established schedule but also the social conventions of our parents’ generation. It’s about reveling in the naughtiness of waking up late, having cocktails at breakfast and eggs all day.”

Why shouldn’t young professionals eat breakfast food, have a few drinks, and enjoy a relaxing day off with friends? Established schedule? For whom? Most people don’t work on the weekend, and the only people with somewhat set schedules are those with children under 18. Again I reference his 15-hour jaunt ending in Chelsea. Further, if reveling in brunch activities is naughty, he is living on a different planet than the rest of us, especially in NYC.

I’m not stopping.

“Seasoned with the self-satisfaction of knowing the latest and hippest brunch boîte and the pleasure of ordering eggs Benedict made with jamón Ibérico and duck eggs, something so fundamentally conformist can seem like the height of urban sophistication. Worse than adolescent, it is an adolescent’s idea of how adults spend their time.”
Blah blah say some big words so I sound smart. I don’t think any of these brunchers care how “real adults” spend their time. They enjoy the brunch experience for the experience itself, not because it is a rejection of authority. Does he really think people feel superior and exceedingly sophisticated when they order things like iberico ham and duck eggs benedict? Brunchers order this type of food because it is different and they don’t want to eat the same thing every week (it can also be quite tasty!).

Shaftel quotes the Guardian saying that brunch is “a symptom of the soulless suburban conformity that is relentlessly colonizing our urban environments.”

I just don’t see what is so special about our urban environments that a group of friends can’t regularly get together to enjoy waffles and drinks between the hours of 10-3 on a weekend. Also we should note the second use of conformity, and soulless at that! Not shockingly elitist at all to look down on anyone who doesn’t live in the big city.

“Mr. Micallef suggested in our conversation that a growing brunch backlash was an early indication that brunch was falling out of fashion, comparing it to ‘an old pair of bell-bottoms.’”

Brunch is delicious and fun. It’s fun to get together with friends in an environment where people are enjoying a similar experience, eating tasty food and socializing over some drinks. Go back to your soulful neighborhood and poach your eggs in the peace and quiet you so desperately crave (am I the only one noting the dissonance?). Also, bell bottoms are neither delicious nor fun. QED.

Matt Jones: Wow.

Ankle Shanker: I know.

Matt Jones: Seriously though, brunch sucks.

Ankle Shanker: No it doesn’t. Pancakes are the best.

Matt Jones: You can eat those during breakfast.

Ankle Shanker: I’m down with the NYC scene brunch is annoying.

Matt Jones: Brunch is at the shittiest time of the day. I get up at 6AM.

Ankle Shanker: I dunno. I like 2PM waffles, after basketball.

Matt Jones: I have breakfast at like … 7AM. I have lunch at 12PM. I try to have dinner at 6PM. That is how I live my life. Anything outside of that … except, I guess on Sundays after basketball … I did eat 11 tons of food around 3PM after basketball today. I never left my apartment since getting home, except to buy that poison.

Ankle Shanker: Ha-ha. I haven’t left my apartment since Thursday, not kidding. I only left on Thursday because I had school. I received three separate amazon deliveries and at least seven Seamless deliveries. I am inadvertently providing you content for your Khans article.

Matt Jones: I got two Grubhubs. I want to go play Destiny but i keep just drafting Khans.


A different non-Nintendo game, Destiny. I love it.

Ankle Shanker: Online? Fuck. I don’t have time for this, I have to write a 40 page thesis rough draft in the next three weeks, “How to Shank Ankles.” Haven’t started, and now I just want to draft. I’m reading card list. I’m so far behind.

Matt Jones: Dude it’s so good. It’s the best. But seriously, finish your thesis.

There was a long pause as Ankle Shanker disappeared into his studies (or maybe a Khans draft).

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.

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