Release weekend I played in one sealed event at Twenty Sided Store. My deck was totally insane with every Jeskai rare including Flying Crane Technique and Narset, Whatever Her Name is. I lived the dream once, swinging with Narset and playing Flying Crane Technique for free. Or maybe I didn’t, I can’t remember.

I happily split in the finals.

Twenty Sided had a competitive REL Sealed tournament on Saturday. It’s part of their new Store Championship series (I’m not sure that’s what it’s called) which, I think, seems to foster a friendly environment for competitive play within the Twenty Sided community. It’s a great idea. I love Khans of Tarkir Limited and signed up for the event online as soon as it was posted.

Then I got this pool and royally fucked up my build.

The Pool


I noted that I had a Flying Crane Technique and decided I HAD TO PLAY WITH IT. That was incorrect. I had a Mardu deck splash blue until the last minutes before deck registration was over. Then I took out the black (who needs removal?). This is what I put together and I’m kind of embarrassed to show it.

The Deck

the deck i built

The non-basic lands are mostly to turn Mardu Hateblade on. He was a two-of until I heard Hugh and Papa Longo talking about running 18 lands. Then he became a mountain (I properly adjusted my deck registration sheet before handing it in).

Round one I played a Mardu bro who was stuck on red/white lands for most of game one. He died to Trumpet Blasted Hordeling Outburst tokens. Game two I never drew one of my colors and lost. Game three I had two hands that contained all cards with white and no white mana. My five was similar. I got an early Valley Dasher lead but it couldn’t be sustained and I lost.

I filled out the results slip, put an “X” on the drop line, and walked to my studio to make some art.

What went wrong? My deck building was panicked and horrible. I was obsessed with Flying Crane Technique.

I kept thinking about the pool. “What would this look like in MTGO?” So I typed the whole thing out and loaded it into the horrible V4 client. I played around with it a bunch and came up with four more decks, each of which is better than the deck I registered. You can download my pool as a .txt file and play around with it in MTGO yourself! Please let me know what you come up with.


mardu deck

This deck is fast-ish, has the good black removal I opted out of, and has shitty fixing. I dunno. This thing is maybe slightly better than the deck I played. Honestly, my head is spinning with possitilities and I don’t have a clue what would be the right deck to play. Look at the rest of the decks I built!


sultai deck

This deck probably stalls until you play Villainous Wealth and just win, right? Seems more interesting than all or nothing Flying Crane Technique. AND this deck gets all the good black removal. All or nothing Villainous Wealth + removal! WOO!


temur deck

This deck aslo seems fine. It has a bunch of early threats, Trumpet Blast, some good morph bros. Maybe trumpet blast is shit and I was just getting my hopes up. I don’t think this is much better than what I played.


abzan deck

Did I even see the Ivorytusk Fortress*?! Black has tons of removal (Debilitating Injury, Murderous Cut, and Throttle). The creature quality is fine. This deck is definitely better than the deck I built and one of the two I’d rather have played!

Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing what you think of these builds (or another build I missed!)

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 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.

*Hunter must love the name Ivorytusk Fortress! If he hated Opulent Palace for its redundancy then the redundancy of “ivory” preceding “tusk” should drive him bonkers!

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