Do yourself a favor and do not sit next to Richard Tan during any draft in any format. Ever. If he’s in your pod do your best to not sit on his left. This is all exponentially worse when you’re in a six person team draft.

No offense to Richard, of course. He’s a very good Magic player. He just drafts like he has several different drafters in his head telling him which cards to take. And that, my friends, totally fucks me up. Zero clear signals. I was, of course, randomly seated to Richard’s left. He passes me a Lightform pack one pick two.


"The best white uncommon is Lightform."--Owen Turtenwald

“The best white uncommon is Lightform.”–Owen Turtenwald

Dan OMS told me to read Owen and LSV’s articles on CFB prior to our match so I did. Both writers said Lightform is awesome.

I couldn’t get Lightform’s suggested greatness out of my mind. You know when you study for an exam and you remember like one topic really really well and kinda fuck off on the rest of it? Yeah, well, Lightform was that for me. All I knew was Lightform and I took it.

I took it over something called Beastmaster for shit’s sake. Look at this card! It says OBLITERATOR all over it.



This card put Tony, sitting to my left, into green (and eventually a sweet Abzan deck with High Sentinals of Wherever and no fewer than 16 savage punches).

So, Tony’s in green, Richard’s in who knows what (turns out a four color deck with Mastery of the Unseen and a 1-2 record). Zach’s silent and ends up building a pretty smashy Mardu deck.

Dan drafted a sick U deck with some other colors of much less consequence. He pretty easily goes 3-0. Sean’s deck looks sweet, too, but maybe a little under powered.

Here’s what I ended up with:

A giant pile of shit.

A giant pile of shit.

“We just need you to win one match,” Dan says.

“I can do that,” I reply.


My actual deck. Favorite cards: Feat of Resistance and Reach of Shadows. Runner up: Siege Rhino.

Sean 0-3’d behind weak draws and bad luck (and I think underpowered creatures). I 1-2’d, defeating only Richard “I’m going to ruin your draft with my multiple personalities” Tan.

A highlight is when I cast Lightform and Dan called the manifested Siege Rhino. A lowlight is when we both realized that the Rhino’s ETB trigger wouldn’t happen cuz she was already on the battlefield. Sigh.

Tony drew all his best threats and removal and I drew few threats and not enough removal in our final match deciding game. Oh well. Monkey Honeymoon (my team’s lovely name) lost week one. I learned a a lot from Dan and Sean and loved the way we played together. Very supportive, very helpful. I’m doing some MTGO practicing (it’s prerelease Swiss queues but whatevs, practice is practice). I just 3-0’d my first solo draft. I’m saying there’s a chance (that we won’t lose all season because of me).

Thanks to Tony for hosting and supplying us with delicious and endless Motorino pizza. Good man!

I’m glad I said “no offense” to Richard at the beginning of this article so he can’t be offended by how much I never want to sit on his left again. Seriously. What a monster!

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 New Phyrexia 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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