Power and Toughness is usually a journal-like weekly article about the Magical life of a powerful wizard.

Maybe Monday, maybe Tuesday, I could’ve played in a Standard: The Gathering tournament somewhere in the Tristate area. Time is an illusion so the specifics of the event don’t really bother me much. I think the store was called Crazy Carl’s Comix ‘n Cards but I can’t be sure. 

I got there just before the player meeting. A few bad puns and obvious rules announcements later round one pairings went up. 

I don’t know what this guy was on but he had to have some reason to be wearing that hat. Here he is sheepishly unsleeving his Young Pyromancers. You can’t get away with that, sir. This is a Standard tournament and those skinny bastards rotated out months ago. 


I forgot to tell you what I was playing. Here is my deck, selected because it was the deck on SCG that had the most four-ofs and therefore required the least amount of writing when I filled out the deck registration sheet. I’ve inconveniently organized it into a pile for you:

GR Monsters

Main deck (60)
Rugged Highlands
Ashcloud Phoenix
Hornet Nest
Setessan Tactics
Courser of Kruphix
Stormbreath Dragon
Xenagos, the Reveler
Temple of Abandon
Sylvan Caryatid
Polukranos, World Eater
Elvish Mystic
Chandra, Pyromaster
Wooded Foothills
 Sideboard (15)
Lightning Strike
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Arc Lightning
Reclamation Sage
Goblin Rabblemaster

Gerhard here wouldn’t shut up about Rangers hockey. The West Webster Fire Department used to flood the parking lot across the street from their building and I used to play ice hockey on it every day after school and on weekends. It was so much fun. 

Anyway, I get hockey. What I don’t get is picking one sports team to be your favorite. My best friend Kadar has had his whole life ruined ‘cuz he embedded all his hopes and dreams in the successes and failures of the New York Knicks. His sanity rests on a razor’s edge. 

At least the Rangers are good, I guess. 

Gerhard was on Sultai Whip and resolved a couple spells before I scooped to him so I didn’t have to hear his opinions about the value of glow puck in the NHL (he’s not into it). 


The third round took a while to start because policemen came in looking for a robbery suspect. Someone made a joke about the cost of Magic singles and Crazy Carl robbing us blind. That someone had to step outside with the all too serious cops and did not come back. 

This guy, George I think his name is, had a playmat with my face on it. Few things have been weirder in my life than some dude I’ve never met before playing with a playmat that had my face on it.

He was on some janky five color homebrew and I crushed him. He didn’t draw whatever he was looking for to best my Thragtusk stand-ins (Polukronos). I won in three.


Chip here didn’t like any of my Ace Ventura jokes or impressions. Laces out, Chip. His dislike funneled into expert play of what I think is the subpar UW Heroic deck. He was able to best me in three games. Game three I drew all lands. What can ya do? Chip had previously Top 8’d a PTQ so I was kind of intimidated. Or maybe he just had the playmat.


Not my best performance, not my worst performance. If I had a 2 for 4 day on the baseball diamond I’d be a great hitter. Life is a lot better when you look at it through baseball statistics.

You guys should check out Crazy Carl’s Comics ‘n Cards if you’re in the Tristate State area any time soon.

I recommend the GR Monsters deck, too. I mean, if you’ve already got the cards. It and all Standard decks seem insanely expensive for the short amount of time you get to play with them. Then it’s over and you have all these Huntmasters and Hellriders that are worthless despite you paying a gillion dollars on them like a year ago. Pretty sure it’s a scam.

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 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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