The in n’ out of Polish and English banter between a polish grandmother and her baby toting daughter is a cartoon reality my fellow M riders and I are treated to on our way to Essex Street, the last stop. A Polish man with weights wrapped around his ankles says he’ll help carry the mother’s carriage from the M down stairs, under the platform, and up another flight to the J train to Chambers street. The Polish grandmother sounds like Julia Child. We make it over the Williamsburgh bridge. The spell resolves. I exit the train and make my way through iced over slush to Sunday basketball.

Kadar wrote the Team Draft League Google Group about a day of drafting he was setting up in the Exhibition A room at Spring Break Art. He needed seven mages for three FRF//KTK//KTK drafts at a small table in a room with editioned art on the walls, gallery girls in beach chairs, and a steady stream of art interested visitors. Hopefully the visitors would ask us questions about the game, the mechanics, and how it relates to art. A dialogue would emerge.

Here are photos of the participants, the single good deck I drafted, various game states, and a some cards I crushed because I was fucking over Magic and my ineptitude.



This is how we did pairings. Let me try and remember who was represented by which avatar.

Goblin Rogue – Dom
Vampire – Gabe
Zombie – Kadar
Spirit – Forker
Monk – Webb
Bear – Me
Snake – Monique
Horror – Sean

Y’all can venture guesses in the comments below as to why.

This was my team for the first draft. I don’t know where the photo of the other team ended up. I didn’t get to play Kadar or Monique all day.




Nice face, Kadar.


This deck is was the most fun deck I’ve played in this Limited format. I got to Shamanic Rev a couple times. I got to use Frontier Siege to power shit out, fill regeneration shields, cast many Destructor Dragons, and even a Mastodon or two. Destructor Dragon is my favorite card in the FRF. The banner was super good, too. Turn five dragon is better than turn six dragon.


That’s a big bunch of birds. Thanks Mastodon.

This is my team for the second draft.


I don’t have a photo of our opponents from that round either.

My deck was a pile of shit. I never figured out which colors were open (from my seat no colors were open we later decided). I had two Villainous Wealths and a See the Unwritten. I had next to nothing else. No good creatures. OH! Wait. I had a Temur Sabertooth (my pack one pick one). I rarely got to use him to do anything cool. I was tired and over it. I won a single game (against Dom). Kadar heavily coached me through it despite rules stating that we weren’t allowed to coach our teammates.


The third draft started and I was out of gas 100%.

Here’s what our opponents looked like.


And here’s us.

I misplayed relentlessly. We were all tired. Webb let me attack with a many prowess triggered Mistfire Weaver a couple of times. Mistfire Weaver doesn’t have prowess. I scooped up my cards, helped clean up, and left the art fair with a fucking abysmal 2-7 record.

It was good to be with these seven weirdos all day and we had heaps of laughs. I have a couple of critical comments on the event though. Like the time Kadar and I played Smash Bros at an art event, dressing as characters and inviting people to play with us, the link between gaming and art wasn’t that apparent (maybe not at all). If we do it again I think we need to limit the drafts to a reasonable number that allow room for some drawing and interacting with visitors. It’s not enough to talk about and play the game. The performance is communication, too. Why are we playing this game in an art fair? How are we talking about the link between art and fantasy card games? Is there a world building element to this that I’m not understanding? It would have been interesting Kadar and I took turns sitting out of the drafting experience and acted as artist liaisons between visitors of the art fair and the gamers. Why does this game fascilitate creative expression? Why do I always want to draw during or after a game of Magic?

Melville crushed my right ankle at basketball today and I’ve been walking around with a plate of baked ziti and sausage cuz what isn’t broken is sore and sitting down hurts more than standing up. Dave is the main reason the rest of me is sore. Having to guard a guy much younger than me who is infinitely more talented and athletic … it kills. Makes me a better basketball player but a pretty sore one.

I wonder about the link between gaming and art making. It definitely has to do with making something out of materials. It has something to do with community and communication. Kadar, what do you think?

Thanks for reading. I can’t stop thinking about Dom’s mustache. What a freaking handsome bastard.


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.

BONUS! Look at this board state from the GP MIAMI finals!


All I can see is “69”!!!

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