March NEOS – The Art of the Joke

Lil’ Dicky famously exposed himself at a show because he “believes in the art of the joke.” Have a listen, it’s like 22 seconds in. If you have access to Hulu I would recommend just watching Dave. This rap kicks off the brilliant finale. Plus like 10 Sped jokes comes from this rap, including the omnipresent “Willing Head” reference.

By the way, this rap is the inspiration for my Erhnam alters.

I like these conceptually, but the execution wasn’t great. In my mind (and in my mind only) I’m getting a little better at the latter. Consider this lovely playset which our favorite turtle breeder now proudly owns.

This collage almost broke the internet when posted on IG and FB. By the way, did you know the 1996 Arena Promo lands were painted as one landscape by Tony Roberts? If any of you readers have a lead on who owns this I would love to know. It’s my grail for sure. Anyway, the posts got a lot of love and laughs. Some people were even inspired! People brought their Dick Drawings out en masse to shine a light on some beautiful, veiny work lurking in the shadows of an already underground community. DickGeysers, Dickelors, Sengir Dickpires with Dicks protruding from their foreheads… It was a great day for lovers of Dick Drawings. Did I mention people were inspired?

Then on episode 154 of ATC Mano reiterated with conviction he was one of the young men who compulsively drew and/or inscribed Dicks on just about anything. The phrase “Happy Bunches” was coined and now warms my heart any time I think about it. I can’t wait to ink up a Wall of Blossoms in tribute. Actually, fuck it. Mise well just draw one now.

Eh, that one didn’t come out that great. Sometimes I wish I knew how to draw. However I do think I can execute an idea and make a joke come to life in spite of my severe lack of artistic ability. I believe in the art of the joke and for now at least I consider this my masterpiece:

The March NEOS was the second round of the current season, and as I mentioned last month I’m committed to playing an easily recognizable 61st Spice Card. This month’s spice card felt a little bit like cheating because it wasn’t that spicy given the brewing constraints. Every deck this month had to have at least 1 Legend in the main deck. I was in group A which was based on all of us going 6-0 in February so I felt like I had to bring something tier 1ish or I would certainly get blown out and have no fun. As an aside, I like this method of pairings since, let’s be honest, I’m really brewing in the tier 1.75 space even when I’m running It-Will-O-Maze-U.dec. This month I wanted to try a shell with 12 bolts. Mano is always telling me 12 bolts can beat The Deck so I figured I would test out a little bit of a non-conventional 12 bolt deck (i.e. not Atog, not LDB). I ended up on a 12 bolt Troll Disco shell and went 4-2, losing to Mike Van Dyke on The Deck and to Jason Seaman on traditional Troll Disco.

My main takeaways are:

-12 bolts plus anything is definitely pretty good!

-I would have played another Shivan on the top end over the first Shatter and probably the second Maze over the second Shatter. Shatter is pretty clearly redundant with 4 Disk and 8 instant speed Bolts for Factory.

-Stone Rain is way under played. It’s always been one more answer for Library and can hit a Mishra’s of course, but with the popularity of Maze in decks today I think we’re at a point where it’s pretty close to correct to play a main deck Stone Rain (especially if you’re running Dib).

-My sideboard is shit… nothing to see here.

Here’s a closeup of my 61st not-that-spicy Spice Card. I hope Richard Kane-Ferguson would approve.

My good friend and teammate Adam Lemke, who is also committed to a 61st Spice card this season, ran with the It-Will-O-Maze-U.dec in the March NEOS. I figured I would give it a quick highlight. I believe he went 4-2 in one of the mid-level pods, losing his win-and-in match. As usual, Lemke’s build is a symphony of synergy. His 61st Spice Card is exactly what a spice card should be doing: conjuring the nostalgia of the tabletop Magic played in our youth while smashing some face. Please enjoy the spice, his toes, and his progressive fashion sense (clearly eschewing his skinny jeans for some baggy, velvety cords which I hear are coming back in style).

Be well, have fun, and enjoy Spring! Or Fall to my friends in Chile 😉 Peace and Love – Jeff

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