Keep Your Hand To Yourself

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Recently, a Reddit post showing Jeff Hoogland with his library and all of his permanents in the "Red Zone" blew up the front page of r/magictcg (until someone else came along and made a post about getting pizza at the LGS and everyone remembered they liked silly junk like that better than they liked being angry).


Jeff's response on Facebook was, understandably, that he wasn't sure if some of the people who were seemingly frothing out the sides of their mouths were trolling or crazy. A few of the comments got super personal, which made me laugh because it was happening to Jeff and not me!

On a serious note, this brings up two conversations. The first is what do you think about how people display their permanents? Leave it in the comments section.

The second is a conversation about why it matters. If you're having your space encroached upon, say something to your opponent. If you're watching a coverage video and you feel your jimmies begin to rustle, just remember that you're a stupid spectator and it doesn't affect your life.

Post your worst "my opponent had his cards all up in my grill" story in the comments.

Here's mine - I was at a very crowded event in Manchester, England in 1998. It was Regionals and clearly the event organizers thought a classroom at the University of Manchester was sufficient. People were 5 to a table where it should have been 4. Remember, this is a nation of people who like to drink beer so thick you can chew it and whose national dish is a "breakfast" that consists of bacon, ham, baked beans (I'm not making any of this up, I swear), sausage, fried tomatoes and mushrooms (this kills the vegetables) black pudding (don't google that) and, in lieu of toast, bread that is fried in the bacon fat. They also love to make jokes about how fat American people are, their jowels jiggling as they laugh raucously at their wit. Suffice it to say, quarters were a bit cramped. A 14 year old sits down and starts taking all kind of crap out of his backpack and putting it on the table. A bunch of colored glass beads to keep track of life totals. A tin to keep the beads in. A playmat. A dragon Beanie baby. There wasn't room on the table for all of that junk, and it was in everyone's way. Everyone was too English and passive-aggressive to say anything, but all the crap on the table clearly threw some people off of their game.

That 14 year old? It was ME! Take that, limeys!

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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10 thoughts on “Keep Your Hand To Yourself

    1. ^^ exactly^^… Whats the story with people playing Lands in front (I mean I know it has a history with some way back Pro doing it and everyone think ing it was cool and all…) but lately this trend seems to be in vogue again and I have seen quite a few ‘young’ players doing this….its like passive aggressive magic…I’ll build a Great Wall of lands and hide my creatures behind it….DCI should just make a rule…
      The only worst one I’ve seen is that Pro who plays lands in front with the cards facing his opponent ….I think I’d just start tapping his lands on purpose:)

      1. I agree. I can understand some vets or Vintage/Legacy players doing so out of habit, but the game has evolved to be most efficient to have creatures close to declare blockers.

        I take it to the next level and play on a 3D plane. My graveyard exists underneath my library.

        1. ^^ Thanks for pointing this out, Jason. This is how us 1993ers were taught to play our lands. It’s not a “great wall” thing. It was meant to convey, I think, that your creatures were running over the lands to attack your opponent. After all, it doesn’t really make sense that your creatures would be swing at your opponents from the void. Although I am now learning to play my lands in back as a courtesy to younger players (n00bs), its frustrating to hear these same n00bs acting like I am mere slave to fashion for playing my lands out front by default. It’s OG people, read a f*cking (old school rule) book.

  1. The simple and elegant geometry of a table can help us with where to put one’s permanents. Keep them on one’s half of the table. One may feel free to put one’s cards anywhere one likes as long as it stays on the respective half of the table.

    Mr. Hoogland is displaying discourtesy to his opponent by encroaching. Please be courteous to one’s opponents.

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