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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Apr 14 2017 12:00pm
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State of the Program for April 14th 2017
 
In the News
Amonkhet on MTGO Monday April 24th: Wizards will release Amonkhet online even earlier than previously announced. The set will be playable online the Monday following paper Prereleases. This means online players will be able to get Amonkhet cards four days before the set is on sale in the real world.  Details here.
 
Amonkhet Release and B&R Changes: Amonkhet will be playable in Standard the same day that Wizards will issue the next B&R announcement on the 24th. MTGO will not be spoiling that announcement, so Wizards has a roll-out plan. If there are no B&R changes, no problem. If there are changes, Wizards will have a sudden downtime on Monday, April 24th. Either way, constructed leagues will not begin until after the B&R announcement. 
 
Changes to How Split Cards Work: Wizards has changed the rules on you determine the mana cost of Split Cards. In the past, the mana cost of the spell on the stack was the mana cost of the half being cast. At other times, the split cards returned two mana costs; one for each side. Thus Wear/Tear’s mana cost was 2 and 1, but – technically - not 3. Wizards will be modifying this. Starting with Amonkhet, spilt cards will have one mana cost (everywhere but on the stack) equal to the sum of the mana costs. This is relevant for Counterbalance (when the Counterbalance player is putting a split card on top of their library) and the Expertise Beck//Call decks now in Modern. The article that explains the change is here

 

 
The Timeline
This is a list of things we have been promised, or we just want to see coming back.   Another good source for dates and times is the calendar and the weekly blog, while the best source for known bugs is the bug blog which appears sporadically on MTGO.com. Most of the major upcoming events we know of are listed.  Not listed, but important: Wizards offers either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
 
Recurring Events
Timing
Power Nine Challenge
Last Saturday of the month, 11am Pacific
Legacy Challenge
Second Saturday of the month, 11am Pacific
No Downtime
April 26th, May 3rd , May 17th
Extended Downtime
April 19th , May 24th
Current Leagues End
May 2, 2017
Amonkhet MTGO release
April 28th  
   
Hour of Devastation
July, 2017
Next B&R Announcement
April 24, 2017
KTK and FRF Redemption Ends
May 31, 2017
DTK, ORI, BFZ and OGW Redemptions Closes
November 2, 2017
SOI and EMN Redemption Closes
April 28, 2018
KLD and AER Redemption Ends
June 7, 2017 (yes, 3 months from now)
 
Flashback, Throwback Standard and CUBE for 2017
Wizards will be offering either a flashback draft league, a flashback Standard gauntlet, a CUBE league or prerelease / Release events each week.   Here’s the schedule so far.
 
Flashback and Such Rotation
Begins
Ends
Legacy Cube
April 12th
April 24th
 
The new Flashback Leagues are still draft, and still you-keep-the-cards. They are 12 TIX / product plus 2 TIX / 120 Play Points. However, they are no longer single elimination. Now you play until you have three wins or two losses. Prizes are 150 play points for three wins and 70 Play points for 2 wins. The leagues run one week.
 
The Throwback Standard Gauntlet events provide a random choice of prebuilt decks from a past standard environment. These will function like the Pro Tour Gauntlets – you won’t need to own the cards. The entry fee is 10 TIX or 100 Play Points. Prizes are in Play Points: 150 for 3-0, 100 for 2-1, 40 for 1-2 and 10 play points as a bad beats award. 
 
Opinion Section:  Trolls
I hate Internet trolls. I hate negative, caustic and destructive comments.  I hate the people that make them. I hate what those sorts of comments have done to me, other people and online communities. It upsets me enough that I am to the point that I am going to do something that I have done maybe twice in my five thousand of so previous articles – I’m going to swear. (Unless JXC edits this out, that is.)
 
I started writing articles about Magic over 15 years ago.   Back then, I was funny. I had the ability to do standup that you could let your grandmother listen to – and write funny articles that would not cause any kickback for the magazines and websites that published them.  Once upon a time, that was really important. I can’t do that anymore.   I can be witty, and sarcastic, and caustic, and cynical – but not funny in an upbeat way. Fifteen years of negative comments have burned that out of me. And that’s sad.
 
I also used to love to interact with my readers. I loved debates in comments and on the forums. I loved the feedback. I loved the suggestions. But over time, there were more and more obnoxious jerks in the comments and on the forums, and reading comments slowly became a chore. Now, instead of reading the comments being one of the best things about writing, reading the comments feels like going to the dentist to get a root canal done. I know I have to do it, and I know it is going to hurt, but it has to be done. 
 
Ten or fifteen years ago, Wizards forums were an amazing place. Thousands of people hung out there, and we had everything from interesting threads to contests to a virtual convention happening on the forums. Over time, though, the toxic elements showed up, and drove so many of the decent people away. In the end, Wizards killed the forums because the percentage of users that were complete turds got too high, so the cost of moderating the forums outweighed their value to the company. So many other places I hang out have also closed down comments or forums. The trolls have killed it for all of us.
 
People have no excuse for trollish behavior. Being caustic and making personal attacks is not clever, not funny, and does not win in an argument. (Google ad hominin logical fallacy if you have any doubt.) It is rude, crude and disgusting, and you should know better.   And as for the argument “but it’s not illegal” – that’s irrelevant and anyone with half a brain should know that. The world is not just divided into “illegal” and “okay.” There is a whole other set of behaviors that civilized adults don’t do because they harm others for no sufficient reason. Not harming others pointlessly is part of being civilized – it’s the civil part. 
 
Simple example: assume you are on a plane, which makes you part of the community of people on that plane.   You are sitting near a little kid. You could smile at the kid, which may make the kid smile, or may –if he’s shy – just make him burrow into his mother’s arms. You could also grimace at the kid, which could make him start crying. If you have ever been on a plane with a crying kid, you know how much fun that can be. Now snarling at the kid is not illegal, but only a genuine moron would do something like that.
 
Same with trolls.
 
Or assume that you are in a room when someone comes in who hasn’t bathed in a week and stinks to high heaven. Just being near him is massively unpleasant, and unless that person leaves, the other people will.   Maybe just some, but unless the stinker is removed, those other people will find something else to do. It’s worse if the stinky one attracts others that also stink, in which case the normal people will all leave and the community will die. And for what? Yes, being stinky may not be illegal, but it negatively affects other people around them. And those people leave.
 
Being a troll is the virtual equivalent to stinking like a dead pig. It’s caustic, harmful, unpleasant and totally avoidable. There is literally no excuse for that behavior, and all the insecure, anti-social vandals who troll should know that. Surely you have heard people say “if you haven’t got something good to say, don’t say anything at all?” Maybe they could not understand that, so I’ll rephrase it: if all you can do is piss on people and spew crap, shut up.     
 
I’m going back to being civilized now. And that means I’m done making Josh change things, because you don’t swear in polite society unless you have a damn good reason. 
  
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: Amonkhet is coming out soon.  We will wait to do Standard tech until then! 
 
Modern: I debated giving the decks that use Expertise to cast Beck // Call one last look, because those decks are going to disappear once Amonkhet rolls around, so no. (Reason – Wizards is changing how you calculate split cards mana costs, so that won’t work. Instead, I looked to the leagues once again and found Stone Rain. Actual Stone Rain.
 
RG Land Destruction
BLOCKHOUSE, 5-0, Competitive Modern League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Arbor Elf
2 Birds of Paradise
3 Inferno Titan
2 Obstinate Baloth
2 Stormbreath Dragon
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
14 cards

Instant
2 Beast Within
2 cards
Sorcery
3 Bonfire of the Damned
4 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
2 Primal Command
4 Stone Rain
13 cards

Enchantment
4 Blood Moon
4 Utopia Sprawl
8 cards
Planeswalker
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 cards

Land
1 Cinder Glade
8 Forest
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Mountain
2 Stomping Ground
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
21 cards
 

Sideboard
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Anger of the Gods
3 Kitchen Finks
3 Relic of Progenitus
2 Sudden Shock
2 Trinisphere
15 cards

Legacy: 
SCG ran a Legacy Open last weekend, along with a Legacy Classic on Sunday. The Top 32 decks for the Open are here. The Top 16 decks for the Classic are here. The winner – no big surprise here – was Miracles. It’s pilot was quoted, after winning the whole event with Miracles / Top, as saying that banning Sensei’s Divining Top would be good for the format.
 
Miracles
Eli Kassis, Winner, SCG Legacy Open - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Snapcaster Mage
3 cards

Instant
1 Unexpectedly Absent
3 Predict
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
16 cards

Sorcery
1 Council's Judgment
2 Entreat the Angels
4 Terminus
3 Ponder
10 cards
Artifact
4 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Engineered Explosives
5 cards

Enchantment
4 Counterbalance
4 cards

Planeswalker
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 cards
Land
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
4 Island
3 Plains
3 Volcanic Island
2 Tundra
20 cards
 


Sideboard
1 Monastery Mentor
2 Containment Priest
1 Wear/Tear
2 Rest in Peace
1 Flusterstorm
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Blood Moon
3 Pyroblast
1 Moat
15 cards

Vintage: 
The Vintage Super League has finished. That means we are back to regular Vintage Dailies, with the usual.
 

 

Card Prices
Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at MTGOTraders.com. These are retail prices, and generally the price of the lowest priced, actively traded version. (Prices for some rare promo versions are not updated when not in stock, so I skip those.)   You can get these cards at MTGOTraders.com web store, or from their bots: MTGOTradersBot(#) (they have bots 1-10), CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or sell cards to MTGOTradersBuyBot(#) (they have buybots 1-4). I have bought cards from MTGOTraders for over a decade now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
 
Standard staples: Standard prices were generally down. This always happens – things are slow just before a new set and rotation.   
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$9.52
$9.42
$0.10
1%
$15.11
$13.76
$1.35
10%
$8.90
$11.46
($2.56)
-22%
$15.18
$16.43
($1.25)
-8%
$18.68
$18.82
($0.14)
-1%
$13.36
$14.21
($0.85)
-6%
$6.46
$6.80
($0.34)
-5%
$15.90
$16.58
($0.68)
-4%
$11.68
$12.16
($0.48)
-4%
$32.63
$34.11
($1.48)
-4%
$16.66
$15.45
$1.21
8%
$7.26
$6.60
$0.66
10%
$6.41
$6.62
($0.21)
-3%
$10.68
$11.09
($0.41)
-4%
$14.65
$13.97
$0.68
5%
$9.56
$9.82
($0.26)
-3%
$6.89
$6.58
$0.31
5%
$8.04
$8.12
($0.08)
-1%

Modern staples:  Modern prices are generally up across the board, but volatile.   Some of the MM17 cards that dropped are recovering. I doubt that enough players played non-phantom MM17 drafts to significantly affect the prices of these cards long term. There just were not enough cards opened. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$38.85
$34.17
$4.68
14%
$32.16
$30.21
$1.95
6%
$13.80
$12.25
$1.55
13%
$20.13
$18.75
$1.38
7%
$41.31
$38.02
$3.29
9%
$33.12
$38.48
($5.36)
-14%
$58.12
$58.37
($0.25)
0%
$43.07
$42.16
$0.91
2%
$11.33
$10.56
$0.77
7%
$27.91
$26.64
$1.27
5%
$30.94
$29.29
$1.65
6%
$33.62
$32.28
$1.34
4%
$16.30
$24.13
($7.83)
-32%
$66.70
$60.23
$6.47
11%
$43.98
$42.17
$1.81
4%
$30.76
$30.81
($0.05)
0%
$18.40
$14.65
$3.75
26%
$23.06
$22.84
$0.22
1%
$33.80
$34.64
($0.84)
-2%
$39.37
$37.80
$1.57
4%
$26.04
$24.96
$1.08
4%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy had a reasonably good week, but Power fell. I guess people are still waiting for Vintage leagues.  
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$21.22
$21.13
$0.09
0%
$18.21
$19.02
($0.81)
-4%
$71.32
$75.93
($4.61)
-6%
$25.35
$25.08
$0.27
1%
$24.94
$25.12
($0.18)
-1%
$45.61
$44.30
$1.31
3%
$51.16
$49.79
$1.37
3%
$32.53
$31.48
$1.05
3%
$34.74
$35.38
($0.64)
-2%
$30.67
$30.38
$0.29
1%
$36.95
$35.31
$1.64
5%
$23.12
$22.81
$0.31
1%
$46.04
$38.41
$7.63
20%
$31.66
$31.49
$0.17
1%
$35.24
$34.96
$0.28
1%
$15.01
$16.05
($1.04)
-6%
$24.42
$26.40
($1.98)
-7%
$158.13
$156.16
$1.97
1%
$48.60
$49.58
($0.98)
-2%
$52.25
$51.05
$1.20
2%
$35.51
$34.67
$0.84
2%
$15.99
$15.49
$0.50
3%
$48.27
$49.47
($1.20)
-2%

Set Redemption: You can redeem complete sets on MTGO. You need to purchase a redemption voucher from the store for $25. During the next downtime, Wizards removes a complete set from your account and sends you the same set in paper.  Treasure Chests and the current booster packs are here because they don’t really fit anywhere else.   Remember that Kaladesh and Eldritch Moon will go off redemption soon, even before the older sets.
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$59.94
$63.59
($3.65)
-6%
Battle for Zendikar
$49.57
$52.04
($2.47)
-5%
Eldritch Moon
$97.35
$99.98
($2.63)
-3%
Kaladesh
$95.20
$93.02
$2.18
2%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$81.14
$81.96
($0.82)
-1%
Shadows over Innistrad
$63.26
$59.60
$3.66
6%
Treasure Chest
$2.39
$2.54
($0.15)
-6%
Aether Revolt Booster
$3.71
$3.95
($0.24)
-6%
Kaladesh Booster
$1.92
$1.98
($0.06)
-3%

  
The Good Stuff
The following is a list of all the non-promo, non-foil cards on MTGO that retail for more than $25 per card. These are the big ticket items in the world of MTGO. Still a shade over sixty cards on the list, but a few cards have moved off the list, while others have replaced them. 
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $ 158.13
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 71.32
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 66.71
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 66.70
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 59.78
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 58.24
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 58.12
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $ 52.30
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 52.24
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 51.55
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $ 51.16
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 51.16
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 50.94
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $ 48.60
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $ 48.27
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $ 46.04
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 45.77
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $ 45.61
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 45.45
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 44.46
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $ 44.07
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.98
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $ 43.96
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.74
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 43.55
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $ 43.07
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 42.50
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $ 41.32
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $ 41.31
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
 $ 40.90
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 40.41
Tarmogoyf
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.37
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $ 39.15
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
 $ 38.85
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $ 36.95
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 35.86
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 35.51
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 35.24
From the Ashes
 C13
Rare
 $ 34.74
Fulminator Mage
 SHM
Rare
 $ 34.68
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $ 33.83
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.81
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $ 33.80
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.62
Eidolon of the Great Revel
 JOU
Rare
 $ 33.12
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.79
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.63
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $ 32.53
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.16
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.75
Meren of Clan Nel Toth
 PZ1
Rare
 $ 31.66
Noble Hierarch
 MM2
Rare
 $ 31.16
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $ 30.94
Noble Hierarch
 CON
Rare
 $ 30.76
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $ 30.67
Fulminator Mage
 MM2
Rare
 $ 30.56
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 30.49
Grove of the Burnwillows
 V12
Mythic Rare
 $ 28.42
Grove of the Burnwillows
 FUT
Rare
 $ 27.91
Vendilion Clique
 MOR
Rare
 $ 27.12
Vendilion Clique
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 26.39
Vendilion Clique
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 26.04
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $ 25.76
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 25.35

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive versions available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO is approximately $ 24.915. That is up about $250 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
I have been watching Magic videos this week, in the background while I plug away at spreadsheets and so forth.   Most of those are highly ignorable. Over lunch, when I am doing the most routine stuff, I have been listening to Windmill Slam’s Winmillionaire videos. Entertaining. 
 
I have also been watching the videos over on the MTGOTraders YouTube page. Not too bad.
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” and “3MWords” on MTGO
 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 
HammyBot Super Sale: HammyBot was set up to sell off Erik Friborg’s collection, with all proceeds going to his wife and son. So far, HammyBot has raised over $8,000, but there are a lot of cards left in the collection. Those cards are being sold at MTGOTrader’s Buy Price.  
 
 

5 Comments

re by Hearts at Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:50
Hearts's picture

Edited, please not with this again.

Trolls by MichelleWong at Fri, 04/14/2017 - 16:34
MichelleWong's picture
5

Internet trolls reveal something very sad about humanity - namely that some people would choose to act like that in real life if they could get away with it. The internet grants the trolls a whole level of protection online which they would not have offline. Which makes the behaviour even more pathetic.

But we knew this already by Paul Leicht at Fri, 04/14/2017 - 17:35
Paul Leicht's picture

But we knew this already really. There are always unpleasant and needlessly aggravating people. The internet gives them a safe place to do it without getting punched which probably saves some people from being arrested, etc.

It strikes me that there are also different kinds of internet trolls, some of which are entertaining and some which just boggle the mind. The former are deal-able with, the latter must just be ignored.

I am quite sad that Pete finds his own comment section off limits now for interaction because of the trolling but it is the way things are in life. Some good, some bad. Good that we continue getting Pete's great articles, bad that we can't discuss them with him here and feel safe doing so.

Being censored, not allowed by Hearts at Sun, 04/16/2017 - 02:57
Hearts's picture

Being censored, not allowed to write.

You understand why right? by JXClaytor at Sun, 04/16/2017 - 17:10
JXClaytor's picture

You understand why right?

Godwin's Law last week, attacking Pete for weeks, baseless accusations against WotC and the DCI.