one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Apr 07 2017 9:04pm
0
Login or register to post comments
1594 views


 

State of the Program for April 7th 2017
 
In the News
Restored Legacy Cube Returns: The Legacy Cube is coming back, and bringing the good stuff.  The broken combo cards, like Show and Tell and Natural Order, are back. Wizards has the Modern Cube for reasonable Cube play. Legacy can be unreasonable once again.  Details here.
 
Amonkhet Previews Are Here: The preview season is in full swing. The card image gallery is here.    
 
Team Super League? During the final rounds of the Vintage Super League, Randy Buehler announced that the next Super League, to take place next fall, will be based around three on three team drafts.  This is very popular limited format played by pros after Pro Tours, GPs, etc.  This announcement makes me wonder if this means that MTGO will soon support three on three drafts.   If so, that’s great.   
 
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
(none announced)
Extended Downtime
(none announced)
Current Leagues End
May 2, 2017
Amonkhet MTGO release
May 2, 2017
Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch Rotate Out of Standard
May 2, 2017
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
Modern Masters 2017 Leagues
March 22nd
April 12th
Mirage-Visions Throwback Standard
April 5th
April 12th
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:  Sportsmanship and Judging
I saw an interesting tweet last weekend.   Sam Black tweeted “Accidentally played an extra land that let me cast Explore against Severa. Conceded when the ruling was “too late to back up.” Let’s unpack this, both from the judge’s perspective and the player’s. 
 
Now I have to say that I was not there, and did not speak to either Sam or Matt about this, but I have been involved in a ton of rulings like this over the years. I am also pretty sure that both the judge and the player did the right thing.
 
Now instead of using the actual play, which I don’t know anything about besides the tweet, I am going to invent a similar scenario and explain what likely happened. I have been judging at Pro Tours and GPs since 2004, so I have seen this sort of thing happen many, many times.  
 
Let’s assume Andy and Norman are playing Legacy.  Andy is on BUG Delver.  The board state is complex.  Normally, Andy does not play his lands until post combat, but this turn might involve combat tricks and potentially counters, so he plays a land pre-combat. Then combat, which is complex and has both players going into the tank for a bit, some tricky plays, and a resolution that leaves far fewer cards in each players’ hands and fewer things on the battlefield. On second main, Andy tanks again, because the game state is different, then plays Serum Visions, which find him a fetchland. He plays the fetch (like he usually does in second main phase), cracks it and casts Explore. The Explore finds a fetchland, which he plays and cracks, then casts a Delver. EoT, Norman casts a Brainstorm, then cracks a fetch of his own. Norman then draws for his turn, and starts thinking through his turn.   At that point, Andy realizes that he has too many lands in play. Neither player noticed the mistake at the time, but once Andy realized he has made a mistake, he stops Norman and they call a judge.
 
Neither player is cheating. Andy made a legitimate mistake – the sort that happens fairly often, even at high level play between very experienced players. 
 
Now I need to explain something about judging at competitive events. Judges are not allowed to invent their own solutions or fixes to problems. Wizards tried this, back before Sixth Edition rules were created, and it did not work. Calling a judge became a huge lottery, because different judges had different ways of “fixing” mistakes. So, nowadays, that is not an option. Judges have a much narrower range of options.   
 
With regard to game play errors made earlier in the game, judges have exactly two options. Option on is to back up the game entirely to the point that the mistake was made, undo that mistake, and then have the game play on from that point. Option two is to the game from the point you are at, as it is. There are a few special case exceptions, but the general rule is to back up everything or just play on. (Penalties will also be awarded, but that’s a different issue.)
 
Backups are very tricky, and can do a lot of damage to the game if done wrong. That is why, at competitive events, each and every backup has to be approved by the head judge, or possibly one of a couple of very experienced high level judges appointed by the head judge to approve backups. 
 
Let’s look at a trivial backup, to show what happens. On Amos’ first turn, he plays a Forest, taps it, announces Experiment One and accidentally puts Hidden Herbalists in play. Amos passes.   Nancy draws for the turn, then realizes that the wrong card is in play and calls a judge. The judge discusses the situation, investigates for shenanigans, gets permission for the backup, etc. She also backs up the game. The actions that have happened are the wrong creature entering play, Amos’ pass and Nancy’s draw. These are backed up in reverse order. First, the judge undoes Nancy’s draw by taking a card at random from Nancy’s hand and putting it back on top of here library (yes, it might be the wrong card, but Nancy is going to draw it immediately anyway. More importantly, the game was already damaged by a mistake, and you cannot fix everything). Now we are back to the miscast Herbalist. The judge reverses that action (pick up the Herbalist, untap mana) then has the game resume from that spot. Now Amos taps the Forest, plays the Experiment One and passes. Nancy draws her card and the game proceeds. The judge retreats to write up the penalty.    
 
The rule for backups at competitive events is that you either back up everything, or nothing. 
 
Now let’s go back to my Legacy example. To back up to the point at which the error was made in that game, you would have to undo Norman’s draw by putting a card on top of his library.   That can work, but the next thing the judge would have to undo is a fetchland activation. That is going to bury the random card from Norman’s hand, so he will not draw that. And just before that is a Brainstorm, but the cards that were Brainstormed back to the top of the deck were then shuffled away when Norman cracked the fetch. There is simply no fair way of undoing that without being totally arbitrary. A Brainstorm plus fetch is a classic example of a situation that simply cannot be fairly backed up.  
 
I don’t know what actually happened in the game which Sam tweeted about. Maybe it was something like that. Maybe the players didn’t realize what went wrong until a couple turns had passed. Whatever it was, the judge at the event, presumably after consulting with the HJ, ruled that no back-up was possible.  That is often the correct decision.
 
That brings us to Sam’s concession. He knew the game state. He knew he had made a mistake. I would assume that he felt that the advantage that the mistake created (an extra land in play and a card in hand) was too great, and created an unfair advantage. His only option was to either play on with that unfair advantage, or concede. He conceded, which is perfectly legal and shows great sportsmanship.  I’d like to think I would do the same thing.
 
I have conceded MTGO games when my opponent makes a serious misclick, and it is clear that that is what he or she has done.  I have also seen this happen in similar situations involving other players, but it by no means required or event expected. It is a matter of your own personal morals and sense of fair play. And of how serious the effects of the error may be.
 
I also need to add that the rule about backups I discussed about only applies at competitive rules enforcement and above. The rules at store events, like FNM, are different.  At those events, judges have far greater powers to find a fair fix and let the game continue.
 
  
Cutting Edge Tech
 
Standard: Last weekend’s GP was Modern teams, so here is something from the Leagues. I was looking for something that I have not featured recently; meaning not Mardu Vehicles, not Aetherworks Marvel, and not Copy Cat. This week I actually found one. 
 
Fevered Tower
Graey, 5-0, Competitive Standard League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Advanced Stitchwing
4 Elder Deep-Fiend
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Stitchwing Skaab
16 cards

Instant
3 Fiery Temper
4 Kozilek's Return
4 Lightning Axe
11 cards
Sorcery
4 Cathartic Reunion
2 Tormenting Voice
6 cards

Enchantment
4 Fevered Visions
4 cards
Land
1 Highland Lake
6 Island
6 Mountain
2 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Spirebluff Canal
4 Wandering Fumarole
23 cards
 


Sideboard
1 Fiery Temper
2 Dispel
2 Incendiary Flow
1 Key to the City
3 Negate
2 Release the Gremlins
2 Spell Shrivel
2 Wretched Gryff
15 cards
 
Modern: Last weekend’s GP was Modern, but three player Modern constructed, which requires three decks, and if say (and this is from the example of the mothership) one deck has Naturalize, the other decks may not have Naturalize.  This is not the best for single play, so it was back to the leagues this week! 

Blink
MIKA57, 5-0, Competitive Modern League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Blade Splicer
2 Eternal Witness
4 Flickerwisp
4 Leonin Arbiter
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Restoration Angel
4 Scavenging Ooze
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
30 cards

Instant
4 Path to Exile
4 cards
Artifact
4 Aether Vial
4 cards
Land
1 Forest
1 Gavony Township
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Horizon Canopy
2 Plains
4 Razorverge Thicket
2 Tectonic Edge
4 Temple Garden
22 cards


Sideboard
1 (Blessed Alliance )
2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
1 Condemn
1 Gaddock Teeg
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Reclamation Sage
1 Rest in Peace
2 (Selfless Spirit )
3 Stony Silence
15 cards
 
Pauper: A new thing in Pauper: a player has become the Monarch. I had not realized that any of the Conspiracy cards were playable in Pauper, but at least one made this deck. Cool.
Black Rose Aggro
STEVEJELTZ, 5-0, Pauper League - 74 Cards Total
Creature
2 Beetleback Chief
4 Chittering Rats
2 Gurmag Angler
4 Phyrexian Rager
4 Thermo-Alchemist
1 Thorn of the Black Rose
16 cards

Instant
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Terminate
6 cards
Sorcery
2 Chainer's Edict
2 Firebolt
2 Flame Slash
4 Night's Whisper
2 Pillar of Flame
1 Raven's Crime
2 Read the Bones
15 cards
Land
1 Barren Moor
4 Bloodfell Caves
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Forgotten Cave
5 Mountain
2 Radiant Fountain
3 Rakdos Carnarium
5 Swamp
22 cards


Sideboard
4 Duress
3 Electrickery
3 Gorilla Shaman
4 Pyroblast
1 Relic of Progenitus
15 cards
 
Legacy: Looking through the competitive Legacy leagues for decks that are not 1) Eldrazi, 2) Miracles, and 3) don’t have a creature base of Deathrite Shaman, Delver of Secrets, Gurmag Angler and either True-Name Nemesis or Young Pyromancer. Here’s something different. Hate Bears. Wait – did that last week. How about this?   
 
Reanimator
DNSOLVER, 5-0, Competitive Legacy League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Chancellor of the Annex
4 Griselbrand
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Tidespout Tyrant
10 cards

Instant
4 Dark Ritual
4 Entomb
8 cards
Sorcery
4 Collective Brutality
4 Exhume
4 Faithless Looting
4 Reanimate
4 Thoughtseize
20 cards

Artifact
2 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
6 cards
Enchantment
4 Animate Dead
4 cards

Land
2 Badlands
1 Bayou
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
12 cards
 

Sideboard
4 Abrupt Decay
1 Archetype of Endurance
1 Children of Korlis
1 Duress
4 Faerie Macabre
4 Reverent Silence
15 cards

Vintage: 
The Vintage Super League playoffs have Finished. Oliver Tui won, playing Mentor. He played Mentor all season. And won. Mentor has also won some other major events. It will be interesting to see whether the Mentor deck garners some attention when the next B&R list comes out. Some of the experts are wondering if Gitaxian Probe might be restricted.   We’ll know in just over a month.
 

 
 
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 up, but the list is shorter. I removed a few cards from the table, because their value is well under my arbitrary $5 limit.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$9.42
$9.40
$0.02
0%
$13.76
$15.27
($1.51)
-10%
$11.46
$10.00
$1.46
15%
$16.43
$16.77
($0.34)
-2%
$18.82
$16.57
$2.25
14%
$14.21
$11.21
$3.00
27%
$6.80
$5.24
$1.56
30%
$16.58
$15.76
$0.82
5%
$12.16
$15.13
($2.97)
-20%
$34.11
$31.34
$2.77
9%
$15.45
$14.03
$1.42
10%
$6.60
$5.93
$0.67
11%
$6.62
$6.95
($0.33)
-5%
$11.09
$8.96
$2.13
24%
$13.97
$14.75
($0.78)
-5%
$9.82
$6.73
$3.09
46%
$6.58
$6.68
($0.10)
-1%
$8.12
$6.77
$1.35
20%

Modern staples:  Modern prices are generally up across the board, but this table has seen some changes, too. Cards like Voice of Resurgence have fallen off: it was not being played very much, and was reprinted in MM17. A few others are on the bubble, but we will see what happens after MM17 leaves. On the flip side, I added a few cards, like V-Clique, that have moved up.   
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$34.17
$28.96
$5.21
18%
$30.21
$29.53
$0.68
2%
$12.25
$12.78
($0.53)
-4%
$18.75
$13.56
$5.19
38%
$38.02
$37.29
$0.73
2%
$38.48
$31.74
$6.74
21%
$58.37
$53.84
$4.53
8%
$42.16
$40.17
$1.99
5%
$10.56
$10.60
($0.04)
0%
$26.64
$25.66
$0.98
4%
$29.29
$27.68
$1.61
6%
$32.28
$31.91
$0.37
1%
$24.13
$24.94
($0.81)
-3%
$60.23
$57.99
$2.24
4%
$42.17
$41.16
$1.01
2%
$30.81
$28.61
$2.20
8%
$14.65
$15.04
($0.39)
-3%
$22.84
$27.13
($4.29)
-16%
$34.64
$30.04
$4.60
15%
$37.80
$41.14
($3.34)
-8%
$24.96
$22.93
$2.03
9%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage had a reasonably good again this week.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$21.13
$20.40
$0.73
4%
$19.02
$22.82
($3.80)
-17%
$75.93
$75.80
$0.13
0%
$25.08
$24.30
$0.78
3%
$25.12
$25.12
$0.00
0%
$44.30
$43.14
$1.16
3%
$49.79
$40.91
$8.88
22%
$31.48
$27.96
$3.52
13%
$35.38
$35.04
$0.34
1%
$30.38
$30.74
($0.36)
-1%
$35.31
$35.57
($0.26)
-1%
$22.81
$22.43
$0.38
2%
$38.41
$45.11
($6.70)
-15%
$31.49
$30.51
$0.98
3%
$34.96
$34.78
$0.18
1%
$16.05
$14.25
$1.80
13%
$26.40
$24.25
$2.15
9%
$156.16
$163.95
($7.79)
-5%
$49.58
$53.97
($4.39)
-8%
$51.05
$50.22
$0.83
2%
$34.67
$33.93
$0.74
2%
$15.49
$16.30
($0.81)
-5%
$49.47
$47.77
$1.70
4%

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
$63.59
$58.46
$5.13
9%
Battle for Zendikar
$52.04
$48.00
$4.04
8%
Eldritch Moon
$99.98
$91.14
$8.84
10%
Kaladesh
$93.02
$91.46
$1.56
2%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$81.96
$83.51
($1.55)
-2%
Shadows over Innistrad
$59.60
$55.65
$3.95
7%
Treasure Chest
$2.54
$2.54
$0.00
0%
Aether Revolt Booster
$3.95
$3.41
$0.54
16%
Kaladesh Booster
$1.98
$1.53
$0.45
29%

 
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
 $ 163.95
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 75.80
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 58.04
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 57.99
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 55.07
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 54.03
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 53.97
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $ 53.97
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 53.84
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 51.31
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 51.13
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $ 50.22
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $ 47.85
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 47.77
Leovold& Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $ 45.11
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $ 44.11
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.71
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $ 43.14
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 41.77
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 41.73
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 41.39
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 41.16
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $ 41.14
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 41.14
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $ 40.91
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 40.67
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $ 40.17
Tarmogoyf
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.79
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 38.78
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $ 37.91
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $ 37.50
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $ 37.29
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $ 35.57
From the Ashes
 C13
Rare
 $ 35.04
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 34.78
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.93
Mishra's Bauble
 CSP
Uncommon
 $ 33.45
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.35
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.91
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 31.75
Eidolon of the Great Revel
 JOU
Rare
 $ 31.74
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
 $ 31.71
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.56
Liliana& the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.34
Fulminator Mage
 MM2
Rare
 $ 30.93
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $ 30.74
Fulminator Mage
 SHM
Rare
 $ 30.66
Meren of Clan Nel Toth
 PZ1
Rare
 $ 30.51
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $ 30.27
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $ 30.04
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.66
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.57
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.53
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
 $ 28.96
Noble Hierarch
 CON
Rare
 $ 28.82
Noble Hierarch
 MM2
Rare
 $ 28.61
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $ 27.96
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $ 27.68
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
 $ 27.13
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 26.70
Grove of the Burnwillows
 V12
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.87
Grove of the Burnwillows
 FUT
Rare
 $ 25.66
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
 $ 25.12

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 $ 24.670. That is up about $650 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
(crickets.) 
 
As a bumper sticker I once saw said, "Work is a Terrible Price to Pay for Income."
 
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 Sat, 04/08/2017 - 11:48
Hearts's picture

The judges should obviously not be ordered to rewind all or nothing, partial fixes are imperative in situations like these.

....the mtg judging must go back to how it was 20 years ago, when scouting wasnt legal, when concessions werent legal outside those which obviously didnt harm the tournament integrity, when partial fixes ruled, when they couldnt figure out banding....

....banding probably was what twisted their minds, and started all those new horrible rules and practices, banding was hard, but it was possible to figure out, I know because I knew what was correct.

re by Hearts at Mon, 04/10/2017 - 06:27
Hearts's picture

Nope.

Not today.

Please stop.

Thank you.

Post edited by Joshua Claytor.

Cauchy, I deleted your by JXClaytor at Mon, 04/10/2017 - 08:31
JXClaytor's picture

Cauchy, I deleted your response, as I have also edited the response that you responded to. I apologize.

No problem and thx for by Cauchy at Mon, 04/10/2017 - 09:29
Cauchy's picture

No problem and thx for responding.

What is the argument for by Hearts at Mon, 04/10/2017 - 11:22
Hearts's picture

What is the argument for instructing the judges to rewind all or nothing ?