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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Aug 04 2017 11:00am
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State of the Program for August 4th 2017
 
In the News
Changes to Magic Online Player Rewards: Wizards has announced that the Magic Online Player Rewards will be changing.  This is not unexpected, since the MOPR promos were, generally, the same promos that paper Friday Night Magic events gave out. However, beginning this fall, the FNM program will begin giving out foil tokens instead of promo cards. Tokens are created automatically by MTGO, so clearly Wizards had to do something, or kill MOPR. Their solution – giving us a random card drawn from the list of prior promos – seems like a decent solution. Some of those old promos are marginal, but a large percentage of them are cards worth having. Here’s the announcement, and here’s the list:  I have highlighted some of the cards that see considerable tournament play.
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
Pro Tour Excitement: The Pro Tour was a bit too red in color, but other than that the show was great.  Coverage was good, overall, and the event was full of drama. Very few of the matches in coverage were decided by mana screw or flukes, but even those that were, were full of drama.  The entire Top 8 is worth watching again. The videos are available on both YouTube and Twitch. Coverage is here.
 
Wizards Announces More Flashback and Throwback Gauntlets: Wizards has finally announced the next month or so of events. See the Timeline for details.
 
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.
 
Upcoming Events
Timing
Extended Downtime
Aug. 23rd, Sept. 20th, Oct. 25th
Sealed MOCS Monthly
September 15th, October 8th
Modern MOCS Monthly
August 27th
Standard MOCS Monthly
August 11th, October 21st
Current Leagues End
September 23rd 
Ixalan release
September 25, 2017
Rivals of Ixalan
January 21, 2018
Core Set Magic 2019
July 20, 2018
Commander 2017 details here.
November 2017 on MTGO
25th Anniversary Edition Masters
March 16, 2018
Next B&R Announcement
August 28, 2017
DTK, ORI, BFZ & OGW Redemption Ends
November 2, 2017
SOI and EMN Redemption Closes
April 28, 2018
 
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
Flashback draft: Triple Odyssey
August 9th
August 16th
Ravnica Standard Gauntlet
August 16th
August 23rd
Tribal Lorwyn Gauntlet
August 23rd
August 30th
Flashback draft: TBA
August 30th
September 6th
Worldwake Standard Gauntlet
September 6th
September 13th
Modern Cube
September 13th
September 24th
(break for Ixalan limited)
September 25th
October 25th
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:   Making Mistakes
 
The semi-finals at the Pro Tour saw a lot of really good Magic, but one moment may be most remembered.   Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa had already battled back from 0-2 down and three mulligans to five in the quarterfinals, and was now in game five against Yam Wing Chun. It was the end of game five, and both players were a close to finishing their opponents. Paulo was at 11, and defenseless. Yam had a 4 point burn spell in hand, and a Hazoret on the table. He just needed to draw a burn spell or haste creature to deal that extra couple points of damage. He ripped Incendiary Flow, moved to attack with Hazoret…
 
Yes, he missed a step. 
 
Yam tried to declare Hazoret as an attacker and Paulo said “Hazoret can’t attack – you have two cards in hand.” Yam was clearly in his attack phase; it was too late to cast one of the spells.
 
Yam was upset, but he pulled himself back together and tried to salvage the match. However, Paulo killed him on the next turn. Paulo makes the finals, Yam does not. 
 
You could say that that one mistake cost Yam the match. That is way too simplistic. Both players had played a very strong match, and brought the match down to the last few turns. Paulo had to fade one draw. If Yam had drawn a land, or a creature without haste, etc., he loses. Had he played a bit differently at any of several spots in the match, he would have won. However, that’s hindsight – in the moment, he was playing around what Paulo was likely to have, and vice versa.   No one mistake decides games or matches (except maybe sitting at the wrong table.) 
 
That one mistake does not make Paulo’s victory any less deserving, or Yam’s accomplishment less significant. Sure, had he won, Yam would be happier. There would be number of ripple effects – Paulo would not have clinched Player of the Year, a couple different players would be at worlds, etc. That’s all real, but that did not all happen because of that mistake, or that one match. Magic is an endless story of what-ifs. Sam Black got an invocation Wrath of God in his first draft, and it fit perfectly in the deck he had. What is the likelihood of that, and what would have happened differently had he not had it? We cannot know.  
 
Historians call this sort of thing counter-factual speculation. What if the Alexander the Great had died at age three? What if the Chinese had not called home their great exploration fleets in the 1400s? We cannot know. Likewise, we cannot know what might have happened had Yam not been the sort of person who gets excited when he rips the win in a Pro Tour semifinals, and makes a mistake.
 
Magic is one of the most complex games in the world, and players make mistakes all the time. Believe me – as a judge, and back when I worked behind the scenes on coverage, I have watched far more high level play than almost anyone else. I have watched literally thousands of matches at GPs, Worlds and Pro Tours.  I have been a table judge at countless feature matches, and at Top 8 playoffs at all levels. Players make mistakes. Lots of them.
 
Jon Finkel once said that no one has ever played a perfect game of Magic. True.
 
Magic is hard. It is harder under the lights, and at the end of a long day or weekend of Magic. At the last GP I played in, I went started out with no byes, and still managed to go 7-0. By round eight, I was tired and not playing all that well. In round nine my brain turned to mush. I might never have been able to beat my opponent’s bomb-filled deck when at my best, but after eight rounds, I was anything but at my best. 
 
Back in day, PTQs ran ten rounds, followed by a Top 8 that same day night.  I saw many errors in those Top 8s, and committed a few myself. The Top 8 matches happened after the players had played 12-14 hours of Magic already, and their endurance was tested as much as their other Magic skills.
 
High level Magic is not just a test of your knowledge of Magic rules, play and deckbuilding. Tournament magic is also a test of your ability to function under pressure, for a long, long time. It is also a test of your experience. Paulo has a ton of PT Top 8s, and has learned to be cool while under the lights. Yam is learning that – learning the hard way in this case – but that is a part of Magic at the Pro Tour level.
 
All Magic players, at all levels, make mistakes. All we can do is try to learn from those mistakes, and try not to make the same mistakes again. That’s something I have told all of the new judges I have trained: “You are going to make mistakes. When you do, apologize and explain to the players what you should have ruled. Fix it if you can. Go into the bathroom and kick the wall if it helps. Then go out there and do your best. Just don’t make the same mistake a second time. And when you have made all the mistakes there are, Wizards will print a new set, full of new things to get wrong.” 
 
I feel for Yam. We can all sympathize, because we have all been there. He made a mistake, but that does not distract from his accomplishment at the Pro Tour. It also does not change the fact that this was a great PT, with a really great Top 8. If you haven’t watched it, you should.  
 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: The Pro Tour was last weekend. The breakout deck was clearly Ramunap Red. It was the most played deck on day one, had a bigger percentage of day two, and put five and a half (the half because one version splashed black so it could lose to its comes-into-play-tapped lands) pilots into the Top 8. And Ramunap Red won. 
Modern: MKM, a European card dealer and TO, ran a series of events in Prague last weekend. The Modern event had almost 300 players. Coverage is here. The winning deck was a Valakut build that edged out Dredge. My favorite deck of the weekend was this one, cause I like Tron.
Eldrazi Tron
Justin Hayo, Top 8, MKM Modern Series, Prague - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Endbringer
4 Walking Ballista
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
19 cards

Instant
2 Dismember
2 cards
Sorcery
2 All is Dust
2 cards

Artifact
2 Mind Stone
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Expedition Map
2 Relic of Progenitus
12 cards
Planeswalker
2 Karn Liberated
2 cards

Land
4 Urza's Tower
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
2 Wastes
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 Ghost Quarter
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
1 Cavern of Souls
23 cards
 

Sideboard
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Basilisk Collar
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ratchet Bomb
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Warping Wail
3 Spatial Contortion
1 Wurmcoil Engine
15 cards
Legacy: MKM ran a Legacy event last weekend. Almost 300 players showed up, and Mentor Miracles took it down. A similar build also lost in the semi-finals.
Miraculous Mentor
Johannes Gutbrod, Third Place, MKM Legacy Prague. - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Snapcaster Mage
4 Monastery Mentor
7 cards

Instant
4 Brainstorm
2 Counterspell
1 Flusterstorm
3 Daze
4 Force of Will
3 Swords to Plowshares
2 Predict
19 cards
Sorcery
4 Ponder
3 Portent
4 Terminus/> 11 cards

Artifact
1 Engineered Explosives
1 cards
Planeswalker
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 cards

Land
3 Tundra
1 Volcanic Island
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
2 Arid Mesa
4 Island
1 Plains
1 Mountain
20 cards
 

Sideboard
2 Flusterstorm
3 Pyroblast
2 Blood Moon
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Vendilion Clique
2 Pyroclasm
1 Wear/Tear
1 Relic of Progenitus
15 cards
 
Vintage: The MKM Vintage Series held a 29 player event in Europe last weekend. The winning deck was a Mentor deck featuring Paradoxical Outcome. 
 
 
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 are all over the place again this week, which is what you would expect in the week after the PT. Ramunap Red was clearly the breakout deck of the event, so those cards are soaring. Decks that did not do as well – well, Angel of Invention dropped into the $3 range. Unless those cards make a sudden recovery, they will be off the table next week.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$3.38
$8.55
($5.17)
-60%
$4.59
$8.66
($4.07)
-47%
$36.17
$34.28
$1.89
6%
$17.12
$12.94
$4.18
32%
$6.55
$5.23
$1.32
25%
$11.00
$14.96
($3.96)
-26%
$14.62
$16.26
($1.64)
-10%
$8.24
$6.24
$2.00
32%
$10.14
$12.52
($2.38)
-19%
$26.86
$14.47
$12.39
86%
$14.82
$12.96
$1.86
14%
$59.85
$40.75
$19.10
47%
$8.65
$10.78
($2.13)
-20%
Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
$6.00
$7.92
($1.92)
-24%
$7.31
$6.78
$0.53
8%
$11.91
$5.19
$6.72
129%
$4.50
$6.69
($2.19)
-33%
$5.64
$6.66
($1.02)
-15%
$11.40
$14.79
($3.39)
-23%
$18.87
$23.74
($4.87)
-21%
$5.91
$7.89
($1.98)
-25%
$4.86
$10.07
($5.21)
-52%
$11.30
$8.41
$2.89
34%

Modern staples:  Modern prices are pretty quiet this week. People were focused on the Pro Tour.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$19.68
$19.85
($0.17)
-1%
$20.16
$20.07
$0.09
0%
$16.77
$16.60
$0.17
1%
$19.88
$19.69
$0.19
1%
$35.67
$39.43
($3.76)
-10%
$21.84
$21.21
$0.63
3%
$27.40
$22.56
$4.84
21%
$35.48
$35.00
$0.48
1%
$35.99
$35.91
$0.08
0%
$18.43
$17.79
$0.64
4%
$24.41
$23.75
$0.66
3%
$47.02
$48.00
($0.98)
-2%
$33.94
$34.85
($0.91)
-3%
$73.47
$71.58
$1.89
3%
$53.02
$52.26
$0.76
1%
$16.20
$13.07
$3.13
24%
$20.76
$20.93
($0.17)
-1%
$24.86
$24.18
$0.68
3%
$30.25
$32.78
($2.53)
-8%
$26.21
$25.59
$0.62
2%
$27.22
$26.63
$0.59
2%

Legacy and Vintage: Prices are generally down this week, but not a lot. Most of the moves are under 10% either way. Nothing really big. 
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$56.11
$53.75
$2.36
4%
$37.05
$34.91
$2.14
6%
$81.01
$81.49
($0.48)
-1%
$19.92
$22.86
($2.94)
-13%
$36.72
$38.02
($1.30)
-3%
$38.06
$38.18
($0.12)
0%
$29.19
$30.87
($1.68)
-5%
$38.71
$35.87
$2.84
8%
$28.23
$30.72
($2.49)
-8%
$28.74
$37.60
($8.86)
-24%
$42.26
$42.34
($0.08)
0%
$58.21
$58.52
($0.31)
-1%
$46.63
$49.60
($2.97)
-6%
$146.88
$146.49
$0.39
0%
$40.11
$42.17
($2.06)
-5%
$60.83
$63.27
($2.44)
-4%
$33.68
$33.42
$0.26
1%
$20.77
$20.43
$0.34
2%
$48.48
$50.03
($1.55)
-3%

Standard Legal Sets: This table tracks the cost of a single copy of every card in each Standard legal set, plus Treasure Chests and the current booster packs. I’ll keep tracking these because they are interesting (at least to me).  The Pro Tour has had an impact.
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$70.28
$68.95
$1.33
2%
Amonkhet
$70.74
$66.26
$4.48
7%
Battle for Zendikar
$39.67
$47.33
($7.66)
-16%
Eldritch Moon
$123.80
$109.77
$14.03
13%
Hour of Devastation
$49.04
$57.16
($8.12)
-14%
Kaladesh
$116.15
$118.50
($2.35)
-2%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$94.69
$93.18
$1.51
2%
Shadows over Innistrad
$51.72
$58.94
($7.22)
-12%
Treasure Chest
$2.32
$2.28
$0.04
2%
Amonkhet Booster
$1.88
$1.79
$0.09
5%
Hour of Devastation
$3.87
$4.15
($0.28)
-7%

 
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. Pretty similar to last week. 
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port *
 MM
Rare
 $ 146.88
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $    81.01
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $    74.64
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $    73.47
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $    61.53
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $    60.83
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $    59.85
Mystic Confluence
 PZ1
Rare
 $    58.21
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $    57.01
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $    56.11
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    55.13
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $    55.13
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $    54.15
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $    54.01
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $    53.02
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    52.86
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $    50.46
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $    49.15
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $    48.48
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $    47.02
Mox Diamond
 V10
Mythic Rare
 $    46.63
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $    45.21
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $    43.37
Dark Depths
 CSP
Rare
 $    42.70
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $    42.26
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $    40.11
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $    38.71
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $    38.26
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $    38.06
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $    37.43
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $    37.37
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $    37.09
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $    37.05
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $    36.72
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $    36.40
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $    36.35
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
 KLD
Mythic Rare
 $    36.17
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $    36.07
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $    35.99
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $    35.80
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $    35.78
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $    35.67
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $    35.48
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $    34.65
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $    33.94
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $    33.68
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    32.50
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
 $    32.28
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
 $    30.43
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
 $    30.25
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $    30.23
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $    29.45
Volcanic Island
 ME3
Rare
 $    29.30
Grim Monolith
 UL
Rare
 $    29.19
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
 $    28.80
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $    28.74
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $    28.59
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
 $    28.23
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $    28.18
Underground Sea
 VMA
Rare
 $    28.06
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
 $   27.57
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
 $    27.55
Eidolon of the Great Revel
 JOU
Rare
 $    27.40
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
 $    27.30
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $    27.26
Tarmogoyf
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $    27.22
Tempt with Discovery
 C13
Rare
 $    27.17
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $    27.06
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
 OGW
Mythic Rare
 $    26.86
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $    26.55
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $    26.21
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
 $    25.31

* A significantly cheaper promo version of Rishadan Port is available, but I do not include promos prices on the table. MTGO has over 900 promo cards on the list, and occasionally those cards are sold out for months at a time, so their prices do not reflect the market price. I tried checking numbers in stock, but 900+ is too many.   
 
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 $ 23,595. That’s up about $25 from last week.  Quiet.
 
Weekly Highlights
I have had time to squeeze in a number of leagues this last week. I have three limited leagues running simultaneously – which is kinda dumb, but it is more fun to draft than spend the time playing them out.  
 
I had a great deck in one friendly sealed league. My best card was a Glorybringer, but I did not draw it until the final turn of the final match.  Eight matches, and Glorybringer hid on the bottom of my deck, until the very last play of game three of the last match. Now I would be a bit saltier about that if I hadn’t done very well in that league, but since I was wining, it was all good.
 
I wanted to keep playing that deck, but I plowed my winnings into a second sealed deck, which was also pretty good. I had one match that probably made my opponent quite Magic. I opened with a tapped Desert into a turn two Naga Vitalist and a turn three Champion of Rhonas. My opponent had no removal, so turn four I put Sifter Wurm into play, gaining four life when I revealed a Sand Strangler, then played a Majestic Myriarch.   A 7/7 and 8/8 trampler on turn four is a bit unfair, and my opponent scooped. Game two I did it again. 
 
Magic is fun when your deck is broken. 
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” 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.  

1 Comments

re by Hearts at Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:50
Hearts's picture

Wotc want to have scouting in mtg.