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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Dec 01 2017 12:00pm
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State of the Program for December 1st 2017
 
In the News
Christine Sprankle Quits Magic Cosplay:   The “Godmother of Magic Cosplay” has announced that she will no longer be cosplaying Magic characters, as the abuse from the Magic community is too toxic. Ms. Sprankle was one of Magic’s premier ambassadors.  An article about her announcement (and reasons) is here. Wizards’ response is here. An Open Letter from dozens of Magic Pros deploring the abuse is here. The Professor’s commentary on the situation is here. My thoughts are in the Opinion Section, below.
 
World Magic Cup Play Begins: The World Magic Cup will play out this weekend. When this article goes live, day one coverage will have begun. The event featured team limited, alternating with team Standard constructed. Details here.
 
Mothership Updated: Wizards has updated the DailyMTG website. An article describing the changes are here and here. In my opinion, this update does not suck – which is a big break with tradition. I have written about mothership “upgrades” in the past and they have all (except this one) made the site less useful and generally uglier. Congrats on turning that history around, Wizards!
 
Event Crashes: MTGO had some issues early on – possibly due to Iconic Masters, possibly more generic. The client was freezing up during matches. Appears to be fixed now.
 
Standard Gauntlet of Greatness Coming: The final Throwback Standard Gauntlet will be up December 6th – 13th. It includes the best decks from the Throwback Gauntlets form earlier this year. Full details are 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. 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
   

 
Constructed Leagues End (maybe)
January 15, 2018
Sealed Leagues End
January 15, 2018
Rivals of Ixalan
January 21, 2018
Core Set Magic 2019
July 20, 2018
25th Anniversary Edition Masters
March 16, 2018
Next B&R Announcement
January 15, 2018
SOI and EMN Redemption Ends
April 28, 2018
Ixalan Redemption Ends
May 23, 2018
Rivals of Ixalan Redemption Ends
May 23, 2018

 
2018 Magic Online Championship Series
Complete details, including schedule, rules, and which online events qualify you for which online or paper events is here.   Here are the main dates for the next quarter:
 

Event Date
Event Type
Event Format
Invites
Saturday, December 16
Monthly
Standard
February 10 MOCS Playoff
Friday, December 29
Monthly
Ixalan Sealed
February 10 MOCS Playoff
Saturday, December 30
Open
Ixalan Sealed
Magic Online Championship, Pro Tour Dominaria, PT Challenge at Pro Tour Dominaria
Saturday, January 6
Open
Ixalan Sealed
Magic Online Championship, Pro Tour Dominaria, PT Challenge at Pro Tour Dominaria
Sunday, January 7
Monthly
Modern
February 10 MOCS Playoff
Saturday, January 27
Monthly
Standard
February 10 MOCS Playoff
Sunday, January 28
Monthly
Ixalan-Rivals of Ixalan Sealed
February 10 MOCS Playoff
Saturday, February 10
Playoff
Standard
Magic Online Championship, Pro Tour Dominaria, PT Challenge at Pro Tour Dominaria

 
Magic Online Format Challenges
These are high stakes events that happen every weekend.   They cost 25 Tix / 250 play points, and last a number of rounds based on participation (assume 5-8), plus a single elimination Top 8. Details, including prize payouts, are here. Start times are:
 

Event Type
Start Time
Saturday, 8:00 am PT
Saturday, 10:00 am PT
Saturday, 12:00 pm PT
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT

 
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
Iconic Masters
November 17th
December 6th
Standard Gauntlet of Greatness
December 6th
December 13th
Triple Lorwyn
December 13th
December 20th
Vintage Cube
December 20th
January 15th
[time off for Rivals of Ixalan events]
January 15th
???

 
The 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: Toxicity
 
Last weekend, one of Magic’s best ambassadors to the wider world, Christine Sprankle , announced that she was leaving the Magic community because of continued harassment. (Details here.)  This is beyond sad. Christine introduced Magic to many people that would not have known about the game otherwise. Her loss is a severe blow to the game.  Really. And the toxicity that drove her – and countless others – out of the game needs to end.
 
Over the years, I have seen many people claim that various things will kill Magic.  We had 6th Edition rules, damage on the stack and countless other changes – and Magic survived. We had Necro Summer, Combo Winter and Affinity – and Magic survived. We’ve had bad sets, bad websites, massive spoilers and price increases – and Magic survived. In fact, it is pretty clear that Magic can survive pretty much any mistakes Wizards makes. So long as the player base remains, Magic will flourish, because it is a great game.
 
So long as the player base remains. 
 
The toxicity shown to people like Christine, and so many, many other ambassadors, content creators (including me), players, judges and fans erodes that player base. If it erodes it enough, the game will die. And it really, actually can. I know so many people that have been driven away from Magic. Some were long time fans who had finally had enough. Others were at their first competitive event and were repulsed by the actions of other players. 
 
We are never getting those players back. 
 
Christine pointed to one as a major factor, but the problem is not just people like him. The problem is that too many people in the Magic community are a bit like him, or like him sometimes.  And even sometimes is enough to do real harm, if you do it in public.  Sometime we all need to vent – some of us may need to swear violently and throw stuff around. If so, do it in private, where no one else can see or hear, then stop. 
 
This is not a hard concept. It’s been said many times, in many ways:
 
·       Be Excellent to Each Other – Bill & Ted
·       Don’t be a Dick – Will Wheaton, and others
·       If you haven’t anything good to say, just don’t say anything – grandmothers everywhere
·       And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them -  Jesus, and many others
·       Keep a civil tongue in your head.  – my 4th grade teacher, and others
 
We live in a society. We are part of a community. Societies and communities survive only because people are civil. Civility is what creates civilization. That’s not a tautology – civilization exists only because people can live together, and they can only live together if they are civil. 
 
Being civil does not just mean obeying the law. The law exists to create boundaries that warrant penalties for transgressions.   The law creates outer limits on behavior, but there is a wide range of behaviors that are not civil, but not illegal. Generally, these behaviors are harmful, to some extent – even if that harm merely makes someone else unhappy. That sort of behavior is rude, crude or obnoxious. So don’t do it, even if it is not technically illegal.
 
Personally, if I wanted to be around spoiled, immature jackasses with no restraint and no filters, I could be a teacher for troubled preteens, or something like that.   I don’t want to be around those people, so I avoid them. If I find that my local game store, or my online game, or my discussion group, or church, or whatever, has a toxic environment, I’ll leave. As will most other people.  People may try to change the environment to make it less toxic, but if that does not work, they will leave.
 
Most of the game stores in my part of the country do not tolerate toxic behavior, and that attracts players. In other communities, especially certain online communities, the toxicity has caused all the decent people to leave, and many of those games, forums, etc. have collapsed. Some places, like Reddit, are in flux – they are battling toxicity in an attempt to keep the community alive. 
 
The Magic community is, overall, a decent place. However, last weekend, some truly vicious people cost us one of our leading lights.   They have cost us many more people we never hear about.  All of that diminishes us.
 
So, once again, if you don’t have something civil to say, just keep quiet. If you see someone that is, in your opinion, fat, or ugly, or has the wrong chromosomes, or isn’t your preferred color, or eats with a spork, or has whorls on their fingers, or whatever you don’t like, just look away. You have no reason or justification to point it out, so don’t. Making “jokes” about anything like that is not clever, or smart, or cute – it is toxic and destructive and immature. So just STFU. 
 
Please.  
 
Cutting Edge Tech
 
Standard: It was Thanksgiving last weekend in the US. That means no major Standard events. I had to look to the Competitive League lists, but at least I found something a bit different.   
Anointed Tokens
MADCAPOPEYE, 5-0, Competitive Standard League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Adorned Pouncer
4 Angel of Sanctions
4 Champion of Wits
4 Sunscourge Champion
16 cards

Sorcery
4 Fumigate
2 Strategic Planning
4 Chart a Course
6 cards
Enchantment
4 Anointed Procession
4 Ixalan's Binding
4 cards
Land
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Hostile Desert
4 Ipnu Rivulet
4 Irrigated Farmland
2 Island
8 Plains
2 Field of Ruin
24 cards


Sideboard
3 Authority of the Consuls
2 Gideon's Intervention
3 Negate
3 Sacred Cat
2 Spell Pierce
2 Vizier of Many Faces
15 cards
Modern: The largest Modern event last week was held in Japan. 286 players brought their decks. The Top 8 was Living End (first and third), Humans, two Burn decks, two UWx Midrange and Grixis Control.
 
Legacy: Thanksgiving weekend meant few events in the US, but Brazil held a large national Legacy event. 140 players battled; Eldrazi took it down.  
 
Eldrazi
Henrique Belumat, Winner, Nacional Legacy Brazil - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Thought-Knot Seer
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Endless One
2 Endbringer
4 Eldrazi Mimic
2 Walking Ballista
4 Reality Smasher
27 cards

Instant
2 Dismember
2 cards
Artifact
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Umezawa's Jitte
6 cards
Land
1 Karakas
3 Eye of Ugin
4 Wasteland
2 Mishra's Factory
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 City of Traitors
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Ancient Tomb
25 cards


Sideboard
2 All Is Dust
2 Warping Wail
4 Leyline of the Void
3 Thorn of Amethyst
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
2 Ratchet Bomb
15 cards
Vintage: The VSL playoffs have begun. The format requires each player to submit three unique decks. All three players in this round submitted a Shops deck, a Paradoxical Outcome deck and something else. Decklists are here.  Here’s my favorite.
 

 

 
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 back to normal this week. Not a lot of activity. 
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$6.50
$4.70
$1.80
38%
$7.99
$8.25
($0.26)
-3%
$8.89
$9.07
($0.18)
-2%
$7.12
$7.00
$0.12
2%
$36.65
$35.87
$0.78
2%
$6.88
$8.10
($1.22)
-15%
$10.55
$10.27
$0.28
3%
$8.24
$8.10
$0.14
2%
$8.45
$7.89
$0.56
7%
$32.46
$36.96
($4.50)
-12%
$16.87
$13.61
$3.26
24%
$12.77
$11.13
$1.64
15%
$10.80
$8.67
$2.13
25%

Modern staples:  Modern prices were fluctuating again this week. Iconic Masters seems to have been factored in, or maybe it is not having much impact. The EV on keep-the-cards Iconic Masters drafts seems low enough that people are playing phantom, if they play at all.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$12.43
$13.12
($0.69)
-5%
$26.18
$27.42
($1.24)
-5%
$31.07
$29.10
$1.97
7%
$33.27
$34.25
($0.98)
-3%
$18.53
$18.54
($0.01)
0%
$18.19
$16.98
$1.21
7%
$19.83
$19.50
$0.33
2%
$31.62
$29.41
$2.21
8%
$27.18
$23.88
$3.30
14%
$19.36
$19.36
$0.00
0%
$37.64
$36.80
$0.84
2%
$61.50
$63.86
($2.36)
-4%
$31.14
$31.34
($0.20)
-1%
$65.09
$57.28
$7.81
14%
$26.37
$22.97
$3.40
15%
$31.61
$25.83
$5.78
22%
$22.38
$26.14
($3.76)
-14%
$22.35
$20.68
$1.67
8%
$24.99
$24.33
$0.66
3%

Legacy and Vintage: Vintage and Legacy prices generally down, but not to an excessive amount. .
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$53.39
$56.17
($2.78)
-5%
$20.41
$20.69
($0.28)
-1%
$15.54
$15.36
$0.18
1%
$89.37
$89.88
($0.51)
-1%
$37.00
$38.00
($1.00)
-3%
$34.84
$35.84
($1.00)
-3%
$14.62
$16.26
($1.64)
-10%
$25.01
$24.46
$0.55
2%
$31.92
$28.27
$3.65
13%
$40.83
$40.83
$0.00
0%
$25.88
$24.79
$1.09
4%
$33.82
$39.15
($5.33)
-14%
$70.25
$74.12
($3.87)
-5%
$18.49
$19.45
($0.96)
-5%
$57.80
$49.66
$8.14
16%
$19.99
$24.14
($4.15)
-17%
$18.36
$16.61
$1.75
11%
$37.25
$36.40
$0.85
2%

* 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.   
 
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 pack. I’ll keep tracking these because they are interesting (at least to me).  
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$73.19
$68.23
$4.96
7%
Amonkhet
$78.26
$81.25
($2.99)
-4%
Ixalan
$72.04
$69.48
$2.56
4%
Hour of Devastation
$65.50
$71.61
($6.11)
-9%
Kaladesh
$120.65
$111.18
$9.47
9%
Treasure Chest
$2.57
$2.48
$0.09
4%
Ixalan Booster
$3.07
$2.78
$0.29
10%

 
 
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. Nothing is above a hundred bucks. The number of cards on the list is up slightly again this week.
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $     89.37
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $     70.25
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $     66.51
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $     66.26
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $     65.09
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $     62.75
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $     61.50
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $     59.17
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $     57.80
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $     53.39
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $     53.22
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $     43.92
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $     42.36
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $     40.83
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $     40.70
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $     40.61
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $     40.07
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $     39.47
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $     38.71
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $     38.46
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $     37.80
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $     37.64
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $     37.25
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $     37.00
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
 KLD
Mythic Rare
 $     36.65
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $     35.62
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $     34.84
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $     34.76
Edgar Markov
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $     34.63
The Scarab God
 MS3
Special
 $     34.09
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $     34.07
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
 $     33.82
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $     33.27
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $     33.21
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $     33.10
The Scarab God
 HOU
Mythic Rare
 $     32.46
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
 $     32.11
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $     31.92
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $     31.84
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $     31.62
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $     31.61
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
 $     31.25
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $     31.14
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
 $     31.07
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
 $     30.42
Mystic Confluence
 PZ1
Rare
 $     30.00
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $     29.50
Underground Sea
 VMA
Rare
 $     28.45
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $     27.83
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $     27.57
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $     27.18
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $     27.18
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
 $     27.12
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
 $     26.95
Noble Hierarch
 MM2
Rare
 $     26.75
Noble Hierarch
 CON
Rare
 $     26.37
Cavern of Souls
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $     26.29
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $     26.18
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $     25.93
Mox Diamond
 V10
Mythic Rare
 $     25.88
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $     25.42
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $     25.37
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
 $     25.01

 
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 $ 20,040. That’s up about $440 from last week. 
 
Weekly Highlights
 
I had a good Thanksgiving. I ate some turkey, spent time with family and watched some football. Not much Magic, but good times nonetheless. Hope your holidays – or weekend for those of you not celebrating American Thanksgiving – were also good.
 
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.  

 

11 Comments

LLL by Sensei at Sat, 12/02/2017 - 00:21
Sensei's picture

Oh yay a tribal draft format as a break from our current tribal draft format

but it is a better tribal by JXClaytor at Sat, 12/02/2017 - 13:35
JXClaytor's picture

but it is a better tribal draft format!

re by Hearts at Mon, 12/04/2017 - 19:28
Hearts's picture

Next week article on warnings, escalations, categories, game/match losses and DQs please.

What is the connection to the by Lagrange at Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:45
Lagrange's picture

What is the connection to the online game?

re by Hearts at Tue, 12/05/2017 - 23:55
Hearts's picture

Pete writes a lot about paper magic despite this site being named "mtgo", which is good in every way since there are numerous connections.

I'm sorry, I was interested by Lagrange at Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:29
Lagrange's picture

I'm sorry, I was interested in the connection for this specific question. But I guess there is none then.

re by Hearts at Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:45
Hearts's picture

Why are you interested in the connections for this specific question ?

Why are you questioning his by AJ_Impy at Wed, 12/06/2017 - 23:12
AJ_Impy's picture

Why are you questioning his interest in finding the connections for that specific question?

re by Hearts at Thu, 12/07/2017 - 00:43
Hearts's picture

Because they are obvious.

But...if they are obvious... by Paul Leicht at Thu, 12/07/2017 - 02:46
Paul Leicht's picture

But...if they are obvious...

Love your article, great by MichelleWong at Fri, 12/08/2017 - 09:12
MichelleWong's picture
5

Love your article, great content as usual.

I came to a different conclusion concerning the Jeremy vs Sprankle issue after looking at both sides of the story. After I watched all your links above, I agreed with the views of the speakers in the videos. After I fact-checked it and looked at the other side of the story, not so much.

In any event, I wish no one would ever say anything unkind about any public figure on either side (unless it's relevant to government).