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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Feb 03 2017 1:00pm
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State of the Program for February 3rd 2017
 
In the News
Sets to Release Faster Online: Beginning with Amonkhet and going forward from there, Wizards plans to release sets online the Monday after the paper prerelease. This means the cards will be available on MTGO before you can buy the paper product.   
 
Pro Tour Happening Now:   Coverage on Twitch.tv.
 
Wizards on the State of the MTGO: Chris Kiritz wrote an article recapping changes to MTGO last year, and setting forth goals going forward. He covers the introduction of leagues, gauntlets and so forth, then goes on to state some goals for next year. The biggest is faster roll-out of new sets on MTGO (see above). Wizards also promised more ways to play, including a Vintage League. The article is here.
 
Video Coverage Announcement: Wizards has announced expanded video coverage of major paper events this year. The coverage will all be on Twitch.tv/Magic. The lineup includes all 4 Pro Tours, 32 Grand Prix, the MOCS, and the Magic World Champs and World Magic Cup. Article is here.  
 
No Announcements this Week: Wizards did not publish a weekly news blog for this week. I was hoping for something on the upcoming gauntlets and flashback drafts, or just info on which downtimes might be skipped, but nothing was published.
 
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, at 11am Pacific
Legacy Challenge
Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific
No Downtime
(none announced)   
Extended Downtime
(none announced)
Magic Online Championships
March 3-5, on Twitch.tv/Magic
Current Leagues End
May 2, 2017
Amonkhet
May 2, 2017 MTGO release
Hour of Devastation
July, 2017
Modern Masters 2017 Edition
March 23rd on MTGO
Next B&R Announcement
March 13, 2017
 
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
Dead spot (was to be prerelease/ release events)
January 25th
February 22nd
Throwback Standard Gauntlet (1994?)
February 22nd
March 1st
Invasion/Planeshift/Apocalypse Draft
March 1st
March 8th
Cube Draft (Cube format TBD)
March 8th
March 22nd
Modern Masters 2017 Leagues
March 22nd
April 12th
 
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. 
  
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: We have a Pro Tour coming up, which will define the Standard format, and may or may not lead to bannings.   Will they ban Saheeli? We should know by Sunday night. But if you are looking for a deck to play that is not potentially going to die to the ban-hammer, try this:
 
GB Aggro Energy
ArmenioAnthony, 5-0, Competitive Standard League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Bristling Hydra
3 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
4 Longtusk Cub
3 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
3 Verdurous Gearhulk
3 Walking Ballista
4 Winding Constrictor
23 cards

Instant
3 Blossoming Defense
2 Fatal Push
4 Grasp of Darkness
9 cards
Sorcery
4 Attune with Aether
4 cards

Vehicle
2 Aethersphere Harvester
2 cards
Land
2 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
7 Forest
4 Hissing Quagmire
5 Swamp
22 cards
 


Sideboard
1 Fatal Push
2 Heroic Intervention
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Lost Legacy
3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
2 Tireless Tracker
3 Transgress the Mind
15 cards
 
Modern: Modern continues to be diverse. Lately I’ve seen Goryo’s Vengeance decks appearing in several locations. 
 

Pauper: 
The Pauper metagame appears to be fairly stale. The 5-0 decks are all familiar. If I was playing this weekend, here’s what I would play.
 
Mono-Blue
PISTILLONE, 5-0, Pauper League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Faerie Miscreant
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Spire Golem
20 cards

Instant
4 Counterspell
2 Daze
1 Deprive
2 Gush
1 Logic Knot
4 Vapor Snag
14 cards
Sorcery
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
8 cards
Land
17 Island
17 cards
Equipment
1 Bonesplitter
1 cards
 

Sideboard
3 Annul
2 Dispel
3 Hydroblast
2 Prodigal Sorcerer
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Stormbound Geist
15 cards

Legacy: 
A ton of different Legacy decks are putting up results. Here’s what I would play if I had to play an event today. 
 

Vintage: 
Remember, if you are not prepared, this can happen.  Fix your sideboards, people.
 
Dredge
LLLLLLL, 4-0, Vintage Daily - 75 Cards Total
Creature
1 Dragonlord Kolaghan
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Golgari Thug
4 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Stinkweed Imp
3 Vengeful Pharaoh
25 cards

Instant
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
4 Mindbreak Trap
12 cards
Sorcery
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Dread Return
7 cards

Artifact
4 Serum Powder
4 cards
Enchantment
4 Bridge from Below
4 cards

Land
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Petrified Field
8 cards
 

Sideboard
4 Dark Depths
1 Riftstone Portal
4 Thespian's Stage
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Vampire Hexmage
15 cards
 
 
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 mixed again this week. Expect big changes next week, after the Pro Tour redefines the metagame. 
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$11.60
$12.55
($0.95)
-8%
$9.98
$10.58
($0.60)
-6%
$6.91
$6.91
$0.00
0%
$22.36
$24.65
($2.29)
-9%
$27.01
$20.34
$6.67
33%
$16.08
$16.00
$0.08
0%
$6.55
$8.62
($2.07)
-24%
$21.80
$21.80
$0.00
0%
$9.41
$11.37
($1.96)
-17%
$29.15
$25.66
$3.49
14%
$24.20
$15.55
$8.65
56%
$17.30
$15.86
$1.44
9%
$12.97
$10.99
$1.98
18%
$6.20
$4.13
$2.07
50%
$9.78
$10.00
($0.22)
-2%
$9.84
$9.08
$0.76
8%
$19.28
$14.31
$4.97
35%
$6.20
$6.63
($0.43)
-6%
$12.25
$13.00
($0.75)
-6%
$15.13
$12.00
$3.13
26%

Modern staples:  Modern prices took a serious tumble this week – more so than usual.      
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$27.89
$36.89
($9.00)
-24%
$31.07
$27.06
$4.01
15%
$33.10
$34.08
($0.98)
-3%
$21.67
$28.21
($6.54)
-23%
$28.41
$27.62
$0.79
3%
$19.46
$24.01
($4.55)
-19%
$39.92
$45.00
($5.08)
-11%
$48.26
$49.00
($0.74)
-2%
$31.42
$33.87
($2.45)
-7%
$18.16
$19.25
($1.09)
-6%
$24.41
$24.24
$0.17
1%
$15.17
$18.95
($3.78)
-20%
$27.91
$32.86
($4.95)
-15%
$76.86
$84.55
($7.69)
-9%
$39.96
$36.25
$3.71
10%
$17.85
$20.58
($2.73)
-13%
$20.94
$24.90
($3.96)
-16%
$25.96
$31.68
($5.72)
-18%
$45.77
$48.09
($2.32)
-5%
$25.11
$24.72
$0.39
2%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are down this week, but not as much as other formats. Most of these price changes are minor, with a few notable exceptions.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$26.04
$26.05
($0.01)
0%
$39.04
$39.71
($0.67)
-2%
$78.13
$79.31
($1.18)
-1%
$31.43
$31.78
($0.35)
-1%
$27.51
$27.93
($0.42)
-2%
$47.04
$46.18
$0.86
2%
$42.51
$43.28
($0.77)
-2%
$24.91
$30.11
($5.20)
-17%
$35.44
$34.98
$0.46
1%
$35.21
$33.87
$1.34
4%
$31.44
$36.48
($5.04)
-14%
$32.09
$35.37
($3.28)
-9%
$29.08
$29.17
($0.09)
0%
$35.78
$35.59
$0.19
1%
$16.17
$18.34
($2.17)
-12%
$30.77
$38.49
($7.72)
-20%
$168.99
$166.69
$2.30
1%
$56.44
$54.01
$2.43
4%
$31.10
$34.48
($3.38)
-10%
$36.41
$47.12
($10.71)
-23%
$29.42
$27.35
$2.07
8%
$15.62
$16.54
($0.92)
-6%
$48.60
$52.21
($3.61)
-7%

 
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. 
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$124.96
$123.91
$1.05
1%
Battle for Zendikar
$69.58
$62.53
$7.05
11%
Eldritch Moon
$105.62
$105.36
$0.26
0%
Kaladesh
$96.47
$93.26
$3.21
3%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$119.01
$109.84
$9.17
8%
Shadows over Innistrad
$81.05
$73.82
$7.23
10%
Treasure Chest
$2.75
$3.00
($0.25)
-8%
Aether Revolt Booster
$3.96
n/a
n/a
n/a
Kaladesh Booster
$2.00
$2.54
($0.54)
-21%

 
 
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.  The list shrank a couple cards again this week, but Black Lotus climbed back above Liliana.  
 
Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $ 168.99
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $   78.13
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $   76.86
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $   60.88
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   57.55
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $   57.33
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $   56.44
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $   55.59
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $   54.35
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $   53.77
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $   53.23
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $   49.95
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $   48.71
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $   48.60
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $   48.35
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $   48.26
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $   47.04
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   45.77
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $   45.23
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $   44.45
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $   43.18
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $   42.51
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   40.91
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $   39.96
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $   39.92
Back to Basics
 UZ
Rare
 $   39.04
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
 $   38.30
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $   36.54
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $   36.41
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $   35.78
From the Ashes
 C13
Rare
 $   35.44
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $   35.21
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
 $   34.50
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $   34.43
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
 $   33.87
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $   33.71
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
 $   33.10
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   32.98
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $   32.09
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $   31.44
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $   31.43
Griselbrand
 AVR
Mythic Rare
 $   31.42
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $   31.38
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
 $   31.10
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $   31.07
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
 $   30.77
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $   29.42
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $   29.15
Meren of Clan Nel Toth
 PZ1
Rare
 $   29.08
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $   28.95
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $   28.56
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $   28.41
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   27.91
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
 $   27.89
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
 $   27.51
Grim Flayer
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $   27.01
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   26.59
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
 $   26.04
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
 $   25.96
Voice of Resurgence
 DGM
Mythic Rare
 $   25.11
Oblivion Stone
 MS2
Bonus
 $   25.05
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 $ 24,060. That is down about $875 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
My week has been hell.   I have not found time to play any Magic. I did find time, while wolfing a sandwich, to watch The Professor over at Tolarian Community College play the booster box game with a box of Aether Revolt. Spoilers: He got crushed.   He made back under half his investment, which provided the perfect capper to my week. 
 
I have to go. I have to prep for a meeting with at least six attorneys, possibly more. Can you guess how much we will accomplish in a meeting with a half dozen attorneys? Whatever you answered, the answer is less than that. Based on past experience, if we do anything it will be to undo past accomplishments. 
 
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.  
 
 

19 Comments

Modern is likely declining by xger at Fri, 02/03/2017 - 14:39
xger's picture

Modern is likely declining because of Modern Masters 2017 on the horizon, as well as potential for more ban list shake ups.

dq by Hearts at Sun, 02/05/2017 - 09:34
Hearts's picture

http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/ptaer/disqualification-in-ro...
In Round 5 of Pro Tour Aether Revolt, competitor Brock Parker was disqualified from the tournament for intentionally misrepresenting the game state to his advantage. The head judge of the tournament has provided a statement:

"Brock Parker crewed a Heart of Kiran that had just come into play that turn, and attempted to attack with it, forgetting that he was unable to do so. Parker's opponent believed he was attacking with the creature that was used to crew the Heart of Kiran. When damage went to resolve, Parker wrote down the life total reflecting damage that was done by the Vehicle, while his opponent wrote down damage as though the crewing creature had attacked instead.

At that stage of the turn, rather than point out the discrepancy, Parker went along with his opponent's recognition of the game state as his opponent saw it. The game state as Parker intended in his actions was illegal. The game state as his opponent interpreted the actions was legal, but not the intended line of play. This was observed by a judge, at which point the game was halted, and the judge staff investigated the situation. Because the misrepresentation of the game state benefited Parker, he had an obligation to inform his opponent that he had crewed his vehicle and dealt no damage. He could not allow the opponent to take 3 damage. The penalty for not bringing attention to this error was disqualification from the event."

...
This is another one of wotc's bullshit articles, they cant prove any of it.

I remember they also used to write stuff like "Person/player turned away from the GP venue because he sold cards for money."

A judge observed it, how else by xger at Sun, 02/05/2017 - 20:29
xger's picture

A judge observed it, how else do you prove it?

re by Hearts at Mon, 02/06/2017 - 08:33
Hearts's picture

A judge did not observe it, in fact 98 percent of game actions in mtg events are not observed by camera or judge(s).

From your own quote of the by Paul Leicht at Mon, 02/06/2017 - 10:01
Paul Leicht's picture

From your own quote of the WOTC statement: "This was observed by a judge, at which point the game was halted, and the judge staff investigated the situation. Because the misrepresentation of the game state benefited Parker, he had an obligation to inform his opponent that he had crewed his vehicle and dealt no damage."

Note the word: "Observe" which also means to see, hear and or otherwise witness.

Also instead of deciding on the spot what significance their observation had, they investigated. IE: Gathered evidence and proved their judgment. You could maybe argue that there is no way for us to know if they actually did investigate but if those who were there watched a summary judgment without evidence gathering or a fair understanding of events, they would most certainly have said something and this would be a top news story instead of the story being about a banning.

I recognize that you have it in for wizards. Maybe for valid reasons, I don't know. But your insistence on saying things that are not true despite the facts in front of everyone is just confounding.

re by Hearts at Mon, 02/06/2017 - 10:26
Hearts's picture

They are shooting themselves in the foot when they write;

"Because the misrepresentation of the game state benefited Parker, he had an obligation to inform his opponent...".

Benefiting or not has no bearing whatsoever on any obligation to inform someone, opponent/judge or whoever.

Their logics are conflicting with every second article they write.

While they perhaps could have by xger at Mon, 02/06/2017 - 13:35
xger's picture

While they perhaps could have worded it better, that clearly means "not cheat." They are saying that he had an obligation to inform his opponent of his mistake, not cover it up by relying on his opponent's misunderstanding of his actions. If you are going to attack Wizards, at least do so logically.

:Benefiting or not has no by longtimegone at Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:55
longtimegone's picture

:Benefiting or not has no bearing whatsoever on any obligation to inform someone, opponent/judge or whoever.

This just proves you don't even know the rules you are arguing about.

They state that you have exactly this obligation.

re by Hearts at Wed, 02/08/2017 - 23:47
Hearts's picture

Also when you do not benefit. Benefiting or not is irrelevant.

Benefitting by MichelleWong at Thu, 02/09/2017 - 07:55
MichelleWong's picture

Yes, you must inform your opponent when there is a life discrepancy, whether or not it benefits you. Wizards could have therefore worded the statement better.

However, you are being overly harsh and nitpicking. You ignore the context of Wizards' statement, which involved an incident that was more than just a simple life discrepancy. The discrepancy was due to a person making an illegal attack, and then realising that it was an illegal attack BECAUSE of the discrepancy. Not informing about the discrepancy here falls under the "Cheating" section of the Tournament Rules, because the player either knew or discovered that it was an illegal play, then adjusted himself to pretend that he actually attacked with a different creature. This is cheating.

re by Hearts at Thu, 02/09/2017 - 10:27
Hearts's picture

A whole lot of assumptions and claims.

Lotleth Troll by MichelleWong at Thu, 02/09/2017 - 10:36
MichelleWong's picture

Ah, now I just need to figure out which troll you are. The Lotleth Troll or the Troll Ascetic?

Actually, I sincerely hope you are Thrun, the Last Troll.

re by Hearts at Thu, 02/09/2017 - 10:46
Hearts's picture

Are you blind ? They write "... for intentionally misrepresenting the game state...".

Whats up here, they have the skills of Sigmund Freud times 10 or do mtg-players grow a long red nose when they speak non-truths at tournaments ?

Trolls by MichelleWong at Thu, 02/09/2017 - 11:20
MichelleWong's picture

Yes, a judge was an eyewitness, he then interviewed eyewitnesses and took into account all available evidence at hand (ie. actual fact finding) to determine the likely intention.

(Now it dawns on me why Wizards gave us the sideboard card "Feed the Clan" rather than "Feed the Trolls". Sage advice for such a pesky matchup as this one. I should have taken the advice, and I will take it in future by not responding to further incoherence).

LOL You're too funny by Paul Leicht at Fri, 02/10/2017 - 07:11
Paul Leicht's picture

LOL You're too funny Michelle. :D

re by Hearts at Mon, 02/06/2017 - 14:57
Hearts's picture

I am proving that they are making up stories.

Only to yourself. No one else by Paul Leicht at Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:15
Paul Leicht's picture

Only to yourself. No one else is buying it.

Wizards by MichelleWong at Tue, 02/07/2017 - 23:23
MichelleWong's picture
5

Agreed, Hearts' position does not seem tenable.

Yeah, at one point I wasn't by longtimegone at Thu, 02/09/2017 - 16:15
longtimegone's picture

Yeah, at one point I wasn't sure if it was cluelessness or intentional trolling, but I think it's gotten pretty clear as time has gone along.