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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Feb 09 2018 12:00pm
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State of the Program for February 9th 2018
 
In the News
Luis Salvatto Wins Pro Tour Rival of Ixalan:  The Modern Pro Tour delivered. The day one breakdown lists 68 separate archetypes, with 7 different archetypes in the Top 8.  (Humans was the one duplicate archetype)  Pretty much anything could work, provided the pilot was really good with the deck. Coverage is here.
 
Article on Updates to MTGO: Chris Kiritz posted an article with “several updates about Magic Online” on Thursday. I had massive conflicts on Wednesday night and Thursday, so I am writing and submitting this early Wednesday. That means I don’t know what he said. Whatever it was, I’ll talk about it next week.
 
Masters 25 Packaging Previewed: Masters 25 packaging has been shown, (see it here) and we recognize a few cards on the booster covers. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is coming back, as is Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Does this mean that Wizards might be unbanning Jace tMS in Modern? No idea, but it’s fun to speculate.
 
Paper FNM Promos Back: After seeing a “disappointing” response to the foil token FNM reward plan, Wizards has announced that they are returning to actual card FNM promos.   I’m happy – I have no interest in more tokens. I have an endless supply already. Announcement here.
 
Magic Battles for Cell Phones: Wizards is partnering with Netmarble to develop a MOBA for cell phones and tablets. The game features members of the Gatewatch as toons in a battle arena. This is not traditional Magic – this looks more like League of Legends or Dota, but it appears that some sort of deckbuilding may be used to give your toons powers and options. Could be cool. The announcement, including a video, is here.
 
WotC President Interview: Hipsters of the Coast is running a three-part article series on Chris Cocks, President of Wizards. The first part of the series is here. The next two parts will be up when you read this, but I have to write this on Wednesday, so I haven’t see them as I submit.
 
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
Dates
Scheduled Extended Downtimes
February 21st  (This date has changed!) 
Constructed Leagues End
April 18, 2018
Sealed Leagues End
April 23, 2018
Core Set Magic  2019
July 13, 2018
25th Anniversary Edition Masters
March 16, 2018
Next B&R Announcement
February 12, 2018
SOI and EMN Redemption Ends
April 28, 2018
Ixalan Redemption Ends
May 23, 2018
Rivals of Ixalan Redemption Ends
May 23, 2018

 
WotC Covered Events
Wizards will be streaming a number of events next year, including all four Pro Tours, the Magic Championship and World Magic Cup, along with 35 Grand Prix. Since Wizards does not schedule premier events on prerelease weekends and certain holidays, that means they will be streaming an event nearly every weekend. Here’s the schedule we have so far.
·       Feb. 10–11: Grand Prix Toronto
·       Feb. 17–18: Grand Prix Lyon
·       Feb. 24–25: Grand Prix Memphis
·       March 2–4: Magic Online Championship in Renton, Washington
·       March 10–11: Grand Prix Madrid
·       April 6–8: Grand Prix Seattle (double-GP weekend)
·       April 14–15: Grand Prix Memphis
·       April 28–29: Grand Prix Bologna
·       May 5–6: Grand Prix Dallas
·       May 11–13: Grand Prix Birmingham (double-GP weekend)
·       May 26–27: Grand Prix Washington, DC
·       June 1–3: Pro Tour Dominaria in Richmond, Virginia
·       June 9–10: Grand Prix Copenhagen
·       June 15–17: Grand Prix Las Vegas (double-GP weekend)
·       June 23–24: Grand Prix Pittsburgh
·       July 7–8: Grand Prix São Paulo
·       July 21–22: Grand Prix Sacramento
·       July 28–29: Grand Prix Minneapolis
·       Aug. 3–5: Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis, Minnesota
·       Aug. 11–12: Grand Prix Brussels
·       Aug. 18–19: Grand Prix Los Angeles
·       Aug. 25–26: Grand Prix Prague
·       Aug. 31–Sept. 2: Grand Prix Richmond (double-GP weekend)
·       Sept. 8–9: Grand Prix Detroit
·       Sept. 15–16: Grand Prix Stockholm
·       Weekend of Sept. 23–24: 2018 Magic World Championship and Team Series Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada (exact event dates TBD)
·       Oct. 6–7: Grand Prix Montreal
·       Oct. 13–14: Grand Prix Denver
·       Oct. 27–28: Grand Prix Lille
·       Nov. 3–4: Grand Prix Atlanta
·       Nov. 9–11: Pro Tour "Spaghetti" in Atlanta
·       Nov. 17–18: Grand Prix Milwaukee
·       Dec. 8–9: Grand Prix Liverpool
·       Dec. 14–16: World Magic Cup in Barcelona, Spain
 
2018 Magic Online Championship Series
Complete details, including schedule, rules, and which online events qualify you for which online or paper events is here.  
 
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

 
 
Opinion Section:  What I Hope Chris Kiritz Announced
I have a bunch of conflicts Wednesday night through Friday, so I am writing and submitting this article on Wednesday afternoon. I have not yet seen Chris Kiritz’s announcement, and have not read the Hipsters interview of Chris Cocks. Since I can’t discuss those, I’ll settle for listing the three things I most hope the Chris’ announce.
 
1) Support for you bring the pack drafts:   In the paper world, people do Chaos drafts, where everyone gets three boosters from a bag, which typically has 24 boosters all from different sets. We have also done drafts where we were using up leftover boosters, so we everyone got two M15 boosters and one Dragons of Tarkir booster. (It beats just cracking them.) There are lots of unopened boosters in the system, and allowing people to organize wacky drafts would be a great way of using them up.
 
2) Bring your own cube events: Cube drafts are super popular. Many, many people have built their own paper cubes, and draft them with friends. I would love to see this supported online. I know this would require some serious work, including developing a method of loaning out cards, but it would be great.
 
3) Support for more formats. Wizards has told us that MTGA Arena will be the place to draft and play Standard, and that MTGO will be the place to play other formats. It that is true, I would love to see Wizards introduce support for more formats.   They should at least bring back Tribal, but should also build support for Canadian Highlander, 1993 Magic and other fringe formats. And the ability to challenge people or open tables in those formats. At least something.
 
I know these are not realistic, but I am hoping that Chris announces something to keep us excited about MTGO. I’m hoping for something, beyond an invitation to join the MTGA beta.  
 
You will know by the time you read this. And I’ll talk about what he actually said in next week’s article.  
 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: With the Pro Tour running last weekend, other events were few and far between. However, we did have an online PTQ, which is plenty big and competitive, so the results should be meaningful. In this case, the finals was a red on red battle, so I’ll feature a red deck for the second week in a row. 
 

 

Modern: The Pro Tour had a ton of different archetypes: coverage listed 63 being played. The winning deck was Lantern Control, which I have featured a couple times. The second place deck was something that has appeared online on occasion, and is now “perfected.” Maybe.
 
Mardu Pyromancer
GerryT, Second Place, Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Bedlam Reveler
4 Young Pyromancer
8 cards

Instant
2 Fatal Push
3 Kolaghan's Command
1 Manamorphose
1 Terminate
4 Lightning Bolt
11 cards
Sorcery
2 Collective Brutality
1 Dreadbore
4 Lingering Souls
4 Faithless Looting
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Thoughtseize
18 cards

Enchantment
2 Blood Moon
2 cards
Planeswalker
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 cards

Land
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Marsh Flats
2 Blood Crypt
1 Sacred Foundry
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Mountain
2 Swamp
20 cards
 

Sideboard
2 Collective Brutality
1 Anger of the Gods
2 (Wear)
1 Liliana of the Veil
3 Surgical Extraction
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Fulminator Mage
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Molten Rain
15 cards
Pauper: Here’s a classic Pauper deck. Small red creatures (mainly goblins) and burn has been a thing forever. Some things never change.
 
Rushing Red
AMIRRORDARKLY, 5-0 Pauper Constructed League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Cohort
3 Goblin Heelcutter
4 Jackal Familiar
4 Mogg Conscripts
4 Mudbrawler Cohort
4 Valley Dasher
31 cards

Instant
2 Fireblast
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Mutagenic Growth
10 cards
Sorcery
2 Reckless Abandon
2 cards
Land
17 Mountain
17 cards


Sideboard
2 Blazing Volley
1 Electrickery
3 Flame Slash
2 Flaring Pain
2 Ghostfire
2 Gorilla Shaman
1 Pyroblast
2 Stingscourger
15 cards
 
Legacy: Here’s a deck that is really dedicated to Through the Breach. That, or hard-casting the threats.
 
Through the Breach
BICYCOPS, 5-0, MTGO Competitive Legacy League - 72 Cards Total
Creature
1 Combustible Gearhulk
2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
3 Griselbrand
3 Inferno Titan
4 Simian Spirit Guide
2 Worldspine Wurm
15 cards

Instant
3 Seething Song
4 Through the Breach
7 cards
Artifact
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Lotus Petal
8 cards

Enchantment
4 Blood Moon
3 Blood Sun
4 Sneak Attack
8 cards
Land
4 Ancient Tomb
3 City of Traitors
2 Crystal Vein
10 Mountain
19 cards
 


Sideboard
1 Abrade
1 Boil
2 Faerie Macabre
2 Fiery Confluence
2 Kozilek's Return
2 Magus of the Moon
1 Shattering Spree
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
3 Trinisphere
15 cards
 
 
Vintage: No large Vintage events opposite the Pro Tour, so I’m looking through the Leagues. Here’s an Oath of Druids with full playsets of Burning Wish and Paradoxical Outcome. This is a storm deck at heart, with plenty of storm cards all hidden in the sideboard.
 
 
 
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 generally down this week. I will be trimming a number of cards off the table if they don’t climb back over $5 or so. 
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$4.75
$5.67
($0.92)
-16%
$4.84
$6.08
($1.24)
-20%
$9.91
$10.00
($0.09)
-1%
$32.13
$31.11
$1.02
3%
$6.32
$7.35
($1.03)
-14%
$5.38
$5.48
($0.10)
-2%
$17.04
$14.76
$2.28
15%
$5.51
$9.10
($3.59)
-39%
$4.00
$6.08
($2.08)
-34%
$5.81
$7.92
($2.11)
-27%
$20.97
$15.71
$5.26
33%
$6.53
$7.23
($0.70)
-10%
$39.96
$37.05
$2.91
8%
$16.35
$15.89
$0.46
3%
$7.84
$8.13
($0.29)
-4%
$12.00
$13.01
($1.01)
-8%

Modern staples:  Modern is doing okay. Since the format was super diverse, pretty much everything on the table climbed. The exception was Scapeshift, which was pretty much a no-show. Collected Company dropped, but since the CoCo Humans deck did okay, that may not last.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$23.21
$22.59
$0.62
3%
$26.99
$24.66
$2.33
9%
$31.22
$30.60
$0.62
2%
$24.48
$23.58
$0.90
4%
$12.61
$18.89
($6.28)
-33%
$30.86
$20.94
$9.92
47%
$22.23
$21.02
$1.21
6%
$32.56
$33.07
($0.51)
-2%
$30.28
$30.85
($0.57)
-2%
$27.94
$28.21
($0.27)
-1%
$38.34
$36.49
$1.85
5%
$55.89
$52.91
$2.98
6%
$31.19
$28.12
$3.07
11%
$54.94
$53.43
$1.51
3%
$20.30
$19.34
$0.96
5%
$29.90
$29.13
$0.77
3%
$14.40
$18.99
($4.59)
-24%
$31.18
$27.27
$3.91
14%
$23.29
$22.80
$0.49
2%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy dropped this week. Everyone is playing Modern.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$35.91
$39.35
($3.44)
-9%
$21.79
$22.31
($0.52)
-2%
$20.34
$19.84
$0.50
3%
$46.82
$52.10
($5.28)
-10%
$40.52
$41.99
($1.47)
-4%
$17.54
$18.17
($0.63)
-3%
$28.73
$33.24
($4.51)
-14%
$40.47
$40.99
($0.52)
-1%
$15.97
$15.98
($0.01)
0%
$24.22
$21.66
$2.56
12%
$31.83
$30.80
$1.03
3%
$26.95
$25.93
$1.02
4%
$74.43
$73.77
$0.66
1%
$16.46
$18.61
($2.15)
-12%
$14.09
$14.08
$0.01
0%
$37.34
$41.10
($3.76)
-9%

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
$74.41
$81.01
($6.60)
-8%
Amonkhet
$75.32
$77.10
($1.78)
-2%
Ixalan
$69.22
$70.97
($1.75)
-2%
Hour of Devastation
$74.41
$71.84
$2.57
4%
Kaladesh
$102.12
$104.30
($2.18)
-2%
Rivals of Ixalan
$70.64
$70.48
$0.16
0%
Treasure Chest
$2.47
$2.47
$0.00
0%
Ixalan Booster
$3.77
$3.23
$0.54
17%
Rivals of Ixalan Booster
$3.00
$3.39
($0.39)
-12%

 
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. Black Lotus (the real one) is above a hundred bucks. The list hasn’t changed much this week.
 

Name
Set
Rarity
Price
Black Lotus
1E
Rare
$ 107.52
True-Name Nemesis
PZ1
Mythic Rare
$   74.96
True-Name Nemesis
C13
Rare
$   74.43
Mox Sapphire
1E
Rare
$   63.82
Force of Will
MED
Rare
$   61.70
Mox Opal
SOM
Mythic Rare
$   60.36
Mox Opal
MM2
Mythic Rare
$   58.59
Liliana of the Veil
MM3
Mythic Rare
$   58.29
Ancestral Recall
1E
Rare
$   58.16
Liliana of the Veil
ISD
Mythic Rare
$   55.89
Mox Opal
MS2
Bonus
$   54.94
Mox Ruby
1E
Rare
$   51.87
Mox Emerald
1E
Rare
$   50.84
Wasteland
TE
Uncommon
$   50.29
Mox Diamond
TPR
Mythic Rare
$   48.80
Mox Jet
1E
Rare
$   47.18
Exploration
UZ
Rare
$   46.82
Force of Will
EMA
Mythic Rare
$   43.80
Wasteland
TPR
Rare
$   43.31
The Scarab God
MS3
Special
$   42.68
Mox Pearl
1E
Rare
$   42.45
Force of Will
VMA
Rare
$   41.62
Force of Will
MS3
Special
$   40.52
Misdirection
MM
Rare
$   40.47
The Scarab God
HOU
Mythic Rare
$   39.96
Wasteland
EXP
Mythic Rare
$   39.21
Karn Liberated
MM2
Mythic Rare
$   39.03
Time Walk
1E
Rare
$   38.36
Karn Liberated
NPH
Mythic Rare
$   38.34
Wasteland
EMA
Rare
$   37.34
Ensnaring Bridge
7E
Rare
$   36.60
Black Lotus
VMA
Bonus
$   35.91
Unmask
V16
Mythic Rare
$   35.54
Dark Depths
V16
Mythic Rare
$   34.76
Underground Sea
ME2
Rare
$   33.73
Ensnaring Bridge
8ED
Rare
$   33.69
Engineered Explosives
MS2
Bonus
$   33.61
Engineered Explosives
MMA
Rare
$   32.91
Engineered Explosives
5DN
Rare
$   32.56
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
KLD
Mythic Rare
$   32.13
Scalding Tarn
EXP
Mythic Rare
$   32.09
Rishadan Port
MM
Rare
$   31.83
Scalding Tarn
MM3
Rare
$   31.38
Surgical Extraction
MM2
Rare
$   31.26
Celestial Colonnade
WWK
Rare
$   31.22
Liliana, the Last Hope
EMN
Mythic Rare
$   31.19
Surgical Extraction
NPH
Rare
$   31.18
Ensnaring Bridge
MS2
Bonus
$   31.13
Collective Brutality
EMN
Rare
$   30.86
Underground Sea
ME4
Rare
$   30.56
Ensnaring Bridge
ST
Rare
$   30.28
Horizon Canopy
FUT
Rare
$   30.22
Horizon Canopy
EXP
Mythic Rare
$   30.14
Scalding Tarn
ZEN
Rare
$   29.90
Containment Priest
PZ1
Rare
$   29.20
Containment Priest
C14
Rare
$   28.98
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
PZ2
Mythic Rare
$   28.73
Horizon Canopy
IMA
Rare
$   27.94
Cavern of Souls
MM3
Mythic Rare
$   27.45
Cavern of Souls
AVR
Rare
$   26.99
Show and Tell
UZ
Rare
$   26.95
Gorilla Shaman
ALL
Common
$   26.69
Tarmogoyf
FUT
Rare
$   25.37

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 $ 19,270. That’s down $770 from last week – the third week in a row with a big drop. 
 
Weekly Highlights
I watched a fair amount of the Pro Tour. The Top 8 was interesting enough that I went to bed early Saturday night, then got up at 2am to watch the Top 8 live all the way through. I did spend much of that time playing on one screen while watching the PT on the other. The Pro Tour was great. My play – not so much. I blame that on being distracted.
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO
 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

3 Comments

So, this is what I got from by ArchGenius at Fri, 02/09/2018 - 15:27
ArchGenius's picture
5

So, this is what I got from the Chris Kiritz article.
We did some cool things last year, more of the same this year.
People like flashback drafts where you keep the cards. But we need to know which phantom draft format is the best ***cough, cough****(to possibly program into Arena) so we're doing phantom drafts this year.
Last year we brought you 1 vs 1 commander, more on this later....
We're not happy with current attendance for 1 vs 1 commander.
We might do something there, like do more to promote it or give up on it entirely. Enjoy!

From Chris' article.. by Rerepete at Fri, 02/09/2018 - 16:47
Rerepete's picture

Link is here: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-digital/state-magic-...

"...We're exploring what new Limited play types we might be able to add, either as crazy Sealed Deck events (like the Battle of the Planes last year) or Draft events (did someone say Chaos Draft?). We want to explore more Cube Draft options, including adding more cubes to the rotation so Cube is available more often. ..."

bupkis by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 02/10/2018 - 21:20
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture
5

WotC used a lot of words to say nothing at all.