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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Jan 06 2017 1:00pm
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State of the Program for January 6th 2017
 
In the News
 
Leagues End January 25thAs always, once the new set arrives, all existing leagues end. Play out your matches.    Once the new cards are online, the leagues will relaunch with Aether Revolt legal.
 
Aether Revolt Card List Out: Mark Rosewater has said that small sets will only get one week of previews, and that week ends today. We should have the full set in official card gallery, which is here, shortly. The rules and mechanics article is here.
 
Almost No News this Week: Wizards has not updated the MTGO blog or made any significant announcements since early December. 
 
Alpha Investments Hacked, Shut Down, and Returned: The video channel Alpha Investments was hacked. Its owner fell for a well-crafted phishing scam, which took control of the revenue for the site. The site’s owner was close to losing his web channel, but managed to recover. Lesson here – be really careful with your passwords, and super careful when clicking any links in any emails. If it looks like it is legit, consider manually typing the link in a fresh email, instead.  
 
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
January 18th   
Extended Downtime
(none announced, but January 25th likely.)
Current Leagues End
January 25th
 
Upcoming and Ongoing Events
Begins
Ends
Modern MOCS events
January 7th & 21st
Details here.
Aether Revolt prerelease
January 27th
January 30th
Amonkhet
Spring, 2017 release
 
Modern Masters 2017 Edition
March 23rd on MTGO
 
 
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
Triple Zendikar Flashback Draft
January 4th
January 11th
Legacy Cube
January 11th
January 25th
Aether Revolt 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 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. 
 
Opinion Section: Combo
I noticed that Wizards has an article on building combo decks up today, and we see a few engines in the new set. Wizards is apparently letting us have combo again – maybe.
 
Combos are always with us, in every set. That’s not the question – the question is whether the format will be slow enough that the combos can work. Here’s an example.
 
The article previewed Paradox Engine, a five mana artifact which untaps all non-land permanents whenever you cast a spell. In Vintage, where you could play Mana Vault, Mana Crypt and Grim Monolith, plus Moxen, getting this out and active is not difficult. In Modern, you could probably go turn one elf or Birds of Paradise, turn two another mana critter and mana rock, turn three Gilded Lotus, turn four Paradox Engine, another spell to untap the mana sources, then you can go infinite with Sprout Swarm, Whispers of the Muse or Wurmcalling.  It could work. It is potentially infinite creatures, mana and cards on turn four.
 
But the fact that the deck could work is not the question. The question is whether the deck can work consistently enough, even when an opponent is actively working against it. My brew took maybe two minutes to throw together, and has zero playtest. I don’t even have a decklist. The deck would probably be UG, which would give us card draw and possibly some counters. Is that enough to make the deck consistent, and what does it do if you cannot find the pieces? What happens if your red opponent sides in Anger of the Gods and Shattering Spree? Can you still get going?
 
Testing will tell. The same thing is true with Standard. We may have more combo decks, more (Aetherstorm Marvel)s.   Or maybe not. Over the years I have brewed up dozens, maybe hundreds, of combo decks that worked, but were not fast enough, consistent enough, or too vulnerable to hate to be viable. Odds are most of the new brews from Aether Revolt will fall into the same category, but maybe not. The fact that Wizards has reprinted a white Disenchant says maybe not. We may be back in a world we are sideboarding Naturalize effects again.
 
Time to start testing.
  
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: Standard will rotate shortly. In just over two weeks we will have Aether Revolt cards appearing in constructed decklists. This week, we had no large events and  the 5-0s look very familiar.   No Standard tech this week.    
 
Modern: Modern is another format that may see impacts from Aether Revolt, but that will be a few weeks off. This week we are still seeing a ton of different archetypes appearing in the 5-0 lists. I know I have featured Tron lists before, but this might be the first completely colorless version. 
 

Pauper: 
This pauper deck uses cycling lands to get card selection, and Tilling Treefolk to get them back in hand making that card advantage. Interesting plan – and the deck did go 5-0. . 
 
Tilling Treefolk
518GPO, 5-0, Pauper League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Coiling Oracle
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Essence Warden
4 Tilling Treefolk
16 cards

Instant
4 Counterspell
4 Exclude
4 Sprout Swarm
12 cards
Sorcery
1 Explore
1 cards

Enchantment
4 Spidersilk Armor
4 cards
Land
3 Forest
4 Island
4 Khalni Garden
3 Lonely Sandbar
2 Radiant Fountain
4 Simic Growth Chamber
4 Tranquil Thicket
3 (Ash Barrens)
24 cards
 


Sideboard
3 Hydroblast
2 Negate
2 Pulse of Murasa
4 Relic of Progenitus
4 Scattershot Archer
15 cards

Legacy: 
We will have a Legacy GP this weekend. Unfortunately, it will not be covered. This week, we have the 5-0 decks to pour over. Note that this is another archetype that has added a couple copies of Leovold.
 
Food Chain
TKC55, 5-0, Competitive Legacy League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Baleful Strix
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Eternal Scourge
2 Fierce Empath
2 Gurmag Angler
2 Misthollow Griffin
3 (Leovold, Emissary of Trest)
16 cards

Instant
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
11 cards
Sorcery
3 Manipulate Fate
3 Ponder
6 cards

Enchantment
4 Food Chain
1 Sylvan Library
5 cards
Land
1 Bayou
1 Forest
2 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
3 Verdant Catacombs
19 cards
 


Sideboard
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Carpet of Flowers
1 Collective Brutality
2 Disfigure
1 Flusterstorm
2 Golgari Charm
4 Hymn to Tourach
2 Relic of Progenitus
15 cards
 
Vintage: The Vintage Super League Season Six Qualifier Tournament has begun. The metagame is a little skewed (okay, a lot skewed), but .
 
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 down a bit since pre-Christmas. 
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$13.92
$14.33
($0.41)
-3%
$13.16
$12.39
$0.77
6%
$20.21
$26.81
($6.60)
-25%
$32.88
$33.23
($0.35)
-1%
$6.53
$6.37
$0.16
3%
$12.85
$13.44
($0.59)
-4%
$12.76
$13.47
($0.71)
-5%
$18.03
$17.39
$0.64
4%
$13.17
$13.43
($0.26)
-2%
$26.51
$27.12
($0.61)
-2%
$13.72
$15.24
($1.52)
-10%
$5.19
$5.26
($0.07)
-1%
$10.18
$8.82
$1.36
15%
$9.81
$12.19
($2.38)
-20%
$7.03
$8.97
($1.94)
-22%

Modern staples:  Modern prices are mixed again this week.  I have also been adding some cards to the list, and bumping some that are holding at less than my arbitrary $15 cutoff. This week, Twilight Mire fell off.    
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$31.61
$26.11
$5.50
21%
$20.34
$19.61
$0.73
4%
$45.55
$48.26
($2.71)
-6%
$27.24
$28.82
($1.58)
-5%
$30.75
$28.61
$2.14
7%
$47.87
$48.65
($0.78)
-2%
$61.87
$58.30
$3.57
6%
$18.79
$20.41
($1.62)
-8%
$38.95
$32.29
$6.66
21%
$18.02
$17.47
$0.55
3%
$21.42
$21.39
$0.03
0%
$19.25
$22.22
($2.97)
-13%
$95.81
$91.20
$4.61
5%
$30.92
$27.58
$3.34
12%
$21.78
$22.00
($0.22)
-1%
$25.99
$26.42
($0.43)
-2%
$18.95
$20.61
($1.66)
-8%
$49.84
$43.89
$5.95
14%
$21.59
$19.43
$2.16
11%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are generally up this week. The big climbers are the cards from the Treasure Chests that are proving very good in the formats, like Leovold. Look for him when you open a Treasure Chest. Also, note that the table has grown, again.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$27.67
$29.42
($1.75)
-6%
$39.91
$39.04
$0.87
2%
$91.80
$97.17
($5.37)
-6%
$34.30
$31.45
$2.85
9%
$27.15
$26.60
$0.55
2%
$49.90
$45.66
$4.24
9%
$43.25
new
$33.90
$30.49
$3.41
11%
$31.56
$31.13
$0.43
1%
$34.79
$33.64
$1.15
3%
$43.06
$38.24
$4.82
13%
(Leovold, Emissary of Trest)
$45.30
$38.57
$6.73
17%
$27.97
$26.51
$1.46
6%
$35.54
$34.71
$0.83
2%
$27.43
$27.31
$0.12
0%
$23.11
$25.09
($1.98)
-8%
$40.07
$40.92
($0.85)
-2%
$26.51
$26.33
$0.18
1%
$165.37
$159.75
$5.62
4%
$60.26
$56.37
$3.89
7%
$39.48
$52.85
($13.37)
-25%
$36.58
$33.78
$2.80
8%
$24.20
$25.35
($1.15)
-5%
$20.04
$19.46
$0.58
3%
$53.55
$49.74
$3.81
8%

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.   Treasure Chests are down a bit. The EV, if you open a lot, is above that price, but the feel-bads hurt. The last TC I opened had three cards each retailing for $0.01, which I could not sell and would never play.   
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Battle for Zendikar
$76.00
$73.88
$2.12
3%
Eldritch Moon
$113.65
$120.80
($7.15)
-6%
Kaladesh
$82.64
$89.80
($7.16)
-8%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$95.77
$91.22
$4.55
5%
Shadows over Innistrad
$69.47
$68.44
$1.03
2%
Treasure Chest
$2.87
$2.85
$0.02
1%
Kaladesh Booster
$2.47
$2.53
($0.06)
-2%

 
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 is holding at 63 cards this week, but Black Lotus has fallen to third most valuable. Can anything else catch it?     
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $   165.37
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $     95.81
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $     91.80
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $     64.64
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $     64.51
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $     63.95
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $     61.87
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $     60.26
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $     57.21
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $     53.70
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $     53.55
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $     53.46
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $     50.06
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $     49.90
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $     49.84
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $     49.67
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $     47.87
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
 $     47.51
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
 $     45.55
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
 $     45.55
Leovold& Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $     45.30
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $     43.25
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $     43.06
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $     42.04
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
 $     40.07
Back to Basics
 UZ
Rare
 $     39.91
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
 $     39.48
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $     39.11
Griselbrand
 AVR
Mythic Rare
 $     38.95
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $     38.31
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $     36.58
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $     35.96
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $     35.54
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $     34.79
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $     34.70
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $     34.30
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $     33.97
Gideon& Ally of Zendikar
 BFZ
Mythic Rare
 $     32.88
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $     32.83
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $     32.28
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
 $     31.73
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
 $     31.61
From the Ashes
 C13
Rare
 $     31.56
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $     31.09
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $     30.96
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $     30.92
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $     30.75
Golgari Grave-Troll
 DDJ
Rare
 $     29.42
Jace& Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
 $     28.19
Meren of Clan Nel Toth
 PZ1
Rare
 $     27.97
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $     27.90
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
 $     27.67
Moat
 MED
Rare
 $     27.43
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $     27.24
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
 $     27.15
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $     27.00
Liliana& the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $     26.51
Pendelhaven
 TSB
Rare
 $     26.51
Lion's Eye Diamond
 MI
Rare
 $     26.48
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $     26.10
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $     25.99
Golgari Grave-Troll
 TD0
Rare
 $     25.62
Eidolon of the Great Revel
 JOU
Rare
 $     25.33

 
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 $ 25,280. That is up about a grand from two weeks ago.
 
Weekly Highlights
This.
 
 
I really want it. It is, I believe, a Lotus Evora 400, maybe the Hethel edition. It is only about $90,000.   Wisconsin does not allow 8 characters on a plate, but I could get 3 MANA. I checked.  I live in the country, with gravel roads, potholes and a lot of snow; a sports car with almost no ground clearance would be totally impractical. And $90k. Maybe I could get a heavily played one?
 
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.  
 
 

2 Comments

Scouting, conceding, by Hearts at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 16:10
Hearts's picture

Scouting, conceding, collusion and bribery, please.

The VSL section in the by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 15:11
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

The VSL section in the article was not finished.