one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Jun 16 2017 12:00pm
4.333335
Login or register to post comments
1999 views


 

State of the Program for June 16th 2017
 
In the News
Three Big Sets plus a Core Set Model Announced: Mark Rosewater announced some changes to how Wizards will be making sets in the future. Beginning a year from now, Magic will have three large set releases every year, plus a revamped Core Set in the summer, starting summer of 2018.   The announcement is here. I break it out in more detail in the opinion section.
 
Aetherworks Marvel Banned: The B&R list is out, and Aetherworks Marvel is banned in Standard. The explanation is here. One interesting note – Wizards notes that players may be suffering from “Banning burnout,” so Wizards is delaying the next B&R announcement until after the next Pro Tour.
 
Magic 25th Anniversary Events: Wizards released a video announcing a number of things related to Hour of Devastation and Magic’s 25th Anniversary. The video is here. Pirates, dinosaurs, a new Masters set, the HoD trailer, Ixalan and the next couple sets – and a new Un set for the paper players. 
 
Sam Stoddard’s Last Latest Developments Column: Sam Stoddard is turning over the Latest Developments column on the mothership to Melissa DeTora. Sam’s last article is here. Melissa was writing long before she landed a job with Wizards, so we can expect more good stuff in the column.
 
End of Duels: Wizards gave us a very small update on the next iteration of digital Magic. They did not tell us a lot, but did announce that Duels would stop getting new set updates. The servers will stay on, and the game will be playable, but without new cards. 
 
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
No Downtime
June 21st
Extended Downtime
June 28th
Current Leagues End
July 10, 2017
Amonkhet Limited Championship (details here)
June 18th
Amonkhet Standard Championship (details here)
June 25th
Hour of Devastation release
July 9, 2017 (day after prerelease!)
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
Battle of the Planes Sealed  
June 14th
June 21st
Vintage Cube
June 21st
July 10
 
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:  Announcement Week
First off, I applaud the Aetherworks ban. I ran a Standard PPTQ last weekend.  The store has hosted a number of PPTQs, with an average attendance in the 30-32 range. The PPPTQ last weekend had 14 players. That’s not proof – no single data point is – but it is a good example of the data I cited from other sources last week. Players were staying away, so a change was necessary.
 
Players at the event were debating whether it was “fair” to ban a valuable card. I have two responses. First, cards will not retain as much value if a format is in trouble. The value of chase Mythics is always higher in decks in healthy formats. Second, having one broken card or deck banned just opens up room for another. Five months ago, Emrakul, the Promised End was $20.21, and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger was $6.97.   After the Emrakul ban, those prices reversed. Now, with Marvel gone, some other decks will climb the rankings, and those cards will rise in value. Yes, Ulamog will tank now, but it was going to tank as soon as it left Standard anyway. Magic cards do not hold value.   
 
Wizards has also announced that, starting in 2018, they will print three big sets and a core set each year. The little, subsidiary sets will be a thing of the past.   I like this idea. Wizards discussed the “small set” problem in their announcement. I agree.   I have been talking and writing about these issues since my days at the Dojo -  since the current small set was Urza’s Destiny. It has always been hard for Wizards to integrate mechanics, while making a set feel new. Card availability was always an issue, especially when we drafted just one booster of the third set in the season. Back then, if you drafted triple big 20 times, double big plus first expansion 20 times, and entire block 20 times, you ended up opening 120 packs of the big set, 40 packs of the second set and 20 packs of the third. Chase cards from the third set (like Tarmogoyf) were always super expensive. 
 
More importantly, when a new set was good, players loved drafting triple packs. If you look at list of all-time favorite draft formats, a disproportionate number of them are triple big set. And when a format is not popular, adding the additional sets almost never saved it. I consider Mercadian Masques the poster child for this – drafting triple Masques was different, and could be an acquired taste – just ask the editor. However, by the time Prophecy entered the mix, pretty much everyone was totally sick of the format. 
 
Personally, I think the three big sets idea makes a tom of sense, provided Wizards has the resources to pull it off. On the plus side, they will save some resources by not having to integrate multiple sets into a single limited format. 
 
Overall, I like the idea. I have to admit I think it is such a good idea I wonder why I never thought about it in the past. It should have been obvious.   
 
Wizards has announced that it is not going to update Duels with new cards starting next year. This is probably good news for MTGO itself. Wizards seemed to have one too many digital offerings in the pipeline: MTGO, Duels and Magic Digital Next. I assumed that evolving both MTGO and Duels into Magic Digital Next was not feasible, since players have different collections on each platform. Phasing out Duels should mean that Magic Digital Next will incorporate MTGO, including MTGO collections. At least, I hope so. I have spent a lot on MTGO over the years – I’d like to keep that investment.   
 
Finally, a totally unstable Mark Rosewater “announced” a new Un set – Unstable.  The reveal (on this video) was cute. I doubt I will be playing Unstable much; I’ve done enough Unglued and Unhinged to last me.  On Twitter, Lee Sharpe posted that Unstable will not be on MTGO. Previous Un sets have required people to balance cards on themselves, play under the table, rip cards to shreds and stand up & sing when casting or activating certain cards – not to mention the whole “denim walk” thing. There was no way previous Un sets could be coded for online play. Of course, this set is supposed to be different. It will be, according to Mark Rosewater, balanced for draft, etc. In theory, Wizards could have limited their card design to cards that work online. Personally, I would much prefer that Wizards use their programmers’ time to make real Magic work on MTGO, not to code silver bordered silliness.   Time will tell.
 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: Marvel Aetherworks is no longer a part of Standard. On MTGO, that banning went into effect on the 14th. We even have some League results from after the ban (or at least, that were reported after the ban.) Let’s see what we have.
Hidden CatPile
MFSOCCER7, 5-0, Competitive Standard League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Anointer Priest
4 Sacred Cat
4 Thraben Inspector
11 cards

Instant
4 Fatal Push
4 cards
Sorcery
1 Declaration in Stone
3 Fumigate
1 Start/Finish
5 cards

Enchantment
3 Anointed Procession
2 Cast Out
4 Hidden Stockpile
1 Vampiric Rites
10 cards
Planeswalker
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Liliana, Death's Majesty
5 cards

Land
4 Concealed Courtyard
2 Evolving Wilds
7 Plains
4 Shambling Vent
5 Swamp
3 Westvale Abbey
25 cards
 

Sideboard
1 Anointer Priest
2 Cast Out
2 Declaration in Stone
1 Fumigate
1 Liliana, Death's Majesty
1 Vampiric Rites
2 Fragmentize
1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
4 Transgress the Mind
15 cards
 

Modern: What’s the best deck in Modern? Not completely sure. I’m not sure we will know even after the Modern GP Vegas. Right now, though, I think you would have to argue that it is either some variety of Death's Shadow, or this deck.

 
 
1V1 Commander: The format is happening, and we have more 5-0 decklists. This week’s development is that there were no bans in the format and Vial Smasher is all over the place.  I won’t list the decks, but here are the Commanders, in order:
·       Titania, Protector of Argoth
·       Kraum, Ludevic's Opus  and  Vial Smasher the Fierce (three copies)
·       The Gitrog Monster
·       Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
 
Legacy:  A big (2,500 player) Legacy GP is starting as I am editing this, but decklists are not yet available. I did hear about a Turbo Planeswalker deck that sounds cool – maybe next week. For now, here’s what I would play if I had time for Legacy this week.
Star Spangled Erayo
ITSUNFAIR, 5-0, Competitive Legacy League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
2 Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
4 Monastery Mentor
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Vendilion Clique
12 cards

Instant
4 Brainstorm
1 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
1 Gut Shot
2 Spell Pierce
4 Swords to Plowshares
16 cards
Sorcery
1 Council's Judgment
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
13 cards

Artifact
1 Engineered Explosives
1 cards
Land
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Flooded Strand
4 Island
1 Karakas
1 Plains
2 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
18 cards
 


Sideboard
1 Counterspell
1 Containment Priest
3 Disenchant
2 Ethersworn Canonist
3 Flusterstorm
2 Meddling Mage
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Surgical Extraction
15 cards
 

Vintage: Shops is back this week.

 

 

 

 

 
 
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 were mixed this week, but the format is beginning to adjust to the banning of Aetherworks Marvel. We will see what the new metagame brings.    
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$9.69
$8.87
$0.82
9%
$7.80
$7.80
$0.00
0%
$19.16
$17.83
$1.33
7%
$14.26
$13.97
$0.29
2%
$19.43
$16.02
$3.41
21%
$6.13
$5.28
$0.85
16%
$19.67
$19.59
$0.08
0%
$18.70
$14.49
$4.21
29%
$12.90
$13.62
($0.72)
-5%
$6.48
$7.54
($1.06)
-14%
$44.02
$44.03
($0.01)
0%
$11.08
$13.82
($2.74)
-20%
$16.54
$11.83
$4.71
40%
$10.97
$7.88
$3.09
39%
$7.67
$7.90
($0.23)
-3%
$9.34
$8.58
$0.76
9%
$21.90
$20.37
$1.53
8%
$5.74
$16.25
($10.51)
-65%
$7.80
$5.91
$1.89
32%
$10.30
$7.57
$2.73
36%

Modern staples:  Modern prices were down slightly this week.  The format looks reasonably healthy. We will see what the Modern GP in Vegas brings us.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$28.76
$30.53
($1.77)
-6%
$31.83
$32.22
($0.39)
-1%
$18.08
$17.13
$0.95
6%
$22.28
$22.14
$0.14
1%
$46.20
$36.24
$9.96
27%
$25.92
$25.63
$0.29
1%
$26.13
$28.68
($2.55)
-9%
$43.08
$39.15
$3.93
10%
$32.97
$33.60
($0.63)
-2%
$25.68
$27.13
($1.45)
-5%
$24.56
$23.78
$0.78
3%
$32.60
$35.28
($2.68)
-8%
$29.13
$26.81
$2.32
9%
$72.27
$72.31
($0.04)
0%
$41.02
$41.21
($0.19)
0%
$19.88
$25.81
($5.93)
-23%
$23.66
$26.10
($2.44)
-9%
$25.07
$24.83
$0.24
1%
$23.94
$28.94
($5.00)
-17%
$36.90
$33.34
$3.56
11%
$33.37
$32.81
$0.56
2%
$16.35
$17.56
($1.21)
-7%

Legacy and Vintage: Lots of swings this week. Prices are all over the place. I knocked Mox Sapphire off the table this week. Too cheap.
 
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$56.45
$58.06
($1.61)
-3%
$25.44
$25.64
($0.20)
-1%
$64.19
$59.53
$4.66
8%
$32.68
$39.33
($6.65)
-17%
$36.97
$42.53
($5.56)
-13%
$38.96
$37.45
$1.51
4%
$30.73
$30.26
$0.47
2%
$40.85
$42.37
($1.52)
-4%
$27.74
$25.63
$2.11
8%
$31.08
$38.58
($7.50)
-19%
$21.89
$24.56
($2.67)
-11%
$45.07
$43.47
$1.60
4%
$66.98
$61.11
$5.87
10%
$144.34
$144.98
($0.64)
0%
$55.28
$54.39
$0.89
2%
$72.90
$70.80
$2.10
3%
$35.33
$35.65
($0.32)
-1%
$22.62
$23.06
($0.44)
-2%
$55.20
$57.73
($2.53)
-4%

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).  Note the drop in the price of Amonkhet boosters. I expect that this is directly related to the extra boosters in prize payouts to celebrate the 17 anniversary of MTGO.
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$85.04
$68.55
$16.49
24%
Amonkhet
$66.59
$65.57
$1.02
2%
Battle for Zendikar
$48.78
$56.29
($7.51)
-13%
Eldritch Moon
$121.76
$114.58
$7.18
6%
Kaladesh
$110.76
$108.19
$2.57
2%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$83.47
$85.49
($2.02)
-2%
Shadows over Innistrad
$72.27
$69.82
$2.45
4%
Treasure Chest
$2.51
$2.40
$0.11
5%
Amonkhet Booster
$3.07
$3.32
($0.25)
-8%

 
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 now over 75 cards (including repeats), and Black Lotus has fallen to seventh most expensive. 
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $ 144.34
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $   73.86
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $   72.90
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $   72.82
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $   72.27
Mystic Confluence
 PZ1
Rare
 $   66.98
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $   64.37
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $   64.19
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $   60.04
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   59.90
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $   56.45
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $   55.28
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $   55.20
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $   50.00
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $   48.30
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $   47.76
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $   47.68
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $   46.20
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $   45.07
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $   45.01
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $   44.50
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $   44.27
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $   44.02
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $   43.65
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $   43.08
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $   42.99
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $   41.48
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   41.02
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $   40.85
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $   39.17
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $   38.96
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $   37.89
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   37.43
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $   37.15
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $   37.15
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $   36.97
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $   36.90
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $   35.33
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $   35.03
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $   34.59
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $   34.25
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $   34.05
Tarmogoyf
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $   33.64
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   33.37
Mox Diamond
 V10
Mythic Rare
 $   33.31
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $   32.97
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $   32.68
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $   32.60
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
 $   31.93
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $   31.83
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $   31.77
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $   31.08
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
 $   30.86
Grim Monolith
 UL
Rare
 $   30.73
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   30.64
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
 $   29.47
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $   29.13
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $   29.11
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
 $   28.76
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
 $   28.74
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $   28.44
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   28.10
Dark Depths
 CSP
Rare
 $   28.04
Underground Sea
 VMA
Rare
 $   28.01
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
 $   27.74
Volcanic Island
 ME3
Rare
 $   27.49
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $   27.12
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
 $   27.06
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
 $   26.15
Eidolon of the Great Revel
 JOU
Rare
 $   26.13
Collected Company
 DTK
Rare
 $   25.92
Fulminator Mage
 SHM
Rare
 $   25.86
Grove of the Burnwillows
 V12
Mythic Rare
 $   25.70
Fulminator Mage
 MM2
Rare
 $   25.68
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
 $   25.44
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $   25.21
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
 $   25.07

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 $ 24,900. That’s up $30 from last week – remarkably little change again this week.
 
Weekly Highlights
Nothing this week. So far, just a bunch of very long days at work and no time to play Magic. Hopefully the weekend will be better. 
 
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.  

6 Comments

You may want to change your by xger at Sat, 06/17/2017 - 21:28
xger's picture

You may want to change your Rishadan Port prices. While the Masques version is still at the ~144, the promo version--which is given out in Treasure Chests--sits at ~75, with MTGOTraders having 8 in stock as I write this.

re by Hearts at Mon, 06/19/2017 - 09:18
Hearts's picture

Can a player inform another player of what yet another player has in his deck when the second player is about to play the yet another player, or is this cheating ?

MDN by stsung at Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:24
stsung's picture

"Wizards has announced that it is not going to update Duels with new cards starting next year. This is probably good news for MTGO itself. Wizards seemed to have one too many digital offerings in the pipeline: MTGO, Duels and Magic Digital Next. I assumed that evolving both MTGO and Duels into Magic Digital Next was not feasible, since players have different collections on each platform. Phasing out Duels should mean that Magic Digital Next will incorporate MTGO, including MTGO collections. At least, I hope so. I have spent a lot on MTGO over the years – I’d like to keep that investment."

Why you'd think so? I personally think that WotC won't do any kind of transition from MODO to the new platform. I rather see the new platform to be a hybrid of Magic Duels and something new (cards seem to be scripted in similar fashion) where everyone starts from 0 (and yeah WotC is avoiding giving any kind of info...about an actual platform...so...). Sure this is just an opinion not really based on anything. It's just a feeling I have from WotC's annoucements and tweets. I'm not particularly happy about the discontinuation of Duels just like this. I'm not sure how many players will be able to transition to something else since there is MODO and paper and both are (at least here) very hard to transition too.

Magic Digital Next is not a by MichelleWong at Mon, 06/19/2017 - 12:21
MichelleWong's picture
5

Magic Digital Next is not a new platform/client. It is just an umbrella term for all their digital offerings.

I am truly puzzled though. Based on their announcements, it seems that Magic Online will stay online in a similar form to what we know it for many years to come. But this can't be all they're working on, they must be working on something new, because what else would this new team they hired do with all of their time? And I find it hard to accept that they're just working on designing/building Version 5 already. Hope another announcement soon...

Regarding not updating Duels, I bet that WotC are doing this because the main purpose of Duels is an entry-level platform. A way to get into the game, leading later to either paper or MTGO. New players will always be able to get started perfectly well with any of the Duels - the fact that it's not up to date is not crucial for those players. And WotC get an extra bonus: The more Duels they make each year, the more people that will be online at any given time in any of the preceeding Duels, so beginners will always find other people to play online.

That's how I see it at least, I could be very wrong.

yeah, I think we all came to by stsung at Mon, 06/19/2017 - 14:05
stsung's picture

yeah, I think we all came to the conclusion that WotC is indeed developping something (that something we started calling MDN till wotc came and told us what that means). we just have no idea what that is. but judging from what they were showing at the investor's fair I'd say it has to be something that all magic players can play. those that like casual play and those that want to be pros. and they also stated that they want magic to become an esport.

duels players actually care about the sets and stuff. it changes the metagame and it gives them the reason to continue playing. they want new content. the updates are crucial. they were looking forward to HOU.

when duels was introduced they claimed it would still exist five years from origins...this was unexpected.

we'll see anyway.

My guess is the next thing is by xger at Tue, 06/20/2017 - 13:29
xger's picture

My guess is the next thing is similar to the core set. Duels was an entry-level platform, and MTGO is an advanced platform. There was no intermediate platform. My guess is the next platform will incorporate the entry aspect of Duels while also providing a middle ground.

MTGO is still a significant source of revenue for Wizards. It is not going away anytime soon.