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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Nov 17 2017 12:00pm
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State of the Program for November 17th  2017
 
In the News
Play Points for Sale:  Wizards is now offering Play Points for sale. The bundles include 240 points for $24, which is regular price. You can also buy 480 play points for $45 or 1200 play points for $100. This discount on Play Points is a first.  Details are here (and, yes, that’s a link to Iconic Masters – the announcements are combined.)
 
Treasure Chest Update: Wizards is updating Treasure chest contents. The new Treasure Chest list includes an “Exclusive List” of cards that are only available online via the Treasure Chests. You have a 5% per slot chance of opening one of these cards, so 15% per chest.   The list includes 86 cards, with varying frequencies. The chance of opening any of the least frequent cards in any given chest is 0.037%. The curated list is also being changed significantly.   A bunch of old cards are coming off (so long, Empress Galina). The old list had 180 cards – the new list is only 59 items long, and only 24 of those are cards that are returning. In another big change, Wizards is adding complete sets of various Standard legal blocks. For example, you could now open a complete foil set of Hour of Devastation as one of the slots in in your Treasure Chest.   Technically, you could open a foil set of Hour of Devastation in each of your TC slots, but the odds of that are small.   Overall, though, these changes look good. Details here.
 
Iconic Masters Online Now: The newest masters set – Iconic Masters – is on MTGO now. So go draft your bounce lands now. Cost for the draft league is 25 TIX, 240 Play Points or 3 Iconic Masters Boosters plus 4 TIX. Details here.
 
Iconic Masters Sealed Open PTQ: Two of them, in fact. Next Friday, Nov. 24th, and Sunday, Dec. 3rd. Cost is 50 TIX or 500 Play Points.
 
Redemption Ending SOON: Redemption for Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation ends November 22nd.   If you want to turn your digital cards from those sets into paper, redeem them now.
 
Streamer Challenge Monday: A number of streamers will be drafting Iconic Masters on MTGO Monday. Drafts will begin at 1pm and 5pm PST. Streamer lists and 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
Extended Downtime
Nov. 29th  
No Downtime Scheduled
Nov. 22nd 
Constructed Leagues End (maybe)
January 15, 2018
Sealed Leagues End
January 15, 2018
Iconic Masters
November 17,  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
January 15, 2018
AKH and HOU Redemption Ends
November 22, 2017
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
Sunday, November 26
Monthly
Ixalan Sealed
February 10 MOCS Playoff
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
???
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 240 play points for three wins and 80 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: Buying Play Points
From the news section: Wizards is now offering Play Points for sale. The bundles include 240 points for $24, which is regular price. You can also buy 480 play points for $45 or 1200 play points for $100. This discount on Play Points is a first.   Details are here (and, yes, that’s a link to Iconic Masters – the announcements are combined.)
 
So Play Points are now something you can buy from the store, not just earn by winning events. More importantly, Play Points (PP) are available at a discount. So let’s look at prices.
 
·       Ixalan Boosters: $3.99 from the store, $3.14 from MTGOTraders
·       Event Tickets (TIX): $1 from the store, or you can sell cards to BOTs
·       Play Points: $0.0917 to $0.10 per point, depending on the discount.
 
Store transactions may also be assessed sales tax, which varies by location. I pay 5.5%. YMMV. I have not included that in the prices.
 
An Ixalan 6-2-2-2 Draft League costs either
·       14 TIX
·       140 Play Points
·       3 Boosters and 2 TIX
 
The cheapest option is packs plus TIX, which costs about $11 if you get the packs through MTGOTraders.com. (Which you totally should, because they sponsor this web page.)  Play Points are the second cheapest option.
 
Wizards is also offering a discount on some events if you use bundles of Play Points.   For example, you can enter an Iconic Masters draft league using a bundle of 240 Play Points instead of the normal 250 PP price. 
 
Wizards is creating a second, non-tradable currency for use in MTGO. I have to think about this more, but I don’t see any downsides at the moment. Of course, as someone who sold off a playset of Rishadan Ports at their peak, and has been running well ever since, I haven’t been worrying about Magic finance much. That’s why I will have to give this a lot more thought. So far, though, this seems like a reasonable move. 
 
The discounts could be better, but that may change over time. This is a new product introduction. The introductory price sets a base level: it is easy to increase a bulk buy discount later on, but very difficult to reduce one. Customers hate having anything “taken away.”  So I expect increased discounts for limited periods later on – maybe during the end of year holidays?   
 
Cutting Edge Tech
 
Standard: We had three Standard GPs last week.  Coverage of GP Atlanta is here, coverage of GP Warsaw is here, and coverage of GP Shanghai is here. The Top 8s, combined, included 12 Energy decks, 7 of which were Temur; 6 Ramunap Red decks; 2 Mardu Vehicles and 4 one-offs. The most interesting was probably Grixis Thopters, which Okada Naoya piloted to seventh place in Shanghai.  The Standard MOCS T8 had 6 Energy decks, one Ramunap Red and one mono-black aggro.
 
Esper Approach
Alex Lloyd, Winner, GP Atlanta - 75 Cards Total
Creature
1 Torrential Gearhulk
1 cards

Instant
4 Censor
4 Opt
4 Disallow
4 Fatal Push
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Settle the Wreckage
20 cards
Sorcery
3 Approach of the Second Sun
2 Fumigate
5 cards

Enchantment
2 Cast Out
2 Search for Azcanta
2 cards
Land
2 Aether Hub
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Irrigated Farmland
4 Fetid Pools
4 Drowned Catacomb
1 Island
3 Plains
26 cards
 


Sideboard
2 Torrential Gearhulk
1 Search for Azcanta
2 Vraska's Contempt
1 Pull from Tomorrow
2 Negate
1 Jace's Defeat
4 Regal Caracal
2 The Scarab God
15 cards
 
Modern: The only recent Modern events were MTGO competitive leagues.   And one deck to go 5‑0 was one that Wizards once tried to ban, from a player whose online name sums up my play style perfectly.
 
 

Legacy: SCG ran a Legacy Open three weekends ago, and with 535 players it’s still more important than anything else that has happened recently. The Top 32 is here. So here’s a very good list, if you can afford the cards.

 
Vintage: VSL is into Week 9. With this week’s play, the Top 4 has been set. The Top 4 includes Bob Maher, Reid Duke, Kevin Cron, and Eric Froehlich. Playoffs begin next 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 fell hard petty much across the board. With neither the Pro Tour nor the three GPs this week showing a way to beat Energy, interest in the format is falling.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$8.15
$16.43
($8.28)
-50%
$8.01
$11.61
($3.60)
-31%
$7.73
$7.05
$0.68
10%
$40.04
$36.22
$3.82
11%
$9.09
$10.15
($1.06)
-10%
$12.38
$15.47
($3.09)
-20%
$7.83
$8.59
($0.76)
-9%
$7.67
$9.91
($2.24)
-23%
$42.65
$45.74
($3.09)
-7%
$15.96
$16.87
($0.91)
-5%
$13.49
$17.43
($3.94)
-23%
$12.64
$14.59
($1.95)
-13%

Modern staples:  Modern prices were fluctuating this week but not a lot. Horizon Canopy has been all over the map in the last couple months – this is a “normal” swing for that card.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$14.34
$14.34
$0.00
0%
$29.19
$31.70
($2.51)
-8%
$29.23
$27.44
$1.79
7%
$36.06
$36.53
($0.47)
-1%
$19.26
$17.09
$2.17
13%
$14.67
$14.84
($0.17)
-1%
$17.94
$18.43
($0.49)
-3%
$28.60
$27.16
$1.44
5%
$25.61
$26.79
($1.18)
-4%
$21.00
$30.25
($9.25)
-31%
$35.85
$34.07
$1.78
5%
$60.64
$61.09
($0.45)
-1%
$32.85
$31.28
$1.57
5%
$55.31
$52.70
$2.61
5%
$20.70
$23.59
($2.89)
-12%
$26.70
$26.60
$0.10
0%
$26.21
$26.60
($0.39)
-1%
$20.31
$19.66
$0.65
3%
$23.46
$21.03
$2.43
12%

Legacy and Vintage: Vintage and Legacy prices are back to a more normal level of churn – but a fairly quiet churn again this week.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$59.94
$54.91
$5.03
9%
$21.16
$20.95
$0.21
1%
$17.42
$18.13
($0.71)
-4%
$91.32
$91.10
$0.22
0%
$37.13
$35.29
$1.84
5%
$37.73
$37.86
($0.13)
0%
$18.62
$22.59
($3.97)
-18%
$24.33
$24.18
$0.15
1%
$36.23
$35.18
$1.05
3%
$40.83
$41.24
($0.41)
-1%
$25.30
$26.88
($1.58)
-6%
$38.76
$34.11
$4.65
14%
$79.21
$79.21
$0.00
0%
$18.84
$17.55
$1.29
7%
$46.09
$39.62
$6.47
16%
$24.45
$24.67
($0.22)
-1%
$19.09
$19.43
($0.34)
-2%
$35.55
$34.46
$1.09
3%

 
* 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).  
 
 
 
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, and the number of cards on the list is smaller than it has been in the past. Not a ton of change from last time.
 

Name
Set
Rarity
Number
 Price
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
250
 $        91.32
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
324
 $        79.21
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
76
 $        63.23
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
105
 $        60.64
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
19
 $        60.10
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
4
 $        59.94
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
179
 $        58.04
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
223
 $        55.31
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
228
 $        51.65
The Scarab God
 MS3
Special
53
 $        47.32
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
35
 $        46.89
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
138
 $        46.61
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
63
 $        46.09
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
33
 $        43.15
The Scarab God
 HOU
Mythic Rare
145
 $        42.65
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
33
 $        41.46
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
87
 $        40.83
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
49
 $        40.05
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
 KLD
Mythic Rare
110
 $        40.04
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
330
 $        39.51
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
9
 $        38.76
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
69
 $        37.75
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
321
 $        37.73
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
249
 $        37.15
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
14
 $        37.13
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
1
 $        37.03
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
203
 $        36.35
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
60
 $        36.23
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
150
 $        36.06
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
4
 $        35.85
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
248
 $        35.74
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
4
 $        35.62
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
45
 $        35.55
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
15
 $        35.32
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
93
 $        32.85
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
36
 $        32.55
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
177
 $        31.92
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
40
 $        31.74
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
240
 $        31.46
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
37
 $        30.53
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
300
 $        30.12
Cavern of Souls
 MM3
Mythic Rare
232
 $        29.59
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
256
 $        29.49
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
133
 $        29.23
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
226
 $        29.19
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
22
 $        28.86
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
118
 $        28.76
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
204
 $        28.60
Underground Sea
 VMA
Rare
323
 $        28.16
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
244
 $        27.76
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
72
 $        27.34
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
260
 $        27.09
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
223
 $        26.70
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
133
 $        26.57
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
136
 $        26.21
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
294
 $        25.61
Mox Diamond
 V10
Mythic Rare
10
 $        25.30

 
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 $ 19,81. That’s down $230 from last week. 
 
Weekly Highlights
Unstable is coming. If you like very strange draft experiences, check it out. For the first time, Wizards has built an Un set that is tuned for drafting. The combinations look interesting – and the best part is I do not have to judge any of the un events. Also, the lands look nice. Full art John Avon is great – hopefully we will get them online soon.
 
For those of you who prefer real Magic, or want to draft online, Iconic Masters is up.
 
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

re by Hearts at Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:25
Hearts's picture

How many left playing mtgo now ?

Id say something like max 20 percent of the traffic 7-8 years ago.

Havent played for 3 years now, but I noticed how much slower the prerelease queues fired in 2014/2015 compared to five years earlier.

Good news, I was able to find by AJ_Impy at Sun, 11/19/2017 - 14:59
AJ_Impy's picture

Good news, I was able to find some relevant information on this via the official Tumblr from earlier this year.

http://wizardsmtgo.tumblr.com/post/159995995569/exert

"Yesterday, Magic Online hit an all-time record for the number of concurrent users logged into the system at one time."

So, the answer to your question is 'More than 7-8 years ago and more than when you stopped playing'.

I hope this helps. :)

re by Hearts at Sun, 11/19/2017 - 21:06
Hearts's picture

That was just a promotion stunt. "Log on during this prerelease weekend and you will receive a free foil Evolving Wilds". So all of the more hardcore customers naturally logged on with the 9 accounts that each and everyone of them have on average on mtgo. This means that the real number is close to one ninth of what is claimed.

That's a fascinating theory, by AJ_Impy at Mon, 11/20/2017 - 06:32
AJ_Impy's picture

That's a fascinating theory, but sadly I cannot find any evidence to support it. Indeed, as you can see here:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-online/amonkhet-magi...

"Additionally, like with Aether Revolt, we're not going to have specific Prerelease events on Magic Online. Feedback from our Aether Revolt experiment with this went well, and players strongly enjoyed being able to play in the variety of events Magic Online normally offers.

Competitive and Friendly leagues will be available for sealed, and Competitive, Intermediate, and Friendly leagues will be available for draft. They will have the same entry and prize structures as they do now for Aether Revolt."

They very specifically did not have any special promotion or prerelease with the launch of Amonkhet, no free foil evolving wilds tied to it or during the week in question.

Hope this helps. :)

re by Hearts at Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:19
Hearts's picture

Just because something isn't within your peripheral vision doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Doesn't mean it does, either. by Paul Leicht at Tue, 11/21/2017 - 17:00
Paul Leicht's picture

Doesn't mean it does, either. :)