one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Nov 25 2016 12:00pm
5
Login or register to post comments
5568 views


State of the Program for November 25th 2016
 
In the News
 
Greece Wins the World Magic Cup:  Greece improved on their second place finish two years ago with a win this year.  Formats were team Kaladesh sealed and team Modern constructed.  Coverage is here.
 
Wizards Inks Exclusive Coverage Deal with Twitch.tv:  Wizards has announced an exclusive coverage deal with Twitch.tv.  Presumably, this means that all high level coverage will be on Twitch.tv/magic (except in Japan and China.)  This probably means Wizards has additional options for promotions, sponsorships and ad revenue, and might get Magic some more play on the Twitch.tv homepage.  Hopefully this will also approve the quality of the stream.  I have to admit that I often start watching the Twitch stream, but after the third or fourth crash, I shift over to the YouTube stream. 
 
Opening New Style Treasure Chests:  SaffronOlive posted a video showing him open 100 Treasure Chests.  This was after the change to treasure chests, so he got booster packs instead of play points.  You can watch video here.  Spoiler – he made money.  A lot of money, but the price of treasure chests has climbed since then.   Treasure Chests were selling for around 2.3 TIX when he started the video.  They are around 3.8 TIX now.
 
You Make the Cube Drafts on Now:  They run until next Wednesday’s downtime.  
 
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.  For quick reference, here are some major upcoming events.   In addition, there are 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
November  23rd and 30th and December 14th
Extended Downtime
November 16th  
Current Leagues End
January
 
Upcoming and Ongoing Events
Begins
Ends
On sale now
January 4, 2017
Kaladesh Sealed MOCS events
 
December 4th, 11th, 18th and 30th
Details here.
Standard MOCS events
November 25th
Details here
Modern MOCS events
January 7th & 21st
Details here.
Amonkhet
Spring, 2017 release
 
Aether Revolt prerelease
January 27th
January30th
Modern Masters 2017 Edition
MTGO release
March 23rd
 
Flashback Schedule:
Flashback drafts cost 10Tix or 100 Play Points or 2 Tix plus product.  They are you-keep-the- cards, not Phantom.  These are single elimination events that pay out in play points:  200 for first, 100 for second, and 50 for third and fourth place. 
 
Format
Begins
Ends
Triple Magic 2013
November 23
November 30
Triple Return to Ravnica: 
November 30
December 7
Triple Gatecrash
December 7
December 14
Dragon’s Maze, Gatecrash, Return to Ravnica
December 14
December 21
 
Flashback This Week:  Flashback drafts this week is Triple Magic 2013.   The money cards are Omniscience.  That’s about it.  Thragtusk is next, at just under the arbitrary $5 floor for “money cards.”  Take it, though – it is pretty much nuts in limited.  Next downtime, we shift to triple Return to Ravnica.  The money card in that set is Sphinx's Revelation, with Rest in Peace and Abrupt Decay just below the cut-off.
 
Opinion Section:  Christmas Wish List
 
This week, our local 70s-80s rock station changed over to all Christmas carols (plus Christmas ads, of course).   The season has started.  That means it is time for me to send Santa Worth my Christmas list.  Here’s what I would like to see in my virtual stocking this year, but before I begin, I should say that we did pretty well this year.  The program works, far better than we thought it would at the transition.  Leagues are pretty good – and draft leagues have proved to be that perfect present I didn’t know I really wanted. 
 
Mixed Entry Fees:  In nearly every flashback format this year, I have had an odd number of sealed boosters.  If the format called for two of booster A, and on of booster B, I found I often had one booster A, and 32 booster Bs.  Currently, I can enter with 10 TIX, 100 play points, or the correct three boosters. I want to be able to use the boosters I have, or pay an additional 4 TIX to replace any missing boosters.  Ideally, I would love to be able to enter a Theros block draft with three of the 36 BNG and/or 14 Theros packs without buying any Journey into Nyx boosters.
 
New Formats:  I would love to see Wizards support some new formats.  I know it takes a lot of work to program the legal cards list, and to keep it updated with each new set.   Legacy tribal wars, for example, requires adding every new creature card to all the appropriate lists of creature types, and I can understand how taxing that can be.  I have to maintain comparable lists in my professional life. However, I would love to see Wizards support a couple new formats, even on a casual basis.  The easiest might be Old School 93-94 Magic.  This is a paper format that only allows cards printed in 1993 and 1994, or versions printed later provided they use the same art and the old border.  Wizards could program and maintain this format fairly easily, especially if they relaxed the art/border rule.   (They would have to – the Power Nine are not online with the old art and borders.)  The big advantage to 93-94 Old School would be that, once it is setup, it would never change.  The list of cards that were printed in 1993 and 1994 is not going to be updated in the future.  (Okay, technically it could: we still have some very bad cards from the early sets that have never been printed online, but no one cares about them.  Really.  And Chaos Orb cannot work online without serious rewrite – but it could just become a Vindicate.) 
 
Courage:  I have a weird quirk – when I am undefeated in a league or draft, going into the final rounds, I am very hesitant to start my final matches.  I don’t finish X-0 very often. When I am close, and I get home after a very long day, I rationalize that I should wait.  I’m tired, I’m distracted, etc.- and I would be much more likely to win if I waited for a better time. I also know that if I finish my league, I could draft again, which is the fun part.  Still, I have a draft league deck sitting at 2-0, and a sealed league at 7-0, and I have not played a match in either league all week.   So, Santa Worth, please fix my personality quirk.
 
Better Collection / Deckbuilding Tools:  I have given up on collecting cards online.  In the past, under v3, I could open my collection and look at the tab for a given set and see whether I had four of everything.  It was kinda fun to look over the collection. That was then – the program no longer supports collection building, so I don’t bother.  That’s fine.  However, I wish the program was better at deckbuilding.  I build a fair number of decks in Excel or notepad, and upload them into MTGO.  Every single time I have to go into the deck editor and change the random mix of basic lands for the ones I want, etc.  I picked up some random lands in my current draft and sealed leagues and the program always adds them to a new deck.  Why?  I did a lot of work to collect my set of Unhinged basics – why won’t the deckbuilder add those by default?  Also, why do I have to spend so much time moving draft leftovers out of my collection?   Here’s what I want:  a binder for constructed cards, and a binder for everything else.  When I load a deck, the program pulls cards from the constructed binder first, when I get cards from a draft, or whatever, they go into the everything else binder unless I specifically say otherwise.  In the past, I have accidentally sold off cards I did not mean to, while trying to keep my collection.  At one point, I had even created a separate account just for constructed play, but that doesn’t really work.  Having a “constructed only” binder would help.
 
Santa Worth, I’ve been good.  How about it?
 
Cutting Edge Tech
 
Standard:  The biggest Standard event last weekend was an SCG Open in Knoxville.  The Top 32 decks are here.  We see a lot of BG Delirium, some UW Flash, and one offbeat deck.  Guess which one I feature.
 
Jeskai Control
Bradley Hill, Second Place, SCG Standard Open, Knoxville - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Torrential Gearhulk
4 cards

Instant
2 Revolutionary Rebuff
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Harnessed Lightning
2 Blessed Alliance
3 Void Shatter
2 Immolating Glare
1 Scatter to the Winds
3 Anticipate
1 Negate
22 cards
Sorcery
1 Fumigate
3 Radiant Flames
4 cards

Enchantment
1 Quarantine Field
1 cards
Planeswalker
2 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
3 cards

Land
4 Aether Hub
1 Spirebluff Canal
3 Inspiring Vantage
4 Port Town
4 Wandering Fumarole
6 Plains
4 Island
26 cards
 

Sideboard
1 Blessed Alliance
2 Summary Dismissal
4 Spell Queller
1 Descend upon the Sinful
1 Linvala, the Preserver
2 Brutal Expulsion
3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Negate
15 cards

 

Modern:  The most important Modern event was the World Magic Cup, but the unified Modern rules mean those decks are not representative of more traditional Modern.  SCG ran a traditional Modern Open last weekend, and it actually had some interesting tech.  The Top 32 decks are listed here
 
Sun and Moon
Todd Stevens, Winner, SCG Modern Open, Knoxville - 75 Cards Total
Creature
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Simian Spirit Guide
5 cards

Instant
1 Blessed Alliance
4 Lightning Helix
5 cards

Sorcery
3 Anger of the Gods
2 Wrath of God
5 cards
Artifact
4 Chalice of the Void
4 cards

Enchantment
1 Banishing Light
2 Journey to Nowhere
4 Blood Moon
7 cards

Planeswalker
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Nahiri, the Harbinger
2 Gideon Jura
1 Ajani Vengeant
9 cards
Land
1 Needle Spires
4 Temple of Triumph
4 Arid Mesa
3 Rugged Prairie
1 Gemstone Caverns
2 Sacred Foundry
9 Plains
1 Mountain
25 cards
 


Sideboard
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
1 Anger of the Gods
3 Rest in Peace
3 Stony Silence
3 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Ravenous Trap
1 Wrath of God
15 cards

Pauper: 
Peregrine Drakes no longer menace the format.  We finally have results from post banning tournaments, and the usual suspects have returned.   Here’s what I may well play, if I get a chance to join the league. 
 
 
Legacy:  Legacy has a stable of decks that routinely show up – decks like Miracles, BUG Delver, Dredge, Death and Taxes, Eldrazi, Sneak and Show, ANT, Burn, etc.  Years ago, that list included Reanimator, but Reanimator disappeared for a while.  It has returned, partly due to the power of Collective Brutality
 
Reanimator
ECOSCURO, 5-0, Competitive Legacy League - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Chancellor of the Annex
3 Griselbrand
1 Insolent Neonate
1 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
2 Sire of Insanity
1 Tidespout Tyrant
12 cards

Instant
4 Dark Ritual
4 Entomb
8 cards
Sorcery
3 Collective Brutality
4 Exhume
4 Faithless Looting
4 Reanimate
4 Thoughtseize
19 cards

Artifact
4 Lotus Petal
4 cards
Enchantment
4 Animate Dead
4 cards

Land
4 Badlands
2 Bayou
3 Bloodstained Mire
3 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
13 cards
 

Sideboard
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Duress
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 Faerie Macabre
1 Grave Titan
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
3 Krosan Grip
3 Pithing Needle
15 cards

 
Vintage:  The next season of the Vintage Super League will begin in early January.  Until then, we have some decklists from last weekend’s Vintage Daily. We had a Mentor deck, a Grixis control deck with Saheeli Rai and two Garage decks.  (Garage = Workshop with vehicles.)  This Garage deck features Karn, Silver Golem – a card that I played in my very first sanctioned tournament, back when Karn was Standard legal. 

 
 
 
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.  Not sure why – the main decks are BG Delirium, UW Flash and RW Vehicles, with Aetherworks as tier two, but that does not explain these numbers.  Take BG Delirium; Grim Flayer is down, but Ishkanah is up.  Is that just Aetherworks?   Don’t know.
  
Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$16.55
$18.50
($1.95)
-11%
$14.55
$13.91
$0.64
5%
$28.52
$17.97
$10.55
59%
$31.69
$32.77
($1.08)
-3%
$8.85
$11.87
($3.02)
-25%
$22.35
$27.10
($4.75)
-18%
$15.25
$11.41
$3.84
34%
$22.48
$25.85
($3.37)
-13%
$15.55
$13.25
$2.30
17%
$39.99
$34.81
$5.18
15%
$11.47
$9.30
$2.17
23%
$6.35
$6.01
$0.34
6%
$7.00
$7.62
($0.62)
-8%
$8.14
$7.92
$0.22
3%
$8.02
$7.97
$0.05
1%
Modern staples:   Modern prices are all over the place this week.  The expensive lands – Cavern, Grove and Horizon Canopy – have been up and down like a yoyo for weeks.  Everything else is bouncing around a bit, and we probably see some impact of treasure chests in the prices.   What I don’t know if that impact is because the supply has actually increased, or if people are just irrationally dumping stuff.  Could be either one.     
 
Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$27.00
$24.55
$2.45
10%
$17.70
$16.80
$0.90
5%
$42.04
$44.26
($2.22)
-5%
$26.23
$31.79
($5.56)
-17%
$17.99
$18.23
($0.24)
-1%
$26.83
$24.72
$2.11
9%
$43.38
$41.93
$1.45
3%
$52.32
$41.34
$10.98
27%
$24.67
$28.09
($3.42)
-12%
$22.97
$22.97
$0.00
0%
$18.00
$28.07
($10.07)
-36%
$21.44
$22.69
($1.25)
-6%
$22.25
$24.21
($1.96)
-8%
$81.14
$84.65
($3.51)
-4%
$30.71
$31.89
($1.18)
-4%
$24.12
$26.35
($2.23)
-8%
$28.05
$25.53
$2.52
10%
$27.68
$28.07
($0.39)
-1%
$47.10
$46.11
$0.99
2%
$19.97
$22.99
($3.02)
-13%
$21.41
$21.58
($0.17)
-1%
Legacy and Vintage:  Legacy and Vintage are mixed this week.  Most cards are up, but Rishadan Port has fallen a lot.        
 
Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$29.68
$30.54
($0.86)
-3%
$35.48
$33.87
$1.61
5%
$112.27
$119.53
($7.26)
-6%
$20.22
$20.17
$0.05
0%
$29.14
$27.88
$1.26
5%
$27.10
$26.73
$0.37
1%
$41.03
$41.18
($0.15)
0%
$24.67
$24.44
$0.23
1%
$32.40
$31.87
$0.53
2%
$40.24
$40.18
$0.06
0%
$54.47
$59.47
($5.00)
-8%
$27.71
$27.36
$0.35
1%
$31.89
$31.48
$0.41
1%
$41.41
$42.58
($1.17)
-3%
$195.23
$224.98
($29.75)
-13%
$52.56
$51.78
$0.78
2%
$18.36
$19.46
($1.10)
-6%
$56.30
$55.41
$0.89
2%
$22.30
$22.17
$0.13
1%
$29.30
$26.74
$2.56
10%
$36.96
$36.98
($0.02)
0%
$20.71
$19.99
$0.72
4%
$46.21
$43.31
$2.90
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.   I also added Treasure Chests to this list.  They are not redeemable, but they don’t really fit anywhere else, either, so here you go.   Once their prices stabilize, I may stop showing them.
 
Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Battle for Zendikar
$66.45
$72.24
($5.79)
-8%
Eldritch Moon
$150.79
$140.40
$10.39
7%
Kaladesh
$83.41
$85.67
($2.26)
-3%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$95.28
$97.85
($2.57)
-3%
Shadows over Innistrad
$67.01
$67.53
($0.52)
-1%
Treasure Chest
$3.94
$2.30
$1.64
71%
 
 
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 up to 60 cards this week.  More notably, Rishadan Port is under $200.  Treasures Chests are having an effect, mainly because so very little Mercadian Masques was ever opened.   It was not drafted all that much: I think our esteemed editor was in almost every draft that ever fired.   
 
Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $ 195.23
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 112.27
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 81.14
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
 $ 56.30
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 54.47
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $ 53.78
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $ 52.56
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 52.33
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $ 52.32
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 50.14
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 49.47
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
 $ 48.20
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 47.98
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $ 47.30
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 47.10
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 46.97
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $ 46.89
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
 $ 46.60
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $ 46.21
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 44.25
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 43.38
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
 $ 42.04
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 41.41
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $ 41.03
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 40.76
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $ 40.24
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.99
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $ 36.96
Back to Basics
 UZ
Rare
 $ 35.48
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $ 32.40
Mox Jet
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 31.89
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
 BFZ
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.69
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.54
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 30.71
Golgari Grave-Troll
 DDJ
Rare
 $ 30.10
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.78
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 29.68
Mox Emerald
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 29.55
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $ 29.50
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $ 29.30
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 29.14
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 28.82
Emrakul, the Promised End
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 28.52
Lion's Eye Diamond
 MI
Rare
 $ 28.19
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $ 28.05
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.81
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 27.76
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.76
Moat
 MED
Rare
 $ 27.71
Mox Ruby
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 27.68
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
 $ 27.68
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
 $ 27.41
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
 $ 27.10
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $ 27.10
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
 $ 27.00
Mox Pearl
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 26.93
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $ 26.83
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $ 26.23
Grove of the Burnwillows
 FUT
Rare
 $ 25.49
Crucible of Worlds
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 25.46
 
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 $ 24,169.  That is up $860 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
 
Tolarian Community College has a new video series, in which the Professor and Josh Lee Kwai debate three questions per episode.  The video series is called In Response, and the first episode is here.  The first episode was pretty good.    
 
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.   
 

 

 

7 Comments

Treasure by Sensei at Fri, 11/25/2016 - 16:49
Sensei's picture

Leovold is missing from your Good Stuff list.
Atraxa and Recruiter of the Guard are less ridiculous but still ridiculous.

Whoa, I didn't even realize by ricklongo at Sun, 11/27/2016 - 08:03
ricklongo's picture

Whoa, I didn't even realize those were so expensive. Great idea putting them only into treasure chests, huh, Wizards?

A lot of the problem is that by Cheater Hater at Sun, 11/27/2016 - 23:31
Cheater Hater's picture

A lot of the problem is that the bots can't acquire them directly; you have to play to get them. There are also a lot fewer cards overall, even compared to the LCPPs--and those packs didn't have many good Constructed-relevant new cards (though Meren has somehow risen to $24, despite the presumed lack of casual demand on MTGO). As for the cards themselves, I'm surprised Leovold is the most-expensive--people do realize rares and mythics are supposed to have the same rarity level, right? Atraxa is also another casual hit that apparently managed to have some value on MTGO.

(also, another reason prices might be so high is that MTGOTraders values having stock of basically every card, so it paid a premium to get that stock, and for some reason the price has held so far)

I saw Lee S ask on twitter by Cauchy at Mon, 11/28/2016 - 15:08
Cauchy's picture

I saw Lee S ask on twitter why people dont like draft leagues. All answers point to a dislike for cross pod pairing.

We should get a revised opinion section on this. As far as I remember most comments here and on reddit suggested that cross pod pairing should not be an issue. Then why are people complaining?

This may be more of a case by Rerepete at Mon, 11/28/2016 - 17:39
Rerepete's picture

This may be more of a case where the ones opposed to cross-pod pairing are vocal and those that don't care are silent.

Logically it should be easier to 3-0 a pod by cutting the other drafters from the "best" deck, whereas in a league, the cream of many pods rises to the top, so you would face a top deck from another pod, rather than the 2nd best deck in your own pod.

I think you are right. There by Cauchy at Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:26
Cauchy's picture

I think you are right. There is a likely bias in the responses. But since Lee is asking in the first place I guess there is some issue with attendence.

You logic sounds good. As I remember the popular opinion earlier on it was something like cross pod pairing would make no difference. Or maybe it was hate drafting would make no difference which might still be true.

Obviously I don't agree with by Paul Leicht at Mon, 11/28/2016 - 19:41
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Obviously I don't agree with the assertion that TWL is too much work to maintain. I do agree though that some moderate lip service to the casual crowd would probably have a far out of proportion positive impact, especially since we are starting to seem like an unwanted family member.

Not sure how I feel about the latest hot thing: Old school being the pick for this. Particularly since it is only partially online I see it as being less desirable than other possible formats but any challenging deck building format is going to be at least somewhat interesting at least until we discover how solved it is.

As to courage,O' Lion, it is within you. You simply must acknowledge what it is you truly want and you will find plenty of courage to get it done.