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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Nov 29 2013 12:02pm
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The State of the Program for November 29th 2013

This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

In the News this Week:

Scheduled Play to Return Unchanged: Worth Wollpert gave us more information on the future of scheduled events in this article.   The big news: Dailies and other scheduled events will be back soon. WotC is still testing, but unless they find another problem, expect Dailies and probably PEs back on Dec. 11th. The events will have the same entry costs, rounds and prizes. (Yay!) The schedule may be different – I would not be surprised to see the events introduced slowly, or with a lower maximum number of players. PTQs and MOCS events are not coming back soon – Worth warned not to expect them until next spring, at the earliest. On the plus side, Worth promised us a Holiday Cube and Commander 2013 just before Christmas.
 
Cube Drafts Coming Dec. 18th: The Cube will be up and running from Dec. 18th through January 8th. The Flashback format that will run opposite these events is Mercadian Masques. See the section on fiscal analysis of flashback formats, below, for more info.
 
Flashback Draft Update: The “Flashback” format for this week is Tempest block. Tempest will be around for one week, then Wizards will offer something else. The drafts are more expensive that normal drafts – costing 15 TIX or packs plus 3 TIX. They are available in 8-4 and Swiss.     
 
Special Set News: From the Vault Twenty goes off sale Dec. 4th. Commander 2013 goes on sale Dec. 20th. Both of these are worth looking at. FtV 20 includes big Jace and Tangle Wire, plus some other cards. The Commander set includes True-Name Nemesis, which is tearing up Legacy. 
 
Freed from the Real Hits Episode 250: The 250th episode of the best MTGO-related podcast went up on PureMTGO this week. Check it out here. I’ve been listening since episode one, and have often repeated stuff from the podcast in the news section. 
 
HammyBot Update:   It’s still around, and still a great way to get cards and support the family of the late Erik Friborg. So far, Hammybot has raised almost 6,200 TIX! Keep it going! Hammybot still has 25,525 cards to sell, including a number of foil Mythics. That includes a very pretty Foil, Lorwyn block Vendilion Clique.  If you want a Legacy, Classic and Vintage staple, grab the Clique. You will get a great card, and help out Hammy’s family through HammyBot. It’s good value. 
 

Fiscal Analysis of Flashback Formats:

I’ll start with a look at Tempest block. Tempest is a decent block for limited play. It is fast, with a ton of weenie creatures, and the shadow mechanic can make blocking difficult. However, black has a cheap, common Pyroclasm in Evincar’s Justice, and that can stop the weenies. The block plays well enough that limited queues should keep firing at least through the weekend. 
 
Tempest has a fair number of cards of value, but the main reason to draft is that one big money card – Wasteland – is an uncommon. The average value of the cards in a Tempest draft is: Tempest pack ($ 6.27) + Stronghold pack ($ 2.24) + Exodus ($ 3.07) = $11.58. That is a better average return than Theros, and the format is not painful to play. If you do play, watch for the high value cards. To make that easier, here’s a list of high-value cards:
 

Card
Rarity
Set
Price
Wasteland
U
Tempest
$    79.39
City of Traitors
R
Exodus
$    54.73
Intuition
R
Tempest
$    22.46
Humility
R
Tempest
$    17.93
Mox Diamond
R
Stronghold
$    17.13
Ancient Tomb
U
Tempest
$    15.45
Scroll Rack
R
Tempest
$    15.22
Survival of the Fittest
R
Exodus
$    14.89
Oath of Druids
R
Exodus
$    14.24
Grindstone
R
Tempest
$    13.30
Ensnaring Bridge
R
Stronghold
$    10.60
Sphere of Resistance
R
Exodus
$       8.57
Dream Halls
R
Stronghold
$       8.17
Volrath's Stronghold
R
Stronghold
$       7.44
Lotus Petal
C
Tempest
$       6.64
Mirri's Guile
R
Tempest
$       6.36
Sapphire Medallion
R
Tempest
$       5.96
Earthcraft
R
Tempest
$       5.78
Aluren
R
Tempest
$       5.58
Recurring Nightmare
R
Exodus
$       5.47
Reanimate
U
Tempest
$       5.25

Now I’ll move on to Masques block. Masques is not all that good of a limited format. It is slow, with a ton of 3/3s for five mana and a drawback. The most important limited mechanic is Rebels. If just one player drafts Rebels, his or her deck is insane. Even two players splitting Rebels are in great shape. If three or four players fight over Rebels, they will probably have bad decks. However, Masques is not unplayably bad – there are just a lot of better formats available at any given time.  
 
The reason to play Masques, though, is that some of the cards are worth serious money. The average value of a Masques pack, if opened, is $ 4.61. You can almost make money even if you win no packs. If you do play, watch for the high value cards. To make that easier, here’s the list`:
 

Card
Rarity
Price
Rishadan Port
R
$ 102.26
Misdirection
R
$    79.52
Tangle Wire
R
$    30.08
Daze
C
$    15.86
Dust Bowl
R
$    15.08
Submerge
U
$       9.53
Unmask
R
$       8.81
Bribery
R
$       8.37
Food Chain
R
$       8.00
Ancestral Mask
C
$       7.17
Kor Haven
R
$       6.72
Flame Rift
C
$       6.69
High Market
R
$       6.39
Black Market
R
$       5.99
Gush
C
$       5.66

The above list is all the cards worth more than $5. In addition, a number of commons are worth a couple TIX, including Brainstorm, Accumulated Knowledge, Land Grant, Counterspell, Snuff Out and Spidersilk Armor. If you do draft some of the chase cards, especially chase commons, hold them if you can. Prices will drop once the drafts start, but will recover a couple months later. If you don’t need the TIX immediately, its generally worth waiting.
 

Cutting Edge Tech: 

Standard: GP Albuquerque was last weekend. The Top 8 was stacked, with a bunch of names battling it out.   Sam Black and Owen Turtenwald were back in the Top 8s, despite days having passed since the last time they were there. They had some serious competition in Paul Reitz, Todd Anderson and Sam Pardee. The archetypes were not so diverse – it was mono blue battling mono black most of the way. Coverage is here. In the end, Owen took it down.
 
Mono Black
Owen Turtenwald, Winner, GP Albuquerque
Creatures
4 Pack Rat
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Desecration Demon
12 cards

Other Spells
3 Temple of Deceit
1 Erebos, God of the Dead
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Hero's Downfall
4 Thoughtseize
2 Devour Flesh
2 Ultimate Price
1 Doom Blade
4 Underworld Connections
13 cards
 
Lands
4 Mutavault
19 Swamp
23 cards

Sideboard
3 Lifebane Zombie
3 Duress
1 Doom Blade
1 Shrivel
8 cards
 
Nightveil Specter
 
Modern, Pauper, Classic and Theros Block Constructed: Once Wizards brings scheduled events back, and starts posting decklists which have some provenance (or we get a GP in these formats), I have nothing worth reporting.
 
Legacy: SCG ran a Legacy Open last weekend. The Top 8 had a ton of Esper Control, UWR Delver and a Shardless Bug. Despite all that control, Sneak and Show took it down.
 
Sneak and Show
Jared Boettcher, Winner, StarCityGames.com Legacy Open Providence
Creatures
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 cards

Other Spells
4 Griselbrand
3 Gitaxian Probe
3 Spell Pierce
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
1 Misdirection
4 Sneak Attack
4 Show and Tell
2 City of Traitors
4 Lotus Petal
2 Intuition
4 Force of Will
37 cards
 
Lands
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Island
1 Mountain
3 Ancient Tomb
3 Volcanic Island
17 cards

Show and Tell
 
Card Prices: 
Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the lower price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Thoughtseize is generally the Theros price. In certain other cases (e.g Brainstorm) I will note which version I track. All these cards are generally available from the MTGOTraders Bots, so check out mtgotradersbot, mtgotradersbot2, mtgotradersbot3, mtgotradersbot4, mtgotradersbot5, CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, as well as from the website directly. Now, on to prices.
 
Standard prices are recovering.   Redemption was holding the prices for mythics higher than they would otherwise be, but that seems to be changing. The price changes seem to relate directly to .  
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$6.06
$5.87
$0.19
3%
$9.16
$8.65
$0.51
6%
$5.94
$6.35
($0.41)
-6%
$16.10
$15.61
$0.49
3%
$6.48
$8.12
($1.64)
-20%
$20.55
$20.04
$0.51
3%
$10.56
$11.57
($1.01)
-9%
$6.05
$5.97
$0.08
1%
$18.63
$20.06
($1.43)
-7%
$4.43
$4.03
$0.40
10%
$35.72
$30.79
$4.93
16%
$6.91
$6.36
$0.55
9%
$9.18
$8.99
$0.19
2%
$19.73
$18.13
$1.60
9%
$8.77
$8.00
$0.77
10%
$8.57
$8.46
$0.11
1%
$3.94
$4.05
($0.11)
-3%
$6.79
$6.78
$0.01
0%
(Sphinx’s Revelation)
$33.41
$31.63
$1.78
6%
$13.37
$12.47
$0.90
7%
$8.98
$7.82
$1.16
15%
$5.80
$5.97
($0.17)
-3%
$32.48
$28.09
$4.39
16%
$6.96
$7.48
($0.52)
-7%

Modern prices did not crash as hard as Standard, and a number of cards are up from 2 weeks ago. Prices are pretty stable this week. Liliana had soared, and is correcting.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$13.47
$13.81
($0.34)
-2%
$19.91
$19.84
$0.07
0%
$8.21
$8.53
($0.32)
-4%
$17.31
$17.31
$0.00
0%
$14.91
$15.21
($0.30)
-2%
$12.10
$11.31
$0.79
7%
$20.84
$20.47
$0.37
2%
$9.24
$9.24
$0.00
0%
$11.43
$11.43
$0.00
0%
$8.37
$8.37
$0.00
0%
$9.16
$9.70
($0.54)
-6%
$31.33
$27.47
$3.86
14%
$15.81
$15.81
$0.00
0%
$19.83
$19.00
$0.83
4%
$33.24
$31.62
$1.62
5%
$8.95
$8.83
$0.12
1%
$44.37
$48.25
($3.88)
-8%
$16.30
$16.30
$0.00
0%
$37.92
$37.29
$0.63
2%
$16.17
$16.17
$0.00
0%
$12.72
$12.72
$0.00
0%
$17.11
$15.77
$1.34
8%
$8.69
$8.95
($0.26)
-3%
$4.74
$5.16
($0.42)
-8%
$7.20
$7.20
$0.00
0%
$70.33
$70.33
$0.00
0%
$9.70
$10.23
($0.53)
-5%
$26.80
$27.41
($0.61)
-2%

 
Pauper prices are beginning to dip a bit. They should recover as we get scheduled events back.   
 

Pauper Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$3.28
$3.63
($0.35)
-10%
$7.17
$7.65
($0.48)
-6%
$2.00
$2.36
($0.36)
-15%
$3.89
$4.53
($0.64)
-14%
$6.89
$6.44
$0.45
7%
$8.72
$9.46
($0.74)
-8%
$15.86
$15.68
$0.18
1%
$3.60
$3.88
($0.28)
-7%
$2.04
$2.04
$0.00
0%
$6.69
new
$5.25
$5.25
$0.00
0%
$5.66
$5.77
($0.11)
-2%
$2.43
$3.81
($1.38)
-36%
$3.22
new
$1.16
$1.30
($0.14)
-11%
$1.20
$1.20
$0.00
0%
$1.25
$1.40
($0.15)
-11%
$3.86
$4.08
($0.22)
-5%
$3.46
$3.72
($0.26)
-7%
$6.39
$7.17
($0.78)
-11%
$4.03
$3.73
$0.30
8%
$1.99
$2.15
($0.16)
-7%
$3.27
$3.71
($0.44)
-12%

 
Legacy and Classic were pretty silent this week, with a few main cards climbing. These prices really make me hope for an Urza’s Block Flashback draft week. It won’t have a lot of long-term impact, but it certainly would not hurt.
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$11.45
$11.45
$0.00
0%
$54.73
$56.64
($1.91)
-3%
$21.42
$19.87
$1.55
8%
$28.85
$29.49
($0.64)
-2%
$98.80
$99.76
($0.96)
-1%
$69.32
$64.79
$4.53
7%
$34.11
$33.24
$0.87
3%
$157.72
$157.72
$0.00
0%
$26.69
$26.69
$0.00
0%
$17.24
$16.38
$0.86
5%
$79.52
$79.52
$0.00
0%
$26.40
$25.96
$0.44
2%
$17.13
$15.92
$1.21
8%
$41.22
$42.33
($1.11)
-3%
$18.45
$18.45
$0.00
0%
$20.40
$19.91
$0.49
2%
$102.26
$102.26
$0.00
0%
$9.59
$8.95
$0.64
7%
$93.19
$93.19
$0.00
0%
$36.58
$36.58
$0.00
0%
$30.08
$30.08
$0.00
0%
$19.88
$18.69
$1.19
6%
$34.07
$33.20
$0.87
3%
$15.77
$15.77
$0.00
0%
Vampiric Tutor
$36.41
$36.41
$0.00
0%
$28.94
$28.94
$0.00
0%
$79.36
$83.96
($4.60)
-5%

The Good Stuff:

The Good Stuff starts with a list of the non-foil, non-premium cards on MTGO that cost more than $25 each. Force of Will is holding at a touch under $100 – as are several other chase cards. Rishadan Port has passed Force, and is over $100 each. The expensive stuff hasn’t been affected by the elimination of big events. 
 

Card
Rarity
Set
 Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
 $   157.72
Force of Will
R
MED
 $   104.68
Rishadan Port
R
MM
 $   102.26
Force of Will
R
PRM
 $   98.80
Show and Tell
R
UZ
 $   93.19
Misdirection
R
MM
 $   79.52
Wasteland
U
TE
 $   79.39
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
 $   71.55
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
 $   70.33
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
 $   69.32
City of Traitors
R
EX
 $   54.73
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
 $   44.37
Underground Sea
R
ME2
 $   42.68
Natural Order
R
VI
 $   41.22
Mox Opal
M
SOM
 $   37.92
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
 $   36.58
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
 $   36.41
Jace, Architect of Thought
M
RTR
 $   35.72
Tundra
R
ME4
 $   35.42
Tropical Island
R
ME3
 $   34.93
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
 $   34.11
Underground Sea
R
ME4
 $   34.07
Tropical Island
R
ME4
 $   33.57
Sphinx's Revelation
M
RTR
 $   33.41
Tundra
R
ME2
 $   33.25
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
 $   33.24
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
 $   32.48
Bayou
R
ME4
 $   31.80
Fulminator Mage
R
SHM
 $   31.33
Volcanic Island
R
ME3
 $   30.97
Bayou
R
ME3
 $   30.88
Tangle Wire
R
NE
 $   30.08
Volcanic Island
R
ME4
 $   29.98
Vindicate
R
AP
 $   28.94
Flusterstorm
R
CMD
 $   28.85
Polluted Delta
R
ONS
 $   27.63
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
 $   27.41
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
 $   26.80
Mana Drain
R
ME3
 $   26.69
Mishra's Workshop
R
ME4
 $   26.40
Mutavault
R
MOR
 $   25.10

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $24,615. That’s down up about $500 from where we were last week. The “great” crash is, for the most part, over.  Once we get details of the return of scheduled events, expect another mild jump in prices.  
 

Weekly Highlights:

It’s stuff yourself on turkey day here in the states. We will eat way too much, then lay around watching “real” football. With any luck, I will get a tempest draft in there somewhere, too.
 
Happy Holidays, everyone!
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.

 

2 Comments

Request by tophimos at Tue, 12/03/2013 - 22:11
tophimos's picture

Would it be possible to add a bit to the pricing section? It could be helpful to see the total ticket cost of each set redemption. For example, a redemption of M14 would cost X this week, while a Theros redemption would cost Y, etc.

Thank you for the great content!

hmm by one million words at Tue, 12/03/2013 - 23:08
one million words's picture

I'll think about that. Should be relatively easy - I'll try.