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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Sep 08 2017 12:00pm
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State of the Program for September 8th 2017
 
In the News
Ixalan is Coming:  Wizards is rolling out the previews, and we are just weeks away from the release of the new set. It looks good. The mechanics article is here, and the official gallery is here.  Personally, I’m digging everything, except maybe that picture of Jace as a Pirate.
 
Ixalan at Pax: Wizards gave us some more information on Ixalan at PAX. The video of the panel that discussed worldbuilding is here.  
 
Leagues Winding Up: Current constructed Leagues will end on September 20, 2017. You should play out your matches before then. Leagues will relaunch with Ixalan added to the mix after downtime on the 20th.
 
Rotation Reminder: Just a reminder that rotation is coming soon. In mid-September Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrad, and Eldritch Moon will leave the Standard format to make room for Ixalan. I guess Ixalan needs a lot of room.
 
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
Extended Downtime
Sept. 20th, Oct. 25th
Sealed MOCS Monthly
September 15th, October 8th
Standard MOCS Monthly
October 21st
Current Leagues End
September 20th   
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
October 17, 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
Modern Cube
September 6th
September 24th
(break for Ixalan limited)
September 25th
October 25th
 
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 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: Cards I Paid Way Too Much For
 
While I don’t try to pretend I’m a Magic finance expert, I do spend a lot of time looking at prices for online cards. I have tracked a number of cards over time, and have seen a lot of ups and downs. I have also bought a lot of cards for a lot of decks. Sometimes I have got a bargain. Other times – not so much.
 
So I want to look back over the cards that cost me a fortune. Or, in some cases, cards that just cost a fortune. 
 
When Magic Online first launched, it was when Invasion block (Invasion, Planeshift & Apocalypse) were the old block in Standard, and Odyssey block was the new hotness. Everyone was drafting Odyssey, or playing Odyssey limited. (If you are practicing for GPs or paper events, you practice the formats you will have to play.) As a result, a relatively small amount of Invasion block cards entered the cardpool.  Fairly soon into MTGO’s life cycle, Onslaught arrived and Invasion block drafts ended. And then MTGO began to grow. More people, chasing a set that was not opened much, meant that the Invasion block chase rares became ridiculously expensive. I mean ridiculously expensive. I remember seeing prices for Vindicate and Pernicious Deed at well over $100. I eventually bought them, for Extended and Legacy decks I really wanted to play, years later, once the prices had slipped a bit. My records show that I paid $31.68 for a Vindicate back in 2009. Now, of course, that Vindicate is worth $2. Pernicious Deed was even worse – I paid $51.86 each for my Deeds.
 
Another source of really expensive cards were the throwback sets that were released on MTGO as part of sealed leagues and daily events. This began with Mirage, which was released in 2005. To mimic the way sets were rolled out in the paper world, MTGO had us playing all Mirage for many months, then Visions was added, and after many more months, Weatherlight joined the format. Once again, the total number of players was relatively low and not a ton of product was opened. The prices for chase rares, especially cards like Null Rod, were very high. I paid $42 for a single copy in 2011. Lion’s Eye Diamond, a Mirage rare, was over $110 per copy in May, 2012. LED has been reprinted, and Mirage has been rereleased on occasion, so that price has dropped.   
 
A similar thing happened with Tempest and Urza’s blocks.   The sets were introduced one at a time, with initial limited events being all large set, then large / large / small, and so on. For Tempest block, this meant a couple months of all Tempest, then Tempest / Tempest / Stronghold, and finally limited events used an equal mix of Tempest, Stronghold and Exodus.  Exodus was not opened all that much. Urza’s Sage block followed the same model – the one that was used when the paper sets were introduced at the end of the last millennia. 
 
And then came Mercadian Masques. This was not a popular set, or block, when it was released in paper. Masques block followed Saga block, which was so busted that over a dozen cards were banned, and many are still restricted in Vintage. Saga pushed the boundaries way too far, and in Masques Wizards pulled way back. Masques block had one solid mechanic (Rebels), but the rest of the limited format was all about bad 3/3s for five mana. And the small set at the end, Prophecy, was the worst of the lot. Drafting it sucked. 
 
Wizards knew that very few players would be interested in drafting Masques / Nemesis / Prophecy. To “solve” the problem, they created combined Masques block packs with select cards form the entire block, and we drafted those. This was better than slow-rolling Prophecy, but not great. Combined Masques was not widely popular and relatively few Masques block packs were opened. The result was that the chase rares from the set were, and are, in very short supply. That’s why Rishadan Port is the most expensive non-promo card on MTGO, why Misdirection costs a small fortune, and so forth. It is also why a common like Daze was over $20 for a long time.
 
Finally, I want to talk about the issues around the release of the Power Nine on MTGO. Beginning in 2007, Wizards gave us Masters Edition – a way to introduce cards from sets before Mirage that drafted well. (Sets from before Mirage were not designed for draft at all, and barely worked for sealed.) Masters Edition gave us Force of Will, the original dual lands and a lot of Vintage staples, but not Black Lotus, the Moxen, Ancestral Recall or Time Walk. Those cards finally arrived in July, 2014, with Vintage Masters. The Power Nine were released at “Bonus” rarity, and the very limited supply meant prices were initially pretty high.  
 
Wizards initial announcement implied, but did not guarantee, that Vintage Masters would be around until the fall rotation.  However, after a few weeks, Wizards abruptly announced that Vintage Masters was ending. Prices spiked, and a lot of players – including me – complained.  A few days after the events ended, I bought my Black Lotus for $251.15. The next week, Wizards agreed that the initial announcement was ambiguous and restarted the Vintage Masters queues. Prices for Power dropped again. I bought a Black Lotus for Ingrid later that year, at less than half the price. Prices for Power have been decreasing ever since (until recently, when Leagues have brought them back up.)      
 
Wizards has, over the years, found ways of adding more copies of some of the most important cards to the card pool over the years. Wizards rereleased some of the old formats, and added the cards to Eternal Masters and Treasure Chests. This has kept the prices for a lot of these cards within reason. It may take some time, but without the reprints, cards that are now $20-$30 – cards like Goyf, Vendilion Clique and Wasteland – would be over $100.   
 
For what it’s worth, here is a short list of regular (e.g. not foil, promo, or special-set-only) cards that have toyed with the $100 mark. This list is probably not exhaustive, and not in any special order.
 
·       Black Lotus
·       Ancestral Recall
·       The rest of the power, except Time Twister
·       Force of Will (at $160 per single in May, 2012)
·       Liliana of the Veil 
·       Exploration
·       Lion’s Eye Diamond (it hit at least $110 per single, and may have been higher.)
·       Wasteland (the most expensive uncommon – I found one listing at $106.54, and I think it has been higher.)
·       Jace, the Mind Sculptor
·       Vampiric Tutor
·       Exploration (hasn’t hit $100 yet, but it is still climbing)
·       Misdirection (I sold one of mine for $140.)
·       Vendilion Clique
·       Vindicate
·       Pernicious Deed
·       Show and Tell
·       Gaea’s Cradle
·       And so on
 
Rereading this, I seem to give the impression that I have bought everything at ridiculously high prices.  Not always – looking through my receipts, I note that I paid $19.80 or less for my Liliana of the Veils, $5 for my Cavern of Souls, $17 or less for my Explorations, and $27 each for my Rishadan Ports. At one time Ingrid and I both had playsets of Ports, but I sold mine for over $200 each. Magic is not an investment, and cards rarely maintain value – especially during a rotation – but it is not all dead loss. The TIX I got for those Ports alone kept me drafting for over a year.
 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: Another pair of Standard GPs last weekend, another set of decks did well, and Corey Baumeister made Top 8 – for the third straight GP.   The big news, though, is that this format is wide open. The decks keep changing, and a ton of players are describing it as a great Standard format. Too bad it ends in a few weeks. 
 
 
Modern: The Modern Challenge last weekend had eight different archetypes in the T8, and none of them are decks I have featured in recent weeks. That makes for a sweet format.
 
Hatebears and the Eldrazi (it’s a 70’s cover band)
Patxi, Winner, Modern Challenge - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Dark Confidant
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Flickerwisp
4 Leonin Arbiter
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Thought-Knot Seer
4 Tidehollow Sculler
3 Wasteland Strangler
30 cards

Instant
4 Path to Exile
4 cards
Artifact
4 Aether Vial
4 cards
Land
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Ghost Quarter
1 Godless Shrine
2 Plains
2 Shambling Vent
1 Swamp
22 cards


Sideboard
2 Fatal Push
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Orzhov Pontiff
2 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
2 Surgical Extraction
15 cards
 
Legacy: Going to the Legacy Competitive League this week. Someone managed to go undefeated with the quintessential one-land glass cannon. Well done.  
 
 
Vintage: Vintage Leagues are underway. We are seeing a variety of archetypes in the 5-0 ranks. Remember, the 5-0 decks Wizards features are randomly chosen decks that all have to be at least 10 cards different from any other chosen deck.   This would mean, in a format with two massively dominant archetypes, you are going to see anything else that manages to go undefeated. Still, undefeated is undefeated. 
 
 
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: We are coming up on rotation. Everything on its way out is cratering. Likewise, some archetypes are riding the roller coaster that is this very dynamic metagame. Angel of Invention is a key part of the God-Pharaoh’s Gift deck, which has been up and down based on how it has performed at recent large events.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$5.11
$10.09
($4.98)
-49%
$39.54
$40.26
($0.72)
-2%
$10.63
$12.32
($1.69)
-14%
$4.94
$5.64
($0.70)
-12%
$5.54
$6.78
($1.24)
-18%
$6.57
$6.13
$0.44
7%
$9.32
$7.86
$1.46
19%
$10.30
$8.26
$2.04
25%
$5.23
$7.02
($1.79)
-25%
$29.18
$28.25
$0.93
3%
$5.75
$7.50
($1.75)
-23%
$5.47
$6.32
($0.85)
-13%
$8.06
$9.00
($0.94)
-10%
$20.60
$17.38
$3.22
19%
$12.90
$10.56
$2.34
22%
$19.81
$19.28
$0.53
3%
$11.83
$12.40
($0.57)
-5%

Modern staples:  Modern prices are pretty quiet again this week, but generally up overall. It’s just before a new set, so I don’t expect much activity in the eternal formats.  
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$16.86
$16.63
$0.23
1%
$18.14
$17.74
$0.40
2%
$24.37
$24.16
$0.21
1%
$42.69
$43.28
($0.59)
-1%
$29.43
$25.08
$4.35
17%
$24.09
$23.20
$0.89
4%
$20.35
$21.14
($0.79)
-4%
$36.58
$36.62
($0.04)
0%
$33.00
$34.88
($1.88)
-5%
$21.62
$21.62
$0.00
0%
$38.30
$36.56
$1.74
5%
$36.96
$38.91
($1.95)
-5%
$81.51
$71.78
$9.73
14%
$16.26
$12.89
$3.37
26%
$61.40
$55.85
$5.55
10%
$16.10
$19.58
($3.48)
-18%
$28.46
$26.09
$2.37
9%
$30.40
$30.63
($0.23)
-1%
$25.64
$26.26
($0.62)
-2%
$24.29
$25.64
($1.35)
-5%

Legacy and Vintage: Just like last week,Legacy prices are quiet. Vintage prices have jumped, again. Vintage Leagues are starting, and the bannings should breath some new life into the format. Exploration, though, is nuts. Lands has to be the most expensive deck in Legacy.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$30.39
$25.15
$5.24
21%
$94.80
$84.58
$10.22
12%
$41.67
$41.67
$0.00
0%
$91.66
$89.69
$1.97
2%
$34.24
$34.36
($0.12)
0%
$38.45
$38.08
$0.37
1%
$24.92
$25.87
($0.95)
-4%
$34.62
$37.54
($2.92)
-8%
$24.84
$24.60
$0.24
1%
$38.86
$32.89
$5.97
18%
$42.30
$42.30
$0.00
0%
$59.23
$58.81
$0.42
1%
$52.02
$50.57
$1.45
3%
$46.21
$38.94
$7.27
19%
$142.95
$142.95
$0.00
0%
$29.08
$26.92
$2.16
8%
$43.66
$47.18
($3.52)
-7%
$26.38
$28.87
($2.49)
-9%
$26.00
$22.40
$3.60
16%
$44.48
$46.25
($1.77)
-4%

 
* 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 packs. I’ll keep tracking these because they are interesting (at least to me).  A couple weeks left on this list. Talk about pre-rotation price drops – the price of the entire BFZ set is less than what a single Gideon used to cost. 
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$75.68
$72.35
$3.33
5%
Amonkhet
$76.16
$74.78
$1.38
2%
Battle for Zendikar
$22.72
$24.20
($1.48)
-6%
Eldritch Moon
$62.74
$65.51
($2.77)
-4%
Hour of Devastation
$53.87
$54.27
($0.40)
-1%
Kaladesh
$135.43
$139.86
($4.43)
-3%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$41.13
$45.91
($4.78)
-10%
Shadows over Innistrad
$23.40
$25.27
($1.87)
-7%
Treasure Chest
$2.26
$2.25
$0.01
0%
Amonkhet Booster
$2.57
$2.03
$0.54
27%
Hour of Devastation
$3.72
$3.63
$0.09
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. Pretty similar to last week, except that Vintage staples are climbing, and almost all of the Power has made it back on the table. 
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port *
 MM
Rare
 $ 142.95
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $    94.80
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $    91.66
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $    82.15
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $    81.51
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $    62.71
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $    61.96
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $    61.40
Mystic Confluence
 PZ1
Rare
 $    59.23
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $    56.85
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $    54.19
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $    52.34
Mox Diamond
 V10
Mythic Rare
 $    52.02
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    49.17
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    46.38
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $    46.32
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
 $    46.21
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $    45.70
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $    45.20
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $    44.56
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $    44.48
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $    43.66
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $    42.69
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $    42.30
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $    42.11
Dark Depths
 CSP
Rare
 $    41.97
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $    41.67
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $    41.24
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
 KLD
Mythic Rare
 $    39.54
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
 PZ2
Mythic Rare
 $    38.86
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $    38.45
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $    38.30
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $    37.96
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $    37.22
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $    37.19
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $    36.96
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $    36.58
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $    36.07
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $    35.64
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $    35.31
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $    34.89
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $    34.62
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $    34.24
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $    34.20
Mox Ruby
 VMA
Bonus
 $    33.49
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $    33.00
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
 $    32.79
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
 $    31.62
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    30.68
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
 $    30.40
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
 $    30.39
Volcanic Island
 ME3
Rare
 $    30.02
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
 $    29.43
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
 $    29.30
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $    29.18
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $    29.17
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $    29.08
Tempt with Discovery
 C13
Rare
 $    28.93
Mox Jet
 VMA
Bonus
 $    28.47
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $    28.46
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $    28.37
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $    27.85
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
 $    27.32
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $    27.13
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
 $    26.66
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $    26.38
Volcanic Island
 VMA
Rare
 $    26.00
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
 $    25.74
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $    25.69
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $    25.64
Mox Pearl
 VMA
Bonus
 $    25.28
Mox Emerald
 VMA
Bonus
 $    25.05

 
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 $ 23,550. That’s up about $520 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
 
I will be running a PPTQ at Netherwood Games in Madison, WI on Saturday. Everyone should attend, especially those of you who may have to make international flights.   I’m giving everyone almost an entire day’s warning, after all.
 
Also, I have been trying to use up my AHK and HOU packs in drafts and leagues before the rotation. It’s not working out – I keep winning more packs faster than I can burn them up. Which is not a bad thing.
 
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.  

25 Comments

re by Hearts at Sat, 09/09/2017 - 07:15
Hearts's picture

And now the cards have to be bought again;
https://youtu.be/T6lon9-8Fck - Magic: The Gathering Arena World Premiere Stream

MtgO will be phased out and become replaced with this, so wotc get to sell the history of mtg sets once again.
Playsets of staples, Lotuses, Liliana Veils, Jaces, Ports, etc, will have to be bought once again.
This will happen yet again in 10-12 years, then yet again 7-8 years after that, shorter cycles as time pass.

You are wrong. All by Hibs1875 at Sat, 09/09/2017 - 14:29
Hibs1875's picture

You are wrong. All collections will be transported to the new system.

You're both wrong--Arena is by Cheater Hater at Sun, 09/10/2017 - 02:31
Cheater Hater's picture

You're both wrong--Arena is something completely separate, focusing only on Standard and current limited formats. MTGO will stay around, since it includes non-Standard formats, and will still be required for top-level play, at least in the short term. Furthermore, since Arena isn't directly connected with Paper (and most-likely will have a flow from Paper to Arena via promo codes), trading doesn't exist, and it's competing with other digital games, cards will have to be cheaper. Obviously the super-long term goal will be to have Arena replace MTGO, but that requires Arena to be successful (not a given, especially since WotC will probably be walking the tightrope of trying not to kill Paper with it), it'll take years in the best case (even ignoring the actual cost of programming old cards/sets, WotC won't flood the market with product), and WotC will let you cash out or (more likely) merge with Arena when the time comes.

re by Hearts at Sun, 09/10/2017 - 02:38
Hearts's picture

WotC will let customers cash out something ?

Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool...........

They already have redemption. by Hibs1875 at Sun, 09/10/2017 - 02:45
Hibs1875's picture

They already have redemption. So cashing out is not that hard to believe.

And "...merge with Arena..." how is that different from what I said?

re by Hearts at Sun, 09/10/2017 - 03:08
Hearts's picture

1) Cash is money.

2) What is it you think redemption is/does ? Get the cards you have online in real life mail ? Nope(except for some few of them).

3) Even so, that I am wrong about 2); Do you think people want the cards in paper ? Maybe they already have them, and that they bought electronics because it is electronics they want, and not a "2nd set of paper cards" because that is superfluous.

No need to discuss cashing by Hibs1875 at Sun, 09/10/2017 - 04:07
Hibs1875's picture

No need to discuss cashing out if you dont believe it is an option. In the end WotC will just move any MTGO collection to Arena and we will all be happy - including you. Electronic cards for Electronic cards.

re by Hearts at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 00:27
Hearts's picture

You're both wrong- No.

Arena is something completely separate, - yes.

focusing only on Standard and current limited formats. - doesnt matter, probably only what they start out with.

MTGO will stay around, since it includes non-Standard formats, - yes, but not because it includes non-standard formats.

and will still be required for top-level play, at least in the short term. - yes, and only in the short term.

Furthermore, since Arena isn't directly connected with Paper (and most-likely will have a flow from Paper to Arena via promo codes), trading doesn't exist, - trading or not trading, it will be just as connected to paper as mtgo is, redemption/electronic ptq's is insignificant.

and it's competing with other digital games, - yes.

cards will have to be cheaper. - no, they do not. We have no clue how and what Arena will charge, yet.

Obviously the super-long term goal will be to have Arena replace MTGO, - yes.

but that requires Arena to be successful (not a given, especially since WotC will probably be walking the tightrope of trying not to kill Paper with it), - you do not know what you are talking about here.

it'll take years in the best case (even ignoring the actual cost of programming old cards/sets, - it will probably take less than a year.

WotC won't flood the market with product), - they wont give freebies no.

and WotC will let you cash out or (more likely) merge with Arena when the time comes. - nothing will be merged I can promise you, it will be pay it all over once again.

---

Paper rules problems have consequences for digital mtg programming, whether it be mtgo or arena.
In paper all the comprehensive rules problems are solved with rulings(or "solved") or less formal arrangements (like phone calls between judges/certain wotc folks). In digital that is an enormous task, and thus one of the reasons mtgo has been so disastrously bad (and have had its customer base/traffic cut 70 percent since 2010). Arena starts with only standard and its limited part, that is much easier to programme.

You are wrong. Before they by Hibs1875 at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 02:56
Hibs1875's picture

You are wrong. Before they close down MTGO they will merge your collection with Arena and trading will be a thing.

I will be happy to repeat it as many times as you repeat your statement. I am sure that you can see they are both based on the same amount of proof.

They is no such thing as paper rules. There is only one set of rules.

I disagree, there are for by JXClaytor at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 05:45
JXClaytor's picture

I disagree, there are for sure two different sets of rules, which is why drawing can happen in paper, and loops can happen in paper, but they can't happen online.

Drawing can happen online by Hibs1875 at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 07:42
Hibs1875's picture

Drawing can happen online too, e.g., all players end with a negative life total at the same time. Or is that not what you meant by drawing?

Loops not happening online is a violation of the CR. Or does the CR state that there are different rules online versus paper? Hence, there is a single set of rules which are sometimes enforced wrongly both online and in paper.

I should have said by JXClaytor at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:15
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I should have said intentional drawing.

re by Hearts at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:40
Hearts's picture

WotC will simply gradually stop supporting mtgo, until in the end when it is a ghost town with so many flaws/bugs that no one will want to touch it any more. MtgO will never have any "official ending".

MTGO will have an official by Hibs1875 at Mon, 09/11/2017 - 09:08
Hibs1875's picture

MTGO will have an official ending at the same time they stop adding new sets. At which point they will merge you account with the successor of MTGO. It will be similar to the transition from MTGO v3 to v4.

re by Hearts at Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:44
Hearts's picture

You do realize that WotC hasnt said that there is going to be any merging or official ending, right ?

They haven't said ANYTHING by Paul Leicht at Tue, 09/12/2017 - 14:31
Paul Leicht's picture

They haven't said ANYTHING about ending MTGO, lol.

Apparently in the new LR Ryan by Cheater Hater at Tue, 09/12/2017 - 15:01
Cheater Hater's picture

Apparently in the new LR Ryan Spain says Arena won't launch for two-plus years. Granted that's probably a timeline for 1.0, and there's a lot of "launch" before that--Hearthstone spent a long time in closed beta (no info out, like apparently the beta we're signing up for now is), invite-only beta (where everyone streams and such, and it can dominate Twitch), and open beta (where anyone can download the client), along with gradually opening up the platforms (you're kidding yourself if 1.0 doesn't include PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and at least one console). When you combine that with the timeline for older sets, it might be ~10 years before MTGO dies. (or Arena might not ever launch :p )

It is still not given that a by Hibs1875 at Tue, 09/12/2017 - 15:05
Hibs1875's picture

It is still not given that a functional Arena will kill MTGO?

Paper and MTGO coexist, why cant they coexist with another digital platform with a different play concept?

There are a lot of reasons by Cheater Hater at Tue, 09/12/2017 - 19:48
Cheater Hater's picture

There are a lot of reasons for that:
1. WotC wants there to be as few ways to split the playerbase as possible, and it's a lot harder for two digital platforms to be different than digital and paper. We've had that with Duels for a while, but that wasn't targeted towards established players at all (other than maybe the story modes, which wasn't a recurring purchase), and Arena is supposed to attract core players (at least ones that care about Standard/current Limited).

2. If the card bases are equal, Arena is much better than MTGO for WotC in most aspects. The presentation is much better, making it more appealing for viewers. Making it F2P makes it much easier to hook players. Removing redemption and trading means WotC doesn't have to worry about most online gambling regulations. The main drawback for WotC is that the margins presumably aren't as good (both because of pure F2P-ers and presumably cheaper cards), but that might not be true if MTGO is much more difficult to maintain.

I am somewhat surprised that by Hibs1875 at Tue, 09/12/2017 - 14:55
Hibs1875's picture

I am somewhat surprised that facts all of a sudden became a concern for you?

You do realize that WotC hasnt said that ***insert here***, right?

***MtgO will be phased out and become replaced with [Arena]***

***Playsets of staples...will have to be bought once again.***

***This will happen yet again in 10-12 years***

***yet again 7-8 years after***

***shorter cycles as time pass***

***nothing will be merged I can promise you.***

***WotC will simply gradually stop supporting mtgo***

***MtgO will never have any "official ending"***

I'm trying to decide if Hibs by JXClaytor at Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:32
JXClaytor's picture

I'm trying to decide if Hibs and Hearts are the same people.

I know--that's why I'm trying by Cheater Hater at Wed, 09/13/2017 - 15:23
Cheater Hater's picture

I know--that's why I'm trying to avoid replying to the known trolls :)

(P.S: My article that went up today doesn't appear to have normal (non-Facebook) comments on it for some reason)

Ah such a fine line between by Paul Leicht at Wed, 09/13/2017 - 18:54
Paul Leicht's picture

Ah such a fine line between responding to trolls and just trying to converse. lol. I try and ignore the comments (sometimes successfully) that are intended to get my goat. My goat is MINE. I will only sac it when I want to.

Edinburgh Derby by Lawnmower Elf at Thu, 09/14/2017 - 02:18
Lawnmower Elf's picture

Hearts & Hibs in the same thread!

I thought this would "kick off" more than it has :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_derby

I know nothing about by JXClaytor at Thu, 09/14/2017 - 04:59
JXClaytor's picture

I know nothing about football!