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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 16 2019 11:02am

State of the Program for August 16th, 2019
In the News

Brand new Organized Play:  Wizards of the Coast released plans for Organized Play on the 14th, and a lot of stuff is happening!  Rivals League is new!  The Player's Tour is new!  They are offering 10 million in prizes!  These changes have for the most part been well received, based on my Twitter feed.  Do I know what any of it means?  Personally, no, I have no clue.  I'm just gonna keep playing Magic until they take down the servers, or the heat death of the universe happens, whichever comes first! You can read the updates here

Commander 2019 in Treasure Chests: 
You can open Commander 2019 cards out of treasure chests after this weeks downtime, which is to say they are already on the client, so get cracking!  Empowered Autogenerator; Elsha of the Infinite; Rayami, First of the Fallen; and Tahngarth, First Mate will not be available as of today, but will be after bugs are worked out.  

Khans of Tarkir wins Flashback event:  Social Media followers were asked to vote for flashback draft formats they would like to see on MTGO.  While everyone got it wrong, well those that didn't vote for Mercadian Masques, (actually not even sure that was an option), Khans of Tarkir won, and Vintage Masters took second.  Both will be available to play again soon, with Khans being around for a week starting August 21, and VMA sometime in November. 

Grixis Cube:  Ryan Overturf is bringing the Grixis Cube to MTGO.  Those events will start on the 28th of August, and you can read about them 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 MCQs each weekend, with qualifiers for limited MCQs running the days immediately prior to the MCQ.
Upcoming Events
Scheduled Downtimes
Constructed Leagues End
September 25, 2019
Sealed Leagues End
September 30, 2019
Next B&R Announcement
August 26, 2019
Chaos Draft
August 14-21
Modern Horizons Ends
August 28, 2019
Throne of Eldraine
September 2019
January, 2020
Spring, 2020
2018 Magic Online Championship Series and other events
Complete details, including schedule, rules, and which online events qualify you for which online or paper events is here. In addition, Wizards will be offering these special formats:
Limited MCQ Finals - Core Set 2020 August 17 and 18. 

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
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT
The Hot Take Corner

The hardest part of State of the Program for me has by far been the opinion section.  The prices are a lot of fun, I enjoy learning about spreadsheets, and I also enjoy working on the news, decklists and Around the Web, I just have been struggling with what to write about here, because I have no idea what I want to talk about.  Other than managing LegitMTG and PureMTGO, I have no idea what Magic means to me anymore.  I stream more than I have recently, but its mostly to listen to music that I want to listen to, and a secondary function is take advantage of an agreement I have with the folks at LegitMTG.com.  I play Magic almost a third option now. 

The Organized Play changes mean nothing to me, a dude that is struggling with and losing to, agoraphobia and anxiety.  I am not getting in a car to go to the grocery store (thanks instacart!) much less getting in a car to go for a PTQ or a Grand Prix.  The Player's Tour dream is one that has long since been snuffed out for me.  So I really don't have any hot takes about Organized Play.  Reading the article and other players thoughts on it makes me think that these are reasonable changes.  They just aren't for me. 

Evan Erwin talked about kickstarting coverage for WotC this week on Twitter.  Speaking of things that are no longer for me, streaming coverage is nearly at the top of the list, it's only beaten out by traveling and eating gluten.  I used to love watching baseball, but have stopped watching it, because well, the live experience is so much better than the televised one.  I mean I love Joe Buck, but baseball is so incredibly boring with an abundance of downtime, and while improvements have been made to streamline things, it's just unappealing to me.  Magic coverage to me is like baseball.  There is a tremendous amount of downtime, there is rarely any action, where here we could compare a home run to a top deck, but just like in the sport, they occur mostly when things don't matter, that is to say, outside of the playoffs.  That's incredibly unfair to say, but there are a lot of rounds to make up for getting a loss, just like there are a lot of games to make up those losses.  There is no drama for me, because everything is over complicated.

The games that I do watch a lot of, Basketball and League of Legends, (and I watched nearly 1000 college basketball games last season) are action packed, but still suffer from downtime, they aren't perfect either.  Intentional fouls are a plague on the sport, and the early game of LoL is slow, plodding and not exciting at all.  The drama comes from the end of games, and with Magic, well, sometimes the game is fundamentally over quickly. The catch-up mechanics in the game just are not there yet.  It's really hard to come back when your opponent is yeeting 8/8s at you in the early game. 

So what do I want from Magic, other than a chance to cast Stone Rain

I want to feel like I belong to something, and right now I just don't feel that. 

I'm a mediocre player and content creator, though I try to get better at both each time.

Maybe I am just outgrowing Magic.  I'm almost 40, and I love the people that I have met through the game, be it in real life or just online, but the lack of a Gathering for me is yet another obstacle to overcome. 

Cutting Edge Tech

There is a theme this week!  Try to figure it out and post your guess in the comments!

: This deck is quick, and with Cavalcade of Calamity all these 1 drops with haste can really put the pressure on an opponent before they have a chance to even start to play. It's also capable of drawing poorly and getting ran over, but that is the trade off for a super fast linear beatdown deck right? 

:  I guess I am highlighting Legacy decks that my dumb brain will never be able to figure out, because here is one.  I guess with Blood Artist and the returning Bloodghast and Gravecrawler you create a lot of bodies to sacrifice to Goblin Bombardment.  I feel like I am close here at least. 

: I guess Burn will always be good in Modern, even when its staring broken stuff in the face.  Getting your opponent from 20 to 0 is fairly easy, and thanks to Modern Horizons, burn gets some card draw with the Horizon lands! 

:  If it means I can attack my opponent with a lot of tokens and then draw a lot of cards, yeah, I'll Keep Watch

:  I know I have featured Oath before here, but Vintage pickings are slim for the theme that I picked out this week for decks. 

Winner's Circle

The Winner's Circle is where I will recognize winners of the past events on MTGO.

Sealed M20 MCQ - TheNutLo qualified!
Pauper Challenge - TopGrinder took the win with GoblinsGoblin Grenade is a card that exists in Pauper and that is fun for me to remember. 
Legacy Challenge - Mzfroste showed people what Dark Depths can do in Legacy
Vintage Challenge - coffeannan won with Dredge.
Modern Challenge - Dborges7 won with Burn.
Legacy MCQ - tamir1313 won with Stoneblade.  I think that is what the deck is called. 

Around the Web

MTGOTraders YouTube:  Did you know that MTGOTraders.com has a YouTube page with videos added Monday, Wednesday and Friday?  Well if not, now you do, and you can find it here

Jake Vyper wrote about a topic from MaRo's Tumblr in regards to Hogaak.  It might have been a mistake. Check it out on epicstream

Aaron Forsythe on emergency bans:  Hogaak was clearly a mistake, but with the next banned and restricted announcement coming up soon, there would not be any emergency bans to stifle the Modern deck. 

Hall of Famer Willy Edel on the Organized Play Changes:  He wrote up a quick guide about Organized Play here

Congrats to The Professor on 100 million views! 

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 a decade and a half now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
Standard Staples:
Standard Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Arclight Phoenix $23.65 $25.90 ($2.25) -9%
Teferi, Time Raveler $25.54 $22.19 $3.35 15%
Hydroid Krasis $7.90 $14.99 ($7.09) -47%
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $5.04 $9.41 ($4.37) -46%
Prime Speaker Vannifer $3.02 $4.65 ($1.63) -35%
Seraph of the Scales $3.39 $5.05 ($1.66) -33%
Finale of Devastation $14.90 $14.43 $0.47 3%
Karn, the Great Creator $23.45 $21.32 $2.13 10%
Finale of Promise $32.26 $43.72 ($11.46) -26%
Dreadhorde Arcanist $15.01 $12.20 $2.81 23%
Skarrgan Hellkite $5.39 $6.21 ($0.82) -13%
Assassin's Trophy $11.60 $9.45 $2.15 23%
Chandra, Awakened Inferno $27.55 $18.89 $8.66 46%
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord $18.23 $15.54 $2.69 17%
Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer $5.35 $6.14 ($0.79) -13%
Leyline of the Void $11.80 $16.82 ($5.02) -30%
Yarok, the Desecrated $8.96 $8.20 $0.76 9%
Omnath, Locus of the Roil $4.36 $6.87 ($2.51) -37%
Cavalier of Thorns $4.75 $5.89 ($1.14) -19%
Blast Zone $14.18 $8.37 $5.81 69%
Cavalier of Gales $4.97 $5.89 ($0.92) -16%
Deputy of Detention 5.21

Modern Staples:  Wrenn and Six is so expensive, it's reaching Jace, the Mind Sculptor like levels of value.  I haven't actually played the card yet, but it's really good right? 

Modern Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Cavern of Souls $19.12 $15.32 $3.80 25%
Chalice of the Void $21.81 $22.41 ($0.60) -3%
Engineered Explosives $11.01 $12.60 ($1.59) -13%
Ensnaring Bridge $20.19 $20.72 ($0.53) -3%
Gemstone Mine $19.63 $18.33 $1.30 7%
Horizon Canopy $14.00 $12.97 $1.03 8%
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $25.88 $22.46 $3.42 15%
Karn Liberated $15.62 $21.50 ($5.88) -27%
Liliana of the Veil $17.74 $22.32 ($4.58) -21%
Liliana, the Last Hope $5.54 $7.57 ($2.03) -27%
Auriok Champion $9.87 $12.13 ($2.26) -19%
Mox Opal $44.57 $40.98 $3.59 9%
Scalding Tarn $12.66 $15.73 ($3.07) -20%
Surgical Extraction $30.44 $29.41 $1.03 4%
Mishra's Bauble $13.73 $14.08 ($0.35) -2%
Snapcaster Mage $7.71 $7.21 $0.50 7%
Trinisphere $8.66 $6.76 $1.90 28%
Force of Negation $30.90 $28.89 $2.01 7%
Wrenn and Six $107.57 $90.38 $17.19 19%
Prismatic Vista $10.26 $8.08 $2.18 27%
Sunbaked Canyon $8.06 $5.76 $2.30 40%
Seasoned Pyromancer $13.50 $16.95 ($3.45) -20%
Fiery Islet $5.98 $4.70 $1.28 27%
Urza, Lord High Artificer $13.28 $14.94 ($1.66) -11%
Ranger-Captain of Eos $7.25 $10.18 ($2.93) -29%
Hexdrinker $4.41 $6.00 ($1.59) -27%
Plague Engineer $15.63 $14.46 $1.17 8%
Altar of Dementia $15.54 $17.44 ($1.90) -11%
Mycosynth Lattice $7.20 $14.75 ($7.55) -51%
Bloodghast $7.14 $7.21 ($0.07) -1%
Aether Vial $12.20 $11.27 $0.93 8%
Gravecrawler $3.77 $9.61 ($5.84) -61%
Polluted Delta $12.26 $12.34 ($0.08) -1%
Verdant Catacombs $15.05 $13.95 $1.10 8%
Tarmogoyf $7.84 $9.46 ($1.62) -17%
Noble Hierarch $10.44 $7.91 $2.53 32%
Force of Vigor $6.30 $8.37 ($2.07) -25%
Eternal StaplesDaze left the Pauper table and moved over here to the Eternal table, because I forgot that it was banned in Pauper.  Whoops!

Eternal Format Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Back to Basics $7.60 $9.19 ($1.59) -17%
City of Traitors $30.48 $26.01 $4.47 17%
Force of Will $24.88 $21.23 $3.65 17%
True-Name Nemesis $17.12 $26.57 ($9.45) -36%
Underground Sea $8.00 $7.03 $0.97 14%
Wasteland $25.28 $23.10 $2.18 9%
Mox Diamond $16.86 $16.44 $0.42 3%
Grim Monolith $23.85 $22.63 $1.22 5%
Land Tax $13.32 $14.00 ($0.68) -5%
Exploration $16.64 $14.65 $1.99 14%
Show and Tell $14.00 $14.33 ($0.33) -2%
Monastery Mentor $15.51 $14.65 $0.86 6%
Unmask $9.79 $13.17 ($3.38) -26%
Misdirection $12.74 $12.74 $0.00 0%
Gaea's Cradle $12.03 $12.48 ($0.45) -4%
Dark Depths $16.00 $14.34 $1.66 12%
Rishadan Port $8.34 $9.84 ($1.50) -15%
Ancestral Recall $1.31 $1.84 ($0.53) -29%
Black Lotus $7.04 $8.85 ($1.81) -20%
Mox Emerald $2.18 $2.53 ($0.35) -14%
Mox Ruby $1.07 $1.71 ($0.64) -37%
Mox Pearl $1.44 $1.86 ($0.42) -23%
Mox Sapphire $2.70 $3.65 ($0.95) -26%
Mox Jet $1.77 $2.29 ($0.52) -23%
Timetwister $1.05 $1.64 ($0.59) -36%
Time Walk $1.38 $2.02 ($0.64) -32%
Volcanic Island $7.60 $11.03 ($3.43) -31%
Badlands $3.01 $3.25 ($0.24) -7%
Tropical Island $6.05 $4.16 $1.89 45%
Bayou $2.84 $1.77 $1.07 60%
Tundra $2.33 $1.79 $0.54 30%
Savannah $1.18 $0.78 $0.40 51%
Scrubland $0.95 $0.98 ($0.03) -3%
Plateau $0.76 $0.53 $0.23 43%
Taiga $1.06 $0.79 $0.27 34%
Daze $4.60 $4.79 -$0.19 -3.97%
Pauper Staples:  The Pauper list is fun to look at, but I think I may be doing it wrong.  Lotus Petal should be in Eternal right?  Manamorphose should probably be in the Modern list.  Whatever, I think I am going to keep them here until they get banned in the format, and move them around like Daze if that ever happens.

Pauper Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Lotus Petal $121.12 $11.90 $109.22 917.82%
Drafna's Restoration $5.87 $6.04 -$0.17 -2.81%
Thorn of the Black Rose $5.36 $6.64 -$1.28 -19.28%
Spidersilk Armor $4.22 $4.40 -$0.18 -4.09%
Skred $3.99 $2.28 $1.71 75.00%
Rhystic Study $3.35 $3.50 -$0.15 -4.29%
Palace Sentinels $3.64 $4.38 -$0.74 -16.89%
Manamorphose $5.89 $4.43 $1.46 32.96%
Pyroblast $3.87 $3.58 $0.29 8.10%
Hydroblast $4.28 $3.47 $0.81 23.34%
Ancestral Mask $4.83 $3.60 $1.23 34.17%
Exhume $2.61 $2.79 -$0.18 -6.45%
Cho-Manno's Blessing $3.96 $3.76 $0.20 5.32%
Standard Bearer $2.87 $2.74 $0.13 4.74%
Pestilence $3.99 $2.68 $1.31 48.88%
Ash Barrens $3.30 $2.66 $0.64 24.06%
Flaring Pain $1.94 $2.57 -$0.63 -24.51%
Impulse $1.33 $2.31 -$0.98 -42.42%
Moment's Peace $2.68 $1.96 $0.72 36.73%
Custodi Squire $4.94 $4.20 $0.74 17.62%
Peat Bog $1.59 $1.79 -$0.20 -11.17%
Quirion Ranger $1.56 $1.59 -$0.03 -1.89%
Serum Visions $2.74 $1.95 $0.79 40.51%
Accumulated Knowledge $0.92 $1.66 -$0.74 -44.58%
Ninja of the Deep Hours $1.64 $1.76 -$0.12 -6.82%
Mystic Remora $16.56 $15.75 $0.81 5.14%
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).  This is being kept as a small tribute to Pete!

Complete Set Price Last Week Change % Change
Core Set 2019 $96.89 $98.62 ($1.73) -2%
Dominaria $18.91 $23.21 ($4.30) -19%
Guilds of Ravnica $63.98 $65.01 ($1.03) -2%
Ixalan $16.21 $16.71 ($0.50) -3%
Ravnica Allegiances $72.78 $97.64 ($24.86) -25%
Rivals of Ixalan $15.26 $15.35 ($0.09) -1%
Treasure Chest $2.34 $2.34 $0.00 0%
War of the Spark $173.56 $170.99 $2.57 2%
Core Set 2020 Booster $2.78 $3.48 ($0.70) -20%
Core Set 2020 $142.17 $147.03 ($4.86) -3%
Modern Horizons $264.69 $254.96 $9.73 4%

The Good Stuff
The following is a list of all the 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 interesting, at the least. This is interesting to me because a lot of these cards have been reprinted more than once, and they are still commanding a high price.
Name Set Rarity Price
Black Lotus 1E Rare 325.55
Mox Sapphire 1E Rare 166.73
Mox Ruby 1E Rare 116.24
Mox Emerald 1E Rare 115.75
Wrenn and Six MH1 Mythic 107.57
Ancestral Recall 1E Rare 101.18
Mox Jet 1E Rare 95.53
Mox Pearl 1E Rare 84.37
Time Walk 1E Rare 71.6
Liliana of the Veil PRM Mythic 69.37
Karn Liberated UBT Mythic 68.91
Lord Windgrace PZ2 Mythic 54.17
Timetwister 1E Rare 50.66
Liliana of the Veil UMA Mythic 50.1
Mox Opal MM2 Mythic 45.84
Engineered Explosives UBT Mythic 44.66
Mox Opal SOM Mythic 44.57
Mox Opal MS2 Bonus 44.39
Liliana of the Veil UBT Mythic 43.13
Dark Depths V16 Mythic 42.43
Unmask V16 Mythic 36.72
Black Lotus PRM Rare 34
Dark Depths UBT Mythic 33.15
Teferi, Time Raveler PRM Rare 32.84
Narset, Parter of Veils PRM Uncommon 32.51
Finale of Promise WAR Mythic 32.26
Noble Hierarch UBT Mythic 31.66
Liliana, the Last Hope MS4 Mythic 31.27
Surgical Extraction MM2 Rare 31.09
Force of Negation MH1 Rare 30.9
City of Traitors EX Rare 30.48
Surgical Extraction NPH Rare 30.44
Cavern of Souls UMA Mythic 30.34
Mox Sapphire PRM Rare 30
Surgical Extraction PRM Rare 29.84
Karn, the Great Creator PRM Rare 29.66
Karn Liberated UMA Mythic 29.42
Chandra, Awakened Inferno M20 Mythic 27.55
Jace, the Mind Sculptor WWK Mythic 25.88
Teferi, Time Raveler WAR Rare 25.54
Cavern of Souls UBT Mythic 25.34
Wasteland TE Uncommon 25.28
Snapcaster Mage UMA Mythic 25.18
Jace, the Mind Sculptor A25 Mythic 25.17
Jace, the Mind Sculptor EMA Mythic 25.06
Ancestral Recall PRM Rare 25
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 a number that I cannot figure out still. I have actually asked Pete to do this for me, because Open Office is weird, and I have no idea what I am doing, and I am pretty close to just being a dog in a lab coat.

Nevermind, ignore all of that, Pete got it done for me, because he is just the dang best. The big number this week is $15,935.  Thanks to his hard work we also know that last week, the big number was at $16,090. This means the big number went down 155 dollars.


In Closing

Prices were done on Wednesday, everything else was done on Thursday.  I hope you found the theme, and realize how proud I am of that play on Oath of Chandra in the Cutting Edge Tech section.  Spent a lot of time not doing anything this week, exposure therapy is exhausting, and it's super hot in Kentucky. 

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