JXClaytor's picture
By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 23 2019 12:00pm

State of the Program for August 23rd, 2019
In the News

Hall of Fame Season: 43 players are on the Hall of Fame ballot that was sent out this week.  Discussion and campaigning for the honor has been underway since then.  You can see the players on the ballot here, and stats for the candidates here

Arena coming to Epic Games Store and Arena: 
Epic Games Store is getting Arena, but Wizards of the Coast will continue to offer a direct download of the client as well.  Shortly after Arena goes on Epic, Wizards of the Coast will release a version of Arena for Mac users.  You can read the announcement here

MTG Companion App in Beta: 
Beta testing for the MTG Companion app has started as it was released on Android and iOS this week.  The former Portal app, what you get here is a home tournament organizer.  As the product ages new functions are expected to be added to the app.  You can find out more 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
September 25, 2019
Constructed Leagues End
September 25, 2019
Sealed Leagues End
September 30, 2019
Next B&R Announcement
August 26, 2019
Khans Flashback
August 21-28, 2019
Modern Horizons Ends
August 28th, 2019
Throne of Eldraine
September 25 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:
Pauper MCQ Finals - Saturday, 8-24, 2019
Standard MOCS Prelims - Sunday 8-25, 2019

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

I don't have a hall of fame ballot, and that is probably for the best. For the longest time I have personally considered the Magic Hall of Fame to be something of an Old Boy's Club, a popularity contest that served as a thing that friends helped other friend achieve and had long ago outlived it's purpose.  There is no physical location to the hall and to me it's about as meaningful as the WWE Hall of Fame. 

This year some changes were made to the criteria needed to appear on the ballot, and next year even more changes will be made, but at least Wizards of the Coast is starting to acknowledge that the game is evovling and needs to take digital into consideration.  If they can make that change, they can hopefully make the change that is most important, which would be to recognize non pros in the hall as well.  Professional play could be pushed off into a ditch, mafia style, and Magic would still be an incredible game.  The Hall of Fame could likewise, do the same.  However, Magic wouldn't be the same without the judges, content creators, organized, community voices and others that make the game as great as it is.  There needs to be room to recognize those folks as well. 

That conversation however is for next year.  This year's ballot is out, counts more than PT top finishes, adding stuff like Mythic Championship and MTGO Championship finishes to the equation as well.  Top Finishes is what this is called now.  Of course, on twitter, established players are railing against this, because they think an MTGO championship shouldn't count as much as a PT top eight. 

Anyways if I had a ballot this year this is who I would vote for.

Reid Duke:  6 top finishes, 1 win, 42 top 64 finishes on the tour, and 6 wins in 23 Grand Prix top eights makes the popular and likable Reid Duke a true slam dunk candidate for inclusion this year.  He should be on every single ballot, but because gamers are gonna game, and try to shoot their friends in to the hall as well, people will leave him off theirs, like they did to Jon and Kai.  Those people should get their ballots revoked and not be allowed to vote in the next election.  This is the hall of fame, not the hall of very good, even though people have been added to the hall after showing up on less than 40 percent of the ballots. 

Anyways, Reid is everything that is good about Magic.  A solid content creator, a friendly player and someone that contributes to more than the pro side of the game. 

Márcio Carvalho:  Has incredibly gaudy numbers.  Also has some issues with cheating.  People are very much against that, despite two people being removed from the hall because of cheating, and two others still in the hall serving suspensions for some form of cheating as well.  I have seen a lot of people saying they wouldn't vote for him because he hasn't apologized for whatever issues there may have been.  I'm not hung up on getting an apology for me, there is only a certain segment of people that have an issue with his inclusion, and with 9 top finishes his game speaks for itself.

Saito:  Another player with the numbers, and had been elected before serving a suspension that removed him from the hall of fame.  He hasn't had any significant issues since coming back to Magic and has the numbers to be in.  If he was in once, then it shouldn't be a problem to add him again. 

Chris Pikula:  So I've added two players with organized play issues, but I could justify that by looking at the numbers.  When you look at Pikula's numbers, it's very clear to see that they don't present a good case.  He had three top finishes and 5 grand prix top eights.  Pikula however needs to be looked at outside of the numbers.  It's because of his tireless work against cheaters that Magic even made it out of the wild west stage of competitive play.  Chris was one of the most outspoken voices against the early villains of Magic.  To me, that contribution is much more important than adding another pt top eight to his resume.  Chris deserves to be in.  

Gerry Thompson:  4 top finishes with 1 win is fairly impressive.  Standing up for other players and stepping down from the MPL and boycotting worlds, is even more impressive.  Gerry is a world class competitor to be sure, but also an outstanding human being who has made sacrifices in order to help bring about improvements to organized play.  His numbers may be on the low side, but he would make my ballot. 

Who would be on your ballot?  Sound off in the comment section! 

Cutting Edge Tech

Standard: This deck came out of no where, relatively speaking during the last Mythic Qualifier round on Arena. It's a resilient combo deck in Standard that has multiple paths to victory and supposedly a blast to play.

:  12Post seems like one of those decks that shouldn't exist when Force of Will is in the format, and I appreciate people that can take the risk and make this deck work, because I never could do it.

: I've wondered if something like Fling could make its way into Modern Bogles, I mean this list doesn't have it, but if Pauper lists could run it, I don't see why Modern couldn't you know?

:  This seems like a lot of fun and could be a super fast aggro deck. 

Winner's Circle

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

Sealed M20 MCQ - melv.p qualfied with a nice UG deck.  
Pauper Challenge - alemilan19 won with Stompy
Legacy Challenge - Phizzle took UW Stoneblade to first place.
Sealed M20 MCQ - GMANSokol also qualified this past weekend with BR. 
Vintage Challenge - desolutionist won with BUG .
Modern Challenge - Stabilo won with Amulet Titan.

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

I consumed no other Magic content on the web this week other then the pieces published here on PureMTGO.  Make sure you check those out as well! 

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:  It is currently 1140 am, I am starting to feel sick again, and because of that, and a fast approaching deadline, I have decided to skip prices this week,  I am so sorry, but I'm struggling to stay upright in order to write as much as I have so far today. 

Modern Staples:

Eternal Staples

Pauper Staples:

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!

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 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.

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 labcoat.

Nevermind, ignore all of that, Pete got it done for me, because he is just the dang best. The big number this week is 16,915.  Last week the number was at 15,935.  Looks like a 980 improvement, which is super neat! 
In Closing

Normally I wake up Thursday, come to the site, work on whatever article is going to be posted, get ready for publication, take a break and get to work on State of the Program.  Yesterday was no average Thursday.  I woke up, checked the site, saw nothing new, and then immediately got sick.  Just nauseated for most of the day, but from noon to 3pm, even with a dang Zofran in my system, I felt incredibly awful.  I was never able to sit down and write, between the sick feeling and walking outside at 10pm and having to call the police after a possible domestic incident involving my neighbors, I was just experiencing a wildly mediocre day. 

Anyways, it is well past midnight as Thursday turned in to Friday, and I am sitting down to put words down now.  I hope the article was fine! 

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