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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Aug 24 2018 12:00pm
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State of the Program for August 24th 2018
 
In the News
B&R Update: Or not. No changes to any format. 
 
Maro’s State of Design Article Up: Mark Rosewater published his annual state of design article this week. It’s long – you can read it here
 
Pro Tour Update: Wizards has announced some improvements to the Pro Tour Players’ Club and support for higher level players. They have also announced some information on upcoming Pro Tours – but not formats. Wizards is hiring three pros to serve as advisors on Pro level play. These pros will continue to play in high-level events. The announcement is summarized here.
 
Hall of Fame Ballots: Balloting for the 2018 class of the Magic Hall of Fame has begun. Details and stats on this year’s candidates are here.
 
Chaos Drafts are here: Chaos drafts are now an option in the limited play lobby. Wizards published an article on bringing Chaos Drafts to MTGO. Read it 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 PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
 

Upcoming Events
Dates
Scheduled Downtimes
August 29th and September 26th (both extended)
Constructed Leagues End
September 25, 2018
Sealed Leagues End
September 28, 2018
Guilds of Ravnica
October 5, 2018
Ravnica Allegiance
January 2019
Next B&R Announcement
October 1, 2018
Dominaria Redemption Ends
October 10, 2018
Core Set 2019 Redemption Ends
December 26, 2018

 
WotC Covered Events
Wizards will be streaming a number of events next year, including all four Pro Tours, the Magic Championship and World Magic Cup, along with 35 Grand Prix. Since Wizards does not schedule premier events on prerelease weekends and certain holidays, that means they will be streaming an event nearly every weekend. Here’s the schedule we have so far.
·       Aug. 25–26: Grand Prix Prague
·       Aug. 31–Sept. 2: Grand Prix Richmond (double-GP weekend)
·       Sept. 8–9: Grand Prix Detroit
·       Sept. 15–16: Grand Prix Stockholm
·       Weekend of Sept. 23–24: 2018 Magic World Championship and Team Series Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada (exact event dates TBD)
·       Oct. 6–7: Grand Prix Montreal
·       Oct. 13–14: Grand Prix Denver
·       Oct. 27–28: Grand Prix Lille
·       Nov. 3–4: Grand Prix Atlanta
·       Nov. 9–11: Pro Tour "Spaghetti" in Atlanta
·       Nov. 17–18: Grand Prix Milwaukee
·       Dec. 8–9: Grand Prix Liverpool
·       Dec. 14–16: World Magic Cup in Barcelona, Spain
 
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:
·       August 22-August 29: Chaos Drafts
·       August 29-September 5: Triple Khans of Tarkir
·       September 5-September 28: Legacy Cube
 
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
Saturday, 12:00 pm PT
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT
Sunday, noon PT

    
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: We had two Standard GPs again last weekend. The events were even more dominated by red decks, while Turbo Fog has fallen. In its GP Providence coverage, Wizards broke down Red decks into RB Aggro (27.9%), Mono-Red Wizards (11.7%) and Mono-Red Aggro (8.4%). Nothing else on Day Two topped 8% of the metagame. Probably a good thing much of the red decks will be rotating in 5 weeks. GP Providence coverage is here. GP LA coverage is here.
 
 
Modern: No Modern GP this week. The Modern Challenge had some interesting decklists.
 
 
Legacy: Last weekend’s Legacy Challenged was won by a deck that appeared at the last Pro Tour. Expect to see more of this in the future.
 
 
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 back to a normal. Cards on their way to rotation are falling, and that will continue. Nexus of Fate is still in Treasure Chests, but back to normal drop rates, so it should hold its value even though the Turbo Fog deck is not doing as well as it has.       
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Baral, Chief of Compliance
$8.17
$5.50
$2.67
49%
Carnage Tyrant
$12.36
$12.23
$0.13
1%
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
$5.98
$7.49
($1.51)
-20%
Heart of Kiran
$1.47
$4.17
($2.70)
-65%
History of Benalia
$6.83
$5.56
$1.27
23%
Karn, Scion of Urza
$22.60
$29.07
($6.47)
-22%
Lyra Dawnbringer
$7.08
$7.48
($0.40)
-5%
Nexus of Fate
$13.75
$13.74
$0.01
0%
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
$14.62
$15.53
($0.91)
-6%
Rekindling Phoenix
$39.15
$32.50
$6.65
20%
Sarkhan, Fireblood
$7.53
$7.85
($0.32)
-4%
Search for Azcanta
$7.29
$7.61
($0.32)
-4%
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
$36.96
$38.87
($1.91)
-5%
Vivien Reid
$9.18
$5.93
$3.25
55%
Vraska's Contempt
$8.28
$7.72
$0.56
7%
Walking Ballista
$13.01
$10.96
$2.05
19%

Modern staples: Modern prices were back to normal this week. Prices should calm down for a while, as we get closer to rotation. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$14.29
$14.89
($0.60)
-4%
$25.33
$27.15
($1.82)
-7%
$26.47
$27.36
($0.89)
-3%
$19.76
$19.12
$0.64
3%
$16.25
$18.95
($2.70)
-14%
$39.44
$42.72
($3.28)
-8%
$25.82
$23.05
$2.77
12%
$48.00
$43.15
$4.85
11%
$48.03
$42.47
$5.56
13%
$30.07
$29.09
$0.98
3%
$17.43
$15.78
$1.65
10%
$37.14
$31.24
$5.90
19%
$35.73
$33.56
$2.17
6%
$49.13
$45.08
$4.05
9%
$27.91
$25.90
$2.01
8%
$24.44
$27.53
($3.09)
-11%
$40.22
$35.16
$5.06
14%
$15.23
$16.12
($0.89)
-6%
$9.18
$10.39
($1.21)
-12%

Legacy and Vintage: I culled Containment Priest from the list this week. Containment Priest has been on and off the list a couple times.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$26.32
$26.16
$0.16
1%
$38.86
$38.55
$0.31
1%
$15.10
$14.62
$0.48
3%
$19.97
$23.12
($3.15)
-14%
$30.74
$33.00
($2.26)
-7%
$30.95
$30.95
$0.00
0%
$18.69
$19.92
($1.23)
-6%
$56.44
$56.56
($0.12)
0%
$14.62
$12.15
$2.47
20%
$25.24
$19.50
$5.74
29%
$23.59
$22.59
$1.00
4%

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).
 
 
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 pretty stable; just a couple cards larger this week. 
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Black Lotus
 1E
Rare
 $   89.90
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $   58.13
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $   56.44
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $   54.95
Mox Sapphire
 1E
Rare
 $   53.62
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 WWK
Mythic Rare
 $   51.97
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $   50.96
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   50.95
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $   50.65
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 VMA
Mythic Rare
 $   49.45
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   49.13
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $   48.71
Horizon Canopy
 IMA
Rare
 $   48.67
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $   48.03
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $   48.00
Ancestral Recall
 1E
Rare
 $   43.59
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $   43.37
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $   42.63
Mox Emerald
 1E
Rare
 $   40.58
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $   40.55
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $   40.22
Mox Jet
 1E
Rare
 $   40.13
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $   39.71
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $   39.59
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $   39.44
Rekindling Phoenix
 RIX
Mythic Rare
 $   39.15
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
 $   38.86
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $   37.44
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $   37.14
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
 DAR
Mythic Rare
 $   36.96
Mox Ruby
 1E
Rare
 $   36.84
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $   36.67
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $   35.73
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $   34.68
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $   32.49
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $   31.98
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $   30.95
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $   30.74
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $   30.35
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $   30.07
Cavern of Souls
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $   28.79
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $   28.69
Noble Hierarch
 CON
Rare
 $   28.62
Time Walk
 1E
Rare
 $   28.39
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $   28.29
Noble Hierarch
 MM2
Rare
 $   27.91
Ensnaring Bridge
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $   27.67
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   27.12
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $   26.88
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
 $   26.47
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $   26.45
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $   26.38
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $   26.32
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $   26.30
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $   26.22
Mox Pearl
 1E
Rare
 $   26.03
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $   25.82
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $   25.33
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $   25.24
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $   25.09
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $   25.07

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 $ 17,420. That’s up about $620 from last week. Nice.
 
In Closing
Rotation is coming. Frank Karsten wrote an article about the Top 10 groups of cards rotating out or Standard. The groups form the core of certain archetypes (e.g. God-Pharaoh’s Gift) that won’t work after rotation. At least, not in Standard. His article is here.
 
Also, I will be running Magic at Geek.kon in Madison, WI.  If you are in the neighborhood, come and play.
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.