JXClaytor's picture
By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 30 2019 12:00pm

State of the Program for August 30th, 2019
In the News

Banned and Restricted List Updated:  Hitting the showers in Modern are Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Faithless Looting. Vintage saw some restrictions with Karn, the Great Creator, Mystic Forge Mental Misstep and Golgari Grave-Troll joining that list.  In bigger news, we saw some cards rejoining formats!  Stoneforge Mystic is back in Modern, Fastbond is unrestricted in Vintage and Rampaging Ferocidon coming back to Standard for about a month before it rotates out.  It's still banned in best of one play on Arena.  These changes already happened on MTGO, and are effective in paper today!  You can read the rationale for the changes here.  

ELEAGUE Presents an MTG Arena Joint: 
ELEAGUE, an esports brand between Turner and IMG are teaming up with Magic: The Gathering Arena to produce a weekly Twitch show called THE ELEAGUE SHOWDOWN: MTG Arena presented by Intel Gamer Days.  Player selection will be done via invite or applications, with the weekly winner getting a cash prize.  This begins next month and is slated to end in December.  More information is set be released in the coming days, but for what we have now, check this link

State of the Beta: 
Wizards released an article that showed off what the plan is for rotation and the Historic format on Arena.  You can check it out here, but you may have to click twice to see the article once. 

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
October 7, 2019
September 4-11, 2019
August 28-September 4, 2019
Throne of Eldraine
September 26, 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:
Standard MCQ Finals - Saturday August 31
Modern MCQ Finals - Sunday September 1
Limited MCQ Finals - Monday September 2

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

On card legality changes:  I think it's kinda cute that Rampaging Ferocidon came back to Standard with a month to go before rotation.  In my limited research, I also believe this is the first time a card came off the Standard banned list.  This card was pretty problematic when it was first banned, but it probably could have safely come off the list months ago.  Teferi, Time Raveler exists, answers have gotten better, and the format has evolved a ton since it was last legal.  It's weird to me that people might have to spend wild cards to get this on Arena, so I really would have liked to see the team gift some copies to players, but with the Historic crafting news, not giving out copies of a card for free so that players might have to pay 2 wildcards to craft it later is probably better off for Wizards bottom line.  I would trade wild cards for them now, but I am going to wait until Throne comes out and spend them on new cards. 

As for Modern, they clearly didn't do enough for the format with the last ban although Bridge from Below is the kind of card that gets more abusable with each passing set.   With Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Faithless Looting leaving the format, it slows it down just a tad, and also hurt other graveyard strategies like Arclight Phoenix decks.  I would have liked to see them go a bit further, because I believe that Ancient Stirrings and Mox Opal are also problematic cards in the cards in the format, and both are just going to get stronger as more and more cards are printed.  The unbanning of Stoneforge Mystic seems to be fine for right now, but I am worried that the format may become homogenized with it's unbanning. Will every deck with white in them run it and equipment?  Will it push aggro decks out?  Not sure, but the possibility exists.  However, I am excited to see where Modern goes from here.  I think the biggest issue by far for the non-rotating formats isn't the cards, but rather the London mulligan.  It seems perfect for Standard and Limited play, but for bigger formats, these finely tuned decks can get out of hand quickly with their most ideal draws. 

Vintage isn't a format that I am qualified to talk about, but gee whiz, Mishra's Workshop is getting cards restricted quickly. Karn, the Great Creator and Mystic Forge are just two more examples of that, but also examples of how powerful recent Standard legal sets have become.  I was honestly surprised to see that Narset, Parter of Veils wasn't on the list.  Mental Misstep getting restricted seems like a really good thing, and Golgari Grave-Troll will slow down Dredge strategies a little bit.  Eventually though, Wizards is going to have to do what no one thinks is going to happen, and restrict Mishra's Workshop and Bazaar of Baghdad.  I am not sure why that isn't a thing now, those cards are super powerful and enable super powerful things.  Maybe Force of Will is a card that needs to be looked at as well?  If you're hitting pillars of the format, you might as well hit them all right? 

On Historic:  Gosh, I was super excited for this format when it was put out there by Wizards of the Coast.  There exists enough space in between Modern and Standard that a new format to bridge that gap, and when it was announced, I thought that was what was going to happen.  I was taken aback when they decided to not add the already programmed set to the client, but figured it was better off that way. I was even more taken aback when this week they said they would add 15-20 cards per quarter.  That doesn't really bridge the gap between Modern and Standard, and I am unsure if that is a thing that will happen, or if there will be a paper version of this.  Add in that Wizards has gone on record of they don't want this to harm Standard on Arena, and the additional message of wildcarding for this format will be at a 2 to 1 rate, and it sure feels like WotC doesn't want this format to be a thing at all, and it is just serving as a thing to do with cards that rotate out.  To me everything about this has been done wrong, and this is how I would fix it. 

First off, I would rename the format from Historic to almost anything else, but let's call it Mythic for right now.  I would add the previously programmed sets, lower the wildcard rate of exchange to 1-1, offer the 45 booster pack deal that they said they would do, not worry about adding previous cards and keep it as simple and clean for the players as possible.  It would be the same as Wild on Hearthstone.  I understand that Standard is the driving force behind Arena, and accept that, but this format just seems like the most convoluted thing to do with our collections on the client. 

Cutting Edge Tech

Standard: Going to do two Standard decks this week, one of them will feature the newly returning Rampaging Ferocidon.

The other will feature a lot of Land Destruction, which is on brand for me.

: Tom Ross showed off this Mono White Martyr deck featuring Stoneforge Mystic, which is where I would start with the unbanned card.  You can check out the proposed sideboard here.

:  Mono White Heroic is one of those linear aggro decks that I think has no business winning anything, but it continues to do so, so the pilots of this deck have to be doing something right! 


Winner's Circle

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

Pauper Challenge:  maian won with Jeskai Snow.
Legacy Challenge:  fishduggery won with Temur Tempo
Vintage Challenge:  Condescend gave Mental Misstep a proper four of sendoff
Modern Challenge:  McWinSauce won with UW Control
Pauper MCQ:  Congrats to Jositoshekel for piloting Fling Bogle to the win!

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

Jim Davis argues that banning Faithless Looting was a mistake.
Kendra Smith goes over the results of the first online Pauper MCQ. 
Brian DeMars says the restrictions in Vintage are the first step towards fixing the format.

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: Seems normal here.  M20 and War stuff keep going up, soon to be rotating and stuff that has been out the longest is going down, and I'm yelling timber.

Standard Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Arclight Phoenix $18.80 $23.65 ($4.85) -21%
Teferi, Time Raveler $47.77 $25.54 $22.23 87%
Hydroid Krasis $6.07 $7.90 ($1.83) -23%
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $3.67 $5.04 ($1.37) -27%
Finale of Devastation $15.27 $14.90 $0.37 2%
Karn, the Great Creator $30.95 $23.45 $7.50 32%
Finale of Promise $27.29 $32.26 ($4.97) -15%
Dreadhorde Arcanist $12.76 $15.01 ($2.25) -15%
Skarrgan Hellkite $4.15 $5.39 ($1.24) -23%
Assassin's Trophy $5.33 $11.60 ($6.27) -54%
Chandra, Awakened Inferno $36.76 $27.55 $9.21 33%
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord $15.89 $18.23 ($2.34) -13%
Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer $4.50 $5.35 ($0.85) -16%
Leyline of the Void $6.41 $11.80 ($5.39) -46%
Yarok, the Desecrated $8.82 $8.96 ($0.14) -2%
Cavalier of Thorns $5.23 $4.75 $0.48 10%
Blast Zone $8.26 $14.18 ($5.92) -42%
Deputy of Detention $6.24 $5.21 $1.03
Ajani, Strength of the Pride $5.18

Kethis, the Hidden Hand $5.08

Modern StaplesGravecrawler fell off this week.  I added a lot of cards, and I think I am going to start tracking Modern land cycles as well, which would just add another table and make this one just a tiny bit smaller! 

Modern Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Cavern of Souls $18.14 $19.12 ($0.98) -5%
Chalice of the Void $19.24 $21.81 ($2.57) -12%
Engineered Explosives $9.68 $11.01 ($1.33) -12%
Ensnaring Bridge $19.93 $20.19 ($0.26) -1%
Gemstone Mine $15.01 $19.63 ($4.62) -24%
Horizon Canopy $12.01 $14.00 ($1.99) -14%
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $42.21 $25.88 $16.33 63%
Karn Liberated $25.09 $15.62 $9.47 61%
Liliana of the Veil $28.96 $17.74 $11.22 63%
Liliana, the Last Hope $9.02 $5.54 $3.48 63%
Auriok Champion $9.27 $9.87 ($0.60) -6%
Mox Opal $45.24 $44.57 $0.67 2%
Scalding Tarn $15.24 $12.66 $2.58 20%
Surgical Extraction $26.09 $30.44 ($4.35) -14%
Mishra's Bauble $18.37 $13.73 $4.64 34%
Snapcaster Mage $10.44 $7.71 $2.73 35%
Trinisphere $8.49 $8.66 ($0.17) -2%
Force of Negation $59.08 $30.90 $28.18 91%
Wrenn and Six $106.15 $107.57 ($1.42) -1%
Prismatic Vista $24.52 $10.26 $14.26 139%
Sunbaked Canyon $9.84 $8.06 $1.78 22%
Seasoned Pyromancer $16.50 $13.50 $3.00 22%
Fiery Islet $6.36 $5.98 $0.38 6%
Urza, Lord High Artificer $20.46 $13.28 $7.18 54%
Ranger-Captain of Eos $11.71 $7.25 $4.46 62%
Hexdrinker $7.84 $4.41 $3.43 78%
Plague Engineer $12.72 $15.63 ($2.91) -19%
Altar of Dementia $13.98 $15.54 ($1.56) -10%
Mycosynth Lattice $6.12 $7.20 ($1.08) -15%
Aether Vial $11.17 $12.20 ($1.03) -8%
Verdant Catacombs $10.49 $15.05 ($4.56) -30%
Tarmogoyf $8.13 $7.84 $0.29 4%
Noble Hierarch $11.87 $10.44 $1.43 14%
Force of Vigor $4.64 $6.30 ($1.66) -26%
Sword of Fire and Ice $10.68

Stoneforge Mystic $13.08

Batterskull $15.25

Past in Flames $7.29

Eidolon of the Great Revel $11.55

Polluted Delta $7.92

Wooded Foothills $7.73

Flooded Strand $7.58

Bloodstained Mire $7.18

Windswept Heath $5.42

Sword of Feast and Famine $6.53

Inkmoth Nexus $6.04

Fulminator Mage $11.98

Eternal Staples:  Added Ancient Tomb this week, may end up adding Entomb with the restriction of Mental Misstep. Keeping an eye out on it now. 

Eternal Format Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Back to Basics $8.88 $7.60 $1.28 17%
City of Traitors $29.78 $30.48 ($0.70) -2%
Force of Will $31.67 $24.88 $6.79 27%
True-Name Nemesis $12.21 $17.12 ($4.91) -29%
Underground Sea $7.27 $8.00 ($0.73) -9%
Wasteland $25.85 $25.28 $0.57 2%
Mox Diamond $21.41 $16.86 $4.55 27%
Grim Monolith $22.19 $23.85 ($1.66) -7%
Land Tax $13.38 $13.32 $0.06 0%
Exploration $14.62 $16.64 ($2.02) -12%
Show and Tell $13.81 $14.00 ($0.19) -1%
Monastery Mentor $13.00 $15.51 ($2.51) -16%
Unmask $12.87 $9.79 $3.08 31%
Misdirection $12.46 $12.74 ($0.28) -2%
Gaea's Cradle $11.45 $12.03 ($0.58) -5%
Dark Depths $23.77 $16.00 $7.77 49%
Rishadan Port $8.44 $8.34 $0.10 1%
Ancestral Recall $1.78 $1.31 $0.47 36%
Black Lotus $6.54 $7.04 ($0.50) -7%
Mox Emerald $2.25 $2.18 $0.07 3%
Mox Ruby $2.20 $1.07 $1.13 106%
Mox Pearl $1.52 $1.44 $0.08 6%
Mox Sapphire $2.34 $2.70 ($0.36) -13%
Mox Jet $2.81 $1.77 $1.04 59%
Timetwister $1.32 $1.05 $0.27 26%
Time Walk $1.19 $1.38 ($0.19) -14%
Volcanic Island $6.28 $7.60 ($1.32) -17%
Badlands $4.39 $3.01 $1.38 46%
Tropical Island $5.19 $6.05 ($0.86) -14%
Bayou $2.96 $2.84 $0.12 4%
Tundra $2.27 $2.33 ($0.06) -3%
Savannah $1.49 $1.18 $0.31 26%
Scrubland $1.07 $0.95 $0.12 13%
Plateau $0.74 $0.76 ($0.02) -3%
Taiga $0.67 $1.06 ($0.39) -37%
Daze $3.48 $4.60 -$1.12 -24.35%
Ancient Tomb $10.32

Pauper Staples:  Decided to add Swirling Sandstorm and removed Manamorphose, as it didn't seem to make sense as a Pauper card.

Pauper Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Lotus Petal $15.92 $11.90 $4.02 33.78%
Drafna's Restoration $5.12 $6.04 -$0.92 -15.23%
Thorn of the Black Rose $3.15 $6.64 -$3.49 -52.56%
Spidersilk Armor $4.14 $4.40 -$0.26 -5.91%
Skred $2.27 $2.28 -$0.01 -0.44%
Rhystic Study $4.20 $3.50 $0.70 20.00%
Palace Sentinels $2.36 $4.38 -$2.02 -46.12%
Pyroblast $3.52 $3.58 -$0.06 -1.68%
Hydroblast $4.03 $3.47 $0.56 16.14%
Ancestral Mask $6.23 $3.60 $2.63 73.06%
Exhume $1.68 $2.79 -$1.11 -39.78%
Cho-Manno's Blessing $4.42 $3.76 $0.66 17.55%
Standard Bearer $4.38 $2.74 $1.64 59.85%
Pestilence $3.47 $2.68 $0.79 29.48%
Ash Barrens $3.86 $2.66 $1.20 45.11%
Flaring Pain $2.15 $2.57 -$0.42 -16.34%
Impulse $1.10 $2.31 -$1.21 -52.38%
Moment's Peace $3.17 $1.96 $1.21 61.73%
Custodi Squire $3.76 $4.20 -$0.44 -10.48%
Peat Bog $1.72 $1.79 -$0.07 -3.91%
Quirion Ranger $2.27 $1.59 $0.68 42.77%
Serum Visions $3.17 $1.95 $1.22 62.56%
Accumulated Knowledge $0.44 $1.66 -$1.22 -73.49%
Ninja of the Deep Hours $0.88 $1.76 -$0.88 -50.00%
Mystic Remora $14.45 $15.75 -$1.30 -8.25%
Swirling Sandstorm $1.11

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 $99.70 $96.89 $2.81 3%
Dominaria $26.37 $18.91 $7.46 39%
Guilds of Ravnica $57.30 $63.98 ($6.68) -10%
Ixalan $16.23 $16.21 $0.02 0%
Ravnica Allegiances $58.86 $72.78 ($13.92) -19%
Rivals of Ixalan $15.54 $15.26 $0.28 2%
Treasure Chest $2.41 $2.34 $0.07 3%
War of the Spark $190.15 $173.56 $16.59 10%
Core Set 2020 Booster $2.95 $2.78 $0.17 6%
Core Set 2020 $151.00 $142.17 $8.83 6%
Modern Horizons $340.45 $264.69 $75.76 29%

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.
Black Lotus 1E Rare 335.16
Mox Sapphire 1E Rare 162.52
Mox Ruby 1E Rare 116.24
Mox Emerald 1E Rare 115.75
Wrenn and Six MH1 Mythic 106.15
Ancestral Recall 1E Rare 101.18
Mox Jet 1E Rare 95.53
Mox Pearl 1E Rare 84.36
Karn Liberated UBT Mythic 73.73
Time Walk 1E Rare 71.6
Liliana of the Veil PRM Mythic 69.37
Force of Negation MH1 Rare 59.08
Timetwister 1E Rare 53.93
Liliana of the Veil UMA Mythic 50.1
Teferi, Time Raveler PRM Rare 48.34
Teferi, Time Raveler WAR Rare 47.77
Mox Opal SOM Mythic 45.24
Mox Opal MM2 Mythic 44.93
Mox Opal MS2 Bonus 44.66
Engineered Explosives UBT Mythic 44.66
Liliana of the Veil UBT Mythic 44.51
Dark Depths V16 Mythic 43.11
Jace, the Mind Sculptor WWK Mythic 42.21
Jace, the Mind Sculptor EMA Mythic 41.52
Jace, the Mind Sculptor VMA Mythic 41.4
Lord Windgrace PZ2 Mythic 41.26
Jace, the Mind Sculptor A25 Mythic 40.25
Karn, the Great Creator PRM Rare 37.43
Chandra, Awakened Inferno M20 Mythic 36.76
Unmask V16 Mythic 36.72
Black Lotus PRM Rare 34
Dark Depths UBT Mythic 33.75
Force of Will MED Rare 31.67
Noble Hierarch UBT Mythic 31.66
Liliana, the Last Hope MS4 Mythic 31.27
Karn, the Great Creator WAR Rare 30.95
Cavern of Souls UMA Mythic 30.57
Mox Sapphire PRM Rare 30
City of Traitors EX Rare 29.78
Karn Liberated UMA Mythic 29.44
Liliana of the Veil MM3 Mythic 28.98
Liliana of the Veil ISD Mythic 28.96
Narset, Parter of Veils PRM Uncommon 28.82
Dark Depths UMA Mythic 28.69
Surgical Extraction PRM Rare 27.95
Finale of Promise WAR Mythic 27.29
Surgical Extraction MM2 Rare 27.16
Cavern of Souls UBT Mythic 26.85
Avatar - Aeon Chronicler VAN Rare 26.28
Surgical Extraction NPH Rare 26.09
Wasteland TE Uncommon 25.85
Karn Liberated MM2 Mythic 25.63
Snapcaster Mage UMA Mythic 25.52
Karn Liberated NPH Mythic 25.09
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 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 17375.  Last time it was 16915.  With Modern Horizons coming off sale, War, M20 and new card legality, that gives us an increase of 460.  Seems pretty nice! 
In Closing

Prices were done Friday morning.  I spent most of this week playing Pokemon and just doing quests on Arena.  I really do need to make time for more games.

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