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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Aug 31 2018 11:19am
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State of the Program for August 31st 2018
 
In the News
Dominaria Drafts coming Back: From now until September 27th, Wizards will be bringing back Dominaria draft leagues. Yay! 
 
MTGO Turns Off Postgame Actions: Wizards is turning off all postgame actions (drawing extra cards, showing your hand, etc.) in MTGO for a week. This is to facilitate bug-swatting. These actions will be disabled until next Wednesday.
 
Changes to Weekend PTQ schedule: This weekend’s Modern PTQ, originally scheduled for Sunday, will be on Saturday instead.   The Modern Challenge will be moved to 2pm. This will happen next weekend as well. 
 
The Reid Duke Show: ChannelFireball is trying something new with its coverage of GP Richmond. It is going to follow Reid Duke through the entire event – or at least as far as he goes. After his match ends, he will be headed for the booth to recap. The format is Legacy, which Reid knows well. Reid is also in contention for player of the year, so this should be good. Details here. Personally, I like Legacy and this could be cool, so I will be watching.
 
Magic in Mainstream Media: The New York Times published a long format article on Magic’s history, culture and community. After years of seeing the mainstream write “look at this quirky little game and the geeky community – aren’t they cute” articles, it is nice to see an well-researched and written article taking Magic seriously. The article is here.  
 
Why Not to Test on MTGO: Zvi Mowshowitz (legendary deck designer from two decades ago, hall of famer, etc.) wrote an article on why testing for the Pro Tour on MTGO is not a good idea. Interesting, although parts sound like sour grapes. Actually, it all sounds like Zvi.  The article, and the audio version of the article, is 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
September 26th (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. 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 Guilds of Ravnica 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 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 2pm PT this week
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: Standard is still dominated by red decks, and to lesser extent Ux control, but a few other archetypes are showing up.
 
 
Modern: Wizards gave us a Modern GP last weekend, with almost 2k players. The Top 32 list had a number of interesting decks. The Modern format is doing really well. Coverage is here
 
 
Legacy: The Asian Eternal Weekend was the weekend before last. I now have the decklists, so expect these in the next couple weeks. The event featured 626 Legacy players, which is a lot.
 
Vintage: Last weekend’s Vintage Challenge was dominated by Shops decks (finishing in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th place.) The first new/unusual archetype was down in seventh place.   It’s a Survival deck with Bazaar, Vengevine and Hollow One.
 
 
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 normal. Cards on their way to rotation are falling, and that will continue.  Heart of Kiran is now barely a buck.  Nexus of Fate is dropping as it fails to put up dominant results.  Rotation is coming.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Baral, Chief of Compliance
$7.88
$8.17
($0.29)
-4%
Carnage Tyrant
$11.33
$12.36
($1.03)
-8%
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
$5.69
$5.98
($0.29)
-5%
History of Benalia
$8.46
$6.83
$1.63
24%
Karn, Scion of Urza
$25.55
$22.60
$2.95
13%
Lyra Dawnbringer
$7.94
$7.08
$0.86
12%
Nexus of Fate
$12.21
$13.75
($1.54)
-11%
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
$15.69
$14.62
$1.07
7%
Rekindling Phoenix
$40.21
$39.15
$1.06
3%
Sarkhan, Fireblood
$8.06
$7.53
$0.53
7%
Search for Azcanta
$6.87
$7.29
($0.42)
-6%
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
$39.45
$36.96
$2.49
7%
Vivien Reid
$9.79
$9.18
$0.61
7%
Vraska's Contempt
$6.07
$8.28
($2.21)
-27%
Walking Ballista
$17.93
$13.01
$4.92
38%

Modern staples: Modern prices were back to normal this week – and overall, a bit up. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is back over $50. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$14.82
$14.29
$0.53
4%
$27.17
$25.33
$1.84
7%
$27.36
$26.47
$0.89
3%
$19.91
$19.76
$0.15
1%
$16.47
$13.54
$2.93
22%
$17.46
$16.25
$1.21
7%
$38.89
$39.44
($0.55)
-1%
$26.18
$25.82
$0.36
1%
$50.65
$48.00
$2.65
6%
$52.95
$48.03
$4.92
10%
$31.40
$30.07
$1.33
4%
$18.99
$17.43
$1.56
9%
$36.69
$37.14
($0.45)
-1%
$39.73
$35.73
$4.00
11%
$53.31
$49.13
$4.18
9%
$29.53
$27.91
$1.62
6%
$23.70
$24.44
($0.74)
-3%
$44.24
$40.22
$4.02
10%
$16.14
$15.23
$0.91
6%

Legacy and Vintage: The list of card worth over $15 and playable only in Legacy and Vintage is shorter and shorter.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$25.85
$26.32
($0.47)
-2%
$38.12
$38.86
($0.74)
-2%
$14.77
$15.10
($0.33)
-2%
$19.15
$19.97
($0.82)
-4%
$32.05
$30.74
$1.31
4%
$29.89
$30.95
($1.06)
-3%
$18.47
$18.69
($0.22)
-1%
$50.32
$56.44
($6.12)
-11%
$15.76
$14.62
$1.14
8%
$23.73
$25.24
($1.51)
-6%
$22.74
$23.59
($0.85)
-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).
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$48.93
$46.60
$2.33
5%
Amonkhet
$40.55
$39.77
$0.78
2%
Core Set 2019
$144.05
$139.89
$4.16
3%
Dominaria
$117.69
$100.84
$16.85
17%
Ixalan
$76.10
$85.54
($9.44)
-11%
Hour of Devastation
$14.65
$15.23
($0.58)
-4%
Kaladesh
$26.59
$27.06
($0.47)
-2%
Rivals of Ixalan
$95.56
$93.31
$2.25
2%
Treasure Chest
$2.20
$2.24
($0.04)
-2%
Core Set 2019 Booster
$2.80
$2.93
($0.13)
-4%

 
 
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
 $ 109.95
Mox Sapphire
 1E
Rare
 $ 76.40
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 58.60
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 57.38
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 WWK
Mythic Rare
 $ 56.12
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 55.82
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $ 54.68
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 54.07
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 53.47
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 53.31
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 VMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 52.95
Horizon Canopy
 IMA
Rare
 $ 52.14
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $ 51.02
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 50.65
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $ 50.32
Mox Jet
 1E
Rare
 $ 49.95
Ancestral Recall
 1E
Rare
 $ 49.95
Mox Ruby
 1E
Rare
 $ 47.95
Mox Emerald
 1E
Rare
 $ 45.88
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $ 44.28
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $ 44.24
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $ 43.29
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 42.00
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 40.52
Rekindling Phoenix
 RIX
Mythic Rare
 $ 40.21
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.73
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.59
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
 DAR
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.45
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 38.89
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
 $ 38.12
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 37.74
Time Walk
 1E
Rare
 $ 36.95
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 36.69
Mox Pearl
 1E
Rare
 $ 34.95
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 34.68
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $ 34.06
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.20
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.73
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $ 32.05
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.40
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 30.41
Noble Hierarch
 CON
Rare
 $ 30.19
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 29.89
Noble Hierarch
 MM2
Rare
 $ 29.53
Cavern of Souls
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 28.45
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 28.36
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 27.62
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.43
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
 $ 27.36
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $ 27.17
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $ 27.14
Ensnaring Bridge
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.10
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 27.09
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $ 27.05
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $ 26.52
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 26.18
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
 $ 26.17
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 25.85
Karn, Scion of Urza
 DAR
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.55
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.09

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 $ 17,845. That’s up about $425 from last week. Nice.
 
In Closing
Here in the US, this will be a holiday weekend.  I'll be on vacation, in the north woods on a lake.  Fortunately, we will have Internet access at the cabin, so I may get some  Dominaria drafts in, and will probably be able to watch some of the GP coverage.  Unless the fish are biting, that is.  We will see - last time, I got way more mosquito bites.
 
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO
 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.