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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Aug 03 2018 12:00pm
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State of the Program for August 3rd 2018
 
In the News
Pro Tour Happening Now: Live video coverage of Pro Tour 25th Anniversary and the Silver Showcase is hosted on twitch.tv/magic. It began yesterday (Thursday, August 1st) at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET/9 p.m. UTC. Coverage is here.
 
State of MTGO Article:  Chris Kiritz published his Magic Online Mid-Year Update.  The main topics discussed are:
·       the push to get new sets out early
·       the problems getting cards from other sets (e.g. Battlebond) into MTGO. 
·       New ways to play, including Brawl and the Cube Spotlight Series. 
·       CHAOS DRAFTS! Phantom drafts where every pack is randomly chosen from any MTGO set.
·       Reduced number of downtimes
·       Working on being able to implement B&R Changes without a downtime. 
·       Redesign of the Play Lobby coming.
The article is here. I discuss this further in the Opinion Section.
 
Battlebond and Commander 2018 Cards Coming: The cards from those paper sets will be released online – but not soon.   Most, but not all, of the Battlebond cards will appear in Treasure Chests starting in mid October. Commander 2018 cards will appear in December. The commander 2018 decklists are here.
 
Paper Black Lotus Sells for $87k: Black Bordered Power Nine is expensive stuff. Lots of discussions about this. A lot of interesting discussions and reaction articles have appeared. One example: The discussion on the Major Spoilers channel, which is mainly a comic book and D&D channel, talked about this here. The panelists included a non-magic player who didn’t get it, an old time player and one current player. They discuss Magic and collectibles. 
 
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
August 20, 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. 3–5: Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis, Minnesota
·       Aug. 11–12: Grand Prix Brussels
·       Aug. 18–19: Grand Prix Los Angeles
·       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 1-August 8: Triple Zendikar
·       August 8-August 15: Pauper Gauntlet
·       August 15-August 22: Cube Spotlight Series (details TBD)
·       August 22-August 29: TBD
·       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

 
Opinion Section:  My Reactions to the Mid-Year Update
 
Chris Kiritz published his Magic Online Mid-Year Update.   He covered number of topics; I’ll discuss most of them.
 
The Update started by discussing the success Wizards has had in getting new sets onto MTGO quickly. Four years ago, and for as long as MTGO existed before that,  new sets didn’t appear on MTGO until a couple weeks after the paper release. That was after the paper release – not prerelease.  Now we have new sets appearing on MTGO the Friday before the paper prerelease. That’s a huge improvement over what we used to have, and Wizards deserves a lot of credit for that achievement.  
 
Chris also noted that the faster release schedule does tax the MTGO team’s resources, and this has resulted in delays in getting cards from other sets (e.g. Battlebond and Commander sets) into MTGO. It’s a resources thing, but Wizards has announced that they will be doing some triaging: the more important cards will be coded first. That helps, provided they guess correctly on which cards will see Legacy and Vintage play. 
 
The article also sites new ways to play, including Brawl and the Cube Spotlight Series. It seems that Wizards has fixed Brawl – at least for multiplayer.   I see a lot of Brawl being played between rounds at our local FNMs. Online 1v1 is slightly more problematic, but banning Baral seems to have helped.  
 
In limited, Wizards is continuing the Cube Spotlight series, with a variety of new and innovative Cubes. The next one will be online in two weeks. Wizards calls it the [REDACTED] Cube. Seriously – two weeks from launch and you won’t tell us the name? I have, in the past, arranged to have days off to play in online prereleases and various special formats.   I sometimes do that when Guild Wars 2 releases new content. However, my boss prefers that we submit leave requests at least two weeks in advance. If Wizards can’t even give us the name two weeks in advance, I guess I’ll be saving my vacation, and dollars, for events on other games.
 
Chris Kiritz also announced that MTGO will bring us CHAOS DRAFTS! (He specified that the name should be in all caps, and have the exclamation point: CHAOS DRAFT!)   CHAOS DRAFT! will use boosters chosen at random from all draftable MTGO sets, meaning you could open a Mirage booster for pack one, an M9 booster for pack two, and a MED2 booster as your pack three. All your opponents will be opening similarly bizarre mix of boosters.   These drafts will be phantom, which I don’t understand. Personally, I would want the cards, but maybe I’m just not the target audience. 
 
The article also showed a graph showing the reduction in downtimes. Again, years ago we had multi-hour downtimes every week. Now we are down to once a month or so, and dropping. More importantly, Wizards is working on being able to implement changes to B&R lists without a downtime. That’s good.
 
Wizards is also looking to upgrade the Play lobby to make it more graphical and modern. It does look a little dated.
 
Overall, this was a pretty good year so far.
    
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: The GPs were limited, but we had an SCG Classic in Indianapolis last weekend. The Top 16 was fairly diverse. The winning deck, and the eight place deck, and the twelfth place deck, were Zombies. Who knew?
 
 
Pauper: Lots of blue in the Pauper Challenge again last weekend.   So here you go – sometime we have to admit to what is right in front of us.
 
 
Modern: The SCG Modern Open finals featured Jund vs. Burn. We may have Core Set 2019 in the format, but that Top 8 feels like something from half a decade earlier.   But, since I have an unreasonable liking for Jund…   
 
 
Legacy: The format has adjusted to the elimination of the Deathrite Shaman. Leovold is almost worthless, and the UBx control decks are no longer four colors.
 
 
 
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 level of fluctuation and churn this week. The downward trend from the pre-M19 era seems to have halted.       
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Carnage Tyrant
$11.57
$12.04
($0.47)
-4%
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
$8.23
$6.09
$2.14
35%
Heart of Kiran
$9.00
$7.54
$1.46
19%
History of Benalia
$6.39
$6.26
$0.13
2%
Karn, Scion of Urza
$27.78
$26.76
$1.02
4%
Lyra Dawnbringer
$6.85
$6.99
($0.14)
-2%
Nexus of Fate
$31.58
$28.48
$3.10
11%
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
$22.11
$22.45
($0.34)
-2%
Rekindling Phoenix
$25.98
$20.72
$5.26
25%
Sarkhan, Dragonsoul
$5.00
$7.79
($2.79)
-36%
Search for Azcanta
$5.46
$5.13
$0.33
6%
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
$26.01
$23.82
$2.19
9%
Vivien Reid
$9.62
$4.25
$5.37
126%
Vraska's Contempt
$8.76
$7.81
$0.95
12%
Walking Ballista
$13.78
$10.85
$2.93
27%

Modern staples: Modern prices were mixed again this week, but seem normal. What does not seem normal is that Tarmogoyf may fall off the table.  It was over $100 not that long ago. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$18.16
$15.71
$2.45
16%
$25.90
$24.97
$0.93
4%
$23.11
$23.90
($0.79)
-3%
$20.09
$19.99
$0.10
1%
$22.78
$19.41
$3.37
17%
$47.83
$49.58
($1.75)
-4%
$23.63
$25.04
($1.41)
-6%
$38.64
$37.34
$1.30
3%
$33.08
$31.00
$2.08
7%
$36.08
$33.28
$2.80
8%
$17.14
$19.37
($2.23)
-12%
$36.29
$32.59
$3.70
11%
$24.25
$23.40
$0.85
4%
$50.68
$52.31
($1.63)
-3%
$26.29
$23.09
$3.20
14%
$23.77
$23.18
$0.59
3%
$34.65
$34.59
$0.06
0%
$8.91
$18.71
($9.80)
-52%

Legacy and Vintage: I have added a couple cards to the list. Containment Priest is still fluctuating, while Brightling and Arcane Artisan are falling fast as people open more Treasure Chests. 
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Arcane Artisan
$13.91
$21.78
($7.87)
-36%
$27.22
$28.22
($1.00)
-4%
Brightling
$24.70
$53.24
($28.54)
-54%
$37.81
$35.71
$2.10
6%
$18.59
$19.86
($1.27)
-6%
$14.66
$14.34
$0.32
2%
$23.86
$26.20
($2.34)
-9%
$29.55
$32.10
($2.55)
-8%
$31.60
$31.60
$0.00
0%
$21.42
$20.76
$0.66
3%
$60.07
$59.70
$0.37
1%
$9.81
$10.31
($0.50)
-5%
$21.05
$24.86
($3.81)
-15%
$23.07
$25.82
($2.75)
-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).
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$55.13
$53.38
$1.75
3%
Amonkhet
$42.71
$43.63
($0.92)
-2%
Core Set 2019
$156.33
$130.71
$25.62
20%
Dominaria
$103.85
$99.89
$3.96
4%
Ixalan
$74.23
$74.26
($0.03)
0%
Hour of Devastation
$21.36
$20.86
$0.50
2%
Kaladesh
$35.79
$32.71
$3.08
9%
Rivals of Ixalan
$77.06
$72.03
$5.03
7%
Treasure Chest
$2.29
$2.29
$0.00
0%
Core Set 2019 Booster
$3.25
$3.33
($0.08)
-2%

 
 
 
 
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. 
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Black Lotus
 1E
Rare
 $ 89.90
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 61.26
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $ 60.07
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 52.59
Mox Sapphire
 1E
Rare
 $ 52.54
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 51.64
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 51.17
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 51.04
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 50.68
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 47.83
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 46.71
Ancestral Recall
 1E
Rare
 $ 43.75
Mox Ruby
 1E
Rare
 $ 41.75
Mox Jet
 1E
Rare
 $ 41.33
Horizon Canopy
 IMA
Rare
 $ 39.95
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $ 39.66
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.11
Mox Emerald
 1E
Rare
 $ 38.72
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $ 38.64
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 38.31
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 37.97
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
 $ 37.81
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 WWK
Mythic Rare
 $ 37.44
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 37.19
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 36.52
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 36.29
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $ 36.13
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 36.08
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $ 34.93
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $ 34.65
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.43
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 VMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.25
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.08
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $ 31.84
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 31.73
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 31.60
Nexus of Fate
 M19
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.58
Time Walk
 1E
Rare
 $ 30.82
Mox Pearl
 1E
Rare
 $ 30.10
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 30.10
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.55
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 29.07
Noble Hierarch
 CON
Rare
 $ 27.81
Karn, Scion of Urza
 DAR
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.78
Mox Diamond
 ST
Rare
 $ 27.65
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.25
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 27.22
Cavern of Souls
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.09
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.08
Noble Hierarch
 MM2
Rare
 $ 26.29
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
 DAR
Mythic Rare
 $ 26.01
Rekindling Phoenix
 RIX
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.98
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $ 25.90
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 25.57
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
 $ 25.52
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $ 25.18
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.17

 
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 $ 17,315. That’s up about $45 from last week. 
 
In Closing
I will be in Overland Park, Kansas this weekend, for a non-Magic event. However, I should be able to get some free time. I’ll have to look for a local FNM, or just take my laptop.
 
If you are having a tough moment, consider clicking this link, because Tress! And Milk! It’s just 48 seconds long.
 
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO
 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

3 Comments

Tarmogoyf by Sensei at Fri, 08/03/2018 - 17:26
Sensei's picture

Your data is all wrong. Its current price is 200% of what is in the table and MM15 Goyfs have never been $80 and MM17 has never been $60. So I guess if you want to call 14 not that long ago.

The redacted cube - the by TheWolf at Fri, 08/03/2018 - 19:35
TheWolf's picture

The redacted cube - the information about what it is is out there as it was announced to the MTGO beta testers

Standard Zombies by IYankemDDS at Mon, 08/06/2018 - 21:50
IYankemDDS's picture

I quite like the Standard Zombies deck. I have been running a version of it in Standard Friendly Leagues and am having a nice time with it.