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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Dec 18 2020 1:00pm
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State of the Program for December 18th, 2020
 
In the News

The Week of Metal:  Kaldheim previews started a bit early this time around, with the band Mastodon kicking things off by previewing the rest of the Pathways. Brazilian metal band, Angra, previewed Showdown of the Skalds.  Torche showed off Pyre of Heroes.  The next day more metal bands, in a paid partnership with Wizards of the Coast, previewed more cards.  Amon Amarth showed up the cool double faced God, Halvar, God of Battle.  It is a God, or an equipment!  Oceans of Slumber showed off the new Kaya, Kaya the Inexorable.  Rhapsody of Fire showed us Realmwalker and the final band, Smoulder dropped Magda, Brazen Outlaw, a Dwarf lord that cares about treasures, artifacts and dragons on us.  You can find the previewed cards here.  The schedule for previews is here, with the next one set to drop on December 24th. 

Set and Theme Booster Changes:  We are getting additional cards that are legal in Standard but also exclusive to Set and theme boosters.  Outside of four cards in the Kaldheim Commander precons, these boosters will be the only way to find them.  You can see the additional spoiled cards here.  The List, a list of cards that shows up in the last slot of a Set booster pack 25% of the time is also going through some Charles Bradley like changes.  You can check those out here.  

Modern Super Qualifier:  Added to the organized play schedule for Sunday, December 20th.   You can join with QPs, Play Points or Event Tickets.

Commander Legends Phantom Queue:  This one is ending early due to lack of participation.  There will be no new entries after Monday, December 21st.   
 

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
Dates
Scheduled Downtimes
January 27, 2021
Constructed Leagues End
January 27, 2021
Sealed Leagues End
January 28, 2021
Next B&R
Unknown
Zendikar Rising Redemption
Ends April 7th, 2021


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:

This changed this week, make sure to keep that in mind when looking at the schedule.  I put the changes in bold. 

December 16 - December 23:  Supreme Draft:  Vintage Cube
December 23 - January 13: Vintage Cube  *New*  Will have Commander Legends cards in the card pool
January 13 - January 20:  New Spotlight Cube
January 20 - January 28 - Vintage Masters Flashback
 
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:

TIME (PT) SATURDAY SUNDAY
12:00 a.m.   Vintage Challenge
2:00 a.m. Pauper Challenge  
4:00 a.m. Legacy Challenge Modern Challenge
6:00 a.m. Standard Challenge Pioneer Challenge
8:00 a.m. Modern Challenge Legacy Challenge
10:00 a.m. Vintage Challenge Pauper Challenge
2:00 p.m. Pioneer Challenge Standard Challenge
 



Cutting Edge Tech

Standard: Gruul Adventures may have ended up being the best Standard deck after what seemed like endless bans.  Kaldheim is coming along at just the right time to shake things up. 


Historic:  Apparently in the non-rotating formats, Lotus Field and Blood Sun decks are all the rage.  I tried to find one for each format this week, as long as it played one of the two cards. 

Legacy:  I still can't imagine anything better than casting Buried Alive for three copies of Arclight Phoenix. 


Modern: I didn't think that there would be a control deck to use the Lotus Sun combo, but Field makes casting Cryptic Command easier, it turns off some problematic non tron lands like Ghost Quarter and Field of Ruin.  Blood Sun may actually be better against the fetchlands of the format, as it turns them off, where Blood Moon at least lets them tap for mana. 

Pauper:  To me this isn't as exciting as cascading in to land destruction, but this list looks like a lot of fun regardless.  


Pioneer:  I guess this is the original Lotus Field combo deck.  Loving the inclusion of Baral into these lists now. 


Vintage: This was the cheapest Vintage deck that wasn't Dredge that I could find on mtgo. 



 
Winner's Circle

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

It looks like Graciasportanto had themselves a great Saturday!

Challenge Winners

Saturday Legacy - kanican - Bomberman
Saturday Modern - Lucabireskusku - Omnath Piles
Saturday Pauper - LiturgiskaKniga - Wall Cascade
Saturday Pioneer - Graciasportanto - Oops! All Spells
Saturday Standard - Graciasportanto - Dimir Rogues
Saturday Vintage - Lord_Beerus

Sunday Legacy - musasabi - Esper Vial
Sunday Modern - Hamuda - Hammer Time
Sunday Pauper - Beicodegeia - Dimir Monarch
Sunday Pioneer - WaToO - Sultai Rec
Sunday Standard - IwillCRUSHyou - Esper Dance
Sunday Vintage - Zar0s

Other Event Winners

 

Around the Web

MTGOTraders YouTube:  Did you know that MTGOTraders.com has a YouTube page?  Well if not, now you do, and you can find it here

Mike Flores wrote about the combos that made him fall in love with Magic.

Cassie LaBelle wrote about the ten most expensive Magic cards you've never heard of.

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: I don't believe anything is changing about this list until Kaldheim comes out. 
Standard Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Brazen Borrower $15.52 $15.51 $0.01 0%
Questing Beast $7.64 $6.30 $1.34 21%
Bonecrusher Giant $5.59 $4.68 $0.91 19%
The Great Henge $8.28 $7.13 $1.15 16%
General Kudro of Drannith $6.55 $7.36 ($0.81) -11%
Shark Typhoon $12.85 $12.44 $0.41 3%
Vivien, Monsters' Advocate $7.80 $7.59 $0.21 3%
Lurrus of the Dream Den $9.55 $9.42 $0.13 1%
Teferi, Master of Time $6.50 $8.05 ($1.55) -19%
Terror of the Peaks $17.36 $17.29 $0.07 0%
Liliana, Waker of the Dead $13.60 $14.83 ($1.23) -8%
Elder Gargaroth $30.30 $34.08 ($3.78) -11%
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger 13.49 12.15 $1.34 11%
Klothys, God of Destiny 8.16 7.9 $0.26 3%
Heliod, Sun-Crowned 9.15 7.56 $1.59 21%
Ox of Agonas 5.9 6.01 ($0.11) -2%
Scourge of the Skyclaves $26.01 $29.11 ($3.10) -11%
Turntimber Symbiosis $19.19 $19.53 ($0.34) -2%
Agadeem's Awakening $12.74 $13.53 ($0.79) -6%
Skyclave Apparition $14.43 $14.67 ($0.24) -2%
Shatterskull Smashing $6.48 $6.44 $0.04 1%
Modern Staples:  After a long absence, Noble Hierarch is back on the list.  Tarmogoyf has fallen off the list.  Flagstones of Trokair enters the list as well. 
Modern Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Auriok Champion $24.30 $23.39 $0.91 4%
Steelshaper's Gift $17.81 $16.22 $1.59 10%
Engineered Explosives $5.19 $5.38 ($0.19) -4%
Cavern of Souls $19.44 $20.20 ($0.76) -4%
Noble Hierarch $5.29


Mishra's Bauble $9.52 $9.71 ($0.19) -2%
Aether Vial $20.27 $20.11 $0.16 1%
Horizon Canopy $13.85 $12.64 $1.21 10%
Liliana of the Veil $12.09 $11.10 $0.99 9%
Polluted Delta $9.07 $11.27 ($2.20) -20%
Wooded Foothills $6.44 $6.06 $0.38 6%
Flooded Strand $5.11 $6.06 ($0.95) -16%
Bloodstained Mire $7.27 $6.42 $0.85 13%
Windswept Heath $5.79 $5.09 $0.70 14%
Thoughtseize $8.19 $8.12 $0.07 1%
Cryptic Command $5.79 $5.12 $0.67 13%
Field of the Dead $25.01 $21.97 $3.04 14%
Elvish Reclaimer $17.61 $19.56 ($1.95) -10%
Force of Negation $90.53 $77.06 $13.47 17%
Wrenn and Six $65.61 $66.70 ($1.09) -2%
Prismatic Vista $13.73 $12.23 $1.50 12%
Sunbaked Canyon $13.86 $15.02 ($1.16) -8%
Seasoned Pyromancer $54.40 $36.75 $17.65 48%
Fiery Islet $8.50 $9.31 ($0.81) -9%
Urza, Lord High Artificer $9.23 $10.38 ($1.15) -11%
Plague Engineer $11.29 $12.65 ($1.36) -11%
Force of Vigor $19.05 $15.80 $3.25 21%
Collector Ouphe $5.54 $5.13 $0.41 8%
Nurturing Peatland $4.73 $4.73 $0.00 0%
Ice-Fang Coatl $8.33 $7.42 $0.91 12%
Giver of Runes $10.48 $14.69 ($4.21) -29%
Hexdrinker $5.55 $6.33 ($0.78) -12%
Flusterstorm $8.62 $8.52 $0.10 1%
Archmage's Charm $7.88 $10.88 ($3.00) -28%
Ranger-Captain of Eos $9.06 $9.28 ($0.22) -2%
Silent Clearing $4.76 $6.25 ($1.49) -24%
Chalice of the Void $11.54 $10.72 $0.82 8%
Surgical Extraction $19.65 $17.50 $2.15 12%
Dismember $5.74 $5.84 ($0.10) -2%
Karn Liberated $5.42 $5.45 ($0.03) -1%
Ensnaring Bridge $9.15 $8.97 $0.18 2%
Boil $9.38 $10.87 ($1.49) -14%
Flagstones of Trokair $6.30


Gemstone Mine $14.08 $11.65 $2.43 21%
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $8.02 $7.55 $0.47 6%
Scalding Tarn $16.10 $15.35 $0.75 5%
Verdant Catacombs $14.60 $10.68 $3.92 37%
Misty Rainforest $16.30 $15.09 $1.21 8%
Arid Mesa $4.78 $4.77 $0.01 0%
Marsh Flats $5.09 $4.49 $0.60 13%
Eternal Staples:  No real changes this week to the list.

Eternal Format Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Dark Depths $5.22 $5.32 ($0.10) -2%
Oko, Thief of Crowns $21.73 $22.58 ($0.85) -4%
City of Traitors $21.55 $18.71 $2.84 15%
Sphere of Resistance $6.22 $6.38 ($0.16) -3%
Monastery Mentor $5.73 $7.72 ($1.99) -26%
Allosaurus Shepherd $48.07 $48.75 ($0.68) -1%
Muxus, Goblin Grandee $4.98 $5.11 ($0.13) -3%
Force of Will $48.61 $46.99 $1.62 3%
Karakas $10.70 $10.56 $0.14 1%
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale $41.48 $42.16 ($0.68) -2%
Demonic Tutor $9.07 $8.75 $0.32 4%
Echo of Eons $10.04 $9.98 $0.06 1%
Unmask $8.01 $8.20 ($0.19) -2%
Misdirection $11.62 $11.62 $0.00 0%
Rishadan Port $11.93 $12.92 ($0.99) -8%
Entomb $7.61 $7.13 $0.48 7%
Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow $33.92 $42.81 ($8.89) -21%
Mox Diamond $16.50 $17.15 ($0.65) -4%
Wasteland $36.39 $39.88 ($3.49) -9%
Ancient Tomb $18.05 $17.93 $0.12 1%
Lotus Petal $22.52 $21.44 $1.08 5%
Earthcraft $6.72 $6.68 $0.04 1%
Academy Rector $5.06 $5.32 ($0.26) -5%
Grim Monolith $15.88 $14.32 $1.56 11%
Exploration $14.07 $14.28 ($0.21) -1%
Gaea's Cradle $28.22 $28.90 ($0.68) -2%
Carpet of Flowers $34.32 $33.29 $1.03 3%
Gilded Drake $8.45 $8.36 $0.09 1%
Black Lotus $12.36 $9.58 $2.78 29%
Tropical Island $9.87 $10.67 ($0.80) -7%
Volcanic Island $13.34 $11.79 $1.55 13%
Underground Sea $14.49 $13.11 $1.38 11%
Sol Ring $10.05 $10.09 ($0.04) 0%
Null Rod $10.05 $6.45 $3.60 56%
Doomsday $20.22 $20.22 $0.00 0%
Mindbreak Trap $19.68 $22.56 ($2.88) -13%
Pioneer StaplesCollective Brutality is off the list. Bomat Courier is on the list as well this week. 
Pioneer Cards Price Last Time Change % Change
Soul-Scar Mage $8.77 $7.34 $1.43 19%
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger $8.39 $6.69 $1.70 25%
Collected Company $6.10 $5.86 $0.24 4%
Assassin's Trophy $5.82 $6.89 ($1.07) -16%
Mana Confluence $5.73 $5.66 $0.07 1%
Eidolon of the Great Revel $7.62 $7.81 ($0.19) -2%
Bomat Courier $5.01


Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $5.20 $5.82 ($0.62) -11%
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath $81.56 $77.12 $4.44 6%
Teferi, Time Raveler $37.36 $36.71 $0.65 2%
Finale of Devastation $4.87 $5.07 ($0.20) -4%
Karn, the Great Creator $39.96 $36.93 $3.03 8%
Dreadhorde Arcanist $12.25 $11.36 $0.89 8%
Blast Zone $13.94 $14.80 ($0.86) -6%
Omnath, Locus of Creation $17.15 $17.52 ($0.37) -2%
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 2021 $122.16 $126.80 ($4.64) -4%
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths $75.04 $72.95 $2.09 3%
Theros Beyond Death $166.66 $158.83 $7.83 5%
Throne of Eldraine $144.51 $140.15 $4.36 3%
Treasure Chest $2.34 $2.35 ($0.01) 0%
Zendikar Rising $125.89 $129.08 ($3.19) -2%
Zendikar Rising Booster Pack $3.27 $2.97 $0.30 10%


The Good Stuff
The following is a list of all the non-foil, non-promo 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 125.68
Snapcaster Mage UBT Mythic 101.48
Force of Negation MH1 Rare 90.53
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath THB Mythic 81.56
Liliana of the Veil UBT Mythic 76.51
Ancestral Recall 1E Rare 74.29
Karakas UBT Mythic 73.85
Mox Jet 1E Rare 73.6
Cavern of Souls UBT Mythic 70.06
Wrenn and Six MH1 Mythic 65.61
Hullbreacher CMR Rare 63.62
Time Walk 1E Rare 61.72
Mox Emerald 1E Rare 61.22
Seasoned Pyromancer MH1 Mythic 54.4
Karn Liberated UBT Mythic 51.38
Dark Depths UBT Mythic 50.87
Noble Hierarch UBT Mythic 50.79
Force of Will MED Rare 48.61
Allosaurus Shepherd JMP Mythic 48.07
Dockside Extortionist C19 Rare 44.28
Jace, the Mind Sculptor MS4 Mythic 42.82
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale ME3 Rare 41.48
Lord Windgrace PZ2 Mythic 40.7
Karn, the Great Creator WAR Rare 39.96
Mox Pearl 1E Rare 39.9
Platinum Emperion UBT Mythic 38.01
Mox Sapphire 1E Rare 37.99
Teferi, Time Raveler WAR Rare 37.36
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth UBT Mythic 37.32
Timetwister 1E Rare 37.31
Force of Will MS3 Mythic 37.02
Force of Will 2XM Mythic 36.47
Mox Ruby 1E Rare 36.39
Wasteland TE Uncommon 36.39
Force of Will EMA Mythic 36.29
Liliana, the Last Hope MS4 Mythic 35.48
Force of Will VMA Rare 35.28
Demonic Tutor UBT Mythic 35.15
Carpet of Flowers UZ Uncommon 34.32
Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow PZ2 Rare 33.92
Opposition Agent CMR Rare 32.07
Purple-Crystal Crab PZ2 Common 31.36
Celestial Colonnade UBT Mythic 31.08
Life from the Loam UBT Mythic 30.51
Elder Gargaroth M21 Mythic 30.3
Wasteland TPR Rare 30.21
Wasteland ZNE Mythic 29.77
Wasteland EXP Mythic 29.37
Wasteland EMA Rare 28.37
Gaea's Cradle UZ Rare 28.22
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria MS4 Mythic 26.41
Auriok Champion IMA Rare 26.26
Scourge of the Skyclaves ZNR Mythic 26.01
Cavern of Souls ZNE Mythic 25.46
Bitterblossom UBT Mythic 25.28
Heavenly Qilin PZ2 Common 25.25
Creeping Tar Pit UBT Mythic 25.19
Field of the Dead M20 Rare 25.01
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 $26,457.  Last week it was $25,957.  Still a small gain of $500, and I expect some losses after the first of the year due to Kaldheim coming out. 
 
In Closing

I did some webcam commander on Sunday and just had a wonderful time playing Magic for myself.  Tried to stream some on Wednesday, but each time I started my nephew called to play video games with me.  I love Magic, I really do, but I love my nephew more, so playing Fortnite was the thing to do.  I don't have my son on Christmas this year, which is a bummer, but I'll have him soon after for a week.  I'll write State of the Program and have it out on Christmas day, but I will not be writing one for the next week. 

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