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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Dec 30 2011 10:41am
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Hammie’s The State of the Program for December 30th     
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

News and Discussion Items:

Holiday Season Dead Zone:  For news, at least. The Wizards folks are on vacation, so we have no downtime this week, and no blog update. Nothing new, so just go play some Magic. 
 
The New B&R list is working on MTGO: Unlike last time, Wizards did not make us wait for a set release to update the B&R list. Modern works the way it is supposed to. That’s great.
 
Rumor: Foil Force of Will as a judge promo! This is just a rumor so far, but I have seen pictures of what appears to be an alternative art, judge foil Force of Will. Is it possible that the judges at Pro Tour Honolulu will get foil Force of Wills as a special thank you for participating in the event? At Pro Tour Philadelphia, judges got foil Mana Crypts. At Worlds, my foil packet contained Flusterstorm and Xiahou Dun – the first time those cards were available in foil. A foil Force of Will is not impossible: Force of Will was an uncommon when released in paper, (in Alliances). If the rumor is true, those cards will be super hot. More importantly for the MTGO crowd, judge foils do occasionally appear as MTGO player rewards. If that happened, odds are that the Forces would be level 8/9 premiums, but if they were, that might be worth grinding for.  (This version of Force of Will however, will more than likely not see the light of day as it was created as a joke. JXC)
 
Limited Resources Podcast Interviews Ryan Spain: Old news now, but worth repeating: Ryan Spain was back on Limited Resources podcast!   Podcast here. Ryan is Wizard’s R&D representative on the MTGO team. He was on the podcast to talk about MTGO, his work in R&D and the new interface. If you care about MTGO, listen to this podcast.
 
Happy Holidays! The Winter Celebration events continue.   Details here. The list of special events is pretty long, and really sweet for us Classic players. Here’s the short version:
 
·        The Classic Format Celebration
·        Daily 64-Player Drafts
·        Shards of Alara block Nix Tix Drafts
·        Tempest block and Urza's block Sealed Queues
 
The Classic celebration is going quite well, with events firing with more than minimum numbers of participants. (okay, except for 8 man queues, of course.)   Join Classic and get your full art Ponders now.
 
The last few 64-player Draft Queues are:
 
·        Zendikar block + Rise of Eldrazi – Friday, December 30
·        Scars of Mirrodin block – Saturday, December 31
·        Innistrad –Sunday, January 1
 
The Tempest and Urza’s Block sealed 8-player queues have decent payouts. Go 2-1 and you get enough sealed product to enter another queue. Go 3-0 and you win ten packs (4 first set, 3 second and third.) The cost is 24 TIX or product to enter, and even if you get stomped, the average value of the cards in a Tempest sealed pool is $17.65. For Saga, the average is $ 16.16.  (Note: I ran the numbers last week, but they probably have not changed much, even with Wasteland dropping in price.) That’s a decent EV. It gets better if you crack one of the numerous money cards. 
 

Editorial Section: Call a Judge

This is something that applies both online and offline: if you see something fishy, report it.
 
In the paper world, I spend half my time as a player, and the other half as a judge. I often hear stories about something that happened last round, or last tournament, or whatever. Sometimes, when the player describes the event, I can assure them that the cards do work that way, or that the play is legal. In other cases, it sounds like the players made a mistake, or a player might have been cheating. The problem is that, if I hear about it long after it happened, it is hard to fix it. I always end up telling player that they need to call a judge at the time whatever is happening is happening. A judges job is to fix things.
 
Another part of a judges job is to prevent cheating. In the paper world, cheating is relatively rare – and most of it is opportunistic stuff. (I’m mana screwed, and he’s not paying attention, so I won’t discard down to seven, I’ll just keep all eight.)   The actual serial, deliberate cheaters are a really small group. They will also get caught, eventually. However, the way they get caught is generally that judges keep reporting the same “errors,” and the accumulation of similar errors in the players favor trigger a more serious investigation. However, if no one calls the judge, then the penalties don’t get reported, and the data trail doesn’t form. 
 
That’s why people need to call judges. If it’s a simple mistake, judges fix it and the game goes on. If it is a serial problem, if judges log the warnings – which they can only do if they get called – then the problem will be solved, over time. So, call a judge.
 
The same thing goes for unsporting conduct. In the paper world, players get obnoxious and insulting. Call a judge and we can nip that problem in the bud – or have the store owner throw him out, is the abuse is bad enough.
 
This is relevant to online play. People can be insulting online. They will keep doing it until you report them. The difference is that you don’t call a judge to your table – you take a screen shot and report the player to customer service. Just ask any ORC for a link. Obnoxious jerks are rare online – but they will never be gone unless they get reported.
 
The discussion of cheating online is also relevant – the cheating is just different. For example, I keep hearing stories about someone stalling in a scheduled event. Not that doing non-productive things simply to time out your opponent is not “time management” or “working the clock” – it is against the code of conduct. It is cheating. However, people who do this routinely are never going to get punished if they are not reported. Wizards will investigate reports – but the first time someone is reported, Wizards will generally give them the benefit of the doubt, in paper or online. The response to a first offense is generally education: an explanation of why the behavior is bad, and a firm instruction not to do it again. It is only when the player persists in that activity that Wizards will take punitive action, which means that the player will only get seriously punished after the cheating has been reported at least the second time – and the punishments are worse for repeat and serial offenders. However, Wizards cannot identify serial cheaters unless they get reported – every time. 
 
I have heard some players worry that they might be reporting a player for honest errors, not deliberate cheating. Honest errors are far more common than cheating – but both judges and the folks who review complaints for MTGO are trained to tell the difference. In paper, before a player is disqualified, the situation is investigated by the judge who was called and the head judge. After that, all disqualifications are reviewed by a panel of high-level judges before any sanctions are issued. Something similar happens in customer service – trained and experienced people review the evidence before any action is taken.
 
In short, call a judge, and report abuse and cheating online to WoTC. Here’s the link: http://wizards.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/433 
 
Note: If you have stories about cheating, or whatever, please – not here, not in the comments. I don’t want to have flame wars or debates in the comments. If you have a story, report it at the above link. Thanks.
 

Tournaments:

Thursday Night Magic Online (TNMO) for the upcoming week (January 5th ): {no idea}. Wizards has not posted the TNMO schedule for January, yet. Everyone is at home, I guess.  The TNMO card for January is also a mystery.  
 
No one told me about any new player run events this week, so I have nothing to report. If you want your PRE to be featured, shoot me an email at pete{dot}jahn{at} gmail{dot}com. I did play in the Overdrive! Modern event, but spent the rest of the weekend with family.
 
Let’s look at the Constructed Tournaments breakdown for the week of December 21st    through December 27th.    129 constructed events fired this week – the numbers are recovering! Classic both fired a ton of events, including a PE event. People want their Ponders. Modern also fired many events: people are ramping up for the PTQs. Legacy – not so much. Overall, though, a really good week.
 
Format
Fired
Format
Fired
Standard
44
Standard Singleton
0
Pauper
28
Kaleidoscope
0
Innistrad Block Const.
19
100–card Singleton
0
Classic
16
Modern
22
Legacy
0
Extended
0
 
FYI: I got the number fired from the list of results, here.  
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard:  I’ve been playing limited, Modern and Classic. Nothing new here. The Christmas Day Standard PE was won by UW Humans, with UW Illusions in second and third, RG Wolf Run in fourth and seventh, a RB Olivia Voldaren deck in fifth, RGW Wolf Run in sixth and a UB Poison deck rounding out the Top 8.   Here’s the one new deck:
 
RB Olivia Voldaren
rastaf (5th Place), Standard Premier #3193174 on 12/25/2011
Blackcleave Cliffs
Dragonskull Summit
10 Mountain
Stensia Bloodhall
Swamp

Chandra's Phoenix
Olivia Voldaren
Stromkirk Noble

Arc Trail
Chandra, the Firebrand
Devil's Play
Galvanic Blast
Geistflame
Go for the Throat
Koth of the Hammer
Shrine of Burning Rage
Slagstorm
Tribute to Hunger

Sideboard)
Geistflame
Go for the Throat
Manic Vandal
Surgical Extraction
Tribute to Hunger
Tunnel Ignus
Vulshok Refugee

Modern: Modern is back. If you want an overview, and some decklists, check out Blippy’s article on Overdrive!, here. I’ll talk about my experience in Overdrive! In weekly highlights.
 
Innistrad Block Constructed: ISD Constructed is still going strong.  Events have been firing right and left. I finally drafted my may into a playset of Snapcaster Mages, but haven’t had time since then to play in anything serious. Soon. In the meantime, here’s something I have not seen before – a Burning Vengeance deck.
 
Burning Vengeance
ht991122 (4-0), ISD Block Constructed Daily #3193233 on 12/29/2011
Forest
Hinterland Harbor
Island
Mountain
Shimmering Grotto
Sulfur Falls

Daybreak Ranger
Snapcaster Mage

Blasphemous Act
Brimstone Volley
Burning Vengeance
Desperate Ravings
Devil's Play
Dissipate
Garruk Relentless
Geistflame
Think Twice

Sideboard
Ancient Grudge
Blasphemous Act
Daybreak Ranger
Forbidden Alchemy
Memory's Journey
Naturalize
Witchbane Orb
Legacy: Legacy was resting this week. No MTGO events and no SCG Opens means no tech.
 
Classic fired a ton of events this week, including a PE which was won by our own Whiffy Penguin. He played a cool combo deck that morphs into Oath. Third place in that event, and playing the role of Darth Vader in the format, is Dredge. Dredge is always with us, and if you don’t have the sideboard to handle it, don’t count on winning. (Note: the entire Top 8 had an average of 7 sideboard slots devoted to combating the dark side – and that included the Dredge deck itself. Be prepared!) 
 
Combo into Oath
whiffy penguin (1st Place) Classic Premier #3193149 on 12/24/2011
Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Island
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Tolarian Academy
Underground Sea

Blightsteel Colossus
Painter's Servant

Brainstorm
Dark Ritual
Demonic Tutor
Grindstone
Helm of Obedience
Infernal Tutor
Leyline of the Void
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Necropotence
Sol Ring
Tendrils of Agony
Thoughtseize
Time Vault
Tinker
Vampiric Tutor
Voltaic Key
Yawgmoth's Will

Sideboard
Dragon Breath
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Forbidden Orchard
Oath of Druids
Yixlid Jailer
 
Dredge
StewardUlk (3rd Place), Classic Premier #3193149 on 12/24/2011
Bazaar of Baghdad
City of Brass
Dakmor Salvage
Undiscovered Paradise

Bloodghast
Fatestitcher
Flame-Kin Zealot
Golgari Grave-Troll
Golgari Thug
Ichorid
Narcomoeba
Stinkweed Imp
Sun Titan

Bridge from Below
Cabal Therapy
Chain of Vapor
Dread Return
Serum Powder

Sideboard
Dismember
Emerald Charm
Leyline of the Void
Ravenous Trap
Wispmare
I was also talking to Whiffy a few minutes ago (as I write this). He is compiling all of the decks in all the Classic events, and that’s should appear in Yawgmoth’s Soap Opera fairly soon. So, if you need more tech for the last couple Classic events, check it out.
 
Note – Fact or Fiction is still bugged online. The caster ends up choosing what goes in each pile. The workaround in Classic matches is to simply tell your opponent what the split should be, and the caster splits it that way. Not perfect, but Classic players are a decent bunch, and don’t abuse that bug.  On a less exciting not, rumor has it that (Painter’s Servant) is also bugged, and that bug crashes games in ways that even restart won’t fix. More on that as it develops.
 
Pauper: Pauper is the second most commonly played format online. We had a bunch of events, but I still don’t know the format all that well, so I am just going to post the winning deck from the most recent Pauper Daily Event.  
 
UR Cloudpost
Wizard_2002 (4-0), Pauper Daily #3193063 on 12/28/2011
Cloudpost
Glimmerpost
Island
1  Izzet Boilerworks
Mountain
Terramorphic Expanse

Mnemonic Wall
Mulldrifter
Steamcore Weird
Ulamog's Crusher

Capsize
Compulsive Research
Condescend
Expedition Map
Firebolt
Flame Slash
Lightning Bolt
Mana Leak
Mystical Teachings
Preordain
Prophetic Prism
Rolling Thunder
Serrated Arrows
           
Sideboard
Earth Rift
Geistflame
Hydroblast
Pyroblast
Seismic Shudder
Shattering Pulse
Stone Rain

Card Prices:  

Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the most recent set’s price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Primeval Titan is from M12. If I list a card as out of stock, don’t assume you can’t buy it.  MTGOTraders stocks their Bots first, so the MTGOTradersBot1, MTGOTradersBot2, MTGOTradersBot3, or MTGOTradersBot4 often have the cards in stock even when the online store is out. Now, on to prices.
 
Standard prices are dropping, at least for everything that is being drafted now in any volume. About the only cards showing gains are Mythics, especially older Mythics from Scars block. Sword of War and Peace went through the roof – are people really that scared of red and/or white decks?
 
Standard & Block Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 18.72
N
$ 20.71
- $ 1.99
$ 8.00
Y
$ 9.20
- $ 1.20
$ 17.00
Y
$ 17.51
- $ 0.51
$ 16.22
Y
$ 17.98
- $ 1.76
$ 4.00
N
$ 4.43
- $ 0.43
$ 1.57
N
$ 1.96
- $ 0.39
$ 18.45
Y
$ 19.57
- $ 1.22
$ 2.37
Y
$ 2.28
+ $ 0.09
$ 12.67
Y
$ 12.56
+ $ 0.12
$ 16.58
Y
$ 17.08
- $ 0.50
$ 12.11
Y
$ 12.59
- $ 0.48
$ 13.56
Y
$ 14.53
- $ 0.97
$ 16.90
Y
$ 18.49
- $ 1.59
 $ 12.27
Y
 $ 12.27
---
$ 3.94
Y
$ 4.55
- $ 0.61
$ 18.08
Y
$ 18.39
- $ 0.31
$ 27.26
Y
$ 27.26
---
$ 28.70
Y
$ 22.24
+ $ 6.46
$ 9.03
Y
$ 9.03
---
$ 16.11
Y
$ 16.11
---
$ 15.64
Y
$ 14.20
+ $ 1.44
$ 17.29
Y
$ 17.29
---
$ 22.21
Y
$ 20.99
+ $ 1.22
$ 20.44
Y
$ 19.03
+ $ 1.41
$ 6.26
Y
$ 6.80
- $ 0.54
$ 9.89
Y
$ 11.76
- $ 1.87
 
 
 
 
 
Modern prices are correcting a bit. Lands are still heading up, but most of the cards that shot up last week have fallen back a bit. Grove is still dropping, now that it cannot combo with Punishing Fire. Goyf is oscillating, but while $6.50 looks like a lot of money, it is only big because Goyf is so pricey. It’s a swing of less than ten percent, which is nothing special. A lot of other cards on the list had the same, or greater, percentage change.
 
Modern Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 27.48
Y
$ 26.05
+ $ 1.43
$ 13.75
Y
$ 12.05
+ $ 1.70
$ 20.09
Y
$ 17.77
+ $ 2.32
$ 7.82
Y
$ 9.95
- $ 1.13
$ 13.44
Y
$ 15.80
- $ 1.36
$ 21.13
Y
$ 23.46
- $ 2.33
$ 12.86
Y
$ 11.54
+ $ 1.34
$ 8.23
Y
$ 9.34
- $ 1.11
$ 75.80
Y
$ 81.31
- $ 6.49
$ 15.86
Y
$ 14.98
+ $ 0.88
$ 3.89
Y
$ 3.51
+ $ 0.48
$ 16.80
Y
$ 16.99
- $ 0.19
$ 17.61
Y
$ 16.41
+ $ 1.20
$ 14.80
Y
$ 14.07
+ $ 0.73
$ 18.75
Y
$ 18.90
- $ 0.15
Legacy prices are pretty much stagnant. Wasteland is down, which shows that people played in the Tempest block sealed.    
 
Legacy Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 106.60
Y
$ 106.60
---
$ 32.35
Y
$ 39.06
- $ 6.71
$ 71.54
Y
$ 71.54
---
$ 27.92
Y
$ 27.92
---
$ 38.00
Y
$ 38.21
- $ 0.21
$ 35.30
Y
$ 35.30
---
$ 25.39
N
$ 25.39
---
$ 20.37
Y
$ 20.37
---
$ 15.13
Y
$ 16.17
- $ 1.04
$ 36.77
Y
$ 36.77
---
$ 39.22
Y
$ 39.22
---
(Tower of the Magistrate)
$ 7.00
Y
$ 7.00
---
$ 6.91
Y
$ 6.85
+ $ 0.06
$ 2.56
Y
$ 2.68
- $ 0.12
$ 18.75
N
$ 15.76
+ $ 2.99
Note: cards which are staples in both Legacy and Classic may appear in either list. If you don’t see a card in one list, check the other.
 
Classic prices are dropping slightly, but that won’t last. Cards should start heading up as players try to gear up for the Classic Winter Celebration queues. 
 
Classic Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 102.60
Y
$ 102.60
---
$ 25.04
Y
$ 25.04
---
$ 11.49
Y
$ 12.14
- $ 0.65
$ 10.11
Y
$ 10.11
---
$ 19.24
Y
$ 23.65
- $ 4.41
$ 14.51
Y
$ 13.61
+ $ 0.90
$ 11.29
Y
$ 14.00
- $ 2.71
$ 11.29
Y
$ 8.29
- $ 3.00
$ 30.82
Y
$ 30.82
---
$ 40.22
Y
$ 40.22
---
$ 2.96
Y
$ 2.96
---
$ 9.66
Y
$ 9.66
---
$ 21.36
Y
$ 21.36
---

The Top Ten:

Here’s this week’s list of the top ten most expensive non-foil, non-promo cards on MTGO. The Top 8 are unchanged, although a few have dropped in price. Natural Order and Wasteland have fallen off the chart. The Natural Order decks are not as popular in Legacy anymore, and the Tempest sealed events dumped a lot more Wastelands into the system.         
 
Most Expensive Cards
Price
Set
Last Week
$ 106.60
MED I
# 1
$ 102.60
Mirage
# 2
$ 75.80
Future Sight
# 3
$ 71.54
Apocalypse
# 4
(RishadanPort)
$ 62.00
Masques
# 5
$ 49.00
Nemesis
# 6
$ 40.22
Weatherlight
#7
$ 39.22
Apocalypse
# 8
$ 38.00
Topps
n/a
$ 36.77
Odyssey
n/a
Deck Prices:
Too busy this week. Maybe later.
 

Weekly Highlights:

I enjoyed Christmas with family, but I did get time to play some Magic really early in the morning, and afterwards. I got to play in two Tempest Sealed events, a couple Mercadian Masques drafts, and the Overdrive! PRE Monday night. 
The limited events were nothing special. I went 1-2 in both, due to a combination of marginal pools (both decks had to be 3 colors with bad mana just to muster a dozen playable bodies, and were really short on removal) – although I think I made a couple play mistakes that probably cost a match each time. It hurt, though, to drop almost 50 TIX and wind up with nothing – no packs, no money cards, and no stories worth retelling. Masques drafts have been similar: I’m breaking not quite even, and opening no money cards – but I do have packs left so I’m not done yet. Come on Foil Port!
 
I have not played any Classic at all. I have got home less than thirty minutes after an event has fired five times, but have never had time to get into one. I’m really trying to reverse that, and get home in time. Maybe tonight. (fingers crossed.)
 
I did get home in time – barely – to jump into Overdrive! last Monday night. I wanted to try out the new Modern, but had not done any prep. My solution was to open the latest Modern event to be reported online, and play the top finishing decklist for which I had the cards. Since I have one Garruk, no Lilianas, one Koth, etc, that can be limited. However, I found that I had the pretty much all the cards for a Past in Flames storm deck. I copied the decklist into notepad, loaded it into MTGO and registered. On the plus side, I had a deck and was registered with over two minutes to spare. On the minus side, I was going to play a combo deck with which I had never played even a practice game, with an archetype I had not touched in at least a year. What could go wrong?
 
As it happened, not much. I have played a lot of combo decks over the years, and while the details change, this wasn’t my first rodeo. I sat back, sculpted my hand and went off. I had one scare round two or three, but my opponent misplayed. I had mulliganned to five, and he hit me with a Smallpox turn two. I failed to play a land turn after turn. Around turn six, I fired off a Gitaxian Probe, to see a Death Cloud in his hand. He had four lands, and was beating down with a pair of 1/1s, so I almost scooped. However, he had not played the Death Cloud, even though he had five or six land in play. I stayed in, and kept drawing and discarding. He kept beating with 1/1s and playing lands. Finally, about turn eight I drew a second land. I had several cards in my graveyard, and a carefully sculpted hand of seven cards. He so should have Death Clouded for one to kill my land.
 
I went Land, Desperate Ritual, Ritual, Seething Song, Manamorphose, Sleight of Hand, Manamorphose, Serum Visions, Seething Song, Grapeshot (storm plus original = 9 damage), Past in Flames, Ritual, Ritual, Seething Song, Seething Song, Manamorphose, Manamorphose, Probe, Serum Visions, Sleight, etc., etc. – then Grapeshot for the kill. 
 
He should not have let me get to two lands.
 
I eventually made it to the semi-finals before my inexperience caught up with me. I suspect that I kept a six card hand I should have mulliganned. I ended going off in the final turn without blue mana, and having to hope that I could draw something off my Manamorphose. I bricked, and that was it. Fun, though. The deck is like any good combo deck – an insanely fun ride when it works. 
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.

 

61 Comments

Sphere of Resistance's by ScionOfJustice at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 11:23
ScionOfJustice's picture
5

Sphere of Resistance's numbers are inverted.

good article by howlett23 at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 15:13
howlett23's picture
5

Though I have concerns with telling people to report "stalling". It is each players responsibility to manage their own clock, that's why stops and f6 etc are available. I would hate to have WotC bogged down with bogus vengeful claims as opposed to dealing with real issues. Also why no Elesh Norn tracking, she was 2 tickets for a long time after her release and only got up to 8 or so with ISD, today she is 20+..I know you can't list everything, but she has been a big mover, just thought id throw that in there..thanks.

January TNM Card by Bugsy at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 15:22
Bugsy's picture
5

If it is the same as the paper FNM card it should be Glistener Elf for January.

http://i.imgur.com/rYQdj.jpg

i dont see what the big deal by whiffy at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 15:46
whiffy's picture

i dont see what the big deal is with stalling. there is a chess timer
if my opponent wants to spent 15 mins off their clock screwing around. so be it. i still have my 20+ mins to execute my gameplan.

i would personally never ever report someone for so play. thats just silly.

on mtgo that is. no chess clocks in paper

also on fow promo.

1st off, isnt the pt promos, ie flusterstorm and one eye all season long, ie you get them for 3- 4 pts?

2nd have you seen a copy with your own eyes, in person? Ive seen fake fow promos on mtgsalvation.

i would love for this to be true but think it wont. also it should be the grandprix promo. so many in the market would bring down the price so much for legacy and vintage players.

would love to see it has the next life time rewards promo. war monger was a joke.

This basically a tactic used by Paul Leicht at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 17:24
Paul Leicht's picture

This basically a tactic used by players who see someone who is a slow player or for some other reason (relog etc) has little time left for the match, and knows they will hit "OK" for EVERY trigger, so they make 1000x OKs each eating a few seconds off their clock, and then hit F6 themselves and wait for their op to time out. I've seen this happen occasionally.

Seems more of a jedi mind trick of play style than anything actionable. But maybe I am wrong.

I've also seen players do the activate x ability/cast x spell during draw step or other odd place in order to trigger a possible F6 or other miskey thus leading to bad play on their opponent's part.

I had a guy do that twice in one turn, and made a little comment and he actually posted ":p" in response. IE: Caught him being shady and *shrug*...it doesn't matter in non-stakes games but I've also seen this in tourney so I guess there is some CoC comment there. Meh it all seems avoidable anyway if you are at least a tiny bit awake.

That's just the game though, by howlett23 at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 19:05
howlett23's picture

That's just the game though, on the OK for each trigger, the low time player needs to learn about F6..that doesn't make it cheating on the activaters part. It's each players responsibility to pay attention to the game and their own timer. Should I report someone for playing slow even if I win due to timeout? Seems silly. And besides, whiffy and I agree so it's got to be correct, lol.

I think you are by Paul Leicht at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 19:12
Paul Leicht's picture

I think you are misunderstanding. Time happens. Sometimes decks lag out etc or people have complex decision trees or something outside distracts them and that's what Pete is talking about I think. The people who deliberately attack your clock via clicks knowing you can't/won't F6 because then you lose the game anyway.

But I agree it is still on you to protect your clock. It is just a shame that the way the game works you have to essentially share some of the burden of lag between machine and server etc with an opponent who might unscrupulously extend the delays on purpose. I suspect that is rather hard to actually prove intent for though unless the person does what I suggested and sets up a ton of triggers and then hits F6 themselves.

But it's not just the game. by unenlightened at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 20:58
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But it's not just the game. Your opponent's autoyields don't work if he has mana in his mana pool. He doesn't want to F6 if he still has things to do, like finish comboing out. Activating an irrelevant ability under those circumstances with the intention of running his clock out is cheating. Wizards does take action against players who do that.

It is each player's responsibility to pay attention to the game and to his own timer. But it's also each player's responsibility not to cheat, and not to tolerate cheating.

I disagree on this. Take by grapplingfarang at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 20:08
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I disagree on this. Take this example, as it is one I have heard a lot in regards to stalling (actually have heard about multiple stalling cases with something similar.) One players is playing storm in pauper, the opponent is playing mono black with a crypt rats on board. While the first player is attempting to combo out and has mana in his pool, the second player activates crypt rats for 0. With having mana in his pool, the first player must click OK to this trigger, yet it has no effect at all on game state. Is this not stalling? Is it stalling if he does it five times? Is it stalling if he does it one hundred times? Allowing something like this does not seem like the way to go to me.

Ya plenty of stalling has by Untoward_Parable at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 20:18
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Ya plenty of stalling has everything to do with cheating or griefing. The most common offenders are the guys who run out their clocks once they know that they've lost the match to spite you. I had 2 guys in one draft do this to me and make all the other players and myself wait for their dumb temper tantrum to expire.

No sense by howlett23 at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 03:19
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is made by your comment, throwing a tantrum is not cheating, stupid and ridiculous yes, but cheating no. Beside if they run out their clock you win...are you going to report that? I must be the luckiest player on MTGO because I have been on here since 2002 and have never had anyone successfully "cheat" me with time

they cheated me out of my 10 by Untoward_Parable at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 19:25
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they cheated me out of my 10 minutes, and 6 other people out of theirs, I'd say that's a pretty bad deal for someone. Just because you win doesn't mean you weren't cheated. Cheating to actually win the match I haven't encountered.

I will report anyone who let's their timer run out for 10 minutes the moment before you win the match. I don't care if someone wants to spam some stupid insults, but my time is mine and you have no right to it just because you're a baby.

you are being selfish by howlett23 at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 21:33
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because the game time is NOT just yours, it's your opponents as well, to do with what he chooses. If you don't have the full 3 hours and 6 minutes to play a draft, that is your fault, not your opponents(even if he is a jerkface loser) If you can't handle that you need to play solitaire the whole time. I pity people who try to "wait me out" and sit there for 10 mins then lose to me, I see no need to report these sad pathetic souls. As I mentioned, I am not saying no reports should be filed, etc. I just would hate for WotC to spend too much time on those type of situations as opposed to getting scam bots, trade thieves, hackers, etc out of the game.

promos by one million words at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 09:09
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the judge promos are slightly different. Wizards gives a pack of promo foils to judges, coverage reporters and so forth at each pro tour. Each pro tour introduces two new cards. Flusterstorm and One Eye were introduced at Worlds. PT Honolulu will intro a new set.

Force of Will is not unreasonable. In the past, Wizards has done some sweet cards: Sol Ring, Yawgmoth's Will, Survival, Natural Order, Wasteland, Sinkhole, Stifle, Mind's Desire, the good Wishes (back when they were playable), Dark Ritual, Demonic Tutor, etc. etc.

However, I agree completely with Warmonger. Stupid joke, on a level with Steamflogger Boss.

First, just wanted to point by char49d at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 18:24
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First, just wanted to point out Hallowed Fountain is currently the most expensive Modern land at 36 tickets, significantly more than Underground Sea. Grove of the Burnwillows was only useful with a recently banned card and I expect it go to under 5 dollars quickly unless it sees real traction in Legacy.

Second, there is a difference between forcing you opponent to beat you in the time allotted, and stalling. You aren't obligated to stop blocking or concede just because the game looks lost and your opponent is running out of time.

Activating abilities unnecessarily, such as using stitcher's apprentice for no reason other than to create more triggers to click through is in fact against the code of conduct and is stalling.

I have won games where opponents had infinite combos I couldn't interrupt but they were unable to get going in time - that's they're problem and deck choice, just as you aren't obligated to concede to infinite lifegain online, that's just the nature of how online play works.

However I've also seen opponents play around with auto-yields and triggers attempting to make me think they had timed out only to log back in with 1 minutes left to advance the next trigger hoping to catch me sleeping. Those are all against the rules, I always report those people, although the mere threat of reporting them is often enough to get them to cut it out. When someone starts that kind of nonsense in sanctioned play, just tell them to check the chat log (ask for the link to report player abuse from the ORC - even if you already have it) and you will see immediate concessions 99 percent of the time.

In just for fun games, I would just leave the game immediately, don't let that type of person waste your time. It is sad that people sometimes try to abuse MTGO but that's the reality of the competitive environment that Wizards has created, there isn't much we can do about it but learn how best to live with it.

Esper Storm in Pauper before by char49d at Fri, 12/30/2011 - 18:29
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Esper Storm in Pauper before Frantic Search was banned is a great example of a deck that was so slow it would lose matches to time out before it would kill you twice. Even though it would be absolutely clear the Esper deck had won, as I mentioned earlier, there is no obligation to concede, and while it may be the "polite" thing to do, it could certainly be argued the polite thing to do was not play that deck.

Thank again for banning that card Wizards, acting slowly is better than not acting at all.

it is impossible to cheat on by whiffy at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 00:32
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it is impossible to cheat on mtgo. if there is a possibllitie of cheating, its a loop hole in the programming. stalling is cheating, and if your oppoonent has to resort to activating 30 triggers to slow you down, where is he getting the time to activate these triggers? Nope if you have your stops set and know how to f2 f6 f8 then there is no fault but your own if you time out.

I get your pov and somewhat by Paul Leicht at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 01:05
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I get your pov and somewhat agree about the responsibility to know the game etc but as was pointed out Whiffy it is possible to be gamed out via triggers that either force you to respond or skip all of your remaining actions for the turn and thus ceding advantage.

The guy who responded :p to my question as to his motives was admitting that he was hoping I'd F6 during my draw step. He had no other reason to make activations then (though there ARE good reasons to do so at times.) That is what they mean. I see that as shady but legal but apparently the CoC disagrees. So what you and I think about it does not matter.

It is beyond stops. by one million words at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 08:56
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With Masques, we have cards that force you too respond - all the do this unless any player pays 2. F6 and F2 are not the answer. If someone activates those a half dozen times each end step, when they have no possible relevant effect on the board state, the opponent is forced to respond to every single one.

I understand your argument that clock management is the responsibility of each player, but we live in a world of memory leaks, lag, slow internet connections and a program that disconnects you but makes it appear that you are still connected. All that makes clock management not just a question of play speed.

In any case, as Paul pointed out, whether we think forcing an opponent to time out is morally right or wrong does not matter. Wizards has already answered that question. Stalling is a violation of the code of conduct. In other words, cheating.

If you cannot win with play skill, you should not get away with winning by cheating.

The promo FOW was a fake, a by GainsBanding at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 02:12
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The promo FOW was a fake, a Spanish "april fools" joke. Their version of that day is Dec. 28.
Links in Spanish, but the pictures tell the photoshopping story:
http://www.factoriademishra.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6717
http://www.prismagic.es/2011/12/feliz-dia-de-los-inocentes.html

but it was nice to think so by one million words at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 08:42
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Wizards needs to get more cards into the system if it wants the old formats to survive. It needs to do something with Force of Will. It did with Wasteland.

We can dream...

fakes by blau at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 02:52
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Gainsbanding already mentioned it but those fow's circulating the net are fake. And they are obvious fakes at that as they feature the shooting star Icon which is not used in design anymore. Also the DCI logo is in the wrong place and the set number is wrong for promos. Assomeone who loves to make fake cards and attempt to fool the Internet with them, this FOW is pretty terribly done.

All that said there WAS in fact an alternate art FOW commissioned by WOTC howeverit was made in giant size (36" x 24") and given away as a prise. I would link it but I am at work and the WOTC webpage is blocked. It is really cool looking. They also did time walk.

The picture I saw had the by one million words at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 08:59
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The picture I saw had the card being held, and the collector numbers were hidden by the hand. (and see my post above)

Um before I start getting by Alternate at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 12:52
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Um before I start getting ready for New Years Eve, let me just get in one thing.

I have been playing poker since 5. I know people who are even better with cards than I am. But having judges are a joke. I can manipulate my deck any way I would like regardless of who is watching. It has even been made easier now that apparently you have to play with sleeves on your cards.

If I know someone that can pull 4 aces out of a shuffled deck, how is any judge going to do anything about that?

I'm not as good as some of my friends, but during the sideboard I will tell you my first seven cards and I will let you shuffle my deck.

I think that judges are people who should know how poker players are when it comes to manipulation, and then you should have judges that know the rules. Otherwise if people like me played paper, we would top deck every-single-time.

Give me a deck (I don't have any cards other than money ones left), come be a judge at an event, and I will let you stand right over me as I manipulate my deck.

It's no offense to you, I just think that card manipulation is something that most people don't want to talk about, but you would never know it's going on. I mean imagine if I went to the worlds and went undefeated with Tempered Steel because I started with the exact opening hand I needed every time?

I just think judges that only are there for the rules are a joke. You wouldn't see me mixing the cards one way or another. And you wouldn't know how to spot someone putting the top seven cards on top of the deck. Hence why I don't play paper.

so you're admitting that by ShardFenix at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 13:23
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so you're admitting that you're a cheating scumbag? or you would be if you played paper just because you could be? You are a really low human being

<<>> Since ur Opponent has by StewardUlk at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 14:03
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<<>>

Since ur Opponent has always the rigth to shuffle ur deck last u wont be able to do that.

Hey Steward, I have actually by Alternate at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 15:32
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Hey Steward, I have actually watched some of your classic matches in the daily's. That is unless there is someone with the exact same name as you do, haha.

But you can have your opponent and a judge shuffle the deck. It's still easy to manipulate the deck.

And yes, you will get the "well it's cheating". Well yeah, but a crime is only a crime if you get caught. Haha.

And do you think people still don't take advantage of things in the game? What about the large Blue creature from NPH? I doubt they have fixed the bug where you still get to draw all 5 cards just like the way fact or fiction works on MTGO, and when I played a draft, nobody stopped my opponents from putting getting all 5 cards instead of 2 separate stacks of cards.

The best time to manipulate the deck is during the sideboard. Once you have seen how a person shuffles, that is the best possible time to manipulate the deck.

One of the seminars at worlds by one million words at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 16:43
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One of the seminars at worlds was on deck manipulation. Judges do know this stuff. Watch something like Jasmes Galea doing 673 King Street (Google it). I know how to do all the parts, including the riffles, but I way to rough to actually perform it. Watch the video of James Galea doing the trick (or someone else good), and see if you can spot all the tricks.

As for deck manipulation - if you want to try, you have to succeed every single time. A judge only has to see you perform less than perfectly once. For that matter, at the level of play where that sort of cheating matters, the other players will be watching, too. It's in their interest to catch cheaters, too.

I'm not saying it is right, by Alternate at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 14:36
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I'm not saying it is right, I'm just saying that me and my friends can do it very easily. And I am sure that some judges are "hip" to this, but it's very simple to do. I mean just allowing your opponent to shuffle your deck means you can put cards in a certain order during the sideboard where you know his shuffle and can figure out what a player has.

I am very glad they have seminars about this, but when I showed a friend of mine that is a big time card shark, like lives in an Atlantic City hotel shark, he saw the single biggest problem. The cards are forced to be in sleeves. That right there is the biggest and easiest problem with the cards.

When you have sleeves, you can manipulate the deck that much easier.

Either way, I was just pointing out that Judges should know, like all card games, that rigging the deck is always and has always been around. Whether it was poker or MtG.

But if I was you, I would look out for a certain player I used to know because he used to run the store I played at a long time ago, and he emailed me that he is back playing Magic on paper.

He used to cheat like a MoFo, and he would use a really simple trick. He would use invisible ink on the back of the cards and would wear really high UV sunglasses to see the cards. This is now even easier with sleeves on the back since you can get a pen that holds better on plastic than paper, and the glasses are less conspicuous.

It's just a heads up, but also the reason I don't play paper Magic, although I am glad you are able to spot amateurs.

**Oh and for JTMS, Harry Potter was fantastic, but for the future, there was a X-Files CCG.....Bazooka Joe used to have small baseball cards in the packs... Just a thought.

I seriously thought though that WotC should hire you for creative. When they base ISD on Supernatural (Friday's at 9pm on the CW), and Dark Ascension is clearly based on Gossip Girls since Sorin and Liliana are mad at each other or something, but will end up having a sexy love scene, they need new creative talent.

Stuff and nonsense by Felorin at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 08:15
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I suppose you'd say having police is a "joke" too, since they can't catch Professor Moriarty. It turns out, though, that 99% of criminals are a lot worse at it than Moriarty, and police can catch them just fine, so there's plenty of value in having police.

Likewise, most players who cheat at Magic don't have the deck manipulation skills of Penn & Teller or of a professional poker cheat. Judges can and do catch a lot of the existing cheaters, therefore they are worth having. Regardless of what kind of drunken nonsense you want to spout on new year's eve.

Hope you picked some i did by StewardUlk at Sat, 12/31/2011 - 16:07
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Hope you picked some i did win ;D

Well u can manipulate/stack u deck as much as you want - if its still not sufficent randomised after ur Opponent shuffled it, only he is to blame.

Sure some ppl wll always take advantage such things. But if u randomize decent non of the above will happen.

btw you could have reported the game/draft and would have get a full compensation for it.

What's the joke with "Topps" by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 04:54
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What's the joke with "Topps" being the set for Jace, the Mind Sculptor on your top ten list? Maybe I've been out of it too long. Enjoyable read.

Pete accidentally put the by GainsBanding at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 05:05
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Pete accidentally put the wrong set for Jace once, then when people pointed it out, he purposely put Jace in more and more ridiculous sets each week. Looks like he's run out of Magic sets now and he's moving on to Baseball cards. Jace gets around.

Even if, one day, there is a by fifthchild at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 07:59
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Even if, one day, there is a promo Force of Will, the MTGO follow-up will likely be a championship prize, not a player reward. Such is the way it goes.

MOCS by grapplingfarang at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 09:56
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MOCS reward seems like a fine way to do it to me. I imagine a lot more people would try for it that month and put another 400-500 (maybe even more) into the system. Have no idea how many FOW's are out now, but that would give it a little boost atleast.

Bro, have you gotten the MOCS by Alternate at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 14:45
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Bro, have you gotten the MOCS cards for December? I really need the Chandra's Phoenix for my playset, and the Negate looks really nice. And it's a much better group of cards than the previous one with Myr Superion and other garbage.

And I want to see playables, any playables in any format, be mandated in the MOCS prizes. Like if they want to promote a format, make the tier 9 or 10 card (for Modern for Example) make the promo a Breeding Pool. Or for classic, make it the cards used in a dredge deck, but not Lions Eye Diamond. Like Bazaar of Baghdad. Or for Standard, give out... Oh man, I would love to see a full art Bloodline Keeper. A full art DFC? Insane.

But sadly they can't give out big time cards for MOCS. Although it might get people interested in the format, 99% of people would sell them off to bots, or they would release a big-timer, like FOW, and people who paid like $100 for it would s**t a chicken as the price of theirs from ME1 would plummet. Like why did I buy 4 when everyone is getting 1 for free. The same goes for Tarmoygf (however you spell it) or Primeval Titan in STD.

But the Chandra's Phoenix is playable, and that is a great start, but I want more playables. Like maybe a full art Delver of Secrets, give out some full art ZEN's, a full art Sword of Body and Mind... Stuff like that. Oh and I really like shiny and full art.

MOCS cards by grapplingfarang at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 00:05
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They don't have MOCS cards this month. MOCS is the end of the month championship series that need 15 QP to qualify for. Last year they gave out some big money cards like Wasteland and Deed (although nothing quite as big as Force of Will.)

"(although nothing quite as by LOurs at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 06:47
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"(although nothing quite as big as Force of Will.)"

to reprint wasteland was a huge decision : it is a defining format card as FoW is. I guess that you were mentioning that especialy regarding prices though.

Cheating on MTGO is possible by Kyroswolf at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 17:25
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5

I have observed this behavior on at least one occasion on MTGO. Both players were in a hard fought game 3 of a draft. Both clocks were down under 2 minutes. The player that was in the worst board position, but had the better clock, began spamming Trade requests to his opponent whenever his opponent was on the clock. This eventually lead to a win for the spammer since on MTGO you can't do anything but respond to the trade request.

That to me isn't "Clock Management". It's cheating.

You can however turn off the by Paul Leicht at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 20:20
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You can however turn off the ability to be sent trade requests in the settings.

just block him - shuts down by StewardUlk at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 20:33
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just block him - shuts down trade requests as well.

But that can cost time. If by Alternate at Sun, 01/01/2012 - 21:12
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But that can cost time. If you have a lagging computer even opening a new page like preferences could cause a stall and make your clock get lower.

Not to mention, with the whole "time management thing"....

Have you ever played someone who when your clock is low try to start a conversation with you? That is trying to manipulate the clock.
They will also never F6 and click on everything if you are lagging to get you into the red.

I don't like winning because of the clock. I like winning because I beat someone down. Even I have standards.

rigth click his name -> by StewardUlk at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 00:22
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rigth click his name -> "block user"

I cant believe in a promo by LOurs at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 06:40
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5

I cant believe in a promo FoW, even if I honestly think it would be a necessary evil. But maybe WotC could reserve us a big surprise.

About staling on mtgo : come on, mtgo is a plenty non-cheat environment . And there is no exception if we put apart some rare card bugs, often fastly fixed.
Especialy on timer : your time is decreased at each minute you spent to resolve an action. It is not a shared time system, it is a chess time system. At this point, there is absolutely no way to cheat especially when the first common known rule is ‘each player has 30 minutes to play’. If you feel yourself abused by staling on modo, I think we can argue you fell into the mind trick trap of your opponent. It could not be neither stylish nor fair-play but it still isn’t cheat to me. Recent examples showed us very well what is cheating . And definitely, my opinion will remain the same : there is no cheat possible on modo except to abuse of card bugs, and maybe some “team agreement”.

on cheating by blau at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 17:49
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I too am having a hard time believing this stalling to force your opponent's time to run out. So you do something and it causes your opponent to lag? I get the get spam requests for trade. I have had someone do that. They have a friend spam you so that they don't get caught. Same with having a friend send you constant chat messages. I just don't understand how there could be something they are doing (that isn't one I said) that could cause your timer to drop. Can someone team up with a friend in the casual room and reproduce this on video for us? I have lost events to time out more than once. I look at the screen and their timer is running so I just sit there. Next thing I know I am getting dropped from the event for time out. Or I log out/in only to find my clock down nine minutes not theirs. I've always chalked that up to lag at my end. I would hate to think that was something someone did to me.

Lours as people have been saying there are little tricks to cheat with on mtgo.

The easiest: by TwoHands at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 19:32
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As said earlier, you can't F6 w/ mana in your pool - so say a Pauper storm deck with short time can be spammed out fairly readily by any zero-cost trigger (as soon as opponent has priority, he can Alt-click through, and even macro it if so desired).

Even F2'ing the triggers can suck - I'm sure everyone's experienced the wonderful "Click OK ... wait ... no server response ... WTF is my ping anyway? OK now we're back" of the UI.

I haven't tested whether auto-yields work w/ mana in pool - if so, obviously that is something you can do to cover yourself, but not every person knows to right-click, and it's still abusive behavior (and cheating under the COC).

As far as I know, though, there is no way to 'directly' remove time from the clock - only indirect methods, although they can still be effective. I believe a pro (maybe Turtenwald?) posted a screen shot of an opponent stacking something like 100 triggers against him to try to time him out ... each of the responses requires a click then server communication. It adds up.

Ok I think I am getting this. by blau at Mon, 01/02/2012 - 21:22
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Ok I think I am getting this. Now I'm worried I have been breaking coc accidentially. So a card like (Mana Barbs) that cannot be autowielded could be used to do this easily. In fact I have done this by accident. I had mana barbs in play and tapped my 11 lands which put 11 triggers on the stack. For some reason even when you autoyeild it you still have to hit ok. So after I tapped my lands I realized I made a mistake and untapped them, then retapped them in the correct manner I wanted leaving 22 triggers on the stack. The only way out is to f6. I could see that sphinx that looks at the top of your deck producing the same kind of trouble.

The new Facebook-only by PiDave at Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:17
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The new Facebook-only commenting system kinda breaks my heart. I sincerely hope the old comments will stay along the "like" button since I'm not sure I want to register on Big F just to post a comment on Pure. :-/

+1 this. by Paul Leicht at Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:25
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+1 this.

Guys I'm lost a bit. Why by Lord Erman at Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:27
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Guys I'm lost a bit. Why can't we comment on articles? What happened? Can anyone enlighten me please?

Thanks!

LE