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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Feb 21 2014 1:00pm
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The State of the Program for February 21st 2014

In the News this Week:

Online PTQs Return:  Wizards has, they believe, fixed PTQs, and PTQs will be back on MTGO soon. Wizards has made a few changes to make sure the events run smoothly. First off, Wizards has hired people to directly oversee large events like PTQs. They have also created tools that will allow these people to fix problems. For example, the team can re-enter results when the program is hanging “waiting” for a completed match. The team can also extend the time period before players are timed out if MTGO goes down, or has other problems. 
 
The other change is that there will be, in effect, qualifiers for the qualifiers, called PTQ Preliminary Events.   Each PTQ Prelim will be a 33-128 player, five-round event which will award invitations to the PTQ to all players going 4-1 or better. The PTQ itself will be a 32-256 player Top 8 event open only to those with invites.     
 
Unlike paper PTQ winners, Online PTQ winners do not get free airfare. However, all online PTQ winners will get to play in a special one-on-one duel at the Pro Tour, with both winner and loser receiving $1,500 in cash, plus 36 boosters to the winner and 27 to the loser.
 
Next MOCS Promo is Lion’s Eye Diamond:   The promo for the MOCS March Season (which runs from February 26th to March 26th)is a sweet alternative art, new frame version of Lion’s Eye Diamond. The LED will be given to all players who earn 15 or more Season III QPs. You can earn an additional copy by going 4-2 in the MOCS Preliminary events, or a foil version by going 6-0 or 5‑1 in the Prelim. Players making the Top 64 in the MOCS Season championship will also receive foil LEDs. Having LED as a promo should be enough to reduce the price of LEDs, but not by a whole lot over time. Force of Will was once a MOCS promo, and it is still the second most valuable card on MTGO. That said, this is still a great promo, and well worth fighting for. Details here and here.   Rumors that correctly identified LED say that Geist of Saint Traft is also going to appear as a promo at some point.
Born of the Gods Release Events Running: The release events are up and running.   Details on the MTGO prerelease here
 
Pro Tour Born of the Gods is this Weekend: It’s too late to qualify, but you can watch the coverage of the event all weekend. Details are here. Coverage will be on TwitchTV.com. Coverage begins at 2am in my time zone (US Central), so I will be up early, or I might just stay up late and enjoy a couple rounds, then fall asleep in front of my computer.  
 
Premier Events Get Increased QP Points: Wizards has increased the number of QPs for PEs. Now everyone making Top 8 gets QPs. Here’s the breakdown: 1st Place: 5 QPs, 2nd Place: 4 QPs, 3rd-4th Place: 2 QPs, 5th-8th Place: 1 QP. That is in addition to the packs. Wizards did not announce any changes to the packs given out as prizes.
 
Magic Coins: Wizards has announced that it will be partnering with a New Zealand company to create collectible Magic Coins. These are not tokens – these are actual limited edition silver coins in presentation boxes. The coins have a colored picture of Jace on the front, and a cameo of Queen Elizabeth on the back. Each coin contains one ounce of silver. They will probably retail for a couple hundred dollars each, but pricing is not final. I’m not sure who the target market for these is, but if you have that kind of money and like Jace, check it out. Details here and here.   
 
HammyBot Update:   Hammybot is a great way to get cards and support the family of the late Erik Friborg. So far, Hammybot has raised well over $6,600! Keep it up! Hammybot still has over 25,200+ cards to sell, including a number of foil Mythics and a nice collection of Foil lands, so if you want to pimp out your constructed decks… 
 

Cutting Edge Tech: 

Standard: The format is shaking out a bit, but cool new archetypes are still popping up. This one showed up on REDDIT, here, and it made Top 8 at a small IQ. It’s definitely cool.  Maybe not powerful, but cool.
 
Reaping Rainbow Chromanticore
Sonamorkcin, Top 8, LGS SCG IQ
Creatures
4 Courser of Kruphix
1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
3 Polukranos, World Eater
2 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
2 Sylvan Primordial
4 Sylvan Caryatid
3 Voyaging Satyr
3 Reaper of the Wilds
14 cards

Other Spells
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Garruk, Caller of Beasts
4 Domri Rade
3 Chromanticore
1 Bow of Nylea
1 Gild
9 cards
 
Lands
3 Stomping Ground
3 Temple of Plenty
2 Temple of Malice
4 Blood Crypt
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Breeding Pool
2 Temple Garden
1 Godless Shrine
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Temple of Mystery
17 cards

Sylvan Primordial
 
Modern: By the time you read this, the pros will be putting their Modern decks on display at Pro Tour Born of the Gods in Valencia. Until then, enjoy this little bit of whimsy – but remember that Zur can fetch Thassa. Interesting concept – but probably just for casual play or Commander.
 
 
Pauper: Blue does it again: another blue deck took down the most recent Pauper premier event.   It was pretty much the same deck I featured last week, so here’s the second place deck.
 
GW Auras
Opradvo, Second Place, Pauper Premier #6737473 on 02/17/2014
Creatures
4 Aura Gnarlid
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Slippery Bogle
16 cards

Other Spells
4 Abundant Growth
3 Ancestral Mask
4 Armadillo Cloak
4 Ethereal Armor
3 Journey to Nowhere
4 Rancor
4 Utopia Sprawl
26 cards
 
Lands
14 Forest
4 Selesnya Guildgate
18 cards

Silhana Ledgewalker
 
Legacy: We had a Legacy GP last weekend. Coverage is here. The winning deck did not run True-Name Nemesis, but it had a lot of sideboard hate for the annoying 3/1. 
 
 
Classic:  Last weekend’s Classic fired, just barely. I helped out, at the cost of double queuing and running the first Classic deck that popped up – a UW deck with big Jace and (Squadron Hawks). I went 2-2, and both losses happened when I was in a position to win, but timed out because I had spent too much time winning packs in a prerelease event. So, if you have ever wondered whether you have any chance in a Classic DE, the answer is probably yes. I almost moneyed, with a bad deck and no practice. So join – Saturday 7pm PDT, IIRC. But lest you think the Shops decks are gone just because they restricted Lodestone Golem and Sphere…
 
 

Card Prices: 

Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the lower price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Thoughtseize is generally the Theros price. In certain other cases (e.g Brainstorm) I will note which version I track. All these cards are generally available from the MTGOTraders Bots, so check out mtgotradersbot, mtgotradersbot2, mtgotradersbot3, mtgotradersbot4, mtgotradersbot5, mtgotradersbot7, mtgotradersbot8, mtgotradersbot9, mtgotradersbot10, CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or you can order them directly from the website. Now, on to prices.
 
The cost of entire sets is relevant if you redeem, but it is also a decent indicator of overall trends. Prices were falling again this week. They usually do about now. The prerelease and release events are mainly TIX only, so everyone is selling unused cards to get those TIX. Theros is hardest hit because everyone is opening Theros in draft and sealed events.
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Born of the Gods
$115.18
n/a
n/a
n/a
Dragon's Maze
$76.37
$76.67
($0.30)
0%
Gatecrash
$109.79
$111.71
($1.92)
-2%
M14
$137.12
$142.98
($5.86)
-4%
Return to Ravnica
$145.73
$156.71
($10.98)
-7%
Theros
$106.79
$119.32
($12.53)
-11%

 
Standard prices are moving around, but are overall slightly down.  We are in the calm before Born of the Gods begins shifting the format. Domri Rade is going up again, but the big change is that BotG cards are in the mix. Prices will trend down as the release events put lots more cards into the card pool, so expect a few more weeks of volatile prices.
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$5.91
$7.18
($1.27)
-18%
$20.60
$18.30
$2.30
13%
$5.73
$7.08
($1.35)
-19%
$26.00
n/a
$19.63
$16.75
$2.88
17%
$17.83
$19.36
($1.53)
-8%
$7.53
n/a
$31.10
$30.23
$0.87
3%
$12.79
$13.92
($1.13)
-8%
$8.52
$6.57
$1.95
30%
$12.18
$13.69
($1.51)
-11%
$26.96
$28.95
($1.99)
-7%
$6.85
$7.49
($0.64)
-9%
$16.33
n/a
$6.45
$7.75
($1.30)
-17%
$26.58
$29.38
($2.80)
-10%
$11.71
$9.87
$1.84
19%
$9.44
$10.71
($1.27)
-12%
$32.53
$33.27
($0.74)
-2%
$15.35
$15.65
($0.30)
-2%
$7.15
$7.69
($0.54)
-7%
$31.27
$30.51
$0.76
2%
(Xenagos, God of the Revels)
$8.34
n/a
$7.72
$8.24
($0.52)
-6%

Modern prices are bouncing around a bit, but basically we are in a holding pattern. The Pro Tour is hear, as you read this, so online playtesting is over. The prices will bounce around based on how the format evolves over the weekend.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$20.54
$20.93
($0.39)
-2%
$34.36
$37.22
($2.86)
-8%
$41.67
$44.84
($3.17)
-7%
$16.90
$17.36
($0.46)
-3%
$24.40
$25.84
($1.44)
-6%
$17.07
$16.98
$0.09
1%
$20.21
$22.24
($2.03)
-9%
$16.51
$13.46
$3.05
23%
$13.47
$13.43
$0.04
0%
$10.51
$14.03
($3.52)
-25%
$24.67
$31.29
($6.62)
-21%
$27.18
$24.22
$2.96
12%
$43.13
$41.25
$1.88
5%
$35.31
$42.29
($6.98)
-17%
$9.30
$9.58
($0.28)
-3%
$59.37
$68.08
($8.71)
-13%
$15.07
$15.95
($0.88)
-6%
$48.03
$48.03
$0.00
0%
$36.37
$37.12
($0.75)
-2%
$8.77
$9.87
($1.10)
-11%
$25.16
$22.87
$2.29
10%
$15.29
$15.31
($0.02)
0%
$13.10
$13.20
($0.10)
-1%
$80.29
$82.25
($1.96)
-2%
$46.54
$48.40
($1.86)
-4%

Pauper prices are slightly volatile this week.   Invasion and Urza’s block commons are slowly recovering, but are still way down. They will recover, but slowly.
 

Pauper Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$1.31
$1.86
($0.55)
-30%
$2.63
$2.33
$0.30
13%
$0.45
$0.94
($0.49)
-52%
$2.63
$3.15
($0.52)
-17%
$2.38
$2.31
$0.07
3%
$4.34
$4.11
$0.23
6%
$10.88
$11.31
($0.43)
-4%
$1.29
$1.29
$0.00
0%
$1.65
$1.65
$0.00
0%
$3.05
$3.05
$0.00
0%
$4.98
$4.55
$0.43
9%
$3.42
$3.72
($0.30)
-8%
$3.87
$4.87
($1.00)
-21%
$0.76
$0.79
($0.03)
-4%
$1.31
$1.53
($0.22)
-14%
$3.70
$3.80
($0.10)
-3%
$2.06
$2.62
($0.56)
-21%
$5.06
$5.58
($0.52)
-9%
$0.93
$0.85
$0.08
9%
$0.40
$0.32
$0.08
25%
$0.79
$0.95
($0.16)
-17%

Legacy and Classic prices were moving a bit more than usual. The big money cards climbed again. Force of Will is back over $500 a playset. Lion’s Eye Diamond is holding steady at insane. Invasion block cards dropped because of throwback drafts, but that won’t last.
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$38.58
$35.09
$3.49
10%
$26.00
$26.00
$0.00
0%
$26.83
$28.11
($1.28)
-5%
$123.99
$128.82
($4.83)
-4%
$65.98
$65.98
$0.00
0%
$32.71
$34.31
($1.60)
-5%
$135.00
$185.94
($50.94)
-27%
$26.76
$26.30
$0.46
2%
$12.14
$12.50
($0.36)
-3%
$69.59
$69.59
$0.00
0%
$31.98
$31.98
$0.00
0%
$36.92
$36.92
$0.00
0%
$18.30
$18.30
$0.00
0%
$16.17
$17.14
($0.97)
-6%
$35.14
$35.14
$0.00
0%
$94.17
$94.17
$0.00
0%
$8.41
$8.31
$0.10
1%
$68.87
$68.87
$0.00
0%
$31.51
$31.51
$0.00
0%
$26.66
$26.66
$0.00
0%
$14.22
$16.00
($1.78)
-11%
$28.61
$28.61
$0.00
0%
$38.22
$39.88
($1.66)
-4%
Vampiric Tutor
$45.23
$41.12
$4.11
10%
$25.50
$27.12
($1.62)
-6%
$82.38
$79.53
$2.85
4%

 

The Good Stuff:

The Good Stuff starts with a list of the non-foil, non-premium cards on MTGO that cost more than $25 each – that’s $100 per playset. The big change this week is LED, which fell hard once everyone learned it will be next month’s MOCS promo. The price fell, but LED is still the most expensive card on the list. There just aren’t that many MOX promos issued in a season. Force of Will was a MOCS promo, and its price is higher than ever. 
 

Card
Rarity
Set
Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
$ 135.00
Force of Will
R
MED
$ 123.99
Rishadan Port
R
MM
$    94.17
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
$    85.29
Wasteland
U
TE
$    82.38
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
$    80.29
Misdirection
R
MM
$    69.59
Show and Tell
R
UZ
$    68.87
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
$    65.98
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
$    59.37
Tundra
R
ME2
$    54.10
Tundra
R
ME4
$    51.44
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
$    48.18
Mox Opal
M
SOM
$    48.03
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
$    46.54
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
$    45.23
Griselbrand
M
AVR
$    43.13
Bitterblossom
R
MOR
$    41.67
Bayou
R
ME4
$    41.58
Bayou
R
ME3
$    40.51
Volcanic Island
R
ME3
$    39.21
Volcanic Island
R
ME4
$    39.10
Underground Sea
R
ME2
$    38.82
City of Traitors
R
EX
$    38.58
Underground Sea
R
ME4
$    38.22
Natural Order
R
VI
$    36.92
Noble Hierarch
R
CON
$    36.35
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
$    35.31
Polluted Delta
R
ONS
$    35.14
Batterskull
M
NPH
$    34.36
Tropical Island
R
ME4
$    34.03
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
$    32.71
Sphinx's Revelation
M
RTR
$    32.53
Mishra's Workshop
R
ME4
$    31.98
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
$    31.51
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
$    31.27
Tropical Island
R
ME3
$    31.12
Domri Rade
M
GTC
$    31.10
Mutavault
R
MOR
$    30.35
Mana Crypt
R
ME2
$    29.17
Tropical Island
R
PRM
$    29.03
Primeval Titan
M
M12
$    28.79
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
$    28.61
Grove of the Burnwillows
R
FUT
$    28.06
Primeval Titan
M
M11
$    27.68
Threads of Disloyalty
R
BOK
$    27.62
Geist of Saint Traft
M
ISD
$    27.18
Jace, Architect of Thought
M
RTR
$    26.96
Flusterstorm
R
CMD
$    26.83
Mana Drain
R
ME3
$    26.76
Tangle Wire
R
NE
$    26.66
Mutavault
R
M14
$    26.58
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
M
BNG
$    26.00
Entomb
R
OD
$    26.00
Cryptic Command
R
MMA
$    25.54
Vindicate
R
AP
$    25.50
Scalding Tarn
R
ZEN
$    25.16

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $27,240. That’s down a couple hundred dollars from where we were last week. Basically, that’s the drop in the value of a playset of LEDs. (Obviously, lots of other cards have changed price this week: it’s just an amusing coincidence.)
 

Weekly Highlights:

I managed to play in a couple of prereleases last weekend. I bought a green prerelease pack for the first, and ended going 2-2 with UW deck. For the next event I clicked on the red prerelease pack, but when the store delivered, I got a white one. This time I went 3-1 with a UW deck. On the plus side, I was looking for Courser of Kruphix, and I opened one in each event.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.

3 Comments

PTQs by IYankemDDS at Fri, 02/21/2014 - 13:44
IYankemDDS's picture

I think they are hoping to settle into the 5-round Qualifer for Qualifer plan, which I suppose worked for the Theros Championship and MOCS. I actually like playing in them because I feel prizes are decent if you can go 3-2.

I still can't believe the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 02/21/2014 - 16:23
Kumagoro42's picture
5

I still can't believe the Chromanticore deck is actually a thing. I guess the community doesn't entirely trust it either, because Chromanticore is still a 1-tix Mythic so far.

GoodStuff.dek can do things by IYankemDDS at Fri, 02/21/2014 - 16:45
IYankemDDS's picture

GoodStuff.dek can do things imo.