one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Feb 24 2017 2:40pm
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State of the Program for February 24th 2017
In the News
Throwback Standard Gauntlet Delayed: Due to bugs and card issues, the Mirage-Tempest throwback gauntlet was taken offline. It may return in the future.  Replacing throwback Standard is a triple Khans of Tarkir draft queue. 
A Bit More on Magic Digital Next: Rumor has it that Wizards showed a screen shot of some part of Magic Digital Next during the Toy Fair last weekend. It looked more like Hearthstone than MTGO, but clearly had a hand of seven recognizable Magic cards.   Jeffrey Steefel, Vice President, Digital Game Development, posted a brief article on Magic Next on You can read it here.
Amonkhet and Modern Masters Packaging Revealed:  Wizards has shown off some packaging for the next couple sets. Packaging is not all that important to MTGO, but it does give us some clues to the sets. Modern Masters booster packs include picture of Stoic Angel, Griselbrand and Domri Rade. From Amonkhet packaging, we can see that Liliana, Nissa, and Gideon will be part of this set’s Justice League, possibly joined by various animal-headed creatures or gods. We can also see that Nicol Bolas’s horns will loom large over the landscape, including the full art basic lands. You can see the art here.
Another Take on Magic as a E-Sport: Corbin Hosler penned an article on Magic, e-sports and teams. You can read it here. It includes an interview with an e-sports lawyer. Worth the read, just to get a feel for the issues involved. 
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 Most of the major upcoming events we know of are listed.  Not listed, but important: Wizards offers either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
Recurring Events
Power Nine Challenge
Last Saturday of the month, 11am Pacific
Legacy Challenge
Second Saturday of the month, 11am Pacific
No Downtime
March 15th
Extended Downtime
(none announced)
Magic Online Championships
March 3-5, on
Aether Revolt Standard Championship Qualifiers
February 22nd - 28th
Aether Revolt Limited Championship
Saturday, February 25th
Aether Revolt Standard Championship
Sunday, March 5th
Current Leagues End
May 2, 2017
May 2, 2017 MTGO release
Hour of Devastation
July, 2017
Modern Masters 2017 Edition
March 23rd on MTGO
Next B&R Announcement
March 13, 2017
KTK and FRF Redemption Ends
May 31, 2017
DTK, ORI, BFZ and OGW Redemptions Closes
November 2, 2017
SOI and EMN Redemption Closes
April 28, 2018
KLD and AER Redemption Ends
June 7, 2017 (yes, 4 months from now)
Flashback, Throwback Standard and CUBE for 2017
Wizards will be offering either a flashback draft league, a flashback Standard gauntlet, a CUBE league or prerelease / Release events each week.   Here’s the schedule so far.
Flashback and Such Rotation
Throwback Standard: Mirage – Tempest
Invasion/Planeshift/Apocalypse Draft
March 1st
March 8th
Cube Draft (Cube format TBD)
March 8th
March 22nd
Modern Masters 2017 Leagues
March 22nd
April 12th
The new Flashback Leagues are still draft, and still you-keep-the-cards. They are 12 TIX / product plus 2 TIX / 120 Play Points. However, they are no longer single elimination. Now you play until you have three wins or two losses. Prizes are 150 play points for three wins and 70 Play points for 2 wins. The leagues run one week.
The Throwback Standard Gauntlet events provide a random choice of prebuilt decks from a past standard environment. These will function like the Pro Tour Gauntlets – you won’t need to own the cards. The entry fee is 10 TIX or 100 Play Points. Prizes are in Play Points: 150 for 3-0, 100 for 2-1, 40 for 1-2 and 10 play points as a bad beats award. 
Opinion Section:  My Paper Collection, Part II 
I find that I am no longer playing much paper Legacy, and only a little Modern.  I am thinking about selling my paper collection, except for the cards for decks I might play and some fun decks. (I am also keeping everything Standard legal.) What made this interesting was copying all the decklists from all the Modern archetypes I listed last week, then reducing it to a single list of cards to keep. It isn’t that large.
First of all, I will be keeping full playsets of all the fetchlands, shock lands and true duals, even if they are not in decks, yet. I have been preaching “never sell lands” for 15 years now, and am not about to change. So add those 30 lands to the list below. 
For reference, here’s the list of decks I am interested in playing:
Midrange control: Junk, Jund, Eldrazi Tron, 
Burn:   Red Deck Wins, Naya Burn,
Tron variants: GB Tron, GW Tron, Blue Tron, 
Control Decks: Grixis Control, Snow Red, Nahiri Control, Jeskai Control, Abzan Control
Combo Decks: RG Through the Breach, 4 Color Scapeshift, RG Scapeshift, 
Plus maybe Sam Black’s Death’s Shadow deck. Having all those decks would require the following cards:

20 Snow-Covered Mountain
Destructive Revelry
Izzet Staticaster
Olivia Voldaren
Spell Pierce
Abrupt Decay
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Painful Truths
Spell Snare
Ajani Vengeant
Karn Liberated
Path to Exile
All Is Dust
Dragon's Claw
Keranos, God of Storms
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Sphinx's Revelation
Ancestral Vision
Kitchen Finks
Pithing Needle
Spirebluff Canal
Ancient Grudge
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Kolaghan's Command
Pyrite Spellbomb
Stirring Wildwood
Ancient Stirrings
Eldrazi Temple
Kor Firewalker
Radiant Fountain
Stony Silence
Anger of the Gods
Koth of the Hammer
Raging Ravine
Stormbreath Dragon
Basilisk Collar
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Lava Spike
Ravenous Trap
Street Wraith
Leyline of Sanctity
Razorverge Thicket
Sudden Shock
Blackcleave Cliffs
Engineered Explosives
Leyline of the Void
Reality Smasher
Sulfur Falls
Blessed Alliance
Ensnaring Bridge
Lightning Bolt
Relic of Progenitus
Sun Droplet
Blood Moon
Eternal Scourge
Lightning Helix
Supreme Verdict
Blooming Marsh
Ethersworn Canonist
Liliana of the Veil
Rest in Peace
Surgical Extraction
Boros Charm
Expedition Map
Liliana, the Last Hope
Ricochet Trap
Sword of Feast and Famine
Fatal Push
Lingering Souls
Rift Bolt
Sylvan Scrying
Celestial Colonnade
Fulminator Mage
Maelstrom Pulse
Sanctum of Ugin
Chalice of the Void
Geist of Saint Traft
Magma Jet
Scavenging Ooze
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Mana Leak
Scrying Sheets
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Chromatic Sphere
Ghost Quarter
Matter Reshaper
Sea Gate Wreckage
Tectonic Edge
Chromatic Star
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Mishra's Bauble
Searing Blaze
Temple of Triumph
Collective Brutality
Glacial Fortress
Mind Stone
Serum Visions
Temur Battle Rage
Go for the Throat
Molten Rain
Shambling Vent
Creeping Corrosion
Goblin Guide
Monastery Swiftspear
Shattering Spree
Think Twice
Creeping Tar Pit
Goblin Rabblemaster
Nahiri, the Harbinger
Thought Scour
Crumble to Dust
Grafdigger's Cage
Nature's Claim
Siege Rhino
Thought-Knot Seer
Cryptic Command
Grim Flayer
Simian Spirit Guide
Grim Lavamancer
Dark Confidant
Hangarback Walker
Night of Souls' Betrayal
Thrun, the Last Troll
Death's Shadow
Huntmaster of the Fells
Nihil Spellbomb
Slaughter Games
Twilight Mire
Deflecting Palm
Inquisition of Kozilek
Noble Hierarch
Snapcaster Mage
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Desolate Lighthouse
Inspiring Vantage
Oblivion Stone
Spatial Contortion
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

That’s it. Fifteen archetypes, and to play all of them I need playsets of about 150 cards, 175 if you include fetches, shocks and basic lands. 175 cards is not a lot.
At present, 54 sets are legal in the Modern format. The size of the sets varies, and you need to exclude reprints and basic lands, but using an average of 275 unique cards per set is probably not that far off. Even if we get very conservative and assume just 250 unique cards per set, on average, that means the Modern card pool contains over 13,000 unique cards. 
I need just 175 cards to make all my favorite decks, across a range of archetypes.  In other words, I will need just 1.3% of the available cards in Modern to play over a dozen archetypes. 175. That’s it. 
Even if I added all the archetypes that have appeared in the Top 8 of at least a couple major events, I doubt I could get the number all that much higher.   Maybe 3 percent, if that. Why? Because a format is always about the best cards you can possibly play, and only the best cards.  Take limited, for example. In any sealed pool, you are going to play the best cards you have, subject to mana constraints. A card like Pillarfield Ox might make your sealed deck, if you are white and have nothing better. It will never make the cut in any format in which you have better options. It has never seen play in constructed, and never will. 
Note, I use Pillarfield Ox because that was the card that tipped the scales. A few years ago, I kept my cards sorted by set, and kept at least a playset of everything, period – more if I thought Ingrid and I might ever want playsets in both our decks at the same time.  I was sorting a set with the Ox and realized that neither Ingrid nor I would ever want that card in anything, even a cow tribal deck. I ended up going through my entire collection and pulling all the Pillarfield Oxen, and all similar cards. I sold them all, mostly for bulk. I have never since felt any regret, nor have I ever found a spot where I would have wanted for a 2/4 vanilla creature for 3W.
The larger the card pool, the better the cards have to be to make the cut.  Take a card like Baneslayer Angel. It was an absolute bomb in limited and saw considerable play in Standard.  It never quite made the cut in Modern, Legacy won’t return its calls and Vintage has never heard of it. A card like Chandra, Torch of Defiance is even better and sees some play in Modern and even occasionally in Legacy, but it also sees less play in larger formats. That’s how Magic works.         
But this is not just a question of card pool size. It is also a function of mana. In formats where mana constraints are more of an issue, the pool of playable cards is larger. When having great or even perfect mana is easier, then the pool of playable cards is smaller. 
Wizards has been printing more and better mana fixing year after year. It wasn’t always that way. Back in the depths of Magic’s past, Urza’s Block Constructed was a PTQ format. Urza’s Block had pretty much no non-green mana fixing at all. Literally – the only multi-colored land was Thran Quarry, which was unplayable. This meant that almost all the Tier One decks in block were mono-colored.
Another example of the impact of improving the mana would be the old 5color format. Five color was big for a while. It was started by Kurt Hahn and friends, as a way to play bad cards, plus the best card drawing spell of all time.   (No, not Ancestral Recall – that’s the second best card drawing card of all time. The best ever – Contract – let you draw seven cards for one mana. Really.)   But I digress. 
Five color had some basic rules: decks had to have 250 cards, including at least 30 cards of each color. The format also predated the Onslaught fetchlands, so mana was an issue. As a result, these were power cards back in those days.  
nettletooth djinn derelor
They were power cards because they had only a single colored mana in the mana cost.   Back then, 4/4 were huge and the only “fetchlands” in the format were the Mirage fetches like Bad River, which were slow and – more importantly – few in number. We also played Wood Elves back then, because the elves could also fetch dual lands including Forests, and could thereby fix your colors.
That all changed when the Onslaught fetchlands were printed.  Not only did these lands come into play untapped, but by combining the Mirage and Onslaught fetchlands, you were highly likely to have a fetchland early on. With ten different fetchlands, mana got infinitely better and the entire 5color format changed overnight. Cards like Nettletooth Djinn and Derelor were immediately cut in favor of far better cards with more restrictive mana requirements. The addition of the Onslaught fetches meant that the format went from having to play bad cards because of mana issues to a format where you could reliably have all five colors by turn four. The format was never the same. 
That is also the issue with Modern. As I mentioned, the first cards I decided to keep were full playsets of the shocklands and fetchlands. That, plus a couple basics in case of Blood Moon,  means my manabase is pretty much foolproof. It is the combination of fetches and shocklands that lets people play three, four and even five color decks with few worries about losing games to mana screw. This means that players never have to run Doom Blade over Terminate, because Modern mana is so good that you can reliably play Delver on turn one and Terminate on turn two when necessary.
My collection once filled a closet and more. Soon it will fit in a single box, and I will still be able to play almost anything I want to.   I’m not sure whether that is good or bad. 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: This week’s GP was Modern, and the SCG event was team constructed. Standard events were a bit scarce, so I poured over the Competitive League results. As expected, I saw GB decks, Saheeli decks, Aetherworks Marvel and this one. It is at least a bit different.  
Temur (RUG) Dynavolt Tower
T4COFR3NZY, 5-0, Competitive Standard League - 75 Cards Total
4 Rogue Refiner
2 Shielded Aether Thief
3 Torrential Gearhulk
9 cards

4 Anticipate
3 Disallow
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Harnessed Lightning
1 Natural Obsolescence
2 Negate
1 Shock
19 cards
4 Attune with Aether
2 Incendiary Flow
6 cards

4 Dynavolt Tower
4 cards
4 Aether Hub
4 Botanical Sanctum
5 Forest
2 Island
2 Lumbering Falls
1 Mountain
4 Spirebluff Canal
22 cards

1 Natural Obsolescence
2 Negate
2 Confiscation Coup
2 Dispel
2 Dragonmaster Outcast
2 Kozilek's Return
2 Release the Gremlins
2 Tireless Tracker
15 cards
Modern: GP Vancouver was Modern, and Aether Revolt cards were in play. The breakout deck was clearly the Sam Black designed Death’s Shadow deck.  Sam, GerryT and Wrapter all made it to the Top 4 with this build, although Sam ran new Liliana instead of Lili of the Veil. Still, this had made me reconsider selling off the Death’s Shadow components.           
Pauper: I have not done Pauper for a while, because the format seems a bit stale.   This week’s list of undefeated decks was long, but just because it had several copies of Metalcraft, Blue Fliers, Mystical Teachings and UB Control.   I haven’t featured the last one for a while, so here you go.
UB Control
Illyasviel, 5-0, Pauper League - 75 Cards Total
2 Archaeomancer
4 Chittering Rats
4 Mulldrifter
4 Sea Gate Oracle
14 cards

4 Counterspell
3 Disfigure
2 Doom Blade
1 Echoing Decay
1 Exclude
2 Ghostly Flicker
1 Soul Manipulation
14 cards
4 Chainer's Edict
1 Evincar's Justice
4 Preordain
9 cards

1 Dead Weight
1 cards
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dismal Backwater
6 Island
1 Lonely Sandbar
1 Radiant Fountain
5 Swamp
22 cards

1 Capsize
1 Crypt Incursion
1 Curse of the Bloody Tome
2 Dispel
2 Duress
1 Reaping the Graves
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Shrivel
3 Stormbound Geist
15 cards
Legacy: So if I keep the Modern cards above, I could keep this deck around as well. I like this sort of deck, and the only cards that I would have to keep, over and above the Modern stuff, are the banned cards (Deathrite Shaman, Ponder, Big Jace), the duals, Wasteland, Sylvan Library, Flusterstorm and Hymn to Tourach.  
BUG Devler
Malimujo, 5-0, Competitive Legacy League - 75 Cards Total
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Tombstalker
13 cards

4 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
1 Dismember
4 Force of Will
17 cards
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Ponder
8 cards

2 Liliana of the Veil
2 cards
2 Bayou
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
20 cards

1 Dead Weight
1 Disfigure
1 Fatal Push
2 Flusterstorm
1 Golgari Charm
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Pithing Needle
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Sylvan Library
2 Thoughtseize
1 Vendilion Clique
15 cards
Vintage: The Vintage Super League is in play, but this deck from the weekend Vintage Daily is more interesting than the VSL decks. I have not playtested, played against or seen this played, but it looks interesting. Some interesting interactions: for example, if you resolve Sun Titan with two Saheelis in the graveyard, you can get infinite hasty Titans. Oath can get a Titan in play, and bunch of cards in the graveyard. Seems good.   


Card Prices
Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at 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 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 were mixed again this week. Neither the format nor prices have settled. Heart of Kiran is being whipsawed; it was overpriced, now it has swung to the other extreme.  (Whoops – double checked that last sentence and found I had a typo in the Heart price. If it really had been selling for $9.51 instead of $19.51, that would have been news.)     

Standard Cards
Last Week
% Change

Modern staples:  Modern prices were a bit mixed, but we are beginning to see sell-offs based, at this point, on pure speculation about the contents of Modern Masters 2017.   Or insider trading, but you would hope Wizards would stomp that out. Also, remember that Griselbrand is on the cover of an MM17 booster pack – expect his price to drop a bit.

Modern Cards
Last Week
% Change

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage took a mild slide this week. Wizards needs to do something else to promote the formats. The Challenges are nice, but here’s hoping the Vintage leagues get here soon.   

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Last Week
% Change

Set Redemption: You can redeem complete sets on MTGO. You need to purchase a redemption voucher from the store for $25. During the next downtime, Wizards removes a complete set from your account and sends you the same set in paper.  Treasure Chests and the current booster packs are here because they don’t really fit anywhere else.

Complete Set
Last Week
% Change
Aether Revolt
Battle for Zendikar
Eldritch Moon
Oath of the Gatewatch
Shadows over Innistrad
Treasure Chest
Aether Revolt Booster
Kaladesh Booster

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. Still a shade over sixty cards on the list, and Black Lotus is still a tick above Liliana. A couple cards dropped off, including Doomsday and one version of Containment Priest. 

Rishadan Port
 $ 169.63
Black Lotus
 $ 81.13
Liliana of the Veil
Mythic Rare
 $ 79.61
Chalice of the Void
 $ 69.55
Mythic Rare
 $ 57.54
Engineered Explosives
 $ 56.48
Ensnaring Bridge
 $ 53.40
Show and Tell
 $ 53.17
True-Name Nemesis
Mythic Rare
 $ 51.34
 $ 49.02
Mythic Rare
 $ 48.33
Mythic Rare
 $ 47.92
True-Name Nemesis
 $ 47.62
 $ 44.61
Oblivion Stone
 $ 44.55
 $ 44.54
 $ 44.13
 $ 40.31
Food Chain
 $ 40.17
Chalice of the Void
 $ 40.16
Mox Opal
 $ 39.70
Mox Opal
Mythic Rare
 $ 38.75
Mox Opal
Mythic Rare
 $ 38.25
 $ 37.76
Ensnaring Bridge
 $ 37.55
Ensnaring Bridge
 $ 37.28
Mythic Rare
 $ 36.70
Ensnaring Bridge
 $ 36.46
From the Ashes
 $ 35.21
Gaea's Cradle
 $ 34.20
 $ 34.14
Engineered Explosives
 $ 33.44
Scalding Tarn
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.70
Chalice of the Void
 $ 32.62
Engineered Explosives
 $ 32.13
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.82
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Mythic Rare
 $ 31.36
Arcbound Ravager
 $ 30.83
Back to Basics
 $ 30.53
Force of Will
 $ 30.43
Blood Moon
 $ 30.34
Infernal Tutor
 $ 29.85
Blood Moon
 $ 29.84
Karn Liberated
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.69
Blood Moon
 $ 29.43
Meren of Clan Nel Toth
 $ 29.35
Mox Sapphire
 $ 29.12
Ancestral Vision
 $ 28.79
Wurmcoil Engine
 $ 28.71
Containment Priest
 $ 28.04
Liliana, the Last Hope
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.64
Ancestral Recall
 $ 27.31
 $ 27.31
Eidolon of the Great Revel
 $ 27.21
Karn Liberated
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.20
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Mythic Rare
 $ 27.07
Kozilek's Return
Mythic Rare
 $ 26.18
Ancestral Vision
 $ 25.56
Horizon Canopy
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.48
Force of Will
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.27

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 $ 23,285. That is down $520 from last week.
Weekly Highlights
I really enjoyed the CF Top 8 Fliers video this week. Paul Cheon and Frank Lepore had way too much fun making it. You can watch it here
The Professor tried playing the “booster box game” with another box of Aether Revolt. He didn’t win, but his assessment of why he lost is interesting. The video is here
“One Million Words” and “3MWords” on MTGO
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
HammyBot Super Sale: HammyBot was set up to sell off Erik Friborg’s collection, with all proceeds going to his wife and son. So far, HammyBot has raised over $8,000, but there are a lot of cards left in the collection. Those cards are being sold at MTGOTrader’s Buy Price.  


KTK by Sensei at Fri, 02/24/2017 - 14:20
Sensei's picture

Not sure what time you submitted your article but while Flashback Standard was taken away, there's not just an empty void. 3x Khans is available, go get your Solemn Visitor and fetches!

He submitted it last night, by JXClaytor at Fri, 02/24/2017 - 14:39
JXClaytor's picture

He submitted it last night, and my edit to add the KTK in place of where he had mentioned it did not save apparently, so I will pull it down and try again.

Also, the flashback's changed by xger at Fri, 02/24/2017 - 17:08
xger's picture

Also, the flashback's changed structure. 3-0 is now 240 points, 2-1 is 80 points.

Oh that's sweet! by JXClaytor at Fri, 02/24/2017 - 17:35
JXClaytor's picture

Oh that's sweet!

Re: Pauper by modelcadet at Fri, 02/24/2017 - 17:29
modelcadet's picture

Pauper is a lot more fun and diverse than you give it credit. You do yourself a disservice by dismissing it.

Pauper by MichelleWong at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 06:03
MichelleWong's picture

He didn't dismiss Pauper. He said it's a bit stale, which is true because there have not been many changes recently in terms of tournament wins. Same old Tier 1 decks, over and over again. It's not like there are sweet brews every week winning tournamants.

interesting opinion piece by eksiii at Fri, 02/24/2017 - 18:48
eksiii's picture

You'll be taking a step I've contemplated but never had the energy for. In my case, I'm sure it would be a lot fewer cards, so much respect to you. My only add-on is that if you play commander, your need for a number of variety of cards skyrockets. Particularly if you hope to make new EDH decks in the future. That would add up to a bigger slice of the total pie, but maybe not mathematically all that significant.

I did this a while back, and by JXClaytor at Sat, 02/25/2017 - 01:49
JXClaytor's picture

I did this a while back, and yeah the need for EDH stuff that was once owned that is no longer owned is large.

re by Hearts at Sat, 02/25/2017 - 12:48
Hearts's picture

Any news about the rules, have they been fixed yet ?

Which rules are you speaking by JXClaytor at Sat, 02/25/2017 - 22:06
JXClaytor's picture

Which rules are you speaking of?

re by Hearts at Sun, 02/26/2017 - 03:50
Hearts's picture

The mtg rules, spoke of them a lot recently.

No the uh...MTG Illuminati by JXClaytor at Sun, 02/26/2017 - 12:59
JXClaytor's picture

No the uh...MTG Illuminati has not been meeting recently.

re by Hearts at Sun, 02/26/2017 - 13:10
Hearts's picture

What/who is the 'mtg illuminati' ?

An astoundingly astute by Paul Leicht at Sun, 02/26/2017 - 16:45
Paul Leicht's picture

An astoundingly astute question! If only there were some way to uncover their identities and expose their nefarious schemes...

Notifying Bugs by MichelleWong at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 03:18
MichelleWong's picture

(This is off-topic, but this is the closest thread of relevance to my question).

How do you notify Wizards of bugs on Magic Online? Are we still living in the days where in order to do so, one must complete the long-winded Re-imbursement Form (and login with a login separate to our Magic Online regular account, which many users like me have technical problems doing so)? Is there a way we can simply email the Support team via email?

Unfortunately... by TheWolf at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 04:30
TheWolf's picture

That seems to be the case, yes. Thankfully I haven't had to for a few months now.

bugs on magic online by Lawnmower Elf at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 04:57
Lawnmower Elf's picture

Reporting bugs is as long winded a process as it ever was.

Sadly it is also useless, the team seem to be disregarding bug reports. I submitted a number and they were never fixed, nor did they appear on their "bug blog". Later the same bugs I was reporting came around to haunt them as they were forced to emergency pull bugged cards from their flashback drafts. This culminated in the recent standard throwback events being scrapped.

As I see it each new set introduces new mechanics and when they program and fix these they break older cards.

They don't bother to fix the old cards because that is not where the money is coming from.

I no longer report the bugs I find. I just delete the deck and sell the bugged cards.

May as well send bug reports to wenotlistening@oblivion.zzz

Lawnmower Elf by MichelleWong at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 06:02
MichelleWong's picture

Lawnmower Elf, what you describe has also been my experience for years. I guess I was hoping that after all these years, they might have changed their practice.

How simple would it be if WotC simply told us: "If you notice any bugs but don't need reimbursement, email us at ___." No need for Reimbursement Forms, separate logins (which doesn't even work for me), questions like what you ate for breakfast on the day the bug occurred etc...

With a new Head of Magic Online in place, perhaps we will soon be able to see some positive change, and absurdities such as these will be a relic of the past?

This is exactly why I don't by Paul Leicht at Tue, 02/28/2017 - 05:13
Paul Leicht's picture

This is exactly why I don't send bug reports in anymore. Not that I play enough to generate them. But exactly this. WeNOTListening indeed. I wonder sometimes if there is a directive that a bug doesn't get fixed if only a few people report it. Or unless it interferes with a big event. No way to know for sure but considering how easy it is to create new bugs by changing almost anything in the engine I wouldn't be surprised.

re by Hearts at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 16:57
Hearts's picture

The more hindrances they put in the way the more they make.
Newer players will often either a) not see the bug at all, or b) give up in the process believing that it wasnt a bug ("we need more information ..." "we cant identify...") or that they do something wrong when trying to send wotc bug-report (while it in fact is a hindrance intentionally(one of several/many) put there by wotc).

Quizz by Hearts at Mon, 02/27/2017 - 21:03
Hearts's picture

Quizz time;

What if a (relatively) new mtgO player is visited by a relative who is experienced with mtgo. And on this visit the newer player, helped by his friend/relative, finds out there have been some/several/many bugs that he should have (maybe helped by replays and/or remembering) reported/claimed reimbursement for.

Are his reimbursement claims not valid because he didn't discover them on his own ?
Are his reimbursement claims not valid because they are days, weeks, months or years old ?

Another quizz;
Is it acceptable that wotc can refuse to inform customers of older editions of terms and agreement for mtgo ?
Even when they know that that customer was a customer under the older edition of the terms and agreement ?
I asked once for history for mtgo terms and agreement and they said "no", that I could not see older editions of terms and agreement.
I believe there have been many many editions of mtgo terms and agreement over the years (maybe unacceptable many).

Edit; there should even be an own easily accessible document that lists the editions of terms and agreement, dates etc, and even shows briefly what was changed from one edition to another.

bugs by stsung at Wed, 03/01/2017 - 06:22
stsung's picture

MichelleWong: I submit bugs. I go through all the clicking through Wizards system and submit them. It requires Wizards Account System login and players that did not migrate to the new system won't be able to do anything with their old logins (this was sent out by WotC to WPN stores but I think it will affect everyone). If you manage to login, all you need to do is click on the big button found in MODO's help or on Wizards Customer Support site saying something like 'Issue Report Form'. All you need to do is fill in screenname, event ID/match ID, type of event and of course the issue. Ok, I understand that this is not really the easiest way but it's not horrible either. You can just send them email notifying them about the bug and they will put it on their surely long list of bugs unless it isn't there already.
It's not more difficult than logging in to puremtgo and writing a post, is it? I don't want to defend WotC since their site and system was a nightmare for a long time, but if you manage to get your account work once, it will work.

Lawnmower Elf: I reported many bugs and actually in many cases they knew about them. They fixed most of those I sent in (probably just Trinisphere is the one that wasn't fixed at a certain stage). Many did not show up on bug blog since they are rather rare unless it is something many people are likely to run into. That over 100 bugs listed is just a collection of bugs people ran into often. For example a Containment Priest + Grafdigger's Cage in play with Oath will remove the 'Oathed' creature from the game which is obviously a known bug but probably will never show up on the bug blog. Same with Trinisphere not working the way it should. Worshop is buggy in several ways too.
I think that we should keep reporting bugs because otherwise they won't do anything with them if they won't even know about them. (because the bugs also change with the changes as you said...)

Hearts: All I can say is that sometimes I reported a bug a week or 2 weeks later and I still got reimbursed. Not sure if they would do it if it would be month or a year old though.

tl;dr report bugs. it makes a difference. even though it takes ages often.

Last time I checked the email by Paul Leicht at Wed, 03/01/2017 - 16:35
Paul Leicht's picture

Last time I checked the email us page was not working properly (the pulldown to select the subject does not work, populate properly -- I suspected a loop that takes a really really long time to terminate...)

Not saying one shouldn't bother but after reporting hundreds of bugs over the years I am not all that gung ho anymore, especially when I see new ones imitating the old ones crop up repeatedly after being "fixed."

Now when I find something game breaking I toss it in the Customer Service chat instead and let the ORCs deal with it.

Bug Blog by MichelleWong at Thu, 03/02/2017 - 01:04
MichelleWong's picture

The Bug Blog's usefulness is significantly lessened due to WotC's refusal to post all known bugs to the Bug Blog. Lawnmower Elf's experience reflects my own, namely that bugs notified do NOT get posted on the Bug Blog or Known Issues List.

And not because they are too obscure to bother mentioning. For example, I don't think that the bug with Manamorphose (sometimes the card just does not work), or with Genju of the Fields (often lifegain is not obtained) are particularly obscure, and in any case "obscurity" does not seem to be the criterion by which a bug is not posted to the Bug Blog, because some of the bugs on the Bug Blog are very obscure indeed. And yes WotC knows about both the above bugs.

When a bug occurs, and the player takes the time to search the Bug Blog and Known Issues List, he/she will most likely not find the bug on the Bug Blog and Known Issues List, and will therefore have no idea if WotC knows about the bug or not. It is not reasonable to ask players to go through hoops to notify bugs when WotC doesn't even have a reliable tool to help us know if they already know about it or not.

This creates a further problem. WotC's refusal to include all the bugs on the Bug Blog and to provide a comprehensive Change List means that when the bug is eventually fixed, how will the player who notified the bug know about it? WotC do not check the ticket number to notify the person who informed about the Bug. Each time I enter a PRE with a bugged card, I'm expected to keep testing the cards?

And so the question is begged: Who is supervising the junior staff member who is responsible for updating the Bug Blog? Whoever it is, they're not doing a good job. I blame the manager more than I blame the junior staff member (the latter being the young chap we see in the profile picture of the Bug Blog posts).

bugs by Lawnmower Elf at Thu, 03/02/2017 - 06:52
Lawnmower Elf's picture

The last bug I reported was in October.

Power Conduit can reset the game for the controlling player. Life hand timer, everything! play until you win.

I was using it in a deck with hardened scales, arcbound ravager, strangleroot geist.

Weeks after reporting the bug I chatted with the orcs on this. I followed up checking the bug blog and KI lists and I was completely wasting my time. My bug was "solved" according to the email, but that was a lie.

True power conduit is not used in any deck i can think of, but i do love to brew with unloved cards.

Anyway, just tested power conduit and guess what! yup, still bugged :(

Yes, blame the management. Again.