one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Jan 09 2015 1:00pm
5
Login or register to post comments
3605 views


 

State of the Program for January 9th 2015

In the News:

MTGO Crash: MTGO had a major crash on New Year’s Eve. Players who were logged on were fine, but players could not log on after midnight, local time, apparently due to a date bug. (Insert the obvious MTGO Y2K bug joke here.) Wizards took MTGO down for a patch late on New Year’s Eve, and it was back a couple hours later.
 
LSV Ponders: LSV hit the Ponder bug last week, or maybe I should say the Ponder bug hit LSV.   The bug is that you click on don’t shuffle but it shuffles anyway. He did it after stacking his win condition on top of his library. It cost him the game. He wasn’t too happy. The hundreds, maybe thousands, of people watching him stream were not too happy either, and they took to the Twitterverse.  The Ponder bug has been around for months, and hasn’t even made the Bug Blog. Hopefully it will get some more love now.  
 
Evan Erwin MTGOBug Fund Appeal:  Evan Erwin has released a new Magic Show video. It is mostly his typical card reviews: e.g. “[this card] is like cake. Dipped in Chocolate. Dipped in Money.”  The first 70 seconds, though, are an awesome parody of a fund raiser to “help players affected by MTGO crashes.” Spot on. Watch it here.
 
Blame Worth T-Shirts: Podcaster Numot the Nummy created a T-shirt saying “#Blame Worth,” as an homage to the BlameKibler shirts from back in the Caw-Blade era.  Worth got one of his own. Here he is. Worth takes a lot of flak, but at least he has a sense of humor.
 
 
Vintage Super League Will Resume after the Next B&R List Announcement: Randy Buehler tweeted that the next VSL series will start then, with the hashtag #bettersafe.
 
WER Crash: WER is the software used to run tournaments, at least all of those except for really large ones. Early in the day on January second it crashed, worldwide. Ingrid and I were running a PPTQ at that point, and we had fun scorekeeping like it was 1997.  Since it was Friday, pretty much every FNM was run on paper, or cancelled, or run using some other program.   That bug was fixed early Saturday morning and did not directly affect MTGO, but if your local game store took longer than usual to run their FNM, now you know why.
 

The Timeline:

This is a list of things we have been promised, or just want to see coming back.   Another good source for dates and times is the MTGO calendar. Here’s what we know, want or are tracking. This list is getting short, mainly because Wizards is so bad at passing on any information about future products or events. They generally have announced these events a day or two before they happens, which means most players never hear about them, and news compilations (like State of the Program) only hear about them too late for them to be included.
 
Item: date it will return and notes
·       Fate Reforged: February 2nd release, prereleases probably start prior Thursday or Friday before that.
·       Modern Masters Drafts: Jan. 5th to Jan 13th  
·       Legacy Cube: Jan. 14th to Jan. 24th   Legacy Cube is the non-powered Cube.
·       Triple Odyssey Draft Queues: Jan. 14th to Jan. 24th  
·       Leagues (June 2015?) Wizards said leagues will return in 2015.
·       Modern Masters II: May, 29, 2015. Mirrodin through Zendikar. Details here.
 

The Bug Blog Update

The Bug Blog is a weekly post by Wizards covering the most common known issues in MTGO. The blog is published late Thursday or early Friday, so I may be a bit behind. The most recent one up, as I write this, is from before the holidays.  It will be interesting to see if Ponder makes the list this week.
 

Value of Old Formats: Triple Odyssey

Triple Odyssey flashback drafts will begin shortly. The format is interesting – hopefully someone will write a primer. I could use one: it has been a long time since I cared about Threshold in draft. Odyssey is old enough that it does not include basic lands, so the average value of an Odyssey booster is 1* mean value of the rares, plus 3* average values of the uncommons, plus 11 * average value of the commons. For Odyssey packs, that’s just $2.17, or $ 6.51 for a draft set.   Since you will be paying $14.00 for the draft, you want to win and open money cards. Here are the cards you want to see:   
 

 Price

Entomb
R
 $   17.43
Petrified Field
R
 $   13.82
Karmic Justice
R
 $     6.34
Deserted Temple
R
 $     6.28
Squirrel Mob
R
 $     5.46
Patron Wizard
R
 $     5.15
Standstill
U
 $     4.23
Crystal Quarry
R
 $     3.29
Divert
R
 $     3.12
Decimate
R
 $     3.10
Innocent Blood
C
 $     2.78
Careful Study
C
 $     2.73
Darkwater Catacombs
R
 $     2.18

Opinion Section: Update on My Wizards Account Management Issues: 

Back in October, I tried to combine my accounts using the then-new Wizards Account Manager (WAM) to “update” and merge my accounts for organized play, the forums, the website, etc.  It crashed, and I lost access to a number of things. WAM gave me a new DCI number, and zeroed out my match history and my Planeswalker Points. It also eliminated two of my forum accounts, and erased all the messages I had received and sent using the forum messaging system, including several conversations with Worth and Mike Turian, and erased a lot of records of complaints and reports I had made to customer service from 2009 to 2014. The errors also cut my post count by about 75%, and so forth. After a lot of work, the Wizards customer service staff got my DCI number and match history back, and told me they were working on it. 
 
Then, shortly after New Year’s Day, I saw this:
 
 
I was all set to blast them for closing the complaint without resolving everything – then I got smart and actually checked my accounts. Most of my messages appear to have returned. My customer service history seems to be complete. I guess that closing the complaint was not just a way of clearing their complaints queue – they really fixed most of the problems. 
 
As of now, I am experiencing just one problem. If I have logged into the forums, I cannot log into the website. Any attempt to visit the website jumps me to the "My Accounts" page, which gives me the "Whoops" error whenever I attempt to log in. I generally attempt to log in as PRJ plus password, which works most of the time. However, if I have been logged into the forums, logging into the website fails using any of the account names I have ever had. Another bit of strangeness - when I log in as PRJ, the nickname shown in my account, the website says "welcome PRJ" when it works, the customer service page I'm on now says "Welcome Peter Jahn" and the forum page says "Welcome PeteJahn".  
 
I do have to give the customer services people a lot of credit, though.   They solved my problems. I also woke up early on Christmas Day – so early I jumped in a draft because everyone else was still asleep.  My draft crashed in pack two and I missed some early picks. I filed for compensation, and had my refund within an hour or so. Considering that I had sent in my request about 4am Pacific time, that’s pretty impressive.
 
I have had a lot of contact with Wizards customer service. Maybe it’s just because they have had so much practice, but they have always struck me as competent and professional.   
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard:  We had a couple Standard GPs last weekend. The usual suspect decks were there, but UB Control was the big winner this time around. So, if you are looking for something to play until the format rotates, check this out. After the format rotates, you can probably replace the Pearl Lake Ancients for a couple Ugins keep playing the deck.
.
 
Modern: SCG ran a Modern IQ last weekend, with over 400 players competing. The Top 16 decks were quite a mix. The winner was UR Delver, but we’ve seen that. Next in line Amulet Combo, which I have featured before. The third place deck was a Necrotic Ooze deck that seems new, or maybe just old and returning. I have tried something like this in the past, but I don’t recall it making Top 8 of any major events for a while.
 
 
Pauper: I am going to regret featuring this deck, if I end up facing it as a result. It’s TurboFog – a mill deck that plays a bazillion Fogs to keep from dying.  TurboFog has to be one of the most annoying archetypes since land destruction and Stasis.  
 
TurboFog
TimothyLeary, 4-0, Pauper Daily #7851221 on 01/03/2015
Creatures
2 Spore Frog
2 cards

Other Spells
2 Arcane Denial
4 Brainstorm
4 Fog
4 Jace's Erasure
4 Moment's Peace
4 Respite
4 Tangle
4 Treasure Cruise
3 Vision Skeins
4 Words of Wisdom
37 cards
 
Lands
8 Forest
9 Island
4 Thornwood Falls
21 cards

Spore Frog
 
KTK Block Constructed: KTK block events have been firing, now and then. The events have not been huge, but they fire. 
 
 
Legacy: SCG ran another Legacy Open last weekend.   The Top 16 decks were, once again, a reasonable mix. The format looks almost healthy – at least until you count Treasure Cruises in the top decks. Fatesticher Combo took it down, with several other combo decks in the mix. And then there were Delvers.
 
 
Vintage:  No big Vintage events recently, but here’s the winner from a recent Daily. Several of the other decks in the money list are very similar decks built around Delver, Pyromancer and Dack Fayden – plus four Treasure Cruises. It is warping the format, but we will have to wait to see whether Wizards will find it warping enough to break out the ban hammer. (Okay, technically the restrict hammer, but that does not roll of the tongue.)
 
 
 

Card Prices

Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at MTGOTraders.com. These are retail prices, and generally the price of the lowest priced, actively traded version. (Prices for some rare promo versions are not updated when not in stock, so I skip those.)   You can get these cards at MTGOTraders.com web store, or from their bots: MTGOTradersBot(#) (they have bots 1-10), CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or sell cards to MTGOTradersBuyBot(#) (they have buybots 1-4). I have bought cards from MTGOTraders for almost a decade now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
 
Standard staples: Standard prices shuffled around a bit, but the changes from the last time I ran the numbers a month ago are pretty small. A few surprises - Nissa is up, but I haven’t seen her in any decks recently.
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
December
Change
% Change
$10.04
$12.77
($2.73)
-21%
$6.78
$7.95
($1.17)
-15%
$20.06
$19.45
$0.61
3%
$13.85
$14.00
($0.15)
-1%
$14.21
$13.09
$1.12
9%
$7.92
$7.29
$0.63
9%
$20.23
$19.77
$0.46
2%
$17.03
$18.86
($1.83)
-10%
$9.59
$11.89
($2.30)
-19%
$8.00
$6.07
$1.93
32%
$17.45
$13.84
$3.61
26%
$21.72
$16.04
$5.68
35%
$14.99
$15.77
($0.78)
-5%
$4.83
$5.65
($0.82)
-15%
$8.91
$9.66
($0.75)
-8%
$8.68
$9.95
($1.27)
-13%
$13.19
$13.11
$0.08
1%
$13.09
$10.95
$2.14
20%
$19.12
$20.18
($1.06)
-5%
$13.17
$10.27
$2.90
28%

Modern staples:  Modern prices move around a bit, but not all that much considering that I last updated this a month ago. MMA drafts are having a depressing effect on the prices of those cards. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
December
Change
% Change
$39.80
$39.80
$0.00
0%
$21.32
$16.68
$4.64
28%
$19.38
$19.60
($0.22)
-1%
$12.11
$16.18
($4.07)
-25%
$9.84
$12.33
($2.49)
-20%
$11.36
$10.54
$0.82
8%
$16.16
$19.31
($3.15)
-16%
$17.46
$18.11
($0.65)
-4%
$14.21
$10.44
$3.77
36%
$21.35
$22.48
($1.13)
-5%
$52.15
$46.92
$5.23
11%
$25.04
$23.82
$1.22
5%
$62.66
$64.95
($2.29)
-4%
$28.13
$23.35
$4.78
20%
$46.56
$52.61
($6.05)
-11%
$33.61
$34.64
($1.03)
-3%
$20.76
$18.86
$1.90
10%
$43.20
$44.08
($0.88)
-2%
$35.14
$35.14
$0.00
0%
$14.00
$15.49
($1.49)
-10%
$68.57
$71.65
($3.08)
-4%
$20.29
$20.29
$0.00
0%
$37.40
$40.37
($2.97)
-7%
$30.98
$23.39
$7.59
32%

Legacy / Vintage: Legacy and Vintage prices are pretty stable this week, except for VMA and some of the cards affected by flashback formats. VMA drafts are over, probably for a long time, and the price of power and Force of Will are climbing. True-Name Nemesis is down, but it still costs more, in cash prices, than the precon that contains it. Strange.  
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$57.45
$45.05
$12.40
28%
$159.17
$138.78
$20.39
15%
$38.42
$38.42
$0.00
0%
$29.42
$25.31
$4.11
16%
$30.46
$28.74
$1.72
6%
$28.73
$28.00
$0.73
3%
$11.59
$9.65
$1.94
20%
$36.81
$30.70
$6.11
20%
$26.91
$29.89
($2.98)
-10%
$28.00
$28.42
($0.42)
-1%
$27.44
$27.44
$0.00
0%
$17.76
$17.91
($0.15)
-1%
$13.59
$13.55
$0.04
0%
$104.59
$104.59
$0.00
0%
$51.38
$35.91
$15.47
43%
$77.97
$56.70
$21.27
38%
$148.15
$140.77
$7.38
5%
$45.58
$47.51
($1.93)
-4%
$34.06
$39.11
($5.05)
-13%
$44.92
$34.59
$10.33
30%
$36.20
$41.70
($5.50)
-13%
$20.55
$15.54
$5.01
32%
$33.15
$36.68
($3.53)
-10%
$101.61
$101.61
$0.00
0%

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.   For those of you who redeem, here are the retail prices of one of everything set currently available in the store, excluding sets that are not currently draftable or not redeemable.    
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Born of the Gods
$84.96
$75.78
$9.18
12%
Journey into Nix
$127.82
$128.78
($0.96)
-1%
Khans of Trakir
$105.51
$109.34
($3.83)
-4%
M15
$144.89
$152.77
($7.88)
-5%
Theros
$115.16
$112.52
$2.64
2%

The Good Stuff:

The following is a list of all the non-promo, non-foil cards on MTGO that retail for more than $25 per card.  These are the big ticket items in the world of MTGO. 
 

Name
Rarity
Set
 Price
Black Lotus
B
VMA
 $ 159.17
Rishadan Port
R
MM
 $ 148.15
Misdirection
R
MM
 $ 104.59
Wasteland
U
TE
 $ 101.61
Vindicate
R
PRM
 $   86.64
Mox Sapphire
B
VMA
 $   77.97
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
 $   69.21
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
 $   68.57
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
 $   62.66
Ancestral Recall
B
VMA
 $   57.45
Force of Will
R
MED
 $   55.59
Griselbrand
M
AVR
 $   52.15
Mutavault
R
PRM
 $   51.96
Mox Jet
B
VMA
 $   51.38
Infernal Tutor
R
DIS
 $   51.33
Mox Ruby
B
VMA
 $   48.36
Cryptic Command
R
PRM
 $   48.28
Mox Opal
M
SOM
 $   46.56
Show and Tell
R
UZ
 $   45.58
Time Walk
B
VMA
 $   44.92
Scalding Tarn
R
ZEN
 $   43.20
Batterskull
M
NPH
 $   39.80
City of Traitors
R
EX
 $   38.42
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
 $   38.07
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
 $   37.40
Force of Will
R
VMA
 $   36.81
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
 $   36.20
Tangle Wire
R
NE
 $   36.10
Damnation
R
PRM
 $   35.84
Scapeshift
R
MOR
 $   35.14
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
 $   34.06
Noble Hierarch
R
CON
 $   33.61
Toxic Deluge
R
C13
 $   33.30
Undiscovered Paradise
R
VI
 $   33.15
Mox Emerald
B
VMA
 $   32.99
Mox Pearl
B
VMA
 $   32.48
Volcanic Island
R
ME4
 $   32.00
Volcanic Island
R
ME3
 $   31.76
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
 $   30.98
Daze
C
DD2
 $   30.97
Dark Depths
R
CSP
 $   30.46
Containment Priest
R
C14
 $   29.42
Daze
C
NE
 $   28.73
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
M
ROE
 $   28.13
Hurkyl's Recall
R
10E
 $   28.00
Intuition
R
TE
 $   27.44
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
 $   27.32
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
 $   27.28
Volcanic Island
R
VMA
 $   26.30
Auriok Champion
R
5DN
 $   25.98
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
 $   25.04

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 $ 25,880. That’s up about $410 from where we were before the holidays.
 

Weekly Highlights:

I have found enough time to do some random drafts – and by random I mean that the last half dozen drafts have been included four different formats, and everything from Swiss to 4-3-2-2 to Phantom. Jumping into whatever event is closest to firing is not the best strategy for getting good, but I hate waiting. On the plus side, I am chaining Modern Masters at the moment. I love that format.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 
HammyBot Still Running: 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 10% below retail price. Erik died three years ago, so HammyBot does not include any standard legal cards, but it includes a ton of Masters Edition and Vintage cards, and some nice Modern bargains. 
 

1 Comments

Realy? A Y2K bug? . They have by Wikki at Fri, 01/09/2015 - 13:44
Wikki's picture
5

Realy? A Y2K bug? . They have a bunch of interns running the show over there?

Nissa is super strong against UB control as the perilous vault doesn't work against the land critters she creates. Got my butt handed to me a few times by Nissa if they can resolve her and I don't have a Hero's Downfall.

I also love how Modern Prices are lowering. Some of the good cards are coming within obtainable range, so more people will buy and more people will play.

Great article as always