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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Jul 12 2019 12:00pm
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State of the Program for July 12th, 2019
 
In the News

Modern Bans:  Effective today in the Paper world, and last Monday on MTGO, Bridge from Below has been banned from the Modern format.  It enabled an incredibly efficient deck in the format, and with it's removal, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Altar of Dementia should go back to being just really cool cards instead of format warping menaces.  For the reason given about the ban, and thoughts behind it, go here

Commander Bans: 
Not to be outdone by tournament formats, the people behind Commander made a few moves as well this week.  Painter's Servant is coming back to the format, while Paradox Engine and Iona, Shield of Emeria are moving to the sidelines.  You can read about that here.  Also they updated the Philosophy document, Commander is all about fun! 

MTGO Goes Down: 
Twitter lit up yesterday as Magic Online went down without explanation.  Then it came back up and caused a heap of issues for league players as wins had been nullified in those events.  As of Thursday night, the fix was to adjust the prizes based on the nullifications, but at least Timely Reinforcements works correctly again! 

Arena Also Goes Down: 
This was for a patch, as Wizards of the Coast at the same time took away my opinion section this week, and also vastly improved the mastery and XP parts of Arena. It's a good change that has seen a lot of praise from players on social media.  You can find the article here


The Timeline

This is a list of things we have been promised, or we just want to see coming back. Another good source for dates and times is the calendar and the weekly blog, while the best source for known bugs is the bug blog which appears sporadically on MTGO.com. Not listed, but important: Wizards offers either one or two online MCQs each weekend, with qualifiers for limited MCQs running the days immediately prior to the MCQ.
 
Upcoming Events
Dates
Scheduled Downtimes
August 14, 2019
Constructed Leagues End
September 25, 2019
Sealed Leagues End
September 30, 2019
Next B&R Announcement
August 26, 2019


Modern Horizons Ends
August 14th, 2019
“Archery”
September 2019
“Baseball”
January, 2020
“Cricket”
Spring, 2020
2018 Magic Online Championship Series and other events
Complete details, including schedule, rules, and which online events qualify you for which online or paper events is here. In addition, Wizards will be offering these special formats:
 
Standard MOCS Playoffs:  July 13
Limited MCQ Finals:  July 13
Modern MOCS Prelim:  July 14

 
Magic Online Format Challenges
These are high stakes events that happen every weekend. They cost 25 Tix / 250 play points, and last a number of rounds based on participation (assume 5-8), plus a single elimination Top 8. Details, including prize payouts, are here. Start times are:
 
Event Type
Start Time
Saturday, 8:00 am PT 
Saturday, 10:00 am PT
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT
 
The Hot Take Corner

On BanningsBridge from Below seemed like a card, much like Birthing Pod that was just going to be more problematic as Magic continued to print more sets. It was eventually going to be broken, and with Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, the bridge finally collapsed.  While Dredge itself was running without Bridges for some time and is not really hurt by it, it allows the Hogaak a chance to survive and adapt without messing up the rest of the format to much.  Will people be able to stop running graveyard hate in the main in as high numbers?  Probably. Rest in Peace, Nihil Spellbomb, and Surgical Extraction are all fine enough cards to be main decked, but not having to run a full playset anymore seems like a real nice thing.  At least Wizards of the Coast stepped in before something like an Eldrazi winter could have happened to the format. 

It would have been nice to maybe consider an unbanning.  Stoneforge Mystic seems like a safe enough unban, but with UW Control doing as well as it has been, maybe unbanning it would swing things in the favor of UW.  Faithless Looting, the format's Brainstorm, is another card that I would have liked to have seen discussion on in regards to its banning, but it may never actually be considered.  For now, Bridge from Below paid the price of other cards sins. 

For the commander bans? This is a format where Sol Ring and Cyclonic Rift are banned, ruin a lot of games, and not a peep out of the people behind the format about those cards.  Paradox Engine for sure caused a lot of heartache and bad feels around the table that Commander is played at, and it is nice to see it gone.  Iona, Shield of Emeria died so that Painter's Servant could live, and honestly, Iona was a card that I will not be sad about not playing with anymore.   It locked out a lot of people from playing Magic. 

I say this of course, realizing that Grindstone is a thing that exists, but I'm sure it will be a cool experience the first time I get painter stoned in a game. 

After that, probably not as cool. 

On Arena:  I was gonna dunk so hard on WotC for the battlepass this week, and then they went and fixed it after receiving feedback.  That left me with nothing to dunk on, and that's probably for the best.  I will say this about Arena though, in the beginning, they masked a lack of crafting as a desire to lessen the feel bad of having to craft. 

I saw through that, and was like, there is no crafting because there are not enough revenue streams in the game yet. 

With the Mastery Pass, Gems, Card Styles and Sleeves, there are enough streams for Crafting to be around.  As a grinder, I'll never have a use for bulk cards, no matter the rarity, and with each set added to Arena, more resources are going to be needed for the collection part.  I imagine that pictures and texts will eat a lot of memory when all is said and done.  At least let me control my collection. 

Cutting Edge Tech

Standard: Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer showed up in this aggressive Wizard deck in Standard.  Looks like a fun time!  


Legacy
:  Dredge is a format mainstay and it's been a while since we've looked at it, so let's see how Modern Horizons helped the deck out! 


Modern:
While the loss of Bridge from Below is felt in Modern, weakening the HogaakVine Deck greatly, it's still playable from what I have seen in league play so far. It's just a different take on Dredge at this point. However, This Zombie deck is closer to The Aristocrats than anything else. :


Pauper
: Desert is a card that I have wanted in the Pauper format since Alex Ullman first told me about it, and this version of Tron runs a couple of copies looking for help against aggro matches. I love it!


Vintage: It is getting harder to find Vintage decks that haven't been covered, and it was a great surprise to me that I hadn't covered and Survival of the Fittest decks yet, so here is one from the Vintage Challenge!



 
Winner's Circle

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

Legacy Challenge:  dystopiaa won with 4 Color Delver.
Modern Challenge:  yamakiller won with Humans.
Pauper Challenge:  GALL won with Affinity
Vintage Challenge:  Mannes won with Storm
 

Around the Web

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

Monday:  Kendra Smith wrote a super important article going over the new cards of the Pauper unification at CoolStuff

Tuesday: Jonathon Melamed qualified for the Brazilian National Pauper championships with Izzet Flicker, check the report at ChannelFireball

Wednesday:  David Walley had a sweet look at Gideon on Ravnica on the best named Magic site there is, HipstersoftheCoast.

Thursday:  Adam Yurchick went over the tribes of Core Set 2020 over at tcgplayer

Card Prices
Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at MTGOTraders.com. These are retail prices, and generally the price of the lowest priced, actively traded version. (Prices for some rare promo versions are not updated when not in stock, so I skip those.) You can get these cards at MTGOTraders.com web store, or from their bots: MTGOTradersBot(#) (they have bots 1-10), CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or sell cards to MTGOTradersBuyBot(#) (they have buybots 1-4). I have bought cards from MTGOTraders for a decade and a half now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
 
Standard Staples: Core Set 2020 cards are starting to settle a bit, and we removed a lot of Gods from War of the Spark.  Cards from Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria and Core Set 2019 have started to drop in advance of the next Standard rotation coming up in 4 months. 

Standard Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Arclight Phoenix $28.77 $29.99 ($1.22) -4%
Teferi, Time Raveler $16.98 $16.29 $0.69 4%
Hydroid Krasis $18.88 $15.71 $3.17 20%
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $15.67 $17.78 ($2.11) -12%
Prime Speaker Vannifer $7.49 $8.22 ($0.73) -9%
Seraph of the Scales $8.20 $8.24 ($0.04) 0%
Firesong and Sunspeaker $5.67 $5.67 $0.00 0%
Finale of Devastation $19.13 $20.77 ($1.64) -8%
Karn, the Great Creator $17.44 $10.15 $7.29 72%
Finale of Promise $31.36 $28.27 $3.09 11%
Aggressive Mammoth $5.46 $5.23 $0.23 4%
Dreadhorde Arcanist $15.73 $7.81 $7.92 101%
Skarrgan Hellkite $7.46 $7.37 $0.09 1%
Assassin's Trophy $4.79 $6.62 ($1.83) -28%
Chandra, Awakened Inferno $16.75 $16.71 $0.04 0%
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord $6.27 $11.82 ($5.55) -47%
Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer $7.23 $9.51 ($2.28) -24%
Leyline of the Void $7.64 $9.13 ($1.49) -16%
Yarok, the Desecrated $3.77 $7.57 ($3.80) -50%
Omnath, Locus of the Roil $17.82 $7.46 $10.36 139%
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger $1.97 $6.90 ($4.93) -71%
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame $1.76 $6.26 ($4.50) -72%
Kykar, Wind's Fury $1.98 $5.76 ($3.78) -66%
Rienne, Angel of Rebirth $4.17 $5.26 ($1.09) -21%
Cavalier of Thorns $13.17 $5.20 $7.97 153%
Biogenic Ooze $4.30 $5.03 ($0.73) -15%
Blast Zone $5.66
$5.66
Eternal staples:  Modern Horizons prices are doing really weird things.  Wrenn and Six was a bit over 100 earlier in the week before dropping back down to the price it is today.  It's really starting to take off in the non-rotating formats, and I think that is great.  However, I am really starting to feel that we're looking at War of the Spark and Modern Horizons as a new era for MTGO, sort of how Invasion block was for the earliest days of the client.  These cards are not getting opened a ton, and I fear that when Horizons events are over, things will truly take off. 

Eternal Format Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Back to Basics $6.66 $7.40 ($0.74) -10%
Cavern of Souls $20.10 $17.38 $2.72 16%
Chalice of the Void $23.25 $21.24 $2.01 9%
City of Traitors $25.66 $25.59 $0.07 0%
Engineered Explosives $11.06 $10.84 $0.22 2%
Ensnaring Bridge $21.59 $20.57 $1.02 5%
Force of Will $18.62 $18.69 ($0.07) 0%
Gemstone Mine $17.21 $13.55 $3.66 27%
Horizon Canopy $16.71 $14.32 $2.39 17%
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $28.50 $27.37 $1.13 4%
Karn Liberated $14.37 $14.12 $0.25 2%
Liliana of the Veil $26.05 $20.88 $5.17 25%
Liliana, the Last Hope $10.48 $12.98 ($2.50) -19%
Auriok Champion $9.97 $10.95 ($0.98) -9%
Mox Opal $36.78 $32.67 $4.11 13%
Scalding Tarn $14.66 $16.36 ($1.70) -10%
Surgical Extraction $42.16 $49.12 ($6.96) -14%
True-Name Nemesis $33.52 $35.50 ($1.98) -6%
Underground Sea $7.91 $8.52 ($0.61) -7%
Wasteland $16.03 $20.43 ($4.40) -22%
Mishra's Bauble $15.53 $15.02 $0.51 3%
Snapcaster Mage $7.53 $10.67 ($3.14) -29%
Trinisphere $5.86 $7.47 ($1.61) -22%
Mox Diamond $17.76 $17.63 $0.13 1%
Force of Negation $35.67 $44.18 ($8.51) -19%
Wrenn and Six $88.52 $59.88 $28.64 48%
Prismatic Vista $6.12 $11.21 ($5.09) -45%
Giver of Runes $2.86 $8.05 ($5.19) -64%
Sunbaked Canyon $5.43 $9.28 ($3.85) -41%
Seasoned Pyromancer $28.98 $27.44 $1.54 6%
Fiery Islet $6.21 $7.01 ($0.80) -11%
Urza, Lord High Artificer $13.62 $18.26 ($4.64) -25%
Ranger-Captain of Eos $8.15 $11.48 ($3.33) -29%
Hexdrinker $14.38 $9.28 $5.10 55%
Plague Engineer $8.88 $11.53 ($2.65) -23%
Standard Legal Sets: This table tracks the cost of a single copy of every card in each Standard legal set, plus Treasure Chests and the current booster pack.  I have also decided to start tracking Modern Horizons, that is interesting to me.  This is being kept as a small tribute to Pete! 


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.  The list is interesting, at the least. This is interesting to me because a lot of these cards have been reprinted more than once, and they are still commanding a high price.

Name Set Rarity Price
Black Lotus 1E Rare 303.36
Mox Sapphire 1E Rare 161.73
Mox Ruby 1E Rare 116.24
Mox Emerald 1E Rare 115.75
Ancestral Recall 1E Rare 101.18
Mox Jet 1E Rare 92.53
Wrenn and Six MH1 Mythic 88.52
Mox Pearl 1E Rare 81.04
Time Walk 1E Rare 71.6
Liliana of the Veil PRM Mythic 67.98
Karn Liberated UBT Mythic 61.38
Lord Windgrace PZ2 Mythic 61.15
Timetwister 1E Rare 49.08
Liliana of the Veil UMA Mythic 45.29
Surgical Extraction MM2 Rare 43.09
Dark Depths V16 Mythic 42.49
Surgical Extraction NPH Rare 42.16
Surgical Extraction PRM Rare 41.97
Liliana of the Veil UBT Mythic 41.17
Engineered Explosives UBT Mythic 40.67
Mox Opal MS2 Bonus 38.65
Mox Opal SOM Mythic 36.78
Unmask V16 Mythic 36.11
Mox Opal MM2 Mythic 36.06
Force of Negation MH1 Rare 35.67
Black Lotus PRM Rare 34
True-Name Nemesis PZ1 Mythic 33.52
Narset, Parter of Veils PRM Uncommon 33.46
Finale of Promise WAR Mythic 31.36
Dark Depths UBT Mythic 30.93
Liliana, the Last Hope MS4 Mythic 30.88
Karn Liberated UMA Mythic 30.34
Mox Sapphire PRM Rare 30
Noble Hierarch UBT Mythic 29.95
Cavern of Souls UMA Mythic 29.62
Force of Will MED Rare 29.5
Seasoned Pyromancer MH1 Mythic 28.98
Arclight Phoenix GRN Mythic 28.77
Jace, the Mind Sculptor WWK Mythic 28.5
True-Name Nemesis C13 Rare 28.09
Jace, the Mind Sculptor A25 Mythic 28.07
Jace, the Mind Sculptor VMA Mythic 27.52
Jace, the Mind Sculptor EMA Mythic 26.79
Ensnaring Bridge A25 Mythic 26.46
Liliana of the Veil MM3 Mythic 26.41
Snapcaster Mage UMA Mythic 26.39
Liliana of the Veil ISD Mythic 26.05
Expropriate PZ2 Mythic 25.9
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper MS4 Mythic 25.71
City of Traitors EX Rare 25.66
Ancestral Recall PRM Rare 25
The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive versions available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO is approximately a number that I cannot figure out still. I have actually asked Pete to do this for me, because Open Office is weird, and I have no idea what I am doing, and I am pretty close to just being a dog in a labcoat.

Nevermind, ignore all of that, Pete got it done for me, because he is just the dang best. The big number this week is 16187.  Last week the big number was 15204.  A nice increase of 903.  That's a huge change, and more than likely because of Core Set 2020. 
 
In Closing

I, a galaxy brained genius, decided to resub to World of Warcraft this week, after I lost a job that I was excited to start, the day before I was supposed to start it.  I'm not sure how I got fired on my day off, (well I actually am, I just wanted to make a reference to Friday), but I did, and I know how to fix it in the future.  This gig was never going to effect my work here at PureMTGO or at Legit, but it was something my therapist was super excited about because it was going to move me way out of my comfort zone. 

Prices were done on Thursday, the 11th. 

On to the next one though. 

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