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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Jul 22 2016 12:00pm
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State of the Program for July 22nd 2016

In the News:

Leagues Closing Shortly: Current Leagues will be wrapping up July 27th.  They will then be relaunching with Eldritch Moon legal for play. Just make sure to play out your existing leagues matches before July 27th
 
Sorry about Last Week: I intended to write an article last week, but got sick Monday night. I basically slept through Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and was in no shape to sit at a computer, much less write coherent sentences. I’m better now, but – kids, a bit of advice. Getting old sucks – just don’t do it.
 
Vintage Cube Continues: As always, while we wait for Eldritch Masters online, you can play Vintage Cube drafts. It is a cool format.
 
The Hall of Fame Ballots: Hall of Fame ballots have been mailed out. Worryingly, the ballots and statistics page seem to be messed up, and still were at the time I wrote this. Wizards needs to get the stats right. As for the ballot, I recommend Owen and Yuuya for sure, and could see arguments for several others. YMMV.   
 

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 MTGO calendar and the weekly blog, while the best source for known bugs is the Known Issues List. For quick reference, here are some major upcoming events.   In addition, there are either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
 
Item: date and notes
·         Power Nine Challenge: Last Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific.  Next one July 30th
·         Legacy Challenge: Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific. Next one August 13th .  
·         League End Datesall current leagues end July 27, 2016 
·         Legacy Championship: July 24
·         Vintage Cube: July 13 to July 27. Info here.
·         Eldritch Moon Prerelease: July 29-August 1. Details here
·         Kaladesh Prerelease: October 7-10, on sale October 10th. Product code KLD.
·         From the Vault Lore: releases online October 10, 2016.
·         Aether Revolt: January 2017 release
 
Flashback Schedule:
Flashback drafts are 10Tix / 100 Play Points / 2 Tix plus product, not Phantom, single elim and pay out in play points: 200 for first, 100 for second, 50 for third and fourth. 
·         Triple Magic 2010: July 20 to July 27
·         (Pause for Eldritch Moon release events)
·         Triple Zendikar: August 17 to August 24
·         2 Zendikar, Worldwake: August 24 to August 31
·         Triple Rise of the Eldrazi: August 31 to September 7
·         Triple Magic 2011: September 7 to September 14
·         Triple Scars of Mirrodin: September 14 to September 21
·         Mirrodin Besieged, 2 Scars of Mirrodin: September 21 to September 28
·         New Phyrexia, Mirrodin Besieged, Scars of Mirrodin: September 28 to October 5
·         (pause for Kaladesh release events)
·         Triple Innistrad: October 26 to November 2
·         Dark Ascension, 2 Innistrad: November 2 to November 9
·         Triple Magic 2012: November 9 to November 16
·         Triple Avacyn Restored: November 16 to November 23
·         Triple Magic 2013: November 23 to November 30
·         Triple Return to Ravnica: November 30 to December 7
·         Triple Gatecrash: December 7 to December 14
·         Dragon’s Maze, Gatecrash, Return to Ravnica: December 14 to December 21
 
Flashback This Week: The next Flashback draft at the moment is Magic 2010. The two money cards in M10 are Time Warp and Garruk Wildspeaker, both of which are in the $7 range.
 

Opinion Section: I Vote for More Playtime

I was quite sick for almost a week. Now I am back at work, trying to dig through the backlog. I have no time to play MTGO, and that is a problem.
 
It’s political party convention time. As parties draft their platforms, they should consider this:  I will support any party that includes guaranteeing all workers enough time for at least two drafts per week. It should be a universal right.  
 
If you think that’s ridiculous, have you read parts of the various platforms out there?   A MTGO draft plank would fit right in. 
 

Judge Question of the Week:

I have been training new judges for many years, and part of that training involves setting out scenarios and problems that teach various parts of the rules. They start simple – i.e. a creature with trample is blocked by a creature with protection – and get harder as they go. The goal is to determine what areas of the rules I need to teach, and what my candidate already knows. And to have some fun. Here we go.
 
You attack with Ormendahl, Profane Prince (a flipped Westvale Abbey.) I chump with a Gloomwidow. At end of turn, I cast Gift of Tusks targeting Ormendahl. What happens?
 
 
 
As always, I have mentioned all the cards that are relevant to the question. No tricks – beyond imaging that a deck running Gloomwidow and Gift of Tusks actually exists.
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard: We are a couple days away from seeing results which include Eldritch Moon cards. The old format is kinda boring. Check back next week.
 
Modern: Lots of Modern WMCQs last weekend. Here’s a slightly unusual deck. Restore Balance decks were a thing five years ago. Interesting to see one back on top.    
 
 
Legacy: The Legacy Constructed league was the qualifier for the Legacy Championship this Sunday, so a lot of solid players were slinging the old cards. With a ton of 5-0 lists to choose from, I liked this one. .
 
 
Vintage: The VSL Season 5 is ongoing. Decklists are here. This week, LSV and Efro played an epic Jeskai Mentor mirror match. Watch it here – seriously, watch it. A very enjoyable 55 minutes. This is the best of Vintage – two players playing powered decks very quickly – and the match still running a long time. Anyone who thinks Vintage is all about turn one kills is just plain wrong – this is what Vintage is all about.
 
 

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 over a decade now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
 
Standard staples: Standard was down a bit this week. Note that this is two weeks’ worth of movement – in other words, not that significant. Khans block cards are falling, but they always do this time of year. We have several months before rotation, but people are selling now. Impatience.   
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$18.81
$15.36
$3.45
22%
$15.58
$15.44
$0.14
1%
$20.36
$23.33
($2.97)
-13%
Dragonlord Atarka
$6.59
$8.58
($1.99)
-23%
$5.26
$7.32
($2.06)
-28%
$19.12
$23.06
($3.94)
-17%
$28.61
$27.45
$1.16
4%
$20.91
$24.10
($3.19)
-13%
$9.51
$8.01
$1.50
19%
Kytheon, Hero of Akros
$10.77
$17.16
($6.39)
-37%
$16.69
$16.06
$0.63
4%
$9.63
$13.10
($3.47)
-26%
$13.98
$18.11
($4.13)
-23%
Sylvan Advocate
$4.77
$7.32
($2.55)
-35%
$7.15
$8.35
($1.20)
-14%
$7.39
$8.35
($0.96)
-11%

Modern staples:  Modern is down this week. Everything always slows down just before rotation. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$53.96
$56.21
($2.25)
-4%
$21.98
$20.60
$1.38
7%
$27.37
$29.48
($2.11)
-7%
$34.56
$36.51
($1.95)
-5%
$34.52
$40.57
($6.05)
-15%
$34.20
$38.75
($4.55)
-12%
$20.47
$21.56
($1.09)
-5%
$17.47
$18.66
($1.19)
-6%
$29.84
$30.35
($0.51)
-2%
$30.88
$31.40
($0.52)
-2%
$33.04
$33.47
($0.43)
-1%
$33.10
$29.58
$3.52
12%
$39.32
$35.06
$4.26
12%
$100.92
$98.69
$2.23
2%
$29.32
$32.14
($2.82)
-9%
$37.90
$42.26
($4.36)
-10%
$25.14
$26.74
($1.60)
-6%
$53.41
$53.86
($0.45)
-1%
$19.11
$17.78
$1.33
7%
$33.19
$29.82
$3.37
11%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are mixed this week. Infernal Tutor is dropping, and Doomsday is about to fall off the table. I suspect this is linked to the VSL showing almost no pure combo decks. It seems like the format is now all Mentor, Pyromaster or Shops
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$42.28
$44.41
($2.13)
-5%
$133.67
$141.78
($8.11)
-6%
$44.34
$49.95
($5.61)
-11%
$35.86
$36.68
($0.82)
-2%
$27.67
$25.75
$1.92
7%
$48.80
$47.05
$1.75
4%
$38.10
$38.10
$0.00
0%
$28.02
$27.53
$0.49
2%
$48.38
$50.23
($1.85)
-4%
$38.44
$49.11
($10.67)
-22%
$84.91
$85.46
($0.55)
-1%
$40.49
$42.75
($2.26)
-5%
$60.80
$64.42
($3.62)
-6%
$241.43
$230.24
$11.19
5%
$50.62
$48.71
$1.91
4%
$51.30
$53.35
($2.05)
-4%
$32.77
$34.06
($1.29)
-4%
$46.91
$38.47
$8.44
22%

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.  
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Battle for Zendikar
$60.31
$72.82
($12.51)
-17%
Dragons of Tarkir
$95.71
$100.74
($5.03)
-5%
Eldritch Moon
soon
n/a
Magic Origins
$95.77
$112.85
($17.08)
-15%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$105.46
$121.43
($15.97)
-13%
Shadows over Innistrad
$89.69
$85.94
$3.75
4%

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 looks pretty much like it did two weeks ago.
 

Name
Set
Rarity
Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
$ 241.43
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
$ 133.67
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
$ 100.92
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
$ 84.91
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
$ 60.80
Ancestral Vision
 DD2
Rare
$ 53.96
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
$ 53.55
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
$ 53.41
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
$ 53.10
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
$ 51.48
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
$ 51.30
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
$ 50.80
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
$ 50.62
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
$ 48.87
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
$ 48.80
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
$ 48.38
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
$ 46.91
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
$ 44.34
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
$ 44.23
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
$ 42.28
Ancestral Vision
 TSP
Rare
$ 40.54
Mox Jet
 VMA
Bonus
$ 40.49
Unmask
 MM
Rare
$ 40.13
Inkmoth Nexus
 MBS
Rare
$ 39.32
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
$ 39.08
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
$ 38.44
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
$ 38.37
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
$ 38.10
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
$ 37.90
Volcanic Island
 ME3
Rare
$ 36.76
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
$ 36.60
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
$ 36.46
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
$ 36.30
Lion's Eye Diamond
 MI
Rare
$ 35.99
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
$ 35.89
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
$ 35.86
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
$ 34.91
Mox Emerald
 VMA
Bonus
$ 34.89
Mox Ruby
 VMA
Bonus
$ 34.67
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
$ 34.56
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
$ 34.52
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
$ 34.22
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
$ 34.20
Mox Pearl
 VMA
Bonus
$ 34.07
Voice of Resurgence
 DGM
Mythic Rare
$ 33.19
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
$ 33.10
Grove of the Burnwillows
 FUT
Rare
$ 33.04
Time Walk
 VMA
Bonus
$ 32.77
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
$ 31.83
Griselbrand
 AVR
Mythic Rare
$ 30.88
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
$ 30.19
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
$ 29.89
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
$ 29.84
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
$ 29.32
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
$ 29.11
Jace& Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
$ 28.61
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
$ 28.57
Verdant Catacombs
 ZEN
Rare
$ 28.30
Volcanic Island
 VMA
Rare
$ 28.27
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
$ 28.02
Undiscovered Paradise
 VI
Rare
$ 27.83
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
$ 27.67
Moat
 MED
Rare
$ 27.66
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
$ 27.37
Underground Sea
 VMA
Rare
$ 26.74
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
$ 26.10
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
$ 25.14

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 $ 28,035.  That’s down about $700 from two weeks ago. I leave for a week and this happens.
 

Weekly Highlights:

A couple weeks to highlights here. One of the best had to be the kicker on the end of the Constructed Resources #52 podcast Eldritch Mon First Look. Efro rewrote Don McLean’s American Pie into “The Day the WUBRG Died.” It starts at 1:17:30. Not only was it awesome, but it left Marshall speechless for probably the first time in 400 odd podcasts. 
 
The VSL match between Efro and LSV was epic. As noted above, you can watch it here.
 
I was recovered enough to run the Sunday Prerelease at my LGS, and even play in the second event. (We had an odd number of players.) I built my deck in about 5 minutes, in between judge calls and tournament responsibilities, and I probably did not have the optimum build, but I still managed to go 2-1 before dropping. (The final round is too busy to play and officiate, since players tend to ID and want their prizes, etc.)   I can’t say I’m an expert on the format, but I can say I enjoyed it.
 
PRJ
 
“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.  
 
 

Answer to the Judge Question of the Week:

You attack with Ormendahl, Profane Prince (a flipped Westvale Abbey.) I chump with a Gloomwidow. At end of turn, I cast Gift of Tusks targeting Ormendahl. What happens?
 
 
 
Ormendahl becomes a 3/3 creature with 3 damage, and is destroyed. The static ability Indestructible does not remove or eliminate the damage, it just means that the creature can ignore the rule that destroys creatures with lethal damage. Once the Indestructible ability is removed by Gift of Tusks, that rule kicks back in.