one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Mar 11 2016 1:00pm
5
Login or register to post comments
6252 views


State of the Program for March 11th 2016

In the News:

Shadows Over Innistrad Previews Starting: Cards are appearing everywhere. The rules article for SoI is here. Flip cards, madness, delirium – mostly the same, but the converted mana cost of a flipped card is being changed to be the cost of the unflipped side. That’s relevant, because Ratchet Bomb with no counters will no longer kill a flipped Jace. Wizards has also said they are rewriting Madness so it makes more sense online.
 
Worth’s Update Article: Worth Wollpert, Executive Producer for Magic Online, published his most recent progress report. You can read it here.   He noted that Leagues were doing well (4,500+ players, including me, in the Sealed League) and promised updates to recreate V2-style leagues. He also promised more Cubes, more big prize events like the Modern Festival, and to continue the Year of Modern Flashbacks next year. He promised more technical updates, and improvements to the promo card programs – including using it to get “cards into circulation that need to be there.” 
 
Legacy Challenge Tomorrow: The Legacy Challenge will take place at 11am Pacific time.   250 play Points, big prizes, details here.
 
No Downtime Next Week: Wizards is experimenting with reducing the number of downtimes. The first skipped downtime will be next Wednesday, March 16.  It will be Magic as usual all Wednesday, just no redemption this week.
 
Streamer Showdown Next Week will be Ravnica Flashback: Wizards will be hosting another streamer showdown March 17th.   As usual, we can watch two events, one starting at 1pm Pacific time, and one at 6pm Pacific. The players will be drafting triple Ravnica. If you never drafted Ravnica, or have forgotten how, I would recommend watching some of the more experienced players who drafted Ravnica back in the day. That would include Neal Oliver, Kenji and Randy Buehler in the first event, and LSV in the later pod. 
 
VSL Finals Next Tuesday Night: It will be David Ochoa verses LSV. Last Tuesday’s semi-finals was cool, since LSV and EFRO agreed in advance to not play Mishra’s Workshop and Bazaar of Baghdad. This let them build decks which didn’t have maindecks and sideboards choked with anti-shops and anti-dredge cards. Interesting. Watch it all on Twitch.tv/Magic, or watch the replays on YouTube.
 

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 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 March  26th.
·       Legacy Challenge: Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific. Next one March 12th.
·       No Downtime on: March 16, April 6, April 20, May 11, June 8 and June 22
·       League End Dates: all current leagues end April 13th
·       Shadows over Innistrad Prerelease: April 15-18, 2016. Details here.
·       Eternal Masters: online release June 17, 2016 Details here.
·       Eldritch Moon Prerelease: July 29-August 1. Details here
·       From the Vault Lore: releases online October 10, 2016.
 
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 Ravnica: March 16, 2016 to March 23, 2016
·       2 Ravnica and 1 Guildpact: March 23, 2016 to March 30, 2016
·       Ravnica, Guildpact, and Dissension: March 30, 2016 to April 6, 2016
·       Triple Coldsnap: April 6, 2016 to April 13, 2016
·       Triple Time Spiral: May 4, 2016 to May 11, 2016
·       2 Time Spiral and 1 Planar Chaos: May 11, 2016 to May 18, 2016
·       Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight: May 18, 2016 to May 25, 2016
·       Triple Tenth Edition: May 25, 2016 to June 1, 2016
·       Triple Lorwyn: likely June 1 to June 8
·       2 Lorwyn, Morningtide: likely June 8 to June 15
·       Triple Shadowmoor: likely June 15 to June 22
·       2 Shadowmoor, Eventide: likely June 22 to June 29
 
Flashback This Week: Triple Ravnica drafts begins next downtime. Ravnica has the following chase cards. Don’t pass these. Other than that, the cards with reasonable value include the shock lands – i.e. Temple Garden.
·       Dark Confidant
·       Golgari Grave-Troll
·       Glimpse the Unthinkable
·       Life from the Loam
 

Opinion Section: The State of Magic

I have been writing about the state of the game for almost 20 years. I have been writing about the state of MTGO for a decade. But I am in an interesting place right now.
 
The online program right now is in a pretty good place. This time a couple years ago this wasn’t so. When I was having huge problems running the client on my old laptop, and we were heading towards a change a version that had huge problems. We had memory leaks and trade bugs. We had formats suddenly canceled and uncancelled. We had Vintage Masters drafts ending, then not ending. We had crashes and bugs and high-stakes tourneys being suspended.   We had streamers moving to other games, and streamers who streamed crashes and expletives about the program. Not at all good times. 
Now, however, we have a program that basically works. Admittedly, I have a much better laptop, and that helps, but the program itself is better. Years of working on performance and stability has meant the program performs and is stable. I have lost just one game this year to a bug, and since I won the match I didn’t even bother filing for reimbursement. That’s a huge improvement over a couple years ago.
Casual play is still something I avoid completely online, and multiplayer still sounds like a mess, but tournament Magic is great online. Leagues are a huge hit, and they absolutely work for people like me. Events like Modern Festival have also seemed to hit a sweet spot, and Worth has said they will continue and expand. It sounds good.
 
Card availability is still an issue. Worth has said that they are looking at using promos to get cards that should be out there out there. About time. Rishadan Port should not be almost $750 a playset, and a common like Daze should not be in the top 50 most expensive cards online. More importantly, given how easy it is to trade online cards, you should never be unable to buy cards for a deck, but I have seen some times recently that major vendors were out of particular cards. That should not happen. At least not for cards that have been in “print” online for years.
What is also weird is that while online is improving, I am having some concerns about the paper side. For most of the last two decades, we have had a mix of really great Magic sets, interspersed with periods where R&D just missed the boat.   Urza’s Saga created Combo Winter which was a disaster for organized play. Standard with Skullclamp Affinity was almost as bad, and Caw-Blade was almost an equally low point. These problem periods have always been bracketed by great sets and great constructed environments, but they are still unfun while they occur.
 
My concern, at the moment, is that R&D appears to be off its game at present. Printing a Man-o-War as a 2/3 in a format with most removal doing two damage is mistake that should not have been made, but I can understand a mistake like that. Stuff happens. What I don’t understand is that the much-vaulted Future Future league apparently didn’t see 4 color Rally and the other 4 color good stuff decks that are dominating Standard. I am not a brewer anymore, but even I could immediately see that having fetchlands and duals in the same Standard format meant the mana was insanely good. How can these people not remember what happened when we had the Vivid lands and Reflecting Pool?  We had a format with decks that play Cryptic Command (1UUU) and Cloudthresher (2GGGG)in decks based around Cruel Ultimatum (RRBBBUU).    The mana worked then, and the decks were broken, and yet Wizards made a format with mana that was even better than that.
 
Wizards gets into a blind spot every couple years or so, and produces a clunker of a set or a format. Right now, the format is a bit of a clunker, because the mana is too good. Hopefully, Shadows will put us back on track. If not, Wizards R&D needs to up its game a bit.
 
As for the folks running MTGO, though, they are on top of their game.    
 

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 more up. The goal is to determine what areas of the rules I need to teach, and what my candidate already knows. Lagrange asked me to share some, so I will keep throwing them out until people beg for mercy.
 
You are at two life and have Nihil Spellbomb in play, but no black mana available.  Your opponent untaps with an active Grim Lavamancer, a Mountain and two fetchlands in play, and nothing in the graveyard. If your opponent hits you with the Lavamancer’s ability, you die. Can you use the Spellbomb to survive the turn?
 
Grim Lavamancer   Nihil Spellbomb
 
As always, there are no relevant cards not mentioned - for example, you do not have an Isochron Scepter imprinted with Stifle waiting to save the day.
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard: The GPs last weekend were Modern, and the other events featured a lot of decks like those we have seen before – Rally, Dark Jeskai, etc. Here’s something a little les ubiquitous.
 
Mono Green Eldrazi
CRACUDO, 3-1, Standard Daily
Creatures
4 Rattleclaw Mystic
2 Hedron Crawler
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
2 Whisperer of the Wilds
2 Whisperwood Elemental
4 World Breaker
4 cards

Other Spells
3 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Explosive Vegetation
4 Nissa's Pilgrimage
3 Hedron Archive
4 Oath of Nissa
10 cards
Lands
13 Forest
1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
4 Sanctum of Ugin
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
4 Shrine of the Forsaken Gods
1 Wastes
13 cards

Sideboard
2 Den Protector
3 Plummet
3 Titan's Presence
2 Reclaiming Vines
1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion
4 Jaddi Offshoot
5 cards
Whisperwood Elemental
 
Modern:  Three Modern GPs last weekend.   Three finals – and five copies of UW Eldrazi in the finals.   Yes, an Abzan Collected Company deck did win GP Detroit, but the deck of the week is clearly the deck that won GP Melbourne and GP Bologna, and put four copies into the Top 8 of GP Detroit. UW Eldrazi. As a side note, the odds that something will be banned in the April B&R update just got a bit shorter. 
 
UW Eldrazi
David Mimes, Winner, GP Melbourne
Creatures
4 Drowner of Hope
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Eldrazi Mimic
4 Eldrazi Skyspawner
4 Endless One
1 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
0 cards

Other Spells
4 Dismember
2 Path to Exile
9 cards
Lands
1 Island
1 Plains
4 Adarkar Wastes
1 Caves of Koilos
4 Flooded Strand
2 Hallowed Fountain
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Eye of Ugin
3 Cavern of Souls
22 cards

1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
14 cards
Cavern of Souls
 
Legacy: Just a reminder – pack your sideboard hate. If you don’t, this can happen.
 
 
Vintage: The Vintage Super League Season 4 Championship is underway. This week saw EFRO and LSV square off in a five match play-off. The matches were great. Since both players agreed to not play Shops and Dredge, decks and sideboard were tuned to other approaches. Great to watch, but I’m not highlighting any of the decks. After all, they only work if you don’t face shops or dredge, and that’s not a metagame I would expect in Vintage.
 

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 prices are down, pretty much across the board. The new Nissa is up, mainly because of the Hardened Scales deck. Some of the other cards have dropped below the $5 threshold, so I took them off the list.  
 
Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
(Anafenza, the Foremost)
$4.43
$5.64
($1.21)
-21%
(Atarka's Command)
$6.31
$7.56
($1.25)
-17%
(Chandra, Flamecaller)
$13.08
$13.12
($0.04)
0%
(Collected Company)
$20.33
$17.66
$2.67
15%
(Deathmist Raptor)
$13.99
$14.11
($0.12)
-1%
(Den Protector)
$6.48
$7.02
($0.54)
-8%
(Dragonlord Ojutai)
$12.56
$15.75
($3.19)
-20%
(Flooded Strand)
$7.32
$10.09
($2.77)
-27%
(Gideon, Ally of Zendikar)
$17.01
$17.19
($0.18)
-1%
(Hangarback Walker)
$8.37
$6.79
$1.58
23%
(Jace, Vryn's Prodigy)
$90.22
$88.05
$2.17
2%
(Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet)
$10.60
$16.34
($5.74)
-35%
(Kolaghan's Command)
$14.47
$12.95
$1.52
12%
(Kozilek's Return)
$5.41
$6.65
($1.24)
-19%
(Monastery Mentor)
$10.26
$11.64
($1.38)
-12%
(Nissa, Voice of Zendikar)
$9.98
$10.15
($0.17)
-2%
(Nissa, Vastwood Seer)
$7.80
$7.21
$0.59
8%
(Thought-Knot Seer)
$5.32
$8.73
($3.41)
-39%
(Ugin, the Spirit Dragon)
$8.93
$10.04
($1.11)
-11%
(Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger)
$7.11
$8.00
($0.89)
-11%
(World Breaker)
$4.50
$7.92
($3.42)
-43%
Modern staples:  Modern tanked slightly this week.   People are too interested in sealed leagues to play as much Modern. Besides – Eldrazi.

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
(Auriok Champion)
$22.47
$23.89
($1.42)
-6%
$35.34
$36.22
($0.88)
-2%
(Blood Moon)
$27.84
$31.17
($3.33)
-11%
(Cavern of Souls)
$26.35
$39.91
($13.56)
-34%
(Crucible of Worlds)
$22.42
$22.39
$0.03
0%
(Eidolon of the Great Revel)
$16.72
$18.18
($1.46)
-8%
(Ensnaring Bridge)
$48.89
$47.47
$1.42
3%
(Goryo's Vengeance)
$20.84
$20.26
$0.58
3%
$38.13
$35.31
$2.82
8%
(Grove of the Burnwillows)
$36.70
$43.06
($6.36)
-15%
(Horizon Canopy)
$39.58
$38.19
$1.39
4%
(Inkmoth Nexus)
$23.16
$24.70
($1.54)
-6%
(Liliana of the Veil)
$89.41
$90.12
($0.71)
-1%
(Mox Opal)
$37.53
$38.75
($1.22)
-3%
(Scalding Tarn)
$29.27
$32.39
($3.12)
-10%
$32.94
$32.00
$0.94
3%
$49.57
$54.41
($4.84)
-9%
(Twilight Mire)
$25.44
$26.31
($0.87)
-3%
(Vendilion Clique)
$17.27
$17.01
$0.26
2%
(Voice of Resurgence)
$44.81
$41.77
$3.04
7%
Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are mixed this week. Wasteland and Force of Will are confirmed to be in Eternal Masters, and are dropping. Rishadan Port is up again, but maybe because people are playing Lands, in the hope that it can beat Eldrazi.
 
Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
(Ancestral Recall)
$57.33
$47.81
$9.52
20%
(Black Lotus)
$144.23
$139.63
$4.60
3%
$27.31
$27.87
($0.56)
-2%
$28.64
$31.09
($2.45)
-8%
$30.04
$29.02
$1.02
4%
(Food Chain)
$32.56
$32.45
$0.11
0%
(Force of Will)
$26.02
$26.74
($0.72)
-3%
(Gaea's Cradle)
$52.75
$40.23
$12.52
31%
(Infernal Tutor)
$44.97
$46.44
($1.47)
-3%
$106.38
$106.38
$0.00
0%
(Mox Jet)
$43.09
$39.96
$3.13
8%
(Mox Sapphire)
$66.55
$61.93
$4.62
7%
(Rishadan Port)
$181.21
$180.15
$1.06
1%
(Show and Tell)
$43.91
$44.03
($0.12)
0%
(Tangle Wire)
$66.55
$66.55
$0.00
0%
(Time Walk)
$38.34
$37.52
$0.82
2%
$55.71
$56.25
($0.54)
-1%
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
$64.38
$67.96
($3.58)
-5%
Dragons of Tarkir
$135.80
$139.28
($3.48)
-2%
Fate Reforged
$36.55
$39.16
($2.61)
-7%
Khans of Tarkir
$64.12
$77.53
($13.41)
-17%
Magic Origins
$155.36
$150.49
$4.87
3%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$75.65
$94.97
($19.32)
-20%

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. Rishadan Port went up again. Amazing. I can’t imagine it not appearing in Eternal Masters.
 
Name
Set
Rarity
Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
$ 181.21
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
$ 144.23
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
$ 106.38
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
$ 90.22
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
$ 89.41
Wasteland
 PRM
Uncommon
$ 78.33
Black Lotus
 PRM
Rare
$ 75.00
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
$ 66.55
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
$ 66.55
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
$ 60.30
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
$ 57.33
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
$ 55.71
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
$ 55.30
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
$ 53.37
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
$ 52.75
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
$ 50.78
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
$ 50.20
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
$ 49.57
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
$ 48.89
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
$ 44.97
Voice of Resurgence
 DGM
Mythic Rare
$ 44.81
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
$ 43.91
Gaea's Cradle
 PRM
Rare
$ 43.76
Mox Jet
 VMA
Bonus
$ 43.09
Show and Tell
 PRM
Rare
$ 40.41
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
$ 39.58
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
$ 38.60
Time Walk
 VMA
Bonus
$ 38.34
Archangel of Thune
 M14
Mythic Rare
$ 38.29
Griselbrand
 AVR
Mythic Rare
$ 38.13
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
$ 37.59
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
$ 37.53
Time Walk
 PRM
Rare
$ 37.52
Ancestral Recall
 PRM
Rare
$ 37.52
Mutavault
 PRM
Rare
$ 37.28
Mox Ruby
 VMA
Bonus
$ 36.84
Grove of the Burnwillows
 FUT
Rare
$ 36.70
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
$ 36.32
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
$ 35.71
Mox Emerald
 VMA
Bonus
$ 35.60
Batterskull
 PRM
Mythic Rare
$ 35.34
Mox Pearl
 VMA
Bonus
$ 35.20
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
$ 32.94
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
$ 32.56
Griselbrand
 PRM
Mythic Rare
$ 31.93
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
$ 31.53
Maze of Ith
 PRM
Rare
$ 30.28
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
$ 30.07
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
$ 30.04
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
$ 29.27
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
$ 28.64
Phyrexian Metamorph
 PRM
Rare
$ 28.28
Volcanic Island
 PRM
Rare
$ 27.89
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
$ 27.84
Daze
 DD2
Common
$ 27.73
Sneak Attack
 UZ
Rare
$ 27.37
Daze
 NE
Common
$ 27.31
Force of Will
 PRM
Rare
$ 27.07
Verdant Catacombs
 ZEN
Rare
$ 26.92
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
$ 26.41
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
$ 26.35
Fetid Heath
 EVE
Rare
$ 26.15
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
$ 26.02
Twilight Mire
 EVE
Rare
$ 25.44
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
$ 25.42
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 $ 27,720.  That’s up a grand form last week’s number – that’s quite a correction.   
 

Weekly Highlights:

I have been playing sealed leagues this week.   The pools have been interesting – my last two pools have had pretty much nothing large. Having a pool with your biggest, best “fattie” being a 4/4 Kozilek’s Channeler makes for a real challenge. This Sealed format has a lot of large creatures in the mix.
 
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.  
 

Judge Question of the Week Answer:

You are at two life, and have a Nihil Spellbomb in play, but no black mana. Your opponent untaps with an active Grim Lavamancer, a Mountain and two fetchlands in play, and an empty graveyard.  If your opponents hits you with the Lavamancer's ability, you die. Can you use the Spellbombto survive the turn?
 
Grim Lavamancer   Nihil Spellbomb
 
Answer: No, not unless your opponent does something really stupid. Removing two cards form the graveyard is part of the Lavamancer’s cost.   No matter when you crack the Spellbomb, your opponent should be able to respond by cracking any uncracked fetchlands, then activating the Lavamancer with the Spellbomb’s ability on the stack. Activating the Lavamancer's ability includes paying costs, which will remove the fetchlands from the graveyard.  The Spellbomb will do nothing at that point. The Spellbomb would only stop the Lavamancer if the opponent lets the Spellbomb's ability resolve while one or more fetchlands is in the graveyard.  

 

 

52 Comments

SOTP by Sensei at Fri, 03/11/2016 - 13:18
Sensei's picture

I don't know how you can say MTGO is on top of their game unless the only standard you're holding them to is their terrible no-good awful history. If you compare them to Hearthstone or LoL, it's not even close. Soulflayer has literally been broken for months. OGW has been out for a month and you still can't undo the mana from Kozilek's Translator. It also "tapped" for three weeks. Devouring Greed/Rage was broken for three days. You can say they "fixed" it but CCC was only available for seven days (minus a downtime) so the format was warped for essentially ½ of it.

Being at the top of your game by ArchGenius at Fri, 03/11/2016 - 14:16
ArchGenius's picture

Being at the top of your game doesn't necessarily mean you're in the same league as your competitors. Magic has a much more complicated set of rules than Hearthstone and therefore reasonable for more effort to go into keeping magic online stable.

Magic online 2016 is much better than Magic online 2015. That is what Pete is saying.

Well, there's a vast by ricklongo at Fri, 03/11/2016 - 16:30
ricklongo's picture

Well, there's a vast difference between being on top of your game and being better than you were a year before.

The MTGO guys definitely struck gold with leagues (incidentally, a feature that the audience had been begging them to implement for what... eight years?), but other than that we're stuck with the same slow, buggy client and their poor, slow decision-making process.

Ya by Hearts at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 11:49
Hearts's picture

Yes, but you have to remember that they have had 15++ years to build software that handles the myriad of interactions, so it is sure that there is something wrong with the effort/priority side (as opposed to the difficulty side of things).

Computer;
A computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically.
- wiki.com -

reply by Hearts at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 17:36
Hearts's picture

Just met a WotC_XXXX in the limited Leagues, lost 0-2 to him/her. But the the sideboard pops up and I ask "sideboard/bug ?". To this he/she replied "I thought it would be nice with a 3d game =)." To which I replied "yea =)".

It shows two things;
1) they can compute the computers.
2) they have spent time computing stuff that isnt useful for mtgo.

Something else. by Hearts at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 12:04
Hearts's picture

I asked about collusion and bribery some weeks ago.

I meant the "togethertalking" in same sentences.

I heard/read the high level judges say that you can talk about prizes and that you can talk about match outcome but you can not/should absolutely not talk about them in same sentences (togethertalking).

So the question is then if it is ok to talk about match outcome in one sentence and prizes in the next, thus not speaking of them in same sentences ? I would feel that this should not be ok, but also feel that it is hard to say exactly why.
Maybe there is something about togethertalking that I havent understood ?

Online the rules are slightly by longtimegone at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 14:43
longtimegone's picture

Online the rules are slightly different.

In the last round of an event, players are allowed to agree to split prizes. The only major restriction is that they can only split the prizes awarded by the event. As an example, in something like a qualifier event, if you and the other person are playing for an invite plus maybe 15 packs total prizes, you can't offer to give them 20 packs if they let you win and get the invite.

but by Hearts at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 01:18
Hearts's picture

But I can say; "I give you 20 packs and stop this sentence here. Now I begin a new sentence and ask if you give me the invite ?" ?

That is two different sentences and should be valid right ?

Common sense should be able by Paul Leicht at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 02:16
Paul Leicht's picture

Common sense should be able to determine intent. It is very likely if you said it that way your opponent would correct assume it was a bribe. And then if they were at all smart would report it to a judge. Because accepting a bribe is just as damning as offering one.

The way you can legally phrase it without showing intent to bribe is as follows: "The prizes are x if I win. I will give that to you if you concede/draw." Anything over and beyond that is bribery.

? by Hearts at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 07:06
Hearts's picture

Does it matter what opponent(s) think/assume regarding this ?

"I will give that to you" (prizes) + "if you concede/draw" (matchoutcome). Isnt that same sentence in voice and will get me DQ'ed ?

The key part is WHAT is by Paul Leicht at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 11:39
Paul Leicht's picture

The key part is WHAT is offered/agreed upon. Prizes from the event are acceptable. From outside the event not so much. And imho this isn't a great thing ethically/morally but I suspect it cuts short a lot of the "grey area" arguments when there is an investigation. It is a shortcut to happiness for everyone: A clear cut rule. You can agree to concede/draw for pay if that pay is within the bounds of the tournament. You can't offer/accept excessive stuff as remuneration. It is clear. The hard part is proving it.

"You can agree to by Hearts at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 14:41
Hearts's picture

"You can agree to concede/draw for pay if that pay is within the bounds of the tournament."

Can you elaborate on this ?
To me this reads that you say I am allowed to offer my opponent prize boosters for the return favor that he concedes/draws. I thought that was a clear cut DQ in the judge book, is it not ?

It's important to note that by longtimegone at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 15:27
longtimegone's picture

It's important to note that the rules for paper magic and MTGO do *not* always perfectly line up.

In paper, I believe that asking this question directly might be against the rules, and could get you disqualified by a judge.

You are allowed to split prizes, even in paper magic, but asking someone to do it the wrong way can easily get you both DQd for Bribery/Collusion if a judge gets involved.

- I too know about many by Hearts at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 16:43
Hearts's picture

- I too know about many differences between paper and online magic.
- I too think Paul is wrong about that.
- when intent is what matters I really dont agree that the way you ask should matter for anything, and certainly not for something as important as a DQ.

To be perfectly clear I am by Paul Leicht at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 19:50
Paul Leicht's picture

To be perfectly clear I am not a fan of any type of quid pro quo for conceding/drawing. I think it entails a sort of sportsmanship that is unethical and screws over others who would benefit if you did not do that. But usually conceding for prizes is done in the finals where it isn't screwing anyone over and I believe THAT is the situation we are referring to here.

OK so that said, there is a reason why this is not a DQ offense. The reason has to do with phrasing and also intent as far as the judges can suss it (bearing in mind that they aren't psychic and can't bring that to table). The right thing to do if you aren't sure is to decline and then ask a judge, being very clear that you already declined.

But most judges aren't draconian enough to punish someone for asking the question in the hypothetical. Especially since it helps them if you know the rules to not break them unintentionally. In fact I would ask a high level judge (preferably one involved in Tournament Organization) outside of a tournament setting if you are worried about being (wrongly imho) punished for asking for knowledge's sake.

Reply by Hearts at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 20:42
Hearts's picture

You are cornering the discussion on two points here;

1) Please do not assume that this is a question for finals only, mind the general approach that it can happen at any stage in the tournament.

2) Also, please do not assume that this is only about answering questions/suggestions regarding prizes and the premeditated match outcome, it is also about the bringing up of one or both of these questions/suggestions with the opposing player.

The paper side is what interests me most, but I am sure many also like to hear about online.

I am merely responding to by Paul Leicht at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 20:58
Paul Leicht's picture

I am merely responding to what has been written.

If you bargain with your opponent outside of the finals of a tournament you are colluding. There is no grey area there.

This is true online as well as in paper.

If you feel it is ambiguous because asking does not always signal intent, assume in this case it does because that is what anyone listening will assume. Not asking "is this (x) legal?" but "would you?" even a hypothetical is probably grounds for a DQ. And I believe that's true online as well as on paper (though I admit I am a little fuzzy on where the line gets drawn online because there have been some flip flopping announcements concerning this. As it stands I believe you can offer to split the finals of a tournament, offering any portion of what you could win and anything else is considered collusion and bribery.)

Hope that helps.

Bargain. by Hearts at Mon, 03/14/2016 - 05:46
Hearts's picture

Yes, this is about all rounds and stages of tournaments, even 3 round fnm regular rel.

I agree that you cannot bargain, and I also know that this is not allowed in finals. To bargain I mean "I give you this if you give me that." That is bringing two things together in same sentence, one relies on the other. (what togethertalking implies)

But if you do as I said earlier "Blablabla.... and I stop my sentence here. Now I begin a new sentence and ask... ." This is clearly two sentences (no togethertalking that the judges say is illegal) - this should be good, or not ... ?

Maybe Pete Jahn can elaborate better ???

What Pete said. :) by Paul Leicht at Mon, 03/14/2016 - 12:38
Paul Leicht's picture

What Pete said. :)

I would DQ you. Clear intent by one million words at Mon, 03/14/2016 - 10:19
one million words's picture

I would DQ you. Clear intent is to offer value for a concession. It does not matter if you make it two sentences, or say the second sentence in Greek, or stand on your head for the second one - if I understand what you say as conveying the offer of something of value for a match outcome, I believe you have committed bribery.

The problem is that either have of that combination is not illegal - you can ask for a concession, and you can offer a prize split. You cannot do them together. I don't know what your particular "high-level judge" said, but I know most of the current and former L5s and many of the L4s. I have talked to many of them about this. Odds are that the "high-level" judge's explanation was a bit more nuanced than your summary.

In thee finals, you are allowed to make a deal. Anywhere else, making an offer, even in two sentences, is bribery. The one area where it gets problematic is when you leave one half of the combo unsaid, but try to hint at it. For example: "You should concede to me because I am a very generous person." That is a judgment call, but I would likely DQ. I did last time someone tried this - and repeated it even when I told him not to go there. My logic - other than implying that the player would compensate for a concession would anyone start a Magic match by saying "I'm a generous person?"

Agree. by Hearts at Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:58
Hearts's picture

Agree,
...but over to this;
"...not illegal - you can ask for a concession, and you can offer a prize split. You cannot do them together."

How do a player go about bringing up that he wants both of the above for separate reasons ?

You cannot possibly mean that one legal action invalidates the other when wotc and judges have specifically stated that both are legal, right ?

When you say that "You cannot do them together." do you mean "You cannot do them both." - ???? If so I find the statements from you, judges and wotc misleading.

Why would you want to do by MarcosPMA at Tue, 03/15/2016 - 03:57
MarcosPMA's picture

Why would you want to do both?

You can't ask for both because that implies that you're wanting the concession and in return you'll give them something.

If you wanted to split prizes and just that, then there's no reason to ask for a concession if you both were going to get a prize no matter what. If one of you needed to be someplace, then the person who was leaving would concede since that's more important than a win.

If the concession was the only important thing to you, then you would either ask for it alone or try to win if they decline.

If you ask for a concession then for a prize split or do it in reverse order, there's a nonzero chance that the person conceding is doing so because they will think something out of it and at that point someone could rule that you committed bribery.

No by Hearts at Tue, 03/15/2016 - 06:22
Hearts's picture

Per the discussion here the onus is on Marcus/Pete etc to explain why a player should explain himself when doing two legal things. Because the onus isnt there, it is on the judges to explain why their DQs were correct.

The case is that the judges worldwide have agreen/been instructed to have the possibility to misuse their authority when this happens in tourneys.

http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/legacy-weapon-getting-dqd-in-ohio/

I am certain that some judges absolutely like powertrips like this, but I can assure you that Judges would have fewer bad experiences at tournament scenes (made by sour players) if this "policy" wasnt in place.

After reading that article, I by Procrastination at Tue, 03/15/2016 - 08:44
Procrastination's picture

After reading that article, I think you might be best off with this conclusion from Reid Duke in the comments:

"I also think you took the right lesson from it all, which is that the rules are a little hazy on this type of thing, and it's safest just to keep yourself far away from it."

I'll try one more time. by one million words at Wed, 03/16/2016 - 18:34
one million words's picture

Here's another simplistic example: You can legally get drunk. You can legally drive. You cannot do both at the same time. Doing both legal things at the same time is illegal.

Or walking up to a bank teller and saying "I have a bomb." and "Give me money." You can make some technical argument that making either statement is not illegal, but I would strongly advise against trying it.

In most cases, if a player discusses both a prize split and a concession at the same time, it is because they are offering a bribe. That combination pretty much never comes up in any other situations.

Buts by Hearts at Wed, 03/16/2016 - 20:48
Hearts's picture

Yes, but I have two buts;
1) The most experienced players, who are friends, can blink an eye to each other and they know exactly how it goes.
2) Collusion happen blatantly on the PT and World Cups where so called team members concede to each other in the swiss portion for mutual gain. It's written on the bigger trading sites for mtg; "TEAM this and that".
MtG is NOT a team game, (except when it is 3 team GPs.)

In both of the above the players do not have to speak to each other, but if a newer player as much as opens his mouth he is DQed !

MtG was once played with the rule that you werent allowed to concede games or matches, all the way up to 1999 or 2000, lots of GPs and PTs.

I assure you, the worst thing that has happened to mtg is that you are allowed to concede, the second worst thing was when scouting became allowed.

Never. The DCI has never had by Paul Leicht at Wed, 03/16/2016 - 22:27
Paul Leicht's picture

Never. The DCI has never had official rules stating that you could not concede. Not once. Except maybe in some store "house" rules.

Also there is literally no way to prove a charge of collusion between friends unless they admit to it or there is a witness. This is like complaining that laws are unfair because they can't ensure there will be no laws ever broken. Completely unrealistic.

AND despite the fact that the pro tour has a history of alleged cheaters being accused, very few actual pros I have known would stoop to that to win. Is there a bit of camaraderie between pros that might lead them to scoop to a friend or a teammate? Sure but friendship isn't bribery or collusion in a legal sense.

I agree that there should be more to a DQ process than speaking out of turn but it can't be too much more than that or there will be NO enforcement of the no bribery/collusion rule. Benefit of the doubt should go towards newer players and those with squeaky clean records. Judges who automatically escalate to maximum punishment are not worth their stripes imho. Being careful and observant is a tough task when you are tired and stressed and busy but that is why not everyone is suitable to be a judge even if they understand the rules thoroughly.

Also I completely and entirely disagree with your opinions about what is making (has made) magic "bad". But we each come to our conclusions based on personal experience as well as objective data we may have. In mine, when I had to leave suddenly from a tourney amidst the round it was not a terrible thing to be able to scoop. Same for many of my opps who have children and family who understandably come first.

As to scouting, this is a great example of an unenforceable rule being fixed. I don't particularly like that scouting exists but it should be allowed for everyone if it all. If you can't enforce the rule that makes it illegal in a fair and evenhanded manner then it is a bad rule.

Reply by Hearts at Thu, 03/17/2016 - 10:03
Hearts's picture

http://www.wizards.com/dci/main.asp?x=MTG_DCI_Unirules

1.3.3 Conceding Duels
Players may only concede a *duel* in order to maintain a strategic advantage within a *match*. Whenever players wish to concede, they must have the approval of the head judge. If players concede duels for any other reason, they will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI penalty guidelines.

C. Unsporting Conduct
...
The following behavior is automatically considered unsporting conduct:
-
-
-
-
- scouting other competitors' *decks*
- enlisting the aid of observers to scout other competitors' decks
-
-
Any competitor behaving in a belligerent, argumentative, hostile, or unsporting manner will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI PENALTY guidelines.

I dont know what more to say.

one million words's picture

You did note the date on the provisions you were quoting, right?

The DCI also used to DQ for a decklist error, such as only listing 56 cards. Things were a bit different 15 years ago.

Reply by Hearts at Thu, 03/17/2016 - 16:33
Hearts's picture

Yes, did I note the date ? I played PTs and stuff during that period.

see my post further up...

Bots by Hearts at Thu, 03/17/2016 - 18:41
Hearts's picture

Write something about bots in your next article please.
They are illegal per terms and agreement.

Id like to see how you defend wotc turning a blind eye to them.
I will write lots of comments quarreling with you.

Are you here to start by MarcosPMA at Thu, 03/17/2016 - 19:00
MarcosPMA's picture

Are you here to start arguments? That's what I'm getting out of all this.

reply by Hearts at Thu, 03/17/2016 - 19:07
Hearts's picture

yes, because they need to start.

The problem is if all you do by Paul Leicht at Thu, 03/17/2016 - 19:49
Paul Leicht's picture

The problem is if all you do is start arguments for the apparent sake of arguing you will end up with your comments unanswered instead of how we have been treating you so far.

There are other forms of persuasion than being directly antagonistic and confrontational. In fact you are much likely to get a true discussion going if you can manage to show acceptance when someone has a point that does not entirely jibe with your own world view (For example: "I see what you are saying: xyz." or "Yeah that might be true." or "I can see how you would feel that way." ... just sayin'...

Because being able to display that you are actively listening/reading enables the other person to reciprocate more easily. I am not saying you can't go about as you have been but after a while people may just write you off as a curmudgeon or worse.

Reply by Hearts at Fri, 03/18/2016 - 06:24
Hearts's picture

For example, I have managed to teach you that there have been different rules about concession and scouting in mtg before. That is good of me, and not just a yes no conversation.

Not many people manage to teach others on the internet !

Why are you treating 'The by AJ_Impy at Fri, 03/18/2016 - 07:19
AJ_Impy's picture

Why are you treating 'The rules have evolved over time' as a revelatory triumph?

Reply by Hearts at Fri, 03/18/2016 - 07:44
Hearts's picture

I do not understand, can you tell me in more words ?

Yes. by AJ_Impy at Fri, 03/18/2016 - 08:19
AJ_Impy's picture

Yes.

Yes you do not understand and by Paul Leicht at Fri, 03/18/2016 - 12:27
Paul Leicht's picture

Yes you do not understand and that is precisely the problem you are having. Also you have only taught me that "conversing" with you is futile. Weigh that in your arrogance pipe and see how it measures up with your expectations.

... by Hearts at Fri, 03/18/2016 - 12:52
Hearts's picture

...

With my slower computer and by Misterpid at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 16:47
Misterpid's picture

With my slower computer and connection, I still have a MUCH harder time finishing matches on this client than I ever had on the previous client. It is the main reason that I rarely play anymore.

As we announced on FFTR, by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 17:30
Paul Leicht's picture

As we announced on FFTR, according to Worth that is going to end soon. Either because you can't log on at all (XP and some Vista users as well) or because the .NET upgrade being planned will supposedly solve those issues.

Hi there. Sorry I don't know by JMason at Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:50
JMason's picture

Hi there. Sorry I don't know what FFTR is, where can I learn more please.
Has anything been said about wifi improvement? Wifi always seems to be a major contributor to lag, but honestly cables are so impractical.

Freed From the Real is by AJ_Impy at Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:55
AJ_Impy's picture

Freed From the Real is PureMTGO's podcast, released on Fridays.

What's up with a lot of foil by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 22:08
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture
5

What's up with a lot of foil prices on the Traders site?

Like buy/sell on Verdant Catacombs is 26/29 but only 19/23 for foils with 0 in stock. Foil less than regular is very typical (my estimate is at least 25% of staples, sometimes even in stock). On many other bots the foil buy/sell disparity is far greater, with a lower buy price than regular copies and a higher sell price than regs. Is this supply and demand, risk aversion, or abysmal neglect to update prices, or something else?

There is very little interest by longtimegone at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 23:27
longtimegone's picture

There is very little interest in foils to use online, probably because many people think they look bad. For redemption, the bottleneck is the foil mythics, so the foil rares tend to take a hit and are worth less.

If you see 0 in stock that by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/12/2016 - 23:41
Paul Leicht's picture

If you see 0 in stock that USUALLY means the price has not been updated to reflect current changes in the market since that counter reached 0. Pay those ask/sell prices little mind.

It would be nice if they by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 02:17
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

It would be nice if they would be remotely sellable to bots for the same prices as regulars.

The fact that they aren't is by longtimegone at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 15:28
longtimegone's picture

The fact that they aren't is a pretty clear indicator that buyers aren't willing to pay as much for them as non foils.

Historically foils were by Paul Leicht at Sun, 03/13/2016 - 19:55
Paul Leicht's picture

Historically foils were problematic for bot owners to sell despite sometimes being really high in demand. Because their supplies were so low that they'd be caught guessing wrong on which ones were going to be flying out the door (and thus leaving them always out of stock) vs the ones that were going to be hot once and then never again (and then always be in stock at a bad price.) Thus many bot owners opted to not even buy foils at all. Even the really nice ones.

Now that the "premium" process is a pale yellow akin to dog pee on the fine collectables, foils have become less enticing, in fact, though the people I know who did not panic sell last year still collect them even as they hate their appearance. And I know some few who actually like the effect. So it is mixed but yeah demand is much lower for them.

Not to mention, when a FTV set comes out it does not have a non-foiled version so all those cards go for lower because of print runs and not being part of a redeemable set.