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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Mar 16 2018 12:06pm
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State of the Program for March 17th 2018
 
In the News
Dominaria Info Leaks: You can start drafting Masters 25 on March 16th. Phantom drafts will be 10 Event TIX, or 25 TIX for you keep all the nice card drafts. Blake Rasmussen’s article explain how the leak happened is here. Blake’s article explains what happened (the Chinese site posted the Dominaria FAQ instead of the Master 25 FAQ) and early plans to scrap the preview schedule. People disliked that idea, and it was modified. Aaron Forsythe’s article explaining the changes is here.
 
Master 25 Up Early: Due to the leak of Dominaria info and accelerated roll-out, we online players get a chance to play with Masters 25 a bit early. It is online now.
 
MTGArena NDA Ends March 22: Currently, all MTGArena beta testers are subject to a non-disclosure agreement. That means that they are not allowed to talk about, sow pictures or, or stream MTGArena. That NDA is scheduled to end March 22. Expect to see videos, streams and so forth once the NDA expires. Wizards is even giving away “creator kits” to help content creators. Details 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 PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
 

Upcoming Events
Dates
Scheduled Downtimes
March 14th, March 28th (extended)
Constructed Leagues End
April 18, 2018
Sealed Leagues End
April 23, 2018
Dominaria
April 23, 2018
Core Set Magic  2019
July 13, 2018
Next B&R Announcement
April 16, 2018
SOI and EMN Redemption Ends
April 28, 2018
Ixalan Redemption Ends
May 23, 2018
Rivals of Ixalan Redemption Ends
May 23, 2018

 
WotC Covered Events
Wizards will be streaming a number of events next year, including all four Pro Tours, the Magic Championship and World Magic Cup, along with 35 Grand Prix. Since Wizards does not schedule premier events on prerelease weekends and certain holidays, that means they will be streaming an event nearly every weekend. Here’s the schedule we have so far.
·       April 6–8: Grand Prix Seattle (double-GP weekend)
·       April 14–15: Grand Prix Memphis
·       April 28–29: Grand Prix Bologna
·       May 5–6: Grand Prix Dallas
·       May 11–13: Grand Prix Birmingham (double-GP weekend)
·       May 26–27: Grand Prix Washington, DC
·       June 1–3: Pro Tour Dominaria in Richmond, Virginia
·       June 9–10: Grand Prix Copenhagen
·       June 15–17: Grand Prix Las Vegas (double-GP weekend)
·       June 23–24: Grand Prix Pittsburgh
·       July 7–8: Grand Prix São Paulo
·       July 21–22: Grand Prix Sacramento
·       July 28–29: Grand Prix Minneapolis
·       Aug. 3–5: Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis, Minnesota
·       Aug. 11–12: Grand Prix Brussels
·       Aug. 18–19: Grand Prix Los Angeles
·       Aug. 25–26: Grand Prix Prague
·       Aug. 31–Sept. 2: Grand Prix Richmond (double-GP weekend)
·       Sept. 8–9: Grand Prix Detroit
·       Sept. 15–16: Grand Prix Stockholm
·       Weekend of Sept. 23–24: 2018 Magic World Championship and Team Series Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada (exact event dates TBD)
·       Oct. 6–7: Grand Prix Montreal
·       Oct. 13–14: Grand Prix Denver
·       Oct. 27–28: Grand Prix Lille
·       Nov. 3–4: Grand Prix Atlanta
·       Nov. 9–11: Pro Tour "Spaghetti" in Atlanta
·       Nov. 17–18: Grand Prix Milwaukee
·       Dec. 8–9: Grand Prix Liverpool
·       Dec. 14–16: World Magic Cup in Barcelona, Spain
 
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:
·       March 16–April 4: Masters 25
·       April 4–20: Modern Cube
·       April 23rd forward: Dominaria
 
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
Saturday, 12:00 pm PT
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT

 
Opinion Section:  Is Masters 25 Worth It? 
Wizards has given us Masters 25 a few weeks early. I am trying to decide whether I want to draft it at all. I could head into my local game store on Friday, and I can draft it online. Halfway through the preview season, I was all excited. By the end of the preview season – specifically after Tree of Redemption was spoiled – I was reconsidering. Seriously reconsidering.   
 
Masters 25 packs cost $10 each. A paper draft, if it has prize support, is going to cost $40 or so. For that kind of money, I want to have a great experience, and/or open a card I am excited to get. When Wizards kicked off with Jace, TMS, this looked promising. I was watching the previews and counting up the cards I wanted to play. To a lesser extent, I was also watching for cards I needed, but I have been playing a lot of Magic continuously since 1997; there is not much I need. As for cards I want to play – I have played everything on the list, except Ravenous Chupacabra (still haven’t opened one. I’ve lost to the card, but never cast it.)   I like playing with Swords to Plowshares, Sift and Man-o'-War), but that’s not worth $40. 
 
The Mana Source put out a Top Ten M25 Cards to Replace video. Watch it here. I think that sums up my problem. There are so many cards that just don’t excite me, and far too few that do. 
 
I don’t know how Wizards comes up with the list of cards in Masters sets, but they need to change. They need to stop including cards like Triskaidekaphobia Stangg and Tree of Redemption. Masters Edition I was phenomenal because it provided an amazing limited experience and had a lot of cool cards that were expensive and hard to get. Now, as Wizards keeps banging out Masters editions, the list of cards that are in critically short supply continues to shrink. If Wizards is not willing to give us more chase cards, then they need to make limited great. And for $10 a pack, those packs need to give us great limited cards, especially in the rare and Mythic slots. I don’t mean that they all have to be bombs, but they have to be cards that you want to play. They should not be cards that tabled, back I their limited formats. At $10 per pack, there shouldn’t be filler cards, especially at rare and Mythic. There should be no “skill tester” cards in a Masters set, either. For example, why is Browbeat here.
 
I also considered Phantom drafts, but I’m not sure that’s worth it, either. Maybe I’m just fixated on the mediocre stuff, but I see too much of it. Even phantom drafts are $10. There are cheaper ways to play Colossal Dreadmaw.  
 
 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: We had a constructed team trios GP last weekend in Madrid. This meant a team with one player fielding a Standard deck, one a Modern deck, and the third a Legacy deck.  That creates a slight distorted metagame, but it was still a huge field playing a lot of decks. Coverage of the GP is here.

 


Modern
:
 


Pauper
: This week’s Pauper deck of choice features Zuberas. I played a Zuberas deck back when Champions of Kamigawa was a block format, and in casual play. Mulldrifter would have made it a lot better.


Legacy
:
 
 
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 mixed; overall slightly down. Most of these adjustments are minor.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$16.86
$16.80
$0.06
0%
$23.08
$25.70
($2.62)
-10%
$7.26
$7.68
($0.42)
-5%
$5.77
$7.60
($1.83)
-24%
$9.86
$11.50
($1.64)
-14%
$3.59
$3.59
$0.00
0%
$25.71
$30.09
($4.38)
-15%
$5.15
$3.87
$1.28
33%
$5.92
$5.75
$0.17
3%
$38.30
$38.28
$0.02
0%
$14.87
$15.13
($0.26)
-2%
$6.90
$7.49
($0.59)
-8%
$5.70
$5.82
($0.12)
-2%
$18.63
$17.65
$0.98
6%

Modern staples:  Modern is all over the place. Watching Jace drop in price is interesting – apparently it is not going to ruin Modern. It may not even be that amazing in the format.   
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$23.49
$25.03
($1.54)
-6%
$27.82
$25.82
$2.00
8%
$24.06
$26.48
($2.42)
-9%
$27.64
$23.32
$4.32
19%
$30.85
$29.92
$0.93
3%
$14.44
$16.35
($1.91)
-12%
$37.19
$34.21
$2.98
9%
$21.03
$23.79
($2.76)
-12%
$29.96
$27.12
$2.84
10%
$39.78
$36.64
$3.14
9%
$42.79
$43.04
($0.25)
-1%
$30.49
$29.62
$0.87
3%
$59.55
$70.26
($10.71)
-15%
$68.04
$74.94
($6.90)
-9%
$54.35
$52.26
$2.09
4%
$49.11
$50.30
($1.19)
-2%
$24.67
$23.19
$1.48
6%
$26.67
$27.40
($0.73)
-3%
$17.51
$20.56
($3.05)
-15%
$36.24
$35.05
$1.19
3%
$51.83
$52.72
($0.89)
-2%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are generally pretty quiet this week. A few cards to be reprinted in Masters 25 are dropping, as you would expect, but not by much. Masters 25 is only going to be available for a couple weeks, and many players will play Phantom events. I don’t except that it will have much impact over the long term.
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$33.19
$33.48
($0.29)
-1%
$21.66
$20.66
$1.00
5%
$19.99
$20.53
($0.54)
-3%
$30.40
$28.70
$1.70
6%
$18.36
$18.68
($0.32)
-2%
$32.59
$33.33
($0.74)
-2%
$34.08
$35.76
($1.68)
-5%
$21.63
$20.85
$0.78
4%
$40.52
$40.52
$0.00
0%
$16.01
$15.84
$0.17
1%
$22.53
$28.19
($5.66)
-20%
$27.17
$28.18
($1.01)
-4%
$89.13
$89.62
($0.49)
-1%
$15.84
$15.64
$0.20
1%
$15.21
$16.67
($1.46)
-9%
$33.33
$31.37
$1.96
6%

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’ll keep tracking these because they are interesting (at least to me).   
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Aether Revolt
$84.02
$76.94
$7.08
9%
Amonkhet
$72.97
$74.81
($1.84)
-2%
Ixalan
$77.44
$76.49
$0.95
1%
Hour of Devastation
$73.80
$72.16
$1.64
2%
Kaladesh
$95.50
$96.84
($1.34)
-1%
Rivals of Ixalan
$79.84
$83.30
($3.46)
-4%
Treasure Chest
$2.47
$2.51
($0.04)
-2%
Ixalan Booster
$4.14
$4.15
($0.01)
0%
Rivals of Ixalan Booster
$2.63
$2.65
($0.02)
-1%

 
 
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.  True-Name Nemesis has now passed Black Lotus. Guess what need s reprinting.
 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 97.77
Black Lotus
 1E
Rare
 $ 94.21
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $ 89.13
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 76.32
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 68.04
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 67.24
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 VMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 62.76
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 WWK
Mythic Rare
 $ 60.37
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 59.55
Mox Sapphire
 1E
Rare
 $ 57.70
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $ 56.87
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 55.55
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 54.35
Tarmogoyf
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 53.66
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 51.89
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 51.83
Mox Ruby
 1E
Rare
 $ 51.42
Mox Emerald
 1E
Rare
 $ 51.37
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 51.33
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 49.11
Ancestral Recall
 1E
Rare
 $ 49.06
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 47.50
Mox Diamond
 TPR
Mythic Rare
 $ 46.26
Karn Liberated
 NPH
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.86
Karn Liberated
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 42.79
Horizon Canopy
 IMA
Rare
 $ 42.48
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $ 42.26
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 42.08
Mox Jet
 1E
Rare
 $ 42.02
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 40.52
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.78
Force of Will
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 39.24
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 38.84
The Scarab God
 HOU
Mythic Rare
 $ 38.30
The Scarab God
 MS3
Special
 $ 38.20
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 38.07
Mox Pearl
 1E
Rare
 $ 37.36
Engineered Explosives
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 37.19
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 37.17
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $ 36.43
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $ 36.24
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $ 35.88
Force of Will
 VMA
Rare
 $ 34.87
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 34.57
Time Walk
 1E
Rare
 $ 34.15
Force of Will
 MS3
Special
 $ 34.08
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $ 33.33
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 33.19
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $ 32.59
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
 $ 32.13
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $ 31.69
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 31.18
Fulminator Mage
 SHM
Rare
 $ 31.05
Collective Brutality
 EMN
Rare
 $ 30.85
Kolaghan's Command
 DTK
Rare
 $ 30.49
Dark Depths
 CSP
Rare
 $ 30.40
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
 $ 30.24
Fulminator Mage
 MM2
Rare
 $ 29.96
Cavern of Souls
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.52
Scalding Tarn
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 28.96
Chalice of the Void
 MMA
Rare
 $ 28.74
Chalice of the Void
 MS2
Bonus
 $ 28.24
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $ 27.82
Scalding Tarn
 MM3
Rare
 $ 27.71
Chalice of the Void
 MRD
Rare
 $ 27.64
Gorilla Shaman
 ALL
Common
 $ 27.19
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $ 27.17
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
 $ 26.79
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
 $ 26.67
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 26.37
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
 $ 25.85
Rekindling Phoenix
 RIX
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.71
Blood Moon
 MS3
Special
 $ 25.64
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $ 25.16

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 $ 21,150. That’s up $60 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
Guild Wars 2 dropped a new adventure and I ended up playing that instead of Magic this week. I did enjoy some Magic podcasts during my commutes.
 
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO
 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 

8 Comments

25 tix is way, way, WAYYYYYYY by ricklongo at Fri, 03/16/2018 - 14:46
ricklongo's picture
5

25 tix is way, way, WAYYYYYYY too much for a M25 draft, given the amount of chaff you can open. My initial impression is also that the format is nowhere near as good as Vintage Masters was, which is a big bummer.

VMA was not good by Sensei at Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:59
Sensei's picture

Unless you liked losing to a common that made four 1/1 birds with no easy answers in the format over and over

Phantom by TheWolf at Sat, 03/17/2018 - 02:28
TheWolf's picture

Hence I am only doing phantom drafts (though I am hurting that I opened a foil Jace in a phantom pack) :(

I'm avoiding M25. It is an by MichelleWong at Sat, 03/17/2018 - 01:57
MichelleWong's picture
5

I'm avoiding M25. It is an insult.

I am not sure I agree that it by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/17/2018 - 17:04
Paul Leicht's picture

I am not sure I agree that it is an insult, per se, but I am leery about spending $10 a pack for product that is essentially both a lottery ticket and also potentially really flawed (curly/warped foils and other quality problems.) And because I am leery I am not doing it. Plus $10 is a price point that makes real how unaffordable for many the game has become.

Similar to the purported raise in price for cmd18 to $40 per deck. On top of the ridiculous number of badly foiled cards in that product, they are making sure they don't lose a cent on the secondary market.

I suppose I don't find it insulting because I already know WOTC does not value individual customers. They once did I think, but their priorities have changed. Now they view us as kine.

re by Hearts at Sat, 03/17/2018 - 10:05
Hearts's picture

Nope.

I believe that the person(s) by MichelleWong at Sat, 03/17/2018 - 20:00
MichelleWong's picture
5

I believe that the person(s) who signed-off on M25 did not only make a mistake, but must lack basic core competence. I do not believe anyone with basic competence could have signed-off on that product without realising the widespread negative feedback it would receive (and which would have been so easy to fix).

Did they honestly wake up and realise one day "Oh, we didn't expect the reaction to be so negative! Who would have thought!"

I have edited a comment, pray by JXClaytor at Sun, 03/18/2018 - 14:33
JXClaytor's picture

I have edited a comment, pray I don't edit anymore.