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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Mar 07 2014 1:00pm
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The State of the Program for March 7th 2014

In the News this Week:

Long Downtime Next Week Starts Tuesday Evening: We will have an extended downtime next week. The system will come down at 10pm PDT Tuesday evening. No info on exactly how long the downtime will last, but having it start Tuesday means it could take a while.  
 
Cube Returns:  Wizards will bring back Cube in a couple weeks. Details here. Wizards will be offering unpowered (I believe) Cube from after the downtime on March 19 through April 2nd. Prize payouts will include, for the single-elimination version, packs for the throwback drafts.   Which brings us to:
 
Flashback Drafts Coming Back: Wizards will be offering flashback drafts opposite the Cube drafts. You can draft Mirage/Visions/Weatherlight during the week of March 19 - March 26, and New Phyrexia/Mirrodin Besieged/Scars of Mirrodin for the week of Marhc 26 –April 2. Details here. I’ll crunch the numbers in the Value of Flashback Drafts section, below. 
 
2014 MOCS December Season Make-up Prelims start next week:  Last December’s MOCS season was cancelled due to the great PE massacre. Now it is being rerun – and the preliminaries will begin after next week’s downtime. The finals will be held March 15th.
 
Magic Online Jobs: Wizards is offering several jobs relating to MTGO. They include  Digital Events Coordinator, Junior Operations Technician and Digital Art Director, Magic Online. So if you have always wanted to work at Wizards…
 
Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt Leaving: After next week’s downtime, the Sorin vs. Tibalt duel decks will no longer be available for purchase. If you want one, get one now.
 
PE Top 8 Change: Starting with this week’s downtime, events with a Top 8 will now have a two-minute wait period between the Swiss rounds and the Top 8 similar to the two-minute wait between all other rounds.  About time. That jump into the Top 8 draft was jarring, especially if you were the last outstanding match. In another overdue change, pairings for Top 8 will not follow the same rules as paper Magic.
 
Time Change in US this Weekend: Most of the US will change back to daylight savings time this weekend. Not sure why people don’t riot – that is an hour removed from your life, people.    
 
Jon Loucks Moving to Duels of the Planeswalkers Team: Jon Loucks, former Limited resources host and author of the designing the program articles on MTGO.com is being transferred to the Duels of the Planeswalkers team. He will not be working on MTGO anymore. No word on what happens to the article series. 
 
HammyBot Update:   Hammybot is a great way to get cards and support the family of the late Erik Friborg. So far, Hammybot has raised well over $6,600! Keep it up! Hammybot still has over 25,200+ cards to sell, including a number of foil Mythics and a nice collection of Foil lands, so if you want to pimp out your constructed decks… 
 

The Timeline:

This may be a new, recurring feature. We will see. I am planning to track some missing / coming / expected events and features, both as reminder and information source. Please let me know what else I should be tracking. Also let me know if I missed a comment or link.
 

Item
Last Online
Expected
Source / Details
Vintage Masters
n/a
6/16/2014
Details here.
CUBE
2/12/2014
3/19/2014
BACK SOON! Details here.
MI/VI/WL Drafts
?
3/19/2014
Details here. MVW 3/19-3/26
NPH/MBS/SOM Drafts
9/2013
3/26/2014
Details here. Scars of Mirrodin block 3/26-4/2
Legacy Tribal Wars
2/14/2014
“in due time”
Last official comment was Post #46 here.
Journey into Nyx
n/a
5/12/2014
Source = Calendar
Magic 2015
 
7/28/2014
Source = Calendar
Modern Masters
Jan. 2014
?
(I just want it back.)
Leagues
2008
2014
Most recent comment.
V3 Client Shutdown
n/a
Not set
When Wide Beta is ready, plus “months” of warning
Jace vs. Vraska
n/a
5/12/2014
Details here.

Fiscal Analysis of Flashback Formats:

The next flashback format will be Mirage / Visions / Weatherlight. This is not really just a Lion’s Eye Diamond lottery. The format has a number of money cards, including Natural Order and Vampiric Tutor, plus an assortment of expensive uncommons. The average retail price of the cards in a MI / VI / WL draft set is  $10.61, which is above average even for a flashback draft. Here’s why – a list of all the cards worth more than the price of a booster, plus the five most expensive commons at the end.
 

Card
Rarity
Set
Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
$ 131.66
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
$ 45.23
Natural Order
R
VI
$ 33.67
Enlightened Tutor
U
MI
$ 21.23
Null Rod
R
WL
$ 19.30
Undiscovered Paradise
R
VI
$ 15.60
Doomsday
R
WL
$ 13.90
Mystical Tutor
U
MI
$ 10.13
Shallow Grave
R
MI
$ 9.21
Anvil of Bogardan
R
VI
$ 9.13
Gemstone Mine
U
WL
$ 8.06
Cursed Totem
R
MI
$ 7.74
Phyrexian Dreadnought
R
MI
$ 7.14
Firestorm
R
WL
$ 7.08
Worldly Tutor
U
MI
$ 6.44
Serenity
R
WL
$ 6.20
Desertion
R
VI
$ 5.79
Winding Canyons
R
WL
$ 5.49
Tithe
R
VI
$ 4.84
Lotus Vale
R
WL
$ 4.55
Flash
R
MI
$ 4.19
Crypt Rats
C
VI
$ 4.34
Quirion Ranger
C
VI
$ 1.93
Choking Sands
C
MI
$ 1.35
Fireblast
C
VI
$ 1.27
Spinning Darkness
C
WL
$ 1.03

 The I Can’t Resist Files # 63

This week, the update blog included the following:
 
Wide Beta Client Notes:
General
·         Fixed: Several crashes around display and data updates.
·         Updated: Added more error logging the game client.
·        
 
So how do you parse a sentence/phrase/string of words like “Added more error logging the game client.” It could mean “Added more error logging to the game client.”   It could also mean “Added more errors when logging into the game client.” Or maybe “Added more error codes to cover the additional problems experienced logging into the game client.” Or maybe I’m just in error thinking that. 
 

Cutting Edge Tech: 

Standard: We had a Grand Prix last weekend, over on the far side of the world.  Coverage is here. The winning deck was familiar.
 
Mono-Black Devotion
Nam Sung-Wook, Winner, Grand Prix Melbourne 2014
Creatures
4 Pack Rat
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Desecration Demon
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Lifebane Zombie
2 Erebos, God of the Dead
1 Notion Thief
23 cards

Other Spells
4 Underworld Connections
4 Hero's Downfall
2 Bile Blight
4 Devour Flesh
4 Thoughtseize
4 Duress
2 Doom Blade
1 Drown in Sorrow
1 Dark Betrayal
26 cards
 
Lands
4 Mutavault
4 Temple of Deceit
2 Watery Grave
16 Swamp
26 cards

 
Pack Rat
 
Modern: If you think GB mid-range decks with Liliana are gone from the format, think again. Here’s the winning deck from last Sunday’s PE.
 
 
Pauper: Blue continues to remain supreme in Pauper. The top two decks from last Sunday’s Pauper PE were both base-blue mill decks. Here’s the winner.
 
 
Legacy: Another week, another SCG Legacy Open. This week’s event was in Atlanta. The Top 20 decklists are here. The most atypical deck in the Top 8 was this one.
 
 
Classic:  Last weekend’s Classic fired, without me. I really wanted to play, but I was driving back from a tournament in northern Wisconsin, through the snow. Sigh. This week, though, Cat Weasel took it down. She was running her go-to deck: GG Oath. I have featured Oath builds in the past, so I’m going to skip to PlanetWalls Birthing Pod deck, which has moneyed at least twice now, while including a bunch of cards I have rarely seen outside limited. Pith Driller? Scuttlemutt? Angel of Finality? His article on the deck is here
 
 

Card Prices: 

Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the lower price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Thoughtseize is generally the Theros price. In certain other cases (e.g Brainstorm) I will note which version I track. All these cards are generally available from the MTGOTraders Bots, so check out mtgotradersbot, mtgotradersbot2, mtgotradersbot3, mtgotradersbot4, mtgotradersbot5, CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or you can order them directly from the website. Now, on to prices.
 
The cost of entire sets is relevant if you redeem, but it is also a decent indicator of overall trends. Prices were pretty much unchanged this week. Born of the Gods had dropping, because of the release events, but it is stabilizing now.  
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Born of the Gods
$99.17
$92.48
$6.69
7%
Dragon's Maze
$74.07
$70.91
$3.16
4%
Gatecrash
$110.85
$111.23
($0.38)
0%
M14
$137.93
$137.93
$0.00
0%
Return to Ravnica
$152.56
$153.12
($0.56)
0%
Theros
$113.89
$110.89
$3.00
3%

Standard prices are reasonably steady. About the only significant change was Ephara’s jump. The format is pretty stable. The decks we see at the top tables at SCG Opens, PTQs and the GP last week are all pretty predictable. 
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$7.31
$5.91
$1.40
24%
$21.44
$21.51
($0.07)
0%
$18.27
$21.05
($2.78)
-13%
$18.31
$17.61
$0.70
4%
$17.39
$16.98
$0.41
2%
$6.86
$7.08
($0.22)
-3%
$30.91
$32.43
($1.52)
-5%
$15.35
$13.30
$2.05
15%
$11.63
$7.43
$4.20
57%
$10.94
$11.22
($0.28)
-2%
$27.58
$27.60
($0.02)
0%
$14.04
$13.00
$1.04
8%
$7.43
$7.09
$0.34
5%
$31.10
$27.61
$3.49
13%
$11.16
$10.52
$0.64
6%
$9.93
$11.53
($1.60)
-14%
$11.08
$11.75
($0.67)
-6%
$35.04
$31.33
$3.71
12%
$16.62
$16.30
$0.32
2%
$7.62
$7.30
$0.32
4%
$29.86
$28.43
$1.43
5%
(Xenagos, God of the Revels)
$6.54
$6.83
($0.29)
-4%
$7.51
$8.26
($0.75)
-9%

Modern prices are bouncing around a bit, but are overall pretty stable. A few cards that did really well at the Pro Tour, like Scalding Tarn, climbed last week, and are regressing to the mean (look it up.) Nothing surprising.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$25.78
$24.68
$1.10
4%
$10.53
$10.72
($0.19)
-2%
$31.00
$33.52
($2.52)
-8%
$13.56
$13.91
($0.35)
-3%
$34.20
$35.20
($1.00)
-3%
$12.95
$12.34
$0.61
5%
$15.96
$16.25
($0.29)
-2%
$28.72
$26.71
$2.01
8%
$16.00
$16.00
$0.00
0%
$19.93
$19.44
$0.49
3%
$19.51
n/a
n/a
n/a
$20.91
$18.93
$1.98
10%
$13.69
$13.08
$0.61
5%
$13.21
$13.21
$0.00
0%
$27.65
$26.00
$1.65
6%
$27.57
$28.34
($0.77)
-3%
$36.60
$38.35
($1.75)
-5%
$28.59
$29.90
($1.31)
-4%
$10.06
$9.33
$0.73
8%
$66.06
$59.91
$6.15
10%
$17.23
$16.03
$1.20
7%
$51.23
$50.48
$0.75
1%
$33.52
$32.39
$1.13
3%
$22.98
$22.48
$0.50
2%
$23.64
$27.09
($3.45)
-13%
$30.28
$36.52
($6.24)
-17%
$17.23
$16.32
$0.91
6%
$13.42
$13.84
($0.42)
-3%
$86.47
$76.91
$9.56
12%
$48.09
$48.18
($0.09)
0%

Pauper prices are slightly volatile this week, but a lot of cards were unchanged. 
 

Pauper Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$1.44
$1.25
$0.19
15%
$2.95
$2.95
$0.00
0%
$1.32
$1.16
$0.16
14%
$2.90
$2.47
$0.43
17%
$2.32
$2.86
($0.54)
-19%
$4.34
$4.34
$0.00
0%
$9.54
$9.54
$0.00
0%
$1.51
$1.51
$0.00
0%
$3.24
$3.49
($0.25)
-7%
$1.27
$1.48
($0.21)
-14%
$2.95
$2.74
$0.21
8%
$5.32
$4.98
$0.34
7%
$2.96
$3.18
($0.22)
-7%
$3.48
$3.13
$0.35
11%
$0.76
$0.81
($0.05)
-6%
$3.36
$2.94
$0.42
14%
$1.93
$1.93
$0.00
0%
$2.82
$3.13
($0.31)
-10%
$5.11
$5.44
($0.33)
-6%
$0.77
$0.86
($0.09)
-10%
$0.56
$0.33
$0.23
70%
$1.36
$1.15
$0.21
18%

Legacy and Classic prices were almost immobile last week. A few minor adjustments, but nothing of significance. 
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$13.90
$13.07
$0.83
6%
$37.20
$36.33
$0.87
2%
$19.82
$18.90
$0.92
5%
$24.75
$24.75
$0.00
0%
$26.11
$26.11
$0.00
0%
$121.46
$121.46
$0.00
0%
$62.55
$62.55
$0.00
0%
Hurkyl's Recall
$20.28
$21.24
($0.96)
-5%
$17.61
$17.61
$0.00
0%
$31.94
$31.94
$0.00
0%
$131.66
$131.66
$0.00
0%
$26.11
$26.76
($0.65)
-2%
$69.59
$69.59
$0.00
0%
$31.16
$31.98
($0.82)
-3%
$33.67
$34.55
($0.88)
-3%
$19.30
$18.30
$1.00
5%
$15.50
$15.50
$0.00
0%
$33.94
$33.94
$0.00
0%
$98.79
$98.79
$0.00
0%
$68.87
$68.87
$0.00
0%
$31.51
$31.51
$0.00
0%
$25.47
$25.47
$0.00
0%
$26.66
$27.62
($0.96)
-3%
$37.27
$37.13
$0.14
0%
Vampiric Tutor
$45.23
$45.23
$0.00
0%
$24.55
$25.50
($0.95)
-4%
$76.53
$79.39
($2.86)
-4%

The Good Stuff:

The Good Stuff starts with a list of the non-foil, non-premium cards on MTGO that cost more than $25 each – that’s $100 per playset. LED is holding strong, despite Mirage block drafts AND being next month’s MOCS promo. The price fell, but LED is still the most expensive card on the list. The other change is that a bunch of Modern cards have been added to the list.   
 

Card
Rarity
Set
 Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
 $ 131.66
Force of Will
R
MED
 $ 121.46
Rishadan Port
R
MM
 $    98.79
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
 $    86.74
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
 $    86.47
Wasteland
U
TE
 $    76.53
Show and Tell
R
UZ
 $    68.87
Misdirection
R
MM
 $    67.22
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
 $    66.06
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
 $    62.55
Tundra
R
ME4
 $    51.44
Tundra
R
ME2
 $    51.35
Mox Opal
M
SOM
 $    51.23
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
 $    50.43
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
 $    48.18
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
 $    45.23
Bayou
R
ME3
 $    41.80
Underground Sea
R
ME2
 $    39.42
Volcanic Island
R
ME4
 $    39.10
Bayou
R
ME4
 $    38.91
Volcanic Island
R
ME3
 $    38.52
Underground Sea
R
ME4
 $    37.27
City of Traitors
R
EX
 $    37.20
Griselbrand
M
AVR
 $    36.60
Sphinx's Revelation
M
RTR
 $    35.04
Mutavault
R
MOR
 $    34.45
Bitterblossom
R
MOR
 $    34.20
Polluted Delta
R
ONS
 $    33.94
Natural Order
R
VI
 $    33.67
Noble Hierarch
R
CON
 $    33.52
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
 $    31.94
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
 $    31.51
Tropical Island
R
ME4
 $    31.21
Mishra's Workshop
R
ME4
 $    31.16
Tropical Island
R
ME3
 $    31.12
Mutavault
R
M14
 $    31.10
Batterskull
M
NPH
 $    31.00
Domri Rade
M
GTC
 $    30.91
Cryptic Command
R
LRW
 $    30.37
Scalding Tarn
R
ZEN
 $    30.28
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
 $    29.86
Cryptic Command
R
MMA
 $    28.72
Threads of Disloyalty
R
BOK
 $    28.64
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
 $    28.59
Mana Crypt
R
ME2
 $    27.98
Fulminator Mage
R
SHM
 $    27.65
Jace, Architect of Thought
M
RTR
 $    27.58
Geist of Saint Traft
M
ISD
 $    27.57
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
 $    26.66
Misty Rainforest
R
ZEN
 $    26.40
Flusterstorm
R
CMD
 $    26.11
Mana Drain
R
ME3
 $    26.11
Primeval Titan
M
M11
 $    26.00
Ajani Vengeant
M
ALA
 $    25.78
Tangle Wire
R
NE
 $    25.47

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $27,250. That’s up two hundred dollars from where we were last week. 
 

Weekly Highlights:

If you haven’t heard, GP Richmond should be amazing. If you play paper, and are near Richmond, consider heading over. It should be amazing – the biggest since GP Vegas.   I wish I could be there. If you go, just remember to preregister. GPs no longer take walk-ins, because it takes too long to enter everyone who shows up just minutes before of the event.   
 
In other news, I ran a SCG IQ in northern Wisconsin last Saturday. The event was fine, but the drive up and back (4+ hours each way, and it was snowing heavily) ate hours that I could have spent online. Snow-covered roads slow you down.
 
Has anyone else noticed that this winter is getting a little long? 
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.

10 Comments

Useful, as always, thanks. by xger at Fri, 03/07/2014 - 13:50
xger's picture

Useful, as always, thanks. Just a note - Dark Depths snuck onto the Modern price list despite being banned. A card that could be interesting to add to that list is Leyline of Sanctity as it is a commonly used and powerful sideboard card already approaching 10 a pop.

Thanks for your article, as by Alphi at Fri, 03/07/2014 - 14:19
Alphi's picture

Thanks for your article, as always. Concerning the PE top 8, do you mean the pairing rules will NOW follow paper magic, instead of NOT follow? Also, what was the problem with the current pairing rules? Sorry for being uninformed, but in never quite reached that stage... :)

whoops by one million words at Fri, 03/07/2014 - 15:23
one million words's picture

Thanks for catching my screw-ups.

Dark Depths was supposed to go on the Legacy list, where it is seeing play. Fixed the table for next week.

And Wizards announced that MTGO would use the method of pairings described in the Magic Tournament Rules. Yes, the "not" should be "now." I'll quote the rules for next week.

Sorry for the typos - I was really rushed this week, and submitted way late. Joshua didn't have enough time to proofread - he barely had enough time to post this week's article.

Ah! That's why I was pressing by Alphi at Fri, 03/07/2014 - 15:37
Alphi's picture

Ah! That's why I was pressing the reload button over and over, thinking I had broken the internet! No worries, getting my State of the Program on time for Friday night (my time) is certainly worth a few typos. :)

Now you've got me wondering by AJ_Impy at Fri, 03/07/2014 - 19:04
AJ_Impy's picture
5

Now you've got me wondering how the Commander-only Angel of Finality could show up in a limited format.

Classic by one million words at Sat, 03/08/2014 - 07:36
one million words's picture

It's a Classic?

Classic and Legacy. It is legal in eternal formats (other than Modern.)

I play True-Name Nemesis in both formats. Commander 2013.

Edit: Sorry - misread your line. The deck has a bunch of cards rarely seen in constructed. Pith Driller, Scuttlemutt, etc. All good in draft in their formats. The Angel, though, only appears in Cube.

Quote: "..including a bunch by Lagrange at Fri, 03/07/2014 - 21:56
Lagrange's picture

Quote: "..including a bunch of cards I have rarely seen outside limited. ... Angel of Finality?"

Sorry that was meant as a reply to AJ's post.

timeline is good by howlett23 at Sat, 03/08/2014 - 13:24
howlett23's picture
4

would also like to see the "seasons" dates..or a link to them, ie.. Modern 3-1-14 thru 6-1-14 , as far as paper world goes, because that does affect the prices and demand on MTGO as well.

... and the MOCS may have by IYankemDDS at Sat, 03/08/2014 - 14:36
IYankemDDS's picture

... and the MOCS may have crashed. Should be an interesting week!

Not just MOCS went down but by xger at Sat, 03/08/2014 - 17:36
xger's picture

Not just MOCS went down but all the events now, so much for manual assists...