JXClaytor's picture
By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
May 14 2019 12:07am

State of the Program for May 10th 2019
In the News

Mythic Edition compensation:  News broke on Wednesday via the eBay inbox that Wizards of the Coast would be providing uncut foil sheets of mythics and rares from War of the Spark for the boondoggle that was Mythic Edition.  The online retailer is also providing a 20 dollar gift certificate for it's role in the issues and feel bads that came from it.  You can read Wizards' response here.

Class Action Lawsuit:  Also breaking on Wednesday was a class action lawsuit filed by Werner Wetherington, P.C..  I am not a lawyer, so I have no idea what is going on here, but magic players on Twitter were dunking on it, and seemed to have their opinion swayed by the compensation that Wizards is providing.  You can check it out here, or on Matt Wetherington's Twitter account

MTGO Play Lobby Beta: A small nugget in regards to the future of MTGO was dropped on Tuesday's news article.  While the deadline for applying for beta is closed, it appears as if the Play Lobby update is going through the wringer with a beta test. You can see that here

Modern Horizons Spoiler Season:  Also in the MTGO news article is the start of the Modern Horizons spoiler season.  It coincides with the last day of the MOCS Championship and will start on May 19th.

Yuuya Watanabe Suspended, Removed from MPL, Hall of Fame:  Late breaking Thursday night, the esports branch of organized play announced that Hall of Famer Yuuya Watanabe would be suspended for thirty months after his disqualification from Mythic Championship II for marked cards. In addition to the break from Magic, Yuuya will also be removed from the Hall of Fame and from the Magic Pro League. 

The Timeline
This is a list of things we have been promised, or we just want to see coming back. Another good source for dates and times is the calendar and the weekly blog, while the best source for known bugs is the bug blog which appears sporadically on MTGO.com. Not listed, but important: Wizards offers either one or two online MCQs each weekend, with qualifiers for limited MCQs running the days immediately prior to the MCQ.
Upcoming Events
Scheduled Downtimes
June 5th
Constructed Leagues End
July 2nd, 2019
Sealed Leagues End
July 2nd, 2019

Modern Horizons
June 6th prerelease
Next B&R Announcement
May 20, 2019
Vintage Cube Returns
May 15, 2019
Ravnica Allegiances Redemption
Ends July 10, 2019
September 2019
January, 2020
Spring, 2020
2018 Magic Online Championship Series and other events
Complete details, including schedule, rules, and which online events qualify you for which online or paper events is here. In addition, Wizards will be offering these special formats:

Modern Horizons drafts - prerelease June 6th 
Modern MOCS Prelim - May 12, 2019
Standard MCQ - May 11, 2019
Limited MCQ - May 10, 2019
Magic Online Championship - May 17-19, 2019
Magic Online Format Challenges
These are high stakes events that happen every weekend. They cost 25 Tix / 250 play points, and last a number of rounds based on participation (assume 5-8), plus a single elimination Top 8. Details, including prize payouts, are here. Start times are:
Event Type
Start Time
Saturday, 8:00 am PT 
Saturday, 10:00 am PT
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT
The Hot Take Corner

Sometimes I'll write an opinion piece here, other times it will be strategy based or just whatever I am playing.  This week though, it's time for some hot takes! 

On Mythic Edition:  It's weird to me, seeing how well eBay is built, and the juggernaut that it has become as a global marketplace site and still have issues with 12000 copies of a highly wanted product. Now, to me the Mythic Edition is a slap at the face of the global network of game stores that propped Wizards of the Coast up for nearly 25 years, they lose From the Vaults for what became Masterpieces, nearly had their businesses ruined (at least that is what hobby shop owners tell me) from the masterpieces, and then those turn into Mythic Editions.  I'm all for premium products.  In the sports card world, I have spent upwards of 1500 dollars on a pack of cards before, but the difference there is I could walk into my local card store and ask for a pack, I can't do that with Mythic Edition.  Wizards would still make millions if Local Game Stores sold these, they just wouldn't make as many millions. 

On Compensation:  So customers wanted to give you money to get cards that they could play with.  With the 12000 promise you can't just print more to fill demand, but giving players uncut sheets did two things, it tanked the value of an uncut sheet, and gave players something that they couldn't play with.  Yeah some of these are going to be hung up and they will make for killer decorations.  Some of them will become non factory cut cards and sold for a premium, but how many are going to be stored in their tubes and just forgotten about? Why not give players something they could have played with?  I would have pushed for a foil set of War of the Spark to reach these upset consumers.  It's still pretty cool, but also lets the players actually play.  Lacking foil sets, if you're going to put anything back in to production, why not hook these players up with the Japanese alternate art Planeswalkers?  I'm glad people are getting compensated though, it's nice to see someone acknowledge their mistake and try to make things right. 

On Yuuya:  Good.  It's been 12 hours since his suspension and removal from the MPL and Hall of Fame was announced, and it's incredibly weird to me that people are putting on a cape for a cheater.  Yes, Yuuya was a master.  Yes, there is probably untold amounts of pressure to keep up performance to remain in the MPL, but to say that there is a racial bias because of his disqualification and suspension?  Please!  Stop tripping all over yourselves to defend a cheater.  The sleeves as presented by Yuuya and CyGames are clearly marked, and they are clearly marked in a pattern.  There isn't a conspiracy from Wizards of the Coast to get rid of Japanese players.  The judges at Mythic Championships aren't incompetent buffoons, they are well trained, well respected, and do their jobs well.  Removal from the MPL and Hall of Fame is unfortunate, but it's clear to me that members of the MPL are held to a higher standard, and this sends an incredible message that cheating will not be tolerated, but one will also have a chance to make up for it if they decide to come back to the game after the suspension is over. 

On Arena:  I actually opened my virtual wallet for this set, and was sad when I did, because I didn't open up any Mobilized District, Dreadhorde Invasion, Sarkhan the Masterless, The Elderspell or Chandra, Fire Artisan. Rest assured I got a playset of Silent Submersible, Planewide Celebration, Single Combat and others.  Playset is doing a lot of heavy lifting since these are bulk rares that will not see play.  I get that there is a feel bad from crafting cards, in some people's minds at least, but there is a feel worse in opening cards that will not get added to a deck and sit to rot in your virtual binder.  If I can't trade or craft, fine, whatever I've come to accept it, I just wish I could play Magic the way I wanted to.  Oh...yeah I still can, thanks MTGO!
On the Play Lobby Beta:  I did not apply to this, because of many reasons, the first being I don't feel competent doing anything tech related.  However it is super great to see MTGO getting a facelift, and it's even better to still see the huge amounts of passionate employees that Wizards of the Coast has on the MTGO team. Maybe WotC really was telling the truth when they said Arena and MTGO would coexist? 

Cutting Edge Tech

Standard:While the Starcity Standard events over the weekend were filled with Nexus of Fate, Esper Control and Mono Red decks, Zac Elsik was busy finishing second in a 142 person MCQ with a UW Planeswalker Prison deck. This list is the updated list of what he played, and shows that Standard is far from solved! 

Modern:  War of the Spark has been pretty powerful for Modern already.  Neoform has given rise to a deck that can potentially win on turn one, Ilharg, the Raze-Boar has given Through the Breach decks something new to play with, and Teferi, Time Raveler has made an impact for the UW control decks of the format.  Mono Green Tron looks more like Karn tribal now, thanks to Karn, the Great Creator and even Niv-Mizzet Reborn has sparked the interest of brewers, as seen in this week's deck.  While Modern is getting the shakeup from War of the Spark, remember that Modern Horizons is on the, well, horizon as it comes out next month! Cavedan also had a great week, as they finished 5-0 with a cool looking Neoform Counters list as well!

Legacy: War of the Spark is helping out Legacy too. Karn, the Great Creator is seeing playing.  Ugin, the Ineffable is also getting some love.  With that said, it seems like sharing this list is picking the lowest hanging fruit, but whatever, the decklist looks like a lot of fun and something I would play in the format! 

Vintage:  Vintage didn't get left out of the War of the Spark as Narset, Parter of Veils has taken up spots in Xerox decks already.  I expect Teferi, Time Raveler to see some play in the format as well! 

Around the Web

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

Maddie the Gatherer:  Monday Maddie the Gatherer made a fun little Twitter meme that took the magic community by storm.  It's basically a fun thirty question survey about Magic that you share and learn fun things about other people.  I didn't do it because my engagement levels on Twitter are super low, but a lot of people enjoyed it. 

Magic Storyline:  The continuing adventures of Rat were posted on Wednesday and will be going on at the mothership.  The story does contain spoilers to War of the Spark: Ravnica, so if you haven't read the novel, maybe don't read this, or do, whatever, I'm not your guardian, live your life the best way.  Greg Weisman is writing these pieces.  The storyline hub can be found here

Interview with Amano:  Thursday, Yoskitaka Amano, known for his work with Speed Racer, Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D and most recently in Magic, (the alternate art Liliana, Dreadhorde General) took part in an interview with Wizards in regards to the process of creating this piece.  You can read it here.

Planeswalker Quiz:  Also on Thursday a fun little quiz came out that tells you what colors your Planeswalker is.  I got Bant!  You can take the quiz here, and it's pretty quick!  

Card Prices
Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at MTGOTraders.com. These are retail prices, and generally the price of the lowest priced, actively traded version. (Prices for some rare promo versions are not updated when not in stock, so I skip those.) You can get these cards at MTGOTraders.com web store, or from their bots: MTGOTradersBot(#) (they have bots 1-10), CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or sell cards to MTGOTradersBuyBot(#) (they have buybots 1-4). I have bought cards from MTGOTraders for a decade and a half now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
Standard Staples: I have no idea why Kaya is so high, but she's great and she is, I suspect it's because of the effect Arena has had on new sets being opened on MTGO.  War of the Spark Cards have been added to the list as well. 

Standard Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Arclight Phoenix $31.52 $45.85 ($14.33) -31%
Assassin's Trophy $5.67 $6.20 ($0.53) -9%
God-Eternal Kefnet $12.57 new n/a n/a
Hydroid Krasis $16.67 $12.12 $4.55 38%
Karn, the Great Creator $14.16 new n/a n/a
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $32.25 $35.92 ($3.67) -10%
Liliana, Dreadhorde General $9.62 new n/a n/a
Nexus of Fate $11.31

Prime Speaker Vannifer $8.27 $8.10 $0.17 2%
Seraph of the Scales $6.53 $4.93 $1.60 32%
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria $13.75 $9.48 $4.27 45%
Teferi, Time Raveler $12.03 new n/a n/a
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge $6.57 new n/a n/a

Eternal staples:  Prices for cards in the eternal formats are mixed this week. Modern staples are dropping. Not too surprising. A lot of pros, and their friends and helpers, have been practicing  Modern in the run-up to the Mythic Championship. Since the MC is upon us, a lot of those players are selling off their modern cards and getting back to Standard – or piling up TIX to spend on Modern Horizons events.  I look for these numbers to pick up again as players start to test for the Modern Horizons Mythic Championship.


Eternal Format Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Back to Basics $17.97 $26.35 ($8.38) -32%
Cavern of Souls $14.77 $17.39 ($2.62) -15%
Chalice of the Void $26.82 $23.57 $3.25 14%
City of Traitors $17.53 $17.77 ($0.24) -1%
Daze $9.75 $10.66 ($0.91) -9%
Engineered Explosives $28.06 $31.02 ($2.96) -10%
Ensnaring Bridge $22.39 $20.11 $2.28 11%
Force of Will $19.10 $25.21 ($6.11) -24%
Gemstone Mine $18.39 $32.26 ($13.87) -43%
Horizon Canopy $28.88 $30.88 ($2.00) -6%
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $52.10 $49.27 $2.83 6%
Karn Liberated $30.42 $28.67 $1.75 6%
Liliana of the Veil $33.59 $36.10 ($2.51) -7%
Liliana, the Last Hope $19.66 $21.51 ($1.85) -9%
Lord Windgrace $36.40 $28.94 $7.46 26%
Mox Opal $37.52 $38.16 ($0.64) -2%
Scalding Tarn $16.48 $16.27 $0.21 1%
Surgical Extraction $39.98 $42.74 ($2.76) -6%
True-Name Nemesis $64.28 $66.61 ($2.33) -3%
Underground Sea $7.80 $8.31 ($0.51) -6%
Wasteland $16.99 $18.88 ($1.89) -10%
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
Core Set 2019 $105.28 $99.36 $5.92 6%
Dominaria $37.47 $34.46 $3.01 9%
Guilds of Ravnica $118.58 $119.02 ($0.44) 0%
Ixalan $22.28 $21.27 $1.01 5%
Ravnica Allegiances $118.71 $106.14 $12.57 12%
Rivals of Ixalan $25.62 $21.37 $4.25 20%
War of the Spark $128.77 new n/a n/a
Treasure Chest $2.17 $2.17 $0.00 0%
War of the Spark Booster $3.10 new n/a n/a
The Good Stuff
The following is a list of all the non-promo, non-foil cards on MTGO that retail for more than $25 per card. These are the big ticket items in the world of MTGO.  The list is interesting, at the least. This is interesting to me because a lot of these cards have been reprinted more than once, and they are still commanding a high price.
Name Set Rarity Price
Black Lotus 1E Rare $242.43
Mox Sapphire 1E Rare $137.55
Mox Emerald 1E Rare $95.30
Mox Ruby 1E Rare $93.27
Ancestral Recall 1E Rare $82.69
Mox Jet 1E Rare $77.50
True-Name Nemesis PZ1 Mythic Rare $69.81
Mox Pearl 1E Rare $66.29
Time Walk 1E Rare $64.81
True-Name Nemesis C13 Rare $64.28
Jace, the Mind Sculptor A25 Mythic Rare $54.95
Jace, the Mind Sculptor WWK Mythic Rare $53.13
Jace, the Mind Sculptor EMA Mythic Rare $52.30
Jace, the Mind Sculptor VMA Mythic Rare $52.10
Force of Will MED Rare $45.37
Karn Liberated UBT Mythic Rare $43.06
Liliana of the Veil UMA Mythic Rare $40.60
Surgical Extraction MM2 Rare $40.08
Surgical Extraction NPH Rare $39.98
Liliana of the Veil MM3 Mythic Rare $39.35
Liliana of the Veil UBT Mythic Rare $39.34
Mox Opal MM2 Mythic Rare $37.72
Mox Opal SOM Mythic Rare $37.70
Mox Opal MS2 Bonus $37.52
Lord Windgrace PZ2 Mythic Rare $36.40
Dark Depths V16 Mythic Rare $36.27
Unmask V16 Mythic Rare $33.78
Timetwister 1E Rare $33.67
Liliana of the Veil ISD Mythic Rare $33.59
Engineered Explosives UBT Mythic Rare $33.48
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper RNA Mythic Rare $32.25
Horizon Canopy EXP Mythic Rare $32.00
Arclight Phoenix GRN Mythic Rare $31.52
Karn Liberated NPH Mythic Rare $30.77
Karn Liberated MM2 Mythic Rare $30.75
Engineered Explosives MMA Rare $30.72
Karn Liberated UMA Mythic Rare $30.42
Horizon Canopy IMA Rare $29.19
Chalice of the Void MS2 Bonus $28.99
Horizon Canopy FUT Rare $28.88
Engineered Explosives 5DN Rare $28.79
Engineered Explosives MS2 Bonus $28.37
Engineered Explosives UMA Rare $28.06
Chalice of the Void A25 Mythic Rare $27.41
Chalice of the Void MMA Rare $27.00
Chalice of the Void MRD Rare $26.82
Liliana, the Last Hope MS4 Mythic Rare $26.59
Dark Depths UBT Mythic Rare $26.54
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper MS4 Mythic Rare $26.29
City of Traitors EX Rare $25.51
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 $14,582. That’s down 538 from two weeks ago.   
In Closing

Prices were generated on Wednesday, and the bulk of the article was written on Thursday, I am hoping I didn't miss much, and hope you all enjoy the State of the Program.  It was oddly satisfying to write and I hope I am doing Hammy and Pete justice by continuing. 

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