one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
May 10 2013 7:16am
5
Login or register to post comments
4035 views


Hammie’s The State of the Program for May 10th

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

In the News this Week:

Wide Beta Spotlight POSTPONED: Wizards had planned on shutting down the old client for two days, to give everyone some experience with Shiny, the new client. However, the build released two weeks ago had issues, and apparently the update intended to go up this week was not ready, or did not fix enough of the bugs. The Spotlight event was postponed, but the prerelease events did start on Thursday. 
 
This was a bit ironic to me, because I actually got Shiny working for an hour or so last Friday morning. However, Shiny obviously had problems which first appeared in the previous release, and it was clear that the bug fix wasn’t going to squash them all. Shiny works, but it was clear that this was not the time to force everyone onto the new program. 
 
Wizard’s announcement is here.
 
Wizards Fixes Premier Play Glitches: Wizards announced a couple changes to the Premier Play system.  This is notable because the player community identified these two problems, and Wizards has promptly fixed them.   The changes are a reduction in the points needed for Platinum, and letting the qualifications with silver level stack. Details here.
 
Vintage and Legacy Championships Will Not Be at GENCON: Wizards has announced that the annual Vintage and Legacy Championships will not be held at GenCon this year. No word on why, but we can speculate. One possibility is that these events are being moved to a more secure location, since theft was enough of a problem that the TO had to use a secure area and wrist bands last year. (But that worked – theft was way down last year - and would have worked again.) Another possibility is that Wizards wants to tie the Vintage Champs and the online release of the Power 9 together, but that they want to make sure that the new client is working, first.   Third possibility is that Vintage players were just too greedy. They expected a ton of prize support for their event - to the extent that I doubt it was profitable for the organizers. From a MTGO perspective, though, I’m hoping that it’s because Wizards want to tie Vintage Champs and the online release together for PR purposes.   
 
Ham on Wry II wrap-up: BlippytheSlug ran another great PRE to honor the late Eric “Hamtastic” Friborg – the originator of State of the Program, and a great community activist. The event had 100 participants, and ran like clockwork. Details, final standings, results and prize payouts here.  
 
Slivers in M14?: Wizards started tweeting the flavor text from Muscle Sliver and Crystalline Sliver with the hashtag #MTGM14. Will these be real slivers, or will they be new “slivers” that only pump your own creatures? That seems to be where Wizards is heading. It has been a long time since Wizards printed cards that boost your own opponents’ creatures. We don’t know – but we will in a few months. 
 
Multiplayer Commander Bugged: Wizards made a change to Commander, making it a format rather than a play structure. This means that 2 player Commander games will be possible in the new client. However, something else was bugged, and multiplayer Commander games now become a draw as soon as the first player is eliminated. The fix will not appear until the next week’s downtime.
 
MOCS Promo Card Announced: Have you noticed that, in MOCS seasons with prereleases and release events, the MOCS promos are pretty bad. Wizards knows that players will be grinding the new formats even without the incentive of a chase MOCS promo. It’s happening again. This season we have a new set, prereleases and a new and improved limited environment. The MOCS promo is Cryptborn Horror.   It is a full art version, but – you know, this is too sad to even make the obvious “the horror, the horror” pun here.  Cryptborn Horror isn’t even played in limited.
 
On the plus side, Worth commented on this on Twitter:   @mtgworth: they've varied in quality more than id like. Will be looked at.
 
So Just How Backed Up Is WotC Customer Service?: This morning, May 9, 2013, I received a response to an inquiry I made about the lifetime award for the Magic 10th Anniversary Celebration. I asked that question in June, 2012 – and noted that I wanted to include the response in my upcoming State of the Program article.  Now I’m sure that something weird happened – something like the question being referred to someone else and getting lost – but getting the response eleven months late is amusing.   (I did consider not reporting this, but it’s too funny.)  
 
Pack Prices will Continue to be Strained: Nothing from Wizards about a fix to this problem. A lot more Dragon’s Maze packs will be awarded in limited than other packs, leading to the problem of drafters having a surplus of DMZ and a shortage of everything else.  That means that the price of DMZ packs will be low. That’s bad news if you play constructed.  This issue is discussed here.
 
HammyBot: Still going strong! HammyBot was created to sell the late Erik Friborg’s MTGO collection to raise money for his widow and son. HammyBot is a great way to get cards while supporting the family of someone who supported the community. Here’s an update on the Bot, plus a buy recommendation for a card on HammyBot.
 
            Cards left on HammyBot: 26,650
TIX raised so far: 5,859
            Cool HammyBot card of the week: 
 

Puzzle of the Week:

This is my deck and card pool from my first online Prerelease. I chose Azorius (hoping to open a Sphinx’s Rev.) and got Boros as the secret ally. I have no idea what I should have done with this pool. I built the best UWR deck I could, although I could see playing the inaction Injunction, Swift Justice, etc. I even tried going 5 color with all the Gates, all the Gatekeepers and the Putrefy. Take a look, and let me know what I should have done differently. My build did not do anywhere near as well as the pool I wrote up in my DMZ Survival Guide.
 
 
 

Cutting Edge Tech: 

Standard:  We had the first large Standard event in which Dragon’s Maze was legal. The format changed – but not a lot.  The winning deck was Junk Reanimator, followed by Jund. The Top 16 decks included 4 Jund decks, 4 Junk, 1 UWR Geist, 2 Bant Hexproof, and a couple one-offs. The main DMZ additions included Sin Collector in Reanimator, Voice of Resurgence and Unflinching Courage in Bant Hexproof, Voice of Resurgence and Advent of the Wurm in Naya and Sire of Insanity and Putrefy in Jund. The addition I really didn’t see coming was Viashino Firstblade in Naya Humans.  
 
Junk Reanimator
Chris VanMeter, Winner, SCG Standard Open, Somerset NJ

Creatures
3 Angel of Serenity
2 Sin Collector
2 Sire of Insanity

3 Thragtusk
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
3 Fiend Hunter
4 Arbor Elf
3 Acidic Slime
20 cards

Other Spells
 

4 Grisly Salvage
4 Restoration Angel
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Unburial Rites
3 Mulch
17 cards
 

Lands
2 Woodland Cemetery
3 Isolated Chapel
2 Sunpetal Grove
2 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Temple Garden
4 Forest
21 cards

Unburial Rites
 
 
  
Return to Ravnica Block: We are just a few days away from a Pro Tour in the block. No one is sharing tech in this format at the moment.   
 
Modern: We had a Modern premier event recently, and the winning deck was something new – a Life from the Loam / Smallpox deck. 
 
 
 
Pauper: I saw one new deck this week – at least, new to Cutting Edge Tech. It is a green Cloudpost deck. This deck is probably why the price of Crop Rotation has been rising recently.
 
GreenPost
BLUEDEVlL, 4-0, Pauper Daily #5399584 on 05/08/2013
Creatures
4 Aurochs Herd
2 Fangren Marauder
2 Fierce Empath
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Scattershot Archer
2 Ulamog's Crusher
4 Wall of Roots
22 cards

Other Spells
4 Crop Rotation
4 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
4 Reap and Sow
4 Thermokarst
16 cards
 
Lands
4 Cloudpost
14 Forest
4 Glimmerpost
22 cards

Cloudpost
 
Legacy: Nothing much this week. StarCityGames held a three player team event instead of the more typical Legacy event on Sunday. A few Legacy Dailies fired, but the winning deck – Esper Stoneblade – was nothing we haven’t seen before.
 
Classic: Classic has risen from the dead. We had a Classic event fire last week – details here.  Ham on Wry II had 100 players playing Classic (or Classic light, based on some of the decks I watched – but at least people played what they had. More power to them.) No question which deck to feature this week – Thewoof2 destroyed me in Rd 5 of Ham on Wry II, on his way to winning it all. He also went 4-0 with the deck in the Classic Daily.  
 
 
In other Classic news, registration is open for the fourth (and final) ClassicQuarter Invitational Qualifier. Details here.
 

Card Prices:  

Notes: All my prices come from MTGOTraders.com. For cards that are available in multiple sets, I am quoting the most recent set’s price. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Garruk Relentless is from M13. These cards are also available from the MTGOTraders Bots,  so check out mtgotradersbot, mtgotradersbot2,mtgotradersbot3, mtgotradersbot4, mtgotradersbot5, CardCaddy and CardWareHouse. These Bots often have the cards in stock even when the online store shows as out. Now, on to prices.
 
Standard prices are generally down this week. That’s not too surprising, since a lot of players are liquidating cards to get TIX for the Prereleases.
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$40.79
$40.25
$0.54
1%
$30.73
$25.90
$4.83
19%
$14.28
$16.76
($2.48)
-15%
$26.88
$30.40
($3.52)
-12%
$13.25
$14.39
($1.14)
-8%
$22.75
$27.27
($4.52)
-17%
$13.32
$13.70
($0.38)
-3%
$18.48
$18.99
($0.51)
-3%
$16.94
$16.49
$0.45
3%
$14.28
$13.35
$0.93
7%
$16.80
$16.91
($0.11)
-1%
$23.66
$27.19
($3.53)
-13%
$17.08
$15.21
$1.87
12%
$36.49
$39.25
($2.76)
-7%
$5.36
$7.64
($2.28)
-30%
$6.95
$6.98
($0.03)
0%
$11.05
$9.20
$1.85
20%
$6.21
$7.03
($0.82)
-12%
$14.27
$14.68
($0.41)
-3%
$20.03
$19.31
$0.72
4%
$6.39
$6.31
$0.08
1%
$13.39
$14.26
($0.87)
-6%
$10.74
$11.68
($0.94)
-8%
$14.23
$14.32
($0.09)
-1%
$15.84
$17.09
($1.25)
-7%
$5.41
$5.15
$0.26
5%

Modern prices are falling this week as well, for the same reasons as Standard prices. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$63.33
$64.19
($0.86)
-1%
$27.09
$29.96
($2.87)
-10%
$10.29
$10.92
($0.63)
-6%
$16.09
$19.65
($3.56)
-18%
$11.54
$12.10
($0.56)
-5%
$17.12
$17.12
$0.00
0%
$22.50
$23.67
($1.17)
-5%
$15.66
$17.89
($2.23)
-12%
$16.13
$15.78
$0.35
2%
$20.21
$19.08
$1.13
6%
$18.91
$22.93
($4.02)
-18%
$11.91
$11.63
$0.28
2%
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
$15.40
$15.40
$0.00
0%
$15.18
$15.52
($0.34)
-2%
$5.81
$5.81
$0.00
0%
$4.05
$4.14
($0.09)
-2%
$8.10
$7.96
$0.14
2%
$25.87
$24.51
$1.36
6%
$11.44
$13.12
($1.68)
-13%
$28.48
$25.78
$2.70
10%
$11.70
$12.00
($0.30)
-3%
$15.07
$15.07
$0.00
0%
$28.98
$27.66
$1.32
5%
$7.18
$8.32
($1.14)
-14%
$9.00
$9.00
$0.00
0%
$9.64
$9.64
$0.00
0%
$5.50
$5.50
$0.00
0%

Legacy and Classic are pretty stable. Mishra’s Workshops are up, probably because of their recent success in Classic events. 
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$134.94
$138.40
($3.46)
-3%
$101.00
$94.20
$6.80
7%
Vampiric Tutor
$30.26
$30.26
$0.00
0%
$37.13
$37.13
$0.00
0%
$57.33
$58.81
($1.48)
-3%
$63.80
$60.49
$3.31
5%
$22.69
$22.69
$0.00
0%
$31.99
$31.99
$0.00
0%
$23.94
$23.94
$0.00
0%
$18.63
$18.63
$0.00
0%
$60.46
$60.46
$0.00
0%
$12.53
$12.53
$0.00
0%
$15.49
$15.49
$0.00
0%
$21.64
$22.03
($0.39)
-2%
$14.19
$14.19
$0.00
0%
$43.19
$43.19
$0.00
0%
$25.93
$25.93
$0.00
0%
$25.12
$23.57
$1.55
7%
$15.76
$15.76
$0.00
0%
$41.43
$41.43
$0.00
0%
$26.10
$27.79
($1.69)
-6%
$75.94
$68.70
$7.24
11%
$45.33
$45.33
$0.00
0%
$11.00
$10.69
$0.31
3%
$16.75
$16.75
$0.00
0%
$9.18
$9.66
($0.48)
-5%

Pauper prices are pretty stable – stable for pauper, that is.    
 

Pauper Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$4.53
$4.22
$0.31
7%
$4.25
$4.14
$0.11
3%
$1.72
$2.00
($0.28)
-14%
$5.91
$5.91
$0.00
0%
$2.71
$2.94
($0.23)
-8%
$8.14
$8.30
($0.16)
-2%
$3.64
$3.37
$0.27
8%
$11.41
$10.81
$0.60
6%
$1.30
$1.39
($0.09)
-6%
$4.78
$4.57
$0.21
5%
$8.22
$8.22
$0.00
0%
$3.86
$3.86
$0.00
0%
$4.83
$4.51
$0.32
7%
$2.27
$3.52
($1.25)
-36%
$3.19
$3.28
($0.09)
-3%
$3.43
$3.68
($0.25)
-7%
$4.97
$4.97
$0.00
0%
$2.54
$1.80
$0.74
41%
$6.63
$6.19
$0.44
7%
$2.20
$2.20
$0.00
0%
$1.18
$1.88
($0.70)
-37%
$2.07
$1.76
$0.31
18%
$2.44
$2.27
$0.17
7%
$2.63
$3.70
($1.07)
-29%

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. This week, Wastelands is ahead of Tarmogoyf again – but the big news is that Force of Will is once again over $100. The list has grown.
 

Card
Rarity
Set
Price
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
$     134.94
Force of Will
R
MED
$     101.00
Rishadan Port
R
MM
$       75.94
Wasteland
U
TE
$       63.80
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
$       63.33
Show and Tell
R
UZ
$       60.46
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
$       57.33
Misdirection
R
MM
$       45.33
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
$       43.19
Tangle Wire
R
NE
$       41.43
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
$       40.79
Underground Sea
R
ME2
$       38.84
Underground Sea
R
ME4
$       37.13
Sphinx's Revelation
M
RTR
$       36.49
Vindicate
R
AP
$       31.99
Geist of Saint Traft
M
ISD
$       30.73
Vampiric Tutor
R
VI
$       30.26
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
$       28.98
Mox Opal
M
SOM
$       28.48
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
$       27.09
Bonfire of the Damned
M
AVR
$       26.88
Tropical Island
R
ME3
$       26.55
Tundra
R
ME4
$       26.26
Flusterstorm
R
CMD
$       26.10
City of Traitors
R
EX
$       25.93
Batterskull
M
NPH
$       25.87
Bayou
R
ME3
$       25.26
Mishra's Workshop
R
ME4
$       25.12

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every non-foil 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 $23,324.  That’s down a few hundred – but this total does not include Dragon’s Maze cards.
 

Weekly Highlights:

I had a lot of fun playing in the Ham on Wry II event last weekend.   I will also be able to get into a couple Prerelease queues, but that is about it. Too much work, plus a lot of work getting the crops in means I can’t play much Magic. At least, unless it rains. Can’t plant much when it is raining hard and the ground turns to mud.
 
I’m kinda hoping for rain.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.
 

 

9 Comments

Re: Slivers by JXClaytor at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 07:28
JXClaytor's picture
5

Wotc put pictures up on Facebook of the new slivers, and someone explained their new look but I can not find the blog post at this time, I do think that the days of slivers effecting both sides are over, and these new slivers are just weird new guys. Also they look kinda phyrexian.

Payouts by Alphi at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 08:12
Alphi's picture
5

I understand the problems encountered by drafters when it comes to payouts, but I'm not sure there's a good solution here. If the payout was "balanced", that would make DGM boosters 4 times more rare in the system than RtR or GTC (all things being equal, I'm assuming the number of drafts remain constant throughout the season, and I'm not counting people just buying boosters to open them). Sure, the set is smaller, but it's not four times as small, it's actually 60% of the size of RtR. That would be fine for drafters, but would hurt constructed players immensely with incredibly expensive DGM singles.
So yes, I see your point about low booster prices hurting constructed players, but probably not nearly as much as having too few cards in the system. I really doubt there is a solution: if you want to make sure you have enough cards in the system, and you know payouts are a sizable chunk of these cards, you can't really modify the current system.

On a lighter note, woohoo, early State of the Programme today! Thanks as always!

Great summary, I am also by thewoof2 at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 09:08
thewoof2's picture

Great summary, I am also excited to see some life in classic (regardless of my lucky win streak the format is very fun imo). Let's try to fire the classic DE this Saturday, who's in?

Pete I think you played Calavera round 5 not me, he ran a similar deck though...

I built a classic deck for by RexDart at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:26
RexDart's picture

I built a classic deck for Ham2, and banked hard on there being a lot of budget red decks. I was right about that, but my matchups weren't what I expected overall, underprepared for Dredge and overprepared for artifacts. (And what's with Classic Dredge having so many free slots in their deck? Legacy dredge has maybe a Nature's Claim and a Chain of Vapor to stop your hate card, this guy had like 3 Ingot Chewers and 2 Claims at least.)

Anyhow, I wanted to keep playing with it, but it's nearly impossible to practice or play with "real" classic decks anywhere on MTGO. The "classic" they play in the casual room isn't actually classic, and all week I've found maybe two or three matches in Tourney Practice. Only one of those was even a real deck (reluctantly calling no-land Belcher a real deck, because maybe it is in Classic, and the pilot seemed to know what he was doing, though what the hell he does against Null Rods I haven't the slightest idea.) If nobody plays in Tourney Practice, is there a chat room or something?

The classicquarter.com forums by thewoof2 at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:57
thewoof2's picture

The classicquarter.com forums is the best place to find a lot of classic players. My bet is if you made a post there and the times you wanted play you would get people. Many classic players are around and available to play games but you might need to pm them. You can msg me and if I am around I would be happy to play some with you.

I think the same could be by Clan Magic Eternal at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 11:52
Clan Magic Eternal's picture

I think the same could be said for any Magic Eternal clan member, many of us are drafting when we are around and not playing in a classic tournament but many of us can field whatever deck you want some practice against.

Ham on Wry 2 was a blast even by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/10/2013 - 13:14
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Ham on Wry 2 was a blast even if I brought an extremely subpar Pod deck (still went 4-3 with it so I guess it could have been worse ;)) It was interesting to note that the top 8 pretty exactly mirrored the Classic Daily events usual suspect winners, unlike last year when I was a top 8er (though with affinity) and there were plenty of rogue players.

Is "life from the pox" the name that deck owner gave it? I've been calling it Pox Loam. Especially the version I almost ran for Ham On Wry suited out for Classic.

Procrastination's picture

I will take the Sealed Pool bait. For what it's worth, I do think that was a pretty deep card pool. Some people at our pre were very unlucky and could barely build a solid 2-3 color deck.

The only certain thing I'd say was that not playing Transguild Promenade was wrong. The pre-release format was relatively slow and you could easily use that to help set up all 3 of your colors. Being able to consistently hit that T3 split of Lyev Skyknight or Firstblade would have been strong.

Now, the mostly opinionated stuff.

If you had to play W/R/U, then I think you should probably have run the Palisade Giant and Protect/?Serve. In this format, the Giant could totally wall out the opponent and would make it a lot easier for your flyers to race. Protect//Serve is a sweet combat trick and if you get to play both sides it might turn into a blow out at the right moment.

If sticking with W/R/U, you could also have added in the the promenade, the simic gate and the selesnya gate to splash in Alive//Well, Ruric and Armed//Dangerous (I'm pretty sure that is hiding down there). All 3 of those cards help win races in a variety of ways. Blaze commando seems sad since you only have 2 cards to activate it with (Mugging and BoG is all I see...)

But that brings me to - you probably should have gone Naya or Jund.

Naya could have been pretty good. You get to run the very flexible two drop of Kraul Warrior, who still can remain relevant in the late game "stompy" fights. You get the Zhur-Taa druid to both ramp and be able to deal damage in a ground stall. Ruric is just a huge chunk of beef and Armed//Dangerous is often going to win you the game (remember that you can target two different creatures with it). Alive//Well also helps you pull ahead so your big guys can get in the last few swings. Splashing for Lyev may not have been out of the question.

Jund may have been best. You get both of your good maze runners (Ruric, Valroz), Putrefy, 2x Gorgon (who is just sweet with Armed//Dangerous) Ubal Sar Gatekeeper as well adds some more removal. The Maze Behemoth's become better when you have those good gold creatures that could be getting Scavenge counters as well. You have the gates (and promenade) to splash in the Firemane Avenger and another white card if you want (probably Alive//Well again).

So yeah, I think Jund/white was the right choice. It just gives you a lot of powerful, must answer cards that could help win out at slower sealed events.

You did have a lot to work with though. I think I see a Far//Away hiding in there to make U/B/W look appealing, and Junk colors may not have been totally out of the question either.

Thoughts?

Seeing Varolz in the by KaraZorEl at Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:40
KaraZorEl's picture

Seeing Varolz in the sideboard of your sealed deck, I probably would have went with Jund. But then, even if you have the perfect deck, you can still lose to derpy things like bad draws or land screw/land flood.

Ruric Thar as a 6/6 beater with vigilance is impossibly hard to pass up. It's not always best to go for tempo over power. Sometimes power wins out (as I discovered when someone beat me in RTR sealed with an 8-cmc dragon).

Re: WOTC problems. I feel like it's been long enough now that they need a house-cleaning in the company. They're too stuck in policy, rather than innovation. When you take away the great card design that has been present in the RTR block and the fantastic artwork we've seen, what do you have left?

Maybe an a company that can't get its program working correctly, no matter how much time passes. Maybe we have a company that while well meaning, fails at customer service because the people responsible for answering consumer concerns can't actually solve problems created outside their department. Maybe- just possibly- we get a company catering to obsessed hobbyists who live in an alternate reality in which the euphoric high of beating someone with expensive pixelated images is a good substitute for purpose in life.

Should it be any surprise that such a company does not have its feet held to the fire when it consistently, repeatedly, with little deviation, gets things wrong?