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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
May 17 2019 12:00pm
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State of the Program for May 17th, 2019
 
In the News

Gerry T Resigns from MPL:  It was announced on Monday that Gerry Thompson had resigned from the MPL.  You can read his statement here

Wizards of the Coast Announces new MPL Members:  Following on the heels of Gerry's resignation, Wizards of the Coast announced the two players filling in the holes left by Yuuya and Gerry.  Congrats to Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen and Jessica Estephan!  In addition to these two outstanding players inclusion, WotC also noted that they are looking to remove barriers and invite people that show off the Magic community.  To do this, they are adding 16 invites to the MTG Arena Mythic Championships this season to be used at their discretion. You can read about that at the Magic esports site, or in this interview with Eliane Chase at esportsobservor.com

Qualifying for the Mythic Championship on Arena:  With extra players also comes a new prize payout, which can be found here.  In short, it looks like 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places lost significant amounts of money (30,000 for second and 20,000 each for 3rd and 4th).  However, each player is going to walk away with 7,500 which seems like a not bad number at all. 

MOCS Coverage:  Probably should have lead with this, but WotC has not really promoted the MOCS until about two days ago, and even then it's been limited to social media stuff with no real articles on the mothership at all.  Randy Buehler tweeted out a google doc about the competitors. There is a 45 second hype video for the event, you can watch that here.  The esport account tweeted out a schedule for the event here, and this year, the premier digital championship will have a halftime event thanks to MPL coverage on Saturday!  The coverage team is almost as star-studded as the players in the event, Randy Buehler, Athena Froehlich, Maria Bartholdi, Eric Froehlich, Marshall Sutcliffe, Paul Rietzl, Huey Jensen, and Reid Duke are all part of the team.  This tournament is stacked with strong competitors though.  Coverage started about an hour after this article goes live, so make sure to check out the twitch channel for it! 

Arena Stuff: The State of Beta came out Thursday and they finally showed off what the stained glass Planeswalkers are for.  Also a new clock and land choices.  Read it here

Modern Horizons Previews:  WotC published a list of when these start, and where to expect them!  The first ones come out on May 19th, during the MOCS stream over at Twitch.tv.  The continue through May 30th. You can expect the PureMTGO spoiler to come out on May 27th, and we sure are excited to bring this to you in a new and unique way!  You can check the full list here

Removal of Planeswalker Points for Qualifier Events:  Starting with Mythic Championship VI, it appears that MCQs are going to be open events. This was tweeted out by the esports account on Thursday

Banned and Restricted list:  The 20th will feature an announcement for the banned and restricted list.  MTGO leagues will be effected if something is banned, and players who have entered a league with a newly banned card will have until noon PST to complete that league, in other words you have 4 hours to say goodbye to a banned card if anything happens.

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
Dates
Scheduled Downtimes
June 5th
Constructed Leagues End
July 2nd, 2019
Sealed Leagues End
July 2nd, 2019
Vintage Cube
May 15th, 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
“Archery”
September 2019
“Baseball”
January, 2020
“Cricket”
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 
Limited MCQ - May 18 and 19 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

I spent 10 hours of my Thursday writing this.  Well, most of the "writing" time would best be described as research, as I had to learn how to do the prices, with a special thanks to Pete and his calm voice and great video making skills leading the way for me.  The bulk of the time was picking out what news to cover, and I may have over did it this week, I may not have.  I also had to pick out the Around the Web pieces and I can fully understand after just two weeks why Pete stepped down.  This is a time consuming column, and with better time management could be written in chunks each day instead of waiting until the night before.  Next week, I am going to try to write it like a living article, I guess in the sense that I start on Monday, and write, save it, and move on, repeat the next day and such.

My hot takes are going to be short this week, and basically restating what I said on twitter about the MPL changes this week. 

GerryT has been nothing but kind to me in our real life interactions.  His actions in regards to the World Championship and resigning from MPL to me, seem rare in today's world.  Gerry could have easily stuck it out and continued to do something that didn't sit right with him in the name of collecting a check.  He saw things that he considered to be wrong, stood up and decided to leave.  Gerry is going to land on his feet regardless, he's a great content creator, a great podcaster, and a wonderful member of the Magic community. 

Would I have done the same? 

I can't say that I would have.  With bills to pay and child support to take care of, I'm barely floating as it is now, I don't think I could have let my principles get in the way of being comfortable, and I applaud Gerry for doing the opposite.  It takes courage and bravery to do that. 

One of his issues was with how WotC has handled the MOCS.  It's been advertised poorly, with the bulk of the activity coming from Wizards of the Coasts social media pages.  Heck, I didn't even know this was a thing until last week when I sat down to write the column and had noticed that one of the broadcast team members said something about it on their twitter.  I didn't know who was in it until Randy tweeted out a Google doc. I know the answer is Arena, but why is the community finding out about these players from a dang Google doc? 

I've been approached in the past to do interviews with competitors in the MOCS on this site, and this year no one from WotC said a word to me.  It's almost like Organized Play and Marketing forgot it existed and then suddenly not.  With the ongoing beta test for the play lobby and continued improvements to the client, it's clear that MTGO is here to stay for a while, but why treat the biggest event, the Wrestlemania, if you will, of MTGO like it's a ring in a bingo hall? 

The competitors deserved a much better effort from Wizards after performing so well and reaching the pinnacle of MTGO competition.  It's sad that it wasn't delivered. 

Here is to hoping that the broadcast is great though! 

Cutting Edge Tech

Standard:  This deck is pretty neat, as it allows to cast a walker that costs UBBBR and splash W as if it is no big deal at all.  I wish that Teferi, Hero of Dominaria was in the deck, but Interplanar Beacon is what does a lot of work here helping smooth out an incredibly stretched out and greedy manabase. 


Modern
:  Ever cast Notion Thief in response to an Ancestral Recall?  Did it feel good?  With Narset, Parter of Veils acting as Leovold, Emissary of Trest this deck can do some pretty silly things.  Who cards about ending your turn with a Day's Undoing if your opponent is doing it with one card in hand? 


Legacy
Teferi, Time Raveler is finding his way in Legacy as well.  Looks to be a mirror breaker for the control matches! 


Vintage
:  I think this is Stax, I'm not sure, but whatever Mishra's Workshop powered beast this is, Karn, the Great Creator is here to tutor up artifacts and help lock your opponent down! 

 
 
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

Monday: Bennie Smith, Commander writer and all around great person wrote about a sweet zombie deck for the format.  This Mono white strategy looks to take advantage of War of the Spark and the new mythic God-Eternal Oketra.  When you think zombies, you typically don't think mono white, but Bennie did a great job with this fun deck

Also on Monday, Hall of Famer Paulo Vitor Damo de Rosa gave his thoughts on the new things that came to be from Mythic Championship 2.  Talking about the London mulligan, open decklists and the prerelease limited events for War of the Spark, read about his conclusions here

Tuesday: Mythic Champion Eli Loveman wrote a guide for Modern Humans here

WednesdayFrank Karsten brought his analysis to the MPL and gave us a great recap of the week 1 MPL Metagame. 

Also on Wednesday the adventures of Rat continued on the mothership.  Things happened here!

ThursdayAdam Yurchick went super indepth about which cards from War of the Spark are seeing playing on MTGO in the Modern format.  He highlights several lists that show off the power of Karn, the Great Creator, Narset, Parter of Veils, Teferi, Time Raveler, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, Jace, Weilder of Mysteries and other cards from the set.  War of the Spark so far has seemed to be really high impact for Modern!  You can read his piece on tcgplayer!

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 might have supersized the table this week, listing every Standard legal card that is 5 or more dollars.  I suspect some of these will fall off next week, and then even more will fall off as I remember that some of these cards are just Planeswalker deck only cards and they shouldn't really be on the table because they aren't getting played and only have a higher price due to scarcity. Here's the giant Standard table! 

Standard Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Arclight Phoenix $30.48 $31.52 ($1.04) -3%
Assassin's Trophy $5.79 $5.67 $0.12 2%
Teferi, Time Raveler $17.96 $12.03 $5.93 49%
Hydroid Krasis $25.64 $12.12 $13.52 112%
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $28.52 $32.25 ($3.73) -12%
Prime Speaker Vannifer $8.37 $8.27 $0.10 1%
Seraph of the Scales $8.31 $6.53 $1.78 27%
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria $12.65 $13.75 ($1.10) -8%
Firesong and Sunspeaker $5.06 new n/a n/a
Vraska, Golgari Queen 5.7 new n/a n/a
Ral, Izzet Viceroy 5.28 new n/a n/a
Divine Visitation 5 new n/a n/a
Nexus of Fate 9.34 11.31 -1.97 -17%
Vivien of the Arkbow 5 new n/a n/a
Tezzeret Cruel Machinist 5 new n/a n/a
Liliana, the Necromancer 5 new n/a n/a
Sarkhan Dragonsoul 5 new n/a n/a
Rekindling Phoenix 6.48 new n/a n/a
Angrath, Minotaur Pirate 6 new n/a n/a
Vraska, Scheming Gorgon 5 new n/a n/a
God-Eternal Kefnet 12.31 12.57 -0.26 -2%
Karn, the Great Creator 9.96 14.16 -4.2 -30%
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge 6.88 6.57 0.31 5%
Finale of Promise 6.32 new n/a n/a
Gideon Blackblade 5.88 new n/a n/a
Liliana, Dreadhorde General 5.16 9.62 -4.46 -46%
Eternal staples: Strongly considering putting my own stamp on the Eternal staple chart. I feel like there are some cards missing, like Aether Vial.  We'll see though, as I struggle through pricing stuff on my own for the first time this week, I may decide to keep things as is, just to keep my own Peace of Mind.

Eternal Format Cards Price Last Week Change % Change
Back to Basics $16.28 $17.97 ($1.69) -9%
Cavern of Souls $22.57 $14.77 $7.80 53%
Chalice of the Void $29.20 $26.82 $2.38 9%
City of Traitors $25.79 $17.53 $8.26 47%
Daze $10.61 $9.75 $0.86 9%
Engineered Explosives $26.97 $28.06 ($1.09) -4%
Ensnaring Bridge $25.24 $22.39 $2.85 13%
Force of Will $22.35 $19.10 $3.25 17%
Gemstone Mine $15.35 $18.39 ($3.04) -17%
Horizon Canopy $37.79 $28.88 $8.91 31%
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $51.20 $52.10 ($0.90) -2%
Karn Liberated $27.03 $30.42 ($3.39) -11%
Liliana of the Veil $31.77 $33.59 ($1.82) -5%
Liliana, the Last Hope $26.59 $19.66 $6.93 35%
Lord Windgrace $39.50 $36.40 $3.10 9%
Mox Opal $37.01 $37.52 ($0.51) -1%
Scalding Tarn $17.78 $16.48 $1.30 8%
Surgical Extraction $40.40 $39.98 $0.42 1%
True-Name Nemesis $69.37 $64.28 $5.09 8%
Underground Sea $7.57 $7.80 ($0.23) -3%
Wasteland $14.96 $16.99 ($2.03) -12%
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 were interesting to Pete, and this is a small tribute to his work with the column.  

Complete Set Price Last Week Change % Change
Core Set 2019 $103.45 $99.36 $4.09 4%
Dominaria $36.25 $34.46 $1.79 5%
Guilds of Ravnica $114.77 $119.02 ($4.25) -4%
Ixalan $20.18 $21.27 ($1.09) -5%
Ravnica Allegiances $125.00 $106.14 $18.86 18%
Rivals of Ixalan $24.43 $21.37 $3.06 14%
Treasure Chest $2.25 $2.17 $0.08 4%
War of the Spark Booster $3.28 $3.10 $0.18 6%
War of the Spark $125.59 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. 

Set Name Price
1E Black Lotus $247.22
1E Mox Sapphire $140.29
1E Mox Emerald $97.31
1E Mox Ruby $95.24
1E Ancestral Recall $84.48
1E Mox Jet $79.17
PZ1 True-Name Nemesis $69.37
1E Mox Pearl $67.73
1E Time Walk $66.20
A25 Jace, the Mind Sculptor $55.19
C13 True-Name Nemesis $54.17
WWK Jace, the Mind Sculptor $52.16
EMA Jace, the Mind Sculptor $51.85
VMA Jace, the Mind Sculptor $51.20
UBT Karn Liberated $46.92
MED Force of Will $44.21
MM2 Surgical Extraction $40.40
UBT Liliana of the Veil $40.36
NPH Surgical Extraction $40.22
PZ2 Lord Windgrace $39.50
UMA Liliana of the Veil $39.37
MM3 Liliana of the Veil $39.35
MM2 Mox Opal $38.13
V16 Dark Depths $37.28
MS2 Mox Opal $37.15
SOM Mox Opal $37.01
1E Timetwister $35.66
V16 Unmask $34.15
UBT Engineered Explosives $34.04
EXP Horizon Canopy $32.43
NPH Karn Liberated $32.13
IMA Horizon Canopy $31.92
FUT Horizon Canopy $31.79
ISD Liliana of the Veil $31.77
GRN Arclight Phoenix $30.48
UMA Karn Liberated $30.31
DST Mycosynth Lattice $30.10
MS2 Chalice of the Void $29.20
MS4 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $28.52
RNA Kaya, Orzhov Usurper $27.49
MMA Chalice of the Void $27.43
UBT Dark Depths $27.39
A25 Chalice of the Void $27.03
MM2 Karn Liberated $27.03
UMA Engineered Explosives $26.97
MRD Chalice of the Void $26.73
MS4 Liliana, the Last Hope $26.59
5DN Engineered Explosives $26.08
MMA Engineered Explosives $25.81
EX City of Traitors $25.79
RNA Hydroid Krasis $25.64
MS2 Ensnaring Bridge $25.38
ST Ensnaring Bridge $25.32
8ED Ensnaring Bridge $25.24
 
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 #VALUE!. I have no idea if that is down or up from last week, but my wizardry in regards to spreadsheets is not matched by Pete's, who was kind enough to make me several videos in regards to making prices. I appreciate his help, but I was just doing something wrong every time I hit SUM in open office, and I spent a shameful amount of time trying to make it work, and decided to stop trying before I made way to the trash outside, Ron Swanson style. 
 
In Closing

Prices were generated on 5 16th, 2019.  I tried really hard, but like I said, I'm not close friends with spreadsheets.  We rarely, if ever, get along.  This is probably what I get for taking my last computer course in college way back before Windows 10 was a thing.  Also that was dang near a decade ago.  Maybe I should have paid more attention, and retained more.  Shrugs.

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