one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
May 20 2016 8:54pm
5
Login or register to post comments
9269 views


State of the Program for May 20th 2016

In the News:

Magic Online Legacy Festival: Wizards is looking to up the participation of MTGO Players in the Legacy format, and has created a three step process to help out. First, to help players get used to Legacy, they will have a Legacy Gauntlet from June 8-16. This will lead up to the Eternal Masters roll-out, where you can get some sweet Legacy cards.  When Eternal Masters winds up, Wizards will convert the Legacy League to a qualifier for the Legacy Festival Championship on July 24th.   There will also be a LCQ event for the LFC. The LFC will have some sweet prizes. Details here.
 
New Product Announcements: Wizards announced that they are changing how they do announcements. For the future, they will announce new products twice a year. The first of these announcements is here. The next announcement day will be sometime in September. Which leads to:
 
Kaladesh Announced: The fall set will be called Kaladesh. The paper version will launching in September. The online version will go on sale October 10th. Online prereleases start October 7th. What details there are so far are here.
 
Planeswalker Decks: Wizards has announced that, starting with Kaladesh, these will replace the Intro Packs as a gateway product. The Planeswalker decks will include a unique Planeswalkers, plus some cards specific to that Planeswalker. Each Planeswalker deck will include 10 cards available only in these packs, but those cards will be Standard legal. The unique cards will be more “flavorful” than tournament ready, but we will see. The announcement is here.
 
Commander 2016: This year’s Commander sets will feature four-color legends.   There will be five decks. The paper release date is November, 11, 2016. And that’s about all we know. Announcement here.
 
Niels Noorlander wins Magic Online Championship:  The MOCS Championship was last weekend. Niels Noorlander took it down. Coverage is here. Decklists are at the bottom of that page. For those of you with SCG Premium, Mike Sigrist wrote a tournament report with lots of deck analysis here.
 
Three Players Decided to Skip the MTGO Championship: Wizards hosted what should have been a 16 player Magic Online Championship, but three players failed to appear. Apparently an all-expense paid trip to play in an event with a minimum prize payout of $4,000 as not sufficiently enticing – or maybe they had travel issues. Sometimes getting a passport, visas and permission to enter the US can be difficult on short notice.
 
Customer Rewards Promos Announced: The May promos are an alt art Sylvan Scrying for the event promo and an alt art Goblin Dark Dwellers for the store promo.   While I do like the new art on Dark Dwellers, Worth has promised to use the promo program to get cards that are really needed for eternal formats into circulation. This does not do that in any way. 
 
Aaron Forsythe Cast Cone of Flame in Standard – Twitter Erupted: Aaron tweeted that he had cast Cone of Flame off Googles, and that it was good.  Twitter exploded, since many players did not know/remember that it is Standard legal. It is in the Welcome Decks 2016. This led to a debate about whether it is appropriate to have Standard legal cards that are not in any Standard legal booster packs.   
 
Rosewater on Magic: Mark Rosewater gave a speech entitled Magic the Gathering: Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons at GDC 16. If you like knowing more about how Magic is made, check it out here.
 
Community Super League Plays Legacy Tribal Wars: The CSL built tribal wars decklists last week. The results showed off all the best and worst of the tribal format. Some of the decks were really cool, but they also got killed by combo builds almost instantly (e.g. Horrors vs. Nightmares and Scarecrows vs. Werewolves. Lots of turn two kills.) Some of the builds were a totally unbalanced (e.g. Gaby Spartz stomping LR Marshall’s Elks), or at least balanced at different levels. Since Tribal Wars has no sideboards, game twos in many of these matches were still totally hopeless. This round of the CSL was very much a case of competitive builds stomping casual decks.
 

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 MTGO calendar and the weekly blog, while the best source for known bugs is the Known Issues List. For quick reference, here are some major upcoming events.   In addition, there are either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
 
Item: date and notes
·         Power Nine Challenge: Last Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific.  Next one May 28th.
·         Legacy Challenge: Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific. Next one May 14th.  
·         No Downtime on: June 8 and June 22
·         League End Dates: all current leagues end July 27, 2016 
·         Legacy Gauntlet: June 8 through 16
·         Eternal Masters: June 16 through July 6. Details here.
·         Legacy Championship Qualifiers: July 6 through July 20
·         Legacy Championship: July 24
·         Eldritch Moon Prerelease: July 29-August 1. Details here
·         Kaladesh Prerelease: October 7-10, on sale October 10th. Product code KLD.
·         From the Vault Lore: releases online October 10, 2016.
·         Aether Revolt: January 2017 release
 
Flashback Schedule:
Flashback drafts are 10Tix / 100 Play Points / 2 Tix plus product, not Phantom, single elim and pay out in play points: 200 for first, 100 for second, 50 for third and fourth. 
·         Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight: May 18, 2016 to May 25, 2016
·         Triple Tenth Edition: May 25, 2016 to June 1, 2016
·         Triple Lorwyn: likely June 1 to June 8
·         2 Lorwyn, Morningtide: likely June 8 to June 15
·         Triple Shadowmoor: likely June 15 to June 22
·         2 Shadowmoor, Eventide: likely June 22 to June 29
 
Flashback This Week: Flashback drafts are back. We have Time Spiral / Planar Chaos / Future Sight until next downtime, followed by Tenth Edition.   Tenth Edition has two money cards – Crucible of Worlds and Hurkyl’s Recall. Neither are any good in 10E limited, but they are still worth grabbing. Beyond that, the pain lands are worth a few TIX each. 
 

Opinion Section: Answers to Bulk Commons

Last week, I talked about the problem of bulk cards – the mix of extra lands, commons and other cards that have no real present or future value. These are the cards that even hard-core Pauper players ignore. For me, it includes the 270 odd Pacifisms in my collections. For a dealer like MTGOTraders.com, it is roughly 54,000 of the 55,000+ copies of Pacifism they own. (Yes, really – I asked Heath. They own over 55k Pacifisms.) 
 
Bulk cards are not much of a problem for newer players. Over time, however, they accumulate and really slow you down. My old laptop could not handle my collection of 85,000 cards – it froze roughly half the time I launched the collection tab, and deckbuilding took literally hours per deck. Moreover, you cannot make more than 50,000 cards tradeable, so if your collection is larger than that, you cannot let the BuyBots loose on the whole thing. I use my original account as a storage account, and it had almost 100k cards in it. It is almost entirely bulk. I have been trying to sell these cards for years. To even offer them to the Buybots, I have had to make five separate binders.   One holds 50k creatures. One holds 35k sorceries, and so forth. I have to open a trade, let the bot buy what it wants, then change active binders and do it again. It’s a pain. 
 
Note: I could sell everything in the account to MTGOTraders.com.   They would buy it, and probably give me a decent price. However, that would mean that someone at MTGOTraders.com would have to trade the cards to another account, 400 at a time. Or maybe they have a BOT for that. The point is that they don’t want those cards. No one wants 210 copies of Canyon Minotaur.  Or the 262 copies of Pacifism in that account.

If the bulk junk just sat there, I would not have an issue.   However, I design decks in Excel or on paper, then type them into Notepad and load them into the deckbuilder. The program then grabs from the bulk.   If I am building Bant Company, I want to use the Unhinged Forests, not three random SOI Forests I got 15th pick in recent drafts. If I am going to run Duress, I want to use my old frame Saga versions. That’s why I own them. However, the deck editor will throw some other (more recent) version into my deck whenever it can.  
 
The answer to that is to trade off all the bulk junk as fast as you get it, so that the deck builder cannot stick the wrong card in there. The problem is that if you spend a morning drafting that can be a lot of trades. Worse, in my experience, adding cards to trade binders is laggy and clunky. As a result, I have occasionally ended up trading away cards I actually wanted to keep without realizing it. After selling one of my original Bob Maher art Dark Confidants, then buying it back at a significant loss, I got so sick of this mess that I bought another account which I only use for constructed. I have moved almost 5k cards from my general, not limited only account, to the constructed account.   And even then I have problems with bulk junk, because I keep getting event promos and so forth in the account. 
 
Yes, first world problems, but it is worse now that we have Play Points. With two accounts, I have one account with lots of spare Play Points, and another where I have to keep spending TIX to enter events. I would merge them if not for the pain of dealing with bulk junk. I still like to draft, and have been playing in sealed leagues, so I get lots of it. 
 
So how should this work?   Well, here’s what happens when I draft in paper. After the draft, I break down my deck.   I sort it into three or four piles. I give the basic land back to the shop.   I give the bulk commons and uncommons I don’t need, and the occasional chaff rare, to some kid just getting into the game. I generally wind up with 0-10 cards I actually intend to keep and use in constructed. Those are the only cards I take home and add to my actual collections.
 
MTGO, on the other hand, takes all those cards and dumps them into my collection.   It does sort them alphabetically, but those unwanted cards are still in my collection. That might be nice for new players, but Wizards has often said that Duels of the Planeswalker is their entry-level digital offering. MTGO is for advanced players, and we really don’t get any pleasure out of having bulk junk in our collections.
 
So how should this work? Here’s how I would build this – and this is inherently obvious. Moreover, I explicitly release all rights to the idea and concepts. In other words, Wizards, you can do this. Please.  
 
First, instead of one huge collection for everything, I would separate them.   First, I would give everyone a collection for constructed cards. If you build a deck, the cards come from this pool. Second, all players have a bulk storage bin – or possibly a couple bulk bins.   If you import a decklist into the deckbuilder and you don’t have a card in your constructed collection, one of the options would be “add a copy from your bulk bin” in addition to “update with version in your collection.” And here’s the important part: whenever you get new cards, the program would pop up a window showing the product. You could click or drag individual cards into your constructed collection, but the default would be to put them into the bulk bin.   So, after the draft, I could save the couple cards I wanted for constructed and the rest would be safely out of the way. My deckbuilder would run faster, I would get to use the cards I paid for and life would be better.
 
But that sort of thing will have to wait for version 5. MTGO does not have this sort of thing, and this version never will. Combining the collection screen and deck builder in V4 was a mistake, but one we just have to live with. It would be great if Wizards could rebuild this, but I am not going to hold my breath.   What resources they have are stretched pretty thin just trying to get sets online and fixing bugs. So let’s look at fixes we can implement now.
 
The existing solution is the one I took: have separate accounts for constructed and limited. Just don’t expect to qualify for the MOCS very often, since you will be splitting points. As for the bulk commons that accumulate in your draft account, when the pile gets too deep, spend $10 on a new account, play through the new player points in that account and transfer out anything of value. After that, trade the 50k bulk cards over to the new account and then forget all about it. That will probably only take 8-10 hours. It’s almost like a shredder, but Wizards makes some money, so it is all good – right?
 
In case it isn’t obvious – I hate this system. It is one of the main reasons I don’t play more on MTGO. I would totally play more limited if dealing with chaff online wasn’t much, much more time consuming than it is in paper. And that is stupid.
 
So here are a couple ideas that seem not unreasonable, along with the pros and cons:
 
A Shredder: This is the equivalent of throwing away your draft leftovers, the shredder would simply erase the cards.   I think the concern is that someone would accidentally shred good stuff, or someone would get access to an account and shred money cards in spite or as a “joke.” It should be easy enough to work around this – just limit what can be shredded. If the shredder could only erase commons and basic lands from in print sets, it would be pretty hard for anyone to do too much damage either deliberately or by accident. I don’t like a shredder on principle, but this would help empty collections.
 
Donate to Charity: In theory, this is great. Everyone can take all their spare cards and pool them, then someone could give new players cards to play with. In practice, we already have this. MTGOTraders.com, and other vendors, have free card bots that “sell” cards for nothing. You can trade some number of cards per week. It would be better if Wizards were to do this – to collect cards from players and donate them to new players, but Wizards is already making money with the deckbuilder’s tool kit. It would be great, but I don’t see it happening.
 
Redeem for Value: In the real world, I can always sell my bulk dealers for $2-3 per thousand cards. It’s not much, but it is something to do with the cards. Ideally, I would love to have Wizards give us a special binder that we could fill. During downtimes, Wizards would remove the cards form that binder and give us something: 1 Play Point per thousand cards, 1 TIX per 10k cards, whatever. The concept is great, but the problem is that there is so much bulk out there. MTGOTraders.com has over THREE MILLION basic lands, and many million more commons and uncommons. 55k Pacifisms, remember.   The potential downside would be a flood of TIX, but that could be ameliorated if Wizards limited the redemption to once per month per account.  Trading cards for TIX would also give big dealers like MTGO a windfall, but maybe they deserve it. They have enabled constructed events for a long time, and they have also been wrestling with all this bulk for a long time. 
 
Sell Us Storage Boxes: In the paper word, I can buy a big box and fill it with cards. Then I can stick it in a closet, or up in the attic. A digital equivalent might be a special binder that can close to become an object in the non-card tab, while removing any cards in that binder from my collection. The programming is probably not trivial, but I would be willing to pay for this. If enough others were also, then this might even be profitable for Wizards.
 
Redeem to Archive: This is a simpler version of storage boxes. Wizards creates a binder called “archive.” Each downtime, it takes all the cards in that binder are “compacts” them into a thing in the non-card tab. You can click on that item to unpack it, just like you open a booster pack. Conceptually, this seems simple, but I suspect that it isn’t, really. The system would have to remember all the digital IDs of each card in each archive box. Storage boxes probably have the same problem.
 
A Bulk Cards Tab: I keep coming around to this. The only cheap things that Wizards could do are a shredder or pulling cards during downtimes, like they do for redemption. Maybe they can give us a third tab on the deckbuilding//collection tab. Now we would have “collection”, “noncard” and “bulk card storage.” To keep it from being confusing to new players, the default would be to put all cards into the collection tab. In settings, however, you could choose where to put all new product from limited events, and have another toggle for where new cards from trades go.   
 
I’m sure there are other options, but I really wish we could do something. What we have now is a mess.
 
BTW, I did note the irony of discussing the problem of a shortage of money cards in the same article where I complain about having too many cards. Paper has the same problem, but at least in paper I can take a junk common and a Sharpie and make a playtest Avacyn. Or use then for bookmarks, of course. For those of you whose books are still paper, that is. 
 

Judge Question of the Week:

I have been training new judges for many years, and part of that training involves setting out scenarios and problems that teach various parts of the rules. They start simple – i.e. a creature with trample is blocked by a creature with protection – and get harder as they go. The goal is to determine what areas of the rules I need to teach, and what my candidate already knows. And to have some fun.  Here we go.
 
You are about to die. You have seven dead cards in hand, and if your opponent untaps, she will kill you. On the plus side, she is at one life. You have one draw step to rip a burn spell, but during your upkeep she casts Silence, preventing you from casting spells this turn.   Then, just to rub it in, you draw Fiery Temper. Question: is this the worst bad beats ever?
 
Silence   fiery temper
 
As always, there are no relevant cards not mentioned.   As for why you cannot win once your opponent untaps – she has a grip full of counterspells, but is tapped out on your turn.
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard: The biggest MTGO event last weekend was the Magic Online Championship. The winner’s deck is featured.   All thirteen Standard decklists can be found here.
 

Niels Noorlander, Winner, Magic Online Championship
Creatures
Non-Creatures
Sideboard
 
 
 

 
Modern: Modern was one of the formats for the Magic Online Championship. The winner’s deck is here. All thirteen Modern decklists can be found here.
 
 
Legacy: Legacy was one of the formats for the Magic Online Championship. The winner’s deck is here.   All thirteen Legacy decklists can be found here.
 
 
Vintage: The VSL qualifying event has wrapped up. The VSL decklists are here. Paul Rietzl went undefeated to win a spot in the VSL – playing White Weenie. 
 
 

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 was going nuts this week. We had some really wild swings this time around. Last week I asked if CoCo could pass Jace? Answer is no, but Kalitas and Nahiri may be making runs.    
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$19.09
$21.02
($1.93)
-9%
$19.78
$16.96
$2.82
17%
$23.90
$31.65
($7.75)
-24%
Dragonlord Atarka
$16.06
$12.31
$3.75
30%
$10.12
$12.70
($2.58)
-20%
$27.12
$23.95
$3.17
13%
$43.93
$36.94
$6.99
19%
$31.55
$36.44
($4.89)
-13%
$6.35
$5.27
$1.08
20%
$10.81
$10.97
($0.16)
-1%
$11.30
$9.30
$2.00
22%
$9.18
$8.60
$0.58
7%
$22.89
$10.35
$12.54
121%
$9.52
$9.44
$0.08
1%
$16.60
$11.57
$5.03
43%
$8.74
$9.28
($0.54)
-6%
$5.13
$7.48
($2.35)
-31%
$9.05
$7.11
$1.94
27%
$4.34
$7.46
($3.12)
-42%

Modern staples:  Modern is a bit more reasonable this week.   A couple solid cards that took hits are coming back. Horizon Canopy was up again – guess we are not doing enough flashback drafts.  
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$19.10
$15.68
$3.42
22%
$20.23
$19.90
$0.33
2%
$32.61
$31.98
$0.63
2%
$24.35
$20.80
$3.55
17%
$31.57
$27.80
$3.77
14%
$25.56
$24.88
$0.68
3%
$17.93
$18.68
($0.75)
-4%
$28.34
$28.11
$0.23
1%
$16.17
$14.93
$1.24
8%
$29.51
$29.79
($0.28)
-1%
$39.73
$34.65
$5.08
15%
$37.25
$35.35
$1.90
5%
$24.07
$23.09
$0.98
4%
$94.60
$91.24
$3.36
4%
$10.66
$15.05
($4.39)
-29%
$28.97
$27.69
$1.28
5%
$38.38
$30.07
$8.31
28%
$36.79
$33.23
$3.56
11%
$49.57
$49.10
$0.47
1%
$17.22
$17.23
($0.01)
0%
$18.97
$17.06
$1.91
11%
$34.70
$34.84
($0.14)
0%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are mixed this week, with no overall direction I can see. Misdirection dropped again. Looks like people can see Eternal Masters fast approaching.  
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$48.78
$48.97
($0.19)
0%
$136.45
$131.75
$4.70
4%
$20.25
$17.04
$3.21
19%
$14.57
$17.98
($3.41)
-19%
$32.56
$35.19
($2.63)
-7%
$36.17
$34.36
$1.81
5%
$18.85
$15.93
$2.92
18%
$39.61
$40.18
($0.57)
-1%
$34.46
$32.71
$1.75
5%
$93.00
$94.86
($1.86)
-2%
$41.80
$41.27
$0.53
1%
$61.31
$60.10
$1.21
2%
$163.69
$162.88
$0.81
0%
$32.51
$31.88
$0.63
2%
$52.94
$55.51
($2.57)
-5%
$36.35
$35.65
$0.70
2%
$46.64
$50.67
($4.03)
-8%

Set Redemption: You can redeem complete sets on MTGO. You need to purchase a redemption voucher from the store for $25. During the next downtime, Wizards removes a complete set from your account and sends you the same set in paper.  
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Battle for Zendikar
$76.48
$72.78
$3.70
5%
Dragons of Tarkir
$131.55
$141.10
($9.55)
-7%
Magic Origins
$135.18
$122.17
$13.01
11%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$121.76
$114.42
$7.34
6%
Shadows over Innistrad
$100.07
$96.85
$3.22
3%

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. Worth promised to use the promo program to up the supply of some needed cards. These may qualify. (Gaea’s Cradle made it!) The list is down below 50 cards this week. I’m guessing people are selling now, expecting to rebuy at lower prices when Eternal Masters gets here.
 

Name
Set
Rarity
Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
$ 163.69
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
$ 136.45
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
$ 94.60
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
$ 93.00
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
$ 61.31
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
$ 52.94
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
$ 52.05
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
$ 51.79
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
$ 51.75
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
$ 49.57
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
$ 48.78
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
$ 46.64
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
 ORI
Mythic Rare
$ 43.93
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
$ 43.32
Mox Jet
 VMA
Bonus
$ 41.80
Celestial Colonnade
 WWK
Rare
$ 39.91
Grove of the Burnwillows
 FUT
Rare
$ 39.73
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
$ 39.61
City of Traitors
 TPR
Rare
$ 39.02
Scalding Tarn
 ZEN
Rare
$ 38.38
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
$ 37.25
Scapeshift
 MOR
Rare
$ 36.79
Time Walk
 VMA
Bonus
$ 36.35
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
$ 36.17
Underground Sea
 ME2
Rare
$ 35.59
Voice of Resurgence
 DGM
Mythic Rare
$ 34.70
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
$ 34.46
Mox Emerald
 VMA
Bonus
$ 34.16
Mox Ruby
 VMA
Bonus
$ 34.05
Lion's Eye Diamond
 MI
Rare
$ 33.19
Batterskull
 NPH
Mythic Rare
$ 32.61
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
$ 32.56
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
$ 32.51
Mox Pearl
 VMA
Bonus
$ 31.68
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
$ 31.57
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
 OGW
Mythic Rare
$ 31.55
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
$ 31.41
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
$ 31.33
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
$ 30.74
Griselbrand
 AVR
Mythic Rare
$ 29.51
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
$ 29.39
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
$ 28.97
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
$ 28.59
Underground Sea
 ME4
Rare
$ 28.44
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
$ 28.34
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
 BFZ
Mythic Rare
$ 27.12
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
$ 26.40
Crucible of Worlds
 5DN
Rare
$ 25.73
Crucible of Worlds
 10E
Rare
$ 25.56
Volcanic Island
 ME4
Rare
$ 25.52
Volcanic Island
 VMA
Rare
$ 25.12
Unmask
 MM
Rare
$ 25.01

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 $ 26,840.  That’s up about $600 from last week’s number.
 

Weekly Highlights:

I am going to be headed for GP Minneapolis the weekend after next.  No idea what I will play, or even if I will play in the main event. I don’t really like any of my Standard decks, and paying $60 to play two days with a Standard deck I don’t love seems bad.   It’s better if you money, but I don’t get anywhere near enough practice to think that will happen.  That means that even if I make day two, I will likely go home with nothing. 
 
Or I could play in side events.
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” and “3MWords” on MTGO
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 
HammyBot Super Sale: HammyBot was set up to sell off Erik Friborg’s collection, with all proceeds going to his wife and son. So far, HammyBot has raised over $8,000, but there are a lot of cards left in the collection. Those cards are being sold at MTGOTrader’s Buy Price.  
 
 

Answer to the Judge Question of the Week:

You are about to die. You have seven dead cards in hand, and if your opponent untaps, she will kill you. On the plus side, she is at one life. You have one draw step to rip a burn spell, but during your upkeep she casts Silence, preventing you from casting spells this turn.   Then, just to rub it in, you draw Fiery Temper. Worst bad beats ever?
 
Silence Fiery Temper
 
Worst beats ever? Not really. You can just win. During the cleanup step, "this turn" effects end. If you keep eight cards in hand, you will need to discard during clean-up. If you discard the Fiery Temper, Madness will trigger. Because an ability triggers, the game creates a stack for that trigger. The Silence effect has already ended, so put the madness trigger on the stack, then fire the Temper at her face. Fiery Temper FTW. 

36 Comments

Idea by mtgotraders at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 13:28
mtgotraders's picture
5
What if we could shred our bulk for player points? Even if it was 1k for 1 point I would totally do it.
Nice article and suggestions by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 13:57
Cauchy's picture
5

Nice article and suggestions for excess cards.

Nitpicking: The 270 pacifism in your account could be an issue. The 55k sitting at mtgotraders is their own choice ;) The solution for them is to stop buying them.

He discussed it in more by xger at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:15
xger's picture

He discussed it in more detail last week--MTGOTraders buys whole collections, meaning someone might have 2k in good, tourney worthy cards, but the site also then gets that accounts 200 pacifisms.

I know. But they buy by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:25
Cauchy's picture

I know. But they buy collections because they profit from it. If they dont want the pacifism then dont buy collections. Getting 270 from drafting is very different from getting 55k because they make money from it.

This is an issue for those people who sold their collections. I dont think that the buyer is entitled to complain. Not that I think mtgotraders are actually complaining about it.

:Nitpicking: The 270 pacifism by longtimegone at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 16:54
longtimegone's picture

:Nitpicking: The 270 pacifism in your account could be an issue. The 55k sitting at mtgotraders is their own choice

You are acting like that is two different problems.

They have 55k *because* half of the accounts they are buying have 270 of them.

If 55K Pacifisms makes it by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 18:12
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

If 55K Pacifisms makes it even .01% less likely MTGO Traders doesn't buy future collections or even folds somehow, then it is all of our problem.

You are fooling yourself if by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 18:59
Cauchy's picture

You are fooling yourself if you believe that mtgotraders are paying you anything for the 270 pacifism. They would still buy the part of the collection they actully wanted. And you would still be able to cash out, except that you are left with some useless cards.

I am not acting. Like I by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 18:56
Cauchy's picture

I am not acting.

Like I wrote above. It is an issue for those who sold the collection. Not for the buyer. The buyer could just buy the part of the collection they actually wanted.

What two problems do you see by longtimegone at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 21:59
longtimegone's picture

What two problems do you see then?

I see one, accounts end up getting cluttered with junk cards nobody wants.

2 problems? Hmmm. Excess mtgo by Cauchy at Sat, 05/21/2016 - 13:16
Cauchy's picture

2 problems? Hmmm. Excess mtgo cards and poverty in Africa?

I talked about how vendors could avoid ending up with 55k copies of a card. They could simply just stop buying them. It would not affect their business at all. Right now vendors are effectively acting as shredders for people cashing out. Instead of buying an entire collection, they could just buy the cards they actually wanted which are the same cards used to price the collection anyway.

Like I said above excess cards is an issue for limited players not for vendors.

That would probably actually by xger at Sat, 05/21/2016 - 16:55
xger's picture

That would probably actually cost the vendors more money than just sitting on 55k pacifisms. A trade limit of 400 would mean a lot more transferring when the other person was online. You could buy someone's collection by just buying their account.

It also assumes that the people who are selling collections are happier getting slightly less money but keeping crappy cards. For a lot of people, it would be far simpler to simply sell the entire collection.

You are wrong. I am not sure by Cauchy at Sun, 05/22/2016 - 02:00
Cauchy's picture

You are wrong.

I am not sure you know how to sell a collection? You are not allowed to sell an account. So you provide the buyer with your password and then they transfer all cards. The 400 card limit is thus real but you dont need to be online. Again if you dont want the pacifism as the buyer then just dont transfer them.

You also seem to believe that the buyer is actually paying something for your 270 pacifism? Your collection quote will not change if you take out all your crap commons.

If mtgotraders would actually pay you something for your pacifism then it is because they want them and you can just sell them to mtgotraders. In that case we would not be talking about what to do with crap commons. You could just sell them to mtgotraders.

I suspect the reason they by longtimegone at Sun, 05/22/2016 - 16:17
longtimegone's picture

I suspect the reason they take all the cards is because its just faster to grab everything and dump it in to storage than cherry pick the cards you think you want.

Yep, time consuming tasks are by Paul Leicht at Sun, 05/22/2016 - 17:14
Paul Leicht's picture

Yep, time consuming tasks are time consuming.

Have you used a buyingbot by Cauchy at Mon, 05/23/2016 - 01:42
Cauchy's picture

Have you used a buyingbot lately? They are able to cherry pick within a couple of seconds. Not rocket science and not a manual task. Transferring cards between accounts is also not a manual task.

You take everything because the bulk commons are for free. Then you use the free cards to set up a Free card bot full of crap commons. New players will be looking for free cards and will be happy with your free bot. Hopefully, they will remember your name once they buy their constructed competitive deck.

Another reason for taking the crap commons for free is because you hope that WotC will convert them into tix or PP down the road ;)

Some people pointed out a by xger at Sun, 05/22/2016 - 20:45
xger's picture

Some people pointed out a portion of what I was going toward. The other thing is, they are paying for those cards. I doubt a collection buyer looks and pays the buy price for every card worth more than 0.01 and then gives that number. You may only be getting a few dollars or cents for thousands of bulk, but they are paying something for it. It is cheaper to buy that than tangle up accounts and have the cherry picking going on.

I thought the premise of the by Cauchy at Mon, 05/23/2016 - 01:55
Cauchy's picture

I thought the premise of the discussion was that mtgotraders did not want these cards. If they are paying for your crap commons then problem solved. Just sell to them.

Cardhoarder will give you an automated quote for your collection on their website. You should check out how much your crap commons could be sold for? The automated quote does not fit well with your assumption that cherry picking is difficult.

re by Hearts at Mon, 05/23/2016 - 09:35
Hearts's picture

I have been assured by an orc online that bots are not illegal per terms/agreement/conduct stuff we tag "agree" to on mtgonline.

I asked about previous versions of those agreements, and got the reply that they are not public/available. Wotc can change rules overnight (and say they have never been different).

I am sure the "agreements" once were worded so that it was clear that the bots in fact were illegal.

I think the bots also today is illegal per terms and agreement, but I havent studied them. (Illegal to use other software in mtgo.)

Just so you know, the by xger at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:13
xger's picture
5

Just so you know, the flashback schedule was added to the MTGO calendar, so we know when they are until at least August.

As for the taking bulk and giving PPs/tix, there would be an initial flood, but it would likely just be relatively steady after the first few weeks. I doubt it would cause long term problems.

Wouldn't a flood of tix cause by Rerepete at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 18:31
Rerepete's picture

Wouldn't a flood of tix cause pack and singles prices to rise (if even temporary)?

It really depends on the by xger at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 19:42
xger's picture

It really depends on the number of tickets. If it was automated and every account had it happen, there would probably be a notable jump.

However, it would be fair more likely that it would be optional, meaning an account owner would have to take the time to do it. That is pretty improbable to en masse lead to a jump, at least of any significance.

Why would a flood of tix by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 19:53
Cauchy's picture

Why would a flood of tix cause a jump up instead of a jump down in pack and single prices? Can you maybe elaborate on your logic?

Because more tix = higher by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:03
Paul Leicht's picture

Because more tix = higher price even if the overall value of that price is lower? I assume that's what was meant.

What you wrote makes no sense by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:09
Cauchy's picture

What you wrote makes no sense to me at all. I am sure you are on to something. Could you make the argument one step at a time? I dont think you explained the =

Card y used to cost x. Now by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:15
Paul Leicht's picture

Card y used to cost x. Now tix are worth less. So...now card y costs x+z where z is the difference in the amount of tix it now takes to approximate the old price in value. Is that more sensible to you?

Yes. I get it now. by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:20
Cauchy's picture

Yes. I get it now. Thanks.

But I am not completely certain that tix would be worth less. You can use them to enter events not just to buy cards on the secondary market. So if people use the tix to enter more events the market will be flooded with cards from limited events and boosters from prizes. So cards and boosters will decrease in value?

Because a one shot boost of by xger at Sat, 05/21/2016 - 00:55
xger's picture

Because a one shot boost of tickets would likely cause people to buy up more packs for drafting, or singles they wanted. If enough people are buying, economics indicate the prices will increase.

I agree. I guess the by Cauchy at Sat, 05/21/2016 - 04:07
Cauchy's picture

I agree.

I guess the moderating effects are that more drafting also increase supply. And that you dont need to buy packs if the pack price approach 4 tix which is almost already the case. So I would not expect a huge jump. Especially not if it is an influx of player points instead of tix.

The judge question was by ricklongo at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 16:05
ricklongo's picture
5

The judge question was especially juicy this week. I think it was the first time I got it wrong since you started doing them. Good stuff.

One small improvement to by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 18:10
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

One small improvement to resolving this issue would be a toggleable account button choice as to whether you wish the client to prevent itself from adding basic lands (maybe WBURG basics only) to your deck from Limited format pools. At least you know your favorite Constructed basic lands will stay the same.

Niels by Cauchy at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 19:57
Cauchy's picture
5

I simply cannot resist :)

Nitpicking (...again): By coincidence my real name is Niels like Niels Noorlander. Niels is a fairly common name in my part of the world. Very frequently when someone with an anglo american background writes my name they think I misspelled it and correct it to Neils instead. I completely get why Neils looks more correct for an English speaker. It is a small but very consistent mistake :)

Now I am curious, does that by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:17
Paul Leicht's picture

Now I am curious, does that pronounce as "Nils", "Nihals", "Neils" or something else?

I sound it out in my head by Rerepete at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:36
Rerepete's picture

I sound it out in my head like German: "ie" is long "E" and "ei" is long "I".

Right. I would say Neels with by Cauchy at Sat, 05/21/2016 - 04:11
Cauchy's picture

Right. I would say Neels with the long "E". There is a youtube video with the pronounciation of Niels Bohr the name of a nobel prize winner. That is how it is pronounced where I am from.

Thanks both. by Paul Leicht at Sat, 05/21/2016 - 12:56
Paul Leicht's picture

Thanks both.

You're right, it looked by JXClaytor at Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:56
JXClaytor's picture

You're right, it looked correct, I've changed it, thanks you!