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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
May 06 2016 12:00pm
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State of the Program for May 6th 2016

In the News:

Magic Online Championship Fast Approaching:  The MOCS Championship is one week away.   The action starts next Friday, with three rounds of Legacy followed by four rounds of Standard. Action continues through Sunday on Twitch.tv/magic. Details here.

Phantom SoI Sealed Events on Now: Wizards has rolled out Phantom Shadows sealed deck evens. They are 6 TIX or 60 Play Points for three rounds of Swiss play. Going 3-0 gets you 90 Play Points, 2-1 breaks even, and 102 earns 20 Play Points.
 
Super Leagues Commence: Randy Buehler is now producing two Super Leagues. The Vintage Super League has begun its qualifying event on Tuesdays, while the Community Super League is playing a variety of formats on Thursdays. Details here.
 
Windows XP and Vista Users Need to Upgrade:  If you are running either of those programs, you may have noticed that MTGO will not run anymore. This is because MTGO now uses NET 4.5.2. XP does not work with NET 4.5.2, period. Vista users need at least Service Pack 2. 
 

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: May 11, June 8 and June 22 
·       League End Dates: all current leagues end July 27, 2016 
·       Eternal Masters: online release June 17, 2016. Details here
·       Eldritch Moon Prerelease: July 29-August 1. Details here.  
·       From the Vault Lore: releases online October 10, 2016.
 
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.  
·       Triple Time Spiral: May 4, 2016 to May 11, 2016 
·       2 Time Spiral and 1 Planar Chaos: May 11, 2016 to May 18, 2016 
·       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 coming back next downtime. The format will be triple Time Spiral. Enjoy the format. The only money cards are Ancestral Visions in the rares, and Pendelhaven, Lord of Atlantis and The Rack among the “Time Shifted” cards. In Planar Chaos, the only money card is Damnation.
 

Opinion Section: Same Old Grind  

I saw four online threads I considered talking about this week. Tolarian Community had a tweet asking for SMALL changes that would 1) be doable and 2) make MTGO better. Some good ideas, but the main ones were dealing with leftover commons and making Magic cheaper. I have written about the first many times, and the comments about the second were either not simple, or simplistic. 
 
Also saw an article about Magic and eSports. The article said that Magic was too complex and not flashy enough for eSports. Not sure where to go with that.
 
Saw another thread about bullying and stereotyping in stores being bad. Yes, obviously. That sort of thing is highly corrosive and should not be tolerated anywhere, ever. But I have written about that endless times. 

 

I’ll think about these a bit, but this week, I just don’t have anything new to say. The last makes me really upset and depressed, but I have written that rant many times. I have nothing new to say. Just don’t do that.

I’m still mulling over small changes – if I come up with anything, I will write about that. Next week.
 

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 more up. The goal is to determine what areas of the rules I need to teach, and what my candidate already knows. Lagrange asked me to share some, so I will keep throwing them out until people beg for mercy.
 
A couple questions here, all revolving around the same interaction. You have two Heartless Summoning in play, and cast Solemn Simulacrum. What do you pay to cast the Solemn Sim, and what is Solemn Sim's converted mana cost while on the stack? What happens when Solemn Sim hits play?
 
Heartless Summoning Solemn Simulacrum

 

As always, there are no relevant cards not mentioned: the Sad Robot has no counters or equipment on it, and no static abilities affect its power

Cutting Edge Tech:

 Standard: We had a Standard GP and a Standard MOCS last weekend. Bant Collected Company won the MOCS, but the second place deck was interesting. MOCS decklists are here. The GP Coverage is here.  

Sultai Midrange, Mothkebab, Second Place, MOCS
Creatures
Non-Creatures
Sideboard
3 Deathcap Cultivator
2 Dragonlord Silumgar
3 Duskwatch Recruiter
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
1 Shaman of Forgotten Ways
4 Sylvan Advocate
2 The Gitrog Monster
4 Thought-Knot Seer
3 Tireless Tracker
4 Ultimate Price
2 Warping Wail
3 Oath of Nissa
 
1 Blighted Fen
3 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
4 Hissing Quagmire
1 Island
4 Llanowar Wastes
1 Lumbering Falls
3 Swamp
1 Wastes
4 Yavimaya Coast
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 
2 Bearer of Silence 
2 Clip Wings 
2 Dead Weight 
2 Duress 
1 Infinite Obliteration 
1 Languish 
1 Naturalize 
1 Transgress the Mind 
 
 

Modern: Modern may no longer be a Pro Tour format, but it is still being played. SCG ran an Open in Milwaukee last weekend.   The big winner was Abzan Company, which put three copies in the Top 8, in addition to winning the whole thing. 

 
Legacy: Here’s another interesting Legacy deck that did well in the leagues. This looks like an archetype that Sam Black popularized a couple years back, and that I played in paper events. Interesting.
 
 
Vintage: The VSL qualifying event is ongoing, and we had a Power Nine Challenge. The winning decklists from the P9 Challenge are here.

 

 

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: A bit of play here, in response to recent metagame shifts. Jace is the big loser.      
 
Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$24.41
$30.68
($6.27)
-20%
$5.12
$4.93
$0.19
4%
$18.49
$23.02
($4.53)
-20%
$28.13
$24.17
$3.96
16%
$6.10
$6.39
($0.29)
-5%
$14.14
$15.62
($1.48)
-9%
$22.61
$19.24
$3.37
18%
$47.16
$60.51
($13.35)
-22%
$33.63
$29.74
$3.89
13%
$5.71
$6.63
($0.92)
-14%
$9.61
$8.64
$0.97
11%
$10.85
$7.20
$3.65
51%
$7.06
$9.49
($2.43)
-26%
$7.59
$9.14
($1.55)
-17%
$13.02
$8.46
$4.56
54%
$19.10
$21.06
($1.96)
-9%
$14.22
$6.88
$7.34
107%
$6.41
$7.39
($0.98)
-13%
$6.62
$5.66
$0.96
17%
$8.54
$7.71
$0.83
11%

Modern staples:  Modern took a hit again this week. Third week in a row. I suspect people are playing at manipulating the market.

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$20.99
$18.75
$2.24
12%
$20.95
$20.39
$0.56
3%
$33.19
$35.49
($2.30)
-6%
$19.85
$22.69
($2.84)
-13%
$22.19
$22.19
$0.00
0%
$24.99
$28.46
($3.47)
-12%
$17.35
$14.09
$3.26
23%
$29.11
$29.42
($0.31)
-1%
$15.75
$16.40
($0.65)
-4%
$27.88
$27.91
($0.03)
0%
$33.23
$21.14
$12.09
57%
$29.71
$26.95
$2.76
10%
$24.76
$20.19
$4.57
23%
$82.15
$82.35
($0.20)
0%
$11.76
$9.58
$2.18
23%
$28.81
$28.97
($0.16)
-1%
$34.78
$25.59
$9.19
36%
$30.89
$38.63
($7.74)
-20%
$47.79
$49.14
($1.35)
-3%
$17.86
$19.99
($2.13)
-11%
$18.70
$18.75
($0.05)
0%
$33.25
$33.68
($0.43)
-1%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are down again this week. I suspect people are selling old cards to pay for Shadows over Innistrad limited - liquidating what they don’t need in expectation of Eternal Masters. Wasteland is certainly falling fast. 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$49.84
$50.46
($0.62)
-1%
$133.67
$142.52
($8.85)
-6%
$16.76
$24.53
($7.77)
-32%
$18.71
$20.09
($1.38)
-7%
$37.43
$36.47
$0.96
3%
$34.36
$35.61
($1.25)
-4%
$16.31
$17.90
($1.59)
-9%
$40.61
$43.31
($2.70)
-6%
$34.13
$33.62
$0.51
2%
$103.60
$103.60
$0.00
0%
$41.49
$42.22
($0.73)
-2%
$62.24
$65.27
($3.03)
-5%
$161.63
$161.65
($0.02)
0%
$32.20
$32.80
($0.60)
-2%
$55.51
$57.92
($2.41)
-4%
$36.34
$40.19
($3.85)
-10%
$49.24
$57.58
($8.34)
-14%

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.   Nothing strange about the hard fall in Shadows cards. The prices I had last week were just days into the set being available. Prices will drop after that. 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Battle for Zendikar
$72.51
$62.76
$9.75
16%
Dragons of Tarkir
$139.60
$131.01
$8.59
7%
Magic Origins
$138.23
$153.72
($15.49)
-10%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$119.15
$103.40
$15.75
15%
Shadows over Innistrad
$102.92
$117.15
($14.23)
-12%

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
$     161.63
Black Lotus
VMA
Bonus
$     133.67
Misdirection
MM
Rare
$     103.60
Liliana of the Veil
ISD
Mythic Rare
$       82.15
Mox Sapphire
VMA
Bonus
$       62.24
Tangle Wire
NE
Rare
$       55.51
Wasteland
TE
Uncommon
$       53.18
Tarmogoyf
FUT
Rare
$       52.62
Tarmogoyf
MM2
Mythic Rare
$       50.12
Ancestral Recall
VMA
Bonus
$       49.84
Wasteland
TPR
Rare
$       49.24
Tarmogoyf
MMA
Mythic Rare
$       47.79
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
ORI
Mythic Rare
$       47.16
City of Traitors
EX
Rare
$       45.86
Mox Jet
VMA
Bonus
$       41.49
Gaea's Cradle
UZ
Rare
$       40.61
Ensnaring Bridge
ST
Rare
$       38.80
Exploration
UZ
Rare
$       37.43
Time Walk
VMA
Bonus
$       36.34
Underground Sea
ME2
Rare
$       34.80
Scalding Tarn
ZEN
Rare
$       34.78
Food Chain
MM
Rare
$       34.36
Mox Emerald
VMA
Bonus
$       34.25
Infernal Tutor
DIS
Rare
$       34.13
Mox Ruby
VMA
Bonus
$       33.65
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
OGW
Mythic Rare
$       33.63
City of Traitors
TPR
Rare
$       33.27
Voice of Resurgence
DGM
Mythic Rare
$       33.25
Grove of the Burnwillows
FUT
Rare
$       33.23
Batterskull
NPH
Mythic Rare
$       33.19
Lion's Eye Diamond
MI
Rare
$       32.63
Show and Tell
UZ
Rare
$       32.20
Ensnaring Bridge
7E
Rare
$       30.95
Scapeshift
MOR
Rare
$      30.89
Mox Pearl
VMA
Bonus
$       30.70
Mox Opal
SOM
Mythic Rare
$       30.23
Horizon Canopy
FUT
Rare
$       29.71
Ensnaring Bridge
8ED
Rare
$       29.11
Mox Opal
MM2
Mythic Rare
$       28.81
Underground Sea
ME4
Rare
$       28.38
Collected Company
DTK
Rare
$       28.13
Force of Will
MED
Rare
$       27.95
Griselbrand
AVR
Mythic Rare
$       27.88
Cavern of Souls
AVR
Rare
$       27.45
Containment Priest
PZ1
Rare
$       27.33
Containment Priest
C14
Rare
$       26.16
Crucible of Worlds
5DN
Rare
$       25.89

 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 $ 26,015.  That’s down about $285  from last week’s number.

Weekly Highlights:

A lot happening this week, but none of it involves Magic, so never mind. 

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.   

Judge Question of the Week Answer: 

A couple questions here, all revolving around the same interaction. You have two Heartless Summoning in play, and cast Solemn Simulacrum. What do you pay to cast the Solemn Sim, and what is Solemn Sim's converted mana cost while on the stack? What happens when Solemn Sim hits play?
 
Heartless Summoning Solemn Simulacrum

 

You pay nothing to cast the Solemn Sim, because each Heartless Summoning reduces the cost by two. However, the converted mana cost of the Sim is still what’s printed on the card, even while on the stack, so the CMC = 4.

 

 

 

When Solemn Simulacrum enters the battlefield, the enter battlefield trigger triggers. Before the trigger goes on the stack, State Based Actions are checks and Sad Robot dies.  The leaves the battlefield trigger now triggers. SBAs are checked again, so nothing, so now triggers go on the stack. Two triggers are waiting to go on the stack, and both are controlled by the same player – you. You get to choose the order in which those triggers go on the stack.

 

 

 

16 Comments

Your rules section makes me by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/06/2016 - 13:31
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Your rules section makes me want to go build a heartless constructs deck again.

It's always surprised me no by xger at Fri, 05/06/2016 - 16:04
xger's picture

It's always surprised me no one has busted that card yet

Probably hard to bust it by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/06/2016 - 18:07
Paul Leicht's picture

Probably hard to bust it completely in a creature heavy format like Tribal Wars but I am sure AJ and I built a few pretty broken variants back in the day. Sadly not sure they'd stand up todays expert level decks.

I'm finding that the judge by Rerepete at Fri, 05/06/2016 - 16:12
Rerepete's picture
5

I'm finding that the judge question section is becoming my fave in the article...keep'em coming Pete.

Thx by Lagrange at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 03:46
Lagrange's picture
5

Thanks for continuing with the rules puzzles. I frequently get them wrong or only half right.

Suggestion by Cauchy at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 05:34
Cauchy's picture
5

If you at some point run low on ideas for an opinion sections then I would like to read a piece on the V3 to V4 transition in hindsight. At that point it seemed that the sky was falling but somehow it did not. Some of the questions which could be followed up upon could be:

a) What could WotC have done differently knowing what we do now?

b) Is V4 worse than V3? It seems the number of complaints have leveled out at the pre-transition steady state.

c) Has the mtgo economy collapsed/changed? The $25-list is getting longer and longer but is the value concentrated in fewer cards? And has it something to do with the transition? Maybe V4 killed casual playing and that changed the economy?

d) Has all the negative players left or have they just stopped complaining?

e) Will next time be different?

f) Has it had any effect removing the official forums?

re by Hearts at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 11:13
Hearts's picture

The number of players playing mtgo was halved during this period, one can see it on how fast prerelease queues fire/number of them in an hour.

That is pretty skyfalling for me.

But has there been long term by Cauchy at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 11:43
Cauchy's picture

But has there been long term effects or is it all history by now?

We don't have access to the by xger at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 12:16
xger's picture

We don't have access to the data to know that answer. The answer would depend on how many players left MTGO and did not return. While the number of users has grown, the Magic player base in general has as well. Wizards probably has the data, but the sky would literally fall before they willingly released it.

You are right. And that is by Cauchy at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 12:54
Cauchy's picture

You are right. And that is why I suggested an Opinion section and not a data section ;)

I play mostly (90%+) Casual by Rerepete at Sat, 05/07/2016 - 13:28
Rerepete's picture

I play mostly (90%+) Casual games in the JFF room.

My preferred format is Modern. I find that, in general, there are less games starting and the opponents that I face generally are using tournament tuned decks, fully powered up rather than "Fun" decks.

I found the same thing when I played vintage in JFF, not fun for me to play against P9 decks.

As for the secondary economy, Look at the prices of Mythics for SoI. 5/18 are currently less than one ticket. It used to be a very rare event when any mythic dropped below a tix. Many rares are .01-.02 each. Previously rares were usually .1 tix or above.

Didnt MTGOtraders use to have by Cauchy at Sun, 05/08/2016 - 13:11
Cauchy's picture

Didnt MTGOtraders use to have a lower limit on the prices for cards of each rarity e.g. 0.1 tix for a rare as a minimum? If that was the case then did they abandon that policy because of the new interface?

THIS is what I was referring by Paul Leicht at Sun, 05/08/2016 - 14:25
Paul Leicht's picture

THIS is what I was referring to on NMG about 6 months ago. Well, one of the factors in that thread.

Yes. I remember that! If you by Cauchy at Sun, 05/08/2016 - 15:03
Cauchy's picture

Yes. I remember that! If you mesn NGA ;)

Yeah I was thinking of it as by Paul Leicht at Sun, 05/08/2016 - 15:15
Paul Leicht's picture

Yeah I was thinking of it as "No more goblins" ;p

Yes, rares used to have a by longtimegone at Tue, 05/10/2016 - 03:56
longtimegone's picture

Yes, rares used to have a floor of a dime.

As far as I'm aware, it changed in relation to no particular software update, and once MTGO Traders changed it, it quickly spread.