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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Nov 16 2018 1:00pm
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State of the Program for November 16th 2018
In the News
Pro Tour Results: Andrew Elenbogen defeated LSV in a white weenie mirror match to win the largest Pro Tour ever. Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica had over 500 players, and a reasonably diverse metagame. (The Top 8 is not really representative of the PT metagame, nor of the Standard to come.)  Congrats Andrew! Coverage is here.
Improved MOCS for 2019: Wizards is making it clear that MTGO will continue to be a way to qualify for the Pro Tour. For next year, Wizards will offer more MOCS events in more formats, including Pauper, Modern, Legacy and Vintage. And limited and Standard, of course.   Details here.
Ultimate Masters Coming December 7th:   More previews next week, cards and events on MTGO Dec. 7th
Announcement on the Future of Pro Level Magic Coming Dec. 6th: And that’s about it. Wizards did another pre-announcement, and that’s all the details we have so far.
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 Not listed, but important: Wizards offers either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers for limited PTQs running the days immediately prior to the PTQ.

Upcoming Events
Scheduled Downtimes
December 5th
Constructed Leagues End
January 16th 2019
Sealed Leagues End
January 17th 2019
Ravnica Allegiance
January 2019
Next B&R Announcement
November 26, 2018
Core Set 2019 Redemption Ends
December 26, 2018

WotC Premier Events
Wizards has announced a number of Premier events. Everything on this list in 2018 will be streamed. No word on what sort of coverage we will see for events in 2019.
·       Nov. 17–18: Grand Prix Milwaukee
·       Dec. 8–9: Grand Prix Liverpool
·       Dec. 14–16: World Magic Cup in Barcelona, Spain
·       Jan. 4: Oakland – Modern
·       Jan. 11: Prague – Limited
·       Jan. 25: New Jersey – Limited
·       Feb. 1: Sydney – Limited
·       Feb. 8: Toronto – Modern
·       Feb. 15:   Memphis – Standard AND Strasbourg – Limited
·       Feb. 22: Cleveland – Limited
·       March 1: Los Angeles – Modern
·       March 15: Tampa Bay – Modern AND Bilbao - Modern
·       March 22: Kyoto – Standard
·       March 29: Calgary – Modern
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:
·       Time Spiral Block – starting November 14th
·       Modern Cube – starting November 21st
·       [REDACTED] – starting December 5th
·       Vintage Cube – starting December 19th through January 17th
·       Ravnica Allegiances – starting January 17th
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
Saturday, 12:00 pm PT
Sunday, 8:00 am PT
Sunday, 10:00 am PT
Sunday, noon PT

Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: The Pro Tour was last weekend. The Top 8 featured six copies of White Weenie decks with a small red splash. Coverage, including decklists, is here.
Modern: Sol Malka was playing The Rock (updated) at a GP recently. Twenty or so years ago, Sol created the original Rock and His Millions deck, featuring Phyrexian Plaguelord and Deranged Hermit.  I played that deck in a ton of tournaments, and was really sad when it rotated out of Standard. I’m trying Sol’s new list now.
Legacy: No Leovold decks this week, but Manaless Dredge finished second in the Legacy Challenge. I have to respect anyone that can play decks that have no answers at all to hate cards.   I wouldn’t play them – but that doesn’t mean they can’t win.

Vintage: I have not been featuring Vintage in weeks when all the decks I find are Paradoxical Storm decks with Mentor or Storm, or Shops variants. Except for this one – Hollow One in Vintage. We’ve seen similar Survival decks before, but I can’t resist Survival decks.

Card Prices
Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at 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 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 prices are down this week. The Pro Tour metagame looks awfully white, but that won’t last. I expect Standard to swing back, and that might help some cards recover. On the plus side, I am glad I waited until this week to get my Assassin’s Trophies..

Standard Cards
Last Week
% Change
Arclight Phoenix
Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
Carnage Tyrant
Doom Whisperer
History of Benalia
Karn, Scion of Urza
Lyra Dawnbringer
Nexus of Fate
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
Rekindling Phoenix
Resplendent Angel
Sarkhan, Fireblood
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
The Immortal Sun
Vivien Reid

Modern staples: Modern prices are leveling off. Except for those cards in Ultimate Masters. We already know that a lot of the expensive cards are being reprinted again, but even some of those have bottomed out.

Modern Cards
Last Week
% Change

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are recovering a bit – although Ultimate Masters includes a fair number of Vintage and Legacy staples. It may include more, once we get the full list.

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Last Week
% Change

Standard Legal Sets: This table tracks the cost of a single copy of every card in each Standard legal set, plus Treasure Chests and the current booster pack. I’ll keep tracking these because they are interesting (at least to me).   

Complete Set
Last Week
% Change
Core Set 2019
Guilds of Ravnica
Rivals of Ixalan
Treasure Chest
Guilds of Ravnica Booster

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 down a bit from last week. The Power Nine – the real ones, in the original frames – are on top of the list. And even the cheesy new framed Lotus has climbed back onto the table.

Black Lotus
 $ 144.01
Mox Sapphire
 $   88.84
Mox Emerald
 $   58.17
Ancestral Recall
 $   57.54
Mox Ruby
 $   57.33
Mox Jet
 $   52.41
Horizon Canopy
Mythic Rare
 $   48.65
Force of Will
 $   45.65
Time Walk
 $   42.12
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Mythic Rare
 $   40.94
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Mythic Rare
 $   40.50
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Mythic Rare
 $   40.27
Mox Opal
Mythic Rare
 $   39.10
Mythic Rare
 $   38.49
Mox Pearl
 $   38.41
Mox Opal
Mythic Rare
 $   38.34
True-Name Nemesis
Mythic Rare
 $   38.28
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Mythic Rare
 $   38.17
True-Name Nemesis
 $   36.95
Mox Opal
 $   35.86
Surgical Extraction
 $   35.81
Dark Depths
Mythic Rare
 $   35.03
Surgical Extraction
 $   35.00
Black Lotus
 $   34.57
Horizon Canopy
 $   33.64
Horizon Canopy
 $   32.34
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Mythic Rare
 $   30.02
Liliana of the Veil
Mythic Rare
 $   29.86
Ensnaring Bridge
 $   29.36
Liliana of the Veil
Mythic Rare
 $   28.11
Rekindling Phoenix
Mythic Rare
 $   27.38
 $   26.57
Liliana, the Last Hope
Mythic Rare
 $   25.75
 $   25.25

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 $ 13,850. That’s UP about $300 from last week.      
In Closing
I watched some Pro Tour coverage this week, and played some Sealed. In general, the coverage was pretty good, but I (like everyone) was a bit disappointed by the final non-game. I was also a bit disappointed in my sealed pool – exactly one uncommon that might see Standard play. And my first opponent destroyed me with multiple Planeswalkers. I hate RNG. 
I’ll be at Teslacon this week, instead of GP Milwaukee. Unfortunate scheduling, Wizards.
“One Million Words” on MTGO
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.


Then>>>Now by ScionOfJustice at Sat, 11/17/2018 - 01:51
ScionOfJustice's picture

Hey Pete,

I sold my account on 6/08/17 and have been curious on things since I quite and have checked things out. I've noticed that now the prices appear to be a fraction of what they were and figured if there was someone who could explain why they've dropped so much it would be you.

Thanks in advance,

Scion Of Justice

Obviously Pete might have his by Alphi at Sun, 11/18/2018 - 07:43
Alphi's picture

Obviously Pete might have his own answer, but I’d just point out that not all prices have dropped to “a fraction” from what I assume is June 17 (not sure if that’s US or European format, but June makes more sense).

Legacy prices are on par to what they were last year at the same date. They are about half of what they were in June 17, but that’s a bit misleading. We’ll have to see if they follow the same pattern and simply recover by next June.

Modern prices are actually way higher than they were in June 17, about 30% higher if I’m reading my graphs correctly! Of course, that’s a bit misleading as well, as the prices have been falling pretty much steadily since Masters 25. Which is not an indication of trouble, the format is incredibly popular, but treasure chests are doing their work in making cards accessible (which by the way would be my own request to Pete: a good look at treasure chests, I know we’ve had articles before, but they seem to warp the economy more and more).