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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Nov 18 2011 9:55am
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Hammie’s The State of the Program for November 18th     

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

News and Discussion Items:

Warning about MTGO Library Bot: Apparently, MTGO Library Bot has the same security holes as it did under the previous name, CBS Bot. Using the Bot could  empty your account. The details are here. Note that this is the second time that this Bot chain has got this type of warning – the last time the company got a warning like this, it changed its name. Now it is back.
 
Wizards says: “We strongly urge users to discontinue using this software. Please be aware that continuing to use this software may lead to the loss of the contents of your account(s), and may pose additional security risks to your computer.”
 
Wizards does not issue warnings like this lightly or often. I’d listen.
 
Changes to Pro Tour Qualifiers and Worlds Still Causing Rants:  If you read the interwebs, you know. Greg Leeds, President of Wizards, issued a statement saying that Wizards would provide a detailed plan by Pro Tour Ascension. Unfortunately, that was the only information provided – a date, three months out, by which time we should know something. Last night, I met some of the Wizards folks who will be attending Worlds. I suspect they are going to be besieged by highly concerned players, and they won’t have answers.   
 
Mercadian Masques Countdown: Masques block arrives, in its entirety, on December 5th. Details on the Masques roll-out here. Countdown to Masques Block: 18 days.
 
Here’s your classic Masques card for the day:
 
 
Back in the day, Accumulated Knowledge was one of the better card drawers in Standard – at least until Fact or Fiction was printed. For a while, it was heavily played in Vintage. Casting Intuition for three AKs was a fine strategy – it put one copy in your hand and another two in your graveyard. It was not quite Ancestral Recall, but it was Ancestral Recall 2+. 
 
I made my first Pro Tour Qualifier Top 8 playing a Masques Block Constructed deck with 4 AKs, so I remember it fondly. I have also played a ton of AKs in everything from casual multiplayer decks on up. About the only format where it is not exciting is Commander – for obvious reasons. 
 

Editorial Section: Why the Pro Tour Matters

I was going to say a lot more about this, but I don’t have the time to do it right. All I will say is that Wizards generally knows what it is doing. Over the last 15 years, a lot of games have won game of the year awards, etc., including a number of collectable card games. Magic the Gathering is one of the very few that are still going. (If you are interested, I did a history over on SCG a few years back.)
 
A lot of that success is due to the Pro Tour. It provided a means of disseminating decklists, building personalities and promoting the game. It did that very well. Back in the early days of the Internet, when the most common way of finding out about Magic was reading glossy paper magazines, the Pro Tour was critical to the growth of Magic. 
 
Now we are seeing the last Worlds – at least the last full-spectacle Worlds. It will be the last one with a flag ceremony, and the last one to induct new members of the pro player Hall of Fame. It will be the last one to feature national teams from around the world, and the last one to be open to the public. It is a pageant.
 
Public Pro Tours, and Worlds, are being replaced by invite only events open only to the invited players. The public is not welcome. Now, the closest thing to a pageant are the GPs, which do not have anywhere near the panache.  Look at the following pictures from Worlds.  Here's the main hall, early Thursday morning.
 
 
Here's a 10 foot tall statute of Jace, near the entryway.
 
 
Here's a shot of the Flag Ceremony, where the captains of all the Nationl teams parade their countries' flags.
 
 
As I said, this is a pageant.  Wizards does not send this sort of set decoration to the GPs.  With Worlds and the Pro Tours becoming private events, we members of the public lose a lot.  Form an MTGO perspective, not only will we lose the spectacle, we also lose a strong means of recruiting new players. Just to the right of Jace was a bank of computers demoing MTGO, and another part of the hall had MTGO open events.  It was a strong marketing push for MTGO, but it's not sort of thing that Wizards can bring to a GP.
 

Tournaments:

Thursday Night Magic for the upcoming week (November 24th): Standard. TNMO is a cheap way to play some Standard, without facing opponents who drop halfway through games, etc. The TNMO card for November is an alternative art Go for the Throat.
 
Wizards is holding a Shadowmoor / Eventide sealed event this weekend. If you like playing tribal decks, go for it.
 
Let’s look at the Constructed Tournaments breakdown for the week of November 9th     through November 15th.  88 constructed events fired, which is down again. What’s happening to constructed – this time last year we were firing twice that many events. For that matter, what’s happened to Momir Basic? Did Wizards stop reporting results, or have the events not fired? That’s unclear – looking at the Daily events queue, I can see one Momir Basic tournament that fired with exactly 16 players last night. Thast could mean the others didn’t hit 16, or that Wizards will no longer list Momir Basic events on the Online page.
 
Let’s look at how the events Wizards did report broke down. 
 
Format
Fired
Format
Fired
Standard
37
Standard Singleton
0
Pauper
27
Kaleidoscope
0
Momir Basic
?
100–card Singleton
0
Classic
1
Modern
0
Legacy
0
Extended
0
Innistrad Block Const.
21
-
-
 
I’m hoping that Wizards can do something to breathe some life into the constructed queues. Still, Worlds is here. Saturday should give us a raft of Modern decks, and teams may give us some Legacy tech.   FYI: I got the number fired from the list of results, here.  
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard:  Last weekend SCG was GP San Diego, which was sealed. However, with a domestic GP, SCG did not run an Open. However, we did see three Premier Standard events.  Here’s the Top 8s.
 
Finish
First
RG Wolf Run
Delver Illusions
UR Delver
Second
GW Township
UW Humans
Black Infect
Third
Mono-Red Aggro
Delver Illusions
UB Control
Fourth
Mono-Red Aggro
Delver Illusions
Elder Wolf Run
Fifth
Delver Illusions
Wolf Run Karn
RG Wolf Run
Sixth
Delver Illusions
Delver Illusions
UW Humans
Seventh
UR Delver
Elder Wolf Run
GW Wolf Run
Eighth
Elder Wolf Run
UB Control
UR Delver
 
The breakout deck looks to be Delver Illusions. Here’s a list:
 
Delver Illusions
ysword – Winner -Standard Premier #3014332 on 11/12/2011
Glacial Fortress
10 ( Island)
Moorland Haunt
Seachrome Coast

Delver of Secrets
Lord of the Unreal
Phantasmal Bear
Phantasmal Image
Snapcaster Mage
Stitched Drake

Dismember
Gitaxian Probe
Gut Shot
Mana Leak
Ponder
Vapor Snag

Sideboard
Dismember
Dissipate
Flashfreeze
Gut Shot
Mental Misstep
Moorland Haunt
Mortarpod
Negate
Stitched Drake
Timely Reinforcements
 
Modern: No Modern events have fired on MTGO in a month or so. However, two Modern events did happen during the side events at GP San Diego. I was head judge, so I got to keep the decklists.   The players were playing for real prizes – a Mox Pearl for first and a Timetwister for second, with decent prizes for the entire Top 8. Here are some interesting lists – starting with one that might be worth watching at Worlds.
 
Storming Nausea
Alexander Hayne – Co-Winner, San Diego Modern for Mox Event
3 Watery Grave
Misty Rainforest
4 (Calciform Pool)
Island
Snow-covered Island
Hallowed Fountain
Steam Vents
Breeding Pool
Scalding Tarn
Tolaria West

4 (Ad Nauseum)
4 (Angels Grace)
Sleight of Hand
Repeal
Condescend
Peer through Depths
3 Engineered Plague
Pact of Negation
Slaughter Pact
Lightning Storm

Simian Spirit Guide
Snapcaster Mage

Sideboard)
Leyline of Sanctity
Lightning Bolt
Firespout
Mystical Teachings
Pact of Negation
 
Snapcaster Zoo
Maxime Gateaud – Top 8, San Diego Modern for Mox Event

Misty Rainforest
Arid Mesa
Scalding Tarn
Marsh Flats
Forest
Plains
Island
Horizon Canopy
Treetop Village
1 (Stomping Grounds)
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Temple Garden
Breeding Pool

Noble Hierarch
Wild Nacatl
Tarmogoyf
Knight of the Reliquary
Snapcaster Mage
Vendilion Clique
2 (Elspeth, Knight Errant)

Path to Exile
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Helix
Spell Snare
Bant Charm

Sideboard
Mana Tithe
Unified Will
Gaddock Teeg
Sword of War and Peace
Kitchen Finks
Ancient Grudge
Qasali Pridemage
Bojuka Bog
 
Past In Flames
Thomas Holzinger – Top 8, San Diego Modern for Mox Event
Cascade Bluffs
Misty Rainforest
Island
2  Mountain
Hallowed Fountain
Steam Vents
Breeding Pool
Scalding Tarn

Grapeshot
Past in Flames
Sleight of Hand
Remand
Gitaxian Probe
Peer through Depths
Manamorphose
Desperate Ritual
Seething Song
Serum Visions
Pyretic Ritual
Empty the Warrens

Sideboard
3 (Pyromancer Swath)
Remand
Empty the Warrens
3  Lightning Bolt
Ancient Grudge
Fungal Reaches
Pact of Negation
 
The rest of the Top 8 were more recognizable decks, including a UR Splinter Twin deck, a Melira Pod deck,  plus Boros and a Smallpox deck.  There was even a Mystical Teachings deck. Modern is looking better.
 
Innistrad Block:  I will start covering this in more detail next week.  For now, the deck to beat seems to be: 
 
Snapcaster Control
Nukesaku – Winner - ISD Block Constructed Premier #3014338 on 11/13/2011
Clifftop Retreat
Forest
Hinterland Harbor
Island
Mountain
Shimmering Grotto
Sulfur Falls

Manor Gargoyle
Snapcaster Mage

Blasphemous Act
Devil's Play
Dissipate
Forbidden Alchemy
Garruk Relentless
Naturalize
Rolling Temblor
Silent Departure
Think Twice
Witchbane Orb

Sideboard
Blasphemous Act
Dissipate
Geist of Saint Traft
Geistflame
Naturalize
Rolling Temblor
Sturmgeist
Witchbane Orb
 
Legacy: With no SCG open last weekend, nothing happened in the world of Legacy. 
 
Classic fired one Daily  this week. Oath took this on down. 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, which is almost always the lowest. Thus, the price I’m quoting for Primeval Titan is from M12. If a card is out of stock, take that price with a grain of salt. MTGOTraders may not adjusted prices for a card until they have some to sell.  Another note – I note whether cards are in stock in the online store. MTGOTraders stocks their Bots first, so the MTGOTradersBot1, MTGOTradersBot2, etc. may well have cards even when the online store is out.
 
Innistrad prices are beginning to climb back to their long-term levels. Worlds will redefine the metagame, so expect some shifts in the near future. . 
 
Standard & Block Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 22.00
Y
$ 23.03
- $ 1.03
$ 16.11
Y
$ 13.96
+ $ 2.15
$ 7.61
Y
$ 6.91
+ $ 0.70
$ 23.50
Y
$ 22.05
+ $ 1.45
$ 0.99
Y
$ 1.20
- $ 0.21
$ 0.58
Y
$ 0.48
- $ 0.10
$ 4.14
Y
$ 4.44
- $ 0.30
$ 4.62
Y
$ 3.53
+ $ 1.09
$ 0.44
Y
$ 0.41
+ $ 0.03
$ 3.04
Y
$ 2.52
+ $ 0.52
$ 2.16
Y
$ 1.52
+ $ 0.54
$ 2.13
Y
$ 1.52
+ $ 0.59
$ 9.92
Y
$ 10.50
- $ 0.58
$ 17.46
Y
$ 16.43
+ $ 1.03
(Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas)
$ 12.33
Y
$ 11.94
+ $ 0.39
$ 17.26
Y
$ 20.00
- $ 2.74
$ 11.98
Y
$ 12.84
- $ 0.86
 $ 12.33
Y
 $ 12.33
---
$ 3.94
Y
$ 5.54
- $ 1.60
$ 13.71
Y
$ 13.71
---
$ 29.76
Y
$ 31.03
- $ 1.27
$ 17.85
Y
$ 18.92
- $ 1.13
$ 13.69
Y
$ 14.40
- $ 0.71
$ 20.65
Y
$ 21.25
- $ 0.60
$ 14.56
Y
$ 14.45
+ $ 0.11
$ 25.82
Y
$ 27.99
- $ 2.17
$ 8.46
Y
$ 9.05
- $ 0.59
$ 10.28
Y
$ 9.94
+ $ 0.34
$ 20.04
Y
$ 20.74
- $ 0.70
 
Modern prices are still heading down, but the lands are stabilizing. We may see some resurgence once the Worlds decklists appear online. However, if the Worlds decklists are another round of Splinter Twin and combo, the format could be in trouble.  
 
Modern Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 23.11
Y
$ 21.28
+ $ 1.83
$ 8.19
Y
$ 8.31
- $ 0.12
$ 14.26
Y
$ 12.95
+ $ 1.31
$ 15.58
Y
$ 12.11
+ $ 3.47
$ 5.82
Y
$ 6.39
- $ 0.57
$ 23.47
Y
$ 23.37
+ $ 0.10
$ 5.71
Y
$ 5.80
- $ 0.09
$ 6.56
N
$ 7.22
- $ 0.66
$ 54.05
Y
$ 53.50
+ $ 0.55
$ 11.55
Y
$ 12.13
- $ 0.58
$ 3.85
Y
$ 3.92
- $ 0.07
$ 10.95
Y
$ 9.95
+ $ 1.00
$ 12.37
Y
$ 12.63
- $ 0.26
$ 9.96
Y
$ 10.90
- $ 0.94
$ 11.73
Y
$ 12.90
- $ 1.17
           
Legacy prices have stabilized.   Legacy needs to get some love. The format was doing pretty well, and then it got hit by Mental Misstep and a hoarder buying up all the duals. Since that double whammy, the format has fired almost no events. Maybe the small amount of Legacy played at Worlds (it is one of the team formats) will bring in some new players.
 
Legacy Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 106.69
Y
$ 106.69
---
$ 40.22
Y
$ 42.47
- $ 2.25
$ 71.54
Y
$ 71.54
---
$ 28.00
Y
$ 28.00
---
$ 36.47
Y
$ 36.47
---
$ 50.69
Y
$ 53.91
---
$11.30
Y
$11.30
---
$ 17.64
Y
$ 17.64
---
$ 16.91
Y
$ 16.78
+ $ 0.13
$ 13.62
Y
$ 14.39
- $ 0.77
$ 41.80
Y
$ 41.80
---
$ 3.50
Y
$ 3.50
---
$ 7.22
Y
$ 7.33
- $ 0.11
$ 3.20
Y
$ 3.95
- $ 0.75
$ 12.32
Y
$ 12.32
---
           
Note: cards which are staples in both Legacy and Classic may appear in either list. If you don’t see a card in one list, check the other.
 
Classic prices are oscillating slightly.   Masques block is coming. Entomb hasn’t started dropping, even though it is included in the new Graveborn Premium deck. Personally, I want the old frame Entombs. I want my classic cards to look like classic cards.     
 
Classic Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 102.00
Y
$ 102.00
---
$ 23.35
Y
$ 23.35
---
$ 12.50
Y
$ 12.50
---
$ 13.03
Y
$ 12.42
+ $ 0.61
$ 14.50
Y
$ 14.50
---
$ 8.99
Y
$ 9.41
- $ 0.42
$ 29.28
Y
$ 29.28
---
$ 40.22
Y
$ 40.22
---
$ 39.00
Y
$ 39.00
---
$ 10.09
Y
$ 10.09
---
$ 23.00
Y
$ 23.00
---
           

The Top Ten:

Here’s this week’s list of the top ten most expensive non-foil, non-promo cards on MTGO. Force of Will is back!   
 
Most Expensive Cards
Price
Set
Last Week
$ 106.69
MED I
# 1
$ 102.00
Mirage
# 2
$ 71.54
Apocalypse
# 3
$ 54.05
Future Sight
# 5
$ 50.69
Visions
# 4
$ 41.80
Apocalypse
# 7
$ 40.22
Tempest
# 6
$ 40.22
Weatherlight
# 8
$ 39.00
Odyssey
# 9
$ 36.47
Unhinged
# 10
 

Deck Prices:

The Snapcaster Mage / Illusions deck I listed above costs $168 from MTGOTraders at the moment. Snapcaster Mage is the money card in the deck.
 
Other prices may be coming, but I lost Internet access for just long enough to keep me from getting the other decks priced.  It was either price the decks or get this in on Thursday night.  As it is, I'm pushing midnight now, and I'm on the west coast.  My editor is going to kill me.  (Sorry, JXC.)
 

Weekly Highlights:

No MTGO this week. L:ast weekend I was judging at Grand Prix San Diego, and right now I am at Worlds in San Francisco. Lots of Magic, with lots of friends and good food. I also spent the weekdays between GP SD and Worlds driving around California. .  
 
Good times.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.

 

13 Comments

MTGO Library Bots by mattlewis at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 12:29
mattlewis's picture

I think it's disingenuous to claim, in bold, red, and underlined, that using MTGO Library bots could empty your account when in the direct quote from WOTC it states that using the software exposes you to risk. The only way they could empty your account through trades is if you willingly traded your whole account away in the client. I do recommend people trading with MTGO library bots to try and round up purchases to as close to a ticket as possible due to past and present security concerns.

If you are running bot by Gardevi at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 12:41
Gardevi's picture

If you are running bot software, the bot runs your account for you. A user can offer a trade with you, which the bot will accept. The user can then give a secret phrase that the bot will recognize, then the bot will allow the user to trade away every card in its inventory for no cost.

There's nothing "willing" about it. If you run MTGO Library Bot the software, you _are_ exposing yourself to risk, because you're running software that gives completely control over your account to someone else.

edit - Oh, I think you read the announcement to mean that *trading* with MTGO Library bots is suspect. That is too, but not actually the point of the announcement.

Actually, Pete is referring by gamemaster32 at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 12:42
gamemaster32's picture

Actually, Pete is referring to people running the bots to do the trading for them having the contents of their account transferred to an account held by the owner of Librarybot (a documented occurrence with cbsbots, now known as librarybot). So the claim is quite credible.

I understand what is being by mattlewis at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 14:02
mattlewis's picture

I understand what is being said, ie, using a particular bot is dangerous. This can be interpreted as using a bot to buy/sell cards in the marketplace, which is not dangerous. That is all I am trying to point out. Using a bot is not the same as installing and using bot software.

Doesn't look like Graveborn by Leviathan at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 13:19
Leviathan's picture

Doesn't look like Graveborn is available at the store yet. Like was pointed out, Entomb prices haven't dropped much either. The whole thing seems odd to me.

Momir Basic results by amcpherson at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 13:23
amcpherson's picture
5

I seem to recall some Twitter traffic this week requesting that WOTC stop reporting Momir Basic results, because the decklists are meaningless - just basic lands and an avatar. That could be why you didn't find any this week. You'd have to go into the client and look at the actual events.

RIP Modern 2011-2011 by seydaneen at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 13:40
seydaneen's picture

RIP Modern 2011-2011

Loved the sneak peak at the by deluxeicoff at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 13:46
deluxeicoff's picture
5

Loved the sneak peak at the Modern decks - great insight...just threw down 60 tix for 4x snapcasters, I think they'll go up a bit more over time, as 'stuff in your graveyard' is only gonna get better with each new set.

Olivia by Vachyr at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 14:13
Vachyr's picture

Did anyone else notice olivia voldaren is now almost 10 dollars?! When and why is this happening

olivia is $$ cause its in by this isnt the n... at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 14:28
this isnt the name i chose's picture

olivia is $$ cause its in team scg grixis control deck.

Deluxicoff - snapcaster is only going to go down in price as more and more are added to the system. It is a non-mythic in a big set. The supply will outnumber demand after a while, regardless of how good it is. If snappy was in either of the next 2 sets instead, or had been a mythic, we could have been looking at a drastically higher price.

It seems very odd to me that entomb prices have not dropped. The whole Graveborn deck is supposed to be on sale on mtgo for less than the current cost of one entomb. Which should make entomb drop drastically in price.

About the mtgolibrary bots--- lol at all the idiots using a bot that 1) has a history of malicious code, 2) is a piece of crap, 3) cant even do trades with a large percentage of the userbase

Modern is still a combo format btw. Nothing wotc has banned has changed that. All they have done is change the combos people play. ad nauseum/past in flames/splintertwin/melira all going strong.

You know what, thank god that by Alternate at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:35
Alternate's picture

You know what, thank god that WotC was smart enough to make Snappy the SnapCasting Mage a rare instead of a mythic. If it was a mythic, it would be around the $50 easily.

What I find the most interesting is the war between Lilliana vs Garruk. Garruk is beating the Planeswalker that everyone said could be Jace 2.0.

I have my 4 Garruks so I'm happy, and it's a great card, but not nearly as good as Lilliana. Maybe people don't like that they have to discard also.

**Oh and let me get this right. Modern is a format where you create a broken deck only until it is banned and then create another broken deck? That sounds really stupid.

Last I heard, Graveborn will by GainsBanding at Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:55
GainsBanding's picture

Last I heard, Graveborn will NOT be available in the store. It won't be online until sometime in 2012.

From Chris K. himself:
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75846/28679951/PDS:_Gravebor...

problem for lili is that by A_New_Hope at Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:56
A_New_Hope's picture

problem for lili is that black just isnt that great in the meta atm, and tokens being a fairly big thing doesn't help. Also so many creatures that get play give you an advantage when then etb or die so that hurts her too. She's still insanely good, but then it took Jace till BB elf was gone to take over and I suppose SOM block rotating may do similar things for lili though not as much since comparing her to jace is just silly. She's still one of the best walkers ever printed for her cc but nothing like Jace. Black is a better answer than problem color atm and the problem cards (like shrine of burning rage, mirran crusader, prim titan ect) are just so much better than the answers atm.