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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Nov 04 2016 12:00pm
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 State of the Program for November 4th 2016

 
In the News
 
Peregrine Drake BANNED in Pauper:  Wizards has issued an unscheduled change to the Pauper B&R list.  Effective November 16th, Peregrine Drake will be banned in Pauper.  Wizards explained their reasoning here.  Important note – because of the banning, the current Pauper league will end November 15th.  A new league will begin the next day, sans the Drake.  Expect commentary (and rejoicing) from our regular Pauper experts.
 
Original Modern Masters Phantom Drafts Back for One Week:  Wizards is bringing back the original Modern Masters draft queue for one week, beginning November 9th.   The event will be run as a league, and cost either 10 TIX or 1000 play points.  Prizes will be play points.
 
Kaladesh Championship Events Beginning:  The Kaladesh Limited Championship will be tomorrow.   The Standard KLD Championship prelims and the Championship itself will be taking place next week.   Details here.   
 
World Magic Cup Coming:  The World Magic Cup will be played November 18-20.  Coverage will be on Twitch.tv/magic.  
 
SCG Reduces Legacy Support:  StarCity Games has modified their Open series, and drastically cut the number of Legacy events.  Instead of a Legacy Classic on Sunday at every open, SCG will now only do a couple of Legacy Classics per year.  Wizards will still offer a couple Legacy GPs each year, but it is not clear what will happen to the format from here.  Note that Legacy will continue online, of course.
 
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 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.
 
Recurring Events
Timing
Power Nine Challenge
Last Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific
Legacy Challenge
Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific
No Downtime
November  9th, 23rd and 30th and December 14th
Extended Downtime
November 16th  
Current Leagues End
January
 
Upcoming and Ongoing Events
Begins
Ends
On sale now
January 4, 2017
PAUPER LEAGUE ENDING EARLY DUE TO BANNING
Now active
November 15th
Kaladesh Limited Championship
November 5th
Details here.
Kaladesh Standard Championship
November 13th
Details here
Kaladesh Sealed MOCS events
 
October 29th, December 4th, 11th, 18th and 30th
Details here.
Standard MOCS events
November 6th &25th
Details here
Modern MOCS events
January 7th & 21st
Details here.
Amonkhet
Spring, 2017 release
 
Aether Revolt prerelease
January 27th
January30th
Modern Masters 2017 Edition
MTGO release
March 23rd
 
Flashback Schedule:
Flashback drafts cost 10Tix or 100 Play Points or 2 Tix plus product.  They are you-keep-the- cards, not Phantom.  These are single elimination events that pay out in play points:  200 for first, 100 for second, and 50 for third and fourth place. 
 
Format
Begins
Ends
Dark Ascension, 2 Innistrad
November 2
November 9
Triple Magic 2012
November 9
November 16
Triple Avacyn Restored
November 16
November 23
Triple Magic 2013
November 23
November 30
Triple Return to Ravnica: 
November 30
December 7
Triple Gatecrash
December 7
December 14
Dragon’s Maze, Gatecrash, Return to Ravnica
December 14
December 21
 
Flashback This Week:  Flashback drafts this week are double Innistrad and one pack of Dark Ascension.  Innistrad also has a bunch of high-value cards, including Liliana of the Veil, Garruk Relentless, Snapcaster Mage, Geist of Saint Traft, Past in Flames and Stony Silence.  Dark Ascension brings us Grafdigger's Cage, and Avacyn Restored shows off Cavern of Souls, Griselbrand, Craterhoof Behemoth, Sigarda, original Avacyn and a number of Miracles, all of which have real value.
 
Opinion Section:  Bribery, Part II
 
Last weekend, I preached about Bribery, and how there were no “magic words” that would let you get across the idea that you were bribing someone without actually getting penalized for bribery.  The responses I got, in comments and elsewhere, were interesting.  One group of comments seemed to say that this wasn’t really that big of an issue, because pro players knew how to “get around the rule so easily.”  
 
First off, Bribery is a big thing, because it has a real impact on other players.  The outcome of a given match does not just affect the two players in that match, it affects the tiebreakers of every player either of the players involved in the bribery had played at any time during the event.  The first tiebreaker, after your own match wins, is opponent match wins.  If one of your opponents accepts a bribe and loses a game that they would have won, that player’s match win percentage – your first tie-breaker – is significantly lower than it would have been.  That can easily be the difference between 8th and 9th place.  And that sort of thing does not just affect the Top 8.  

The difference between 32nd and 33rd place finish at a Grand Prix is $250.   At GP Atlanta, Rob Pisano (32nd) finished ahead of Michael Segal (33rd) by 0.0004%.  Had even one opponent of either flipped their result in any match in the event, Mr. Segal would be $250 richer.  At GP Providence, it was the gap between 16th ($1,000) and 17th ($500) that was razor thin.
 
Bribery for match wins affects the integrity of the entire tournament, which is why it is a disqualification offense.  It is why Wizards must oppose it, and must try to prevent it.
 
In one of the announcements of a Bribery DQ, Wizards commented that some pros do not appear to know that Wizards does not condone bribery, collusion or even IDs, since they all affect the tiebreakers – and tournament results – of other players.  ID’s are a different discussion, but the point about pros not knowing why bribery and collusion are problems is well taken.  Pros should understand the impact their actions can have.
 
Commenters also said that “if a rule is difficult to enforce, it is a bad rule.”  I strongly disagree.  The fact that something is difficult to enforce does not make it a bad rule or law. It is difficult to catch or prosecute all shoplifters, or catch every vandal, but that does not mean that society should make theft or destruction of other people’s property legal. 
 
It is hard to prevent collusion between players, since judges cannot be everywhere.  If players discuss and agree to collusive behavior before they arrive at the event, or have an understanding that, if a player cheats (and throwing a match in expectation of a payment is cheating, both under the rules and morally) with an unspoken expectation that the other player will make it up to them later, that can be very hard to prove.  Note that I did not say detect, I said prove.   Players can have a legitimate reason to concede a match and it is not possible to get inside a player’s brain to determine why the player conceded a match.  Sometimes friends concede to each other.  Sometimes players need to leave an event early.  And sometimes players concede because they expect to be paid later.  As a judge, it is our job to figure out which reason applies, and DQ if it is the later.  If we are convinced it is the later, we DQ.  If we are unsure, we may have to give players the benefit of the doubt.
 
Again, policing bribery is hard, but that does not mean that we should allow it.  Too many other players are harmed every time a bribe affects the outcome of the match.   
 
One additional thought – we judges know that bribery exists, and that pro players often concede to each other with the unspoken expectation of getting something later on.  We also know that most of the time we cannot prove it.  As a result, when we do catch someone offering and/or accepting a bribe, we have very little sympathy.  Bribery is illegal.  The head judge generally makes an announcement to that effect at every event, and even without the announcement, people should know that corruption is wrong.   That means that when we catch someone offering a bribe, they are highly unlikely to get off with a warning.  Just saying.  
 
Cutting Edge Tech
 
Standard:  We had two more GPs last weekend.  Coverage for GP Warsaw is here, and coverage for GP Santiago is here.  Once again, the format was dominated by GB Delirium and UW Flash.  I’ve covered those, so I will grab two of the few non-GB, non-UW decks in the Top 8 to feature.
 
UR Fevered Visions
Jonathan Lobo Melamed, Second Place, GP Santiago - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Thermo-Alchemist
4 Stormchaser Mage
8 cards

Instant
4 Fiery Temper
2 Lightning Axe
4 Galvanic Bombardment
2 Unsubstantiate
12 cards

Sorcery
4 Incendiary Flow
4 Collective Defiance
2 Tormenting Voice
10 cards
Enchantment
4 Fevered Visions
4 cards

Planeswalker
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 cards
 
Land
9 Mountain
3 Island
4 Wandering Fumarole
4 Spirebluff Canal
1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
3 Highland Lake
24 cards

Sideboard
2 Lightning Axe
4 Negate
1 Summary Dismissal
2 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
2 Nahiri's Wrath
3 Bedlam Reveler
15 cards
 

 

RB Aggro Madness
Andreas Ganz, Top 8, GP Warsaw - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Bomat Courier
4 Inventor's Apprentice
4 Pia Nalaar
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Bloodhall Priest
20 cards

Instant
4 Fiery Temper
4 Unlicensed Disintegration
3 Lightning Axe
11 cards

Sorcery
2 Incendiary Flow
2 cards
Vehicle
4 Smuggler's Copter
4 cards
 
Land
4 Foreboding Ruins
10 Mountain
5 Swamp
4 Smoldering Marsh
23 cards

Sideboard
2 Incendiary Flow
4 Transgress the Mind
4 Weaver of Lightning
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Key to the City
15 cards

Legacy: 
Eternal Weekend was last weekend.  410 players converged to play the format, somewhat offsetting SCGs announcement that it will greatly reduce its support for Legacy.  Coverage is here.  The SCG announcement is here.  The winning deck was one I had not seen much of – a green based Dark Depths combo deck.
 
Eva Green Depths
Oran Kremen, Winner, Eternal Weekend, Legacy - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Vampire Hexmage
8 cards

Instant
4 Crop Rotation
3 Not of this World
7 cards

Sorcery
1 Into the North
4 Sylvan Scrying
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Duress
4 Thoughtseize
12 cards
Artifact
4 Lotus Petal
3 Pithing Needle
2 Expedition Map
9 cards

Enchantment
1 Sylvan Library
1 cards
 
Land
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Sejiri Steppe
3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bayou
4 Dark Depths
4 Thespian's Stage
23 cards

Sideboard
1 Krosan Grip
1 Karakas
1 Crucible of Worlds
3 Surgical Extraction
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Winter Orb
1 Pithing Needle
15 cards
 
Vintage:  I am having trouble getting to the eternal weekend coverage page, so I’m pulling my deck from the European eternal weekend event.  Instead, a reminder that the next season of the Vintage Super League will begin in early January. 
 
 
 
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 prices are doing about churning a bit.  These changes reflect the metagame changes – the price drops from lots of KLD being opened have ended.
  
Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$18.13
$18.61
($0.48)
-3%
$11.95
$7.52
$4.43
59%
$13.50
$10.97
$2.53
23%
$28.69
$33.34
($4.65)
-14%
$13.15
$9.03
$4.12
46%
$24.03
$22.09
$1.94
9%
$8.48
$8.38
$0.10
1%
$29.33
$33.05
($3.72)
-11%
$11.19
$11.85
($0.66)
-6%
$36.14
$35.30
$0.84
2%
$10.86
$9.60
$1.26
13%
$7.68
$9.80
($2.12)
-22%
$10.23
$9.52
$0.71
7%
$4.34
$5.93
($1.59)
-27%
Wandering Fumarole
$7.08
$6.90
$0.18
3%
Modern staples:   Modern prices have bounced around a bit this week.  I wonder if the big losses on Liliana and other staples are a result of treasure chests being opened. 
 
Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$17.66
$17.39
$0.27
2%
$15.46
$15.49
($0.03)
0%
$34.48
$33.01
$1.47
4%
$32.17
$33.48
($1.31)
-4%
$16.86
$16.63
$0.23
1%
$36.81
$36.07
$0.74
2%
$30.10
$30.93
($0.83)
-3%
$28.89
$23.53
$5.36
23%
$20.10
$19.81
$0.29
1%
$26.03
$23.22
$2.81
12%
$18.03
$20.00
($1.97)
-10%
$27.13
$21.16
$5.97
28%
$72.61
$85.14
($12.53)
-15%
$20.61
$22.00
($1.39)
-6%
$24.65
$21.27
$3.38
16%
$21.00
$21.00
$0.00
0%
$24.91
$22.24
$2.67
12%
$43.89
$42.57
$1.32
3%
$20.51
$22.00
($1.49)
-7%
$26.45
$29.96
($3.51)
-12%
Legacy and Vintage:  Legacy and Vintage are up just a touch overall.  A lot of cards have shown very small price increases, but almost all no losses.  Misdirection is down, but Misdirection is rarely more than a one-of in Vintage (Stephen Menendian aside), so a small number of Treasure Chests might well cause the drop despite the overall up trend. 
 
Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$29.73
$28.44
$1.29
5%
$35.11
$34.68
$0.43
1%
$109.87
$104.49
$5.38
5%
$21.75
$19.81
$1.94
10%
$20.46
$19.64
$0.82
4%
$26.65
$29.78
($3.13)
-11%
Doomsday
$27.35
$26.80
$0.55
2%
$45.55
$43.95
$1.60
4%
$21.29
$18.31
$2.98
16%
$37.13
$37.00
$0.13
0%
$35.77
$35.86
($0.09)
0%
$68.99
$71.99
($3.00)
-4%
$30.87
$30.57
$0.30
1%
$26.22
$23.10
$3.12
14%
$41.22
$40.19
$1.03
3%
$246.74
$246.63
$0.11
0%
$52.84
$52.34
$0.50
1%
$21.96
$21.98
($0.02)
0%
$53.99
$53.99
$0.00
0%
$21.33
$20.03
$1.30
6%
$22.35
$21.02
$1.33
6%
$32.12
$32.59
($0.47)
-1%
$18.47
$18.27
$0.20
1%
$32.26
$32.00
$0.26
1%
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
$68.58
$68.90
($0.32)
0%
Eldritch Moon
$128.46
$116.75
$11.71
10%
Kaladesh
$87.75
$86.92
$0.83
1%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$94.88
$95.27
($0.39)
0%
Shadows over Innistrad
$63.99
$60.18
$3.81
6%
 
 
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 back over 50 cards again this week.
 
Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
MM
Rare
 $ 246.74
Black Lotus
VMA
Bonus
 $ 109.87
Liliana of the Veil
ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 72.61
Misdirection
MM
Rare
 $ 68.99
Tangle Wire
NE
Rare
 $ 53.99
Show and Tell
UZ
Rare
 $ 52.84
Food Chain
MM
Rare
 $ 48.20
Exploration
UZ
Rare
 $ 45.55
Tarmogoyf
MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 44.47
Tarmogoyf
FUT
Rare
 $ 43.90
Tarmogoyf
MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.89
Mox Sapphire
VMA
Bonus
 $ 41.22
Wasteland
TE
Uncommon
 $ 38.45
Wasteland
TPR
Rare
 $ 38.04
Gaea's Cradle
UZ
Rare
 $ 37.13
Engineered Explosives
MMA
Rare
 $ 36.99
Engineered Explosives
5DN
Rare
 $ 36.81
Wasteland
EMA
Rare
 $ 36.49
Liliana, the Last Hope
EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 36.14
Ensnaring Bridge
ST
Rare
 $ 36.03
Infernal Tutor
DIS
Rare
 $ 35.77
Blood Moon
MMA
Rare
 $ 35.15
Back to Basics
UZ
Rare
 $ 35.11
Blood Moon
8ED
Rare
 $ 34.69
Blood Moon
9ED
Rare
 $ 34.48
Ensnaring Bridge
8ED
Rare
 $ 32.33
Wasteland
EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.26
Cavern of Souls
AVR
Rare
 $ 32.17
Unmask
MM
Rare
 $ 32.12
Moat
MED
Rare
 $ 30.87
Force of Will
MED
Rare
 $ 30.42
Ensnaring Bridge
7E
Rare
 $ 30.10
Lion's Eye Diamond
MI
Rare
 $ 29.89
True-Name Nemesis
PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.82
Ancestral Recall
VMA
Bonus
 $ 29.73
Golgari Grave-Troll
DDJ
Rare
 $ 29.38
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
OGW
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.33
Golgari Grave-Troll
RAV
Rare
 $ 28.89
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
BFZ
Mythic Rare
 $ 28.69
Containment Priest
PZ1
Rare
 $ 28.57
Doomsday
WL
Rare
 $ 27.35
Inkmoth Nexus
MBS
Rare
 $ 27.13
Containment Priest
C14
Rare
 $ 26.65
Voice of Resurgence
DGM
Mythic Rare
 $ 26.45
Volcanic Island
ME3
Rare
 $ 26.36
Mox Jet
VMA
Bonus
 $ 26.22
Undiscovered Paradise
VI
Rare
 $ 26.09
Grove of the Burnwillows
FUT
Rare
 $ 26.03
Mox Opal
SOM
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.83
Force of Will
EMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.43
Mox Opal
MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 25.08
 
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 $ 22,340.  That is up about $75 from last week.
 
Weekly Highlights
 
Not a ton of Magic again this week.   Family obligations plus work meant I never even got to load the program.  I also did not get a chance to watch the Warsaw coverage, but apparently the Internet connection was giving Wizards problems, so I guess I didn’t miss anything.  
 
 
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.   
 
 

4 Comments

Liliana in particularly by xger at Fri, 11/04/2016 - 12:37
xger's picture

Liliana in particular dropped very likely due to the Innistrad Flahsbacks.

Just wanted to say that I, by ricklongo at Fri, 11/04/2016 - 13:28
ricklongo's picture
5

Just wanted to say that I, for one, miss the judge questions. Those were quite fun. :)

Bribery by MichelleWong at Sat, 11/05/2016 - 01:36
MichelleWong's picture
5

Hi Pete, I liked your comments on bribery, thanks for addressing that issue in your commentary.

If having all players split by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 11/04/2016 - 23:34
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

If having all players split prizes for which they were tied would reduce bribery, seems like that should happen instead. Spitting prizes among tied players works well enough for chess tournaments at any rate.