one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Oct 10 2014 12:00pm
5
Login or register to post comments
5531 views


 

State of the Program for October 10th 2014

In the News:

PTQ Top 8 Draft Bugged: Last weekend, at least one, and possibly as many as four, of the players in the Top 8 draft in the PTQ experienced the failure to submit bug and could not log back in in time to rebuild their decks. They entered round one with an 80 card deck. The Wizards employees who are supposed to watch for problems like that and extend time, etc., to fix such problems either were not notified or failed to fix it. (Note: if you have a problem in a major event, the Wizards folks monitoring the event hang out in a special channel. Contact them there if you have any problems. Details on accessing the channel are here.) Wizards is planning on giving the winner his invite, but also rerunning the draft to award a second invite. Worth Wollpert’s explanation and apology are here.
 
ELO Ratings to Return: Wizards is bowing to public demand, and will include a method of viewing your ELO ratings in the client. You will only be able to see your own ratings, and cannot display them to the public, but they will exist. More importantly, they will include all sanctioned matches played during the period that ratings were “missing.”
 
Big Client Update Coming: Wizards has promised a huge client update for October 22nd.   The biggest news is that the battlefield will be modified, to add things like a pop-out graveyard. It appears that the collection screen will also receive fixes, including the ability to apply filters to binders. It’s almost like they read my recent articles. The WotC announcement and details here.
 
From the Vault: Annihilation Removed from Store:   No real explanation, but Wizards tweeted that, because of “problems with the product,” FtV Annihilation is no longer being sold in the store. Since only one card in FtV:A is not already online, we can guess which card does not work.  Or maybe the foil treatment isn’t working, or the art is screwed up. Discouraging, since this set was supposed to be released online mid-summer and was already delayed once. Now it is delayed again.
 
Pro Tour Coverage this Weekend:  The Pro Tour is this weekend,  Coverage is on Twitch, I think, or you could try going to the wizards site, but that site is so screwed up you may or may not be able to find a link to coverage of one of the biggest Magic event of the year.  (Yes, I have trouble with the site - and I visit it pretty much daily.)
 
Vintage Resurrection Attempt: Uvatha's Doodle poll on the best times for players to play Vintage events is still up.  The poll is looking for the best events to concentrate efforts to make it fire.  The Doodle poll is here.  Doodle polls are great - we use them all the time.  You just have to click on the link, then enter your MTGO user name and click on any time slots that would, in general, work for you.  You do not have to register or sign up to answer the poll.  It's simple, so if you play Vintage (you should, see below), then take the poll.
 

The Timeline:

This is a list of things we have been promised, or just want to see coming back.   Another good source for dates and times is the MTGO calendar. Here’s what we know, want or are tracking. This list is getting short, mainly because Wizards is so bad at passing on any information about future products or events. They generally have announced these events a day or two before they happens, which means most players never hear about them, and news compilations (like State of the Program) only hear about them too late to be included.
 
Item (date it will return) and notes
·         Leagues (2014) Wizards has promised that leagues will return this year. Details here.
·         From the Vault: Annihilation: Unclear – not on sale at present.
·         Commander 2014: (11/21/2014) Details here.
·         Modern Masters II: (May of 2015?) 
 

Getting into Vintage - Part I - Affording It

(Last minute edit:  on rereading this, I see that it takes a while to get started. Basically, this tells you what you need to buy to get started in Vintage, and what cards you should wait on. (spoiler - you can buy a tier one, powered deck for $1,075.)  The introduction just goes to prove that while the one-time buy-in for Vintage is expensive, it is actually really cheap over time. If you want to skip the intro, scroll down past the first table.) 
 
I have been playing in formats featuring dual lands and really old cards since those formats were called Type I, Extended and so forth. Now, the two main Eternal formats are Legacy and Vintage, but I will let you in on a little secret: about a third of the decks I played in a Type I tournament at GenCon in 2001 are still viable in Vintage today. Another third of the decks – both Vintage and Legacy – are cards like the original fetchlands, which I bought back in 2003 and have played ever since.  A majority of the cards in decks I play in both formats are old frame.  In other words, once you buy in, ongoing annual expenses are really, really low.
 
This is the big secret of Eternal formats: you buy in once, and most of the core cards will be good forever.  The classic example: dual lands, like Tropical Island. Almost thirteen years ago, I wrote an article titled Don’t Worry, Just Buy the Duals. In that, I argued that the dual lands would hold value and that they would be playable pretty much forever. At the same time, others were arguing that the duals were way too expensive, and that Wizards should abandon formats that contained duals. Back then, paper dual lands sold for $12-$15 apiece. In paper. Paper duals are an order of magnitude more expensive now. 
 
People have argued endlessly about whether eternal formats or standard is more expensive. The answer depends entirely on the timeframe. If you look at initial one time buy in, starting with no collection at all, then Standard is cheaper. Over a long time period, Vintage is a lot cheaper. My article Don’t Worry, Just Buy the Duals compared the price of Standard and Type I over the previous few years in that period. (The article dates from 2005, IIRC.)  I have addressed it on and off since then, and Chas Andres did a major cost comparison in SCG premium about a year ago. But here’s a simple example: mana bases. Every couple years, at least, Wizards prints a new cycle of rare lands that you pretty much have to play to play Standard competitively. (Yes, sometimes you can play mono-whatever, but generally the top decks play at least 8-12 of those rare lands sometime during the period they are Standard legal. Those lands typically cost $7-$20, depending on how good they are. Very few of those lands, however, make their way into Legacy or Vintage. Here’s a quick, non-exhaustive comparison, based mainly on what I played over the years. I’m starting in 2001, when Tempest & Urza’s blocks made up Standard, because that is when I played my first sanctioned Vintage event at Gencon.  I played Blue Zoo. I had lots of Wastelands, since Tempest drafts had ended a year before, and a mix of duals, Cities of Brass, etc. Standard played those same lands.  Let’s look at what was added to both Standard and Vintage decks as new blocks were released.  I'm not including every land that saw play; just those that saw lots of play. 
 

Block
Standard
Vintage
Masques
Invasion
Apocalypse Painlands (e.g. Battlefield Forge, Odyssey
(nothing)
Odyssey
filter lands (e.g Darkwater Catacombs
(nothing)
Onslaught
Onslaught fetchlands (e.g. Polluted Delta)
Onslaught fetchlands (e.g. Polluted Delta)
Mirrodin
(nothing)
Kamigawa
Ravnica
Shocklands (e.g. Hallowed Fountain)
(nothing)
Time Spiral
Lorwyn
Hide lands (e.g. Mosswort Bridge), tribal lands (e.g. Secluded Glen),
(nothing)
Shadowmoor
Filter lands (e.g. Fire-lit Thicket)
 
Zendikar
Zendikar fetchlands (e.g. Arid Mesa, Zendikar manlands (e.g. Celestial Colonnade), Eye of Ugin,
Zendikar fetchlands (e.g. Arid Mesa)
M10
M10 taplands: (e.g. Dragonskull Summit)
(nothing)
Scars of Mirrodin
Scars taplands (e.g. Blackcleave Cliffs), Inkmoth Nexus
(nothing)
Innistrad
Innistrad taplands (e.g. Clifftop Retreat, Kessig Wolf Run, Moorland Haunt,
(nothing)
Avacyn Restored
Return to Ravnica
(if you didn’t already have them, the shocklands)
(nothing)
Theros
Khans
(if you didn’t already have them, the Onslaught fetchlands)
(nothing)

 
Over the period, I spent a lot more money on Standard mana bases than on Type I / Vintage. The same is true of spells, and certainly true of creatures. Legacy is similar, but Tarmogoyf and Vendilion Clique are legacy staples, so the cost of creatures in Legacy is a bit higher, but the cost of creatures over time is still much, much higher in Standard than Legacy.  
 
The first question is why you would want to buy into Vintage. To answer that, just watch some of LSV’s videos, either over on Channel Fireball or in the Vintage Super League. Most Vintage matches are fascinating. Sure, a couple games end on turn one, when one player mulligans into oblivion and the opponent gets a god draw, but that is actually not that common.  On average, Vintage games take more turns than Standard (based on counts from a dozen or so matches in Vintage and pre-M15 Standard.) More on why in a different article.
 
The first question in asking if you want to buy into Vintage is whether you want to play Magic, or Dredge. Dredge is by far the cheapest Vintage deck online. It costs about $425, but you can cut that to about $300 if you replace the Undiscovered Paradises with City of Brass. Dredge can win: it will probably always win game one, but will be beaten games two and three if the opponents bring in enough hate. However, when opponents stop packing that hate, Dredge ends up 4-0. Your call. For a decent Dredge list, check out Tom Martell’s second deck, here.
 
The next decision is whether you want to play Shops. Chris Pikula’s Terra Nova Shops went 3-0 in the first round of the Vintage Super League, and it costs about $950. Terra Nova does not run Black Lotus, a decision Chris stands by but others disagree with. Either way, if you think Shops is for you, then you want to aim for the cards on the list here.
 
If you are not going Dredge or Shops, then you will probably be starting with the same basic core, tweaked slightly depending on which kill condition and approach you prefer. That can change easily (and cheaply), once you have the basics. Here’s where to start.
 
The Dual Lands: Nearly all Vintage and Legacy decks begin with the dual lands – but you do not need all 40. Generally, decks run a handful of duals, plus the appropriate fetchlands. You can build most Vintage and Legacy decks with 3-4 Underground Seas, 2-4 Tropical Islands, 2-3 Tundras, 3-4 Bayous, 3-4 (Volcanic Islands) and 1-2 or so of each of the others.   Of course, if you have a massive liking for RB decks, then get four copies of Badlands. In any case, get the duals now. They are really cheap – possibly as cheap as they will ever get. However, if the duals are still a bit pricey for your tastes, look at the Back to Basic deck David Williams played in the Vintage Super League – it is mono-blue.
 
The Fetchlands: Most Vintage decks play 5-10 duals and 8-16 fetchlands. Polluted Delta, Misty Rainforest and Scalding Tarn are probably the most heavily played fetched in Vintage, but any mix that can reliably get your colors can work. The big advantage is that the Onslaught duals are in Khans, so the price of Polluted Delta has gone from $100 a couple months ago to $8.45 today, and the price should continue to drop until Khans stops being drafted. Plan on buying what you need in the next couple months.  My rule of thumb would be to buy a playset of a given dual as soon as the price hits $5.  It will, even for Polluted Delta, soon.
 
Wasteland: A playset of Wastelands is critical for Shops and many Legacy and Vintage decks, but this may not be the best time to buy them. The price of Wasteland is insanely high and Wizards will have to do something to bring that price down. Until they do, it’s probably okay to live without them. In the Vintage Super League, less than half the decks ran Wasteland. For now, buy a Strip Mine. Just one, because Strip Mine is restricted, but it only costs a buck.
 
Other Lands: If you have a $1.64 to spare, get a Library of Alexandria, since it will never be this cheap again.   (Just one – it is restricted.) A playset of Mishra’s Factories is also recommended, and will only cost about $5 for the playset. Tolarian Academy is nice, and VMA drafts have pushed its price under $2.   Finally, if you have some spare cash and think you might ever want to play Shops, a playset of Mishra’s Workshops will cost about $34.00, and will - to repeat the mantra - never be this cheap again. 
 
Power: The flagship of Vintage is the Power Nine, but you don’t necessarily need it all to play.   (Dredge doesn’t run any; Terra Nova Shops only runs the Moxen, and even LSV's Vintage Super League decks are only running 6-7 pieces of power.)   If you can afford it, start with a Black Lotus, then Ancestral Recall and a Mox Sapphire. After that, go for Time Walk and fill in the rest of the moxen as you have time. The prices represent the relative value of the cards, and may Vintage decks do fine just Sapphire, or a couple Moxen. Finally, Timetwister is the Power Nine’s poor relation, and is only used in certain combo decks. I’ve played Vintage for almost 15 years, and I don’t know if I have ever cast Timetwister, so only get one if you need it for a particular deck. But, like everything else in VMA, the power is at what will probably be an all-time low right now, so you probably want to buy the dual lands first, then power. The duals, unlike Power, are also usable in Legacy.
 
The Rest of the Restricted List: A lot of this was in VMA, and so much VMA has been drafted that this stuff is super cheap.  Get a Sol Ring for sure, plus a Mana Crypt and maybe a Mana Vault. A VMA Brainstorm is $0.11, so get one – four if you are thinking about Legacy. Ditto Ponder and Thirst for KnowledgeChannel and Fastbond both let you do some broken stuff, and you can get the pair for a buck. Demonic Tutor is a broken tutor, and under $4, while Vampiric Tutor is $1.25. (I spent almost $100 for my Vampiric Tutor, a couple years ago. Sigh.) Tinker is a win condition, and cheap. Finally, Yawgmoth’s Will allows for some of the most busted plays imaginable, and costs just $1.23. Get that one, too. In fact, everything in this paragraph, together, costs less than a single Courser of Kruphix.
 
Counterspells: Force of Will has often been called the glue that holds Legacy (and Vintage) together. You will want four. A few months ago, Force of Will was $140 per copy. Right now, thanks to VMA, you can get an entire playset for less than that. Yes, that’s expensive, but Force of Will will always be expensive, and the price should climb once VMA drafts end.  Mana Drain is another pricey Vintage staple but at its lowest price in a year. I recommend getting three. Finally, Mental Misstep is widely played.   I do not recommend Daze, except for some Legacy decks, since Daze is super expensive right now. Sooner or later, Wizards will give us some Masques block drafts, at which point I recommend opening some. Until then, just get a pair of Pyroblasts and a pair of Red Elemental Blasts. They will be far cheaper, and are generally better. Finally, Flusterstorm is worth getting, if you have the budget.  It has a higher priority than Mana Drain:  If I Was buying in, I start with 4 Force, 4 Mental Misstep, then, as my budget allows, 2-3 Flusterstorm, 1 Pyroblast, 2 REB, Mana Drains and get Dazes only if I have money left AND want them for a Legacy deck immediately.
 
Card Draw: Most of the card draw played in the format is in the restricted list, above. In addition to those, get four copies of Gush, which combos well with Fastbond and which VMA has made super cheap. A couple copies of Fact or Fiction could be useful and – hey, it’s in VMA.  Four Gush and three FoF will cost you about 1 TIX.
 
Creatures: The list of Vintage playable creatures is pretty short. You can play serious Vintage with 3-4 Snapcaster Mages, four Young Pyromancers, four Delver of Secrets, 3-4 Deathrite Shamans and a single Blightsteel Colossus.   UG decks may run Trygon Predator, but it’s just an uncommon, so it’s cheap. The one expensive creature is True-Name Nemesis, but if you want those and can buy from the store, get the Commander deck True-Name is in. It’s cheaper than the dealer price, and you get 100 other cards for "free." And that’s about it for Vintage playable creatures. Specialty decks will use other creatures: Dredge likes Elesh Norn and dredge creatures, Oath of Druids decks like Griselbrand and Shops likes Lodestone Golems, but the main list will get you through most matches.  You could play Tarmogoyfs if you have them, but they are really more of a Legacy thing. 
 
Win Conditions: Fortunately, the actual price of win conditions is pretty low. Time Vault plus Voltaic Key is less than 1 TIX, and both are restricted, so you only need one pair. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is still great, and VMA has made it affordable enough to get two copies. Tinker into Blightsteel Colossus is also a common wincon, but the Colossus cost $17. Fortunately, you only need one.     
 
Sideboard Hate:   In Vintage, you want a fair amount of anti-artifact hate, plus a bunch of cards to side in against Dredge.   Against Shops, Hurkyl’s Recall is the best option, but too expensive for now. That should change, sooner or later.   Other options include Shattering Spree, Viashino Heretic and Ingot Chewer.   Against Dredge, Leyline of the Void, (Grafdigger’s Cage), Nihil Spellbomb and (Tormod’s Crypt) all work. Null Rod is nice against the Time Vault decks, and some versions of Shops. Beyond that, check out Vintage decklists for ideas, then play what you have. 
 
Entry Level Decklists: Originally, I was going to wrap up with a shopping list, but when I started looking at what to include, I reread LSV’s week one Vintage Super League decklist. It pretty much is a Vintage entry shopping list in itself. The entire list, including sideboard, costs about $1,075. For comparison, the Standard deck I featured today (in Cutting Edge Tech, below) costs about $475. On the plus side, if you buy LSV’s Vintage list, the odds are very strong that nearly every card in the list will still be playable in Vintage a decade from now, and everything except maybe the Hurkyl’s Recall will have gone up in value. As for the Standard list, a year from now most of the Theros block cards will crash in value, and the rest will crash a year later.  Siege Rhino may be a great Standard card, but it is highly unlikely to cut it in Modern. 
 
If you are trying to grind tickets as cheaply as possible, then you probably want to play Momir Vig or Pauper, or whatever mono-red Standard deck emerges from the Pro Tour this weekend. On the other hand, if you want to play some extremely complex and interesting Magic over the next couple years at minimal cost, then buy into Vintage. With VMA going off sale, these cards will never be cheaper. Worst case scenario: if, six months or a year from now, you decide Vintage is not your cup of tea, then you should be able to sell off your investment at a tidy profit. That’s not going to happen with a Standard deck.
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard: The TCGPlayer State Championships were last weekend. The largest one for which I have decklists happened in Ohio. Ohio was the home of Abzan Midrange, which took the top three slots – and Abzan Midrange was also the most common archetype in the Top 8s. A list of TCGPlayer State decklists is here.
 
Abzan Midrange
Robert Coon, Winner, 2014 Standard Ohio State Championships
Creatures
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Sylvan Caryatid
15 cards

Other Spells
3 Abzan Charm
3 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
4 Hero's Downfall
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
4 Siege Rhino
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
1 Utter End
3 Wingmate Roc
7 cards
 
Lands
1 Caves of Koilos
2 Forest
2 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mana Confluence
2 Plains
3 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Plenty
4 Temple of Silence
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Windswept Heath
21 cards

Sideboard
2 Anafenza, the Foremost
2 Bile Blight
3 Drown in Sorrow
1 Glare of Heresy
1 Liliana Vess
2 Reclamation Sage
3 Thoughtseize
1 Whip of Erebos
15 cards
 
Elspeth, Sun's Champion
 
Modern: If you follow Modern at all, you have probably heard about the deck that is "destroying the format." That might be literally true – and unless people find some serious and effective hate, this deck could face the ban-hammer next time Wizards breaks it out. This is a turn two kill combo deck that is extremely reliable and redundant.  Sam Pardee took the deck into some Modern Dailies and went 4-0 in matches, 8-0 in games in both events.  That’s concerning. The deck is beatable, if you stop the Ascendancy, but can a deck that does that (for example, by running 4 Meddling Mages, 4 Duress, 4 Thoughtseize and 4 Surgical Extraction maindeck) actually beat anything else. Only time will tell.  Generally, the hate is enough to keep the combos in check, but not always
 
Jescai Ascendancy Combo
Sam Pardee, 4-0, Various Modern Dailies
Creatures
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Birds of Paradise
12 cards

Other Spells
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Treasure Cruise
4 Manamorphose
4 Glittering Wish
3 Cerulean Wisps
2 Crimson Wisps
3 Jeskai Ascendancy
25 cards
 
Lands
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Windswept Heath
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Temple Garden
1 Stomping Ground
1 Breeding Pool
1 Forest
1 Island
4 Mana Confluence
16 cards

Glittering Wish
 
Legacy: No SCG Open last weekend – SCG was running a GP instead. However, a store in Cayce ran a Legacy SCG IQ. The bulk of the Top 8 was pretty typical, but the fourth place deck was interesting. I haven’t seen this before, or at least not very often. Sinkhole? Been a long time since I have seen that played.
 
Sultai Landlock
Calvin Smith, Fourth Place, SCG Invitational Qualifier, Cacyce
Creatures
2 True-Name Nemesis
4 Baleful Strix
3 Snapcaster Mage
9 cards

Other Spells
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Ponder
4 Smallpox
2 Life from the Loam
4 Stifle
1 Rain of Tears
4 Brainstorm
1 Regrowth
1 Ice Storm
4 Sinkhole
29 cards
 
Lands
1 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
4 Wasteland
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
4 Underground Sea
1 Tropical Island
2 Bayou
22 cards

Sinkhole
 
Vintage:  The Vintage Super League play has paused for a week, since many of the players are at the Pro Tour. This gives us a week to catch up on past video coverage. That coverage is awesome. Randy Buehler has several people assisting, so the weekly stream (and videos thereof) show the battlefield, both players’ hands and the two commentators. It’s a great stream. Highly recommended. This week, I'll feature the Back to Basics Control deck that both Eric Froehlich and Dave Williams have been running. 
 
 
 
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 almost a decade now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
 
Standard staples: The Standard metagame is brand new, and these prices are pretty meaningless. The Pro tour is ongoing, as this goes up, and it will define the Standard metagame for the near future. The only real trend is that the price of Onslaught fetches will continue to slide. They should follow the same course as the Ravnica shocklands did when they were reprinted. 
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$7.76
$8.06
($0.30)
-4%
$22.77
$18.82
$3.95
21%
$8.83
$8.30
$0.53
6%
$15.31
$13.00
$2.31
18%
$7.16
n/a
n/a
$20.61
$21.32
($0.71)
-3%
(Garrukk, Apex Predator)
$6.89
$7.88
($0.99)
-13%
$15.12
$12.03
$3.09
26%
$15.31
$15.94
($0.63)
-4%
$10.88
$11.38
($0.50)
-4%
$17.03
$12.79
$4.24
33%
$22.26
$25.95
($3.69)
-14%
$18.87
$16.25
$2.62
16%
$8.43
$14.75
($6.32)
-43%
$25.27
n/a
n/a
$16.64
n/a
n/a
$12.60
$11.73
$0.87
7%
$2.53
$2.13
$0.40
19%
$12.91
n/a
n/a
$9.07
$8.45
$0.62
7%

Modern staples: Bam! Modern prices crashed this week. I don’t know for sure, but I would bet the crash has a lot to do with the combo deck I discussed in Cutting Edge Tech, above. That deck is pervasive enough to get people out of Modern, for now. Or they could be jumping on the bandwagon. Either way, the price for almost everything not in the deck went down, and the value of the one card on my list that is in the deck jumped.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$10.62
$11.18
($0.56)
-5%
$41.27
$41.27
$0.00
0%
$10.88
$12.13
($1.25)
-10%
$25.83
$27.29
($1.46)
-5%
$16.41
$16.78
($0.37)
-2%
$17.79
$18.45
($0.66)
-4%
$17.37
$24.33
($6.96)
-29%
$28.27
$30.69
($2.42)
-8%
$11.15
$11.80
($0.65)
-6%
$23.92
$27.26
($3.34)
-12%
$54.74
$57.60
($2.86)
-5%
$33.59
$36.80
($3.21)
-9%
$75.58
$79.14
($3.56)
-4%
$30.99
$32.34
($1.35)
-4%
$77.16
$82.60
($5.44)
-7%
$45.68
$41.41
$4.27
10%
$19.27
$20.05
($0.78)
-4%
$20.13
$26.35
($6.22)
-24%
$17.65
$21.49
($3.84)
-18%
$17.19
$20.30
($3.11)
-15%
$93.60
$95.88
($2.28)
-2%
$28.23
$30.13
($1.90)
-6%
$60.43
$63.89
($3.46)
-5%
$15.96
$15.60
$0.36
2%

Legacy / Vintage: Legacy and Vintage prices are down this week. I suspect this is the result of a lot of last minute VMA drafts and sealed, and a decline in the number of Vintage events firing.  
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$80.34
$93.78
($13.44)
-14%
$180.84
$214.23
($33.39)
-16%
$31.70
$34.97
($3.27)
-9%
$29.79
$29.79
$0.00
0%
$24.23
$21.87
$2.36
11%
$17.06
$17.77
($0.71)
-4%
$33.29
$34.12
($0.83)
-2%
$30.39
$34.62
($4.23)
-12%
$24.45
$25.74
($1.29)
-5%
$44.85
$51.75
($6.90)
-13%
$17.42
$18.06
($0.64)
-4%
$25.24
$25.24
$0.00
0%
$22.18
$24.92
($2.74)
-11%
$17.41
$16.55
$0.86
5%
$95.25
$95.25
$0.00
0%
$67.63
$83.28
($15.65)
-19%
$89.10
$109.76
($20.66)
-19%
$12.37
$12.90
($0.53)
-4%
$150.68
$150.68
$0.00
0%
$62.34
$64.47
($2.13)
-3%
$40.51
$40.51
$0.00
0%
$57.42
$68.26
($10.84)
-16%
$41.74
$41.74
$0.00
0%
$18.53
$19.90
($1.37)
-7%
$33.63
$33.63
$0.00
0%
$104.76
$104.46
$0.30
0%

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.   For those of you who redeem, here are the retail prices of one of everything set currently available in the store, excluding sets that are not draftable. Unsurprisingly, as a new set is introduced, the prices of the other sets (which are not being drafted as much now) jumped.  
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Born of the Gods
$76.68
$71.53
$5.15
7%
Journey into Nix
$121.26
$104.18
$17.08
16%
Khans of Trakir
$174.09
?
n/a
n/a
M15
$135.74
$130.51
$5.23
4%
Theros
$134.01
$132.64
$1.37
1%

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. Black Lotus continues to lead the pack, but Rishadan Port is closing the gap. The final flurry of VMA drafts have pushed down the price of Power. At the same time, the end of the supply of new dual lands has reversed the pricing trend, and Underground Sea has climbed back above $25.
 

Name
Rarity
Set
Price
Black Lotus
B
VMA
$ 180.84
Rishadan Port
R
MM
$ 150.68
Wasteland
U
TE
$ 104.76
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
$    95.88
Misdirection
R
MM
$    95.25
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
$    93.60
Mox Sapphire
B
VMA
$    89.10
Ancestral Recall
B
VMA
$    80.34
Mox Opal
M
SOM
$    77.16
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
$    75.58
Mox Jet
B
VMA
$    67.63
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
$    64.07
Show and Tell
R
UZ
$    62.34
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
$    60.43
Time Walk
B
VMA
$    57.42
Force of Will
R
MED
$    55.04
Griselbrand
M
AVR
$    54.74
Mox Ruby
B
VMA
$    52.84
Mox Emerald
B
VMA
$    47.15
Noble Hierarch
R
CON
$    45.68
Hurkyl's Recall
R
10E
$    44.85
Mox Pearl
B
VMA
$    41.80
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
$    41.74
Batterskull
M
NPH
$    41.27
Tangle Wire
R
NE
$    40.63
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
$    40.51
Toxic Deluge
R
C13
$    36.63
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
$    34.62
Tezzeret the Seeker
M
ALA
$    34.12
Dark Confidant
M
MMA
$    33.89
Undiscovered Paradise
R
VI
$    33.63
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
$    33.59
Force of Will
R
VMA
$    33.29
Infernal Tutor
R
DIS
$    33.04
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
$    32.03
Craterhoof Behemoth
M
AVR
$    32.03
City of Traitors
R
EX
$    31.70
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
M
ROE
$    30.99
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
$    30.35
Entreat the Angels
M
AVR
$    29.90
Dark Depths
R
CSP
$    29.79
Dark Confidant
R
RAV
$    28.27
Twilight Mire
R
EVE
$    28.23
Bitterblossom
R
MOR
$    25.83
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
M
KTK
$    25.27
Intuition
R
TE
$    25.24
Underground Sea
R
ME2
$    25.12

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $ 26,550. That’s pretty much where we were last week. Next week we will be adding Khans to the card pool.
 

Weekly Highlights:

I managed to get into two Prerelease events last weekend. I did not open anything insane, but did manage to sell my Bloodstained Mire for almost enough to pay for the event. (Now the buy price on a Mire won’t pay for a pack, so I’m happy I sold fast.) I did not experience any MTGO bugs, aside from misclicking through my turn three one game. It did cost me the match, but I cannot blame MTGO for that.  My crappy rural Internet provider was to blame. A speed test showed that I was speeding along at 0.11Mbps download – that’s really 0.11Mbps, or 110kbps. In other words, one fifteenth of the speed they promised. And the ping times were abysmal.  That resulted in a lot of click lag – and not just on MTGO. Games like Guild Wars II were also unplayable. Actually, at speeds like that, about the only playable games are things like Farmville. 
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 
HammyBot Still Running: 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 over 24,000 cards left in the collection. Those cards are being sold at 10% below retail price. Erik died three years ago, so HammyBot does not include any standard legal sets, but it includes a ton of Masters Edition and Vintage cards, and some nice Modern bargains. 
 

 

10 Comments

I just bought a playset of by Wikki at Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:36
Wikki's picture
5

I just bought a playset of the shock lands now that they are pretty low. Once khans is about to rotate, i'll grab the fetch lands i don't already have.

Do you think they will reprint the zenidkar fetch's in the next expansion? Or maybe modern masters 2?

Good article by Sensei at Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:38
Sensei's picture

Good article

Minor correction: Voltaic Key by Cownose at Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:39
Cownose's picture

Minor correction: Voltaic Key is no longer restricted, but most decks (other than Tezzerator variants) only play 1 anyway.

Pardee Modern Deck by benne433 at Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:46
benne433's picture

In the video Pardee posted on YouTube, he played zero decks that want to interact with their opponent, twice vs Affinity, Loam Assult, and Hexproof. Yes it is important to note that the deck can go off turn two/three, but Goryo's Vengeance can win turn two without interaction, storm can win turn three without interaction. I think over time people learn how to play against the deck, people figure out what to IOK and Thoughtseize from hands and hold counters at the right time and the deck will fall to be just like storm, only the best pilots with the deck will do well, ie Finkel with storm.

I think you have Mutavault in by ScionOfJustice at Fri, 10/10/2014 - 16:43
ScionOfJustice's picture

I think you have Mutavault in the wrong block.

I think you're right about by KaraZorEl at Sat, 10/11/2014 - 13:21
KaraZorEl's picture

I think you're right about the price of the Khans fetches. If you don't have them, they're useful. If you want a good long-term investment, it's good to hoard them (paper or digital). There is literally zero downside.

Timeline for Changeling by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 10/11/2014 - 16:36
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Pete, can you add to the timeline "Changelings working on V4", which has been promised by Alison three months ago here?

Leagues coming by Zaraphel at Sun, 10/12/2014 - 12:08
Zaraphel's picture

The best thing about the league announcement in my book is that they will try to match you against people at the same point in the league.... no more trying to get your games in right away in order to avoid playing the 10-0 decks that are grinding breakers.

The Legacy "Sultai Landlock" by TheKidsArentAlright at Sun, 10/12/2014 - 16:55
TheKidsArentAlright's picture

The Legacy "Sultai Landlock" deck is, if memory serves, actual Team America. The name is from the movie Team America: World Police and is a reference to all of the land destruction in the deck. It was never terribly popular and eventually the moniker extended to all BUG decks for a time, but this is where it originated.

Leagues by Hearts at Mon, 10/13/2014 - 10:40
Hearts's picture

Do you think WotC will start Leagues on mtgo before 2015 Pete ?