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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Oct 26 2018 1:00pm
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State of the Program for October 26th 2018
 
In the News
Update to MTGO Yields: Wizards has given us a better interface for handling yields.  Madison Mosley’s article on the update is here. Nice to see Wizards improving the interface.
 
I Get a Vacation: I will be on vacation next week – much of it in the desert and some on rivers. I won’t have my computer with me, so I won’t have a State of the Program for Nov. 2nd. SotP will be back in two weeks.
 
Magic Trivia: If you want to challenge yourself, take Mark Rosewater’s Magic Trivia Quiz. I got 17 out of 30. I did best on the questions about old sets – stuff from late last century.  
 
Magic in the ComicsIDW Publishing, a large independent comic book producer (independent meaning not Marvel or DC) is bring out Magic based comics. The solicitations (meaning preorder notification) for the January Issue 3 of the Chandra comic is out. The cover features Tibalt standing over a downed Chandra. The info says that the issue will tie into the Ravnica Allegiances set. Interesting. Hopefully this means Tibalt is getting a boost, but if not –it’s a comic book cover. Cover art often features the villain beating the hero. The story itself may be a bit different. 
 
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 MTGO.com. Not listed, but important: Wizards offers either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.
 

Upcoming Events
Dates
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
Dominaria Redemption Ends
October 10, 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.
·       Oct. 27–28: Grand Prix Lille
·       Nov. 3–4: Grand Prix Atlanta
·       Nov. 9–11: Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica in Atlanta
·       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:
·       Triple Innistrad – starting October 31st.
·       Cube Spotlight (details later) – starting November 7th
·       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

 
Opinion Section: No Rant this Week?
I have done some serious ranting this week, but not about Magic. I could rant about a couple companies that have done stupid things and got themselves into jams that I will have to help them fix. One or two are just instances of acting without thinking. Open question as to whether their stupidity will kill their companies. The market is pretty ruthless – it imposes capital punishment on a lot of companies every year. I may or may not be able to get the companies a reprieve.
 
In some other cases, an incompetent consultant gave the companies really bad advice. I wish I could go slap those consultants, but that’s not really an option. I’m just amazed that anyone can get paid for advice that bad. And now I have to clean it up.
 
Worst of all, I’m doing this instead of playing Magic. Sigh. 
 
Cutting Edge Tech
Standard: Standard continues to evolve, but one deck – GB midrange – is holding the top spot. However, other decks exist. Here’s one that took second at the SCG Classic in Dallas. Remember when red decks ruled Standard? It may be happening again.
 

Modern: Another SCG Classic. Another winner playing a really common archetype (Humans.) Another red second place deck. You can guess where this is going. 

 
Modern, Take II: I love the deck that won last weekend’s Modern Challenge. Eldritch Evolution decks are full of big fat creatures, and I’m part Timmy.
 
 
Legacy: No Leovold decks this week. Just a UW Control deck with Back to Basics.
 
 
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. In this case, I’m hooked by the Assassin’s Trophies.
 
 
 
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 mixed again this as the new metagame evolves. A few flukes have appeared. The Immortal Sun and Arclight Phoenix are showing up on streams. The metagame swings are driving a lot of volatility.
 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Arclight Phoenix
$11.75
$6.63
$5.12
77%
Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
$8.26
$8.19
$0.07
1%
Assassin's Trophy
$8.76
$9.42
($0.66)
-7%
Carnage Tyrant
$24.35
$17.21
$7.14
41%
Doom Whisperer
$13.33
$14.92
($1.59)
-11%
History of Benalia
$14.02
$11.89
$2.13
18%
Jadelight Ranger
$9.70
$10.89
($1.19)
-11%
Karn, Scion of Urza
$13.61
$15.31
($1.70)
-11%
Lyra Dawnbringer
$7.64
$12.06
($4.42)
-37%
Nexus of Fate
$7.98
$9.03
($1.05)
-12%
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
$13.41
$17.07
($3.66)
-21%
Rekindling Phoenix
$29.28
$28.03
$1.25
4%
Resplendent Angel
$7.71
$8.36
($0.65)
-8%
Sarkhan, Fireblood
$8.61
$6.88
$1.73
25%
Search for Azcanta
$5.03
$7.54
($2.51)
-33%
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
$32.15
$41.63
($9.48)
-23%
The Immortal Sun
$9.45
$3.08
$6.37
207%
Vivien Reid
$24.39
$24.04
$0.35
1%
Vraska, Golgari Queen
$7.49
$10.24
($2.75)
-27%
Vraska's Contempt
$6.16
$8.31
($2.15)
-26%

Modern staples: Modern prices are leveling off this week. Modern is still a really popular format, and you cannot play it on Arena. 
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$10.07
$10.66
($0.59)
-6%
$19.41
$19.36
$0.05
0%
$12.93
$15.02
($2.09)
-14%
$13.43
$12.93
$0.50
4%
$12.52
$14.07
($1.55)
-11%
$24.31
$22.81
$1.50
7%
$24.22
$23.14
$1.08
5%
$38.41
$35.97
$2.44
7%
$41.70
$44.75
($3.05)
-7%
$20.60
$17.98
$2.62
15%
$10.94
$10.30
$0.64
6%
$17.00
$15.08
$1.92
13%
$34.84
$38.45
($3.61)
-9%
$27.94
$29.97
($2.03)
-7%
$37.20
$33.73
$3.47
10%
$18.24
$19.08
($0.84)
-4%
$17.53
$18.40
($0.87)
-5%
$30.77
$28.62
$2.15
8%
$17.04
$18.17
($1.13)
-6%

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are still sliding, but not a lot. 
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$25.77
$32.08
($6.31)
-20%
$14.85
$18.67
($3.82)
-20%
$19.00
$18.95
$0.05
0%
$8.43
$9.76
($1.33)
-14%
$14.12
$14.82
($0.70)
-5%
$19.80
$20.85
($1.05)
-5%
$27.15
$27.15
$0.00
0%
$9.63
$12.10
($2.47)
-20%
$50.66
$54.50
($3.84)
-7%
$7.97
$7.22
$0.75
10%
$11.05
$13.54
($2.49)
-18%
$13.05
$14.98
($1.93)
-13%

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
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Core Set 2019
$148.47
$153.35
($4.88)
-3%
Dominaria
$103.42
$120.12
($16.70)
-14%
Guilds of Ravnica
$110.51
$104.46
$6.05
6%
Ixalan
$98.96
$97.95
$1.01
1%
Rivals of Ixalan
$85.43
$81.75
$3.68
5%
Treasure Chest
$2.32
$2.32
$0.00
0%
Guilds of Ravnica Booster
$3.28
$3.28
$0.00
0%

 
 
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 pretty stable again this week. And a Black Lotus is way over $100, with Mox Sapphire a step behind. 

Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Black Lotus
 1E
Rare
 $ 138.85
Mox Sapphire
 1E
Rare
 $    85.15
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $    62.62
Horizon Canopy
 IMA
Rare
 $    58.21
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $    58.05
Mox Ruby
 1E
Rare
 $    56.29
Ancestral Recall
 1E
Rare
 $    56.29
Mox Emerald
 1E
Rare
 $    55.88
Horizon Canopy
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $    55.32
Mox Jet
 1E
Rare
 $    51.59
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $    51.10
True-Name Nemesis
 C13
Rare
 $    50.66
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 WWK
Mythic Rare
 $    45.53
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 EMA
Mythic Rare
 $    42.28
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
 VMA
Mythic Rare
 $    41.70
Liliana of the Veil
 MM3
Mythic Rare
 $    40.31
Time Walk
 1E
Rare
 $    40.17
Horizon Canopy
 FUT
Rare
 $    38.41
Unmask
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $    37.92
Mox Pearl
 1E
Rare
 $    37.59
Mox Opal
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $    37.49
Mox Opal
 SOM
Mythic Rare
 $    37.46
Mox Opal
 MS2
Bonus
 $    37.20
City of Traitors
 EX
Rare
 $    36.39
Dark Depths
 V16
Mythic Rare
 $    35.03
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $    34.84
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
 DAR
Mythic Rare
 $    32.15
Surgical Extraction
 NPH
Rare
 $    31.22
Surgical Extraction
 MM2
Rare
 $    30.77
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $    29.29
Rekindling Phoenix
 RIX
Mythic Rare
 $    29.28
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $    27.94
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $    27.63
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $    27.15
Back to Basics
 UZ
Rare
 $    25.77
Ensnaring Bridge
 A25
Mythic Rare
 $    25.43
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $    25.23
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $    25.15
Ensnaring Bridge
 MS2
Bonus
 $    25.11

 
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 $ 14,325. That’s down another thousand from last week.     
 
In Closing
Vacations are great. The week before vacation is not – lots and lots of work to get ready. Plus a major crisis landing just before I was ready to go. The entirety of my Magic this week was listening to podcasts during my commute – and I was too distracted to pay attention. 
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO
 
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.