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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Sep 30 2011 12:14am
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Hammie’s The State of the Program for September 30th    

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

News and Discussion Items:

Replays are Down: Wizards has disabled replays to deal with an unspecified issue. No ETA on when they might reappear.
 
Innistrad Prerelease: The online Prerelease begins October 13, 2011. Details here: Innistrad Prerelease Events. The events will be 16 player Swiss sealed running four rounds, plus Swiss drafts. The prerelease card is the Mayor of Avabruck, which seems fine. He looks to be borderline constructed playable – and more than borderline if he gets a bit of help.
 
Bannings Will Go into Effect October 12thThe new B&R list will go into effect on October 12th, the date on which Innistrad is added to the build. Apparently that is the first opportunity to change that part of the program, at least according to Wizards.
 
PT Honolulu Online PTQ schedule up now: Check it out here. The format is Innistrad sealed, and they start October 16th. The cost is 30 TIX. Note that the first event happens immediately after the prerelease.
 
Program Improvement: As of the last build, players who are finished with their tournament matches and waiting for the next round to begin will no longer be automatically taken back to the Tournament Info scene every time another match in that tournament finishes..
 
Last MOCS of the Year: the MOCs champs are wrapping up for the year. The Last Chance Qualifier will be October 8th at 11am PDT. The format is sealed, and the cost is 30 TIX. First place goes to Worlds in San Francisco. GL, and I hope to see you there!
 

Editorial Section: Crunching Some Numbers

A while back, the folks on Yawgmoth’s Soap Opera were discussing the number of cards online and in the paper world. The question is, how do they compare? Specifically, how do the numbers of Wastelands on MTGO and in the paper world compare? Let’s work on that.
 
We know the approximate total print run for some of the older sets. The website CrystalKeep.com lists the numbers, or decent estimates, for Alpha through roughly Urza’s block.   Wizards has not released numbers for later sets, but we know they are higher. 
 
Estimating the number of online cards is harder. Batgudz tried, in this thread. I’m not sure about his numbers, but the approximation is not necessarily that far off. The only downside is that we hit 1 billion digital objects a while ago, and the number of players – and hence the number of packs being opened in limited – has been increasing ever since. That said, Batgudz estimates that there are approximately would be about 100k copies of an average uncommon. His method does not take into account the fact that Tempest, and other classic sets, are drafted far less often than the current sets, so 100k is very much an upper limit.
 
Let’s try this another way. I have counted the number of drafts listed at firing at various times. Generally, the Draft screen shows the queues, and the drafts that have started in the last four hours. Counting the most recent set, we find that approximately 500 drafts of that format fire – including 4-3-2-2, Swiss and 8-4s. 500 drafts per day means 12,000 boosters are opened. That equated to 36,000 uncommons per day, for the first few months at least. After the first expansion comes out, then people draft two packs of the main set, and one of the expansion. After the third set comes out, only 8 packs of the original set are busted per draft. Finally, once a new summer set comes out, and for the remaining 15 months that the set is in the queues, the numbers fall to at most ten percent of the number firing before the new set arrived.
 
Put another way:
 
October – Scars of Mirrodin arrives. Drafters open 12,000 boosters per day.
February – Mirrodin Besieged arrives, so drafters open 8,000 Scars, 4,000 Beseiged packs per day.
May -  New Phyrexia arrives, and drafted open 4k boosters of each set  per day.
Late July – M12 arrives. Now drafted are opening maybe 1,200 boosters of Scars per day, and probably considerably less.
 
Three months at 12k, plus 3 months at 8k,, plus 3 months at 4k, plus 15 months at 1,200 is a total of about 80,000 packs opened by drafters.
 
IN addition to drafts, Wizards runs Dailies, PEs and Sealed Swiss events. Right now, Wizards is scheduling 40-45 M12 sealed events per week.   Let’s assume that they keep about that amount, meaning roughly 45 events featuring the most recent set per week. Events average 50 players, and maybe a bit more. Let’s call it 50 events with 60 players each, to cover DEs, PEs and Swiss. That means about 18,000 packs per month for sealed events.   Once again, for the first three months, those are all main set, then 2 main, one first expansion, then 1-1-1, and then the numbers fall a lot for the next 15 months the set is being opened. Still, the sealed events would add about another 135,000 packs to the system. 
 
So far, we have about 215,000 packs in the system because of limited events. All of those events are also producing prize packs. We can assume that the vast majority of the prize packs are used in entering other events, but we do need to account for the packs bought and opened. (Yes, cracking packs happens, at least by dealers.) Cracking packs, plus special events like the occasional sealed MOCS event and prereleases, are going to add more packs. I am going to make a WAG, and say that the total number of packs in the system is 250,000. 
 
250,000 packs equates to 750,000 total uncommons. Since Scars had 60 uncommons, that means there are about 12,500 copies of each individual Scars uncommon online. Put another way, there are just over three thousand playsets of each Scars uncommon in the system.
 
Calculating numbers for Tempest is harder. As a Classic set, it was drafted much less frequently. The release event numbers were also comparatively small, and Wizards never scheduled 40+ Tempest block sealed events in a single week (not even in release weeks, as I recall.)   I don’t have the data on firing frequency, but I would be very surprised if the number of Tempest block events was even a tenth of the number of main set events in any given time period. If we are generous, and say that the number of Tempest limited events was a third of the number of Alara block events run in the same period, then we get an estimate of about 1,000 playsets of Wasteland online. 
 
So, how does that compare with  the paper world?         
 
The number of paper Wastelands is easier. According to Crystal Keep, the total number of Tempest cards printed was about 400 million. That is the equivalent of about 25.8 million boosters after adjusting for lands. 25.9 million boosters would contain 77.4 million uncommons. Since there were 110 uncommons in Tempest, and Wasteland was an uncommon, there were approximately 700,000 copies of Wasteland printed in Tempest. More were printed for as judge foils, but the number is insignificant compared to the original print run.  
 
The result:
 
Online Wastelands: about 4,000 in the system.
Paper Wastelands: 700,000 printed, not including judge foils.
 

Tournaments:

Thursday Night Magic for the upcoming week (October 6th):  Scars Block Draft. This is the last chance to play in a Scars draft that will fire when expected. The TNMO card for October is – surprise! – not yet announced.
 
Let’s look at the Constructed Tournaments breakdown for the week of September 21st through September 27th.   125 constructed events fired. Let’s look at how they broke down.  Legacy numbers are still way down.
 
Format
Fired
Format
Fired
Standard
48
Standard Singleton
0
Pauper
33
Kaleidoscope
0
Momir Basic
32
100–card Singleton
0
Modern
9
Classic
1
Legacy
2
Extended
0
Scars Block Constructed
0
-
-
 
FYI: I got the number fired from the list of results, here.  
 
Cutting Edge Tech:
 
Standard:  The new standard will be played, seriously, at an SCG open next week.  Nothing this week. However, I will get a chance to play at 2011 States, so I have started brewing, at least in my head, during the drive home. I have a mono-green Birthing Pod deck that looks like it could be fun to play, which is my main goal. I have done no serious playtesting as yet – since several of the cards are not yet online. I have tried playing an MTGO-friendly version against the current metagame, and the deck is winning about 2 in 3matches in the tournament practice room, but the sample size is small.
 
The deck likes to start with Forest, Elf, followed by Forest, Birthing Pod of turn two and Forest, Viridian Emissary, sac Emissary to Birthing Pod for a Forest and a 4/4 Dungrove Elder on turn three.
 
Here’s the deck at the moment – and it is subject to a lot of change.
 
21-22 Forests
1 Mountain
1-2 Kessig Wolf Run   
 
6 Birds of Paradise / Llanowar Elves
4 Dungrove Elder
4 (Viridan Emissary)
2 Solemn Simulacrum
2 Thrun, the Last Troll
2-3 (Acidic Slim)
2-3 Primeval Titan
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Stingerfling Spider
1 Sylvok Replica
1 Wurmcoil Engine
 
3 Birthing Pod
2 Beast Within
2 Garruk, Primal Hunter
 
Garruk, Primal Hunter plus Dungrove Elder draws a ton of cards.
 
Other cards of note: I am playing around with several Innistrad cards, but since I only have them in paper, but am testing online, I haven’t decided how to meld them in as of yet.  
 
Online, I have had a lot more success with Druidic Satchel than I would have suspected. That could be because I have two Overruns in the online version, so the tokens are useful. Satchel also puts Forests into play, and the Satchel rarely gives me life, since I have very few non-creature, non-land spells. That said, I may well cut it, especially if I open another Garruk. Online, I have Overrun and even one Unnatural Predation to give the Elders trample. With Innistrad, the new Kessel Wolf Run land will do the same thing.  
 
This may not be great, but it should be fun to play.   
 
Modern: The B&R list changes will affect pretty much every deck in the format (except maybe Affinity), but the B&R changes don’t go into effect until October 1st, so the results of this weeks events are pretty much meaningless. Elves won, but it used Green Sun’s Zenith. Not sure how well that deck can do without it.
 
Legacy: Legacy had very little action last week, and a lot of the decks have Mental Misstep. The Top 8 lists from the SCG events once the bannings are in place will be interesting, but that’s in the future. This week, a Storm Tendrils deck won a daily. Here’s the decklist.
 
Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT)
JWestlake (4-0), Legacy Daily #2853464 on 09/23/2011
Creatures
0 cards

Other Spells
1 Ad Nauseam
4 Brainstorm
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Dark Ritual
3 Duress
4 Gitaxian Probe
2 Grim Tutor
1 Ill-Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
3 Orim's Chant
4 Ponder
2 Silence
1 Tendrils of Agony
45 cards
Lands
2 Flooded Strand
1 Island
2 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Scrubland
1 Swamp
1 Tundra
2 Underground Sea
15 cards

Ad Nauseam

 

 

Classic fired one DE this week. Another fish deck took this one down.
 
Dark Fsh
Osric250 (4-0), Classic Daily #2853430 on 09/23/2011
Creatures
1 Birds of Paradise
4 Dark Confidant
2 Gaddock Teeg
1 Kataki, War's Wage
4 Knight of the Reliquary
3 Leonin Relic-Warder
2 Qasali Pridemage
2 Scavenging Ooze
1 Tarmogoyf
3 Tidehollow Sculler
1 Yixlid Jailer
24 cards

Other Spells
4 AEther Vial
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Edict
4 Lotus Petal
2 Path to Exile
1 Vampiric Tutor
14 cards
Lands
2 Bayou
1 Forest
1 Karakas
2 Marsh Flats
1 Maze of Ith
1 Plains
2 Savannah
2 Scrubland
1 Strip Mine
1 Swamp
2 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
2 Windswept Heath
22 cards

Knight of the Reliquary

 

 

 

Card Prices:  

Note: for cards that are available in multiple sets, I am generally 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. 
 
Standard prices are in flux. Zendikar block is on its way out, so those prices are on the way down, at least for cards that have no home in Extended and Modern. Prices for M12 and Scars block are moving – in all directions.  
 
Standard & Block Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 10.50
Y
$ 11.50
- $ 1.00
$ 15.50
N
$ 14.75
+ $ 0.75
(Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas)
$ 17.95
Y
$ 17.00
+ $ 0.95
$ 4.75
Y
$ 3.75
+ $ 1.00
$ 6.25
Y
$ 7.50
- $ 1.25
$ 9.95
Y
$ 12.25
- $ 2.30
$ 11.95
N
$ 10.95
+ $ 1.00
$ 19.75
N
$ 18.50
+ $ 1.25
(Sword of Feast and Famine)
$ 19.50
Y
$ 16.95
+ $ 2.55
$ 12.75
Y
$ 12.50
+ $ 0.25
$ 7.50
N
$ 7.25
+ $ 0.25
$ 10.00
Y
$ 10.00
---
$ 13.75
N
$ 13.75
---
(Sword of War and Peace)
$ 20.50
N
$ 18.75
+ $ 1.75
$ 10.25
Y
$ 10.50
- $ 0.25
$ 7.95
Y
$ 8.25
- $ 0.30
 $ 13.50
Y
 $ 14.00
- $ 0.50
$ 4.25
Y
$ 4.50
- $ 0.25
$ 2.00
N
$ 1.75
+ $ 0.25
Modern prices are generally down. The bans may save the format, but not until next week. For now, prices are slightly down. 
 
Modern Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 15.00
Y
$ 16.50
- $ 1.50
$ 6.75
Y
$ 6.25
+ $ 0.50
$ 17.00
Y
$ 17.50
- $ 0.50
$ 10.00
Y
$ 10.50
- $ 0.50
$ 9.00
Y
$ 12.00
- $ 3.00
$ 8.75
Y
$ 9.00
- $ 0.25
$ 10.00
Y
$ 10.50
- $ 0.50
(Knight of the Reliquary)
$ 7.25
Y
$ 7.50
- $ 0.25
$ 78.00
Y
$ 76.00
+ $ 2.00
(Engineered Explosives)
$ 16.00
Y
$ 16.00
---
$ 5.75
Y
$ 5.75
---
$ 15.00
Y
$ 16.00
- $ 1.00
$ 18.00
Y
$ 17.50
+ $ 0.50
$ 12.00
Y
$ 11.50
+ $ 0.50
$ 17.00
Y
$ 17.00
---
Legacy prices have stabilized.  Big Jace is back up this week, but the format, overall, is waiting to see what develops. In the near future, once we have a few events to scrutinize, we should see price changes. 
 
Legacy Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 112.00
Y
$ 110.00
+ $ 2.00
$ 49.00
Y
$ 49.00
---
$ 74.10
Y
$ 74.10
---
$ 28.00
Y
$ 28.00
---
$ 34.50
Y
$ 33.00
+ $ 1.50
$ 2.25
Y
$ 2.00
+ $ 0.25
$12.50
Y
$12.75
- $ 0.25
$ 18.00
Y
$ 18.00
---
$ 17.50
Y
$ 17.50
---
$ 65.00
Y
$ 65.00
---
$ 41.80
Y
$ 41.80
---
$ 5.50
Y
$ 5.50
---
$ 8.00
Y
$ 8.75
- $ 0.75
$ 14.50
Y
$ 14.50
---
$ 11.95
Y
$ 11.95
---
$ 5.50
Y
$ 5.50
---
 
 
 
 
 
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 not moving. The format is on hold, like the rest of the Magic world, while we wait for Innistrad. Still no word on when or how we may get Masques block. 
 
Classic Cards
Price
In Stock?
Last Week
Change
$ 94.00
Y
$ 94.00
---
$ 21.00
Y
$ 21.00
---
$ 16.00
Y
$ 16.00
---
$ 12.00
Y
$ 12.00
---
$ 14.50
Y
$ 14.50
---
$ 9.50
Y
$ 9.50
---
$ 28.00
Y
$ 28.00
---
$ 42.00
Y
$ 42.00
---
$ 42.00
Y
$ 42.00
---
$ 11.00
Y
$ 10.50
+ $ 0.50
$ 22.00
Y
$ 22.00
---

The Top Ten:

Here’s this week’s list of the top ten most expensive non-foil, non-promo cards on MTGO. One minor change in the rankings, as Pernicious Deed drops a bit.
 
Most Expensive Cards
Price
Set
Last Week
$ 108.00
MED 1
# 1
$ 94.00
Mirage
# 2
$ 76.00
Future Sight
# 3
$ 74.10
Apocalypse
# 4
$ 65.00
Visions
# 5
$ 49.00
Tempest
# 6
$ 42.00
Odyssey
# 8
$ 42.00
Weatherlight
# 9
$ 41.80
Apocalypse
# 9
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
$ 34.50
Dissension
# 10

Deck Prices:

I am not going to price any decks this week. I’ll start that again a week after the Innistrad release events are ongoing, at the point we have some real idea what cards may be worth. 
 

Weekly Highlights:

I’ve got piles of paper Innistrad cards, and I’m building decks. I’m waiting impatiently for these to appear online. In the meantime, I have too much work to do.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO.

26 Comments

One thing to keep in mind by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:34
Paul Leicht's picture

One thing to keep in mind about sets like Tempest...while they haven't been as popular to draft during their seasonal on times they have been drafted over YEARS. Those initial drafts were fairly high and the repeated seasons have seen more. Wastelands also was not a super hot commodity (ten tix I think it was in 2009?) until someone hoarded a good majority of them in expectations of speculation. I am not saying they aren't scarce now but I think that scarcity is at least somewhat artificially controlled.

wasteland simply is not a 50 by Clan Magic Eternal at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 01:07
Clan Magic Eternal's picture

wasteland simply is not a 50 dollar card online. I havent checked in a while but even though it is a 4 of in legacy and classic the card is just not actually worth the price. it is based off the price of paper cards. another example of this is Oath of druids vs Mana Drain. Oath is 12.50 and mana drain is 16.00. both are in stock, the difference is that Oath of druids is an automatic 4 of in one of THE top classic decks, and mana drain is sporadically used. The demand is much higer for Oath of druids and I would be willing to bet there are less of a particulat Exodus rare online then a particular Med 3 rare. So why the price hike on mana drain over oath? Oath is a 10 dollar card in paper and Drain is a hundred dollar card. By the laws of supply and demand, Oath should be higher then Drain, yet it is 3.5 cheaper per card. Wastelands real price should be in the 30's not the high 40's.

Just my opinion i guess.

George/whiffy

Oath vs Drain not a good comparison by dangerlinto at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 07:40
dangerlinto's picture

Oath may be used more in competitive classic events as part of Oath.dec, but Mana Drain can be used in a wide variety of blue-based decks (including Oath) which makes it a far more useful card for your collection. Also I suppose Mana Drain has much more casual appeal - you can put 4x Drain into whatever blue deck you like, but with Oath you are simply playing Oath.dec or not at all.

PS - I agree entirely about wasteland by dangerlinto at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 13:19
dangerlinto's picture

A lot of it's price is simply price-hype

can't compare paper with code by marzial at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 02:14
marzial's picture
5

For obvious reasons, WOTC is not going to reveal how many digital cards they have ever produced. In any case, sometimes we can't compare paper cards with digital cards. Imagine every time a physical magic player/user going to a a shop/event, was carrying absolutely all the paper cards he owns in eternal ultra-mint condition, all of them perfectly classified and ready to be trade/buy/sell in seconds.

btw, great as always. Thanks for the effort.

I agree Whiffy, Wasteland is by char49d at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 04:01
char49d's picture

I agree Whiffy, Wasteland is actually being propped up by hoarding. I wish WOTC would implement a real trading system so that bots didn't run the entire economy to such a ridiculous degree, but I could go on about the issues of MTGO all day.

I don't know why they don't bother to reprint more cards that can't be redeemed since it is like printing money, but many decisions of theirs baffle me.

You can actually tell which cards are being hoarded easily by how far their prices drop when they are drafted. When ME was draftable, duals plummeted in value. Whenever Tempest is draftable, Wasteland loses a huge amount of its value, and it sells for around 20-30, about half of the current value.

Bots are always going to make money on cards worth less than a ticket, since players rarely want to deal with fractional value. Because of the absolutely indefensible interface and lack of an auction system, cards are regularly sold to bots at well below their value.

Just as a hypothetical, lets say bots are selling wasteland at 50 and buying at 45. If I want to sell a wasteland, am I really going to try to sell the Wasteland for 3 weeks hoping someone sees my confidential to make between 1-4 tickets?

This particular issue effects most out of print, rare cards.

Seriously, a functioning by Cownose at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 12:13
Cownose's picture

Seriously, a functioning in-game automated trade system (even as simple as an auction house) would greatly reduce the price of cards and would encourage people to get into more formats and play more events. Even everquest 1 had this functionality...and it came out like 15 years ago!

Having to go to an often-shady a 3rd party (bot maker) to get basic functionality in the program is one reason this is still such a niche product when Magic in general is doing very well.

I'll join in... by KaraZorEl at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 14:28
KaraZorEl's picture
5

The only benefit I can see to the private dealer/bot system is that WotC is able to invest fewer working hours to maintain the system. It's true that you can get non-staple rares from Kamigawa (for example) for really cheap and build yourself a casual deck but if you are interested in playing tournaments, the price tag goes up. WotC does not get this money- the dealer does. Even in standard, there is speculation on mythic rares so that Xathrid Demon (a very niche card indeed) is more than Melira, Sylvok Outcast (a combo piece of a Modern deck). I for one do not believe the demand for Xathrid Demon outweighs the demand for Melira. Xathrid Demon goes as low as 0.50 in paper. Even Hellcarver Demon- the one mythic that never saw any play whatever- is at 1.15.

Speculation is bad for the game as it erects a barrier for new players wanting to win right away. Force of Will is the biggest- and most obvious- offender, despite only being viable in two formats, Legacy and Classic. It's even been shown that you don't need Force to win in Legacy, so the only two things that can explain its exorbitant price are player speculation and bias towards blue.

I think the problem with by gamemaster32 at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:28
gamemaster32's picture

I think the problem with standard mythics, such as the demons you mention, is more related to the 'mythic bottleneck' redemption problems than speculation.

Also, fun fact: someone did try to make a through the breach type of deck with hellcarver demon. cheat him into play and then hope for more fatties off the top. It didn't do well, and no one tried to evolve the deck (likely because it is a risky and flawed concept), but it did see some kind of play.

Wastelands are funny by Alternate at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:24
Alternate's picture
4

Ok, when I came back to Magic, I didn't know about Cape Fear games. So I was actually looking at the prices on your state of the program and saw that Wasteland was valuable and it was uncommon. So I went through the gym bag in my basement and found almost 20. I played a ton of Tempest and I played the pre-release at Neutral Ground.

For those who don't know, Neutral Ground was the biggest "card store" in the country. They would have pre-releases that had hundreds of people at once. This place was the mecca of Magic until it got priced out of the area and is now condos. But this place was the place with the Beta Black Lotus's and all the top cards in the glass case which was as big as most stores. Compared to today, pre-releases in NY have like 8-10 people at really small creepy card stores.

What people forget about cards from sets like Tempest and other sets like that is that there are less of the cards in paper than you think.
I have cards, and other people have the same, in boxers or storage. Back in the day we used to throw out cards like Wasteland.

I don't think there is a way of really calculating the number of any paper card. I mean I haven't looked, but I have boxes and boxes filled with thousands of cards. I even might have another massive amount of Wastelands sitting somewhere.

And you know this because I sold a ton of cards from Tempest, Invasion, etc., to Cape Fear games to turn them into MTGO. I still haven't gone through most of my stuff that starts from 10-11 years ago and goes down from there.

I am also taking bids for my Beta cards. I remember when Beta dual lands were $30 at neutral ground, and I have a ton of them, and I also have the Mox's, Lotus, and even unopened packs. I might also have Force of Will, etc., but I just don't feel like looking through my stuff or going to the storage place.

I am not bragging. I'm just saying that calculating paper cards is impossible. There are a ton of people that have the same stuff just piled away or just thrown away.

I did a lot of great trading by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 16:17
Paul Leicht's picture

I did a lot of great trading at NG in the day. Most of my beta set came from other players there. I miss NG NY a lot.

Well Neutral Ground was by Alternate at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 16:38
Alternate's picture

Well Neutral Ground was priced out of the market. It just became too expensive, and they are now in an area that is considered "hip", so the rent was just too much and now it's gone.

I don't even think they tried to re-open since there are really no card stores in the city anymore. The biggest might now be all the way in Queens.

Actually Alex Shvartsman's by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 17:42
Paul Leicht's picture

Actually Alex Shvartsman's store (Kings Games) in Brooklyn is doing well. I keep meaning to visit but I am a procrastinator.

Yeah by apaulogy at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 20:12
apaulogy's picture

I thought it was weird that there were no shops on Manhattan when I visited last time. I never got to Brooklyn, but I did hear of one there...

BTW Paul, sorry about the chat yesterday. The "old friend" conversation ended up going on for hours...

Packs Opened Calculation by mattlewis at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 16:59
mattlewis's picture

I think you calculated packs opened in draft per day and in sealed events per month. Drafters would have opened about 2.4 million packs if you multiply your 80,000 per day by 30 days.

Yeah, you're right. Which by Umii at Sat, 10/01/2011 - 03:36
Umii's picture

Yeah, you're right. Which makes a lot more sense since there are obviously more than a few thousands playsets of Scars Uncommons out there.

A run of the numbers by xger at Sun, 10/02/2011 - 15:42
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Taking a look at the draft room, 76 events fired in the last 2.5 hours for M12. Starting time of 10:53 to starting time of 1:25. That equates to ~730 drafts a day, but given its Sunday, it is probably somewhat inflated. However it is also a core set (less overall value) and Innistard is a few weeks away, so an estimate of 700 seems fair enough. 3 months, 91.5 days (on average)is 64050 drafts, or 192150 packs. A the big set has 5 months at 3 of, 3 at 2 of and 2 at 1 of, so 320250, 128100, 42700 for a total of 491050 packs of the big set roughly from release to arrival of the summer set. The remaining 15 months lead to 70*30.5*15=32025 packs. Taking the estimate of 135,000 from sealed we have:

491050+32025+135000=658075, meaning 1.974 million uncommons, or ~330,000 of each, 82,500 playsets

wizards do not miss any by seydaneen at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 17:20
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wizards do not miss any opportunity to shut replays down.

I take the opposite view by blandestk at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 17:26
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Everyone complains about the prices of cards, but I absolutely love that some cards are expensive. Even if that means I can't play a deck I'd like because I don't have the cards.

Why?

Because I spend a lot of money on this game and it helps mitigate the obsession by the fact that I have a digital bit of 0s and 1s that's worth over $100. Otherwise, I'm just wasting all my money.

If the system changed and all the prices came down, everyone in this discussion would go nuts about how much money they've lost. To me it adds a huge awesome dimension that cards are valuable.

Uhh, we are complaining about by char49d at Sat, 10/01/2011 - 01:50
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Uhh, we are complaining about artificial scarcity. A card like Force of Will is actually rare enough to demand the price tag, at least online, due to the fact that all of the ME print runs are as rare (should have been uncommon, thanks Wizards!).

I know it isn't being artificially inflated because when ME events run, FOW aren't instantly being sold for 60 tickets, they retain their value. I am sure bots are changing more on FOW than they buy it for, but it isn't being driven up in price like Wasteland or certain other staples, namely duals.

When wasteland is draftable, because it is just an uncommon, it suddenly, magically, a 35 dollar card. Two weeks after the drafts it is usually at 45 or 50 again. When ME drafts were going on, Underground Sea was trading for just above half of what it is at now.

This might have to do with the SCG writer who bought 10k in duals and is pushing up the price, he was very open about it. I'm hoping Wizards reprints more duals to discourage his market manipulation, but they probably won't, and if he is successful it will only encourage more of this in the future. I wouldn't mind a full blown Silver Thursday (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Thursday) because this type of speculation adds nothing to the MTGO community except raise prices and potentially make a few people money.

Price Inflation by Dreager_Ex at Sat, 10/01/2011 - 15:44
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Like the person above me mentioned, I just don't get why Wizards doesn't reprint some of the top dollar cards to make them at least similar to what they are in paper.

I saw somewhere that Wizards Trademarked Cube for something MTGO related, so my hope is they take a lot of money cards, put them into "Cube packs" and allow the players to draft the packs. It'd be just like your normal cube except it will be WotC's cube. If they did something like this, I would honestly draft that set as much as I could. Again like that person above said, they can print money...

I think, and this is just for by GainsBanding at Sun, 10/02/2011 - 00:08
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I think, and this is just for the sake of argument, that they don't reprint expensive cards because they want some of the cards to be expensive. This makes the game appeal to collectors and gives players a sense of accomplishment or excitement when they finally get that 4x money card set, or get a good deal on a money card, or crack one in a pack (paper only, don't open your mtgo packs!). I think that is what they are after with the game and something they want to maintain.

Plus it could be argued that if they reprinted Wasteland into oblivion, some other card would become the hard to get hoarded money card.

Plus it could be argued that they already do "print money" by having Tempest or Masters drafts a couple times a year and that if those money cards weren't highly sought after, those drafts wouldn't be successful.

Again, just being devil's advocate from what I've pieced together when I've read their comments on the secondary market.

One model wotc could adopt is by protocol_7 at Sun, 10/02/2011 - 22:35
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One model wotc could adopt is to follow the guys at White Wolf. They used to print chase rares in precons and sell them cheap. It stabilized the price overall and the publishers still saw the money from it. My speculation is that big game distributors would be against this since it cuts their profit.

You mean like the Stoneforge by Paul Leicht at Mon, 10/03/2011 - 18:00
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You mean like the Stoneforge Mystic in the Exiler precon?

When that came out Stoneforge by GainsBanding at Mon, 10/03/2011 - 19:59
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When that came out Stoneforge was like a $2 card. That precon was suspiciously missing Mother of Runes though, which was like $10 at the time.

Sorry the precon I am by Paul Leicht at Tue, 10/04/2011 - 00:57
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Sorry the precon I am thinking of came out after that, right after the ban announcement which was not planned to coincide with its release. (The ban was an emergency declaration.)