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By: xger, Xger
Sep 09 2016 2:00pm
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State of the Program for September 9, 2016

Magic News

SotP News: Pete is taking a bit of well-earned break. So, this week I am stepping in. My SotP bent will be more towards the financial aspects and the story of Kaladesh, while lighter on the decks and the opinion section. Hope you enjoy!

World Championship: Brian Braun-Duin faced off against Marcio Carvalho in the finals, the battle being between Bant Company and Bant Humans. Surprisingly, the Bant deck won! Err, Brian Braun-Duin won, and congratulations to him!

Draft Leagues Begin: Draft leagues started this week, so some of you are likely already playing in them! Of course, like every decision Wizards makes, some number of players complained. The discussion last week in the comments of the State of the Program mirror some of those complaints. Essentially, we lose the in-pod pairings to gain the league perks. Lee Sharpe addressed this by noting there is a trade off--less wait, ability to spread out at the costs of losing swiss in-pod pairings. For now, Wizards views their player data as supporting the switch to leagues, and Wizards claims it will continue to evaluate whether to reinstate the queues.

Change to Draft League Payout: When the draft league came up, the prize breakdown for the 6-2-2-2 was altered slightly, shifting the breakdown to 5 Eldritch Moon packs and 1 Shadows over Innistrad pack for the winner.

Legacy Cube Returns: The Legacy Cube will be back from September 21 to October 7. The Cube swiss option is a league! This means that you might fight someone with the same card or cards as you! I think this may be where Wizards has gone too far with removing swiss queues, since part of the Cube format is that each card is unique. There are a number of changes, mostly adding Shadows over Innistrad block bards such as Archangel Avacyn and Emrakul, the Promised End. Other fun additions include Mirror Entity and Chaos Warp.

Bug Blog Update: There appears to be a new bug related to Fortune's Favor. It is display only--if someone casts a spell or activates an ability in response, the indication of which pile is face down goes away, but it is always the bottom row in the pane.

The Timeline: Similar to Josh last week, I'm largely copying Pete's timeline section.  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 MTGO calendar and the weekly blog. It seems the Known Issues list is now part of the Bug Blog. 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.

Upcoming important dates:

  • Power Nine Challenge: Last Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific. Next one September 24th.
  • Legacy Challenge: Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific. Next one September 10th.
  • No Downtime on these Dates: September 14th, October 12th, November 2nd, 9th and 30th and December 14th.
  • Extended Downtime on September 28, 2016.
  • League End Dates: all current leagues end October 5th.
  • Duel Decks: Mind v. Might -- paper release March 31, 2017.
  • Kaladesh Prerelease: October 7-10, on sale October 10th. Product code KLD.
  • From the Vault Lore: releases online October 10, 2016.
  • Commander 2016: paper release November 2016. No MTGO release, but key cards will be released online within another product.
  • Aether Revolt: January 27, 2017 MTGO pre-release, January 30, 2017 MTGO release.
  • Modern Master 2017: MTGO release March 23, 2017.

Flashback Schedule:
Flashback drafts are 10Tix / 100 Play Points / 2 Tix plus product, not Phantom, single elim and pay out in play points: 200 for first, 100 for second, 50 for third and fourth.

  • Triple Magic 2011: September 7 to September 14
  • Triple Scars of Mirrodin: September 14 to September 21
  • Mirrodin Besieged, 2 Scars of Mirrodin: September 21 to September 28
  • New Phyrexia, Mirrodin Besieged, Scars of Mirrodin: September 28 to October 5
  • Break for Kaladesh Release
  • Triple Innistrad: October 26 to November 2
  • Dark Ascension, 2 Innistrad: November 2 to November 9
  • Triple Magic 2012: November 9 to November 16
  • Triple Avacyn Restored: November 16 to November 23
  • Triple Magic 2013: November 23 to November 30
  • Triple Return to Ravnica: November 30 to December 7
  • Triple Gatecrash: December 7 to December 14
  • Dragon’s Maze, Gatecrash, Return to Ravnica: December 14 to December 21

This week is Magic 2011. The winners are Primeval Titan and Leyline of Sanctity. Overall the set is not a bad value, but not too good either.

Opinion Section:

I am going to play the new Chandra. In standard (which I haven't actively played in since original Mirrodin), in Modern, in EDH, and any format. Chandra is by far my favorite planeswalker, so I am quite excited to see such an excellent version (though disappointed by the insane paper prices).

Kaladesh Story and Chandra, Torch of Awesomeness:

Here, I'll give some general background that shouldn't be worrisome spoilers for those who haven't caught up on the story. 

Background: Kaladesh is likely the most technological plane we've visited in the multi-verse. However, the technology is more art than application. So, on Kaladesh, the technology and invention is wide spread, but not particularly evolved. The technology is powered by Aether, an abundant resource on the plane. Aether is so important, that the entire plane essentially revolves around it, economically, politically, and magically.

Click away for some of the more specifics of the story

Cutting Edge Tech:

As noted above in the opinion section, I haven't played Standard in a while, and have only been lightly involved in Modern. So, my cutting edge may be a bit....off. Luckily, I can get by that by just showing two of the world championship decks!


And here's one of the top Modern decks, Titanshift!

Word Championship Top 4 Titanshift
Oliver Tiu - 75 Cards Total
4 Primeval Titan
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
8 cards

4 Lightning Bolt
2 Summoner's Pact
6 cards
2 Anger of the Gods
4 Explore
2 Farseek
4 Scapeshift
4 Search for Tomorrow
16 cards

3 Khalni Heart Expedition
3 cards
4 Cinder Glade
3 Forest
7 Mountain
2 Stomping Ground
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
3 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
27 cards

1 Anger of the Gods
3 Obstinate Baloth
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Chalice of the Void
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Nature's Claim
2 Sudden Shock
15 cards


Card Prices:

Standard Staples: Standard is in retreat with Kaladesh on the horizon. Even Wizards has attempted Bant Company is tiresome at this point. I feel bad for people holding Nissa, Vastwood Seer...

Standard Cards

Price Last Week Change Percent Change
Archangel Avacyn $14.50 $15.12 ($0.62) -4%
Chandra, Flamecaller $7.98 $7.70 $0.28 4%
Collected Company $9.07 $11.95 ($2.88) -32%
Emrakul, the Promised End $10.75 $8.74 $2.01 19%
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar $16.94 $17.23 ($0.29) -2%
Grim Flayer $11.38 $6.30 $5.08 45%
Ishkanah, Grafwidow $7.46 $6.89 $0.57 8%
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy $14.67 $28.48 ($13.81) -94%
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet $18.10 $20.50 ($2.40) -13%
Kozilek's Return $19.47 $17.05 $2.42 12%
Liliana, the Last Hope $25.92 $33.37 ($7.45) -29%
Nahiri, the Harbinger $10.74 $12.60 ($1.86) -17%
Nissa, Voice of Zendikar $5.82 $5.55 $0.27 5%
Nissa, Vastwood Seer $6.15 $15.56 ($9.41) -153%
Sylvan Advocate $5.33 $5.10 $0.23 4%
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger $6.32 $5.72 $0.60 9%

Modern staples: Modern climbed a bit overall, showing some growth. 

Modern Cards

Price Last Week Change Percent Change
Ancestral Vision $25.55 $27.94 ($2.39) -9%
Auriok Champion $22.25 $23.46 ($1.21) -5%
Batterskull $23.47 $22.11 $1.36 6%
Blood Moon $32.25 $27.40 $4.85 15%
Cavern of Souls $45.63 $41.35 $4.28 9%
Celestial Colonnade $23.71 $25.95 ($2.24) -9%
Crucible of Worlds $18.16 $17.77 $0.39 2%
Ensnaring Bridge $25.36 $24.94 $0.42 2%
Griselbrand $28.00 $30.31 ($2.31) -8%
Grove of the Burnwillows $35.84 $29.04 $6.80 19%
Horizon Canopy $34.57 $28.41 $6.16 18%
Inkmoth Nexus $33.16 $27.48 $5.68 17%
Liliana of the Veil $108.15 $104.18 $3.97 4%
Mox Opal $30.66 $27.75 $2.91 9%
Scalding Tarn $31.83 $26.58 $5.25 16%
Scapeshift $30.12 $29.28 $0.84 3%
Tarmogoyf $48.23 $49.10 ($0.87) -2%
Voice of Resurgence $43.80 $39.49 $4.31 10%

Legacy and Vintage staples: Legacy and Vintage are, again, all over the place. Last time saw similar levels of wild changes.

Vintage and Legacy Cards

Price Last Week Change Percent Change
Ancestral Recall $37.02 $41.42 ($4.40) -12%
Black Lotus $101.49 $115.98 ($14.49) -14%
City of Traitors $26.18 $28.40 ($2.22) -8%
Containment Priest $35.87 $31.65 $4.22 12%
Doomsday $29.17 $28.81 $0.36 1%
Exploration $46.78 $46.67 $0.11 0%
Food Chain $40.84 $37.98 $2.86 7%
Force of Will $22.68 $23.80 ($1.12) -5%
Gaea's Cradle $44.58 $45.05 ($0.47) -1%
Infernal Tutor $43.68 $34.25 $9.43 22%
Misdirection $85.35 $85.02 $0.33 0%
Mox Jet $24.80 $30.87 ($6.07) -24%
Mox Sapphire $54.32 $62.65 ($8.33) -15%
Rishadan Port $240.46 $242.43 ($1.97) -1%
Show and Tell $50.41 $51.32 ($0.91) -2%
Tangle Wire $53.10 $52.25 $0.85 2%
Time Walk $30.47 $35.26 ($4.79) -16%
Wasteland $38.30 $38.11 $0.19 0%

Magic Origins took a hit, likely in anticipation of its rotation and the continuing decline of (Jace, Vyrn's Prodigy).

Complete Set

Price Last Week Change Percent Change
Eldritch Moon $93.26 $87.26 $6.03 6%
Shadows over Innistrad $65.93 $66.26 ($0.43) -1%
Oath of the Gatewatch $104.62 $95.60 $9.02 9%
Battle for Zendikar $62.52 $56.84 $5.68 9%
Magic Origins $62.51 $76.30 ($13.79) -22%
Dragons of Tarkir $53.81 $57.38 ($3.57) -7%

Fun Economic Facts:

Here are some random facts. Keep in mind some of these are actually because of lack of demand and no supply, so don't take them too seriously.

  • Rishadan Port is not the most expensive card on MTGO currently. The promo version of Yawgmoth's WIll is $243.33
  • You can buy a complete set for less than 10 bucks. A full Legions set currently sells for $6.41!
  • The average cost to buy a full set is $81.83. Mercadian Masques is the most expensive at $551.36.
  • The most valuable From the Vaults is Realms
  • The Premium Deck Series have never recovered. Several years ago, based on length of holding the account (I think) you got various handouts. Included in those was the three Premium Deck Series. Slivers and Fire & Lightning both sell, as a deck, for less than 2 bucks!
  • The most valuable uncommon is Wasteland, followed by Submerge.
  • The most valuable common is Gorilla Shaman

The Good Stuff:

Here is a list of every non-foil, non-promo card worth over $25. Rishadan Port, unsurprisingly, stays on top. Black Lotus dropped a fair bit and Liliana of the Veil climbed a bit. Chalice of the Void joined the list.

Name Set Rarity Price
Rishadan Port MM Rare $240.46
Liliana of the Veil ISD Mythic Rare $108.15
Black Lotus VMA Bonus $101.49
Misdirection MM Rare $85.35
Mox Sapphire VMA Bonus $54.32
Tangle Wire NE Rare $53.1
Tarmogoyf MM2 Mythic Rare $52.02
Show and Tell UZ Rare $50.41
Tarmogoyf FUT Rare $49.83
Engineered Explosives 5DN Rare $49.69
Engineered Explosives MMA Rare $49.43
Tarmogoyf MMA Mythic Rare $48.23
Exploration UZ Rare $46.78
Cavern of Souls AVR Rare $45.63
Gaea's Cradle UZ Rare $44.58
Voice of Resurgence DGM Mythic Rare $43.8
Infernal Tutor DIS Rare $43.68
Wasteland TE Uncommon $41.21
Food Chain MM Rare $40.84
Containment Priest C14 Rare $39.15
Wasteland TPR Rare $38.45
Wasteland EMA Rare $38.3
Ancestral Recall VMA Bonus $37.02
Force of Will MED Rare $36.51
Volcanic Island ME3 Rare $36.48
Blood Moon MMA Rare $36.41
Containment Priest PZ1 Rare $35.87
Grove of the Burnwillows FUT Rare $35.84
City of Traitors EX Rare $35.62
Unmask MM Rare $35.25
Blood Moon 9ED Rare $34.96
Horizon Canopy FUT Rare $34.57
Underground Sea ME4 Rare $34.17
Lion's Eye Diamond MI Rare $33.89
Inkmoth Nexus MBS Rare $33.16
Volcanic Island ME4 Rare $33.06
Ensnaring Bridge ST Rare $32.54
Blood Moon 8ED Rare $32.25
Moat MED Rare $32.14
Scalding Tarn ZEN Rare $31.83
Mox Opal MM2 Mythic Rare $31.54
Back to Basics UZ Rare $31.05
Mox Opal SOM Mythic Rare $30.66
Time Walk VMA Bonus $30.47
Scapeshift MOR Rare $30.12
True-Name Nemesis PZ1 Mythic Rare $29.66
Noble Hierarch CON Rare $29.41
Doomsday WL Rare $29.17
Noble Hierarch MM2 Rare $28.63
Ancestral Vision TSP Rare $28.18
Griselbrand AVR Mythic Rare $28
Underground Sea ME2 Rare $27.49
Ensnaring Bridge 7E Rare $27.07
Undiscovered Paradise VI Rare $26.94
City of Traitors TPR Rare $26.18
Volcanic Island VMA Rare $26.08
Chalice of the Void MMA Rare $26.08
Liliana, the Last Hope EMN Mythic Rare $25.92
Ancestral Vision DD2 Rare $25.55
Chalice of the Void MRD Rare $25.45
Ensnaring Bridge 8ED Rare $25.36

The big number this week is $26,073.80, the cost to own a playset of every non-foil, non-promo card, assuming you bought the cheapest version. That's up around $200.00 from two weeks ago. I imagine it'll fluctuate soon as Kaladesh approaches and enters the market. The paper world is slowing down, so there probably won't be much innovation to shake up the value.

Weekly Highlights:

For me, I've been busy with Law School, work, and my 15-month-old. However, the new Chandra has me itching to get back into Magic a bit more heavily, so that's exciting. Overall, I'm quite excited for Kaladesh.

Hope you enjoyed my spin at the wheel!


xger21 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.  


Tezzeret was hunting the by AJ_Impy at Fri, 09/09/2016 - 15:25
AJ_Impy's picture

Tezzeret was hunting the Renegade, who turned out to be Pia, or as he called her, "Renegade Prime".

Oh, I might have by xger at Fri, 09/09/2016 - 15:51
xger's picture

Oh, I might have misunderstood--I know that was the end result but I thought Baan thought the then-unknown Tezzeret was *also* a renegade.

Tezzeret is the head judge of by AJ_Impy at Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:24
AJ_Impy's picture

Tezzeret is the head judge of the fair.

But what if Tezz is a by Procrastination at Fri, 09/09/2016 - 17:27
Procrastination's picture

But what if Tezz is a RENEGADE judge, who plays it fast and loose? "I AM THE COMMITTEE!" :p

Good job. i enjoyed reading by Cauchy at Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:39
Cauchy's picture

Good job. i enjoyed reading it.

A small pet peeve of mine.... a card price cannot change by -153%. That would imply a negative price :) The price change is usually found by dividing with the old value.

Bleh, I normally would catch by xger at Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:43
xger's picture

Bleh, I normally would catch that. Guess I spent too much time getting the tables to cooperate than I did verifying my excel references.

The tables do look nice! So by Cauchy at Sat, 09/10/2016 - 02:06
Cauchy's picture

The tables do look nice!

So what is the verdict on the origin flip-walkers? Will they increase post-rotation? Enough to make them a good investment? They do seem to be very cheap but I have lost touch with price levels, so I don't really know what to think.
Any insight would be appreciated?

Jace is being play somewhat by Paul Leicht at Sat, 09/10/2016 - 03:38
Paul Leicht's picture

Jace is being played somewhat in vintage so there is niche interest at least. The pitch dredge deck in legacy might like him too. Nissa seems fine in coco decks so you will probably still see her in modern. Other than those two I doubt you will see them very often.

I disagree with Nissa. She by Procrastination at Sat, 09/10/2016 - 08:46
Procrastination's picture

I disagree with Nissa. She has seen almost zero use in Modern up to this point. The coco decks play differently in Modern and usually cap at four mana. Not saying she will never show up, but it'll take a very certain type of deck.

Kytheon actually has seen use in various W aggro decks. If you enjoy those types of strategies, I would suggest picking up at least two copies if they are cheap enough.

Nissa is 3 mana? (We're by Paul Leicht at Sat, 09/10/2016 - 16:14
Paul Leicht's picture

Nissa is 3 mana? (We're talking flip pws here.) Ack nevermind. Misunderstood what you meant there. Yeah I was theorizing that she helps with a slow start.

See this is why I did not do by JXClaytor at Sat, 09/10/2016 - 22:03
JXClaytor's picture

See this is why I did not do prices in my turn of state, I would have messed up so badly at the math.