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By: Tarmotog, Naoto Watabe
May 06 2009 11:04pm
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Hi all! This is Tarmotog giving you pureMTGO readers an insight into what you need to get your 15 golden qualifier points.

First off, let me introduce my lifestyle (which is very much relevant) and my financial situation.

1) I am a student so I don't have a sizable income past occasional part-times or allowances.
2) For the month of April, I've been going to school early and I reach home from Mon-Thurs at 10-11pm. I come back in the evening on Friday. I don't usually stay at home during the daytime in the weekends.

This shows that I don't have much resources to play the game without constraint and I don't really have the time to actually play the game for long hours. Still, even under such conditions, it is possible as I will show you.

Before the season starts, you need to know some relevant information.

#1 Know the Format of the Championship Event (if you intend to play in it)

With the "opt out" option, it is now possible to trade your entry for the promo card and 6 packs. Otherwise, you want to know what to prepare for when you actually qualify for the Championship. During the course of the season, you want to study the format of choice and prepare a deck you think has a chance of winning the event (not just top-eighting it).

#2 Know the Tournament Schedule

When you look at the tournament schedule, you can plan where you want to attack for your qualifier points.
You want to find tournaments that either have "few players" or "good payout".

Few Players

Notable tournament types:
Classic is a good daily event to join if possible because you normally see 24 players in it.
Extended seems to be a good choice too for similar reasons.

Classic Sets Release events are really good and have better-than-usual payouts. It's a pity people didn't gun for the Stronghold release events but the normal daily events. The payout and the tournament size are both comparatively better than daily events that make playing them a "dominant strategy" if gunning for QPs unless of course, you are much better at playing the daily event formats.

Good Payout - Premier Events

Moving on, let us look at the month of May (since it is relevant):

The first 2 Premier Events need you to actually be qualified for them so you can't choose to play in them at will.

The next two (week 2) are: Pauper and Singleton 100.
Pauper is quite cheap and we have great info about them on pureMTGO.com.
Singleton100 is very good for anyone with the resources to make a deck with because the turnout will not be anywhere close to the pauper event.

Why play in these?
They have awesome payout. Just getting into prizes is worth your time and winning in the high places gives you tons of packs (which you can liquidate into tix or just draft with).

The following week (week 3) has: CBS II Champs and Standard w/ Vanguard
The best choice should be to qualify for CBS II Champs the week before so that you get a free tournament to get products and possibly 3 qualifier points.
I don't know much about Standard with Vanguard or anything with Vanguard so it's not something I can try to study into.

Week 4 is Alara Reborn Release Events.
I hope to chalk up some QPs here because the payout is good for release events although Alara Reborn probably has a very high competition going into it.
Daily Event go-ers beware because if you banked on getting your QPs in a Daily Event during the release week, you might be disappointed if the event does not fire.
Although the release event lasts for more than a week, QPs for season 2 last till the end of this week.

3# Know the Nix Tix Draft Schedule

Here is the Nix Tix draft schedule for the second qualifying season:

LRW-MOR April 29 – May 6
CSP May 6 - 13
10E May 13 - 20
CBS May 20 - 27

If you notice CBS can be earned in week 3 in the CBS II Champs.
Other than that, you basically want to know which drafts are Nix Tix so that you don't spend as much money trying to draft when you have cheaper alternatives.

Also, TTS is nix tix so those of you who want QPs at a lower cost can try to buy those to draft because there is a large number of Tempest and Stronghold packs circulating in the system at the moment.

#4 Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

When you play, you want to play formats that are to your forte and you should try to avoid a format you are rather green in because chances of you winning would be rather low. Playing multiple events of your strengths can be much better than playing a variety of formats during the qualifying season.
I will choose to play formats where there will tend to be less cut-throat competition unless I am the cut-throat competition myself.
To improve my odds in less familiar formats, I will prepare by reading up guides to the various formats to learn more about them.

#5 Time Management

What you really need to know is how to keep track of time. Although one month can have 30-31 days, the reality is that each qualifying season runs for 28 days. 7 days a week times 4 weeks from the first downtime to the fourth downtime. You want to basically win at least an average of one point in 2 days and you can be slack by playing a PE and t-8ing for 3 points. (It is very tough to win an 8-man so I suggest trying for small 5-6 round tournaments instead.)

6# Keep a Positive Mindset

The road to the golden 15 QPs is tough. There is no denying that fact. People can get discouraged and give up halfway. Try to keep track of your score and encourage yourself to strive on for the last points. You will need this tip if you don't have people to encourage you.


Did I qualify for Season I and how?

Yes I did. I won 2 (of 3) 8-man standard queues (both split in the finals), one (of many) Xed draft (I couldn't seem to just win drafts for some odd reason despite having quite a good number of packs from Xed and TPF), 3 (of 4) Stronghold release events and t8ed the free TPF champs that I earned before the season.
So overall, I won 3 points from 8-man queues and 12 points in premier events.

(Obviously, I was lagging behind in daily points as can be seen from 9 of my points coming from the Stronghold release events.)

What are my plans for Season II?

I have quite a few TTS playsets so I suppose I'll be trying to use them up in trying to get QPs first since they don't have great resale value at the moment.
I'll probably try Pauper and Singleton 100 if I can get my act together and I'll try to qualify the following week for CBS II Champs. I'll fight for the last points on the last week with Alara Reborn Release events.

I'll also have to prepare a Shards block deck in the meantime and read heavily on the format.

How much did I spend in total?

As mentioned, I managed to get some packs before and doing the season by doing well in some daily/premier events (I've quite a few packs so those probably paid for the majority of what I ended up doing like not winning drafts). I probably spent money on Cryptic Commands and other cards to assemble the standard deck and maybe 2 tournament packs if I recall correctly. Winning, online, is very profitable because of the huge payouts. Also, gunning the right tournaments helps as well. I was blessed to have not spent too much which I, otherwise, would have had to in order to get the points.

Anything else you need to know?

I had to sacrifice sleep at various points in time (which can be quite bad for my health) during the duration of Season 1. If you have a tight scheduled day, you need to really go the extra mile to punch in points and I obviously had to rely on the fact that I actually made top 8 in the few attempts at the premier/daily events.

It is generally easier to make top 8 and get the 3 points than to actually win a 8-man tournament. The time-payout ratio is considerably better too since you spend 5-8 hours in a PE instead of 2 per 8 man where you definitely need a 3-0 record whereas you have a little more slack in a PE where you can lose one early and win back later on.


Good luck to all of you who want to qualify for Season II and beyond! Hopefully this mini-guide has helped you in one way or another!

Can be contacted at tarmotog@hotmail.com


Is point number 6 even legal? by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 11:49
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I'm not saying if it's legal or not and I'm not saying that anyone is actually doing it but.......

Allowing others to use your account to allow it to participate in more games than you otherwise physically could as an individual strikes me as not totally legal. I have no basis for this other than a moral standpoint and if it's OK then it's OK. Just feels wrong.

I agree that it's not morally by Tarmotog at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 12:13
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I agree that it's not morally right as in real life where you can't get someone to play for you under your name.. but if you have to for some reason or another, it is a real option that unfortunately cannot be properly addressed.

Actually it's more than by hamtastic at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 12:31
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Actually it's more than 'morally incorrect', it's against the Terms of Service as well and can lead to your account being banned completely, and it happened pretty recently (someone posted a message about it on the boards which got removed by the ORC's).

But make no mistake, if you share your account you are risking losing it.

This part should actually be by authenticsimpsonian at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 14:51
authenticsimpsonian's picture

This part should actually be removed from the article because it's against the terms of service. Where's our editor when we need him?

Perfectly reasonable explaination. by JXClaytor at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 23:02
JXClaytor's picture

When I read over the article, I got to point 6, and got a different meaning than everyone else did. As I went over the article, and that part in particular, I honestly thought that he was talking about enlisting friends for support.

I did not under any circumstance think tarmotog was going on about having players play on your account.

However, I can see how people could get that idea.

I will be removing point 6. Puremtgo does not condone breaking the terms of service, nor will we glorify it here. It is an issue for another article.

Joshua Claytor.

I feel dumb... what is "CBS" by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 13:13
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I feel dumb... what is "CBS" on the draft schedule?

Champions of Kamigawa, by hamtastic at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 13:20
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Champions of Kamigawa, Betrayers, Saviors

Aka Kami Block

aka: Open a dragon and/or a jitte or lose to a dragon and/or a jitte block.

Sounds fun! o.O by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 13:43
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Sounds fun! o.O

Stats? by Radman99 (not verified) at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 15:12
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Could you put in stats for dollars spent, tickets/packs used and maybe even hours playing? It would be very interesting to compare them to the other 15QPs in 50 drafts articles on this site. Thanks for a great write-up!

option 6 by whiffy at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 16:54
whiffy's picture

this is way not legal and i know others beat me to the punch, but i gotta say that even thinking about it is a no go. I would love to get my clanies to play on my account but its so not anywhere near fair. i hope any one caught doing this gets nailed to the wall for violating the terms of service.

Basic Land's picture

I just talked to an ORC and confirmed that only Daily Events top8 give 3QP, the Premier Events don't count. Good Luck to everyone

Basic Land - PEs do give QPs. by Tarmotog at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 20:32
Tarmotog's picture

Basic Land - PEs do give QPs. I definitely got mine there. The release events will be on the PE page rather than the daily page so it's kinda odd.

radman99 - It would be an unfair estimate I would think to show how much I spent cos I got 3 qps out of a free event, I consecutively t4 2 stronghold event which gave me 15 pax, of which I sold the tempest pax early on to get tournament pax. The 9 pts I got basically paid for itself past the sealed and the pax I spent on drafts came from the Xed sealed i managed to t2 in (b4 the season which gave about 18 pax) and also the tpf (18 pax again I think) where i got t8.
In short, u win big online but probably in the daily event/premier events. If you want to go "infinite", those are probably the only way you can do it in my opinion so you should choose very carefully where you make your move in to increase your chances of doing so.
My plan was to maximize the drafts done in the nix tix season but as you can see, I only made 1 QP (at a 8-4 fortunately) despite having an equivalent of probably 12 draft sets (at the start) of which I liquidated some draft sets into tix to get cards. I think it is much easier (or maybe just more worth it) to t8 a pe than to win a draft (cos u need many things to go right). I guess the fairest estimate of my spendings will be reflected from what I have left at the end of season 1 which is 6xed pax, 8tempest-4 stronghold.

everyone else - #6 is indeed very controversial and I really would rather not have written about it if I didn't have to but I feel that this is "dark side" that exists that people should know about an Massive Multiplayer Online Game equivalent. It is probably should not be there because I don't want to advocate it but people are possibly doing that and there is no real guard against it. I want you, the readers, to be equipped with the knowledge that it exists but even after knowing that still not abuse it. It sounds very hopeful and I'm probably better off removing it (although I can't) for many reasons.

#6 by whiffy at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 22:41
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You may have been unaware that this was against the coc and illegal for implementation. but that dosent stop the fact that you endorse this behavior in your article. going back with a lenghty explanation of why you thought you have to justify putting in the option dosent stop it from being written.

in the context of your article this is something you suggest people do to make there 15 points. nowhere do you say or even hint that this is an amoral choice and infact you even go a step in the opposite direction pointing out that this is something that you can not get away with in paper magic.

I will except that you may not have known that this was actually not within the legal parmiters of the mol champs set up, however i find it hard to believe that you put this in there as a consicios effort to tell us the readers that it is something we have to worry about. The number of people playing on a single account has no bearing on my quest to obtain qp points what so ever, and i will never ever know if any givin player is the legal account holder. Why would we need to know of this option if it werent meant to be used?

Please do not thing that i am hating on you as i enjoy your articles but I think this is rediculos.

horrible advice by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 22:47
Anonymous's picture

horrible advice. getting friends to help you! how can you post that on this nice website and say that it's part of the "guide to getting 15 QPs" mise well call it the guide to get in trouble with wotc. shame on you.

I guess I owe everyone an by Tarmotog at Wed, 05/06/2009 - 23:40
Tarmotog's picture

I guess I owe everyone an apology, especially to puremtgo.com.
There's nothing I can say to justify what I have written.
I'm sorry for the trouble caused.

Tarmotog, thanks for the by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 00:23
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Tarmotog, thanks for the advice. I don't know why people are tripping over the "terms of service". It's your account, do what you want with it!

having others play for you by me myself and i (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 01:07
me myself and i's picture

It may be against the coc, but since we all know that people do it I dont see the problem in bringing it up. Im sure a small percentage of the people with 15qps had friends help, and while it may be against the coc, it is still something to look at if you must get those 15 no matter what. Personally, I would never trust anybody to use my account unless I knew them in person (my brother, and roomate maybe). Seems like an easy way to lose some $ cards from your collection. But I did have my roomate play the third round of a draft for me , when I got called in to work early one day. He lost.

Tarmatog, great article. Dont be sorry for writing the truth.

how do i know whats the by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 03:08
Anonymous's picture

how do i know whats the number of points i have , i don't remeber the number of drafts i won , and rating doesn't tell me anything...

you can check them weekly by Anonymous v3 (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 07:07
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you can check them weekly when they update the score board

Hey, Tog. Mine was the first by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 05:22
Anonymous's picture

Hey, Tog.

Mine was the first comment and I wasn't really trying to get you into any trouble. I like your articles and your writing style in general.

I also agree that yeah it does happen. Gold buying happens in WoW, Isk buying happens in EVE, Getting a bot to play your account used to happen in WoW, Online accounts are bought and sold in many MMO's where it is against the 'terms of service' or 'code of conduct'. These are all examples of things that are not legal but very hard to police. I didn't have any real objection with the subject being raised.

It did however come over in your article not as a comment that it may well be happening. It come across as more as an endorsement of it.

Anyway that has all been said and it's been removed so in my mind it's all good. Keep writing the articles dude.

While I agree that Tarmotog by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 12:38
Anonymous's picture

While I agree that Tarmotog has a responsibility to the community to not condone illegal behavior in terms of MTGO, I do think the situation has been overblown slightly. I can think of at least three different players who write for Starcity's premium ($$$) articles, and have all mentioned letting other people play their drafts and tournaments. It's just a touchy subject because there's no way to enforce it within MTGO. A lot of people break this rule. Unless the next version of MTGO has a retinal-scan device to verify player identity, this will continue to be commonplace in the game.

where do i find the score by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 14:33
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where do i find the score board ? to see the number of points that i have

IP Address recorder by Frank (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 15:43
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Well, couldn't a user's ISP IP address be used to determine who is running the game at any given time? If not, then it's liable to happen. One can accuse another of such activity but really, how is WOTC to know the truth via their investigations, let alone a viable accusation in the first place. Even with the writer of this article admitting and promoting such activity, will MTGO issue a warning at the very least? Perhaps going as far as penalizing this writer? Something has to come from MTGO in this regard, because if nothing is done at the higher level then what's to say the COC has any merit here. Other moderators will just edit the submission to avoid the situation. So yeah, I support the COC and the TOS for the MTGO, therefore feel it is incumbent to practice what we preach and have AT LEAST something official about this kind of activity. Other than that I enjoy this game and feel equally suited to adhere to all the rules. If nothing is done then it's just as good as saying, those who 'cheat' or 'share accounts' have a better chance at obtaining QP points. I use the term 'cheat' very lightly and mean no offense. I'm at a loss for words.

IP address logging by Rerepete at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 21:39
Rerepete's picture

Logging an IP address is pointless, as is logging their MAC address. You can play your account from any computer/location making this useless.

Also, as for the whole issue of having someone else play for you...If the person who would substitute for you is adept enough at Magic to gain you any QPs, wouldn't they be better served getting points for themselves and trying for a spot in Rome????? I see having a sub. play is just throwing Tix and product away, not to mention risking your collection.

Account suspended. by BLU (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 16:12
BLU's picture

Unfortunately Tarmatog's account has been suspended from MTGO servers until it is investigated. By this time, he won't be able to use his account and join tournaments. His QP's were also deleted for the season 1. Wizards take "Violation of Terms" seriously and will act accordingly to prevent any harm to the system.

Kind regards,

Jeeze. Give it a rest by hamtastic at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 16:36
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Jeeze. Give it a rest guys!

First of all, he mentioned that it was not a good thing to do.

Second of all, he's apologized for the inference that it was something to consider.

Third of all, he's not the first to suggest it and he won't be the last.

I certainly don't condone account sharing, much like many of you. However, I also don't condone berating an individual after they've apologized.

He realizes now that it's not only morally wrong, but is also against the rules completely.

Live and learn, and let it go.

Sigh... by Neoshinji at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 19:49
Neoshinji's picture

Not sure what to say, but Tog's account being suspended is overly harsh.

Dear Wotc Team, I'll will happily give back the Text-less Terror to reinstate Tog's account and QP points. If that seems like a rather empty gesture... guess how I felt when I received it.

Please stop being critical to your customers and perhaps we will try to overlook the multiple "My Bads" Wotc makes.

Harm to the system... what a joke.

Edits* Please un-ban the Black Tutors in 100 Card Singleton... thanks...

Much love,

Getting a suspension and a QP by AluminiumMastermind. (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 19:50
AluminiumMastermind.'s picture

Getting a suspension and a QP reset over this nonsense is unreal. Completely ridiculous imo.

BLU is joking. Tarm was by hamtastic at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 21:20
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BLU is joking. Tarm was logged in no longer than an hour ago.

Beware of what you read in article comments...

Wow by walkerdog at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 22:39
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He writes a comprehensive article on the possibilites and people act too immature to understand that he is correct that people do and will continue to do this. Not everyone, not most people, but it will happen. People should chill out. It's fine to be against the practice, but shooting the messenger is the wrong response.

Hmmmm by Frank (not verified) at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 23:14
Frank's picture

There are a number of other issues that I won't get into right now conerning 8 player Standard Queues, this QP earnings rush and the like. Reason being, an article should be written up about it that breaks down the flaws in the MTGO system. We are given loose rules with no real effect if other users violate them. Period. Cheating, and the like will happen. Who is to say a user can't fake 4 accounts in his room and run those accounts on 4 monitors and have them all join an tournament and the like, can they be caught? Someone please write an article entitled 1001 ways to scam MTGO and get away with it. Loose lips sinks ships! Kinda reminds me of that guy in real life who had to cheat his way into the pro tour and when they found out about it he got suspended but was allowed to continue. What was his name again? 1 tix to the correct answer! Seriously...this kind of thing can get stupid really fast.

mike long. by whiffy at Thu, 05/07/2009 - 23:34
whiffy's picture

mike long.