Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fetchlands in Fate Reforged

In Fate Reforged booster packs you may find a nonbasic land in the slot of a basic land. Thus, it is possible to get either one of the ten common Khans of Tarkir pseudo-dual lands or Khans of Tarkir (Onslaught) fetchlands. The chance of cracking a fetchland is 4,55%, what translates into 1,5 fetchalnd per booster box. This is similar to the manner in which Return to Ravnica dual lands were distributed in Dragon's Maze. As far as we see some pattern here let's analyze what happened with the price of RTR duals lands and we may expect the same course of events in case of fetchlands. Studing the price charts of RTR dual lands we may deduce, that we shall be witness of the -20% or -30% discount on KTK fetchlands soon. Fetches will drop in price as more and more copies hit the market. Assuming, there will not happen a dramatic metagame shift. To sum up, it is not a good time to hoard fetchlands as investment right now. They are going to be cheaper soon. 

The low point of Khans of Tarkir

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a great holiday.

I have been reviewing all my old data from Magic Online. I found that December is the bottom of the overall price for the fall set. I also looked at the more popular cards and they are starting to carry the overall price of the set. This means that even though Khans is at it's lowest (or close to it's lowest) point that the "expensive" cards are beginning to stand out. Although the next set may change the good cards in standard, time is running out to buy the popular standard cards. The cards will continue to increase in price once Fate Reforged is released and Khans isn't drafted as much as it is at the current time.

Happy investing!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MTGO Library Bot 9.00

Merry Christmas 2014 with ML Bot 9.00 !
ML Bot 9.00 fixes a problem with the tixs transfer in the Autotransfer modes, sometimes resulting in a withdraw

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dig through time vs. Treasure Cruise

Hi Everyone!

The holiday season is pretty slow for Magic Online because most people aren't focused on Magic. Earlier this week, I stepped back from Magic Online finance to talk about Modern and how Treasure Cruise most likely won't be banned because it's something I have been hearing since it's debut.

I immediately looked at Treasure Cruise as superior to Dig Through Time. I recently noticed that is not the case for most people. My theory on this is that players have certain things they value from cards that vary from player to player. Cruise draws three cards for "1" mana and Dig chooses two of seven cards for "2" mana. Obviously, most of the time choosing two of seven is better than three random cards from your deck, but is it worth "twice" the price? I don't think so.

So why is Cruise common and Dig rare? I don't draft, I don't think it's fun and I really don't see anything fun about the draft format at all (I'm happy for you if you like draft formats and I respect them, but I don't enjoy it) but I discovered over the summer right after Vintage Masters came out that the rarity of cards ONLY depended on draft. The original rarity or quality in constructed didn't matter, it was all about selling draft packs.

When I looked at other sets since then, I quickly noticed the same thing. Let's test this out...Is Dig or Cruise better in draft. Seeing 7 of 40 cards is pretty sweet compared to 3 random cards. I know that back before drafting was what it is today (read:not as good), it was sometimes amazing because commons were sometimes the very best cards in the set and many rares were unplayable. The driver of rarity back then was complexity of cards and cards that were good in constructed formats.

I always think of the good cards like Cruise that are at common that would be valuable if they weren't common or uncommon.

Happy Holidays!

A Special Magic Christmas Greeting

Swedish magic site sold Magic Christmas Calendars this year with a MTG card for every day. My friend Binkabi decided to make a video series of it on the MagicGatheringStrat.

So from all of us to all of you: A very merry Christmas! :)

Merry Christmas!


What's that? The Pauper Gauntlet? Yes ... oh, that. Well, round 7 turned out to be THE ROUND OF DEATH! Half of the decks lost!

Decks that made it through round 7
Affinity beats Esper Control 2-1
BUGs & Pigs defeats BUG Slivers 2-0
Burn defeats DelverFiend 2-1
Exhume Control defeats 1-land-spy 2-1
Familiars beats Zoo Hexproof 2-1 despite 7 mulligans!
Mono Red Heroic beats Hexproof 2-1
Stompy defeats 1-land-spy 2-0

Decks that lost in round 7
AzoriusKitty lost to Affinity 0-2. Yes, it was Eredion again. That guy is a Gauntlet killer!
BorosKitty lost to Burn 0-2. The champion has fallen!
DelverFiend lost to Boros Metalcraft 0-2
Goblins lost to Surucucu playing RG Aggro 1-2
Green Grifters lost to Affinity 0-2
Green One was defeated by Izzet Tron 0-2
Rebel Grind lost to Izzet Tron 0-2

Only seven decks will keep fighting for the honor of being the Pauper Gauntlet champion in round 8!

But there is a problem! The top 10 decks are automatically qualified for the next season of the Pauper Gauntlet. Last year a round finished with 10 decks. This year less than 10 remain. So we need to have a playoff between the decks that lost (!).

The top 10 playoff round
The decks above that lost will play an extra round. If too many decks win, they will play another extra round and then again until the correct number remains. If too few decks win, the losers will play another extra round until the correct number remains. This might mean A LOT of bonus pauper matches.

All of this will happen before December 31st.

Watch the action on

Round 8 will start in 2015, after the Top 10 Playoff is finished.

Monday, December 22, 2014

MTGO Library Bot 8.98

Few hours ago we released ML Bot 8.98.

The new version fixes a minor bug with wikiprice, a bug that resulted in showing cards marked as untradable for sale (and thus you could not buy them).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Downtimes shifted for the Holidays

During the Holidays the downtimes are rescheduled to Monday due to fact, that Chrismtas and New Year's Eve falls on Wednesday this year. So, downtimes will take place accordingly, December 22 and January 5.

Starting with December 22 the Urza's Block Flashback drafts return and they will be firing till January, 5. Here goes the list of valuable cards from this block: Show and Tell, Sneak Attack, Gaea's Cradle, Time Spiral, Exploration, Grim Monolith, Goblin Welder, Argothian Enchantress, Serra's Sanctum, Metalworker, Back to Basics, Academy Rector, Gilded Drake, Phyrexian Tower, Replenish

Set much lower buying prices on these cards. Two weeks of flashback drafts of a block where Mythic Rares didn't exist is going to cut the prices very drastically.

The COFFEE model for playing Familiars in Pauper

Familiars is perhaps the strongest and perhaps the most complicated deck in Pauper. I know I have struggled when playing it. I asked for help about how to think when playing the deck and got this fantastic guide from Riccardo Morigi. So enough about me - lets listen to Riccardo!

He did not build the deck. The original decklist is by "sparow". However, that is not the point. The interesting thing is the play advice that Riccardo has provided in this text.

The deck list by sparow

3 Azorius Chancery
3 Dimir Aqueduct
2 Evolving Wilds
7 Island
2 Plains
1 Swamp
3 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Cloud of FAeries
2 Mnemonic Wall
4 Mulldrifter
3 Nightscape Familiar
2 Sage's Row Denizen
4 Sea Gate Oracle
4 Sunscape Familiar
4 Compulsive Research
2 Deep Analysis
1 Foresee
3 Ghostly Flicker
3 Preordain
3 Snap

1 Capsize
2 Dispel
3 Hydroblast
3 Lone Missionary
2 Prismatic Strands
1 Reaping the Graves
1 Serrated Arrows
2 Stonehorn Dignitary

The COFFEE model by Riccardo Morigi

So, I think famliars can be quite confusing to play right. I'll try to do my best
to unrevel it's secrets. Here are some tips for playing the deck!

- Let's start with coffee!!... What??! :|  Yes. Coffee. Listen, this is a very hard deck
  to play and every little trick that you can use to remember things better is welcome in
  my opinion. So, consider this: familiars, karoo lands and denizens have a role in 
  common in the deck, they count for 1 mana during the combo. Each of those cards which is 
  on the battlefield while you're comboing out, make you need 1 less mana (yes, also the 
  denizen! Because when you don't have it you need 1 more mana to get infinite mana instead
  of milling!!). Knowing this may help you quite a bit as you'll see soon. Because these cards, 
  even though they look quite different on the surface, do the same exact thing for the 
  combo, we may want to call them with the same name... Well, I came up with some ideas 
  like Mana Reducers... Mana Cheaters... Combo-Mana-Uber-Pizza-Blast Enablers.. I was not
  getting very far with it. ^^ So! Don't wanna bore you: you like coffee, 
  those cards wake the combo up = Let's name them COFFEE! Those will be the COFFEE cards
  and every time I'll refer to a COFFEE later you know i mean a familiar, a karoo land, or a 
  denizen. Easy, right? Ok. Let's move on. :) (You really thoght i was suggesting you to
  drink more coffee than you already do??!! :D :D)

- Things get a bit more complicated now, but not by much. ^^ These COFFEES have a quantity limit.
  More than 1 denizen is useless (quite obvious), more than 2 karoos is useless (you'll never untap more than
  2 at a time), and more than 4 familiars
  is, well, you'll not have more than 4 familiars that often (mnemonic wall has 4 colorlessin the cost,
  nothing has more).

  So this are the COFFEE limits:
  Familiars -> 4
  Karoos -> 2
  Denizen -> 1 
  This is JUST IN RELATION TO THE COMBOS, of course you can use more denizens or familiars to attack,
  block or whatever. Now, let's begin to use this COFFEE!

- First, always keep an eye out for the main combo of the deck: WALL + FAERIES + FLICKER.
  This can mill them with the denizen or give you infinite mana without it.
  This combo needs 2 COFFEES (remember the limits, no more than 1 denizen! of course.. ^^). What's 2 COFFEES?
  As I said before, it could be 2 familiars, or 1 familiars and 1 karoo land, or 1 karoo land and 1 denizen...
  Just 2 COFFEES! In any combination you can come up with, as long as you respect their limits.
  This is also the reason you should try to aim for two COFFEES soon: you need them for the main 
  combo. More can help you, but 2 is essential if you want to get this main combo going. 

- Other combo is WALL + SNAP, but for this you'll need not 2 but 5 COFFEES!! :O (Yea, that's quite
  the sleeper combo!..) This is more limited cause it cannot give you infinite blue mana, just W or B, so you use
  it mostly for milling. You just snap the wall and wall the snap.
  Big combo: 5 COFFEES. Less than 5 and you don't get anything, just waste your mana. (Again, remember the limits: it
  doesn't work with 5 familiars!).

- Last important combo is WALL + FLICKER + ISLAND. This works like the one before, but you flicker a wall + an island.
  Here you need 3 COFFEES. But as you may know, 3 is a magic number; this means... EXCEPTION! Yes, this combo does
  not work with every kind of COFFEE card but it's fixed: 
  you need WALL + FLICKER + ISLAND + 2 FAMILIARS + DENIZEN (3 COFFEES). So the 3 COFFEES combo is quite special but
  it won't come up as often as the others.

- What are you gonna do with that not-actually-infinite-because-magic-rules-don't-allow-you-to-name-infinite-
  as-a-number mana?? Well, looking at what you can work with should give you the answer.
  Here's a couple of things:

  * With a MULLDRIFTER or SEA GATE ORACLE you can draw your deck, flickering wall + that creature and
    win from there.
  * With double WALL you can abuse a draw spell in the yard flickering those walls and again draw your
    deck for the win.
  * Use all the draw spells in your hand. This is the reason you should check if you have an infinite combo
    before playing a spell. COFFEES are useful for checking this fast: if you have less than 5, no snap combo;
    if less than 2, no combo at all; etc.. no need to search further.
  * Bounce all their board with CAPSIZE post sideboard.
  * Regenerate black familiar infinite times against crypt rats, i guess...
  * Flicker WALL + LONE MISSIONARY post sideboard for infinite life.
  * Paper combo time!! See below.
  * Conquer the world
  * Other things??... :|

- Alright. To sum things up a bit:
  COFFEES -> Familiars, karoo lands, sage's row denizen.

  WALL + FAERIES + FLICKER <--> 2 COFFEES (mill or mana)
  WALL + SNAP <--> 5 COFFEES (mill or non blue mana)
  WALL + FLICKER + ISLAND <--> 3 COFFEES (magic number: 2 familiars, 1 denizen. mill)

  It goes both ways. You can see that you have 2 COFFEES and check if you have the combo pieces; or you can
  recognize that you have, let's say, the wall-snap combo, so you can count the COFFEES and see if you can get to 5.
  It's just that. Plain and simple.

General tips on playing the deck

- Check all the cards you have in hand/on board every turn (time permitting), cause you may 
  have the combo and not know it.

- Think with COFFEE!! That helps me at least ^^. COFFEE is the fuel for the combo. Separate COFEE from
  the other cards in your mind and the deck will become clear (stop thinking that denizen is a combo piece,
  it's a COFFEE!! You don't need it for the combo!). 
  Rite of Flame and Seething Song are the COFEE of Dragonstorm; lands and Tribe Elders
  are the COFFEE for Scapeshift; and... well, everything is COFFEE for Tendrils of Agony. -.- 
  That's what i mean with COFFEE, what you need in a certain quantity to get the combo online and is not actually part
  of the killing engine. 
- If you just look for the number of COFFEES instead of calculating the mana you need every time, 
  you may gain some precious seconds. :)

- COFFEE check may help you deciding if you wanna keep or mulligan a hand.

- Wall is the central piece of all the combos, but don't forget other nice interactions! FLICKER + MULLDRIFTER
  for value is good. Using flicker or snap outside of a combo is alright. FLICKER can be used on two lands with two
  non-denizen COFFEES out to gain 1 mana. Flicker their attackers/your blockers. SNAP + FAERIES = Big Mana!

- Think well about what to retrieve from graveyard or what to flicker. There may be better targets!

- Flickers and snaps protect your creatures. Flicker can also foil land destruction! (just take care when karoos
  are involved)

- Time is not your friend! Eheh.. you know it, right? :) As you are inside the combo, do it as fast as you can.
  Concede if you need to.

- Don't forget the beatdown plan!! :O  This deck draws like crazy and can create an army in no time!

- Black familiars regenerate. (seriously.. who need this tip??!.. sorry, I'm out of ideas! ^^)

- The deck is quite powerful so don't panic!

- First couple of turns are the deck's weakness.

- Familiars are not just COFFEES for the combo but they ramp you too. Cast them turn 2 if it'll make you develop faster.

- You can play a karoo COFEE the turn you combo out, no need to play that before if you have other COFFEES (but this
  COFEE can't be killed as easily as the others).

- Against blue control decks you may try to sneak a familiar early on and keep everything in your hand for the turn
  you want to combo, to force through those counterspells.

- REAPING THE GRAVES is amazing against control. When you see blue untapped remember to target the important
  creatures more than once or they may counter the only copy you wanted to resolve.

- You can sideboard out the denizens for the stonehorn dignitaries against decks without much removal and flying,
  this way you can flicker WALL + DIGNITARY each turn to keep them off the combat step and kill them with
  drifters and faeries.

- Forget the COFEE thing if it's confusing for you! I just thoght explaining it in a different way could make it 
  easier to understand, and that's how i use to think about it while playing. :)

- Here's a thing you may not care about, but who knows. Did you know you can combo-mill them without a denizen?! :O
  Yes. You see, i don't play online, just paper. In paper familiars you don't usually have the denizen in the deck!
  There's a problem though: this combo needs probably too much time online to be of any use, but in paper pauper you 
  can just say you have the combo and you win. What you have to do is get one of the infinite mana combos above, then you
  draw your deck to find the second wall and you use the flicker on 2 walls to retrieve COMPULSIVE RESEARCH or DEEP ALAYSIS
  to make them draw their deck. I don't know if you can do it online. But now you know it.

- I stopped drinking coffee when i begun with green tea, you may give it a shot.. :|

- Forgive my bad english.

- Enjoy the deck.

Sideboard Plan
- 2 mulldrifter, 1 deep analysis.
+ 3 hydroblast.

Azorius Kitty:
no sideboard

Boros Kitty:
- 3 snap, 3 preordain, 1 sage's row denizen.
+ 2 dispel, 3 hydroblast, 1 reaping the graves, 1 capsize.

- 3 seagate oracle, 3 snap, 2 deep analysis.
+ 3 lone missionary, 2 prismatic strands, 3 hydroblast.

- 3 preordain, 2 sea gate oracle, 1 snap, 1 nightscape familiar.
+ 1 serrated arrow, 3 lone missionary, 1 reaping the graves, 2 dispel.
snap or flicker flipped delvers may help getting to the late game.

Delver Fiend:
- 4 mulldrifter, 1 sea gate oracle, 1 nightscape familiar, 1 sage's row denizen.
+ 3 hydroblast, 2 prismatic strands, 2 stonehorn dignitary.

- 1 mulldrifter, 1 nightscape familiar, 2 preordain.
+ 2 prismatic strands, 2 stonehorn dignitary.

- 1 sea gate oracle
+ 1 capsize
capsize his karoos and snap his familiars. combo as fast as you can (see evoke mulldrifters)

- 2 deep analysis, 3 preordain, 1 foresee, 2 snap.
+ 3 lone missionary, 2 prismatic strands, 3 hydroblast.

- 2 mulldrifter, 2 preordain, 1 sage's row denizen.
+ 2 prismatic strands, 2 stonehorn dignitary, 1 serrated arrows.

Izzet Control:
- 3 snap, 3 preordain, 1 sea gate oracle.
+ 2 dispel, 3 hydroblast, 1 capsize, 1 reaping the graves.

- 3 snap, 1 sage's row denizen.
+ 2 prismatic strands, 2 stonehorn dignitary.

- 2 snap, 3 preordain.
+ 1 reaping the graves, 1 capsize, 3 lone missionary.

- 2 snap, 2 preordain.
+ 1 capsize, 2 dispel, 1 reaping the graves.

- 2 deep analysis, 3 preordain, 2 sage's row denizen.
+ 3 lone missionary, 2 prismatic strands, 2 stonehorn dignitary.

- 2 snap, 2 preordain.
+ 1 capsize, 2 dispel, 1 reaping the graves.

Tron (with red):
- 3 sea gate oracle, 1 snap.
+ 3 hydroblast, 1 reaping the graves.

White tokens:
- 2 deep analysis, 1 snap, 1 sea gate oracle.
+ 2 prismatic strands, 2 stonehorn dignitary.

The Pauper Gauntlet
What is the Pauper Gauntlet?

Full list of the 77 Pauper Gauntlet decks for the second season: 

Is Modern a format? Is it a thing, really?

Hi Everyone!
This week I saw a lot of articles hating on Modern so I thought I'd take a minute to throw my two cents in.

Most of the articles were on how Modern is dead. The articles had a weak set of reasons that I'm not even going to waste my time picking apart. I'm going to offer one simple point that shouldn't really blow anyone's mind. Modern was created as a non-rotating format where players could get a deck and play it for a long time. So,just because a highly anticipated set comes out, it does not mean modern will be "flipped upside down".

Many articles also said that Legacy is more popular now than Modern. Two things, first, that's just not true, second, that's only Online. I'm going out on a limb on this one, but I'd bet that Wizards could (if they wanted, assuming the reserved list didn't exist or didn't continue to honor it) have just released "legacy masters" instead of Modern Masters so they could grow the legacy format and could have all around avoided having to create the entire Modern format, but the reserve list exists and Wizards does honor it.

I will say that modern is the only format (excluding the card Shahrazad) that has cards (reguar cards that were played in standard at one point) banned for reasons other than power. Eggs wasn't fun to watch, Storm got neutered a couple times, Jund was too good (while this is over power, it wasn't necessarily the power from a single card, it was due to power of the synergy between cards), Sensei's Divining Top, is banned because it "takes too long". Many bannings were so the format was more marketable and some were to prevent a single dominant deck (even though their bannings have made Twin and Pod the only two decks you should consider playing if you want to win the next Modern GP, but hey, what do I know, I just look at results and make assumptions).

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Control Panel v4 - Profits - Bot Manual

The Profit tool computes the profit lower bound in a given timeframe. The tool considers each card bought and then sold, and computes the 'profit' as difference between the selling and the buying values. The tool offers three matching strategies: 

    - matching the recent sell with recent bought (LIFO) 
    - matching the oldest with the oldest (FIFO) 
    - computing the average of the prices.

Computing the profit in three sligthly different ways resolves a problem of the moving market. If you bought a card for 10 tixs, and then another one for 100, and then you sold it for 110, what is your profit, is it 100 or 10 tixs? By offering three matching strategies the tool always gives you a plausible result (even in the above 'difficult' example). 

Please note that cards without a match are not considered as profit, thus some cards cards could not appear.

Here is an example of Elspeth, Sun's Champion. 

Continue reading the bot manual...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Control Panel v4 - Card Log - Bot Manual

The Card Log shows you what you bought and sold a certain card for in the past,. You can see interesting data on this page such as profit, potential profit, current inventory levels current pricing and much more. You can access this page by click Here:

This  is also the page that you are directed to when you click on a card link in your trade emails.

Here is an example of Flooded Strand from KTK.
You can see the card purchased and sold, it is always a good to glance threw your every day trades. It is very easy to do if you get the emails sent to your mobile device.

Continue reading the bot manual...

New banned and restricted list coming next month.

Hi Everyone!

I'm taking a little detour from my regular finance talk to talk about something that has been an ongoing topic of conversation. Will Treasure Cruise get banned in Modern?

The short answer is probably not and here's why. Let's look at the most recent Modern banning, Deathrite Shaman. Wizards cited that the card was good at the beginning, middle, and end of the game. It was good all the time in most situations. It could make mana early, gain life to stay alive and hose any kind of reanimation strategy, and later kill your opponent. Granted Wizards did seem to have a problem with Jund and wanted it not to be a tier 1 deck in Modern (they cited certain bans specifically to weaken Jund). I'd guess the Jund deck in Modern fell as the "most popular deck in the format" and people were tired of seeing Jund all over tournaments. What does this have to do with Treasure Cruise? The point I'm making is that Jund was oppressive and Delver and other Treasure Cruise decks are not, Pod and Twin are still winning tournaments.

How about the comparison to Ancestral Recall. It's not quite even close to ancestral recall. If you drew 3 Ancestral recalls in your opening hand are you happy or sad? If you draw 3 Treasure Cruise, are you as happy? Nope. It's not a card that's good at the beginning of the game, yes you can cast it turn 3, but that usually entails using burn spells and cantrips at a less than optimal capacity. There's one other issue that people don't realize about Treasure Cruise. Your graveyard is a resource...yeah, I know, "but I don't use my graveyard". Most decks that run Treasure Cruise used to (many still do) run Snapcaster Mage. You can't snapcast back a bolt or anything else that was delved away with Treasure Cruise. I'd even bet that many players would go so far as to say that one specific card in your graveyard is worth more than 3 random cards. I'm not saying thats the case all the time, but why do decks with Cruise still play some Snapcasters?

When we go back to the beginning of the game with 3 Ancestral Recalls or 3 Treasure Cruises, you cast Ancestral and it gets countered, it's a 1 for 1 trade, when your Treasure Cruise gets countered, you can't cast the next one because your graveyard is delved away.

I'm not saying Cruise won't get banned for sure, I'm just saying it won't get banned right now.

Summary of round six of the Pauper Gauntlet S02

We started out with 77 decks. When we entered round six we had 20 decks left. Round six is now over. It was single elimination in the Tournament Practice room (this will be the format until round 13).

For deck lists, check this link:

The round ended with 14 wins and 6 losses. 

Decks that won and made it to round 7 of the Pauper Gauntlet S02
Affinity defeats Red Deck Wins 2-0
AzoriusKitty defeats Izzet Cruise Fiend 2-0
BorosKitty defeats MBC 2-0
Bugs & Pigs defeats Stompy 2-0
Burn defeats Five Color Green 2-0

DelverFiend defeats Rakdos Metalcraft 2-0
Exhume Control defeats Delver 2-0
Familiars gets the new COFFEE model (more about that on Sunday here on mtgolibrary) and runs into a Delver quitter 2-0
Green Grifters defeats Mono Blue Tron 2-0
Green One defeats Hexproof 2-0

Goblins defeats UB Trinket Control 2-1
Mono Red Heroic defeats Burn 2-0
Rebel Grind defeats Mono Red Heroic 2-0
Stompy defeats its arch rival Delver 2-0

Decks that lost and are eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet S02
We say farewell to the following decks:

Bant Presence lost to DelverFiend 0-2
Illusory Tricks lost to Burn 0-2
Love Train lost the unlikely mirror match 1-2

Mono Black Land Destruction lost to Affinity 0-2
MUC lost to Affinity 0-2
Tortured Toolbox lost to Winter Zoo 0-2

Featured video
Very few people believed Green Grifters would make it this far, but this week the deck won fair and square against Mono Blue Tron in impressive fashion. Go Green Grifters! Now top 14!

Basic facts
What is the Pauper Gauntlet?

Full list of the 77 Pauper Gauntlet decks for the second season: 

We are now in weekly rounds
I will now play one round per week until very few decks remain. Rounds start on Wednesdays and end on Tuesdays (GMT+1) and I will summarize the rounds in the Standard Pauper Show and in blog posts here weekly.

How can you follow the Pauper Gauntlet?
The twitter account @MagicGathStrat tweets whenever a video is uploaded to the two YouTube channels that feature the Gauntlet: MagicGatheringStrat and sngprop.

There are also bonus practice matches with some of the decks that are still in the Gauntlet on the sngprop youtube channel.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Control Panel v4 - Shared collection - Bot manual

Sharing collection also know as Shared inventory is a feature that lets you combine purchasing power from all your bots into each individual bot. Each group will sum up their buy quantity for each card and allow a single bot in that group purchase up to that many. This is a great feature for bots owners that have multiple bots and want to limit the amount of a certain card purchased. You can find this feature on the online control panel Here.

Step 1: Group your bots that you want to share collection.

The grouping of the bots is really easy just slide the bots over into a new group you wish to have share inventory.  You will then have to set the quantity that you wish the group to purchase. 

Step 2: Define the quantity of each card you wish to purchase. 

This can be done by the use of the collection tab or can be taken a step further and be defined by PersonalPrices.

Here we will setup the quantity by using the collection tab.
In this example bot1, bot2, and bot3 are all grouped in a shared inventory. We set how many mythics, rare, unccommons, and commons each bot will buy. If all these bots had no KTK cards on them then each the chain would only buy a total of:

8 mythics
8 rares
4 uncommons
4 commons

Even though bot 3 has it set to buy 0 Mythics it will buy up to 8 depending on how many bot 1,2, and 3 already have.

Here we will set up the quantity by using PersonalPrices:

Bot 1: JOU;Ajani, Mentor of Heroes;12.215;21.4500;11.722;11.5700;2;1
Bot 2: JOU;Ajani, Mentor of Heroes;12.215;21.4500;11.722;11.5700;1;0
Bot 3: JOU;Ajani, Mentor of Heroes;12.215;21.4500;11.722;11.5700;1;0

In this example Your shared inventory chain would buy a total of 4 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes regular and 1 foil.

In summary: 
Any bot in a grouped shared inventory will buy up to the total sum of each bots buying quantity in the group.

Continue reading the bot manual...

MTGOLibrary Bot 8.95

With ML Bot 8.95 we fixed some bugs. In particular we fixed a major problem at the beginning of the trades causing the bot to abort the trades and restart mtgo. This happened frequently on slow computers, rarely on "fast" ones.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Featured Pauper Gauntlet Deck: Mono Black Land Destruction

A lot of interesting decks were submitted to the Pauper Gauntlet this year. In this series we will highlight some of the decks that we have the non-exclusive rights to publish here.

One of the early favorites of the Gauntlet turned out to be Mono Black Land Destruction by Negator. It is an excellent Land Destruction shell that can turn into a Mono Black Control deck against the deck lists that are not too vulnerable to Land Destruction (tradionally fast aggro decks run over LD decks).

The deck list

2 Barren Moor
20 Swamp

1 Basilica Screecher
4 Chittering Rats
1 Crypt Rats
4 Coumbajj Witches
4 Phyrexian Rager
1 Stinkweed Imp

4 Chainer's Edict
3 Choking Sands
4 Icequake
4 Rancid Earth
4 Sign in Blood
1 Disfigure
1 Grim Harvest
2 Tendrils of Corruption

1 Befoul
1 Crypt Rats
1 Distress
2 Duress
1 Font of Return
1 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
1 Pristine Talisman
1 Read the Bones
1 Shrivel
1 Stinkweed Imp
1 Unmake
1 Victim of Night

General tips on playing the deck

Destroy Lands before attack phase, if they float mana go to the attack phase, they will have to use it up.

Destroy untapped lands first.

The deck takes the first mulligan well.

Cycle the Moor after you get 3 lands.

Stinkweed can be used to get Chainer's Edict and Grim Harvest to the graveyard,or better selection of creatures or Threshold.

If they miss a land drop, consider casting Chittering Rats before LD (Black Timewalk)

Blue causes lot of trouble, so I prefer to destroy blue producing mana if given a choice.

Destroy lands first, worry about threats later.

Sideboard Plan

-3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -4 Rancid Earth, -1 Grim Harvest, -1 Screecher
+2 Durress, +1 Distress +1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi, +1 Unmake, +1 Befoul, +1 Victim of Night, +1 Font of Return, +1 Gray Merchant, + 1 Read the Bones, +1 Talisman, +1 Imp, +1 Crypt Rats
If they are not playing Flayer Husk (or other 1 toughness creatures: - 1 Witches + 1 Spellbomb

-1 Disfigure, -2 Tendrils of Corruption, - 3 Coumbajj Witches
+1 Okiba-Gang, +2 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Font of Return, +1 Befoul

Burn (Worst Matchup)
-4 Edict, -3 Sign in Blood, -1 Grim Harvest, -1 Disfigure, -1 Stinkweed Imp
+1 Tallisman, +1 Gray Merchant, +2 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Befoul, +1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi, +1 Read the Bones, +1 Spellbomb, +1 Crypt Rats

- 3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -3 Rancid Earth
+1 Gray Merchant, +1 Shrivel, +1 Crypt Rats, +2 Duress (Armour, Melodies), +1 Distress, +1 Unmake, +1 Read the bones, +1 Talisman, + 1 Victim of Night

-3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -4 Rancid Earth
+2 Durress, +1 Distress +1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi, +1 Unmake, +1 Shrivel, +1 Crypt Rats, +1 Victim of Night + 1 Font of Return, +1 Gray Merchant, +1 Stinkweed Imp

-3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -4 Rancid Earth
+2 Durress, +1 Distress +1 Shrivel, +1 Unmake, +1 Crypt Rats, +1 Victim of Night, +1 Font of Return, +1 Gray Merchant, +1 Talisman, +1 Read the bones

Exhume Control
-1 Disfigure, -2 Tendrils of Corruption, - 4 Coumbajj Witches
+1 Spellbomb, +2 Duress, +1 Befoul, +1 Distress, +1 Unmake, Victim of Night

-1 Disfigure, -2 Tendrils, -1 Stinkweed Imp - 1 Grim Harvest,
+ 2 Durress, +1 Distress, +1 Befoul, +1 Read the bones, +1 Nihil Spellbomb

-3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -3 Rancid Earth (Goblin Caves)
+1 Gray Merchant, +1 Font of Return, +1 Shrivel, +1 Crypt Rats, +1 Victim of Night, +1 Okiba-Gang, +1 Spellbomb (Death Spark), +1 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Talisman

-1Disfigure, -1 Grim Harvest, -3 Cuombajj Witches, -1 Tendrils
+1 Shrivel, +1 Crypt Rats, +2 Durress, +1 Befoul, +1 Imp

-2 Choking Sands (-3 Chokings Sands if you don't see non-basic lands in game 1), - 4 Cuombajj Witches, -1 Disfigure, -1 Stinkweed Imp
+1 Befoul, +2 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Read the Bones,+1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi, +1 Font of Return, +1 Talisman

-1 Disfigure, -2 Tendrils of Corruption, - 3 Coumbajj Witches
+1 Okiba-Gang, +2 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Font of Return, +1 Befoul

Resounding Thunder Treefolks
-4 Rancid Earth, -1 Disfigure, -1 Tendrils of Corruption, - 1 Coumbajj Witches
+1 Okiba-Gang, +1 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Font of Return, +1 Befoul, +1 Spellbomb, +1 Read the Bones

-3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -4 Rancid Earth
+2 Durress, +1 Victim of Night +1 Shrivel, +1 Unmake, +1 Crypt Rats, +1 Victim of NIght, +1 Gray Merchant, +1 Talisman, +1 Distress, +1 Stinkweed Imp

UB Justice (Discard the Talisman)
-1 Disfigure, -4 Chainer's Edict, -1 Tendrils, - 3 Coumbajj Witches, -1 Stinkweed Imp
+1 Talisman, +1 Gray Merchant, +2 Duress, +1 Distress, +1 Befoul, +1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi, +1 Read the Bones, +1 Spellbomb, +1 Font of Return

- 4 Witches, -1 Disfigure, -1 Crypt Rats, -1 Imp, -1 Tendrils -1 Screecher
+ 2 Durress, +1 Distress, +1 Befoul, +1 Read the bones, +1 Font of Return, +1 Tallisman, +1 Okiba-Gang, +1 Spellbomb

TRON (Mono Blue Faeries)
-2 Tendrils, -1 Stinkweed Imp, -1 Screecher, -1 Grim Harvest
+ 2 Durress, +1 Distress, +1 Befoul, +1 Read the bones, +1 Okiba-Gang

-2 Witches, - 1 Disfigure -1 Screecher
+1 Crypt Rats, +1 Befoul, +1 Imp +1 Victim's Night

Aggro (Where LD is too slow)
-3 Choking Sands, -4 Icequake, -3 Rancid Earth
+1 Crypt Rats, +2 Durress, +1 Distress, +1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi, +1 Unmake, +1 Shrivel, +1 Victim of NIght, +1 Talisman, +1 Gray Merchant

- 4 Cuombajj Witches, -1 Disfigure, -1 Tendrils, -1 Crypt Rats
+ 2 Durress, +1 Distress, +1 Befoul, +1 Read the bones +1 Font of Return, +1 Talisman

The Pauper Gauntlet
What is the Pauper Gauntlet?

Full list of the 77 Pauper Gauntlet decks for the second season: 

The holiday season and Magic Online

Hi Everyone!
Typically prices for new fall sets drop online until December then begin to climb back up. The price for Khans continues to fall and makes me think this could be the beginning of a shift in the time line of MTGO prices for new sets. I have written about it before, but this is the first real evidence of this, but let's explore some other factors that could be in play before we jump to any conclusions.

The holiday season is the busiest it's ever been (since I started playing Magic Online). In the US the holiday shopping season has been lackluster at best each year, last year was the first year it showed growth from the previous year, this year numbers appear much better than even last year. The improving economy could mean people are playing Magic Online less and shopping for presents for friends and family more.

The other big factor that's only related to Khans, not every Fall set is the insane hype surrounding Khans. Khans was highly hyped and I think there was so much excitement that it caused the prices to skyrocket more than normal. Think of the fetch lands, they were so highly anticipated, but they aren't even that good in Standard. If I remember correctly LSV even wrote an article saying they are some of the best cards in magic and ranked them 5 out of 5. I don't argue that they are great cards, but I don't think they are 5 out of 5 for standard....It hurts a little to say it but I think the Theros block temples are better in most cases (considering 3 and 4 color decks) than Fetches in Standard.

I know we didn't make any conclusions today regarding economic shifts in MTGO, but I hope I have provided you with some information that helps you take a stance on the issue and make decisions in your trades that will be beneficial to your trading.

Holiday promo: Mishra's Toy Workshop

Every year on the occasion of Christmas time Wizards print a special card given only to its employees and sanctioned games stores. This year's holiday promo is Mishra's Toy Workshop. How could we obtain one? Try eBay, it goes for circa 100 USD. However, if you are thinking right now whether it is a good investment I will dispel your doubts very soon. Assuming, the number of promotional cards released every year is approximately constant and knowing the fact that only collectors purchase such cards, due to its illegality in sanctioned tournaments we may conclude that each year a newly released Chrismas promo card in December was worth 100 USD let's analyse the price of these promo cards using eBay as a tool to quotation.
2013: Stocking Tiger, 45 USD
2012: Naughty / Nice, 40 USD
2011: Yule Ooze, 40 USD
2010: Snow Mercy, 68 USD
2009: Season's Beatings, 54 USD
2008: Evil Presents, 55 USD
2007: Gifts Given, 98 USD
2006: Fruitcake Elemental, 49 USD

As the times goes on investors expect the higher return rate on investment. However, the data presented above shows that regardless how many years passed the price settles at give or take 50 USD. A strategy to buy and hold a card for few years and observe how the profit is steadily raising doesn't work here. So, putting it all together - holiday promo cards are terrible investment, unless you may get them really cheap.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What to do now that Modern Masters 2 is coming

Hi Everyone!
It looks like many of the magic players who speculated that there would be a Modern Masters 2 are walking around with chests puffed out right now.

To us as investors this is a good thing as long as we can capitalize on it. It's going to be from Mirrodin to Scars block.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Mox Opal is a likely reprint as are Karn Liberated, Tarmogoyf, and the Zendikar Fetch lands.

If you own any of these now, sell them. I already sold mine but you can wait, but if you're so greedy that you think you can wait until the spoilers for MM2 come out, you're probably fixing to lose a bunch of money, I'd get out now while you can with a good margin of safety.

The majority of Magic players play paper. Wizards tends to cater to the paper players a lot more than online players as it doesn't really give the same experience that actually sitting down and playing a game of Magic at a table gives. I mention this because there are many cards that are very expensive in paper that aren't so expensive online (in fact, I don't think there are many cards online for Modern that are "too expensive"). There will be cards that are expensive in paper but aren't really necessary to drop the price to a "reasonable" level online.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

20 decks remain in the Pauper Gauntlet

We started out with 77 decks. When we entered round five we had 30 decks left. Round five is now over. It was single elimination in the Tournament Practice room (this will be the format until round 12).

For deck lists, check this link:

The round ended with 20 wins and 10 losses. I think that is about the win rate we should see (or better) from this point on.

Decks that won and made it to round 6 of the Pauper Gauntlet S02
Affinity defeats DelverFiend 2-1
AzoriusKitty defeats MBC 2-1
Bant Presence combos off against Azorius Borderpost 2-1
BorosKitty defeats Delver 2-1
Bugs & Pigs runs into a quitter and wins

Burn defeats MBC 2-1
DelverFiend defeats AzoriusKitty 2-1
Exhume Control defeats
Familiars bores Izzet Cruise Control to death 2-0
Green One defeats MUC 2-1

Green Grifters gets a BYE from a Quitter
Goblins defeats Boros Metalcraft 2-0
Illusory Tricks defeats Goblins 2-0
Love Train defeats Infect 2-1
Mono Black Land Destruction defeats Affinity 2-1

Mono Red Heroic runs over Delver 2-0 despite horrible draws and mulligan decisions
MUC defeats Dimir Teachings 2-0
Rebel Grind defeats DelverFiend 2-1
Stompy defeats White Weenie 2-0
Tortured Toolbox defeats MBC 2-1

Decks that lost and are eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet S02
We say farewell to the following decks:

Devil Children lost to Affinity 0-2
Dimir Teachings lost to Affinity 1-2
Five Color Green gets its enchanted lands destroyed by RG Land Destruction 0-2
Gray Mercenaries of Asphodel lost to Affinity 1-2
Mana Burn lost to Delver 1-2
Mono Blue Artifacts lost to RUG Tron 0-2
Mono Red Ping lost to Izzet Trinket 0-2
Persistently Undying lost to Izzet Cruise Control 0-2
Project X got run over by DelverFiend 0-2
Turbo Fog lots to Obzens playing AzoriusTron 0-2

What about the decks that got voted back?
Well, Love Train and Illusory Tricks managed to represent well but Turbo Fog had a very hard matchup with AzoriusTron played by an expert level player.

You can watch the whole debacle here and tell me what I could have done differently

Basic facts
What is the Pauper Gauntlet?

Full list of the 77 Pauper Gauntlet decks for the second season: 

We now go into weekly rounds
I will now play one round per week until very few decks remain. Rounds start on Wednesdays and end on Tuesdays (GMT+1) and I will summarize the rounds in the Standard Pauper Show and in blog posts here weekly.

How can you follow the Pauper Gauntlet?
The twitter account @MagicGathStrat tweets whenever a video is uploaded to the two YouTube channels that feature the Gauntlet: MagicGatheringStrat and sngprop.

There are also bonus practice matches with some of the decks that are still in the Gauntlet on the sngprop youtube channel.

Bot Pricing v4 - Lifetime License - Bot Manual

What is a lifetime License?

Lifetime licenses are for bot owners that are in it for the long haul and are serious about generating a large business empire. With the lifetime license you will receive free Ml Bot pricelist downloads and you will no longer have to pay the 2.5%/3.5% transaction fee.

The lifetime license is good for for the duration of the Mtgo client lifespan,  including all future client releases.

What is the cost?

The cost of the license is 2500usd or 2700 tickets per bot. If you are considering opening more than 1 lifetime license bot, contacts us we could give you a multi-bot purchase discount.

Continue reading the bot manual...

Control Panel v4 - WebShop API - Bot Manual

Interested in opening a website to advertise your bot? 

ML Bots WebShop API is a development tool that allows you to set up a pricing website for your customers requests getting set names, card buy/sell prices and quantities held by your bots to display on your website.

Each bot registered with ML Bots has a unique key identifier. This identifier is sent to our API along with your request so we know which bot’s data is desired. We then reply to your request with the data you’ve requested.

If you are not a developer, no problem. ML Bot specialists will gladly assist you to get your website off to the right start. You can contact us on Livechat or email us at

A functioning example of the API in action can be seen at

The following is a php example which makes a call to the API and then displays the data in a simple HTML table.

/*** MTGO Library API Example ***/

// build the url to the api
$url = '' .  http_build_query(array(
    'bot' => 'YOUR_BOT_NAME_HERE', // your username
    'key' => 'YOUR_API_KEY_HERE',  // your api key
    'set_name' => 'BNG',           // the set name to download

// download the inventory
$inventory = json_decode(file_get_contents($url), true);

// create a table with the cards
        <th>Card Name</th>
        <th>Set Name</th>
        <th>Buy Price</th>
        <th>Buy Quantity</th>
        <th>Sell Price</th>
        <th>Sell Quantity</th>
    <?php foreach ($inventory as $card) { ?>
            <td><?php echo stripslashes(urldecode($card['card_name'])); ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['set_name']; ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['rarity']; ?></td>
            <td><?php echo urldecode($card['bot']); ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['foil'] ? 'foil' : ''; ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['buy_price']; ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['buy_quantity']; ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['sell_price']; ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $card['sell_quantity']; ?></td>
    <?php } ?>