Wednesday, December 28, 2016

If you want to get good at MTG you have to set SMART goals for yourself

If you want to improve at Magic the Gathering, you have to set clear goals for yourself. If you want to become the best local player at your FNM or want to win the Pro Tour does not matter but with a clear goal you can more easily see what steps you need to take to achieve it.

A smart person once made the SMART rule for goals. That works for business people. It works for MTG players as well.

A useful goal should be SMART!

S: Significant. Your goal should be significant. It should mean something to you. Achieving this goal should be a milestone in your Magic career. It can be a small milestone but it still has to be significant to YOU.

M: Measurable. Your goal should be measurable. "Get better at Mulliganing" is not a SMART goal. "Mulligan 10% less hands" is better. Measurable goals should not focus too hard on win rates as your win rate suffers from variance - you are still drawing cards from a deck and looking to much at your win rate will make you too results-oriented, a classic downfall for players of any card game (or all random games).

A: Attainable. Set realistic goals that you can reach within a meaninful period of time. "Being in the hall of fame" is a nice goal but it will not lead you on the path you need to take to master your local FNM metagame.

R: Relevant. Make sure your goal is really something you want to achieve. Consider the costs. Making the Hall of Fame will require sacrifice along the way. Are you prepared to make that sacrifice? How will this goal help you achieve your longterm goals?

T: Trackable. The goal must have a set time when you should have achieved it. "Play ten FNMs" is a worse goal than "Play ten FNMs before January 2018"

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Always ask yourself what you could do better in Magic

One enormous mistake most Magic players make is to try to justify their plays and try to prove that they are good enough players.

Magic is a very complicated game. When I was playing in my 2nd World Championship I was fairly convinced that the game was solved. I attributed my 8-10 record to bad luck, bad matchups etc. Shortly thereafter I fell off the pro tour circuit. I could not have been more wrong. Magic has proved again and again that it is one of the most complicated games around. It is far from solved.

Always ask yourself what you could have done better in a game of magic. Review your games. Look for your mistakes. Look for your tendencies. Know your mental shortcuts and do not be afraid to reconsider them.

The question you should always be asking yourself i s "How can I improve my game". Never ask "Why did this happen to me?" If there is anything in common among Magic pros that are constantly successful it is their neverending quest to question what they know of the game, listen to other good players and improve, improve, improve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Red Deck Wins in Pauper

A new kind of Goblin deck has appeared. Its not all Goblins. It is more like a traditional RDW deck. Lets have a look at it

Main deck
19 Mountain
4 Mogg Conscripts
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Cohort
3 Goblin Heelcutter
3 Inner-Flame Acolyte
4 Jackal Familiar
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Fireblast
2 Chain Lightning
4 Mudbrawler Cohort
3 Porcelain Legionnaire
4 Valley Dasher

3 Electrickery
4 Flame Slash
2 Flaring Pain
3 Smash to Smithereens

3 Pyroblast

Attack with aggressive creatures. Clear the way with burn. Its all 1997 again. I am going to give this deck a try for four weeks on the MagicGatheringStrat youtube channel. Here is the first match vs a Jund deck. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Aehter Revolt is coming

It is soon time to take the power back! Spoiler season over the holidays is always kind of weird but it has started and it should be ended around January 12th.

The Prerelease is January 14-15th

Magic Online Prerelease starts Jan 27th.
Magic Online Release Date is Jan 30th.

Pro Tour Aether Revolt takes place Feb 3-5th in Dublin, Ireland.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mysterious WotC survery

Wizards sent to certain customers a mysterious survey on a new packaging. It was just a matter of time when it will leak to the public. The names of new sets and picture of Ajani and prolly Vrasca on the booster packs made some buzz. The excitement was raised by theoretical setting in which these characters meet. It seems that after Egyptian Amonkhet set we will travel to Aztec's or Mesoamercia lands. But, according to earlier MaRo's statements it is allegedly more likely that we will return now to well known land, not visit a new one.

Wizards quickly confirmed that the pictures are authentic, but stated that it only represent concepts for packaging, not the actual package. In fact, identical packaging exists and is sold in stores such as Walmart. So why really Wizards conducted this poll? To check how the pictures present on the boosters or rather the to observe the reaction of players?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stompy back on top in Pauper

After the banning of Peregrine Drake, people expected midrange decks such as Murasa Tron and MBC to rise to the top again.

Curiously this has not been the case.

This is the metagame today

1. Stompy 12.5% (29 decks)
2. Delver 12.07% (28 decks)
3. Affinity 12.07% (28 decks)
4. Kuldotha Boros 9.05% (21 decks)
5. Elves 6.47% (15 decks)

Five aggro decks! MBC is nowhere to be seen. Tron is at #6.

Why? I believe the metagame is still in flux and that perhaps people are just picking midrange decks that are too slow. For now Pauper seems to be an aggrofest. If you want to play more than one color you better make it Affinity or Boros.

Here is a sample 5-0 Stompy deck. Some choice suprise me. Wild Mongrel and Basking Rootwalla are tested and found to be wanting long ago in the Stompy lists. I don't see what makes them viable now.

Main Deck
2 Basking Rootwalla
1 Bonesplitter
1 Epic Confrontation
16 Forest
2 Garruk's Companion
4 Groundswell
2 Mutagenic Growth
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Rancor
2 River Boa
2 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
2 Vault Skirge
4 Vines of Vastwood
2 Wild Mongrel
4 Young Wolf

3 Epic Confrontation
4 Gleeful Sabotage
2 Gut Shot
2 Natural State
1 Relic of Progenitus
3 Scattershot Archer

Do you have any thoughts on why aggro is dominating a format supposed to be dominated by midrange? How did Drake deal with all this aggression so successfully? Or did it?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pile shuffling

Today a few words about a pile shuffling. The question is whether it is really shuffling. Firstly, what is pile shuffling? Cards are simply dealt out into a number of piles, then the piles are stacked on top of each other.

Pile shuffling is not a shuffle at all. It is a deterministic method of reordering cards and counting them while pretending to shuffle. This only ensures that cards that were next to each other are now separated. Moreover, for any number of piles, the right number of repetitions will bring the deck back to its original state. This means you can predict with 100% accuracy, where cards will end up after 'shuffling' them. The pile shuffle might be useful in games that do not require complete randomization, such as Cards Against Humanity, where no player gains a competitive advantage from being able to predict or influence the order cards are drawn in, but you shuffle to provide a different game experience.

As far as you know it now and you should be aware, that some players might use this technique to have edge over you. Then, cutting opponent's deck may be not enough. To prevent your opponent from cheating this way do a riffle shuffle or a normal shuffle of his deck. 

Most of your opponents probably aren't using some complicated way to get an advantage over you by shuffling... But these cheaters are out there, and when you get paired against one, you don't want him to mess with you.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The end of the year of Modern Flashbacks

The year of Modern Flashbacks is coming to an end.

Its all Return to Ravnica block and M14 left.

Nov 30 - Dec 7: RTR x3
Dec 7-14: GTC x 3
Dec 14-21: RTR block, RTR+GTC+DGM
Dec 21-28: Magic 2014

RTR was the best of these formats IMHO. GTC is blindingly fast and the block format draft was quite strange. Magic 2014 was just superslow, make sure you draft Divination highly.

So what are your thoughts on the year of Modern Flashbacks? It seems to have brought prices down (along with everything else that has happened). Was it fun?

Holiday Promo: Thopter Pie Network

Every year on the occasion of Christmas time Wizards print a special card given only to its employees and sanctioned games stores, so are pretty unique This year's holiday promo is Thopter Pie Network. However, if you are thinking right now whether it is a good investment I will dispel your doubts very soon. Let's analyse the price of these promo cards using Mtggoldfish as a tool to quotation. We may notice that a newly released Chrismas promo card in December is worth more less 100 USD and it starts steadily declining in value as the time goes. Take a look at current prices:

2015: Goblin Sleigh Ride, 26.19 USD
2014: Mishra's Toy Workshop, 38.08 USD
2013: Stocking Tiger, 26.14 USD
2012: Naughty / Nice, 32.48 USD
2011: Yule Ooze, 35.36 USD
2010: Snow Mercy, 70.18 USD
2009: Season's Beatings, 40.22 USD
2008: Evil Presents, 68.42 USD
2007: Gifts Given, 136.11 USD
2006: Fruitcake Elemental, 48.79 USD

As the times goes on the investors expect the higher return rate on investment. However, the data presented above shows that regardless how many years passed these cards don't gain on value (only one exception Gifts Given). Despite of a limited printrun of Holiday Pormos 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 and you will sell them as soon as the possible.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Drafting Magic 2013

Magic 2013 was the draft format I got started with on youtube. I have liked it the best of all the core sets.

Its the flashback draft format happening right now on Magic Online. Try it out. You might enjoy it.

A couple of tips

1. It is a very midrange format. It is hard to be super aggro but it does work from time to time.
2. Exalted is real. This is one of the reasons for tip #3.
3. White is the best color.
4. When you go black and it is open - go heavy black! The shade works.
5. Red comes with good burn and mediocre creatures.
6. Friendly color combinations work best.
7. You need strong uncommons to do well with blue. However, the uncommons are very strong.
8. One toughness creatures die easily. If they don't, they are very good.  Consider sideboarding them out against Red.
9. Creatures with enter the battlefield effects are awesome.
10. Green is a stronger color than usual.

The pressure

A feeling of pressure during a tournament could totally ruin you and your performance. How to deal with it? Read on to find out.

  • Keep expectationes low. Don't visualize yourself holding a trophy just after winning four rounds. Simply do your job and play to your maximum ability.  So focusing or worrying about results when you are playing is pointless. The more expectations you take with you into a tournament, the more mental weight you will have piled on your shoulders each round you play.
  • I bet you feel very comfortable during FNM, but why many players get nervous in Grand Prix event? The game is the same. Rules are the same. You played Magic bazillion times before and you are not doing anything different than what you have done many times before. Perceive every game of Magic as a kitchen table game. It is just Magic.
  • Paired against local pro player or worldwide fameous name? 'Hell no, I'm surely doomed.' Is it really true? While playing against a newbie, does it mean you are giving him adventage? Definately not. You are trying to win a game at any cost. Either your opponent. Don't pay attention against whom you are playing. No matter if it is pro player or potentially worse player than you are. Pay attention to matchup and state of board, instead. 
  • Losing is a natural thing. It doesn't mean you are a bad player. The sooner you realize it, the better it is for you. A new dawn will come and so the new tournaments. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tom Ross wins SCG Modern Open Columbus with Tron

Tom Ross won the SCG Modern Open! Great job! But it was not RG Tron. It was GW Tron!

Why would you give up the best dual land in Modern to play white instead of red?

Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First, lets have a look at the deck.

Main deck
4 Ancient Stirrings
1 Brushland
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Karn Liberated
3 Oblivion Stone
3 Path to Exile
3 Razorverge Thicket
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Sanctum of Ugin
1 Spellskite
4 Sylvan Scrying
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
2 World Breaker
2 Wurmcoil Engine

3 Blessed Alliance
1 Ghost Quarter
3 Nature's Claim
1 Ravenous Trap
2 Rest in Peace
2 Thragtusk
3 Warping Wail

The idea of playing GW instead of GR is not new to Tron players. The main reason has been Path to Exile. Get a powerful spot removal spell instead of  Pyroclasm - should work well in certain metas. Timely Reinforcements also was a staple in the GW Tron decks. This is noticeably missing in Tom Ross's list.

As the author of the Modern Bible of RG Tron I have never advocated GW Tron. Today, I might have changed my mind.

The answers are all in the sideboard. Rest in Peace seems a much more powerful answer to Dredge than Relic of Progenitus. Blessed Alliance also swings the troublesome Burn Match in a way the older sideboard cards just never did. 

Also, it helped that Blood Moon decks are very popular. Contrary to popular belief, Blood Moon is not very effective against Tron decks with Oblivion Stones, Ugins and Karns.

Amazing deck choice, Tom! One day I may even consider playing Warping Wail which I am still on the fence about. 

Treasure Chests in paper Magic

From November 26 through December 17, stores around the world will be able to host Standard Showdown tournaments on Saturdays with special promotional prize boosters earned through undefeated play. Apart from performance, Wizards suggested distributing them as prizes for new players.

Stores will receive 40 prize boosters (ten for each event). Additonally, stores can also get 44 Standard Showdown Boosters to use as buy-a-box promos over the holiday season. Each purchase of a Kaladesh Booster Box will get you two boosters and each booster contains three-cards:
  • one premium Standard legal card, including Zendikar Expeditions and Kaladesh Inventions, not including double-faced cards.
  • two Standard legal rares or mythics (Battle for Zendikar through Kaladesh, excluding Oath of the Gatewatch and double-faced cards).
Zendikar Expeditions and Kaladesh Inventions appear in roughly 1 in 33 boosters.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Penny Dreadful - a new super cheap format on Magic Online

What would you say if I told you there is a format where you can play some super powerful rares and a deck costs less than 75 cents? Well, now there are.

Penny Dreadful is a new player run format on Magic Online where every card in the format costs 1 cent or less. That's the rule. There is - to my knowledge - no ban list. Every card on Magic Online that costs 0.01 or less is legal in your deck.

The format self-regulates, as a deck that dominates the format will increase in price slightly and become illegal by the next rotation. There is a rotation upon each new set release on Magic Online.

In a format where the staples will cycle with every set release, brewers take center stage in a race to define the next meta. At less than 1 Tix per deck, no card is out of your budget!
Mechanics that weren't quite powerful enough to compete in Modern and Standard are now king in Penny Dreadful.
Now I just have to figure out how to find someone to play with without joining the clan. 

Yes, its the ship! Treasure Cruise is legal in Penny Dreadful!

Best way to find matches is probably to join the Penny Dreadful clan on MTGO.
The Penny Dreadful web page: 
The Penny Dreadful Reddit: runs a weekly tournament on US-friendly hours:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Changes to Magic Online Events

Wizards has announced several changes to the way Magic Online events work.

* Competetive draft leagues are added. Single elimination events. Better payouts.
* Existing 6-2-2-2 draft leagues renamed "Friendly Draft Leagues"
* Prestive Avatars added to show how awesome you are through your avatar.
* Treasure Chests get better cards and EV goes up about 50 cents per chest.
* Treaure Chests will become tradeable
* C16 and Conspiracy: Take the Crown cards added to treasure chests

Full announcement by Lee Sharpe here:

Disable User Account Control In Windows 10

On Microsoft Windows 10, User Account Control ('UAC') prevents applications from making certain changes on your PC. Some applications try to change system-related parts, such as the Registry or the file system.

ML Bot is one of these applications because, in order to manage Magic Online and uninstall / reinstall it, the bot needs to access the file system (the "files on your hard drive"). If you don't disable UAC, ML Bot will not be able to perform certain tasks on Magic Online and in particular to repair MTGO in case of crash. As result the bot will work fine until MTGO crashes. At this point ML Bot will not be able to handle the crash and recover.
Please note that on a stable machine this will hardly happen and keeping the UAC turned will not affect you however typically this is not the case, MTGO is very unstable and crashes often and turning off UAC is mandatory.

Here is how to disable UAC and get rid of its popups in Windows 10.

Step 1
Firstly, right click on the “Start” button and select Control Panel option.

Step 2
Select "view by: large icons"

Step 3
Select the User Account option.

Step 4
Select the 'Change User Account Control setting' option

Step 5
Select User Account Control settings, and move the slider to the bottom (Never Notify). If the slider is already at the bottom (Never Notify) then move it up, release the mouse, move it down again to Never Notify and release it. Click OK.

Step 6
When you click OK the new dialogue box is open. Click YES.

Step 7
At this point UAC should be disabled. You will need to restart your PC. Once restarted, launch ML Bot using the icon on the Desktop,  if you completed the steps successfully the bot will launch without UAC. If you still see a request dialog from UAC, you did not disable UAC and you need to do again the steps above. If the problem still persists, please contact us via email at or

Frontier - a new format

For some time Wizards are speaking about creation of a new format, which would be the successor of Modern. It would be a new, nonrotating format in which we use cards from the latest sets. Unfortunately, apart from a few vague statements we have never received the details. Players took the matter into theirs own hands and created a format from the bottom up. Ladies and gentlemen, I present a Frontier, the new format in MTG, also known as postmodern.

Frontier was officially born on September 26, when the two largest MTG stores in Japan (Hareruya and BigMagic) announced that they are starting supporting a development of the new format. This was a response to requests from Japanese players, who were fed up with bland and rapidly rotating Standard. The dominance of aggro decks around was an argument too.

All cards that were legal in Standard are available, starting from Magic2015, which was the first set when Wizards printed holograms on Rare and Mythic cards for the first time. Thus, the Frontier includes: Magic 2015, Khans of Tarkir, Fate Reforged, Dragons of Tarkir, Magic Origins, Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrad, Eldritch Moon and Kaladesh.

In the last weekend of October, about 300 players (!) in Tokyo gathered and played the first big official tournament in Frontier.

I'm curious how this format will develop. Well, it has the support from shops. Not only in Japan but also in the US. Enthusiasm of players is huge. Will it share the fate of Tiny Leaders, which quickly grew tired. Will it receive a official support from the Wizard? What do you think of the new format?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Braid of Fire

Look at this beautiful card, designed for a world with mana burn. Without mana burn in the rules anymore, should this card not be exploitable? How to exploit it?

Sure, there are disadvantages. Lets look at them.

Modern is fast.
You have to use the mana in your upkeep
This card gives you a lot of mana when it is too late to really use it for anything.
An two mana enchantment is quite vulnerable
Other decks do this more efficiently (i.e. Tron or ramp strategies)

I want to try to break this card. I see two routes.

The combo route
Kruphix, God of Horizons.

There are better combo decks. I will not try to go the combo route today.

The control route

What if we take an Izzet control shell and only use instants in the deck? Suddenly all the cards are good on their own and they become great with Braid of Fire. I am thinking along the lines of the Izzet Post decks of old in Pauper.

Well, lets experiment.

Very rough first draft of a deck list 
4 Braid of Fire
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Think Twice
1 Whispers of the Muse
4 Steam Vents
2 Stomping Ground
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Arid Mesa
5 Mountain
4 Manamorphose
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Magmaquake
2 Ravaging Blaze
1 Firespout
1 Mysteries of the Deep
4 Serum Visions
2 Comet Storm
2 Volcanic Geyser

3 Pyroclasm
4 Ancient Grudge
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Firespout
1 Magmaquake
2 Vandalblast
1 Ravaging Blaze

How would you exploit Braid of Fire? What cards are needed for the deck? Leave your comments below

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sideboarding mastery

Over half of our games are sideboarded, but sideboarding is perhaps the most underrated art in Magic. The aim of this article is to provide some tips and key ideas that you can incorporate into any deck you play.

  • Don't reveal the number of cards you sideboard. Put them all in your deck at the same time and then remove the number at the same time. In Limited, players often don't make any changes and if you don't have any card which will improve your performance, you can always bluff your opponent. Side out 3 Plains and side in 3 Plains. Confuse him.
  • While we are on the subject of Limited and you are facing an aggro deck, which you cannot catch up with, consider changing your mana curve. Bring in some not obvious choices, like 2/1 for 2 mana in order to trade with their 2-drops. The point here is that you already win the late game anyway so you can afford a bad card. Contrary with both slow deck. Add a 7/6 for 6 mana. A creature that makes a difference in a long game.
  • Base sideboard plan on whether you are on the play or on the draw. Take a card like Knight of the White Orchid as example. It is great if you are on the play and you can search for a plains card, but if you are starting you will probably not benefit from its ability. So, it is rather a safe bet to sideboard it out, while you are starting. 
  • It may seems very unpopular, but consider siding out few land cards when the matchup is not about speed or you are significantly changing the mana curve.
  • Be aware of fact that your opponent is sideboarding as well. He may totally change a game plan, for example side out all creatures he has, so adding more removal spells against him might be not the best move. 

Wizards emergency bans Peregrine Drake in Pauper

During the regular banning announcement people expected Peregrine Drake to be banned in Pauper. The card reintroduced the broken Ghostly Flicker type combo decks and arguably even made them better. Gone were the old Familiars shells of tricky combinations. Now you could just take a good control deck and add Peregrine Drake and Ghostly Flicker and voila! you had one of the most broken decks in Pauper history.

Now no other midrange deck could keep up. The only way to combat drake was to go fast or play Drake yourself. Even the control decks had little chance.

With very little experience I picked up the deck and beat a UB Mystical Teachings deck.

Shockingly, Peregrine Drake was not banned during the regular banning announcement.

Then, this happened:

I could be wrong but I don't think this has happened since Jace, the Mind Sculptor wrecked Standard.

Peregrine Drake is now gone starting November 16th. I am quite excited about this change. Better late than never. I am looking forwards to playing Pauper in a healthy metagame once again.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

10-tix Modern Goats

Our 10-tix Modern league at is in full swing. We had 66 players.
Here are the basic details:
It turns out that format was quite varied.

I crashed and burn with my Burn deck, but not before I had this epic match against Coalition Victory (!).

My friend Brennon decided that 10-tix Modern was a perfect place to play a Goat Tribal deck (!).
Yes, that is what he played. Tribal Goats!

And then of course we have my other buddy, Bobgar, who played Stompy.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

White Weenie returns! (Pauper)

After a really long absence White Weenie is back in the top 8 of the Pauper metagame!

I had to explore it!

This is the deck list:

Main deck
4 Bonesplitter
4 Elite Vanguard
3 Icatian Javelineers
3 Journey to Nowhere
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Loyal Cathar
4 Mana Tithe
18 Plains
1 Sky Skiff
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Sunlance
4 Thraben Inspector
4 War Falcon

3 Dust to Dust
2 Holy Light
1 Patrician's Scorn
3 Rune of Protection: Red
2 Standard Bearer
1 Sunlance
3 Veteran Armorer

Very aggressive compared to the WW lists of old. I am really sceptical about the Mana Tithes. Well, lets give it a try against the #2 deck in the metagame!

If you want to see more of the deck I will be playing it every Monday on the above youtube channel for another three weeks.

What do you think of White Weenie in Pauper? Is there room? What do you do against the bogeyman - UR Drake? Seems like a terrible matchup!

Commander 2016: mechanics

Normally, I would not write a word about Commander 2016 mechanics, but one of them is totally a breakthrough and it is worth mentioning, even if you are not an EDH player consider it as curiosity.

A partner. It is a fresh new rule to the format and it feels very simple and intuitive to me, sliding in elegantly into the existing Commander framework. A player may for the first time have two commanders if each of them has the partner keyword. There are fifteen legendary creatures wirh partner keyword. What does it mean to have two commanders? First of all, both commanders contribute to the deck's color identity, so if one commander is Blue/Black and the other is Red/White, your deck can include cards from these four colors. However, your two commanders are treated individually for all other Commander rules. If either leaves the battlefield, you can return it to the command zone instead. The additional cost of 2 for every time you've cast a commander from the command zone, applies individually. Combat damage dealt by each commander is similarly tracked individually. If either commander can deal 21 or more combat damage to a single player over the course of the game, that player loses.

and other a bit less spectacular new mechanic is:

Undaunted is a new keyword mechanic appearing on rare noncreature spells. Spells with undaunted cost one generic mana less to cast for each opponent in the game. Therefore, they become more expensive to cast as the game overruns and players are eliminated. But even if it is down to two players, you still get a 1 discount.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Reverting Standard rotation

This week Wizards announced that the twice yearly rotation is making it too difficult for new players to get into the format. Hence, Standard is reverting from the once a year rotation, which was introduced almost two years ago and was suppoused to come live soon, back to the two year rotation. 

We tried something that we thought would be overall better for the environment, but we have come to realize it isn't, based on player feedback. We heard you, and we're willing to change back to the way it was, and back to the way that gave players the most positive experience.

Wizards have studied the data and found that players feel that the faster rotation made Standard less appealing and players don’t like the change. Wizards realized that they had made a mistake, but they fixed it.

Playing Mentor in Vintage for the first time

As a bot owner I have been picking up VMA cards since 2014 and seen them fall steadily for two years. So why not put them to use? Time to get into Vintage.

I have tried Workshop before but after the most recent banning the deck changed completely, turning it once again expensive to get into.

This is the deck I choose to test instead:

Main deck
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Preordain
1 Repeal
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Mana Drain
1 Time Walk
4 Force of Will
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
4 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Polluted Delta
2 Tundra
2 Underground Sea
1 Treasure Cruise
3 Mental Misstep
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Mox Sapphire
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Gush
4 Monastery Mentor
1 Dig Through Time

1 Plains
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Disenchant
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Meddling Mage
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Notion Thief

Having no idea what I was doing at all I just went to the TP room on MTGO and tried it out. It seemed impossible to find a match in any other room.

I expected to get a real good beating.

I imagined that I would be crushed instantly but that did not happen. In fact, it turned out I was playing way too slowly and I was in danger of losing to the clock (something that rarely happens in Modern but does happen in Pauper sometimes). I also did not expect that the format would be so complicated. I loved every second of it.

Now, if I just could find a primer on this deck and even a sideboard plan, I would be thrilled. If you know of any, give me the links please. Mtgsalvation, my usual source for such material, definitely did not deliver.

There is a free Vintage tournament with real prizes at every Sunday. Check out more here:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Enchantress in Modern

I was looking for a fun, new, casual Modern deck. I looked around on mtgsalvation and found this thread:

I am way to used to the tier 1 threads with excellent primers so I was quite disappointed that the first post was not updated but there was some gold on the later pages.

Then I came upon Saffron Olive excellent budget article:

It convinced me that the deck was indeed worthy of some play.

This was my first attempt at winning against a "real" deck.

Strengthened by this experience and some comments, I came up with this list.

Main deck
8 Forest
4 Plains
4 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

1 Greater Auramancy
2 Journey to Nowhere
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Nyx-Fleece Ram
4 Ghostly Prison
4 Oblivion Ring
1 Story Circle
2 Sphere of Safetly
1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
4 Utopia Sprawl
2 Fertile Ground

4 Arbor Elf
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Eidolon of Blossoms
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

3 Nyx-Fleece Ram
3 Rule of Law
3 Nevermore
3 Story Circle
1 Sphere of Safety
1 Open the Vaults
1 Seal of Primordium

That's 31 enchantments. I should be able to draw some cards.

Emrakul might look odd but it gives me inevitability plus prevents me from decking myself.

The only budget choice I made was to not go buy Leyline of Sanctity which has an obvious spot in the deck. The budget version of Leyline is Ivory Mask.

Stay tuned for an update and you will learn how I did with the deck.

If you have any suggestions for the list, please let me know

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Redemption changes

The ability to redeem digital sets for physical ones has long been one of the pillars of the Magic Online economy. When the program was first launched in the early 2000s it was designed to make players feel more comfortable with investing into digital cards by providing an escape hatch to the world of paper Magic.

Starting with Kaladesh, the redemption period of a set will begin roughly 30 days after the set's release, up until the start of redemption for the next block set (Amonkhet in this case). Wizards provided this handy graphic to demonstrate the new timeline:

This period is significantly shorter than the old timeline, which guaranteed redemption for the Standard lifetime of each set, with a cut-off date of about one year after rotation. This means the redemption period will be reduced from approximately 2.5 years down to 6 months and small sets like Aether Revolt will barely receive a redemption period of three months

The fun fact is Battle for Zendikar is redeemable for 5 months after Kaladesh is no longer redeemable, and Shadows over Innistrad is redeemable nearly a year after Kaladesh goes off. Shadows over Innistrad will be redeemable for a few months after Amonkhet.

Will people rush to redeem sets and as a result Standard singles will reach new heights?

One is more than certain, once the redemption window closes on the Kaladesh block next spring, prices on Kaladesh cards not seeing very strong Standard play will crash hard.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Kaladesh prerelase experience

I played the Kaladesh prerelease. Overall I was very impressed by the format. It seemed like tons of fun. I was poorly prepared and it felt almost like back in the day when I had to read all of the cards.

The new league structure is fantastic. No longer did I need to book six consecutive hours to my wife's despair - no, now I could just play the matches at my convenience. Very neat.

This is the pool I was presented with and the deck building decisions I made. What deck would you have built?

Red Green was very strong. In all the matches I played except the last one, a RG deck won the match. Sadly, however, that deck was not always one.

The first match clearly showed me the power of my deck as I crushed my opponent with RG violence.

In the second match I once again applied brute force and beat my UG Energy opponent to a pulp.

So much violence!

After that it did not go too well. You can see the rest of the matches in the playlist provided below:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Kaladash: impact on Modern format

The most interesting cards from Kaladash that may find home in Modern format:

Fastlands: enemy-color lands are always welcomed in any multicolor deck.

Inventor’s Fair: it suits very well to Lantern Control deck. A tutor for whatever you are missing and a constant lifegain, which gives you more time to set a lock. This card would be totally nuts if it wasn't legendary.

Toolcraft Exemplar: a one-mana three-power creature with first strike may be tested in Affinity deck. It isn't vulnerable to Stony Silence. The only drawback is early white mana. On the other hand, we have Springleaf Drum and Glimmervoid so playing it on turn one might be more common than it seems. While going white, we may include Dispatch mainboard, which is another powerful spell.

Smuggler’s Copter: crew a Memmnite into evasive attacker. The looting ability is significant in a deck that doesn’t require many mana sources and runs out of fuel very shortly.

Voltaic Brawler: a two-mana creature that attacks for four trample damage twice seems to fit to Zoo decks. While these have largely gone out of favor because of Death's Shadow, Voltaic Brawler is another tool for those decks.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance: I have doubts that Chandra will see Modern play, but though four-mana planeswalkers have a way of making their way in, e.g Nahiri, the Harbinger. Chandra seems like a solid four-mana spell for a Primeval Titan deck. It eneables you even a turn four Titan. Not to mention that if you don’t have the Titan, Chandra offers a small amount of draw power to help find it.

Scrapheap Scrounger: this card is tailor-made for Dredge. When you dredge over Scrapheap Scrounger, you get the card that matters in your graveyard and triggers Prized Amalgam. A 3/2 for two is unlikely to just win the game on its own, but it will for sure help you somehow accomplish this task.

Autohority of the Consuls: a sideboard card, that stops Goryo's Vengeance, Through the Breach and Nahiri, the Harbringer.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Smuggler's Copter

In the early new Standard format, Smuggler's Copter looks very good. Is it too good?

A two-mana artifact that can be played by any deck with creatures (and let's face it, Wizards have made sure there are no creatureless decks anymore) that can easily win the game by itself - is that too good?

Are we about to face an 18-month period dominated by a two-drop artifact? That kind of reminds me of the days of Cursed Scroll being a 4-of in every deck in Standard back in the ancient past.

I think it would be unwise to enter a Standard tournament today without sufficient answers for an early Copter. However, this format is filled with answers that helps.

Grasp of Darkness, Harnessed Lightning, Fragmentize, Appetite for the Unnatural, Unlicensed Disintegration, Murder, Stasis Snare, Spatial Contortion, Skywhaler's Shot, Blessed Alliance, Clip Wings, Negate, Ceremonious Rejection, Natural State,  Immolating Glare ...

It seems that Wizards will not make Mirrodin-level mistakes any longer.

If you are playing read you can get fancy with Fiery Temper through the discad trigger to deal with opposing Smuggler's Copters.

The format is still in flux. It will be interesting to see how dominant the Copter becomes.

If you are looking at this from a financial perspective, this is definitely the time to sell any Smuggler's Copter you get your hands on. A rare from a large set will not hold a price of 16 tickets for long, no matter how dominant it is.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

MTGO Library Bot 11.67 - Kaladesh

Yesterday we released ML Bot 11.67. The new bot version supports the new set Kaladesh (KLD).

As usual the official pricelist containing the KLD prices is available in the update process and for download from the Online Control Panel. LITE bots have to update as well.

Happy release events to all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Standard Pauper lives

Despite being removed as a filter, the Stanard Pauper community survives.

You can join the cheapest format on Magic Online at . This site offers two weekly free tournament with free prices supported by bot chains.

How cheap is the format? Well, a playset of all the cards (commons legal in Standard) costs about 2 tickets.

Here is a recent winning deck by the excellent player rrmedio1:


5 Forest
4 Island
1 Mountain
4 Swamp
4 Elvish Visionary
1 Rolling Thunder
2 Pilgrim's Eye
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Unknown Shores
1 Dutiful Attendant
1 Monastery Loremaster
3 Vulturous Aven
4 Reave Soul
2 Ruin Processor
2 Eldrazi Skyspawner
2 Brilliant Spectrum
2 Complete Disregard
3 Oblivion Strike
4 Pulse of Murasa
3 Holdout Settlement
3 Wretched Gryff
3 Primal Druid

1 Duress
3 Negate
1 Rolling Thunder
1 Monastery Loremaster
1 Caustic Caterpillar
1 Ruin Processor
1 Roilmage's Trick
3 Boiling Earth
2 Natural State
1 Drag Under

You can check out news on the format from Standard Pauper blogger Gwyned here:

Monday, October 3, 2016

MTGO Library 10.65

We released ML Bot 10.65. The update contains many fixes regarding one of the most 'delicate' part of handling the MTGO client: the uninstall / install process. 

Uninstall MTGO is sometimes required when MTGO breaks. In these cases you are not able to launch the client (not even manually) and the only way to fix is to reinstall MTGO. This is an easy task for a human but it's complex for a bot because many things can go wrong.
In particular, previous ML Bot versions had problem with non-English operative systems, where the title of the windows can be different from the typical "Application Error" messages that appears in an English-based system.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Treasure Chests

Wizards is going to implement a new prize payout called Treasure Chests that will randomly distribute prize cards when opened. What could you find inside of your Treasure Chest? You are guaranteed one of the following:

  • Curated Cards: Selected by Magic R&D for their desirability on MTGO. (Includes Kaladesh Inventions and the Power Nine)
  • Modern-Set Rares and Mythic Rares: Any regular rare or mythic that appears in a Modern legal set.
  • Play Points: Varying amounts of Play Points. (No minimum/maximums were mentioned)

Most Treasure Chests will also contain two Standard-set commons or uncommons, but those could be replaced at the following ratios:
  • 1 in 4.5 Treasure Chests: one of the common/uncommon slots will be replaced by either a Curated Card or a Modern-set Rare/Mythic.
  • 1 in 239 Treasure Chests: both of the common/uncommon slots will be replaced by either a Curated Card or Modern-set Rare/Mythic.
Treasure Chests will be awarded as prizes for Constructed Leagues, both Friendly and Competitive, or Vintage Daily Events starting at records of (3-x). Friendly Leagues will no longer award packs as a prize. The most likely Treasure Chests will be not tradable.

Link to the Curated Card list: Treasure Chest Card List
In total 635 cards ranging from Rishadan Port to penny cards.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

10-tix Modern

Me and my  buddies at MagicGatheringStrat are running a Modern League starting this week so get your decks in before Sunday. It is a budget league so decks can cost no more than 10 tickets. That seemed like an interesting challenge.

The league is free to enter and we do have prizes.

You will find all the revelant information in this video.

I started thinking about this format. I checked out my old Urzatron Modern Silverblack deck but the Urzalands are too expensive for 10-tix Modern.

Then it occured to me! Burn! Mono Red Burn. Boring perhaps but always a strong contender in budget formats.

This is the list I came up with

2 Flames of the Blood Hand
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Keldon Marauders
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet
19 Mountain
4 Rift Bolt
3 Searing Blaze
4 Shard Volley
4 Skullcrack
4 Thermo-Alchemist

2 Aggressive Mining
4 Dragon's Claw
2 Electrickery
2 Flames of the Blood Hand
1 Searing Blaze
4 Smash to Smithereens

It comes in a 9.86 tickets today. Do you have any suggestions for improvements? 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What does Kaladesh mean for Pauper?

This time, right before the release of another big set, the Interwebs fill up with articles that speak about interesting cards for Pauper, the all-common format, mainly played on Magic Online.

I am here to disappoint you.

Pauper contains commons going all the way back to Magic's creation. That means that a new set of 264 cards is going to make a minimal impact. Still, we sometimes get a gem or two (such as Thermo-Alchemist in Eldritch Moon). Remember - to put some card in your deck from Kaladesh, you have to take out a card that is probably pre-NWO and amazing.

Here are the cards I think have a real possibility of finding a spot in a tier 1-3  deck in Pauper. They are listed in order with the likeliest card at the top.

Gearseeker Serpent: A 5/6 for UU could see play in Affinity. Quicksilver Behemoth has seen play and is just a 4/5 at a similar mana cost. However, two blue colored mana could be too steep. Being 5/6 is so good, though, being able to block Gurmag Angler is worth a lot.

Fragmentize: The ability to disenchant something for 1 mana can not be ignored. This will see sideboard play.

Dramatic Reversal: This has no home in an existing deck but the effect is so powerful that maybe, just maybe, something could be built around this.

Cathartic Reunion: Tormenting Voice saw fringe play in tier 3 decks. This card is clearly more powerful some of the time and it just reeks of combo potential. It will probably just not be as good as the blue alternatives.

Reckless Fireweaver: Its base stats are very weak at 1/3 for R1 but the effect is very powerful. It don't see it finding a spot in Affinity (what do you cut?) but there are some rogue decks that could benefit from this.

Take Down: Stompy and other green decks could use a card like this. The ability to take down a Spire Golem for 1 mana is nothing to sneeze at. However, I believe Scattershot Archer will remain the better choice.

Salivating Gremlins: This card is not good but we know that people will try to break it. It will appear in brews.

Larger than Life: Infect might just want this. Trample is sweet and similar cards have seen play.

Self-Assembler: Getting four 4/4s will be useful for some decks, especially decks that don't have access to green for Auroch's Herd

Dhund Operative: I have seen Suicide Black lists sporting 4 Vault of Whispers and 4 Bonded Constructs in a desperate attempt to make this playable. There might be a better way so I figured the card deserved a mention at least.

I have not mentioned reprints (I am looking at you, Prophetic Prism) that are already established in the format.

This list can become very different if the next set contains any playable Pauper cards that use Energy. If that is the case we have to reconsider cards such as the Puzzleknots but for now they are all useless to us.

How to draft Kaladesh?

I'm going to present you the list of cards, starting from the best pick during the draft and ending on the least desirable card. For instance, if you don't have any card from "2nd pick" card pool you look for cards in "3rd pick". Cards not mentioned below shouldn't rather appear in your deck.

1st pick:
artifact: Skysovereign, Consul Flagship.
white: Aetherstorm Roc, Angel of Invention.
blue: Confiscation Coup.
red: Chandra, Torch of Defiance.
black: Demon of Dark Schemes, Noxious Gearhulk.
green: Nissa, Vital Force, Verdurous Gearhulk.

2nd pick:
artifact: Multiform Wonder, Smuggler's Copter.
white: Cataclysmic Gearhulk, Fumigate, Skywhaler’s Shot.
blue: Saheeli's Artistry, Torrential Gearhulk.
red: Combustible Gearhulk, Skyship Stalker.
black: Marionette Master.
green: Bristling Hydra, Cultivator of Blades.
multi: Cloudblazer, Depala, Pilot Exemplar, Dovin Baan, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter, Unlicensed Disintegration, Voltaic Brawler.

3rd pick:
artifact: Ballista Charger, Bomat Bazaar Barge, Chief of the Foundry, Cultivator's Caravan, Filigree Familiar, Fleetwheel Cruiser, Foundry Inspector, Iron League Steed, Key to the City, Metalwork Colossus, Narnam Cobra, Renegade Freighter, Scrapheap Scrounger, Sky Skiff, Snare Thopter.
white: Aerial Responder, Aviary Mechanic, Captured by the Consulate, Consul’s Shieldguard, Fairgrounds Warden, Fragmentize, Gearshift Ace, Glint-Sleeve Artisan, Impeccable Timing, Master Trinketeer, Propellor Pioneer, Revoke Privileges, Skyswirl Harrier, Thriving Ibex, Visionary Augmenter, Wispweaver Angel.
blue: Aether Meltdown, Aether Theorist, Aethersquall Ancient, Experimental Aviator, Gearseeker Serpent, Glimmer of Genius, Glint-Nest Crane, Insidious Will, Janjeet Sentry, Long-Finned Skywhale, Malfunction, Nimble Innovator; Padeem, Consul of Innovation, Shrewd Negotiation, Wind Drake.
red: Aethertorch Renegade, Brazen Scourge, Chandra’s Pyrohelix, Fateful Showdown, Furious Reprisal, Harnessed Lightning, Lathnu Hellion, Maulfist Doorbuster, Pia Nalaar, Spontaneous Artist, Thriving Grubs, Welding Sparks.
black: Aetherborn Marauder, Ambitious Aetherborn, Dhund Operative, Die Young, Eliminate the Competition, Essence Extraction, Gonti, Lord of Luxury, Lawless Broker, Live Fast, Make Obsolete, Maulfist Squad, Ovalchase Daredevil, Prakhata Club Security, Subtle Strike, Syndicate Trafficker, Thriving Rats, Tidy Conclusion.
green: Arborback Stomper, Architect of the Untamed, Armorcraft Judge, Elegant Edgecrafters, Hunt the Weak, Kujar Seedsculptor, Longtusk Cub, Nature’s Way, Peema Outrider, Riparian Tiger, Servant of the Conduit, Thriving Rhino.
multi: Contraband Kingpin, Empyreal Voyager, Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Restoration Gearsmith, Veteran Motorist, Whirler Virtuoso.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mtgo hotfix for broken binder

*UPDATE*  The binder problem seems to be fixed.

WotC just deployed a hotfix to the active trade binder problem. You need to restart your MTGO and the binders should be working fine as usual.

Our team is now doing tests, we'll keep you informed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kaladesh limited first impressions

One of my favorit sets to draft (and play Sealed) was Mirrodin. The fact that there were so many artifacts meant there was so much good stuff for every deck. It felt like christmas in every draft. I was on hiatus during Scars of Mirrodin which means that I have been waiting a long time for Kaladesh limited. The fact that draft is now played in league form makes it even more interesting.

Magic Online prereleases being on October 7th. I quit limited early during BFZ. I think this might be the time to get back in.

What to expect of the format
The commons look very strong. Black has a 3/2 deathtouch creature at common! I think we can expect a faster than average format. It will not be Magic Origins or Zendikar fast though.
Because the commons and uncommons look strong I think we can expect a pauper format, i.e. it will a format not dominated by bomb rares. 
A lot of cards generate bonuses for artifacts. Artifacts will be better than usual
Play 17 lands. As there are some sinks, I would tend to go 18 more than 16.
2/2s for 2 are probably not good enough even though the format is fast. 

New mechanics and how they will affect the format
Energy - this mechanic is hard to evaluate at this early stage. Will probably help finish games if they go late. It looks like a deep mechanic with lots of play to it. 
Fabricate - full of options. Will make the format more interesting. I will tend to evaluate cards with Fabricate a little higher. 
Vehicles - they look so bad but I expect them to be better than expected and matter. I will be scared of including too many in my deck. Imagine having a vehicle out with no creatures. That is basically the same as taking a mulligan.

Here is an overview of the new mechanics in Kaladesh:

Fix your trade binder after the Mtgo Update

We found a way to fix the trade binders after the Mtgo update.

This is a bug preventing everyone (including 'humans') from adding / removing cards to the active trade binder. The binder is basically broken. There is nothing you can do to fix, you have to trash it and create a new one. Below the exact procedure

1) you need to create a new binder, empty 
2) you need to make it active 
3) you need to erase the old trade binder 
4) restart mtgo, let the bot go and handle the client as usual

Bugs in MTGO 93.633

The latest version of MTGO, released by WotC few hours ago, is heavily bugged. We had to rewrite parts of the bot to bypass these bugs and we will be publishing a bot update in few hours. 

There could be some errors on your MTGO that do not depend on ML Bot. The most common are:
  • a constant "Loading Magic Online" alert message. If you have so, your account is unable to trade. You need to move MTGO to another pc and / or clone your virtual machine from a working one

  • impossibility to make your cards tradable. This happens on some accounts, and it is not related to the "Loading Magic Online". Not even manually you can make cards tradable

Beside that, the rest of the bot and mtgo is working.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How to build a Modern deck cheaply?

While it is not really possible to buy a Modern deck cheaply without a lot of patience, there is certainly a way to spend your money effectively and efficiently to avoid the prohibitive costs of some Modern decks. Here are some basic tips to follow as you are picking up staples for a new deck. Keep in mind that these strategies are predicated on patience. If you absolutely must play a new deck tomorrow, you will not find this information beneficial.

Before even starting to make the investment proxy your deck first. Find a deck you enjoy and want to build. It seems pretty obvious but I know so many players without a clear plan of what they even want to play. Maybe you own a few Arcbound Ravagers and want to play Affinity but also own some Noble Hierarchs and wouldn’t mind playing a green deck. Later you have a lot of money in cards and no deck.

Buy the cheap cards first 
Modern cards don’t usually get cheaper over time. Without any reprints, a card can quickly gain on value over the course of time. Take a Modern Masters set as example. When the full spoiler was revealed, the cards that were not included in the set skyrocketed. Cheap card were not cheap cards anymore. Even the commons are destined for rising prices.

Buy the most expenisve cards later
Many players start building a deck from the most expensive cards, assuming the rest should fall into place more easily. Indeed, it is true, but only if you manage to get full deck quickly, but if you know that it will take you months to complete a deck it is rather a bad decision, becasue these cards are on WotC's radar and the probability of reprint is higher. Product announcements are every six months

Buy recent reprints
If you acquire recent reprints with right timing you cannot loose money on this investment. If you are thinking of Modern in longterm it is usually a good decision to buy a playset of recent reprints, because sooner or later you will need these cards and they are much cheaper now due to high supply. Tip: Heritage Druid, Inquistion of Kozilek should be on your radar now.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Kaladesh Masterpieces

It seems that the Zendikar expeditions were quite successful so now we are doing it again in Kaladesh.

Kaladesh Masterpieces will be coveted cards such as Sword of Fire and Ice and Mana Crypt. They will be found in new-art, foil-only versions at a rate of roughly 1 out of every 144 boosters. I think that is the same rate as the expeditions. Almost all of the Masterpieces are reprints.

So why does Wizards do this? Three reasons.

#1: Putting part of the box value in these expensive chase cards in order to reduce the cost of Standard (it does make sense if you think hard about it).
#2: Getting old cards out there. A Modern Masters every other year is not enough. Wizards need to reduce the value of your bot collection in several ways and this is one of the better.
#3:  Another way to bling your deck (yeah, that's what they said)

And it seems that Wizards, in fact, have succeeded in achieving these three goals. Zendikar Expeditions were a hit so now we are doing it again. It works.

Here is a full list of the Masterpieces (they are all artifacts naturally):

Aether Vial
Cataclysmic Gearhulk
Champion's Helm
Chromatic Lantern
Chrome Mox
Cloudstone Curio
Combustible Gearhulk
Crucible of Worlds
Gauntlet of Power
Hangarback Walker
Lightning Greaves
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Mind's Eye
Mox Opal
Noxious Gearhulk
Rings of Brighthearth
Scroll Rack
Sculping Steel
Sol Ring
Solemn Simulacrum
Static Orb
Steel Overseer
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Torrential Gearhulk
Verdorous Gearhulk

On another note, the set looks sweet so far. I was not around during Scars of Mirrodin but my experience from Mirrodin tells me that drafting an artifact set is great fun. I might be doing my first limited leagues soon.

Full announcement by Wizards here:

Upcoming MTGO Library Improvements

I am excited to annouce MTGO Library will be making some major improvements in the upcoming months.  As I mentioned in a prior article, there will be a new price updater that will be launched in October. In the image below you see a work-in-progress preview, so don't take it as final.

In November there will be improvements to MTGO Wikiprice with increased search speeds, the grouping of reprinted cards into one search page (In other words, if want Tarmogoyf, you don't have to search 3 different sets), and possibly a universal credit system for all ML bots to share credits.

After Christmas / January 2017, a Webshop for Wikiprice will be launched.  The new Webshop will allow customers to purchase from any bot using paypal or credit card.  And then grab the cards on single bots, or on a wikiprice collector bot (so one trade).  The goal is to make Mtgo Wikiprice a better place to shop.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Modern Masters 2017 coming on March 17, 2017

MM3 has been announced. There will be cards from Eigth Edition through Magic 2014 with the emphasis on Innistrad and Return to Ravnica blocks.

MSRP is $9.99. Hopefully that is not the online price.

The structure of the set seems to be the same as MM and MM2.

So what could the ten archetypes possibly be? These are my guesses.

WU: Fliers with detain
WB: Sacrifice - probably Humans
WG: Populate and big things
WR: Battalion seems like the natural choice but that would win against any other of these decks.
UB: Self mill. I don't think Cypher stands a chance.
UG: Please please be Evolve
UR: Spells. Possibly with Burning Vengeance. Always popular.
BG: Morbid Golgaris
BR: Vampires
GR: Werewolves

What do you think? What are your guesses? Let me know in the comments below.

Interesting that some of the archetypes will be well known because of Shadows over Innistrad being so recent.

I hate what this is going to do to my bot inventory. I think it is time to stop buying anything from ISD and RTR blocks. And it is definitely time to sell your Snapcaster Mages and Lilianas.

Full announcement here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How to trade in a Bear Market

As mentioned in a previous article, the mtgo market has continued to decrease in valuation.

So today I'd like to provide some tips on how to trade in a bear market.

1.  Be very selective on your purchases by purchasing cards that are fast movers, because what you buy will probably decrease in value.  
2.  Flip your cards as quickly as possible.  Again, this is because the card value will probably decrease in value.  So you want to either make a small profit or take a small loss as quickly as possible and move on to the next sale.
3.  Decrease your profit margins (lower the gap between sell and buy price) to increase inventory turns.
4.  Purchase cards over time to average down purchase price.  For example:  your bot might buy 4 quantities of a certain card, now set the buy limit to 2 or 1 quantity instead.  Then increase the buy quantity over time as prices come down so you can average down your purchase price.
5.  And of course, always maintain a certain amount of tickets on your bots at all times regardless of a Bull or Bear Market.  This builds customer loyalty and confidence in your bots.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Modern League with Naya Burn - the conclusion

A couple of weeks ago I started my very first league with a solid 2-0 result taking down Hate Bears and Affinity. You can check it out here:

Then I went 1-1 and was 3-1 going into this final match.

Interestingly enough, my final match was against Naya Burn featuring Wild Nacatl.

The question whether to include Wild Nacatl in Naya Burn is a difficult one and seems to come down to taste - i.e. decks with or without Wild Nacatl have a similar win percentage over a large sample size.

Overall, I enjoyed my first league experience and I have already started a second one. I also like the deck quite a bit - I feel it is a very strong deck against a large amount of the field.

Here is my deck list:

Kaladesh: mechanics

Prerelease of Kaladesh starts on September, 24. This time there are no returning mechanics. Instead, we will get three totally new:
  • Crew - each Vehicle starts out as just an artifact. Well, an artifact with some potential. It is keyword ability that enables vehicles to become artifact creatures until end of turn. To activate the crew ability, tap any number of creatures you control with total power equal to or greater than the crew number. Because the crew ability doesn't use the tap symbol, you can tap any untapped creature you control, even with summoning sickness. You can even tap an animated Vehicle to crew another Vehicle. Additionally, there is a 'Pilot' creature type, which usually gives Vehicle some bonuses, if it was tapped to pay the Crew cost. 
  • Fabricate - when a creature with Fabricate enters the battlefield you may put a number of +1/+1 counters on the creature, or create a number of 1/1 colorless Servo artifact creature tokens. The number after fabricate tells you how many +1/+1 counters or Servos you get.
  • Energy counters represent Aether, a magical energy that is found throughout the Multiverse and is an integral part of the ecosystem on Kaladesh. Energy counters are a new resource, placed on players in form of a counter, likewise Poison counters. They are used to pay the cost to activate abilities. Most cards that give you energy counters also give you a way to spend them. Energy counters that you get from one card can be saved up and spent on abilities of other cards. Energy counters don't go away, there is no 'energyburn' when a phase of your turn ends. The only way to lose them is to spend them. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Average mtgo card value 8th July - 8th September

New Pricing System Coming Soon

Mtgo Library is currently working on a major improvement to the background price updater that will be released in October.  It is a total rewrite of the current one with a more advanced algorithm. The new pricing system will be dynamic and will allow the bot to follow the market immediately with two extra controls based on current sales and inventory stock.  As always, Mtgo Library continues to make investments to keep their bots on the cutting-edge.

More details to come!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Easter Eggs

An Easter egg is an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in an interactive work such as a computer program, video game or other. It is no different with MtG. It's name is used to evoke the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt.

There are many Easter eggs in MtG, but I've selected ones that I like the most. Each set has its own hidden Easter eggs. Artists have been constantly winking to us since Alpha set. Feel free to add more propositiones in comments.

Uktabi Orangutan. In this card we see some 'monkey business' going on in the background and then in Unhinged set we've got a Uktabi Kong. We may see there a results of this activity.

Flame Wave. Take a look near the center of the underside of the wave and you will see what appears to be a guy surfing on the magma. He has either protection from red or suicidal tendencies.

Forcefield. The man in the art from Forcefield is holdin up the background of Mox Jet..