Sunday, July 31, 2011

So much to talk about, so little time

Hello friends, its that wondrous time again where I regurgitate news easily found on other sites and present it to you with my trademark semi-educated guesses and the wit of your average talking chimpanzee.  Thanks to a catastrophic internet failure and a subsequent Saturday night spent driving around looking for Wifi, my blurb is once again a tad bit later than I would have liked.  Read it anyway.

Old cards for a Modern Format

So the biggest news this week is that Wizards has officially confirmed that they are moving forward with Modern as an eternal format. That clinking sound you hear is the merry exuberance of future Modern players filling their bathtubs with ice so they can sell their kidneys for staples that are soon going to go up in price as support for the format increases. Okay, so that's another trademark of mine, drastic exaggerations, but expect staples, especially lands to go up quite a bit. Especially Ravnica Shock lands and Zendikar's enemy fetch lands, as they'll soon be the backbones of an entire format's worth of manabases.

MaRo confirms two new 'walkers in Innistrad
I'm not going to lie, I'm more excited for Innistrad than I have been for any set in a long while. Tribal components, a gothic horror theme, Richard Garfield on the Design Team, and the return of one of my all-time favorite keywords: Flashback. I've already started coating my stomach so I can pick through dumpsters for nourishment next to an entire paycheck's worth of ISD boxes. And in addition, confirmed by Mark Rosewater himself at Comic Con, take a look at Liliana of the Veil.

 Okay, so all we have so far is the art, no abilities, no mana costs, no idea if the card is even remotely playable.  However, there are still reasons to be excited.  Remember that Oblivion Ring is now back in Standard.  (Can I get a yeeeeah!?)  Remember that R&D has a silver bullet mentality.  When Fairies were running all over standard, we got Great Sable Stag.  When Jace was Sculpting Minds into ashtrays, we got Hex Parasite (and Despise...and...)  Point is, WotC will gladly print something uber if they believe there's an easy answer to it.  Needless to say, I have faith in this card.  But, if you just so happen to be a greedy internet soaking info-maggot like myself, you've doubtlessly been paying attention to Mark Rosewater's Tumblr:

"In the San Diego Comic Con Panel, I said the other Planeswalker (Innistrad has two) is a planeswalker you already know, aka has formerly been printed as a planeswalker."

So who is it?  I have my guesses, but that'll just have to wait :) We'll talk more about Innistrad next week, until then, enjoy the newly revealed art for Creepy Doll.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Banned: Stoneforge Mystic

Today we are going to discuss Stoneforge Mystic and why it should not have been printed in its banned form. Let's analyze the card: A 1 / 2 creature for 1W certainly is a playable creature but by itself, nothing special. Looking at the table from last time, White cards had the fewest banned cards and creatures rarely get banned. So far, nothing special here. At this point, let's analyze a fictional card. Take a minute and ponder this card:

As printed, what are your initial impressions of Chalice Seeker? Probably nothing special. If you received this in a limited event, you definitely would play this card if you also received a game-breaking artifact. It is unlikely that this card will ever see serious consideration in the constructed environment. Only if there was an artifact that cost 7+, and then as a way to get the artifact into play instead of just collecting mana dust.
Now let's look at an alternate version; Chalice Drinker:

Way more powerful, wouldn't you agree? This card begs for someone to find a way to abuse it and even marginal artifacts will see more play with a reliable method of bringing them into play earlier and more consistently. This would be true for limited as well as constructed. Some of you are probably groaning at the would-be prospects of seeing yet another meta game dominated by artifacts and artifact-hate.

While Chalice Drinker is not functionally equivalent to Stoneforge Mystic; it is close enough to draw comparisons.
When looking at the table of banned cards, we see a battery of cards which were deemed too strong for Magic if there was a tutor or fetch effect enclosed. While this does NOT mean that there should NEVER be able fetch or tutor spells, it does indicate one must be extra-careful in testing the card.

Elvish Piper is a fetch card that rarely sees any play. Why is that? Elvish Piper is a 1/1 for 3G which is a rip-off whereas a 1 / 2 for 1W does not. You could even play Stoneforge Mystic as a bluff card to get an opponent to waste a kill spell on it.

Elvish Piper's fetch effect brings out a creature on turn five (5), which in a green deck, is mundane. By turn five (5), green should be able to hard-cast any creature costing seven (7) mana.
But mana savings is not the only consideration: it is reliability and what one is tutoring for: As creatures are not generally game-breaking, there is little reason to fetch for them. Fetch cards are strong only if the card that is fetched is a game-breaker, and fetch cards makes the deck more consistent and less random.
I discovered this out when playing against a Piper deck and after realizing I should hold my kill spells for what is fetched and not the Piper itself. So I let my opponent keep his Piper which he cast on turn 8 or so and I waited for him to scroll through his library and telling me that he didn't have anything in his deck that could help him win that game. Now this was a person who designed the Piper deck to have answers for various decks. This told me that until there were strong creatures, cards like Elvish Piper will be relegated to the dime bin.

Compare this to Stoneforge Mystic which retrieves strong artifacts in a very reliable and consistent manner. Wizards countered that because this was a fragile 1 / 2, decks would have little trouble removing this.

Really? How does white remove this? How does green deal with this? Even the vaulted blue would have trouble with a turn two (2) Stoneforge Mystic.
The problem was not the card itself, but how inexpensive it is. If it had cost 3W, would it have been banned?
Next time we will discuss the other banned card: Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

MTGO Library Bot 4.43 is out!

MTGO Library Bot 4.43 is out and support the ''Magic 2012'' (M12) set. As usual, the new pricelist is available for free during update, or in the installer, as well for download from the Online Control Panel.

Version 4.43 better handles the opening of the ''Trading'' room during the first trade.

Share your bot's credit list

In general, link two bots' credit is very easy. First of all, make sure that the bots share the same password and the same email address - they will appear grouped in the Online Control Panel. In case, you can easily change the password and the email address directly from the Control Panel.

Then, click on "Credit Sharing" button, and click on the "credit BOSS" accont. A message will inform that credits are shared! You can un-link credit analogously, by clicking on the "remove xxxx from the credit group".

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A scammer pretending to be "MtgoLibrary"

There is person in Mtgo whose user name is "MtgoLibraryHelper".
This person buys tickets for $0.94 cents and scamms people.  He takes your tickets but never sends the paypal funds.
This person is not me, neither a person from MtgoLibrary! Please be aware and report to WotC if victim of the fraud!

Collection History fixed

Yesterday we fixed a bug regarding the "Collection History", unable to display "mythic" cards. Now mythics are correctly taken into account.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Analysis of Banned Cards (Finally)

Today we are going to analyze the results of the previous six (6) entries on the color wheel, what cards have been banned and the next two (2) entries will be on Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, the Mind Sculptor and how WotC should have known that these cards will be banned.

Below is a chart summarizing the results. I was a little generous with the classifications of cards as a miscellaneous category or too many categories do not tell us anything useful.
Tutor or Fetch: A card which allows you to look through your library for a specific card or a scry effect. Crop Rotation and Brainstorm fall in this category.
Recycle: Allows you to reuse resources, like Recycle, only worse.
Creatures: Cards which allow creature decks to consistently win. Kurd Ape and Orcish Oriflamme fall in this category.
Reset: Like a reset button for the board situation. Armageddon and Wrath of God fall here.
Mana +/-: Cards which allow for more mana or cards which deny resourcesTolarian Academy allows for more mana and Rishidan Port allows for less mana aka mana denial.
Life Loss: As it says, cards which make an opponent lose life.Disciple of the Vault is here.
Card Draw: Cards which allow additional cards to be drawn. Stroke of Genius and Windfall are placed here.

Ability Abused

Artifacts & Lands







Mana +/-


Life Loss


Card Draw



As we can see, certain colors and certain effects tend to show up. Artifacts, lands and blue cards tend to the most banned colors and cards which generate mana as well as fetch effects tend to be problematic. But we will go over these results in more detail in future entries.
Next time we'll go over Stoneforge Mystic. For those who wish to recap or figure out where I got my material, my notes are below:

Monday, July 25, 2011

MTGO Library Bot 4.42 is out!

MTGO Library Bot 4.42 is out and support the ''Duel Decks: Knights vs. Dragons'' (DDG) set. As usual, the new pricelist is available for free during update, or in the installer, as well for download from the Online Control Panel.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

ML Bot's connection to

A quick article about the way ML Bot is connected to the server. This will surely help a lot of persons facing firewall problems.

The bot is connected to the webserver via http calls. These are just like the normal website navigations (the ones you perform in your browser), save for the fact that they perform silently, without involving Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or any. The http is the MAIN CONNECTION. Without http connection you cannot use the bot. This connection is tested at startup.

The wiki/screenshot connection serves secondary purposes such as screenshot upload and wikiprice. You can perfectly use the bot without this connection, but you will lose a couple of (minor) functionalities.

If you are experiencing problems with the connection, such as the inability to appear on wikiprice, please check the firewalls on your pc and shut them down. Same holds for the firewalls on the router, if any. If you don't want to shut them down, then put the executable files in the main folder of the bot (such as LauncherGUI.exe or curl.exe) in the firewall's whitelist. Finally, pay attention that Windows has also a default firewall, and that you may eventually need to tweak it.

If you use Vista or 7, you also need to enable the executable files as administrator: right click on them and choose this option. Do this for all the exe files in the main folder of the bot

X's Hot List-The End

My sincere apologies for the late entry; hectic day, yadda yadda, details you don't care about. I think I've drawn this out long enough, let's finish up, shall we?

5. Visions of Beyond

At its worst, it's Reach Through Mists, (or a crappy Whispers of the Muse) at it's best It's Ancestral Frickin' Recall. Unfortunately though, if you're not playing Mill or some other strange win condition (Szadek, Lord of Secrets sez hi) a full third of a deck in the dump is no easy feat. Which leads me to believe that either Wizards is trying to revitalize Mill decks (a somewhat valid assumption in my opinion, give the new Jace and his Archivist) or Innistrad and its supposed graveyard theme will feature some sort of dredge mechanic that fills up graveyards quickly. Of course, there IS still Sword of Body and Mind...("Hey guys, let's give Caw-Blade some Power 9 stuff!" -Satan) Either way, I'd be very surprised to see this card come back in M13, but time will tell I suppose.

6. Grand Abolisher

This guy can really ruin someone's day. In an aggro deck, he keeps the red zone safe, meaning that your intrepid band of soldiers and knights knows exactly what their charging into without worries of combat tricks or removal. Against a control deck, not only are counterspells now next to useless, but they no longer have the luxury of keeping their mana open during their turn. "Draw-Go? More like, Draw-No!!!" You like that pun? Took me two hours to come up with. Say that to your opponent and see if he doesn't punch you in the face.

7. Bloodlord of Vaasgoth

Alright, confession time; when I first saw this card, I thought it was an aberration. I thought since black was already getting a "traditional lord" in Cemetery Reaper that Vampires were going to get saddled with a non-traditional "gimmick lord" like in M10, only one that was nowhere near as good as Nocturnus; a five-drop that did absolutely nothing for the vamps already in play. However, I realize now that I wasn't even close to looking at this card in the right context. Bloody V's not a lord at all, it's an I-Win button for vampire decks. It's the guy that cinches a long game by letting Nighthawks and Nocturnuses (Nocturni? Nocturnesises?) come down as poor-man's Baneslayers, merrily laughing off Dismembers hither and tither all the way to your opponent's juggular. Personally, I'd love to whip up a Legacy list and see what I could do with some Dark Rituals. But even besides all that, even in a deck without a single other Vampire, for all intents and purposes, it's still and evasive 6/6 for 5. I always loved Bloodthirst ever since the original Gruul cards, because they gave you a chance to play fatties well below their mana curve, the "drawback" being that you had to hit the guy. Show me an aggro deck that has problems with that and I'll show you a pile of cards that needs to be dismantled. I think BoV here has some incredible potential, but it'll take just the right mage to really break him in half.

Friday, July 22, 2011

MTGO Library Bot 4.41 is out!

MTGO Library Bot 4.41 is out. It enables the wishlist buying mode for the Commander (CMD) set.
Version 4.41 fixes also the inability to read the card ''Avatar - Momir Vig, Simic Visionary (Alt.)'' – in fact the bot stucked if the mentioned item was in the ''You get’’ or ''You give'' columns.

Finally, ML Bot 4.41 is able to autodetect the location of ''Magic Online'' on the hard drive, and thus the ''Magic Online folder'' setting (in the ''Buyer Tab'') is no more necessary.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back to the Boros?

Boros. The one deck that I still believe can be a home for Phyrexian Metamorph. The ChannelFireball crew put Boros through the gauntlet months ago and LSV became so enamored with the results that he "tricked PV into playing it at GP Dallas".

The last successful Boros list was ran by Chikara Nakajima right before Jace and Stoneforge got the hook.

Mirran Crusader and Koth of the Hammer seem to have both had their moments in the sun, but the new Chandra, the Firebrand and maybe even Puresteel Paladin are worth exploring. Can you imagine Boros with an Enchantress-type twist to really give full value to those Adventuring Gears people traded in for Swords? What about Emeria Angel? Didn't the Angel see some play before the ban in Darkblade?

Perhaps it's not really a valid deck anymore, but I tend to explore any idea that seems to have some merit. Boros was a deck and didn't suffer as much as other decks using Stoneforge Mystic when the hammer came down. PureBoros anyone?

I still want to animate a Inkmoth Nexus and cast Phyrexian Metamorph targeting the flying infectious land. A man can dream right?!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Modding MTGO; Custom Game Mats

If you’re a big fan of MTGO like me, you’re probably pretty disappointed with the lack luster game mats they give you with your profile. While you can change the game mat in your personal settings, you can't upload a custom image. That said there is a way to overwrite the current background files yourself.

Most of the assets in the current version of MTGO are .PNG files. The game mat .PNG files are located in the directory where you installed MTGO like this;

..\Magic Online\Graphics\UI\backgrounds\gamemat\

You can then overwrite those image files with ones of your own. Sometimes the kicker overwrites these images with the defaults again so make sure you keep a backup ready just in case. I run MTGO without the kicker as it’s faster and Wizards publishes updates on Wednesdays.

Each image is 512 x 256 so you will have to use an image editor program like Photoshop or GIMP to manipulate it. I really like the free wallpapers that Wizards give us every week so I usually edit one of those and overwrite it into the folder, Because the dimensions are so wide, but not very tall, I suggest resizing the image to 512 width, but leave the aspect ratio of the current image the same. Then use the Crop tool to edit the height to 256 height.

Sometimes the game mat doesn’t show the edges very well so try to make your image centered as much as possible. I’ve attached a replacement for the default Green Felt_e.png using this weeks MTGO wallpaper, Rune-Scarred Demon for you to try out.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Xhypher's M12 Hot List Part 2

3. Chandra's Phoenix
First of all, I'd like to congratulate Chandra's Phoenix on its impression of one of my all-time favorite creatures, Skyknight Legionnaire; but it's hard to call it an impression when you wipe the floor with the original.
From Spark Elemental to, um, Hellspark Elemental, I've always loved cheap, evasive, hasty creatures, there's nothing quite like burying your opponent beneath a pile of early damage, especially if you can finish them off with burn once they've quote "stabilized." I won a playset of Ice Age Counterspells we had bet on a match with a Cabal Coffers-fueled 14-point Consume Spirit once, that guy was calling me a cheap-ass for the next two weeks. Delicious. But, as awesome and efficient as this creature is, where the birdy truly shines is the second ability. You're playing red, more than likely, you have burn spells. More than likely some of them would be going at the other dude's face. Ergo sum, this creature is the next best thing to being totally immune to death, it revives itself based on stuff you're gonna do regardless. What's that? You're going to spend your Dismember to get rid of it? Oh, you want to block and trade your Glint Hawk? Please do, because next turn I'm going to Shock your ass, bring it back, and punch you in the face with it again. Get multiple birdies in the dump and things get truly retarded. Now your Lightning Bolt is generating hand advantage. And, love it or hate it, we're currently residing in a golden age of burn where Lightning Bolt, Shock, and Incinerate are all Standard legal. This card is going to be a staple of aggro-red decks for a long time to come, pick up your set ASAP.
4. Adaptable Automaton
I'm not ashamed to admit that I cheered audibly when I saw this card. Probably weirded the hell out of my co-workers (I happened to be perusing the net at work) although I'm not sure if it was the actual cheer that surprised them or the fact that someone at my workplace was displaying something other than soul-crushing despair. I guess we'll never know.
Time for some background info on ol' X: I love tribal. I love all my cards coming together cohesively, each one providing benefits to the others. But to me, nothing ties a tribal deck together more than a lord, let alone a second one for some tribes. If you read the first part, you know that I fully expect Zombies and Illusions (and probably Vampires too) to be supported tribes come Innistrad time, though whether that goes beyond just having creatures to choose from remains to be seen. But the true beauty of this guy is that damn near any creature type you can think of becomes a viable tribe. And tribal-commander decks always have more room for another lord. (My Rhys the Exiled deck says hi.) This card probably wont be breaking pocketbooks in half, but I promise you it will have applications for a long time to come, and this is one card I sincerely hope to see reprinted as the core sets continue.

Influential Planeswalkers and their Histories Part 1

Many of us know the main planeswalkers; Ajani, Elspeth, Gideon, Lilliana, Jace, Garruk, Koth, Sarrkon, Nicol Bolas, Glissa, Venser, Karn, Tezzeret, and Sorin. However most of us don’t realize how they play a part in the story or even which ones are still alive and kicking!

Which planeswalkers have lost their spark and which ones have had sexual encounters with the others! Which means its time for a proud Planeswalker paparazzi to step forward and shed some light on this shadowy topic!

I will provide all the insight into their glamorous lives that the MTGO reader requires!

Wait, what?

Round 3 and my opponent is one of the few guys I enjoy playing against locally. I played Game 1 with extremely tight play against an unknown and this rewarded me with a hard fought win. Game 2 was the exact same except it was his tight play that rewarded him with the victory.

Let's set the board for Game 3. My opponent is tapped out after just going nuts with a Goblin Bushwhacker and some Warren Instigators. A lonely Goblin Chieftain holds down the fort representing lethal upon passing back the turn (why didn't he attack with it?). It's what Goblins! do. He also has a Dark Tutelage in play. Wait what? I was never really able to get a really good peg on his decklist, but I seen such things like Ember Hauler (3 alone in the first game), Hero of Oxid Ridge, Goblin Wardriver, Goblin Guide (a couple of these evil little guys in Game 2), and of course Lightning Bolt. The Tutelage must have been his tech to combat any opponent that might stall the game and grind him out.

I have him @ 9 life and he says 'Go.' while proudly spotlighting his Chieftain with a dramatic turntable scratching motion. My board is 5 or 6 lands and two Viscera Seers and a single Kalastria Highborn who has really done some heavy lifting this game. At the end of his turn I decide to sacrifice a single Seer to dig for something that can help finish the game for me (I did not feel I could attack into his 2/2 and manage to deal lethal even with him gifting me with a Seer block). He drops to 7 life and I go up to 4 with Kalastria's trigger. Or maybe I blocked one of his Instigators and sacrificed then, but the point is I knew I needed some help and I was trying to play to my outs. What outs did I have? Gatekeeper of Malakir couldn't force him to sacrifice his lonely blocker. Bloodghast would have haste and could help me crack in for at least 3 while presenting another sac outlet...

I told you I was on the ropes. Scry 1 reveals... Lightning Bolt.

At this point I had a deep, deep feeling in my loins that was the exact card I needed to pull this victory out. Or perhaps it was gas. I immediately put it back down on top of my library. Untapped, drew, sent a Lightning bolt straight to his face, and proceeded to deal lethal by sacrificing the Viscera Seer and Kalastria Highborn to deal the required 4 lose of life to lock up the game. We shook hands and proceeded to scoop up our cards when someone who'd been watching our game emphatically declared...

"You can't do that."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

MTGO Library Bot 4.39 is out!

MTGO Library Bot 4.39 is out and support the ''Commander'' (CMD) set. As usual, the new pricelist is available for free during update, or in the installer, as well for download from the Online Control Panel.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dive in!

Are you up to date and current with your prices? If you want to be successful as a Magic player (albeit each person's idea of success can vary drastically) part of that comes from acquiring the cards you need. Whether you want to just win that FNM at your local store, crush a Daily Event online, or qualify for the Pro Tour you gotta have the cards you need for your decks. Brian Kibler's up-to-the-second list won't help you destroy this weekend's PTQ if you can't find that playset of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas in time!

What do I do? A bit of everything, but mostly I trade. I would absolutely love to just play the game and never haggle over the price of a Memnite, but I just don't have that luxury. What I do have is a semi-decent ability to retain knowledge and creative problem solving skills. For example let's take a look at how I've set up my trade binder:

9 * 3
8 * 4
7 6 5

That's the first page and the sets of numbers represent my perceived current value. I was experimenting this weekend with some way to look at my binder and know nearly instantaneously what I value what at. Center of the page (marked with an '*') contains some of the big ticket items like Jace, the Memory Adept or Phyrexian Obliterator. Around those I've moved in a clockwise direction to 'build' into the big ticket. I ignored most things valued at below 3 dollars because I actually sprinkled full pages dedicated to dollar cards or 2 dollar cards throughout the binder to further give the illusion of disorganization and chaos.

Armed with my newly setup trade binder (which has already been tweaked slightly) and having that confidence from knowing my binder backward and forward really helped at the M12 Pre-release this weekend.

If you aren't going to get your hair wet then why swim in the first place? Dive in! Fully immerse yourself in everything you do and you'll be surprised at the results. Promise.

Oh yeah before I forget. While I was in the middle of trading and talking to the 20-30 people that showed up at the Pre-release one of the store managers approached me and asked if I'd like a job. Unknown to the local player-base at large they'd been looking for another 'Magic guy'. Would that have happened if I'd have been afraid of getting water up my nose?

Feeling the Love for your Website and Measuring it

So far in this web series we have discussed how to start your own website in “Initializing your Web Strategy” and how to integrate Magic Card images into your website in “Expanding your Website’s Horizons”. In this weeks article we will discuss how to generate traffic to your site and how to measure it.

Successfully generating traffic to your site is kind of like herding cats. You can spend a lot of time doing things that have no effect and then do one thing that blows your site off the map but without any way to measure the traffic on your site it, you won’t know what you did to do it again. Most hosting providers will provide you with free statistics software that analyzes the web server HTTP request logs to give you a web page where your visitors have come from, how many have visited and how long they spend on your site. I prefer to use the Google Analytics plugin for Wordpress which you can install and sync with your Google Account.

The basic theory behind attracting and retaining traffic to your site is to make your website interesting to Humans. The “Humans” qualifier is because you can make your website very interesting to web Bots which is typically called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Although I won’t go into any details about SEO techniques, I do encourage you to educate yourself about SEO by visiting my favorite SEO site where they have tools to help you gauge your SEO effectiveness with the different search engines.

To make your site interesting to Humans, you’ll have to think like one. New, unique and changing content, easy to view and find information and a pleasing graphical design are all ways you can make your site more attractive to Humans. Things not to do might include excessive advertising or self promotion, preachy or ranting content and graphics designs with excessive elements like color, images, or sound. When you enjoy your site, your visitors will too.

So my advice is to prepare content for your site for a week in advance. Don’t worry about length or quantity, just write what you know and people will be interested. Whether you love sharing your decks or discussing the latest banned and restricted cards, don’t feel like you need to copy what others do to be successful. Some of the best websites are built by people with passion for what they do that opens dialog with others with the same passion. By sharing your passion with others, you’ll earn their trust which will ensure a group of loyal fans that will naturally help promote and bring others to your site.

Now that you know the basics of how to retain visitors to your site, next week I will explore a few case examples of ways to start attracting your new audience with a simple and inexpensive marketing plan.

How To: Sideboard

Many players have trouble in this category.... They win game one, and when it comes to sideboarding against their opponent they just hinder themselves rather than increase their chances. The important thing you need to realize when sideboarding, is you need to remember what your opponent is playing. You need to know your opponents decks inside and out, and if you dont, spend a decent amount of time googling and putting up all the possible deck types that you could come against.

After playing game one, match up the cards you have seen with the cards on the lists, to attempt to figure out what other cards are in his deck. Then seeing a similar decklist, find out what cards are going to be most effective against you, within the sideboard and main board, and the cards you have that will be least effective against his main board / sideboard.

Then add cards from your sideboard that will be effective against his, its all about knowledge of your opponents deck and finding its strengths and weaknesses. For example, in block, two of the most common decks are UB control and White Wheenie. WW, generally plays Mirran Crusader. The only cards in MB and SB for UB to use against him as direct removal is Black Sun's Zenith, and Ratchet Bomb, so siding out these would be ill advised, on the basis that it is the only way to get rid of your opponents most effective card against you.

Study those decks, and practice a lot.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Configuration settings

I have been editing some of my bot's autotransfer settings and my price corrections. Since i run 6 bots and a bot is only able to open trades with 4 others figured out a good way to keep bots refilled. 5 of my 6 bots opens trade with another. Let's make an example with Swebot1-Swebot6.

Swebot1 always gets refilled to 4x of each card from Swebot2, collection oblivious. Swebot2 gets refilled from Swebot3, and so on. This will result in that Swebot1 will always be fully stocked of all cards in my total collection.

I have set all bots to do one 1-hour transfer every 12 hour. in 1 hour they make about 1000 cards, so they are refilling 2000 cards downwards in the chain every day.
I just started this process so it will take some days before the bots get fully adjusted. But in the future, if you want to visit my bots for buying cards, visit Swebot since it is the first bot in my bot chain and will always be refilled with all cards i have in my entire collection, up to 4x.
If you want to sell cards to my bots rather visit Swebot6/_______BuyAndSellAl3.

I am also going to put up another bot called SwebotRefill which will refill Swebot6, on the refill bot i will put pretty much all my cards that i have in excess off 4x6 bots, and they will get auto-refilled when run out of. The refill bot will be listed in classifieds and can be used as a

normal bot, though with alot bulk cards, but more ad space = more customers.

I have been buying some collections lately, filling up my bots with another 20000~ cards and still got about 50000~ in stock, so i decided to raise my prices a bit because they have more cards to choose from. Mythic Rare now goes for -15%, Rare -20%, Common/Uncommon -30% (Common/Uncommon prices has not been changed), also buying rates for Mythic, Rare and boosters has been raised. The correction % is same for foil and non-foil.

For now my bots running are Swebot, Swebot1, Swebot2, _______BuyAndSellAll, _______BuyAndSellAl2, _______BuyAndSellAl3. I am going to transfer all cards from the BuyAndSellAlX-bots to Swebot3, Swebot4, Swebot5.
Also, my primary account Klixxer will be a bot (For refill purpose) for some days until i get the SwebotRefill account activated. If you want to contact me write to SwebotHelp.

Bots for the Comman Man.

When analyzing the economics of a business there are countless variables to be considered. In order to achieve profits the marginal revenue has to be equal to or greater than the marginal cost. These often include the product, its shipment, storage, advertisement, employee wages, etc. Having so many factors makes it difficult to efficiently maximize profit; however businesses on MTGO lack this same burden of marginal cost.

Electricity, internet, and a bot subscription are the only variables to be factored into marginal cost, and that can be done easily. Let’s assume you would be paying for the internet subscription regardless of your bot, you are left with only the bot and electricity. The KW/h usage of computers and the price of the power varies from person to person but it isn’t hard to calculate your monthly cost. I use a basic laptop, which uses roughly 50 watts an hour, multiply that by 730 (hours in a month) and divide by 1000 (to convert to kilowatts) you get 36.5. The cost of electricity in my area is 8.09 cents per KW/h, so if you multiply by 36.5 you get 295.285 cents, so basically $3 a month. A lite subscription to the Mtgolibrary bot is only $5 a month, a total of 8$.

Most people assume that you need a massive collection in order to run a bot, but considering this example that isn’t the case at all. Selling a single card a day at $.50 more than a bot's buy price would make about $15 a month. Considering my electric cost as an example you would still net a $7 a month profit. Even with a small collection you would likely sell much more than this, which could eventually expand into a large bot business. So the next time you sell off your cards to another bot, consider the money you are wasting, and how easily you could be profiting from those cards.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A complete play set of standard using the ML Bot

Maybe I’m the only one, but I really would like to have a full play set of Standard. I already spent a lot of money on drafting and buying cards from other Bots but with only about 150 cards to go, It’s getting harder and more expensive to reach my goal. In today’s article we will discuss how to setup ML Bot to complete your collection for you when you’re not playing.

The first thing you need to do is establish how many cards you still need to complete your set. You could type this out by hand but I prefer to let MTGO do the heavy lifting for me. Using the Deck Editor, you can create a list of cards you need by creating a deck with the cards you don’t have. Just add the cards you need but don’t save the deck, export it as .CSV and you’ll have a file looking something like this;

Qty,Card Name,Premium
2,"Geth, Lord of the Vault"
3,Indomitable Archangel
3,Lux Cannon
4,Molten-Tail Masticore
4,Mox Opal
4,Wurmcoil Engine

This is exactly what you need to complete your collection on MTGO. The next step is set up ML Bot to “Buying” mode only and to disable the “Make All Tradable” feature. This will set up your Bot to only collect cards and not sell them back to your customers. You will also need to set your Collection Settings to buy nothing as we will be using the PersonalPrices.txt file instead.

The PersonalPrices.txt file is the top most setting that the ML Bot uses to set up what cards to buy, what prices to use and how many to collect. Using your exported .CSV file, you can create your PersonalPrices.txt file by adding the SET at the beginning of the line followed by a semi colon, then the name and then adding “;;;;;1;0” to the end like this;

SOM;Geth, Lord of the Vault;;;;;2;0

This will tell the ML Bot to buy 2 more “Geth, Lord of the Vault” cards using the MTGO Price settings. I left the two sell and buy prices empty which tells the ML Bot to not edit the price.

I’ve recently done this with my own ML Pro Bot and also used the MTG Helper plugin to post my Wish List on my website, With a little time and patience, your Bot will have completed your collection for a fraction of the price.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

M12 Pre-Release!

Amazing, amazing, amazing is all I have to say about this set guys! I competed in two sealed tourney's and even placed in one with a red-black removal setup.
There are quite few simple ramps in this next set due mainly to blood thirst and all the new ways to gain life!
One of the main cards I wanted to introduce was called Sundial of the Infinite!
End the turn! Without triggering End of Turn effects! So your little act of treason becomes an evil mind control and sacking a small creature to buff another isnt quite as daunting! The best i've seen yet is Putrefax! 5/5 trample infect for more than one turn!
Just think of the posibilities!

Xhypher's M12 Hot List - Part 1

My name is Xhypher, and I am about to ramble.
Today marks the paper version of the M12 prerelease, so in honor of such, and since the set is fully spoiled, I wanted to take a minute and share with you, what cards, in my humble opinion, wil be fetching the highest tix prices in just a few short weeks. I've got a lot to talk about so I'll try to make it as concise as possible.
1. New Planeswalkers
M10 may have been the first core set to give us new cards, but M12 is the first to give us new 'walkers. The new Garruk, Primal Hunter seems like it would slide well into the current Valakut decks, but even without Valakut, in a format with Rites of Flourishing and Primeval Titan, unleashing a horde of wurm tokens will be child's play. Chandra, the Firebrand's twining ability has me excited, but the applications go far beyond just double shocks. With the easily-splashable single red in her mana cost, I'm far more interested to see what she can do with other color's spells. Distress suddenly becomes an even better Hymn to Tourach. Visions of Beyond, (another of my picks, but I'll get to that more in a later installment) under the right circumstances, suddeny becomes a whopping six cards for the price of a single blue and two loyalty. And of course that's only the tip of the iceberg. Sadly though, I'm not certain what to make of Jace, Memory Adept. Blue mages want their card advantage early, and that 5 converted mana cost can make that quite difficult, especially if you're playing control and trying to keep mana open for a counterspell. So, once again, I'm reserving my opinion on this one.
Cemetery Reaper, Lord of the Unreal
I'm calling plug on both these cards. With Innistrad right around the corner and the current consensus pointing towards a gothic-graveyard theme, I find it rather suspicious that Cemetery Reaper would reappear as the figurehead black lord, ousting Beguiling Vampire after Wizard's proclamations of vampires being the new black tribe. And illusions have always been blue creatures, but since when have they ever been a tribe? To be honest, I'd expect ninjas or cephalids to replace merfolk before illusions. But, I suppose illusions do fit with a gothic-horror theme, so I'd expect zombies and illusions to both be supported creature types once INN rolls around this fall.
Okay, so, not exactly earth-shattering revalations, but I'm just getting warmed up. Join me next week when I discuss the less obvious, less fanfared cards. Until then, just keep pretending i'm insightful and we'll get along great. ;) -X

Play Anything!

Valakut Ramp meets Splinter Twin? Sure! Mono-Black Control? Don't forget the Lashwrithes. Is Mass Polymorph viable? Seems just as good as Shape Anew. Why not try both in the same list? Master's Call does make two 1/1 Myr artifact creatures...

Now is the time to let your imagination run wild. After months and months of a 'best deck' dominating the format I've noticed a small revival of sorts. It seems casual players and deck-builders are coming out of the woodworks now that the coast is clear and home-brews are getting a bit of sun in the meantime.

Want to play that crazy Beastmaster Ascension, Nest Invader, and Awakening Zone token deck? Now's the time. U/B Vampires with Trinket Mages? Who needs red anyway right now Dismember just makes Lightning Bolt seem silly. Puresteel Paladin really does seem to play very nice with Quest for the Holy Relic. I can't believe I used to slum it with Kor Outfitter! Eldrazi Ramp. Elves! How about that Fauna Shaman/Birthing Pod/Splinter Twin deck?

Don't fret. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly. It won't take the Pros or amateurs alike very long to settle on the best card combinations and we'll be back to a Rock, Paper, Scissors Standard Format (hopefully) before you know it. In the meantime why not try and play something a bit more casual and fun?

Happy brewing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Server up!

Hello, the server is now up again!

Server down

Dear all, unfortunately is down at the moment. It will be up very soon, in a couple of hours!

New Commander Precons Online

EDH Commander was released online on Monday and I for one am excited. I’m still relatively new to Commander myself but I have to say it’s some of the best fun I’ve had in magic ever. Epic battles and even more epic maneuvers, opponents ranging from friendly to just pure evil, it’s MTG at it’s finest!

There are 5 different preconstructed decks available in the MTGO Store for $29.99.

Heavenly Inferno – A WBR deck based around Angels, Demons and Dragons

Mirror Mastery – A RUG deck full of spell duplication antics

Counterpunch – BGW deck full of you guessed it, counters

Political Puppets – An interesting RWU deck which challenges you to make friends with your enemies

Devour For Power – BGU deck which harnesses the powers of graveyard recursion

The new precon decks represent great value for players, with some of the new cards already commanding high trade prices. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the high value cards in the decks

Chaos Warp (Political Puppets) - $17

Damia, Sage of Stone (Devour for Power) - $6

Edric, Spymaster of Trest (Mirror Mastery) - $16

Homeward Path (Mirror Mastery) - $11

Kaalia of the Vast (Heavenly Inferno) - $8.50

Scavenging Ooze (Counterpunch) - $13

Scavenging Ooze is my pick from the set as it might see play in Legacy as graveyard hate, I also suspect the release of these precons might bring down the price of some EDH staples such as Sol Ring, Solemn Simulacrum and Eternal Witness since they will be more widely available.

And with that I'm off to start building my new EDH deck :-)

Happy Trading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Expanding your Website’s Horizons

In my previous article “Initializing your Web Strategy” we discussed starting your own website using Wordpress and how to make it look good on a limited budget. To mirror these discussions I’ve launched my own Bot website which you can visit at

This website is hosted by Dreamhost and I used their web app installer to install Wordpress and a free basic theme. I did edit the theme a bit to include the logo on the top left but otherwise it’s a stock installation. I also installed the Disqus plugin for comment management, and the MTG Helper plugin to linking my Cards and Desklists to Wizards Gatherer.

The MTG Helper plugin is a great way to enable card recognition when posting to your website. It uses in post tags, sometimes referred to as BCode which you may recognize from use in discussion forums. So if you want to link a Card to a Card Image that pops up when you hover your mouse over the name, you wrap the name in the [CARD] tag like this.

[CARD]Inkmoth Nexus[/CARD].

You can also create a simple deck list using the [CARDLIST] tag. All you need to do is list your cards on separate lines after the tag and if you want to specify an amount you type “ *4 Inkmoth Nexus “ to have the plugin count the total cards at the end like this;

*3 Viral Drake
*4 Blighted Agent
*2 Clone
*4 Inkmoth Nexus
*18 Island

There are other functions like Drafting Lists (including a pick button) and other plugins for Wordpress which do similar things to this one but I picked MTG Helper because it was simple and didn’t distract from the original design of my site. I implore you to try them out and pick the one which works the best for you.

Now that you have all the basic parts of our MTGO Websites assembled, next week I will explore with you some simple ways of advertising your new site and spreading the word about your Bot.