Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tradelog and Cardlog are now faster

We have just completed a number of maintenance tasks on the server.

The result is a general speed up of the entire website and in particular of the TradeLog and CardLog pages. Tradelog and Cardlog are two of the most visited and computationally intensive pages because they store and manipulate a large amount of data.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 6.13

Almost a week has passed since the release of ML Bot 6.12 and we can say that the stability improvements over previous versions are great. Everybody should upgrade their bots as soon as possible.

Today we release ML Bot 6.13. It mainly fixes:
  • a timeout in the AutoTransfer modes, happening with large collections
  • a problem with the OCR and the reading algorithm. We also coded a message to inform the users that the bot is unable to read that "specific card", asking for removal.

mtgolibrary down for maintenance for another 2 hours

** UPDATE: server is up. Less than 2 hours! :-)  **

Hi all, will be down for maintenance for another 2 hours. We are doing some extra maintenance and some optimizations.


An introduction to Classic Heirloom

What is Classic Heirloom?

Classic Heirloom is a community supported format that is not officially supported by Wizards of the Coasts.  Even though it is likely that Wizards will eventually support some Community driven formats, such as Standard Pauper, they will never come near Classic Heirloom. Why? Because Classic Heirloom is a financial format. Intrigued? Read on.

In Classic Heirloom you can only play cards that cost less than a certain threshold dollar value on

Commons must cost no more than 10 cents.
Uncommons must cost no more than 20 cents.
Rares must cost no more than 40 cents.
Mythics must cost no more than 1 dollar.

Think about the implications of this for a second. There are plenty of interesting such implications.

At the end of this article there are links to more web resources for Classic Heirloom.

 Why should you play Classic Heirloom?

Unlike the formats that have sanctioned tournaments, Classic Heirloom is always far from solved. There is plenty of room for brewing and a suprisingly large number of decks are possible. I am fairly new to the format myself, but it seems that it is the best format for brewing ever. The card pool is enormous and the format will rotate naturally as soon as a card becomes too popular and goes up in price. Your deck will not rotate out but the format will reinvent itself constantly. This creates a format that is the best of rotating and eternal formats at the same time.

The format is very cheap. Even the top decks can be bought for somewhere between two and five dollars. The format naturally limits the cost of decks in a brilliant way.

Also, there are free Player Run Events (PREs) in the format, awarding you bot credits for winning without any risk.


Where can you play Classic Heirloom?

For the formats that has no support from the interface in Magic Online, you pretty much have to join a clan or find your sparring partners on twitter och on forums. The games are set up as classic on Magic Online so there is plenty of room for randoms to misunderstand or cheat. You will have to Contact your would-be opponents before playing them. This is a good olace to do so:

If you want to play tournaments, you will find a player-run event (PRE) on These events are free but still pay out prices to the winners, which means they are a great way of getting started on Magic Online. Read more here:

Where can you learn more about Classic Heirloom?

The official site has already been mentioned:

Tournaments can be found here:

Heirloom legality list:

Check if your deck is legal here:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Estimated Profit

Starting from today, 6pm, all the ML Bots with version greater or equal than 6.11 can view the "Estimated Profit" in the Tradelog. 

What is this? This is the projection of the profit, computed as sum of the selling prices - (minus) sum of the buying prices / (divided by) 2.  

The profit is computed as difference between the actual selling prices and the buying prices, divided by two because the profit will be "full" only when the selling (or buying) part of the trade will be performed. This profit is "estimated" because prices can go and up down, and you could sell (for example) sell at slighly higher or lower value. In a normal market the two values (estimated profit and real profit) are close.

Let's have an example. The bot in the image bought 4 Dissension Boosters 20 minutes ago at 1.92. The Estimated Profit of the trade is 2.008 because the selling price here is 2.924 and the buying price is 1.92 (and thus (2.924-1.92)/2 and multiplied by 4 is 2.008).  Only the CardLog, of course, can tell you the real Profit, so let's click on the link (see second image).

The CardLog basically says that the profit on a single item Dissesion Booster is 0.473 tixs on average. Multiplied by 4 (because 4 items are involved in the trade) we get 1.892: a value very close to the Estimated profit.

Hope you'll like!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vintage Masters

Some time ago we speculated about release of Power Nine cards. Finally, we know the answer how we may posses them - Vintage Masters set is an answer. Plelease Events start on June 13, 2014.

Vintage Masters will be available only in Magic Online. More specifics about Vintage Masters, including set size and distribution of Power Nine cards will be revealed closer to the release date. Obviously, it is non-redeemable set and available only in Magic Online in 15-card booster packs sold for the MSRP of $6.99, and each pack will contain the following:
  • 10 commons
  • 3 uncommons
  • 1 rare or mythic rare
  • 1 premium foil card (any rarity, including the extremely rare premium foil Power Nine card), OR  1 Power Nine card, I hope they will be extremely limited in number to make it more desirable


The Top Decks of Pauper: UB Trinket Control

In this series we will walk you through the top decks of Pauper as played on Magic Online. Pauper is the Magic Online format where you are only allowed to play commons.  These are the official rules:

We will be using this tier page as the basis or our walkthrough:

 Today I will discuss my pet deck in Pauper: UB Trinket Control.

Example  deck list
This is the official deck list for the new metagame straight from the decks creator, Power_T.

4 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Mulldrifter
3 Vault of Whispers
3 Tragic Slip
1 Island
2 Executioner's Capsule
3 Trinket Mage
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Crypt Rats
2 Grim Harvest
4 Sign in Blood
2 Chittering Rats
4 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Diabolic Edict
7 Swamp
3 Undying Evil
4 Fume Spitter
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Augur of Skulls
1 Barren Moor
4 Duress
1 Crypt Rats
2 Spinning Darkness
2 Chittering Rats
2 Deep Analysis
2 Geth's Verdict
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Sylvok Lifestaff 

About the deck
This deck was originally created by DC_Casanuda and then modified by pro tour alumni Power_T in the spring of 2012.

I have played no less than 653 matches with this deck in tournaments and practice, currently enjoying a 436-217 record. In my humble opinion this is the best deck in Pauper at this time. It is a tap-out control deck that requires a lot of practice but in the end it can just outvalue anything and it has game against the fast aggro decks and Delver due to its huge amount of cheap removal.
At the bottom you can find links to interviews I have made with the decks creator, including details on every significant matchup in the metagame.
If you like control and realize why this is better than playing Mono Black Control (hint: Blue draws more cards), this might just be the deck for you.

Financial implications of the deck

The Money cards in this deck are Crypt Rats and Diabolic Edict. The deck used to be a really good budget deck but that is no longer true. Chittering Rats are also over one dollar each, having gone up with 500% or more in a month recently. In the sideboard, Spinning Darkness is also an expensive card that can not easily be replaced. Deep Analysis used to be Money and will be again when people remember how good that card is against Mono Black Control.

As all Pauper cards, the Money cards fluctuate enormously in price, depending on which deck is the most popular in the metagame and if old sets are being drafted (which strangely enough has not happened in 2013 while it happened four or more times in 2002). You could probably just set your bots to buy both cards cheap and sell at three to five times more and you would make a profit in the long run. 
Vintage masters threaten to reprint a lot of the expensive Pauper cards but none of the cards in this deck are very likely, unless they really want them for the limited format. Daze, Gush and similar cards are in much clearer danger.

Learn more about UB Trinket Control
This is my interview with Power_T where he introduces the deck and discusses what it takes to play it:
In this video we go through 1099 matches played with the deck as well as specific matchups
I constantly write about this deck on my own Magic strategy site:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 6.12

Time of releases and upgrades here at mtgolibrary. We usually avoid to release two versions in the same day, but ML Bot 6.12 fixes some very annoying bugs related to the launch of MTGO.

Many things can go wrong when launching MTGO  (connection problems, wrong passwords, weird error messages...) and ML Bot 6.12 better handles all of them.

ML Bot 6.12 fixes also the error below (on Windows XP)

MTGO Library Bot 6.11

MTGO Library Bot 6.11 is a major update. We found a bug in wikiprice and we had to fix it "bot-side".

The bots upload the collections to wikiprice using the .csv format but this format didn't take into account the non-tradable items. In a nutshell, all the items were considered as tradable even if they were untradable. The final result was that wikiprice was populated with many items "owned but not for sale".

We expect wikiprice to become more and more reliable as ML Bot owners update to 6.11. This will happen gradually in 3-4 days.

ML Bot 6.11 also fixes a crash when restating MTGO. Nothing dangerous here, but when ML Bot crashes, it stays down for 3 minutes.

Finally, I am sure you will like the new version updater..... you can drag and move it wherever you want. It's no more fixed in the center of the screen :-)


Thursday, October 24, 2013 down

**25th October: UPDATE** There are still some minor issues. 90% of wikiprice should be working fine. We are still working 

**UPDATE** wikiprice is working again, but it still has some minor problems... we are fixing them

Wikiprice is down right now, it will be up soon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bad to the Bone (Part 4)

Last time I discussed the strategy of making false or misleading statements in the classified section of Magic Online  This whole concept of misleading statements to sell a product or a service has a name: marketing.   Some have described the field of marketing as legalized lying.

Whether or not a soft drink is the best soft drink around is purely a subjective statement.  Whether the taste of a diet food is the same as its equivalent is open to legitimate debate.  These debates center on subjective matters; designed as such to get around the legal barriers to the truth in advertising laws.

Objective claims typically not made because fact checkers will indeed attempt to verify the authenticity of said claims.  If your bot claims to have 60,000 cards in its inventory, it is much easier to verify than stating that your bot has a large inventory.  (How is large defined?)

But this bad behavior is trivial compared to what some botters do: change the credit their customers have.

Why would a botter openly change the credits of one of their customers?  Maybe the customer is a cherry picker, picking only the best cards and leaving the chaff.  Maybe the customer is really another bot and one does not want the competition to profit at their expense.

One might even be tempted to think that this is a profitable strategy.  After all, they’ll reason, the bot gives the customer their balance at the start and end of each trade.  Most customers have multiple accounts across the various bot chains and who is going to be meticulous enough to actually verify each and every account?  Plus, computers do not lie, right?  So who is going to notice if their balance drops?  We all trust computers, don’t we?

There are several reasons why this unethical approach will not work.

It is not cost effective.  In terms of your time, the amount of time it takes to alter a customer’s credit is not worth the fractional ticket you will gain.  (Even the most casual customers will notice a negative credit balance.)

Getting caught will bring about serious consequences.  First off, you will have one extremely angry customer who will definitely publicize that your bot alters credits.  The accusation alone would be enough to cause some players to black-list your bot so that it could never happen to them, which naturally means no customers and thus, no profits.

WotC could intervene.  While the bot owner would argue that this is not the prevue of WotC as trading has little to do with the game experience, the legal arm of WotC might see things differently.  Ripping off customers would be considered a violation of the Terms of Service and thus, terminate your account without prejudice.  This would mean losing all your inventory.

OK, so you use a mule bot for such things.  WotC could up the ante and decide to terminate all accounts which the bot owner has.  No problem, register each bot under a different name and email address.  But WotC would track all MTGO activity from your IP address, making it real simple for them to suspend or terminate your bot chain.

Is losing your business really worth 0.35 credits? maintenance

Today (Wednesday) we'll do some maintenance to the server. The server will be up and running but it could respond slowly and some parts might not be accessible.

The Most Important Thing

"The most important thing" is a book by Howard Marks that has gained some renown in the real world financial community. Mr Marks is managing a hedge fond valued at over 75 billion dollars. For twenty years he has been writing newsletters to the share holders. Over time, these newsletters have received a cult following. Mr Marks has defined the twenty most important things to keep in mind when investing in stock.

When I return to financial subjects in my blog posts here on mtgolibrary, I will often draw parallells between MTGO Finance and the real world stock finance business. This blog post is a first step.
Howards Marks twenty most important things converted to MTGO Finance

1. Think one step further. "A good card means a good price" is basic thinking. The quality of the card is often already accounted for in the price. If evaluation is wrong for some reason a really good card can have a really bad price and be about to crash.

2. Understand efficient markets and their limitations. The MTGO finance market is a less efficient market than the real world stock exchange, but there is efficiency and its opposite. Why can a price rise too high of fall too low? What are the limitations to the basic rules of supply and demand?

3. Value. Successful investments are built on the inherent value of a card. How is this card used? Will it continue to be used this way?

4. Relationship between price and value. The price of a card is determined by many factors, of which value is one.

5. Understand risk. Forget the finance theories. Risk is subjective, hidden and impossible to measure. Your "secure" investment is less secure than you think. If eveyrone is buying Snapcaster Mages due to rotation, maybe it is still overvalued.

6. Recognize risk. There is always risk. Risk increases when a card's price goes up but becomes real when a card's price falls.

7. Control risk. It is often right to take risks and risks also have an upside (more risk = more to gain) but you always have to control your risks. One way to control risks it to take many non-related risks.

8. Understand the cyclic nature of card prices. I wrote a whole article about this here:

9. Know the pendulum. The pendulum swings due to mass hysteria. When the basic speculators hit a card, be aware of it. When they leave a card, be aware of that. Understand the herd.

10. You are your own worst enemy. Be aware of your psyche and the way it fails you and stops you from reaching your goals. Do not repeat mistakes.

11. Go against the herd. When they sell out, buy when they have damaged the price enough. When they buy, be there to sell to them at the top.

12. Find the hidden treasures. This is much easier when it comes to Magic cards than stocks. They are out there. They are undervalue. Some bots are selling too cheap. Find those treasures.

13. Be patient. Most MTGO speculators think in terms of weeks. If you can gain 200% over two years, you will be a millionaire within a decade, given an average starting bankroll.

14. Know what you do not know. There are major kinds of losers on the stock exchange; Those who know it all and those who don't know anything. You must be inbetween and you must know why you don't know it all. This is why you have to keep careful books - highlightning your mistakes is the only way to be aware of them. If you do not do this, you will overestimate your skill and think your financial gains are bigger than they really are.

15. Think about where and when you are right now. The future is uncertain, but it is possible to understand what is happening right now and why.

16. Realize the importance of luck. Do not think your luck is your skill as that will make you someone that knows it all and cause you to overestimate your skill, something which will lead to future disasters.

17. Invest carefully.

18. Avoid the pit falls. Classic mistakes are often repeated mistakes. Read about others mistakes before making them yourself.

19. Make cards valuable. Very few suceed in this but if you know that your or your team's actions will increase the value of a card, invest accordingly.

20. Have reasonable expectations. If you could earn 200% a year doing mtgo finance, why is not everyone else doing it? Maybe you can, but you have to know why they can't. What makes you special?

Monday, October 21, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 6.10

ML Bot 6.10 is a major update. There are many changes under the hood and bug fixes.

  • ML Bot 6.10 supports the sets From the Vault: Twenty (V13) and Duel Decks: Heroes vs Monsters (DDL). The updated pricelist is already available online. All the LITE bot users should update too
  • we changed the repository server for the trade screenshots and moved to a bigger one. This means that we will keep up to 3 months of screenshots (the current server rotates out the screenshots older than 1 month)
  •  The "Restarter.exe" process has been redesigned to be more robust. Sometimes it failed the restart of the bot
  • there was an annoying bug regarding the "Booster Correction" in the the Correction Tab. The bot was unable to remember the setting, reverting it to "no correction" after a few hours
  • the "Credit Me" function is back! This was necessary because some foil cards cost more than 400 tixs. The function was removed some months ago when the trade limit raised from 75 to 400 tix

Sunday, October 20, 2013

All Five Commander Decklists

Every botter should know what new sets / products bring. Take a look into Commander Decklists and modify the prices of reprinted cards. Decklist

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (Classifieds Advertisement Part 2) Part 19

Classifieds Advertisement Part 2 (Formatting):

Last week I talked a bit about Keywords you should use (and not use) in your Classifieds ad. This time I'm going to talk a little about how many bot owners choose to format their messages.

Classified ads vary a lot from bot to bot but a lot of them follow a pattern similar to this for Pro bots:
(|Open|)(Icon)(Header)(Icon) (BUYING)/(SELLING): (Card|Price| (Card|Price| Card|Price|....)
And something along the lines of this for Lite bots:
(|Open|)(Icon)(Header)(Icon) (BUYING): (X Common/X Uncommon/X Rare for 1 Tix) (SELLING): (X Common/X Uncommon/X Rare for 1 Tix)
(Ignore the Parentheses , these are to split the message up for the example)

Status Prefix:
The |BUSY|/|OPEN| prefix is automatically included if you check the box called "Automatically prefix | BUSY|/|OPEN| to the Classified message." inside the Messages Tab of the bot interface.
I prefer not to use this setting and have written my own (Busy Trading) message in the "Busy Class. message" Box in the bot UI instead. I'm not sure what's the best way to go about this but I find it unnecessary to waste your limited characters (255 max) on writing |OPEN|. If your bot isn't busy and a classified message is posted it should be fairly clear that it's open. But this is all up to you. It might be good to use simply because most bot's do, for the sake of consistency. But then again, it's always good to stick out from the crowd.

The Header:
The "Header" is replaced by the name of your chain. Often surrounded by (icons)(I'll explain how to use these later) to make it stand out from the crowd and also lets people easily know which bots are part of the same chain, and therefore shares credits.
It might not be very important if you have consistent names like BotBot, BotBot2, BotBot3 and so on. But it's very important for chains that don't, like the Supernova chain for example that have completely random bot names.

Prices For Pro Bots:
Pro bots usually include Individual card buying or selling prices prefixed with a "BUYING:" or "SELLING:" in their Classifieds ad.
These prices can be automatically inserted by the bot using different macros that I will go more in depth about next week.

Price For Lite Bots:
Lite bots often include "BUYING:" followed by the amount of each rarity your bot buys for one(1) ticket. And then "SELLING:" followed by the amount of each rarity your bot sells for one(1) ticket.

You don't have to include all information you want your customers to know though, as you can write messages in the message tab that the bot can post when a trade is initiated instead.

That's all I had for today, next week I'll talk some more about Classifieds advertisement.

Until then, have fun botting!

-Tom (Sitrec)
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3, ArchBot4 & ArchBot5

The Top Decks of Pauper: Stompy

In this series we will walk you through the top decks of Pauper as played on Magic Online.

We will be using this tier page as the basis or our walkthrough:

The second tier one deck we will discuss is Stompy.

Example  deck list
Stompy did undergo a lot of changes due to the recent bannings, but the deck did revert to a classical list, making old material about the deck more useful than recent.

This is a representative list for the new metagame. It was played by GerMagic in the Pauper Daily Event on 10/12/2013 to a 3-1 result.

17 Forest
4 Garruk's Companion
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
2 River Boa
2 Safehold Elite
3 Scattershot Archer
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
3 Young Wolf
3 Gather Courage
4 Groundswell
2 Hunger of the Howlpack
4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood

2 Fog
2 Gleeful Sabotage
3 Hornet Sting
1 Matsu-Tribe Sniper
1 River Boa
1 Scattershot Archer
3 Silhana Ledgewalker
2 Vault Skirge

About the deck
This may look like a weenie attack strategy but it is actually a very complicated deck to play. You will have to know your combat math very well to suceed with Stompy in the long run. The amount of tricks you can do with Quirion Ranger and all your growth effects is insane. Every time you play the deck, you learn something new.

This deck has game against everything.  The Ledgewalkers and the Hungers of the Howlpack work very well against Control. Skarrgan Pit-Skulk (and the often played Shinen of Life's Roar) makes things very hard to block.

I have played 100+ matches with the deck and decided not to play it in Daily Events, as I still make too many mistakes. I normally play a UB Control list that I will address in a later blog post. That deck has a ton of different decisions to make, but it is still easier to play than Stompy.

Read Quirion Ranger and start to think about what you can actually do with that card. It is mind boggling.

Financial implications of the deck

The two money cards in the deck are Nettle Sentinel and Quirion Ranger.  Rancor used to be very expensive, but after being reprinted in M13, its not a big deal anymore.

As all Pauper cards, Nettle Sentinel and Quirion Ranger fluctuate enormously in price, depending on which deck is the most popular in the metagame (does Stompy have a good matchup against it or not?) and old sets being drafted. You could probably just set your bots to buy both cards at 1 tix and sell at 3 tix and you would make a profit in the long run. That is, if you are buying the promo version of Quirion Ranger. The Visions Quirion Ranger is a little more expensive.

Right now, Nettle Sentinel has fallen from 3 tix to 1 tix, so it is probably time to stock up on the card. Both cards are also played in Pauper Elves, which increase their value.

Spore Frog, which is sometimes played in Stompy, also has some value, but overall this is one of the cheapest competitive Pauper decks.

Learn more about Stompy

This is Deluxeicoff's legendary article about the deck which is a must-read for anyone interested in playing it:

I interviewed Deluxeicoff earlier this year about Stompy:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bad to the Bone - Part 3

On Sunday, my colleague posted that putting the names of popular bot chains in their classified
messages was unethical and used by bad bots.

Simply putting the name of the competition in your advertising message so that your bot will show up in search results has been done since marketers realized they might be able to curtail the competition by using such strategies.

Bad bots however do far more than simply inserting the competition’s name so that their bot shows up in the results. 

  • Saying that your bot will sell a card for X when the bot sells it for X+Y
  • Saying that your bot will purchase a card for X when the bot will buy it for X-Y
  • Saying that your bot will purchase X copies of a card when in reality it is set to only accept X-Y
  • Saying that your bots are linked when in reality they are not.
  • Saying that you have X cards in your collection when in reality the bot has significantly fewer cards.
  • Posting an email address or a website which does not exist or gives the customer a way to contact the owners
These tactics may give the bot a little publicity and maybe even an up-tick in sales, but customers will notice and over time, such tactics are not successful.

Doubt me?  Look at your own life and your own purchases and the brands you trust.  Would you buy an eye-pad from a company named Aqqle?  If gasoline was listed at $4 a gallon on sign buy $5 on the pump, would you purchase gasoline there?  Would you go purchase it a second time?

MTGO Library Bot 6.09

Just a little fix on 6.08

MTGO Library Bot 6.08

ML Bot 6.08 continues the series of improvements on wikiprice. Expect your bot (6.08) to be better connected to wikiprice

The top decks of Pauper: Delver

In this series we will walk you through the top decks of Pauper as played on Magic Online.

We will be using this tier page as the basis or our walkthrough:

The first tier one deck we will discuss is Delver. As there are no naming conventions in Pauper, deck can be known under many names. This particular deck is also known as Faeries, DelverBlue, MUC (which is entirely wrong as that refers to another deck) or Mono Blue Tempo. We will be using the naming conventions as established by and MagicGatheringStrat, thus this deck is called Delver.

About the deck
Delver is your typical blue aggro-control deck that plays a threat and then protects it, much like Faeries in Modern. This means that Delver has the role of the format policeman who keeps the broken combo decks in check. When broken combo decks have ruled the format, like Grapeshot storm did at the end of 2012 and Temporal Fissure storm did this summer, Delver rules the world. Aggro-Control is always the solution to combo and Delver is often the #1 deck in the meta due to this fact.

Delver likes playing against most decks. With the right hand, you will always have game against anything. First turn Delver into second turn Faeries, then a ninja backed up by counterspells and you are close to unbeatable.

The decks that will give Delver problems are decks with lots of cheap removal (such a black or blue-black control decks) or many cheap flyers (such as White Weenie).

The Delver mirror is an insanely boring affair where Spire Golem and card draw rules the world. This means that Delver will have problems with more control-oriented mono blue decks (such as MOno Blue Control, MUC) that behave like Delver decks already sideboarded for the mirror. Or, as someone said yesterday; Pauper, the format where a 2/4 flyer is like Progenitus. Spire Golem is quite a good card in Pauper.

When good players come to Pauper from other formats, they tend to pick up this deck, which might influence its results (which are stellar).

Overall this is an extremely good deck and if you want to play Pauper with any success, you have to know how to beat Delver.

Two different tastes of Delver
Often named after the two players that made them popular, we can separate Delver decks into XMimX Delver (more aggressive) and Mezzel Delver (more controlling). THe XMimX version tries to run on 16 lands and attack violently. The Mezzel version is more controlling and has real card draw spells. Both versions play very similarly though.

Typical deck lists
These are the two latest lists from the Delver masters themselves.

XMimX, 4-0, Pauper Daily Event on Magic Online October 7th, 2013

2 Bonesplitter
4 Cloud of Faeries
2 Cloudfin Raptor
4 Counterspell
2 Daze
4 Delver of Secrets
1 Deprive
2 Frostburn Weird
1 Gush
16 Island
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
3 Snap
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Spire Golem

3 Coral Net
3 Curse of Chains
1 Deprive
1 Dispel
2 Frostburn Weird
3 Hydroblast
2 Serrated Arrows

Mezzel, 3-1, Pauper Daily Event, October 5th, 2013

4 Brainstorm
4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Counterspell
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Deprive
2 Exclude
3 Frostburn Weird
2 Gush
17 Island
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
2 Quicksand
4 Snap
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Spire Golem

4 Annul
4 Coral Net
4 Hydroblast
3 Piracy Charm

Delver Resources
These are great places to check out if you want to learn more about the deck.

I interview Chris Weaver about his Mezzel-style Delver deck in depth:

Great interview with Newplan about all things Delver:

XMiMX posts on Pauper Revolution on Facebook (a Polish Pauper Community):

This is an article about a tournament I won with Delver, including a video of every match:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Competitive Pricing, Regulars Only!

Special Buddies Explained

Theros release did teach us many things, to both experienced and new bot owners.
Firstly, most of us noticed a massive increase in the volume of trades. This was not just caused by the influx of new MTGO players but also by the massive price swings on Theros cards.
As we all know, new sets are not so easy to judge and deal with as older ones are, which have more consistent prices. When it comes to set releases some of us choose to not buy them all together for a while, others will deal it, but with big profit margins and others take a gamble and buy it at a high rate (this one often disappoints).

While the Theros set release might sound a bit off-topic, it has some of the features which cause us to think about which profit margins to go with. Like I have shown on my last article, on the same card, some will buy for 28 and sell for 36; others will go with buying for 30 and sell for 34.
The first bot isn't simply a "rip-off" bot, there can be many reasons for a higher profit margin. Some botters don't have as much time to tune their pricing as often as others (personal prices), or have higher rental fees. Higher profit margins will reduce dramatically the number of bad trades.

I don't want to open a discussion about Bot-Raiders, but often, when I buy a card for too much, or sell it too cheaply I have this thought: "I wouldn't have minded selling it this low (or buying too high), if it was one of my regulars, instead of being someone that never used my bot that came in and bought (or sold) 12 copies of it at once.". Special buddies will not solve the occasional "bad deal" but will make it more likely to happen to your regulars.

Assuming the values above: The riskier bot that buys for 30 and sell for 34 and your "safer" bot that buys for 28 and sell for 36;  you now have a chance to compete and give a deal to your regular customers. If you give , for example, a 5% bonus on buying and 5% discount on selling to regular customers, you will now buy that card for 29.4 and sell for 34.2, this makes you a very fair bot to your regular customers, and if the card value goes up from 34 to 35, the chances are that you will sell it to your regular customers for 34.2 (while the riskier bot sold all his copies to a raider for 34 that won't come back, which means that his regulars will look for it elsewhere).

Special buddies feature will allow you to be the "safe" bot to new customers, and the "riskier" one to your regulars, which will make sure the regulars carry on being regulars and give you a "safe gap" against professional traders.

MTGO Library Bot 6.07

MTGO Library Bot 6.07 has just been released.

6.07 features a better connection with wikiprice and the capability to restart MTGO if the login screen shows the word "disconnected" (see image belowe). Previous version of ML Bot used to wait 3 hours before restating MTGO.

Monday, October 14, 2013

An introduction to Standard Pauper

1. Who is Dan?
2. What is Standard Pauper?
3. Why should you play Standard Pauper?
4: Where can you play Standard Pauper?
5. Where can you learn more about Standard Pauper?

1. Who is this Dan character anyway?

Hi! I am Dan. I am a Magic writer for and as well as a video maker for the MagicGatheringStrat YouTube channel. In the upcoming weeks, I will write a series of blog posts for mtgolibrary, starting with this one. I have several subjects I would like to address, but I am also open for requests.

The best way to reach me is my twitter at @MagicGathStrat or by sending me a PM on

Today we are going to talk about Standard Pauper.

2. What is Standard Pauper?

Standard Pauper is one of the most recent formats to become available on Magic Online. It was allowed into the list of formats you can select when starting a new game quite recently and it is not yet supported by any sanctioned Magic Online events.

It is a community supported format and it is the hope of many players that this will become a tournament sanctioned format like Classic Pauper (also known simply as "Pauper") did become due to community support once.

In Standard Pauper, like Classic Pauper, you can only play commons. The catch is that you can only play commons that are Standard Legal. Today that would be commons from M14, Theros and RTR block. If a card has been printed at common but not is not printed as a common in the Standard legal sets, it can not be played in Standard Pauper (Doom Blade comes to mind).

 3. Why should you play Standard Pauper?

Unlike the formats that have sanctioned tournaments, Standard Pauper is always far from solved. There is plenty of room for brewing and a suprisingly large number of decks are possible. There has been times when the format has been more or less broken, but right now, just after rotation, it is wide open. You could even say that the format challenges new brewers to try to break it.

The format is insanely cheap. Even the top decks can be bought for less than two dollars. As there are tournaments that are free that pay out prices (see below), Standard Pauper is the best way to get into Magic Online for close to nothing. In fact, you could get cards from the freebots, enter a Standard Pauper tournament and, at least theoretically, go infinite never paying a single cent.

4. Where can you play Standard Pauper?

You can play Standard Pauper in any of the practice rooms on Magic Online. If you are running the old client, I recommend opening a table in both the "Just for Fun" and the "Tournament Practice" room and then play at whatever table fills first after closing the other. That is probably the fastest way to get a game started, unless you are a member of a clan that supports Standard Pauper (which is something I could address in a later blog post).

If you want to play tournaments, you will find a player-run event (PRE) on Mondays and Thursdays at These events are free but still pay out prices to the winners, which means they are a great way of getting started on Magic Online.

5. Where can you learn more about Standard Pauper?

The aforementioned site is the heart of tournament Standard Pauper.

Mtgostrat has several writers that write about Standard Pauper. Learn more here:

There are two podcasts that has Standard Pauper as part of their repertoire. They are Pauper to the People (more casual) and Just Another Magic Podcast (more competitive). You can find them both on Itunes or on

Just Another Magic Podcast:
Pauper to the People:

Pauper to the People also has a forum where Standard Pauper is discussed:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (Classifieds Advertisement Part1) Part 18

Classifieds Advertisement Part 1 (Keywords):
In my last post I explained how you can use the PersonalPrices.txt file to set personal prices for individual cards. This week I'll talk about what you should think about when customizing your Classifieds ads.

First thing you need to know is that this ad is your face towards customers.
Some more experienced users will use the wikiprice site to find bots but most will just search the Classifieds, so it's crucial that you write a good ad that includes the right keywords so new customers can find you.

Keywords are words that you should use in your bot's Classifieds message that are words people often search for. As far as I know Wizards haven't released any statistics on this so we'll have to guess which words these are.

Good keyword usage:
Some words are pretty obvious, words like "Buying", "Selling", "Common", "Uncommon", "Rare", "Bulk", "(Popular card's names)" and so on.

These are words you should try to include in your bot's Classifieds messages where they fit.
For example: Rarities and "Bulk" only applies to Lite bots and "(popular card's names)" mostly applies to Pro bots. I would suggest writing real messages like "Now buying Theros" instead of just cramping them in randomly.

A different approach:
Some bot owners choose to include a bunch of random keywords at the end without spaces, just to cramp in as many as possible.
Example: uncommonraremythicbulktherosthsfoilstandard

While this definitely will yield more search hits it looks very messy and a bit unprofessional. I prefer writing real messages containing keywords since I think it looks better and more personal, but it's up to each of you how you want your chain to be perceived.

Bad keyword usage:
Some people choose to include keywords that doesn't even relate to their bot just to get more hits.
For example bots using the keyword "Casual" or "Human" which are usually reserved for humans wanting to sell or trade cards using the classified by hand and not use a bot.

Some even include names of other big chains to pop up when people search for these.
For example search for "Supernova" which is one of the larger bot chains on MTGO and your search will yield something around 120 hits even though the Supernova chain only consists of eight(8) bots.

This looks very unprofessional and I would never deal with a bot that uses this kind of strategy but it's definitely going to yield more searches that picks up their bots.

So it's all up to you how you want to use keywords. You should never underestimate how powerful these are and how much traffic they can yield, but always remember that your bot might come off as unprofessional and even shady if you use the "wrong" ones.

Next week I'll talk more about Classifieds messages and until then, happy botting!

-Tom (Sitrec)
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3, ArchBot4 & ArchBot5

Few words about V4

Good news! Wizards announced that the changeover to the new client - V4 won't happen this year. Wizards say "We need to integrate the stability work from our partners, and make sure we have time to address any major issues from that integration. This process will start later this year and stretch into the beginning of next year."

Wizards is not getting by with programming and they hired outside help to clean up the mess in a code. I hope the external team will not only fix bugs, but also revamp the trading system. What is important, Wizards has stated that the current client is not going away until the work done by the external consultants is integrated into the client and it is bug checked. Before a final switchover they are planning to do Wide Beta Spotlight once again. 

Enjoy V3 as long as you can

Friday, October 11, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 6.06

ML Bot 6.06 fixes a couple of minor bugs of 6.05.

ML Bot 6.05 didn't have the file "SpecialBuddies.txt" - one had to create it by himself. ML Bot 6.06 creates the files automatically and adds a nice header.
Comments are also supported - 6.05 wasn't able to recognize a comment and gave a warning message.

// This is the SpecialBuddies.txt file. Use it to correct the prices to encourage or discourage specific buddies
// Enter a new line for each buddy. Maximum correction is +/- 30%
// Syntax:
// buddyname;percentage;percentage
// Examples:
// george;-25%;5%
// alice;5%;-5%
// bob;20%;-10%
// Do not write '//' (these are just comments)
// Do not change this header

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Follow me on Twitter

I just started a Twitter account (@mtgolibrary), please follow me. I will tweet there news and infos. Twitter will be a great channel for real time feeds

Bad to the Bone - Part 2

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

When one uses this phrase to describe someone, they usually are referring to a positive attribute, typically work ethic

Of course, this also breeds copycats.  In sports, it causes imitationWhat was successful for a time becomes copied until it no longer works anymore.  In American Football, the Miami Dolphins unveiled the Wildcat offense which was trendy for a couple of years.  Currently, the read-option has become that trend.

In the business world, this can have more serious consequences than it can in sports.  Ask Rolex if they like people copying their design for watches.  This problem, along with counterfeiting, have created a niche industry of copyrights, patents, and the enforcement of such laws.  Some even say that this is a world-wide problem.

So how does it affect us bot owners? 

Suppose I own a bot chain Bot1, Bot 2, Bot 3 and Bot 4.  I am happily making a healthy profit on my chain and am satisfied.  Now suppose someone comes along with Bot5, Bot6, Bot7 and Bot8 The confusion is going to cause me to lose business.  As you can imagine, I will not be too pleased about this.

So what can I do about this?

WotC probably will not do anything about it.  They will not step in because nothing was done to violate their Terms of Service.  They won’t get involved in a bot spat and this would set a bad precedenceWotC has very little to gain by interfering and a lot to lose.  So I suspect they would not get involved.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t purchase Bot5, Bot6 and so on for your purposes.  If nothing else, they can be used for future expansion of your bot empire.  Even if you never use those accounts, just having those accounts means no one else can have them, preserving your integrity and reputation.  You can even use these accounts as mules, a place to put inventory while transferring from one bot to another, or when purchasing a collection.

Tradelog + Cardlog

This had been requested for a long time: the possibility to switch from "TradeLog" to "CardLog" and see the profits on singles.

From yesterday (I guess many of you received wrongly formatted emails because of that :-) ) every card in the TradeLog has a direct link to the CardLog!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The "Five" types of bots

Often I get asked the same question "What is the best way to price a card?" as easy as this might sound, all will depend on how much money you are willing to invest into the game and how much risk you're ready to take.

I will start by showing this generalized bots with different price strategies:

We all already know that some bots buy cheap to sell cheap and others buy high and sell reasonable cheap, but many fail to understand that trying to be the cheapest seller and highest buyer at the same time, often leads to massive losses.

BOT 1: "The Cheap Seller"
This kind of bot is quite simple, it involves very little to no risk at all and while not getting the most visits a day, when it does buy something good, often sells it quickly and for a good profit.
It seems like a good easy way to make money, but this kind of pricing will make the supplying customers feel ripped off (when they realize how cheaply you buy) and the buying customers hardly will become regulars, as they might just be buying cards for the sake of being so cheap (or to sell them back to BOT 4/5).

BOT 2: MTGO Library Default Pricelist
This pricing is what I would recommend a new bot, while having a good decent profit margin to be called "risk free",this often falls in the trap of still being a bot that "doesn't buy quite as high as the others". Theres a chance of making some regulars, but with time they might move on into bots like BOT3/4 as they seem to have the 3 things regulars like: Higher buying prices; Cheaper selling prices; Bigger stock.

BOT3: "Average Bot"
While I would recommend the default pricelist to a new bot, once you start getting a few customers and regulars, you should slowly edge a bit the buying prices forward, this will keep your regulars happy. This bot will always pick a bunch of cards from what you are trying to sell, and also likely to have a lot of cards that you need. This is the perfect bot for attracting many constructed players, while having a decent profit margin.

BOT4: "Minimal Profit Bot"
This kind of bot might seem a smart way of making profit. Many would be fooled that this bot will make much more profit than BOT3 simply because it will sell and buy the same card more often, but this bot hasa few downfalls. Firstly a very short gap on profit margins often mean that you will not get profit in a few specific cards, possibility big losses. The reason for this is because you will sell a newly popular card before you have time to increase the price, or the opposite, you will be the first to buy a card when it gets banned before you can reduce the price. To cover the loss caused on "not so good" trades, you will need to make many "regular" ones to break even.

BOT5: "Top Buyer, Expensive Seller"
This is the bot which every drafter will have on their buddy list. Very popular for top buying prices, this is the first spot where drafters will try and unload their cards. The downside is that, in order to buy this high, you will have to sell the previous bought copies of that card at high prices. This means that while a drafter might be excited that you are paying top dollar for 2 of his cards, he will be quite disappointed that it hasn't picked any other of his 10.000 tradable cards. This bot requires "rich" regular buying customers that want a fully stocked bot and don't mind paying extra for having it all under one roof.

Where do you think your bot fits? Currently my BestDeal bot is somewhere between BOT4 and BOT5, then each of the other bots on the chain sell slightly cheaper and buy slightly lower.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (MLBot Basics 8) Part 17

Personal Prices:
In my previous post I talked about the PersonalPercentages.txt file.
This week I'll talk about the PersonalPrices.txt file that you can use to customize individual prices for cards.
In this file you can specify selling and buying prices for each individual card, and also buying quantity which will override your settings in the tabs for each specified card you add to this list.

You format this file as followed:

5DN;Stasis Cocoon;0.024;0.028;0.003;0.006;8;4

This will make your bot sell the regular 5Th edition(5ED) Stasis Cocoon for 0.024 tickets, the foil version for 0.028 and buy max 8 regular for 0.003 tickets each and 4 foil for 0.006.

Even if you have set your bot to only purchase 4 of each card from the 5th edition(5ED), your bot will now purchase 8 of only Stasis Cocoon as this files overrides everything else.

This is a great way to, for example setting your bot to purchase more of the most popular cards that you will sell all the time. Or maybe adjusting prices that you think fits better than the ones of the CardsMTGO3.txt file.

All you need to do is to add each card you manually want to adjust in a separate line.

5DN;Stasis Cocoon;0.024;0.028;0.003;0.006;8;4
M13;Bloodhunter Bat;0.034;0.039;0.004;0.008;4;0
AVR;Angel of Jubilation;0.084;0.1;;4;

As you can see you don't have to fill in every part of it. If you leave for example buying price empty, your bot will buy the card for whatever other settings is set inside of the bot interface and/or PersonalPercentages.txt.

Also, remember that if you write "//" before something it turns into a comment which won't be read by the bot. So you can use this to write categories for your own information to make it easier to keep track of your custom prices.

To use PersonalPrices.txt just check the checkbox in the "General" tab of the bot UI.

That's all for this time! I'll be back next week.

-Tom (Sitrec)
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3, ArchBot4 & ArchBot5

MTGO Library Bot 6.05

ML Bot 6.05 fixes some little bugs of 6.04. In particular:
  • 6.05 is able to buy Theros Boosters (6.04 skipped them)
  • the wishlist buying mode now buys Theros cards
  • the set RTR (Return to Ravnica) is now correctly classified as "Standard"
  • we removed an old message box (see images) saying that "you need to minimize the taskbar". This is not necessary anymore because ML Bot minimizes the taskbar by itself (if you did not, of course)