Thursday, July 31, 2014

MTGO Library Bot 8.23

This is a minor update, fixing a bug in the loading of the wishlist. Version 8.22 had an "empty array error" that caused the bot to freeze

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Pauper Gauntlet competitor #7: Delver by cweaver

The Pauper Gauntlet is coming to mtgolibrary. You can submit your Pauper brews starting August 31st right here. Please do not submit any decks yet.

Some of the deck lists of the competing decks that are pre-qualified by different means will be presented here. This is deck #7.

Earlier deck lists:

Deck #1 Illusory Tricks:
Deck #2: Love Train

Before he quit MTGO in disgust over the new client, Cweaver was one of the top two Pauper Premier Event players, usually playing Delver.

I did an interview with him about the deck as he was just starting out in 2013.

It is a very in-depth analysis of the Delver deck. Delver is the Fish deck of Pauper, playing much the same role of Merfolk in Modern, only stronger. It has been one of the top three decks in the format since Delver was printed (and arguably even before that) and often the top deck of all.

The idea is to play tempo-control and kill the opponent before the grindier decks can outvalue Delver, with enough control to stop the super aggressive decks from winning before you do.

The worst matchup is Elves.

I have decided to go with Chris build as he had it quite well toned by the end.

This is his Delver build:

Delver by cweaver

17 Island

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Cloud of Faeries
1 Stormbound Geist
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
3 Spire Golem

4 Ponder
4 Preordain
2 Bonesplitter
2 Daze
3 Snap
4 Counterspell
2 Exclude
2 Gush

3 Coral Net
3 Hydroblast
2 Steel Sabotage
2 Curse of Chains
2 Stormbound Geist
3 Serrated Arrows

So what I am going to use this deck list for? Good question!Learn more about the Pauper Gauntlet here:

Contact me

My YouTube channels
Fan of History: My ancient history series
MagicGatheringStrat: My MTGO channel

MTGO Library Bot 8.22

ML Bot 8.22 has just been released. This is a major update fixing a number of small and big issues. The most important fixes are:

  • "balance" and "refill" autotransfer modes were not working properly and they used to pick less cards than needed
  • fixed a problem causing the bot to abort the trades and restart Mtgo immediately, in a loop
  • fixed some wrong chat messages that the only buyer bots gave to the customers
  • added messages to the Info Panel when the bot aborts a trade - so you can know why the trade aborted
  • fixed a problem with opening the wishlist

Standard Trends Part 1

Hi everyone!

Those of you who know me, know I’m a business guy at heart. I went to school for business…twice. I really enjoy it and am passionate about it. That’s why turning something I like outside of business into a business suits me well. I trade on MTGO. I like it because it’s a lot easier to trade than in paper MTG. The number of players is a lot smaller, but it’s still a viable business opportunity.
In the more advanced business education I have received a major theme was identifying important information. Now I know that sounds simple, but there’s a lot to it. What’s important, sounds easy enough but in practice it’s not always easy. Many business textbook authors describe identifying important information as both identifying what is actually important AND identifying what’s not important. What isn’t important is just as important as what is important information….a lot of importance there.
One common identification of important information that I find to be the most useful is identifying trends.  Trends and how to spot them is a huge topic and I’m going to have to split it into several different posts otherwise I’d end up writing a 30 page paper and you’d have to read it. It’s a lot easier in small doses.

Trends can be seen in most cards on MTGO, of course this doesn’t really apply to the bulk rares. But if we look at any blue dual land from Vintage Masters we will see a downward trend, in cards that aren’t “chase” cards like Dack Fayden, there’s an upward trend.

The part of trends I’m focusing on today are cyclical trends in Standard legal cards. Now, the trend is easy to spot, look at a line graph and see it. Simple enough, but how can we predict the trends?
The basic rule of thumb is that when a big set, like Theros is released, it gets drafted a lot on MTGO (check out my earlier article where I talk a little about drafts, the main point is that the majority of MTGO cards in circulation are opened in a draft event). So generally the price goes down until Born of the Gods comes out. Then the number of packs drafted changes from Theros, Theros, Theros to Theros, Theros, Born of the Gods. When less Theros is drafted, the price begins to climb. It climbs until the last set of the block is released. It’s because as less new copies of the card enter circulation, the demand stays the same and drives the price up. So now the block is released, what happens next? The price drops.

Why does the price drop? It drops from the theory I call the “shiny new thing” theory. There isn’t another standard Pro Tour Qualifier season for about 6 months, and cool stuff like Vintage Masters and Magic 2015 were released. I think most players have a limited budget and have to sell many of their cards to acquire different cards, they don’t have a lot of money to sink into the game every paycheck. After the first set of the next block is released (Khans of Tarkir in this case), Standard Pro Tour Qualifier season will start and things will change yet again. The price will go up. My friend Dan, who also writes here, calls it the “do not buy period”. This is because the supply is not increasing because not many, if anyone, is drafting the old block when the new one comes out. Then as the card approaches it’s end of life in Standard the price falls.

I want to go into more detail with this and this is a very rough outline of what happens but that will have to be in another article. Thanks for reading.
If there are any topics you want to hear about, go ahead and post them in the comments and I’ll talk about them in an upcoming article.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MTGO Market Manipulation is afoot!

Hi Everyone! I’m excited to be back with todays article!
Today I’m talking about market manipulation. It’s one of my favorite topics. Market manipulation is when a person or group get together and work to make something happen in the market. The classic example of market manipulation is OPEC. OPEC are the Oil Producing Eastern Countries. They work together to restrict the supply of oil to keep the price high. That’s a little different than MTGO because oil is used and it can’t be reused, MTGO cards never reach their “end of life” because once they are in circulation, they are in circulation forever.

So market manipulation has to do with restriction of supply. That’s easy if you’re WOTC, in fact that’s an effect of the mythic rarity. It restricts the supply of cards and makes it harder to obtain, notice how the most expensive cards are the ones that are good, but also mythic. Look at VMA, the most expensive cards are the power 9 excluding Timetwister and their rarity is about 1 per 100 packs…Sure there’s prestige to owning power but the rarity has something to do with the price too.

If we try to manipulate the market for bananas we’re going to have a hard time with that. There are just too many bananas to buy. The small economy is what makes market manipulation possible on MTGO.  Here’s a link to my friend Dan’s video on hisYouTube channel MagicGatheringStrat (where I do a weekly show on MTGO finance called Ferocious Finance also, click here for the playlist).

Dan bought 100 copies of a card and drove the price up 19%. The card cost less than $.50 and he bought 100 copies. So for $50 he can drive the price up by 19%. With another $50 invested in the same card, he can drive the price up more than 19% because it’s easier to manipulate the market more because the supply is now 100+ cards smaller. I’m not saying anyone’s going to manipulate the market with a few dollars but if you look at the cost as an investment, it’s worth it if the gain is worth the cost.

What can you do with a manipulated market? The answer to that question is long. I can write a 50 page paper on how to abuse a manipulated market on MTGO, but I doubt any of you want to read something like that in one sitting.

The reason I wanted to talk about market manipulation this week is that I noticed that the Urza Lands from ME4 suddenly shot from $.10 to $3 in one day. Have a look. It’s only one version of the art that did it for each land. Someone went out and bought a lot of Urza lands. What they will do with this artificial high price, I do not know, but the point is the price is manipulated and if you have the now expensive Urza Lands, you should sell them before whoever is manipulating the price is done doing what they are doing and sells them causing the price to drop.

MTGO Library Bot 8.19

ML Bot 8.19 has just been released and we have a couple of great new features under the hood!

  • First of all, the bot is faster in accepting trades and sending the welcome messages, up to 2.5 seconds faster than 8.18. The average time between the accept of a trade request and the spamming of the first message is now 3 seconds. If you have a fast pc, it could be around 1.5 - 2 seconds-
  • If you came from 8.18, the update to 8.19 should just take few seconds instead of 1 or 2 minutes: we reintroduced the fast updater we had on v3
  • Last but not the least, we made the "automatic buying mode" (the bot entering buying mode without user input) optional. There is a checkbox (see image below) where you can choose wheter the bot automatically enters buying mode or stay idle waiting for user input.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tales from the Magic 2015 Prerelease

When I am writing this I just finished my 5th M15 Prerelease Sealed (its good to have bots).

My first impression
* The sealed format is faster than the M14 draft format, but not by much. 7-drops are playable.
* The blue and the green prerelease cards are reasons not to choose those colors.
* The white and the red prerelease cards are good but expensive. Siege Dragon is a nuisance for many decks.
* Indulgent Tormentor is broken and by far the best card. I have taken black every time and never looked back.
* Red seems like the best color if you ignore the prerelease cards.

A sample tournament

In this (my 5th event, #3 on the my Youtube Channel) I once again selected Black but ended up with two of the white prerelease card as well - Resolute Archangel.

This was my deck

1 Evolving Wilds
8 Plains
9 Swamps

1 Typhoid Rats
1 Kinsbaile Skirmisher
1 Oreskor Swiftclaw
1 Bronze Sable
1 Carrion Crow
1 Witch's Familiar
1 Gargoyle Sentinel
1 Razorfoot Griffin
1 Gravedigger
1 Rotfeaster Maggot
2 Shadowcloak Vampire
1 Indulgent Tormentor
1 Soul of New Phyrexia
2 Resolute Archangel

1 Ulcerate
1 Sign in Blood
1 Pillar of Light
1 Solemn Offering
1 Stab Wound
1 Triplicate Spirits

I had seen so many artifacts in the format that I decided to maindeck one Solemn Offering. I am not sure that was correct.

I go through my decisions when building the deck in this video.

These are the first three rounds, all of them wins. Some easy, some very hard.

In the fourth round I faced a really good Simic deck in the final. He had great synergies with bouncing guys and ETB creatures (such as the Hydra). Could my broken prerelease cards win the day?

Me and my buddies will play more M15 prerelease events. You can follow it all in the below playlist

I hope you enjoy this new core set as much as I do.

Messages and Classified Posting, General Guide

Messages and Classified Posting, General Guide

This guide will show you how to post your stores items into the classified message as well as providing an easy to follow guideline for low maintenance message posting.  These messages will be rotated with a randomizer so that all your items you want listed will get seen on the classified message boards. In short the entire system is a “Dynamic” system. So let us get started.


First thing is first, you will want to update your “Cards for Advertisement” or “CFA” text file with the cards you wish to advertise in your classified message (If you do not have a “Cards for Advertisment.txt” file, you will need to make one and place it into the “Prices” folder inside the program folder). To do this, you will need to open your “CardsForAdvertisement.txt” file (Often referred to as your CFA file) and add your cards that you want to buy and sell into your “CFA” file.

Example of a few postings within your CFA file:

NoteYou will start on the next blank line no spaces or indentations from the left, if you have odd spaces you will find that the card you have done this to will not show up in your advertisement. Also for the next card you want to add, all you need to do is press enter and go to the next line and post a new card.

BOO;Journey into Nyx Booster
BOO;Born of the Gods Booster
BOO;Theros Booster
(That is for your boosters, BOO is your set name for Boosters and then you just place a ( : ) after the BOO set name, then with no spaces you must place your Booster name IN FULL* (See above for exact spelling examples) . Then simply hit enter and start the next line.
For Card sets and individual cards, Make sure to use the 3 letter set identifier instead of BOO as listed above.

VMA;Black Lotus
THS;Thassa, God of the Sea

*Once you have your CFA file set up and filled in correctly, you can now begin with your classified message post. To adjust your cards you wish to buy or sell, simply add or remove cards to fit your desired needs.*

Once you have your CFA all set up and ready to go, you can then apply this technique by opening up the MTGO Library Bot program and going into your messages tab OR by using the online Messages tab at . Simply find the section that says:” Classified message” and begin posting your message into the space. To do this you will fist need a message or you can just start with cards from your CFA file and disregard a personal message.  An Example will be listed below:
Bot Name BUY/SELL Your Standard Cards Here! #CFA_buy_2digits# #CFA_buy_2digits# #CFA_buy_2digits# #CFA_buy_2digits# #CFA_buy_2digits# #CFA_buy_2digits# #CFA_buy_2digits#
A more basic form of this setup with your buy price being carried out to 2 decimal places would look like this:
Bot Name BUY/SELL Your Standard Cards Here! #buy_2digits # #buy_2digits # #buy_2digits # #buy_2digits # #buy_2digits # #buy_2digits # #buy_2digits #
OR for SELLING prices:
Bot Name BUY/SELL Your Standard Cards Here! #sell_2digits # #sell_2digits # #sell_2digits # #sell_2digits # #sell_2digits # #sell_2digits # #sell_2digits #

(ALL ITEMS NEED TO BE CONTAINED  BETWEEN #’s   Your SETTINGS-  CFA / buy /2digits    are all settings. Those settings are placed within the #’s and each setting is separated by adding an underscore or _ between each setting.  So for just ONE card the setting would look like this: #CFA_buy_2digits# . In basic terms #CFA_buy_2digits#  means:
You want to post Cards from your CFA File_Your Buying Price_Display price out 2 decimal places, like 1.99)

*Note:  You can also change simple things around to fit your needs like, instead of “buy” you can put “sell” and it will post your selling prices instead of your buying prices. However, through much testing and in game experience, it is best to post buying prices as for beginners and even more advanced Bot owners find it more advantageous to post the buying prices, as keeping your store fully stocked up is important to the success of your storefront.
*You can have the bot show 1 or 2 decimal places by saying 2digits or 1digit as it is listed in the above example.

A comprehensive list of setting commands for more advanced users is listed below:
Classified and Trading room messages allow # commands for automatic card replacement. You can create the message as you want, for example #sell_THS_>10##buy_noname_PP# or#GTC_R_>1_1digit_foil_buy#.

#sell / buy#
Display the selling price (or the buying price) and name of a randomly chosen card
Setname (3 letters), force replacement in the specified set
#M/R/U/C #
Rarity, force replacement with an item of the specified rarity
force the price to be displayed with 1 or 2 decimals, instead of 3
Foil, force replacement with a foil card
#>0.7 / <0.3#
Price, force replacement with cards more expensive than.... or cheaper than...
Noprice, do not display the price
Noname, do not display the name of the card
Shortname, display a short version of the name, for example only 'Brimaz'
#Hall of Triumph#  
Cardname, replace with the specific cardname (must specify setname)
PersonalPrices.txt, force replacement with items contai1ned only in PersonalPrices.txt
CardsForAdvertisement.txt, force replacement with items contained only in CardsForAdvertisement.txt

When your bot is busy in a trade you can set your busy message by typing a phrase to your liking into the “Classified message when busy:” space provided in the messages tab

I'm busy with a customer right now. I will be open again shortly. Thank you for your patience!
*The rest of the messages in the same tab can be altered the same way to fit your desired objective.*

For those that use multiple bots, you can use the website to push your updates to all your active bots.  Also at the top of the page you will find some fine tuning message tools for more advanced users, just make sure to follow the example above for application of those tools!
1. To do this you will have to update your message.
2. Then to the right of the space you posted your message in, there is a “Message will go to” tab.  This tab will have 3 options
3. Option 1:   “this bot” (which is your currently selected bot, you can check which bot you are on by scrolling to the top of the page and at the top left you will see a message saying “Logged in as” under that is what bot you are attempting to update or manage”.
4. Option 2:  “all the bots in the chain”. This means all the bots you have set into your Bot Store Chain. Example:” Bot A, Bot B, Bot C” are all in a chain or linked together to put it simply. All information you type into the tab will be pushed to those specific bots.
5. Option 3:all my bots” Which means you will update every bot you own, with your new message.
To complete the information push all that is required is for you to click the submit button and your new message will be posted to your bots shortly after.

We here at MTGO Library hope that this information has helped you set up your classified message. As always we strive to provide the best in customer support for all our users from the Novice user to the most Advanced User. Feel free to use the live support tab at the bottom of the website for advice or you can send more detailed information and questions to . Thank you and Happy Botting!

MTGO Library Staff

Counterfeit paper Magic: The Gathering cards


Wizards have stopped already a substantial volume of counterfeit cards from entering the market by locating the manufacturing source in China. However, more and more fake cards are entering circulation. Allegedly, you may get a complete deck, containing all top cards, such as Tarmogoyfs, fetchalnds and more, for circa 30 USD. Wizards stated that they has eliminated and will continue to eliminate from the DCI or WPN anyone who knowingly distributes counterfeit cards.

How to recognize fake cards?
- corners of the card is differently rounded
- card differently reflects the light, they are glossy
- the printing is very blurry when you look closely at certain parts
-  a back of the card has totally different shade
- on the back of the card a characteristic white dot on the top-left is missing
- do a light test: take flashlight and deliver the light on the card, the light shines through the original card, wheras it does not through counterfeit.

At first glance, both cards from attached image does not raise any suspicion, however Hallowed Fountain on the right is fake. Take your time and during trading in real life study every inch of card. Trade with people you trust, closely examine highly sought-after cards, and remember the rule that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably isn't legitimate.

Wikiprice down for maintenance, ML Bot 8.18

Wikiprice is currently down for maintenance: we will keep it down for another day and then we will restart it

We have just released ML Bot 8.18, an important update containing many bug-fixes.

  • 8.18 features a more robust autotransfer handshake, especially when an "active" bot gives a command to a "passive" bot. Sometimes the passive bots ignored commands such "take my tixs" or "get my cards"
  • the taking tixs part has been completely rewritten and now it is more reliable. We found the reason of the flicketing causing mtgo to maximize/minimze in a loop for many seconds
  • The "Main Navigation" error by Mtgo v4 is now handled correctly and the bot restarts Mtgo
  • fixed a Classifed problem causing the bot not to post the name of the cards
  • PersonalPrices.txt and PersonalPercentages.txt are now case-insensitive

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ready to handle M15 - MTGO Library Bot 8.17

ML Bot 8.17 has just been releases, it supports the new Magic 2015 (M15) set. The updated pricelist is available for download from the Online Control Panel and for free during the update process from previous versions. Lite bots should update too.

With 8.17 we fixed some bugs as well:

  • the #shortname# command for the messages in the "Trade Room" is now working again
  • bot was unable to read many 5DN cards - this is now fixed
  • loading of the wishlist is now more robust and should always succeed
  • bot is now able to handle the error message "Cannot start application"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MTGO Library 8.16 just released, ready to trade again

Few hours ago we released ML Bot 8.16, able to trade again after the "Trade Completed" bug introduced on Wednesday (read the article here).

If you run ML Bot 8.15 you need to udpate it to 8.16, otherwise all the trades will be cancellled

Thanks all for the patience.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bug in Mtgo after Wednesday update

There is a bug in Mtgo after Wednesday downtime. The "trade completed" window does not exist anymore (see attached image) and so the bot is unable to detect the end of the trade.
To prevent any loss on the bots, we stopped all the trades from remote while we work at a solution for this.

This is the mentioned window - that used to be the "Trade Completed".

************************************  UPDATE  ***********************************
4:56 pm EST - Trades will be disabled until 11pm EST.  You must update before launching your bot again.

The Pauper Gauntlet competitor #6: DelverFiend by Farfishere

The Pauper Gauntlet is coming to mtgolibrary. You can submit your Pauper brews starting August 31st right here. Please do not submit any decks yet.

Some of the deck lists of the competing decks that are pre-qualified by different means will be presented here. This is deck #6.

Earlier blog posts:

Deck #1 Illusory Tricks:
Deck #2: Love Train

DelverFiend is a UR aggro/combo deck that tries to go off with Kiln Fiend or Nivix Cyclops and a ton of sorceries/instants to make one or two attacks that hit the opponents for 20+ points of damage very early in the game.

There are many different builds of the deck. I interview master deck builder Deluxeicoff about the deck in this video. 

I ran that build in the first season of the Pauper Gauntlet. A year has passed by and I decided to turn to one of my other favorite brewers - Farfishere - as he recently took down a major pauper event playing DelverFiend to win the tournament.

Farfishere is most famous for making the obnoxious Time Walking deck in Modern called Taking Turns. I talked about that deck in an earlier blog post here on mtgolibrary:

This is his DelverFiend build:

DelverFiend by Farfishere

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Kiln Fiend
4 Nivix Cyclops

4 Apostle's Blessing
2 Artful Dodge
1 Dispel
4 Gush
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
4 Shadow Rift

8 Island
5 Mountain
4 Terramorphic

3 Dispel
4 Flame Slash
3 Gigadrowse
4 Reckless Charge
1 Steel Sabotage

You can follow Farfishere's brewing and ask him questions on his facebook page:

Learn more about the Pauper Gauntlet here:

Some sideboarding advice from Farf himself
Against Delver: -1 Artful Dodge, -4 Apostle's Blessing, +2 Gigadrowse, +3 Dispel,
Against MBC: - 4 Mutagenic Growth, - 2 Artful Dodge, +3 Dispel, +3 Reckless Charge
Against COP: Flaring Pain

Never sideboard out Gush, Preordain or Creatures.

Contact me

My YouTube channels
Fan of History: My ancient history series
MagicGatheringStrat: My MTGO channel

My Path to MTGO from Paper and Vintage Masters early trends

Hi Everyone!
Welcome back for another dose of MTGO finance advice and theory!
I played magic back when 4th edition first came out. I remember playing when they still sold revised packs in stores and they were no big deal. I even came across a couple shops that had Unlimited boosters that sold for the premium price of $3.50 (If I remember correctly, retail price was $1.99). I played when Ice Age came out, I remember Jester’s Cap being a $20 card. I remember hearing about the fabled Mana Crypt that I never saw until I attended a MTG card show and finally saw all the amazing cards I had only heard about. I stopped playing for a few years because my local shop closed and it seemed like Magic was dying out. I found another store when I turned 16 and started going there for Friday game night. I played for a couple months until, again, Magic seemed to die out compared to some other card games. A few years later I ran into some friends at a local outdoor shopping center playing Magic in the courtyard area. I reconnected with old friends and joined their play group. We played big group games all night long every Friday. It was great. After 3 months of everyone playing the same deck again and again it started to lose its appeal so we all got a crazy idea, we would check out a FNM tournament. My first tournament outing is another ridiculous story but it was during Onslaught Block, right after Scourge came out. Unfortunately, the shop was far from our houses, some of my friends were students still and some didn’t have cars. We eventually stopped going to tournaments. Our last tournament was right before Time Spiral came out.
The common theme in all the times I stopped playing was that it was hard to find people to play with, and it was expensive and inconvenient, If I wanted to play Magic, the only time was really Friday night and it was hard to find people to trade with (Trading is one of my favorite things about Magic).
After a few more years off, I started reading articles on one day. I kept reading for a year, nearly every day toward the end of the year. It seemed that Magic is better than it ever has been, but that one problem still existed, I didn’t have people to play or trade with.
When I considered going out and buying cards again, I looked into MTGO this time. I decided it was the best bet for me because it was convenient. I could play any format at any time of any day all from the comfort of my home. Sweet deal if you ask me.
I do miss the social aspect of MTG that I get at real life events, but it’s still fun to play online. There is one other reason I really like Magic Online. Vintage Masters.
Vintage Masters gave online players for the first time ever recently the opportunity to play Vintage Magic. I love that there are people to play and trade with and the cards are available and not too expensive to be attainable. Sorry for the long lead in to me loving Vintage Masters.
One other thing that’s much easier to analyze than paper Magic is the economy of MTGO. One really interesting theory I notice in VMA that I haven’t ever seen before in MTGO is an emerging format (I didn’t play when Modern was first introduced). Right now, Vintage is an emerging format on MTGO. It’s so interesting to see how things happen.
Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it in depth yet, because it’s been around for about a month…there is no depth to speak in yet. But, I do want to just mention one trend I have noticed. The cards that are “popular” in Vintage and Legacy (have a look at blue dual lands and Force of Will) seem to steadily going down in price but the “iconic” cards that aren’t popular like scrubland, plateau, and Savannah (duals are icons of the eternal formats, no?) seem to be slowly and steadily going up in price. I don’t know exactly what this says about the health of Vintage on MTGO. 

It’s an emerging market and that’s one of my favorite things to study so I’ll keep everyone posted. Do you notice any trends in VMA card pricing? If you do, go ahead and post in the comments and we’ll chat about it.