Thursday, April 30, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.61

With ML Bot 9.61 we fixed some minor problems related to the Card Transfer trades.

  • administrators are now able to send bot-specific commands such as |AT|#refill#4 . You don't really need these commands in order to operate your bots, but now you can use them.
  • we found a problem with the MTGO timed restart every "x" hours and fixed it. Very busy bots were unable to restart MTGO because the restart was triggered only after 45 seconds of idle time - (45 seconds without any trade request).
  • we added a new type of "administrator users", the "accept and confirm trades from". These users are NOT bots - they are meant to be human that should be able to take cards from your bot while not administrator. This is useful if, for example, you sell cards via eBay and you need to deliver them. You don't need to list there your bots.
  • fixed a problem with card transfer where 12am was taken as noon instead of midnight

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vintage Super League!!!!!

Hi Everyone!

I'm not sure if anyone else watched but Sunday afternoon was the Vintage Super League season 2 finals between Chris Pikula and Eric Froelich. Efro won in five matches.

One of my favorite decks (that's coincidentally really good right now) is Stax. Efro played a list that was from a December 2014 tournament. It had a bunch of small creatures including Arcbound Ravagers.

I had to build it and play with it. Enjoy!

Spellskite is back!

The little kite that could is to be reprinted in MMA 2015.

It was a natural inclusion. This is the Modern Masters of Phyrexian Mana (expect Gitaxian Probe, Mutagenic Growth and similar cards to be spoiled soon). Modern is about the sideboards and Spellskite is a crucial SB card for many decks. Being an artifact means everyone can play it and there are some matchups where Spellskite just dominates, like versus Hexproof and Infect.

What does this mean for the price of Spellskite
As a responsible botter, you should already have sold this. Your losses due to reprints will eat a major part of your profits if you don't sell cards like this well in advance of very likely reprints such as this one.

The most expensive rare coming out of Modern Masters was Cryptic Command (reprinted again in MMA2015). It could be had for eight tickets at one point during MMA drafts. I don't expect Spellskite to stop at such a high price. I expect it to go below three tickets. I will start picking them up somewha after that. 

That is a large fall from the 34 tickets you could get for your Spellskites just a few months ago.

Look at the curve crashing here:

If you still have any Spellskites sell them now!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Almost 2 years of botting

Here the result from my 3 bots, in 18+ months

Working with Metal

Hi Everyone!

I have been back and forth on my feelings about Vintage. It's great because the format isn't shaken up a lot and it's nice to be able to play a deck for a long time. It's comforting to know my Vintage deck is there when I want to play it.

My first Vintage deck was Stax. It was the "big shops" build, with Kuldotha Forgemasters and various "tinker" targets. I have toyed with the build but never made any major changes until this week.

I have seen versions with Goblin Welders and with Metalworkers. The welder being a red creature was too big of a drawback. I decided to try out Metalworkers because I looked at them as essentially four more big mana producers. I sometimes can't cast my big spells like sundering titan or Staff of Nin in my previous build. I played a few rounds with the Metalworkers and Lightning Greaves.

I'm not completely convinced it's better because with the metagame running wild with aggro mentor/pyromancer decks, the metalworker has a huge target on its head if I don't get Greaves on it right away.

Below is the match I played. Below the video is the decklist I used. Happy viewing!

1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
2 Mishra's Factory
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Trinisphere
3 Sphere of Resistance
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Strip Mine
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Crucible of Worlds
4 Wasteland
3 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Duplicant
4 Metalworker
3 Lightning Greaves
1 Staff of Nin
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Karn, Silver Golem
1 Steel Hellkite

3 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Witchbane Orb
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Sundering Titan
2 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Pithing Needle
1 Ghost Quarter

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Modern Bible of RG Tron chapter ten: Mulligans

Mulliganing with the Tron deck is an essential skill. This deck does not mulligan well but if you have no hope of finding Tron and take over with your bombs you simply have to go down one card.

If you mulligan or not often depends on what deck your opponents play and other factors, but here are some general guidelines.

Always Mulligan
* No land hands
* 1-land hands with no search cards (Sylvan Scrying, Ancient Stirrings, Expedition Map, Chromatic Star, Chromatic Sphere)
* No Tron-piece hands unless its Pyroclasm + mana to cast it against very aggressive decks

Tend to keep
You should tend to keep hands that contain

* 1 Tron Piece
* 1 land OR Ancient Stirrings + Egg (Sphere, Star)
* 1 way to get a Tron Piece (Sylvan Scrying, Expedition Map)

Super hard hands
* Two Tron pieces with no eggs or fetch effects. You should probably mulligan these, but it will be hard to do so.

Some sample hands
Urza's Mine, Karn Liberated, Wurmcoil Engine, Forest, Sundering Titan, Relic of Progenitus, Relic of Progenitus = MULLIGAN

Urza's Tower, Karn Liberated, Expedition Map, Wurmcoil Engine, Relic of Progenitus, Pyroclasm, Oblivion Stone = MULLIGAN

Urza's Power Plant, Karn Liberated, Expedition Map, Wurmcoil Engine, Relic of Progentius, Forest, Oblivion Stone = KEEP

Forest, Forest, Ghost Quarter, Karn Liberated, Wurmcoil Engine, Relic of Progenitus, Pyroclasm = MULLIGAN

General rules about Mulligans
These are from Matt Sperlings "Everything you want to know about Magic but were afraid to ask" that you can find here:
  1. If you ignore the worst card in your opening hand and the remaining N cards make a hand you would WANT to see if you mulled to N, you should usually keep. Master this and you won't be mulliganning too much.
  2. If your 7-card hand needs multiple things to get going, not just one thing, you should probably mulligan. The most common bad-keep involves a hand that needs one thing badly and isn't even that strong if it gets it.
For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

How to wake up full of energy? Part 2

The belief whether you slept well or not affects on your energy levels throughout the day. So, feeling well-rested in the morning grants you a better start in the day to come. Here's what you can do each day to get the energy kick.

When you woke up, do not fall a sleep once again. Staying in bed teaches your brain that the moment after waking up doesn't mean getting up. I used to give myself 10, 30 minutes of extra sleep. After some time this pattern turned into a habit and it was almost impossible to get up with the first ring of the alarm clock. My mind knew that the first alarm clock didn't mean anything so right after I went back to sleep. You can imagine how much I was tired every morning. When I broke this habit, fatigue disappeared. Remember - teach your brain that once the alarm rings, you have no more sleep!

Next, when you woke up, sit on the bed or on the edge right away. You can even get up, only not lie further in the same position. The change of body position makes seductive softness of quilt not attractive now, as it was a while before.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MTGO Library 9.60

ML Bot 9.60 fixes a minor problem introduced yesterday with the MTGO update. The problem appears on just some bots and results in aborted trades right after setting up the trading interface. This happens because the bot detects the trading interface as not correct (while it is) and thus restarts MTGO.

Even if your bots do not show the above problem, we suggest to update to 9.60 to avoid any potential issue.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dragons of Tarkir Standard

Hi Everyone!

I haven't been playing as much standard as I do usually the past couple weeks. The new standard feels different to me. I almost feel like Dragons feels like a new block.

Generally the blocks are set apart by different story lines. This is interesting because the sets are thematically linked but not the same. I think it makes the game play different while still maintaining the theme of the set.

I have talked about the change to two set blocks in the past (which if you haven't heard is to increase profits).

My concern that I have voiced before is that when the "new set" like Dragons of Tarkir comes out that has a big impact on standard, the format will change so often that Magic will become a "pay to win" game whoever has the new cards, wins.

This does make it disheartening to play Standard, even though it's the cheapest format to get into. It has hidden recurring costs that non-rotating formats don't have. This could (and I hope it is) be a boon to bot owners and card dealers by making prices higher in the secondary.

I thought DTK is the first set in a while to be completely different and made a big impact on Standard so I wanted to look at what's happening and talk about it a little.

MTGO Library Bot 9.59

We released ML Bot 9.59 right after the downtime to fix a problem with opening the trades. The MTGO update changed the position of the "new chat" button and the bots were chatting in the "Support Area" instead of opening a new chat.

We released the update few minutes ago and forced a mass update. We contacted ORCS to explain the issue. Please check you bots and please update if they are version less than 9.59.

Binkabi opens nine innistrad Boosters

Binkabi's local game store had nine Innistrad boosters for sale and told people on Facebook that whoever got there first would be allowed to buy them. Binkabi rushed there and bought all nine and then he decided to open them on camera for you guys.

Is the veiled girl of his dreams waiting for him somewhere in those 9 packs? Or, if she is not, at least a Snapcaster Mage or a Geist perhaps?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.58

ML Bot 9.58 has just been released.

We worked on making the Automated Card Transfer settings easier to understand and use. In particular our efforts have been directed to removing the "Accept trades from" options and make them automated. After all the bot already knows who are the other bots of his group so there is no real need for this kind of setting.

This required a recode of the handshake process. As result bots prior 9.58 and bots 9.58 won't be able to autotransfer with each other - you need to have all the bots greater than 9.57 (or all less than 9.58).

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Hi Everyone!

Tempest Remastered is coming out in a couple weeks (May 6). It's basically a mashup of Tempest block with all the "money" cards. It's only going to be available for three weeks and includes Wasteland, Intuition, and City of Traitors (and the rest of the "expensive" cards).

Let's all think way back to last year with Vintage Masters. I found that prices for the Vintage Masters "expensive" cards dropped significantly after Vintage Masters went off sale. It appeared to me as if Magic Online players truly do only have interest in the shiny new thing.

While there will be a short term time early in Tempest Remastered sale where prices drop then go up because many people will be trying to hoard Tempest Remastered then unload them at their peak a week before it goes off sale.

I think the best strategy for this set will be to wait until the set is off sale so the "craze" is over and the people who bought the cards for short term profits unload them. Then there should be excess cards in the market and they will be sold cheaply, that's when I'll be picking them up and waiting for a while to sell for a tidy profit.

MTGO Library Bot 9.57

Yesterday we released ML Bot 9.57. The new version mainly fixes 2 problems:

  • some fake multiple "B" icons were still showing in the Windows tray area. We worked on this problem with version  9.54 but the problem was still there
  • we fixed a "LauncherGUI.exe" crash happening when MTGO goes offline while the bot is making cards tradable.

The Modern Bible of RG Tron Chapter Nine: Sample Videos

This week we will look at some sample videos with RG Tron. I have played more than 100 matches with the deck and filmed the majority of them. These are the most popular.

RG Tron vs Burn

This is a very early video with 3000+ views. It illustrates the difficult Tron matchup which we will discuss in detail in Chapter 27. It is one of the most even matchups and requires a lot of tricks to play correctly.

RG Tron vs Dredge
This videos has 2600+ views. I think it was the newness of the other deck that attracted all those views. It was one of the early takes on Golgari Grave-Troll. However, it clearly illustrates the power of maindeck Relic of Progenitus.

RG Tron vs Mono Blue Tron
This video has 2400+ views. It is from the Modern Noob exercise last year. I had no idea what I was doing but I think this video clearly illustrates why RG Tron is heavily favored against its mono blue cousin. RG Tron just has a much easier time finding Tron and disrupting Tron for the other deck. Karn Liberated is the key, as he is often.

RG Tron vs Skred Red
This video has 1900+ views. This video illustrates the weakness of RG Tron vs Rogue Combo Decks. You are well prepared to handle aggro and control decks but as soon as the opponent is going combo in any sense, you are at a big disadvantage. You have only limited ability to interact with your opponents combo and the sideboard is just too crowded to include anything for Rogue Combo.

Next week we will talk about Mulligans in one of the most important chapters of the series.

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How to wake up full of energy? Part 1

7 am, the clock alarm rings. You switch it off as soon as possible and you keep on repeating "only 5 minutes more". But somewhere deep inside you know that you are cheating yourself and there is a long way untill you get out of bed. Sounds familiar?

In this series you will find a few very effective ways to jump out from the bed like a rocket. Full of energy and passion to start a brand new day!

I would like to start with something very important - the higher number of hours you sleep does not mean you will feel more refreshed when you wake up. I'm more than sure that at least once you slept for a long time, much longer than usual and even thought you felt quite sleepy and without energy after waking up. On the other hand, you perhaps once experienced that you woke up in the middle of the night and you felt so awake, that you could immediately get up and start a new day. Seems illogical, but true. It is connected with phases of sleep, in this case REM phase. But I will try to keep it simple. In other word the best moment to wake up is multiple of 90 minutes of sleep. So, for instance after six or nine hours. However, while setting your alarm clock include also some minutes that you need to fall a sleep.

More tips soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.56

ML Bot 9.56 has just been released!

The main and most important change is that we re-coded from scratches the way the bot sends its collection data to the server. The old communication system has been effective for years but it was starting to show its limit and we needed to fix it. The new communication system is faster, more reliable and lighter on the server - this results in an overall improved experience both on and on the bot "client" itself.

The main areas that benefits from the new system are:

  • shared inventories
  • collection navigation on the online control panel
  • sell/buy price consistency
  • overselling and overbuying protections

We hope you'll enjoy the update!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The "Premium" Market

Hi Everyone!

As of late, I have been particularly interested in the market for "premium" (foil) cards. It started for me a while ago because I noticed that most cards were super inexpensive compared to their premium paper counterpart.

The exception to this rule is Mythics. The junk Mythics are generally more expensive than their paper counterpart because they are necessary for redemption. This goes for regular and foil Mythics.

It's basically a  hard rule that the foil version of a mythic is much more expensive than the non-foil version. I noticed that when sets are first released, this isn't the case. It's generally known that prices all drop after the set has been out for a while. I think this may not apply to the Foil Mythics. I haven't researched this much yet and only noticed it right when DTK was released.

I'm going to do some research and report back on this to let you all know what I find about the viability of the Mythic Foil market being lower when the set first comes out versus when redemption opens.

Infinite Combos in Standard Pauper

The most affordable format on Magic Online just got more interesting with the release of Dragons of Tarkir.

Combos! True infinite combos using only the most recent commons!

Combo #1 
First rrmedio1 places second in MPDC 29.01 with his deck "Jeskai Trollkens"

Deck list here:

The combo is Midnight Guard + Ornithopter + Retraction Helix + Impact Tremors.

Resolve Retraction Helix on Midnight Guard. Return Ornithopter to hand. Play Ornithopter. Midnight Guard untaps. Impact Remors does 1 damage to the opponent. Return Ornithopter to hand with Midnight Guard. Rince and repeat. Voila! 1.000.000 damage!

Combo #2
Forli placed second in SPDC 29.01 with his deck "Scribe Combo".

Deck list here:

This time the combo is Spidersilk Net + Retraction Helix + Zephyr Scribe + Elusive Spellfist

Zephyr Scribe and Elusive Spellfist need to be in play. Play Retraction Helix on Zephyr Scribe. Play Spidersilk Net. Zephyr Scribe untaps. Elusive Spellfist grows bigger. Return Spidersilk Net to hand. Play it again. Rince and repeat. 1.000.000 unblockable damage. Pray that the opponent does not have removal or protect your Spellfist with Glint.

These combos will not be around for long as Retraction Helix is rotating this fall. Use them when you have them!

Go visit now for great free tournaments with real prizes!

As stated before, you can find the free Standard Pauper player run tournaments at Great site with great people!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mono Red, For Real?

Hi Everyone!
I don't know if you all saw the Pro Tour coverage this weekend. I was glued to my computer watching all weekend long! I really liked the way Standard is playing right now, with a lot of diversity, not a single top deck and all the top decks have close win percentages.

The thing that makes me really sad is that a basic mono-red aggro/burn deck won the Pro Tour. I think playing against burn isn't a lot of fun and i think having burn be a tier 1 deck isn't the best standard environment.

Regardless of the deck that won. It appears that like many third sets, there was an impact, but no new deck archetypes flew to the top. I did notice that there were a few new cards floating in the format.

Atarka's CommandThe one that caught my eye as I saw it as a sweet card from the very beginning of the previews was Atarka's Command.

Let's have a look over this baby, it stops pesky Seige Rhino or Mastery of the Unseen lifegain, it works like a RG lightning strike to the face, or buffs up your creatures.

I think the most interesting mode that burn players (or should I say mono-red players) probably overlook on first glance is the last ability buffing up creatures. It seems like with four or more creatures (assuming they are making it to the face) is even better for the red player.

Anyway, I thought this was a great card from the first time I saw it and it's going to be around for a while. The main reason I wanted to talk about it is that most people see the burn as the most used method. I'd guess that that's not the case with Atarka's Command. I'd bet that the most used is like a mini Jeskai Charm.

I'm excited to see what the commands will do in the future and I'm going to keep my eye open to see what happens with the commands of Dragons of Tarkir.

MTGO Library Bot 9.54

ML Bot v. 9.54 has just been released. It is a minor update over 9.53.

We added an info panel on the bottom-right corner for when the bot is updating the prices in background, sending collection data to the servers and getting the shared inventories. The idea is to give a more detailed information of what the bot is doing even without using the "B" icons in the tray area.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Modern Bible of RG Tron Chapter Eight: 20 or 21 lands?

This week we will talk about the bnumber of lands we have in our RG Tron lists.

First, lets get one thing out of the way. Never ever never play 19 lands.

Never play 19 lands!
Playing 19 lands can be tempting but it is a mistake. 20 lands is the absolute minimum for this deck. Remember that you need to be able to play through land hate and situations where you can not assemble your Tron. You can not do that without enough lands.

So 20 or 21 lands?
Remember, we have a core set of lands you should not change under any circumstance as long as your are Red Green.

That means no replacing the Grove of the Burnwillows! Get that Karplusan Forest out of here please!

The idea behind running 21 lands
There are two reasons to run 21 lands.
First, you are more likely to be able to hardcast stuff like Oblivion Stone, Wurmcoil Engine or All is Dust if you have 21 lands.
Secondly, you get to play one more utility land. Being able to both splash for Slaughter Games AND have a second Forest can be very useful.

The pros were all runing 20 lands at the Pro Tour
You will notice that all my deck lists have 20 lands. This is the main reason why. I could not find a single pro ronning 21 lands at the Pro Tour. I am not sure why yet, but I will defer to their greater play skill and assume that 20 lands is the correct decision for now.

A clever trick if you want 21 lands
This is a quote from mtgsalvation: "I like it (running 21 lands), but I won't hesitate to SB out 1 Forest/1 Quarter/1 Grove depending on which of the three is worse in the MU. Running the 21 is a pregame hedge as to the types of lands you'll need to see in that MU, so SBing one out shouldn't be something you feel bad about doing. Additionally, unless you replace the 21st land with a cantrip, it won't help you assemble Tron any more than if it was some other card (in fact, it's slightly better in the sense that they still let you hit land drops for Scryings/etc)."

What would that 21st land be?
The core lands are
12 Urza lands
1 Eye of Ugin
4 Grove of the Burnwillows

Few people would leave home without the 1 Forest and 1 Ghost Quarter, bringing us to 19.

So your final choice is a second Forest, a second Ghost Quarter (which you do not want), a land that produces black mana for Slaughter Games or some optional land (please check chapter two for a complete list of possible lands.)

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

Elder Dragon Highlander: rules change

A Commander card before might have been returned to its owner's hand or shuffled into his or her library like any other card. It was known as tucking. Now, if the Commander would be returned to its owner's library or hand it can be moved to the Command Zone instead. If you do so, the Commander Tax applies. Click here to read official reasoning behind this change.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.53

We have just released ML Bot 9.53. From version 9.46, released last week and supporting Dragons of Tarkir, we changed a large number of small things to make the bot better and faster.

  • First of all, you will notice that the restart of the bot in case of crash does not take anymore "180 seconds". As soon as the bot loads, it immediately starts and launches MTGO again in few seconds, without reloading all the internal data structures like it used to do.
  • We fixed a problem with multiple fake "B" icons in the tray area, a problem happening on Windows 7. You could just hoover these icons with the mouse and they were gone.
  • The loading of PersonalPrices and PersonalPercentages is now more tolerant in case you add an extra ";" to the line. Previous versions simply rejected those lines, for example the line DIS;Infernal Tutor;39.975;99.98;36.504;55.192;2;1; was rejected because it contained an extra ";"
  • background price reload is now 15% faster
  • fixed a problem with the automatic version updater (for example from version 9.52 to version 9.53), sometimes failing in updating (and here the installer from the online control panel was required)
  • fixed a crash happening on Windows 7 ("Explorer stopped working")

We also gave a lift to the wikiprice homepage .
We are still working on it so the version you see now is not final. We will relift a bit the card page as well to make it more readable.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Recent Raging Success of Magic: The Gathering

The last time I played Magic competitively was back in Kamigawa block (it was so bad I left the game for a bout 8 years). When I returned, it was the beginning of Return to Ravnica block. I found it interesting because I played some during the first Ravnica block before stepping away from the game. I found it amazing how Magic had exploded since I had left. Cards were insane prices compared to the most expensive card in standard I can remember (it was Arcbound Ravager at a peak of $22). Now it's not a big deal for mythics to cost that much.

I don't think it really needs to be said, but the price of cards in the secondary market clearly shows the popularity of the game. When i returned to Magic back in RTR block, I thought to myself, how does this happen.

I studied what Wizards had done to make the game so popular. In addition to make cards with good art and making the draft environment fun, they ramped up high level tournament coverage. That's all marketing 101 though.

I had a suspicion of what was happening but since "tempo" decks wasn't a viable strategy back when I started playing so I dismissed the idea that it was just another genre of deck. In the early days of Magic it was about control. If you didn't play control, you were losing. That's another article though.

One day I finally thought I figured it out but wasn't really sure of what to do or say or think about it. Then one day Eric Froelich did a Q&A on a twitch stream. He basically said Wizards is doing everything they can to take skill out of the game.

I felt like I got hit by a train. I thought the exact same thing. I thought wizards was making the game more tempo based, especially with the boring devotion decks in Standard. In addition to "tempo" decks ruling, there were a lot of "swingy" cards. Cards that significantly impact the game. Cards that make the format a "bomb" format, like FRF rares in draft with KTK.

So with tempo being a big deal, it's easy to play spells to maintain tempo. Just know that tempo is all that matters and there's no problem. Also there are many swingy cards that can shift the game immediately.

I think EFro's statement holds a lot of water and I agreed with it at the time, but I feel like Khans block really took a lot of that away and Standard is a much better format.

I think the elements of luck that are really big elements right now contribute greatly to the game being popular. It gives the new players chances to win when they would never have won during Ice Age. I suppose it's good for the game to have lots of new players coming to the game, but I also think there's a cost to the players who want to play grindy, fun, skill intensive Magic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Initial impressions of the Dragons of Tarkir Draft format

So the first MTGO Dragons of Tarkir drafts are in the books. What did we learn from them?

  • The format seems slow.
  • You can probably get away with a light splash of a third color (though two color decks is the norm) BUT remember that good color fixing is now a thing of the past.
  • 18 lands are good as you always have stuff to do with excess mana (pay Megamorph costs, for example)
  • You have to be able to deal with huge flyers as they are everywhere.
  • Blue black seems to be the strongest color combination. Card drawing exploit creatures are the bread and butter of this deck.
  • Red white could be the next best color combination.
  • Avoid Green if you can as Green is very weak in FRF
  • Removal is better than in KTK-KTK-FRF draft.
  • Black is possibly the best color
  • Pacifism is as strong as ever. 
It is still extremely early in the format so all of these things can easily change or be wrong.

Here is my very first draft

And here is my buddy Binkabi's very first draft

We will be publishing more DTK limited videos on

You should check out the pick order published on this very blog:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

New Standard rotation finance implications

Hi Everyone!

Dragons of Tarkir is the first set that's going to be part of the "new Standard". If I understand correctly, KTK and FRF will rotate out of standard while DTK sticks around until the third two set blocks comes out.

A little weird if you ask me, but it's probably the only way to keep Standard from getting too shaken up from the new block format.

Everywhere I read that players think this is great and that the game will be more fun because Standard will be shaken up much more often. I don't know, but I think most people don't know what's really happening here.

Wizards is a business. They are in the business of making money (like all businesses). This shift in Standard rotations is not a product of "improving Standard" it's a product of selling more cards.

It's about selling more cards because faster block rotations make cards rotate out of standard more quickly. This means that new cards need to be used to make Standard decks and Wizards sells more cards. So it's all about profit (if you think it's not, I have some oceanfront property you'll be interested in).

What's this going to do to the secondary market? I'm not sure. I think it depends on how much available funds players have to play Magic. If they aren't spending all their "Magic money" currently, then everything will continue like business as normal but the cycle will be faster than before. I think this would create a great environment for speculating on certain cards.

What about the alternative? What if Magic players just don't have more money (or aren't willing to) to spend more on Magic? I'm not even sure what would happen for sure. I think there could be an apocalypse and people would leave magic because it would be too hard to play and be competitive. The solution if that's the case is to make the game have more equally powered cards...hmmmm. If you ask me, that's what Wizards is up to.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting topic and I wanted to mention that the changes will certainly be relevant to the finance community. I am just hoping Wizards did their market research on this before they went off and decided to make a bunch of changes. I know Wizards is great about listening to players but they are awful (in my experience) about making decisions (and you don't get credit for doing something stupid then changing it to the thing you should have chose in the first place when players are upset at your decision).

The Modern Bible of RG Tron Chapter seven - The "Normal" Deck

This week we will present the last of our three deck lists for RG Tron. We will call this deck list "Coil" as it wins only using Wurmcoil Engines and Emrakul (unless you happen to ultimate Karn). This is the "mainstream" form of RG Tron.

The plan
The strategy remains the same as detailed in the other chapters.

The Deck List
1 Eye of Ugin
2 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Powerplant
4 Urza's Tower

1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Spellskite

4 Oblivion Stone
4 Karn Liberated

4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Ancient Stirrings
3 Relic of Progenitus
4 Pyroclasm

4 Nature's Claim
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Spellskite
2 Boil
2 Torpor Orb
3 Combust
1 Firespout

Changing the sideboard
Naturally you have to adapt your SB to metagame changes. This is just a sample sideboard. We will discuss sideboarding extensively in upcoming chapters (starting in chapter eleven)

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tempest Remastered

As I explained earlier Tempest Remastered was created to add more Wastelands into circulation, keeping in the very same time prices of other good cards balanced. Few days ago, Wizards presented the complete visual spoiler of Tempest Remastered, including rarity. To make a long story short, Wasteland is a rare card. It means that your chance to open a Wasteland is equal 5,66%, what is still better result than it was in Tempest block.

Other playable cards and their rarity.
Humility - mythic
Grindstone - mythic
Mox Diamond - mythic
Aluren - rare
City of Traitors - rare
Intuition - rare
Meditate - rare
Wasteland - rare
Lotus Petal - uncommon

I've included only cards, that are worth few bucks now. Click here to check full spoiler
TPR draft queues start on May, 6 and they will be firing for just 3 weeks.

Friday, April 3, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.46 - Dragons of Tarkir

We have just released ML Bot 9.46, supporting the new set "Dragons of Tarkir" (DTK). The updated pricelist is available for free during the update process. As usual, LITE bots should update as well to get the pricelist with the new card names.

Please note that the prices are currently (we are writing this post at 1:00 pm GMT+0) at their default values, meaning very low buying prices and high selling prices. You may want to do some manual pricing for the first 24 hours, especially for non bulk cards.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dragons of Tarkir Standard - White Weenie

Hi Everyone!

My last article showcased a modern deck that worked with the Dragons of Tarkir card, Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit. There are currently several playable decks in Standard. The format is as diverse as I've ever seen it. I like the way it is right now.

I hear a lot of chatter about what's going to happen when Theros rotates and that White Weenie could be a thing. A lot of these statements are spread on the back of the new Anafenza. I think Wizards has pretty clearly shown that the "weenie deck" now uses red creatures. I see a competitive red deck all over Magic Online. I doubt mono-white will actually be a deck as long as Khans is in Standard.

I do however thing that Anafenza could go into the current red/white aggro decks. The deck is very aggressive, uses creatures, and has white. There will probably be enemy fetch lands in Battle for Zendikar so there will be a ton of ways to get both red and white mana from lands.

In (the current format at least) there are so many "pushed" and very high power cards for very low costs that I think White Weenie isn't something that will be a great deck in the upcoming Standard.

The future of Gurmag Angler in Pauper

The reign of Treasure Cruise has shown us the power of Delve in Pauper. With big T gone, what cards could really profit from the broken mechanic? Well, what about everyone's favorite Zombie Fish?

It is extremely cheap to cast
It survives Flame Slash
It can block Myr Enforcers and Carapace Forgers all day

Experience has shown us that the 4/4s of Affinity are extremely effective against the other aggressive decks in Pauper (Stompy, Delver, Burn, Goblins etc) and it seems likely that Gurmag Angler does this job even more efficiently.

I talked to master brewer jphsnake and he said: "I'm thinking that Gurmag Angler is going to rock pauper nowadays, and I think that playing and being able to beat it is key, and I think that one deck that I really enjoyed testing was Mono-black land destruction with anglers, sac-lands and rituals to support the angler beatdown. It tends to rock sometimes, and suck sometimes because it's a LD deck, just pray that your opponent isn't flooded."

 And he even showed me the deck list.

Here it is.

4 Chittering Rats
3 Crypt Rats
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Lilliana's Shade
3 Twisted Abomination

4 Befoul
4 Choking Sands
4 Icequake
4 Rancid Earth

3 Bojuka Bog
4 Peat Bog
15 Swamp
4 Dark Ritual

4 Chainer's Edict
4 Coumbajj Witches
4 Dead Weight
3 Gray Merchant of Asphodel

I argued for Phyrexian Rager over Lilliana's Shade, but I think he might be on to something. We learned from the Mono Black Land Destruction list (    that a Mono Black Shell that shifts between Control and LD is useful in Pauper.

Is this a playable deck? Future testing is needing, but I think jphsnake might be on to something.

In the following video you will find my first four matches with the deck on camera. The MBC matchup is rough but there are some very powerful things you can do to other decks (such as Delver).