Magic Online Musings: This Week on MTGO #14

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It’s Wednesday, it’s Magic Online… it’s blisterguy! The MODO Minsrtrel returns with more Top 8 statistics, more chase rare price guides, and a look at the Dissension cards to trade for when the new set hits our Electronic Game…

Hello people! Before I break my concentration from last week, let’s see how I go at introducing the Magic Online Standard Premier Event results in a meaningful manner in which even a casual “pops by every now and again” kind of guy can understand. Okay…


*cracks knuckles*

*stretches arms behind head*


*spreads arms as if to take flight, and then stretches them back behind*



*twists head to the left until neck cracks*

*seems to be frozen*

Umm… crap.

… can someone, umm…

*a team of extras run out of the wings, grasp and twist head back to the front with a sickening grinding sound*

Ah, much better.


An article such as this one is prone to being littered with statistics, many of which may appear to be confusing… but persevere with me now, and I shall endeavor to explain in 170 words or less.

What you’ll see is this:

11 (20) Hand in Hand (Orzhov Aggro with a little disruption thrown in.) 17.18% (31.25%)

This reads as follows:

11 – The number of times the deck appeared in top eight’s this week.
(20) – (The number of times the deck appeared in top eight’s last week).
Hand in Hand – The name of the deck.
(Orzhov Aggro with a little disruption thrown in.) – (A brief description of the deck).
17.18% – The percentage of the top 8 field this week.
(31.25%) – (The percentage of the top 8 field last week).

The numbers are derived from me watching the top 8 play-off replays in the Premier Events room on Magic Online. There are eight decks per top 8, and usually 6-8 top 8s per week. That means that a deck that appears once could take up something like 1.56% (1 divided by 64) to 2.08% (1 divided by 48) of the top 8 field, give or take an event or two.

Yeah, 169 words. I’m gooood. Anyway, the last week went something like this. Note that the previous week’s figures are actually two weeks old this time, but that’s an exception, not the rule.

11 (20) Hand in Hand (Orzhov Aggro with a little disruption thrown in.) 17.18% (31.25%)
10 (9) Izzetron (Blue/Red Urzatron. Just like what Osyp played at the Professional Tournament in Hawaii) 15.62% (14.06%)
8 (3) Orzhov Pontiff (Orzhov Aggro with the Nantuko Husk and Promise of Bunrei combo finish.) 12.50% (4.68%)
4 (9) Heartbeat Combo (The Heartbeat of Spring and Early Harvest Combo deck.) 6.25% (14.06%)
4 (3) Magnivore (Izzet Magnivore and Wildfire. Many Sorceries, handle it!) 6.25% (4.68%)
4 (1) Hierarch Control (Green/White/Black Control, centered around Loxodon Hierarch.) 6.25% (1.56%)
4 (1) GhaziGood (Small and large Selesnya men with Greater Good.) 6.25% (1.56%)
3 (3) Zoo (Green/White/Red Aggro. A range of monsters and burn to go.) 4.68% (4.68%)
3 (3) Boros Deck Wins (White/Red Aggro. A range of men and burn, also to go.) 4.68% (4.68%)
3 (1) GhaziGlare (More Selesnya people with Glare of Subdual) 4.68% (1.56%)
2 (0) Green/White/Red control (A couple of builds, see below) 3.12% (0.00%)
2 (0) Selesnya Aggro (Something like the non-Boros half of a Zoo deck.) 3.12% (0.00%)
1 (4) Gruul Beats (Red/Green Aggro, the fat monsters and burn.) 1.56% (6.25%)
1 (0) Sea Stompy (Green/Red/Blue Aggro-Control, complete with Ninjas!) 1.56% (0.00%)
1 (0) Regular Stompy (Actual Mono Green Creatures and Pump spells.) 1.56% (0.00%)
1 (0) Reanimator (That Blue/Black/White Reanimator deck from a couple of weeks ago.) 1.56% (0.00%)
1 (0) Izzetron with White (Gotta love the fact that the wealth of Dual Lands and Signets available makes splashing both Faith’s Fetters and Wrath of God.) 1.56% (0.00%)
1 (0) Dimir Control (The Blue/Black Control deck that won last week’s 170+ player tournament.) 1.56% (0.00%)
0 (1) Ghost Dad (Black/White Aggro, with Tallowisp.) 0.00% (1.56%)
0 (1) Izzet Control (Blue Red Control.) 0.00% (1.56%)
0 (1) GhaziChord (Selesnya family, this time with Chord of Calling.) 0.00% (1.56%)
0 (1) Blue/Black/White Control (Yeah, that’s what it is.) 0.00% (1.56%)
0 (1) Green/Black Control (Yup, that’s also what it is.) 0.00% (1.56%)
0 (1) Eminent Domain (Adrian Sullivan Blue/Red Control deck from the State Champs.) 0.00% (1.56%)
0 (1) Boros Burn (A Boros Deck wins deck, but replacing most of the creatures with burn.) 0.00% (1.56%)

The two Green/White/Red were actually reasonably different. One was a basic Control deck, with Firemane Angel as the cake icing. The other was a cross between a Selesnya Aggro-Control deck and the Sunforger Control deck I played to a 5-1 finish at last year’s World Champs (brag, brag), complete with my man, the two-story house: Godo, Bandit Warlord.

One of the Hierarch Control decks had Angel of Despair at its top end, and another was splashing Keiga, the Tide Star. There were no Gifts Ungiven to be seen, which is the usual use of Blue mana in that kind of deck, but there was a Bottled Cloister after sideboarding in the splash-Blue deck. The Bottle is super duper against decks that attack your hand, very much like the popular Hand in Hand decks.

Apparently, the Mono-Green Stompy deck has been floating under the radar for a month or so now, and has only just now started to really rear its ugly Green head. It’s basically all of the good Green Creatures, coupled with Moldervine Cloaks and Might of Oakses. [For an handle on this deck, check out Chris Romeo article from yesterday. – Craig.]

As an interesting bonus, I also took a look at the Extended Premier Events that played out in the last week. Well, I skipped one because it crashed, and only three of the four top eight matches are available for viewing, and none of the semi finals or finals are anywhere to be seen… The other three top 8s are summed up like this:

4 No-Stick (Blue/White/Red Isochron Scepter Control.) 16.66%
4 Friggorid (The Blue/Black Dredge Ichorid deck.) 16.66%
3 Five-Color Green Aggro-Control (One with Living Wish, one with Burning Wish.) 12.5%
3 Heartbeat Combo (A little more vicious than the Standard version.) 12.5%
3 Boros Deck Wins (Very low curve Boros Aggro.) 12.5%
3 Affinity (Um, 56 Artifacts and 4 Thoughcasts?) 12.5%
2 Tooth and Nail (One of which appeared to be splashing both White and Black.) 8.33%
1 Four-color Gifts Control (That’s what it was, I cannot lie.) 4.16%
1 CAL (The Solitary Confinement, Life From the Loam and Seismic Assault deck popularized by Olivier Ruel.) 4.16%

This doesn’t show a great deal of variation. A few experimental multicolor decks, but mostly just the powerhouses… But isn’t that always the way with Extended?

Now we move on to the card prices from the last week (of course, this lot is over two weeks, just like the Premier Events results above). The numbers shown (for instance) as 2-4 are the price at which people are buying the card, followed by the price at which people are selling. The prices shown in parenthesis – like this: (2-4) – are the prices from last week. If a card and its prices have been bolded, it’s because there has been a change in price from the week before, to help you differentiate those cards from the others that are a little more… static in their movements. Card prices are in Tickets, because that’s the main currency on Magic Online.

This week, I have also started putting the cards in order from most expensive to least expensive. Because that’s you know, more fun.

Pithing Needle 18-20 (18-19)
Umezawa’s Jitte 8-10 (9-10)
Howling Mine 2-4 (2-4)

One or two people are showing signs of selling Howling Mine for a low, low 3 Tickets, which should reflect the fact that Owling Mine is not doing anything relevant for the time being. Pithing Needle is up a little now that people are playing the Orzhov Pontiff deck, or “Husk” as I like to call it. People play Needle in Husk, generally because they don’t have the Paladin en-Vec’s to suit up in Jittes like the Hand in Hand decks do. Speaking of Jitte, it seems to be dropping a little. There were even a couple of people selling for 9, which is probably a case of the pre-Block Constructed Jitters LOLOL get it? Jitters? Meh, you guys are no fun. In other words, Block Constructed season is right around the corner, and nobody needs Umezawa’s Jitte for those games, sets, and matches.

Vampiric Tutor 20-24 (16-20)
Kokusho, the Evening Star 6-8 (6-7)
Cranial Extraction 6-7 (6-7)
Dark Confidant 3-4 (3-4)

That’s an odd jump in price for Kokusho, because there are quite a few people starting to offer as low as 5 Tickets for him. Vampiric Tutor is still going up. Only one guy was selling them when I looked, and he wasn’t displaying the price in his ad. In the interest of you dedicated readers, I plucked up the courage to ask this fellow his selling price, and he was nice enough to let me know. What a guy!

Meloku, the Clouded Mirror 4-6 (4-5)
Gifts Ungiven 4-5 (4-5)
Kami of the Crescent Moon 3-6 (3-5)
Keiga, the Tide Star 3-5 (3-5)

People might be sitting on those Kamis now, in anticipation of Walking Archive (see below). Meloku is floating about, as usual. That’s funny because Meloku has got flying and… um. Okay, it’s not funny.

Ghost Council of Orzhova 5-6 (6-7)
Giant Solifuge 4-6 (5-6)
Burning-Tree Shaman 4-6 (5-6)
Loxodon Hierarch 4-5 (4-5)
Rumbling Slum 2-4 (3-4)

Ghost Council is coming down a bit. The Ghost Dad deck needed four of them, but the other Orzhov decks generally settle for just ”some” of them instead. It seems that people are sick of their Rumbling Slums, and that the buyers are also sick of receiving them. Giant Solifuge is down slightly in buy price, but I don’t think it will drop any further. Two of the three new Dissension guilds can run him out, and I suspect they both might want to after sideboarding. Even ol’ Burning-Tree is dropping. With an apparent reduction in the number of Gruul decks wandering about, it’s not particularly surprising.

Birds of Paradise 4-6 (4-5)
Greater Good 2-3 (2-3)
Heartbeat of Spring 4-6 (4-6)
Early Harvest 4-6 (4-6)

Char 3-4 (3-5)
Magnivore 2-4 (2-4)
Wildfire 3-4 (3-4)

Isamaru, Hound of Konda 3-4 (3-4)
Wrath of God 9-10 (9-11)
Yosei, the Morning Star 3-5 (3-5)
Paladin en-Vec 6-8 (6-8)

One guy was selling the Paladin for 7, but other than that it seems to be holding at 8 for now.

Caves of Koilos 8-10 (9-11)
Shivan Reef 8-10 (9-11)
Yavimaya Coast 7-8 (7-9)
Adarkar Wastes 6-8 (6-8)
Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] 5-7 (6-7)
Llanowar Wastes 5-7 (6-7)
Brushland 5-7 (5-7)
Sulfurous Springs 5-7 (5-7)
Karplusan Forest 5-6 (6-7)
Underground River 5-6 (5-6)

Godless Shrine 11-13 (12-13)
Steam Vents 10-12 (11-13)
Stomping Ground 9-10 (10-12)
Temple Garden 6-8 (6-7)
Overgrown Tomb 6-7 (6-8)
Sacred Foundry 6-7 (6-7)
Watery Grave 6-7 (6-7)

Many people are offering as little as 4 for Underground River, but you can still get 5 tickets for it. Karplusan Forest, on the other hand, is dropping. Probably because when you’re working out your Zoo Land balance, you actually need your Red/Green lands to be Forests. You don’t mind if your White/Red ones don’t count, but if it taps for Green, you probably want it be an honest-to-gosh Forest. Ya gotta give those Kird Apes somewhere to frolic. You don’t want to hold out on ‘im like Billy Moreno does, right?

(At PT Honolulu, BDM and I watched as Moreno mulliganed into a one-land hand on the play. He led with a Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] and a Kird Ape. On his next turn he flashed us the Temple Garden he drew, and said, “see how much of a Pro I am?” He then proceeded to smash with the Ape for a lowly one damage, before laying out that Garden. He then got right in that Ape’s face, and was all “yeah, you like it! Call me daddy!” So don’t be holdin’ out on your Apes like Billy Moreno does.)

(I don’t care if I’ve told that story before… you’re hearing it again, and possibly again in the future.)

Most of you are probably positively bubbling over at the prospect of getting to play with Dissension in the near future. When it gets released on Magic Online, prices for the highly anticipated cards, such as the Dual Lands, Infernal Tutor, Rakdos Pit Dragon, and Avatar of Discord will be nothing short of sky high. Unless you’re desperate to get stuck in to some Constructed, this is the wrong time to be picking up those chase rares. Other cards however, could be worth looking out for, on the grounds that they could go up in value within a month or two. Here are my picks for the hopeful bargains. If somehow their prices are high, then fuhgedabowdit… but I think you should keep an eye out anyway.

Crime / Punishment

The second part only. Oblivion Stone was quite affordable for a while, until it became a staple of both the Mono-Blue Tron decks, and, of course, Tooth and Nail.

Cytoplast Root-Kin

It’s a 4/4 for four mana. Did you spot that that was actually four fours in a row? Anyway, as others have said, if a Graft deck exists, it looks to this guy for general all-round smashiness. It’s also a pretty good creature in itself, so I think it could be of merit alone.


A powerful card with no obvious applications, except maybe Shoaling with one out or something like that. It seems like a card that will sell for very little to begin with, and then get discovered by some plucky individuals and triple in value. Of course, if the casual players start clamoring all over this to begin with, then leave it well alone, because it could very well just sit there for the next two years.

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV

I don’t like paying four mana for a 2/3, and neither do many other people. The ability is a wee cracker though, so it could well be a bit of a bomb.

Hide / Seek

Mostly for the fact that it’s a Disenchant for a White/Red deck. If it ever comes up, it’s worth knowing and possibly grabbing a few. There could always come a time when putting Artifacts or Enchantments in the Graveyard isn’t good enough, and this could step up then too. This is another card where I suspect the other half is just a cunning ploy to hide a good card.

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch

Seems like a pretty good upper-end Creature for a Rakdos deck to me. I could be wrong, but as far as I’m concerned, two to the face is never wrong.

Muse Vessel

It could be a sideboard card, but it could also turn out to be a phat victory condition for control decks. That’s quite a powerful wee artifact, once it gets going. It might also be too slow, though. *shrug*

Pride of the Clouds

People might start stocking up on these, but if they don’t, I think it’s probably a very important card to an Azorius (Blue/White) Aggro deck, if such a deck exists.

Rakdos Augermage

Again, mostly dependent on the existence of a deck that will take young Terry, but this card will shut down any deck that doesn’t commit to the board as promptly as possible.

Simic Sky Swallower

Only one more mana than Keiga, and Keiga has seldom been tough to play.

There are a couple of cards that will probably also be sought after to begin with, but possibly with good reason: Windreaver and Walking Archive.

Sure, the Windreaver isn’t a Morphling, but if it wasn’t for Meloku, it would rule the board. The Walking Archive may cause Owling Mine to rise again, but this time packing White mana instead of Red. This would allow the deck to successfully run Wrath of God to deal with it’s most troublesome matchups.

Anyway, that will do for this week. It’s probably time for you to get on with your work, or go to bed, or tidy up your room or something. I’ll catch you all next week!