Magic Online Musings: This Week on MTGO #24

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Blisterguy brings us some results and decklists from the Australian Nationals… a tournament that mirrored a lot of the Premier Event results on Magic Online. He breaks down the electronic metagame, and discusses the fluctuating trade prices of virtual cards.

Wow, am I pooped! Not to say that I have been excreted out of somebody’s… wait, this isn’t going well at all. Start again. Wow, am I tired! The Australian Nationals went quite well, and apparently will be up on MagictheGathering.com at some point this week, maybe. I don’t really know; all I know is I’ve sent it all off and it will probably show up at some point. Anyway, I finished it at around 1am Australian Time, and had to be up to go to the airport at 4am that same morning, which was yesterday so yeah, I am some… *fumbles in a thesaurus* …fatigued. Ooh, that’s a good word.

There has been much discussion around the Blue/White/Black Reanimator Control deck that has been beginning to surface on and around Magic Online. Thankfully, the Australian Nationals has provided a decklist of the deck for me to show to you all, courtesy of Tim He, Australian National Champion 2004 and now again in 2006.

(‘Grats Tim!)

What’s even more interesting is that the finals was actually a mirror match, and that there was a third copy of the deck playing for in the third/fourth playoff spot. Also of note is that the deck has continued to grow in popularity on Magic Online – some might even say exploded in popularity – taking 14 of the possible 80 spots in this week’s Premier Event Top 8s.

14 (7) Blue/Black/White Reanimator Control
13 (5) Izzetron (Blue/Red Urzatron Control)
9 (10) Simic Aggro Control (Blue/Green)
6 (6) Blue/Red/Green Urzatron
5 (12) Hand in Hand (Black/White Aggro Control)
5 (4) Magnivore (Blue/Red Land Destruction Control)
4 (4) Boros Deck Wins (Red/White Aggro)
3 (5) Ninja Stompy (Green/Red/Blue Aggro Control)
3 (2) Heartbeat (Heartbeat of Spring/Early Harvest Combo)
3 (1) White Weenie splash Blue
2 (5) Zoo (Green/White/Red Aggro)
2 (1) Unknown 🙁
2 (0) Ghost Dad (Black/White Tallowisp Aggro)
1 (3) Simic Snake Aggro Control (Green/Blue)
1 (2) Orzhov Husk (Black/White Aggro)
1 (1) Simic Aggro, splash Red (Green/Blue Aggro with Char)
1 (1) Dimir Control (Blue/Black Control)
1 (1) Gruul Beats (Green/Red Aggro)
1 (0) BorosTron (Godo/Wrath)
1 (0) Simic Aggro, splash Black (Green/Blue Aggro with Putrefy)
1 (0) Orzhov Control
1 (0) Green/Red/White Control
0 (3) Selesnya Aggro Control (Green/White Aggro Control)
0 (3) Hierarch Control (Green/White/Black Control)
0 (2) Blue/Green/White Aggro Control
0 (1) Izzet Control (Blue/Red Control)
0 (1) Black/White/Red Control

Unfortunately, the actual decklist highlights how poorly I have named the accursed thing. There are only two things in the deck that could ever actually Reanimate something, although I think people were running three copies around the time I (or someone else? I don’t recall…) started calling it that. It’s really more of a deck that just builds mana and plays big creatures, which it seems to be rather effective at.

Watching the mirror was one of the more excruciating experiences available to a budding reporter I found. One person plays a guy and the other person kills it. Repeat. One person eventually tries to draw a card and finds that they can’t, and the other person wins. Sideboard and repeat. The Top 8 of National Championships are best three out of five, true story. This may also have something to do with my fatigue, and if I happen to end up being a little short-winded today, then you’ll know why.

As I mentioned above, there were three of these decks in the Top 4, all of which beat Simic Aggro decks to get there. Well, one of them was actually Sea Stompy, but you get the idea. For an idea of what those Simic Aggro decks looked like, here is the highest finisher out of those decks.

The remaining two decks in the top 8 were a Zoo deck, of which you really don’t need to see, nor do you probably care about, and a very interesting Creatureless Control deck played by Daniel Piechnick, who finished the swiss rounds in first place. Featuring an astounding 29 lands, Daniel succeeded in beating people to death with Saprolings and Genjus all weekend long.

But of course, for the rest of the top 8 decks and the feature match coverage (two of which were penned by the incomparable David Crewe), the grinders decklists, and much more in the way of random stuff written by me, you’ll have to wait until someone at the Wizards of the Coast offices to get the coverage formatted and uploaded. But rest assured, I’ve done my part and sent it all off.

Anyway, before I get some much-needed rest, I made sure to take the time to scan the Magic Online message board to get the updated prices for the Rares that get scanned every week, just so we can keep on top of things. Here’s the blurb as usual too, just in case anyone has forgotten how this works.

The numbers shown, for instance, as 2-4 are the price people are buying the card for, followed by the price people are selling the card for. 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 what most people buy and sell with on Magic Online. Also note that prices can fluctuate based on the time of day, depending on just how many people are online selling at the time. Due to my uniquely antipodean location down here in the Pacific, and my tendency to hold down a regular nine-to-five job, the prices below end up being more of a general indication of what’s going on than an exact science.

Pithing Needle 14-16 (12-16)
Umezawa’s Jitte 7-8 (7-8)

Vampiric Tutor 24-30 (25-27)
Cranial Extraction 4-6 (4-6)
Dark Confidant 2-4 (3-4)

Okay, I think we’ve seen enough Vampiric Tutor action now, from next week on, it will be left out. It’s basically dancing around that value and I think it’s safe to assume that it will continue to do so for some time.

Meloku the Clouded Mirror 4-5 (4-5)
Keiga, the Tide Star 3-5 (3-5)

Simic Sky Swallower 5-6 (6-7)
Voidslime 4-5 (4-6)
Giant Solifuge 3-5 (3-5)
Loxodon Hierarch 3-4 (3-4)
Burning-Tree Shaman 3-4 (2-4)
Ghost Council of Orzhova 2-4 (2-4)

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

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

Wrath of God 9-10 (8-10)
Paladin en-Vec 6-7 (6-7)
Yosei, the Morning Star 3-4 (3-5)

You know, I was totally thinking to myself “why on earth am I still tracking Yosei and Keiga? They’re always 3-5 and never change!” Then Yosei goes and drops slightly. Go figure.

Breeding Pool 14-15 (14-15)
Hallowed Fountain 10-11 (10-11)
Shivan Reef 8-10 (8-10)
Steam Vents 8-10 (8-10)
Blood Crypt 8-9 (8-9)
Godless Shrine 7-9 (7-9)
Stomping Ground 7-8 (7-8)
Yavimaya Coast 6-7 (6-7)
Caves of Koilos 6-7 (6-7)
Watery Grave 5-6 (5-6)
Temple Garden 5-6 (5-6)
Overgrown Tomb 5-6 (5-6)
Sacred Foundry 5-6 (5-6)
Adarkar Wastes 4-6 (4-6)
Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] 4-6 (4-6)
Karplusan Forest 4-5 (4-5)
Llanowar Wastes 3-5 (4-5)
Brushland 3-5 (4-5)
Underground River 3-5 (3-5)
Sulfurous Springs 3-5 (3-5)

Just a small amount of fluctuation in the Dual Lands there, and I assume they’ll continue to settle more as time goes on. I wonder what the prices will be like in around a year’s time, when Ravnica block is set to rotate out of Standard? I would hope that 10th Edition would have all of those Dual Lands reprinted in it with nice, pretty little white borders, but you never can tell with things like that.

The determining factor for their price will no doubt be whatever is popular at the time. This is shown by the fact that Izzetron has been very popular for quite some time now, and the price of both Steam Vents and Shivan Reef is higher than any land than hasn’t just been released into the wild.

Anyway, I’ll catch you all again next week, probably still worn out, but at least this time it will be because I’ll be cramming for my own Nationals, hehe.