Magic Online Musings: This Week on MTGO #30 – Tribute to Steve Irwin

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Once again, the incomparable blisterguy brings us the lowdown on the MTGO metagame and marketplace. This, the thirtieth article in the series, is also a fitting tribute to Australia’s finest son, the late Steve Irwin…

“This is the Greatest and Best Article in the World …(Tribute)”

(To Steve Irwin)

The man, the legend. As you probably all know by now, Australian Wildlife Expert Extraordinaire, Steve Irwin, died on Monday. A fickle stingray lashed out, stabbing him in the chest and causing him to have a heart attack. The National Icon of the Land Down Under leaves behind his wife and two kids, and a whole country of dangerous wild animals who are all feeling just a little bit let down now that they won’t get to have a turn.

I hope most of you know by now that I am not actually Australian. I am from New Zealand. New Zealand is a small country off the coast of Australia, inhabited by small harmless animals and hobbits. So basically, Steve Irwin has never visited us. Anyway, it has been a long running joke with the writers and editors of this site – and people across many other internet forums and so on — to have everyone pretend I am from Australia in some half-assed attempt at winding me up. I figure that makes me the most appropriate person to write the “Steve Irwin Tribute Article” for StarCityGames.com

Okay, so maybe I’m the least appropriate person to write anything of the sort… but that’s just tough, because I got in first!

As I have already mentioned, Steve Irwin was a National Icon for Australians, but this is mostly because they all sound just like him. For the rest of us, he was a loud, leapy-about-the-place person with a particularly humorous accent. What he really did was take what David Attenborough did all those years ago and made it accessible for the younger generations, with their Nintendos and Cell Phones and ten-second attention spans.

(This is actually a good thing.)

Steve Irwin will always have a lasting place in my heart, ever since he took the time to come out and hang out with us at the Australian Nats (it’s entirely possible I will burn in hell for what I about to do…). Of course, you were all unaware of this, because for some reason the Australian National Champs coverage is now lost in the mists of time. Well, not really – it’s all on my laptop. I’m not really allowed to publish it, as it belongs to Wizards of the Coast.

But as this is a special occasion, in an article of utmost importance in tribute to a man of unbounded enthusiasm for exceptionally dangerous animals… (Which seems like a pretty bad idea now, in hindsight, but there you go.) …I will share with you today a couple of photographic moments we enjoyed when Steve (yeah, we were on first-name terms) joined us at the Australian Nats. But first, and because I believe Steve wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, the compiled Standard PE results for the last week.

9 (9) Simic Snake Aggro Control (Green/Blue)
8 (3) Counterbalance Control (Blue/Black/White Control)
7 (4) Hand in Hand (Black/White Aggro Control)
6 (11) Solar Flare (Blue/Black/White Control)
6 (2) Sea Stompy (Green/Red/Blue Aggro Control)
6 (4) Magnivore (Blue/Red Land Destruction Control)
5 (2) Green/Black/Red Aggro Control (Golgari/Rakdos/Gruul Aggro Control)
5 (4) Satanic Sligh (Rakdos Burn)
5 (1) Boros Deck Wins (Red/White Aggro)
3 (2) Zoo (Green/White/Red Aggro)
3 (1) Azorius Control (Blue/White Control)
3 (1) Golgari Aggro Control
3 (0) Azorius Enduring Ideal Control
3 (0) Orzhov Control (Snow Mana Base plus Scrying Sheets to draw it all)
2 (5) Heartbeat (Heartbeat of Spring/Early Harvest Combo)
2 (5) Simic Erayo Ninja (The mBracht special)
2 (1) Gruul Beats (Green/Red Aggro)
2 (6) Izzetron (Blue/Red Urzatron Control)
1 (4) Unknown (scooping makes kittens ill)
1 (3) Ghost Dad (Black/White Tallowisp Aggro)
1 (2) Dimir Control
1 (1) Dimir Snow Control (Blue/Black with Scrying Sheets and Phyrexian Ironfoot)
1 (1) White/Red/Black Aggro Control (Pallys, Bobs and Rakdos Guildmage)
1 (0) Greater Good (Four Color)
1 (0) Blue/Black/White Transmute Control (Silver Bullet styles)
1 (0) Four Color Zoo (Splashing Black for Dark Confidant)
0 (1) Simic Aggro Control (Blue/Green)
0 (1) Mono Green (a different guy this time!)
0 (1) Golgari Control
0 (1) Ghost Husk (Orzhov Aggro with Nantuko Husk and Promise of Bunrei)
0 (1) Izzetron Splash Green (For Simic Sky Swallower Rawr)
0 (1) Green/Blue/White Aggro Control (Or am I s’posed to call it Simic/Selesnya/Azorius Aggro Control? I dunno)
0 (1) Green/Blue/White Control (No, I think I’ll leave it as is.)
0 (1) Mono Blue Snow Control (Also with Ironfoot and Sheets)

Solar Flare has finally taken a bit of a tumble, as the Japanese Counterbalance deck climbs quickly up the standings. Funny how the Japanese are subtly dominating in the deckbuilding field again, huh? I bet you’ve all forgotten that Sea Stompy also first showed up in the hands of the Japanese in Honolulu, too? Aggro decks seem to have had a good week, but does this mean a shift in the metagame pace? Who knows…

And now, back to our pictures!

Snakes on a Planeswalker

This is Steve awarding the National Champ Tim He with his first prize trophy – a friggin’ huge python! Because you know, dangerous animals are actually used as currency over there in Australia.

Steve Irwin's idea for Saproling tokens did not meet official guidelines

Here Steve watches on in wonderment as Anthony Purdom makes a play involving one of his cards and one of Daniel Piechnick’s permanents. Stunning stuff, ladies and gentlemen.

Snakes on a Train (of Thought)...? Snakes on a (Mana) Drain...? Hey, I'm trying!

And finally, Steve helping the Tournament staff keep the third place prize under control, all the while searching under the table for any beeeeautifool specimens he might find. Steve also told me that if he had time to play Magic Online, he would spend his time searching the message board for beeeeautifool specimens to add to his collection. I kinda burst his bubble by letting him know that I post a rough guide to how the most sought-after Standard rares are fluctuating in price every week, which would probably save him a bit of time. My words fell on deaf ears however, as by then he had already managed to get distracted by an eight-foot crocodile in the far corner of the room.

Now, back to the MTGO action.

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 13-15 (12-16)
Umezawa’s Jitte 7-8 (7-8)

Cranial Extraction 3-5 (3-6)
Dark Confidant 3-4 (3-4)

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

Simic Sky Swallower 3-5 (3-6)
Voidslime 3-4 (3-5)
Giant Solifuge 3-4 (2-4)
Loxodon Hierarch 3-4 (3-4)
Burning-Tree Shaman 2-3 (2-3)
Ghost Council of Orzhova 1-3 (1-3)

Ohran Viper 5-7 (5-7)
Birds of Paradise 4-5 (4-5)

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

Wrath of God 10-11 (9-11)
Paladin en-Vec 6-7 (6-7)
Adarkar Valkyrie 2-3 (2-4)
Yosei, the Morning Star 3-4 (3-4)

Scrying Sheets 6-8 (4-6)
Breeding Pool 14-15 (12-14)
Hallowed Fountain 11-12 (9-11)
Shivan Reef 7-9 (8-9)
Steam Vents 7-9 (7-9)
Godless Shrine 7-9 (7-9)
Blood Crypt 7-8 (6-8)
Stomping Ground 6-8 (6-7)
Yavimaya Coast 6-8 (6-7)
Caves of Koilos 5-7 (5-7)
Temple Garden 5-6 (5-6)
Watery Grave 5-6 (5-6)
Overgrown Tomb 5-6 (5-6)
Sacred Foundry 5-6 (5-6)
Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] 4-5 (3-6)
Underground River 4-5 (3-5)
Karplusan Forest 3-5 (4-5)
Adarkar Wastes 3-5 (3-5)
Llanowar Wastes 3-5 (3-4)
Brushland 3-4 (3-4)
Sulfurous Springs 3-4 (2-4)

The Yosei and Keiga duo both seem to have dropped from 3-5 to 3-4. Probably for the same reasons Jitte is slowly coming down in price, it’s almost Rotation Season! Also, while people still seem to be selling Blood Crypt for eight, they are in the minority, as people are choosing more and more to charge nine tickets instead.

And derailing a little, Steve Irwin asked that I post this chat log from a Top 8 match, because it’s just that funny.

Game 1:

4:16 DweamHeBe.timz joined the game.
4:16 DweamHeBe.timz chooses to play first.
4:16 DweamHeBe.timz keeps this hand.
4:16 Matt Warner has lost the game due to inaction.

Game 2:
4:16 DweamHeBe.timz joined the game.
4:17 Matt Warner chooses to play first.
4:17 Matt Warner mulligans down to 6 cards.
4:17 Matt Warner keeps this hand.
4:17 DweamHeBe.timz mulligans down to 6 cards.
4:17 DweamHeBe.timz keeps this hand.
4:15 Matt Warner: do you want to draw
4:15 Matt Warner: i was asleep
4:15 Matt Warner: lol
4:15 Matt Warner plays Forest.
4:15 DweamHeBe.timz: this is the Top8
4:17 Turn 1: DweamHeBe.timz.
4:18 Matt Warner: oh
4:18 Matt Warner: lol

I guess it’s better than being completely AFK, so I don’t miss what you’re actually playing – good job!

As a foot note to the claims I was making a week or two ago, about the Magic Online clans being the new power-house teams, Julio Bernabe from the clan Cymbrogi (cough yes my clan cough) won the Chilean National Champs with his Hand in Hand deck this weekend. It seems that one of the more efficient ways for you to get good is to get online and get playing. That gives us three Top 8s as a clan (five if you count friends playing the same decks), one of which is a win. That’s not bad, and certainly not the best out there in Magic Online land.

So, until next week, try not to wrestle with too many crocodiles like ol’ Steve Irwin, may he rest in peace.