Magic Online Musings: This Week on MTGO #33

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Blisterguy brings the news on all things Magic Online, from Premier Event statistics to MTGO Marketplace ticket prices. He also shares his build from the recent Time Spiral prerelease.

(As usual, movies were watched while the following was produced. “Clerks,” “The Boondock Saints,” “Red Dwarf: Season 1,” and so on.)

Well, well, well! What a weekend. The most important part of it in regards to Magic Online was the failure of the Big Extended cards to materialize as Timeshifted reprints. Not only that, but Mark Rosewater stated in his column on Monday that while the next two sets would feature Timeshifted cards, none of them would be reprints. So that means none of these cards will be dropping in value as some people predicted (the card values are broad price ranges, as they’re not seen as often as Standard legal cards).

Pernicious Deed 65-80
Meddling Mage 35-60
Vindicate 40-60

Thankfully, the following cards have been reprinted, and are now of course dropping in value dramatically.

Call of the Herd
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Lightning Angel
Mystic Snake
Mystic Enforcer
Thornscape Battlemage
Akroma, Angel of Wrath

Plus a bunch of other cards that nobody thought would ever show up on Magic Online. Strange as it seems, I really like the Timeshifted cards thing. It was really well executed and made the Prerelease that much more fun for me. With the Timeshifted cards not having an actual checklist on the deck registration forms, it made play throughout the day that much more interesting. My jaw bounced off my knees not three minutes into the first round when my opponent dropped a Faceless Butcher on one of my Morphs.

By the looks of things, the prerelease even managed to pull people away from their computers to actually get out and either play, or to see exactly what was going to show up amongst the reprints. It was that or someone at Wizards HQ decided to run fewer Premier Events over the weekend, I dunno. Anyway, here is the recap of the seven events that did play out, instead of the usual ten or eleven.

12 (13) Solar Flare (Blue/Black/White Control)
7 (8) Simic Aggro Control (Blue/Green)
6 (9) Counterbalance Control (Blue/Black/White Control, sometimes without the Black)
6 (8) Satanic Sligh (Rakdos Burn)
4 (3) Magnivore (Blue/Red Land Destruction Control)
3 (1) Heartbeat (Heartbeat of Spring/Early Harvest Combo)
2 (7) Sea Stompy (Green/Red/Blue Aggro Control)
3 (4) Azorius Enduring Ideal Control
2 (4) Selesnya Aggro Control (Green/White Aggro Control)
2 (2) Unknown (Cry, cry, come back and play!)
2 (0) Gruul Snow Aggro Control (I hope that sums it up)
1 (3) Hand in Hand (Black/White Aggro Control)
1 (3) Gruul Beats (Green/Red Aggro)
1 (3) Ghost Dad (Black/White Tallowisp Aggro)
1 (2) Izzetron (Blue/Red Urzatron Control)
1 (2) Simic Snake Aggro Control (Green/Blue)
1 (2) Simic Erayo Ninja (The mBracht special)
1 (0) Izzet Snow Control (Blue/Red Snow Control)
0 (3) Hierarch Aggro Control (Green/Black/White Aggro Control with Loxodon Hierarch)
0 (2) White/Red/Black Aggro Control (Pallys, Bobs and Rakdos Guildmage)
0 (1) Green/Black/Red Aggro Control (Golgari/Rakdos/Gruul Aggro Control)
0 (1) Golgari Aggro Control
0 (1) Four Color Control (Green/White/Black/Blue Control)
0 (1) Rakdos Aggro Control (Black/Red Snow-based Aggro Control)
0 (1) Mono Red Aggro (What, that name doesn’t tell you enough?)
0 (1) Orzhov Proclamation of Rebirth Combo Control (With Kami of False Hope and Martyr of Sands)
0 (1) AzoriusTron (Blue/White UrzaTron)
0 (1) Blue/Black/White Transmute Control (Silver Bullet styles)

With there being less events, it seems like the results are a little skewed without enough of a sample size to get an accurate representation of the metagame.

(Listen to him, he’s trying to make it sound like he knows what he’s talking about, or indeed about stuff in general. Poor little blisterguy…)

Anyway, back to the prerelease. Once again I made sure to play in at least one flight instead of judging myself silly the entire weekend, and once again I enjoyed myself greatly. This could be because for some strange reason, I managed again to go 5-0, wew! Here is the deck I played.

2 Brass Gnat
1 Looter il-Kor
1 Dream Stalker
2 Fathom Seer
1 Sprite Noble
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Zealot il-Vec
2 Flickering Spirit
1 Fledgling Mawcor
1 Witch Hunter
1 Castle Raptors
1 Viscerid Deepwalker
1 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Gustcloak Cavalier
1 Vesuvan Shapeshifter

1 Chromatic Star
1 Bewilder
1 Fortify
1 Pentarch Ward
2 Griffin Guide
1 Eternity Snare

8 Island
7 Plains

The deck was quite difficult to build, and not just because the other three colors seemed comparable in the power levels department. I’ve always found that I have the most success in Limited when I can attack with small creatures that are hard to block, and therefore I often gravitate towards Blue and White decks. It was definitely the double Griffin Guide that cemented White as one of my colors. That thing is even better than Elephant Guide in Limited, and I think may even get played in Standard.

The problems came with the last few cards for the deck. I had another copy of both Chromatic Star and Eternity Snare in my sideboard. With only 15 lands, I very much wanted to be running the second Star, but only really for the cycling as the manabase seemed pretty stable for color. For the same reason, I didn’t want to be running the second Eternity Snare, even though I admit that my pants stirred every time I read the words “Draw a card” on it.

The biggest mistake was choosing to play Pentarch Ward. The “Draw a card” phrase on that also tickled my fancy here, but for some reason I assumed it also had Flash, which would make it a nice trick. Sadly, it doesn’t have Flash and that makes it quite awful in the trick department. Now you’re probably thinking that I could have done a whole lot worse than playing a cantrip that could give be another unblockable critter, and I guess it could well have been considerably worse. For instance, one of my rares was Norin the Wary. He certainly would have been worse than the Ward.

Unfortunately, I had something infinitely better, which was on the cusp of making the deck during deck construction, and had to settle on being sideboarded in for every single game 2 and 3 I played for the rest of the day. I mean, you’d think that if the “Draw a card” on Pentarch Ward could have excited me like that, that the “Draw four cards…” on Careful Consideration would have been four times as exciting. And it was indeed exceedingly spectacular when I finally placed it on the stack over the course of the day, and knowing that I messed up building my deck like that was the only thing that put a bit of a damper on proceedings.

And omg! Something else made me all happy in the pants – the return of Richard Kane Ferguson to making the art with the Magic cards. Sure, he only had two pieces in this set (Sedge Sliver and Glass Asp) but I had given up hope of ever seeing his art ever again after he disappeared post Sixth Edition.

As far as Time Spiral Limited goes, I greatly enjoyed playing with Morph again, especially in conjunction with Suspend. It seemed like new players didn’t truly appreciate how good it was to spend one mana on a good-sized creature on turn 1 or 2, and then have it land on the playing field around the same time as you were dropping other actual creatures of consequence. Suspend kind of reminded me of Kicker actually, but you always got to pay less and you always ended up with the Kickered version.

Anyway, it’s that time again. Heads up for incoming price recap!

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 as well, 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 14-15 (14-16)
Umezawa’s Jitte 5-7 (6-8)

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

Meloku the Clouded Mirror 2-4 (3-4)
Keiga, the Tide Star 2-4 (3-4)

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

Last week, I gave Simic Sky Swallower and Voidslime their walking papers. However, forum user Seeker after Chaos correctly pointed out that Simic Sky Swallower should be allowed to hang around for a while, as it will probably make quite the formidable opponent for anyone looking to frolic in the air once the Kamigawa Dragons rotate out. Well, that is until Akroma has something to say about it.

Ohran Viper 8-9 (8-9)
Birds of Paradise 4-5 (4-5)

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

Wrath of God 10-11 (10-12)
Paladin en-Vec 5-7 (5-7)
Adarkar Valkyrie 2-4 (2-4)
Yosei, the Morning Star 2-4 (2-4)

Scrying Sheets 6-8 (7-8)
Breeding Pool 12-14 (13-15)
Hallowed Fountain 10-12 (10-12)
Blood Crypt 8-10 (8-10)
Godless Shrine 8-9 (7-9)
Shivan Reef 7-8 (7-8)
Steam Vents 7-8 (7-8)
Stomping Ground 6-8 (7-8)
Yavimaya Coast 5-7 (6-7)
Caves of Koilos 5-7 (5-6)
Watery Grave 5-6 (5-6)
Temple Garden 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 (3-5)
Underground River 4-5 (3-5)
Karplusan Forest 3-5 (3-5)
Llanowar Wastes 3-5 (3-5)
Sulfurous Springs 3-4 (3-5)
Adarkar Wastes 3-4 (3-5)
Brushland 3-4 (3-4)

The cards from Kamigawa block are now all taking a noticeable drop in price, which is to be expected as they will be rotating out of Standard any month now. Other than the obscene fluctuations in price on those Extended cards that people fancied were going to be having their encore performance as a Timeshifted card from Time Spiral, everything else seems to be holding mostly steady as expected. Next week I’ll have a wee browse over the Time Spiral spoiler and do what every other internet columnist will be doing and present a list of the rares (and maybe even uncommons!) from the upcoming set that could be worth looking out for. Until then, behave yourselves, Big Brother is always watching!