Magic Online Musings: This Week on MTGO #36

Read The Blisterguy... every Wednesday at

Not all Champs competitions are held this weekend… some have been and gone. Blisterguy, the winner of his 2005 Champs tournament, posted an incredibly similar result this year. The top 3 decklists are within, alongside the usual plethora of Magic Online Premier Event statistics and card ticket prices…

(This week was brought to you by the sound of music. Thankfully not the movie of that name, but Strapping Young Lad’s “The New Black” and Radiohead’s “OK Computer.”)

I was certainly surprised to find out that not all of the State Champs were held last weekend, but that some will be playing out in a few days time. Seems strange, but there you go. Luckily for some of you out there, that might mean that the following article may be of use to you in real life and not just on Magic Online.

Last week I listed several preliminary sketches of decks for the new format, which were admittedly pretty awful. The forum folk were quick to tell me that too, but as I told them, it was just brainstorming for the sake of getting the ball rolling. Once the ball got rolling and rolled about our living room a few times, Dave was pretty certain that he was going to play Solar Flare, because it worked, and I was most likely going to go with Zoo… because it worked.

To expand on that a little, much the same happened in my testing in the lead up to Nats. I’d build a deck, throw it against Zoo or Solar Flare, and it would lose horribly. Specifically with Zoo, the only thing the deck lost in the change of format was Isamaru. The natural replacement happens to be Magus of the Scroll, but he’s not as naturally aggressive as the Hound was (sadly). However, he still fits the curve nicely and has his uses in matchups where the opponent may likewise play small men and so on. While the Magus was a slight downgrade, Rift Bolt was found to be a fantastic upgrade on Volcanic Hammer, even playing the role of inflate the Scab-Clan Mauler on turn 2 beautifully.

To cut a long story short, I was not able to repeat my performance from last year by winning State Champs. Last year I got considerably lucky and beat my flatmate Dave in the finals when he proceeded to draw many more lands than spells across the three games that we played out.

(A flatmate, for those not in the know, is someone who rents the same house as you. Dave, Tama, and I rent a flat together. Well, more like a gaming hovel than a flat, but you get the idea.)

This year I failed to best Dave in the finals. No, this time he beat me in the finals. Yeah, our flat rocks when it comes to Magic sometimes. Of course, you’ll be wanting our decklists, especially if your State Champs happens to be this weekend. You’ll probably want the third place deck too, played by our buddy Digby when he decided that he might as well turn up and play. Yeah, our flat and its visitors rock when it comes to Magic sometimes. I didn’t get the list Giles played though, because he didn’t make Top 8. That’s what I mean when I say “sometimes…”

But before the decklists, the Magic Online Standard Premier Events Recap for the Last Two Weeks! Wow, that sounds like blatant spot advertising, don’t it? The reason it’s “two weeks” was because Craig made me submit last week’s column early because he was off to Pro Tour: Kobe (hard luck there, pal [Tell me about it… – Craig, jetlagged]). So without further nonsense, stalling and other general blisterrubbish, the recap.

23 (16) Solar Flare (Blue/Black/White Control)
16 (17) Satanic Sligh (Rakdos Burn)
11 (8) Simic Aggro Control (Blue/Green)
8 (2) Boros Deck Wins (Red/White Aggro)
7 (9) Selesnya Aggro Control (Green/White Aggro Control)
7 (2) Heartbeat (Heartbeat of Spring/Early Harvest Combo)
7 (1) Ghost Dad (Black/White Tallowisp Aggro)
6 (7) Izzetron (Blue/Red Urzatron Control)
6 (6) Counterbalance Control (Blue/Black/White Control, sometimes without the Black)
5 (2) Azorius Enduring Ideal Control (Blue/White Enduring Ideal sorta Combo)
4 (10) Hand in Hand (Black/White Aggro Control)
4 (7) Sea Stompy (Green/Red/Blue Aggro Control)
3 (1) Azorius Aggro Control (White Weenies with Blue Counter backup)
3 (1) Gruul Aggro Control (Red/Green Aggro Control)
3 (0) White/Red/Black Firemane Control (<--- that stuff)
2 (5) Magnivore (Blue/Red Land Destruction Control)
2 (3) Golgari Aggro Control (Green/Black Aggro Control)
2 (3) Dimir Reanimator (Blue/Black get big guys in the yard, Zombify ‘em into play)
2 (2) Simic Erayo Ninja (The mBracht special)
2 (1) Unknown (Deal making in private chat makes Baby Jesus cry)
1 (1) Battle of Wits (Yes, a 230 — 250 card deck…)
1 (0) White/Red/Blue Aggro Control (just sort of adding Blue to Boros Deck wins for more control-ish stuff.)
1 (0) Red/Blue/Black Control (‘twas interesting, to say the least)
1 (0) Mono Red Burn (with snow lands wew)
0 (2) Zoo (Green/White/Red Aggro)
0 (1) Simic Aggro Control, splash Black
0 (1) Izzet Control (Blue/Red Control)
0 (1) Orzhov Husk (Black/White Aggro Control with Nantuko Husk and Promise of Bunrei)
0 (1) Mono White Tron (See below…)
0 (1) Blue/White/Green Control (Long range control, prepare for the long game)
0 (1) Azorius Control (Blue/White Control)

Yadda yadda, Solar Flare has overtaken Satanic Slight again, yes. But the real news, as strange as it is, is the fact that Boros Deck Wins and Ghost Dad have surged back in popularity. It’s not really news, is it? I mean, this format is only spoken about in past tense in real life, and it can’t be long for this world online, so lets not pretend it’s news to anyone not still wearing flares and flowery shirts.

Right, back to the Zoo deck I played. I would say “my Zoo deck,” but it’s nothing more than the Zoo deck Yann Hamon finished fourth at the French Nats with, with a few modifications along the way. I tried Might of Old Krosa in place of Giant Growth, and while it did what it looked like it would do – including mathematically killing people with the main-phase Lava Axe approach – it still didn’t seem as strong as Giant Growth. Half the time I wished it was Gather Courage (seriously). If I get a chance I may try that out some time, there were several moments for some reason, where I was like “wow, I wish I could Convoke this right now, it would mess the board up so bad.” Yeah, my English is even that bad while I think ‘n stuff.

(“’and stuff’ yeah, I got that”)

The land destruction package in the sideboard is a lot more useful than it looks, with Cryoclasm being great against Solar Flare, Azorius style Control, and Dragonstorm Combo. The Stone Rains just reinforce that idea, while also being super hawt on Bounce Lands. Moldervine Cloak was something we had in the side for mirror-type matchups, and I loved it then just as much as I love it now. Some people will tell you that removal-based Aggro mirrors are all about who has the last creature standing after the flurry of burn that flies about the place. I can tell you that the answer is always gonna be “the 6/6 guy I attacked you with on turn 3.”

Anyway, enough about the Zoo deck. Next up we have Digby’s Azorius Control deck, which he pilfered from Dave the night before. Dave built it earlier in the week and it was performing admirably. Once Dave decided he liked the idea of Solar Flare, possibly in part because he didn’t get to play it at Nats, Digby leapt at the chance to take the Counterspell deck, finishing in third place after losing in a tight best-of-three (to me). Digby was also my only loss in the swiss, so the matchup can go either way.

And lastly, we have Dave’s Solar Flare deck, which is pretty vanilla when you look at it. It does have the ability to crush face consistently, so no complaints there.

Before I go posting the card prices for this week, here is a replay log someone found and posted somewhere out there on the internet. It struck me as pretty funny.

Mrine plays Rain of Embers.
Zasrani Amici plays Shining Shoal targeting Mrine. (X is 15).
Zasrani Amici chooses Rain of Embers as a damage source.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Nezumi Shadow-Watcher to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Rimebound Dead to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Rag Dealer to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Festering Goblin to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Plague Beetle to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Plagued Rusalka to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Bile Urchin to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Bile Urchin to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Thoughtpicker Witch to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Thoughtpicker Witch to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Nezumi Shadow-Watcher to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Martyr of Bones to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Gnat Miser to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Gnat Miser to Mrine.
1 damage caused by Rain of Embers is redirected from Bile Urchin to Mrine.

What a beating!


(I say anyway quite a bit in these things, don’t I?)


Here are the prices. This week, I trimmed out the Kamigawa Block cards, because I’m sick of them and they’re not important. I’m actually sick of doing the prices – it takes up too much time and annoys me to the point where I often go out into the street after compiling it, to kick a small child. I think I’ll start listing the prices once a month, so that way we might actually see the prices moving in some meaningful way. The next time you see these prices, it will be with Time Spiral cards in tow, and seeing as they’re not on sale yet, I’m willing to bet it won’t be next week!

There, I said it. I feel better now.

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.

Dark Confidant 4-5 (4-5)

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

Ohran Viper 11-13 (9-12)
Birds of Paradise 4-6 (4-6)

Demonfire 4-6 (4-5)
Wildfire 2-3 (2-3)
Magnivore 2-3 (2-3)

Wrath of God 11-12 (10-12)
Paladin En-Vec 5-7 (5-7)
Adarkar Valkyrie 2-4 (2-4)

Scrying Sheets 5-7 (5-7)
Breeding Pool 13-15 (13-15)
Hallowed Fountain 11-12 (11-12)
Blood Crypt 9-11 (9-10)
Godless Shrine 8-9 (7-9)
Steam Vents 7-9 (7-9)
Shivan Reef 7-8 (7-9)
Stomping Ground 7-8 (7-8)
Yavimaya Coast 5-7 (5-7)
Caves of Koilos 5-6 (5-7)
Watery Grave 5-7 (5-7)
Temple Garden 5-7 (5-7)
Overgrown Tomb 5-7 (5-7)
Sacred Foundry 5-7 (5-6)
Karplusan Forest 3-5 (4-5)
Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] 3-5 (3-5)
Underground River 3-5 (3-5)
Adarkar Wastes 3-5 (3-5)
Llanowar Wastes 3-4 (3-5)
Sulfurous Springs 3-4 (3-5)
Brushland 3-4 (3-4)

Finally, a picture. Yes, that’s right, a picture of myself. (What else?) Tall Mike and I decided we would place an order with StarCityGames.com so we could get our Time Spiral cards for our States decks on time. For him some Ancestral Visions and me my precious Magus of the Scrolles. We were “smart” enough to be quite late with our order, but SCG got them halfway across the world to us in time nevertheless. After a mad dash to the airport on Friday night, Mike and I had our cards… and, strangely enough, this tasty StarCityGames.com mouse pad, which I promptly confiscated. Mike likes to think he gave it to me, but I ninja’d it from him fair and square!

Tasty treats from [author name=

It fits between my desktop and laptop perfectly, and will travel well with my laptop next time I head overseas for some other glamorous coverage gig. All in all, a good haul for all I say. Until next week, good luck with your State Champs or whatever you end up doing this weekend. I have decided to go shopping for shoes. Boring work shoes.