Help Save Standard Pauper!

Don’t Let WotC Take the Standard Pauper Filter Away!

Wizards announced today that they are retiring the Standard Pauper filter from Magic Online along with several other formats. Don’t let them do it!

If you’re on Twitter, contact @mtg_lee @mtgworth @wizards_magic @MagicOnline and tell them not to.

You can directly E-mail those responsible for making decisions on Magic Online: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

In your E-mail, please be calm, rationale, polite, but heartfelt and passionate about the format. It doesn’t have to be long. Just tell them why you like the format and ask them to keep the Standard Pauper filter. If you want, tell them that George Leonard / gwyned gave you their contact info.

Let’s blow up their E-mail and social media with support for the format. Let’s show them just how important Standard Pauper is.

Spread the word, make your voice heard. Do not let them do this!

(content copied and adapted with permission from George Leonard / gwyned via http://writeradept.blogspot.com/2015/10/dont-let-wotc-take-standard-pauper.html)

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 23

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

If you missed us, join us Tuesday evening at 12 am Eastern for the the Live show!

http://www.twitch.tv/magicgatheringstrat/

Section 2: What you may have missed

As we announced in the show, I have taken the mantel of Content Manager for the YouTube channel. With that brings a whole host of new responsibilities. Unfortunately it take a lot more of my time.
With that said, I am going to transform this article to more representative of that new role. Here is where I will show case what MagicGatheringStrat does on its various channels

So lets get into it!

YouTube: MagicGatheringStrat

Sam finished up his 7 part series for his Modern Silver Black Cube:

New Creator Showcase:
EternalGamePlayer is a newcomer to our site but he brings a powerful and popular deck. He is new and not all the recording kinks have been worked out. Despite that, I recommend watching this powerful new deck:

Quite a bit of controversy was stirred up over this week’s League match between Pierakor and Tazerdadog. What are your thoughts?

And fan favorite Binkabi shows off his latest crazy creation “Modern Tempo Thieves”:

YouTube: MagicGatheringStrat 2

For those who don’t know yet, this channel is our secondary channel. Where we put experimental and new video makers. We want to grow this site like we have grown our main channel.

Dan put in a lot of work trying to learn the format with a full battery of 4 man drafts:

Magic Origins 4 player draft UB Control vs Avaricious Dragon

Magic Origins 4 player draft Sigil of the Empty Throne

Magic Origins 4 player draft Disciple of the Ring

Magic Origins 4 player draft Shadows of the Past

Twitch: MagicGatheringStrat

Did you know you can watch full length pat broadcasts in Twitch?

http://www.twitch.tv/magicgatheringstrat/profile/past_broadcasts

Pierakor plays a game I have never seen before, XMage! It is a MTGO clone:

xmage'

If you like Mono Blue Tron, this this is a show for you:

monoutron

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 22

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

If you missed us, join us Tuesday evening at 12 am Eastern for the the Live show!

http://www.twitch.tv/magicgatheringstrat/

Section 2: Player run events

Nothing this week… which makes me sad.

Next week! There will be all kinds of brews a brewin’ I am certain.

The Future!

So, now that we have grown into a respectable magic information outlet, its time to up our video game.

This week, in lieu of an article of any substance, I am going to rework the video makers guidelines.

I talked with Dan and Bava and it seems like a good idea to have a YouTube Content Manager. I will be picking up that mantel and running around with it like I have hexproof.

There will be more to come on this later in the week. However, I know it will make us an even better channel than we already are.

MagicGatheringStrat: The Podcast Ep. 20

This week on the magicgatheringstrat.com Brennon Sam and Dan talk about Standard Pauper! Classic Pauper! Extended Pauper! Leagues! The Pauper Gauntlet! Brews! Cubes! Modern! Metas! Prices!!

If you understand the storylines behind the Eldrazi block and can explain it to us that would be great.

It’s the magicgatheringstrat.com podcast and you are the best ever!

www.MagicGatheringStrat.com
YouTube: MagicGatheringStrat (subscribe!)
https://www.patreon.com/magicgatheringstrat
Twitter: @MagicGathStrat @cyruleansayshi @Spo7677
www.facebook.com/Magicgatheringstrat
Subscribe and Like please. It helps.

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 15

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

SPDC 29.09

7-Jun-15
Standard · 16 Players
16 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 4 playoff
Hosted by rremedio1

1st Mono Blue Control by tommyv
2nd HEROIC by kukikira
T4 Bad Aggro Boros by davbricar
T4 Golgari delve by gonz

The winning deck:

Mono Blue Control
Standard · Control
1st by tommyv in SPDC 29.09 (4-1)

[d]
Creatures
4 Jeskai Sage
3 Whirlwind Adept
2 Nimbus Naiad
1 Benthic Giant
1 Guardians of Meletis
1 Omenspeaker

Spells
4 Divination
4 Griptide
4 Treasure Cruise
3 Negate
3 Nullify
2 Anticipate
2 Rise of Eagles
2 Whisk Away
1 Voyage’s End

Lands
15 Island
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Radiant Fountain

Sideboard
4 Sidisi’s Faithful
4 Disdainful Stroke
4 Coral Barrier
1 Nullify
1 Negate
1 Anticipate [/d]

The Match-Ups

R1:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Loobey  Golgari Grave 
R2:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  lcribeiro  Pega Fogo Cabaré 
R3:  Loss:  0 – 2 vs.  kukikira  HEROIC 
T4:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  gonz  Golgari delve 
T2:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  kukikira  HEROIC 

Slide25

Slide26

Slide27

MPDC 29.09

8-Jun-15
Standard · 14 Players
13 Decks · ~93% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st No Tremors by gonz
2nd monoGreen by Jonder_qind
T4 Esper control by Forli
T4 BUR.n by Yaxarell

The winning deck:

No Tremors
Standard · Aggro
1st by gonz in MPDC 29.09 (5-0)

[d]
Creatures
4 Aven Skirmisher
4 Cavalry Pegasus
4 Loyal Pegasus
4 Mardu Hordechief
4 Sandsteppe Outcast
2 Selfless Cathar

Spells
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Triplicate Spirits
4 Trumpet Blast
3 War Flare
2 Lightning Strike

Lands
9 Plains
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Mountain
4 Wind-Scarred Crag

Sideboard
4 Scouring Sands
3 Erase
3 Pillar of Light
2 Act of Treason
2 Lightning Strike
1 Kill Shot [/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  lcribeiro  Pega Fogo Cabaré 
R2:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  Forli  Esper control 
R3:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  rremedio1  Episode 4: A New Hope 
T8:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Forli  Esper control 
T4:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  Jonder_qind  monoGreen 

Slide45

Slide46

Slide47

Section 3: Bant Fog by Pierakor (Pauper)

[d]
Spells
2 Ponder
2 See Beyond
4 Accumulated Knowledge
2 Arcane Denial
4 Brainstorm
3 Dawn Charm
1 Keep Watch
4 Moment’s Peace
4 Muddle the Mixture
3 Riot Control
4 Words of Wisdom
1 Quiet Disrepair

Enchantments
4 Jace’s Erasure

Lands
7 Island
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
4 Plains
3 Terramorphic Expanse

Sideboard
2 Arcane Denial
1 Dawn Charm
1 Quiet Disrepair
1 Riot Control
1 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Dispel
1 Hindering Light
1 Journey to Nowhere
2 Last Breath
2 Negate
1 Rest for the Weary [/d]

Slide56

Slide57

 

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 14.5

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Due to scheduling issues, there will be no show this week.

Please, dry your tears and rest assured in the knowledge we will be back next week.

But I do have this!

Section 2: Player run events

SPDC 29.08

31-May-15
Standard · 10 Players
10 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 4 playoff
Hosted by rremedio1

1st monoGreen by Jonder_qind
2nd Azor’s Heroes by AmericanGaren
T4 Izzet Control by beatnik bobby
T4 monoGreen by yelloweyes2

The winning deck:

MONOGREEN
Standard · Aggro
1st by Jonder_qind in SPDC 29.08 (4-1)

[d]
Creatures
4 Alpine Grizzly
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Glade Watcher
4 Stampeding Elk Herd
4 Swordwise Centaur
2 Aerie Bowmasters
2 Frontier Mastodon
2 Nessian Courser
Spells
4 Aspect of Hydra
4 Epic Confrontation
4 Titanic Growth
Lands
18 Forest
4 Evolving Wilds

SIDEBOARD
4 Savage Punch
3 Sedge Scorpion
3 Plummet
2 Hunter’s Ambush
1 Naturalize [/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  karakusk  Blue Black 
R2:  Loss:  1 – 2 vs.  yelloweyes2  monoGreen 
R3:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  johnnyinabucket  Double U Dubya 
T4:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  beatnik bobby  Izzet Control 
T2:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  AmericanGaren  Azor’s Heroes 

Interesting to note is the fact that this deck lost to the other mono-green deck.

YellowEyes then went on to lose to Beatnik Bobby’s Izzet Control in R3 and AmericanGaren’s Azor’s Heroes in T4. However, you can see that Jonder_quin subsequently beat Beatnik and AmericanGaren in the following rounds.

Lets look at the two and see what could have been the difference:

compare

I highlighted the differences.

As you can see, Garen’s had fewer lands, but Jonder’s had 4 Evolving Wilds (which I don’t agree with but that is my opinion). Could Garen have been mana screwed more times than Jonder and thus leading to the deck’s defeat?

My other biggest concern with Garen’s deck is the Oathsworn. [c]Setessan Oathsworn[/c] is only good if you can make it heroic, and you will have to do it TWICE to make it better than a Nessian Courser. Why would I waste my my time when I can have a 3/3 hit the ground and be ready to fight immediately?

What do you think?

MPDC 29.08

1-Jun-15
Standard · 16 Players
15 Decks · ~94% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 4 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st tokens v2 (no sb) by karakusk
2nd Heroic cruise by Forli
T4 Red Alert by goomy1
T4 People Fly by rremedio1

The winning deck:

TOKENS V2 (NO SB)
Standard · Aggro
1st by karakusk in MPDC 29.08 (5-0)

[d]
Creatures
4 Aven Skirmisher
4 Mardu Hordechief
4 Sandsteppe Outcast
2 Selfless Cathar
Spells
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Impact Tremors
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Triplicate Spirits
3 War Flare
2 Collateral Damage
2 Lightning Strike
2 Rush of Battle
Lands
8 Plains
5 Mountain
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
SIDEBOARD
3 Island
3 Plains
3 Swamp
3 Mountain
3 Forest [/d]

No sideboard, I just wanted a placeholder for a more consistent look.

The MatchUps

R1:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  yelloweyes2  monoGreen 
R2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  gwyned  GB Constellation 
R3:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  goomy1  Red Alert 
T4:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  goomy1  Red Alert 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Forli  Heroic cruise

Section 3: The Community League

Well, week 3 has come and gone and I am now 2 – 1 – 0

The first week I won against Affinity, the second week, I lost to Dimir Control, and this week I won versus Rhystic Tron.

The first 2 weeks I went with Turbo Exhume. The deck is crazy and explosive and fun to play. However, in a solidly Swamp heavy meta, I decided to go a different route:

Mono White by Deluxeicoff
[d]
Creatures
4 Doomed Traveler
4 Order of Leitbur
4 Soul Warden
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Suture Priest
Instant
4 Guardians’ Pledge
4 Raise the Alarm
Sorcery
4 Battle Screech
1 Cenn’s Enlistment
Enchantment
4 Journey to Nowhere
Land
19 Plains
4 Quicksand

Sideboard

3 Cloudshift
4 Lumithread Field
3 Prismatic Strands
2 Rune of Protection: Red
3 Standard Bearer [/d]

The deck is a lot of fun and I used the Order of Leitbur’s pump ability way more often than I thought I would.

So, a tip of the hat to Deluxeicoff for this solid build.

How have the rest of you done?

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 13

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

MPDC 29.06
18 May 2015
Standard · 16 Players
14 Decks · ~88% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

Here are the matchups:

1st copied monogreen by milegyenanevem
2nd Izzet Control by beatnik bobby
T4 Izzeting you by JorgeJacoh
T4 Ksco Merchant by Papieru
T8 Golgari delve by gonz
T8 Winter Greenier by KyranOHyran
T8 Lo Pan’s Room by rremedio1
T8 Deck not found** by WujekMZK

Cruise Watch: 2015
1st Place: 0 Cruise
2nd Place: 4 Cruise
3rd Place: 4 Cruise
4th Place: 3 Cruise

My goodness, all that green! Not a single Treasure Cruise in sight for this winner.

The winning deck:

COPIED MONOGREEN
Standard · Unclassified
1st by milegyenanevem in MPDC 29.06 (5-1)

R1: Win: ‘2 – 1 vs. SeiryuAzuma UR Control
R2: Loss: ‘0 – 2 vs. Papieru Ksco Merchant
R3: Win: ‘2 – 1 vs. KyranOHyran Winter Greenier
T8: Win: ‘2 – 0 vs. rremedio1 Lo Pan’s Room
T4: Win: ‘2 – 0 vs. Papieru Ksco Merchant
T2: Win: ‘2 – 0 vs. beatnik bobby Izzet Control

Only loss was to a Merchant Cruise deck. Pretty dominant.

Interestingly enough, this was Beatnik Bobby’s only loss in the tournament. They were 4-1 and 5-0 respectively. That means they both ended with 5-1 scores.

We went over the deck last week so instead, I want to bring you something different.

Now you may peruse the presentation at your leisure.

So, what changes are you making for the next round of the League?

 

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 10

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

MPDC 29.03
27 April 2015
Standard · 22 Players
16 Decks · ~73% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st heroic by kukikira
2nd Wintergreen by gwyned
T4 Mono U Scribe Combo by WujekMZK
T4 BUR.n by Yaxarell
T8 UR Control by beatnik bobby
T8 Esper Control by hero1141
T8 Deck not found** by Michelle_Wong
T8 Just a Little Touch by rremedio1

Cruise Watch: 2015
1st Place: 0 Cruise
2nd Place: 3 Cruise
3rd Place: 3 Cruise
4th Place: 4 Cruise

Lets take a look at Gwyned’s almost mono colored deck.


WINTERGREEN

Standard · Aggro
2nd by gwyned in MPDC 29.03 (4-2)

[d]
Creatures
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Nessian Courser
4 Nylea’s Disciple
4 Stampeding Elk Herd
4 Swordwise Centaur
3 Nessian Asp
2 Alpine Grizzly
Spells
3 Anticipate
3 Aspect of Hydra
3 Epic Confrontation
3 Treasure Cruise
Lands
16 Forest
4 Thornwood Falls
2 Evolving Wilds
1 Island

SIDEBOARD
3 Sedge Scorpion
3 Ranger’s Guile
3 Plummet
3 Naturalize
2 Disdainful Stroke
1 Vulpine Goliath
[/d]

I know I normally focus on mono colored decks, but this one was different. I love that Simic made the finals.

If you are going to splash for a card, why wouldn’t it be Treasure Cruise?

Now, lets look at an opening hand:

Now I want to show you the “curve”:

More like, “look out dangerous curves ahead.”

Let’s look at the next six cards:

I think these cards give you a pretty good chance of winning.

With anticipate coming up very soon and strong three drops, you have the ability to hold off any opponent until you can drop the asp.

Section 3: The League

So, if the next league is classic pauper, what will you be playing?

I really do not want to play delver. Does that mean I won’t win though? Here is the current (as of 4/29/2015) pauper metagame according to mtggoldfish.com

Pauper metagame

We have: MonoBlack, Delver, Affinity, Delver Fiend and Stompy making the top 5. Also, if you add the other slightly different version of Stompy to the top 5 version, that makes Stompy #3. That is actually a lot more diverse than I had initially thought.

But I cannot go with the flow. I have to do what I feel in my heart!

Turbo Angler

[d]
Creatures
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Ulamog’s Crusher
2 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Stinkweed Imp

Spells
4 Dragon Breath
2 Dragon Fangs
4 Exhume
4 Faithless Looting
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Lotus Petal
4 Manamorphose
4 Tormenting Voice

Land
4 Geothermal Crevice
4 Sandstone Needle
2 Sulfur Vent
6 Swamp

Sideboard
4 Duress
2 Electrickery
4 Ingot Chewer
3 Magma Spray
2 Pyroblast
[/d]

Tobias has inspired me and I will play this till I am beaten 4 times!

MagicGatheringStrat: The Podcast Ep. 8

Dragons has made some Impacting Tremors on Standard Pauper and this week the combo of Brennon, Sam and Dan talk about the new hotness running infinitely wild on the format!
All that plus Classic Pauper, Cubes, Leagues, Modern, and general nerdy ramblings. It’s the Magicgatheringstrat.com podcast! Thanks for listening.

www.MagicGatheringStrat.com
YouTube: MagicGatheringStrat (subscribe!)
https://www.patreon.com/magicgatheringstrat
Twitter: @MagicGathStrat @cyruleansayshi @Spo7677
www.facebook.com/Magicgatheringstrat
Subscribe and Like please. It helps.

The Standard Pauper Show, Issue 32

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

This is an off week so no PDCMagic this week!

This week I will be discussing other budget magic.

We will be returning to our regularly scheduled programming next week!

Section 3: Can Tiny Leaders have a tiny budget?

In the show you saw this crazy expensive list:

[d title=”$410 Hanna Pillow Fort (Tiny Leaders)”]
Tiny Leader
1 Hanna, Ship’s Navigator
Creature
1 Drift of Phantasms
1 Trinket Mage

Planeswalker
1 Jace Beleren

Instant
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Forbid
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Tutor

Sorcery
1 Fabricate
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Prosperity
[/d]
[d]
Artifact
1 Anvil of Bogardan
1 Azorius Signet
1 Claws of Gix
1 Expedition Map
1 Howling Mine
1 Iron Maiden
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Static Orb
1 Winter Orb

Enchantment
1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Overburden
1 Propaganda
1 Rhystic Study
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Solitary Confinement
1 Standstill
[/d]
[d]
Land
1 Academy Ruins
1 Buried Ruin
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Command Tower
1 Flooded Strand
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
1 Kor Haven
1 Mystic Gate
1 Phyrexia’s Core
3 Plains
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Seachrome Coast
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Tolaria West
1 Tundra
[/d]
[d]
Sideboard
1 Aura of Silence
1 Cleansing Meditation
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Minds Aglow
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Web of Inertia
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Valorous Stance
1 Celestial Flare
[/d]

By making some sacrifices, we got it down to the manageable size of $89

[d title=”Hanna on a Budget (Tiny Leaders)”]
Tiny Leader
1 Hanna, Ship’s Navigator

Creature
1 Drift of Phantasms
1 Trinket Mage

Planeswalker
1 Jace Beleren

Instant
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Forbid
1 Impulse
1 Long-Term Plans
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Tutor

Sorcery
1 Fabricate
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Prosperity
[/d]
[d]
Artifact
1 Anvil of Bogardan
1 Azorius Signet
1 Claws of Gix
1 Expedition Map
1 Howling Mine
1 Iron Maiden
1 Crystal ball
1 Static Orb
1 Winter Orb

Enchantment
1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Overburden
1 Propaganda
1 Rhystic Study
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Personal Sanctuary
1 Standstill
[/d]
[d]
Land
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Buried Ruin
1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Forbidding Watchtower
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Halimar Depths
2 Island
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Phyrexia’s Core
3 Plains
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Seachrome Coast
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Tolaria West
1 Tranquil Cove
[/d]
[d]
Sideboard
1 Aura of Silence
1 Celestial Flare
1 Cleansing Meditation
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Hanna, Ship’s Navigator
1 Minds Aglow
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Valorous Stance
1 Web of Inertia
[/d]

I am afraid that what Tiny Leaders has done is take all the most expensive cards in Magic and made a format for them.

Now, for even more budget friendliness you can look at my Lin Sivvi deck:

[d title=”Lin Sivvi and her Budget Rebels $70 (Tiny Leaders)”]
Tiny Leader
1 Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero

Creatures
1 Amrou Scout
1 Aven Riftwatcher
1 Children of Korlis
1 Defiant Falcon
1 Defiant Vanguard
1 Lawbringer
1 Lightbringer
1 Mirror Entity
1 Ramosian Captain
1 Ramosian Lieutenant
1 Ramosian Sergeant
1 Shield Dancer
1 Steadfast Guard
1 Thermal Glider
[/d]
[d]
Instant
1 Condemn
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Path to Exile
1 Swords to Plowshares

Sorcery
1 Martial Coup
[/d]
[d]
Artifact
1 Basalt Monolith
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 Hall of Triumph
1 Hero’s Blade
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Worn Powerstone

Enchantment
1 Bound in Silence
1 Glorious Anthem
1 Honor of the Pure
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Shared Triumph

Land
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
17 Plains
[/d]
[d]
Sideboard:
1 Champion’s Helm
1 Dawn Charm
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Oblation
1 Rule of Law
1 Stonecloaker
1 Unexpectedly Absent
1 Whipcorder
1 Expedition Map
1 Sword of Vengeance
[/d]

If you replace [c]Enlightened Tutor[/c] with [c]Quest for the Holy Relic[/c] and [c]Lightning Greaves[/c] with [c]Whispersilk Cloak[/c], you shave another $20 off the list!

But does that make this a budget-friendly format? I think you would have to consider what playing this format means to you. Are you just trying to jam as many quick games as you can? Maybe this works. Are you trying to have a full evening of competition with your friends? Maybe this works. If you all want to sit around the same table and BS while playing, stick with Commander. If you want to run a mini-tournament in your house for some “prize”, this may work out pretty well.

Do you have any budget friendly non competition legal decks? Lets hear about it!

[twitter name=”@cyruleansayshi”]

The Standard Pauper Show, Ep 35

It’s a down week on the show as Standard Pauper is reloading for the new season. The guys take this chance to get caught up, and to talk about fun budget variants they enjoy. Plus Brennon breaks down a not budget Tiny Leaders build, and Dan makes an announcement! Its the Standard Pauper show, thanks for listening.

website: magicgatheringstrat.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/MagicGathStrat
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Magicgatheringstrat
google +: https://plus.google.com/+MagicGatheringStrat/posts

An open letter: The failings of MTGO’s trading system, and how to fix them.

Note: This article is courtesy of SirGog and is duplicated from his post on the official MTGO forums with his permission. Since it is an excellent post and really an issue that deserves more attention, I wanted to do my part to help get more eyes on it. I’ve done some format editing to improve readability, but the content remains untouched. -The Editor


Disclaimer: This thread was posted in late September 2014. It references some card values that may no longer be even close to accurate if you are reading this at a later date. Such is the nature of #MTGOFinance.

An open letter: The failings of MTGO’s trading system, and how to fix them.

Rather than explaining why I think the trading system in MTGO is the most serious ‘big problem’ with the client right now, I want to open by encouraging MTGO players to carry out a small experiment.

Over the next week, play as you normally would, and record how long you spend logged into the MTGO client. Don’t count extended AFK time, just the time you are mostly paying attention to the client.

Record how long you spend actually playing games of Magic or other related activities like building draft decks, and how much total downtime you have (time between tournament rounds, or time spent acquiring the [c]Mox Emerald[/c] your Vintage deck needs, or the time spent trying to sell the [c]Garruk, Apex Predator[/c] and the foil [c]Stoke the Flames[/c] you just drafted).

I believe that if you play either Limited or competitive Constructed much at all, you will find that collection management related downtime – selling unwanted cards, and seeking out desired ones – dramatically cuts into your Magic playing time.

Collection management is a big part of paper MTG, but like cards becoming accidentally damaged, or incorrect judge calls, it is something that the digital version of the game can do differently and can do better than paper.

This letter is about my proposals to decrease the time wasted on collection management by players, so that we can spend more time on the parts of MTGO that we actually enjoy – competitive-minded decision making in a world of incomplete information and nearly unlimited possibilities.

A bit on trade history:

This is background info and can be skipped, but may interest some.

MTGO player-to-player trading was originally designed, like many other parts of the game, to mirror paper trading fairly closely. Players can either stick their currently unneeded cards into trade binders (making them visible to prospective trade partners) or they can keep certain cards in reserve. (For example, I might own four [c]City of Traitors[/c] that I don’t put in my trade binder, but if you have a [c]Tarmogoyf[/c] I want I might be willing to make them visible then). All transactions are direct player-to-player trades.

Early on, before I started playing on MTGO, the Event Ticket became THE established currency of trading. It could have been packs instead, but for various reasons related to prize support, liquidity of certain boosters, and tickets being a cheaper object than packs, tickets made more sense as a currency. Tix being a trade currency has been given ‘official’ approval by WotC in many an article since then, for example in DailyMTG.com articles that focus on budget decks.

Early in MTGO, card liquidity* was low, until around the era of Betrayers of Kamigawa, when human dealers were phased out in favor of bots. Early bots didn’t handle the whole trade, they just spammed a trade message in various channels over and over alerting you to the offers the human behind the bot was offering, but soon the fully automated bots appeared and then became common.
Owning a trade bot was initially extremely lucrative and their coding was a guarded secret, but in time they became widespread and margins became lower. Now, it is effectively impossible to be a dealer on MTGO without running multiple bots 24/7, the human element of trading from MTGO’s early days is completely gone, and there is third party bot software available to ‘buy’ a license for in exchange for a fee.

This isn’t an attempt at nostalgia for the old days. I think the automation of trading has been a good thing in general – drafters can offload undesired cards with less effort than before, Constructed players (competitive or casual) can assemble decks more easily and at a lower price, and price speculators can quickly acquire 200 copies of the card they expect to be the Next Big Thing. In short, liquidity in the market has increased, and this is a good thing.

However, there are problems as it stands.

* – For those without economics knowledge, ‘liquidity’ means how easily something can be traded. Increased liquidity generally reduces the gap between buy and sell prices. You can see this in paper Magic, where many dealers will offer a higher percentage of their sell price for highly-in-demand Standard cards they can move quickly than they offer for hard-to-sell cards like a Japanese foil [c]Goblin Welder[/c] (even though the latter will command a high price if you find the right buyer).

Problems with the current system:

Firstly, event tickets are indivisible, meaning that players cannot trade for low value cards without trusting a bot that has a partial ticket accounting system or finding a mutually acceptable low value trade item. This is not a good system at all as more than 95% of the cards opened in booster packs have a value well south of one ticket.

This rewards unscrupulous bot owners (closing one bot and reopening a new account can result in you stealing up to 99 cents from each of a LARGE number of players, this really adds up). It also has nonmonetary effects – it feels much worse to trade for obscure cards. Consider a card like [c]Clone[/c] – making a trade of one event ticket for four copies of [c]Clone[/c] feels really bad, even when there is the promise of future credit. (At the time of writing, M14 Clone’s price was 0.03 tickets on the first bot I checked).

This negative feeling extends even to people who value their time – I don’t mind spending USD 0.88 for the convenience of quickly finding four copies of a desired card, but I do feel bad about hitting ‘confirm’ on a trade where I’m getting only 12% of the value of what I am trading away.

Secondly, if you want a card, there is no easy way to find someone that has the card you want. You can go to the message boards and find someone that claims to have the card you want, but due to the messageboard reflecting only what people claim to have and a limited amount of characters that can be typed into a message, it will not necessarily be accurate.

For example, take two cards at opposite ends of the desirability spectrum, [c]Clone[/c] and [c]Cryptic Command[/c]. (At the time of writing, the first bot I checked is buying a Modern Masters Cryptic Command at 21.01 tickets and selling at 23.49, there may be better deals out there but I will use those prices to make a point).

A search in the client for the text string ‘Cryptic’ will find a selection of bots that claim to have Cryptic Command in stock at a certain price. This can be misleading. Often what they mean is ‘The last time I updated this message I was selling Cryptic Command at 23.49 tickets, but since then I sold my last copy’, or ‘The last time I updated this message I was selling Cryptic Command at 23.49 tickets, but since then I decided to up the price to 24.99 tickets and I hope you don’t notice or don’t mind’. Your search will also find bots that are offering to buy Cryptic Command at various prices, as well as people that are trading Cryptic Commands but will not disclose their prices.

A search for ‘Command’ or ‘Cryptic Command’ will work but will show less results, as people familiar with Magic lingo often abbreviate this card as just ‘Cryptic’ and those search terms will not connect with this abbreviation. A player unfamiliar with the nuances of MTGO trading and card nicknames may be disheartened to see only a small number of people claiming to deal with this card.

It’s worse again if you want a specific edition of the card. Try to find someone – anyone – that will sell you the fourth foil Alara Reborn [c]Maelstrom Pulse[/c] you want in order to complete a playset where every card is identical, or an ME4 [c]Tundra[/c].

A search for ‘Clone’ on the other hand will show very few results, as while a large number of players have the card and are happy to trade it, they do not consider this fact worth advertising.
Thirdly (and this has already been shown above), there is no requirement that players honour their publicly advertised prices. This is a major timewaster for people that are trying to source a card. Many of the larger bot chains have algorithms written into them that actually dynamically increase card prices as you try to buy more copies of it. So buying one [c]Cryptic Command[/c] might cost you 23.49 tickets, but buying two might cost you 23.79 tickets each, and four might cost 24.49 each.

Fourth, the trade system generally requires people using it to have at least a basic grasp of English (or more specifically, for two trade partners to share a language, but in practice that means English as all bots I’ve ever seen are in English). My suggestions would overcome that barrier, allowing me (a person who speaks only English) to trade to a player that speaks only Japanese. It would also improve the experience of trading with a person who speaks French as a first language alongside just a few words of English.

Fifth, and most importantly, trades require both partners to be online. This dramatically favours bots over human dealers, to the point that human dealers basically no longer exist, and many dealers that sell items bots do not handle well (such as complete sets) often post a classified ad and have a bot auto-reply saying “Hey, thanks for the interest, I’m AFK, try again at 6.30pm Pacific Standard Time”.

Finally, the trade system as it stands does not support large trades. About a year ago, I traded a very large number of tickets (500 at the time, that was a fair price then although it would not be now) for four sets of Return to Ravnica, and had to talk the set seller through a way to do the trade that didn’t expose either of us to potential fraud. Otherwise, I could have let them take 400 tickets in one trade and taken all the mythics and rares, and then blocked them, effectively stealing nearly 100 tickets. This could be much worse with 4x foil sets or other huge transactions, such as trades for a foil [c]Black Lotus[/c]. Whilst I believe WotC would take a hard line against using deception in trades, it would be better if the system simply did not allow it.

My suggestions:

Firstly, eliminate event tickets and replace them with an account balance that is used to enter tournaments, purchase digital MTGO products from the store and can be used as a currency to conduct trades (but never withdrawn for cash).

If there are legal reasons (gambling laws) and/or credit card fraud reasons that prevent this being done, instead introduce a new digital object, the ‘chip’, which represents one-thousandth of an event ticket. Allow event tickets to be ‘opened’ like boosters (becoming 1000 chips), and phase out Event Tickets, using chips as the new way to pay tournament entry fees. So you could enter a 2 ticket Constructed 1v1 queue by paying 2 Event Tickets, or alternately by paying 2000 chips.

Either of these would solve problem 1 outright. Low value cards would immediately become readily tradeable, as the vast majority of cards still hold a value of at least one-tenth of a cent.
Secondly, keep the person-to-person trading interface that exists now, but create and heavily promote a new trading system that mirrors the broker-based market in the MMO EVE Online (and consider paying CCP, the makers of EVE, to help you implement it into MTGO). Copy that system exactly, except do not include any equivalent of EVE’s Margin Trading (require a 100% escrow under all circumstances) and do not respect distance/location in the way EVE does. Here’s how it would work:

Suggestion #1 – Sell Orders:

This is basically a buyout-only ‘auction house’.

A ‘sell order’ is a pledge to sell a card for a certain price, if a buyer can be found in a given timeframe. The card in question is removed from your collection and placed in escrow for the duration of the sell order. If a buyer is found, the card is delivered from escrow to that buyer immediately, and the tickets/chips/account balance is transferred to the seller. If the sell order does not fill, the card is returned from escrow to the seller at the end of the time period.

I see no reason to augment the sell order option with an ‘auction house’ or ‘best offer’ options when you have…

Suggestion #2 – Buy Orders:

A ‘buy order is the reverse – a pledge to buy a card for a given price, if a seller can be found in the relevant timeframe. The entire price of the cards in question is deducted from your account balance and put in escrow (alternately, tix and chips are put in escrow).

If a seller is found you get the cards and they get the escrow; if no seller is found, you get the currency back when the order expires.

Buy and sell orders can be cancelled at any time if you change your mind, and in the event of the announcement of a card being banned or unbanned in any format, all outstanding buy/sell orders up for that card are immediately suspended until the player next logs on, at which point they will receive a message “The card [c]Show and Tell[/c] has been banned in the Legacy format, do you still want to offer 105.003 tickets for each of four copies of Urza’s Saga foil [c]Show and Tell[/c]?”

Buy and sell orders would be anonymous, and would treat different versions of a card as totally different objects. (Example: a Mercadian Masques [c]Counterspell[/c] would be treated as a different item to a Tempest [c]Counterspell[/c], even though many players would consider them interchangeable, however a text search for [c]Counterspell[/c] would show both, as well as their foil versions, and the various other printings of the card from 7E, Master’s Edition sets, preconstructed decks, promos and other products).

Players could look at their objects in escrow, buy orders and sell orders at any time, cancel orders at any time, and modify an individual buy or sell order once per hour. (Once per hour prevents 0.001 ticket price wars being won by bots that are programmed to check if they have been undercut or outbid every minute).

An example in practice:

– I want to acquire three copies of the card [c]Voice of Resurgence[/c]. Being a little vain, I want my Voices to be shiny. (At the time of writing, the first bot I checked is buying foil Voice of Resurgence for 33.42 and selling for 40.49, so ‘fair price’ is around 36-37 tickets.)

– I browse the sell orders and see a total four foil Voices for sale, at 36.999, 37.000, 41.000 and 236.000 tickets.

– I decide to buy the two cheaper copies of the card, but feel 41 is more than I’m prepared to pay (and I sure as hell am not paying 236). Without me ever knowing who I am trading with, I select ‘buy’ on the first two. My account balance drops by $73.999 (tracked to a tenth of a cent), the two foil Voices are transferred from escrow into my account, and the account balance of my two trading partners is increased by $36.999 and $37 respectively.

– I then decide to post my own buy order to try to get the third one more cheaply than 41.000. Looking at the buy orders up currently, I see four at 24.777, 28.599, 30.600 and 30.602. I consider offering 30.603, but then think that I will get the card more quickly if I offer a little more, and so I offer 35.000 and set a duration of 72 hours on my offer. My account balance goes down by $35, and this store credit goes into escrow. For the next three days, if anyone wants to sell a foil Voice for 35 tickets, even if I am offline, they can sell it to my order.

– Before anyone fills my order, the DCI shocks everyone by emergency banning Voice of Resurgence in Legacy. (Don’t make banned/restricted list announcements drunk, folks). I don’t care, as I wanted the card for a Modern deck. My order now goes into stasis until I log on and confirm ‘yes, I still want the card at that price’ at which point the three day period begins again (or alternately, I could elect to cancel the order and offer it again at a lower price).

A second example:

I play an M15 draft, and one of the cards I acquire is an [c]In Garruk’s Wake[/c]. It is my ninth copy. I do not want this card, I don’t want any of the nine, but I cannot be bothered posting a sell order to try to get top dollar for it. I just want them gone.

I right click it in the collection and a list of buy orders for the card appears on my screen. The first person is offering 0.032 tickets for (M15 non-foil) In Garruk’s Wake but is only buying four copies. The second person (presumably a dealer) is offering 0.027 tickets for the card but is willing to buy as many as 233 copies.

I then am given the option ‘Sell four copies for 0.032 tickets each?’ which I click. After a confirmation window, 0.128 tickets leaves the first buyer’s escrow and is credited to my account balance. Then I right-click the In Garruk’s Wakes again, and have the option ‘Sell 5 copies for 0.027 tickets each?’ Again I accept, and the IGWs go to the dealer, and $0.135 is added to my store balance.

Of my six complaints about the trade system, this proposed overhaul would address five. The only one not covered is the availability of obscure cards, as many human players will not bother posting them. However, it is likely that dealers (human or bots) will fill that void, making sure that there is still liquidity in the [c]Chimney Imp[/c] market – and more relevantly, in the market for low (non-zero) demand, low supply cards like foil [c]Massacre[/c].

Monetizing the Trade System:

WotC are a business, and implementing this system so far looks like a lot of cost for no revenue gain. There’d be customer goodwill (which is meaningful) and also perhaps some people drafting a little more often as they can sell their cards more quickly (which is revenue even if those players are ‘infinite’ and never personally spend money at the MTGO store, as every 8-4 draft of ‘normal’ sets consumes 12 packs net and 16 tickets, netting WotC USD 63.88 in revenue). But there are other ways they could get more out of the system without undermining customer goodwill. Taking a cut from each trade (even a 0.5% cut) would cost this goodwill, and I don’t even think it’s the best way to monetize the system either.

Presently, a moderate number of players pay third parties for licenses to use their trading bot software. WotC should have a goal: to get this money in their pockets instead.

A concrete suggestion:

Firstly, there should be a limit of buy orders and sell orders active at any time for a given account. Something like 8 buy orders and 8 sell orders, with buy orders capped at 4 copies of the card (no limit for sell orders), and order duration capped at 72 hours, would be a good starting point. Or alternately, a limit of having 100 total orders (with multiple copies of a card counting multiple times, so ‘Want to Buy: 3 Wasteland’ would take up 3 of your 100 orders).

That is enough to post buy orders for most of a Constructed deck at once, especially when you consider that you’d be buying many cards directly from other people’s sell orders, but it is not enough to run an online dealership or to build sets at bargain prices for redemption purposes.

Secondly, players would have the option to pay USD6 per month (by credit card, or by event tickets/account balance/chips) to have these restrictions almost entirely removed. USD6 is a fairly arbitrary estimate at being a price that seems reasonable but generates real, ongoing revenue. Accounts that pay this charge would have a limit of 500 buy orders, 500 sell orders, and a cap of 12 copies of a card per order and 7 day time limits. Effectively, paying this $6 per month gets you all of the benefits of running a single bot now, but the money goes to WotC, not a third party bot coder.

Finally, players would have the option to pay USD50 per month to have the restrictions entirely removed. This expensive option would give you the benefits currently reserved for people that run trade bots on a dozen accounts or more.

Players with one of the premium trading options would pay in advance, and be automatically downgraded to a free account if they do not trade at all for a month (so as to avoid the customer relations nightmare of ‘oops, I forgot to downgrade my account before going on a cruise for six months’). At the time of downgrading, excess orders would not be automatically cancelled, instead the player would be unable to post new ones until they fall under their new maximum.

A second option to monetize the system is to require a deposit on sell order listings and buy order listings, that is refunded in full if the order fills. This would dramatically cut down the number of ‘nuisance’ listings where someone posts a ridiculous lowball price such as ‘Buying foil FUT Tarmogoyf, 12 tix’ in the hopes that someone misreads that as 120 tix. This deposit could be as high as 1% of the order amount, and it would serve as a tax on dealers much more than a tax on the Limited and Constructed players that generate WotC revenue.

In summary:

The only people that speak highly of MTGO’s current trading system are the dealers that make a living (or at least heavily subsidize their hobby) from being the middleman between buyers and sellers that cannot find each other.

The prevalence of third party bots available for license is a necessary evil right now, but poses major risks to MTGO’s integrity. There has already been at least one incident where a ‘trading bot’ program had trojans built into it that allowed the bot owners to potentially steal cards from those running the bot. If this happened on a big scale, it would be both a public relations nightmare for Wizards, and a financial risk too (as undoubtedly, some people who had had their accounts cleaned out by a thief would file chargebacks against anything they had recently purchased from Wizards).

In addition, it’s hard to know how much strain bot chains put on the server currently, but it must be significant, given that there seem to be over a thousand bot accounts logged on at any time, they usually have large numbers of cards for trade, and opening trade with a bot would query the server ‘How many of each card does this player have for trade?’ every time.
There’s two more advantages WotC gain before even considering possible revenue from the trading system.

Firstly, by speeding up collection management, players that draft a lot will spend less time on collection management, potentially allowing them to fit in one more draft here and there.
Secondly, by having supply and demand driven broad price guidelines publicly available in-client, WotC aren’t intervening in the secondary market, but they still manage to minimize the number of times a new player goes through the horrible experience of being badly ripped off in a trade. Even if it’s only a small amount, it leaves a foul taste in your mouth when you realize that the [c]Flusterstorm[/c] you just sold thinking it was a useless card actually is worth something. This might improve new player retention.

For these reasons, I feel replacing the present trade system with a buy order/sell order system should be the next ‘big project’ undertaken by MTGO management after the completion of leagues (which I personally don’t enjoy much but am looking forward to seeing as I know a lot of people have wanted them and it is good to see their voices heard). If done well, it will make customers happy, entice them to spend more, and assist in retention and growth – a trifecta that can only be good for MTGO and WotC.