It’s time again for a look at the Demand Matrix. What is the Demand Matrix? Is it what you call the line of fanboys waiting for the IMAX showing of the movie The Matrix in 3D? No not really, I don’t have that kind of special effects budget (and would probably be right there in that same line waiting).
The Demand Matrix is a list of cards and a scattering of numbers arranged in an attempt to show us what the most popular cards are in a given Magic playing format. By taking the total quantity of the sales of each card, multiplying it by the average price of that card and then dividing that figure by the card with the largest total figure we get a new figure that gives us the relative demand of every card in a given subset. When these values are sorted we are left with a list of cards whose popularity has essentially been voted on by all our collective dollars spent. The value that is assigned to each of these cards is called the Demand Index.
My current source of data is eBay sales as collected from a 3rd party. I hope to learn enough Python to pull my own data because there are more tweaks I’d like to perform on it then I really can right now. The resulting values tell us how popular a given card is with only a nod given to its asking price. Part of the reason this was originally calculated was to see if the price of certain high priced cards was mathematically justified. There are several interesting by-product results this data shows us. Two weeks ago we applied each card’s Demand Index value to a collection of buy-lists to give us an indication of which cards are most sought by stores, but were also in least demand for purchase on the secondary market. Thus, we found certain cards that we might not have wanted, but hadn’t thought to sell.
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As you can see there hasn’t been a lot of movement on the top end of the spectrum. Baneslayer Angel seems to be making a small come back and Jace, the Mind Sculptor is again ahead of Primeval Titan. Perhaps the titan’s uses are too limited for him to retain the top spot? Obstinate Baloth has jumped quite a few spots and though its greatness is fairly meta dependent, it remains a card to be watched. Garruk Wildspeakers stock is also on the rise, which makes sense with so many other great green cards coming up. Knight of the Reliquary is on its way down as we move toward rotation which seems fairly intuitive. Abyssal Persecutor has taken a really large dive in popularity. Maybe there was just a spike in its use recently? I’d also like to make a quick note that I’m now referencing relevant Buy List prices for the top 30 in the Demand Matrix.
This week we’re going to also look at which cards have had the largest changes in their demand (Demand Index) from the monthly totals to the weekly totals.
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Here we can see the cards that have shown the most movement in their relative demand over the last week as compared to their relative demand over the last month. This gives us an indication of how the popularity of the cards might be waxing and waning. A few of the higher profile cards from M11 seem to be on the decline. This makes a lot of logical sense since the M11 pack EV is still comparatively high and we should be starting to bury the cards which were overpriced and/or too specific in use and making a little more room for the stars of the show. Time Reversal, Nantuko Shade, and Steel Overseer are all taking a hit in the volume being acquired and their values should follow the same pattern soon. The largest gain in popularity seems to be Baneslayer Angel, and you might remember that I had previously speculated that it would come back up because the pricing is more affordable now than it has been for a year and people are going to want to complete their play sets. Respect also seems to be rising a bit for Frost Titan which I think is good. He’s a more subtle titan in some ways, but still very good in the right setting and deserves better than the $3 price I’ve seen him traded at.
Looking over some of the buy prices I’ve incorporated and comparing them with their demand movement and eBay sale prices it seems that now might be a good time to offload those Noble Hierarch cards you might have laying around. If your interest is primarily in Standard, keep in mind that they rotate soon, and you should be able to get a decent value.
Based on some feedback I received I have also added a small calculation to the Pack EV sheet. In the last line you will now see how much you’d have to pay for a box of each set in order to make a 50% profit from cracking packs and selling them. This of course doesn’t account for any possible overhead you might have in eBay fees and such, but it’s a guideline for those interested.
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As always, please let me know what other kinds of comparisons you’d like to see and if I am able, I’ll crunch up the numbers.