Announcing the Prediction Tracker (and making some predictions)

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Today I’ve got some exciting news for Insiders. It’s not easy to keep up with the Magic financial market. Luckily you’ve made the right decision to become a QS Insider where you’ve got a dedicated team to help keep you on top of the market.

But when does it all become too much information? When you’re out on the trading floor, it’s not always easy to remember exactly what price Inferno Titan has risen to, or which writer suggested picking up Splinter Twin. And what was that card Kelly suggested picking up a few weeks back? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to keep all of this straight besides trying to memorize it?

Today I’m announcing the project that aims to make it easier for all of you to do just that.

What is it?

For now, we’re just going to be calling it a Prediction Tracker. The concept is simple: To organize all the predictions made by the dedicated team of writers on QS. This likely will come in the form of a spreadsheet that will be updated weekly or biweekly. It will organize all the writers’ predictions on cards together. This may be as simple as a “buy,” or it may be something more specific, using predictions from financial set reviews.

Grouping all this information together allows Insiders to quickly compare the calls on a particular card. With New Phyrexia releasing this weekend, what’s the consensus on Phyrexian Metamorph? Hot prospect or future bulk rare? A quick check of the Prediction Tracker will allow you to compare opinions and make your own decision.

This should become a static page on QS that you can access through your computer or smartphone, saving you the hassle of having to navigate to four or five articles to gather predictions.

The initial page will most likely just contain card names and projected prices from each writer, but I hope to figure out how to configure it to automatically update each card’s price from Black Lotus Project. This will allow you to compare the current price to the predicted price and act accordingly. I’m not the spreadsheet master that McNutt is, so I’m not sure if this is possible, but know that it will hopefully become a reality before long.

The first update of the Prediction Tracker should be available next week, or worst-case scenario, the week after. The biggest problem right now is getting everyone on the same pricing system. I prefer Black Lotus Project prices to something more arbitrary like Star City Games, but the first step is to get everyone on the same page.

I often talk about how important it is to be accountable for your trading technique and, if you’re a writer, to be accountable for the advice you give your readers. Right now, myself and a few of the other writers here look back every few months at their calls in that time frame. This is a great step, and one that helps keep the system transparent while still making for a good read.

I see the prediction tracker as taking that concept one step farther. Once it is optimized it will allow for a real-time check on the predictions made by any writer who contributes to it. It is my hope that this will become an invaluable tool available only to our Insiders.

Making predictions

Stay tuned for more updates on the Tracker. As someone suggested on my column last week, I’m going to take a shot at calling some of the impact of New Phyrexia on the Standard and Legacy metagame that hasn’t been looked at yet. A lot of the current press has been about which cards to pick up, so I’m going to try to point out some cards you should be selling.

Starting with Standard, I think it’s safe to say that Caw-Blade is not going to be the ONLY deck, though I expect it to still be very good. There’s going to be more Into the Roils played, along with Celestial Purges showing up in sideboards. The reason is that Roil is the best maindeck answer to both Deceiver Exarch/Splinter Twin and Swords, and Purge is the best answer out of the sideboard to answer both Splinter Twin and Pyromancer Ascension, a deck that also received a few upgrades.

Unfortunately neither of these cards is Rare, otherwise we’d be in a good position to profit from it. But I would gather up your Celestial Purges and throw them into your binder, if nothing else. As for everything else in CawBlade that isn’t Stoneforge Mystic, it’s likely going to drop off a little. I don’t think you’re going to find a better time than now to pitch Gideon Jura, which has been rumored to be coming to M12 (which would hurt his price).

Pyromancer Ascension has been steadily rising (up $.50, or 50%, in the last week). One thing to note is that Ascension peaked above just $2 last Standard season, but there’s little to no risk jumping in on these now and flipping them to players looking to build the deck.

As for Splinter Twin, I can’t see it climbing much higher, so I would get rid of yours in the next few weeks. Even if it’s a real deck, it’s pretty tough to imagine it staying at the absurd price it’s at now.

And, if you haven’t already, now is the time to sell your Primeval Titans. As LSV’s recent series on Channel Fireball showed, the deck just can’t compete with CawBlade, and it doesn’t exactly race a Turn 4 Splinter Twin, either. All of the Titans’ prices are going to fall off a cliff come M12 anyway, since the price will drop whether or not they are reprinted.

Another Uncommon out of New Phyrexia to pick up is Dismember. I’m not sure whether or not the card can make waves in Legacy (I wouldn’t be surprised), but it’s also going to be the only catch-all answer to Deceiver Exarch since it can go in any deck, and it really shines in a Black deck.

I’ve been toting Spellskite since it was spoiled. The card is nuts, in more than just Splinter Twin combo. Get in on these ASAP.

One other card to have on your radar is Phylactery Lich. This is the most unlikely to hit, but if mono-black Control becomes a real deck and plays this card it’s going to shoot up hard. It was a solid $3-4 card in trading for months after its release and it will easily pass $5 if it becomes a real card. There are certainly worse things in the world than Turn 1 Inquisition of Kozilek, Turn 2 Contagion Clasp, Turn 3 Phylactery Lich into Turn 4 Phyrexian Obliterator. Just something to keep in mind.

Looking at Legacy, obviously the big card is Mental Misstep. There are a lot better people to ask about the playing implications of the card, but the consensus seems to be that’s it’s very close to the nuts. The first thing that sticks out to me is more decks are going to be reliant on “free” mana engines rather than one-casting cost stuff. Think less Dark Rituals and more Lion's Eye Diamonds. I suggested picking up LED’s two weeks ago, and they’re still on the way up.

I don’t have any expertise about whether or not High Tide will still be a deck after Misstep, but the time seems right to sell off any Candelabra of Tawnos or Time Spirals you might have. The popularity of the deck is severely limited by availability issues, so it’s unlikely we’ll see much more demand for the Candles than we are now. Flip them and be happy with your profit. Same goes for Spiral. Hopefully you picked them up right after the announcement of their unbanning, and now seems like one of the best opportunities to sell them you’re going to get.

That’s all the room I have for this week. I hope you are excited for the Prediction Tracker as I am! And if you have a better name for it, don’t be afraid to suggest it 😉


Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

15 thoughts on “Announcing the Prediction Tracker (and making some predictions)

  1. "I don’t have any expertise about whether or not High Tide will still be a deck after Misstep, but the time seems right to sell off any Candelabra of Tawnos or Time Spirals you might have. The popularity of the deck is severely limited by availability issues, so it’s unlikely we’ll see much more demand for the Candles than we are now. Flip them and be happy with your profit. Same goes for Spiral. Hopefully you picked them up right after the announcement of their unbanning, and now seems like one of the best opportunities to sell them you’re going to get."

    As the closest thing this site has to an expert on High Tide, I can tell you that Misstep in and of itself is going to have minimal impact on Spiral Tide's playability and the price of Candelabra. The secondary effects of Counterbalance becoming more popular is the real concern, not people switching out Daze or Pierce for Misstep. You already had to play around REB/Pyroblast from Zoo/Goblins/burn so Misstep doesn't change anything there.

    In fact, I'm going to go full-on contrarian and say that if the price drops much at all you should buy Candelabras, because they'll go back up once the initial Misstep hype dies.

    1. Fair enough. But that really doesn't change the fact that now is a fine time to get out on Candles. They aren't going much higher in the short-term, so if you bought in before they peaked then now's your time to sell. Doug basically graphed this exact situation out with Survival of the Fittest. In that case the risk of banning equates to our risk of High Tide losing playability, and the chance of it not being banned and how much higher the price could climb.

      The fact there (and here) is that the potential benefit to selling now (deck loses playability and drops price) outweighs the benefits of holding onto it (deck is still good and price rises). In other words, the potential gain from holding onto it is not as great as the potential loss from holding onto it.

      As the price has begun to plateau and fall a little of BLP, now is basically the best it's going to get in the short term, and if you hold onto them now you should be planning to do so for the next 5+ years, since the only growth potential they have left is just that of regular inflation, since they are never going to be more played than they are now.

  2. Death Shadow…just saying, if you want to talk about under the radar watch this bulk rare rise to 5+ there you go, my QS callshot hold me to it I already have a playset of Tezz on the line that it shows in the T8 of 3 major events (SCG PTQ Nats etc.) Now is still a fine time to get them, they have already jumped from .15~ to 1.00 in the past few weeks and they only get better the more people play exarch combo.

  3. The prediction tracker is a great idea. I had to go through all the articles and write card names down one at a time and annotate "buy/sell/trade" and values last weekend. It took a while and this will certainly help those of us who love this aspect of the game.

  4. @joshjmtg Yeah, I did. Thanks. I went back through and made sure to dfferentiate spike vs. Finance. One, because I actually will want to play some cards mentioned and, two, others I’ll just want to try and profit from.

  5. Prediction Tracker is what I have been looking for / trying and failing to create on my own for months. Have even thought about paying someone to create one for me in excel. Awesome to know that my insider $$ are already doing just that! *drools*

  6. I think there should also be a tracker for cards that can only get better as cards continue to get printed.

    Knight of the Reliquary: Lands
    Stoneforge Mystic: Equipment
    Trinket Mage: 1 Drop artifacts
    Natural Order: Green creatures

    This is mostly applicable to legacy, but it's something to keep in mind for the financial player.

  7. Hopefully everyone read past my announcement and listened to the pickup on Spellskite! Card went nuts at SCG: Orlando and looks like it's going to be a solid player for a while to come.

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