This weekend will be the last big push for release events, after which player demand for tix will drop off. Instead of dumping any and all mythics and rares to the bots, drafters will start holding onto the odd card. They might even start thinking about playing Constructed as the high payout release events finish. On top of this, redemption for RtR is expected to start, which will upwardly bias the price of mythic rares. For more info on MTGO redemption and its impact on the digital Magic economy, see my previous article.
The novel block structure of the new Ravnica will impact availability of cards. In an ordinary block year, say with a large-small-small set structure, the first set is opened throughout the year in limited play. This would lead to the bottoming of junk mythic prices around third set release events, as that is the last big supply push from the Fall set.
This year there is an unprecedented new block structure of large-large-small, meaning a gap in opening RtR after the release of Gatecrash but before the release of 'Sinker', the as-of-yet unnamed third set. RtR junk mythics will be less available during this gap, so they should support higher price floors than past blocks' junk mythics.
On top of this, the presence of the shocklands means that demand from redeemers should be high. This presents a good motivation for buying RtR junk mythics while they are cheap, which generally coincides with release events. (Below are also presented my thoughts on purchasing the other mythic rares.)
If you are curious as to why I'm not considering any of the normal rares such as Lotleth Troll or Steam Vents, it is because the economics of MTGO do not favor buying these right now. There will be good opportunities to speculate on these down the road, but for now the mythic rares are the place to park your speculative capital.
The Rating System
Each mythic is followed by the current price and a rating, either Good Value, Fully Priced or Borderline. There are also two top picks presented, one for Top Junk Mythic Pick and another for Top Overall Pick.
- Good Value -- At current prices or in the given price range, this card is a buy and I expect it to see higher prices in the medium- to long-term. These cards are the best speculative targets from a value perspective. They might never make a splash in competitive constructed formats, but the risk of loss, if bought at the suggested prices, is very low.
- Fully Priced -- This is the other end of the spectrum, where downside risks are high. Fully Priced cards might maintain a high price, but further gains are doubtful. Do not buy these to speculate on at current prices.
- Borderline -- This is somewhere in the middle of the other two, with some possibility of moving up or down in price. For cards with this rating, further scrutiny is required beyond just the price. If you have a large amount of capital, buy some amount of these cards and scoop up more if the price falls.
All prices are taken from cardbotmtgo.com and are current as of October 25th, 2012.
The Guild Leaders
All the guild leaders have playable stats and abilities for their casting cost. Most are good buy opportunities as they will probably not get any cheaper. None of them have made a dent in Constructed yet, meaning they still have potential for large price increases from current levels.
Isperia, Supreme Judge: The Azorius guild leader has fallen close to junk levels but a 6/4 flier for six mana should not be discounted from Standard play. This is a buy at 1 ticket or less. 1.00 tix and Good Value.
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord: I've been buying this one at 1.3 to 1.8 tix and will gladly keep doing so. The possibility of a 'graveyard matters' deck emerging can't be ignored. 1.64 tix and Good Value.
Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius: This dragon has hovered around 2.5 tix during release events. It's a buy for 3 tix or less. 3.00 tix and Good Value.
Rakdos, Lord of Riots: This one has dipped below 2 tix. It has the most impressive natural stats compared to casting cost of any of the guild leaders and it's my best guess for the one most likely to impact Standard in the near future. 1.95 tix and Good Value.
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice: Among the guild leaders, this card has held the highest price, probably due to the appeal of the populate mechanic. Buy this one in the 2 to 3 tix range, but steer clear at higher prices. 3.82 tix and Borderline.
Angel of Serenity: One of the breakout mythics from RtR. Buy this one if you are looking to play Standard but otherwise look elsewhere for value. 16.86 tix and Fully Priced.
Armada Wurm: This card's restrictive casting cost limits what decks it can be played in. On top of that, it's not clear you even want this effect in Standard at the 6+cc slot. 8.08 tix and Fully Priced.
Necropolis Regent: I am a big advocate of this card as a speculative target. It's from a popular tribe, has stats and casting cost close to a titan, and can affect the board the turn it comes into play. Its current price indicates the market is treating it as a junk mythic with no other potential. This is incorrect as the card does have some small potential for constructed play. If you had to buy one junk mythic, but this one at prices up to 0.8 tix. 0.71 tix, Good Value and Top Junk Mythic Pick.
Utvara Hellkite: Large red dragons at the mythic rarity have a long history of ending up as junk mythics with value only to redeemers. It's worthwhile getting this at 0.4 tix and paying up to 0.6 tix is OK. 0.64 tix and Good Value.
Worldspine Wurm: The fact that this card cannot be reanimated removes one of the only ways it might have seen constructed play. This is a junk mythic with value only to redeemers. Worth getting at 0.4 tix, paying up to 0.6 tix is OK. 0.65 tix and Good Value.
Epic Experiment: Recent buzz on this card has driven up the price. I really liked this one at 2 tix or less, but at 3-5 tix, I'd be hesitant to buy without further evidence of it spawning a successful archetype. If it drops down to 1.5-3 tix over the coming months, put this back on the buy list. 3.38 tix and Borderline.
Rakdos's Return: At 6.5 tix it's not clear whether this card matters enough to Standard to hold its price. 6.98 tix and Borderline.
Sphinx's Revelation: This card looks like it will be a staple in control decks as a one- or two-of. This suggests it will carry a higher price floor than the other two x-spells. Buy this one in the 4-6 tix range. 6.48 tix and Good Value.
Jace, Architect of Thought: Buy this one if you are interested in playing it in Standard as it appears to be one of the top cards from RtR and should remain a part of the metagame for the next two years. In terms of value, look elsewhere. 28.86 tix and Fully Priced.
Vraska the Unseen: This planeswalker has seen little play in Standard as of yet but looks powerful in the abstract. A somewhat reasonable comparison could be made to Venser, the Sojourner as another 5cc, multi-coloured planeswalker whose name starts with the letter 'v'. Venser's floor, shown in this chart, suggests that Vraska will have a difficult time going below 6 tix. Based on this analysis, paying 6 to 7 tix for this card is a good bet with little downside risk. If I had to pick one card to speculate on out of all the RtR mythics, this would be it. 8.03 tix, Good Value and Top Overall Pick.
Avoid buying the Fully Priced mythics as speculative targets but keep your eyes on the Borderline ones. For any of the Good Value mythics presented here, one should be willing to buy and hold these cards for 12+ months. It's possible that they never break out in Constructed, but purchasing at current low prices ensures that risk is kept to a minimum. Any price spikes due to an uptick in Standard play should be taken as opportunities to sell. Otherwise, redemption will support the price of all junk or near-junk mythics moving forward.