Insider: Pro Tour Prep

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

This time of the year can be one of the most profitable ones. The Pro Tour usually causes some big price spikes, and the Standard Pro Tour even more so.

Oh yea, before we go any farther, let’s talk about Boros Reckoner.

Sell now.

I called this card in my set review a few weeks back when it was $4, and I hope you made moves on it like I did. I picked up several at the prerelease and made money trading them off when they hit $15. Since then it’s gone even more crazy and is pushing $25, which is nuts.

So I’ll repeat: Sell now. No rare in the post-mythic era from a reasonably-opened set has sustained $25+ for more than a month or two, including things like Stoneforge Mystic and Snapcaster Mage. Reckoner sees no play outside of Standard, and though it may go up a little more in the short-term if it has a good Pro Tour, you’re much better off selling now. I see this dropping back to $10-15 in a few months.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk about how you’re going to handle this Pro Tour. There’s going to be hype flying all around, and things like Domri Rade and Gyre Sage are already starting to warm up.

I’ll talk about those two cards, but first I want to talk in more general terms about the Pro Tour and speculating.

A Year Ago

At this time last year I received a tip that Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells was going to be a hot card at the Pro Tour, and I shared it with Insiders here.

But even armed with that knowledge, I didn’t go out and buy them all on Thursday. Instead, I waited to see if it put up some results first. When it was doing well on Friday afternoon, I made the move on the card and profited a week later when it spiked to $30.

The lesson from this? It takes more than hype to make me confident on moving a card. Sure, maybe that means I’ll make slightly less money than if I was the very first to get in, but it also limits my risk.

Remember Nivmagus Elemental? The card received all kinds of hype early in the tournament and sold out in a matter of hours. Except then it didn’t put up any results, and people who moved on the card got burned badly.

That’s the danger of moving on a card too early. There’s a sweet spot where you can still make money, and while it may not be the absolute most, it will be much less risky.

This Year

Let’s start with Gyre Sage. This is the card I’m most excited about, as you’ll be able to get in on these for $2 apiece right now if you really want to buy in cash. And if the deck performs well, you’re going to make money at that price.

Another option is to see how it does on Friday. Chances are it’s not going to spike just from Friday, allowing you to stock up for some at FNM if you’d rather go about it that way. Personally I’m not buying in for cash, but that’s not because I don’t think it’s a pretty good spec right now. I’m just at a point in my life where I’m already tied up in some cards, and tossing in the fact that my wife and I just moved into our new house and are up to our chest in boxes to unpack I’m just not sure I have the time to worry about tying up more money in cards.

On a small tangent, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break like this if you get to a point where it feels necessary. I made some moves on Reckoner after I called it and did well, and with everything else going on right now I’m happy to stand pat for the moment.

So my plan is to pick up a few at FNM to have a position in the card if it takes off, but I’m also not risking too much if it doesn’t.

Now let’s talk about Domri Rade, and why I actually think Sage may be a better buy. You can get in on Domri now at $20 or so, and if it has a good weekend I think it would spike to $50 or so, whereas Sage will likely go from $2 to $8-10 ala Wolfir Silverheart a few months back.

So let’s break that down. Right now you can buylist Domri at $15 or so, and Sage at basically nothing. If Domri jumps to $50, you’re likely to cash out for around $35, netting you $20 a card, or a 125 percent or so increase. Definitely good.

Imagine instead of investing $80 in a playset Domris, you put it in Sages. They hit $8-10 retail, and you’ll be able to get $5-6 “on the outs” (either buylist or eBay after fees). So with Domri, we turn our playset at $80 into $140.

With Sage, on the other hand, we turn 40 Sages into $6, or $240 on the outs.

Using this math, you see why it’s sometimes better to go for cheaper cards. Of course, there are plenty of cons to this, since if the card flops you’re left with practically nothing, whereas Domri will always be good trade fodder since it’s a planeswalker and unlikely to be irrelevant. So while Sage may pay more off if it hits, Domri is safer if they both miss.

This is another example of the layers beyond the simple “speculate on good cards” that many people think it is, and understanding and weighing these options when making a decision for yourself is vital to being successful.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

14 thoughts on “Insider: Pro Tour Prep

  1. I had two Domris and two Sages in my trade binder and decided to pull them out and see what happens in the next couple of weeks. I definitely wouldn’t mind Domri hitting $40 or $50 which would prompt me to try to trade all 6 of mine away. And if Sage were to hit $8 I wouldn’t hesitate to move mine out. It is about time something other than Reckoner spikes in the new set.

  2. I bought 10 Sages and just 1 Domri for similar reasoning to what you provided. Also, if Domri is a bust I risk losing much more than I do on Sage, which isn’t likely to get much cheaper.

    What else do you have your eye on going into this weekend? If RDW dominates, can we finally see Ash Zealot take off? What about if an Esper control deck rises to the top – finally a chance for Angel of Serenity to shine again?

    1. I think the format is still too fast for Angel of Serenity, though I do like her as a pickup for rotation. I’m hoping RDW dominates as well, I’m sitting on 24 Ash Zealots right now and would much prefer to out them higher than $3 each.

      1. I have a ton of Ash Zealots, Stromkirk Nobles and Champion of the Parishes. I’m disappointed their price hasn’t moved too much in the last few weeks, but if anything’s going to make that happen it’s this weekend.

  3. What you don’t comment on, though, is how difficult it can be to unload $240 worth of Gyre Sages versus $140 of Domri Rades. If Sage spikes, everyone will be selling shortly thereafter, causing a pullback and making it difficult to sell all 40 of them, whereas it will be much easier to sell a playset of Domri. Right?

      1. Correct, but if we’re talking buylists then it’s easier to handle. If your out is trading or selling locally it’s much more difficult. When I go for these I usually out on Ebay or to a buylist that doesn’t have much of a limit on number being bought.

  4. I think 50 is excessively high corbin. 35 seems a more reasonable goal even as a break out card, especially since you referenced Huntmaster in your arguement. I agree that Domri has potential, but even on the short term 50 seems like dreaming big. Although, 25 on Reckoner is the stuff of myths as well, so maybe with how low valued this set is right now there is more potential for huge spikes than with a normal set.

    Do you think that is the case? Does this set create the opportunity for more large spikes in price?

    1. And how much of an effect will the new redemption fees have on the long term prices of the singles in Gatecrash? Maybe $50 isn’t unreal for Domri if it is actually good (still not sure about that).

    2. I mean, Liliana hit $70 shortly after its release and new Jace hit $50 as well, so $50 on a spike isn’t out of the question I think. Obviously $35 would be a more sustainable price after the first week or two though.

      1. The Lily spike was primarily driven by the short window between release and States (think it was 1-2 weeks?), along with the ubiquitous thought that the Solar Flare style decks would be immediately format breaking. IIRC it tanked almost immediately after States.

        No Supply and tremendous Spike-driven demand = BOOM

        Side note, she is why I buy cases of the set released just before States, and sell pretty much everything I can in the run-up. Or did. With RTR, it wasn’t quite worth the time and effort spent in cracking / sorting two cases, then listing everything on eBay / etc. Maybe this gets easier with TCGPlayer selling now being a thing, but the time is still a massive sink for just a few hundred dollars.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.

Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.

Quiet Speculation