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Insider: Advice for Modern Investing Post-GP Las Vegas

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Today I ordered ten Modern Master's cards from a vendor on TCGPlayer for $39.97 that buylist at $42.31. Generally I write articles that have actionable advice, but with this article I can only offer you this advice: use TCG's new seller policy to your advantage. After Star City Games' Las Vegas event I expect more individual sellers will list Modern Masters (MM) cards on TCG for below buylist pricing. I am also confident that individual sellers are listing non MM cards today on TCG equal to or under buylist pricing. While an influx of MMs cards might temporarily have a negative impact on current buylist pricing, I don't think that negative impact will be long-lived.

Perhaps more to the point, I have nearly a 6% cushion to buylist today. The reasons for loving market inefficiencies like this should be obvious, but just in case: remain liquid by acquiring cards at their liquidation value or less, reduce opportunity costs with this liquidity, and build up a trade inventory while showing a profit (assets greater than liabilities). One useful tidbit: check every seller's listing if you find a single card below buylist from them. All my purchases today came from a single seller.

Modern cards remain my favorite singles to acquire in this fashion at least until the next Modern season is in full swing, although occasionally EDH cards pop up under buylist on TCG - right now Coffin Queen is selling for a little over 13% of buylist.

If you want to invest in Standard at equal to or less than buylist, Ebay looks like your best bet. Occasionally an off hours auction ends for Steam Vents at <$4.50 or (foil) <$15 each. TCG remaining price efficient in Standard likely reflects a larger player base, meaning deals are snapped up more quickly. Rather than trying to get lucky sniping individual sellers of Standard cards on TCG and assuming Core sets remain under-drafted, buying boxes of M14 looks like the play as Scavenging Ooze is bonkers as a rare. I'd consider a reprint of Thoughtseize icing on the cake.

"I have a bunch of Modern stuff, now what?"

Hold them unless you are trading into Shocklands today or ((crossing fingers)) picking up Snapecaster Mage, Liliana of the Veil, and Cavern of Souls post rotation on the cheap. You are looking to trade into more Modern until that format is in full swing. Let Wizards and SSG do the heavy lifting of supporting and promoting the format while you trade sideways. Using inefficient TCG pricing, you'll have plenty of opportunity to trade up in terms of buylists while offering trade partners equal TCG value.

The catalysts for Modern specs are real easy to spot. Picking up cards late this month as supply from Las Vegas hits the market to sell into September Grand Prix events is a reasonable investment horizon that offers some wiggle room thanks to an October Modern Grand Prix event. Shocklands should rise with the rest of your Modern speculations as they'll likely be the backbone of many mana bases in the format along side Mirrodin Fastlands. Unloading Shocks while they see play in Standard and Modern could help push RTR and GTC reprints to RAV/DIS price levels.

With multiple vendors offering NM copies of Mind Funeral  for sale at less than $2 while a major vendor is still looking for 72 copies at that price the bargain hunting has just begun (hooray, actionable advice!). Don't limit yourself to the easy tools, and don't limit yourself to Modern Masters chase cards. It's very likely uncommons and commons will offer the most volatility in pricing and present the nimble speculator with the most opportunity for profit over the next couple of weeks.

mathieu malecot

Mathieu is a daily trader of options/stocks, selling both bearish and bullish options. Lead wrangler of "The Kitten Ranch", as in lives and works at home with two annoying and cute (annoyingly cute?) cats. Ranch motto: "Always Feline Awesome". Playing magic since beta/ high school. Casual player and regular participant in FNM drafts.

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11 thoughts on “Insider: Advice for Modern Investing Post-GP Las Vegas

  1. Hello, nice article! What exactly do you mean with “uncommons and commons will offer the most volatility in pricing” and how to take advantage of that exactly?

    1. i mean that cards like empty the warrens foil, mind funeral (both nonfoil and foil) are the more likely to be had for less than buylist. playable common foils are very good pickups, cards with new art are great targets too.

      this makes grapeshot/ empty the warrens pretty exciting as they are both playable and have new art and more likely to be mispriced by the market than say goyf or confidant.

  2. Nice article, simple and right to the subject.

    “Hold them unless you are trading into Shocklands today or ((crossing fingers)) picking up Snapecaster Mage, Liliana of the Veil, and Cavern of Souls post rotation on the cheap”

    You nailed my post rotation targets, congrats :D. However, regarding the Liliana of the veil I am a little more moderate.. since I feel that maybe sooner than later we will see a reprint of it.

    1. could be. i like the card at 20$ no matter what the future holds. meanwhile i just trade into them with fodder.

      yes, a land that keeps things from being countered and gives colored mana is a post rotation target merfolk and goblins at least run this.

      1. I do not see liliana at 20 post-rotation… But if that happens i completly agree :). Now…for reference, one other post-rotation target that is being discussed in the foruns and i have been missing, is grislebrand. It plays in legacy is playable in modern and it even has edh appeal.

        1. i like the card, but iona.

          until i am convinced this card will be played regularly in decks that aim to primarily hardcast it (sounds crazy but crypt gast) in those formats… i dunno. if you think it’s top 3 reanimator target then go for it.

          it will def get cheap post rotation and from a risk/reward i’d like cheap foils. i like it more than Avacyn and she’s an angel for example.

  3. Another good article and I wholeheartedly agree with your pickups. I too believe that while Liliana will drop a little post rotation, the fact that she rotates when people will start picking up cards for the upcoming modern season implies the drop will be minimal and the window of oppurtunity will be short.

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