Insider: MTGO Automation and Analysis Week 1

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Editor's Note: In celebration of Quiet Speculation's new Insider writer, Kyle's first article is being released on the Free side. You will find his weekly MTGO Finance article every week on the Insider side. Learn more about Insider here. 


Hi everyone, my name is Kyle and I'm excited to start writing here on Quiet Speculation. In the real world I live in San Francisco, and work as a security engineer for a large software company. I have been a paying member of Quiet Speculation for 5 months now and I've really enjoyed interacting on the forums and learning from the other writers.

I have been playing Magic since Unlimited, and my favorite format by far is Vintage. I haven't gotten to play much since I sold my paper collection, but I am patiently looking forward to the release of the Power 9 online. Because I do not have any paper cards my primary focus will be Magic Online, but I'm hoping my articles will also be interesting to those who primarily focus on paper.

My Speculation Mission:

I joined Quiet Speculation because my fast approaching January wedding had taken a large portion of my disposable income away from my hobbies, and I wanted to find a way to make my Magic expertise reduce the cost of Magic, or possibly make it free. I've always been a financially-minded Magic player, so the shift has come pretty naturally.

My primary strategy had always been one of buying and holding, but as I started to speculate I wanted to take this further. However, even with the excellent advice and support of everyone in this community I found myself lacking confidence, and I made a few early mistakes. This got me thinking... at work I make a large number of risk based decisions, but I usually make these decisions with the support of some data source. If I could provide myself with some aggregated data that I could trust, maybe I could start analyzing the data and making better decisions, with more confidence.


This brings me to the stuff that I'm really looking forward to sharing. The internet has made a treasure trove of information available on every topic and Magic: the Gathering is no exception. Wizards of the Coast is kind enough to provide daily decklists from MTGO and it was in these decklists that I found the confidence I was looking for.

For the past 5 months I have been working continuously to build a mini data warehouse for for collecting and reporting on this kind of Magic Online data. Using a cloud based CRM platform, I gather, store, and sort MTGO data in an entirely automated fashion. At first I thought I might make a website similar to mtggoldfish, but then I found mtggoldfish and had to change my plans! I have refocused on a building a system capable of answering more specific and complicated questions that I might come up with, and so far I'm very happy with the results.

I have also been dabbling with a bot chain as a side project. After losing a small sum to some pricing inefficiences I integrated my bots with the previously described data warehouse and have been working on using the stored MTGO data to more accurately price cards, and make the bot more resistant to market manipulations.

My Articles:

Finally we can get to the point of all this: articles. I wanted to start off by giving you a taste of my motivations and interests so that you might have some idea of my perspective. I'm not an economist or an experienced speculator but I believe I have an interesting perspective that is worth sharing. In future articles I plan to describe in more detail the ways in which I've gone about some of the above projects, including mining data, reporting on it, and some of the ins and outs of botting that I have experienced.

This is not a technical website however, it is a speculation website, so my articles would not make much sense unless they were tied back to the realm of finance. To do so, I plan to use the various reports and analyses I've been making to provide secondary portions to every article. These are sections that I hope will interest all the speculators on this site, and provide them with the same confidence in speculation that they have been providing me.

Modern & Rotation:

If you have read this far, I think it is only fair to provide you with something financial. In the forums not too long ago I wrote the following article on which rotating cards would have eternal value:,4125.0.html

With so many targets on that list, I thought it might be interesting to combine the rotating cards with their modern brethren of the same rarity. From the following list, we can gather some context on absolute card popularity within the Modern format, and comparable prices (I am unsure when this article will be released but at the time of writing these prices were bot sell prices). Also, please note that lifetime in this context is 5 months, the total life of my collection activities.


Card Name Set Bot Sell Price Lifetime Winning Quantity Modern Quantity Last 7 Days Modern Quantity Previous 7 Days
Liliana of the Veil ISD 55.5 2028 136 224
Wurmcoil Engine SOM 9.4 1130 71 80
Voice of Resurgence DGM 35.25 1095 31 79
Mox Opal SOM 46.5 1027 60 104
Karn Liberated NPH 33.75 968 69 69
Batterskull NPH 23.25 680 41 50
Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells DKA 5.4 621 9 39
Ajani Vengeant ALA 27 603 23 36
Geist of Saint Traft ISD 16.6 587 8 25
Sphinx's Revelation RTR 34.75 501 34 41
Thrun, the Last Troll MBS 9.3 495 17 40
Linvala, Keeper of Silence ROE 18.7 467 13 26
Primeval Titan M12 15.458 423 4 19
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn ROE 10 378 17 32
Olivia Voldaren ISD 5.4 335 28 58
Eye of Ugin WWK 6.077 251 17 20
All Is Dust ROE 8.4 228 4 10
Thundermaw Hellkite M13 13.4 227 10 9
Past in Flames ISD 8.5 192 6 3
Bonfire of the Damned AVR 12 169 2 3
Domri Rade GTC 21 162 1 9
Gideon Jura ROE 5.133 161 9 16
Hero of Bladehold MBS 2.6 144 0 5
Garruk Relentless // Garruk, the Veil-Cursed ISD 7.6 142 1 5
Sigarda, Host of Herons AVR 5.7 117 0 4
Disciple of Griselbrand AVR 0.09 108 0 8
Sword of War and Peace NPH 9 105 5 15
Chandra, Pyromaster M14 17.582 89 33 48
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre ROE 9.75 80 5 7
Inferno Titan M12 2.301 71 3 0


MTGO Card: Card Name Set Supernova Sell Price Current Lifetime Winning Quantity - Modern Modern Quantity Last 7 Days Modern Quantity Previous 7 Days
Misty Rainforest ZEN 24 4600 143 246
Verdant Catacombs ZEN 22 4296 208 353
Scalding Tarn ZEN 26 4072 149 235
Deathrite Shaman RTR 4.65 3597 189 309
Spellskite NPH 12.9 3069 135 186
Thoughtseize LRW 18.998 2733 130 264
Snapcaster Mage ISD 5.3 2733 107 175
Tarmogoyf FUT 82 2679 173 269
Arid Mesa ZEN 16.3 2650 102 171
Steam Vents GPT 3.5 2602 104 128
Marsh Flats ZEN 13 2573 145 237
Stomping Ground GPT 3.55 2129 80 120
Blackcleave Cliffs SOM 1.829 2065 113 208
Dark Confidant RAV 28.5 2052 140 236
Abrupt Decay RTR 2.05 1913 76 131
Cryptic Command LRW 16.8 1849 96 123
Stony Silence ISD 0.16 1815 91 149
Birds of Paradise RAV 0.5 1750 36 88
Overgrown Tomb RAV 4 1725 76 125
Birthing Pod NPH 8.75 1606 36 80
Celestial Colonnade WWK 11.4 1527 86 109
Razorverge Thicket SOM 1.55 1472 35 103
Sulfur Falls ISD 0.82 1471 67 72
Temple Garden RAV 3.7 1296 36 97
Blinkmoth Nexus MBS 4.35 1190 53 99
Vendilion Clique MOR 37.75 1172 50 90
Grafdigger's Cage DKA 0.86 1159 42 86
Hallowed Fountain DIS 3.85 1144 57 82
Grove of the Burnwillows FUT 36.285 1068 59 72
Chord of Calling RAV 12.3 1058 21 43

If you prefer, the above tables are reproduced here as a google doc.

Here are my takeaways from the preceding lists, but please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments:

  • Liliana of the Veil is currently the most played mythic in the modern format, and also the most expensive. I like most have been waiting for a significant reduction in price on rotation, but this report serves as a great reminder to me that this dark lady will be a buy for me at almost any price, even if I only acquire a playset.
  • Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells keeps looking better and better as a speculation target. 7th place is a much higher slot than I expected for a $5 mythic and as a creature this card will probably continue to find it's place in the Domri Rade decks that have been getting so much attention.
  • Olivia Voldaren may not have the lifetime numbers of the previous 2, but recently she's been seeing a lot of action. I think she will be the 3rd and final entrant into my mythic rotation portfolio.
  • Snapcaster Mage is the best rotation rare in the top 30 modern rares, coming in at #7. Looking at the comparative prices in the region, I think this card could certainly climb to $10 or more during the next big Modern push. I will be buying a good number of these, especially if the prices goes lower.

Hopefully that gives you an expectation of what you will find in my future articles, and I look forward to your feedback and thoughts!

15 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Automation and Analysis Week 1

    1. Same here. Great perspective – I’m more of a numbers person than someone else that has a “feeling” a card will go up in price/value (although intuition is not to be ignored).

  1. As someone who only delves in the paper realm, I still find this data very interesting as a lot of MTGO deck ideas make it into the paper world as well. So while prices may very drastically (I wish I could get Deathrites in real life at $5) the amount of play the cards see should somewhat mirror the cardboard world.

    1. I have seen cards spike on mtgo within hours, at all times of day. It seems that these fluctuations are frequently followed by changes to paper versions. All these data mines can be used to compare to paper.

  2. I’m not clear on what the various Quantity columns mean. Are those the # of times that those cards are used in decks in modern, based on the decklists that Wizards allows us to see?

    1. Good point. I clarified this in my article on the forums, but if you haven’t/aren’t able to read that this data is taken from the decks wizards makes available. It also represents the number of copies of that card within the given timeframe (lifetime being about 4 months at this point).

  3. Liked it. Would have paid. Gotta ask though are you sure your information is accurate. I mean you have griselbrand at .009.

    One more question, Are the bot sell prices listed the average over this period of time? has current averages and they seem off.

    Thanks for the great article. I look forward to reading more.

    1. Not sure what happened with Griselbrand, I might have cut something off when I moved from excel to html for the article. The prices are pulled from Mtgo Library + Supernova…. they aren’t the average but the price at the moment I draft the article!

  4. Sorry I’m so late, I missed the article, since it showed on the free side. This is GREAT stuff, awesome writing! Keep it up man, this brings a lot to the QS MTGO community 🙂

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