This week, WoTC via Worth Wollpert announced the probable return of both Daily Events (DEs) and Premier Events (PEs) after the downtime on December the 11th. You can read the announcement on the mothership here.
This was welcome news to grinders, fans of DEs, and patient speculators. Although market disruptions can bring opportunities for quick flips, the much easier (albeit slower) strategies rely on a stable-to-growing game, which is where I like to allocate my capital.
We don't know at this point what queues will be leaving, but I expect things to return to approximately what we had before the suspension. This means no Legacy or Pauper 8-man queues and the removal of the 6-booster THS sealed queues. I'll consider what the return to normalcy means for my portfolio in the coming months.
These have been drifting down in price since DEs were suspended. This was partly due to Two Ticket Tuesdays being offered on demand, but mostly to a lack of demand for M14 Limited play. Without M14 sealed events to absorb supply of boosters, combined with the continuing interest and popularity of Theros (THS) Limited, there has been no strong push into M14 as a limited format.
The return of DEs should spark some demand for M14 boosters, supporting booster prices going forward. Interest in M14 Limited will level off in advance of release events for Born of the Gods (BOG), so the selling window for these will be the last two weeks of December into the first two weeks of January.
Once BOG hits, there will be renewed interest in THS-based draft so it's not advisable to be holding M14 boosters beyond the end of January.
My original price target for these was 3.5 tix or so, with some thought given to the potential for higher prices. Recent events have forced me to downgrade my expectations and I am now looking for these to reach 3.3 to 3.4 tix before I start selling.
I will continue to reassess the situation as we get closer to the end of December, but keep in mind both the selling window and the target selling price. Deciding when to sell depends on both of these factors, with the time element becoming more important the close we get to BOG release events.
As a whole, these have been rather disappointing. The strong awareness of the financial community around these cards reduced upside by raising the price bottom last year. Next, they have suffered as a speculative strategy due to the push that monocolour decks got from M14 and THS.
I've sold some of my stock, especially ones that reached prices close to or above 4 tix, such as Sacred Foundry and Godless Shrine. I will look to sell the rest after the release of BOG and the ensuing shakeup of Standard.
In the past twelve months of Standard, the pendulum has swung from three-colour as the norm to the recent rise of monocolour devotion decks. The rumor of multicolour demigods showing up in BOG implies that we'll see another swing in the pendulum, away from monocolour strategies and back towards two- and three-colour decks.
February and March will be the best time to catch this shift, and I will be sure to sell down all of my remaining shocklands in that time frame.
Originally I had pegged THS boosters as the perfect vehicle to move profits from M14 boosters into. The normal pattern was for the price of THS boosters to come down over time due to the prizes awarded from DEs. After BOG is released, DE prizes would switch to awarding BOG boosters. But with two boosters of THS needed to draft, prices would eventually rise as supply dwindles.
The suspension of daily events disrupted this plan. Prices on THS booster have remained high, and are only starting to come down in the last week. If the suspension of DEs had continued, it was looking like there would be no speculating on boosters this winter.
However, things are looking up with the probable return of DEs in December. In order for this trade to work out, prices have to dip low enough, so look to buy THS boosters in the 3.1 tix range or less.
There will be an absolute price bottom during BOG prerelease events as tix come into high demand. This means the buying window will begin in January and end once BOG release events wrap up.
Down the road, THS boosters should get back into the 3.5 to 3.7 tix range. Although speculating on M14 boosters might turn out to be more marginal than anticipated due to recent events, THS boosters should follow historical patterns if DEs and PEs return as expected.
Prices took a dip in recent weeks, but have showed signs of recovering. The return of DEs and PEs is a good sign for Modern cards in the short run. In the medium term though, WoTC did not confirm whether or not PTQs and larger events will return to MTGO in time for Modern season. As it stands, they are doubtful that PTQs will return in time for Standard season in January.
I think the lack of PTQs removes some upside on Modern cards in general, but not enough to deter speculating on staples. If you've been paying attention to the Single Card Discussion forum, we're seeing lots of action recently on paper Modern staples, especially those from Scars of Mirrodin block which have just gone offline for redemption. It looks like the paper market is moving in anticipation of Modern season in the Spring.
In terms of MTGO, history suggests there will be a period of price weakness during BOG release events, so don't fret if you haven't begun establishing positions in Modern staples. There will be one last good opportunity before we start seeing the in-season premium on Modern cards.
Don't get too fancy here though and stick to the basics and cards that are not in Standard.