Modern, Modern and Modern again. Thanks to Modern, and after only five months, I have doubled the value of my account!
Similarly to January, my Modern specs played a big role in boosting my bankroll in May. So no surprise today, I’ll discuss Modern specs. Modern positions are the bread and butter of speculators on MTGO and a big chunk of your bankroll should be dedicated to such positions.
The unlocked article from the Nine Months of Portfolio Management Series this month is Part 6–Standard Rotation Opportunities. Standard rotation and the subsequent price decreases start quite early on MTGO, as early as May.
Unlike paper Magic this trend is merciless with digital cards. Standard staples that once were over 15 Tix can plunge as low as 0.3 Tix. But it’s also a great opportunity to invest into several positions with an almost guaranteed positive outcome.
Before we begin May’s report, be sure to check out the following links (if you haven’t already):
- 1 Year, 100 Tix–How Far Can you Go? (to start from the beginning of this project)
Doubling Up: +46.4% in May, +139% Since January
In January, my Modern picks jump-started the project with an explosive +54% increase. After a subdued month of April almost everything went up in May, especially my Modern positions.
Old positions, new positions, all have increased by about 50% within few weeks and greatly benefited the account. Here is the graph of the progression.
Summary of May’s Specs
Anticipating or reacting to the Modern Masters 2015 reprint list, all my new acquisitions with the exception of Soul of Shandalar in May were in Modern. There’s nothing extraordinary here as pretty much any non-reprinted and playable Modern cards went up this past month.
But there is nothing more efficient. Speculations on MTGO, and especially with Modern positions, is very often a game of buying known good cards when everybody else is looking elsewhere (looking at Dragons of Tarkir for instance), and selling when everybody wants them.
I was also pleased to see my Pauper positions recovering from their dip at the end of April. I sold Mental Note during nice price recovery that is actually still going on–I didn’t want to miss this opportunity this time around. While Flame Slash hasn’t moved from its floor yet, I’m still holding on Innocent Blood and Moment’s Peace as they have more potential in my opinion.
Lastly, I also performed two other short sells in May. In addition to short-selling Jeskai Ascendancy between April 28th and May 1st with a net +2.65 Tix profit I also short-sold Narset, Enlightened Master and Surrak Dragonclaw. This time around profits were not as great with +0.42 Tix for Narset and -0.09 Tix for Surrak.
There’s a lot to say about short-selling on MTGO and with Magic cards in general. Although the concept is nothing new for the finance world this is a speculating move that has long been considered an impossible fantasy with Magic finance. The process is simple: I borrowed the cards, sold them and bought them back cashing in the difference.
To be totally transparent, I borrowed the card from my main account, and to be totally fair I also applied fees to these transactions (2% of the value of the cards when borrowed and per week until given back). These fees would apply to anyone willing to borrow cards from my main account, so anyone can replicate the specs done with my “100 Tix 1 year” account.
I’m currently working on a detailed article about short-selling on MTGO. This article is likely to be two- or three-part series for QS Insiders, so be on the lookout for it.
A Modern World
Modern is by far the best place to speculate on MTGO. With literally hundreds of different speculative targets to chose from and high price variations Modern can generate a consistent stream of Tix for small and big bankrolls.
The strength of Modern positions is that they are cyclical. When the interest for Modern is limited (during Standard PTs, new set releases, etc…) prices are low. And when Modern again becomes the center of players’ attention (Modern PTs, Modern MOCS or PTQ season) prices sharply rise. Even in between these identifiable seasons a lot of cards simply fluctuate up and down in a very predictable way.
Unlike the Standard metagame, the Modern metagame is very stable and any card that has been good and pricey will be good and pricey again. Only bans have a definitive negative impact on the prices of Modern cards.
In March and April, and after the little boost produced by the Modern Pro Tour Fate Reforged, prices all across the Modern format started to tank. The attention and Tix from players were shifting to Standard again with the release of Dragons of Tarkir. In addition, the fear of reprints in Modern Masters 2015 (whose list was unknown at the time) pushed for further price drops–a perfect buying opportunity for Modern specs.
When the list of MM2015 was spoiled, non-reprinted cards soared, many increasing by 50% or more in a week or so. On the day the list was spoiled, Matt Lewis and I put together two special MTGO Market Reports discussing Mythics, and Rare, Uncommons and Commons that constituted several of the best speculative targets at that moment.
When big announcements like the MM2015 list are made it doesn’t take long before prices start moving. These two reports certainly helped QS insiders with their MTGO Modern speculations.
Between May 8th (when we made our buying recommendations) and Wednesday June 3rd, the 32 recommendations we made were up by an average of 67.4%. We have already recommended selling six of these positions, Slippery Bogle, Pyromancer Ascension, Gitaxian Probe, Fauna Shaman, Path to Exile and Serum Visions, which were up by an average of 149%.
Next month I will be half way through this project. With an additional push from my Modern positions the account should be over 250 Tix by then. We will also reveal the person who guessed the closest for the six first months contest.
Thank you for reading and following!