[MTGO] 1 Year, 100 Tix – September Report

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Welcome back to the September report of the "100 Tix 1 Year" project. This report signals the beginning of the final stretch. With only three months left, the end of September marks the beginning of a new speculative phase focusing more on Standard specs.

This month the unlocked article from my Nine Months of Portfolio Management series is Part 9 – Quick Flips & Very Short Term Specs. This article discussed the potential of short-term specs based on hype and how to quickly generate Tix with minimal risks.

These quickflips, where a position is held for only a few days, can help small bankrolls grow rapidly. I've already used them with the 100 Tix, 1 Year bankroll to great success. If properly executed, the benefits are almost guaranteed and the risks are virtually nonexistent. Check the article out for more details!

More information about the 1 Year, 100 Tix project can be found here:

September Numbers

Not much happened this month concerning the value of the account. The value added in September comes to a grand total of +2 Tix. After the strong month of August which yielded +44%, this is an anemic +0.4%. Not all months are meant to be spectacular in the world of MTGO finance.

While little changed on the value front, the content of the account changed significantly over this period. I sold a good chunk of my Modern positions and invested in 19 Magic Origins (ORI) targets.

Summary of the Specs

Here is a snapshot of the account as of September 30th.

The picture here is quite different from August. Last month, out of 37 positions, 25 (69%) were Modern specs and 7 (19%) were Standard. This month, out of 43 positions, only 13 (30%) are Modern and 27 (63%) are now Standard. This marks a shift in my strategy for the last three months of the project, to capitalize on the rotation of Standard and the high speculative potential of core sets on MTGO.

I still hold several Modern positions though. My bet is that Splinter Twin, Noble Hierarch, Karn Liberated and company will gain additional value in the coming weeks.

I'm probably not done with Modern, as the rotation of Standard and the release of Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) will create some price drops in the format. These could be exploited in the three months I have left before the end of the year.

Exiting Magic Origins Positions

Core sets have always been interesting for speculators, as a large number of mythics and rares turn out profitable during their time in Standard. Between mid-August and mid-September, core set prices are at their lowest and almost any card with Constructed potential is likely to see a price increase at some point in the following year.

Core sets are large sets, drafted for only about ten weeks before the new Fall set kicks in, and in a well-established Standard environment with little room for new cards. Then Standard rotates and suddenly everything from the core set is in demand. With supply low and demand high, it doesn't take much for prices to start rising.

The other great speculative opportunity with core sets is the reprints. They are often underestimated but of great value. The vast majority of cards that were valuable in the past will be again in the future.

Mythics, rares, planeswalkers and lands are all good targets if they were Constructed-playable before.

This year with Magic Origins, the five painlands all have my attention. As you may have noticed, I put about 20 Tix in each painland, more than any other position I hold. Prices are still low as I write these lines; you may want to jump in if you haven't done so yet.

One Year of Profit...

In the unlocked articles of my Nine Months of Portfolio Management series dedicated to M14 mythics and rares, I discussed the impressive number of core set cards that turned out to be profitable during their year in Standard. In Closing M15 Positions – Another Great Ride With a Core Set I applied the same strategy with M15 mythics and rares.

Not only was the average return on my M15 positions very nice (circa 66% for mythics and 80% for rares) but a great number of them ended up positive. Almost everything went up sooner or later. With better timing and more patience, every single pick from M15 could have been positive.

Let's take the M15 rares as an example. Some, such as Hushwing Gryff, Goblin Rabblemaster, Battlefield Forge and Hornet Queen, went up early during Fall and Winter.

Others, including Caves of Koilos, Chord of Calling and Obelisk of Urd, spiked later in Spring and Summer.

The point here is to seize the opportunity when a spike occurs and be more patient with other positions. This almost guarantees successful speculation with core sets, unless you don't have the luxury of being able to wait until the next summer.

...Squeezed in Three Months

One year of patience is exactly the resource I don't have with the 100 Tix, 1 Year project. Rather, I only have three months left for my Magic Origins positions. Making the most of my 19 ORI positions between now and December 31st means jettisoning patience from the equation.

Most ORI prices will take off in the days and weeks following PT Battle for Zendikar and as MTGO drafters move from ORI to BFZ, thus limiting the flow of Magic Origins supply in the market. With the short window available to me, I'm more likely to sell even after a moderate spike. I won't wait to see if a price rise continues.

For losing positions or positions that are still flat in November, I will have to decide quickly what to do. Should I wait a few more weeks for a metagame change to boost flat positions? Or is it better to sell now to avoid risking additional loss?

Overall, my expectations will clearly be lower than if I had ten months in front of me. For ORI positions bought at 1 Tix or more I may be satisfied with a 50% increase, whereas otherwise I would try to double up. For bulk ORI positions, I'll be happy to sell them at 0.5 Tix while other speculators might wait for them to reach 1 Tix or more.

I may pull the trigger faster than usual here, but I'm still confident most of these positions will be profitable before the end of the year.

Thank you for following and reading!


Sylvain Lehoux

Sylvain started playing Mtg in 1998 and played at competitive level for more than 10 years including several GP and 3 PT. When he moved to Atlanta in 2010 for his job he sold all his cards and stopped "playing". In 2011 he turned to Mtg Online and he experimented whether it was possible to successfully speculate on this platform. Two years later and with the help of the QS community his experience has grown tremendously and investing on MTGO has proven to be greatly successful. He is now sharing the knowledge he acquired during his MTGO journey! @Lepongemagique on Twitter

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