Welcome to the MTGO Market Report as compiled by Sylvain Lehoux and Matthew Lewis. The report is loosely broken down into two perspectives.
A broader perspective will be written by Matthew and will focus on recent trends in set prices, taking into account how paper prices and MTGO prices interact. Sylvain will take a closer look at particular opportunities based on various factors such as (but not limited to) set releases, flashback drafts and banned/restricted announcements.
There will be some overlap between the two sections. As always, speculators should take into account their own budget, risk tolerance and current portfolio before taking on any recommended positions.
Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All prices are current as of November 9th, 2015. The TCG Low and TCG Mid prices are the sum of each set’s individual card prices on TCG Player, either the low price or the mid price respectively.
All MTGO set prices this week are taken from Goatbot’s website, and all weekly changes are now calculated relative to Goatbot’s ‘Full Set’ prices from the previous week. All monthly changes are also relative to the previous month prices, taken from Goatbot’s website at that time. Occasionally ‘Full Set’ prices are not available, and so estimated set prices are used instead.
Theros Block & M15
The set price of Theros (THS) is back plumbing the depths it reached just prior to the online release of Battle for Zendikar (BFZ). At this price level, selective purchases of mythic rares and Modern playables is warranted.
Speculators who have not built a position in THS should consider accumulating at these prices, though the continued downtrend in paper means there is no price support from redemption at this time.
Magic 2015 (M15) and Journey Into Nyx (JOU) saw continued price gains this week, pushing the early October bottoms further into the rear view mirror. Even Born of the Gods (BNG) got into the action this week, rising from the 15 tix level it sat at for most of the past month.
The next big signal to pay attention to for these sets is the bottoming in paper of M15 and THS. Once that occurs, price gains on these sets will be slow and steady.
Tarkir Block & Magic Origins
Cards from the Tarkir block sets see ups and downs week to week, but the overall trend on these sets is higher. The peak in Standard prices is usually reached between December and March, and there's no reason to expect these sets to act otherwise. Speculators should hold onto their cards until the market begs them to sell.
Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) and Magic Origins (ORI) have potential candidates for selling and then rebuying. Since these sets will continue to be Standard-legal until the Fall of 2016, the risk on buying into DTK and ORI singles is lower. A longer speculative window gives powerful cards a chance to find a favorable metagame.
Thunderbreak Regent is a good example. It has already seen a price spike to 8 tix but is now closer to 4 tix. Expect this card to take another run at 8 tix over the course of the next six months.
On the booster front, DTK has gotten back into the high 3 tix range, and is thus at a natural price ceiling. With boosters available for sale in the MTGO store for $4, secondary market boosters have a difficult time going much higher than 4 tix while "in print."
Both FRF and KTK boosters still have room to run, so hold onto these boosters until they get closer to 4 tix.
Battle for Zendikar
The newest set continues its downtrend, dropping 13% this week with no end in sight at the moment. For speculators, the decision is an easy one to avoid this set at the moment. Only junk rares and mythic rares priced at 0.01 tix and 0.4 tix or less, respectively, can be considered.
If a junk mythic rare gets featured in a Saffron Olive brew, like Part the Waterveil did yesterday, the short-term gains can be impressive. This card doubled overnight and was available for 0.4 tix or less for the second half of October.
The release of Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) in January will trigger a shift in the draft format from triple Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) to one booster of BFZ and two of OGW. This means speculators should look to OGW release events for the probable bottom on cards from BFZ. Accumulating tix in advance will ensure speculators can acquire cards from BFZ at a good price.
On top of that, BFZ boosters will be a low-risk speculative strategy to keep in mind for February. The switch from three BFZ boosters per draft to one will reduce the relative value of all BFZ boosters in player's collections and the price will drop as a result.
Savvy speculators should be confident that any BFZ booster priced at 3.5 tix or less will eventually rebound to 4 tix as the available supply of boosters gets consumed by drafters.
The only caveat is if prizes are somehow skewed to award significantly more BFZ than OGW, but the switch to prizes dominated by Play Points makes this a small possibility. Booster specs are a slow and grindy speculative strategy, but they have proven to be quite predictable since the switch to Play Points in August.
Modern prices are up. While the MM2 Total Set Price index has been steadily up for the past few weeks, the Modern Total Format Price index only rose by 1.6% between October 15th and last Wednesday (Nov 4th).
As of Monday, however, the same index had appreciated by 4% in less than a week. This doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a clear sign of the recent upward pressure on prices all across the Modern format.
For the first time since the release of MM2, both MMA and MM2 versions of Tarmogoyf nearly reached 60 Tix this past weekend. That's a 30% increase from the low 45 Tix found earlier this September.[tt n="Tarmogoyf" a=5]
An easy way to keep track of the recent moves is to sort through the Movers and Shakers and Modern Staples lists on Mtggoldfish.com. Among the top gainers this week are several Innistrad and Return to Ravnica block cards.
After a week of triple ISD flashback drafts, Geist of Saint Traft, Stony Silence and Past in Flames have gained a solid 20% in the past few days. Olivia Voldaren has even seen its price jump from 2.5 Tix to more than 5 Tix in a week or so.
The five ISD checklands also rebounded nicely from their floor reached during the Halloween event. These and other ISD positions should keep increasing in value as we head into Winter.
While Snapcaster Mage remained flat during the flashback event, its price has also bumped up by now. Although speculators should not expect the blue mage to double in value before 2016, it remains one of the strongest picks for speculative purposes.
November 2nd was the cutoff date for redemption of RTR, GTC and DGM, which means cards from that block are no longer supported by the digital-to-paper bridge. From a local high early this October, RTR block prices seemed to have found a floor last week.
Return to Ravnica block is full of Eternal staples, including the shocklands, Abrupt Decay, Voice of Resurgence, Deathrite Shaman and Rest in Peace. With an imminent need for Legacy staples for the Season 12 MOCS, and Modern interest that will crescendo for the weeks to come, this is the perfect opportunity for speculators to stock up on positions from this block.[tt n="Abrupt Decay" a=5]
Legacy & Vintage
GP Seattle was held this past weekend, featuring Legacy. The Day 2 metagame of the GP was fairly diverse, with all the major archetypes represented. Sultai (BUG) deck variants were the most present, followed by Miracles, Death and Taxes, Elves, Grixis Delver, Temur Delver and Lands.
Jarvis Yu took first place with Lands, one of the most expensive decks in Legacy. That high cost transfers to MTGO as well, mostly due to the requirement of a playset of Rishadan Ports and Wastelands.
Central to the Legacy powerhouse deck that is Miracles, Counterbalance has almost topped its previous peak from last Summer with a price tag above 15 Tix.
The absolute record high of 25 Tix could be reached again in a couple days during the Legacy MOCS preliminaries. The end of the month is expected to be the best selling window for speculators holding the blue enchantment, as well as other Legacy specs.
The last time Black Lotus was priced over 120 Tix was about six months ago. This price is likely to be reached again by the end of the week.
Similarly, the other P9 pieces finally find themselves on a durable upward trend, spanning the last month or so. With the next Power Nine Challenge scheduled on Saturday, November 28th, speculators should expect prices to keep climbing until then.[tt n="Black Lotus" a=5]
Despite the success of Lands this weekend, Crop Rotation is plunging from its 3 Tix height posted at the end of October.
As of yesterday, the price is under 2 Tix. After such an abrupt spike it's unsurprising to see the price correct itself, especially considering the relatively small demand from Legacy and Pauper players on MTGO.
Still in the “falling star” chapter, Mental Note has one more time reached its floor. It's now priced in the 0.3-0.5 Tix price range, with 1 Tix as a high fluctuation limit and 2 Tix as a record high. Angler Delver is surely not a very popular Pauper deck these days but the blue instant from Judgment may be worth a shot.
Finally, a note on the artifact lands from Mirrodin. The most played of these, Seat of the Synod, Great Furnace and Ancient Den, appear to fluctuate with enough variation for the careful Pauper speculator to take advantage of. This kind of recurrent fluctuation is what makes Modern so profitable--these should be no different.
Targeted Speculative Buying Opportunities
Targeted Speculative Selling Opportunities