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 16th, 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
All the sets from Theros (THS) block show price gains this week on MTGO, following a more general trend of interest shifting away from Standard and Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) Limited.
Modern and Legacy staples are starting to see some price strength, and the usual suspects from THS block have all participated in this trend. Thoughtseize, Courser of Kruphix, Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Keranos, God of Storms and Eidolon of the Great Revel are all safely above their BFZ release event lows of October.
Don't look for big gains on these cards this winter, as the available supply will mute gains. It usually takes up to a year for rotating cards to see a significantly higher price peak, although the cards from Journey Into Nyx (JOU) look like they will buck this trend based on current prices.
Tarkir Block & Magic Origins
Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) has seen an interesting transition of value between cards in recent weeks. Cards soaking up value include Dragonlord Ojutai, Dragonlord Atarka and Dragonlord Silumgar, while the cards on the wane are Deathmist Raptor and Kolaghan's Command.
Similarly, Anafenza, the Foremost and Wingmate Roc from Khans of Tarkir (KTK) have gradually moved higher over the past few weeks. With the fetch lands being relatively unchanged in price, most of this value has flowed from the other KTK mythic rares, as they see little play in Standard. Even Sorin, Solemn Visitor has headed below 9 tix.
The big gainer out of the Tarkir block sets this week was Fate Reforged (FRF), up 4% on MTGO and up sharply in paper as well.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon has held firm above 15 tix and Warden of the First Tree continues as a staple of Standard Abzan builds. Monastery Mentor, for its part, is getting attention from Legacy aficionados in the wake of Grand Prix Seattle-Tacoma and in advance of the Legacy MOCS in early December.
The sharp increase in paper prices this week suggests redeemers will be looking to transition digital sets of FRF into paper. Look for a further strengthening of prices on MTGO for this set. It's unusual for small sets to see much redemption, but the current spread of $30 between digital and paper prices is large enough to attract some demand from redeemers.
Magic Origins (ORI) did not escape the consolidation trend as Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, the most expensive card in Standard, went higher this week and again broke 70 tix. Elsewhere, despite Hangarback Walker being the most played card in Standard, it's price declined 30%.
Although it's easy to attribute the high price of Jace to the scarcity of a mythic rare from a core set, that same logic cannot explain the drop on Hangarback. I suspect the dip is temporary and related to a wave of speculative selling. Look for a rebound in price as the market digests this fresh supply.
Battle for Zendikar
As Ryan Overturf posited last week, Drana, Liberator of Malakir could benefit greatly from the rotation of KTK and FRF out of Standard. Three factors may favor the BFZ mythic: the departure of Mantis Rider, the probable worsening of mana bases leading to decks focused on a single colour, and the expectation that Shadows Over Innistrad will feature vampires as a tribe.
Each of these factors will support the adoption of Drana in Spring Standard. It's impossible to predict whether that will come to pass or not, but it's worth making a note of the card's potential.[tt n="Drana, Liberator of Malakir" a=5]
Elsewhere in Battle for Zendikar, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is following the broader trend and slowly approaching the 20 tix level. By the time January rolls around, this card will be below that level.
Gideon is a pillar of Standard and will continue to be played after KTK and FRF rotate. Players who have held off of buying their playset should pencil in Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) release events as an opportune time to purchase this card.
Modern prices continue to trend up this week, which is expected to last for the next two months and reach a summit by Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch in February. Many prices have already rebounded from their low point about a month ago.
Some positions, such as Through the Breach and Oblivion Stone, are edging closer and closer to their previous record highs. While selling such positions would be reasonable, the price pressure is certainly upward at this point.[tt n="Through the Breach" a=5]
Despite the general trend, a few Modern positions out there haven’t regained the value lost earlier this past Summer, which may represent opportunities for speculators.
For instance, Eternal Witness has been lingering around 1.5 Tix since last August, after hitting 4 Tix during the release of MM2. Path to Exile, another Modern staple not reprinted in MM2, is following the same pattern. It's priced relatively low compared to its previous high.
Sundering Titan and Vengevine are two other examples of positions only priced at a fraction of their worth in the past. Modern speculation is a matter of cycles, and sooner or later, absent a reprint, prices are bound to come up again.
Following up on our comments about Return to Ravnica block, some mythics from this block have crashed in the wake of the end of redemption for these sets. Worldspine Wurm, Borborygmos Enraged and Enter the Infinite perfectly illustrate the trend.
The two creatures have a chance of bouncing back due to their playability in the Grishoalbrand deck. Enter the Infinite, on the other hand, only has limited applications in Legacy.
The blue sorcery might well venture sub-0.5 Tix before rebounding, now that redemption doesn’t support its price anymore. It may take months or even years for this Gatecrash mythic to see a price tag of 4 Tix or more again. Despite this, Enter the Infinite may be an interesting target worth the wait for patient speculators.
Legacy & Vintage
Legacy Preliminaries for MOCS Season 12 are only two weeks away. Although not every Legacy staple has followed the same trend, many have substantially ramped up over the past weeks.
Our recommendation is to hold onto Legacy positions until next week, when we believe the bulk of the Legacy demand will be about to peak.
Another reason for selling next week is the coming Power Nine Challenge, taking place Saturday, November 28th. If the second round of this large monthly Vintage event is as popular as the first one, Vintage-playable Legacy staples will benefit from the heightened demand. These include Deathrite, Force of Will and duals.