Insider: MTGO Market Report for January 20th, 2016

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Welcome to the MTGO Market Report as compiled by Matthew Lewis. The report will cover a range of topics, including a summary of set prices and price changes for redeemable sets, a look at the major trends in various constructed formats, and a trade of the week section that highlights a particular speculative strategy with an example and accompanying explanation.

As always, speculators should take into account their own budget, risk tolerance and current portfolio before buying or selling any digital objects. Questions will be answered and can be sent via private message or posted in the article comments.


Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All  prices are current as of January 18th, 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.


Flashback Draft of the Week

The full, original Mirrodin block flashback drafts start today. With two weeks of Mirrodin boosters being cracked, the artifact lands like Seat of the Synod and Great Furnace can be found for substantially less than their historical price peaks. Other common staples like Chromatic Sphere and Molten Rain are also on sale. Novice speculators and those looking to fill out a collection should be looking to cards like these as buys.

The middle set of the block, Darksteel, doesn't have a splashy top end, but there are still some Pauper staples worth looking for. Chittering Rats and Spire Golem are two to start with. Blue cards (and honourary blue cards like the flying golem) are out of favor after the recent banning of Cloud of Faeries in Pauper, but blue is never out of fashion for very long.

Players should be careful not to pass Auriok Champion out of their Fifth Dawn booster as this rare tips the scales at over 25 tix. The common and uncommon slot also holds some nice picks. Modern staples Serum Visions and Night's Whisper are two cards to try and pick up at a discount this weekend.


The impact of the Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom ban is still rippling through the MTGO economy. Everything outside of Twin and Amulet decks is seeing a boost at the moment as players and bots make their bets on what will be played and what will be good.

It's not clear where the dust will settle yet, and the metagame doesn't yet include the Eldrazi decks with Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) cards. Nowhere is the excitement around this new deck more obvious than with the price of Magic 2015 sets this week, both in paper and on MTGO. Double-digit gains across the board are unusual and can be attributed to price gains by Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Speculators and players should carefully consider any Modern cards they are holding at the moment for potential sales. The froth in the market is very real at the moment and the Modern Pro Tour is getting closer by the day. The time to be selling is now.


Standard is in a bit of a lull with all the attention paid to Modern in the past week. MTGO prices on Standard sets are drifting with a downward bias. Keep your powder dry and refrain from making any large speculative moves on Standard cards until OGW is released at the end of the month.

Fate Reforged (FRF) at 43 tix for a set is starting to look like it has good value. Relative to paper, the set is at a level that redemption will support. There is some rebound potential in Warden of the First Tree as it has dipped to 2 tix yet is still heavily played in Standard. Any renewed interest in the format will show up in a bump in the price of this card.

Standard Boosters

FRF boosters continue to drift down and are approaching an attractive price level. If OGW release events drive the price down into the 1.4 to 1.6 tix range, these should be considered a buy as the rebound potential from that level is high.

KTK boosters have been very stable in the 3.2 to 3.3 tix range. This will be a buy during OGW release events at any price below this range.

BFZ boosters have shown strength in the last week, getting above 3.6 tix for the first time in the new year. At current prices upside is limited, but a dip back below 3.4 would be a signal for speculators and players to pay closer attention.

The bad news is that BFZ boosters will be awarded for OGW release events. This means there will be ample supply of boosters as the sealed queues take in tix or play points, and pay out in BFZ and OGW boosters. There is no expectation of higher prices on BFZ boosters until OGW release events end.

DTK and ORI boosters remain at or above 4 tix and thus have zero speculative potential. The market is supply constrained on these boosters, so the prevailing market price remains roughly equivalent to the store price.

Trade of the Week

The Market Report portfolio has started with an initial allocation of 500 tix. Find the portfolio at this link. The first trade this week is related to the shakeup of the Modern format. With Twin, the gold standard of combo decks, getting the axe there's room for other combo decks to come off the bench and shine.

A deck that got some exposure after Khans of Tarkir was released was the Jeskai Ascendancy combo deck. This deck featured mana accelerators like Birds of Paradise and Sylvan Caryatid, the aforementioned enchantment, and then numerous cantrips and card drawing spells in order to combo off and attack with large creatures.

This deck originally had Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time as powerful card drawing spells before they were banned. A newer version has surfaced in the MTGO leagues, piloted to numerous 5-0 finishes by user daibloXSC. The key card drawing spell is Visions of Beyond from Magic 2012. The deck also features Monastery Mentor as its primary threat.

With a similar tempo-control profile and almost a combo finish, Twin players could very well gravitate to this deck in an uncertain metagame. Visions of Beyond is from an older set and a supply crunch on this card would send it much higher. It's been climbing in recent weeks, but is still a solid pick from an under-the-radar deck.

The strategy is to hold this card until the Modern metagame gets more established at the Pro Tour. If this decks breaks out, Visions of Beyond could easily double in price. A no-show for this deck in Atlanta would mean a reassessment of this trade.

6 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Market Report for January 20th, 2016

  1. Finally, FINALLY I am going to be rewarded for my faith in Visions from Beyond. All fun aside, that card was my first major disappointment in speculationland, when i bought over 50 copies of it for 0.43 each (when it was new in standard). It never rose !

    Until now then, i still have all my copies, and they are 3+… great :p

  2. Great article as always. When do you expect the majority of modern to hit their peak? Would this be leading up to the pro tour, during the pro tour weekend, or within the weeks following the pro tour? Is there any historical info on when is the best time to sell?

    1. The majority of modern has hit its peak already I would say. Check out the chart on MM2, it peaked on Jan 18th.

      The Pro Tour will push some cards higher as they get featured on camera, especially with the top 8 decks on Sunday. But in general I think it’s better to be selling now rather than waiting for one or two cards to spike even higher.

      Demand for tix will be higher during OGW release events, so you are fighting the market at that point if you are still holding cards to sell. I don’t like to fight the market myself; I like to buy and sell when the market is paying attention to other things. If everyone needs tix for new cards from OGW, you shouldn’t be trying to sell cards for tix yourself, you should be sending people tix for their cards.

      Hope this helps!

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