Welcome to the MTGO Market Report as compiled by Matthew Lewis. This week and into the future, the Market Report will be presented in a modified format compared to the past. Underlying this change is Sylvain Lehoux's departure as a contributor to the Market Report as he pursues other writing projects for Quiet Speculation.
The practical change will be a reshuffling of the content of the report. Regular readers should know that targeted buys and sells will no longer be issued. Full documentation of Matt's trades will be available in a private Google doc spreadsheet and will be an ongoing source to disseminate speculative strategies and ideas.
Any questions about past recommendations or changes to the format of the report will be answered promptly and can be sent via private message or posted in the article comments.
As always, speculators should take into account their own budget, risk tolerance and current portfolio before buying or selling any digital objects.
Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All prices are current as of January 11th, 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
Triple Mirrodin (MRD) flashback drafts will end this week and then transition to two MRD boosters and one Darksteel booster. It's an excellent time for Pauper players to pick up play sets of the artifact lands as well as other key commons such as Echoing Truth and Chittering Rats.
Modern players and speculators should pay attention to the price on cards like Oblivion Stone and Glimmervoid. Typically flashback drafts don't make a big dent in the price of pre-mythic rares. The most price action occurs as a result of players and speculators fearing a large influx of new copies. As a result, they surmise it's a good idea to sell in advance, which depresses the price. When the influx is smaller than anticipated, the prices bounce back as players have to buy their copies back.
This week there is a stark divide in the MTGO market. Interest in Modern Constructed is at a fever pitch in the lead-up to Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewach (OGW). This high level of interest is reflected in price increases on many Modern singles, particularly those singles that appear in the new Eldrazi decks. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth has shot up to over 10 tix and is a good example of recent trends.
Speculators should be in the process of unwinding their Modern positions and taking advantage of these high prices. A feverish market is the perfect time to be selling.
Players should also carefully consider which Modern decks they enjoy playing and whether or not they have any underused play sets that they could do without for a minimum of six months.
The short-term price variation on singles is not big enough to consider selling a card one week with an eye to buying it back a week later, but if you have a play set of Scalding Tarn or Inquisition of Kozilek you're not using, then it's not a bad idea to let go of them for a while. Players must know themselves though. If you are just going to buy the card back in a month, then there's no sense in selling it today.
Unlike Modern, all Standard sets except for Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) came under selling pressure this week. A similar effect was observed last year in January for Theros block and Magic 2015 as these four sets all saw price declines in the lead-up to the release of Fate Reforged (FRF). This price decline will continue for the next month with some recovery when the focus shifts to the new iteration of Standard that includes OGW.
Not only did BFZ escape printing a red number this week, it bounced 6 tix to sit at 70 tix this week. Most of this increase can be attributed to Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger as it stretches its legs in Modern, showing up in the new Eldrazi decks as well as R/G Tron.
Since the price increase is tied to interest in Modern, its expected to be a temporary boost only. Look for BFZ to head closer to 60 tix by the end of January. Players looking to fill out their play sets and speculators looking to load up on BFZ should wait for the start of OGW release events.
In the aftermath of the introduction of play points to the MTGO economy, boosters from new sets will seek an equilibrium price of 4 tix. The official store will always sell boosters for $3.99 or roughly 4 tix, so any boosters priced below 4 tix on the secondary market will see buying pressure, which tends to push the price closer to 4 tix.
Magic Origins (ORI) and Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) are the two sets that have been released since the introduction of play points back in August. ORI boosters were awarded as prizes up to the release of BFZ in October. Since bottoming at 3.1 tix during BFZ release events, ORI boosters moved upwards to the 3.9 to 4.0 tix range by the first week of November.
BFZ boosters are fluctuating in the 3.2 to 3.4 tix range, which is a fine price to accumulate these with a medium-term outlook. They will go through a similar process as ORI boosters, eventually finding an equilibrium price around 4 tix.
Players should wait until the start of OGW release events to top up their accounts with BFZ boosters, when they will be at their cheapest. If ORI boosters are a good guide to how BFZ boosters will appreciate in price, then it will be only 4 to 6 weeks for them to get close to 4 tix.
FRF and KTK boosters are seeing continuing weakness as they dip below 2.0 tix and 3.1 tix respectively. Both of these boosters have a negative outlook in the short term. However, at some point they will become "too cheap" and thus become a good speculative buy. Like BFZ boosters, look for these to reach their bottom during OGW release events.
Trade of the Week
The Market Report portfolio will start with an initial allocation of 500 tix. Each week I will discuss a particular trade and go over the motivation and other notes for that trade. This will be a mechanism for disseminating speculative strategy. All trades will be recorded on a google doc spreadsheet on the day they occur, and a particular trade will be highlighted here on a weekly basis.