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 February 2nd, 2016. 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
Flashback drafts are on hiatus for Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) release events, which began on Monday and run to the middle of the month. The next flashback draft will start in two weeks on February 17th and will be triple Champions of Kamigawa draft to kick off Kamigawa block draft.
The price on recently rotated sets saw steep drops this past week. Magic 2015 (M15) dropped the smallest amount at -5% while Journey Into Nyx (JOU) dropped the most at -16%. The other two Theros block sets saw declines within this range.
Although unlikely to get back to its post-rotation lows of the Fall, Modern staple Thoughtseize is back below 6 tix and should be on your radar. Players who want to complete their playset of this card should not hesitate to do so at this price while speculators should pay attention to see if it gets back to 5 tix or less.
This week, the big event for Modern will be the Pro Tour in Atlanta. Modern is a diverse format that rewards knowledge and practice with your deck of choice, so even with the format being upended after the recent bans of Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom, it's doubtful that professional players will have tested sufficiently to break the format with a brand new deck. Most likely we'll see finely tuned versions of the Tier 1 decks duking it out for the top spot on Sunday.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker was a card I put into the Market Report portfolio over the weekend. It's possible that Twin players just migrate to running this card instead of Splinter Twin.
Obviously the market understood this as the price on these spiked after the bans were announced, but the price of this card is still below its old range of 8 to 12 tix. Any hint of being Tier 1 again will send it much higher in the short term, and I think it's only a matter of time before that happens.
While the focus will be squarely on Modern this weekend, MTGO players will be enjoying the new set and what it has brought to Standard. The prices for digital and paper sets of OGW have been added to the price summary for redeemable sets above.
OGW started out at a lofty 130+ tix, but the flood of supply from drafts and sealed deck events will be rapidly eating into this number. Last year Fate Reforged (FRF) saw a 45% decline in price by the first week of April. With two boosters of OGW being opened per drafter, it's safe to say that OGW should be in the 45-60 tix range by the time Shadows Over Innistrad is released---I put the likelihood of this event at a 98% probability.
For this reason, the only cards worth looking at from the new set at the moment are those undervalued relative to their intrinsic power level. It can be tricky to identify cards that fit this description, but an easy way to start is to look for cards with a historical analog. If they are priced cheaply, then they might be worth speculating on.
A new card that has a good historical comparison and is currently undervalued is Eldrazi Obligator. When this card is played for its full effect, it looks very similar to Zealous Conscripts out of Avacyn Restored. That card peaked at over 3 tix while it was in Standard.
For the moment, Eldrazi Obligator hasn't made a splash in the new Standard format and won't be making any waves this weekend either with Modern getting showcased at both the Pro Tour and Star City Games events alike. The price of this card is very close to bulk at the moment, so don't be afraid to start accumulating copies at current prices, but any copies at 0.05 tix or less would be tix well spent.
Elsewhere, keep an eye on the prices of BFZ sets. Sylvain is looking to scoop up cheap sets for his portfolio and I agree that the next two weeks are an excellent time to be deploying tix into good, long-term opportunities such as BFZ sets. Currently a set is sitting at 65 tix which means we are not far off the low we saw in December.
OGW boosters dipped as low as 3.3 tix this past weekend but mostly stayed in the 3.4 to 3.6 tix range. Now that the tix-only prerelease events are over, prices have moved up into the 3.6 to 3.7 tix range.
As long as release events are available, there will be extra supply of OGW and BFZ boosters coming onto the market from the sealed deck queues. This will keep a lid on prices at the top end, but the first release weekend typically drives enough demand that most available supply of the boosters from the new set are consumed. I think we'll see prices hit 3.7 to 3.9 tix this weekend before starting to drift back down.
Once release events finish on February 17th, look for both OGW and BFZ boosters to start rising in price again. By the time March rolls around, I would expect OGW boosters in the 3.8 to 4.0 tix range, at a likelihood of 90%.
Players and speculators with excess boosters should sell their OGW boosters this weekend, and then buy them back near the end of release events, with an eye to selling them yet again after the supply starts drying up at the end of February.
Trade of the Week
As usual, the portfolio is available at this link. The portfolio is now totally depleted of its tix and I've moved heavily into Standard boosters. OGW boosters were the favorite target over prerelease weekend, but the prices were not very attractive. I would have been much happier deploying tix for boosters in the 3.3 to 3.4 tix range but ended up buying some for 3.54 tix. See the Standard boosters section above for how to proceed with this trade.
New on the portfolio spreadsheet is a "Predictions" tab. This is where I will document all predictions made in this column, starting with last week's. Each prediction will be explicit in magnitude and probability, and I will keep track of these over time to determine how good or bad I've fared in the column.