Today I'll go over my past 45 days of MTGO specs and the lessons that I've learned as a result.
I use a spreadsheet to record all of my MTGO trades and I recommend you do the same! Keeping track of your investments will allow you to find patterns in what works for you and what doesn't. On to the specs!
Cards Bought and Sold Within the Past 45 Days
Abbot of Keral Keep
Buy Price: 3.26 tix (1/19)
Sell Price: 4.38 tix
Profit: 92 tix
The Logic: I decided to pick up some Abbots because of a pending Standard metagame shift with the arrival of BFZ. I think this is in general a good strategy for Standard MTGO specs---find a previously successful card that has temporarily lost favor and may benefit from the rise of a new deck or the fall of an old one.
Lessons Learned: Overall I'm happy with how this turned out. I could have maybe sold them for a bit higher of a price if I timed it well with the hype surrounding the U/R Prowess deck. I guess the lesson here is to try to build a powerful intuition as to when a card is hitting its max potential based on what decks it's seeing play in.
Buy Price: 8.76 tix (1/19)
Sell Price: 11.38 tix
Profit: 188 tix
The Logic: Very similar logic as with the Abbots. A card that had proven itself in the past and may benefit from BFZ shaking things up.
Lessons Learned: I am very happy with the call but unhappy with the execution. Collected Company decks turned out to be the real deal. I was unsure if they were going to grab a considerable part of the metagame or only thrive during the infancy of the new format, so I sold when the price of Deathmist Raptor showed signs of weakness.
I think it would have been better to wait a bit, and I would have been rewarded with a much higher profit. At one time the card even reached 20 tix! I think I could have also safely bought many more copies of the spec. Overall I probably lost around 1000 tix due to poor execution. Ouch!
Buy Price: 3.43 tix (1/19)
Sell Price: 5.24 tix
Profit: 180 tix
The Logic: Again, same logic as Abbots and Raptors. A card that had proven itself in the past and may benefit from BFZ shaking things up.
Lessons Learned: I am overall pretty happy with the execution of this spec. Sure, Dromoka's Command has shot up to 7.4 tix due to the explosion of the G/W Hardened Scales deck, but I think this was a fluke that I would not have been able to predict. Maybe the biggest lesson learned here is that I could have bought a few more copies.
Quantity: 101 (31 unsold)
Buy Price: 2.07 tix (1/20)
Sell Price: 2.30 tix
Profit: 16 tix
The Logic: Again, same logic as the last three specs. A card that had proven itself in the past and may benefit from BFZ shaking things up.
Lessons Learned: I am overall pretty happy with this spec. It didn't really work out, but I think it was a good call. I could have maybe sold into a higher price during the first week of the format when Atarka Red won the SCG Open. The lesson here might be to never underestimate the power of the red deck in week one of a fresh format.
Buy Price: .05 tix (1/23)
Sell Price: .15 tix
Profit: .4 tix
The Logic: I felt this was among a cohort of strong BFZ cards that were mispriced due to never having the proper chance to prove themselves. Potentially a good spec if not for one issue...
Lessons Learned: The mind is like an attic! At some point I was distracted and stopped at 4 copies of the card. This a huge lesson for me: I need to restrict myself to specs that have the potential for big profits. Just because a spec is profitable, it doesn't automatically mean it's worth cluttering up your mind (attic) with it.
In general, as a Magic investor, you should keep in consideration not only the investment of time and money that goes into a spec, but also the investment of mental energy. Sometimes this means you will have to pass up specs you know are profitable but not worth tying up your mental resources. I know this is hard for me, but it's something I am getting better at.
Cavern of Souls
Buy Price: 29.92 tix (2/06)
Sell Price: 28.88 tix
Profit: -25.18 tix
The Logic: As soon as I realized that Cavern of Souls was being played in Eldrazi decks, it seemed like a slam dunk. A tri-land that comes into play untapped and can make your creatures uncounterable? I picked these us as soon as I heard about it on the PT coverage.
Lessons Learned: Similar to the Raptors, this was a great call with terrible execution. I really needed to stick to my guns but got scared when the price started to drop a few days after the PT.
In hindsight, a price drop like this could only occur due to speculators cashing in a large number of copies right after the PT. I could have easily sold the Caverns for 40 tix if I waited a bit longer for the market to catch up to the new meta. This mistake cost me around 250 tix!
Archangel of Thune
Buy Price: 17.54 tix (2/07)
Sell Price: 21.82 tix
Profit: 120 tix
The Logic: The moment I saw a top-performing Standard list at the PT sporting four Archangel of Thune, I knew the price was about to shoot up. I bought a few playsets and cashed in a few days later.
Lessons Learned: I am pretty happy with this spec, but the Angels are now 38 tix apiece! I think similar to my Cavern of Souls spec, I should have let the metagame sort itself out for a few weeks after making what I feel is a strong, logical investment. I'd estimate that my impatience cost me around 300 tix!
Buy Price: .32 tix (2/08)
Sell Price: 1.00 tix
Profit: 6.79 tix
The Logic: I was cleaning out some of my Pauper cards and realizing that Holy Light was at a low and very far below some of its historical prices, I decided to pick up a few copies.
Lessons Learned: See my From Beyond spec. The mind is an attic! It was a reasonable spec, but I should have passed on this opportunity.
Crush of Tentacles
Quantity: 82 (20 unsold)
Buy Price: .59 tix (2/10)
Sell Price: 1.35 tix
Profit: 47.71 tix
The Logic: I have always felt that Crush of Tentacles is a powerful card that hasn't yet had its time to shine. It's also a fairly safe spec as a circa-50-cent mythic. When a U/B Demonic Pact deck popped up out of nowhere, the price spiked up a bit and I sold as many copies as I could.
Lessons Learned: None. Solid near-bulk mythic spec.
Buy Price: 2.14 tix (2/20)
Sell Price: 3.17 tix
Profit: 50.5 tix
The Logic: I picked up a bunch of copies as I was watching the SCG tournament where U/W Eldrazi was dominating. I sold into the hype a few hours later.
Lessons Learned: None. Solid short-term hype spec.
Cards Bought But Not Sold Within the Past 45 Days
BFZ/OGW Low Buy-in Specs
- Planar Outburst: 100 copies at .14 tix each
- Lantern Scout: 8 copies at .03 tix each
- Woodland Wanderer: 35 copies at .02 tix each
- Scatter to the Winds: 26 copies at .05 tix each
- Inverter of Truth: 244 copies at .39 tix each
- Exert Influence: 8 copies at .01 tix each
- Smothering Abomination: 88 copies at .02 tix each
- Radiant Flames: 20 copies at .13 tix each
- Nissa's Renewal: 59 copies at .02 tix each
- Fathom Feeder: 20 copies at .02 tix each
- Beastcaller Savant: 16 copies at .03 tix each
- General Tazri: 59 copies at .16 tix each
- Bring to Light: 77 copies at .13 tix each
- Ruinous Path: 21 copies at .19 tix each
- Painful Truths: 169 copies at .55 tix each
- Blight Herder: 4 copies at .01 tix each
- Oath of Chandra: 4 copies at .01 tix each
- Corrupted Crossroads: 68 copies at .22 tix each
Other Random Specs
- Vedalken Shackles: 27 copies at 4.78 tix each
- Seal of Strength: 4 copies at .5 tix each
- Mantis Rider: 28 copies at .04 tix each
- Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh: 63 copies at 1.89 tix each
- BFZ Full Sets: 44 copies at 64.11 tix each
- Pyromancer's Goggles: 28 copies at .39 tix each
- Dragonlord Silumgar: 63 copies at 2.79 tix each
- Predict: 59 copies at .03 tix each
We'll see how these specs turn out! A lot of the Standard ones have a long ways to go before they rotate. When I end up selling them, I can go through the logic and lessons like I did for the specs I sold in this article. I have a feeling a lot of them will end up being a giant waste of time and thought, but who knows?!
Thanks for reading! Have any questions or comments about any of the specs? Hit me up in the comments section!
Song of the Week: Emanicpator - First Snow (electronic)