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High Stakes MTGO – Mar 27th to Apr 2nd

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Welcome back for another week of High Stakes MTGO!

Quite a few buys and sales this past week, with the notable sale of all of my Legendary Cube Prize Pack (PZ1) prize singles. The MTGO release of Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) is imminent and with it a lot of changes in both Standard and Modern should occur.

Particularly for Standard I intend to perform much better this time around than I did during the previous Standard rotation. After the Pro Tour (PT) results I was inclined to wait for additional profits for a lot of positions, selling only very few positions in the pre- and mid-Pro Tour hype.

I think a better play is to sell the vast majority of your positions that have gone up, even if by a little bit. Here are few words about my observations and reasoning.

The excitement of Standard rotation and the Pro Tour hype lift up prices much more than they actually should and on too many cards. Once the new Standard metagame version 1.0 emerges after the PT, only a handful of cards will sustain the hype or gain more value in the following weeks.

The price fall, which can be quick or spread over few months, is on the other hand much more common. I have lost countless tix and time waiting and waiting again for a card to either finally gain some value or recover from a Pro Tour height. Those losses are not outweighed by my few successes.

So if you want my strategy in Standard for the weeks to come---selling as much as possible of everything that sees gains of roughly 80% and up. I don’t have concrete data to back this up but it seems that selling everything positive rather quickly is likely to be more profitable, on average, than selling the exact same positions after several more weeks (whether or not some of them get better).

What is certain, however, is that getting out early, as opposed to waiting three or four months, is an enormous opportunity benefit. I’m rather enjoying my "rapid turnover + moderate profits" method lately.

Let’s check back in a few weeks if I’m able to finally follow my own words of wisdom. In the meantime, here is what happened this past week. The snapshot of the account as of Saturday April 2nd is here.

Buys This Week

BFZ lands

Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) rare lands are still great speculative targets. I bought 55 copies of Canopy Vista and reinforced the positions I already had.

They are not as cheap as they were a month ago. But even at about 2 tix a piece they have the potential to double, even with the loss of Khans of Tarkir (KTK) fetchlands. If they keep dipping I might buy more playsets. Lands are always a good place to invest.

TBD

This dragon fell below 3.5 tix this past week. I was not fully stocked from my first buying wave so it was a good opportunity to complete my stock.

EB

As a bulk spec this Eldrazi has enough potential for me. I might even buy more copies as quantity makes all the difference for bulk specs. My target is to grab somewhere around 200 copies total.

BFZ2

With a little bit over 3000 tix invested in BFZ sets I’ll now wait and see what happens in the next two months. My goal with full set specs is +30% to +40%. I hope to see a big increase in BFZ prices right after Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad. If the raise is significant enough it might as well be the opportunity to sell both singles and full sets.

GGT

Since the dredge troll returned from the Modern ban list it has hit the 10 tix bar more than once already, most recently less than a month ago. Ravnica: City of Guilds flashback drafts pressured Golgari Grave-Troll to a sub 5 tix price about a week ago.

Unlike in Legacy and Vintage, Dredge decks are not as good in Modern but post competitive results here and there. With another round of bans in Modern and SOI adding cards for graveyard-based strategies, Golgari Grave-Troll could rebound quickly.

GG

After two periodic dips in February came another sharp dip for Goblin Guide to under 5 tix. I hadn't yet maxed out my position with this goblin, so this third dip was another opportunity to buy, hopefully before a comeback to the 8-10 tix price range after the next B&R list announcement.

KTK sets

Since early March the price of a KTK full set seems to have found a floor around 60 tix. Because of the fetchlands this set is retaining a higher value than previous large sets in the paper world and consequently might not go as low as other sets on MTGO.

I bought a few playsets circa 62 tix and intend to buy more. Several of the cheapest mythics of that set aggressively rebounded four weeks ago, compensating for the rares still slowly drifting down and stabilizing the price of the set.

I expect an additional brief little dip right during SOI release events. I'll be buying more full sets and several singles during that period, whether this dip actually happens or not.

Sales This Week

This past week I completed the sale of all of my Legendary Cube Prize Pack singles. With an average profit of +52% for a total gain of 567 tix, these guys were incredible speculative targets. All of my 11 positions here yielded some profits---all winners, zero losers.

I'm glad I didn't push it too much by buying more copies, especially of the cheap ones. The spread on these cards was big and my selling prices decreased quickly between the first and last copy I sold for a given position. As I stated before, I'm selling now to avoid bad surprises with a potential return of PZ1 prize packs and to move on to new targets available at this time of the year.

This angel rode a nice upward trend between mid-January and now. Will this sustain after another change in the Modern metagame? Nothing less certain, and that's actually not even a question I need to answer. My position here has more than doubled and was therefore ready to be sold.

Baneslayer Angel illustrates what I like to do these days with Modern and Standard---take certain profits today rather than higher, uncertain ones tomorrow.

On My Radar

I'll be dedicating my time to several things in the following days. The first is to buy more BFZ and Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) singles, as well as OGW full sets.

I've been mentioning this for several weeks now but this is the last opportunity to get them at their best price before a potential rise. Although the price of an OGW full set is still amazingly high for a small set, it will only be more expensive after the release of SOI.

A few cards from the current Standard sets that are not rotating out---Dragons of Tarkir, Magic Origins and Battle for Zendikar---have shown some increases lately, such as Archangel of Tithes. As I said in the intro I'll try hard not to sleep on positions showing decent gains in the short term. Particularly I'm looking to sell several Origins positions, including my big pile of painlands.

Finally, I intend to buy more KTK full sets and also some Fate Reforged ones. I will also try to cherry-pick a few singles such as the fetchlands, Anafenza, the Foremost, Monastery Mentor and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

Thank you for reading,

Sylvain

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