Hello and welcome back for another High Stakes MTGO article!
Like the last few weeks, this week was something of a transition. I'm trying to establish positions in rotating staples and other cards likely to gain some value in the new Standard metagame. Meanwhile I'm also looking for good deals in Modern, and I sold a few mature positive positions in order to rotate my investments.
Here is the link to my live portfolio.
Buys This Week
This legendary cat from Born of the Gods is not really a powerhouse in Modern and merely sees some play in Legacy. Nonetheless he was able to jump from 3.5 tix to over 8 tix after last October's Standard rotation. His price went back to 4 tix in February and stayed fairly flat for more than a month.
Although it's not necessarily big, I felt there was another speculative opportunity here. I'll be targeting 8 tix again with Brimaz.
I had been watching Scalding Tarn since it went back around 30 tix around a month ago. I missed the train back then as this fetchland slowly creeped up to 40 tix about two weeks ago. However, the price plunged again and I seized the opportunity this time around.
Regardless of the next Modern metagame, the blue-red fetchland is likely to always be in demand, in Modern as in other eternal formats. Getting in at ~32 tix I'm looking at small gains, but it should be a worthwhile investment for my bankroll.
I lurked on this vampire a while ago and then the first spoilers for Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) spiked its price to 8 tix. At the time I regretted waiting too long to pull the trigger. Now it appears the spike was purely speculative---I bought my copies of Drana when it came back down to 4.5 tix last week. This is still a strong card and I believe it has a good chance to see play in the future, hopefully pushing its price again around 8 tix.
World Breaker is a mythic from Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) with unique flavor and certainly worthy of a spot or two in midrange or ramp decks in Standard. It seems like the bottom for this card was found around 4 tix about a month ago and World Breaker's price has been on a slow rise ever since. While I'm not expecting a huge profit with this guy the opportunity seemed good enough for me.
Ugin is an iconic planeswalker that retained a high value as Fate Reforged (FRF) rotated out of Standard. The loss of Eye of Ugin may have handicapped Tron decks a bit but I bet we'll see Ugin in Modern again. I also hope that redemption will help support the price of FRF cards, including Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.
Another six Khans of Tarkir (KTK) sets this week. The price is not currently going down and I'm not even sure if it will during SOI release events. As the top six cards of the set include all five fetchlands, I feel more like buying full sets rather than individual fetchlands. I'm hoping the price will drop back to the low 60's/high 50's in the following two weeks. Ideally I'd like to have something around 20 KTK full sets.
Sales This Week
I bought this card at what appeared to be a long-term floor (around 10 tix), and sold it at what appeared to be its long-term resistance (around 15 tix). I don't know if the new changes to Modern will be more or less favorable to Storm decks. I happily closed this position with a respectable 51% gain in only a few weeks.
The situation with Bonfire is similar to Past in Flames and well suited to what I'm trying to do with Modern positions in general---catch them at the established floor and sell them around previous heights. I'm not looking for the next spike nor the next record high. With this spec I cashed out another 150+ tix of profit.
I sold what I could during the short spike that followed the B&R list changes. The spread was pretty big on this one and I didn't want to sell everything at any cost. This spike was a good opportunity, but the price of this planeswalker is still pretty cheap on sum. I'm okay to wait longer on the remaining copies.
I didn't expect to sell Magic 2015 full sets at these prices. On two different occasions this past week ClanTeam Bots had their buying price for M15 full sets at 97 tix and 69 tix.
Too good to be true? That's actually what I asked them just to make sure I wan't abusing an algorithm glitch. Although they were doing some algorithm adjustments they told that these prices were legit. I don't think I'll ever manage to sell M15 full sets over 69 tix again. 65 tix would already be a great selling price for me.
On My Radar
I'm not really looking into new things until Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad. Buying Standard cards involved in rotation remains my main goal these days. As I write these lines I'm still holding on to Archangel of Tithes and Kytheon, Hero of Akros, but I'm very close to selling them as they tripled since last month.
These are typical spikes related to new decks currently receiving a lot of hype. If I want to give credence to my words I will have to sell them or find a good excuse not to. Do they have more potential price-wise with the PT coming up? Maybe, maybe not. They do, however, surely have the potential to lose all their gains if nothing significant happens in Madrid in two weeks.
Questions & Answers
This week I'll expound a bit on two sets of questions relative to Standard rotation. One question revolves around cards staying in Standard and one on cards leaving Standard.
The BFZ and OGW Lands
Although it may have been the exact same comment by the exact same reader login in with two slightly different names, the question remains: what should happen to BFZ and OGW rare lands from now on?
To start with, cycles of rare lands in any set have always been very solid speculative targets. Special lands (land producing different types of mana, lands with a special effect, or creature lands) always find a place at some point in the evolution of the Standard metagame.
You almost always want to buy them while they are heavily drafted and thus as close as possible to their absolute bottom. Once Standard rotates and a new set is being opened these lands have a good chance to rise.
Now, a raise can unfortunately happen at any time during their one-and-a-half-year tenure in Standard. If it happens during PT SOI great; if it's later that's also fine. My price target with these lands is between 4 and 6 tix. If at any time such prices are met, I'll consider selling my BFZ and OGW land positions.
KTK and FRF After Rotation
To start with, my expectation with KTK and FRF full sets is around +30-40%. I would expect that to happen within the first six months. These are typical price increases for full sets and there's no reason to set my expectations too high just because KTK contains fetchlands.
On a case-by-case basis, some cards won't gain much while others could double or even triple. It is not usual, though, for "good" rares to see huge price increases after rotation.
Bulk or cheap rares have a different potential, but take a look at Snapcaster Mage, the Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash shocklands, and Thoughtseize, for instance. Doubling is the most you can expect during their first year post-Standard. You can also clearly see that their price tends to fluctuate a lot.
So for KTK fetchlands, which seemed to have bottomed between 5 and 7 tix, I would not wait for them to reach 15 tix before selling them (unless you want to wait two years).
Since the five fetchlands are pretty much the most valuable cards in KTK and are currently making up an unprecedented 50% of the set's value, my investment in KTK full sets should mirror quite closely what happens to the five fetchlands.
Mythics are the bottleneck cards for set redemption. Bulk mythics are needed as much as a 20-tix mythic. Simply on this basis I would expect bulk mythics to rebound quickly this month and the following. A mythic currently valued at 0.2 tix should soon be priced in the 0.5-to-1 tix price range. I would not expect more since they are most likely unplayable otherwise, but that can be a nice double-up at the reach of small bankrolls.
Thank you for reading,