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 April 18th, 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. Note that sets of Theros (THS) are out of stock in the store, so this set is no longer redeemable.
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.
Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) prereleases were held this past weekend so price data for this set is now being collected. When thinking about the likely price trajectory for the new set, it's clear that "down" is the direction it is headed. Although speculators cannot directly profit from a falling price, it's still a worthwhile thought experiment to consider likely price levels in the future.
Consider the last three large sets drafted in triplicate. SOI has started at a substantially higher price than Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) but in a similar price range when compared to Magic Origins (ORI) and Khans of Tarkir (KTK). It is not unsurprising that BFZ started off at a lower price, since that set had the first batch of Expeditions which ate up some of the set's value. ORI was drafted for a short while only at the end of summer, so KTK is the best recent example for how SOI's set price will move in the next three months.
One month after release, KTK was around 100 tix. It was at a similar level in the first week of December 2014 before dipping into the 90 tix range in January prior to the release of Fate Reforged (FRF). This gives us a trajectory for the next few months---look for SOI to be in the 80 to 95 tix range by the release of Eldritch Moon (EMN) at the end of July.
After that, boosters of SOI will go from being opened three per person per draft to one. This is different from KTK but it is the new block drafting pattern as of BFZ.
In the two months after Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) was released, BFZ fell by 5 tix or 8%. Based off of this, my long-term forecast for the price bottom on SOI is 70 to 80 tix during August 2016. This is a long way off but I put the chance of SOI reaching this price range at 65% as of today. August will be an excellent month to stock up on all cards from SOI and EMN.
Flashback Draft of the Week
Flashback drafts are on hiatus until we return with triple Time Spiral on May 4th.
Modern is in a much more diverse place at the moment, with many decks fighting for a share of the new metagame. This is great for speculators as almost any deck is bound to have its day in the sun eventually. One flavor of the moment is Scapeshift decks featuring Prismatic Omen, which has doubled in price in the past two weeks.
Let's not forget about the Eldrazi either. Although they appear to be a severely weakened tribe, a new hybrid deck has emerged and has put up a few 5-0 league results this week. Check out Eldrazi and Taxes.
This deck takes the Modern Death and Taxes shell, adds in black for additional hand disruption with Tidehollow Sculler and Thoughtseize, then also adds in the powerful Eldrazi creatures from OGW such as Thought-Knot Seer and Eldrazi Displacer. Wasteland Strangler is an extra creature deterrent. Keep an eye on this deck.
All eyes will be on Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad this weekend in Madrid to see whether or not the pros stick to the current best deck in Standard, Bant Collected Company, or whether they've developed a foil for that deck.
The white aggro human tribe will be looking to make a splash this weekend too. With no Jace, Vryn's Prodigy ballooning the cost of the deck, players looking to get into Standard might opt for playsets of Kytheon, Hero of Akros and Archangel of Tithes for the price of one little Jace.
Don't forget Kelly and Doug will be there on the ground in Madrid reporting back to Quiet Speculation Insiders so stay tuned for the updates as they occur!
BFZ and OGW boosters have fallen into a very attractive price range. Longer-term these have a ceiling of around 4 tix due to parity with boosters bought from the shop. In the meantime, drafters who get tired of SOI will look to other draft formats such as Battle for Zendikar block.
If you can afford to sock a few of these away, they will see gains over the coming months due to no longer being awarded in constructed events. The supply of these two boosters will never be higher than it is today.
ORI and DTK boosters have dipped by about 10% as a result of the release of SOI. These will rebound in price due to the exceptional value these boosters represent. After interest in SOI draft fades a little, look for these older boosters to go back over 4 tix.
Although ORI has a higher set price than DTK, the plethora of high-value rares in the last set from Tarkir block pushes the expected value of a DTK booster substantially higher than ORI. Grinders looking for the highest expected value will wait in these draft queues, so if think you will be interested in doing a triple ORI draft or a novel triple DTK draft (remember that FRF is no longer being drafted with DTK), then now is the time to sock a few boosters away.
Trade of the Week
As usual, the portfolio is available at this link. While everyone is busy with the new cards from SOI and the changes to Standard, it's a great time to be picking up Modern playables from the just rotated sets of KTK and FRF. I took this opportunity to put a playset of the fetchlands, Anafenza, the Foremost, Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon into the portfolio.
This type of buying should be the bread and butter for speculators and players who are interested in Modern. Although it might not be the absolute bottom on these, it'll be close enough that in a month or two I'll be happy I pulled the trigger on these this week.