Insider: High Stakes MTGO – June 12th to June 18th

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Welcome back for another High Stakes MTGO!

Only a few adjustments this week while waiting for the big Legacy sale season. I notably picked up a few Sunscape Familiars as they were heading down and I still believed in that spec. It appears now that it is going to pay off big and fast!

I also sold a few loose positions and liquidated the rest of my big Legendary Cube Prize Packs pile which really was an exciting spec.

The link to the live portfolio is here.

Buys This Week


Misty Rainforest dipped again below 18 tix; this was not the first time I restocked a couple of playsets of this Zendikar fetchland. The rainforest topped 27 tix three weeks ago but I'm expecting a little more---closer to 30 tix---with the Legacy Festival event coming up.


Peregrine Drake is reprinted as a common in Eternal Masters and this might resurrect the Esper Familiar combo deck in Pauper even in the absence of Cloud of Faeries---at least that's my bet at this point. The white wall from Planeshift had already spectacularly jumped from nothing to 2 tix with the full list of EMA out before settling down around 1.5 tix.

If Esper Familiar gets back to its past efficiency then Sunscape Familiar is likely to reach 5 tix again. As of writing the wall has already jumped over 3 tix. Let's see where this entirely speculative bet leads me a few weeks from now.


The price of Thorn of Amethyst has not really rebounded yet after the Lorwyn block flashback drafts. I simply reinforced my position here a tiny bit since the price was the same as what I was looking for during my first wave of purchase.

Sales This Week

Legendary Cube Prize Pack

This position is finally closed---what a ride! More than 90% profit on a booster spec is definitely a rare thing and I'm very satisfied with the way this spec went. 3 tix seems to be the current ceiling for the PZ1 packs but without any special events awarding these boosters,who knows what the real ceiling is.

However, since we are on MTGO any of the cards from the Legendary Cube set can be reprinted any time, and the packs can be awarded again for any special event. Keep this in mind if you are still riding the trend.

Another of these cards that never rebounded the way I wanted. After a one month-long dip below 4 tix in May, the Ascendant came back in the 5-5.5 tix range recently. Magic 2011 drafts are only scheduled in September but I don't see any good reasons to hold on to this spec for the time being. I'm out with a symbolic +2.1 tix of profit.

This version of Kozilek has been lagging as well since last summer when I bought it. The new Eldrazi additions from BFZ and OGW certainly didn't help Kozilek, Butcher of Truth make a comeback in Modern Tron decks, or in any other deck.

From a desperate 1 tix, Kozilek's price doubled up in three weeks to come back, again, slightly above 2 tix. This time around I let this big Eldrazi go for good and cashed out a marginal profit.

My temples spec (Temples of Enlightenment, Malady, Malice and Epiphany) was actually a decent set of specs, although maybe on too small a scale considering the size of my current bankroll.

All temples have been higher than my buying prices at some point for as long as I held them. After Temple of Enlightenment, Temple of Malady is the second one I'm selling, taking advantage of local spike. I develop a little bit more on the Theros block temples below.

On My Radar

Although not part of the Legacy-related hype, Oath of Nissa and Kozilek's Return are two cards I'm keeping a very close eye on as they are approaching my target sale prices.

Oath of Nissa has been on a very steady rise since mid-April as this legendary enchantment is very often played as a four-of in the almighty G/W Tokens in Standard. This card has been highly considered in several constructed formats and it might well break over 5 tix.

However one might think that the price is almost only supported by the performance of G/W Token decks and nobody really knows what could happen next. I'm past doubling up with my copies at the moment and I'm looking for a signal to sell the green Oath. Most likely I won't hold onto them if it crosses the 5 tix bar.

From a solid 5 tix floor in March-April, Kozilek's Return is now over 10 tix. With multiple-format playability, this red sweeper makes strong arguments for itself. Here too, now that is has doubled I'm looking for the best window to sell this position.

Unlike Oath of Nissa which has a very singular effect, Kozilek's Return could potentially dip if something better shows up in Eldritch Moon or the next block.

I mentioned the possibility that Snap and Sunscape Familiar could take off if the reprint of Peregrine Drake at common in EMA could signify the return of the Esper Familiar combo deck in Pauper. That happened last week. Both cards are rapidly getting closer to their record high and the time to sell is approaching at a fast pace.

Questions & Anwsers

I'm coming back here to develop a bit more on the temples. With a unique ability to smooth your draws, the Theros block scry temples have proved to be Modern-playable. When THS block rotated out of Standard, prices predictably dipped to their lowest point, including Temple of Epiphany which plunged from as high as 19 tix down to a quarter of a tix.

With such potential I decided to go for the Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx temples that had the most chances to rise up again, because of their potential playability and for being in the second and third sets. I bought 25 playsets of four temples and was expecting prices to reach 2 or 3 tix during the following year.

So my expectations were a little bit too optimistic but the strategy was clearly good. Despite obvious price fluctuations, all temples rose in price, up to eight times their lowest value around BFZ release. Instead of waiting for the long run like I'm doing now, selling and rebuying the temples according to fluctuations would have been more profitable. In addition, as the redemption for BNG and JOU will come to an end sometimes soon, the prices may settle down once again.

Nonetheless I believe the long-term price potential of these temples is pretty good. Temple of Enlightenment and Temple of Epiphany certainly hold the most promise. They could behave similarly to Stony Silence, for instance, in terms of price trend post-rotation---5 to 8 tix is totally possible.

Buying them whenever the opportunity presents itself at 0.5 tix or less seems very good to me. Temple of Malady hasn't really broken through in Modern yet but I bet it will one day. So why not accumulate dirt-cheap copies now that could potentially see a twenty-fold price gain?

Thank you for reading,


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