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Insider: MTGO Market Report for June 15th, 2016

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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.

Redemption

Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All prices are current as of June 13th, 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.

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Flashback Draft of the Week

Triple Shadowmoor (SHM) draft will run this week. This set was released shortly after the transition to Version 3 of the MTGO client, which has an indirect bearing on the prices from SHM and its expansion, Eventide. The transition from Version 2.5 to Version 3 did not go well and as a result the number of drafts that fired for this set were relatively low. This has kept the value of SHM cards high over the years.

This week, be on the look out for Prismatic Omen and Fulminator Mage as the two priciest rares, while the venerable Kitchen Finks provides value out of the uncommon slot.

Modern

The most popular constructed format on MTGO is seeing a modest amount of price churn at the moment. Blood Moon saw two recent flashback draft queues put extra copies onto the market. That extra supply appears to be all but consumed at this point and this card is going to take a run at 40 tix. If you are holding this card, it's not quite time to sell but it looks like you'll get a chance over the summer to sell at a good price.

Grove of the Burnwillows is taking a breather and drifting down into the low 30 tix range. This is a card I put into the Market Report Portfolio and I did take advantage of recent prices to sell down my position.

I've still got a couple of playsets, but the current price lull has moved me to the sidelines on this one. At current prices, it's not a good price to sell nor to buy, so it's best to wait it out until the market decides which way it will go. If the price declines back into the 20 to 25 tix range, this will go back to being an attractive card to buy.

Standard

Standard prices continue to fluctuate and the shift of value between mythic rares continues in Magic Origins (ORI). Once again, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound has dipped to the 30 tix level, this time at 29 tix. We'll see if Jace has another run at 40 tix, but with the pending release of Eternal Masters (EMA) set to suck up extra tix I wouldn't be a buyer at current prices.

Kytheon, Hero of Akros // Gideon, Battle-Forged has just about doubled in the past two weeks, hitting a new all-time high of 18 tix. Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist is the more expensive card at 21 tix and it too might take a run at a new all-time high.

A notable collapse in price can be seen in Dragonlord Atarka as it went from 20 tix two weeks ago to 7 tix today. This particular drop looks fairly dramatic and is dominating the set price movement for Dragons of Tarkir (DTK). I wouldn't be surprised if this card bounced back above 10 tix before too long, but again most speculators would be better off saving their tix and watching out for deals as EMA drafts and sealed deck leagues suck the liquidity out of the market.

Although Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) saw a small bump in its price this week, the set is still a long way from finding its ultimate bottom. EMA is going to steal a little thunder from SOI, but we are still at least six weeks away from SOI being a consideration for speculators.

Speculating on cards that will rotate out of Standard is tricky business, and I'd encourage anyone looking at cards from DTK or ORI to think twice before loading up on cards from these two sets. The short story is to hold onto your tix and don't get caught up in falling prices on Standard cards. From a structural perspective, it is not a good time to be a buyer of Standard cards and a little patience is in order this week.

Standard Boosters

Both Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) and Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) boosters have shown price weakness in advance of the release of Eternal Masters (EMA) this week on MTGO. This is not unexpected, and a few weeks of flat or weakening prices looks baked in.

Checking out the other Standard boosters, Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) and Magic Origins (ORI) are both under 4 tix at 3.8 tix and 3.6 tix respectively. It's possible that both of these boosters head back up to 4 tix this summer, but with EMA and then the release of Eldritch Moon (EMN), there won't be a shortage of interesting draft options. Combine that with the pending specter of rotation on singles prices, and all of a sudden the outlook for these boosters seems very dim.

It will be worth watching over the next eight weeks, but it looks very risky in the face of such headwinds. The best advice is to steer clear of trying to catch any short-term bottoms on these, and focus your energy and capital elsewhere.

Lastly, Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) saw its first big price wobble this week, dropping briefly to 3.1 tix. The price history of BFZ boosters should be an excellent guide going forward, which tells us to stay away from holding any significant number of these objects. Buying BFZ boosters around the release of SOI has proven to be a premature move as the price of BFZ boosters continued to drift down.

The time to assess SOI boosters as a potential spec won't be until October at the earliest, and even then EMN boosters will be favored over SOI boosters in a similar way as OGW boosters are favored over BFZ boosters.

Trade of the Week

As usual, the portfolio is available at this link. With the second week of Lorwyn block drafting under way, I took the opportunity to put a few playsets of Vendilion Clique into the portfolio.

This card has seen multiple printings which does hurt its long-term potential. However, it's been under-utilized compared to historical levels since the banning of Splinter Twin in Modern. That means the price is depressed and could bounce back given the right shifts in the metagame.

There is no short-term catalyst in sight for this card, but it's almost inevitable that it will come back into favor, and buying now at depressed prices will ultimately yield good results. I don't anticipate selling this card in the short term but if you looking for a card with good long-term potential, this one isn't getting much attention by speculators nor players at the moment.

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