Other than the horrible trade listings page that is the Classifieds, my biggest complaint with Magic Online is the fact that trading cards for tix ends in having fractions of a ticket as credit with bots, which means that any given time some amount of value is being left on the table.
For a long time when I traded for cards I would use some of this leftover credit to search for what commons the vendor had available to either fill out a deck or just to make a small investment in the Pauper format. This is a minor way to clean up some lost value, though in order to turn those dimes into dollars, it simply makes more sense to target rares.
I introduce this piece in this manner to stress the fact that my topic for today largely revolves around small investments, which naturally yield small returns. Theoretically you could invest heavily in bulk rares, though what I'm specifically advocating is rounding out your fractions of tix in bulk rares with promise. If they were slam dunks, they'd probably never be bulk, though Magic Online is a great platform for penny stocks.
The thing that put me on this topic for this week is Saito's flash deck. The deck is very inexpensive relative to other Standard decks, and a lot of players picked the deck up online after he posted his list following a 12-3 finish in GP Minneapolis.
Once people start buying in, prices move pretty quickly online, and this deck has gained significant value this week. Goldnight Castigator went from below 2 tix to over 4 in a short window, though the card I was personally most invested in was Stratus Dancer.
I've always thought that Stratus Dancer was a solid card, and it has been featured in a number of decks that I've brewed up throughout its Standard legality. It was a four-of in the deck that I played in GP Minneapolis, and when copies could be had for a quarter or a third of a ticket, I rounded out a number of trades with them.
In the aftermath of Saito's finish, the card has gone from a fraction of a ticket to nearly two tix, which is a very good return.
Of course, bulk is bulk for a reason, and while you're not gambling with much on bulk rares, the only way to get that investment back is to pick winners. What follows is a short list of great bulk pickups available on MTGO right now.
Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
Ayli can currently be purchased for just over 0.1 tix, and has previously pushed 0.5 tix. The reason I like Ayli so much is there are several pushed black-white cards currently in Standard, and I imagine that when Collected Company rotates Ayli will be an obvious place to start a mana curve. A 2/3 deathtouch creature for two is already pretty good, and it would be pretty amazing if Ayli never appeared in another popular Standard deck.
Bearer of Silence
Bearer of Silence is currently worth less than 0.1 tix, and has already appeared in the maindeck or sideboard of a few Standard decks. Bearer strikes me as a pretty pushed card, and I expect it to show up at some point. It really only takes one weekend of reasonable success to turn a small profit on a card with such a price. These types of cards are more risky in paper, though they're great pickups online.
Bygone Bishop is another bargain at sub-0.1 tix. Gerry Thompson played this card in his build of Humans at the Columbus Invitational, and I suspect we'll be seeing more of it.
A 2/3 flier for three is a completely reasonable rate, and as a spirit the Bishop could easily show up alongside Rattlechains, a strong constructed card given the right support. Once Collected Company rotates, this is could be a great option for generating value in Standard.
Drowner of Hope
Drowner of Hope has been doing some climbing lately, but is still below 0.15 tix. Drowner plus Eldrazi Displacer once dominated Modern, and even now is making a resurgence. This card is also receiving some attention as a standalone win condition in a Standard Izzet Control deck.
I believe Drowner to be a very powerful card, and I even featured two copies in my sideboard last weekend in Minneapolis. The fact that the card has both Standard and Modern appeal makes it a particularly good pick.
Prized Amalgam can be found for just over 0.1 tix, and has already seen prices above 0.5 tix based on Modern appeal. It is both entirely possible that Eldritch Moon offers a reason to play this card in Standard, and that Modern Dredge has a successful weekend that boosts its price. Standard hope may be ambitious, though a bump due to Modern is likely inevitable.
The most common price for this card is about 0.07 tix. While I don't believe it's exceptional, this is the kind of card that tends to end up in budget decks, and there is a large contingent of Magic Online players just waiting to jump on those. If and when this card starts moving, the jump to 0.5 tix wouldn't take long.
Wasteland Strangler looks to be hitting a low point, with copies available around 0.15 tix. This card has had buy prices of 0.5-0.6 tix in the past, and with appeal coming from both Standard and Modern I would expect to see those prices again. Honestly, I don't know what is causing Strangler to drop off currently, and I would expect this one to turn around pretty quickly.
You're won't retire off these picks, but speccing on MTGO bulk is a great way to take money you'd normally lose to rounding and generate some bonus tix for further speculation or to sustain your drafting addiction. The selling strategy is to keep your eyes on the market for any reason one of your holdings might bump up, such as a popular article or fringe tournament success, and to capitalize on even small gains.
Generally, I use 0.5 tix as a selling point unless I am confident in continued growth, with 0.25 tix being the high side of what I'm willing to spend on a bulk rare.
Thanks for reading,
@RyanOverdrive on Twitter