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High Stakes MTGO – June 19th to June 25th

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Welcome back to High Stakes MTGO!

This past week was very calm for me speculative-wise as with only three moves my portfolio saw almost no action. To be honest I had very little time to dedicate to MTGO speculations this past week and with prices dropping all around because of the release of Eternal Masters (EMA) there were less potential speculative moves than usual.

Since the expected value of EMA on MTGO is far from spectacular, players are likely to quite drafting EMA sooner rather than later, and many EMA singles rebounded late last week. The best buying window might as well be now. With a full-reprint set every one knows what the good cards are and it might not be easy to discriminate real demand from speculative frenzy at the moment---prices may go up more, stabilize or even go down again this week.

Legacy and Vintage have always been difficult from a speculative angle. These two formats are not popular enough (yet?) to sustain long-term growth or marked cycles as seen in Modern. If great speculative moves can be made in the short term, with the incoming Legacy events for instance, nothing is certain in the long-term.

Vintage Masters is a great example to keep in mind---very little worked out and prices went on a long slippery slope for pretty much a year and a half, before only moderately rebounding last September.

With the release of EMA, Shadowmoor and Eventide flashback drafts didn’t get full attention. Singles from these two sets didn’t get as heavily discounted, on average, as other flashback drafted sets. I only bought Mystic Gate and I’ll explain below why I was not particularly interested in other cards, such as Prismatic Omen.

Starting with Standard prices, everything else was also negatively affected. The two cards I was keeping a close eye on last week---Oath of Nissa and Kozilek's Return---lost about 40% and 30% respectively and actually peaked right before the release of EMA. I'm sure they will rebound close to where they were before, but nothing is going to happen very soon unfortunately.

Here's the link to this week's snapshot.

Buys This Week

AM

I went in on Arid Mesa almost exclusively with a quickflip in mind. This Zendikar fetchland dipped to 18 tix last week after being above 20 tix for almost two weeks. I believe the situation is temporary and that Mesa should be back in the 20-25 tix range very soon for the Legacy Leagues. I planning on selling my copies around 22 tix unless a strong upward trend fires up.

MG

At 3.7 tix (or even lower if you caught it before me), Mystic Gate is great speculative target. To start with that price of 2.5-3.5 tix is a one-year low and a reasonable entry point considering its price since the beginning of Modern. Gate peaked at 15 tix right before the release of BFZ and has gone over 7 tix about half a dozen times in the past five years.

With such a stat, needless to say the odds of doubling with this spec are in my favor. As of yesterday I hadn't picked up any copies of Fire-Lit Thicket which is in a very similar situation; I guess I'll grab a few playsets today or tomorrow.

And that's it for my buys this week. So why not Prismatic Omen, Painter's Servant or any other Eventide cards? The reason is double. One reason is that I'm planing on downsizing my account a bit in coming weeks/months, so I'm really looking for either short-term performances, such as with Arid Mesa, or longer-term options with a great profit margin such as Mystic Gate.

When I look at Prismatic Omen I see a great risk of doing nothing in the short- to mid-term. Surely the card has peaked to almost 15 tix very recently but at its current price of 5.3 tix I don't see a great opportunity. Besides that recent spike, 5.3 tix is above Prismatic Omen's price for the past twelve months. Conclusion: there's a decent chance the price remains about the same for a while before moving up again, and it could possibly go down from here too!

Painter's Servant is in a comparable situation where it's hard to know when the next spike will occur. Fracturing Gust and Greater Auramancy could be great targets but since I'm more looking for short-term winners at the moment I can't really commit to them. If you're looking at long-terms picks these two could be for you.

The other interesting pick in Shadowmoor is Fulminator Mage and I already have my pockets full of it. I'm targeting 15 tix with this guy and hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.

Sales This Week

My only sale this week, and it's not really a winner. This one is among my too long list of Magic Origins mythics that didn't do great for me. This guy quickly dropped around or below 0.5 tix after the release of BFZ and never really found a home anywhere. I paid a full 2.2 tix back in August 2015 and thought I was good with an 80% loss. With the recent price hike at 1 tix I couldn't hesitate too much and sold my stock of this green beast at a 60% loss.

This is also a reminder that I still own quite a few ORI positions including cards I though would do something such as Avaricious Dragon, Abbot of Keral Keep, Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh and Starfield of Nyx.

Unfortunately none of these break the G/W Tokens-W/x Humans-Bant Company trio that's strangling the Standard metagame. I will most likely have to sell them with serious losses unless Eldritch Moon seriously changes the deal. I think I'm willing to wait if red is given a second chance this year.

On My Radar

Only one thing to focus on in the coming two weeks: the Legacy Festival. I have a long list of about two dozen cards I intend to sell during these events and if there's only a little positive momentum playing in my favor I won't hesitate to pull the trigger.

I'm planing on selling not only my few Legacy positions, but also any Modern specs that would benefit from the Legacy hype. Some Modern positions such as Cavern of Souls, Inkmoth Nexus, Spellskite or Past in Flames may cycle down after this month and I'd rather not wait two more months to sell at the same price.

 

Thank you for reading,

Sylvain

2 thoughts on “High Stakes MTGO – June 19th to June 25th

  1. Hey Sylvain,

    I have a couple questions for you. First, have you noticed any significant performance differences between high dollar specs ($15 and above) vs low ones? (below $8) Are there any trends that you have noticed that will generally apply?

    Second, after you free up tix from selling, how do you determine how many tix to keep on hand vs how many to put back into new purchases? Do you try to hit any certain number of tix before heading into a buying period?

    1. Hi PJ,

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you ealier.

      For the performance difference. I had actually checked and discussed it in my conclusion of my Nine Month of Portfolio Management series (https://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/insider-nine-months-of-portfolio-management-data-analysis/). As you would expect the ROI is lower with higher-priced cards but more Tix are generated. It’s mostly a matter of bankroll size (to check what prices are the most appropriate for you) and time you can put in MTGO specs (cheap cards are much more time consuming to flip but have a higher ROI).

      I usually sell Tix about once a year. If I know I won’t have much time for MTGO in the months/year to come then I’ll be inclined to sell more. I usually try to keep the account balance to what I had a year ago+a little bit more. I may also spend some Tix buying cards to play or drafting.

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