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 July 11th, 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.
Flashback Draft of the Week
Shards of Alara (ALA) block draft continues with the addition of the final set, the first all-gold-bordered set, Alara Reborn (ARB). Unfortunately ARB doesn't add much value, with the top card being the rare Maelstrom Pulse at 5 tix.
If your Modern collection is missing Terminate though, it's a good time to look for that card. And don't forget to continue watching out for Modern staple Path to Exile from Conflux. Staple uncommons see consistent price fluctuations. This card is rarely below 2 tix and often has been close to 4 tix in the last ten months.
The Legacy Festival is ongoing and will culminate in the Festival Championship on July 24th. The price of cards that see play in both Modern and Legacy have benefited as a result. Cavern of Souls is back above 40 tix and Liliana of the Veil is another staple from Innistrad block that has crested the splashy 100 tix level.
With the paper prerelease events for Eldritch Moon (EMN) coming up this weekend, players' attention and wallets will be turning to Standard and the new cards, respectively. It's definitely time to be lightening up your Modern positions and trying to get liquid in advance of the release of the new set on MTGO.
Although Modern and Legacy prices typically get a bounce in September, the release of the large Fall set triggers a lot of price declines. It's not too early to be thinking about building liquidity to take advantage of the sale prices. There might not be many great deals to pick up during the EMN release period, but there will definitely be opportunities for deploying tix into Modern positions in October.
Taking a look at the most recent results, the field is currently dominated by the colour white, with archetypes including G/W Tokens, Bant Company, and aggressive white-based strategies.
The foundation of this dominance shows up in having some of the most powerful cards from the Standard sets, such as Gideon, Ally of Zendikar from Battle for Zendikar (BFZ), Dromoka's Command from Dragons of Tarkir (DTK), Eldrazi Displacer and Reflector Mage from Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) and Archangel Avacyn from Shadows over Innistrad (SOI), not to mention the subtly good Thraben Inspector and the excellent Declaration in Stone. Add it all up, and the foundation for a number of powerful decks is in place for white.
With Eldritch Moon (EMN) fully spoiled, there's no sign that white is ready to fade back to the pack. Gisela, the Broken Blade might live up to her name in Standard and is certainly going to be a pricey mythic rare out of the gate, and Thalia's Lancers does a very suitable Goblin Dark-Dwellers impersonation. Chiefly though, the lack of a set rotation means that a wholesale change in the Standard format is an unlikely possibility.
However, DTK and Magic Origins (ORI) only have a couple of months left in Standard, which means its not too early to start planning for that change. Black in particular strikes me as having gotten a boost in EMN. Exhibit A is Liliana, the Last Hope. Three-casting-cost planeswalkers have a historic pedigree and I anticipate that this card will see play in Standard at some point. Another card featuring Liliana is Oath of Liliana, which might turn out to be the right up there with Oath of Nissa in terms of the amount of play it sees.
Lastly, Collective Brutality looks like a premium madness enabler and is a classic black card in that you get to trade non-mana resources for one or more effects. The card is a bit of a tool box where each of the effects is not worth spending two mana on individually, but having the flexibility of all of them as options makes it playable on its own.
Combining to give up to two madness outlets for zero mana beyond the original 1B pushes this card into a very interesting space. A dedicated madness strategy might not materialize in Standard, but this card doesn't necessarily need that to happen for it to see play.
With these three cards all looking to have applications in Standard, combined with a few nods to the zombie tribe, it would be prudent to look to objectively powerful black cards as speculative targets. In this week's Trade of the Week, I target a possibility from OGW.
Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) and Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) boosters have held around their prices of 2 tix and 3.5 tix respectively. There continues to be a small cadre of drafters entering these queues, but with EMN's pending release, I anticipate a period of price weakness on these boosters. BFZ might head to a new low of around 1.8 tix and OGW is likely to hit 3.3 tix again.
Once August rolls around, prices will stabilize and inch higher, especially after drafters get their fill of EMN-SOI draft.
Trade of the Week
As usual, the portfolio is available at this link. This week I was considering how EMN would impact Standard, and my conclusion was that black was going to get a boost. With applications in Modern and a recent price ceiling close to 40 tix, I felt that Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet from OGW had some short-term potential in Standard and was definitely a card I want to be holding heading into the winter.
There's a good possibility this card will dip further as EMN prerelease events get started on MTGO. A dip into the 15 to 20 tix range would prompt me to go deeper and put another playset or two into the Market Report portfolio.