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Hello and welcome back for another High Stakes MTGO article!
Pro Tour Eldritch Moon just ended, bringing with it a huge change to the Standard format. We saw a lot of Emrakul and Kozilek's Return, no W/x Humans and only two Bant Company in the Top 8. Lukas Blohon took home the trophy with a W/B Control deck. In summary it was a great weekend for players and also for speculators, as a lot of cards under scrutiny did great in this tournament.
On a personal level, the tix I was accumulating over the past few weeks were put to good use during PT EMN. Besides being a little disappointed to have sold Kozilek's Return too soon last week and missed the Emrakul, the Promised End spike, I'm rather happy with my quickflips. I'm especially happy to see Yavimaya Coast as the most played card among the Top 8 decklists, as I'm still holding more than 350 copies of this Magic Origins painland.
The latest snapshot of my portfolio can be found here.
Quickflips This Week
Since most of my transactions aimed at quickflips this past weekend, I'll review them in this special category this week. A strategy I used once or twice in the past consists of quickflipping all of the mythics from the newest set that have even a slight chance of being played at the Pro Tour. This strategy has more to do with dynamite fishing than with careful investment, and this very low-risk strategy leads to low profit.
This idea is to capitalize on the Pro Tour hype and the very low supply of mythics from the newly released set. After only one week, the MTGO supplies of the newest set are fairly low. Independently of their price, one or two days prior to the Pro Tour all cards are susceptible to spike if they're exposed on camera or among the top Standard decks.
Though I would not consider a 40-tix card such as Liliana, the Last Hope, anything else under 15 tix is worth considering. Very often I advocate for an equal distribution of tix in a basket of positions. In this case you don't want to be too heavy on copies as it could be very costly to liquidate 100 copies of a losing quickflip. For this reason I would rather simply buy 30 to 50 copies even if that means 350 tix in one position and 35 tix in another one.
Below is the list of the EMN mythics I speculated on following this strategy. Let's get this out of the way now---I missed Emrakul, the Promised End. I was not sure about her appearance at the PT and with the time shift between Australia and the US I couldn't follow real-time info about the rise of the legendary Eldrazi.
With the exception of Deploy the Gatewatch these were all sold by Friday night, after the end of Day 1 at the Pro Tour. Yes, I barely kept these cards for 24 hours. I only sold Deploy the Gatewatch on Sunday morning because I didn't have time before and because it didn't matter much at that point considering the card's value. Otherwise I would recommend selling everything by the end of Day 2.
Unless you can follow the action and price movements all weekend long, cherry-picking what to sell and what to keep for one or two more days can be the beginning of some troubles. The mythics that didn't make it---the majority of them---quickly plunge and you really want to sell them by the end of Day 1. The goal is to break even with the misses and make a profit as large as possible on the few winners.
Gisela, the Broken Blade, Deploy the Gatewatch, Nahiri's Wrath, Mirrorwing Dragon, Gisa and Geralf, Tamiyo, Field Researcher and Decimator of the Provinces ended up costing me 13.3 tix, an insignificant 1.3% loss considering more than 1000 tix were invested in them. Some were slightly profitable (Gisela, Gisa and Geralf), some not (the Dragon), some totally crashed over the weekend (Decimator of the Provinces), and Nahiri's Wrath actually doubled by Sunday!
Grim Flayer and Ishkanah were the two winners of my basket, for a cumulative +208 tix. Because I was not able to connect to MTGO until Friday night, my average sale price for the legendary spider was only 15.5 tix though it was possible to sell it over 17 tix mid-day. After a little dip to 13 tix, Ishkanah is back to 18 tix by Sunday night and it's doubtful this will last.
Despite missing the actual biggest winner of this past weekend (Emrakul almost tripled!) my quickflip plan with EMN mythics yielded a decent net of 195 tix.
While I considered them, foils were ultimately not a part of my quickflip strategy. I did buy some mythic foils with an eye to a longer-term window, including Emrakul. Unlike foil Ishkanah, Grafwidow, which didn't follow the price trend of the regular version, the foil version of Emrakul, the Promised End did actually spike.
Since I believe the price spike won't last for either version it was an easy sale after the price doubled. +100% in 24 hours is definitely a good quickflip, even if that wasn't my intention at purchase.
I had also bought this red angel just in case. Nothing really happened for this card except taking a few slots in some sideboards. Nonetheless the price jumped by about 50% over the weekend.
Since I was on a quickflip option with the Castigator I didn't look further and sold it with a little less than 50% profit. I still believe this card can do more in Standard but that just wasn't my strategy this week. I might come back to it if the price dips under 1 tix again.
Buys This Week
Traverse the Ulvenwald was a card everyone talked about way before this Pro Tour and it turned out to be the exact toolbox card everyone thought it was. With much more delirium enablers now, Traverse is really becoming a one-mana Demonic Tutor for creatures and lands. I think the ceiling on this card is much higher than the 1.5 tix it saw on Saturday, or the sub-1 tix price on Sunday.
16 copies of Traverse the Ulvenwald were in the Pro Tour Top 8 but none of the decks playing them passed the quarterfinals. That's about the only reason I could find for this temporary dip.
24 copies of this card also appear in the 8-2 or better Standard finishers! This is a great opportunity to buy more copies of the green sorcery (which is what I'm doing as you read these lines) before it rises to new heights very soon.
As noticed by James Chillcott and Matt Lewis in last's week MTGO Market Report, several foil mythics from EMN started with a price tag relatively low for their long-term expected price. Foil mythics under 5 or 6 tix, including potentially playable mythics, are a quasi sure bet in the long run.
Thus I decided to pull the trigger on several of them, including Ishkanah, Grafwidow and Emrakul, the Promised End, which had even higher chances to rise in price considering their current Standard playability. While foil Ishkanah is lagging in price the foil version of Emrakul doubled, which I immediately converted into cash.
Crush of Tentacles was a missed opportunity this weekend. It was meant to be a quickflip but I have to admit I bought this card against the trend. I could not sell this card at a good price and now I'm stuck with it. That might not be the best option but I'll stick with it for a while and see what happen next.
Sales This Week
Apart from the half dozen or so quickfilps, I made two regular sales. I should actually say one since the SOI boosters specs turned out to be much faster than I anticipated, and I ended up flipping these boosters after only two days.
The idea here was really good and I wish I had more time available last weekend to buy more of these. As of last Monday morning the price of SOI boosters was still around 2.5 tix and I was planning on buying more copies once back home from work. Well, that was too late. As of Monday night the price of SOI boosters was already back up to 3 tix and the time to sell had arrived.
This was a spectacular booster spec opportunity as it was almost possible to make a 1 tix profit per pack, in less than a week. What was also exceptional about this spec is that the price of the SOI boosters dropped from 3.2 tix to 2.5 tix in one day and stayed that low for about two days before bouncing back to the original price in about 24 hours.
The price of ORI Yavimaya Coast started to move last week after the good performance of Cory Dissinger's U/G Crush deck. Since I still needed to get rid of about 500 copies of the painland I couldn't pass up an opportunity to sell at double my buying price. I therefore liquidated 128 more copies of Coast. It seems that a price of ~1 tix or more should sustain in the mid-term considering the decent success of decks running blue and green.
On My Radar
An immediate consideration is to consolidate my foil EMN mythic positions for those under 6-7 tix. For the foil mythics still above 8 tix I'm going to be more patient and see if the price decreases over the next few weeks---that's what we observed for some foil OGW mythics. In the following days I'll also be selling the rest of my ORI positions that didn't go anywhere during this Pro Tour, which now have virtually no chance to pick up in price before rotation.
The next big opportunity I'm preparing for are the Zendikar flashback drafts opening in just a little bit more than a week. I'm going to shake the dust off my portfolio and sell any useless positions in order to accumulate a good stack of tix for these events. Zendikar, Worldwake and Rise of the Eldrazi really have a lot to offer speculators.
Thank you for reading.