High Stakes MTGO – Sep 18th to Sep 24th

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Hello and welcome back for another High Stakes MTGO article!

These last two weeks have been a little more busy than usual for me. I have to admit that I was not able to keep up with my shopping lists, in Standard especially. As you know, I would love to put my hands on as many potential targets as possible before Standard rotation. In practice, though, it requires some time to buy dozens and dozens of playsets of every position you want.

Writers here at QS did a great job highlighting what cards have the best chances to rise in price between the next few weeks and this Winter. It's also great to have insights from both paper and online MTG finance experts. Paper MTG and MTGO don't have a lot in common speculation-wise but when it comes to identifying what card(s) from the previous Standard sets could rise in price, advice in any one of the two realms can often transfer to the other one.

One of the key difference to keep in mind is that finding undervalued paper cards from the set to be released (Kaladesh at the moment) is no use to MTGO. Online prices are bound to lose value from the moment cards are released, and it doesn't help much to know which ones are underestimated in the paper world.

I made only a few moves this past week but let's review them nonetheless. The snapshot of the portfolio can be found here.

Buys This Week


Two more Leylines in my portfolio following Magic 2011 flashback drafts. These are clearly not the super stars that Leyline of the Void and Leyline of Sanctity are, but Leyline of Anticipation and Leyline of Punishment have made a few appearances in more-than-casual Modern decks in the past two years or so. The devotion mechanism is no stranger to this, allowing the red Leyline for instance to spike from bulk to a sustainable 2 to 4 tix price range since January this year.

In either case, with their price back to a much lower point, I'm simply accumulating some copies just in case the Travis Woo or SaffronOlive brew with these again. The risk is low and the potential is big with these two specs.


In the middle of the semi-fiasco of my Battle for Zendikar targets---including full sets and boosters---my basket of foil mythics is about the only thing doing what I expected---in this case something around 20-30% profit overall. Although the new Standard block and rotation structure is merely a year old and there's not much data available, foil mythics, and to a lesser extent foil full sets, appear to be decent speculative targets. Surely I'm only taking about 20-40% at best, but where my BFZ full set spec is down by 20-25% my BFZ foil mythic basket is up by the same amount.

Since both OGW full sets and OGW foil mythics did great I'm naturally considering EMN and its foil mythics. As a second set I think EMN has better speculative odds then SOI. Foil mythics did okay for me with BFZ and a lot of OGW foil mythics also did well.

Now, EMN is different from OGW. A lot of EMN foil mythics started really low. While I bought a few copies back in August, I have probably missed the absolute bottom of most of the foil mythics I bought this past week. But no problem; I think most of the foil mythics I just picked can go from their current price to ~10 tix by the release of Aether Revolt.

One last point here with foil mythics being priced so low: if a card like Gisela, the Broken Blade (a great card on its own) would become a key card in a popular deck in the next Standard, then the price of its regular version could climb to 12 or 15 tix. The price of the foil version will inevitably converge. In that case this is a pure bonus that would occur independently of the natural and slow rising of prices.

Sales This Week

Just when I thought I was done with my painlands they rebounded one last time. Battlefield Forge jumped from 0.1 tix to 0.5 tix, all I needed to liquidate another 85 copies of this land without losing 80%.

I bought this mythic dragon from Magic 2013 a while ago hoping it would return to the 10-15 price range. Although the Hellkite has several incursions around 8 tix it never got higher and kept oscillating between 4 and 8 tix.

With a recent bump to 6 tix a few weeks ago, a new Standard to explore and M13 flashback drafts scheduled in two months, I'm not sure I'll eve be able to sell Thundermaw Hellkite for more than that. I'm breaking even here, which is the best I can do for now. My tix will be more useful somewhere else.

On My Radar

This is the final stretch for buying Standard targets before rotation and before we see the first tournament results with Kaladesh in the mix. These early tournaments won't be as impactful as Pro Tour KLD, but they will start shaping the new price landscape and give ideas to a lot of players and speculators.

Unfortunately I'll be busy at work so I already know my time on MTGO will be limited again this week. I'll try to focus on the most promising positions and EMN is probably where to look at in this regard. A lot of rares and mythics are worth a shot in the second set of the Shadows over Innistrad block.


Thank you for reading,


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Sylvain Lehoux

Sylvain started playing Mtg in 1998 and played at competitive level for more than 10 years including several GP and 3 PT. When he moved to Atlanta in 2010 for his job he sold all his cards and stopped "playing". In 2011 he turned to Mtg Online and he experimented whether it was possible to successfully speculate on this platform. Two years later and with the help of the QS community his experience has grown tremendously and investing on MTGO has proven to be greatly successful. He is now sharing the knowledge he acquired during his MTGO journey! @Lepongemagique on Twitter

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