Hello, and welcome back for this week's High Stakes MTGO!
Things look much brighter compared to last week, thanks to Standard in particular. Complete sets of Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon increased in value this past week, which positively impacted my bankroll.
Does the announcement of the reversion of the Standard rotation system have any thing to do with this? Maybe a tiny bit. Nonetheless, after embittering some of us, including myself, with its record low right before the release of Kaladesh, BFZ has now very nicely rebounded, on the path to reach its previous best pricing seen this Summer.
Another semi-good piece of news for the two oldest sets in Standard is the slight increase in BFZ and OGW booster prices. I assume that if full set values go up, pack prices have to follow to some extent. I'll take any gains here as I'm holding onto a big stack of these boosters. I have no hope of selling for more than I bought them at this point, but at least my losses will be less severe.
EMN and SOI have shown decent gains, which is rather good news for me since I had purchased a few of these full sets at what now appears to be good buying prices. Selling Grim Flayer and Gisela, the Broken Blade last week was not exactly the best timing. With U/W Flash poised to dominate Standard, often featuring two to four copies of Gisela, it looks like I'm going to be missing out on some tix here.
On the other hand selling Flayer was probably okay, as B/G Delirium decks, despite being well represented, are not posting strong enough finishes. Thus, that might cap the value of Grim Flayer around 17 tix. For both of these EMN mythics, now I'm waiting for the foil versions to catch up with their regular counterparts. The foil version of Grim Flayer is still lagging 3 or 4 tix behind, for instance.
The hemorrhaging of Modern prices looks to be subdued this week as the Total Format Modern Price index has been essentially flat this past week. Fall is traditionally a good season for Modern prices. With some Modern events lining up at the end of the year the tradition shall, hopefully, continue.
After the reversion of the Standard rotation system, Treasure Chests are probably the next thing players are hoping Wizards will go back on. The elimination of the Treasure Chests would certainly jump-start Modern prices, however removing the chests is more of a puzzle since they are the medium WotC chose to introduce the KLD Inventions.
Let's review how this past week went for me. As of Saturday October 22nd my portfolio looked like that.
Buys This Week
I said I would try to short-sell Liliana, the Last Hope, and I did. But it was for virtually nothing—16 tix of profit for about 300 tix manipulated. What I missed here was selling Liliana earlier. Selling in the 23-25 tix range would have been possible right before she plunged to 19 tix. I only sold my 14 copies at an average of 21.8 tix instead.
The price dipped further after that and I felt like buying back my copies of Liliana mid-week was the safest thing to do. Sure enough, Liliana, the Last Hope went back up to 27 tix this past weekend.
As I'm writing this it's not clear yet what portion of the metagame B/G Delirium (the deck making the most of Liliana, the Last Hope) will occupy. With two GPs featuring Standard Constructed this past weekend, short-selling Liliana again is in the realm of possibilities. 27 tix is a tough price to sustain for a mythic that doesn't end up occupying a solid place in the top decks. From what I can see from the two GP Trial Decklists and the three undefeated decks from Day 1 at GP Kuala Lumpur, Liliana is nowhere to be seen.
From a height of almost 50 tix, Keranos completely lost his support when Splinter Twin got banned. No other Modern decks since have picked up the blue-red god, and now here we are with a card once among the most expensive in Modern sitting at 7 tix.
Keranos's price has stabilized a couple of times in the past, around 20 tix in the Spring and around 13 tix this past summer. So I wouldn't conclude on this alone that 7 tix is the lowest he can go, even if that price has held for a month and a half.
However, when I was looking to grab my copies of Keranos, God of Storms it seemed like stocks were very limited. With 23 copies, I bought all the copies I could find under 8 tix. I also saw a few bots offering to buy Keranos at 7 tix, which is a sign of a certain demand for this god at that price.
For the past year and a half, Gemstone Mine fluctuated nicely between 7 and 15 tix, with the most recent drop likely due to its appearance on the Treasure Chest Curated List. Right now its price is much closer to its long-term floor. Additionally, I believe the short-term impact of Treasure Chests is greatly exaggerated, so stocking up on a few playsets of this land sounded like a decent plan.
In addition, the supplies of Timeshifted cards are fairly low, and this set has already been flashback-drafted. Nonetheless, I'm only jumping on five playsets at this time as the price of the Mine could decline a bit further down to 5 tix. If this happens, I'll be a buyer for two or three more playsets.
Mindwrack Demon appears to be a very good mid-curve card for most B/G Delirium decks. Brian DeMars also confirmed last week that the Demon was solid, stating, "If The Rock makes a comeback, expect this card to see some gains in the coming weeks." This was therefore a perfect opportunity, since the price of the Demon has dropped from 3 tix to 1.3 tix—its baseline since the release of SOI—in the wake of Pro Tour Kaladesh.
This card already jumped back to 2.5 tix by last Saturday. However, I just mentioned that B/G Delirium decks may not be well-positioned after the two Standard GPs of this past weekend. I'm not looking after unreasonable profits here, and if B/G Delirium decks are effectively behind in the metagame I'll sell my Mindwrack Demons immediately.
Sales This Week
My second short sale of the week. To me, Nahiri's appearances in Standard and Modern decks are clearly insufficient to justify a 10 tix price tag. Since I now own a few SOI full sets, short-selling this planeswalker seemed like a good speculative move.
I'm expecting Nahiri, the Harbinger to follow in Oblivion Sower's or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger's footsteps. A price of 5 tix is what I'm targeting, and that should be even lower if it appears that Nahiri can't find a strong Standard deck to fit in.
BFZ foil mythics have tanked a little bit these past two months, and Oblivion Sower was one of the foil mythics that maintained the cap somehow. While still profitable, I simply wanted to cash out a few tix here.
A last-minute sale, and one of the very few I made using an ad on the MTGO Classifieds. As I was saying in the intro, the foil price of Grim Flayer is lagging 2 to 3 tix behind the regular version if you want to buy it, and 3 to 4 tix behind if you are looking to sell. Apparently players don't mind paying more—up to 40% more sometimes—for the exact same thing, and this holds true for a lot of cards these days.
The best buying price I could find for foil Grim Flayer was about 13 tix; the average selling price was around 15.5 tix for foils and 18 tix for the regular version. I posted an offer selling foil flayer for 15 tix or 58 tix for a playset. It took me two hours but I found a buyer.
Cutting losses is virtually the only thing to do here. Considering the hundreds of boosters I have between BFZ and OGW, I'm selling some copies now that prices just saw a little increase. I don't even know if it's possible or not, but I'm not going to wait for these guys to reach 2.5 tix again before pulling the trigger.
Both of these cards have a shot in Standard and Modern, though limited ones, as it seems. I may have sold these two cards in too much of a hurry, but I'm okay with it and I'm not sure I'll be missing much anyway.
On My Radar
Now that Standard has significantly rebounded and that the metagame is settling down, I'll be trying to take every possible shot I have at selling my specs with a positive return. Cards may not have a second chance in a rotating format. U/W Flash might be dominating now but nothing guarantees it will still be the case in two months or even after the release of Aether Revolt.
Thank you for reading,