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Hi everyone, and welcome back for another High Stakes MTGO!
This past week was a little bit more quiet than the previous ones. With Standard settling down, I'm clearly more of a seller, especially with my full set positions, than a buyer at the moment. Maybe next month I'll start looking for bulk cards that may have a shot at spiking in 2017. Speculating on bulk or near-bulk positions doesn't usually involve much risk and can lead to big rewards if you hold a winner.
Not much action in Modern either, as a period of demand for cards in this format is approaching. There might be some decent picks to find, especially with the ongoing series of flashback drafts. But my bankroll is already filled with Modern positons, which I'd rather focus on selling with the best possible outcome. I'll do my best to seize every good selling opportunity, and I anticipate the bulk of my moves here to occur in two or three weeks.
This past week saw a lot of full set movement on my account, and almost no buys. Let's review what motivated these moves. The latest snapshot of the portfolio is here.
Buys This Week
Here is my second pick from Innistrad after this set was flashback-drafted a couple weeks ago. Past in Flames has very limited applications in Modern and Legacy, but this card does something no other cards do. Wait for Storm to cycle up in popularity and this socery will see its price boosted momentarily.
For almost two years Past in Flames floated between 10 and 15 tix, with a few spikes above 20 tix, mostly in 2014. Falling below 5 tix last week, the lowest this card has ever been in more than three years, makes it an even better pick-up. I'll be considering selling this guy as soon as the price returns in the neighborhood of 10 tix though.
This is a rebuy of a position I short-sold. I think Nahiri, the Harbinger should be priced much lower than what she's at now, but I was looking to rebuy Nahiri to (re)complete my Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) full sets. I barely gained 10% on that spec but I consider this short sale move a bonus to my SOI full set spec.
With this that's two recent short sales that turned out positive, although the profit margins were small, I admit. If you are invsting in full sets, short selling is definitely something to consider to boost your returns.
Sales This Week
Along with all the other Standard sets, the value of a Shadows over Innistrad full set has stopped rising. It's currently stabilized around 65 tix, with a buying price fluctuating around 55 tix.
Now that I have bought back my copies of Nahiri, the Harbinger from my short sale, my SOI sets are complete again and I've started selling some. For the first eight sets I sold, my profit was very modest and nothing compared to what I made with Eldritch Moon full sets, but I'll take it. My priority here is certainly not be stranded with SOI full sets like I was with the Battle for Zendikar full sets.
Yes, it has happened, I sold eight BFZ full sets this past week at a profit—a very marginal gain of 0.93 tix (2%) per set. Nothing to brag about, although I didn't think this was possible a month and a half ago. It seems, however, that the price of BFZ full sets will not seek higher levels. I'll most likely be selling the rest of my BFZ full sets before the end of November, even if I'm not breaking even any more.
Mentor never saw the price hike I was hoping for, probably because it didn't break through Modern (not yet at least). Until two weeks ago, I thought Monastery Mentor would be one of my far too many Modern specs to register big losses.
Then the Fate Reforged (FRF) mythic doubled in price out of nowhere. As the price was approaching 11 tix, I decided to get rid of my copies to put some tix to the bank, fearing the spike would not hold. And then it kept growing! I virtually broke even on that spec, although I could have posted a 30% profit, or more, if I had waited a few more days.
Fortunately, I didn't miss out on all of the gains involved in Monastery Mentor's spike. As Mentor rose in price so did the value of FRF full sets. The redemption cut-off date for FRF is still about six months away, but the redemption guarantee date is behind us. That means if paper stocks of a given set dry up, redemption will no longer be available, leading to a premature price drop.
This is what happened with Theros, and more recently with Khans of Tarkir (although that decision was reversed later on for KTK). My FRF full set spec was not exactly doing great, so when I saw the price surging I took my chance to exit this position with lower losses.
The interesting story here is that to liquidate these full sets of FRF, I actually sold them as singles. Dojotrade and Clanteam are the only bot chains, as far as I know, that advertise and buy full sets as-is. However, before selling I briefly checked the price of the top five FRF cards, starting with MTGO Traders. I realized they would consistently offer me 1 to 2 more tix than what Clanteam or Dojotrade could offer me for a full set.
Thus I looked for the best buyers among all bots of Monastery Mentor, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Then I sold the rest of the cards, roughly worth a ticket or so, to MTGO Traders, Goatbots and Clanteam (which buy any cards in any number). I ended up selling my final FRF sets for more than 19 tix, when the best offer for a full set was not even at 18 tix.
The regular version of Gisela, the Broken Blade has come to a stop price-wise around 15 tix. So did the foil version of the legendary Angel. Still with a gap of a few tix, the foil version of mythics can only go as high as the regular version does these days. A 68% profit on a foil spec is definitely a return you have to pay some respect to. I got what I was hoping for here and there's no reason to stick around longer.
On My Radar
My immediate goals for the next few days are to close my SOI and BFZ full set positions, or at least as much as possible. Prices are stabilizing and I have no intention to get stranded with my SOI full sets or hope for more with my BFZ full sets.
I will also keep selling BFZ and OGW boosters while I'm at it. All of this accounts for a lot of tix I want to make sure are free by the end of the year, before Aether Revolt hits and we start getting the first spoilers of Modern Masters 2017.
With Modern prices clearly doing better now, I'm looking for the best possible timing to sell a lot of positions that are up. We all expected this trend to sustain for about a month or so, but here again I don't want to be too greedy, especially with positions I have been holding for several months.
On the buying side there will still be several good opportunities, starting notably with Avacyn Restored flashback drafts firing this Wednesday. I'll be looking for short-term flips as almost every card could potentially be reprinted in Modern Masters 2017.
Thank you for reading,