High Stakes MTGO – Oct 23rd to Oct 29th

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Hello, and welcome back to High Stakes MTGO!

Finally, things are going better for me and my bankroll. Although still farily low compared to a few months ago, Modern prices have stabilized and some are even generating me some tix now. Hopefuly we are done with bad news for speculators regarding Modern, as I'm counting on recouping some of the losses accumulated in October.

Fortunately Standard is currently pulling my bankroll forward. Many singles are heading up and all my Standard full set positions are doing great, or in the case of Battle for Zendikar full sets, recovering from the bottom of the pit. The main protagonists of our current Standard metagame seem to have been determined, although their relative dominance will probably be refined over the months to come. Any changes in the metagame could signifiy both buying and selling opportunities, but it may also lead to lossses for speculators not ready to adjust.

Unlike Modern, where most cards cycle up and down, cards in Standard may cycle down and never recover from it. Whenever a good opportunity occurs, selling and never looking back is often better than waiting for a hypothetical better opportunity. Doubling up is often a very good deal with Standard positions, and rare are the positions that sustain a price spike in the long run. After all, Standard introduces a new set every three months.

Let's review my moves this past week. The latest moves from my portfolio can be seen here.

Buys This Week


The paper value of a set of Dragons of Tarkir has been virtually flat for two weeks now and is likely to have found its post-rotation (and absolute) floor.

On the other hand, the online version of a DTK full set has been at an all-time low for only a week. As Matt commented in last week's MTGO Market Report, DTK dropped to a really low price and now might be the best time for some post-rotation speculaton. With all the successes we know of for third-set specs, I'm expecting DTK to yield good profit as well.


Led by Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, the value of online Magic Origins full sets seems to have rebounded from a bottom found two weeks ago. The paper value of ORI full sets is not yet as flat as DTK ones, but I think it's a great time to get in here.

For both DTK and ORI full sets, I haven't yet commited a large amount of tix. I'll likely continue to buy more sets over the next few days if prices decline further or stay at the same low levels.


Following Zendikar flashback drafts, I bought 26 copies of this trap at the not-so-low price of 4.5 tix per copy. Mindbreak Trap was dragged down below 3 tix in the wake of the introduction of the Treasure Chests.

This card only has narrow applications in eternal formats. But historically it spikes once a year or so, and has a tremendous potential with a ceiling around 20 tix. I'm trying to be ready for the next spike—I'll be fully satisfied if this card only reaches 10 tix the next time it's in demand.

Sales This Week

After Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur, W/U Flash decks came out to be very dominant. The future of B/R Delirium decks and Mindwrack Demon was not so bright and I decided to sell my copies of this demon while I knew I was making a profit.

However, starting with GP Providence, B/G Delirium decks have progressively become more popular. By now they're certainly filled the gap that separated them from W/U Flash and W/R Vehicles. Although Mindwrack Demon is not played in all variants of B/G Delirium, this card could have more upside than I thought. If you are still holding some copies of this demon it could be worthwhile to wait a week or two before selling.

I sold all my stock of Spell Queller after the results of GP Kuala Lumpur. 80% profit in less than three weeks is always something to consider.

This Spirit is certainly a great card and we'll see it around for a while in both Standard and Modern. With the dominance of W/U Flash decks declining a bit, I'm not sure how high this card can rebound after the peak observed last week. As Nicolas also suggested last Friday, selling now is likely to be the best overall move for a card that has almost tripled from a month ago.

Dark Ascension flashback drafts are next in line. My Thalia spec never really got me anywhere and I missed the few selling windows that would have allowed me to exit this position with a marginal profit. Taking advantage of a little price hike last week, I sold about half of my stock while I was still positive.

I didn't feel like selling the other copies now that buying prices are lower. Prices will certainly drop further with the flashback drafts and I'll wait for the next price increase to sell the rest of my Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.

The Mines were a nice surprise of this past week. 7.3 tix felt like a good buying price point and I was not expecting the rebound to be so fast or high. Gemstone Mine is probably riding the trend of Dredge in Modern and I'm not going to complain about it.

Although rebounding to 15 tix is possible here, I decided to sell 8 copies this past week as the Mines were listed at 11.8 tix on MTGOTraders' Hotlist. After a lot of disillusions with Modern specs, I can't turn my back on 60% made in barely a week.


One more copy of foil Grim Flayer sold this past week. 16 tix seemed like a good price but it keeps climbing! Selling foils is always more tricky than regular cards and they're almost always under-priced these days. I have two copies left and 20 tix seems possible this week. An incredible ride with this little guy!


Thanks to Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, the value of Battle for Zendikar full sets is picking back up. The trend might sustain for a few more weeks but I don't want to take any more risk with these. Selling four sets just below my buying price was something I had a hard time imagining a month ago, so I'm not going to waste that opportunity. I still have 29 sets to go—hopefully the good shape of BFZ prices keeps up in November.


This full set spec never panned out. I could have sold these at a small profit several months ago but I guess I wanted more. Now it's pretty clear that I'm not going to make any tix on my Fate Reforged full sets. Now I'm looking for the best moment to sell the other 12 FRF sets I still own. I'm likely to sell them before the end of this year, whatever their price may be.

On My Radar

Innistrad has several of the most iconic and powerful cards for Modern and other eternal formats. With flashback drafts going these days, I will try to grab some of the staples at the best discount possible.

The only shadow hanging over these cards is that several have a decent shot at being reprinted next March in Modern Masters 2017. Although Modern prices are expected to regain some strength in the coming months, that doesn't leave us with a lot of room to turn ISD specs into a profit between now and the first spoilers of Modern Masters 2017.

I'm going to keep selling my Standard positions as they go. Standard is always susceptible to changes and nothing guarantees prices will make it through an initial spike.

More specifically, I'm on the verge of selling my Eldritch Moon full sets. They have performed pretty well and have reached my target. In addition, one month after the release of a new first set appears to be the good selling window to sell previous full set specs. No reason to be too greedy here, especially after the recent disappointing performanaces from other full set specs.


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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2 thoughts on “High Stakes MTGO – Oct 23rd to Oct 29th

  1. 1-3-2010 Aunq un poco tarde, FELIZ AÃ’Æâ⃂¬ËœO para todos. Continuen asi y no se pí¬erdan nunca mas. Realmente fue un fin de año algo tragico con la muerte de algunos personjes y colaboradores del rock. Pero bueno, no qda mas q recordar su legado y seguir adelante. Felicidades a The Wild Children y a ver si para este año se hacen un testamento, eso estarí­a genial.

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