Insider: MTGO Market Report for November 2nd, 2016

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Welcome to the MTGO Market Report as compiled by Matthew Lewis. The report will cover a range of topics, including a summary of set prices and price changes for redeemable sets, a look at the major trends in various Constructed formats and a "Trade of the Week" section that highlights a particular speculative strategy with an example and accompanying explanation.

As always, speculators should take into account their own budgets, risk tolerance and current portfolios before buying or selling any digital objects. Please send questions via private message or post below in the article comments.


Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All prices are current as of October 31, 2016. The TCGplayer low and TCGplayer mid prices are the sum of each set's individual card prices on TCGplayer, either the low price or the mid price respectively. Note that sets of Theros (THS) are out of stock in the Magic Online store, so this set is no longer redeemable.

All MTGO set prices this week are taken from GoatBot's website, and all weekly changes are now calculated relative to GoatBot's "full set" prices from the previous week. All monthly changes are also relative to the previous month's prices, taken from GoatBot's website at that time. Occasionally, full set prices are not available, and so estimated set prices are used instead.


Flashback Draft of the Week

Innistrad (ISD) block draft adds a booster of Dark Ascension (DKA) in the flashback queues this week. Although a change to the format, the addition of DKA lowers the total expected value of the boosters one is cracking. However, Dark Ascension has value in cards other than mythic rares, so keep your eyes out for Grafdigger's Cage, a top sideboard choice to battle Dredge. Lingering Souls is an uncommon and a Modern staple that currently retails for 0.4 tix, and even the common Thought Scour is worth almost 0.1 tix.


There were two high-level Standard events this past weekend and here are the top eight decks from both Grand Prix Warsaw and Grand Prix Santiago. G/B Delirium was dominant, putting six and four copies of the deck into the top eight of these events, respectively. This has translated into another week of strong price gains for Eldritch Moon (EMN) on MTGO, where many of the deck components are found.

Until the format adapts to fight this deck, it's possible that the peak set price on EMN has not yet been reached. However, paper prices for most Standard sets were down this week. Declining paper prices removes the support of redemption which increases the possibility of a drop in prices. Prudent speculators should be taking this opportunity to pare down their positions in EMN.

Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) looks like it is good value at the moment relative to every other set in Standard. It is the cheapest set on MTGO and it also has a substantial gap between its digital and paper prices. It's possible that the low price of SOI is a result of the cards from the set being poorly positioned in the Standard metagame. If that's the case, and with Aether Revolt (AER) still months away, a shakeup in Standard is not going to rescue this set's price anytime soon. However, if you are holding cards from this set, selling now would be a mistake. I'll be holding onto my SOI sets into the winter and past the release of AER. At current prices, SOI has attractive upside relative to a small downside risk.


Taking a look at the recent Modern metagame at MTGGoldfish, Dredge variants are now 11 percent of the reported decks. This archetype seeks to load up the graveyard using Golgari Grave-Troll in order to power out Bloodghast, Prized Amalgam and zombie tokens from Bridge from Below. KLD gave this deck a substantial boost with the printing of Cathartic Reunion. This deck looks like it is gaining steam in the metagame and with a round of Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers featuring Modern coming up in December, this might be the deck to beat this season.

Although Golgari Grave-Troll is at an all-time high of 28 tix at the moment, there looks to be plenty of runway left as players continue to pick up the deck. Remember that at this time last year, Golgari Grave-Troll was on the Modern banned list. If Dredge dominates the Modern metagame over the coming months, a 40 tix price en route to a return to the banned list is not out of the question for this Ravnica: City of Guilds rare.

Standard Boosters

EMN boosters have powered higher to over 3 tix, more than doubling from their low of 1.4 tix from last month. Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) boosters have been more sluggish and have been stuck at the 1 tix level. The switch back to 6-2-2-2 draft queues has supported the price of EMN boosters through the skewed prize distribution. Although booster specs have been disappointing in their results, the recent gains on EMN boosters suggest that strategic acquisitions can still make a profit.

Players and speculators alike should be sure to target a few KLD and AER boosters when Amonkhet is released in the spring. With SOI as a guide, KLD boosters should find a floor at below 1 tix. Using EMN as a guide for AER, a price below 1.5 tix should be a safe level to target for purchase.

Trade of the Week

As usual, the portfolio is available at this link. With a dominant showing at both Standard Grand Prix events this week, B/G Delirium is the hottest deck in Standard. That deck features a number of cards from EMN inclulding Grim Flayer, Liliana, the Last Hope and Emrakul, the Promised End. These have all moved higher in the last week as a result. With a substantial gain already for EMN sets and a probable medium-term top in price, I felt it prudent to start selling some of the EMN sets I had bought in September.

Although complete-set buyers are few and far between, the big operators will buy most cards from a set all at once which is a de facto set sale. In this case, I found that MTGO Traders had the best buy prices on average, and I sold the 50 cards they were most interested in for 122 tix. This means that I can book the profit on the sale of EMN and still have a bunch of junk rares in my collection for possible future gains. There's no need to deal with the hassle of trying to sell a complete set anyway when 99 percent of the value is tied to the top cards.

The full set speculative strategy is working out very well for EMN. Unfortunately, the adjusted redemption window for KLD and AER mean that this broad speculative strategy is not going to be usable going forward. Hopefully you are enjoying this last kick at the can, although I will be working hard to divine future speculative strategies around the modified redemption window.

3 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Market Report for November 2nd, 2016

  1. Co-incidentally (or not) I’m also selling some of my EMN sets this week. That’s really too bad the redemption system is changing, it really seemed like the second set was a great opportunity for full set and single specs.

      1. I think there will be different opportunities in the new system, but it will take some work and some experience to figure it out. I will share my thoughts down the road.

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