High Stakes MTGO – Dec 18th to Dec 24th

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Hello, and welcome back for the last High Stakes MTGO article of 2016!

The penultimate week of 2016 was one without any buys on my end. Standard and Modern have not been offering a lot of exiting targets for my portfolio lately.

It could, however, be a good time to consider some Standard targets among the Battle for Zendikar and Shadows over Innistrad blocks. These two blocks will rotate out of Standard next fall, and if new cards from these blocks have a chance to shine, it will have to be within the next four to six months.

It's harder for the older cards to spike when a format is established, so the risk is higher with these two blocks. Kaladesh positions, followed by Aether Revolt next, will be best acquired around the release of Amonkhet.

On the other hand, Frontier is really starting to make some noise out there. Enough noise to trigger real, big, and fatty spikes as you may have seen recently. Dig Through Time and Rally the Ancestors spiked significantly last week, seeing their price multiplied by ten or more compared to a month ago. Goblin Rabblemaster, Siege Rhino and Dromoka's Command, some of the presumed staples of this unofficial format, have also confirmed a price rebound lately.

However good this sounds, remember that these price surges are purely speculative at the moment. If this frenzy sustains for a few more days, I will clearly be selling.

I'm also trying to get more liquid these days, another reason why I'm more a seller than a buyer at this time. A certain level of uncertainty for speculators has been floating around for a while, and I would rather hold tix than cards whenever possible.

Let's review what happened in my portfolio this past week. The lastest snapshot of the portfolio can be seen here.

Buys This Week


Sales This Week

Nissa was gaining some price back, probably due to Oath of Ajani being spoiled last week. While we can certainly imagine a comeback of Nissa, Voice of Zendikar under the spotlight, at this point it's still pure speculation.

I bought Nissa several months ago at 5.7 tix, hoping for a rebound in the 10-15 tix price range after its key role in the oppressive G/W Tokens deck in pre-Kaladesh Standard. Instead, Nissa slowly drifted down to 4 tix. I was not in a mood to test how high this planeswalker could go based only on speculation.

I may be wrong, but this is also part of my strategy to get rid of positions that aren't performing fast enough. I’m trying to be more liquid with my portfolio, and selling Nissa with a 10% profit after being down by about 30% for two and a half months felt like a good move to me. If you have a different perspective it could be worthwhile to hold onto Nissa for a few more weeks.

Following the few copies I initially sold a week and a half ago, I completely closed this position this past week. As with all the other BFZ rare lands, I bought them too early and for too much, but now feels like a good opportunity to exit this position with a moderate profit.

Here as well, I finished selling all the copies of a position I had started to liquidate a week and a half ago. The price is not as high as I wanted, but holding onto Serum Visions gets more and more risky as we approach the release of Modern Masters 2017.


My initial price target for Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) full sets was 45 to 50 tix, which was reached rather quickly. This fast upward trend may not stop, as Frontier is probably helping pushing DTK prices higher than they should. Still, I’m not willing to push my luck too far. I've already sold five sets over 50 tix—that's more than 40% profit, a great number for a full set spec.

In addition, January often marks a halt in the price increase of full sets that just rotated out of Standard. While we have seen certain full sets maintain an upward trend until the summer, several others have stagnated or even declined. In light of my current returns, and despite DTK prices showing a lot of strength, I won’t wait too long before liquidating all of my full sets. Now I just hope that Magic Origins full sets follow the trend.


Two foil BFZ mythics that again reached my target price this past week. Opportunities to sell these cards at a profit are rare—often I only manage to find a buyer for one or two copies at a time. I'm very unlikely to actually make a profit on most of my BFZ foil mythic positions; at least I'll make one on these.

On My Radar

I already started selling my DTK full sets and the rest of the stock is likely to follow soon. I'll see how prices evolve in the coming days and weeks, but as I mentioned before I'm likely to sell everything in January.

More generally, and as mentioned in the previous weeks, I'm still paying close attention to Modern prices. I'm trying to transform Modern positions into tix as often as possible these days. My portfolio is likely to see more movement as we approach the release of the first Modern Masters 2017 spoilers.


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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Posted in Buying, Finance, Free, MTGO, SellingTagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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2 thoughts on “High Stakes MTGO – Dec 18th to Dec 24th

  1. Hey Sylvain, great article as always. Do you remember when did you buy in DTK sets? I think I don’t know a lot about that kind of movement and seems worthwhile.

    1. I Sebastian,

      I bought my DTK, and ORI, full sets around the release of KLD. When sets are about to rotate out of Standard and during the release of the new 1st set is usually the best time of these kind of full set specs. This works best with 3rd sets and Core sets.

      The problem for now on is that with the new set structure and new redemption schedule this might not be possible anymore.

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