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Insider: MTGO Cards to Buy, Sell or Hold – Episode 23 (End-of-Year Special)

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Hello, investors, and welcome to the last episode of the year. For the occasion, I'm going to do a special Buy, Sell or Hold, reviewing the biggest winners and losers of the series so far, explaining what worked and what didn't, discussing how we can improve our future speculations, and where the market is standing now as we consider possible investments.

Chandra, Flamecaller 7/15 Rated: Buy

chandra-flame-600x262

Today

new-chandra-flamecaller

Let's start with the worst speculation. I still think buying Chandra at that moment was the correct thing to do. The card had proved to be very useful and strong – a sweeper and curve-topping finisher, pretty much exactly what control decks want. A few days before the release of a new edition and the Pro Tour, I wanted to have it in my portfolio.

What Happened?

Eldritch Moon included Emrakul. All of a sudden, aggro decks with plenty of creature weren't played that much, making a six-mana sweeper with upside useless.

Chandra dind't find a new home after Kaladesh either, and the price continued to plummet to its all-time low, where it is now. Chandra was one of the most expensive cards of its set, and those are risky speculations when a new edition shows up, because no matter how strong a card is, metagame changes bring price changes with them.

Where is Chandra standing now? With the changes to the Standard rotation schedule, Wizards gave her a second chance. We are in the opposite situation of when I first rated it: the cards is at its historic low and currently unplayed. With Aether Revolt's release so close and a likely metagame change along with it, if Chandra finds a place in Standard, it will rebound for sure.

Verdict: BUY

Tireless Tracker 8/5 Rated: Buy

tireless-tracker-600x292

But wait! There's more:

10/7 Rated: Buy at 1.51

11/11 Rated: Hold at 2.43

12/2 Rated: Hold at 2.97

12/9 Rated: Sell at 2.55

Today

new-tireless-tracker

Tireless Tracker is the card I wrote about the most in this series, partly because of its big swings and partly because it has seen Standard play since its release.

What Happened?

When I first rated it at buy, the card was being played all over the metagame in the Bant deck. Buying a card so heavily  played, even a few days before a Pro Tour, was a mistake. It was very unlikely to go even higher. After Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, the card continued it bearish trend, seeing less play and dropping to 1.51, a much better price and scenario to buy in.

From this point on I'm comfortable with the decisions I made. After the release of Kaladesh, Tireless Tracker started to see more play in BG Delirium and RG Aetherworks, but with the uncertainty of how many copies were being played (individual decks of the same archetype ranged anywhere from zero to four copies), that explains the hold rating, waiting for the best moment to sell. When BG Delirium started to move out of the scene and RG Aetherworks stopped played Tracker, that was the moment I decided to liquidate my copies.

Where is it Tracker standing now? I don't think this is a good price to buy in before the Pro Tour. The best option is holding any copies you do have until the Pro Tour; selling out is not a bad option, though.

Verdict: HOLD

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar 6/29 Rated: Hold

gideon-ally-of-zendikar-600x264

Also:

10/21 Rated: Sell at 30.07

12/9 Rated: Sell at 33.46

Today

new-gideon-ally-of-zendikar

Again, expensive cards are very risky, and Gideon had always been the most expensive card in BFZ. Buying in to such a card expecting it to go even higher is usually a mistake.

What Happened?

When I first rated Gideon a hold, we were close to Pro Tour Eldritch Moon. Holding instead of selling is better in those scenarios. I didn't write about Gideon immediately after the event, but it should have been sold right after the PT after seeing it bad performance.  The card then dropped to the 16 to 17 price range, sleeping until the release of Kaladesh, only to make a glorious comeback in the UW Flash deck and reaching a price over 30 tix. That's definitely a moment to sell.

Where is Gideon standing now? Gideon is still very expensive and much more probable to go down rather than up after Pro Tour Aether Revolt.

Verdict: SELL

Eldrazi Displacer 8/12 Rated: Buy

eldrazi-displacer-600x260

Additionally:

11/4 Rated: Hold at 3.37

12/9 Rated: Hold at 8.33

Today

new-eldrazi-displacer

Eldrazi Displacer was a great speculation and good example of a card off the radar for a long period of time spiking when it sees play again.

What Happened?

In its first appearance in BSH, I rated it buy after the Four-Color Rite deck was losing power and slowly being abandoned from the metagame post Pro Tour Eldritch Moon. Before the release of Kaladesh, the price was very volatile for speculative reasons, so 3.37 was a good price to sell. It fell to 2 tix before spiking really high after the UW Panharmonicon deck appeared at the GP. At 8.33, waiting for the metagame reaction to the deck, the cards should been sold sooner than later.

Where is Displacer standing now? The card is still very expensive, and it 's not at a good price to grab some copies before the release of the new edition.

Verdict: SELL

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar 8/12 Rated: Buy

nissa-voice-of-zendikar-600x263

Plus:

12/23 Rated: Sell at 7.30

Today

new-nissa-voice-of-zendikar

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is another example that proves that patience pays off in MTGO speculation.

What Happened?

Nissa fell to 5.5 tix after the WG Tokens deck hype ceased, called for a time the strongest deck in that season. Those situations are great, because when a deck is heavily played and those players decide to sell it all at once, the market will be flooded and underpriced waiting for a rebound to happen. Nissa started to go up before Kaladesh, but after that set was fully spoiled, its price crashed again, maybe because there weren't any apparently good cards to brew with. All that season, the card remain silent –until a few weeks ago, where great green and white cards from Aether Revolt to combine with Nissa were spoiled and the card spiked in response.

Where is Nissa standing now? We are in a situation where the options are particularly close. Selling out at 7.3 the past week was okay because the card should drop to where it is now, but selling it today is no good. Nissa is a card I would like to have in my portfolio before week 1 of the new Standard with Aether Revolt. I think holding it (if you have it), meaning we should wait a few more days to make a decision, is slightly better than buying it, because I think it still expensive. The problem is that it won't go much lower, and we might miss the opportunity to buy it. I think the best option is waiting to see if a quick small price drop will allow those without copies to jump in this speculation.

Verdict: HOLD

That's all for now! I had a great year and really enjoyed writing the series, and I will probably take a few weeks off after this episode. I hope you had a happy and profitable year and have an even better 2017!

3 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Cards to Buy, Sell or Hold – Episode 23 (End-of-Year Special)

  1. I am also riding the hosetown bus on Chandra Flamecaller. As a red player, over the past year I have learned that wizards hates red, and trying to spec on red cards is just bad news. Even when you see a good red card in a vacuum there is not enough support to make viable red aggressive strategies.

    While there were definitely opportunities to make money on these cards at points in time, they fell out of the metagame and had tendancy to keep falling after the big spike which presented great opportunity to lose money, which I rode into oblivion.

    Chandra Flamecaller – as mentioned above

    Abbot of Keral Keep

    Zurgo Bellstriker

    Goblin Dark-Dwellers

    Lesson learned: Magic is a 4 color game, don’t spec on red.

    1. Interesting observation. Over the course of the last years I have noticed that red aggro decks have a good performance in the first weeks of a new metagame and then they just die. This should be kept in mind when investing. Goblin Dark-Dwellers is also one of my positions that isn’t doing well, together with Chandra Flamecaller, their possibilities of being played are wider than strictly aggro red cards as they can be played in two or three colors control decks.

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