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 December 12, 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.
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
This week, the Return to Ravnica (RTR) block gets finished with the addition of Dragon's Maze (DGM) to go with a booster each of RTR and Gatecrash (GTC). Here's an article covering full block draft on the mothership.
DGM turned out to be an underpowered set for Constructed purposes, with Voice of Resurgence eventually soaking up most of the value. That continues to this day, and with GW-based strategies on a downswing in Modern, the two drop-mythic rare is close to the bottom of its historical price range at 19 tix.
The trouble with targeting this card at this time is that Modern Masters 2017 (MM3) is set to be released in March 2017. That leaves precious little time for this card to benefit from a change in the Modern metagame and a resultant higher price. If the price of Voice of Resurgence hits 15 tix, very close to its all-time low, players comfortable with the possibility of a reprint should buy their playset at that price.
Regular readers of this column will know that Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) and Eldritch Moon (EMN) were my primary targets for speculation in September. This was based on the end of the drafting window for these sets and the potential for renewed interest in Standard after the rotation of Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) and Magic Origins (ORI).
I've also been analyzing the probable best selling window based on how set prices have moved in the past. Below is a chart of set prices for EMN compared to ORI, DTK and Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW). All prices are compared in their weekly price as reported here in the weeks after the prerelease for the set in question.
It's fairly clear that we have seen a price peak for EMN at a little under 150 tix. Both DTK and ORI peaked at a similar price later in their release windows, but these were also large sets which have the benefit of containing more cards. OGW is definitely a more compelling comparison, so it looks like we can expect a continued downward drift in the set price of EMN over the next few months.
Below I've recreated a similar chart for SOI and Kaladesh (KLD), comping both set prices over time with BFZ. KLD has got a lot of uncertainty about its future price path with its shortened redemption window, but it looks like it is close to a near-term bottom.
Recently SOI has bumped up close to 70 tix, but it has fallen off this week back down to below the 60 tix level. BFZ has fluctuated from below close to 75 tix down to below 50 tix, and it looks like SOI is following course. I am still holding sets of SOI in the Market Report porfolio, and I will look to sell these in the late winter after the release of Aether Revolt, or sooner if the price swings up closer to 75 tix.
With the printing of Cathartic Reunion and Blossoming Defense in KLD, Dredge and Infect strategies got the biggest boost in the Modern format. Although Infect is currently the most played successful strategy according to MTGGoldfish metagame results, neither it nor Dredge has cast such a long shadow on the format that I expect a card to be banned from either deck with the scheduled update in January.
Focusing in on Dredge, Golgari Grave-Troll has recently dropped to pre-KLD levels at 15 tix. This is a result of Dredge making an initially strong showing in October before decks started packing enough graveyard hate in the sideboard to deal with the various recursive creatures. It's also trickier to pilot than most people realize at first blush.
Now that the deck is just an established one, as good as any of the other top decks, we can reset our expectations on components from this deck. At current prices, both Golgari Grave-Troll and Bloodghast are lower than they have been in months. Look for a rebound in their prices as the metagame ebbs and flows, but like most cards in Modern, the possibility of a reprint in March will depress prices.
Trade of the Week
As usual, the portfolio is available at this link. This week was a fairly straightforward trade where I bought Gatecrash (GTC) boosters last month, and sold them during the flashback draft week for this set. The nature of this trade is based on the possibility of arbitrage between tix-only entry and the product-plus-tix entry fee. The tix-only entry fee is 10 tix, so anytime that you can enter a draft queue with boosters that are 8 tix or less, you can make a few tix when you hunt around for cheap boosters and use those to enter the queues instead of play points or tix only.
I was able to sell GTC boosters for 2.2 tix over the weekend, generating a profit of a little under 0.5 tix per booster. This is not a high volume trade as the market for flashback draft boosters is not very liquid. I still have a few boosters left over that I will look to sell next weekend when the full Return to Ravnica (RTR) block draft queues are firing. With a draft set of RTR, GTC and DGM available for 6 tix, there is room for all of these boosters to bump up in price over the next few days.