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 February 13, 2017. 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.
Grand Prix Pittsburgh was the first stop in the post Pro Tour metagame. You can check out the top eight decks here and the rest of the top 32 decks here. A quick scan reveals that B/G decks with Winding Constrictor and Walking Ballista hold a veritable stranglehold on Standard at the moment. Mardu vehicles and Copy Cat decks make up the rest of the archetypes that finished in the top 32.
The shifts that this represent have filtered into the MTGO economy. Prices on almost all redeemable sets were up this week, with Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) leading the charge, up by 33 percent. The appearance of Nissa, Voice of Zendikar in some of the B/G builds has pushed it up to a new all-time high just shy of 20 tix. Oath of Nissa is now an 8-tix card, and alongside gains from Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Kozilek's Return from the mythic slot, it's no wonder that OGW had a big week.
Looking at Kozilek's Return in particular, this card went up to as high as 17 tix earlier in the weekend before drifting down to 13 tix. It showed up in sideboards of the Temur Aetherworks list from Pro Tour Aether Revolt, but that deck didn't have a strong showing at that event, with only two 6-4 records.
To my eyes, the list looks like it needs tuning, but the bane of B/G decks in Kaladesh (KLD) Standard had been Aetherworks Marvel decks. We'll see if a retooled build of this archetype can make a showing over the coming weeks.
Shadows Over Innistrad (SOI) at 60 tix is cheap relative to other large sets and is the cheapest large set relative to its respective paper price. With Archangel Avacyn having fallen below 10 tix, only Nahiri, the Harbinger carries a higher price tag at the moment. If I was looking for a set to rebound in price, this would be my pick, although it would be better if the paper prices stabilized.
The list of Modern decks performing well is familiar terrain these days, although Infect has fallen out of favor with the banning of Gitaxian Probe. Death's Shadow-based decks have proven more resilient, and a modified Jund list featuring this card has emerged. The emphasis on quick kills from Temur Battle Rage is reduced, and there is more emphasis on disrupting the opponent with discard spells like Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughseize.
Mishra's Bauble from Coldsnap (CSP) has benefited as a result and is now back up over 7 tix. It's also been showing up in the Abzan decks that want delirium enablers for Grim Flayer. The B/G/x package is a powerful selection of cards, and if Liliana of the Veil gets reprinted in Modern Masters 2017 (MM3), the components of these decks could benefit if the cost of the deck comes down. Remember that MM3 previews begin at the end of the month.
This weekend is Grand Prix Vancouver featuring Modern Constructed. It will give the a chance for Modern to show what kind of an impact Aether Revolt (AER) has had on the metagame, outside of Fatal Push.
Boosters of KLD look to have established a price bottom at around 1.7 tix and have now rebounded to 1.9 tix. These look like a safe bet to rise to over 2 tix over the coming weeks. With the noted discrepancy in payouts that favor AER boosters over KLD boosters, this trend should continue until the prize structure is changed or Amonkhet is released. Further monitoring is needed but KLD boosters look poised for further gains.
I've put a few dozen into the Market Report portfolio as a test purchase. If this price rises to 2.0 tix or 2.1 tix by the weekend, this will be a signal the trade is heading in the right direction. The release of Modern Masters 2017 (MM3) in March and the release of Amonkhet in April will interrupt any uptrend on these, so keep those events in the back of your mind if you are speculating on KLD boosters.
AER boosters are above their equilibrium price at close to 4 tix at the moment. There is no upside at this price and these should be sold if they are not expected to be used.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent purchases, please check out the portfolio. This week I added a trio of white mythic rares to the portfolio. Elspeth, Sun's Champion is a 3-tix mythic rare that has cycled up over 6 tix on two occasions since rotating out of Standard. The first time was last winter to combat the Eldrazi that were running rampant in Modern, and more recently it was likely related to speculation around the Frontier format.
I think this card is a safe bet to head back up to 6 tix at some point over the next 12 to 24 months. It's possible it drifts down further before a metagame shift in Modern brings it to the fore, so I'm not in a rush to stock the portfolio with this card. I've bought a dozen copies and will add to this total if the price stays below 3 tix.
The other two cards are Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and Iona, Shield of Emeria. These two cards come out of the sideboard of Gifts Ungiven decks in Modern. Alongside Unburial Rites, it's a potent reanimation package that a storm deck can move towards.
Both cards have seen multiple printings and were both featured as mythic rares in Modern Masters 2015 (MM2). Multiple printings makes it easy to quickly acquire a large position in a card, which is nice for a time-constrained speculator. The fact that they both showed up in MM2 also makes me confident they will not be reprinted in MM3, since neither is a flagship card. This is another long-term position that will need a Gifts Ungiven deck to establish itself in the Modern metagame for it to pan out.