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 tolerances 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 June 20, 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. Although both Aether Revolt (AER) and Kaladesh (KLD) are no longer available for redemption, their prices will continue to be tracked while they are in Standard.
Prices have rebounded strongly this week as the market continues to digest the post-Aetherworks Marvel-banning metagame. This should be considered a short-term selling opportunity, particularly for cards from Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) and Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) blocks, both of which will rotate out of Standard in the fall.
Official preview season has begun for Hour of Devastation (HOU). Although there will be plenty of excitement generated by these previews, the Standard card pool is very large at this point, encompassing four large sets and three small sets. The addition of another small set will make an impact, but large price swings as a result of a shift in the metagame cannot be relied on.
With a jump to 49 tix this week, complete sets of Amonkhet (AKH) have marked their price floor at 45 tix. With only a few weeks of drafting triple AKH to go, paper prices will continue to support digital prices at this level through redemption. Players should have no qualms picking up their playsets at current prices, and speculators should look for price dips below current prices for buying opportunities.
Once HOU events start, the supply of AKH cards hitting the market from drafts will drop by two thirds. This will translate into higher prices over time as paper and digital prices continue to normalize. A 10 to 30 percent jump in price would put a set of AKH in the 55 to 65 tix range, which is a reasonable price target in a three- to four-month window.
Buying complete sets reduces speculative risk through diversifying, so if you are looking for a way to get started in speculating on MTGO, complete sets are a great way to go. Trying to pick winners by picking individual cards from AKH means you are relying on unpredictable shifts in the metagame to spark price increases. This can be a lot of fun but it is an inherently risky strategy which novice speculators should avoid.
Once you have have sufficient assets, then it is easier to weather the volatility that trying to pick winners entails. Buying complete sets means you always pick the winners. Even though you are also picking up cards that do nothing, on balance the shift from being heavily opened in draft to being lightly opened in draft means that the price of a complete set of AKH has an upward bias.
Grand Prix Las Vegas gave us a look at the current Modern metagame at a high level. It's no surprise to see Affinity take three spots in the top eight, even though there was no innovation in the archetype. The deck is a consistent and powerful linear strategy, and once everyone starts shaving artifact hate cards from their sideboards, Affinity is poised to remind players that this is a mistake.
Grixis Death's Shadow decks were shut out of the top eight, but it did put six decks into the top 32. Mishra's Bauble has dropped by nearly 50 percent in the last month, so if you have been thinking about getting into this deck, this key component is on sale at the moment.
In twelfth place was an interesting B/W Smallpox deck. Smallpox has always been an intriguing card on the fringes of Modern playability, but its heavy colour commitment relegated it to niche decks like Eight-Rack. The printing of Fatal Push has bolstered the power level of Smallpox, since it is on colour and provides excellent removal on par with Path to Exile, without the inherent "nonbo" of providing an opponent a land while you simultaneously try to destroy them all. If you are looking for an interesting fringe archetype, this deck has promise and is an underexplored strategy in Modern.
Continuing with the prison/control angle, Chalice of the Void just saw an all-time high price on MTGO, breaching the 50-tix level for this first time. This is a card that was just recently opened in triple Mirrodin flashback drafts, which would have been an excellent short-term buying opportunity. Showing up in Legacy and Vintage Constructed also helps the price of this staple a great deal. A dip back to the 40 tix level or lower would be a chance to evaluate another buying opportunity on this card.
A draft set of KLD block is selling for 8.3 tix at the moment. The spread on KLD boosters has narrowed to 0.04 tix, matching the spread on AER boosters. Drafters are slowly but surely consuming the excess supply of these boosters and prices are creeping higher as a result. With both Cube draft and the release of HOU on the horizon, expect a period of weakness before KLD and AER boosters resume rising in price.
The price target on a KLD block draft set remains 9 tix. With the rest of the summer available to draft this block, there's every reason to expect this target is within reach. Speculators holding KLD or AER boosters with no liquidity concerns should continue to hold, while those who are in need of tix should consider selling in advance of the release of HOU.
For AKH boosters, there is currently some excess supply of these as prices have dipped below the equilibrium price of 3.3 tix. Do not be tempted into buying at this time. With MTGO's fifteenth anniversary celebrations, extra boosters are being awarded as prizes. After that, the release of HOU will drop demand for AKH boosters substantially as the draft format switches from triple AKH to HOU-HOU-AKH. There is the potential to buy AKH on the dip, but we must wait until at least the release of HOU.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. There have been no trades this week, as I am on vacation. If I were at home, I'd be on the prowl for cheap copies of Mishra's Bauble. This card is a Modern staple from Coldsnap (CSP), a lightly printed set. Death's Shadow decks of all types rely on this card, and it's a cheap and effective way for powering up Tarmogoyf and cards with delirium. Barring a reprint, this card is bound to breach the 20-tix level again.