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 July 11, 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.
Hour of Devastation (HOU) was released online this week, and the resulting liquidity crunch has hit the MTGO economy. Prices are down across the board as players sell their cards for tix, effectively trading in old cards for Draft and Sealed Deck League entry fees.
For speculators, this is the best time to be a buyer. With tix in high demand, almost everything in Standard is available at a discount. Just look at the sea of red for set prices changes in the past week on MTGO. It's a great time to be a buyer, so take this as a reminder that getting liquid in advance of set releases is prudent.
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger has been climbing and now sits at over 9 tix. Combine that with the rise in Shrine of the Forsaken Gods from 0.02 tix to over 0.2 tix, and it's clear that there is anticipation that a ramp strategy will be viable in HOU Standard. Look for initial results to start rolling in on MTGO soon, while the Star City Games Open series will kick off the new Standard in Cincinnati this weekend.
Although a ramp strategy is one potential home for Hour of Devastation, the market is anticipating that blue-red strategies will also be a beneficiary of this card. The price of Spirebluff Canal from Kaladesh (KLD) is a good indicator of this, as it is back near 10 tix. Torrential Gearhulk is also back to being the most expensive card from that set at over 25 tix.
In Aether Revolt (AER), there's relatively few cards that are gaining price, with near-term lows for most of the top cards from this set. After peaking at over 8 tix a month ago, Fatal Push has fallen below 5 tix. If you are missing this multi-format staple from your collection, don't be afraid to take the plunge and pick up a playset at current prices.
I'll be looking to pick off a few cheap playsets this week, especially if the price dips closer to the 4-tix level. This card has completely reworked the metagame of Modern while it has a relatively lower profile in Standard. With interest in these two formats diverging, it's a good time to be looking at cards with application outside of Standard.
Foil Mythic Rares
HOU foil mythic rares are now available for purchase, with the initial supply having entered the market after HOU released on Monday. Players should be confident that buying a complete basket of these will be a way to preserve the value of their cards, so if you are looking to play with Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh right out of the gates, consider sinking some extra tix into foil mythic rares. Remember, individual foil mythic rares will rise and fall in price. It's the entire basket that will hold value over time.
AKH boosters took a plunge this week dropping to 1.5 tix. HOU boosters are sitting at an initial price of over 4 tix. The equilibrium price for a draft set is 10 tix, so it's not surprising to see the market price hovering just below this. As more HOU boosters are awarded, value will flow from HOU to AKH boosters.
It's unusual to see a booster fall to such a low price while still being drafted. Since the price of entering Draft Leagues dropped from 14 tix to 12 tix with the release of KLD, the only good historical comparison is the KLD booster itself. These hovered in the 1.5 tix to 1.9 tix range for a few months after the release of AER, with a slight dip to 1.3 tix during the release of Modern Masters 2017 (MM3).
This history suggests a price of 1.5 tix for AKH boosters will turn out to be a short-term price low. A price of 1.5 tix is excellent to be a buyer of AKH boosters. Speculators should not be afraid to pick these up at this price, with an eye to selling these back into the market in the next month.
Checking in on the other Standard Draft format, a draft set of KLD block dropped from 8.3 tix to 8.0 tix. What's interesting about this change is that the drop came entirely from KLD boosters, with AER boosters sitting firm at 3.3 tix. Remembering that KLD boosters were awarded in treasure chests – while AER boosters were not – could explain this difference.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. This week, I bought 60 AKH boosters for 1.5 tix a piece. I'm confident this is a fine price to be a buyer and that I'll be able to sell these in the next month for 1.8 tix or so. With their low spread between buy and sell prices, boosters don't have to move very much in order to be profitable. And GoatBots is a high-volume seller that allows you to buy 20 boosters at once, so transaction times are low. If you've got a few extra tix kicking around and don't know what singles to be on the lookout for, boosters are an option for deploying tix.