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Insider: MTGO Market Report for August 9th, 2017

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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.

Redemption

Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All prices are current as of August 8, 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.

aug8

There are a couple of items to discuss right off the bat in the MTGO finance realm. The first is not new, but if you haven't checked out the Cardkeeper tool at the Cardhoarder website, I highly recommend giving it a spin. It's a fantastic way to get a visualization of your collection. Being able to sort cards by price allows one to think about the most expensive cards in one's collection, and thus the relatively most important cards in one's portfolio. It's a great way to keep track of your biggest positions, price wise.

The other tidbit is that Goatbots is now delivering historical price graphs on their website. You can now click on any object that they sell and get the price history. Although this is not a new thing as price graphs have been available at MTGGoldfish for years, Goatbots has the most robust booster and foil prices around. The MTGGoldfish prices are taken from MTGOTraders and Cardhoarder, and these stores have historically focused on non foil singles. For anyone interested in accurate booster and foil prices, Goatbots is a better choice. Now that they are producing historical price graphs, trends will be that much easier to identify.

Standard

The MTGO market is in a period of churn when it comes to Standard, with metagame shifts and the looming fall rotation moving prices. This is not a great time to be a buyer as there are no structural advantages to deploying tix. A structural advantage would include being at the end of a drafting format (and thus near peak supply of the drafted sets) or during a set release when tix are in high demand. Picking Standard singles is a risky venture with a limited window in advance of rotation.

Speculators should be scouring the KLD block and Amonkhet (AKH) block for cards that have potential but don't have a current home in Standard. Typically cards that fit this bill are close to junk in terms of price, so there's not much risk when it comes to tix. A fun strategy is to target a bunch of different cards, looking for that one breakout card that increases twenty fold.

Modern

There are two green cards with mana costs 2GG that have came onto my radar this week.

vengevine

Vengevine is a Rise of the Eldrazi (ROE) mythic rare that was a one-time Standard staple that has been in a long term price decline. As you can see in the chart, it's largely settled down at the 2 tix price level in the past year. As a barely fringe playable card in Modern, it tends to get some interest anytime a graveyard or self-mill theme pops up in a new set.

This week, the price spiked to over 6 tix after it got off to a good start at the Star City Games Open and a bunch of buying resulted. Chas Andres talked about this in his weekly MTGO finance video. With the deck not placing in the top 32, look for it to come back down in price. This price spike is definitely driven by hype and is not something that you want to be chasing.

On the other hand, last week's Trade of the Week highlighted a slowly building price in Primeval Titan as the Titan Shift and Amulet Titan archetypes continue to attract interest from players. Another card that is showing up in these decks is Chameleon Colossus.

CC

This card is being recruited in sideboards to help battle Death's Shadow decks. Having protection from black ensures it can successfully block Death's Shadow itself, while also being able to dodge Fatal Push, the premier removal spell in the format. A toughness of four also puts it out of Lightning Bolt range.

This card is exhibiting a much different price pattern than Vengevine. It has a steep but sustained incline over a number of weeks, and it's currently at an all-time high with no signs of slowing down. You'll see in the trade of the week that I didn't hesitate to put a number of copies into the portfolio this week, even though the price was high to begin with.

The reason I am confident this card will continue to rise is that the MTGO market is always reacting around supply and demand. The price graph on this card clearly exhibits a big shift in demand. What we don't know on this card is the available supply, but this is a pre-mythic era rare from a small set with no recent reprints. I think it's safe to say these aren't sitting around in many collections at the moment.

With very little play in Modern historically, this card is currently trying to find its price as it gets added as a Modern-playable card into players' collections. However, there is no price memory for this card, so it could keep rising for weeks as players add it into their collections and the bots slowly ratchet up the price.

If the bots could accurately assess the total available supply of this card and its relative value in the Modern metagame, they could possibly set a price at some level and be happy with that. But that's not how they operate. They collect the buy/sell spread in their transactions, adjusting prices as they go. They don't try to imagine what the value of a card is, just what it's currently being bought and sold for. With weeks to go in a lame-duck Standard format, and Primeval Titan decks continuing to attract players, I think this trend has room to run.


Another card that has seen some buying interest lately is Geist of Saint Traft. It had fallen below 10 tix, but now is back above 14 tix. In his Modern article this week, Ari Lax at Star City Games discussed how this card was able to pressure Death's Shadow decks, and it looks like he is picking up on a shift that is underway in the Modern metagame. If this trend has any legs, its price will breach 20 tix by the end of the month.

Standard Boosters

I've been steadily selling my stock of KLD and AER boosters into the market, typically dropping four draft sets a day over the past couple of weeks. This hasn't disrupted the overall trend, as a draft set is now at 8.7 tix and is closing in on my target of 9.0 tix. This looks to be another repeatable trading strategy that will yield solid if unspectacular gains. I'm about halfway through my original position, and I will continue to sell down my stock of these boosters over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, a draft set of AKH and Hour of Devastation (HOU) is priced at 10 tix at the moment. After accounting for the 2 tix needed to enter the draft queues with product, this is in equilibrium with the tix-only entry price of 12 tix. There is no upside at current prices, but if you've got any of these boosters kicking around and are not looking to draft in the next little while, selling is correct. Look for softening prices over the coming weeks as players get their fill of AKH block draft.

Trade of the Week

For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. This week I took the plunge on Chameleon Colossus. As usual, I like to spread my buys out as much as possible so that I can ensure a good average purchase price. Doing this means that the bots won't be changing prices as I pick up my copies.


I'll ride this one out for the next four to six weeks before considering a sell. September will be the last, best selling opportunity for Modern-playable cards this year. I don't want to be holding too many Modern positions in advance of the release of Ixalan and fall rotation. The fall is the best time of the year to be a speculative buyer, so being liquid and having tix on hand is imperative.

3 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Market Report for August 9th, 2017

    1. Could be! I’m not too worried about the paper price in this case, but I did notice a few of the FTV 20 foils floating around on MTGO at a nice discount to the MOR version. If you’re a player and want to add these to your collection, they are a cheap option.

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