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 October 23, 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 are easing off this week, with most sets in both digital and paper flashing red. The initial excitement around fall rotation and the release of Ixalan (XLN) is now being tempered by the realization that the energy mechanic is pushing the format towards a Kaladesh (KLD)-themed environment. As a result, prices are dropping as players consolidate their collections around the viable cards and strategies.
Pro Tour XLN is coming up in ten days and this will give a clear signal of where the format is going. The pros will have had ample time to explore niche strategies and to develop new deck archetypes. However, the likelihood of a brand new, undiscovered archetype diminishes with every day of MTGO league results. Look to the Pro Tour weekend in early November as a selling opportunity for any featured cards and archetypes.
On the Redemption front, Amonkhet (AKH) and Hour of Devastation (HOU) are both going offline for redemption in the third week of November. This is only the second time through the shortened redemption window for sets in Standard, and it's not clear what the complete implications are yet. What is clear is that any card that garners most of its value from redemption should be sold, including foil mythic rares and junk mythic rares.
Attention on the Modern format has been muted in the wake of Standard rotation and the release of XLN. Prices have tracked downward as a result, but that shifted this weekend when the results from the Star City Games Circuit were posted. A 5 colour Humans Tribal deck took down the Modern Open, while a U/G Merfolk deck also placed in the Top 8.
With two tribal both making a splash and both featuring Cavern of Souls, that card has jumped to over 25 tix. Ignoble Hierarch has also jumped back to the 20 tix level. Beyond the cards showing up in these new decks, many Modern staples have just about regained their pre XLN price levels. Clearly the buying window is drawing to a close.
Triple Innistrad (ISD) drafts start this week just in time for Halloween! This is a beloved Draft format, sometimes described as the best Draft format of all time. If you are looking to try this format out for the first time, be sure to read up on some of the strategies that you can employ. Limited Resources is a podcast focused on improving at draft formats, and so starting with their work is a great first step in boning up on triple ISD. Here’s a link to the Innistrad Sunset Show where Marshall Sutcliffe and Jon Loucks discussed the format after playing it for a number of weeks.
Of course, everyone drafting this set will be hoping to pull Liliana of the Veil, currently priced at 6o tix. Last week, I did an in-depth analysis of what price to be on the look out for this card, and I still think the 50- to 55-tix range is where I want to be a buyer. Snapcaster Mage is another card that will pay for a draft, priced at close to 13 tix at the moment. I think this will drop into the 8- to 10-tix range by the end of the weekend, and this will be a great price for players to get their playsets.
Keep an eye out for cheap copies of Stony Silence. It's a key sideboard answer to Affinity decks in Modern, and it was also reprinted in Modern Masters 2017 (MM3). Spire of Industry is a new addition into the Affinity archetype and it mitigates the impact of this artifact hoser somewhat since it provides access to coloured mana without the use of tapping artifacts. Nevertheless, Stony Silence will be back over 4 tix at some point this winter when players get tired of losing to Affinity.
Champion of the Parish is up a lot this week on the back of the new Humans deck. Its price is over 4 tix, so don't let this one slip through your draft picks. Lastly, Past in Flames has recovered in price substantially since being reprinted in MM3. Storm is riding high in the Modern metagame off the printing of Baral, Chief of Compliance and Canoptek Scarab Swarm, and this card is seeing the benefit.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. With tix in the portfolio at a low, I have been moving out of Standard specs into Modern, selling down my AKH and HOU sets and picking up a variety of Modern cards.
I am working on building up a Modern basket of staples. The strategy is to deploy tix into cards that are at reasonable prices, looking for a rebound in the winter as focus on the Modern format intensifies around Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan. It's a slow build up, so I tend to shop around for the cheapest copies I can find. Often you can get prices very close to the posted buy price of the major bots. And sometimes you'll catch a selling wave, where prices have really bottomed out on a particular bot chain. I've noticed this happen on GoatBots more often than the other chains. The ease of selling and buying on GoatBots contributes to this as it can drive prices down very quickly.
The best deals over the past few weeks have typically been a result of this, and Arid Mesa is a good recent example. Right now, it looks like Burn decks are at a low ebb in the Modern metagame, and Arid Mesa has dropped in price as a result. Eventually, Burn will be back in the spotlight and cards like this one, Eidolon of the Great Revel and Atarka's Command will benefit.
The best buying period for Modern is drawing to a close, but there are still deals to be had out there. Keep your eye our for staples that are at a low price relative to their recent price levels, and be sure to avoid fringe playable cards that have been dropping. Just because they are cheap doesn't mean they can't become cheaper! Sticking to tried-and-true Modern staples ensures a level of safety that the fringe cards don't enjoy.
A card that fits the bill in my mind is Ajani Vengeant. This card has been regularly over 8 tix in the last year, but is now down to 4 tix, with the price drop occurring in the last month. It shows up from time to time in Modern, but nobody would mistake it for a staple of the format. Let this one continue to slide. A 2-tix price would be much more appealing.