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Insider: MTGO Market Report for February 7th, 2018

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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 February 5, 2018. 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. Weekly changes are calculated based off of the mid point of this week's prices and prices from two weeks ago.

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 Hour of Devastation (HOU), Amonkhet (AKH), Aether Revolt (AER), and Kaladesh (KLD) are no longer available for redemption, their prices will continue to be tracked while they are in Standard.

Standard

Standard prices are down this week, except for Hour of Devastation (HOU), which is driven by the The Scarab God, as it crests 40 tix again. With all eyes on Modern, this is not unexpected, and I would look for a period of relative price weakness in Standard as there are a few Modern Grand Prix events over the coming weeks to maintain interest in the larger format.


I have yet to pull the trigger on any Ixalan (XLN) or Rivals of Ixalan (RIX) full set purchases. Both of these sets are showing relative price stability at the moment, suggesting that redeemers are consuming the excess supply that drafters are bringing into the market. If you are a player and looking to get into Standard, it's a fine time to purchase your play sets but speculators should continue to hold off.

Modern

The Modern Pro Tour is in the books and by all accounts it was a diverse field with lots of interesting decks. The professionals didn't uncover some broken strategy, although there was further development and refinement on existing strategies.

An interesting result was the top 8 finish for Ken Yukuhiro and his B/R Hollow One deck. This deck has been simmering for a while but the inclusion of draft chaff Goblin Lore and Burning Inquiry seems to have given the deck a boost. The deck is highly tuned and synergistic and will take victories from unprepared opponents.


It's interesting to me that Saffron Olive had been playing around with Goblin Lore in recent weeks. Check out his article from mid January here. It's always worth paying attention to what the brewers are up to. In this case, it would have been possible to buy copies of Goblin Lore for under 1.0 tix after the initial hype around Saffron Olive's brew had died down.

What piqued my interest in the card is that it's an old core set uncommon with a very high rate. There's just no card that can draw four cards for two mana in Modern. Mitigating the downside of powerful but unwieldy cards is all about careful deck construction.


Notable misses from the ranks of eight or nine win decks include Collected Company, Scapeshift and Primeval Titan based decks. Although Primeval Titan and Collected Company haven't sold off as a result, Scapeshift certainly has hitting sub 15 tix for the first time in two years. All of these cards have shown resiliency in the past though they are clearly out of vogue at the moment.

I don't think it's the correct time to be a seller of these three cards but it's worth paying attention to. Any short term bump in price from Grand Prix results should be sold into. If the metagame continues to keep these cards on the margins then it's inevitable that lower prices will be the result.


Elsewhere, Stoneforge Mystic, Bloodbraid Elf and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are all up to at least a six month high. This is probably speculation on the possibility of these cards being unbanned in Modern. I've speculated on Jace being unbanned in Modern in the past, but I don't think it's a good idea at the moment. With Modern in a good place and lots of interest in the format, there's no need to unban a potentially problematic card like Jace. Bloodbraid Elf is the safest bet to see an unban, but again the apparent health of the format suggests standing pat is the best option at this time.

Standard Boosters

A clear separation has occurred with the price of RIX and XLN boosters. RIX boosters are flirting with a price below 3.0 tix while XLN has stabilized at around 3.5 tix. Based on the historical evidence for HOU and AKH boosters, and an identical prize structure for leagues and drafts, this gap will widen over the coming weeks.

With the equilibrium price of a draft set at 10 tix and RIX-RIX-XLN costing 9.5 tix on the secondary market, there is no downside on draft sets as a whole. However, value can bleed within a draft set and that is exactly what I expect will continue to happen in this case.

It's possible that prize structures will be adjusted if the price difference between these boosters gets too large. As a result, there's no good actionable strategy here for speculators but players should be wary of holding excess RIX boosters at the moment.

In the wake of RIX's release, HOU and AKH boosters dropped to 3.1 tix and 0.9 tix respectively as players sold their boosters looking to draft with the new set. Prices have bounced back in the interim and a draft now costs 8.2 tix. This is a discount to the equilibrium price of 10 tix and a discount on a draft set for XLN block which will encourage budget conscious drafters to look towards AKH block. There will also be a growing portion of players that grow tired of XLN block draft and look to take the only other available draft format out for a spin. Look for AKH block draft sets to creep higher as a result.

Trade of the Week

For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. With the Modern Pro Tour event in the books, Collective Brutality is at a new all time high and it's dragging the price of an Eldritch Moon (EMN) set back over 80 tix. It's an excellent time to start selling these again and I am now down to my play set. Don't wait too long on selling complete sets of Shadows Over Innistrad (SOI) or EMN sets since the redemption window for these closes in the spring.

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