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 April 16, 2018. The TCGplayer low and TCGplayer mid prices are the sum of each set's individual card prices on TCGplayer, either the low or 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 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.
Ixalan (XLN) prices have dropped off this week in paper, and there's no doubt the return of redemption is contributing to that decline. Both XLN and Rivals of Ixalan (RIX) are now priced at fair value and are no longer suitable for speculators.
Dominaria (DAR) drops this Friday on MTGO with Sealed Deck leagues available throughout the weekend. This is a change from the preview leagues that were run for Rivals of Ixalan (RIX), where leagues took a break for the weekend, no doubt to ensure that players attended paper prelease events. It's not clear what the motivation for this change is, but we are unlikely to see a drastic run-up in prices this weekend like we did with RIX.
That being said, whenever there are changes to the events there are usually opportunities to make a few tix. In this case, it will be worth paying attention to the price of DAR boosters. With only Sealed Deck leagues available, it's possible that DAR boosters will be priced in the secondary market below the key price of 3.3 tix. Since you can always enter a draft with the tix-only entry fee of 12 tix, the tix plus booster entry fee must be equivalent. So, three boosters of DAR plus 2 tix must equal 12 tix or one booster of DAR will be priced at around 3.3 tix in equilibrium, which is why it's a key price to keep in mind.
Without demand from drafters on the weekend, it's possible some excess supply of DAR boosters creeps into the market, bringing the price down below 3.3 tix. Once drafting starts up on Monday the price of a DAR booster will snap back to 3.3 tix or higher, so be on the lookout for cheap boosters this weekend and don't be afraid to snap up any you can find. If prices get to 3.0 tix or less, being an aggressive buyer of DAR boosters makes a lot of sense to me, and I'll be scooping up as many as I can find if prices get that low.
The foil mythic rare strategy will be in full effect with the release of DAR. If you are curious about this strategy, I've written about it extensively in the past. It's a low-risk proposition for players who want to fill out their collection with the newest mythic rares, and patient speculators can anticipate ten- to twenty-percent gains in three to six months. I will be looking to buy at least my playset of foil mythic rares over the next ten days.
With the end of the two-set block era, redemption is going through a change as well. Sets will be guaranteed for redemption for fifteen weeks and then available for redemption for another five weeks or until supply runs out. Practically speaking, this is a short window when compared to large sets like Kaladesh (KLD), but a longer window when compared to small sets like Hour of Devastation (HOU). Speculators should not be overly affected by this, as the full-set strategy will still be employable given this redemption window.
A draft set of two RIX boosters and one XLN booster has dipped to 7.14 tix at the time of writing this article. Look for further weakness once DAR events begin on Friday with Sealed Deck leagues. It's inevitable that booster prices from the old Draft format decline whenever a new set is released. Players are excited about the new set and just won't be interested in drafting the old format at all. Inevitably, these players sell their excess boosters for tix, which drops the price, opening up an opportunity for patient speculators to make some tix. In reviewing my notes from the fall when XLN was released, a draft set of two HOU boosters and one AKH booster dropped below 6 tix and even got as low as 5.6 tix, which turned out to be excellent value. Check out what I wrote about it at the time in this article.
Today I am looking to do the exact same trade but with draft sets of RIX and XLN boosters. A price of 6 tix or less is a safe level to be a buyer, and I anticipate being able to sell them back into the market for 7 tix or more by June. This is a grindy, low-risk spec that requires a lot of transactions to turn a large profit so if you have the time and some spare tix, throw a few draft sets into your collection and forget about them for a couple of months. Players who like to draft as cheaply as possible are also encouraged to be buyers of RIX and XLN boosters this week.
One important thing to note is that choosing to speculate on one of RIX or XLN over the other is not advisable. Last time you would have done very well if you had focused only on HOU, so just blindly repeating that pattern would suggest RIX should be the booster to target this time. Howeve,r the RIX preview events in January injected a ton of RIX boosters into the market and this has shifted the relative scarcity of RIX and XLN boosters. It's difficult to predict which way each booster will trade in the coming weeks but it's easy to predict that a cheap draft set will eventually rise in price. Sticking to draft sets reduces the risk and ensures a profitable trade, and that's what I plan on doing.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. It's a great time to be looking at cards from XLN and RIX that are, for whatever reason, under appreciated. With drafting winding down and DAR going to be released this week, cards that are currently abundant will start to dry up as the supply slows down with the change of draft formats. Radiant Destiny is one that I like and have been buying for the portfolio this week.
It shows up in W/B Vampire decks in Standard that are definitely playable but are not among the top decks. Here's a list from MTGgoldfish. The reason I like this deck's potential a lot is the reprinting of Isolated Chapel. This deck doesn't have to get anything else added to it and it will be quite a bit better just from having a more consistent mana base. Vampires will be a deck that will be tested in the early weeks of DAR Standard and I think it's reasonable to expect it do grab a bigger share of the metagame than it does currently.
Alternatively, this card could find its way into another tribal archetype that is definitely getting a boost, namely Goblins. DAR has a number of impactful Goblin reprints and a R/W based deck is plausible with Clifftop Retreat entering the Standard card pool.
With multiple potential paths to success, an already playable deck that uses it and the supply from draft just about to shut off, Radiant Destiny is a low risk speculative target with an upside price target of 1 to 3 tix. If W/B vampires disappears from the metagame and no other tribal deck uses this card, the downside price target is 0.1 tix or less. Speculators must judge the risk and reward of this card for themselves but I find it compelling at current prices.