Insider: MTGO Market Report for May 16th, 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.


Below are the total set prices for all redeemable sets on MTGO. All prices are current as of May 14, 2018. The TCGplayer market and TCGplayer mid prices are the sum of each set's individual card prices on TCGplayer, either the market price 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.

Redeemable sets are highlighted in green and sets not available for redemption are highlighted in red. This week I've removed the TCG Low price in favor of the TCG Market price. This is an improvement overall and will yield interesting insights down the road as I build a new dataset with this metric.


Dominaria (DAR) is walking on water at the moment just prior to the opening of redemption. With reported product shortages in paper, demand from redeemers is going to be heavy. Longer term this could make DAR a relatively scarce set online but it's currently holding up quite well. There's no real strategy at the moment to capitalize on this set though. Pro Tour DAR is still ahead of us, and the set will be drafted heavily for six more weeks. A good time to be a buyer of full sets of DAR and singles will be near the end of June, just prior to the release of Core Set 2019 (M19).

Checking in on the price of foil mythic rares, the buy price for all fifteen of them is tipping over 230 tix while the sell price for a complete set is almost at 320 tix. It still looks like foil sets of DAR is going to reach a higher price and this is looking like another profitable trade using the foil mythic rare strategy. Unfortunately, the buying window was extremely short this time around as the opportunity becomes more widely recognized, something to keep in mind in advance of M19.

Both of the Ixalan (XLN) sets have risen nicely this week and the rise in paper prices is helping via redemption. XLN is back in stock but this is the last official week before redemption goes offline. I don't expect prices to be meaningfully impacted by the end of redemption next week. There's still a lot of excitement about Standard and Pro Tour DAR is still ahead of us. Still, price targets are being reached and the selling window is upon us. It's time to be a seller of XLN cards, broadly speaking.

In yesterday's announcements, Wizards of the Coast clarified that Rivals of Ixalan (RIX) is being reprinted, but won't be available in the store for six to eight weeks. This extends the holding period for this set, so if you are holding complete sets of RIX it's fine to be more patient. When redemption reopens there will be a final burst of demand for this RIX, but just like XLN this set has reached my price target and we are firmly in the selling window.


The unbanning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf created financial shock waves in the Magic Online economy. It's not every day that a card goes from about 10 tix to over 80 tix in under a month. Have a look at the chart below to see the price action from the last six months, courtesy of Goatbots.

Looking at the chart for Bloodbraid Elf, the price is essentially back to where it was from before the ban.

I wouldn't have guessed that the unbanning of these two cards would be ultimately a non-event. Looking at the most commonly played cards in Modern, courtesy of MTGGoldfish, Bloodbraid Elf slots in at number 22 on the list. Jace doesn't fare so well, though, and doesn't appear at all in the top fifty overall cards. With more and more data in the books pointing to these two cards as being safe for Modern, Wizards of the Coast must be looking at other potential cards to unleash on the format.

At the top of the list and a great card to speculate on is Stoneforge Mystic. It would be a mistake for me to claim good knowledge over what this card being unbanned would mean for the format, but I think it's only a matter of time before it happens. Not only that, the periodic price swings on this card mean that it'll be worth speculating on regardless of whether or not it is unbanned. Have a look at the GoatBots chart.

This card periodically spends time in the 1- to 2-tix range, but on average, it's closer to 2 to 3 tix with occasional bumps to the 4-tix level. The card is currently jumping up, so it's not a great time to be a buyer, but it's definitely worth accumulating when it gets down to the 2-tix level again.

As for Bloodbraid Elf, that card is worth looking into at current prices. When demand for Modern is at a peak next winter, it's easy to imagine that card getting back to the 1-tix level or higher. A patient speculator will buy a play set or two here and there, targeting the cheapest copies they can find. Everyone wants to make tix quick, but it's hard to do. It's much easier to bide your time on can't-miss opportunities.

On the other hand, the outlook for Jace is not good. The downtrend on this card looks like it will continue unabated. Trying to pick when this card will find a bottom is foolish, but if it reaches the 15 to 20 tix range, I think players picking up a playset would be a fine idea. Speculators should reassess the situation and the playability of this card in the Modern format if it reaches that price level over the summer.

Trade of the Week

For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. At 2 tix and the next Banned and Restricted announcement over a month away, it seemed like a good idea to be a buyer this week of Stoneforge Mystic. Someone else had the same idea though as the price has risen to over 3 tix in the past couple of days. A 3-tix price would be great if I knew for certain that this card would be unbanned in Modern come July, but I don't think that's the case. As a result, there's no trade this week, and I'll just have to be patient to wait for this card to come back down to a more reasonable price level.

Matthew Lewis

Matt Lewis currently lives in Ottawa, Canada and is a long time player and PTQ grinder who now speculates and plays exclusively on MTGO. He's always ready to discuss ideas and investment strategies, so drop him a line in the comments, the forums or on modo, username mattlewis.

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Posted in Finance, Free Insider, MTGO, MTGO Market ReportTagged , ,

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2 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Market Report for May 16th, 2018

    1. I usually use mtgotraders and their hotlist! Cardhoarder and goatbots too. I don’t worry about trying to sell the whole set and usually just sell whatever my regular bots are willing to buy.

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