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 7, 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.
Redeemable sets are highlighted in green and sets not available for redemption are highlighted in red.
With Ixalan (XLN) block draft now in the rearview mirror, it's time to check in on the full set speculative strategy as we near the end of redemption for both XLN and Rivals of Ixalan (RIX). A reminder, the original redemption cutoff date for both sets is May 23, 2018, but since both sets recently went out of stock it will work a little differently this time around.
When a set goes out of stock prior to the end of the guarantee date, Wizards of the Coast will commission a reprint, and then those sets will be available for redemption when ready, regardless of the date. Both sets are currently reprinted and so the cutoff date is a little looser this time around. We can surmise that there will be demand from redeemers when the reprinted sets become available, triggering a period of price strength. This will be the optimal time to be a seller if you are holding full sets of either XLN or RIX.
Checking in on the price graph for sets when they are no longer being drafted can give another clue to trying time a sale. XLN reached a peak in the mid-70-tix range two weeks ago, but it is right on track when compared to Amonkhet (AKH) and Battle for Zendikar (BFZ). Back in early April, I predicted it would hit a price range of 70 to 80 tix and this looks to have been accurate.
For RIX, this set has fallen off the pace when compared to Hour of Devastation (HOU) but it is still in an uptrend. I predicted a range of 70 to 90 tix for this set and it's reached that price range at the moment. It looks to be on track to at least hit 80 tix at some point in the next six weeks, most likely at the time when full sets become again available for redemption. We are entering the safe selling window for both RIX and XLN so close monitoring of the situation will be warranted into June and Pro Tour Dominaria (DOM).
Elsewhere, Aether Revolt (AER) is the little set that could, hitting a massive 111 tix on the back of two powerful artifacts, Walking Ballista and Heart of Kiran. The set is up a whopping 73 percent in the past month. Standard is hot right now and AER is getting the benefit this time around.
A great resource which I like to check out every week is Chas Andres video series on MTGO finance that he produces for MTGOtraders. You can check out the latest video here. I don't always agree with his perspective on how prices will evolve for particular cards, but this week he was bang on in his assessment of the opposing colour check lands in DOM. They are excellent picks at current prices if you have a long-term perspective and can hold them past the fall and into next winter. Right now, they are just suffering from being constantly opened in draft and most of the top decks being either mono colour or are allied colours.
Buying the basket of all five lands is the safest way to speculate on these, but if you want to be contrarian than loading up on Clifftop Retreat could generate the biggest percentage gains. It's available for under 0.5 tix at the moment and it could easily hit over 2 tix in a fresh Standard metagame some time in the future.
Prices in Modern continue to be in flux but there has been some buying recently as tix get deployed into bargain-priced staples. One card that's been in a downtrend for over a year is Scapeshift. In the Treasure Chest era, it largely fluctuated between 20 and 30 tix before starting an extended slide last summer and hitting 10 tix in recent weeks. It's bumped up to 12 tix this week after Titanshift put two players into the top eight of the Star City Games Modern Classic in Baltimore this past weekend.
I think decks based around Scapeshift have definitely been knocked down a tier as the Modern format has evolved and sped up. It definitely still looks like a metagame dependent deck that will occasionally make a splash, like this past weekend. It's got the raw power to win but benefits from players being unprepared, similar to Affinity in this regard.
I won't be speculating on cards in this archetype in the near term but if the metagame shifts to favor this style of deck then a resurgence in price is possible and it will be worth paying attention to. I would want to see the downtrend on Scapeshift broken in the next two to four weeks to confirm this though which means at least a return to 15 tix to 20 tix. If it hits that range or higher, then it will be worth reassessing the potential for this deck and speculating on its components.
Draft sets of XLN block are back down to 5.1 tix, with value continuing to flow to RIX boosters over XLN boosters. They are looking more stable at this price in recent days and it looks like a price floor where players are no longer willing to sell boosters at these prices. With DOM draft still being explored though, there isn't much demand for XLN block draft though when I check the MTGO client there are usually a couple of drafts in various stages of completion.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. This week I took the advice of Chas Andres and put a few playsets of the DOM check lands away for the future. While these are being drafted the upside is not that high, but a long-term perspective will yield a nice return. This is a slam dunk for the patient speculator and you can get a volume benefit on your trades by including the original Innistrad (ISD) versions as well.