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 June 18, 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. Redeemable sets are highlighted in green and sets not available for redemption are highlighted in red.
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.
It was another big down week for prices on MTGO. Looking at the monthly changes, the rotating sets are all down in the 50 to 60 percent range. Prices are down so much that it is time to start considering these sets for their bounce-back potential. The rotating sets are priced to move, but will they bounce enough to make it worthwhile? Or will they just level off, or possibly even go even lower?
To resolve this question will be difficult. We are in uncharted waters when it comes to sets rotating out of Standard that have been and continue to be heavily mined in Treasure Chests. It's possible that selective speculative bets on Standard singles from Kaladesh (KLD), Aether Revolt (AER), Amonkhet (AKH) and Hour of Devastation (HOU) will be fruitful over the coming weeks, but caution is warranted.
The best advice for experienced speculators at the moment is to keep an eye on the market and see if there's an upswing in demand on cheap Standard staples from these sets. The release of Core Set 2019 (M19) will be a catalyst as it shakes up the metagame, so watch for emerging trends in archetypes and singles that could yield some nice short-term gains. It's tricky to gauge momentum plays like this but one thing to look our for is if a new, dominant archetype develops after M19 is released. This would be a good signal for speculators to pile on and buy up the staples from the deck.
Otherwise, full sets of Dominaria (DOM) are coming into view as a good place to deploy some tix. The heavy drafting of this set will come to a close in less than two weeks, which means we are close to peak supply. Redeeming digital sets for paper sets still looks attractive based on the spread between MTGO and Market prices and the guarantee date for DOM redemption is September 5. This means there will be a little under two months for digital sets of DOM to appreciate. I anticipate a net gain in the 5 to 15 percent range based off of the returns to Rivals of Ixalan (RIX) and Ixalan (XLN) full set speculation.
The other great place to have some tix ready to deploy will be into M19 foil mythic rares. This strategy paid off handsomely for the portfolio most recently. DOM returned 41 percent on five sets of foil mythic rares. This is a little high relative to the returns on foil mythic rares from RIX and XLN, but the strategy is consistently turning in net profits in the 15 to 25 percent range.
If you are looking to employ the foil mythic rare strategy, look to buy each of the foil mythic rares from M19 in the week of its release. It can be difficult to judge what a good price is, but an average of 10 to 12 tix per copy is a good guide. For DOM, I paid between 11.8 and 14.7 tix per mythic rare, so it will be worth watching to see if M19 follows this trend or reverts back to the lower price range that has occurred historically.
The Modern Pro Tour Qualifier from earlier in June had some interesting results that are reverberating in the market. Check out the results here. The winner of the PTQ was rizer with a Goblins variant typically called 8-Whack. It also featured an old favorite in Devastating Summons. Legion Loyalist has rebounded from 1.2 tix back to 6 tix as a result.
The other standout of this event is a BG Infect deck that put two players into the top eight. Phyrexian Crusader is enjoying the resulting attention, with a price spike to over 2 tix.
Both archetypes strike me as flash-in-the-pan type decks that a practiced field would be able to handle. If they continue to post good results then I would have to revisit this conclusion, but there's no reason to chase cards featured in these decks. Most likely prices will come back down and wait for the next high-profile result.
DOM has a little under two weeks left to be the new set in the draft queues, and the price of a booster is starting to reflect this as it dips under 3 tix for the first time. These will be a good purchase after M19 is released; I will be watching the market to see what price is possible, but a price in the 1.7 to 2.1 tix range is my initial guess. That works out to 5 to 6 tix for a draft set, which is roughly the buying range I used for draft sets from XLN block draft.
Speaking of XLN block draft, the market has sold off on draft sets this week. RIX in particular has dropped off a cliff going from 2.3 tix to 1.6 tix. If you are holding any excess boosters it's still not too late to sell these. There might be a slight bump in price over the next ten days, but XLN block draft will leave the queues with the release of M19.
At that point, both RIX and XLN boosters will continue to decline. Any declines below 1 tix will be considered a potential buy, but 0.7 to 0.8 tix would have a much larger margin of safety for speculators looking to buy the dip on these.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. This week I've been wrapping up the full set speculative strategy for XLN and RIX.
Profit on RIX is 4 tix per set or 7%, and profit on XLN is 9 tix per set or 15%. This was a little disappointing, but the lack of availability of redemption sets looks to have had an impact. Nevertheless, it's a low-risk strategy that can be deployed at the end of any set's drafting window in large volumes. I bought and sold over forty sets of each of XLN and RIX.
As mentioned in the Standard section of this article, full sets of DOM are quickly going to be the next opportunity to deploy some tix into this strategy. The precise bottom will only be obvious in hindsight, but a 75 to 80 tix price range seems reasonable, and DOM is just a little over 80 tix at the moment, so we are close.