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 July 10, 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. Core Set 2019 (M19) prices start this week, though TCG prices are not yet available.
Core Set 2019 (M19) became available for sealed deck leagues on Friday and is now available for drafting as well. The initial set price on MTGO is low relative to the starting set price of Dominaria (DAR) but it is in line with Ixalan (XLN) and Rivals of Ixalan (RIX). The price will be worth watching as it evolves over the coming weeks.
There's no short-term speculative opportunity here due to the massive influx of supply created by drafters as they devour the new set, but players will not be overpaying by a large amount if they are looking to get their hands on the new cards. Both RIX and XLN found a price bottom at around 55 tix, which for M19 would represent a 30 percent decline from its current price. Players who can stomach that kind of loss in order to play with the new set should feel free to buy the cards they need, but see the section below specific to foil mythic rares discusses how players can save a few tix by purchasing the foil versions.
With DAR no longer being heavily drafted, the price bottom is in on full sets of DAR. Redemption to paper sets means that complete digital sets will be anchored to the paper prices and redemption for DAR will continue into September. As long as redemption continues, the price of any set will not completely crater and DAR will see modest price gains over the coming weeks as the market adjusts to the diminished supply from the switch to M19 draft.
IXL and RIX boosters are dropping in price and are right around 1 tix at the moment. This is completely normal price action as XLN block draft is no longer available in the queues, thus the only value they have is the contents of the boosters. The expected value of both is around 0.6 tix, which represents the current price floor.
A decline below 0.8 tix will be the price at which speculators should get interested. Prices on Standard boosters that are not being drafted stick around 1 tix over the long term and a price below 0.8 tix would represent a temporary dip as drafters overwhelm the market with excess supply.
DAR boosters look like great value at the moment. They dipped to about 1.8 tix, but have rebounded to a little under 2.0 tix. DAR will continue to be popular among drafters as it has gotten rave reviews from top-notch Limited players like Ben Stark, and typically a core set has simpler gameplay which means that DAR will remain a strong choice for drafters as they master M19 draft and look elsewhere for a more challenging draft environment. The fact that M19 rapidly dropped in price also means that DAR boosters are cheaper and have higher expected value, making them attractive to value-conscious players looking to draft on the cheap.
A draft set of DAR could crest over 8 tix, representing a 33-percent rise over the current price of 6 tix. As high as 9 tix is not completely out of the question either, and it will be worth watching how quickly DAR boosters rebound in price. The draft window for DAR was a little under three months and not the over six months that XLN block draft was available. This means that there's less time for excess supply of DAR boosters to build up in the MTGO economy. With less supply, price increases will be more rapid as drafters quickly consume the value available in drafting DAR using sealed product as opposed to paying the tix only entry fee of 12 tix. With a price of about 8 tix (6 tix in the DAR draft set and 2 tix for the entry fee), entering the draft queues with product is a substantial discount at the moment.
Foil Mythic Rares
Buying foil mythic rares from the newest set as soon as they are available is a tried, tested and true strategy for consistent gains. Originally it was considered a way to preserve value for players, but the profits have been so steady that speculators should consider it too. The strategy relies on two key realities. Redemption provides a link to paper prices and foil prices are high and relatively stable.
The one to one nature of redeeming digital to paper cards also means that digital versions are leaving MTGO in a one to one ratio, but due to their booster pack rarities, cards are not entering MTGO in the same ratio. Thus, value accrues to mythic rares since they are the appear the least frequently in boosters. Mythic rares are the bottleneck to the redemption process, and for foils this means value accrues to them over time as their relative rarity increases in the MTGO economy as sets are redeemed. The key is to not try to pick and choose individual mythic rares, but to buy the whole lot in order to capture the gains in value.
This is why players should feel confident that buying a playset of foil mythic rares is a good bet as a long-term store of value, unlike buying the regular versions which will certainly lose value. Speculators have also seen gains with DAR foil mythic rares being particularly worthwhile. In the case of DAR, foil sets increased in price rapidly by about 100 tix after it was released, with this value plus some extra from the other rarities accruing to the mythic rares. Buying foil mythic rares early in DAR's release translated into a net gain of 41 percent in a little under two months.
The prospects for M19 are similar if not so rosy, but the trade is becoming more crowded over time as more people catch on to the trend. It's getting harder to be an aggressive buyer of foil mythic rares early in the release window, but if you are a player there is no real bad time to be purchasing a store of value as opposed to losing value in the regular versions.
Trade of the Week
For a complete look at my recent trades, please check out the portfolio. There are three great opportunities for deploying tix this week and I've been busy doing just that. Foil mythic rares from M19, full sets of DAR and draft sets of DAR are good buying opportunities this week. For new readers looking to test out any of these, DAR boosters are very liquid and they scale as an investment, meaning you can buy a small amount or a large amount. I've bought over one hundred draft sets as of writing this article.
Full sets of DAR is the trickiest of the bunch a profit in the 10 to 20 percent range is what to expect. Unlike boosters which will get the benefit of strong demand from drafters, and foil mythics which also have strong dynamics supporting their price, full sets take a little finesse and some guesswork in timing the exit point. The addition of DAR singles to Treasure Chests also complicates the matter as extra supply is now entering the market from a source other than the queues. This makes full set speculations more suitable for players looking to maximize the value they get from playing with the cards. DAR boosters and M19 foil mythic rares have superior fundamentals and outlook than complete sets of DAR so balance your speculations accordingly.