Hello, readers and welcome to the last Daily Stock Watch segment of 2018! It has been a good year for Magic that has been capped off by the news that it is going to venture in the E-sports world via MTG Arena, and the release of what's reportedly the last Masters set in a while, Ultimate Masters. Now, we'll look forward to a new year of MTG Finance adventures as we face the world of paper Magic that's somehow threatened by the idea of everything becoming digital.
IS PAPER MAGIC DYING?
People who panicked at the news of everything possibly going digital aren't true fans of the game. If we are to look at what WotC's plans for Magic are, expansion is definitely on top of that list. It is a known fact by now that we are losing the Nationals and World Championships for paper as it transitions to Arena, but bear in mind that we still have the brand new MagicFest where Pro Tours and the Grand Prix main event will take place. You can see the schedule for the coming year's MagicFest on this page. They have also restructured the Pro Tour qualifiers to something different this time around but it's something that I'm not really an expert on, so it's best that you ask your WPN stores about it. You can actually read more about it here. If you look closely at how they ended this article, you know for sure that Magic isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
SO WHAT DO I DO WITH MY PAPER CARDS?
This is easily the most common question that I'm getting from some readers and MTG friends of mine. Like what I've said earlier, there's no need to sell them just because you think that WotC is pushing for MTG to go digital. There's no way that they are going to bite the hand that feeds them, and you throwing your collection away in fears of it losing more value over time is just an absurd idea for me. If I may suggest, go out there and buy good collections from people who are panicking at a good rate. Magic is a billion dollar industry that thrives off its paper sales, not its online portfolio, that will be here to stay for as long as you're breathing. If you are to lie low for a bit into buying anything, I think that you could temper down a bit on your Standard cravings. MTG Arena will be focused on that as the big tournaments are bound to be online. Commander, Modern, and Legacy are more than enough to keep paper Magic going. These are your safe havens out there.
WITH THAT IN MIND, WHAT DO WE FOCUS ON BUYING AND SELLING THIS YEAR?
This is still a broad question that requires a specific answer in different aspects. I guess this is the reason why we have the Daily Stock Watch. Cards will be popular in a heartbeat, or they could easily be obsolete as better ones arrive. There will always be reprints in every new set, and there could possibly be new gimmicks (just like the box topper!) that we have yet to find out in the coming years. The people behind our favorite card game have done a great job of coming up with new ideas to keep us going, and they are obviously not done yet.
My model for speculating will still be the same one that I've used for the past decade -- adapting to the demand scale. Cards like Ponder, Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, and Thoughtseize will always be in demand no matter what happens. Reprints barely do anything to these cards. It's more on cards like Mox Opal and Surgical Extraction that I'm concerned about, as they could easily get hit by a sudden dip as soon as they get reprinted in a new set or supplemental product. Logically, going with "penny stocks" is still the best way to earn if you are into MTG's business aspect. If you're in it for competitive playing as well, completing play sets of staples will always be a good practice. They will eventually balance out in value as some of them will get random spikes every now and then, while others will go down due to reprints.
2019 is going to be an exciting year for Magic. That much I could tell you right now. Stay tuned to the Daily Stock Watch as we continue our MTG Finance adventure for a new year! I'll be back with the last part of my box topper feature in our next edition. Happy New Year, everyone!