Category Archives: What We’re Buying

MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (May 9/15)

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By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such we’ve decided to run a weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought without hope of profit, where appropriate. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we were up to this week:

Buying Period: May 3 – May 9th, 2015

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Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

BOUGHT

  • 1x Myth Realized (foil) @ $7.00
  • 1x Griselbrand @ $13.50
  • 1x Whisperwood Elemental @ $8.50
  • 1x Temple Garden @ $8.25
  • 1x Mana Confluence @ $7.50
  • 1x Scavenging Ooze (Russian promo foil) @ $11
  • 2x Pharika, God of Afflication @ $3.25/per
  • 2x Siege Rhino (foil) @ $16
  • Mutavault (Japanese) @ $10
  • 1x boxes of Modern Masters 2015 @ $230

SOLD:

  • 6x Modern Masters 2015 @ $255 USD ($210 cost)

SOLD (Pucatrade)

  • 1x Grafdigger’s Cage (foil) @ $19.00 (pack opened)
  • 1x Tarmogoyf @ $195.00 ($135 cost)
  • 1x Wilt Leaf Liege @ $29.42 (pack opened)
  • 1x Sensei’s Divining Top @ $32.41 (pack opened)
  • 1x Horizon Canopy @ $34.65 ($18 cost)
  • 5x Steam Vents @ $13.20 ($8.25 cost)

My total haul of MM2 boxes now stands at 20+. The revelation of the full set list through plenty of folks for a loop, as the final rares list was significantly less exciting than many had hoped for. Running the Estimated Value (EV) calculation on the set however has revealed that much of the value has simply been shifted to the mythics and the current EV per pack is very close to the MSRP of $9.99. This means that opening a box at MSRP is roughly equivalent to the math on opening a box of MM1 in the summer of 2013, which featured a similar EV. Each pack you open will feature higher variance, but the more packs you open the more likely you are to even out your opens. As such, I’m expecting the EV to fall off in the weeks following the triple Grand Prix into the $7-8 range as people sell off their opens. If the set is constricted on supply and/or considered too risky by players to open frequently, I would expect the box trajectory to follow a similar path to MM1, with less total upside. My current target is $325 on boxes by December 2015. Even if dealers end up having more supply than my sources have told me they will, a neutral EV out of the gate is unlikely to motivate them to open enough boxes to further tank the singles market on the mythics. We now need to see how the draft format is received, because a great format will drive sales and pack openings, and push EV further down the curve, whereas a bad draft format could keep the price of key cards relatively stable.  More on this as the issues play out.

Most of my singles purchases this week were simply opportunistic grabs at prices below retail, or cards I expect to continue rising heading into fall.

Pucatrade was a huge help this week, allowing me to out MM2 reprints like Leyline of Sanctity, Wilt Leaf Liege and Tarmogoyf at full value. I now have about $700 worth of Pucapoints, accumulated since the end of March, and my goal is to trade into a mox on that platform before the end of summer.

Guo Heng Chin

TRADES

  • Thunderbreak Regent (out) for one Dragonlord Dromoka (in).

Jared Yost

PURCHASES
  • 4x Willow Satyr @ $13.96
  • 4x Gravity Sphere @ $11.76 + $1 shipping
Jarod says:
“I’ve picked up these Reserve List cards due to some analysis I did on Legends and potentially undervalued cards on the Reserve List.”

Note: The rest of the guys were quiet this week.

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Bonus Tips:

  • Putting some money aside for the two weeks after the triple MM2 GPs across the globe is a solid notion indeed. Tens of thousands of packs will be opened at those tournaments and many of those players will be looking to sell of sweet opens that they don’t need for their own decks to recoup some of their trip costs. This should lead to a plethora of good deals as the sellers crowd each other out in a race to the bottom of the price ladder. This will also be the period where key standard cards will start to bottom out into their usual summer doldrums, and great cards from Khans block are likely to be in bargain territory with so much focus on Modern cards.
  • Before you plow too much money into the Eldrazi from MM2, keep in mind that we are very likely to get even more exciting Eldrazi this fall in Battle for Zendikar. Since the Eldrazi characters are set in stone, new versions could easily injur the price points on the earlier editions if they prove more interesting to collectors.
  • The absence of man-lands, Inquisition of Kozilek and Goblin Guide leaves me wondering whether WOTC will simply reprint some or all of these cards in the fall. This makes me very hesitant to get in on any of them right now.
  • As I’m writing this Yohan Dudognon is 7-0 at GP Paris running an entirely new multi-color Collected Company deck running Mantis Rider, Savage Knuckleblade and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. He just tapped out end of turn for Stoke the Flames tapping Riders and Knuckleblades so he has my full attention. Bottom line: Collected Company is proving to be a flexible and powerful magic card. Foils should be top targets while they’re cheap. I have them breaking $20 later this year.

So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (May 3/15)

By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such we’ve decided to run a weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought without hope of profit, where appropriate. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we were up to this week:

Buying Period: April 27 – May 3, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

BOUGHT

  • 4x boxes of Modern Masters 2015 @ $225
  • 2x Tarmogoyf (MM) @ $135
  • 7x Steam Vents (RTR) @ $8.50/per
  • 4x Nylea God of the Hunt @$3/per
  • 1x Sidisi, Undead Vizier (foil) @ $8
  • 1x Heliod, God of the Sun @ $2
  • 1x Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest (foil pre-release) @ $4
  • 2x Glittering Wish @ $5/per
  • 1x Soulfire Grand Master (foil) @ $15
  • 1x Anticipate (foil) @ $8.50
  • 2x Siege Rhino @ $4.00
  • 1x Siege Rhino (pre-release foil) @ $11
  • 1x Dragonlord Dromoka (foil) @ $17
  • 4x Heliod, God of the Sun @ $2.50
  • 4x Gitaxian Probe @ $2.00
  • 1x Time Warp @ $8
  • 1x Grove of the Burnwillows @ $27
  • 1x Dromoka’s Command (Russian) @ $2.50
  • 1x Atarka’s Command (Russian) @ $2.50
  • 1x Kolaghan’s Command (Russian) @ $2.50

SOLD:

  • 1x Fate Reforged Booster Box (Russian) @ $199 USD ($125 cost)
  • 8x Den Protector @ $4/per ($1.25 cost)
  • 5x Dragonlord Ojutai @ $32/per ($6 cost)

SOLD (Pucatrade)

  • 3x Leyline of Sanctity @ $30.91 ($18 cost)

I’ve moved in even deeper on Modern Masters 2015 boxes as my sources all concur that the print run will be lower than expected and that many dealers will have trouble getting a hold of enough boxes to meet their local demand. Further proof comes from my receipt of offers from local dealers at prices far above what I’m buying for. You may be hearing that the print is bigger than last time, and it is, but a lot of that will be eaten up by the massive attendance at 3 GPs worldwide and a flurry of drafting at your local shop. I’m willing to bet that boxes are scarce by mid-June and the price tops $300 again. I’ll be happy to sell into the hype around the triple release GPs, but if I need to hold the boxes until Xmas season to yield my expected 30-40% returns, that’s fine too.

The Tarmogoyfs and the foil Siege Rhinos, along with the Steam Vents were all purchases of opportunity at GP Toronto, where some dealers from smaller towns surrounding Toronto were sporting remarkably low pricing on many staples. It felt like I could have gone very deep on value purchases at the event, and indeed several contacts reported dropping thousands in productive fashion. Selling into hype at a big tournament is always a good place to be, and I continued to unload Ojutai and Den Protector this week into amazing value.

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Most of the rest of my buys were late night Ebay value purchases, where auctions were closing at prices below market value. We’re not quite at the season for summer pricing lows, but I’m starting to move in on the Theros gods, looking to acquire piles below $5 to out a few years later over $10.

Over on PucaTrade I continue to dump cards I expect are either peaking or likely to decline due to imminent reprint, with an eye to trading up into a $500-1000 card within a month or two of frequent trading. The latest dumps are Leyline of Sanctity out of my Abzan Tokens deck in Modern, based on the likely appearance of the card in Modern Masters 2015. I expect to get back into these below $20, so selling now at $30 in trade value is great.

Note: The rest of the guys were quiet this week. Look for updates this weekend.

Bonus Tip:

  • Blue devotion is far from dead. A U/G devotion deck with 32 creatures and 4 Collected Company finished 4th at the SCG Open in Portland, and the deck looked very solid on camera. As such I’m in no rush to dump Thassa and Master of Waves just yet, since we’re only another strong finish away from a possible move on these cards. The worst case is a hold waiting for a version in Modern, which is entirely possible if we wait for a few more great creatures to take the formula over the top.
  • Sell Noble Hierarch asap and look to move back in under $20 later this summer. It’s being reprinted at rare in MM2 and that should send the price crashing as the triple GP inventory floods the web in early June.
  • Bitterblossom has been confirmed for MM2 as well, and will likely bleed value since it’s not seeing heavy play at present.

So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

ADVERTISEMENT: Get the Cube Starter Bundle with the 3rd Edition Grimoire Deck Box, the brand new Grimoire Deck Box designed specifically for the red mage in you. 

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