MTG Fast Finance Podcast: Episode 47 (2016 Year in Review)

MTG Fast Finance is our weekly podcast covering the flurry of weekly financial activity in the world of Magic: The Gathering. MFF provides a fast, fun and useful sixty minute format. Follow along with our seasoned hosts as they walk you through this week’s big price movements, their picks of the week, metagame analysis and a rotating weekly topic.

Show Notes: Dec 21st, 2016

This week the guy’s look back over a bustling 2016 in MTGFinance, and explore the biggest card spikes of the year by percentage, the best and worst spec picks and the most important lessons of the year.

Segment 1: Top Card Spikes of 2016

Note: The data below only reflects the biggest week over week price increases of the year,  and some may not have held their spikes for more than a week. Others may have climbed yet higher since the spike was noted. Slow and steady gainers for the year may be absent from this list as well, as they would not have shown up on our weekly reports, so please review the data to draw deeper conclusions.

Thopter Foundry
Biggest weekly gainer of 2016.

Thopter Foundry (Alara Reborn, Uncommon)
Start: $0.50
Finish: $10.00
Gain: +$9.50 (+1900%)

Conflagrate (TSP, Foil Uncommon)
Start: $0.40
Finish: $5.00
Gain: +$4.60 (+1150%)

Electrostatic Pummeler (KLD, Rare)
Start: $0.50
Finish: $5.00
Gain: +$4.50 (+900%)

Magus of the Tabernacle (Planar Chaos, Rare)
Start: $0.50
Finish: $4.50
Gain: +$4.00 (+800%)

Worship (8th, Rare)
Start: $2.50
Finish: $20.00
Gain: +$17.50 (+700%)

Squandered Resources (Visions, Rare)
Start: $0.75
Finish: $5.50
Gain: +$4.75 (+633%)

Mindslicer (SOA, Foil Rare)
Start: $1.50
Finish: $10.00
Gain: +$8.50 (+567%)

Bloodspore Thrinax (C15, Rare)
Start: $1.00
Finish: $6.50
Gain: +$5.50 (+550%)

Narcomoeba (MMA, Foil Uncommon)
Start: $2.50
Finish: $16.00
Gain: +$13.50 (+540%)

Gaea’s Avenger (Antiquities, Uncommon)
Start: $3.00
Finish: $19.00
Gain: +$16.00 (+533%)

Segment 2: Best & Worst Spec Recommendations of 2016

James’ Top 5 Picks of 2016:

  1. Traverse the Ulvenwald (SOI, Rare)
  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $1.00 to $5.00 (+5.00/+400%, 6-12+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $4 on schedule (+300%)

2. Nahiri, the Harbinger (SOI, Mythic)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 6: $10.00 to $20.00 (+10.00/+100%, 0-6+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $40 on schedule (+300%)

3. Aetherworks Marvel (KLD, Foil Mythic)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $10.00 to $20.00 (+10.00/+100%, 6-12+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $30 ahead of schedule (+200%)

4. Blessed Alliance (EMN, Foil Uncommon)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 8: $4.00 to $10.00 (+6.00/+150%, 0-6+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $10 on schedule (+150%)

5. Selfless Spirit (EMN, Foil Rare)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $8.00 to $15.00 (+7.00/88%, 0-6+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $18 on schedule (+125%)

James also made great picks on Mantis Rider foils, Thing in the Ice, Pyroblast foils, Grim Flayer foils, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, Time Spiral, Force of Will foils, Volrath’s Stronghold and Bazaar of Baghdad.

If you listened to James about Eye of Ugin expeditions you made money, but not if you waited too long to sell them like he did. He also screwed up calling EMA Mana Crypt foils at $225, failing to predict their reprinting as Masterpieces in Kaladesh, and called Deploy the Gatewatch too early at $3.25 to hit $8 (lol). The call on Eldritch Evolution foils at $15 also would have cost you plenty vs. current pricing.

Travis Top Picks of 2016:

  1. Realms Uncharted (ROE, Rare)
  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $0.25 to $4.00 (+3.75/+1500%, 6-12+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $3 on schedule (+1100%)

2. Adarkar Wastes (Various, Rare)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 8: $2.00 to $10.00 (+8.00/+400%, 0-6+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $15 soon after (+650%)

3. Needle Spires (Oath, Rare)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $1.00 to $5.00 (+4.00/+400%, 6-12+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $4.50 ahead of schedule (+350%)

4. The Chain Veil (EMN, Mythic)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 8: $1.50 to $5.00 (+3.50/+233%, 6-12+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $4.50 on schedule (+200%)

5. Doubling Season (MMA)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $25.00 to $50.00 (+40.00/88%, 6-12+ months)
  • What Happened: Got to $65 on schedule (+160%)

Travis’ worst calls of the year included Arlin Kord at $10 (down 30%), Ob Nixilis, Reignited at $5 (down 30%), EMA boxes at $240 (due to re-release), and Kozilek, the Great Distortion at $7 (down 50%).

Disclosure: Travis and James may own speculative copies of the above cards.

Segment 3: Lessons of 2016

James & Travis discuss the lessons of 2016 for MTG Finance including the increase in reprints, the threat to eternal format support from WoTC, the potential saturation of the premium card market and the increasing relevance of Commander in card speculation.

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

21 thoughts on “MTG Fast Finance Podcast: Episode 47 (2016 Year in Review)”

  1. HI,

    Thanks for all the great work during the year. I wanted to know if you had any advice on Jace, the Mind Sculpture (EMA). Is it a good buy at $55 and do any of you thinkg it has potential to increase in price?


    1. The only way I’m getting on the Jace train is if it gets unbanned in Modern, but the risk is high that it would be a mistake so I wouldn’t hold your breath, especially with Legacy in decline.

  2. What happened to Tasigur? Probably the worst “never thought that would happen” we all made… poor guy’s price has tanked beyond belief.

  3. I see some grumpiness in the comments lately, but just joined Pro (and am back in magic after years off) and really enjoying your content. Also starting to hoard inventions as I find them cheap. 0.0 Thanks guys and keep it up!

  4. Hey James and Travis,
    I’m a loyal listener, and wanted to thank you guys for your time in making the podcast. Also, I like the fact how you guys are humble with your picks that work out, but admit to your mistakes when they don’t.
    Have a great New Year!

  5. Good thoughts here. With changes in the market, staying ahead sometimes requires some creativity.

  6. Here’s a New Year’s resolution: Make a harder and actual effort to address all complaints in the comments for everyone to see, and don’t delete them or refer the posters to the Protrader forums. One: Saying things in public keeps people honest, since there’s a larger constituency to appease. This reason alone is why I will always post in a publicly viewed area such as this instead of risking a bout in the Protrader rape cave. I don’t trust you guys in private and was looking for honest public dialogue, especially when you deleted my comments. Two: I (or anyone else) shouldn’t have to pay five bucks just to have my complaint properly registered. Did you ever stop to think that maybe your complainers were former ProTrader members who are unwilling pay another cent because of they experienced the full brunt of the shitty quality and attitude of the owners? No.

    So anyway, this is a good New Year’s resolution to be working on for you guys.

    1. That’s rather on the harsh side pal. The staff is making an effort to resolve things now. Look up the mtgfinance Reddit post from a couple of weeks ago, THEN make your judgment.

      1. Jiminez has a point. For example, in one of the articles the writer was talking about how bad 2016 was. In other words, another unhappy Clinton supporter. All I said was that 2016 wasn’t bad for everyone as not everyone voted for her. And bam, comment deleted. And then there was a pile of people commenting on another thread about how the quantity and quality of this blog has fallen by the wayside and how no one was here anymore. Numerous complaints were deleted and then they posted some message about how business has never been better, when we all know that’s a lie. Some articles get one or no comment at all. That doesn’t happen with a “hot” blog.

      2. I’m not contesting these facts, as I too have had several comments deleted. I’m saying that excessive swearing doesn’t get anywhere either. Like I said, they finally (I hope) have woken up and are trying to fix things. I say give this a couple of weeks.

      3. Hey buddy,

        Did you even read what I just posted? I was giving honest and common sense advice to the writers, and how keeping things public instead of demanding privacy to hide their shame would be better off in the long run.

        So I DID read the reddit article in question, and I noticed a few things:

        “On it. I will be posting a 2017 Road Map article this weekend to get everyone on the same page. Plenty going on behind the scenes to move from solid to great. ”

        12 days later, there is no such article, and no, the above article does not count, as there is nothing about the management of this blog. A bullshit statement from an untrustworthy author.

        “Firstly, Rudy [from Alpha Investments] is a joker who entertains more than he informs. I have yet to hear him form a coherent argument on any topic. ”

        Complete bullshit. He makes plenty more coherent arguments on topics that are ACTUALLY relevant and up to date, far more than what I have heard on previous podcasts.

        P.S. I hardly think a single use of the “shitty” word constitutes as excessive swearing. Learn to read pal.

        Oh, and this horseshit statement that I just read from you when I checked some past articles, James?

        “PucaTrade is undoubtedly working through various issues, but it is far from dead based on the last stats their staff shared with me. I continue to get cards sent to me intermittently and I have sent out over $700 in cards this month alone. Where the site has failed is in providing people with the specific cards they need at any given moment. That expectation was never reasonable for a push based platform, but those of us who have networked and cast a wide net are still getting significant cards sent our way.”

        Obviously you must be either be paid by Pucatrade or are snuggling with the site owners to get your cards, as I can name DOZENS of users that have offered at least 50% bounties, gone wide with over 300 different types of cards, and have heavily advertised through discord, and have gotten NADA. (And no, I do not think that official bounties will solve things, as that ship had long sailed). In all honesty, you’re just as bad, in fact, *worse* than Eric Freytag in his piss poor attitude with dealing with users/commenters. You’ve been repeatedly dismissive and condescending towards some of us, and that is the biggest problem I see here, and one that you seem unwilling to fix. Just because they’re no longer willing to pay doesn’t give you the right to slap them in the face and then patronize them, if I can describe your acts in the most charitable way.

      4. Alright, you’re off on several things. First, that comment was made several months ago. It is not meant to illustrate the CURRENT state of Pucatrade right now, nor would any comment that could have made at that time. Pucatrade WAS slightly better at the time the comment was made, although not by much, so your explanation cannot be fully applied here. Second, James explained the situation on one of the early posts, and has ADMITTED that things were mismanaged from that crisis. Eric Freytag did no such thing and was *Much* more blatant in his dismissal. Here, James and the others are trying (or at least trying to, I hope) to address others (although they could improve in some areas. They have a lot to do, and can’t possibly fulfill everything in that short a time. Also, Eric was far more arrogant than James in handling things and in public relations. Here we can actually see steps being taken in the last week or so to resolve some problems (which I hope some people can confirm). Pucatrade has yet to deliver on solving their major issues. Three, I’m not entirely sure about your statement regarding alpha investments, as there are some things in his videos that rub me the wrong way.

        Now, James has given his word that he will fix things. The question is, are we going to take it this time. I am willing to do so one last time. If things still don’t get there in, say, one month, THEN I would say it’s hopeless. But give home and the crew some time.

        Oh, and you now have used the “shit” word several times now, which only emphasizes my point that excessive swearing won’t get you anywhere.

      5. Indeed. The recent need for advertisements and the fact that a response was only given to our complaints because of the negative mainstream attention of Reddit post are clear signs that the site is strapped for money and time means the blog is going downhill fast and headed for a shutdown. In my opinion, it’s past time to pack. Right now you should be jumping off the LZ 129 Hindenburg and opening the parachute.

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