PT time! Actually, it wasn’t all that exciting for me, personally. I didn’t realize until the day before that the PT schedule perfectly aligned with my current sleep schedule. That is, I would go to bed right around when the first round was starting (always draft, though /sadface), and I’d wake up in time to see all or part of the last round of the day. The big spikes happen when you first see a new card from a high-profile player in standard. I assume the start/mid of round 4 was when Emrakul delivered on her Promised End, doubling her price on MTGO. I, of course, was fast asleep and didn’t get to take advantage of any of this volatility. Actually, I didn’t do any buying during the PT, but I did sell out of the majority of my specs. So….let’s recap.
Closed Positions (link updated weekly): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1l2d_EYf5Mg9w7BCfVwrL5vzMx_FVKhTWg3LyxrBUXj4
As I went over last time, I’d ‘gone wide’ in preparation for the PT, buying up a wide variety of standard rares/mythics. To my delight, many of these had slowly gained 0.5-1 tix per card. For the most part, I greedily held on to all of these, hoping for a further boost from the PT. However, I did sell out of two: Kiora, Master of the Depths and Dragonlord Ojutai. While I actually bought into these significantly prior to my PT EMN preparation, I went in a bit deeper on each during my “going wide” prep, as their prices had fallen from my initial buy-in. Pre-PT, Ojutai began falling, I saw the writing on the wall, and I got out ASAP to the tune of ~5 tix profit. I believe I was up ~1 tix per card prior to this downturn, so I lost out on 5.5-8.5 tix, oops. Kiora was sold when the UG Crush made T8 at SCG Baltimore (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/tournament/scg-standard-open-baltimore-2016-07-31#online), netting me almost 7 tix profit from one of my first Battle of Tix specs….which I’d long thought would lose me several tix.
Speaking of UG Crush…I made 63 tix on the 32 Crush of Tentacles I had bought at the beginning of May for 0.72 each! I was able to out a few of these at the max 3.77 tix they were commanding during the spike. Outside of Battle of Tix, I actually had even more Crush of Tentacles that produced almost 50 tix profit during this spike. And…back in April, Crush had a spike where I pulled in 110 tix (again, outside of BoT). I love this card, it just seems objectively powerful to me, so I have consistently picked it up cheap and just waited for things to line up so it can shine. Might it happen again before rotation? We’ll see….
Now, putting aside those wins, I did have some losses last week. I threw in the towel and admitted defeat on both Toxic Deluge and Sensei's Divining Top (both EMA). As I mentioned before, I picked up the Deluge when I noticed the extremely low supply. Well, apparently, supply has slowly trickled into the bots, while there is (seemingly) no demand. This has resulted in a slow creep downward in price. One day, I noticed that buy prices for Deluge were getting quite low, so I got out ASAP above 2 tix. The buy price is now half that, so it was a good thing I got out when I did. The 15 tix loss from Deluge + Top hurt, but I made much more than that from my entire basket of EMA specs, so I guess it’s okay…
The PT Itself
I woke up Friday morning to Delirium and Emerge of all varieties doing well at the PT. One of the first things to jump out within my specs was Mindwrack Demon, which I had picked up expecting Delirium to be, at the very least, playable. The Demon had spiked to, like, 5 tix. So, I started selling, I managed to out 18 of the 24 I had for 4+ tix each. I paused, hoping the spike would continue. However, looking around at decklists revealed that Mindwrack wasn’t actually being played all that much, so I got rid of my remaining 6 copies for 3.5-3.75 tix before the inevitable crash. Now, the real Delirium winner was Traverse the Ulvenwald, which I had 45 of! Oh, wait, I sold all of those for 0.6 tix in mid-June (https://twitter.com/MTGKaioshin/status/761507965165797376), ah, hmm, oh well.
Also, as I mentioned last time, I was up 3 tix on these pre-PT…then they fell back to approximately my buy-in price. I could have netted 3 tix/card profit at that point, and then re-bought to still make this 80 tix profit. I also probably should have gone more than 11 copies deep here, as it’s just so obvious that this card is bonkers with emerge. Hindsight, 20/20, card-games-on-motorcycles, all that. Of course, I’m throwing around all these “coulds” and “shoulds” and “so obvious”, when those actually amount to clairvoyance, a skill I (probably) don’t possess (tsk, put all my XP points into beard growth…)
At the PT, what did we see? Shaman casting big eldrazi and helping emerge, with the Formidable ability being a nice bonus that could close out a game. That counts as me calling it, right? Right?
Besides the called shot, I did made 16 tix from this spec, selling out for 1.5-2.5 tix, so that’s cool. But, then again, I just now checked the Shaman’s buy price….3 tix. Shoulda held out, oh well.
The Marshes (31 in total) I had been holding for a while now. Lands, for whatever reason, are quite volatile on MTGO. So, you can pick them up when they hit a low and just wait for the next high to come around (usually). For both Smoldering Marsh and Sunken Hollow, that upturn was during the PT. While I completely got out of Smoldering Marsh (at 14 tix total profit), I’ve greedily held on to a few Hollows. I’m pretty much guaranteed 20 tix profit from the hollows at this point, but I’m trying to eek out another couple of tix.
As for the rest of my positions…they, uh, yeah. I sold off the vast majority of my profitable positions, leaving…other stuff. As of now, almost all of my portfolio consists of losing positions. Awkward.
So, the bad news is that I’ve lost out a bit. The good news is that each of these positions is pretty low, so it’ll be easy for them to make gains. Right? Maybe?
So, we’ve got 3 weeks left in Battle of Tix. There should be several opportunities for gains in this time. Yeah, the PT happened and everyone thinks Temurge and BW control are the best decks…but the metagame is far from set. Remember how Cryptorites broke out at PT SOI? After that, we had a week of Mono-white humans, then some Bant Company, then GW tokens (which didn’t do well at PT SOI) finally broke out as the deck to beat. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll probably see many Standard metagame shifts. I’m not convinced Temurge is the best deck. I also firmly believe the rumors of Bant Company’s death are greatly exaggerated.
Yeah, Collected Company didn’t do well at the PT. It was a known enemy, which everyone prepared for. Yes, in the coming weeks, other decks can and will continue to prepare for CoCo. But, the difference is that CoCo now knows what it’s up against and can itself prepare. Thus, I think that CoCo will continue to be a major player in the Standard metagame, maybe with a few mainboard tweaks.
How does that help us?
Well, people think CoCo is dead, plus it will soon rotate. Thus, prices of Dromoka's Command, Collected Company, and Oath of Nissa have just plummeted. I fully expect these to turn around. Now, the only question is: what is the bottom? I’ve already started buying into these three cards, and they’ve continued to go down. I plan to use a bit of dollar cost averaging (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_cost_averaging) here, until I see them make gains again.
Now, I don’t know for a fact that this will work, but it’s a hunch I have. I also have a bit of room to gamble, so that’s what I’m going to do here. I, for one, think it will be interesting to see how this plays out. However, I’m not suggesting this is a good strategy for you guys. Not gonna lie, I’m kind of shooting in the dark here.
So, my strategy for the next few weeks is such:
Invest in GW stuff
Try to take advantage of the current uncertainties in the standard metagame
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions (particularly about features you’d like in a spreadsheet), I can be contacted via reddit (https://www.reddit.com/user/MTGKaioshin), Twitter (@MTGKaioshin), or email (MTGKaioshin@gmail.com).