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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

Current Portfolio


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.

At least I made 42 tix from Mindwrack Demon…Actually, that’s pretty great, I’ll take that.

Pyromancer's Goggles was something I just picked up a playset of, just in case. It’s also one of the pre-PT gainers. When I didn’t see goggles decks at the top tables Friday morning, I figured taking the >2 tix/card profit that these had accrued was the wisest move, +10 tix

Heritage Druid: (sold) – Elves is probably one of the cheaper Legacy decks. Heritage Druid, although somewhat volatile, is able to frequently command a high price on MTGO, as it is both playable and Morningtide is relatively scarce. As I mentioned last time, my working hypothesis is that EMA will be scarce on MTGO, as the poor EV discouraged people from playing ‘real’ drafts (as opposed to phantom, which doesn’t introduce product into the system). If this is true, then Heritage Druid should be on the rise, as the EMA supply wouldn’t be enough to bring its supply above the level of scarce (after the initial EMA supply moves through the market). I actually went ahead and sold my 7 copies recently, for a profit of almost 5 tix total. I began to worry about the short term demand of EMA cards, so I took my 0.7 tix/card profit and ran.

Oath of Nissa & Dromoka's Command – For each of these, I was up significantly (>1 tix/card) before the PT. Again, I was hoping for that to be pushed even higher with the PT. However, upon emerging from my slumber Friday morning, it was clear that Bant/GW tokens was not-going-to-have-a-good-day™. So, I snap sold all my copies for what profit I could. Together, I scraped together 8.5 tix in profit, which is a far cry from the ~30 that I could have had, if I’d sold out before the PT. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…

Kozilek's Return was my big win for the weekend. I didn’t quite get max profit, but I did pretty well, with >7 tix per card profit, on average, and +1 tix in an arbitrage opportunity. This was an 80 tix net profit from my investment in just 11 copies. I started selling those 11 copies at 14.5 tix and managed to get up to 15.5 for the last few. Of course, a day later, the buy price had jumped to, like, 17.5-18.5, meaning I “lost out” on ~30 more tix in potential profit. However, it’s already fallen down to 12 tix buylist. Remember how I said MTGO was fickle and fast? Yeah, that. So, take what you can and run.

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…)

Hangarback Walker, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Abbot of Keral Keep, Zurgo Bellstriker, Greenwarden of Murasa, and Thing in the Ice. Each of these was a ‘failed’ or ‘not good’ spec. But, I still made profit on them, by managing to sell in the smallish window where each was profitable. You gotta make MTGO’s volatility work for you. Combined, these specs netted me 25 tix profit, which I’m happy with, as none were particularly ‘deep’ specs, so I didn’t need to invest much time. Also, to point this out yet again, Abbot and Thing in the Ice followed the age-old pattern of: 1) Buy spec, 2) Price drops, 3) Stay calm and buy more, 4) Manage to make profit when price rebounds, due to buying those ‘bargain-priced’ copies during the downturn.

Kozilek's Return was the most successful spec of the week, with regards to sheer profit. I like my Shaman of Forgotten Ways spec best. Here’s what I said last time: ”Eldrazi are expensive creatures. This shaman’s sole purpose is to help you cast expensive creatures. As a bonus, many Eldrazi will turn on formidable (if you don’t just sack this to Elder Deep-Fiend).”

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.

Thunderbreak Regent & Smoldering Marsh – Thunderbreak had a major dip before the PT (after I bought in), halving its value. I doubled down at this point, which helped me secure a 16 tix profit when the mighty dragon’s price rebounded within a day or two. I didn’t see any dragons (or red) at the PT, so I chose to sell in order to lock in my profit. I have no idea what is driving the ups and downs of this card’s price, so, I guess I just got hit with a bit of blind luck?

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:

  1. Hold on to my ‘losers’ and hope they make gains, especially things like Declaration in Stone and Secure the Wastes

  2. Invest in GW stuff

  3. 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).