Last week's Pro Tour marks the beginning of the end for this competition and, while I did make some gains off Emrakul, the Promised End, it was nowhere near enough to pull me back into contention. The most important thing I have learned from this series and my time investing is that if you do not plan to keep track of your collection, it is almost always better to view MTGO as a way to rent a deck when you are looking to play instead of a place to keep a collection.
I do not play Magic nearly as much as I did before it was part of my everyday life and work and that means I am the prime candidate to look at MTGO as a rental service. As interesting as the market is and as predictable as some of the cycles are, you really need a constant finger on the pulse of Magic in order to really make money between events. That being said anyone can, and should play the market during events, as there is always a way to make money and the risk is relatively low as long as you get out of everything by the end of the weekend, ideally most of it should go on Saturday of the PT as that is historically when prices peak.
I am not sure how much I will be looking at MTGO as a way to make money in the future, as I would almost rather just enjoy the PT coverage and not worry about my portfolio constantly, but it has been enjoyable to see exactly how the real world market works compared to the MTGO market during such a turbulent time. I do like the fact that you can play relatively fringe decks on MTGO for next to nothing, making experimenting much less taxing on your Magic budget; however, investing in any of these fringe cards did not work nearly as well as I was hoping. In paper Magic even the smallest amount of play can typically press bulk to being worth something, but in MTGO, that move in and then back out can happen so quickly you are more likely to miss that window than catch it, even if you were in on the card early.
While I certainly have a new respect for the MTGO market I think I will be sticking to the world of paper Magic and leaving MTGO for my deck brewing and Legacy purposes. The plus side: though I didn’t achieve my goal of doubling up, I did manage to make enough to keep my Legacy deck at the end of this and since the prices have all crashed lately anyway. I feel way less bad about always having a digital copy of Spanish Inquisition.
To anyone looking to get into this market, I highly suggest using a collection tracker - it will save your sanity of looking every card up multiple times a day at some points and you can set notifications to inform you when a card has hit a certain value for you to either buy in or move out. Beyond that, just remember that bulk is much harder to pull from nothing online and cards can spike to astronomical heights in the right weekend since there is no real cap on people relisting them after purchasing them, which means we see a much higher ceiling that can come from nowhere. These cards are the ones to target and sometimes it is as simple as buying the best two or three cards from a set and waiting a week to watch them rise, sometimes far beyond what should be realistic.
I really appreciate this opportunity from Cardhoarder and wanted to congratulate the two front runners on crushing these past few months. It has been over for me since after the first PT, but I have still tried to pull what information I could since then. MTGO is such a fast moving market you almost always have to be right on a card immediately to make money, else you may be catching the card on the way up just to watch it flatten back out before you get a chance to sell. If you don’t have that kind of time, I would stick to the paper market. If you have the spare time and a bit of capital to start up, the transactions you can make in real time far outweigh the risk you take in real life by waiting for cards to ship and hoping the price has not dropped by time you can then ship them out yourself.