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Auction House Strategy: Predicting the Future

In this article, I am interested in taking what we know about Set 1 card price dynamics and using it to project which of those cards will go up in value and which will go down in value. If you have not spent much time with the auction house or need a refresher, HexHunterMokog has a fantastic article up from last week that will help get you ready.

Readers who are familiar with my Hex activities probably know me best for competitive play as well as being active in several Hex-related communities. A few of you also know that I avidly play Hex: The Auction House and that there have been lengthy periods of time where I have spent more time analyzing trends and buying/selling cards than actually playing and winning cards in draft. While I would not wager my Auction House shenanigans are as lucrative as say, working a second job, I play the auction house mostly to have fun and get additional practice in doing some level of data analysis. For a bit of context to help establish my bona fides, I currently have a bit over 75000 platinum on Hex that mostly comes from buying and selling cards (I am sure there are plenty of people who have a larger stock than I) and have still a large investment in cards that I am waiting to sell. In total, I have sold 3,304 items on the auction house and take meticulous notes of my activities as well as market trends. In fact, I was part of a group that tracked market trends daily by looking at the cheapest available card for all the rares and legendaries and we would update this data once to twice a day; this tracking was to help us determine what cards we should buy/sell and if it was ever worth buying primal packs to sell the cards individually (sometimes, it is!). In set 1, I have bought and cracked 95 primals, sold the cards for a profit of 23494p, and still have about 43 extra cards setting in my account from those packs.

 

Market Tacker

 

Given this background, let’s get to the heart of this article! I have been buying up cards that I think will improve in value after the release of set 2; this could be either in the short term or the long term. Fundamentally, I have put my money were my mouth is and I am now sharing some of this information with you. As such, I should also start with a caveat: I could be wrong. Do not bet your Hex-life savings on my predictions. Also, the price data used in the following is from December 7th, around 10pm UTC.

My plan is to go shard-by-shard and highlight a few rares and legendaries that are likely to go up or down in value with the introduction of Shattered Destiny (which should be happening a day from now). Now, there will be two early peaks for Set 2 prices. First, on opening day, prices will be inflated as the supply of Shattered Destiny will be low. Second, prices will again spike in the lead-up to the Blood Cup as people fill their playsets to try and win up to a full booster box of Set 2 cards on Saturday. Shards of Fate prices will have somewhat of an opposite trend where their heights will likely be between the first major tournament that uses Set 1 and 2 and the second major tournament that uses both sets. Once people know what Set 1 cards they must have, the demand will cause those prices to spike. Also, my predictions rely upon the population growing over the next few months; if that does not happen, then set 1 prices are likely to decrease regardless of what happens with the meta.

 

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Blood

The introduction of Set 2 will cause Blood to lose some of its potency and I expect some of the more valuable cards to go down in value. Extinction (374p) and Relentless Corruption (239p) are presently at relative highs when compared to the lifespan of Set 1. It was not too long ago that you could buy Extinctions for 200-250p and Relentless Corruptions for 150p. Given the anti–board-wipe cards coming in Shattered Destiny and the alternative draw abilities for Blood and Sapphire, both of these cards may lose some prominence in Blood decks (especially Corruption) and Blood may become less dominant in the meta. I expect Extinction to drop a full 100p (to 275-300p) and Corruption to hover around 175p. Xentoth’s Inquisitor (198p), on the other hand, has been around 200p for a few weeks. This price drop from its 275p-325p range came from the introduction of the alternate art cards. As more players come in the game and Inquisitor remains a Blood staple, the price will likely rebound to the 250p+ range.

Likewise, Vampire King (1000p), is not likely to stay at that price. The value of Vampire King, which is often lower than Angel of Dawn (but not always), is heightened by the dominance of Blood in the meta and many of the top tier meta decks wanting to use him. However, the Blood 4-cost slot is already overburdened. As Blood gets more options and other shards become meta favorites, Vampire King will likely start to drop down quite a bit, resting in the 600-700p range.

 

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Diamond

Contrary to Blood, I expect Diamond to have some significant gains. Diamond, at this point in the Set 2 spoilers we have seen, is likely to be huge with cards like Hopeheart Unicorn given the shard’s strong mid-game options. Cards like Living Totem (180p), Princess Victoria (70p), and Protectorate Defender (110p) all want to be in your Diminutive Diamond decks. Totem faced a similar problem to Xentoth’s Inquisitor with the introduction of AA cards, but that supply is now exhausted (no new AA Living Totems will be entering circulation) and the decline of Blood/Diamond as a powerhouse in the meta. B/D is still a Set 1 meta staple, but it has fallen quite a bit since March/April of this year. Living Totem should at least go back up to the 250p range if not reclaim its 300p value in the long run.

Angel of Dawn (1100p) will gain strength with Shattered Destiny as she fits into any Diamond deck—decks which I expect to be ever-present in the meta. Her price is presently low due to the lull in constructed tournaments.

 

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Ruby

Ruby stands to have a few gains if it can expand outside of R/S GoreKnights. Gorefeast (125p) has been rising in price ever since starter cards became non-tradeable. Even if R/S GoreKnights is the only option for Ruby, Gorefeast will continue to climb in price—certainly to 150p and may have the ability to hit 200p in the distant future.

Tribes are intentionally becoming stronger in Set 2 as well and Ruby is a great shard for tribal decks. If Humans become stronger, Lord Alexander, the Courageous (95p) has to escape his $1 fate. I am convinced that Royal Falconer (220p) is a 250-275p card, but I am not presently interested in gambling on that low of a profit margin.

In legendaries, if Orcs as a tribe take off, I can see Zoltog (220p) climbing to a solid 300p. Scarcity, impact, and appeal to non-competitive players are all the the traits that should make Zoltog climb to a new peak.

 

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Sapphire

Sapphire is likely coming back in a big way. Right now, the shard is relegated to midrange tempo/card draw troop decks such as B/S creatures and R/S GoreKnights. These decks will not go away and Cerulean Mirror Knight (433p) will surely be a 500p+ card. The problem with gambling on the Mirror Knight is that the profit percentage of the original cost of the card is low (like Angel of Dawn). So, it is typically safer to invest in cheaper cards if you expect the same profit margin. Within the last few weeks, Mirror Knight has been as low as 320-340p and that would have been an excellent time to pick up a few extra.

I am unsure how to evaluate Eldritch Dreamer (309p) as R/S decks may be getting faster and the Dreamer could lose its spot. I expect the price to be relatively stable in the short term at about 300p and I don’t think it has too much potential to climb beyond this value.

The expensive cards in sapphire may lose some favorability if the format becomes faster. Yesterday (100p) and Mastery of Time (820p) do buy you time, but they might fall out of favor for cards that have more early game impact or are easier to include in a dual- or tri-shard deck.

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Wild

Like Sapphire, I expect post–Set-2 Wild to have a bit more play, but this still can come at a loss for Wild cards. A card like Wild Root Dancer (115p) should become more popular in aggressive Wild decks and can reclaim its 200-250p valuation. Most of the Wild cards are presently low in value and many only have room to either go up or drop slightly. It may make sense, depending on how Wild develops, for cards like Briarpatch Conjuror (55p), Gas Troll (40p), Puck, the Dream Bringer (44p), and Ritualist of the Spring Litter (110p) to double or more in value. However, buying up any of these cards will certainly be a gamble on the meta.

Likewise, there is more potential for ramp in Shattered Destiny. In addition to Puck, Eye of Creation (399p) can easily move from its $4 valuation to just under present Mastery of Time levels of value (700-750p) if the meta supports it. This card has a large potential for value gains, but it is an expensive gamble. Of note, this card does regularly spike to 500-600p just because it fulfills a unique deck archetype that people like to play. As such, you could even make a modest gamble on the card.

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Artifacts

Chaos Key (170p) is inflated at the moment due to market manipulation. Its natural price has been around 90-100p and I expect after Set 2 comes that it will drop to 60-75p. Slaughtergear (40p) and Time Bug (39p) are both worth mentioning as there is reason to believe that these cards can gain value with the introduction of PVE—especially Time Bug as people will want eight of them instead of just four—but we may not see those prospects manifest for a few months yet. In Legendaries, Eternal Guardian‘s (280p) fate depends on how the wild ramp decks work out. In Eye of Creation decks, this card is a go-to staple.

There are few more cards worth speculating about, but I will just put them here without additional commentary. Tell me in the comments (here or on reddit) what you will think will happen with His Majesty, King Gabriel (214p), Rampaging Tarasque (130p), Zombie Plague (475p), Archmage Wrenlocke (699p), Fist of Briggadon (270p), Doppelgadget (31p), Pact of Pain (210p), Soul Marble (150p), Heat Wave (200p), The Ancestors’ Chosen (309p), and Crash of Beasts (180p).

Michael Allen is a competitive HexTCG player, co-host of the 2 Turns Ahead podcast, and founder and moderator of the Hex Subreddit.

2 Comments on Auction House Strategy: Predicting the Future

  1. A great article that was extremely informative. I think servant’s price can only rise, maybe not set 2, but definitely by set 3.

  2. Great article! I’ve been thinking about playing the market a bit too so I just bought a few of the following: Angel of Dawn, Living Totem, Gore Feast, Zoltog, Wild Root Dancer, Briarpatch Conjurer, Gas Troll, Ritualist of the Spring Litter, Time Bug, Eternal Guardian and Royal Falconer. I also bought a primal pack and got some decent cards, but nothing truly wallet fattening like an Angel or Vampire King. Keep articles like these coming!!!

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