Saturday, August 30, 2014

Such a Bargain!

I may have a few readers that remember a mention of my time in finance.  These readers either have savant-like recall or are way too interested in my life.  For those of you who are not part of Creepy-Sect, I worked in mortgage-backed security arbitrage for a Savings and Loan in New York.  It was the 80’s; times were good.  Today, this admission is the equivalent of saying I worked in hull design while they were building the Titanic.  

Nevertheless, I did learn that prices in competitive markets are not arbitrary.  This price may not necessarily match value.  Securities could be worth more or less than their price.  While the difference in price and value opens up trading opportunities, one has to ask why the market is discounting (or inflating) the price of a commodity. Understanding these market forces is the difference between good and bad traders. 

Yugioh is no different than any other market, which is why I wondered about Castel’s falling price.  $10 to $12 seems like a great deal.  After all, the advantages of this card are fairly well known.  Our little musketeer returns cards to the deck and nullifies the ever-enlarging horde of graveyard effects. Furthermore that effect applies to any face-up card, which opens up Safe Zone plays.  Finally, it’s fodder for Diamond Dire Wolf and Icarus Attack.  

With all this going for the card, why is it equivalent to a movie admission?  Here are some possible answers to that question and the effect of that answer on the future value of the card:

My Extra Deck is full. Yugioh players have a large selection of OP cards to put in their extra-deck.  While Castel is good, he is not good enough to take up two slots.  A quick perusal of the OCG shows that few doolists are using more than one.  Less demand and more supply means a lower price.  Verdict: Remains between $10-15. 

(Fill in your favorite archetype) took my money.  Duelist Alliance had an unusual number of desirable archetypes.  Doolists found themselves dropping cash for Sattelarknights, Shaddolls, Dueling Abyss, and Yang Zing monsters.  Once you’ve paid $150 to play a deck, there is little appetite for more cards.  If this is the case, the demand for the card will pick up.  Verdict: Increases to $20-25. 

Ohhh … Exciton Knight. Just as we got done unwrapping our Duelist Alliance packs, Konami hits us with The Mega-Tins.  Finally, those OPOP cards are available to everyone.  Konami has essentially flooded the market and washed Castel away.  Verdict: Increases to $20-25.

Castel who? Local tournament play may be quite slow so that most doolists have not yet faced the archetypes released by Duelist Alliance.  As a result, they haven’t experienced the rather extreme graveyard recursion of these decks.  Once they do, they will be begging for Castel. Verdict: Increases to $25-30.

I do think that the card will rise in price since most cards do in the weeks following their release.  Tightness in the Extra Deck will keep the demand down somewhat, but it is a solid card.  I pulled one (yay) and will likely pick up 1 or 2 more because of my fondness for Harpies and Mist Valley monsters. 

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