Category Archives: Danny Brown

PROTRADER: The Yearly Core Set Experiment

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From M10 to M15 (or possibly Maqic Origins, depending on your point of view), Magic experimented with a yearly core set. Before this model, core sets were printed once every two years, had ugly white borders, and consisted entirely of reprints. All this changed with M10, when Wizards stated that: 1) Core sets would be printed every year, 2) Would feature the beautiful black borders we have grown to love, and 3) Would be about half reprints, half new cards.

These years of core sets led to an interesting finance landscape. Since these sets were filled with reprints, cards like Scavenging Ooze and Mutavault were printed, crashing their values in the process. On the other hand, since these sets didn’t sell particularly well, newly printed cards tended to be expensive, like Thundermaw Hellkite and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy.

So in the spirit of the block reviews I’ve written in the past few months, let’s go through some of (not all—we’d be here all day) the financially relevant cards from these years of core sets. As always, I’m coming at this from the standpoint of someone who wants the best cube possible for the least money possible, but who is always happy to buy in to a card if it seems poised for an increase. Given this bias, I might not be touching on every card pertinent to your format of choice, but there’s enough overlap that I trust there will be something for everyone.

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PROTRADER: What You Can and Can’t Get on PucaTrade

I get just about all of my cards on PucaTrade these days. The service isn’t perfect, but it has powered up my collection and helped me get rid of tons of hard-to-move-but-technically-valuable stuff. I am unequivocally a fan, and think that PucaTrade rightfully plays a significant role in today’s MTG finance landscape.

One of the biggest criticisms of PucaTrade I see  is that it is difficult to get desirable cards, especially without paying out a bonus. While this is true to an extent, I have personally received a number of cards that I would not have sent out without receiving a bonus myself. It does happen, and I’ll be sharing some of those nice pickups with you in a bit, but first let’s go over the currency.

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PROTRADER: Checking in with Planeswalkers

There are over 14,000 unique Magic cards in existence. Of those, only 74 are planeswalkers*. In a game so large that it can overwhelm even the most experienced financiers, planeswalkers take up only 0.005 percent of the cards in the game. This subset of cards tends to be very interesting financially, and with so few total, we can cover them in entirety to try to highlight the money-making opportunities that may be present.

*If we count the five Origins flip-walkers, which I almost didn’t!

I like to do a check-in with planeswalkers as a whole a couple times a year. My first at MTGPrice was last April, and then I touched on the subject again last November. Much has happened since then, so let’s check up on these cards yet again.

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PROTRADER: A Cheapskate Casual’s Guide to Innistrad Block

Innistrad is—rightfully—among many players’ top sets of all time. I count myself among those players. Between the mechanics, the Draft environment, the powerful Constructed cards, the top-down flavor, Magic‘s growing playerbase at the time, and more, everything came together in a big way for what is arguably Magic‘s first successful flavor-based design.

It’s also coming up on being five years old. As such, former bulk rares like Laboratory Maniac are all of a sudden becoming worth money, and we’re going to have to start worrying about some of the most expensive, powerful cards seeing a reprint soon. As such, this seems like a fine time to cover some of the notable cards in the block while considering the same fundamental questions as with Return to Ravnica last week: if we’re trying to build a Cube (or Commander deck) for the lowest amount possible, which cards should be prioritized and which cards should be avoided? These questions get even more interesting when we consider that Shadows over Innistrad is looming, as well.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

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