PROTRADER: Tribal Trials

By: Travis Allen

Last week, I began my article by discussing the PAX spoiler show that had happened over the weekend, hosted by Wil Wheaton and Ashly Burch. I used descriptive language, partly because my goal was to be evocative in describing the broadcast, and partly because my finance content doesn’t typically allow for that style of writing. The result was a divisive article for sure, with more comments than any other article I’ve published here at MTGPrice. I’ve read all your feedback both here and on Twitter, and I thank everyone who took the time to tell me how they felt, whether you told me that you hated it or loved it. Even among those who disliked what I wrote, there was a remarkably low volume of personal attacks, an event akin to February 29th.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my readers that at no point have I ever called myself a journalist. Neither myself or any of the other writers here can be considered journalists when writing for this website. Journalists gather and share news, typically with little analysis or value judgments. Here at MTGPrice, that is the opposite of our goal. Yes, we gather and share news, but the reason people pay for a subscription here is exactly because of the analysis and judgment we provide regarding that news. Each of us is an individual person provided with a platform to share our perspectives on a topic. We are bound together through a URL, not by editorial control or a unified message. That’s why this is the MTGPrice Blog, not the MTGPrice News Blotter or the Fox News MTG Finance Zone.

Dry recitation of data with colorless analysis may get the point across, but it doesn’t endear readers to authors. Each week, my goal is to put myself into the work. As you read my weekly article, my hope is that you hear my voice in the words and recognize my style as distinct from others. This personal touch is why readers come to enjoy specific writers. When you read Jonathan Medina’s articles on SCG years ago, you could definitely hear his voice in the words. Jason Alt carries that same heavy fingerprint today. You would be hard pressed to read one of Jason’s articles and not recognize it as his work, a quality I admire and respect. Sharing my personal experiences and opinions on events we all partake in together is my way of sharing myself with each of you every week. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with my perspective on an issue, you come to recognize me as a person within those words.

What I wrote last week was an addendum to my already full-length article. The free side was my impression of a performance; the paid content was all about the lands that were spoiled. If you are not a ProTrader member, please recognize that what you read was not a fair representation of the Magic content contained within. There were another 2,000 words regarding the news of the weekend. If you’re a ProTrader member, please recognize that I provided you with a content-packed article, and that my preface did not in any way subtract from the volume of words you expect. I hope that everyone recognizes that each half of my article last week was just that: a half, distinct from the other.

Thank you all for reading. I appreciate all the feedback. What’s say we get on with the Magic now, shall we?

Sitting down to write this, it’s the middle of round 15 at the SCG Modern Open, and there’s some definite spice in this weekend’s brew. A Slivers deck is in 14th place after having apparently taken a game loss in round one due to tardiness and having ended up short a Sedge Sliver. That a slivers deck is doing that well, even saddled with an early loss, is remarkable. Long have many of us wondered about four- and five-color tribal decks in Modern. After Mana Confluence showed up, Sam Black (and many others) spent some time brainstorming a Modern humans list. Not much came of it, but it was clear that the archetype was close. Not quite there, but close. Around the same time, there were some efforts to brew a sliver deck as well, though that ended up in the same graveyard as the humans list.

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7 thoughts on “PROTRADER: Tribal Trials”

  1. I hit the $1 box at the local store and pulled 20 Jwari Shapeshifters, 12 Harabaz Druins and 2 sedge slivers. I picked up I playset of galerider for 13.99 using the make an offer option on ebay. I also went thru to get 8 copies of necrotic slivers at 2.85 each.
    When I saw the modern sliver deck playing in round 14 I started hitting the online stores for sedge slivers, I only picked up 12 copies ar $3. I don’t know why I was slow to open up my want list on puca trade but when I checked the sight there was already a slew of people requesting them.
    Did you catch the boat on Zada, Hebron Grinder. They were on ebay yesterday as a preorder for $3 a playset. I was watching SCG to see what was selling the fastest at their current prices and Zada and Smothering Abomination were selling fast. So I bought 12 sets each at $3 a playset. The Zada are now going for $20 a playset, the question is how much will they drop before the preorder arrives.

  2. About 4 years ago I use to preorder 10 to 12 case to do preorder sales. I would do repack boxes, sell the foils individual or as bulk sets, and playsets, when all was said and done I would have a playset of everything and some extra money left over. In the last year and a half so many people have been doing presales and are trying so hard to undercut each other it is almost a losing proposition to do presales. I now just look for the gems that are getting overlooked while everyone is racing to the bottom to sell their playsets and resell them. Hornet queen was $.99 a playset went it came out as a presales (picked up 20 sets). Dig thru time was $6, tasigur was $5, Rabblemaster was $5 and I picked up 20 sets of each. I totally missed hangarback walker. I am actually preordering cases to do presales this time around. I understand that a lot of people will be busting cases, but the hope is that these new case buster don’t think about presales and only sell their cards after the official release date when they get their cases. That will will give normal sellers their presales time and a few days after release of close to normal prices before ebay, tcg player and pucatrade gets flooded. I hope I am right and not living in a fools paradise.
    I really enjoy your articles.

    1. I’m assuming you bought your great deals for pre-orders on eBay. When was the best time to get the lowest prices on the pre-orders?

  3. I’m looking forward to Omnath, Locus of Rage and Elemental tribal/landfall. It will most likely see success in EDH but it has a chance in standard. I like its odds of breaking out in standard just as much as the Dragonlords or huge Eldrazi… Plus its in green so ramping shouldn’t be too hard, especially on Zendikar and with Nissa stomping around there who knows what could happen?

  4. Especially for allies, the shapeshifters are a notable strategic, if not particularly financial, issue to cover.

    They at least provide (what may be a very much needed) extra one drop, allow shenanigans using mirror entity (especially if only a couple of tribal superstars are being drawn from, or many random utility creatures outside the tribe)….as a tribe themselves, they can use every other’s Best Stuff too….

    Thoughts? Probably little financial impact, possible minor play impact.

    A bargain at a cost of only 2cents to me 🙂

  5. ….”shapeshifters” as in “not that word, but another word”. ..

    …as in “Changeling”-havers…

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