By: Cliff Daigle
This being the end of the year, I wanted to share with you all the pieces I am most pleased with, in chronological order.
Next week, it’s time to review how some New Year’s resolutions went!
2/6 – The Vendors’ Views
Normally at a GP between rounds, I’m searching for trades or looking for an EDH game. This time, I was chasing down vendors and trying to find out everything I could. What I found out was a lot more than what’s hot or not, and this was one of the first indicators of how 93/94 is really affecting the market for older cards. I’d hardly heard of the format at this point!
4/10 – We All Lose At Pack Wars
Every once in a while, I like to go back and review a basic concept of Magic finance. In this case, it’s the terrible value of a single pack. It is something I don’t always succeed at, especially when there’s foreign packs dripping with potential value.
For example, there was a card shop in New York I went to once, they had Japanese Shadowmoor packs. Only five of them left, and I bought them all to find the foil rare of…Stenchskipper. Yeah. Be envious.
5/15 – Watching the Sideboards
The philosophy here is valid, and comes with its own built-in proof: When I wrote this, the card Kolaghan’s Command was at $2/$6 for a foil, and if you’d bought in then (I picked up a few foils) then you’re up to $14/$30.
Not everything on that list has the same growth potential, but foil Rending Volley is still a great pickup right now, especially as anti-Twin tech in Modern. Kills Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite, even Restoration Angel if that variation is around. Can’t be countered and Spellskite is useless against it.
6/19 – Being an MTG Dad
By far, my favorite piece ever. I’m going to struggle with a lot of these questions over my daughters’ entire lives.
How much of my enjoyment of the game comes from being the accepted gender and race? Will I want to play less when I notice how many men spend less time casting spells and more time ogling them?
It is also the least financially relevant piece I’ve written for this site, as there’s no buy or sell advice within.
This piece spawned an interesting set of thoughts and comments on Reddit, and it has a lively set of examples in the comments.
One thing I want to make clear about my use of Hero’s Downfall as an example: if someone wants a card that will be rotating, trade it away at its current value. But when someone tries to push that card onto you, especially if it is not what you’re asking for, that’s when you should be leery.
The premise is simple: what to do if you open an Expeditions in Battle for Zendikar? How do you treat it? Keep it? Sell it? There’s a lot of potential options and all of them have advantages.
The new set of Expeditions, if the spoilers are to be believed, will have the most fascinating mix of very expensive and very cheap promo editions. It’ll be interesting to watch.
Finally, this is a piece that I thought a lot about. How were so many of us so wrong? What lessons are here that we can learn from, in order to be ready for the next time a standard card approaches $80?
A lot of predictions were very right about the set. But the one we missed most on, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, offered the greatest financial windfall and that’s what I looked at.
I hope you enjoyed my year of writing, as well as this selection of highlights!