A (Pun)ishing Article Title

A Conditioned Response

So has anyone found any sweet deals on damaged cards by messaging the seller first and asking for pictures? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can get caught up by reading last week’s article on played cards, specifically damaged/heavily played stuff. If you missed that article, this entire sentence is willing to take you there for free! Thankfully, I was able to have at least one person give me a shoutout on Twitter saying that everything worked out great.


Fortunately, CFB is a reputable dealer and managed to get David some pictures of the card in a reasonable time frame so he could decide whether or not he wanted to buy the card. I’ve been trying to find a cheap foil copy of Seedborn Muse for a while now, and I narrowed down to a store on TCGplayer that had a damaged one listed. A few quick Facebook messages later, and we had this to look forward to.


Unfortunately, this store hasn’t been as fruitful as I had hoped. I’ve messaged them again since writing this article, but I’m not super hopeful about getting another reply back. I’m also not too concerned about the price of foil Seedborn Muse jumping astronomically in the next few weeks, so I’ll be content to let this one sit for a while until I find another copy that I know I’ll be satisfied with.

Good Omens (or some other bad card pun subtitle)

On the other hand, Prismatic Omen is much higher on my foil bounty list for the angry mana baby. The suppy on eBay and TCGplayer has been dwindling steadily over the past few weeks, and it looks like most people were too busy worrying about the next big Standard tech to notice that Scapeshift won the Modern open last week while running four Prismatic Omen. I was waiting on a reply from this other store for almost a week, but I decided to bite the bullet and gamble again for $12 on a damaged foil. Hopefully it comes out similar in appearance to my Petrified Field, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take this time.



SCG Foils

While we’re on the topic of me buying foils for my Child of Alara deck (and showing you some of the cheaper ways to do so), let’s talk about Star City for a second. While they often get a reputation of having the higher priced singles available online ($20 for a Collected Company? No thanks.), their sales are usually worth looking into. A few months ago I barely missed out on the opportunity to buy 43 SP Boundless Realms at $1 each, and I now make it a point to check out every time they update their sales. Last week, the hot topic item of the week was MP foils.

While I’ve touched on SCG’s grading system in this column before, I’ll reiterate that they have some of the harshest grading I’ve ever seen when purchasing cards. I’ve bought a ton of SP cards mixed in with NM, and half of the SP looked identical to the near mint ones. I’ve bought cards from SCG at moderately played, and successfully sold them on TCGplayer as slightly played. With this in mind, I decided to do a little research and make a few more foil upgrades for myself.


While I highly doubt I’ll be able to move that second foil Summer Bloom at any reasonable pace, it was just too good to pass up on. The next cheapest MP foil on TCGplayer is $26 right now, and 9th edition foils are rare enough as it is. I’m confident that I’ll eventually find a home for it at double what I paid, even if it takes me a while. As with the Omen, I’ll provide updates of these cards on Twitter and in my next week’s article so you can judge for yourselves whether or not you think they’re MP or SP.

The Article Title



So I was originally going to write most of this article on Punishing Fire, until I realized that I wanted to delve deeper into the whole damaged/condition thing. If you’re a frequent visitor to my little neck of the #mtgfinance woods, then you know that I almost never buy cards at retail for the purposes of playing with them. The above paragraphs are an attempt to explain my thought process and procedure when I do buy cards to play with, as a way to get the best prices available.

Anyway, let’s talk about why I spent $19 whole dollars on a stack of 100 Punishing Fire. In my personal opinion, Punishing Fire is one of the most fair cards on the Modern Banned list today. I have no intent to rekindle the inevitable political debate that is “Make Jace Great Again” or anything like that, but Punishing Fire certainly seems pretty low on the list compared to all of the turn two and three combo decks that are currently sitting behind bars. If (and that’s a bit if) Punishing Fire gets unbanned, what happens?

While I doubt it shoots up to the $10 that Thopter Foundry managed to climb to, I could be completely wrong. It has a comparable number of printings (Commander 13 was printed significantly more than the original Commander set, but Fire also got a Duel Deck), and they’re both played as multiples in their respective decks. If Wizards is trying to slow down the format, Punishing Fire does exactly that, with an extremely low buy in. Hell, it even does a decent job of countering the Thopter-Sword combo by itself. I got lucky by finding a store that had 140 copies listed on TCGplayer to make my life easy, but this is still a card that you want to own in your Modern gauntlet just in case Wotc decides to turn the other cheek.

End Step

  • Pretty much every edition of Birds of Paradise has steadily crept up to at least a $7 minimum over the past two months. Melira is another deck with a ton of medium value rares that serves as a reasonable entry point to Modern (The biggest barriers being Verdant Catacombs and Voice of Resurgence). Remember that Viscera Seer is no longer a ten cent card, and you can trade them out at $1-2.
  • Volrath’s Stronghold appears to have stabilized at $30, so the price correction wasn’t too drastic overall. I’m happy to unload mine at $27ish and take the $7 bump, even if the card didn’t double up like I was hoping for.

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5 thoughts on “A (Pun)ishing Article Title”

  1. What do you think about tokens/emblems and the new clue tokens?

    I’ve realized lately that many of these token cards that people seem to just throw away are often times worth more than the commons/uncommons and sometimes worth more than the bulk rares that people keep. Its like they have increased scarcity because so many people value them as worthless… but then there are people that like tokens and want matching sets or possibly multiple playsets, especially if they run them in EDH with a commander like Rhys, the Redeemed, etc. (check out the price of Green/White Warrior Tokens compared to generic warrior tokens. crazy right?)

    I’m basically thinking about the new clue tokens. Is there a specific artwork that you think might be worth more than the rest a year or two from now? I personally like #13 (bloody feather) and #16 (bloody Avacyn).

    People haven’t quite realized how good clues are and how easy they are to produce. I have this feeling that they will get broken in EDH somehow in multiple decks once people realize they are some of the easiest artifacts to produce and most artifact/token/affinity shenanigans work with them (Doubling Season!) Not to mention, we may have some more powerful “Clue Finishers” released in the upcoming set! An added bonus for collectors is that these tokens have some awesome flavor text as well.

    I’m considering spending $5 or $10 on a fat stack of clue tokens and just holding them until they get broken and hyped in EDH. They are about 5-10 cents right now and I really think that at least 1 or 2 artworks will be at least 25 cents within a year or two, maybe less. We shall see what shenanigans emerge and if we get that “Clue Finisher” in the next set! Ghirapur Aether Grid is ok… but we need something a little more broken than that, and I personally think its coming in the next set.

    What do you think? Good long-term bulk spec? Or should I get a clue and stay the hell away from these? I want to make my decision before they get completely busted in EDH and people all of a sudden want 20x bloody feather clue tokens and are willing to pay $10 or trade me “real” cards for them.

    In any case… I’ll take these as throw-ins for sure and someone might even see me digging a few out of the LGS trash bin over the next month… haha.

    1. Based on the mtggoldfish article on tokens I would stay away these are the first set mechanic tokens and therefore fit in the super common slot (easier to find than a common ) also since they aren’t creatures they rarely need to tap so one token and a dice is the cleanest way to represent then without taking up extra space. So I would keep away even if you think a specific art will be the only one wanted I still think they will be incredibly common.

      1. I agree with this. Clues are insanely common, and I don’t really think there’s value in any particular art. We’re going to be opening these for several more months, and think of all the bulk rares you could buy with that $5-10!

  2. I have had a run of issues with cards purchased from people the last two weeks, and now I see why. You are telling people to send inferior cards listed as higher grade. In trying to finish some NM vintage sets, I am getting cards with binder marks, a ketchup stain, shuffle marks, severe scratching on the back, and multiple white rounded corners.

    SCG might be higher priced, but they know the grading system and you get what you order. Apparently you don’t. Or you do, and you have no problem ripping off consumers by charging more for cards in inferior grade. Nothing like gloating about it on the blog here. You are the one who should be pun -ished.

    You won’t see me ever buying or trading cards with you. Others better beware too….

    1. Hey Jazzy,

      I’m sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your order from me. If you’d like a partial ref-

      Oh, wait. I’m sorry. That’s the message I would have sent if I did receive a complaint about card conditions. I don’t get to send that message very often, because I do maintain a 99.7% feedback rating as a TCGplayer seller after almost 800 sales. The people who buy from me on TCGplayer are satisfied with the cards that they purchase; it sucks that you got cards with ketchup stains that were listed as NM, but that’s now how I sell cards.

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