All posts by Jason Swistoski

Legacy Hero #8

Welcome back everyone. I wasn’t planning on being gone this long but a great opportunity came up for me to get out of town and I couldn’t pass it up. I’m a sucker for value.

When we left off in the last article, I said I was going to talk about buy listing in the next article. Before we get to that though, I want to go over the last two trades I made in greater detail. I want you to see that there is a method to my madness.

I’ve already talked about the first trade. I traded some shock lands and a couple of cheap staples for a bigger stack of cheap staples, but for a few different archetypes. Most of you agreed with my end of the trade.

For reference here are the cards I traded for.

side A

I’ve been reading a lot about how discard isn’t as good in Legacy as it was pre Treasure Cruise, but I think that Hymn to Tourach is still worth having in my trade stock. I use cards like Hymn to Tourach, Phyrexian Revoker, and Crop Rotation as throw-ins to balance out a trade. You never know when you might need a Revoker…

The Reanimator deck has been picking up some steam recently in the bigger events. A couple of my local guys have asked me about the deck and if I had any of the cheaper cards for it. Reanimate and Exhume are cheap and easy to trade away to people testing the waters of the format. Trading out $20-$30 of cards to pick up a small stack of cards for an eternal deck you might make is easy to do without regrets if you don’t end up building the deck.

Overall, this trade helped me diversify my trade binder. Having these cheap staples in my trade inventory should help me with my secondary goal of building my local legacy community while helping me with my primary goal of building the deck. A lesson I’m reminded of constantly is that my local trade partners don’t often get the cards I need for the Stoneblade deck. They tend to trade for the cards that they’re going to use in their deck project and not really worry about what they have in the trade binder.

I had a foil Lorwyn Ponder rotting in my binder. I couldn’t give it away. I had put it in my buy list pile. (I’m terrible at buy listing by the way, but I will talk about that more later.) I was checking out what was posted in a couple Facebook buy/sell/trade groups when I came across someone looking for a foil Lorwyn Ponder. He valued it at $50 in trade. That’s pretty good considering I had decided that I was going to buy list it to Channel Fireball for $30 ($39 in store credit) a little while ago. We talked back and forth and he offered a pair of Flooded Strands and a Batterskull for the foil Ponder. That seemed like a perfect trade for me. I get to trade a semi-expensive (it’s a common foil) card that is EXTREMELY hard to move into format staples that I could trade out the same day. After he doubled checked his cards, he let me know that he only had one Flooded Strand. He was using tcgplayer mid price for trade values. At the time (before Christmas) that left me with roughly $17 to snag out of his binder.

I want to take a minute here and say that Dave Meetze is the perfect example of someone you want to trade with. He sent me pictures of his trade binder, the whole binder, to go through to find the difference. He is one of the most professional people I have ever dealt with. He went above and beyond the entire time AND he sent first. Great guy.

Back to the trade though. He had a ton of stuff that I wanted to put into my trade binder but I needed to be efficient here. I had a great opportunity to add cards to my deck and my binder. I didn’t want to be greedy and loose all the value to the deck. I threw in the Sword of Light and Shadow from Modern Masters (I opened in a draft) with the foil Ponder for these beauties.

trade 2 pic 1

So let’s breakdown the numbers here.

  • Supreme Verdict x3 $2.50
  • Baneslayer Angel $12.00
  • Council’s Judgement $8.50
  • Stifle $6.00
  • Thalia, Guardian of Thraben $4.00
  • Flooded Strand $17.00
  • Batterskull $17.00
  • Gaddock Teeg $8.00

Total: $80 (rounding to the nearest $.50)

For my

  • Foil Ponder Lorwyn $50
  • Sword of Light and Shadow $28

Total: $78

Face value it looks like I made $2.00. But if we look at the tcgplayer mid prices today (1-5-15) you will see that I picked up another $10. So I’m up a little over $12 in this trade. The mid price on the Ponder went down $6 and some of the other cards went up a little bit. This is not an example of my awesome trading skills. This is an example of plain old luck by the way, not an example of my awesome trading skills( for the most part at least).

Out of the cards I got in the trade I will be putting a fair amount of them in the deck. Council’s Judgement, Batterskull, and the Flooded Strand. Looking at the other cards, Supreme Verdict, Thalia, Stifle and Gaddock Teeg are all cards I expect to increase in price over the long term. Supreme Verdict and Thalia are under priced in my opinion. Thalia sees a ton of legacy play and I expect to see it in modern eventually. Supreme Verdict is one of the best wrath effects out there. I know Supreme Verdict has been on everyone’s radar as a solid speculation target. Speculation isn’t exactly where I want to be right now. I need to maximize my trade binder’s resources. I can’t afford to sit on specs long term. That being said, I get asked about Supreme Verdict enough that I like having a couple in my binder even if they don’t see a huge price jump. That leaves Batterskull and Baneslayer Angel. I fully expect Batterskull to be reprinted in Modern Masters 2015 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Baneslayer Angel in there as well. The risk of the reprints is something to think about but not something that would prevent me from picking them up. Batterskull has the grand prix promo and it is still $17. Baneslayer has two core set prints and it is $12. There is some risk but since I plan on using both cards in the deck I’m not really worried about the card loosing value with a reprint. Sure, I could wait and see, then pick one up, but without anything being confirmed I would rather have the cards in hand. Not to mention I prefer the first printings of a card I’m using in a deck. Let me know your thoughts on the trade in the comments. I would love to see what you have to say.

Now we get to talk about buy listing. Couple of quick tips to remember when you’re buy listing. First, always double check how many the store is buying. I’ve made a few mistakes when I first started buy listing. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. Next is always make sure to squeeze all you can with the cash you’re spending to ship. Sometimes it makes sense to take a little less from a store if you already have a stack of stuff that you’re sending. I can fit a lot of cards in one of the $5.95 priority mail boxes.

Last article I talked about the Titania, Protector of Argoth for $2.99 with free shipping. My budget was able afford 10 copies. I made sure to look at the buy list prices before I pulled the trigger. Channel Fireball was paying $5 and would take over 150 copies. I looked through my stack of cards to see what else I had to ship them.

I came up with this list

  • Champion Lancer $2.50 cash $3.25 credit
  • Blinkmoth Nexus $7.00/$9.10
  • Ichorid $8.00/$10.00
  • Necrotic Sliver $1.50/$1.95 (6 copies)
  • Aether Vial $15.00/$19.50
  • Elspeth, Sun’s Champion $12.00/$15.60
  • Mind Funeral $1.00/$1.30 (2 copies)
  • Chalice of the Void $10.00/$13.00 (4 copies)

Add in the 10 copies of Titania, Protector of Argoth for a total of $145 cash or $189.15 in store credit minus the $6 to ship it.

Let’s look at what I have in the cards to see the actual profit of this venture.

  • Champion Lancer .25
  • Necrotic Sliver x6  .25 each ($1.50)
  • Ichorid $5.00 cash
  • Chalice of the Void x4 $6.00 each ($24.00)
  • Titania, Protector of Argoth x10 $2.99 each ($29.90)
  • Elspeth, Sun’s Champion  Pulled out of a prize pack (3.99)
  • Blinkmoth Nexus, Aether Vial, Mind Funeral x2 were drafted by me ($30)

Total cost of about $95.

Cash profit of $44 after shipping.

Store Credit profit of $88 after shipping.

I love the idea of having $189.15 in store credit just for shipping in 26 cards. Average of $7.27 a card makes me pretty happy. I thought I would’ve moved the Chalice of the Voids by now but I haven’t had any luck. Taking $13 in store credit is close enough to what I would end up with after fees anyway. Stumbling across the Necrotic Sliver and Lancer in a local store’s bulk box helps the total as well. One of my favorite thing to do when I visit a store for the first time is to find these kind of boxes and scour them for these kind of cards. I love value!

What do you think I should get with the store credit? The’re selling a heavy play Revised Tundra for $180 and near mint one for $220. Should I buy some under-priced Modern cards? Leave your suggestions in the comment section so we can go over it next week.


I have put the collection I have assembled for the project into’s collection tracker and it really is great. Being able to glance at your collection and get a quick idea the activity is great. It comes in handy when I go to an event just to trade. I’m working on putting in into a spreadsheet in google docs so I can try and get some additional trades going.

Next week I will be going over the value I have in the deck so far, a few trades I have in the works, the fallout of the Legacy IQ I’m going to play in this weekend, and something else that I don’t want to spoil. Really looking forward to that.

As always, follow me on twitter @somethingsays  email me at mtglegacyhero at the gmail.

Legacy Hero #7

Legacy Hero #7

     Last week I left off talking about some of the emails I’ve been getting about Legacy Hero and I was also talking about the changed I wanted to implement with Legacy Hero. I haven’t been able to get all my ducks in a row with most of the changes so I will cover what changes I’m certain about.

     I had a vision of sorts when I was talking about all of the changes WotC has announced this year with a friend of mine, who also happens to own a game store. He was trying to come up with some off the wall ideas for new Friday Night Magic to try and take advantage of the announcement of being able to sanction pretty much any format. I suggested that he run some sort of budget minded legacy league that played on Friday nights after the normal Standard or Modern events. The idea was that the players can build decks that came in under a $500 price tag. I told him I would help his players with deck ideas and also help them find the cards they might need to make these decks. The league would play toward a top 8 that would battle for some legacy staples. The store owner has a handful of cards that are certainly sleeve playable, they aren’t really sell-able. Hard to put a value on a Bayou that went through the washer. This will help me move the lower cost eternal cards I’ve been coming across while helping the format grow. Certainly a win-win situation.

Here is another question I’ve been getting a lot lately. To quote an email directly “I see you’ve mentioned pucatrade as an excellent outlet for bulk. Due to my location shipping will be really expensive for both parties involved and in store trading is almost out of the question. As well as playing tournaments to win cards. Buying cards could be a possibility But I already have the equity in cards (bulk cards and modern and legacy staples), and want to avoid spending more.

I guess what I’m trying to ask in a lot of words is what would be the best outlet for a getting these cards through trade without huge shipping costs or travel costs to get to large events or stores? Or do I just buck up and buy them?  Do I eat the shipping in hopes of procuring more trades? (i.e.  List them. card price – shipping) I know i would be losing money in the long run but my location for shipping is ridiculous. Do I abandon the idea all together and not play legacy?”

First, Let me start with saying, No. You shouldn’t abandon the idea of legacy all together. You shouldn’t let anything stand in your way of playing this game as long as you realize the obstacles you have in front of you, which you clearly do.

The area you live is doesn’t have a thriving magic community and as a result, your local card selection is limited. That’s a good and bad thing. Once you start getting into legacy more and more, you are going to have a good chunk of cards to trade out to your local players. You have an opportunity to be the go to guy for legacy staples. This lets you trade out your staples you’re not using anymore into standard stuff that you can out easily and it is usually easier to get throw-ins when you’re ‘trading down.’ I mentioned in my first article about finding trade partners who don’t charge you for trading you staples for your standard stuff. Sometimes it is necessary to do. It seems to have been adopted as the industry standard. I still don’t do it but I’m the minority it seems.

This is the perfect time to talk about this website”s( premium feature “the daily briefing,” specifically the “Major Inventory Swing” section. The daily alert contains a snapshot of the last 24 hours of activity. Pro Trader pic 1

Most of the time when you’re seeing this kind of information, it’s well over 24 hours old. Personally, I love having these sort of lists available to me as soon as possible. I put all of this information into a spreadsheet. That way I can try and grab the stuff that seems to be on a steady decline in supply. A drop in the supply of a card of over 25% in a day is often an indicator of a pending price increase. and have them to buy list or sell online when the price increases. When I lived in an area without a large player group, back when we had to rely on things like Scyre or Inquest to price things out. I remember how much I was able to profit when I got my subscription a week before they hit newsstands.

What does all of this do for us? It lets us maximize our trading creating a maximum return. This method is assuming that we aren’t trading for need anymore (90% of the time at least), strictly for value. I have struggled with that from time to time with this project. I will come across a card and want to keep it for EDH or something. Focus on your goal, getting those dual lands or whatever you need to finish your legacy deck.

Now how are you going to turn your cards into staples? That is what this article series is about. There isn’t just one answer. There are a ton of things to do with your cards, Ebay, Tcgplayer, Facebook trading groups buy listing, trades, etc. I would suggest to go back to the first Legacy Hero article and look at the things I listed so far and continue to follow along as I show you my experiences with the options I try and the things I learn along the way.

I have had 10 cards listed on tcgplayer for over a month. I just sold my first cards on this week. You can’t just throw some cards up there and walk away. You have to constantly monitor your prices and rotate your inventory. I try to have a few of the high demand cards up there priced low enough to show up on the first page. I’ve learned just how cutthroat the pricing is. I sold my first two cards this week.I listed two Sulfur Falls late Sunday night. When you’re looking at your inventory, they have this neat button that lets you match your listing’s price with the lowest listed price in each condition, including shipping. I charge $.99 for shipping. To match the lowest listed price (with shipping) I would have had to list my cards at $4.40 with $.99 shipping. That was just too cheap for me so I put the two near-mint copies I had up for $5 each with a $.99 shipping. Less than 6 hours later, they were sold. As I was getting them ready to drop in the mailbox on my way to work, I thought I would look up the buy list price. I couldn’t believe it when I saw this. sulfur falls buylist

Troll and Toad is buying Sulfur Falls at $4.90. The average buy list is $4. I made a huge mistake. $5 each in cash plus $.99 to ship is as good as buy list right? Well, not exactly


I made $9.29 after they took $1.70 in fees. That is $4.65 each. I effectively lost money using tcgplayer. Now I’m going to ship these out happily. This is a lesson for everyone to learn. If I would have buy listed them to Troll and Toad I would have spent $.70 sending them and got $9.80 cash for a $9.10 profit. If I would have sent them in and taken the store credit bonus of 25% I would have $12.25 in credit. I’m going to go into more detail about buy listing next week.

I will share this gem I came across:

(Just an update here. I checked this link at 10:30pm est and they ended the original listing and re-listed 4 for $7.49 using a different user name but linking to the same store. Not sure why they would do that but here is the proof for everyone to see.)

ebay 1

rubio 1

rubio 2


I bought a bunch of them. Far more than I should have. I spend the entire Legacy Hero’s budget on Titania and a chunk of my own money on them. Legacy hero was able to afford 10 of them for $29.90 shipped. By the time this article posts the ones I bought will be on the way to their new owners. I’m working on the buy listing process for next week.

Last week I showed a trade that I made on Facebook. Mr Brad Daley (he started the Russian print run collectors group on Facebook) posted in the Magic Trading Forum that he was looking for some cards and had a laundry list of cards available. Nothing exciting but enough stuff that I wanted for Legacy Hero’s binder that I made a deal with him.

Side A:

  • Veteran Explorer x1
  • Reanimate x4
  • Rest in peace x2
  • Ad-Nauseam x1
  • Tendril of Agony x1
  • Dryad Militant x1
  • Swans of Bryn something x2
  • Mental Misstep x2
  • Forked Bolt x1
  • Serra Avenger x1
  • Mind Twist x1
  • Phyrexian Revoker x3
  • Hymn to Tourach x3
  • Exhume x4
  • Crop Rotation x3
  • Wooded Foothills x3

Side B:

  • Spell Pierce
  • Daze x2
  • Steam Vents
  • Inquisition of Kozilek
  • Godless Shrine x2
  • Thoughtseize
  • Cash considerations

According to the poll results, it was close, but Side A was where over 50% of you wanted to be. I agree with you and that’s why I pulled the trigger. You will see that Side A added 3 Wooded Foothills and Side B added a Thoughtseize and “cash considerations” from what we saw last week. Long story short, while we were negotiating the trade the foothills came up and the price was right so it was added into the deal. The deal worked out to be dead even for both sides. When I look at the trade I think that  long term I would want to be on Side B. Spell Pierce, Daze, and shock lands are all format staples. Those prices aren’t going down anytime soon and long term will have a higher return than Side A in my opinion. Short term I want Side A. I will be able to move almost all of those cards pretty quick. Most of the cards are cheap format staples. Reanimate stuff, Storm stuff, Death and Taxes stuff. The quick and easy stuff that players in my area will want to pick up for the upcoming budget legacy league. Casual players love most of that stuff too.

That’s it for the mailbag. I love getting the feedback and hope to do another one in a couple months. Next week we will go over buy listing in detail and I’m working on another trade that will grab some cards for the deck and some other good stuff for the binder. Thanks to all the continued readers and a warm welcome to the new readers. Next weeks article will be posted on Christmas so after you’re done with your presents make sure to sit down and take a look.

    As always drop me a line at mtglegacyhero on the gmail and @somethingsays on twitter. Check out Brad Daley’s Russian print group on Facebook if that’s you’re thing. Russian makes for some really good looking foils.

Legacy Hero #6

Legacy Hero #6.5


This week I’m going to try and answer some questions that have been filling up my inbox. I didn’t think I would be going to writing a mail bag article this soon. I’m going to take that a compliment though. It means that I’ve been doing something right. To keep the powers that be happy I will make sure to have some magic finance content and next weeks article will definitely be more about the numbers. I have some exciting stuff on the speculation front as well as some promising results from a local player that picked up his older brothers cards when he moved out.

Let’s start things off with by addressing the most popular email I’ve been getting. To paraphrase, it goes something like this. “I play in an area with a decent sized magic group. We average 30 players at our FNM events but those are only standard. None of the players at my store play anything older than Modern and even then it is tough to get those events to fire. I really want to play legacy but I can’t get anyone else to even think about it. Do you have any suggestions on how to help popularize legacy?”

At first glance, I thought that this would be an easy question to answer. When I put the pen to the paper, I was wrong. I realized that this would take much more than a quick email response. There are a lot of factors in play here. As always, the first hurdle of legacy is the cost of entry. The cards in the legacy decks are just more expensive. With that expense comes a stigma that you have to be rich to play the game.

Overcoming the expense of getting into legacy is what the base of my entire series is about. I can’t write a step by step guide personalized to everyone thinking about joining the legacy crowd. There are far too many variables.  What I hope to do is give everyone who reads my articles enough information to try the same things I’m trying. By following along I hope that everyone will eventually succeed in getting that deck finished and sleeved up. The part I didn’t really think about is what happens when you finally have your deck sleeved up and you’re ready to play?

It my area here in Michigan, I have at least 6 stores within an hour drive that have a weekly legacy tournament fire with an average of 10-12 people. 4 of those stores have regular IQ events or standalone events that feature a large enough payout to bring out the majority of the legacy ringers out of the woodworks making these events worth driving double that distance or at least that’s what I hear when I go. I’m pretty sure you have seen a few of these people play on camera at the SCG legacy opens. Tom is pretty hard to miss at over 7 feet tall.
Having a legacy community thrive takes a few things. First and foremost, you have to have the players willing to spend  the money at their local store. That money can be for entry fees or the occasional larger purchase from the case.  The store has to do their part as well. The store has to invest in those higher dollar cards for their legacy players and they need to invest in events that are worth the time to play in. How many players are they going to get if they charge $10 and give away packs? Personally, I would rather have one larger event an month with better prize support and more players than a weekly event that is lucky to break 8 players.

I had to submit this article on early Thursday morning because I wanted to get some feedback from a friend of mine. His store is a couple of years old. They average 20-30 people for FNM. They haven’t been able to get a legacy community going over there.  I thought his feedback would offer some insight on the situation.

Here are the important highlights of our conversation:

Me: How many people do you get asking about legacy at the store? Have you guys tried having legacy events at all?

Kyle: 0 yes and me and Jarod were the only ones interested in them

Me: I’m writing a mail bag article and one of the most emailed questions seems to be “How do I get my lgs to support legacy?” So I’m trying to get a store’s feedback on this.

Kyle: Yeah the only two people interested in legacy around the shop are me and Jarod.

Me: So if you guys posted a Duel for Duals, you wouldn’t get any people to show up?

Kyle: We might get a few people like the ones that don’t come to our store for FNM or anything like that. Those kinds of tournaments(Duel for Duals) bring in a lot of people.

Me: But if you had a tourney like that, do you think it would increase the interest from the locals?

Kyle: Probably not our regulars. They all are into standard pretty much exclusively. Except recently a lot of them have been building puper decks since they are so cheap

Me: What about modern? You guys getting any more action on modern at all? And do you think the new WotC rules about being able to sanction anything will help Legacy at all?

Kyle: Modern fires for FNM but not every week. There are maybe 6 people who exclusively only play Modern and EDH on the side. As for Legacy FNM probably not. The cost to get into Legacy is slightly more than Modern and prices for entry into other formats is what scares people. The reason Standard is so popular is because the initial cost to get into it is relatively cheap compared to Legacy and Modern

Me: Agreed. Just trying to get feedback here.

Kyle: You said this was for your article or something so I was giving you descriptive answers. lol

Me: Thanks!

Kyle: What confuses me is that even after I explain to people the price of the cards I have in my(legacy) deck and what I was able to pick them up for they still refuse to get into Legacy.

Me: Why do you think that is? Are they just blinded by the perceived prices?

Kyle: Force of Will is around 90-ish (90.55 on and I picked mine up when they were like 50 or 60. I’ve only made value on them along with a few other cards in the deck like Wasteland. (Note: Kyle is an AVID Merfolk player. No matter how hard I try, he always sticks to fish.)

Me: Your Vendilion clique promo is a good example (He bought it at $60 a couple years back. I didn’t think the price was going to hold. I was wrong.)

Kyle: Yeah basically. People see the price for cards and go holy shit I can’t afford that. Then I destroy their logic when I explain that Standard is actually the most expensive format. Especially since they(WotC) are making standard rotate sooner in the near future

Me: That is one of the major themes I’ve been trying to get across in my article series.

Kyle: At most for Legacy you spend like $20 here or there to update the deck. Not $400 on an entirely new deck every X amount of months

Me:What do your players do at rotation? Do they dump all their rotating stuff on you guys for store credit or what?

Kyle: They trade in things that we don’t have an overload on and then buy a box or two of the newest set out.

Me: And you guys are giving half of scg(selling price) in trade, right?

Kyle: We go off of mid price which I believe is TCG mid price

Me: It is. So they are getting half of tcgmid in store credit on stuff that you guys need. Otherwise, they’re stuck with it?

Kyle: For the most part yeah. I mean there are a few things here and there that see their way into Legacy or Modern that we might give a little more on.

Me:I’m sure they can trade some of the stuff away to other players but I don’t see many of your local players shipping stuff off to CK or Troll and Toad.

Kyle: Exactly. A few of them have been starting to do that Pucatrade thing to get off of things that just rot otherwise

     As you can see from our exchange, his store doesn’t have people asking about legacy so he doesn’t feel like there is any incentive for them to even try and run events. This ties in with the emails that I’ve been getting about the subject.

These problems are why I started writing this series to begin with. I can help you, as an individual, overcome the financial hurdles to build a great legacy deck without burning all of that disposable income but it took all of these emails to realize that having the deck is only one of the hurdle to overcome for what seems to be a lot of people. It takes a group of dedicated people to make a community work.

The best advice I can offer is to keep asking your store for a legacy event. If you get them to run an event, make sure you do everything you can to get everyone involved. There are a lot of budget options for legacy. Pretty much everyone can build a Burn deck.  Manaless Dredge is pretty cheap, but not everyone’s cup of tea. Substituting shock lands for dual lands is certainly an option. Having the allied fetchlands in standard will help with the cost of any legacy deck. You can even try and make a specific legacy budget challenge.  Try setting it up in a way that players are rewarded for taking advantage of the budget options available to them. The store can offer prizes for the player with the cheapest deck with the best record. This actually  reminds me of one of my favorite parts of the Vintage Championship at Eternal Weekend. They they run a bonus prize for the person that has the best record without using any of the power 9, Bazaars, Workshops, and a few other of the expensive cards. I think there was a deck that had 7 wins this year.

The key to all of this is getting as many people on board as possible. It  will showcase the diversity of the format and help your local community grow.  The people that enjoy it will be able to grow with you and gradually put together the top tier decks with all the goodies. These are the people that will make the trek to the bigger events around.  Remember, building a UWr Stoneblade isn’t something that is going to happen overnight, unless of course you have a lot of disposable income or very giving parents.

Writing this article and reading the emails made me realize just how lucky I am to have such a great legacy community, which has definitely made me wake up and rethink a lot of what I’m going to be writing about in future articles. I have to figure out how I’m going to implement my thoughts into positive changes for everyone. but it will be great. I promise that these changes will make for a better Legacy Hero! I’m going to stop here for today and pick things up next week where we left off.

I originally posted this deck at 7am without editing it.  I hadn’t slept the night before so I had planned on saving it as a draft, taking a 30 min nap and then editing it when I got into my office for the day. As many of you noticed, it didn’t happen like that. I posted it instead of saving it. I’m sorry for that. I want to give you guys the best product I can. This won’t happen again.

Before I go, I worked out a trade online using one of the many Facebook groups out there for trading. I’m going to show both sides of the trade and I want you guys to vote on which side you would rather be on. Vote here

Side A:

  • Veteran Explorer x1
  • Reanimate x4
  • Rest in peace x2
  • Ad-Nauseam x1
  • Tendril of Agony x1
  • Dryad Militant x1
  • Swans of Bryn something x2
  • Mental Misstep x2
  • Forked Bolt x1
  • Serra Avenger x1
  • Mind Twist x1
  • Phyrexian Revoker x3
  • Hymn to Tourach x3
  • Exhume x4
  • Crop Rotation x3

Side B:

  • Spell Pierce
  • Daze x2
  • Steam Vents
  • Inquisition of Kozilek
  • Godless Shrine x2

As always you can email me mtglegacyhero on the gmail @somethingsays on twitter.

Legacy Hero #5

Legacy Hero #5



With all of the commotion from the holiday it was rather difficult to put anything together that was worth reading last week so I took a mini vacation from writing. I hope everyone had a great holiday. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things. I have some great stuff for you guys this week.


First things first. I received some feedback about my comment regarding using my job to ship stuff for free. It is not okay to steal stamps from your work, especially to mail out magic cards. I am fortunate to work in a place where I get to take advantage of free postage due to the volume of mail we send out. I won’t do that for this series going forward. It isn’t a fair way to operate when I’m trying to show people how to do something. The actual cost of the stamps may seem trivial when compared to a deck that costs thousands of dollars but I need to operate this series on the same playing field as the majority of the community.


I feel the need to throw in my two cents regarding the changes with the way Star City is going to handle their opens in the coming year. I know I’m late to the show here but I want to say my peace. By now, everyone probably knows about the changes but just in case you’ve been living off the grid they are doing away with the current dual open format and condensing them into a single format event styled after the Grand Prixs with larger payouts, and the other formats will be represented on Sundays with $5000 Super IQs without the video coverage. When the changes start we will be reduced to three Legacy Opens, out of the nineteen opportunities. While we will have larger payouts, there won’t be an opportunity to watch Legacy on Sundays like we used to. Personally, I can’t tell you how many times I have the stream open and playing in the background while doing other things. I stumbled across this post on Facebook from Jared Sylva going into a little more detail about the situation.

scg legacy info

I’m not a fan of the changes for selfish reasons but from their perspective it makes business sense to switch things over. I don’t believe that the changes will be the death of Legacy. The changes shouldn’t affect the Legacy prices that much, if at all. There is a lot of talk about the “Legacy Bubble” and this could be the end. I’m not immersed into the finance culture enough to make any sort of calls on the subject. My gut tells me that there is a bubble and it is slowly deflating and prices will settle a little lower than they are now. Volcanic Island looks to be overtaking Underground Sea as the premium dual land but that’s about it.


Next up, we have the Pucatrade updates. I want to stress how important it is to manage your wants list. I had a nice little stockpile of points going for a while. Unfortunately I had a small incident. I was sitting down after a piece of pumpkin pie, looking up prices of random foils when all of a sudden my point total went tumbling down. I lost over 800 points. Somehow I had added Ancestral Visions to my want list and someone decided to ship one my way. I don’t remember even adding it to my list. Lesson learned. I revised my wants list immediately. At this point, my hope is that it gets unbanned in Modern and blows up to $30 overnight. The only other Pucatrade news is shipping out my foil Kaervek, the Merciless for almost 900 points. I’m glad to be rid of that thing.


I know that everyone who has been following this series has been waiting for the trades. You guys want to see how I am going to start getting things together. It’s been pretty tough. One thing I’ve learned from this project so far, is how difficult it can be on the other side of the trade table. I haven’t had to actively look for trades in quite some time. I forgot how brutal it really is out there. When you’re the one looking for the cards, it’s a hard road without cash. The number of wannabe sharks is insane. In my regular store, people know how I operate and how I strive to be fair. The other stores I’ve been trying out don’t see things quite the same way. I feel for you guys. The struggle is real. That being said, I was able to sit down with someone and hash out a deal that should go a long way in deck construction.Finding the trade was a stroke of pure luck. I was at a random store that I’ve been to a couple times before, but it is certainly a long way out of my regular rotation. I had heard through the grapevine that the EDH crowd there was pretty hardcore. Having a hardcore playgroup to trade with can be a very good thing when you’re stuck with a bunch of random things in your binder. In my experience the hardcore EDH/Casual crowd have good quality trades available and usually have a diverse taste for cards. One thing I like to do before sitting down to grind some binders is take a look at the store’s inventory. Identifying what they’re out of stock on and what they’re actively buying helps identify the market you’re in. As an example, my local store’s market is very different than the store I go to to play EDH at. The store I play FNM at pays $5 more (in store credit) for Thoughtseize than the store I play EDH at. Having bits of information like that will go a long way in helping you maximize your card values.


Getting back to the trade, as I mentioned, it was pure luck. I was sitting down with some people I haven’t met before, talking about their meta game and trying to get someone to look through my trades when someone asked if I happened to have a foil Savageborn Hydra. As luck would have it, I did. I pulled out my stuff and told him take a look at what I had. Like any normal, sane person he was more than happy too. I told him to just pulling out things he was interested in. Having the other person go through all of your stuff and pull out everything they’re interested in puts you in the drivers seat. I learned this little trick a long time ago. It gives you the opportunity to pick through their cards to match the value they’ve already established. You get to pick and choose the cards that are going to net you the most value while maintaining their interest. If your trade partner is excited about getting a big stack of cards they are usually willing to lose a little value because of the attachment they already have to the cards. When I sold cars just after college I would always let the customer hold the keys after we got back from the test drive. That little token implies ownership. This situation is similar in that your trading partner has already found all of the things they could possibly want from you and you are going to find whatever you can to make the numbers work. You are going to go out of your way to make sure they get to walk away with everything they wanted. The downside that this process can be a huge waste of time if your perspective trade partner just doesn’t have anything. 90% of the time people will be upfront with you and tell you that they don’t have much to trade and they don’t want to waste your time. When those situations come up I will usually tell them to take a look at my cards while I flip through what they have and then see what they have, see if i’m wasting time or not.


He spend 20 mins or so digging through my stuff and ended up with this nice little pile.

Trade 1

The picture isn’t the best so here is the list;


Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir x2 (Time Spiral)

Electrolyze x4 (Modern Masters)

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

Grim Lavamancer (M12)

Aether Vial (Modern Masters)

Thoughtseize (Theros)

Temple of Abandon x4

Temple of Silence x4

Temple of Triumph x4

Temple of Deceit x4


Knight of the Reliquary (Modern Masters)

Academy Ruins x2 (Modern Masters)

Cabal Coffers (Torment)

Foil Savageborn Hydra


At this point I hadn’t even looked through his stuff. He had a pretty decent sized binder and a smaller monster binder. A good sign to me. The more expensive cards usually reside in the smaller binder. I thumbed through the stack of card he has set aside and did a little math in my head and estimated about $200 in value. I’m not Rain Man, I just make sure to double check the prices of my cards before heading out for the day. I don’t like to be the guy that pulls out his phone to look up prices. I want my trade partner to be the one to pull out the phone and start looking up prices. The standard pricing tool I run into most of the time seems to be mid but there really isn’t an industry standard.

I take my time and go through everything in his binders a couple times before pulling anything out. He has a lot of good stuff that I need for the deck. Force of Will, Tundra, Swords to Plowshares, etc.The first couple cards I pull out of his binder are a pair of Unglued Mountains. I love those damn things. I’m a total sucker for Unglued and Unhinged lands. I know I want to make a play for some bigger cards here. I decide to try and shoot for the Tundra and settle for Force of Will. I also decide to snag the 5 Chalice of the Void he has. It’s been around $6 for a while (at the time I made the trade last week) and I really liked the card for a speculation target. Chalice of the Void has been talked about for a while as an answer to the new Delver deck.

Here is the list I put together from his binder


Brainstorm x4 (Mercadian Masques)

Swords to Plowshares x4 (Duel Decks)

Mountain x2 (Unglued)

Ancient Tomb (Tempest)

Sensei’s Divining Top (Champions)

Chalice of the Void x4 (Mirrodin)

Chalice of the Void (Modern Masters)

Tundra MP (Revised)

Force of Will LP x2 (Alliances)

Show and Tell (Judge Promo)

Karakas (Judge Promo)


I could probably write an entire article about the psychology involved with trading but that will have to wait for another day. Basically I made sure to grab more value from his binder then mine and the judge foils. Based on my read of him (using what he was telling me about how he built his decks) he liked his foils and he loved his promos. Presenting him with the chance of keeping his promos and still getting all the stuff he wants from me is another subtle advantage for me. The toughest part of this trade was establishing a value for the played cards. The Force of Wills and Tundra were less than mint. I’m not a professional card grader. I always err on the side of caution when grading/pricing my cards and do the same with my trading partner’s cards. He went to eBay closed auctions and used that to try and price the played cards but  wasn’t going to budge from his $200 price on the Tundra. However, he put $65 on the Force of Wills. That number worked well for me! I walked away with this

Legacy Hero Swag

Brainstorm x4 (Mercadian Masques)

Swords to Plowshares x4 (Duel Decks)

Mountain x2 (Unglued)

Ancient Tomb (Tempest)

Sensei’s Divining Top (Champions)

Chalice of the Void x4 (Mirrodin)

Chalice of the Void (Modern Masters)

Force of Will LP x2 (Alliances)


The cards he got from me totaled up to $221 and the cards I got from him totaled $215. Why would I give away $5 of value? Let’s take a look at the numbers breakdown.

Cards I’m trading away;

Ichorid     $13

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir x2 (Time Spiral)     $13 ($26)

Electrolyze x4 (Modern Masters)     $2 ($8)

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion     $20

Grim Lavamancer (M12)     $4

Aether Vial (Modern Masters)     $22

Thoughtseize (Theros)     $22

Temple of Abandon x4     $2.50 ($10)

Temple of Silence x4     $4 ($16)

Temple of Triumph x4     $5 ($20)

Temple of Deceit x4     $3 ($12)

Vesuva     $12

Knight of the Reliquary (Modern Masters)     $5

Academy Ruins x2 (Modern Masters)     $6.50 ($13)

Cabal Coffers LP (Torment)     $10

Foil Savageborn Hydra     $8

Total: $221

And my end of the trade;

Brainstorm x4 (Mercadian Masques)     $1 ($4)

Swords to Plowshares x4 (Duel Decks)     $3 ($12)

Mountain MP x2 (Unglued)     $2 ($4)

Ancient Tomb (Tempest)     $15

Sensei’s Divining Top (Champions)     $20

Chalice of the Void x4 (Mirrodin)     $6 ($24)

Chalice of the Void (Modern Masters)      $6

Force of Will LP x2 (Alliances)     $65 ($130)

Total: $215


The condition of the Force of Wills aren’t as bad as he thought. Light Play Force of Will for $65 each? Yeah. That’s a win in my book. Trading out a ton of standard cards for solid legacy staples? Also a win in my book. Getting Chalice of the Void for $6 when (as of  12/1) they are now buy-listing for that price? Another victory.


The six Chalice of the Voids that I scored are going to go a long way in helping me refill my trade binder after this. That’s all for this week though. I will have plenty more next week.


As always I appreciate feedback.

Follow me on twitter @somethingsays and you can email me at


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