Category Archives: Floor Reports


Hi everyone! Thank you for the tremendous support and positive feedback I received from my first article! I could not ask for a warmer welcome.

As some of you know, I recently returned from MagicCon Minneapolis, which is the second of four major MTG conventions this year that will culminate in the World Championships in Las Vegas, Sep 22-24, 2023. The three days in Minneapolis allowed for the meeting of friends both old and new, countless games played, and much exciting business to be conducted. For this article I want to focus on one aspect of my experience, specifically my observations on collecting and trading premium Magic cards in the current environment. 

A key focus for me lately has been the recent releases of the serialized cards in MOM, the “giveaway” Secret Lair cards (limited each to 295 copies), and the Secret Lair Prize Cards (exclusive to MagicCon events). Why do we care about these cards in particular? The short answer is that MTG as a collectible card game is evolving and for all of you engaged in the MTG Finance community, it is imperative to take note of the opportunities for short term arbitrage associated with time boxed or location specific limited releases. Allow me to illustrate my point here through several personal anecdotes from the floor of Magiccon Minneapolis. 

First, let’s begin with the serialized MOM cards. As a refresher, WOTC decided to serialize in editions of 500 each of the 65 Multiverse Legend cards from MOM and the 5 new Praetors. That’s a whooping 35,000 serialized cards injected into the MTG community. The community’s feedback I would argue has been mixed. While everyone loves to see Ragavan in a masterpiece frame, not everyone is so enthused by a serial number stuck to a card with the same art with average foiling. Furthermore, no one can really understand why a bunch of uncommons (Daxos? Yargle?) get serialized treatment. These are indeed somewhat baffling production choices. On the other hand the unique art exclusive to the serialized versions of the new Praetors are stunning ultra low print run collectibles and the market has responded accordingly.

I arrived in Minneapolis with 8 serialized cards, including 3 serialized new Praetors (Elesh Norn, Sheoldred, Jin-Gitaxias). I had snapped up these Praetors during the prerelease windows (each at $800 or less), theorizing the unique art would make them quite desirable. I consigned the 8 serialized cards through a vendor friend of mine who had a booth, and 6 cards sold including all the Praetors (Elesh Norn $2000, Sheoldred $1700, Jin-Gitaxias $1500). A few points here worth reporting: 1) the vendor noted that many buyers came up looking for serialized cards, and the Praetors were some of the most asked about cards at the show; 2) all the serialized cards sold within 5% of the asking price; and 3) there were few serialized cards on the floor until the last day and almost no Praetors (whatever was tabled, ended up sold). 

My takeaway here is that serialized cards with top-notch unique art deserve special attention. When these cards also happen to be playable, as is the case with the Praetors, the demand and price support are readily found in the market. Note that even without unique art, I had success selling my serialized Emry, Lutri, and Zada at a profit – simply because they are playable and as a “one of a kind” serialized card, they found a home in someone’s very blinged-out EDH deck. It’s clear that serialized cards will exist from here on out given the announcements for LOTR. Though it may be tempting to brush off serialized cards as some lame marketing gimmick ported over from the sports card world, we have enough data at this point to show that there is clear demand from buyers for these cards as a new tier of premium MTG collectible. The fact that EDH is the dominant format for MTG and is a singleton format only helps the cause for serialized cards, as players are indeed willing to spend to “bling out” a favorite deck. The obvious corollary is that there’s going to be downward pressure on the basic versions of serialized cards, as the value in new sets is now spread out and skewed in favor of super-rare chase cards. 

The second anecdote I’d like to share concerns probably one of the ugliest MTG cards in recent memory (my subjective opinion shared by many!).  I present to you the Secret Lair 295 Giant Growth:

This specimen is limited to 295 copies, which were given out randomly to MagicCon attendees (with a bias towards content creators and kids). This Giant Growth is the second Secret Lair 295 card given out, with the first being the Shivan Dragon (see above right), which was distributed at MagicCon Philly. The dust has settled on the Shivan Dragon, and we know that the current market price is around $2,000 based on extensive data points from Facebook sales. Giant Growth is virtually unplayable in every format. Given the troublesome art and the lack of playability, a couple vendors I know of took the brave step of paying $500 for the Giant Growth as the first copies hit the floor. I immediately went and bought 2 copies each at $600. One vendor professed that the card probably should be worth $200 as it’s so unappealing and was worried he’s taking a bath by even paying $500. My own logic however was that the card is a serialized release tied to a major MTG event. While this is no Shivan Dragon, there will surely be foreign buyers and other premium collectors that would pay $800? Even $1,000?  Within hours I had my answer. SCG said they were buying copies at $1,000 (which came down eventually to $500 during the weekend), and on Facebook, copies sold to collectors pretty briskly at $800-1,000 (as I’m writing this article, this is still the market price). I sold both my copies on the first day within hours of receiving them for $1,000 each, pocketing $400 profit per copy. Sweet!

Lessons learned? The principle of scarcity is relevant here in that the limited supply of this card, which was released within a very narrow window, created its own demand. Collectors and vendors did not want to miss out, and this pretty mediocre card still found its support in the market at a robust price. With these limited releases, especially with cards that are mediocre at best, it’s important to move quickly and take advantage of scarcity value. You need to know your outs (Facebook groups and Twitter), and be disciplined and informed with the right data (i.e., Shivan Dragon 295 is $2,000, so an out for Giant Growth at $1,000 is more than respectable). We can expect more of these 295 cards will appear in MagicCon Barcelona and Vegas. If offered the opportunity to buy a mysterious 295 card on site for $500, would you? The answer may well deserve to be yes, especially if the print runs and singles event releases stay consistent.

My last anecdote concerns a very special card shown here:

Ragavan needs no introduction, but this is the Secret Lair Prize version. This card exists in foil only with a total population of 128 copies to be distributed during the four MagicCon events this year. To date, 64 copies have been put into circulation, and it’s worthwhile to study the price behavior for this card. I attended MagicCon Philly and was an aggressive buyer of this card as soon as copies came into circulation. Vendors had originally buylisted the card at $1,000, then $1,250, and eventually close to $2,000. It became clear that there was extraordinary demand, as the art is highly unique and desirable to many for this truly iconic card. I was able to procure two copies of this card at $2,200 and $2,400, which I then sold shortly after Philly for $2,800 and $3,300. I flag this particular card because coincidentally in Philly, the Multiverse Legend version of Ragavan was announced including a serialized edition. Many thought that this Secret Lair Prize version was doomed for failure because the same card is being hit for reprint twice in succession and both in a premium treatment. 

The question is what happened in Minneapolis? Instead of seeing any price pressure, the Secret Lair Prize Ragavan saw a significant price increase. Vendors told me they had to pay $2,400 to $2,800 in buylist just to get a copy. Most copies procured also had ready buyers on the back end. Meanwhile, serialized Ragavans (not special numbers) have slipped to the $1,200 range even when many swore that the Masterpiece frame can’t be beat. It is clear that yet again, the art matters and for a staple card like Ragavan, the very limited number of 128 copies will carry the day. It does not matter that a Masterpiece frame exists, as that art treatment is printed into oblivion now and the serialized version of Ragavan is the same card. 

Recognizing this unique price trend, I suspect that this Ragavan may see yet another ratchet, especially in 6 to 12 months once all copies are given out. I opted to reinvest some of my gains from above into a personal copy.  

I hope the above stories from the floor provide you all with some interesting windows into how the MTG community is responding to the recent limited and special edition cards. I will look forward to reporting again soon when LOTR drops and we see some numbered rings enter the market and we get a glimpse of how the market forms on 1900 serialized Sol Rings and the mighty single copy of The One Ring. Until next time!

GP Indy 2016: Vendor Buylists

Hey all,

Site user Jamie Jones has passed along some sweet pics of the vendor buy lists from GP Indianapolis today.

Have a look at what the dealers are offering for various cards as of this morning on site:

Hareuya Buylist
Hareuya Buylist

Alter Reality Games Buylist


MTG Card Market Buylist
MTG Card Market Buylist

MTG Card Market Buylist Pt2
MTG Card Market Buylist Pt2


Pink Bunny Games Buylist
Pink Bunny Games Buylist

Pasttimes Game Buylist Pt1
Pasttimes Game Buylist Pt1


Pasttimes Game Buylist Pt2
Pasttimes Game Buylist Pt2

Returning to the Fold – A Grand Prix Columbus Floor Report

Radio searches through a few stations. After a moment of static – it clears to reveal Steven Tyler belting

“I’m BBBAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCKKKKKKK. Back in the saddle again.”


Let me say hello! How long has it been? Has it been that long? Huh. You don’t say? 18 months? Maybe even two years?  Well, fantastic.  Just enough time to make it worth while to start all over. Now, shall we begin?

For those that know me – or have an idea – let me say hello. I am back, to bring you my varying degrees of insight, easy going banter, and strong belief that you have what it takes to make the most out of what you have. Not terribly long ago, I would bring you my thoughts on Magic based Finance. After much relocation, settling in the bright city of Dallas, Texas and a return to traveling the US (& eventually the world) for Magic – I have returned to having my hand on the wrist of Trading.

The fine folks here at MTGPrice have decided that you should hear me. Let’s not waste that with pomp and circumstance. This week, I will bring you what insight, thoughts, experience, & ideas I have to give you the best tools to prepare yourself for your next Grand Prix Vendor experience.

Approaching a vendor booth is a key component of any Grand Prix. To make the travel, the cost, and the excitement all fit in with your budget, means, and obligations – it is best to occasionally liquidate cards, locate much coveted new beauties, or fill in that last gap for your 75.

The fastest way to do that will always be with a vendor.

I, myself, am a Floor Trader. I pride myself on turning cards you do not need into cards you do. But a booth is a completely different & exciting animal compared to any trade. They have paid for the right and the power to give you not only exactly what you need – but the choice of how you need it. It also can be very intimidating. Why? Because you have no idea where to start. There’s numbers everywhere. Pretties to distract you. Amazing cards you may have never seen to lure you away. And even more – there’s always the fear you’re paying too much and getting too little.
This weekend was Grand Prix: Columbus. Uniquely situated between the Midwest and the Northeast, the GP itself drew a lot of the best talent in the Vendor world.





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This weekend I primarily dealt with three vendors. Adem Hotza @Hotsauce. Jeremy Muir @SavageTCG and Paul Morelli @MTGCardMarket. Surprisingly, most of the published buylists from the variety of booths were all roughly the same. As I get back in the swing of things – in the future, I’ll have a more in depth analysis of where best to spend your money, or get the most out of your cards.

This week, I want to talk first about a couple of key points of what your Vendor relationship needs to be. While there are some unwritten rules, mostly it just hasn’t been thought to be said out loud. As a financier, or someone simply interested in getting the most out of your cards – these points can vastly change your approach to the weekend and how you cash out or trade up. As well as your preparation going in.

1) Online or in person.

While dealing with SavageTCG, the discussion went down the progression of “How has business been.” Every booth has different needs and usually that is going to be reflected greatly in their buylist. When business is good – buylists tend to stay even keel around the room. When it’s volatile is when you will see the differences. Another way to maximize your Grand Prix, then, is to first bring needs.

As with anyone – as the Owner of SavageTCG – Jeremy loves card that will sell quickly or be gone that very weekend. When in person,  it’s very easy and quick to let the vendor cherry pick your collection. While this may not solve your instant needs – getting the ball rolling for yourself and then later matching a smaller list to the greater collective of “Who has the higher buylists” can net you the greatest balance of time spent vs. making your dollar go farthest.

This was my first stop of the weekend and that was my intention. Clearing out a long list of highly needed middle to low range but high demand Legacy/Modern playable Commons/Uncommons. With my organized list now shorter, and one 1,000 count box much lighter, the following day would be my next stop of the weekend.

2) “Picking” your bulk.

At my stop with Adem Hotza, owner of Hotsauce Games a very interesting point came up. I was there to acquire a NM/LP+ Moat for a trade. A young gentleman made it a point to acquire one that weekend – and I love sourcing cards for players that will actually love the cards they play. I had already done a lot of trading on the floor, thus some of my bulk was going to be included in acquiring this for him. Hotsauce had a gorgeous Moat at a great price and we got, again, talking about business.

Something that never had occurred to me is the practice of the Bulk traders using the Vendor booths as the manual labor to pick their $.25s & $.50s from the $.10s. Frankly – us as a collective can do better.

The Grand Prix floor should not be the time you sort those cards out from each other if you are about maximizing your buylisting. Definitely not when you’re dealing with a Vendor. If you’re not worried about the quarters from the dimes, do everyone a favor – just hand a stack and expect to have the whole thing priced as one “unit.” All dimes or all quarters, etc. If you are worried about it – then take it home. Compare buylists online. Send them in properly sorted or wait until the next event, after you’ve had time to seperate into appropriate piles. The week leading up to or the time before going to a booth really should be about maximizing your profit. On the floor is about maximizing your time – and theirs. 

3) “Mutual Beneficiality”

Yes. It’s a made up complete butchering of beneficial.

My last stop of the weekend was with MTGCardmarket. Paul & I haven’t had many occasions to deal with each other, but I have with Cameron. Most Vendors LOVE $5-$10 retail price cards all day long. For us, they can do wonderful things like trade into bigger items and net a consistent build up, but even better is the cash power to buy those large collections. Any time you can get past a certain dollar amount that others are just not able to deal with, you gain power. The people that can and do buy $3,000 collections weekly are few and far between. You want to be one of those people. And they will always nets you more than $5 bills will. Cashing those out will get you larger transactions, more flips, and better outlets for your cards.

However you do it – the best thing you can do is give any Vendor the best balance struck of what they need versus what you can leverage. This generates a mutual benefit and gives you the priority over even the most alluring offers. While talking with Paul – he paid me a great compliment. He wanted my cards over another sell that was trying to come in. A fully foiled out Legacy deck.

What you may not know – most Vendors do many Grand Prixs back to back to back. Some times – four shows in – cash flow can be a little hard to come by. Not just a difference between Friday & Sunday, but a complete paradigm shift from what the would normally buy and the much leaner “focusing on needs.” If you want to give yourself the edge – and also make sure what you are liquidating will always be bought – don’t just bring corner case expensive cards that, while having great upside, will sit in their display cases for weeks.  It’s not making it someone else’s problem to deal with. It’s bringing them items they just can not buy. Bringing the things that will sell day in and day out can and will bump you to the top of any shortlist a Vendor loves to deal with.

In closing – these three points can really improve your selling experience with Vendors. Each Grand Prix isn’t just about who’s buylist is best. Often – if your relationship is built with a Vendor – not only could you received priority treatment but getting the inside track can easily make you the person everyone wants to deal with.

In the future – I will be modulating my Grand Prix reports to bring you a mixture of insight, cool deals, price points to pay attention to, and items of note on buylists. This decision to bring me back on board was made late in the game, so this week’s report is focused on highlighting the points that made the most difference this weekend. With the Grand Prix in the rear view – these deals I made with these particular Vendors absolutely raised my Grand Prix from “Well played” to “I still had all deeze.” Incorporating a wonderful Vendor or LGS relationship into your Finance game is a key cog in the cycle of buy/trade/sell. I plan on showing the way to make this one you can maximize for yourself, if you choose.

Trading and Finance is not just about maximizing one card and riding it to the finish line. It is also about bettering the experience of the players you trade with. It’s about providing the cards the stores need to keep providing playing & trading space. It’s about getting you into the right situation and raising the tide. After all, the tide raises ALL ships. If you have not realized that – take a closer look at what you are doing. It really is that simple.

You can follow me on Twitter @dylan_beck or @Dylan Beckham on Facebook.

Floor Reports: Grand Prix Minneapolis

Hey Guys!

I’m fresh back from Minneapolis to discuss what went down at the GP this weekend. Many trends are starting to pop up in the vendor world when it comes to card prices, and as usual I will be reviewing each vendor! As a note, my camera card was corrupted halfway through the event, so some vendor pictures may be old from previous floor reports.


I had tweeted out before the event that I was building Ogre boxes. Quite a few of my followers had no clue what an ogre box is. Without stealing too much from Douglas Johnson’s article, it’s pretty simple to explain. This process was started by another St. Louis local known as Ogre in the vendor community, and can lead to way more money for only a little bit more work. An ogre box is where you take all of the cards that retail for under $5 or so, and look up the highest buylist for each card and place it in the corresponding stack. You then take the stacks and put them in boxes labeled clearly with how much you are looking to get for each section of the box. Vendors pick through them, and it saves you both time as well as getting the most bang for your buck. In my experience, smaller shops will take quite a bit as opposed to a shop like CoolStuff who has predetermined numbers that they are paying on everything even before the event halls open. Remember to take your boxes around to each vendor before compromising and going lower on cards before each booth has had a look! Remember, we make money off of players being lazy. Don’t be lazy, and you’ll make more money if you put in more work!

Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty vendor review system.

Power Nine

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Power Nine was situated towards the middle of the room with MTGDeals when one walked through the doors first. As a result, they accumulated quite a long line of bystanders checking out their prices between rounds and a ton of foot traffic. I wasn’t happy with their prices on the higher end stuff, but their buyers were friendly. Ogre was buying for them and bought all of my Portal Three Kingdoms stuff at the highest buylist numbers I showed him off of MTGPrice’s own collection tracker.

They also were paying the highest on Promo Stoneforge Mystics in the room at $12. An interesting situation occurred when someone brought in a pile of cards on a dolly, and sat at Power Nine for 2 straight days. To the untrained eye, it appears that this collection would be a goldmine. However, this meant that one of Power’s buyers would be encumbered with only buying and pricing this collection and haggling with this individual for the entire GP. Because it isn’t cheap to fly and house a buyer, it would have probably been more efficient to pay the seller to fly to Power’s shop and sell them cards after the GP. This is because if all the buyers are busy, people waiting to sell cards will simply go to another booth to sell their cards about 75% of the time, meaning that the shop will lose the opportunity to buy their cards in and make a profit. I myself walked away from Power the first day after a 45 minute wait, as all of their buyers were busy, but did come back Saturday night and was happy with the prices they gave me on my remaining cards.

If you guys are selling cards to Power, I recommend selling to Ogre or Alex as they move very fast and don’t hem and haw over dimes and condition as much as the other buyers at the booth.

Grade: B+

Tales of Adventure

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Tales of Adventure was a booth that I had previously contacted before the GP started about potentially getting an advanced buylist and selling Pokemon bulk to. For those that aren’t aware, Pokemon bulk can go for $100 a k in the right condition. I ended up selling played Pokémon bulk to Tales for 40 per k, an agreement both of us were happy with. I walked up to Tales with an Ogre box, and sat down with Jim and their President, Michael. I had previously talked to Michael about selling those cards and he had implied he would try and match numbers. I didn’t expect for Michael to buy 60% of my box at first glance however!

They both worked on pulling apart the ogre box, and in a little less than an hour most of my first ogre box was demolished. I was very happy and had sold them a few things in my binder, when I received this message while still at the GP. . The fact that Michael reached out to me after I had sold a CE Chaos Orb to pay me more meant a lot to me, as he felt that he would have screwed me on the now $60 card (seriously guys? Too high of a price). Overall, I was very happy with Tales.

Grade A


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Coolstuff has become a mainstay on the tournament circuit. I sat down with their buyers Victor and Ricky, and was happy with the numbers I received. Although Coolstuff doesn’t really haggle since they are a larger company, they do occasionally pay higher than others on random things that they are out of, such as Jhoira of the Ghitu and Gaddock Teeg.  I didn’t sell them that much, but they always have consistent pricing and solid customer service at their GP booths. I ended up buying quite a few cards from their damaged binder, a practice few finance people look at when trying to get deals. I was able to get a MP scroll rack for $20, and also walked away with some free pens and life pads (now that’s value).

Grade B+

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MTGCardMarket also had a central location right near the entry point of the hall. However, they didn’t seem that busy during the weekend. I didn’t sell anything to them, but I did scrape some fun deals from their damaged case such as a damaged Scroll Rack for 17 and a damaged beta Dark Ritual for 12. None of their buy prices really were high compared to the rest of the room, so I’m sad to see them on a decline from the last GP they vended. However, they did have a ton of high end magic cards in stock and quite a bit of graded power for those interested in trading for collection gems.

Grade C

Moose Loot

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Coming into this GP, I had never heard of this shop. These guys ended up being pleasantly surprising with both their prices and personality. Having your buyers wear moose antlers is pretty amusing and a gimmick that draws people to your booth. These guys had some of the best foreign priced cards on the floor, and solid buy prices. I didn’t sell that much to them, but I enjoyed the banter while waiting for them to look through my binders. Something that many vendors need to work on is their personalities and friendliness, and these guys crushed it. I hope to see them in the future, as this was a great booth that has so much potential in the future.

Grade B+

Chimera Hobby Shop

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This booth was situated closer to the back of the room, and one could tell by the amount of foot traffic that they weren’t really buying as much as their neighboring booths. However, Chimera showed up with the largest amount of sealed packs at the GP. A lot of players traded in and bought old packs for nostalgia, and I definitely pack war’d a couple too many with friends from their booth. Their buyers were friendly, but I didn’t end up selling anything to them. I did buy a played savannah from them later in the weekend, but for the most part I skipped this booth.

Grade C

Alter Reality Games

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Alter Reality brought some of the cheapest original Modern Masters packs on the floor to the GP. Besides that, I wasn’t happy at all. They were consistently 10-15% lower on almost all cards they picked through in my binders, and their staff wasn’t the most pleasant to deal with. This was a repeat of the last time I encountered them at SCGSTL, and none of my friends had a good time dealing with them in Minneapolis either.  I hope to see a better booth at the next GP I attend, but I spent very little time and money dealing with them.

Grade C-


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MTGDeals had some of the best buy prices and sell prices in the room, something they’ve become known for at almost every GP that they have vended over the last year. They had the highest buy prices on almost every staple in the room, and their booth was packed all weekend. Being near the doors, they had some of the highest foot traffic all weekend, and were packed for almost the entire weekend. I bought a lp savannah from them for 48, and sold them loads of Modern Masters cards that they were paying practically TCGLow on. They were also paying $90 on Lion’s Eye Diamonds, a sign that demand for this card is only going up as reserved list cards continue to provide good returns for those that invested or traded for them years ago.

Grade A

Hot Sauce Games

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Hot Sauce had the third and final booth near the opening doors this weekend. They had great deals on played cards, but little was to be found when it came to their buy prices this weekend. After about 10 minutes of them looking through my binders, I walked away not satisfied with many of their prices they were offering when I could have walked a booth over to deals and gotten much more.

Grade C

Pink Bunny Games

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In the past, I have been highly critical of Pink Bunny’s conduct at both events and shipping practices when it comes to them selling cards online. Pink Bunny had one of the strongest buylists this weekend on standard cards. They were paying $3 on most Battle for Zendikar dual lands, something that other vendors used to arbitrage their buys over for cards that they really wanted. Both Damien and Matt were highly friendly at this GP, and I found myself sticking by their booth and selling quite a bit to them. If Pink Bunny keeps this up, I will definitely look to make their booth one of the first stops at any GP Circuit.

Grade B+

Floor Trading

After talking with most vendors and floor traders, a clear picture emerged. Almost everyone on the floor was dumping Dragons and Origins rares out and trying to get low priced Eldrazi and blue chip cards in stock. After talking with a floor trader and reader of this site named Ryan, he echoed what many were thinking in the room. “Picking up Restoration Angels, Thoughtseizes and shocks seems like a good long term bet” according to him.

A ton of vendors were also paying very low spreads on gods as they continue to soar in popularity. I still personally feel like the gods have quite a long way to go, especially the ones from Born and Journey (I just wish I hadn’t sold so many at their low to Ryan Bushard). Other cards that were in heavy demand on the floor were Library of Alexandria, Chromatic Lanterns, and Rishadan Ports. Port had been confirmed as not in Eternal Masters during the first day of the event, so traders were trying to get every copy they could on the floor. Chromatic Lantern continues to be a blue-chip card, as every multi colored EDH deck needs one of these and most players don’t care paying the ever increasing rate this artifact commands.

Many players were trying to dump foreign foils, and I picked up a couple Russian Foils that were intentionally underpriced for my cube.


Pastimes did a very good job with this event, unlike previous disasters such as GP Chicago that I had attended. The Legacy event Friday had a mishap with the payout, and Alan the owner personally confronted each player about it and provided twice the amount of payout as well as a free $25 entry fee into another event this weekend. Rounds were quick, and side events were moving very well. Overall attendance for the GP was around 1500, with many pro players trying to grind last minute pro points to secure their Platinum status for next year.

Overall, Minneapolis was a fun event and a great city. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments, or reach out to me @xemitsellsmagic on twitter. I hope each one of your Eternal Masters packs has a Jace!