Category Archives: What We’re Buying

MTGFinance: What We’re Buying & Selling This Week (Aug 24/15)

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By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when and why our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such running this weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought for personal use without hope of profit. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we we’ve been up to this week:

Buying Period: Aug 11th – Aug 20th, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

Coming off of my tour of lovely Bulgaria and Turkey I haven’t been in buying mode, but I did pick up a few things here and there.

BOUGHT

  • 1x Hangarback Walker (Foil) @ $25
  • 1x Russian Magic Origins Booster Box @ $109

Hangarback Walker expanded its horizons this weekend at Eternal Weekend showing up in the finals of the Vintage Championships in a Workshop deck. The card has now demonstrated viability in almost every relevant format and I’m happy to pick up more foils anywhere under $25 since Origins will ultimately have lower sales than a major fall set and the card is often a 4-of wherever it pops up. I see this is as a mid to long term hold with a $40+ target.

The Russian Origins box is my vote of confidence that Origins may actually end up producing more than a few Modern and Eternal relevant cards (Hangarback Walker, Dark Petition, Jace, Vrynn’s Prodigy, Evolutionary Leap, etc) that may be highly desirable in Russian foil down the road. This is a long term hold, targeting $200+.

I’ll be posting my report on Magic in Bulgaria and Turkey later this week, so watch for that.

Travis Allen (@WizardBumpin)

BOUGHT

  • 35x Dragon Whisperer @ $2/per
  • 9x Shaman of the Forgotten Ways @ $2.25/per
  • 23x Tasigur, the Golden Fang (foil) @ $30/per
  • 8x Whisperwood Elemental @ $5.50/per
  • 14x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker @ $4/per
  • 30x Wingmate Roc @ $1.50/per
  • 8x Woodland Bellower @ $4/per

“Dragon Whisperer is an extremely cheap mythic red two-drop from a third set. Power level is high. She’s only made a splash so far, but red is saturated right now. Come rotation she could easily be the best red two in the format.”

“Shaman plays well with the coming Eldrazi, and is a third-set mythic. Could break $10.”

“Re: Tasigur, a while ago I noticed that foil Abrupt Decays were about $30. The nonfoils were around $7 – $10 at the time. My suspicion was that $30 was too cheap, especially for how much eternal play they saw. I picked up two extra playsets. Within two weeks, they had spiked to $80, and I was wishing I had bought more. With Tasigur’s ubiquity across formats, I’m not making the same mistake again. He’s possibly the best black creature in Standard, Modern, and Legacy. While a non-foil reprint would harm his price, foils are going to be quite safe. I’m looking for this one to at least double by the spring of 2016.”

“Whisperwood Elemental was $15 not that long ago, and all the cards that make him good (Den Protector, Deathmist Raptor, and Mastery of the Unseen) are all sticking around through rotation. I’d like to buy more if he ends up under $4.”

“Sarkhan is a $4 Planeswalker with a solid power level. He’s mostly been pushed out of Standard by Stormbreath Dragon, but that guy is leaving us soon.”

“Wingmate Roc used to be $15-$20. He’s at bulk mythic pricing now, and could certainly be a major Standard player again later this year.”

“Woodland Bellower demonstrated notable power during the Pro Tour. With no price movement so far, a breakout performance could send this skyrocketing.”

Jim Casale (@Phrost_)

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BOUGHT

  • 4x Anafenza, the Foremost @ $3.50/per
  • 4x Tragic Arrogance (foil) @ $3.00/per
  • 4x Abrupt Decay @ $8.00/per

Jim says:

Anafenza, the Foremost is down to $3.50 from $7.00 before the release of Dragons of Tarkir. It’s also 12 tickets on MTGO which is usually a good indicator of play. There are some other factors at work (mythics command a larger portion of a set’s price due to redemption online) but I think this card is going to be one of the few cards to rebound during BFZ. 

Tragic Arrogance is the real deal in standard and it is also quite powerful in EDH. I decided to grab foil copies to play with as they will likely retain more of their value as time goes on. The spread on foil and non-foil copies is closing pretty quickly so this may even see a price correction in the near future.

Regarding Abrupt Decay, I found a player that wanted to sell some cards for quick cash. I offered him more than local buylist and he accepted. Hard to pass up this kind of deal.

BOUGHT (PucaTrade)

  • 4x Ghostfire Blade @ 175 Pucapoints/per

Jim says:

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“The Eldrazi will probably all be “colorless” despite costing colored mana. Ghostfire Blade was pretty good with thopters so I can’t see it getting worse with more colorless creatures.”

SOLD

  • 3x Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy @ $30/per
  • 1x Creeping Tarpit (foil) @ $30/per

Jim says:

“Jace was sold to a local player looking to play the Majors/Cuneo mill deck this week. The price included no fees so its hard to pass up a deal this good. I think I will likely be able to buy them back in a month or two for $20 or less.”

“Creeping Tarpit was sold to a player (so no additional fees) and I’m pretty sure the manlands will be reprinted sometime in the next year or two and there is no real reason to keep this.”

SOLD (Puca)

  • 8x ghostfire blade @ 112 pucapoints/copy

Danny Brown (@dbro37)

BOUGHT

  • 20x Narset, Enlightened Tutor $1.24/per
  • 4x Sarkhan, the Dragon Speaker @ $5.40/per
  • 8x Dragon Whisperer $2.25/per
  • 1x Daretti, Scrap Savant $3.44/per
  • 1x Outpost Siege $1.08/per

Danny says:

“I discussed Narset in my article this week, and all 20 copies I requested were sent pretty quickly. I also discussed Sarkhan and wasn’t sold at that time, but I pulled the trigger on a playset and will probably try for another couple.”

Dragon Whisperer is a mythic that may be forced to step up if mono red continues to be a thing in Standard. I think this has enough casual appeal that it could be a slow gainer in the long term, as well. It reminds me of Kargan Dragonlord in many ways, which is $7, so I think the risk is low. One copy will probably go in my cube.”

Daretti is a great pick-up right now and people seem to know. I think I had 16 on my list and only one got sent.”

“The Outpost Siege is for my cube, though it’s likely starting in the on-deck binder until/if I decide to expand or switch up some strategies. Some Standard play and a spike could turn this into a (very) minor spec, though.”

 

Jared Yost

Here is my buying for this week:

  • 10x Polluted Delta @ $21.00/per
  • 10x Flooded Strand @ $15.78/per
  • 10x Bloodstained Mire @ $18.71/per

“I found some great deals through Amazon, and using some of my Amazon points that I’ve been accumulating I thought I would put them to use by picking up some much needed Fetchlands for my portfolio. I really needed Strands and Deltas, as I’ve been steadily trading for Heaths, Foothills, and Mires over the summer to build up a nice stockpile.”

So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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MTGFinance: What We’re Buying & Selling This Week (Aug 10/15)

By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when and why our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such running this weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought for personal use without hope of profit. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we we’ve been up to this week:

Buying Period: Aug 2nd – Aug 10th, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

This week I’m touring Bulgaria and getting kicked out of Turkey for making too much sense, but I’m still working on my deal to sell the Super Collection, and I’ve bought a few more copies of some cards that represented good short and mid term opportunities.

BOUGHT

  • 5x Evolutionary Leap @ $11/per
  • 2x Scalding Tarn @ $50/per
  • 4x Verdant Catacombs @ $35/per

SOLD (Pucatrade) 

  • 2x Scalding Tarn @ $80.92
  • 1x Verdant Catacombs @ $62.14

Leap is still on my mid-term acquisitions list because, as I’ve mentioned before, I see it getting busted eventually and winning something in Modern. The ZEN fetches were a common flip for MTGFinance folks that were paying attention last week as the news came out on the Mark Rosewater blog that we would not see them in Battle for Zendikar. I was able to out a few already via Pucatrade and would ship more if I wasn’t already holding 1000+ points that need to get traded for a juicy high end target before I restock. I expect these to float lower gradually on the perception that their reappearance is only delayed rather than cancelled and that they will be $10 cards by summer 2016.

I’ll be visiting one of the only MTG stores in Bulgaria next week, so watch for that report.

Douglas Johnson (@RoseofThorns)

“Bought on Wednesday at around 4PM at a nearby LGS, hours after the announcement of the reprint delay. I’m actively working on flipping these out asap:”

5x Misty Rainforest @34 each
9x Verdant Catacombs @37 each
7x Marsh Flats @25 each
6x Scalding Tarn @50 each

 

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Jim Casale (@Phrost_)

BOUGHT

  • Foil windswept heath @ 4787 pucapoints
  • 2x foil fulminator mage @ 3494 pucapoints /per
  • 12x ghostfire blade @ 52 pucapoints /per
  • 2x foil dispel (rtr) @ 525 pucapoints /per

SOLD

  • 4x demonic pact @ $15/per

SOLD (Puca)

  • 8x ghostfire blade @ 112 pucapoints/copy

Jim says:

“The weekend flip of ghostfire blade has been my biggest success.  Moving cards for smaller margins on puca has worked out well for me thus far because of the minimal overhead (read: no fees) for doing the transactions.  It has been a great place for me to trade stamps for foil fetchlands basically.”

So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

ADVERTISEMENT: Get the Cube Starter Bundle with the 3rd Edition Grimoire Deck Box, the brand new Grimoire Deck Box designed specifically for the red mage in you.

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MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (June 7/15)

By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when and why our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such running this weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought for personal use without hope of profit. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we we’ve been up to this week:

Buying Period: June 1st – June 7th, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

BOUGHT

Modern Mid-Term Plays

  • 4x Modern Masters 2015 Booster Box (Japanese) @ $300/per
  • 6x Mutavault @ $9/per
  • 4x Leyline of Sanctity (MM2, Japanese) @ $16/per
  • 5x Leyline of Sanctity (MM2) @ $12
  • 1x Emrakul, the Aeons Torn @ $23
  • 1x Dark Confidant (MM2, Foil) @ $76
  • 1x Monastery Mentor @ $12
  • 1x Noble Hierarch (MM2) @ $34
  • 4x Scavenging Ooze (DOTP Promo Foil) @ $5/per
  • 4x Siege Rhino (foil) @ $15/per
  • 1x Eidolon of the Great Revel @ $18
  • 3x Dark Confidant (MM2) @ $39
  • 13x Abrupt Decay @ $11
  • 1x Soulfire Grant Master (Russian) @ $9
  • 1x Polluted Delta (foil) @ $70
  • 8x Olivia Voldaren @ $7/per
  • 1x Cryptic Command @ $29.50
  • 4x Storm Entity (Foil) @ $1.25/per

The theme here is that I believe we’re at the bottom for MM2 rares and mythics that see high levels of play in Modern. With Jund back on the radar, Dark Confidant seems particularly underrated around $40, and I can easily see it regaining ground along with Cryptic Command, Noble Hierarch, Emrakul, and Leyline of Sanctity, as head into the end of the year. Scavenging Ooze, Monastery Mentor, Abrupt Decay, Eidolon of the Great Revel and Siege Rhino foils are all cards that should show strong appreciation over the next year and the rest of this list is mostly made up of underpriced foils that will be good components in a future P9 trade deal.

Standard Fall Rotation Plays

  • 1x Wingmate Roc @ $3
  • 4x Den Protector @ $5

These were mostly add-ons to other deals, but they’re both cards I feel have a good shot at gaining value in my trade binder this fall based on their demonstrated power level in Standard so far this season.

Casual/EDH Mid to Long Term Plays

  • 1x Ephara, God of the Polis @ $3
  • 2x Umezawa’s Jitte @ $25
  • 2x Mogis, God of Slaughter @ $3.50/per

As seen in earlier weeks, I’m still snagging Theros gods here and there under $5, with the full expectation that they will end up as $10+ cards on casual demand alone within about 2 years. That’s not the best return profile in my card portfolio, but I’m generally comfortable with long term double ups due to ready availability of deployable capital. Jitte can easily be outed on Pucatrade for $35, so that was an easy grab.

SOLD (Pucatrade):

  • 1x Command Tower (Judge Foil) @ $35 ($20 cost)

This was a good value trade up as I continue to build Pucapoints towards a P9 deal.

Jared Yost

BOUGHT

  • 2x Tasigur, the Golden Fang (prerelease foil) @ $25/per
  • 2x Tasigur, the Golden Fang (foil) @ $27/per
  • 4x Monastery Mentor (foil) @ $40/per

Jared says:

“I’ve been talking about foil Tasigurs and Mentors for a while and decided that now, since everyone is hyping up MM15, is the time to move in on them.

Tasigur is currently one of the most played cards in Modern with about 20% of all decks playing an average of two copies. He also is played in Legacy Grixis Delver lists, which should also help the foil prices along for the future. Foils look great as pickups now.

Mentor is such a solid card all around. If you haven’t read my article on him, please do so because that sums up all my thoughts on why foils are very appealing. Also, Derek indicated that Mentors are becoming harder and harder to find in binders these days so it could mean that we might start seeing some upward mobility on the price soon.”

 

Douglas Johnson

Douglas says:

“If you’re a follower of this column, then you’ll notice my details have been absent lately. This is because instead of speculating on specific card prices and buying them up at full retail then waiting for them to go up, I am playing the role of local vendor in my area, providing me with the opportunity to acquire large lots at (or below) buylist prices. I then stock a local display case and sell cards at TCG low through Facebook or TCGplayer. If you’re interested in Magic finance as more than just a way to supplement your hobby and make actual money, this is definitely a good way to go about it if you can fill a gap in the local scene. In the pictures above, we have parts of a small collection that I picked up this past Thursday.

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While I’d obviously prefer to move each of these cards to loving homes that will sleeve them up and jam them, I’m definitely more eager to move some cards over others. For example, the Lightning Bolts, Temples, and Polukranos are going on Facebook and being sold for practically buylist price, meaning I’ll only end up making a few cents on each after shipping costs. The real gems here are the Planeswalkers like Ugin, Sarkhan, and Narset, that will end up in my display case at the video game store where I used to be employed. The casual players that browse that case love Planeswalkers, so I’m always happy to pick up walkers in all of the collections that I buy, because I know they move fast. Similarly, I’ll definitely be looking to move the Blood Moon in there that just recently spiked last weekend, so that’s likely going on TCGplayer or Facebook.

All in all, buying collections and reselling them is definitely a safer investment than speculating on specific cards. While you don’t get the rush of winning as you watch the card go up, you can buy cards at a price where losing is almost impossible.”

Note: The rest of the guys were quiet so far this week.

Bonus Tips:

  • Word on the street is that many dealers will have access to a limited number of MM2015 cases for at least a few more weeks before they’re cut off. As the majority of MM2 product has already been opened, I wouldn’t expect for key cards to fall further, but a couple of weeks out should be a sweet time to be picking up dirt cheap cards like Etched Champion, Remand and Electrolyze, along with any casual stuff you may need. If you’re willing to take a ride on some boxes, look for deals in the $190-$200 zone. I can still see them gaining $40-50/box before the end of 2015 once supply dries up, so it should be a solid play despite the known quality control issues.
  • Many of the Modern cards that weren’t reprinted in MM2 are spiking hard, both in paper and online. Blood Moon is leading the pack and is a great card to be getting out of for strong profits if you were holding copies you aren’t using.
  • There are some very good buying opportunities on MTGO right now with the MM2015 mythics and rares being at historic lows in many cases. Entry points are still attractive.

So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

ADVERTISEMENT: Get the Cube Starter Bundle with the 3rd Edition Grimoire Deck Box, the brand new Grimoire Deck Box designed specifically for the red mage in you.

 

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MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (May 9/15)

By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such we’ve decided to run a weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought without hope of profit, where appropriate. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we were up to this week:

Buying Period: May 3 – May 9th, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

BOUGHT

  • 1x Myth Realized (foil) @ $7.00
  • 1x Griselbrand @ $13.50
  • 1x Whisperwood Elemental @ $8.50
  • 1x Temple Garden @ $8.25
  • 1x Mana Confluence @ $7.50
  • 1x Scavenging Ooze (Russian promo foil) @ $11
  • 2x Pharika, God of Afflication @ $3.25/per
  • 2x Siege Rhino (foil) @ $16
  • Mutavault (Japanese) @ $10
  • 1x boxes of Modern Masters 2015 @ $230

SOLD:

  • 6x Modern Masters 2015 @ $255 USD ($210 cost)

SOLD (Pucatrade)

  • 1x Grafdigger’s Cage (foil) @ $19.00 (pack opened)
  • 1x Tarmogoyf @ $195.00 ($135 cost)
  • 1x Wilt Leaf Liege @ $29.42 (pack opened)
  • 1x Sensei’s Divining Top @ $32.41 (pack opened)
  • 1x Horizon Canopy @ $34.65 ($18 cost)
  • 5x Steam Vents @ $13.20 ($8.25 cost)

My total haul of MM2 boxes now stands at 20+. The revelation of the full set list through plenty of folks for a loop, as the final rares list was significantly less exciting than many had hoped for. Running the Estimated Value (EV) calculation on the set however has revealed that much of the value has simply been shifted to the mythics and the current EV per pack is very close to the MSRP of $9.99. This means that opening a box at MSRP is roughly equivalent to the math on opening a box of MM1 in the summer of 2013, which featured a similar EV. Each pack you open will feature higher variance, but the more packs you open the more likely you are to even out your opens. As such, I’m expecting the EV to fall off in the weeks following the triple Grand Prix into the $7-8 range as people sell off their opens. If the set is constricted on supply and/or considered too risky by players to open frequently, I would expect the box trajectory to follow a similar path to MM1, with less total upside. My current target is $325 on boxes by December 2015. Even if dealers end up having more supply than my sources have told me they will, a neutral EV out of the gate is unlikely to motivate them to open enough boxes to further tank the singles market on the mythics. We now need to see how the draft format is received, because a great format will drive sales and pack openings, and push EV further down the curve, whereas a bad draft format could keep the price of key cards relatively stable.  More on this as the issues play out.

Most of my singles purchases this week were simply opportunistic grabs at prices below retail, or cards I expect to continue rising heading into fall.

Pucatrade was a huge help this week, allowing me to out MM2 reprints like Leyline of Sanctity, Wilt Leaf Liege and Tarmogoyf at full value. I now have about $700 worth of Pucapoints, accumulated since the end of March, and my goal is to trade into a mox on that platform before the end of summer.

Guo Heng Chin

TRADES

  • Thunderbreak Regent (out) for one Dragonlord Dromoka (in).

Jared Yost

PURCHASES
  • 4x Willow Satyr @ $13.96
  • 4x Gravity Sphere @ $11.76 + $1 shipping
Jarod says:
“I’ve picked up these Reserve List cards due to some analysis I did on Legends and potentially undervalued cards on the Reserve List.”

Note: The rest of the guys were quiet this week.

Bonus Tips:

  • Putting some money aside for the two weeks after the triple MM2 GPs across the globe is a solid notion indeed. Tens of thousands of packs will be opened at those tournaments and many of those players will be looking to sell of sweet opens that they don’t need for their own decks to recoup some of their trip costs. This should lead to a plethora of good deals as the sellers crowd each other out in a race to the bottom of the price ladder. This will also be the period where key standard cards will start to bottom out into their usual summer doldrums, and great cards from Khans block are likely to be in bargain territory with so much focus on Modern cards.
  • Before you plow too much money into the Eldrazi from MM2, keep in mind that we are very likely to get even more exciting Eldrazi this fall in Battle for Zendikar. Since the Eldrazi characters are set in stone, new versions could easily injur the price points on the earlier editions if they prove more interesting to collectors.
  • The absence of man-lands, Inquisition of Kozilek and Goblin Guide leaves me wondering whether WOTC will simply reprint some or all of these cards in the fall. This makes me very hesitant to get in on any of them right now.
  • As I’m writing this Yohan Dudognon is 7-0 at GP Paris running an entirely new multi-color Collected Company deck running Mantis Rider, Savage Knuckleblade and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. He just tapped out end of turn for Stoke the Flames tapping Riders and Knuckleblades so he has my full attention. Bottom line: Collected Company is proving to be a flexible and powerful magic card. Foils should be top targets while they’re cheap. I have them breaking $20 later this year.

So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

ADVERTISEMENT: Get the Cube Starter Bundle with the 3rd Edition Grimoire Deck Box, the brand new Grimoire Deck Box designed specifically for the red mage in you. 

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