Tag Archives: conjured currency

Back to Organizing (for the most part)

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Written By:
Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
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Welcome back, and welcome to last week’s article as well. It’s a little lengthy but I’m proud of it all the same; we went and examined the different pricing metrics of TCGplayer high, median, low, and market price. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback so far, so it’s definitely one you don’t want to miss.

As for this week, let’s finally get back to processing and organizing our collections and bulk stuff. Instead of getting outside and enjoying the sunshine on Memorial Day weekend, my friend Sean Love and I were hard at work in the basement where it was a solid 20 degrees cooler than the heat wave upstairs and outside. I had one more objective that I wanted to make into a reality before I started on the 400k bulk in my closet, so we got to work.

Bad Binders

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Up until this point, I’ve had about nine trade binders that were between halfway and completely full at all times. They’re the Ultimate Guard “QuadRow Flexfolio”, which I would not wish upon my worst enemy. I wanted them to be able to hold playsets of cards in a single row, but the quality of the binder was shoddy and the glue holding the pages together would rip all the time even with the simple act of putting a card in or taking it out. I’m no Tolarian Community College Professor, but I would absolutely stay away from this brand of binder and look for something else that’s more structurally sound. I owned the binders for less than four months before they started to fall apart, and I feel like I threw away over a hundred dollars on them.

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So where am I going with this segue? Well, I haven’t regularly traveled with binders in almost two years. I don’t have a local FNM that’s less than a thirty minute drive, I don’t have the time to be a Grand Prix backpack grinder, and it’s not exactly like I even “trade” very often anymore (unless you count people bringing me lots of bulk to get “DJ Dollars” in trade credit). A few weeks ago, I asked myself why I’m even still using a binder system to loosely organize my relevant cards. It was a pain to constantly look through the majority of a “Green” binder just to see exactly how many Vengevine I had, and I wanted something that would help me find X card from Y set in under Z seconds. I was already constructing a framework for doing something similar with my Blueprintable commons and uncommons…. why not do the same with my “higher end” cards ($4+) that were worth selling on TCGplayer?

This article is made for those few of you who might not trade anymore, or go to events at an LGS. I recommend continuing to read especially if you have a sizable collection that you want to manage without using binders, sell by piece, or just know where your cards are for deckbuilding. Several of the pieces of advice are extremely similar to other articles I’ve written, so we’ll get set sort and alphabetize everything out of the way early. Netflix helps. I finally got started on Jessica Jones.

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Ta-Da! I mean, it obviously took a lot longer than it did for you to check out the picture; roughly about eight hours of Sean and I working to set sort and alphabetize. (A skill that he is much faster than I am at). You’ll also notice that those BCW dividers continue to come in handy, although I’ll have to trim them down by a few centimeters if I ever expect to put a lid on this box and apply any weight to the top of the lid.

Because the long term goal of this inventory box is to have everything listed on TCGplayer by the end of the week (you can see my printed-out and hastily scrawled-on to-do list in the background), we also had to grade every card in the box.

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The “Origins” pile. Definitely losing some money on these Abbots here.

Some of you may remember that I sleeve everything over $2, regardless of what box it goes in. While I was using opaque sleeves for the cards in the binders up until this point (penny sleeves can be annoying to fit into binders without crinkling, at least for my personal preference), sorting my inventory into a 5K meant that I could penny sleeve everything to make it uniform. This also helped with grading the cards easier, being able to see the front and back at a glance. If you do find research, you should be able to find 10000 penny sleeves for around $45. Here’s some research.

Screenshot 2016-05-31 at 2.49.45 PM

Hopefully I’ll manage to list everything by the end of this week, and hopefully I’ll have enough time in the day to ship and pack all my orders. I had my TCGplayer store hidden for the past two or three months while I was working on school, graduation, GPNY and GPCharlotte, so I had forgotten what it was like to have to deal with this:

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Now that that’s all settled, we can *finally* begin to work on set sorting this bulk that’s been accumulating in my closet. Phase one (which I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned in a previous article or not) is to make another series of those divider set tags so that each pile of set sorted bulk will be easy to find and alphabetize when the time comes. For now, I’ll conclude this brief article with a prelude of what your basement/living room/bedroom might look like once you get started on this project.

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End Step:

Huh, there’s really not much to talk about here. Kind of a dry week, but that’s alright. I’m happy to see Realms Uncharted and Horn of Greed finally going off thanks to The Gitrog Monster, so I’ll be taking my copies out of the spec box and sorting them into my wonderful new inventory system, then putting them on TCGplayer. Until next week!

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The Finance Article With Almost No Finance

The Last MTG Finance Article of 2015

Welcome back. It’s the end of 2015, so let’s get that hooplah out of the way. It seems like just yesterday I was still writing for Brainstorm Brewery and regularly attending FNM like an actual player. I would not have predicted that this position (in writing and Magic) was where I would be one year ago, and I hope that I can continue to provide and improve on my content through 2016.

I’m not the only one that’s changed in a year though; I’m sure you have too, and Magic itself is quite different. Our subculture of MTG finance has certainly come a long way in the past 365 days: we’re moving into uncharted territory with a new rotation schedule and block structure, WOTC’s reports suggest that the playerbase hasn’t increased as steadily in 2015 as in past years, and we have more tools than ever before to keep our finger on the pulse of the game that we love.

To be perfectly honest, the amount of content that is produced on a daily or weekly basis concerning MTG finance is staggering.We at MTGPrice have a staff of over a dozen writers, with at least two articles being released every weekday in addition to a running spoiler coverage of each upcoming set, as well as a number of other tools. We have MTG Stocks giving us daily and weekly interests so you can check what the most recent movers and shakers are and avoid getting ripped off while trading at FNM.  Sites like  MTGGoldfish also provide a ton of information to help you aggregate data about the metagame, frequency of specific cards appearing in decks, and showing you affordable lists that you can put together on a budget. Even /r/mtgfinance has grown to over 10,000 subscribers in the short couple of years it’s existed, and you can (usually) find a healthy discussion on whatever question or topic you want.

Too Much Information?

In reality, you can only consume so much of it all before you start to get diminishing returns. If you try to read every single MTG finance article that comes out on every single website daily, you’ll end up losing a large percentage of the information and not using the rest of it because it was irrelevant to you in particular. Don’t get the wrong idea; I do think that there’s value in a Modern player reading some of Jason’s articles about Commander, because you don’t want to miss out on Exsanguinates while picking your first collection. However, there’s a balance between ignoring the content available to you and trying to become the omniscient MTG finance guru just by spending three hours each day scouring articles and listening to podcasts.

Overload

The goal of this article is not to teach you something about bulk rares or the new Standard rotation. I’m not going to mention any specific cards to pick up or stay away from, nor pull a “review of 2015” out of thin air.

Instead, I want to start a discussion on how you can go about consuming Magic content more efficiently, and cutting out the content that you won’t use or need. This was something I wanted to write about because of something I read recently on /r/mtgfinance, where a Redditor was complaining that content concerning the finance aspect of our game was reaching a tipping point of quantity over quality. To an extent, I think there’s some truth to that. The existence of deadlines will inherently push for content to be created, even when there’s unfortunately not a lot to talk about.

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That’s where you come in. There are a few articles that follow this basic structure: “Here’s this thing I’m really good at. This is how you do that thing. These are the basics of doing that thing, and the rest of my articles will go into depth on it,” kind of like what I do with bulk rares. On the other side of the coin, there are so many more that are more of a “I think that thing Y might happen this way next year. There are a few reasons why that might be the case, and there are a couple of other reasons why that might not be true at all.” I’ve written my share of those as well, and it doesn’t feel great. It’s unfortunate, because these articles can make the reader feel like they wasted their time (hopefully this article hasn’t made you feel that way yet).

“So where do I come in to this equation?” –Some reader

Oh, right. I, for one, write articles to be treated as a starting point of discussion for whatever topic or question that I’m writing about. Even if you disagree with a point or idea that a writer has made, posting that can still contribute to the topic that we’re trying to unravel. When it comes to unexplored territory like the Expeditions lands, we don’t have anymore information than you do. If you want to absorb more information from each piece of content that you dedicate some amount of time to, it’s well worth it to type out your thoughts or responses in the comments section (if there is one), or start a discussion on Reddit or some other forum where like-minded individuals can politely bring up points and counterpoints.

Counterintelligence

With the MTG finance subreddit floodgates being opened back up, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping to see a lot of quality content being produced and posted there. The subreddit has gotten a lot of accusations of being “just a place for writers to dump their articles,” and I’m hoping that will change as the more experienced members of the community join together to downvote the random garbage that gets posted. Dedicated readers will gain a lot more from the forum through active participation and eventually creation of their own articles, like Jeremy did months ago.

Not Every Card/Article is Designed for You

Wizards gets a lot of hate for printing cards that “don’t do anything,” or cards that don’t appear to generate excitement for any player in the vocal market. If you’re following along on Jason’s and my spoiler coverage for Oath of the Gatewatch, you know that I’ve been very, uh, disappointed at the power level of several revealed rares so far. A card like Durdle Dragon #76 really grind my gears because I already know its financial future, there’s nothing exciting to read on the card itself, and it makes the set that much less exciting. However, that doesn’t mean that nobody cares about that card at all. There’s a reason Wizards continues to print durdle dragon after durdle angel: they continue to get new players hooked and excited when they open booster packs, similar to how those exact players complain about opening the same fetch lands and battle lands that get competitive players excited.

The same holds true for MTG finance content. I would honestly be shocked if you told me that you read every single article that comes out on MTGPrice, every day of the week. I’d be flattered, but still surprised. If you’re a Standard-only player who has no interest in grinding collections, then you might not need to read every single one of my articles (unless you’re looking for boyish charm and beautifully articulated word salad). I mostly write about how to grow your own individual collection into a store-esque situation where you turn into “that guy” at your LGS who has everything and is willing to part with everything. My articles aren’t designed for that Standard grinder in particular, unless he or she is looking to dive into the world of collection buying. Thankfully, we have Jim Casale on staff, a Standard grinder himself.

Organ Grinder

In short, there are better ways to learn about MTG finance than just reading every MTG finance article that pops up on your Twitter feed. I think questioning authors and creating your own content are steps in the right direction. Did I spend a week’s worth of writing telling you to post in the comments section, skim through some articles, and go join r/mtgfinance? Damn right I did. I relish in the irony of it all, and I’ll be back next week with a sequel to the best article ever written in the history of articles written.

End Step

Happy New Year!

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A Relatively Boring Day in the Life of a Low-Tier MTG Financier

Remember how last week I wrote about how I wasn’t going to try to find the next Outpost Siege or Mastery of the Unseen? While they’re both from a small and relatively unopened set and saw competitive play, they yielded very short-lived spikes that provided a limited window for making money before crashing to their previous fake-bulk-rare statuses. If you follow either me or MTGPrice’s own Sigmund Ausfresser on Twitter, then you may have seen this conversation pop up a couple days ago:

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rally

In my opinion,  Rally the Ancestors is the next version of Outpost Siege or Mastery of the Unseen. It saw camera time for a few minutes, smashed an event, and jumped on a hype train to $3 town. Sigmund and I disagreed in that I suggested that buying in at $1 is not correct, where he believes it could be a $5 card for long enough to make a reasonable amount of profit. As someone who refuses to pay retail on Magic cards practically on principle, I did not like the $1 buy-in on a Standard legal rare when I felt that buylists wouldn’t peak past 50 cents. I’ve seen too many Standard cards crash and burn to want to be a part of this, so I put my cards where my mouth/virtual pen is:

ABU

I only owned three copies of Rally, but I only paid 30 cents total for all of them. That’s one of those neat little side advantages for when you offer to buy or trade for everyone’s bulk rares at 10 cents each. As soon as Twitter proved me wrong about buylists willing to rally together about Rally, I dumped the few copies I had to ABUGames for a free $5, allowing me to move on to the next purchase. More often than not, that purchase will be buying staples at below buylist from people who have a need to sell. I’d rather spend that $5 on a Godless Shrine from someone who needs to pay her car insurance than on five copies of Rally the Ancestor while crossing my fingers and praying that they hit $2 to $2.50 on a buylist.

So About That Title…

Oh, right. I had this amazing ide—I mean…opening

Jared Tomlinson had this amazing idea where I’d go through and detail what my daily ritual as an MTG finance guy was. Let’s do that, because it sounds like fun, and I’m always a fan of being an open book about what my work actually looks like.

Dawn of the First Day

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Everyone should get used to checking the MTGstocks Interests page every day, including the oft-forgotten foils tab. Add it into your morning routine, check it while you’re eating breakfast or in the shower. This is one of the best ways to maintain an up-to-date finger on the pulse of what spikes have already happened, and it’s also a good way to predict future spikes before they happen. Without this page, I wouldn’t know that Life from the Loam had crept back up to $8 over the course of a few months.

interests

On a similar note, my daily ritual also includes scanning through my email for any new collection sellers, reader emails, school info, and ProTrader daily emails. If you’re not a ProTrader and are interested in becoming one, the the daily emails resemble something like this:

protraderemail

We have a lot of detailed and up-to-date information on the most recent inventory shifts from major stores, note buylist changes on hot cards, and inspire lots of regret when you realize you didn’t buy Hangarback Walker at $1 even though you just needed one for your artifact EDH deck. While I don’t get a whole ton of emails about my Craigslist advertisement, I still try to update the listing once a month or so. A lot of the casual players or returners who  buy my instant-collection 1K boxes end up being recurring customers who keep my phone number for future reference.

craigslist article

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Call Me, Beep Me

Speaking of “customers keeping my phone number for future use,” locals texting me about their needs is one of my biggest outs for cards. I’ve talked about this at length before, but it’s the biggest lesson I think I can impart about how to make money off of this game: be the first one that everyone texts to buy or sell their cards. Networking is key, and I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

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As such, part of my daily MTG finance ritual is pulling out lists that I get sent, compiling them into neat little piles, and giving out price quotes on how much a list will cost a customer. Sometimes I have to use outside resources to complete the full list that I’m sent, and that’s where PucaTrade comes in very handy.

pucareceived

When you can sell cards locally at close to full retail, buying PucaPoints from third-party sources at 70 cents per 100 points doesn’t seem like a bad deal. I buy a bunch of points, wait for a list to come to my phone, and then end up selling the cards that I pick up from Puca at close to TCGplayer mid, depending on what the cards are. I use Twitter, Facebook groups, and the PucaTrade subreddit to find third-party PucaPoint sellers, and treat it just like a Facebook collection purchase: I only buy if the seller is reputable with multiple references that can be confirmed, and pay with Paypal non-gift if there are any questions about the seller’s ability to immediately send me the points. So far I’ve had zero troubles, though, and don’t mind jumping through a single extra hoop to convert PucaPoints into cash at a 100-percent rate.

Case-by-Case Basis

Finally, let’s talk about my display case that I mention in almost every single article I write. Contrary to what might be popular belief, I don’t have some huge LGS-level inventory that’s constantly filled with shocks, fetches, dual lands, and other staples. Because the videogame store where the case is located doesn’t hold FNMs or other Magic tournaments, there isn’t a huge demand for staples in the case. The competitive players all know me and can text me like in the above situations if they need staples.

display case

So what do I fill the case with? Well, mainly I just throw a bunch of $1 to $3 cards in it that are popular in EDH or casual deck archetypes. When I first started out with the case, I initially had it full of Vendilion Cliques, Tundras, and other pricey, competitive cards. I stocked lots of high-end staples at reasonable prices, and I expected to sell a bunch of them to the competitive players in my area. The problem was that most of the Magic players coming into the store were gamers of a different breed: they were looking for N64s, Xbox controllers, and Nintendo DS cartridges, and they played Magic on the side as a kitchen-table hobby. They didn’t care for the $70 singles in the case, so I adapted and made some changes. Although the case doesn’t look like anything special, I sell a lot more copies of Reliquary Tower, Sanguine Bond, and Imperious Perfect now than I ever sold of Steam Vents.

And just in case I do find a wayward competitive player who didn’t expect the video game store to sell Magic cards, I have a full stock of business cards behind the counter for the employees to hand out. If someone is looking for a complete Modern Affinity deck, they’re more than welcome to text, call, or email me and we can work something out where I compile the cards for their own list.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Lol, that case has like practically nothing in it,” then I don’t blame you. I probably only sell 15 to 20 cards a week out of it, and the $1 to $3 rares don’t make me a massive amount of money. I get more from the 1K boxes and 25-cent bulk rare boxes that sit above and next to the case, and they’re more consistent sellers.

bulk rare boxes

However, the presence of my cards in a physical retail store offers me a larger advantage on collection buying than most of the other competitive buyers in my area. Instead of a Craigslist-esque meeting where you agree to meet under a Walmart street lamp at 10:00 p.m. while wearing dark baggy clothing, it’s much more simple for me to tell people to meet me at an established retail location where I can sit on the other end of a counter before I roll out the typical vendor mat.

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I even get collections sent to me that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise without the storefront. Believe it or not, there’s an overlap between people walking into a used video game store who are looking to relive their childhood memories with Mario Kart 64 and those who have old collections of Magic cards in their basement that they’ve forgotten about. Every now and then, my old manager at Infinite Lives tells me about a conversation he had that went something like this:

Seller: “Hey, I used to play Magic. I didn’t know you guys sold the cards here.”

IL: “Yep. We have a guy who comes in and fills up the case. He does this for a job.”

Seller: “Does he buy cards? I think I have a bunch in my basement from like ten years ago.”

IL: “Yep, here’s his business card. Call or text him and he’ll be glad to look through your stuff.”

While most of you probably don’t have this type of situation, I think it’s important to look around at the connections you might be able to make, niches to fill, and see if you can’t establish a position in the community similar to what I’ve done. It wasn’t more than a few years ago that I was a simple high-school FNM grinder with limited cash from a part-time job at K-Mart. If I can turn this into a daily ritual with multiple sources of income, anyone can. Good luck!

As always, feel free to shoot out any comments or questions using the multiple methods you have available. If this article shows anything, it’s that I’m an easy-to-contact individual.


 

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The Mailbag Article

By: Douglas Johnson

Welcome back! The week after Vegas has been anything but dull, at least in terms of Modern cards jumping up and down (mostly up).  

Last week, I ended on the note that I would take specific requests concerning the financial side of Magic and answer them this week in as much detail as I could.  Thankfully, I got a few responses to that, which at least proves that there are a few people who read this column. After answering some questions, I’ll go over a few of the Modern cards that jumped in price this past week, and what you should do with them depending on how many copies you own.

I’ll throw in a disclaimer first though: due to the speculative nature associated with some of these questions, my answers are not guaranteed to have a higher percentage of being correct than any of your guesses. None of us know what’s going to be in Battle for Zendikar, and my being a financier doesn’t give me an edge in those predictions.

Question #1

Question1

First off, we have Jeremy B. asking when the correct time to upgrade his Zendikar fetch lands in his Commander deck is. He’s wondering if the (assumed) reprint in Battle for Zendikar will affect the original printing’s foil price, or if the shock lands will prove to set an example of “original print foils creeping above $100.” There’s also a follow-up question about the ideal time to pick up foil copies of Survival of the Fittest and Wasteland. Even though my record with predicting fetch land reprints is not exactly stellar, I’m more than willing to vomit my opinions and thoughts onto the internet.

The general consensus on whether fetch lands will be in BFZ or not is pretty divided, but I’m standing firmly in the camp of, “Yes, Wizards will bring them back in the fall set with new art.” While this would put all ten fetches into Standard at the same time for six months, I’m willing to believe that those six months will be the last part of ripping off the Band-Aid  of the new Standard rotation scheme. If they do end up in the set, foils of the new art will definitely be cheaper as product pours into the players hands en masse. That part is the no-brainer. But will the original Zendikar foils drop as well? I’m inclined to believe they will, but not by a huge amount.

An Onslaught foil Polluted Delta will run you about $400, and a large part of that is tied to a group of people who believe that old-border foils are the only way to play Magic. A 2005 foil Temple Garden is almost $75, because the old art is apparently loved by a larger group of people. I’m willing to believe that the same will hold true for these fetches—there will be people who want to believe that “older is better,” and this will keep the price tag up above the new foils—but they will still drop a bit, as some players will want to liquidate their foils in the face of the announcement.

As for Jeremy’s situation specifically: I think you can definitely wait on the fetch lands for your deck. You said in your message that you’re patient and that these aren’t something you need immediately for an event. Your Commander deck is fully functional with non-foils for the time being, and I don’t think anyone will fault you for not having the most expensive version of a card that appears to be imminent for a reprint.

Now, let’s talk about the desire for foils of Survival and Wasteland. The former is easy to get out of the way: it’s on the reserved list, so bite the bullet now and buy or trade for one if you really want it. It is not going to be printed again, and it’s an iconic enough art that it won’t be forgotten easily. I think you’re safe buying in now, and you shouldn’t have to work too hard to move it if you ever take apart the deck. If you’re patient, you can probably find one on a Facebook group or eBay auction for under $250.

SurvivalOfTheFittestjudge

Regarding Wasteland, I’ve had multiple discussions with my colleagues about whether or not Wasteland could be reprinted in Modern or even Standard. The card’s power level in those formats can be debated by those who play the game at a much higher level than I do, but my concern is focused more on whether or not WOTC feels that its presence would be promoting a healthy game type. Wizards hasn’t printed Stone Rain in forever, and it’s not because the card is overpowered. Early and immediate land destruction just isn’t where WOTC wants to take the game, so I’m inclined to believe that buying into a foil Wateland for your commander deck is still safe. It’s not as safe as a foil Survival, but it’s better than foil fetches. Your best bet for grabbing both without Wastelanding your wallet is definitely through a trade binder or eBay/Facebook auctions for cash.

Question #2

Question3

Next up we have another question concerning Battle for Zendikar. Spencer asks if I think there will be new Eldrazi to replace the current ones, as well as what other reprints we might see from the original Zendikar. I don’t think that WOTC needs to one-up their Eldrazi from last time, especially since they’ve already tied the lore to those three specific titans. What I do think is possible is printing three “new forms” of Ulamog, Kozilekand Emrakul, similar to what was done with Niv-Mizzet in RTR. He was an iconic character that they wanted to “touch up,” so Wizards just printed a different version of him. I think the same is potentially true with the three Eldrazi, as I’m not sure how “fun” the originals were seen to be.

Niv-

Spell Pierce is an interesting case study, especially since I saw practically zero people complaining about the fact that it wasn’t in Modern Masters 2015. It’s a $2 common with a $35 foil, but I don’t think it or Goblin Guide will be in BFZ. Maybe I’m horribly wrong, but I think RTR is an excellent model that Wizards will use this fall when returning to Zendikar. Return to Ravnica actually had zero non-land reprints from the original block in 2005 and 2006, using the ten shock lands to support a significant portion of the nostalgia from the old set, while they got to spend the rest of the block creating and shaping new identities for the guilds and their members. The company could certainly do the same thing here and choose a different style of full-art lands to help hype up the set. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see Pierce or Guide pop up in a supplemental product soon, but I don’t think either will be in the upcoming fall set.

Question #3:

Question6

Liliana has almost reached the finish line in the race of $100 Modern singles, and foil Tarmogoyf has maintained its throne as the Modern Lotus of Magic (in fact, Maynard’s Goyf from Vegas sold for more than some Lotuses). I think the right answer to this question depends on your personal goals and what you’re planning to do with the cards in the future. If you plan on completing a set of foil Goys or hope to continue trading upwards and grinding value, then I think the single $350 bill is the place to be. The only situations I can think of where you might want to keep the Lilianas is if you’re planning on using them in a deck in the near future, or if you don’t have access to trading or selling very frequently and were planning on holding them for a few months. While the Goyf is better value at this moment, the Lilianas are quickly catching up and have a chance to pass the Goyf six months from now, as a rough guess.

lilianaoftheveil

 

Personally, I’d rather have the foil Goyf, and just sell it right now for $270, instead of selling the three Lilianas for $240.

Question #4:

Question4

Question5

Wow. Thanks to WUBRG from the MTGPrice ProTrader forums for the lengthy discussion topic! Reprints have definitely been the hot topic of late, with everyone wanting to maximize on value and not be screwed over by their expensive cards suddenly being worth nothing. This question is actually pretty similar to the first one I answered, but there’s definitely room to expand on where I would place my own money. Instead of buying into casual foils that were reprinted in Modern Masters 2015, I would prefer to put my money on reserved-list stuff, as you said. Sigmund recently touched on this, and I completely agree that Modern is not the place you want to be for long-term investments.

You suggested that “pimp” EDH cards will always have demand, even if Magic dies, but I have to disagree. If the game dies, none of those cards will matter anymore. I think the only thing that would potentially hold value is Power, Alpha, Beta, and maybe dual lands. The “pimp” factor makes cards a lot harder to move, especially when there is a higher percentage of players who just want the cheapest copies available to foil out their decks. If you’re just looking to “hold” value and prevent your cards from being absolutely decimated by reprints, then I think you’re fine, but I definitely wouldn’t use it as a solid investment strategy. Buying multiple copies of EDH staples and planning to sell them at a later date results in the huge inconvenience of moving them all, as I’ve learned the hard way by still owning over 45 copies of Ghave, Guru of Spores. Foils are even slower to move, so you’ll likely end up having to buylist them for a very minimal profit.

ghaveguruofspores

There’s also a pretty significant factor to consider in the similarity or difference in artwork between printings. If the artwork never changes, then the original printing becomes much less of a premium if the only differing factors are the set symbol and the hologram at the bottom. Take Creakwood Liege for example: the Modern Masters 2015 foil is $10 and the Eventide one is $15. If you buy into the Eventide foil at $10 for a 33-percent discount, who do you plan on selling it to? There’s no real flair to it that differentiates it as unique, so you’ll have to find someone who really cares about the set symbol. If you really want to invest in first-printing foils, pick something with a different art or different border.

End Step

In other news, there were several Modern singles that spiked over this past week. Oblivion Stone, Creeping Tar Pit, and Olivia Voldaren joined forces to make you miserable if you have to buy them now, and they form a team of “fringe playable cards in Modern that are now worth a lot more than you probably thought they would be.” If you have them, sell them. This article comes out on Thursday, but you should still be able to get a better deal than a week ago.  Meanwhile, Blood Moon is dropping back down, to the surprise of nobody. While it won’t go back to its previous $25 to $30, you can wait until the decline stops at $45 or $50 instead of buying in at $60.

So what do you do? Modern is supposed to be this reprint-centric, accessible format, but we also have $20 Tar Pits running around. Do you buy into a Modern legal-card that hasn’t spiked yet and hope it goes up, or do you wait and cross your fingers for a reprint like MMA15 before buying in ? Let me know in the comments what your approach to Modern singles is, because I’m curious about the different approaches that people are using.

Thanks for reading!

 

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