Tag Archives: Grinder Finance

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:



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:


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


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.


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:


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

cl ad

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.




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.


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.


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.


Grinder Finance – Week One and Capitalizing on Hype

Last week in Chicago we got our first taste of Standard with Magic Origins, and there were 3 G/R Devotion decks in the top 8.  To be perfectly honest, 7 of the top 8 decks were just slight rehashes of existing decks.  In an extreme example of this, Logan Mize decided to cut a whole color from his deck and avoid playing any cards from the last two sets.  It’s unlikely any real metagame shifting changes will happen before the Pro Tour in a few weeks but that doesn’t stop people from going crazy.  What did I spend my weekend doing? Getting rid of cards!



My go-to for getting rid of cards I don’t need is Pucatrade.  It’s a bit of investment to get started but clearly shows it’s advantages upon new set releases.  A lot of the cards from this set are at the highest prices they will ever be and it’s a quick and easy way to earn some value for them.  For those that are uninitiated, Pucatrade is an online trading program that matches users want lists with other user’s have lists.  For the price of a few stamps, envelopes, and toploaders you can send off your unwanted or hard to trade cards for “Puca Points” which are essentially worth 1 penny.  Although they have no cash value, the value of a card is based on an aggregate fair trade price that is displayed in Puca Points that works out to about 100 Puca Points is $1.

That being said, how many of you thought you could get 65 cents in trade for an Outland Colossus?  While most of the cards listed might end up being bulked to a vendor, release week is a great chance to trade them away for non-bulk values.  But there are also some non-bulk cards that are worth selling into the hype.  I’m not a fan of holding onto Goblin Piledrivers right now.  There is too high of a chance that this price is based mostly on nostalgia and not enough on actual power.  The worst case scenario is that I have to pick up a playset in a month for about the same price.  Most standard legal rares have a very hard time staying above $10 even when they’re as ubiquitous as Siege Rhino.  Goblin Rabblemaster is one of the most recent exceptions to the rule because of how flexible it was in many different deck types.  Unfortunately for Piledriver, he requires a bunch of goblin buddies to be good.


What else should we do besides selling off cards we aren’t planning on using for the next two months? Digging out important commons from your pre-release pools is a big deal.  For every playset of impressively expensive Shaman of the Pack you find, you could also save yourself a few bucks by picking out Clash of Wills and Sphinx’s Tutelage too.  There’s a number of powerful uncommons that I would recommend just setting aside for later use.

In no particular order, these commons and uncommons strike me as useful:

  • Bounding Krasis
  • Blood-Cursed Knight
  • Shaman of the Pack
  • Foundry of the Consuls
  • Mage-Ring Network
  • Leaf Gilder
  • Gather the Pack
  • Elvish Visionary
  • Dwynen’s Elite
  • Aerial Volley
  • Sylvan Messenger
  • Nissa’s  Pilgrimage
  • Magmatic Insight
  • Goblin Glory Chaser
  • Fiery Impulse
  • Subterranean Scout
  • Smash to Smithereens
  • Dragon Fodder
  • Enlightened Ascetic
  • Consul’s Lieutenant
  • Celestial Flare
  • Swift Reckoning
  • Chief of the Foundry
  • Artificer’s Epiphany
  • Negate
  • Clash of Wills
  • Sphinx’s Tutelage
  • Eyeblight Massacre
  • Fleshbag Maurader
  • Gnarlroot Trapper
  • Nantuko Husk
  • Read the Bones
  • Thornbow Archer

While some of these you may have from older sets, it’s important to note you can glean $10-20 from picking through your “draft trash” that would otherwise have been spent at a vendor the day of a tournament.  It’s important to note it’s hard to keep a small collection and not lose money by having to rebuy cards you sold earlier.  Ideally we keep an equilibrium of selling cards when they’re high and buying when they’re low but if we can avoid buying cards all together then it’s just a win more.

Investment Hour:

There are a few cards I think that are pretty good to pick up now but you shouldn’t rush out to buy them right this second.  I would keep them on my radar for trades this weekend.



If we ever get to a point in standard where people ask the question “What is the most powerful planeswalker in Standard?” and the answer is not Ugin then we will have a problem.  This guy is at a low point in his life cycle and despite being only a single copy in most decks he still commands a price point over $25.  Fate Reforged is notably better than the last middle set (Born of the Gods) but still suffers from middle set syndrome that makes it scarcely opened product.  Ugin’s life cycle is further increased by his tag teaming with Karn in Tron in Modern.  When you top if off with the casual appeal, it’s hard to ever see him dropping below $20 without a Duel Deck printing.  I think now is a fine time to pick up this dragon Planeswalker in preparation for a new Standard rotation in the fall.

127 143160


Mono-red decks have always been popular with casual players because of their low price point.  Recently with the emergence of Atarka Red as a truly powerful force, aggressive red decks have been able to sustain some weird prices.  Goblin Rabblemaster and Stoke the Flames are poster children for aggressive red cards that are worth a ton more than they probably should be.  I believe Exquisite Firecraft is an easy Five Dollar bill for the next year and a half.  Abbot of Keral Keep and Scab-Clan Berserker can tag team some control heavy metagames while also being very reasonably priced aggressive threats.  I’m especially bullish on the fact that Scab-Clan Berserker can often get in 4 damage before paying the Ultimate Price which is significantly better than the very popular Eidolon of the Great Revel.  If red aggressive decks are not your thing then you may want to pass on these but I would get well acquainted with their power level.



Grinder Finance: Prerelease Week Edition

Editor’s note: Jim Casale is back this week with his second Grinder Finance article. This series is perfect for the average player looking to stretch their Magic budget just a little bit more, so enjoy!

By Jim Casale

So with the prerelease looming this weekend, it’s a good time to talk about what to do before a new set release. I will preface this by saying that, 99% of the time, it’s not worth pre-ordering new cards. The ones that are pre-ordering quickly become not worth pre-ordering and written media is not a quick enough media to inform you of good buys. For that reason, I intend this article to expand on the ways to self evaluate cards and determine if they are worth ordering for you.

An important distinction to make is how this set fits into the rotation scheme and how it affects drafting. Sets that are released and replace the booster packs that are currently being drafted have a different impact on older cards than sets that change or add to the current draft format. For example, the release of Fate Reforged did not remove Khans of Tarkir completely from the draft format. Yes you drafted one less pack, but it is still being opened. What this meant is that the supply of cards from Khans of Tarkir was still increasing while the bottleneck for deck building would be cards from Fate Reforged. Unlike in Modern, Standard bottlenecks are quickly solved by the supply of cards from drafts and Magic Online redemption (although this happens much later).


Being able to predict the bottlenecks for decks is a difficult task, but very rewarding if you are able to figure it out. Standard has the same style of bottlenecking that is more pronounced in Modern but it lasts for a much shorter period of time. When the Esper Dragons deck became popular in Standard, Dragonlord Ojutai was a $35 or more card for a few weeks, not months or years like in the case with Modern. Being able to stay ahead of that crowd by purchasing cards during their cheap period is the way to make playing Magic more affordable.

Now what we have now with Magic Origins is a completely new draft format. The bottlenecks for the upcoming standard will likely be cards from Khans of Tarkir block and the absolute most powerful all-star cards from Magic Origins. Due to the fact that Dragons of Tarkir was not drafted as much as Khans of Tarkir despite being a large set since drafting was cut off early with the release of Modern Masters 2015, I think the cards in the set have the largest ability to get expensive. We’ve already seen how many great cards have come out of the set despite it being one the lowest pre-order prices in recent history. I am going to suggest anyone who doesn’t own all the cards from Dragons of Tarkir that they might play to pick them up quickly.

Outside of the obviously power cards like the Dragonlords, Deathmist Raptor, Collected Company, and Kolaghan’s Command, there are a lot of cards that don’t get enough appreciation. I’m going to highlight a few I’ve even begun to grab in the past few weeks to bolster my collection.

  • Ojutai’s Command & Silumgar’s Command: We’ve seen from the other 3 Dragonlords’ Commands, the power level is there it just needs to find a use for the modes. Despite the fact that Ojutai’s Command is the Buy-A-Box promo, I think it has room to grow. It has a lot of upside being able to return the new Jace and Gideon planeswalkers to the battlefield. With the impending rotation of Hero’s Downfall, Silumgar’s Command is the only card able to destroy planeswalkers. That alone may bring up its playability.
  • Den Protector: You almost always see Deathmist Raptor accompanied with Den Protector but there are also many green decks that will just play Den Protector by itself. At a $5-6 rare from an under-opened large set it doesn’t have a lot of financial upside but can see a week or two where supply is pressured due to the “Deck of the Month” syndrome and you’ll wish you already owned them.
  • Ojutai’s Exemplars, Risen Executioner, Dragon Whisperer, Shaman of the Forgotten Ways, Dragonlord Kolaghan: What do all of these cards have in common? They’re pretty close to bulk level mythics and have decent enough stats to see Standard play. With a lot of important Theros staples rotation soon, I don’t think there will be a cheaper time to pick these up. The downside is that you never play them in the next year and they stay the same price.
  • Soulfire Grand Master: Wait, what? This isn’t from Dragons of Tarkir. Well if you thought that, you are correct. This is a personal opinion of mine but I think Soulfire Grand Master will fit perfectly into the upcoming metagame. It’s at an all time low and casual appeal should continue to keep it buoyed for the next few years. I can see it filling a similar role to Rakshasa Deathdealer and Fleecemane Lion because it is a 2 mana creature that can eat your excess mana later in the game for value. Fate Reforged is a rather unpopular set so there could be supply problems in the future.


So enough about old cards, what do I buy from the new set? The only thing I’d recommend ordering is painlands if you don’t already own them. We’ll have them for another few months and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pick them up for much less than $2. It’s hard to go wrong when the old Core set lands are still worth a few dollars after being printed into oblivion. I’m honestly not very jazzed on the price points of many of these cards. I think the trajectory will look a lot like M15 and we will see large price drops across the board in the next month or so. I’ve personally only ordered 3 Erebos’ Titan because I know I will be playing them on release day but nothing else really strikes me as worth buying currently.

Day's Undoing

That being said, I’m cautiously optimistic about a few cards. The more times I read Gilt-Leaf Winnower the more I think it’s a lot like Flame-Tongue Kavu and less like Skinthinner.   I’m going to try to pick up some at the prerelease for a buck or two and hang onto them for later. It’s hard to evaluate the Menace ability but if this was a 5 mana 4/3 flyer it would probably get a lot more looks. I think there is a strong parallel to Icefall Regent as it also has a relevant tribal type and evasion.

I’m also pretty interested in picking up some Mizzium Meddlers on release day as it will be a promo given to everyone. I think the card could see some looks in Modern as a replacement that fills in for Spellskite while Kolaghan’s Command remains popular.

That being said I hope you enjoy the pre-release and next week I’ll talk more about Modern and the future impact of reprints on the price of decks.

Grinder Finance: The True Price of a Deck

Editor’s Note: Jim Casale is a talented writer who has a lot of insights into how to get the most of your money when it comes to actually playing Magic, and we’re excited to welcome him to the MTGPrice team! I’m looking forward to seeing his content here every Tuesday.

– Corbin


By Jim Casale


I’m sure many of the readers of this article consider themselves players of Magic: the Gathering, a collectable card game unlike many others in its longevity and the size of its player base. The biggest barrier to entry for many players, like myself is the cost of buying the cards needed to play. I’m here to explain how to best avoid paying too much for the cards you need to play the game. Unlike many columns on this website, mine is not focused for the people that want to speculate on cards. My goal is to find the best time for players to buy the cards they need to play with. These cards may go up in price or may not but the value that you’re gaining here is by playing with the cards.

Many people have noticed the recent soaring price of modern cards. Snapcaster Mage, Blood Moon, Olivia Voldaren, Raging Ravine, Oblivion Stone, and Heritage Druid are just a few of the cards that seem to become unreasonably expensive. But what is the reason for all of this? Is it some black market underground dojo keyboard cagefighter speculators or real demand? Well it’s complicated but it’s most likely artificial demand not caused by buyouts but by players who are worried if they don’t buy now it will only go up. Panic is the real problem here. We need to be confident in our purchases and be able to build towards the deck we want to play in the future.


Which brings us to my point, what is the true cost of a deck? How does someone decide to “buy in” to a deck?

I have a theory to answer all of that. For many Magic players, cards they already own are a sunk cost. When debating what deck to play they do not associate the cards they already own as “costing” anything to them. Which makes a lot of sense, since you don’t have to go out and buy or trade for those cards. This artificially lowers the cost of a deck. If you already own Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite, Snapcaster Mage, and Cryptic Command then it’s a lot cheaper to play the Splinter Twin deck, even if you don’t own any Splinter Twins.   The bottleneck is the card that is stopping people from making a deck and it is generally the most costly card in said deck.

Did you notice what cards got reprinted in Modern Masters 2015? Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, Bitterblossom, Vendilion Clique, and friends are all expensive staples that are the bottle neck to building their respective decks.



How does someone who wants to build Jund look at the deck? Have you ever heard anyone complain about the price of Terminate as being the reason they are reluctant to build the deck? Absolutely not. They can’t afford the Tarmogoyfs, Liliana of the Veil and Dark Confidants that make up the most expensive parts of the deck. The true cost of the deck is not realized when the barriers are set so high. If a player opens a few of the expensive cards he or she needs to build the deck then true cost of a deck gets lower.


This is what is causing the spikes in cards that used to be “cheap.” Snapcaster Mage is the prime example of a card that is bottlenecking anyone from playing a blue deck in Modern. Previous bottlenecks to blue decks have been printed a ton recently and help build more interest in completing decks. The previous bottlenecks to build these style of decks were lands, Vendilion Clique, and Cryptic Command. I would venture to guess that with the abundance of shocklands from RTR block and the flood of fetchlands from KTK block that lands are no longer the biggest barrier to entry to building these decks. Vendilion Clique and Cryptic Command are on their third printing as of MM2015 and you don’t need 4 copies of either card to play the deck.

Where does that leave us? Well, at the point we are now. The demand for Snapcaster Mage rises because the true cost of building their deck is lower. If you need 4 Snapcaster Mages to finish your deck completely and they cost $25 then it’s pretty reasonable to spend the $100 and finish it off. If enough people do that then that causes the price of a card to rise. Snapcaster Mage can retail for almost $100 now despite being $30-40 throughout most of last year. Consumer confidence in its statistically-low chance of being reprinted coupled with the lowered true price of the decks, makes this card’s price sky-rocket.

What can we do about it now? Not really a whole lot. Maybe Snapcaster Mage will be next year’s GP promo. Maybe we have to wait until MM2016 or MM2017 for a reprint. Either way it looks like in the near future we won’t see a decline. The only reason eternally playable cards decrease in price is because of lowered consumer confidence because of a reprint, the actual reprint, and the card falling out of favor. The key to playing Magic affordably is to plan longer term.

Because four Lightning Bolts were not enough.

The true price of a deck can be very low if you want it to be. Patience and smart purchases can lead to large savings down the road. I play Splinter Twin in Modern and have spent maybe $200 on cards for it in the last year. That’s a far cry from the $400 it would take just to buy a set of Snapcaster Mage. The key to this is finding the next bottleneck and purchasing those cards ahead of time.

Even right now, I can see a few cards that could bottleneck players in the future. For instance, if you don’t already own your shocklands I can’t recommend buying them any later. The market has been slow to mature due to their low played count in Modern but if we get more juicy land reprints in Battle For Zendikar (like many people suppose we will) then the hardest lands to get will be shocklands. Due to how flooded the market is, I doubt we will see them reprinted again in the near future (next 3-5 years). I would also recommend picking up a set of Khans of Tarkir fetch lands. They’ve bottomed out and started to rise and it really doesn’t get cheaper than now. If we don’t get Zendikar fetchlands in Battle For Zendikar then it is likely they fetches rise even faster. The key to finding out when to buy in is important. For Modern this season, the best time to buy cards not in MM2015 was once the spoiler was finished. The time to buy cards in MM2015 was the week before Vegas or on site if you were able to attend.

The next thing to consider is the reprintability and reprint schedule for cards. This doesn’t apply to Standard usually, but Modern-legal cards are frequently printed in a cycle. It seems Wizards of the Coast is intent on Modern Masters every two years and it will introduce new copies of existing cards too strong for Standard. When Modern Masters 2015 was announced it was also announced cards from that set would be no newer than New Phyrexia, meaning Innistrad and Return to Ravnica block cards were safe from reprint. That should have been your cue to buy the cards you need from those sets. You can wait as long as possible to see if a reprint is coming, but the backlash for an anticipated reprint not being in the set is fierce. Right now Scalding Tarn and Misty Rainforest’s price is inhibited by the anticipation of a reprint. If there is none, don’t be surprised to see them jump.

For Standard players, there is a cycle that ensures you always get your cards for the lowest price. Right now Dragons of Tarkir cards are insanely cheap. Planeswalkers that pre-ordered for $40 or more are now $8-10. With a lot of Standard’s heavily played walkers rotating out soon, it’s never been a better time to get into Tarkir Block cards. If you named the most played planeswalkers in standard you’d probably end up with Elspeth, Ashiok, Xenagos, and Nissa, right? Those all rotate in a few months. The Tarkir block walkers (Sarkhan, Sorin, Ugin, Sarkhan Unbroken, and Narset) are poised to take over. While it’s true some of those cards may not go up in price, it’s pretty likely they will also not go down. Bulk planeswalkers can usually hold a $5-6 value and heavily played ones can skyrocket past $30. I personally did myself a favor and bought a playset of all of the DTK mythics except the Dragonlords and Deathmist Raptor. It’s hard to go wrong there and it will definitely help the true cost of your deck in the future.

In the future I hope this column will help you buy into cards at the best possible time and take some of the surprise out of price jumps. As we are quickly approaching the release of Magic Origins, I will be addressing cards that I think you should preorder next week!

– Jim Casale