Finally – I have a few more trades to talk about!
This first trade happened at the Innistrad prerelease. In earlier times, I could have probably gotten 5-6 Pack to Power trades done at this prerelease, but the loss of big regional events has hit traders harder than almost anyone else. Instead of getting to trade with dozens of people, I only had the chance to pull out my binder a handful of times.
The fact that I was crammed onto a stool between comic shelves hurt too, as there was less than no trading space at the store I attended. Nevertheless, I made one thing happen:
Trade #104 (+$15.48)
- Urabrask the Hidden x2 – $9.98
- Leyline of Sanctity – $3.49
- Puresteel Paladin – $3.99
- Blade Splicer (Foil) – $7.99
- Sun Titan – $9.99
This trade greatly benefits from the jump that Sun Titan took this past weekend. Before that, they just sat in binders for around $5 and no one ever really wanted them. The Urabrasks never really panned out, but my trade partner valued them around $8 (I wasn’t sure how low they had gotten, but I was absolutely willing to part with them for $8!) which lead us to the deal we ended up making.
I don’t expect to move the foil Splicer for full value, but it’s a quality card and hopefully someone will want it for a cube or Standard. The others should all be relatively easy to move, though I’ll be trying to get rid of the Sun Titan soon and capitalize on its current hype.
Trade #105 (+$1.97)
- Darksteel Forge – $9.99
- Dismember x4 – $11.96
This trade happened at FNM last week, and was far more frustrating then it needed to be. The trader was one of those kids who shares a binder/collection with a couple other friends, meaning that he needed the approval of his buddy before completing a deal. I typically don’t even bother trading with people who do this, but the guy really wanted my Forge and I knew he’d give me a little bit of value to make the deal happen.
My trade partner was reluctant to give up the set of Dismembers for just the Forge, so we ended up exploring a bigger deal that would have had a Lotus Cobra + dollar rare coming back to me and a foil Awakening Zone and a Braid of Fire going back toward him.
With the Cobra down to $7 retail, this would have a been a better deal for him, but his friend vetoed it immediately. I was more than happy to walk away from the trade entirely at this point, but my partner finally convinced his friend to let him swap the Dismembers for the Forge.
I see no reason to rush a trade of the Dismembers. Like the Forge, they will hold value both in the short and long term. In fact, once the event decks start becoming less common, I expect that it will once again be easy to get $5+ for a Dismember – heck, that’s quite possible already the morning before a major tournament!
Trade #106 (+$2.02)
- Sword of Feast and Famine – $34.99
- Grave Titan x2 – $19.98
- Day of Judgment – $1.49
- Jace, the Mind Sculptor- $54.99
- Visions of Beyond – $3.49
Even though the first trade gained considerably more value, I am a much bigger fan of this one at this point in my project.
The sword, remember, came from a trade I made dumping a Tezzeret, AOB at the height of its value. While it is currently the most valuable card in SOM block, I think it is an inherently risky card still. I could see it dropping back down to the $20 range at some point before slowly rising due to casual/eternal play.
The Jace, on the other hand, will likely never be lower than $54.99. I valued it at $60 in trade, but put the sword at $40. He is the greatest planeswalker that will probably ever see print, and is still a card that I am constantly asked for by everyone. Who doesn’t want a Jace?
At this point, the significant assets in the book are the Grim Tutor, the $56 cash, the foil Misty Rainforest, the Natural Order, and the Jace. That’s pretty good, but I’ll need a few more to make it to the beta Time Walk!
I’m back with a couple more updates!
Trade #102 (+$0.00)
- Entomb (HP) x4 – $56
- Fifty-Six Dollars – $56
The Entomb trade was a crazy one at the time, though I always believed that getting the set for $20 total in trade was a coup. That said, it’s been almost a year now, and I’ve never gotten so much as a nibble on them. Even with Reanimator experience a resurgence in Legacy.
My other worry is that the card will be reprinted in Premium Decks: Graveborn. The list is coming out any day now, and I don’t want to be stuck with four completely useless cards. With foil Entombs available at your local Wal*Mart, who on earth would give me ANYTHING for my beat up ones?
That weighing heavily on my mind, I decided to put the set up on eBay for $70 with free shipping.
I found a buyer within ten minutes. I guess I should have held out for more.
Anyway, here’s the full breakdown of the auction:
$70 – Sale Price of Auction
- $0.50 – Auction Listing Insertion Fee
- $8.40 – eBay Final Value Fee (12.0 % of Final Sale Price)
- 2.03 – PayPal Payment Received Fee (2.9% of Sale Price + Shipping Price)
-1.71 – First Class Parcel Mailing Fee
-0.80 – Delivery Confirmation Fee
-0.20 – Top Loader + Envelope
Total Profit = $56.36 (rounded down to $56 for the project)
Considering the trade was effectively 1x Mutavault for all four Entombs, getting almost $60 cash out of my Mutavault seems awesome.
I am also excited to have a little bit of cash to play with! I will put a land in the back of the book as a marker for the cash, and I am going to allow myself to use is any way I want. It can be part of the final push for power, it can be used for speculation, purchasing cards, or to pay for shipping on online trades.
What do YOU think the $56 should be used for?
Trade #103 (+$5.50)
- Wurmcoil Engine (foil Promo) – $6.99
- Phantasmal Image- $11.99
- Trench Gorger – $0.50
I think this trade is closer than it looks at first glance. The promo Wurmcoil is sold out at $6.99 at CFB, and regular ones sell around $10. I believe the promo is worth close to $10 too with the chance to grow.
Phantasmal Image, though, is an even better card. It’s recently climbed to $12, and we are almost done collectively opening M12. The card sees play in every format, and I am trading heavily for them.
I must confess that I thought the Image was more in the $9-$10 range, and I was also hoping that the Gorger was secretly one of those Commander rares that goes for like $5. To be fair, this trade was made during the Magic celebration when I had a horrible headache and I could barely tell up from down. It’s honestly a miracle I was able to make a solid trade at all.
I also had the experience of seeing the guy next to me open a FOIL Phantasmal Image, a card I REALLY need for my cube, and watching him shuffle it over and over again with no sleeves and refuse to even talk about selling it or trading it after the event. This is now the second time I’ve tried to buy one of these suckers off a player, and no luck yet
Until next time -
- Chas Andres
I was hoping that trade #100 would be monolithic. Maybe it would even be my final step before power!
Alas, that was not meant to be.
Trade #100 was every bit like the 20 or so proceeding it, wherein I traded away cards that very few people want for more valuable cards that quite a few people want.
Note: with Channel Fireball down for the moment, I am using Star City Games for my prices.
Trade #100 (+$9.26)
- Bloom Tender x2 – $5.98
- World at War - $0.49
- Cunning Sparkmage - $0.25
- Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite x2 – $15.98
I made this deal with a small group of casual players that were new to my store. They had just opened (I think) a box or two of New Phyrexia, and these were their extra copies of Elesh. I had just read about Mike Flores’ GW Birthing Pod deck on Star City, and knew that Elesh had a shot to rise based on people wanting to brew that up. Heck, I was even building a copy myself!
I told the newcomers about my quest, and they liked the idea of being my 100th trade. I was pushing to get them to throw one more card in the deal, a beat-up, creased copy of Splinter Twin that I figured I could use as a throw-in later, but there was actually a bit of a miscommunication about whether or not I would get it. I thought the conversation ended with me getting turned down, while my trading partner thought he agreed to include the extra card!
Since I was happy enough scooping up the Elesh Norns for a couple of EDH rares that had been sitting for a while, I left the Splinter Twin on the table and told them I was happy enough with what they gave me.
Trade #101 (+$36.01)
This weekend, I went to my friend Todd’s house and did the second stage of an Alara block rotisserie league that we started back in the spring. Back then, we opened up 3 packs of Shards for each player there, and drafted from the entire pool like a fantasy sports draft. The idea was that we would then do 3 packs’ each of Conflux, upping deck sizes to 50, and finishing with Alara Reborn and 60 card decks.
You got 3 points if you 2-0′ed a mach, 2 points if you 2-1′ed, and 1 point if you 1-2′ed. Prizes would wait until after Reborn.
I don’t think I’ve been as good at anything in my life as I’ve been at this draft. Certainly nothing in my Magic career has matched this level of dominance.
My deck has yet to lose a game. Not in the event, not in practice. Never.
I ended up going Exalted aggro from the start, snagging an Elspeth, Knight Errant with my first overall pick and grabbing an O-ring and Sigil of Distinction on the wheel. Three Akrasan Squires and three Sigil Blessings allowed me to get off to impossibly fast starts and out-of-nowhere finishes.
The league also allows trading, which is even more awesome. My best trade of the day – by far – was in the league, when I traded my first overall pick (last pick of the first round) to Tucker (running Jund) for a Rafiq of the Many he opened in his single bonus pack we all got after the last event ended. Apocalypse Hydra will no doubt be good for him, but Rafiq brought my deck up to another level of stupid. I slammed a Noble Hierarch with the first pick of Round 2, and continued to crush.
My deck now has 4 Akrasan Squires, 3 Aven Squires, 4 Sigil Blessings, 2 War Monks, Rafiq, Elspeth, and Sigil of Distinction. As Jamie Wakefield would say, some good.
But enough bragging about my absurd deck. (Seriously, though, I’ve never had a better deck so I take what I can get.) On to the trade!
Tucker, the same guy that parted with his Rafiq, asked me if I had a Sensei’s Divining Top for trade. I told him I did, but it was in my Pack to Power binder and I’d need to get some value on the deal. He handed over his trades, and I was immediately drawn to his bigger ticket lands: Tolarian Academy, Wasteland, Maze of Ith, Bayou, and foil Misty Rainforest.
Of the five, Tucker was most willing to give up the newest one. I let him have my binder so he could go to town. He pulled out a Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker as well as a Braid of Fire and asked if I would trade all three for the Misty.
I told him I didn’t really want to. I had traded for a foil Misty at $30 a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t want to go too much higher than that here since I needed to make some money. A quick search of SCG let us both see the absurd price they’re asking for the card, and we agreed that $60 seemed insane. MagicTraders lead us to a price closer to $35, which seemed far more realistic.
I asked him if he wouldn’t mind giving up another card in the deal, and he agreed to. I shouted out a list of cards I was interested in, and he picked the most recent one that he had the least amount of attachment to. This was our final deal:
- Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker - $19.99
- Sensei’s Divining Top– $14.99
- Braid of Fire - $3.99 (Out of Stock on SCG)
- Misty Rainforest (FOIL) – $59.99
- Consecrated Sphinx – $14.99
By retail reckoning, this trade looks terrible for him. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to get $60 for that foil for a VERY long time. Not only is it going to be impossible to move, but the price is quite unrealistic. I also think that Top has room to grow from $15, and Braid of Fire is closer to a $6 card in reality.
Of course, this trade works out for me very well on three levels:
For his part, Tucker got a great casual card, a strong Legacy staple (that I’m sure he’ll use in EDH!), and a cool red build-around-me rare that’s only going up due to casual demand – and maybe even Modern play!
I think it was a win-win for both of us.
As we reach the one year anniversary of this project, I have almost made it to the fabled 100 trade mark!
The truth is that I just haven’t been playing all that much Magic lately. My vacations (first a friends’ wedding, then a trip to Hawaii, now old friends coming to town) have conspired to keep happening on prerelease/release weekends. Those are usually the places were I do most of my dealings, and I simply haven’t been able to go. I also have gotten royally bored with my local scene, and trading at either store I attend just hasn’t been as fun with fewer new people attending.
The massive influx of new players during the original Duels of the Planeswalkers launch and Zendikar block seems to have died down, and we’re just back to the regulars again.
At any rate, I did get to make one Pack to Power deal at my last FNM:
Trade #99 (+$8.00)
- Gilded Lotus – $8.99
- Blatant Thievery – $2.99
- Consecrated Sphinx x2 – $19.98
This trade was easy. My partner had too many sphinxes and was shocked that they were up to (then) $8 each. He only wanted these two cards from me, and I told him I wouldn’t be able to give him any more for the sphinxes as standard cards are so volatile while casual classics tend to be stable for years. He quickly agreed to take a small loss in order to get what he needed.
For my part, I’ll have to move the Sphinxes before they stop being cool, (See Titan, all), which means I better get back to the trading block!
Now who wants to be my 100th trade?
As an aside (and a preview of a future CFB article I’m going to write), I also aquired the following cards last week at FNM:
Ruby Medallion (Korean) – ~$15.00
Recurring Nightmare (Korean) ~$30.00
Ill Gotten Gains (Korean) ~$50.00
When trading for them, I had no real idea of their values. The prices for Korean cards are very hard to find, and are often very surprising. I was able to get them for a song because I knew that there were no foil versions of these cards, thus making the Korean versions “best”. So I took a gamble and it paid off.
It’s important info to know, because in our current connected age of Magic trading, foreign pricing is one of the final frontiers.
Until next time -
- Chas Andres
Glad to have an update again so soon!
I didn’t go to FNM last week, opting instead for an evening of garlic & sausage pizza, Leverage, and time with the lovely Emma. I do love drafting each week, but sometimes it’s good to kick back and enjoy the other great things in life.
On Saturday, Emma was busy shopping for a friend’s bridal shower, and I was left with nothing to do. I could have worked on my TV script, but instead I decided to make the trek down to a PTQ in Costa Mesa in the hopes of trading for some more sweet cube foils. I’ve got less than 100 left to go, so I’m itching to complete the project for good.
In addition to the 10-15 foils I got, I was able to complete a couple of Pack to Power trades. See for yourself:
Trade #97 (+$0.00)
- Eldrazi Monument – $4.99
- Mental Misstep – $4.99
My how the mighty have fallen. I played hot potato with this Monument for months, trading it back and forth with Cliff at Emerald Nights at least twice. In the end, though, it was me who got burned. I’m pretty sure it was worth upwards of $15 when I last snagged it and now it’s worth a mere $5.
While I think the card will go up in the long term due to sick casual value, it’s still tumbling in the near future. The card’ll hit $3 before it hits $10, and no one’s been interested in it for a long while. Any chance to ditch it for something hot was welcome.
The card I acquired, Mental Misstep, cannot miss. It is a tier-1 Legacy staple, and New Phyrexia will stop being drafted soon. There’s no shot I’ll ever have to trade this under $5, even if they print a promo, and if I wait long enough it should go up. Even though I didn’t gain money, this was a very solid trade.
Trade #98 (+$13.99)
- Inferno Titan – $11.99
- Frost Titan – $3.99
- Knight of the Reliquary x3 (Japanese) – $29.97
Right as I was about to leave, a really nice grinder from San Francisco came up to me and asked if I had any Raging Ravines for trade. I told him I did, and we began combing through each other’s books.
He told me that he had driven eight hours for the event, something he does regularly in his quest to make the tour. I admired the hell out of that – true determination, and something that regularly happens but goes unheralded in the MTG community. At any rate, he was building RUG with the Splinter Twin combo on the board and needed only a few more cards to finish the build. After trading him some lands from my normal book, I snagged the titans he needed from Pack to Power and flipped through his trades one more time to see what I could get.
I came across a set of Knights of the Reliquary, 3 of which were Japanese. He didn’t need the Knights anymore, since he was a standard player, and probably had them since before rotation. We put the Inferno Titan at $15, and tried to put Frosty at $10, but I told him it had come down lower than that. I liked this guy and knew we could work out an amazing deal without resorting to trickery.
A quick check of Magic Traders put the Knights a tick over $8, and we made a large deal using part of my other stock that shook out to what you see above. Another great deal for me, turning rotating standard cards into Legacy gold.
In the end, this week’s trades were mostly about trying to preserve value in some of my declining assets. While I wish I could have moved my Grave Titans as well, it was nice to get something for these three cards before either rotation or reprints pushes them even lower. Volatility is a HUGE problem in long-term trading like this project, and in the future I will be valuing stability over inflation just a tad more.
Not much progress on the Pack to Power front recently, mostly because I’ve been going to Knightware almost exclusively for FNM. Knightware is fine, I really like playing there, but the problem is that it has pretty much the same 10-15 people every week. They’ve all seen my Pack to Power, and thus I haven’t been able to get any trades going. And since I was back east for a wedding during both the Prerelease AND release weekend for New Phyrexia, there was no quarterly influx of new cards this time around.
I hope the reverse this trend soon, but for now I’m mostly just spinning my wheels on this. Ah well – priorities shift all the time! Hopefully this one’ll be in my spotlight again soon.
Trade #95 (+$17.00)
A little over a month ago, I spent an evening doing a fun rotisserie-style draft with my Redondo Beach Magic friends. After the tournament was over I pulled out my Pack to Power book to see if I could make some trades. One of the guys there is a very causal player who doesn’t like to do a lot of trading, never sells cards, and doesn’t need a whole lot. The only card he was looking for, in fact, was a Greater Auramancy for his EDH deck. It was the one card his LGS was out of stock on.
Unfortunately, since he doesn’t trade much, he doesn’t tend to have much to trade. The only things he had of value that he was willing to part with were a Stoneforge Mystic and a Sword of Body and Mind. I asked him if there was anything else he needed, as I’d like to trade up for one of those two, but he couldn’t find anything else. Shrugging, he offered me the Stoneforge for the Auramancy straight up.
After about a minute and a half of me telling him what a bad deal that was for him, he shrugged and said he’d do it anyway. “I told you – I don’t sell cards. So why should I care what they’re worth?”
- Greater Auramancy – $2.99
- Stoneforge Mystic – $19.99
This was an even more lopsided trade when it happened, but it’s still amazingly sweet. Later in the evening I overheard him say he needed a Silent Aribter so I gave him one from an EDH deck of mine, but since this trade was completed before that happened I’m not counting it as part of the deal. It was just, uh, me repaying some karmic debt or something.
Trade #96 (+$5.00)
After a few weeks of striking out on Pack to Power trades at FNM, my ship finally came in last week. There was a new player who had just opened a box of New Phyrexia, and had put his goods into a rapidly-expanding binder. We got to chatting, and I found out he was looking to bulk up his Elf deck and Knight deck. No problem!
This guy had his friend, a very talkative but nice fellow, looking out for him. He wanted to make sure his buddy didn’t get ripped off, so he used his smartphone to roughly check prices and make sure whatever deal we made was reasonable. I was ok with this, and decided to go for newer, hotter cards instead of trying to gain much value.
The first card he wanted was an Ezuri. We put it at $3, which is higher than retail, but I wouldn’t have traded it much less than that – it’s a very in-demand card in casual circles, and one that is certain to go up in the coming months. Then he saw my foil Student of Warfare and wanted that too. We valued it at $7, a buck under retail, but I was happy with that considering its eminent rotation.
There were two mythics this guy opened multiple copies of – 2 Karns and 3 Urabrasks. I didn’t want any part of the Karns, considering how planeswalkers are like diamonds to new players, but I was intrigued by the Urabrasks – it’s a card I think will go up, and which I absolutely love. at $5 each in trade, I was more than willing to add them to my binder.
- Ezuri, Renegade Leader – $0.99
- Student of Warfare (FOIL) – $7.99
- Urabrask the Hidden x2 – $13.98
That’s all I’ve got for now! Happy trading, folks!
Trade #93 (+$44.57)
For the first time ever, I made my way to the game store solely to complete a Pack to Power trade.
I got there around 5:15 on Saturday, nothing on my mind except the beauty of the day and my excitement for trading. Late afternoon on Saturday is my favorite part of the week – the chores and errands of the day are behind me, and the evening still beckons. But for a few hours, there’s nothing to do except sit back, relax, and enjoy the day.
Or, in this case, trade!
I had agreed to meet Ethan at 5:30 in order to discuss the swap of my 2 Underground Seas for his Grim Tutor. He found out about the seas because he’s a regular reader of this blog, having become a fan after trading with me at a Legacy event months before. I had vague recollections of happily shipping 2x Polluted Delta and something else for a foil Goblin Welder, but I didn’t remember much else about Ethan or his demeanor. I knew he wanted Legacy staples and was willing to part with value to get them.
The first think we addressed was assigning accurate value to the Seas and the Grim Tutor. I knew that Channel Fireball had updated their site earlier in the morning, buying Sea at $85 and selling (NM) at $140, though Star City was still holding firm at $120. I knew the Grim was sold out everywhere at $200, and was going an easy $160 on eBay.
I didn’t want to discount my Seas much on condition, since playability is what matters on a card like that. With Alpha/Beta stuff, condition is EVERYTHING. They’re collectors’ pieces. On stuff like Duals, Force, and Wasteland, all that really matters is playability: ultimately, someone’s going to want the card bad enough and will trade for it without a discount.
After a little haggling, we settled on $240 for the Seas and $200 for the Tutor. I may have tried to get more if the Tutor was in poor shape, but it wasn’t: this card is as mint as it gets, and I knew that it was the perfect cornerstone for my push to power. This was a trade I really wanted to happen.
Then came the small matter of the ~$40. Ethan knew I needed a little more value than that, because I’m out to make a profit on this venture, but we figured we should at least get the values on everything even before discussing profits.
I tried to go shopping in his Legacy staples binder, but to no avail. Ethan had no interest in doing, say, Grim and Wasteland for the Seas. He tried to tempt me with some foils, but I’ve learned my lesson on those: I like trading for them in general, but not in Pack to Power. You need such a specific partner for each foil, they’ll sit for months and absolutely kill your value velocity.
Ultimately, he admitted to me that what he really needed to do was to clear out a bunch of low-mid level cards from his ‘lead’ binder. I told him I’d be ok with that, provided we trade at values that work for me. Trading down from a dual land to a pile of EDH cards isn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but if the value was right I was more than willing. A half hour of ‘shopping’ later, we came up with this:
- Underground Sea (SP) – $123.49
- Underground Sea (P) – $116.99
- Grim Tutor (NM) – $199.99
- Armageddon x4 – $15.96
- Journeyer’s Kite x2 – $7.98 (SCG)
- Sylvan Library – $8.99
- Phyrexian Arena x2 – $5.98
- Greater Auramancy x2 – $5.98
- Guttural Response x3 (Foil) – $5.97
- Woodfall Primus – $4.99
- Zendikar Island #235 (Foil) – $4.99
- Zendikar Plains #232 (Foil) – $4.99
- Zendikar Forest #248 (Foil) – $4.99
- Blatant Thievery x2 – $4.98
- No Mercy – $4.49
- Seedborn Muse - $2.49
- Stonehewer Giant – $1.49
- Memory Plunder – $0.79
We were guesstimating values on lots of cards that we didn’t quite know the prices of. For example, we put the Greater Auramancies at $1, which was a shot in the dark by me. It’s not a card I’ve traded for or away recently, so I had no idea it was worth $3. On the flip side, I put Seedborn Muse and the Phyrexian Arenas at $3 each, which was a tad high. I think I can absolutely get that in trade, though. Ditto Memory Plunder – I put that at a buck or two, and I bet I can get that back for it.
I took the foil Guttural Responses at $1 each, hoping that having 3 meant I could get a nice premium for someone building an offbeat Legacy sideboard. That might be a totally sunk $6, though – - not clear if the interest I want will ever materialize.
At the end, I had his pile of smalls valued at around $38. I told him that to finish off the trade, I wanted 3 of the Zendikar foil basics. We both figured these would be perfect for the project – they trade at their $5 retail price all day long. Hands were shaken, and Ethan was only one Sea away from finishing his playset of all the blue duals.
I had a great afternoon trading with Ethan. Ultimately, he got what he needed before the price goes up any further. I ended up with the most valuable card that changed hands, as well as a pile of EDH stuff that I can hopefully move for value. I invite any of my other readers who live in So Cal to come trade with me any time!
Trade #94 (+$19.99)
There are some trades I wish I hadn’t made. This was one of them.
After my awesome trading experience on Saturday afternoon, I decided to play in the local Legacy tournament on Sunday. It was a superb tournament – $20 entry fee, and probably close to $1,000 in prices. Multiple Underground Seas, Tundras, Goyfs, Wastelands, and more running around for doing well. Around 60 people showed up, and I would guess a good portion of that entry fee went into the prices. You really can’t ask for a better deal.
I decided to run Chapin’s new build of Reanimator, and I absolutely love the deck. It doesn’t play fair, and it runs Force of Will, Thoughseize, and Daze for disruption. What’s not to love?
Unfortunately, I was already on a little bit of a tilt heading in to round one. About ten minutes before the tournament, I was talking with one of the traders who is easily the biggest “value trader” in my area. Unlike most of the other LA based trading folks, with which I get along rather well, this guy and I have been at odds seemingly as long as I can remember. Every time we trade, one of us comes off feeling raw afterwards. I don’t think we’ve ever had an easy, clean trade, and I just don’t like dealing with him. I stay out of his business and he stays out of mine, but there’s no love lost between us.
About a month ago, this guy traded for a plains marked “$3.xx Chas Trade Credit” from one of my best friends. I had given him the credit in order to finish out a deal probably a year earlier, and it had sat in his binder because we don’t trade very often. I winced when the trade went down, because I knew what would happen: he would hold it over me and use it as an excuse to go through my binder until I finally gave up and threw $10 worth of cards at him to make him go away.
Over the past few months, he approached me to trade a couple of times, and each time I didn’t feel like going through that ordeal. He didn’t have anything I needed, and I didn’t feel like sitting there and fighting with him about all the $5 EDH cards he was going to want for a buck. Each and every time, I told him that the trade credit was fine to use…WHEN we could agree on a trade! Which meant I had to want to trade with him! It in no way entitled him to sit down and pick through my binder whenever he wanted.
Well, it turns out that the fact that he couldn’t pick through my binder when I was trying to concentrate on the tournament was the final straw for him. He very dramatically ripped up the plains, threw it at the garbage, and stomped off.
On the one hand, I’m a little relieved I don’t have to pretend to like the guy anymore, nor do I ever have to trade with him again. On the other hand, I really hate having enemies. The whole thing makes me feel physically queasy.I’m not looking forward to playing him in an event, I’m not looking forward to really being in the same room with him ever again, and it certainly didn’t help me focus on the mission at hand.
I punted round one of the event clear across the room, failing to Entomb and Inkwell Leviathan against 43 lands in response to him Wastelanding my Underground Sea. Two turns later, when I had to Exhume NOW or lose all my lands forever, I was stuck with a Platinum Empyrion vs. his 2x Maze of Ith and was dead to him eventually finding Tabernacle. The Inkwell would’ve won the game and maybe turned the match (and the day) around.
I was still on tilt from THAT in round 2, when I faced an opponent who had been seemingly dropped onto the planet in order to mock me. It was a kid – probably 14 or so – and he was playing some homebrew version of the exact same deck I was running. Except he didn’t have any of the good cards.
Necromancy instead of Reanimate. Buried Alive instead of Entomb. No duals – Terramorphic Expanse instead – supporting a 3-color black/red/white manabase.
The red was to help hard cast Avatar of Dischord. Even though you can cast it with black mana.
His reanimation targets were that, Vorosh the Hunter, and Novablast Wurm.
I got him multiple times by Daze-ing his turn one or two Avatar off a Dark Ritual.
By all accounts, it should have been a blowout. But no – I lost the match, dropping me entirely out of contention. Was I really that bad at magic? Was I playing so poorly that I lost to this guy with such an inferior deck?
My mind was reeling by the end of that game, and I knew my day was done and my entry fee was toast. That was when he asked me if I had any Vexing Shushers for trade.
I did. I had a full set of them.
My personal code of ethics absolutely 100% precludes me from ripping off kids. I won’t do it. Hate seeing it done. If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know that I’ll step in and stop it from being done if I see it.
I decided that since he beat me in Legacy with that pile, it was fair game to make whatever trade I wanted. So I made this one:
- Vexing Shusher (Promo Foil) x4 – $15.96
- Sorin Markov– $9.99
- Student of Warfare (foil) – $7.99
- Darkslick Shores – $6.99
- Braid of Fire – $3.99
- Painter’s Servant – $6.99
Boom. Pow. Got him.
Did it make me feel better? Did it make me feel like a big man? Yeah. For a couple of fleeting seconds. Then I felt even worse.
To be fair, I figured Painter’s Servant was about a $2 card. Since you need a $1,500 deck to run it, why is this card worth anything? Seriously- it’s a large set rare. The big lesson of this weekend: I clearly don’t know the values of Shadowmoor Block cards as well as I thought I did.
I also saw the guy actively trading with lots of other people, and he seemed to know what he was doing. Maybe he really wanted the Shushers, and was happy to throw some standard stuff on me that’s bound to go down.
Maybe I’m just rationalizing this to make me feel better about myself.
All I know is that the next kid who goes through one of my binders and finds a sweet card that makes him really happy is going home with it for free.