Home > Finance > [Finance] Dual to Deck: Part 9

[Finance] Dual to Deck: Part 9

by Ryan Youngbar

Welcome back to Dual to Deck. It’s been a few weeks since the last post; some hectic FNMs and illness have kept me from trading and writing. I did make it to the Dark Ascension prerelease and release, going 3-1 both times. The first with the most solid W/B sealed pool I’ve ever seen and the second with a decent W/B tokens draft deck. The limited format for Innistrad block continues to be amazing and diverse. The actual events however, were mediocre. Prereleases used to be some of the most amazing events of the year. In Maryland we had large regional prereleases hosted by Dream Wizards, until Wizards of the Coast stopped letting T.O.s run them, and they were great. You got to hang out with people you didn’t see every Friday, there were multiple events going all day long, and the trading was fantastic. Since the switch to local only prereleases almost all of that is gone. There were a few new people at the shop, but only one 4 round event, and the trading was worse than at an FNM. Most people didn’t even bring binders and the ones that did were the same that had them the night before at FNM. I know I should be grateful that I was able to play at a store doing a prerelease, since not everyone in all the Magic-playing countries had that luxury, but they do still leave me a little bitter, knowing what they used to be and could be again but for corporate policy. But enough lament and dwelling on the past, you all are here for trades. As I said, the trading wasn’t so good but I did get a few deals in.

Trade #23

2x Intangible Virtue-$3.00
1x Midnight Haunting-$1.00
2x Isolated Chapel-$16.00
Total – $20.00
1x Sword of Body and Mind-$13.00
1x Sulfur Falls-$6.00
1x Ratchet Bomb-$6.00
Total – $25.00

(A note about some of the pictures: sometimes I am unable to get pictures of the trade either because there is no time, or the person doesn’t feel comfortable with it, so sometimes I will mock up pictures of the trade at my place using my cards, many of which are Japanese. So if the picture looks off due to a foil or foreign card, it’s because I had to recreate the trade on my own.)

Joel was looking to build W/B tokens (like pretty much everyone else after Sorin and Lingering Souls was spoiled) and I was happy to ride the hype the deck was creating. It’s entirely possible that the deck would be good and I could have gotten better deals on these cards later but it’s also equally possible that the deck turned out to be a dud and have the cards take a dive. I prefer to take the safe route and trade cards into hype. You get better prices on the cards than what you picked them up for and are protected in the event that the hype was just hype. It can be a little maddening to see a card you traded at $5 during hype go up to $8 after a strong finish, but in the mean time between when the hype happened and when the results went up, you had $5 to invest into your next spec. They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and it’s often true. A lot of people will try to get greedy on their specs and hold them too long, then the price starts to fall but they are still stubborn and end up going down with their sinking ship. The goal of speculation is to gain profit, this doesn’t mean you have to double your investment, any gain on the original investment is respectable. As for the cards I picked up: Body and Mind may not be the most glorious or hyped sword out there but it is still a sword and has seen some Legacy play. The swords seem to go in cycles of being the “it” sword both in Standard and Eternal, and even off cycle once it rotates it will hold value in the casual and Legacy market. The Innistrad duals are holding their value nicely, so I’d say all but Clifftop Retreat are still safe pickups. The Ratchet Bomb was a chance to hedge my bets. If tokens did become a prominent deck, Bomb is the best and most usable answer. Either way the metagame falls on tokens, I am happy with this trade.

Trade #24

1x Woodland Cemetery-$6.00
1x Batterskull-$15.00
1x Martyr of Sands-$1.00
Total – $22.00
1x Chalice of the Void-$9.00
1x Stoneforge Mystic-$8.00
1x Gaddock Teeg-$5.00
Total – $22.00

Unless they need something for an event the next day, Dave and his group will usually only value trade. For this type of project I usually wouldn’t want to trade with someone like him, but he was one of the only people trading at the Prerelease and we knew each other pretty well so I was confidant I could at least get him to agree on a break even deal. The trade came out even but I was happy to make it, trading a Standard card, a one-of Eternal and casual card, and a tier 2 Modern common for 3 Legacy staples. Teeg and Chalice are even seeing moderate Modern play, a nice bonus on a decent trade. Legacy as a format has receded in popularity and thus its staples have become cheaper and less desirable, which makes trading for them easier. The end goal of this project is a Legacy deck and in all likelihood, I will need Legacy cards to trade for higher end Legacy staples like original dual lands, so picking up something that has less market and value may seem contradictory but a necessary means to get to my goal. I’m not focused entirely on picking up Legacy cards, I know I need to keep my Standard stock in good rotation to get the most trades, but I will take any chance to exchange Standard cards for Legacy cards at no loss or even better, at a profit.

Trade #25

1x Ratchet Bomb-$8.00
1x Champion of the Parish-$5.00
1x Green Sun’s Zenith-$6.00
1x Woodland Cemetery-$6.00
1x Sulfur Falls-$6.00
1x Clifftop Retreat-$3.00
Total – $34.00
1x Liliana of the Veil-$30.00
1x Karmic Guide-$8.00
1x Ghostly Prison-$3.00
Total – $41.00

This trade was at the Release event I went to at Washington Street Books, which accounts for the difference in price on Ratchet Bomb and Woodland Cemetery. The trade was mainly for Lili and Karmic Guide with the Prison being a throw in. The opinion of tokens was still high, raising the price of Bomb and making most people dislike Lili. It’s true that against a token deck (especially with Lingering Souls) she is actively a waste of 3 mana so I was able to get her at a discount. Again, even if a card is bad in Standard, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a market somewhere else. Liliana is a planeswalker, which means she will always have casual appeal, Modern Jund loves cascading into her off Bloodbraid, and Pox in Legacy still wants a couple of her maindeck. Guide goes into one Legacy deck but is an EDH favorite so I like picking it up here, especially since there are a lot of EDH players at Collectors Corner where I usually play and trade.

Trade #26

1x Vitu Ghazi, the City-Tree (foil)-$2.00
Total – $2.00
1x Quicksilver Amulet-$2.00
Total – $2.00

I don’t know this guy’s name and to be honest, I don’t want to know. He was a shark, he valued my cards at next to nothing, put his above retail and was pretty hostile throughout the whole trade process. Initially he was interested in Flusterstorm, Chalice of the Void, and the City-Tree but once he knew that I knew the prices of my cards, he was no longer interested in trading for anything but the Tree, which he insisted was $1 card max. Normally I wouldn’t even bother with this type of person but he did want the Tree, which has seen zero action in a store full of EDH players, and I like to play the “can we get the shark” game. Did he really know all his prices? Could he make a trade with someone who knows what the cards were worth and wasn’t intimidated at all? After going back and forth on a few things I settled on 3 possible cards I would take for the Tree: Path to Exile, Bloodghast, and Quicksilver Amulet. This is a rehash of the grouping tiered price cards together and letting your trade partner pick strategy. The Path was the outlier here at $5 and the guy actually looked physically ill at the thought that a Path was worth a Tree. The Bloodghast was $3 and the Amulet was $2. He probably would have agreed to the Bloodghast but when I pulled the Amulet the look on his face was like a kid on Christmas. He happily agreed to the Amulet, which he thought was crap. This is usually where you can fool the sharks, the above bulk casual cards. They assume they are trash and won’t haggle on the price. He didn’t know all his prices but I didn’t really get him so I guess it truly was a break even. I know I can move the Amulet since every copy I’ve had in my binders have traded well to casual players (usually around $4-$5) so I’ll consider that eventual value gain the payment for putting up with this person.

That’s all I have this week. Trading at Prereleases and Releases just isn’t what it used to be. There will be an article next week and it will be longer. As a teaser, I both picked up and traded away the hottest non-walker mythic in Standard. Due to the absence, I will be extending the voting period for the Legacy deck I’ll be building until next week (2/23). So far I only have 2 votes, if I don’t get at least 7 I actually will be rolling a 6 sided die to determine what deck I’ll be building. So please vote! All you have to do is leave your vote (Dredge, Reanimator, or ANT) in the comments section. In addition to the voting, if you have any questions or other comments about the articles or project in general, I would love to hear them.

“Rebar” at Collectors Corner
@Brass_Gnat on Twitter

  1. February 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Did you continue to trade with a shark only to move the card which had been sitting in your binder for a while? Also, I vote for the reanimator deck

  2. Keith Cooper
    February 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Bro, we had almost 40 people for our pre-release event on Saturday and almost 20 for the one on Sunday. By my count (and I have the paperwork) we had 10 new people sign up for DCI cards and probably half of the people there were people that don’t frequent our normal FNM. Just trying to put it into perspective that perhaps your bitterness is overshadowing the reality. Our event is by no means what the big regional ones used to be, but they’re no slouch either.

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