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Changing Tides

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This piece was written by a guest writer, Jeremy Aaranson.

Hey Guys! Due to school and work, I wasn’t able to write this article until a week after the GP ended. Hopefully, this still contains some financially relevant information. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, or let me know on twitter @xemitsellsmagic

GPDC was the 8th largest Grand Prix in Magic’s 20 year history. Financially however, it seemed one of the most relevant GPs in the last year. The same old faces that are a mainstay at every GP are still there, but under new names and shops. Many former buyers have become freelancers with many of the popular vendors falling off the GP Circuit. Another interesting development in vendor philosophy is the shrinking amount of vendors that are willing to take up the challenge of buying at a GP. One bad weekend can ruin many of the smaller vendor operations currently on the circuit, which is why in my opinion we’ve seen a smaller amount of individual shops apply for GP spots this year. The fees involved in getting a booth at these events have also finally stagnated, which paints a different picture from the fast growing rates TOs charged back in 2014 and 2015. Hasbro has also conceded that magic has stopped growing at insanely fast amounts per year in their stockholder report. With less new players entering magic every year, Hasbro has focused on increasing the amount of money each player spends on the game. This includes gimmicks such as the expeditions, and a plethora of supplemental product marketed toward every type of magic player this year.

Something that Ryan Bushard said at GPDC has stuck to me however. He remarked that the vendors whose models are buy everything at 50% will increasingly become archaic in the changing tide of the mtgfinance markets. The day before the tournament, Scout’s Warning spiked to quite a few dollars. The first day of the event, people were trying to sell the very same Scout’s Warnings that they had picked out of bulk boxes on the floor and at their LGS. The smart vendors no- sirred the hundred or so copies that each individual tried to flip, but some vendors bought them all at around 50% of the price they were going for at the time on TCG.  After talking with multiple finance cartel members about this practice, the general consensus is that vendors should be hiring knowledgeable people who check tools such as MTGStocks and put in more effort than checking TCG for every card at your booth. Technology has also changed the game at Grand Prixs.  The folks at Wizards Tower used up to date buylists and inputted each card into a spreadsheet at DC, meaning that two people trying to dump hundreds of copies of the same card to their different buyers at the same time wouldn’t work. Wizards Tower’s electronic buylist can also be changed in the blink of an instant on hundreds of cards. 

This means that they won’t receive complaints later in the day from someone demanding 14 on Thoughtseize when they bought a couple hundred copies in earlier in the day for example and have dropped their buylist down to 12. Another vendor who used a paper printed out buylist would still show 14 on the Thoughtseize instead of being able to electronically change it as they get copies in.

Talking about DC is great and all, but you guys read this site to make money or keep playing magic cheap. There’s quite a few cards that I like post-rotation, so let’s jump into it!

With no rare dual land cycle being spoiled in SOI, I quite like all of the lands in BFZ and OGW. The BFZ cycle could easily rise to 5-8 per card, and with them currently at a whopping 3 dollars, I would be actively trading and maybe even buying in to these cards. I am also a fan of lumbering falls at it’s near bulk price of $1.5 .

Kozilek, the Great Distortion is another easy money maker down the road. Multiple MTGPrice writers have bought in with cash. If you use Pucatrade, this would be a great tool to obtain Kozileks. A cash price of $5-6 is where many writers for this site would pull the trigger, including myself. This looks to be a casual favorite and an easy triple up down the road.

Purphurous and Thassa are two of the gods I have gone the deepest on. Purphurous is a casual favorite and is very popular in both EDH and 60 card. Thassa is another good card that occasionally sees play in merfolk. I don’t see these getting reprinted any time soon, and the fact that both Erebos and Kruphix have seen significant gains already solidifies my opinion of investing quite a bit into the gods.

Thawing Glaciers is a reserved list card that has yet to spike. This also received a Judge Promo before WOTC cut off that loophole. I would be targeting the Alliance copies in trade only.

I am still quite deep on Ashiok. This unique 3 cmc planeswalker is very popular in my local EDH groups, and could always break out in a 60 card deck. She has already risen almost $2 since rotation, but I’d be holding until she easily hits $10 in another year.

That’s all I have for now. See you guys at an upcoming GP near you, and as always, have a nice day!

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Denis Stranjak

Denis Stranjak

Denis is a 20-something college student who co-hosts weekly drafts over at Windmill Slam on YouTube.
Denis Stranjak

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Denis Stranjak

Denis is a 20-something college student who co-hosts weekly drafts over at Windmill Slam on YouTube.

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