Okay, so last week was a long one, as well as the start of my first meta-series. Today is going to basically be an extended edition of Quick Hits, where we touch on a bunch of different stuff at once (this hides the frequent loss of focus that comes with running WoW1 in the background). Also, I’ve been sick all week, so I’ve been pretty in and out when it comes to cognitive writing ability. This should be fun.
Recent PucaTrade Finance
PucaTraders (or at least, the finance-minded ones) are getting smarter. The pricing algorithm that Puca uses is great for mapping steady prices, but it tends to lag behind on spikes. Twice in the past two weeks (fortnight? Can I use that there?), there have been spikes on cards, and by the time their point total caught up, all the wants were gone. The first was Golgari Grave-Troll, who had tons of people wanting them at ~300 points when the price elsewhere was starting to touch $10, but by the time it refreshed, you couldn’t send one off to save your life. The same thing happened with Tasigur after this weekend. As of right now, nobody wants either card for their current point total (675/1055 for non-foil Troll printings, and 1299 for Tasigur). I don’t think the price update times are public, so these people are either:
- Taking a big hit when they turn over (a loss for them),
- Getting a ton of cards shipped to them for their pre- or mid-spike prices (a potential win/loss depending on outs)
- Taking the wants off as soon as they see the prices adjust to avoid the first situation (a win from them).
Seriously, We Need to Talk About Shipping Cards
I’ve received a lot of cards with pretty poor shipping jobs, and it has got to stop. I’ll preface by saying that this applies only to small quantities of cards, since once you’re shipping over 4 cards at once, things get trickier. Let’s go through this nice and easy, and hopefully we won’t have any more problems.
- First, put the card you are mailing in a sleeve. This is non-negotiable.
- Second, put the card into a toploader, with the TOP of the card going in first. This means the bottom of the card (and therefore, the sealed bottom of the sleeve) will be the by the open end of the toploader.
- Tape the open end of your toploader, but use enough tape that you can create a pull-tab on one side, to allow for easy opening. To do so, simply fold one end of the tape in on itself. I like to have my tabs on the front of the card, since it will contrast with the card and be more apparent.
- You can typically fit two sleeved cards in a toploader (depending on the type of sleeve), and usually no more than two toploaders in a sealed plain white envelope. Be careful though, because sometimes the Post Office will get cute and send it back wanting extra postage.
- Always write “Non-Machinable” and “Do Not Bend” on the front and back of your envelope. The USPS has a machine that they run envelopes through for faster sorting that destroys toploaders.
- For PucaTrades, I always write the trade number on the back of the envelope. This way the recipient knows it’s not bills or junk mail.
- A lot of people wrap their sends in paper, but I don’t.
- I always tape the envelope after I seal it. If you have some, I prefer the ReadyPost tape they sell at the Post Office (clear tape with a blue dispenser thing), since it won’t lose adheasion in the cold or moist weather like regular tape will.
- Shoutout to @Hackworth, who had the first (and best) explainer on how to ship cards.
Modern Is Still a Thing
And I am playing it this Saturday! In a PPTQ, even! I am pretty excited, although a little unsure still in terms of deck selection. I have been playing Gifts in Modern for a while (although I have never played the format consistently), but I traditionally want to be aggressive in a “new” format. I don’t expect this particular event to be very large, and I suspect that Gifts is probably better in a smaller setting. My Gifts deck is built around Smallpox, which may be good in these first couple of weeks, although I can’t resolve more than one without already having Loam up and running. My other deck choice, the aggressive one, is a modified version of the Jund Aggro deck I played in my Extended tournament last month:
Modern Experiment Jund
The upside here is that I am strongly familiar with the deck: some of the numbers that may seem odd here are the results of tuning and retuning. The huge percentage of fetchlands means that our already low land count is functionally going to have a much harder time hitting four than the deck did in Standard. This means we want to draw fewer Aristocrats, since multiples will be painful. Ghor-Clan Rampager is a fine two-mana card, however, so he got bumped back up to a four-of. He’s probably a better two-mana card than a four-mana card in this deck.
The sideboard is (so far) a deckbuilding experiment for me. Since I am already playing the most effective creatures on curve, I only expect to be sideboarding in or out from that 7 card subset of non-creature spells. Therefore, I want to make sure that the effects I am boarding in or out are similar on curve, but varied in effectiveness towards a certain style of matchup. I won’t be bringing in things like Creeping Corrosion or Thrun, but I plan on Bonfire coming in to replace Abrupt Decay in matches against token decks (and replacing Bolt if they have Jeskai Ascendancy). Ancient Grudge may take three of those currently open slots. Liliana, too. Let me know if you think I’m missing something!
Something for Later
If you haven’t read Travis’s article about his trip to Japan already, you should do that. After you read this, I mean. Well, and comment on this on our site or Reddit. And tweet about it. Anyways, here’s the link (for later).
[Ed. Note: Dammit, Ross, You Stole My Elton John Pun]
I’ve built my first Tiny Leaders deck! The archetype is lands, although not having access to any five-color idiot as a general disallows such degeneracy as Inkmoth Nexus plus Kessig Wolf Run. My general is the Sultai Placeholder, which is pretty disappointing. I plan on making something more fun to look at to fill the time. Here’s my list:
Hold Me Closer, Tiny Leader
The Quick Hits of the Quick Hits Article
- I will never type out a Commander deck.
- I have no clue what SCG tournaments I’m supposed to play in anymore. I get their emails telling me about events “in the area,” but I’ve definitely fallen behind in knowing how their structure works. There is no reason to play in an Open Trial, right? And IQ events are the ones that people can grind for points? But it’s really only worth it to win one or play a whole bunch? And is anyone doing Game Night? I feel like this is City Champs all over again, except I liked City Champs.
- This is going to be one of the better Super Bowls of the past decade. Of course, we thought that last year, too. If Seattle can win defensively upfront and hit Brady early or get Gronkowski arrested, then I would expect them to repeat. Both teams have great corners and terrible receievers, so expect a lot of running plays to be called, especially in the first half. The halftime show will be flat and uninspired.
- I know a lot of people like the Super Bowl commercials, but I think they are starting to lose the allure they once had. They’re still super expensive, but I can’t think of any recently that have better than that Pepsi one with the skydiver and the ducks. I think that was ’97, because I’m pretty sure Green Bay won that night. Either way, the game will be better than the commercials, which will be better than the halftime show. Actually, Super Bowl, Puppy Bowl, Commercials, Halftime. That’s better.
- Oh crap, can we say Super Bowl? /Roger Goodell bills Marcel $10,000.
I’ll be back next week with my results from Modern, some more finance talk, and the devastating emptiness inside that comes with the end of football season.
1If anyone is interested, I found a free Blizzlike program that has Vanilla (Classic) WoW and BC. I would love to have some people to quest with! For the Alliance! Check out Wow-one.com for info.
Longtime magic player and TO.Loving husband and father. Cube > Commander.
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