Hello dear readers,
Yes, it has been awhile since our last episode but for a good reason; as indicated in my last article, I wanted to make this the last step on our mission to world domination… err, to our foil Force of Will. It isn’t really helpful that the card is on an all time high and sells for over $300 on bots, but such is the nature of the beast. Remember where we started? If it’s too long ago or if you just recently joined us, you can find the introduction here.
In our last article, “Rags to Riches: Week Twenty,” we traded for several midrange cards, bought a whole galaxy worth of Green Suns, and depleted our Ticket count doing so. So our priority now is as always gaining value and consolidating the bulk into Tickets if possible. Our collection value, ending the last session, was:
Mythics/Rares: 129 Tickets
Uncommons/Commons: 27 Tickets
Total value of collection: 156 Tickets
We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s go straight to the trading table and see what I did. Prepare for a lot of trades in this edition! I started off by purchasing two Zeniths – a black one and a green one. The price seemed to be quite good, and these cards should hold value over time. I like the flexibility and power of the spells and feel they will sell well in the future.
Next up was a little Goblin, a staple in all the hyper-aggressive red builds currently in Standard. This one is a foil to boot and seemed like a deal for 5 Tickets.
I’m spending Tickets again only to hopefully sell with profit. Checking the recent Standard results and the buying ads on the Classifieds, Wurmcoil Engine seems to find it’s way into decks. So why not get a few for a good price and resell the Wurm later?
So far so good. It is time to check a few bots and see if they have a foil I can arbitrage with. I do that in regular intervals about three or four times while online, and many times I’m out of luck. But sometimes, well, sometimes I hit…
That was a good deal, I guess. I am curious for how much I can sell the foil MOCS promo later. But meanwhile we can start selling some of the cards we’ve purchased. How about the Wurmcoil Engines?
Next up we sell the foil Elspeth and the Marsh Flats that we’ve had in our binder for a while. Remember, I need to cash in those cards to allow for new purchases. Even small profits are welcome.
Our little Goblin has to go next. But don’t be sad; he sold with profit. Farewell!
Next up was my trade with Academy_QuizBot — Yes, I know it belongs to us, but why pass on a few free cards? Check it out if you haven’t and keep track of the time limit!
Another card that is basically everywhere and always to be found it Standard tournaments is Sword of Feast and Famine. I spotted a sell ad for a foil one and immediately took the opportunity to buy it.
Do you remember the days when everyone was either playing Jund or hating on Jund? When Bloodbraid Elves were making lives miserable, and cascade was the Magic version of a lottery ticket? One Planeswalker made a brief appearance but somehow got forgotten: Sarkhan, the Mad. I was checking prices on some older cards and found an offer in the Classifieds that seemed too cheap. I checked the bots, and one of them was buying for a Ticket more then I would have to pay. Not much of a margin but it’s quick and free.
Our next sale involves our foil MOCS Ajani, which we bought for around 6 Tickets, as well as our regular Sword of Feast and Famine. Nice profits included.
I also thought I might sell some of the common bulk to a bot. It is not really profitable to sell to players due to the time involved and the low value, but bots might grab some of the stuff.
Then I went to a bot and purchased a few foil Elspeths for 8 Tickets each because they seemed to be a good deal. Three total is what I added to my portfolio (only showing one of the three screenshots).
Next up is a sale of our foil Tezzerets, a small but nice profit.
You might have noticed that I particularly like the foils from the DD sets. They are often overlooked and sell quite well if you can find them cheap on a bot. A more recent example of what you can do with them in a short amount of time will come later.
All the Green Sun’s Zeniths we bought last time for about 2 Tickets apiece have gained a bit value, and I am unloading a few of them for Tickets.
To understand my next purchase you have to wait until you see the one afterwards. At that point I had one Inkmoth Nexus in my collection, and while scanning the Classifieds, I found a player that was trading his foil Tezzeret for three Inkmoth Nexus. If you don’t have the material to make a favorable trade, try to get it ASAP! I opened chat with him, asked him if the trade is still valid and then immediately purchased two Inkmoth Nexuses from a bot, only to trade them away immediately for the shiny Planeswalker!
I was talking before about my secret love for the foil Planeswalkers from the Duel Decks and indicated a little something coming up regarding another one. As most of you know, Jace, the Mindsculptor is currently the most loved/hated card in the Standard circuit. Some want to ban him, others play him wherever and whenever possible. As it turns out, some people have thought about clever ways to either replace him or kill him, and one of the most elegant solutions for that is Jace Beleren! For a while I have been checking on the price of that little guy and was surprised that
a) Most dealers were sold out on Jace Beleren from M10, M11, and Lorwyn, which drove the price up
b) Apparently no one was paying attention to alternate art foil Jace from the Duel Decks!
This led me to believe that I can start to buy and trade for those in bigger quantities, sell them in the Classifieds, and rinse and repeat. It turned out I was right. Note: even though the following trades did not happen in chronological sequence, I am putting them together for clarity purposes (click on pic to zoom in). The trades that happend in between are depicted afterwards.
That was a total of 13 Jace Beleren for 5 Tickets value in Event Tickets or trade material. While buying, I advertised them in the Classifieds for between 7 and 9 Tickets and they sold, as I expected, quite well. I managed to sell all of them without much effort. Jace can make money!
That was fun! Unfortunately, it seems that bots have run out of Jace Beleren for me to profitably sell. So we check out the other trades I made meanwhile and after.
I sold my foil Sword of Feast and Famine to a player who responded to my classified.
Another response from my classified advertisement allowed me to sell 5 Duel Deck Planeswalkers for 34 tickets for a small profit.
Followed up with the sale of both my foil Promo Wurmcoil Engine and my most valuable card, the foil Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
This increased our ticket count to a nice value we can use to purchase higher value cards later on. I also went ahead and sold the foil V10 Sword of Body and Mind I have.
Equipped with so many Tickets, it is time to try to leverage them for some higher value foils. A good target seemed to be a foil Yawgmoth’s Bargain from Urza’s Destiny. The set is not heavily drafted, and the tournament-worthy cards (such as Yawgmoth’s Bargain) are in high demand. A fellow player was selling it for 60 Tickets in the Classifieds. I contacted him, haggled him down to 58 and was hoping to be able to sell for a few tickets profit to a Classic player.
Before I managed to sell the Bargain, I was able to sell my last Sword of Body and Mind from the V10 (From the Vault: Relics) set.
The Yawgmoth’s Bargain was posted on the Classifieds for a while, as well as posted on Classicquarter.com (a great resource to sell and buy foils). I found a buyer and sold it for 10 Tickets profit.
Again, hunting for foils we find a player that is selling the highly popular and expensive Unhinged foil basics. Unfortunately he has only the Plains left, but the price is a great deal, so I buy 20 of them for 2.5 Tickets each.
After we burn through our Tix, it is time to sell and trade a bit or grab a few cheaper cards for quick resell. Classified provides us with a small opportunity.
Our Unhinged basics are in demand, and we sell five of them for 4 Tickets each to a buyer that responded to our Classified ad. We are also able to sell our Phyrexian Crusaders, which are quite hot right now in various Infect builds, and we also decided to sell two of my Green Sun’s Zeniths for 5 tickets and change.
I have touched upon a special case on MTGO concerning foil cards used in Classic or Pauper. They can be worth a lot of tickets, even when the non-foil is worth little. For some players, it’s foil or nothing! Especially old blocks that are not drafted heavily have some nice examples. Currently Urza block has a bunch of nice foil commons that sell quite well. I picked one up on a bot and hope to be able to sell for a little bit more then I paid.
Another important lesson is that generally the higher the profit margin on a certain card, the lower the liquidity; it takes longer to sell a rarely-used foil than a Standard staple, so I am sometimes not really looking to gain value but to exchange for cards that are much easier to sell. The following is an example.
Two quick sales of the Inkmoth Nexus and the Black Sun’s Zenith follow suit.
I added a small foil common to the binder that might sell for a little more, to a fan.
Fortunately I was able to sell the foil Unhinged Plains for a nice profit in two trades. That gives us another Ticket boost.
If you follow my trades closely, you will realize that I often try to repeat trades that turned out well and sometimes forsake profit margin for turnaround. The Classifieds were showing a foil Sword of Feast and Famine for 24 Tickets.
And off they go!
Meanwhile I got a response to my forum post that I am offering 260 Tickets for a foil Force of Will. Now I am only 19 Tickets away, and to speed up the process, I sell a bunch of rares to a bot for 20 Tickets. That leaves me with 261 Tickets, a foil Sword of Feast and Famine, and tons of other cards after the final trade… here we go!
“Tuktuk,” the player who responded to my message, contacted me in game, and while I was selling my small rares to a bot, we had a bit of a chat about Classic, Vintage, and Magic in general. To make us both feel safe instead of sorry, we first traded my Tickets for his four Tarmogoyfs and then traded those back with additional Tickets in two swoops.
Wow, I can’t believe it’s finally done. A point I would like to stress is that of course there are other and more reliable ways to create value, if you move outside of MTGO or have huge resources, but my point here was that all the players that are idling within MTGO wondering how to support their hobby without spending tons and tons of money: there is hope!
I would like to leave you with a final screenshot of the card and the promise that I will be back at some point with more insights into the MTGO economy. In fact, you can expect something huge coming up in the future…
Take care all, and good luck with your trading!