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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-22 6:50 am 
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thaumaturge wrote:
Like, a few months back I managed to save up about $250 to blow on Magic but I had FOUR fucking standard sets to catch up on. Hadn't been able to buy more than $5 worth of cards here or there in over a year and a half. So even though I had $250 to burn, I needed to REEEEAALLYYYY make that cash stretch as much as possible.

It me! Except change "FOUR" for "FOURTEEN" hehehehe

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-22 8:02 am 
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Mr Degradation wrote:
With that in mind, however- the most important thing to understand about the secondary market, is that it almost entirely exists on speculatory "value". The bubble pops every few years, and cards that were previously expensive diminish greatly in their "value." Moreso than than it's multiple extra limited print reprintings; Tarmogoyf (the premier beatstick for over a decade now-) demonstrated this as alternative cards to fill the role, and in some ways fill the role better have popped up in more mass produced sets in lower rarity slots. The older editions of Goyf now only have collector value- but the willingness of the players to pay out $500 for a playset has drastically been diminished.


I've written for quietspeculation.com in the past, I am also currently forum and discord admin for them. I of course have some thoughts on the secondary market as well, in some aspects they disagree with yours, so I'd give my view.

In a sense, yes, you could argue that the secondary market is almost fully speculatory "value", in the same sense that could be said for any collectible or in a way even for money. Things have value because we speculate that others will value them as well. I think though you're referring to people buying cards under the assumption they will become worth more (though tell me if you're thinking of something else). I would have to disagree with that though, not even among those active in "MTG Finance" is speculation particularly common. Far more profit tends to be made from buying cheap through buylists or by buying collections, speculation is risky and on average doesn't pay off all that well (in specific case it does, but that's balanced by failures). Cards do drop in value regularly, but that tends to relate to reprints or better cards being printed. Many cards are just too common for speculation to have an impact, however, old reserved list cards are an exception: I will grant you that there could be a significant speculation aspect to their value.

Mr Degradation wrote:
To Commander's role in this- most of the spec cards have little to nothing to do with true performance outside of mana rocks which can never be printed again outside of extraordinarily limited runs. In it's earliest days of exposure- Commander drove the prices of Glimpse the Unthinkable, and Consuming Aberration- after years, Doubling Season kept climbing and brought things like Wurmcoil Engine with it. Today, the bubble is coming up around other doubling effects like Wound Reflection or trashy punishers like Polluted Bonds out of speculation. The thing about all of the cards I''ve mentioned here, is that with the exception of Wurmcoil Engine- none of these cards actually do much of anything if you don't already have excessive forward momentum (and Wurmcoil Engine itself is often just a lukewarm play if your deck can't entirely utilize it for being an artifact creature with a death trigger to create artifact creatures.)


From a play perspective I agree with you: certainly not all cards that gain value because of casual attention, are actually good.

In MTG Finance speculative buying is often characterized by sudden huge increases in price, while many commonly played cards tend to show a gradual rise. Reflection and Bonds certainly seem to fall in the former category, Season on the other hand has mostly shown gradual rise and if it wasn't for the reprint it'd probably still be going. I can certainly be convinced Bonds and Reflection are speculative buyouts, potentially even heading for a popped bubble, but, a few examples don't show that a whole market is speculatory. Many cards actually see real interest and gradually rise, often more so over time as cards get more rare over time (versus player base growth, but also because they get removed from circulation as people stop playing without selling). Rises often align with new cards being printed that synergise well.

Fear of missing out often leads to people spending surprising amounts on cards. There actually are a lot of casual players, some of whom have significant amounts to spend. Many casual players don't sell much, just keeping cards in their collections. Some sets have been underprinted relative to the current player base (actually Shadowmoor is one such set) There definitely can be real upward pressure on the prices of casual cards because of this.

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-22 10:16 am 
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Limit is variable. I dropped $1300 CDN on a Tabernacle at Pendrell vale two years ago, but re-traded it two weeks later (got bored) to the guy I bought it from. I sometimes get sticker shock though (lol, almost wrote sticker shot) as I did today when I ordered a Scroll Rack at the Tempest version was $60...so just bought the bullet and got the Commander's Arsenal for $15 more ($75) cos...shiny?

It really depends on whether the deck is just a throwaway or whether I'll keep it for months.

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-22 1:36 pm 
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Related to this discussion; how is Swords to Plowshares so cheap and Path to Exile so expensive? Purely because of Modern?

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-22 2:26 pm 
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Viperion wrote:
Related to this discussion; how is Swords to Plowshares so cheap and Path to Exile so expensive? Purely because of Modern?


To be perfectly honest, I think this has more to do with having more non-limited print runs in Dual Deck and Commander related products than the competitive strength of Path in it's relevant format. In my Ephara deck, for example- the Swords I'm playing is from the Elspeth dual deck (it's the earliest printing of the new art iirc,) and an FNM promo Path (which were far easier at the time to obtain than the non-promo Paths, and far more aesthetically pleasing- I only had one Shards Path at the time, and the going rate was like 10 USD easily.) For a similar situation, check out Lightning Helix and (up until recently) Boros Charm. I can't really say why Wizards gets so gun-shy about reprinting high power removal more frequently in Commander related products (Maelstrom Pulse, and Cyclonic Rift could certainly use more non-limited printings.)

Pi wrote:
In a sense, yes, you could argue that the secondary market is almost fully speculatory "value", in the same sense that could be said for any collectible or in a way even for money. Things have value because we speculate that others will value them as well. I think though you're referring to people buying cards under the assumption they will become worth more (though tell me if you're thinking of something else).


It's sort of odd how subtle our disagreement is; and before continuing (and hopefully not over-simplifying-) I enjoy how reasonable and well articulated your points are.

In truth, I more or less enjoy mocking the concept many players have of cards having "value" in the same manner as material currency. Often, it seems to me; explaining that MtG is a buyer's market (from the perspective of being closely involved with assisting a friend run a B&M-) With this in mind, most B&Ms are quite flexible about pricing through wheeling and dealing via bundling chase cards from the case, or purchasing singles alongside supplies; because it works in the interests of both parties to keep product moving. Where, some friends of mine would get frustrated that the store owner wouldn't offer "full value" or cash in return for chase cards to put in the case (though, certainly offering handsomely more than common buylist prices in store credit- which could be immediately redeemed for sealed product, supplies, or other singles.) Explaining this to them could be... trying- and every now and then I'd outright buy something from the case (since I wasn't an employee of the store-) to trade them for cards I was seeking from their own binders to illustrate the point (if ofcourse, we'd built up the faith that they weren't going to try to get one over on me by having me be stuck with slightly expensive collectible that I didn't want, if they didn't get to have me bend to ridiculous demands.)

I hope that doesn't get me confused with the often snarky individuals who curse the secondary market for financiers either; because my point of view doesn't dismiss the importance of people in those realms- but comes with a sober understanding that the game's finance is absolutely dominated by the flow of sealed product. The value of the loose collectibles is always based on the want, and the willingness to separate- as opposed to anything as black and white as "cold hard cash" or physical resource prices. Rather, I mock the people in our community (in a friendly way, mind you) for this ill-fit belief that hoarding these collectibles without putting the work into real distribution is a way to invest in long term gains. EDH decks themselves are sortof the cumulative head of this point- when I began playing EDH, they were collector's items in-and-of themselves; and now they are- but there are more dimensions to their uniqueness or "art"yness than there used to be.

With that said, I've been wanting to get a copy of Tundra for my Ephara deck for quite a long time; but in play- it isn't all that much more effective than Hallowed Fountain, Prairie Stream, or Glacial Fortress- and is often not quite as useful as Mystic Gate- but as a collectible I want it- and at some point will be happy to part with the extra income (it'll probably be 400-450 by then) to obtain one. But $35 for Mind Over Matter, $115 for Grim Monolith, $160 for Mana Crypt, $40 for Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, or a Benjamin on Mind Sculptor are all too rich for me- since they don't represent insane collectibility or boosts to the enjoyability of anything I'm playing atm.

EDIT: Sorry if I'm being incoherent, got the worst summer flu I've had in a while, so for all I know this is written in wingdings xD

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-22 9:02 pm 
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Loving that last bit, LOL @ wingdings. Hope you beat that flu soon!

Mostly my disagreement focuses on you saying the secondary market almost entirely exists on speculatory “value”. With almost 20k different Magic cards it seems incredibly unlikely that their prices are almost entirely dictated by speculation.

You made it clear that this isn’t exactly what you meant. Mostly I think your point in this second post is that prices are fluid and can usually be negotiated, thereby implying that value in this market is not at all set in stone. This has been my experience as well, I’ll negotiate with stores when trading in and I will negotiate with them on their prices when spending my credits. I’ve never found a store unwilling to negotiate assuming you’re looking to make a significant deal. I don’t think this makes prices speculative though, I would much rather say it means that larger absolute profit > better percentage gains in many cases.

I’m glad you’re not one of those snarky individuals, because indeed I did get some suspicion that might be where your initial post was coming from. I do disagree with your statement that finance is dominated by sealed product, though I could agree that it is around release dates. Mostly I’ve heard from store owners I’ve been talking with that the margin just isn’t good enough on sealed product: they have to carry it because otherwise people go elsewhere, but competition on it really pushes the margins down to the point where it’s barely break even. I’ve literally been told my buy price from an online seller was below the wholesale price the store owner I was talking with was paying (and this wasn’t some player selling his winnings, these were pre-orders).

You’re right when you say distribution is a necessity, without deals being made we never know that people are willing to pay a higher price (a frame of reference). I do however not believe that individuals hoarding cards doesn’t work because of it. Few cards are ever hoarded to the point that transactions simply aren’t taking place (you would have to be talking about extreme rarities like Summer rares). Given that I believe this not to be the case I can definitely see an individual hoarding cards and thereby steadily getting value growth until eventually selling out (I personally estimate my collection is worth about 3-4x what I put in through this exact process; I know the exact best buylist value for my collection (being QS staff has some perks), I am just not entirely sure how much exactly I’ve put in over the years).

There’s definitely nothing wrong with considering the prices of some cards to be too high, even while considering some more valuable cards worth it. Except for Teferi I obtained my copies long ago, so I am in the luxurious position to have spent much less on them (my Tundra’s were about $10 if memory serves). If I were to have to acquire these cards right now I would balk at some of the prices too, especially Mind Over Matter just doesn’t feel like it’s worth that, while I could still see buying a Tundra at current rates. One reason I am active in MTG Finance is to be able to stay ahead of crazy card prices like this and while I have had to let a few slip by me there have been many cases where I was able to stay ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-23 4:27 pm 

Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
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The last time I personally paid for a card was way back in 2009 and it was 15$ for a Sorin Markov since then I've either traded or used store credit. So, when selecting cards I take into account how much will shipping be (how soon do i want it factors in) and what other cards do i want. I want the rest of the sword cycle, but the individual prices same to take up half of any store credit i may get.

The one price hike that baffles me is Divine Intervention.

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onlainari wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-23 10:38 pm 
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trappedslider wrote:
The one price hike that baffles me is Divine Intervention.


First and foremost it's a reserved list rare from a set that had an estimated 20k copies printed per rare. The cheapest RL rare from the set is about $10 (Rapid Fire, which is comparable in price to the cheapest non-RL actually). There are currently 25 Legends rares more expensive and 95 of them are cheaper. Lets compare to a recent set: Dominaria has 72 rares and mythics 96/121*72=57, Shalai, Voice of Plenty is currently the 57th rare in Dominaria value wise and about 11x as expensive as the cheapest rare in the set. Of course you might argue that I should use use either rares or mythics, in which case this works out to 4x as expensive for rares and 9x as expensive for mythics. I'd argue that due to the way rarities changed a rare now is more like an uncommon then, so I would either take the total or the mythics for comparison. In either case the Divine Intervention seems to be of normal value compared to the cheapest rare card in the set.

Obviously this is all somewhat suspicious math. My point however is that Legends as a set is simply very different from more recent sets when it comes to card value, specifically the value of its bulk rares is comparable to today's best rares and good mythics and the prices for all its cards are higher in general. Combining this with the uniqueness of this card's effect it makes more sense to find its current price tag relative to the rest of the set. I can certainly appreciate that this card doesn't seem valuable to everyone, but basically you only need 20k people to like the idea of drawing the game, minus a number of collectors like myself who just want their copies for completing their sets and minus some copies lost to time (I can very well imagine people not being particularly careful with such a "useless" card back when Legends was new).

From a play perspective the price baffles me as well, no denying that, but I hope I could sufficiently illustrate that there are other factors at work here.

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-24 4:50 am 

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pi wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
The one price hike that baffles me is Divine Intervention.


First math

From a play perspective the price baffles me as well, no denying that, but I hope I could sufficiently illustrate that there are other factors at work here.


Last I had seen the price on this card it was less than 10 and I know that partly it's due to being a legend print but still a large jump from an 8 dollar card to a high point of 125. Makes me wish I had been able to get one back when I was first looking at it for a commander deck....

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onlainari wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-24 8:33 am 
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A rising tide lifts all ships. Back then the cheapest Legends rares were probably a lot cheaper too.

(I'd ignore high points, they don't really tell you anything because every card always drops back to some extend after a spike because people start digging up their copies and list them, causing a race to the bottom because everybody fears the new price isn't real, which continues until they start actually selling)

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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 11:23 am 

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trappedslider wrote:
Makes me wish I had been able to get one back when I was first looking at it for a commander deck....

If it makes you feel any better, that's how about i feel about $25 copies of City in a Bottle and City of Brass. When i saw City was $100, i wanted to scream at myself. I thought paying $400 for a set would be stupid and i passed, now it's over $275 easy (or higher, idk).


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 11:35 am 

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Sovarius wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
Makes me wish I had been able to get one back when I was first looking at it for a commander deck....

If it makes you feel any better, that's how about i feel about $25 copies of City in a Bottle and City of Brass. When i saw City was $100, i wanted to scream at myself. I thought paying $400 for a set would be stupid and i passed, now it's over $275 easy (or higher, idk).


Under what circumstances would you even play City in a bottle? Unless you're playing Mtg: The investment or Vintage.

I was looking at Divine Intervention for an alt endcon deck

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onlainari wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-26 9:55 am 
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Quote:
I am terrible at money is what I'm saying.


I fall into this camp as well. I tend to buy what I want, assuming I can (mostly) afford it. It usually works out okay.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-26 2:59 pm 
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pi wrote:
trappedslider wrote:

From a play perspective the price baffles me as well, no denying that, but I hope I could sufficiently illustrate that there are other factors at work here.


I think there was a Flash or Omni Rector deck that got it out to just draw Tournament rounds in LegacyVintage. Someone did this locally years ago and it was pretty funny!

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Generals:
Jasmine Boreal - Flower power! Nature/Justice/Retribution themed casual fun.
Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder - Chaos, horsemanship and storm!
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Pre-Modern:
A Denying Wind.
Duel Commander:
Nissa, Vastwoord Seer - Ramp ramp ramp into Ugin+Painter's Servant.
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider - Unbridled Aggro

Find me Saturdays at the Wizard's Tower - Ottawa and occasional Mondays at Westboro Legion for Duel Commander.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much for a card?
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-27 8:55 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
trappedslider wrote:
Under what circumstances would you even play City in a bottle? Unless you're playing Mtg: The investment or Vintage.

I was looking at Divine Intervention for an alt endcon deck

It is a rl collectible with a unique and powerful effect, very worthwhile for 'investing' if that's what you want to call it.
It was also for Vintage at that time, although it's not really playable anymore and always was kind of a cute sb tech. I ended up opting not to play it, is the only reason i didn't buy back then.


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