Archives for : January2017

Trade Secrets: Digging Up Commander Gold #1

EDH is a format that has been around for a while now, and chances are that every legendary creature has at one point been accompanied by 99 other cards of matching color identity: it’s all been done. Rosheen Meanderer, Blind Seer, even Riven Turnbull is somebody’s beloved general out there in the wide world of Magic. Every card ever has been in somebody’s deck: it’s as simple as that. Making your deck stand out can be tough, especially when you have six other Mayael decks being brought to FNM that all run Ulamog and Blightsteel Colossus the same as you. So, how do you keep it spicy? It’s all about the ingredients. There are TONS of cards out there with untapped potential that people just haven’t realized yet. The goal of this column is to bring to light some of the more obscure cards most may have overlooked. So, let’s get started!


Lands you control are Plains. Nonland cards you own that aren't on the battlefield, spells you control, and nonland permanents you control are white. You may spend white mana as though it were mana of any color. You may spend other mana only as though it were colorless mana.Celestial Dawn

Price/Foil; $0.50 / $2

This enchantment is basically Chromatic Lantern with a few minor differences. It changes the color of all your spells and nonland permanents, which can be useful with color-based field buffs or even other niche spells. The major downside it presents is that you lose abilities on your nonbasic lands, such as Reliquary Tower or Temple of the False God. Whether or not it is worth playing is up in the air, but you can’t argue that the foils look amazing and how great it is with Rith, the Awakener.

Dissipation FieldWhenever a permanent deals damage to you, return it to its owner's hand.

Price/Foil; $0.25 / $1

The only thing I can say about this is that the foils are too cheap. At the very least, it forces your opponents to build until they can kill you in one fell swoop, and even then they are open to die to your other opponents. The level of deterrent it brings is amazing, and as long as you aren’t doing anything degenerate with your board state, you will almost always outlive others. At most this card is abusable. You can retrigger landfall with City of Brass or Donate it to your opponent and go infinite with Memnite and Warstorm Surge. As a Rare from Scars of Mirrodin, there aren’t an overabundance of copies out there, and it’s splashable enough that even 5-color decks can run it.


Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.) 2Black, Tap: Put a petrification counter on target creature. It gains defender and becomes a colorless artifact in addition to its other types. Its activated abilities can't be activated. (A creature with defender can't attack.)Xathrid Gorgon

Price/Foil; $0.25 / $1

This thing is sweet in casual commander games. It is reusable removal that is flavorful as all get out, and a 3/6 Deathtouch blocker isn’t really shabby either. The fact that it stops them from using activated abilities is also super relevant, and some voltron decks that rely on indestructibility to protect their buffed up general just aren’t ready to see it turned to stone but left on the field, unable to be recast. This card has been considered hot trash since it’s release, but as long as you aren’t trying to pay for your mortgage by winning commander pods, this card is both playable and fun.


Lord of Shatterskull PassLevel up 1Red (1Red: Put a level counter on this. Level up only as a sorcery.) LEVEL 1-5 6/6 LEVEL 6+ 6/6 Whenever Lord of Shatterskull Pass attacks, it deals 6 damage to each creature defending player controls.

Price/Foil; $1 / $1.50

I have always been a strong advocate of level-up creatures for commander, as having something to dump your mana into once you have cast everything else not only keeps the game interesting for you, but can also yield good results, as you sometimes look like less of a target due to your ’overcosted’ creatures. Basically a 6/6 for six, Lord of Shatterskull Pass simply meets value standards. However, at max level, he can tear your opponents boards apart. Even casting Anger of the Gods before attacking will render almost anyone unable to block. It is very easy to put damage through with this guy, and he fits incredibly well into Mogis decks theme-wise. His release promo is likely hurting his growth, but the past year has seen some upward movement for him and that trend is unlikely to stop anytime soon. Play with him and you won’t be disappointed, especially after equipping Basilisk Collar to him.


Whenever a creature you control dies, put X +1/+1 counters on target creature you control, where X is the power of the creature that died.Death’s Presence

Price/Foil; $0.25 / $0.50

If you have a green deck that likes creatures, you need this enchantment. It literally steamrolls value for you, and it’s actually really broken with Primal Vigor on the field. Any green deck that ramps its best can appreciate it because it saves all your hard work in the face of removal. Don’t let the fact that it is so recent deter you, this card has a LOT of potential. Mycoloth, anyone? Also, the foils are worth less than a bean burrito.

OverabundanceWhenever a player taps a land for mana, that player adds one mana to his or her mana pool of any type that land produced, and Overabundance deals 1 damage to him or her.

Price/Foil; $0.25 / $1.50

Manabarbs plus Heartbeat of Spring. No card will start the game off more explosively and end it more quickly than this devilish little three-drop. Nobody complains about it, everyone gets excited about it, and it all wraps up before lunch. Every game I have ever played with this literally went four times as fast as comparable games. Riku and Animar are great places to stuff this, or you can 2-Headed Giant with the guy running Mindcrank and laugh as your opponents squirm.

Equipped creature gets +2/+2, has intimidate, and is a black Zombie. Whenever a nontoken creature is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay 4. If you do, return that card to the battlefield and attach Nim Deathmantle to it. Equip 4Nim Deathmantle

Price/Foil; $1 / $3

This has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I started playing the format, and it never fails to impress. The fact that you can recur your creatures with it is downright amazing. You get ETBs again and a free equip, and the intimidate is great too. Even if it gets destroyed along with your creatures you can use the trigger to return them one last time! Surprisingly, the fact that it turns your creature into a black zombie has actually saved me multiple times, it’s relevant in that you can block Mikaeus, the Unhallowed as well as Geth, Lord of the Vault and others. This card is nothing but upside, and it fits anywhere, even Tiny Leaders!


Commander Spotlight – Kazuul, Tyrant of the CliffsWhenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, if you're the defending player, put a 3/3 red Ogre creature token onto the battlefield unless that creature's controller pays 3.

Price/Foil; $0.50 / $1.50

Kazuul is an incredibly powerful general. He almost always offers free blockers for your opponents attacking creatures, and those blockers can kill anything without a beefy bun. He is fairly costed, and can be incredibly political at times, a rare occurrence with red decks. Playing against him forces hard decisions and your opponents have to deal with him if they can’t pay the extra mana or put flying or trample damage through. He’s also great with Warstorm Surge as well as Ogre Battledriver. With a buy-in price like his, you really can’t go wrong.

Tap: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. An opponent gains control of Rainbow Vale at the beginning of the next end step.Bonus Card – Rainbow Vale

Price/Foil; $0.50 / None

This land is so amazingly fun in EDH it isn’t even funny. The politics contained within it make games so much more fun. Sometimes two players will share the land back and forth and other times there will be that one guy ‘hoarding the vale’ that purposefully won’t use it just so nobody else can have it. It really helps players general attitudes because there is more interaction with each other than just choosing which friend to beat into.


I hope you enjoyed the first of many Digging Up Commander Gold articles by myself, Rath Barrios. Go ahead and leave comments below, tell me what I missed or even misread about a card, and especially any cards I haven’t highlighted that deserve it! Tune in next week for more Trade Secrets!

They stole my bedroom’s name when they made this card

Change Decks For FNM This Week

If you are like me FNM means I am playing Old Faithful so I can win my stores prizes again this week. While their is absolutely nothing wrong with winning a few prizes, try something new this week. If you’ve been playing Abzan for Khans standard since day one, see if a Jeskai player will trade you. I know that we want to get as much testing in with our deck as we can but you can learn almost as much about a deck sitting across from it as you can playing it. the things that you learn when you are the one holding the Counterspell are different than when you are waiting on the Counterspell.

Jeskai or Abzan?

What to play this week?

One of my favorite things to do when play-testing with a group is to be the guy running The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is the decks that we are currently expecting to face. It started when I was playing Reanimator Tendrils otherwise known as Tin-Fins in legacy and I had a friend playing U/R Delver. He kicked my ass 75% of the games we played. I got so frustrated we switched decks. Wouldn’t you know, he still won 75% of the games we played. He had been running U/R Delver for so long that he knew exactly how to play it. After playing my deck for a few hours we switched back to our original decks. The funniest thing was that he won more games than he originally had against me. After playing my deck for only 3 hours he knew how to beat it 85% of the time instead of 75%. That extra ten percent came from playing the deck.

You never know you might like that deck even more. I didn’t discover that I was a tempo player at heart until trying it out for the first time. There is something about getting ahead and staying ahead that I am in love with. One of the best ways to do this is to spend the $10.00 at staples and print up the top five or six decks in the format, sleeve up some proxies, and volunteer to run The Gauntlet for someone else. If that person is as  serious as you about taking their game to the next level, they’ll jump at the opportunity. This method also means that you only have to buy cards for a deck once instead of three times to figure out the deck you want to play.


So go ahead, live it up a little. Take a Switcheroo this week and play with your buddy’s deck. You never know, you might just fall in love. At the very least you’ll take your game to the Next Level.

Cheaper Magic

Why waste money on cards losing value?

Why waste money on cards losing value?

With M15 fresh off the press everyone’s creative side is coming out. There is probably a new deck being designed every fifteen seconds. New cards are more in demand the first week after release than the rest of the time they are in standard. The big problem is cards are usually at their highest price during this week as well. With demand high and supply low how can we reasonably afford to brew? I need twelve cards from M15 to finish my deck, but that is going to cost me 160 bucks. Next week I could get the same cards for $90 but I want to play with them this Friday. How can we play what we want to play without losing $70? The answer is so simple it eluded me for years.

Right now I have a Sliver Hivelord in my possession that retails for like $12. If someone offered me $9 I would sell it right now. The issue is who knows this? Well obviously you do now, but it’s probably too late. So you are stuck paying full price for a Sliver Hivelord while I’m stuck trading it away for less than half value. I think I have a solution for this problem, Facebook. It’s this amazing tool that can be used for more than just letting me know it’s shark week. Couple of quick suggestions on how to use it.

Let people know what you have. Periodically I will post onto my local Buy, Sell, Trade group on Facebook (if you don’t have one for the area, make one) what I currently am looking to get rid of. I generally get a great response because I am only looking to get buylist out of it anyway. Now instead of Card Kingdom making money because I don’t have anyone else to sell to and the person looking doesn’t know where else to buy from, I get what I want and the other person gets a great deal on a card or two. I wish that more people would do this. My favorite thing to see when I log on Facebook is that Timmy is looking to sell some cards. I have this strange feeling that there are people reading this right now that feel the same. It’s kind of like a local TCGplayer.

If you are feeling spunky you might even post what you are looking to get for them. Number one rule when selling locally is to be reasonable. If you have a Soul of New Phyrexia that retails for eight and you ask for eight, don’t be surprised when you get no response. If I have to pay retail on something I would rather keep my Local Game Store (LGS) in business than to go out of my way to pay retail. If you are willing to sell it at five and I need it, odds are I’ll hit you up, especially if I can get a playset from you at $20 instead of $32. At that point someone can be enticed to meet you at the Taco Bell half a block away from your LGS.

On a side note, if your LGS doesn’t allow you to sell cards in it, don’t. You are able to sell that card because they host a tournament every Friday, so be courteous and meet somewhere else. For all those people hitting me up, no I won’t meet you at BC Comics or Burdette’s, so don’t ask. The Burdette’s and the Huffman’s have asked me not to conduct business at their stores and I choose to respect that.

If you are looking for a card, let people know what you will pay. So you log on Facebook when you get home for the day and check your Buy, Sell, Trade group. Ben needs three Courser of Kruphix for his deck this Friday and he’s willing to pay $40 for them. You just so happen to have three of them that you are willing to part with. You are happy because the LGS only pays 30% cash (which is all they can afford to pay on them so don’t complain) and they are happy because they got them $10 cheaper than they would have by buying them at retail. This could happen every week if people would log on and make it known what they need. Right now I would sell my three Courser of Kruphix for $40 cash, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If you get it out that you are willing to pay cash, you would be surprised at what kind of response that you can get. Let people know what you need, how many you need, and what you are willing to pay. When I see those posts I go out of my way to get those cards.

Whether you are trying to get rid of cards or catch them all, it’s always best to stay connected. If you have your own way of making this happen, leave a comment so that we can all participate. You can always find me on my twitter, facebook, e-mail, or at one of the two LGSs that are in my town.

Three Stores, One Town

Three Stores, One Town
snaps / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

There seems to be loads of talk over ha

Preparing for Pre-Release

Pre-Release is my favorite time to be a magic player. As a MTG financier (hate the word, love the job) it is a very exciting time, but can also be a pitfall. There is alot of money to be made, but alot can be lost as well. How do you know what to grab and what to dump?

Keep what you want. If there is anything that perks your attention, trade, buy, or keep it. There is nothing quite like brewing after a new set comes out. Don’t sacrifice your killer U/R shenanigans deck you want to play at fnm just because you think one card will go from five dollars to three. Play with it. Magic is about having fun (and winning).

Yoda vs. Green Lantern (101/365)
Power over Finesse JD Hancock / Foter / CC BY

Look for power cards. Power will always win over finesse. Look for the cards that are the best value for their cost.

Listen to the experts. The guys at (hate to beat a dead horse but…) Brainstorm Brewery and Quiet Speculation both know what they are talking about. I understand why you may not want to pay twelve dollars a month if you aren’t trying to become a financier, but everything on Brainstorm Brewery is free. Take advantage of it.

Don’t listen to your friends (or anyone really). Most of them are well meaning and maybe a few are good at magic. They may be right some of the time, maybe quite a few times they have guessed or speculated on something. Figure it out on your own. I’m not saying friends can’t help, but use your own reasoning. They are your cards, it’s your money, and in the end it’s your responsibility. Besides, these are probably the same friends that conned you into investing hundreds, maybe even thousands into thousands of pieces of cardboard with cute pictures, weird numbers, and complex rules so that they could feel better about their addictions and have someone to suffer with.

Listen and read anything you can about the set. My person choice in poison is Limited Resources. There are two hosts that really know what they are talking about. They do 4 hour set reviews on commons and uncommons. I have found these extremely helpful going into pre-release as well as old episodes on more general things like technical play or how to draft control. Find something that entertains you and gives you relevant information.

Magic The Gathering Cards

Win Packs. You can be wrong on a few specs if you won fifteen packs while doing it. I’m not in favor of opening the packs but do what you want. I like to either sell them, or trade them at a five dollar value. Normally I value packs at four, but they haven’t come out yet so five has always seemed reasonable. I would rather someone else take the chance and stay with a guarantee.

The most important thing that you can do is show up. I can’t imagine not going to a pre-release. They are not only a ton of fun, but there is a huge opportunity to pick up more cards and make some cash. So for all the grinders, sacrifice some sleep, invest $20, and play some magic.

4 Tips On Making Better Trades

The first time that I ever sat down to trade with anyone other than my siblings was a rough experience. I had a binder that a friend had given me, carefully arranged by color, then alphabetically organized. More time was spent on making that binder presentable than actually trading.

I walked into the place like, yo, what up,  I got a big binder. Every rare that I owned was in that thing. I made sure that all twelve pages had every slot full front at back. Everyone would be clawing to get their hands on my Malakir Bloodwitch, Sadistic Sacrament, or my Psychosis Crawler. I was stoked to say the least. Suckers wouldn’t even know what hit them.

I soon discovered that I had no idea how to trade. People were in the middle of trades all around me, but how they got there was a mystery. After nervously clutching my binder for about forty minutes someone says “Is that your trade binder?”. Next thing that I know I have over 1,000 cards in a three ring binder in front of me. After only getting about three pages into this mammoth of a trade binder he pipes up with “Sorry dude, nothing I’m interested in.” When he took his binder back it was like part of my soul went with it.

After having this happen another half a dozen times it hurt. I finally sat down with a sheisty looking fellow and started flipping through his binder. No way, dude had a White Sun’s Zenith. I say “I really want this White Sun’s Zenith, could I trade you for it?” He tells me nothing he really wants so he’ll need value to part with his Zenith. WTF mate? I don’t even know what that means but if it gets me my White Sun, that’s cool.

He pulls out my Seachrome Coast, Green Sun’s Zenith, and Birthing Pod. “Does that work?” I really don’t know how to say no, and if he thinks it’s fair it must be. Three hours later I notice that Seachrome Coast is going for fifteen in the case at the LSG. They are charging $3 for a White Sun’s Zenith. Lesson Learned.

If you won’t watch out for yourself, no one will. Had anyone of dozens of players I now know seen him do that to a new player, they wouldn’t have let any of it go down. Unfortunately no one did. You can’t expect anyone else to know prices on your cards and you should know/ have the ability to look up the cards you want.

Know what you are looking for. When you have a clear idea on cards that you want, or would benefit from having in your binder, trading goes smoother. One of the best things that I have seen people do is put a list on their trade binder. Not only does this keep you from looking like a shark by saying “I’m looking for lots of stuff”, people will grab cards from everywhere. I don’t know how many random stacks of cards I have seen come out of deckboxs. Hell I’ll even pull things from decks I have to help people I like.

Figure out ahead of time weather you are using StarCity prices or TCGplayer. I know there is only “like a buck” difference between them, but man that’s a buck. I’m not one to really worry about a dollar trade difference but it adds up. Like when you want a bunch of cards that are basically bulk rares and he wants your Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. If you use SCG (Star City Games) all those rares are like a buck. On TCG they are all like 38 cents.  Kiki is 18.99 on TCG and 19.99 on SCG. Thats a difference between you getting 20 cards and fifty. Be aware of this.

Maintain walkaway power. “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Famous words that apply to trading as well as being a crime lord. You never will need a card so bad that you can’t walk away from a trade. Once you need it bad enough that you can’t walk away, you are letting the other person know that they can dictate the rest of this exchange. Keep that power to yourself, don’t give it up. If you do give it up do yourself a favor and use a buylist.

This Friday do yourself a favor and put some conscious effort into being aware of your trading. Free tip of the day, don’t be a dick. You can shear a sheep as much as you’d like, but you can only skin it once.

Question: What are some tips you have on making better trades? Whats the worst trade you’ve ever made?

Playing and Profiting With Magic

Magic The Gathering Cards

How do I get the cards I want and play?


As a magic financier trying to churn out a profit, playing what we want becomes difficult. We sacrifice the joys of playing for the benefit of financing. Some really don’t even try to take time to enjoy this game that we all love. When I started out as a financier I actually sold my legacy deck so that I could get started. I won’t say that this is a bad idea for everyone, but it turned out to be a horrible idea for me. So how do you start into #mtgfinance without selling your merfolk? Three principles,

Start slow. There is nothing wrong with not having the ability to buy everything that someone wants to sell you. Set your own pace that you are comfortable with. If you think that acquiring a huge collection takes a while, try doing it without being able to play your favorite deck. Magic becomes less fun without your favorite deck. So don’t try to use it to get an extra few hundred, or thousand for legacy players. It will take a while to get where you want anyway, so take a little extra and have fun.

Be patient. I know that for anyone that gets a thrill out of opening packs of magic cards, patience comes a little slowly. Getting cards flowing the way that you want them too requires more than a little patience. The temptation of selling your deck becomes more attractive the longer you have to wait but hang in there sunshine. If you keep written or typed record of all your purchases and profits it makes it a little easier. There comes a time when you start to feel like you are just treading water. When that happens and yu get the urge to get rid of prized possessions to start the flow again, don’t. Look at your records and you will see that your patience is being rewarded even if it doesn’t show. This makes it just a little easier to hold on to your favorite EDH deck.

Keep grinding. If you stop being active it makes everything slow down. This includes playing! We have all heard the saying that time flys when you are having fun. It applies here! It is very easy to throw in the magic towel if you are not having fun with it. I have recently found that I have a blast throwing down on some commander. I’m not a casual gamer by any means but I recently found a few spikes that are into commander. The other benefit is that commander players have some amazing treasures in their binders. You don’t see any of this unless you are out there grinding some magic. So as always

Welcome To The Grind

Question: What deck(s) have you held onto through your magic career?

Looking for deals and getting magic cards cheap

The only reason that I have ever been able to make it happen with magic is by random cheap purchases. We all know that lucky guy that had someone give him a huge collection for next to nothing. Some old guy just gave him all of his old cards that “will never be worth anything”. So how do start Getting L.U.C.K.y?


Being in the right place at the right time. We hear about this but it never seems to happen to us. The kid that just gave away half of his binder never seems to give it to you. What I have found is it seems to help if you are at least in the same building. You can’t have a random person do anything for you while you are in your home, unless they knock on your door and try to give you a cleaning product for looking at something for five minutes (don’t do it if you aren’t prepared to spend $2,000 on a vacuum cause those guys are good). No one will ever socialite you a magic card collection at your door (if anyone reads this and starts doing door-to-door magic sales i need a royalty fee). The only way to be in the right place at the right time is to be some place. Go out to your local shop and sit down, make friends, and play some magic.

Vimes turned to look at the squad...

Play Commander, no really I’m serious! Choose a bad ass general and get your EDH career started. I take a box of 800 cards and cbd oil for pain with me everywhere that says “take a card, leave two rares”. Anything could be in here from Doom Blade to Nightveil Specter, all for anyone that looks. Whenever I go the local EDH hotspot it always seems like the hottest thing on the menu. You wouldn’t believe the things that get dumped in there. Plus the guys that play commander are like the nicest guys in the world. And when they want a card, value isn’t the objective. Last week I was looking for a few Thassa, God of the Sea. I pulled one out of a trade binder while he was looking through my stuff and asked him if $13 was what he had it at. Guy never answered me, just kept thumbing through my cards. Finally he breaks the Silence and asks “do you have a Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis, cause I would trade for that, if it’s ok with you?” After explaining the difference in value to him he replies with “I hate trading for value, it gets in the way of fun. As long as you are good with it I’m good with it.” It took me .4 seconds to find his Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis. Half the time when I need certain cards, someone from the group just says “Here you go, you can just have it. I don’t play black anyway.” This person always gets gifts from me in the future.

Talk to everyone about magic. I know that most of us are closet nerds and don’t want anyone finding out about our secret nerd meetings. Get over it and tell people. Sure I end up being the butt of a few jokes at work, but no one all the sudden quits talking to you like your in middle school (If your in middle school keep that shit to yourself though, trust me on this). Most of the stories I hear about someone scoring big are because they were talking to someone they barely knew about magic. Fast-forward two hours and some guy has a shoe box he is handing them full of old magic cards (this guys the reason Underground Sea is off the charts). You never know who used to play so make sure everyone knows that you do. Thats how you end up “Getting L.U.C.K.Y”

Get out there grinders and find some magic cards. The more randomly you talk about and play, the more randomly you will acquire your collection. As always, Welcome to The Grind

Question: Where is the most random place that you have ever acquired Magic cards from?

001 Cards of the week

In my last blog post I talked about using a buylist to do your trading for you. This is done best when a site will give you close to if not exactly retail on these cards. Friday mornings I will be posting a group of cards that buylist for at or around retail when traded for credit. This way when you get asked what cards that you are looking for you can reply with at least a few.

Top on the list this week are

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite tcgplayer mid - 13.49  Buylist Cash - 11.50  Buylist Credit - 14.49


tcgplayer mid – 13.49
Buylist Cash – 11.50
Buylist Credit – 14.49

That’s right, you can actually trade this card to a store for more than it is worth. This makes this my primary target card this week. will buy up to 83 copies like this. Come on Dual Lands here we come.








Mikaeus, the Unhallowed Tcgplayer price - 4.00  Buylist cash - 3.30 Buylist Credit - 3.96


Tcgplayer price – 4.00

Buylist cash – 3.30

Buylist Credit – 3.96

This one will get you pretty close to retail but when you start getting this low on the tax bracket you have to watch shipping cost. If it cost you two dollars to ship you may want to accompany it with other cards to make sure you offset the cost.






Garruk, Caller of Beast  Tcgplayer mid - 22.27  Buylist cash - 17.00  Buylist Credit - 20.40


Tcgplayer mid – 22.27

Buylist cash – 17.00

Buylist Credit – 20.40

This is a little farther from Tcgplayer mid than you may normally want to go. On the flipside it is close enough that you might. The thing about this card is that it’s in standard right now and maybe a little more attainable, your call though.






Those are my top three for the week. There are a few more that also should make the list as well

Make sure that when you are out there trading this week to be honest and fair. There is nothing like repeat business, but that requires a good reputation. My dad always told me “A reputation is one of the hardest things to build and one of the easiest to tear down.” Besides, using buylist you can trade for what you want anyway. So as always

Welcome to The Grind

What is a buylist and how do I use it?

A buylist is just a list that a store or dealer puts out for what they are buying and how much they are buying it for. It also tells us in most cases how many of that item they are buying.  How does this help you? You have an Underground Sea that you know is worth $175. Unless you have a store to sell it at or know someone in immediate need of that card it is basically just a good fire starter. You could start an ebay account, but that could take weeks to sell if it does sell. How do you get cash from it relatively quickly? There is a local gaming store (LSG) that will buy it for like 30 percent of it’s value. Someone must be willing to pay more than that right?

Financial Crisis / Finanzkrise
alles-schlumpf / / CC BY-NC-SA

Buylist will pay you a little more than an LSG because they are competing on the internet. Your LSG may have one or two competitors that are also buying for around the same price, but internet retailers are competing with more and more stores everyday. With stores publishing their buylist publicly, they have to feature more competitive pricing. Each store has a different price on their buylist. How do you find who is paying the best?

One way to do it is to go one by one to each retailer’s buylist. This isn’t too bad if you are just looking to buylist one item. If you have more card you are looking to buylist this becomes very inefficient and time consuming. It may only take ten minutes to do for you Underground Sea, but what if you have thirty cards to do? That is like five hours!!! Good news is there are sites that will compare buylists for you.

My favorite site to use is They have an app that is easy to use and very efficient called Trader Tool. It does cost to use this, but it’s only $12 a month. It also gives you access to the site and their amazing forums. Bidwhicket is a free site that isn’t near as efficient, but hey, it’s free. No matter how you gain access it’s good to check more than one site before deciding. Now that you know where to go you need to decide if you are looking for cash or store credit.

Using buylist to trade can yield very amazing results if you know what you are doing with it. Some online retailers will give as much as 30 percent bonus when you get store credit. Do your research beforehand though. The first time I went for store credit I buylisted some cards to They happened to be paying the highest cash on the cards that I was selling so I went to them. They have a 25 percent bonus for trade in which is very high. What I didn’t check was who was paying roughly fifty cents less for the cards in cash, but they have a 30 percent bonus on store credit. It would have got me an extra three dollars, which doesn’t seem like much but add it up over a year. I buylist weekly so that is almost an Underground Sea. The other thing to look at is how much they are selling cards for. It does you no good to buylist something for a dollar more if the store charges five more for the card you need.

To trade with a buylist you want to use cards that buylist for relatively close to their value. If you do that you can trade almost even up with a store! What if none of your cards buylist close to retail? Trade for cards that do. How many times at your local FNM when people ask you what you are looking for do you reply with “lots of stuff.”? Not only does this not answer their question, they feel like you are about to attempt to screw them. If you are targeting specific cards it will not only make trading easier, but you can then trade them to a store for anything that you want. You can literally turn your standard binder into a legacy deck.

I will be publishing cards on a weekly basis that you can target for  this purpose. Until then go ahead and try a buylist out this week and see how it works. A few disclaimers before you use a buylist. Most buylist take about a week to sort through your cards and give you a store credit amount. Before you use a buylist you may want post to #mtgfinance on twitter and ask if the buylist is reputible. I will back,, and but anything beyond there check out with the community. And as always, welcome to the grind.

Questions: What questions do you have concerning buylist? What would you recommend to beginning buylisters?