Archives for : January2017

5 Ways to Grow Your MTG Binder Exponentially

Getting the cards that we want is always a constant problem for magic players around the world.  Something I heard a lot of when I was playing legacy was “Man, if I had his cards I could play as good as he does.” I even found myself saying those exact words on more than one occasion. We are in a card game that, thank god, is always changing. New decks, new formats, new information, new brews, new everything, so how do we keep up with the demand for our wallet?

MtG: My Pride-n-Joys
AuE / / CC BY-NC

We simply don’t have the means to acquire every card that we want to, or do we? The biggest reason why people play standard is that it is relatively inexpensive. What people don’t realize is it’s relatively inexpensive four times a year. We budget to keep up with the demand that wizards keeps on our wallet when we have everything that we need in our binder. The problem is how do we manage our binder and wallet to keep up with current meta-game changes?

  1. Quit grabbing cards on the way out. If you want to have the deck of your dreams, don’t complete it three months before half of it rotates out. Aristocrats was a ton of fun to play for a while, just not to start playing two months before rotation hits. Wouldn’t it be alot more fun to play your deck for a year? June will not be the time to start picking up Sphinx’s Revelation no matter how good U/W is doing. Look ahead and start changing out your Boros Reckoners for Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. The closer rotation is, the harder this is to do. Be proactive!
  2. Educate Yourself. Figure out what cards will be powerhouses, no matter what happens. Stormbreath Dragon is a powerful card that doesn’t need anything else to make it good. This means that you will have a card that will be in demand post rotation before we have a Metagame. Your best bets are usually mythics from the third set of a block (Voice of Resurgence *cough)
  3. Get some staples. If you want to maintain and increase the value of your magic cards get some staples. I am not talking about standard staples either, I’m talking Underground Sea, Force of Will, Remand, Tarmogoyf, and any other card that will always see play in modern or legacy. Modern is especially good to get into right now because the season is still a few months away, so prices will keep going up for the next six months. This is what is referred to by financiers at real estate. It might fluctuate, but it will always increase in value in the long run.
  4. Stop buying packs. Buying packs isn’t a bad thing. Buying twelve Dragon’s Maze packs to try to get one Voice of Resurgence is. I know that there is a rush that goes into opening a pack, but at least have a purpose. You can put those packs to use by doing a little drafting. I’m a math guy at heart, so i figured out what buying packs just to buy packs cost you. If you only buy two a week, after a year that is over $400. Four hundred should give you the option to play any deck in standard.
  5. Listen to great sources. Twitter can be a huge resource if you let it. Do yourself a favor and follow a couple finance experts. I’ll give you my list of experts

It also takes some patience. You won’t have power nine by tomorrow unless you win the lottery or someone starts paying five dollars for bulk rares. It may take a year for you to stabilize your collection so you can play what you want. You will also need to exert a certain amount of self-discipline. The only way to get to the point you want to be at is a bit of grinding. So as always

Welcome to The Grind

Why MTG Finance Matters to You

Speculators and private dealers obviously need to have in depth knowledge of how MTG finances work, but why should this subject matter to you? What uses could the average player have for knowing anything about the financial spectrum of Magic: The Gathering? It’s not like Average Joe is going to make money off mtg, he just wants to have fun with the game.


photo courtesy of Danielle Nicole Conine

Though Average Joe may not be looking to try to make money from his beloved game, he may like to play with expensive cards. If Joe knew how to be proactive with his collection there are many benefits to enjoy even as a player.

  1. Watching your mtg collection grow: Every playgroup or store has a Collin. Collin is the guy with a collection that everyone is super jealous of. He brings in a trade binder that looks like a store binder to every FNM that you have ever been to. Collin only ever seems to be looking for like three cards to finish any deck that he wants to play. There are two ways to be a Collin. First is to place exuberant amounts of cash into your collection so that you can have every card you’ve ever dreamed of. For most of us this is way outside of our boundaries. The other way is just to manage your collection very intelligently. It doesn’t happen overnight, but by paying attention and making smart decisions when it comes to trading, we can slowly build a quite large collection.
  2. Keep from getting taken advantage of: We have all seen someone being taken severe advantage of in a trade before. But how many times have we been slightly taken advantage of and never known about it. We all have smart phones to try to keep this from happening, but how many times do we need it when it is dead or running slow? It really doesn’t take much to keep up on the prices of things that we are looking for. You should pretty much know the value of the things that are in your binder and it really doesn’t take that much to do. I use the trader tool on quiet speculation to keep live track of my binder. This keeps me from having to type every card in individually. Before I subscribed to that I used to take almost an hour and write down the each cards price after using the deckbuilder function.
  3. Keep the cost of deckbuilding low: How many times have you needed a few last cards to complete a deck and they shoot up in price, making them almost impossible to get a hold of? You didn’t get unlucky, you were just under informed about price trends. We know that cards go up and down, why not take advantage of that? If we are going to take a month to build our decks anyway we can take advantage of cards that are undervalued right now. If you know that post rotation you are going to play esper, pick up your Blood Baron of Vizkopa when they are down per-rotation. Doing this would have saved you about $48 on a playset of them. Doing this with your entire deck could save you over $100. Then you might be able to afford to play with shocklands instead of guildgates.
  4. Buylisting your way into the cards you want: Most people are a little uncomfortable using a buylist because it makes them feel screwed. A few tips to not feeling that way, start using tcg mid or low prices. You would be surprised at how close some cards come to tcg prices. If you are used to using SCG (starcitygames) prices, buylist will seem more than a little off to you. It will just leave you with the feeling that you got robbed out of half of your cards. A buylist is a great way to “trade” with someone that will give you anything that you want for a certain cost. The best way to go about this is to do some research and trading before you start buylisting. Current example is Card Kingdom is paying $12 cash for Griselbrand. With their thirty percent trade bonus that means that his trade value is around $15.50 to them and his current tcgplayer price is $16. So you can trade the cards with a much larger difference between buylist and tcgplayer mid to get some Griselbrands, such as Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx with a 50% spread.  This allows you to finagle your collection around to fit your needs.

So how do you find out all of this information? The answer is just to study up. Take in as much as you can, but keep in mind where it comes from. My previous article has a few different places that you can find reliable information, but feel free to explore.  The internet is a big place and there is no way that I have scoured the entire thing. If you stumble upon more places for reliable information feel free to let other grinders know in the comment section. As always

Welcome to The Grind

MTG Finance – Resources For The Grind


Welcome grinders to my humble abode. I am Caleb Gothberg and this is my website dedicated to bringing you sound financial information on everyone’s favorite trading card game, Magic: The Gathering. With so many people now displaying an interest into the financial spectrum of MTG, we could all use some insider tips on how to gain advantage of Magic instead of losing it. I don’t claim to be the most knowledgeable person in this area but I have learned a few lessons along the way that could help you in your MTG finance endeavors.


photo courtesy of Danielle Nicole Conine
The only piece of advice I will give you for the moment is to stay informed. There are plenty of good rescources out there for anyone to access. Some of these require monetary investment, while others are completely free. Here are my mainstays in MTG finance:

  1. Brainstorm Brewery (free) – The Brew Crew puts out a weekly podcast that is not only entertaining but informational. There are more articles going up every day by financiers with solid information. I do currently write for them bi-weekly so check it out
  2. #MTGFinance (free) – If you don’t have a twitter account, make one. This thread gets posted to daily and is especially relevant during large tournaments when price spikes happen very quickly.
  3. (free) – I don’t like near as much as the rest but with this, you get what you pay for. Still some solid finance advice it just takes a bit more weeding through to find good content.
  4. Quiet Speculation (paid) – By far my favorite just squeezing past Brainstorm Brewery. It does require an investment of $12 a month, but I would pay $100 if they asked for it. Solid written content as well as the trader tool. Try it for a month and I guarantee you won’t know how you lived without it.
  5. (Freemium) – They allow you to do what I use it for for free checking current card trends. they also have some paid for things that I have never used before. Great for looking at what cards are dropping and what cards are rising.

My only thing that I have left to add is to never fully rely on information from just one source. All of these resources are best used in conjunction with one another. And don’t be shy to use comment sections anywhere. Most writers are very grateful to have comments and are more than willing to start a discussion.

Thats all I have for today so as always,

Welcome to The Grind.