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

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