MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (March 21/15)


By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It recently occurred to us here that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when we actually put our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such we’ve decided to run a weekly series simply breaking down what we’ve been buying this week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought without hope of profit, where appropriate. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we were up to this week:

Buying Period: March 15th -21st, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)


  • 7x Abrupt Decay @ $10.50 per


  • 4x Tasigur, The Golden Fang @ $7.50 ($2 cost per)
  • 4x Goblin Rabblemaster @ $9.00 ($5 cost per)
  • 1x Living Plane (SP) @ $30 ($12 cost)
  • 1x Scion of the Ur-Dragon @ $18 (pack opened)

I have mentioned publicly that I believe few specs make more sense right now than simply accumulating Abrupt Decay. Snapcaster Mage has amply demonstrated that the gaining potential of a Modern/Legacy staple rare is still excellent, even in the post-growth curve era of Magic: The Gathering. Both Snaps and Decay are auto-includes in the next edition of Modern Masters, with the only debate being whether that set shows up in summer of 2016 or 2017. My bet is on 2017 so far, but Wizards left the door open by naming this edition 2015, so you may only have a year to see upside. I’m looking to out my Snapcaster Mages in Sep/Oct around their likely peak.

On the sales side, I’m following through on unloading regular Tasigur, looking to reacquire if he drops enough during the inevitable summer lull. I think this card could easily hit $12 next fall, so this is more of a tempo play. Living Plane and Scion of the Ur-Dragon were opportunistic sales with margins too good to pass up. I’m also looking to sell my last box of Modern Masters at $360 shipped if you’re interested.

Douglas Johnson (@rose0fthorns)


  • 4x Plasm Capture (foil) @ $4.14
  • 118 x Battlefield Thaumaturge @ $0.30
  • 1x Eyeblight’s Ending (16 points)
  • 1x Asphyxiate (15 points)
  • 1x Mindclaw Shaman (23 points)
  • 1x Blinkmoth Urn (100 points)
  • 1x Gather Specimens (47 points)
  • 1x Fleshwrither (Foil) (99 points)
  • 1x Volrath’s Stronghold (2103 points) (personal use)
  • 3x Necrotic Ooze (Foil) (519 points)

Douglas says:


“I picked up 4 foil Plasm Captures on Pucatrade at 414 points each (basically $4.14). The card is powerful in Commander, and was from Dragon’s Maze, a very poorly opened set that was overshadowed by Modern Masters. I don’t think foil Plasm Captures should be the same price as a pack of Dragon’s Maze, especially considering the power level of UG colors in the Commander format. 


I also bought 118 copies of Battlefield Thaumaturge for $35.66, totaling approximately $.30 per copy. While it’s a bit of a risk and I might end up bulking out for $.12 each several years down the road, I believe this is one of those enablers that only needs one more combo piece to suddenly be viable in either Modern or Standard. While I don’t think Descent of Dragons from Dragons of Tarkir is neccessarily that special combo piece, $.30 per copy was just too cheap to pass up, especially when I was able to condense my order down to three sellers on to minimize shipping costs.

An interesting note on Fleshwrither: While I originally wanted to try it out in my Savra deck, I don’t think that it’s a bad pickup for the long-term in foil. Transfigure was one of the weird Future Sight mechanics that we might not see again, and this guy will only get better with every creature printed at 4CMC. 

As for the foil Necrotic Oozes, I’ve always had an obsession with the card. I feel like all it takes is one more creature printed with an absurd activated ability that puts it over the edge and makes it a contender in Modern instead of fringe playable. Dying to Lightning Bolt sucks a lot, but I can hope… At the very least, I think he’s a slow gainer over time because of EDH appeal, thanks to the words “all graveyards”. 
A note on using Pucatrade:
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already heard of Pucatrade. While I mainly use the site to ship out random cards that are either hard to get rid of, things I have a many extras of, or cards that I expect to decrease in value, there aren’t a whole ton of cards I actually *need* at any given time, due to the fact that I don’t play competitively anymore. There’s the occasional EDH foil that I’ll point out in a binder, and sometimes I’ll try to save up my Pucapoints to power, but otherwise I tend to sit on a lot of Pucapoints. As the main singles dealer in my area, I get a lot of requests for cards that can’t be found locally. Recently, I had a request for a bunch of EDH playable commons that I didn’t happen to have in my boxes of picks; Things like Eyeblight’s Ending, Rend Flesh, Cloudgoat Ranger, and Lignify. This person was willing to pay me cash for these random cards, and didn’t want to/was unable to go through the trouble of buying them online and paying for shipping. Thankfully, Pucatrade comes in very handily here. Instead of turning the guy away or paying cash for them myself, I was able to put a bunch of these cards on my Want list on Puca, and have them be sent to me in a matter of days. I’ve found that this is an excellent way to turn a type of “store credit” into real cash, that I can put elsewhere. That being said, here’s the list of EDH cards that I picked up this week, most of which I’ll be able to sell for $.25 or $.50 each: If you happen to stock up on a lot of Pucapoints like I do, and you’re the go-to guy for singles, consider using those points if someone in your area offers to buy a card that you don’t have.”


Travis Allen (@wizardbumpin)

  • 6x Commander’s Arsenal @ $345

Travis says:

“The value of the singles [in each set] is greater than the sealed product by at least $80. With nowhere to go but up on these, I’m happy to either let them grow in the long term, or flip them for $50 profit in the short term should the opportunity arise.”


So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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6 thoughts on “MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (March 21/15)”

  1. Alright! Alright!
    I preordered a playset of Descent of the Dragons and a playset of Battlefield Thaumaturge.

  2. Bought
    Battlefield Thuromage. 44@ .30
    Abrupt Decay 16 @ $11

    Verdant Catacombs 4@ $28 each

  3. You may address this closer to the release of MM2, but do you think that investing in sealed boxes of MM2 will be profitable again, as MM1 seems to have been? Because if you sell your MM1 box for $360, isn’t that close to a 100% return (I vaguely recall them selling in the $180-200 range upon release, although I could be misremembering)?

    1. I’ve considered that point, too. I’ve heard MM2 print run is significantly greater than MM1, with only perhaps 40% more players (2 years at 15-20% growth), {aisde: anyone have Modern-specific numbers?). So it hinges on the growth on Modern. I doubt it can grow the way it did after MM1 (consider Commander versus Commander 2XXX), but I also doubt it’s a bad investment. No way they’ll drop, and probably will outperform many other blue chips. I’ll probably get one or two. Why not?

      1. also, they were lowest around $225 online.

        MM1 boxes, after languishing for a year, are starting to gain again, which begs the question: if they’re reprinting Tarmogoyf (which I think I saw confirmed somewhere), and Emrakul and some other Modern Power, then the value per box will be comparable between the two sets. So either MM1 boxes crash in price as MM2 floods the market, or MM2 gains over time to nearly match the CURRENT and INCREASING value of MM1 boxes ($400+).

        1. The value of MM1 Has to go down. It will still demand a slight premium over MM2015 simply because of the current difference in mythics/rares (not fully announced yet). Such as Vendilion, Bob, Swords, Cryptic, Bloodmoon, and the difference of the hologram. People would absolutely not buy MM1 chasing Goyf if it was available to them in MM2015. Why pay $20+ per pack, if you can chase goyf in the new MM for $10 a pack (assuming it’s not marked up).

          I imagine the box value of MM1 will drop to the 300s to demand a slight permium for card selection over MM2015. Once 2015 dries up, they will both rise.

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