All posts by Jason Swistoski

Legacy Hero #4

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Legacy Hero #4

 

 

Welcome back everyone! Last week we talked about Pucatrade, sealed product, what build of Stoneblade I’m going with, and the aftermath of switching standard FNM decks. This week, I will go over the fall out of GP Jersey and what that means for Legacy Hero, setting expectations for the trade binder, knowing your market, and speculation opportunities I am going to take to try and get a little more value for those dual lands.

I’m sure everyone that is reading this article is familiar with GP Jersey. 3rd largest Grand Prix in Magic’s history. That’s pretty amazing considering the two larger events, GP Richmond (Modern) and GP  Las Vegas (Limited: Modern Masters) were more popular formats. UWr Stoneblade took home the trophy. Two UWr Stoneblade decks in the top 16 is a great sign that the deck choice everyone made is a good one. The top 16 as a whole shows a pretty decent amount of diversity.

Top 16 from Grand Prix New Jersey (I refuse to call them Sultai or Temur or whatever)

UWr Stoneblade     1st

Infect                    2nd

Storm                    3rd

Miracles        4th

Miracles        5th

U/R Delver        6th

Metalworker        7th

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U/R Landstill        8th

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Omni-Tell        9th

UWr Delver      10th

Miracles      11th

Elves                  12th

Sneak and Show  13th

Grixis Control      14th

UWr Stoneblade    15th

BUG Delver          16th

 

The core cards that make up the UWr Stoneblade deck can be used to build seven decks out of this top 16. That is great for peace of mind. I have talked to a few different locals that started to get into legacy before and they stopped because the decks they were building (Maverick) stopped winning. I wasn’t able to change any minds when I talked to them about it but I have to admit that I wasn’t very high on Stoneblade decks as a whole going into what I expected to be a field full of U/R Delver decks. I’m glad the rest of the field adjusted to handle it. I was reading Chas Andres’s article this week (StarCity Premium Content) and he covered the finances of Legacy pretty well. I highly recommend his articles. His articles are the only reason I sprung for SCG Premium. That aside, what he said near the end of his article this week really stuck with me.

“Even though Grand Prix New Jersey did a pretty good job of shaking up the format, I don’t expect much to change in the world of Legacy finance. Price-wise, the overall Legacy index is still slowly dropping, a trend that has been going on since the price spike last March. The market overcorrected in the first quarter of 2014, and prices are just now coming back down to where they were prior to that jump.

While the success stories coming out of the GP have the potential to rise in price, most Legacy-playable cards will continue to slowly drop in value until the next major bull market. This generally happens at some point between February and April each year, and if it doesn’t happen in 2015, we’ll have to re-examine the long-term future of these cards. For now though, it remains a fine time to both buy and sell Legacy staples without having to worry all that much about major shifts in price.”

If the price of the deck remains stable it makes my job a whole lot easier. I dont’ have to continue to chase cards as they get more and more expensive. Trying to get this done by April is a stretch but we will see.

 

I wasn’t able to make it to an FNM this week. Heck, I wasn’t able to do much of anything magic related. I caught about 45 minutes worth of matches from the Grand Prix. I was pretty concerned actually. I want to be able to tell everyone about all of the awesome things that I was able to do for Legacy Hero and how much progress I made. The bottom line is that I won’t be able to knock it out of the park week after week. This isn’t my full time job, at least not until we get that magic financiers union that offers great benefits. I will always do my best though. I would like to stress that I want people to email me any questions they have for me at mtglegacyhero@gmail.com. I’m not ready for a mail bag article yet but if there is something I’m missing or something you guys want me to talk about or try I will.  You guys just let me know.

Now we can talk about what I was able to do this past week. Here is a snapshot of what I sent out so far.puca

What isn’t shown is the deal I made for a LP Foil Hinterland Harbor. 800 points due to some surface scratches on the face of the card. I made sure to message the trade partner beforehand and see if he was willing to make a deal for the card based on pictures. I have had that card in my trade binder FOREVER because of those stupid couple of scratches on the top corner. Getting 800 points (8 bucks) for it is worth it to me.

The other cards are were just things I had laying around. I kinda cheated with the shipping. Part of my real job is mailing out paperwork to clients so I might have used stamps l had in my desk from work. I understand that not everyone has that perk so let’s talk about that for a second. The trade for the Swamp and the pair of Fertile Ground was barely above the cost of shipping. Is it really making me money by spending the money on stamps/shipping these cards? I think so. The cards I have sent out so far have been rotting. The best buy price on the Fertile Ground was Channel Fireball at $.02. Best buy list for the Archivist was StrikeZone at $1.35 but I don’t have enough other stuff to send them to make it worth it. This was the best way to cash out these cards. Now I will have 1109 points for the five cards that were collecting dust. Making the most out of everything you have is probably the most important lesson I can ever talk about.

 

Last week I had mentioned the white Commander 2014 I won and how I was undecided on what to do with it. The Grand Prix made my decision for me. I sold the Containment Priest out of it for $20.00 to a friend of mine that needed it. I will need that card for my deck later on but I can’t see that card holding it’s value for ever. Selling into the hype is usually the correct decision. I can already re-buy for less than I sold it for on ebay. The prices of the Commander 2014 cards are trending down. If you are a mtgprice.com protrader you get these handy little emails telling you about major inventory swings(which can indicate an incoming price increase) , major buylist increases, and important price gains/losses. One of the latest emails I received  showed me this pro email 1

Nine cards on that list are from the Commander 2014 set. I’m not going to make any real money selling off the rest of the deck. I uploaded the remaining cards onto Pucatrade and put them into my casual binder.

 

The last thing I want to talk about this week is a speculation opportunity I took. I have been hearing for a little while about Kuldotha Forgemaster being underpriced. I saw a few tweets on the card from Chas and our fellow writer Travis Allentweet

How could I pass up this kind of opportunity. I picked up a playset of them from my local store Monday, bought a few more on ebay, and traded for a couple more. I’m sitting on 15 of them now and I’m in for less than a dollar a copy. Is this a huge gamble. Not really. I agree with the people that said it is going to go up in price, but will it go up enough to make it worth it? Am I going to have to wait 3 years? I don’t think so but we will see.

 

That’s all I have this week. Next week I will go over knowing your local market, selling on tcgplayer and ebay, and maybe even have our first real trade for something. Maybe. Thanks again everyone.

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Legacy Hero #3

Welcome back everyone for this weeks Legacy Hero.

Last week we went over a few things, including: the deck I’m going to build (Stoneblade Variant), touched on the legacy format pillars, how to free up some value for the trade binder by switching standard decks, and maximizing the resources at my disposal.

 This week I want to go over what Pucatrade is, what to do with Sealed Product, showing the finalized legacy build that I will be working toward, and what to do with our standard stuff we added to the binder from the Jesaki Aggro deck I was playing last week.

 I have only recently got on the Pucatrade banaaat is a great way to pick up cards. It is an even better way to turn the small stuff that is worth a little bit more than you would get on a buylist into big ticket items or the oddball cards that are cheap but hard to find like a Foil Children of Korlis (399 points). Basically, I’ve been listing the casual/EDH stuff, that is worth more than $3 and less then $10. Good example is the Foil Kaerveck the Merciless (839 points). Then there are the slightly more than worthless uncommons like Timely Reinforcements (47 points) or Essence Warden (96 points). I went through a bulk 1000 box that has been laying around my basement since the Gatecrash Prerelease, if I were to guess by the stickers on the box. I thumbed through it really quick, all the common, uncommon cards I thought that was worth more then bulk, all the foils and rares. The highlights of the box were Garruk, Primal Hunter, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfier, Cabal Coffers, and playsets of both Jorga, Treespeakers and Rite of Flame. To start my Pucutrade account I added all of these separated out items, a few emblems, and some tokens that I had.

Pucatrade also gives you a total of 600 points(one point is equal to one penny) once you do all the little things involved with setting up your account and shipping your first card, but remember that you are responsible for postage when you send something out, so I always try to trade multiple things to the same person. I have 743 points for shipping out 3 Portal Three Kingdoms Islands and requesting a Vision Charm to be sent to me. I’m saving points on here because I’m going to get a dual land out of this. I want to see how long it takes, and how much it costs in real dollars (shipping and materials) to get something that expensive. The Tropical Island from Revised is 21106 points ($211.06) and is supposed to be NM. Again, I am new to this concept, but I am excited to try it out for this project.

 Next we have the deck selection. I have been researching the Stoneblade/Deathblade archetypes, trying to find the one that stands out the most to me. Most of the sources suggest that the Delver variant is just better. I’m not sure if that is true, but I haven’t played a Delver variant or a Stoneblade variant since Treasure Cruise was printed. With all of the UR Delver running around lately, I’ve been playing either The Epic Storm, Show and Tell, or my own personal favorite,a Stifle-naught Delver variation. That is the beauty of the legacy format. There are SO many decks you can play. I keep a stack of proxies laying around to test different decks before sinking a major investment in to an idea. I can’t have plain, sharpie proxies like a normal person since I found these http://zeerbe.blogspot.com/. The Proxy Guy’s stuff is absolutely breathtaking.

 I have decided to build the UWr Stoneblade deck. This is mostly based on my personal play style, but also some research I have done, which I’m going to go over. The access to Pyroblast and Lightning Bolt outweigh Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay in my mind. However, I will pick up a set of Shamans just in case the meta slows back down and lets the Deathrite Shaman build have the edge again. It does make some sense to snag a playset as a long term hold. The price has been steady and there is always the possibility of it being unbanned in Modern

.Deathrite

 

The other advantage of going with the UWr version is the cost of the mana base. Not having to get a couple Underground Seas and 4 Polluted Delta is huge. That is going to save at least $550.

Here is the base build I have settled on:

UWr Stoneblade W/Containment Priest (1st place SCG Legacy Open Columbus Rudy Briksza)

 4 Flooded Strand

3 Island

3 Scalding Tarn

3 Tundra

3 Volcanic Island

2 Plains

2 Arid Mesa

1 Karakas

1 Mountain

4 Stoneforge Mystic

2 Containment Priest

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2 True-Name Nemesis

2 Vendilion Clique

1 Snapcaster Mage

4 Brainstorm

4 Swords to Plowshares

4 Force of Will

3 Lightning Bolt

2 Dig Through Time

2 Pyroblast

2 Counterspell

2 Spell Pierce

1 Treasure Cruise

1 Council’s Judgment

2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1 Umezawa’s Jitte

1 Batterskull

 

This deck lets us play with all of the new legacy toys like Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, and Containment Priest. Khans is as close to the bottom in price as it’s going to be,so anything Khans is worth getting now. The set as a whole is around $250, and 35 cards in the set are worth more than a buck. This is just a little more than the set of Theros, which has a about the same amount of cards worth more than a dollar.I can also build three different decks from the base of this one, so this another huge advantage to choosing this base.  Those three decks are: UWr Miracles, UWr Stoneblade, and UWr(Patriot) Delver.

Let’s take a look at core of the decks.

 

UWr Stoneblade Miracles UWr Stoneblade

 

4 Flooded Strand (4)

4 Scalding Tarn (3)

2 Tundra (3)

2 Arid Mesa (2)

1 Volcanic Island (3)

1 Karakas (1)

 

4 Stoneforge Mystic (4)

Containment Priest (2)

True-Name Nemesis (2)

2 Vendillion Clique (2)

Snapcaster Mage (1)

4 Brainstorm (4)

4 Swords to Plowshares (4)  3

4 Force of Will (4)

2 Pyroblast (2)

2 Counterspell (2)

Spell Pierce (2)

4 Counterbalance (0)

4 Sensei’s Divining Top (0)

3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor (2)

1 Batterskull (1)

Umezawa’s Jitte (1)

 

To turn it into the Delver deck I would just have to add some number of Lightning Bolt, Ponder, and Delvers. For Miracles, I would just need to add some tops and miracles.

 

I already have the Flooded Strands from my standard deck I parted out. As for the Brainstorm, Swords to Plowshares, Pyroblast, Spell Pierce, and Counterspell, they are readily available and fairly inexpensive coming in around $25 for the lot. I will be looking to get these cards as throw ins whenever possible. Your trade partner won’t usually walk away from a trade if you push for him to toss in that beat up counterspell he has.

 

What cards, out of the high end needs like the dual lands, force of will, etc, do I need to prioritize? You can’t count on the kids that need to sell some of their legacy stuff to pay some bills to find the best deal. You have to look at all the options. The option that I like the best is to focus on whatever is the cheapest to get. The best deal, to me, is to trade for the beat up Tundra out of my trade binder instead of buying the one in the case. As it stands right now my trade binder is ill equipped to get anything except for a few Force of Wills and that would leave things a little thin. I’m more than happy to get the cheapest sleeve playable option. Once the deck is built, then I can worry about a NM FBB Tundras or Japanese foil Stoneforge Mystics.

 

Speaking of trade binders, let’s look at what I was able to add to it by switching to the Jeskai Heroic Combo deck instead of the stale Jeskai Aggro deck I was playing. (trade value followed by best buylist prices per mtgprice.com)

 

+4 Flooded Strand 15.97/10

+1 Battlefield Forge 9.31/5

-1 Shivan Reef 8.18/5

+1 Temple of Triumph 5.46/3

-1 Temple of Epiphany 10.40/6

+1 Temple of Enlightenment 5.76/3

+2 Dig Through Time  8.71/5.01

+4 Stoke the Flames 5.26/3.40

+3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos 31.13/20

+4 Goblin Rabblemaster 16.17/10.64

+4 Mantis Rider 3.52/1.92

+1 Stormbreath Dragon 17.53/10.80

+1 Chandra, Pyromaster 7.62/4

+1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion 32.72/18

+2 End Hostilities 2.31/1

 Out of those cards I’m going to keep the Flooded Strand and the Digs for the legacy deck. Stoke the Flame and Goblin Rabblemaster should move really quickly. I’ve been able to trade out any copies of those cards I’ve had for the past month or so. Temples have been slow but steady movers for me but great to have in the binder. Planeswalkers are another great staple to have in the trade binder.

I went to play FNM this past week but we didn’t have enough people show up on time to get anything going. Saturday was better since I got to play in a standard event that was offering the new Commander 2014 decks as prizes. 1st place got the first pick of the decks, and so on for the top 4. I really like the new Heroic deck. I was able to claw my way to 2nd place and I picked the white one. I’m going to wait until after the legacy GP to see if I need to part it out right away. I have my monthly  EDH game with friends this weekend. That will be a good place to look for some legacy stuff. These are mostly casual guys so I will be able to move a lot of the abstract stuff I have. I will make sure to take pictures of any trades and hopefully have enough time to upload my Legacy Hero trade binder online.

 Thanks again guys! mtglegacyhero@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter  @somethingsays

 Shout out to  The Proxy Guy. He has this really cool Community Binder Project and is a master of his craft. I would kill for some of his stuff for my cube. @TheProxyGuy on twitter. http://zeerbe.blogspot.com/

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