1. Jay, you've already saved me money when you pointed out some of those same things on Ertai's Lament. I haven't recently bought any older precons because I now realize, I don't actually need the box. Given the ease with which an almost identical deck can be made through an online retailer, I should be able to generate some really large savings. The only reason for a sealed, new-in-box, deck is for purely collecting reasons. Since I, like you, want to relive all those moments I missed during my extended hiatus, I open the boxes anyways so I can play and get a feel for the sets.

  2. Oh, you sneaky wizard adept … building theme decks out of singles is somewhat a stroke of genius … 🙂

    However, it depends whether you want those precons for fun reasons to see how they play out or whether you are a real purist collector needing to have each and every one sealed as they come shipped, never intending to opening them, just admiring the collection on your shelf. (There are a bunch of toy collectors out there that need their Star Wars figures originally packed …)

    This is as well something I find myself considering every once in a while: I do not run a museum, I want to have fun out of my Mtg-Collection … so open those packs, play them, tweak them, take any reasonable advice on doing so and curiously take challenges on creativeness … that's the motto and amongst others thanks to Ertai, it's being filled with life.

    • I like to think of myself as being somewhere in the middle. Yes, they're opened and played with, but also lovingly sleeved and double-boxed for organised storage. A bit of an archival treatment, really!

  3. This was a great article. I remember when I bought Exodus' Groundbreaker just for the 3x Diabolic Edicts it included, and then bought the ones from Tempest and Stronghold for the story snippets.

  4. Have you talked about the Vintage era/Classic era/Modern era distinction before, and if so, where can I read about it? Not following precons too closely, I'm curious about how you drew these lines.

    • As it happens, quite arbitrarily! This is one of those times where in the absence of any real definition in the game, you make one up that best breaks your articles into reasonable length. In essence, I took the deck pool and divided it into three, and each "Era" will get its own column here.

  5. I usually don't seem them broken up, but this is a good idea and the kind of creative thinking that can really help build a collection for less. Another alternative for the modern decks is buying them without the booster pack inside. I've done that for a few, and saved good money in doing so.

  6. Thanks for the advise. I quit a million years ago when homelands first came out because it was such a lame expansion. I’ve wanted to get back into magic for a long time but it’s completely overwhelming.


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