I had the good fortune to attend a 170+ attendance PTQ in lovely Louisville, KY today and speak with Josh from the local card dealership, The Mana Screw. Thanks to Josh's patience and keen eye, here are a few notes from a dealer on a PTQ floor. While their website, www.manascrew.com, is currently under development, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I encourage you to get in touch with them if you need cards in the Louisville area. They were a pleasure to deal with, very friendly and outgoing.
-The most sought-after card was Runed Halo. They only had four playsets and moved them immediately. They were charging only 4 dollars a card for them.
-Thought Hemmorhage at $8 saw an unusual amount of volume, most likely due to the anticipated prevalence of Swans Combo* and a good number of players in the room playing Red-Black Aggro.
-Sygg, River Cutthroat didn't move well at all, and while they were selling for $4, no one bought one all day. He did note that their volume spiked tremendously after GP Seattle, so it seems like the people who needed them got them before the event.
-Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker was selling for $13, and more of them were sold than normal. This is likely as a result of the Barcelona 2nd place list running one main deck.
-After the halfway point of the 8 round tournament, Mana Screw saw a marked increase in people selling away their Jace Belerens. Faeries and 5 Color were not well represented so perhaps the people playing the decks that run Jace just scrubbed out and gave up on their deck?
-Maelstrom Pulse is everywhere. It would have to win the award for most common non-land card played all day. It is the real deal.
-Meddling Mage seems to be dropping in demand. The one I got as part of the Pack Challenge I have not been able to trade and thus accepted an 8 dollar cash offer. When MM looks to have bottomed out, that's the time to swoop in and grab 2 or 3 playsets on the cheap.
-Bant Aggro was very popular but frankly does not seem to fare well against Swans Combo. The deck has explosive draws but...doesn't do anything besides turn dudes sideways.
For those trying to keep up with the market, going to premiere events is essential. You can see a broad range of decks and players. A savvy trader can usually take advantage of different markets and different sets of values and demands. Don't be shy about talking to dealers either, and if you go to a PTQ or other event this summer, ask your friendly neighborhood cardboard vendor what trends he's been seeing. Leave a comment if you do and I'll repost it on the front page.
Oh, and for those of you who want to know how I fared in the tournament, foll0w me on Twitter!