Prerelease Prep: Winning Without Ever Tapping a Land

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This weekend marks the beginning of a new era in Magic. Just as many grizzled veterans remember a time before 6th Edition rules, a new generation of Magic players will remember the day they had to start declaring their order of blockers. With the new rules comes the most valuable set in years. Anyone who hasn't read Ben Bleiweiss' Financial Values of M10 articles should head over to and read them immediately. While it would be unethical to rehash his points here, there is one fact that is easily calculated by anyone with an abacus and five free minutes. M10's average expected value per box is somewhere in the realm of 130 dollars. That's discounting the resale of ALL commons and uncommons, and rares below 3 dollars. Simply put, this is the most valuable set you've likely seen since you started playing the game. For more information regarding the potential scarcity of M10 in a few months and the effect on singles and sealed prices, invest in a Premium account over at Star City. It is some of the best money you can spend on Magic today.

What does this mean to you, and how do you capitalize on it this weekend? The first step is realizing the big-picture price trends that are going on. Lorwyn-Shadowmoor stuff is slowly declining in price. M10 stuff has already soared in price since pre-sales started. Alara Block stuff is static. LRW-SHM cards are useless to PTQ players after Sept 2nd. They won't rotate for a few weeks thereafter but since the last PTQ is on the 2nd they're all but useless. M10 cards have the potential to increase in value and will be relevant for at least a year. It may be a bold recommendation but it seems to make a lot of sense to trade liberally for M10 cards.

Think about this: Your LRW-SHM cards will likely never be worth much more than they are right now. The reprinted ones aside, they'll slowly creep down in value. The Alara stuff isn't going anywhere, with a few exceptions (There are some really under-rated cards in the block that are worth NOTHING because of LRW-SHM being in the format). It only makes sense to firesale the cards dropping in price, and the cards that are static, and acquire the new cards with high potential.

Sound good? Great. So now that you've been convinced to unload your entire collection at the pre-release we'd best figure out what cards you're trying to get. Here are a few lists that you can reference and bring with you on Pre-Release Day.

Top 10 Chase Cards

These are the cards that are already worth a pretty penny. They don't stand to increase much in price, and they are likely safe investments (with one exception).

1) The Dual Lands
2) Honor of the Pure
3) Baneslayer Angel
4) Ajani Goldmane
5) Jace Beleren
6) Garruk Wildspeaker
7) Pithing Needle
8) Silence*
9) Ball Lightning
10) Darksteel Colossus

Top 5 Underrated Rares These are the cards that represent good value. Get these if they're cheap (and if you go by SCG pre-sale prices, they will be).

1) Gargoyle Castle $2
2) Magma Phoenix $1.50
3) Open the Vaults $2
4) Djinn of Wishes $1.50
5) Polymorph $1

Top 5 Overrated Rares
These are the cards that represent a potential bad investment or a decrease in price over the next few months. These are cards to be trading at the pre-release, as they will likely not rise above their current price.

1) Silence* $11
2) Twincast $7
3) Silence $11
4) Coat of Arms $7.00
5) Silence, again. $11

*Yes, Silence is both an overrated overpriced rare and a chase rare. The hype will die down, and unless the card has a definite home in a deck (like Honor of the Pure already does) it'll likely begin a slow decline in price, eventually settling in between 5 and 10 dollars.

Armed with those lists, go forth and conquer your pre-release. For a primer on trading basics, check out Part 1 of A Trader's Guide. Good luck tomorrow!

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

View More By Kelly Reid

Posted in Uncategorized

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