It’s A Given

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We all have them.  They're ingrained in our brains as immutable fixed concepts, and we think they make us smarter and more experienced.  I'm talking about knowledge that's "a given".  For example, how many times did you hear "Blue just isn't good in this format?"  How soon after that did Patrick Chapin revitalize the UW Control archetype?  Right.  Another example is Jon Medina's de-foiling process.  For a long while, Jon's Given was that he "didn't trade his foils".  We all have them, and they're doing you more harm than good.

Mine is my EDH box & my cube.  While the cube is a delicate ecosystem and can't be traded-from on a whim,  I'm going to revisit my EDH box today and consider what needs to be made available again.  I, of all people, need to stay honest about what cards would be better as liquid assets.  For example, I have a Tarmogoyf, Mox Diamond and a Force of Will in there.  That's about $200 of cards locked up that will never ever get me value.  What would happen if I put them in the display case (or in your case, trade binder) and only traded them when the deal was most favorable?  Since they're cards I dont use often anyway, I can trade them out for value and then take any chance to pick up those cards if/when I locate them at a discount.

Another example is of a friend who isn't playing a lot of Magic these days.  He needed more time to take care of other priorities in life, including his health, his SO, and his career.  He realized that playing FNM was something he just automatically did each week, but didn't really enjoy a whole lot, nor did he get good EV from it.  By reassessing his "given" he freed up at least 4-5 hours a week, which is quite a lot for someone who's got no free time.

I find this process to be good when building a Limited deck too.  Sometimes you have a card in your deck that's "too good to cut", but halfway through your 1st match you realize it's just awful in your particular deck.  That's why you need to ignore those shortcuts sometimes and re-assess what was formerly something unquestionable.  I know I'll be looking for more ways to do this in my daily life, Magic and otherwise.

What are some of your givens that need re-evaluation?

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

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2 thoughts on “It’s A Given

  1. I find that your collection's form should best fit how you like to play Magic.For example, I can't play FNM locally due to the hours I work. I can, however, play sanctioned Legacy on the weekends, and there's always someone around later on Friday that I can drop in and play eternal formats with casually. So naturally, my collection and trading habits veer away from standard chase rares and towards eternal format staples. It was a no-brainer for me to earlier this year unload about $300 worth of Alara block chase rares/mythics when given the chance..Everyone I think has a sort of set of conditions, dictated both by their local collection of players and by their own personal set of constraints, that determine what kind of unused "potential energy" is in their trade binder. They are probably hanging on to them out of some belief that the cards round out their collection in some sort. In reality, they should instead realize that sacred cows make great steaks, and start trading rarely used stuff as openly as they would anything else.

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