The Nutt Draw: Buy List Matrix

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Last month this subject in the rotation was called the “Worth Matrix.” Herein lies approximately the same data, but I’ve decided to shift the focus away from the experimental concept of a new measuring value and toward the manipulation of the data from the actual Buy Lists that I track.

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I’m going to throw out a lot of data on this go ‘round including a list more or less spec’d out by reader Womby in the comments of last week’s Set EV article. I’d also like to point out that per request I have extended the timelines in the graphs of the top five most valuable cards in Standard that are generally peppered throughout my articles.

Here we have a look at the updates to the three buy lists we had before. I have to point out that at the time of writing this the Star City Games Buy List is still offline and so I couldn’t collect the data.

First up is Standard.

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I don’t really see any big surprise changes from last weeks, though I’m still a bit surprised to see that Jace, the Mind Sculptor is still not being actively purchased on the buy lists even though he’s sold so much through eBay.

Secondly we have Extended.

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Even though the Time Spiral block is rotating out near the end of this month Tarmogoyf is still being purchased. I know it’s used in Legacy, but this still comes as a small surprise to me. Most of the other cards at the top of this list are a virtual who’s who of Extended post rotation.

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I’m mostly a Standard and Limited player so most oddities on the Extended and Legacy lists don’t jump out at me like they might for you. A big change to all the lists this week is that I’m including approximately the top 500 cards so that you can enjoy the scrolling fun.

As with the last Buy List evaluations I’m including an update to the list that highlights where the card with low Demand Index values intersect hits on the Buy Lists. Hopefully this will spark the remembrance of some cards you might want to offload that the shops are buying up, but may be unimportant to you. Please note also that the Legacy portion of this list has filtered out the Power 9.

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It looks like it’s time to get rid of that Nemesis of Reason collection we has so much hope for at $1 each to Extra Lord of Extinction, Mind Funeral, Wall of Omens, and Sanguine Bond cards shouldn’t be missed from too many collections. My best friend from birth, KYT (@manadeprived on twitter) has close to 15 Pyromancer Ascension cards. With snatching them up at $2 each, now might be the time to find an envelope. It looks like there are quite a few Uncommons on both the Standard and Extended lists… it’s time to sort some 5000 count storage boxes I think…

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All new this week is a list of all the cards set to rotate with the onset of Scars of Mirrodin that appear on the buy lists. If you’re not an Extended player, get these ones off to the shops quickly before the values fall any further. Since we are pretty close to the yearly rotation I should also point out that most of the cards still on this list are of interest to the various shops because of their usefulness in Extended. These might be cards to watch as we move into the season later in the year. Please also note that the cards included on this list are those that are in the sets that will be rotating out. Some cards like Baneslayer Angel and Ajani Goldmane are listed even though they will have a standard legal counterpart for a year or longer.

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Finally, we’re going to end with another all new list collation. Last week I asked everyone to comment on how they used the data I present in order for me to tailor it in ways that I hadn’t previously considered. A brave sole cursed with the name Womby spoke up saying that he (I’m sure Womby is a masculine name, after all what kind of parents would yoke a daughter with it?) uses the Buy List and eBay data to look for the largest variations in pricing in order to help guide him into stable trading results. Sorted by the largest variances between eBay and the store offering the highest bounty for the given card, I present you now with, The Womby List.

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Most of the cards at the top of this list are higher end cards that could potentially have more room to create such variances, but what do you suppose it means that you could potentially pull an 18% margin on a Mox Jet eBay purchase by selling it to for $400? How about 28% margin on a Library of Alexandria sold to for $160? Next time around perhaps I‘ll apply some filters to the Womby List so that we’re looking only at cards that are above $0.50 in variance and sorted by potential margin percentage?

Any way you look at it, we all have money in cards lying around and there are stores out there who want them. Whether you use these lists for trading or to scrape together enough to pay the electric bill, I hope they serve you well.

Chris McNutt
@fatecreatr on twitter

Chris McNutt

Born in Seattle, Washington, Chris McNutt has been playing and collecting Magic: The Gathering since Unlimited Edition. As an active player, tournament organizer and judge he regularly scrubs out of Pro Tour Qualifiers but inexplicably cleans up at the local draft tables. When not net decking Chris is either busy working as an Information Technology Sales Rep or spending time with his family. Other non-magical pastimes include playing guitar and an unhealthy number of video games. Cursed with an undying love of generating spreadsheets purely for “fun”, he’ll be crunching the numbers each week in order to serve up delicious data burritos to the salivating, hungry readers of Quiet Speculation.

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17 thoughts on “The Nutt Draw: Buy List Matrix

  1. Wanna run wit the MCN crew, hah?
    Rule MTGspace and crunch numbers like he do?
    They call him the king of the spreadsheets
    Got 'em printed out on his bedsheets

    His new matrix got the clocks, it rocks
    But yours was obsolete before you cracked open a box
    You say you've had your buylist for over a week?
    Throw that junk away, man, it's an antique
    Your trade binder is a month old? Well that's great
    If you could use a nice, heavy paperweight

    His digital lists are write-protected
    Every entry inspected, no discrepancies detected
    He beta tested every valuing system
    Gave props to some, and others? He dissed 'em

    While your bot's crashin', his's multitaskin'
    It value gains all his trades without him even askin'
    Hes got a trade binder forty inches wide
    believe yours says "UltraPro" on the side

    In a 8-format world, you're a 1-format trader
    You've got your own newsgroup, "alt.profit-hater"
    Your profit melts when you try to send a pack
    Where'd you get your buylist, in a box of Cracker Jacks?

    Trade him online? Well, you know that he'll beat you
    If he'll ever meet you he'll control-alt-delete you
    What? What? What? What? What?

      1. The lyrics may be subject to change on the site, but they have been emblazoned onto my heart… hehehe. Seriously though, I'm grabbing my guitar and writing some heavy metal riffs to that. The next step will be to hire traveling minstrels…

  2. Excellent article as usual Chris. Thanks for including longer time lines on the top 5 cards. I also really like the Womby list, it has some real profit potential. Buylists are excellent to look at to get an idea on what i need to bring with me, leaving for GP Portland tonight. From what I see, I hope T&T is there for my uncommons and some of the rares, and various other vendors for higher priced items.

    1. Thank you. You make an excellent point about what to bring to the GP. Last night a friend asked me who the vendors at GP Portland will be (Troll and Toad will be there). I got a list and will share it with you now.

      Channel Fireball Buy List
      Cardhaus, No Buy List Online at this Time
      Strike Zone Buy List
      Troll and Toad buy List
      Gaming etc Buy List
      Pastimes Buy List
      Star City, No Buy List Online at this Time
      Cool Stuff Inc Buy List
      Face a Face Games, No Buy List Online at the Time Buy List
      Hotsauce Games

      I wish I had the time to integrate all these Buy Lists into my data, but I don't right now. I'll be at GP Portland judging (events and people) as well as playing in the main event, feel free and look me up!

    2. By the way, one of my fellow judges for the event Louis Fernandes created a list of the artists and cards attending the GP. I've placed it online at the link below.

      Artist and Card List

      I'd also like to note that Richard Garfield will be there on Saturday from 2-4 doing signings as well.

  3. Man am I glad that I came back to look at the comments. I see all the vendors that are going to be there and my boxes of cards suddenly look like little treasure chests…..Also, Garfield will be there eh? That's excellent news! Time to go find my Richard Garfield PHD card….

    1. I hear ya. I always preferred the more interactive style comments section so I try to put as much time as possible into duplicating that.

      Spread the word and link the articles if you like them!

  4. Woohoo! A list named after me!

    These matrices are fantastic. This current crop is especially helpful, as I'm about to prune my collection down to help finance Scars of Mirrodin.

    As for the internet handle, "Womby" is actually short for "Wombat", so it's pronounced such that it rhymes with, erm . . . "bomb-y".

    I'm actually digging through the Womby List now to compile a list of things to trade for when I get the chance.

    Great stuff, here.

  5. One thing about the Womby list that I think deserves mentioning is that the buylist prices are often for NM cards and if the card is not NM they will sometimes only give you 50% of their listed price. So if you buy that Mox Jet at 327 they may only end up giving you 200 on it.

    From my experiences selling to dealers I have found that some sites care a lot about condition when they are mailing you a check but if they are giving you trade credit they are a lot less picky (in addition to giving you an extra 25% or so on).

  6. Correct me if I'm wrong, because I've never sold to dealers except at conventions. It seems like you would need quite a bit of trade stock to make it worth mailing in to a buy list. I know if you had some high dollar cards it would be worth it, but often you can get rid of those in other ways.

  7. I'd like to see a less-noise variant of the Legacy Matrix.

    It's really quite a pain to get a usable idea of what the best movers are for legacy based on *need*, rather than solely on rarity. What I mean here is that there is way too many of the A/B/U cards cluttering the top of the list (and even further down), so the top card in the format (Underground Sea, revised) is hidden way down the list.

    I'm not saying to replace what you have there, as it is indeed useful, I am requesting that there be an alternative available. As it is, the Legacy matrix is heavily slanted to the rarities side of thing. This reduces its effectiveness as a tool for those who concentrate on cards for a competitive environment with cards that are more frequently pursued and desired.

    Besides, the power 9 (Black Lotus, et al) aren't even Legacy, and do not apply to an environment where no Vintage is played. Maybe call the full list 'Eternal'.

    As a corollary to the Womby list, how about we do the reverse. The cards with eBay prices above Buy List prices.
    If eBay is giving much more than the Buy Lists, it may be worth it to put them on eBay (esp. for those that don't already use it), or at the very least, keep those cards to trade for cards that offer more cash on the Buy Lists.

    Otherwise, these matrices are goldmines of information. We just have to learn how to use it reliably. I look forward to helping you fine-tune our analyses.

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