Gathering Specimens

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This week I’m going to change the format up a little bit, and cover a variety of topics. There were a lot of smaller things that happened, but nothing worth covering in a large amount of detail so I’ll try to give all of you a general update on everything I can cover here from the SCG invitational and opens, the Wizards announcement for EDH/Commander support, and a bit of a recap for the newer readers to the site that we’ve picked up.

Awesome things have happened since last week, and most of them have happened in the past few days. As many of you probably know, Gerry Thompson (@G3RRTY) won the SCG Invitational with R/G Titan Ramp.

On the upward swing. Train is leaving the station.

While its focus was abusing Primeval Titan there was also a single copy of Inferno Titan in his list, and another 2 copies of the red titan in one of the R/U/G control deck played by Adam Cai. Inferno Titan is picking up in popularity, and Worlds this week could be its breakout stage. I hope you picked yours up earlier in the year, because the train may have already left the station as Starcity already has them at $9.99 and CFB is sitting at $8.99. You can still probably pick them up in trade for $4 - $5 if you’re quick, but they are being affected by the metagame shift as B/R Vampires and Boros based aggro strategies start becoming more prevalent. This could bring the trade value of Inferno Titan at or above $10 as it sees an increase in popularity in the same fashion that Frost Titan did.

Things also got interesting on the Vintage side of the metagame, as Quiet Speculation’s own contributor and first e-book author Stephen Menendian (@SMenendian) took a top 8 slot in the RIW Vintage tournament with his Gush Oath deck which he talks about in his book. I tried to find the rest of the top 8 lists to see if anything innovative came from there, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful.

The SCG Legacy open was also this past weekend, with a top 8 that saw the continued dominance of the Survival of the Fittest/Vengevine combination making up 50% of the top 8, a pair of Ad Nauseam Tendrils or ANT decks, Aggro Loam, and U/W aggro. Going over these lists, there isn’t a whole lot of new tech out there that we can capitalize on, but something to note is that the U/W aggro list is worth taking a look at as some of the uncommons in the list could see a small surge in popularity. Survival won the event again, is anyone surprised?

On the more causal (read: highly profitable) side of things, Wizards has announced support for EDH/Commander in the form of preconstructed decks for the format. For us this is great, because this will open more people to the format, and create more demand for niche cards that can carry a weighty price tag. Stock up on popular generals and necessary EDH/Commander staples now, because once the precons come out it will be much easier to open up a market and then help people improve their decks, while you improve your profit margins. Blue is one of the most popular colors to play in EDH because of its power, so consider getting cards like Sen Triplets, Dralnu, Lich Lord, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, and Sharuum, the Hegemon now to trade off as generals. Since I don’t play much in the way of EDH/Commander myself I asked a friend of mine Brian D. (@MTGVeteran) for some advice on basic staples to pick up.

“Pick up Sol Ring,Temple of the False God, Sensei's Divining Top, tutors, and fetch lands, dual lands, karoo lands, and signets to help players build their mana bases.” – Brian

"Eye" see this being traded for much profit to EDH players.

Since mana bases are often one of the most expensive pieces to build in a multi color EDH deck this is a great potential source of profit, so pick up anything multi colored that you can now if you can get it cheap, because when someone is looking to complete their mana base or smooth it out a bit, having the cards on hand will allow you to charge a premium for them.

The site has gone through some major overhauls recently, and I can’t begin to state how awesome it is that we’re expanding the way we are. All of our Spike content has been quality material, and though I may not be much of a fan of the Timmy side, it’s been fun to read and look outside the world of trading and competitive magic. Big props to both of our new teams, and if you haven’t gone through and read their stuff yet, you’re missing out.

For those of you who are new to the financial side though, I’d like to offer you my favorite three finance related articles. If you don’t read any other material from the past, I think these three are the most important for you to develop faster as a trader.

  1. Maximizing E-Bay Profits by Douglas Linn
  2. Uncommonly Good Chas Andres
  3. The Demand Matrix Chris McNutt

Doug's article is amazing for anyone looking to sell anything on e-bay, not just magic cards. His article answered questions about selling on e-bay I didn’t know I had.

Uncommonly Good covers how uncommons can actually turn up a ton of unexpected profits, and is a stellar read all on its own. Many people trade off uncommons at a rate nowhere near their actual value, and knowing which ones to go after will help you keep the margins in the black.

Chris McNutt, master of Excel spreadsheets, keeper of buy list prices and demand indexes. His articles are easily one of the most powerful tools you can incorporate into your toolbox and I highly recommend them. His information is always useful, and up to date.

That’s about it for this week, I know none of this was super in depth, but as I said I’m trying out a new format. Please let me know what you think in the comments, great discussion starts there, and your voice means a lot.

Until next week,

Stephen Moss

@MTGStephenmoss on Twitter

5 thoughts on “Gathering Specimens

  1. NIce job buddy! I like the other posts where Im excited to argue with your points, this "overview" was nice and good to have once in a while, maybe once a month do a recap, but don't make a habit of it! Otherwize, it was good!

    Also I'd like to say that even though Mr. fancy R/G titan ramp won the invitational, look to the San Jose open in january for u/w slide. (I'm not joking :D)


  2. Text message quotes ftw.

    @Leo: your right for once, between leyline of sanctity, spreading sea's, tectonic edge, and tumbler magnet, control will have plenty of toys that will put Valakut back into the awkward position of a Jace heavy meta.

  3. on the topic of picking up cards for edh, look at the Top 50s list on mtgsal. then look at all the cards worth .50-2.00. now think about where those cards might go when EDH/commander get more popular(some have already been rising do to edh)

    just a thought

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