menu

Insider: The Window

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

“The Window” is what I call the week between Pre-Release and Release, and it’s almost over. To put it shortly, this Coreset isn’t exactly exciting, in terms of openings for financial superstars. A lot of the playable rares and mythics are reprints, and their values are known quantities. However, at my LGS, people are still actively pursuing other newly printed cards. Your chance to get rid of these at inflated value is limited. Hopefully you had some success at your pre-release, and walked home with some packs.

Pre-release prize support is often packs of new product, and its tough to fight the urge not to bust them open immediately. Unreleased packs are the few that you can often get full retail price in cash from other players. Doing this at your LGS is not reccomended, but setting something up off the premises is wise. A local grinder told me this weekend he sells his via Craigslist, and ususally gets about $3.50-$3.75 per pack that way. I haven’t tried this, so take his suggestion with a grain of salt. Craigslist often involves having to coordinate with some of the wackier people in your community, and people will flake on appointments to meet you, haggle with you, and otherwise make the situation not very smooth. That being said, if its an opportunity to get some cash out of your prize packs, it may be worth investigating, and you can likely still get rid of them before the Release this weekend.

Trade quickly-
During this week, EDH players and Spikes are always anxious to get their hands on the new cards. Trading into safer plays is always smart, staples that won’t be going away in the near future. Not many cards in this particular set are going to be catching anyone by surprise, so get rid of them while supply is low. This is about the only situation where I feel comfortable asking people how they value certain cards. For every unique rare, there’s going to be one guy in the room who values it higher than everyone else. Find that guy, and trade with him. Keep your ears open for what people are looking for, and if you can track one down, try and conduct the trade later in the day. In all reality, you don’t want to have many of your pre-release cards on hand at the end of the day. These cards will be available to you in much more supply and lower prices after the release in less than a week. Take advantage of the other players’ impatience.

Use your LGS as an outlet-
This shouldn’t necessarily be your last result, but it often is for me. Each LGS will have a different policy, but be aware that they may be willing to buy cards as late as the actual Release date with out adjusting their pricing. This is where I turn pre-release sealed pool cards I was unable to trade away into store credit for future event entries. In earlier articles I’ve discussed how important it is to build rapport with your LGS employees and owner. The Pre-Release and Release weekends are so busy that likely all employees are on hand, and it’s your chance to schmooze with them all. I usually go out of my way to thank them for the event(s) and ask them if I can help them stock up on new cards, handing them my pile of stuff I have no need for. Even if I don’t have a ton of stuff left, I’m sure to at least trade in something. Let the owner know you’re not simply extracting value from the store, but also bringing value to the owner. This pays off in ways that only reveal themselves after a good relationship is built, but I can assure you it’s worth while.

Organize your new gear-
Keep newly printed cards in a separate longbox or binder for the near future. People will be excited to see what you’ve got from the new set. Having a special section for it makes it easy for them. Believe it or not, many players don’t examine the spoilers very carefully, and they may see a rare for the first time in your Binder, so EVERY rare makes the cut, at least for the time being. About a week after the Release event, you can filter items into your existing organization scheme.

Rotating Cards-
I’ve been harping on this for weeks, but you really need to push your rotating cards out of your collection. These cards are also things you may even want to consider trading into your LGS to pay for Release events, as soon enough they won’t even be interested in buying them. Don’t be stuck with a whole section of your binder that isn’t desirable to anyone a couple months down the road. Think of it as produce, once it spoils, you can’t even give it away.

I’ve been really digging through the set, and trying to find a card that has some potential as a speculative option, but really nothing jumps out at me. Oblivion Rings are worth hoarding for trades, but not buying, and same can be said for most of the reprint Standard staple Rares and Mythics. From a trader’s standpoint, this set is not very exciting, but the Window is your chance to make the most of it.

Chad Havas

Chad has been with Quiet Speculation since January of 2011. He uses price speculation to cover all his costs to keep playing. Follow his journey from format to format and be prepared to make moves at the right times.

View More By Chad Havas

Posted in Finance, Free InsiderTagged

Have you joined the Quiet Speculation Discord?

If you haven't, you're leaving value on the table! Join our community of experts, enthusiasts, entertainers, and educators and enjoy exclusive podcasts, questions asked and answered, trades, sales, and everything else Discord has to offer.

Want to create content with Quiet Speculation?

All you need to succeed is a passion for Magic: The Gathering, and the ability to write coherently. Share your knowledge of MTG and how you leverage it to win games, get value from your cards – or even turn a profit.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.


Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.