Insider- Prerelease Thoughts

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As always, pre-release time is an exciting time to be a speculator, while all-in-all not an extremely lucrative one. Those seem counteractive, but it should make sense, if you’re in the thick of it. Spoilers and pre-release is when speculators start drooling over what will come in the next few months, but in reality, buying into cards at pre-release pricing is often incorrect. We use the brief period during spoilers to position ourselves for existing cards that may move, but what about the new cards? What’s the best method for obtaining the newest stuff both for trade, profit and use?

I love trading, but ultimately, I need the pieces to my deck.

Depending on how many you need there are a few ways to go about this. The easy (see: expensive) way is to simply pre-order the singles you’ll need so you’ll get them quickly without question. If you have a dire need (like a pro-tour) or maybe the expense just isn’t an issue to you (then you probably aren’t reading QS), this is an option. Better yet, is to troll your Pre-release for trades, or trade in your sealed pool to the LGS in exchange for the cards you need, if possible. Keep in mind, all the cards you don’t need will be at inflated buy-prices this weekend.

I want to complete a set for my collection.

This is also something that many people like to have, a complete set of all the cards (or possibly 4x). Again, there a few ways to accomplish this. A very solid option is to pre-order sealed product. You have the ability to sell off extras at inflated prices, and be fully stocked for Standard. If you’re not in as much of a rush, you can always wait for MTGO redemptions to appear and you can buy them on EBay around $115, or build your own on MTGO through drafting.

I want to make as much profit as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Sealed product is the only way to go if you are trying to flip cards. Buying sealed product in bulk will get you the best possible prices, and you’ll just need to be diligent about getting the cards turned around quickly. Keep in mind what kind of volume you can expect depending on your medium for selling. On EBay, do you have a good enough feedback rating? Are your prices competitive with what traditional retailers are selling?

You should be asking yourselves these questions as you develop your business plan over time. What are my goals for this week? How is what I’m doing now moving forward with that plan? I know I repeat these questions regularly, but sometimes you need a gentle shove to get moving in the right direction.

This time, I’ll be judging at my pre-release. The support for a judge is about as good as the winner of the pre-release, and I’m sure I’ll get plenty of limited in this season, so I decided to try a different route this time. In trades, I’m looking for a lot of the Green Rares. I like that WotC is pushing the power level of the Green creatures to give them a fighting chance in the Standard Metagame against a sea of removal, bounce and countermagic. I’m a huge fan of the Undying mechanic, and will be stocking up long term on Strangleroot Geist. At rare I like the One-drop Werewolf, Wolfbitten Captive // Krallenhorde Killer, and the unusual indestructible guy, Predator Ooze. I’ll be swooping these up in trades as quickly as possible, but am not drooling enough to start pre-ordering. Lastly, in Green, the Vorapede, is going to be appearing all over constructed for the forseeable future, I just don’t see his price spiking too high as he’s only good in narrow applications. I’ll be waiting for a price dip before I pounce on that insect.

Outside of Green? There’s really no cards I’m excited about from a value standpoint (Aside from Gravecrawler which I expect to be a $6 card throughout it’s Standard life), but some cards I expect to see play are Hellrider and Dungeon Geists. Both are really interesting, one punishes aggro, while one punishes control. I think these both have merit, but I don’t see either one being broken or worth investing in.

What cards do you hope to open in the Pre-Release? While I’m sure we all want the Sorin, I’d be really happy if I could build a sweet Zombie deck.


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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.

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