This week, I'll be hitting on a few topics that are all related with a common thread: they are about pieces of tech and Insider info and how we get them to you. I'll be talking about some financial stuff, no worries, but also I'm looking to help you optimize your QS Insider experience.
People going crazy about Food Chain
Food Chain is the latest Legacy hype combo card to come out. This happens nearly every set - you get one or two Legacy cards that really tickle people and it can cause huge overnight shifts in the price of cards. Sometimes, it's Personal Tutor and Temporal Mastery. In this case, it's in regard to Food Chain and Misthollow Griffin. The idea goes something like this: you exile your Griffin early on with a Chrome Mox or a Force of Will. Then, you play it with Food Chain in play and net one mana each time you exile it. Infinite mana, just pour it through Maga, Traitor to Mortals or that beloved Eldrazi.
Let the record reflect that this combo is terrible. You can do everything it wants to do by taking Food Chains, Fierce Empath and a few preexisting monsters (like Evoke creatures). This adds nothing new to the mix. Food Chain is still a bad combo. That, however, does not stop people from wishing. Food Chain climbed from about $2.25 to about $11 since this card was spoiled.
On April 19, we sent out an email to let our Insiders know about it. I sent the email through Mailchimp, which is a third-party email sender that does a much better job than our native membership emailing software does. I've heard reports that our emails have not been going through to some people. If you did not receive that email and you were a member on 4/19/12, check your spam folder. If you see the email there, use the feature in your spam folder to mark it as "not-spam" or whatever you need to do. I also highly suggest that you add email@example.com to your email whitelist, even if you have received Insider alerts from us in the past. Mailchimp is usually very good about delivering emails - it's a commercial product - but sometimes, things can get bounced. I love hearing from readers that they bought a few playsets of these, but it's also tempered with hearing that other readers did not get this email and could not take the opportunity. When you pay for a QS subscription, you're not just paying for articles - you're also getting Insider alerts and forum access.
Sell those Food Chains, by the way!
Tarmogoyf on MTGO
Tarmogoyf is one of the biggest tickets on MTGO - it was about 65 tickets a few weeks ago. Now it's dropped to 57 tix if you want to buy one. What accounted for this 13% drop? Time Spiral packs, and Future Sight in particular, are being given out as prizes for Cube warriors on MTGO. TSP Block is also available as a standalone drafting set on the software for another week. This has already depressed the market on the Goyf a bit. A lot of savvy players simply sold their copies beforehand and are planning on rebuying them later. I think this is a good idea, even though the difference between what you can sell them for and what you can later buy them for might still be a negative number. It makes sense to get out of that market if you know there's a reprint coming. For example, it's wise to get out of Karakas, since FTV: Realms will likely contain the super-Plains.
I first learned about the TSP prize and draft format from our content manager, Tyler Tyssedal. I sent out an email alert and then checked in on our forums, where a discussion had commenced. You can access our forums by going to www.quietspeculation.com/forum and you can log in with your Insider account. I must tell you right now that everything you see when you log in is strictly visible to Insiders. No members of the public can see it. This is a big reason why people openly discuss trends like this. Forum poster Yossarian ran a contest this past weekend, soliciting wagers on the price of the Goyf at the end of Time Spiral drafting. We'll see on May 16th what the closest call to the actual price was.
The forums are an incredible resource and I tell every Insider to get in and take part. Again, you're paying for moderated, polite, private forums, so you might as well lurk at the least. A lot of trends that get into Insider articles have their birth there and people tend to go in-depth on some really cool subjects. For example, you can learn a bit about pack mapping and how to predict the rares in a box or pack of cards.
You can also get locked-profit pick tips from MTGO traders like the aforementioned resident genius, Yossarian, who explains that "this trade works because of steady demand from redeemers combined with a lack of supply once DII drafting slows down." I had no idea before we started up the forums that redeemers actually affect the MTGO market. It turns out that they move the price on bad mythics like Godsire when they need them to complete sets. Redeemers are, by the way, people who collect entire MTGO sets and then redeem them for the paper copies of the cards from Wizards. They then sell the sealed sets on eBay or through other channels. When you consider that cards on MTGO can be as little as 60% of their paper counterparts when in print, redeeming makes sense. You gotta have the little Mythic crappy cards though, and things like Elbrus and Godsire have a slight bit of demand.
We are always building
QS is always expanding and evolving. We've been around in our current form for a little over a year and a half. In that time, we've helped a lot of Insiders freeroll their hobby. Kelly and I love to hear from Insiders when we've made a good call that's paid off for them, and we also want to make sure that we give everyone enough tools to get the information that they need. We try to archive every Insider alert and then tweet about it (@quietspec) so that if it got bounced from your email, you might still have a shot at seeing it. We've built in alerts and the forums as an extra layer of discussion, participation and white-hot tips and we try to get things fixed when they come up.
We have been having some internal debate about whether to change our commenting system on articles. I know that it's annoying to sign up for another service, however benign, but we've had real problems with spammers when we don't. I still get a few comments that need to be killed every week on the free side from people selling Nike Airs. I've gotten negative responses about switching to logging in with Facebook, so IntenseDebate seems to be the necessary evil at this point.
The final point on the theme of building is that we welcome feedback from readers and we implement as much of it as we can.
Give the forums a shot, look out for our emails, and please, take part in the article discussion threads!
Until next week,