In case any newer readers don’t know, when I first started writing for this site almost two years ago, every week I would record the trades I made at FNM and present them here.
I did so for a few reasons. The first was simply a thought exercise for me; to see how well I did trading and how much money I was realistically making a week. This was fun (and pretty helpful), and people seemed to like it. I also used it to show what cards I was targeting in trades and what, if any, techniques I used to complete the trade.
Now what’s more fun than recording and analyzing trades? Why, recording and analyzing those same trades months or years later! I visited this concept here, and today I want to do the same. If you’re curious as to why this exercise is actually important to you as a trader, and why I suggest you try it out yourself, I suggest you start here. I also wrote a companion piece this week on LegitMTG you can check out for a more recent explanation.
Let’s get started.
Date: Aug. 5, 2010
Twilight Mire ($4.50)
Mystic Gate ($5.50)
Gaddock Teeg ($4)
Rite of Replication ($1)
Ad Nauseam ($1)
[card]Kozliek, Butcher of Truth ($10)
Twilight Mire ($12)
Mystic Gate ($7)
Gaddock Teeg ($5)
Rite of Replication ($2)
Ad Nauseam ($1)
[card]Kozliek, Butcher of Truth ($20)
I find it really interesting that this trade hasn’t changed much at all in the way of net profit even though the value of the cards involved has fluctuated quite a bit. And honestly, looking back at this trade, I’m not positive which side I’d like to be on today. Without checking buy prices, I feel like I’d rather have the Kozilek, simply because it’s such a hot-ticket item, though I’m not sure I would give $5 in trade value to get it.
What I’m taking away from this trade is this. We knew when the three Eldrazi were spoiled that they were going to be big-ticket casual items for years to come. We didn’t know the extent to which EDH would blow up, but still. On the other hand, we didn’t yet know how out-of-print Mythics would fare (very well), and I was trying to pick up cards for Extended season by grabbing the lands, which have appreciated exactly as I expected them to.
Looking at SCG buylist numbers now for this trade, we see the lands pile comes out exactly a dollar ahead. This reaffirms my belief I’d rather be on the receiving end of the Kozilek. When $5 of “book value” equates to just one dollar of cash value (though noted SCG isn’t buying the Rite), I want the high-ticket item. Chances are I would be able to trade down the Kozilek into much more than $1 in cash value if I wanted, or I would have the ability to trade it up as part of a larger trade.
Onto the next one, from the same FNM.
Date: Aug. 5, 2010
Coralhelm Commander ($3.50)
Phylactery Lich ($5)
Nevinyrrals Disk ($5)
2x Birds of Paradise ($10)
Sorin Markov ($8)
Coralhelm Commander ($3.50)
Phylactery Lich ($1)
Nevinyrrals Disk ($6)
2x Birds of Paradise ($12)
Sorin Markov ($6)
Here I get to be on the receiving end of the Mythic Rare, and we see how much better it worked out for me, as I’m up $4 more than at the time of the trade. But there are a few other interesting things going on here.
First off, in case you’re wondering, I picked up the Groundbreaker to trade to a friend who was looking for it. If I remember right, he never ended up taking it so I got stuck with a Groundbreaker for an undetermined amount of time. Lame.
Another interesting note is that Magic 2010 Birds have actually gone up since this trade was made (more recent ones are $5). The card has been printed, quite literally, a million times at this point, but it can still command a very solid price for a rare. I’ve always moved Birds without a problem when they’re in my binder, so it’s helpful to see that it’s a trend that’s been going on a for a while.
On a related note, Birds at $6?!? I understand we’re using SCG as our price point, so it’s not the lowest price you’ll find, but it is what you hear quoted most often on the trade floor. In my experience these have been trading for $3-4, meaning you can make a good amount of value by simply grabbing a pile of these in trade.
I know Birds isn’t in M13, but the speculation is it will be in Ravnica, since that’s the same trick they pulled last time around (Not in Core set, appeared in original Ravnica). I kind of like this as a target right now, provided you get in at the $3 price point I usually see these going for. These are a solid couple bucks on a buylist, and you can probably finagle even more of a discount when you bring up the fact that it’s “about to rotate.”
Looking at the rest of the trade, we can see how I got burned on the stupid Lich. Scars was about to come out, so it seemed like a safe speculation target. I don’t have it in my binder now, so that means it went somewhere, but I have to imagine I took a loss on it. Also worthy of note is that the Lich is the only one of the cards that was Standard-legal at the time of this trade that has come down in price. Eternal appeal, folks.
Date: July 24, 2010
Birds of Paradise ($4.50)
Steel Overseer ($5)
Leyline of the Void ($4)
Grave Titan ($35)
Leyline of Sanctity ($6)
Kargan Dragonlord ($14)
2x Textless Bituminous Blast ($5)
Birds of Paradise ($6)
Steel Overseer ($3)
Leyline of the Void ($1.50)
Grave Titan ($7)
Leyline of Sanctity ($5)
Kargan Dragonlord ($4)
2x Textless Bituminous Blast ($2)
Talk about taking a beating. This just goes to show how you can “win” a trade at the time you make it, but still totally understand why the other person made said trade. I can only hope I got rid of that Titan quickly. And seeing that Dragonlord was $14 is a trip, since these days I look to pick it up as a near-bulk Mythic since that’s how most people value it.
Also, it makes me incredibly sad these textless cards are just a dollar apiece. I get that it’s not played in anything, but all these Player’s Rewards cards just look so cool! And they obviously aren’t being reprinted in that form. Just makes me want to buy up all of these that exist on the Internets.
Next week I plan on having an event primer, since I’ll be at GenCon next week!
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter