Jason’s Archives: eBay Wackiness, Maro gets Presidential and the Beatdown in Bean Town

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If you follow the Twitter stream you are usually a day (or three) ahead of the pace at which podcasts and articles can keep you apprised of things. Following Helene Bergeot, Aaron Forsythe and Maro seems like a no-brainer if you want to have your finger firmly on the pulse of the game's future developments and you can usually contribute to informal polling that they do with those accounts. Following Brian David Marshall and Rich Hagon is valuable if you're interested in coverage of major events. It's better to know things about events while those events are still going on; waiting until Monday isn't always the best way to stay plugged in.

Helene Bergeot recently brought the following link to everyone's attention: Outcome of the WTGWC Shuffling Investigation. If you read the mothership religiously, you saw it already, but I prefer to have others sift through that information for me. Maybe that's why I like so much.

Here's the gist of the article: the incident I highlighted last week in my Gen Con wrapup was investigated and there will be no further disciplinary action taken.

This came as somewhat of a surprise, especially in light of the excellent analysis by Tom Martell that makes Iramain look quite guilty. Intent is difficult to prove when it's disguised as sloppiness. Also, his opponent always did his due diligence and cut/shuffled his deck when it was presented to him. Shuffling your opponent's deck doesn't mean you don't trust them, it should be a reflex action that you do every time.

If you follow Maro, you will know what a prolific contributor of content he is. He reminded his Twitter followers this weekend that he'd published his annual "State of Design Address. He also included links to past years' addresses. It's a lot of reading, but it's all interesting stuff and well worth the read.

What Manner of Silliness Can One Find on eBay?

Well, I'm glad you asked, rhetorical device. Bored out of my mind and needing a break from the drudgery of listing items for sale in my eBay store, I occasionally type random phrases into the eBay search engine to see what pops up. Occasionally this can lead to great deals ("[card Jace, the Mind Sculptor]Jace the Mind Sculpter[/card]" is a favorite of mine. Three hours left and zero bids, eh? Wonder why.) and occasionally it can lead to big lols.

I was waiting until I had enough of these gems and today is your lucky day.

Whispers of the Amusing

My decision to publish this collection of hilarity was inspired by Quiet Speculation's own Doug Linn who e-mailed me this hilarious eBay auction he encountered.

Brought to you by the writer of Hoarders and the producer of Pawn Stars.

I wasn't aware I had literally 12 dollars of hidden value just sitting in a pile in my basement waiting to be discovered. I bet I can get $5 for the 200 empty Betrayers of Kamigawa precon boxes I have littering up the joint. Rat's Nest truly is the gift that keeps on giving.


I thought it was a joke until I saw how many were sold.

In case of avid QS readers forming an angry mob to drive to Rhode Island and teach this seller a lesson, I opted not to include too much seller info. The going rate for basics is about $2/1000 lands. To see them sold for this much money kind of offends my MTG finance sensibilities. I guess it doesn't hurt to see if I can't sell 200 basics for 10 bucks in my store. I hear that's a huge savings. They go for $12 per 200 on eBay I heard.


... And that's enough internet for today.

I think it's telling that the seller's name isn't "MTGSuperfan." This fake alter onto a basic swamp is the kind of monstrosity only a fan of the Japanimation could love (do you kids still call it that nowadays? I'm so behind the times.) I must commend the talent of the alterist here, though. It takes a lot of skill with Photoshop to make a pair of breasts that big look unappealing. My hat is off.


Used sleeves? Few things are less appealing.

If that last one didn't make you feel dirty all over, maybe this one will. Someone else's fingerprint grime for free! Talk about value!

This just goes to show if it says "Magic: the Gathering" on it, someone will buy it. No matter how.... used it is.

Enough Awful for One Day. Tell Me about the Toinaments.


This weekend, there were some tournaments.

Now Tell Me of their Significance

They were significant.

A Bunch of Virgins Join the Mile High Club

Denver was home to the Star City Games Open this weekend.

Top X Standard Decks

I guess it's the Top 24? It's never clear why the deck in 131st is reported and the deck in 19th isn't.

Winner Michael Lee is a fellow redditor, posting a victory snap on the site today. Congrats, Michael.

G/W Aggro seemed like an odd choice as the list doesn't look terribly powerful at a glance. But its speed and synergy became readily apparent to onlookers as this deck ran an ugly gauntlet of U/W Delver and a surprising amount of Mono-Green Infect to take top honors. [card Melira, Sylvok Outcast]Melira[/card] out of the board shows Lee was prepared for such a contingency.

Also worth noting was a favorite deck of mine, Black Market, piloted by Matthew Pitzer who did so well with the deck that he finished both 8th and 16th.

Better than winning an online PTQ between rounds.

I collected as many Trading Posts as I could at Gen Con. This card, especially in foil, has nowhere to go but up. Forecasting what a Standard without Black Sun's Zenith will look like, Pitzer jammed four Mutilate. But will a Standard without Pristine Talisman be as good for this deck? Only time will tell. With most of the relevant artifacts set to rotate, the clock may be ticking on this archetype.

Also notably not U/W Delver was Wolf Run White, a Naya-colored ramp deck that doesn't have any trouble hardcasting that [card Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite]Elesh Norn[/card]. What do we say to graveyard hate? Not today!

Three Top 32 B/R Zombies decks to zero U/B Zombies deck make the picture increasingly clear that the best zombies in the block are actually vampires.

Great job, competitors!

Top X Legacy Decks

Jamming a Moat (not Humility?) into U/W Control, Joe Lossett decided Legacy should look more like Standard and trounced the competition, spreading the Azorius menace to another format.

Could Joe actually be running Portent instead of Ponder? It looks that way, as Portent is being tested as a way to ruin the meticulous plans of a competitor attempting to stack their own library. Whether thwarting their miracles, shuffling away a Sensei's Divining Top or ordering your own library following a disappointing Brainstorm, Portent actually has a lot of utility, and is a cantrip to boot. It's not just a bad Ponder, folks, this card has legs. I hope to see this tech adopted.

Eight different decks in the Top 8? That's a welcome sight. The format continues to be anyone's game and most matches come down to skill and preparation, making it arguably the healthiest constructed format in the game.

Omniscience continues to impact the meta as Omni-Tell variants outperform their non-all-knowing counterparts. Impervious to Karakas and Gilded Drake, this build is the gold standard for "unfair" decks in Legacy right now.

Grab those Omnisciences, folks! Dealers tried to give me $2 on them all weekend which meant people were selling them at $2 which means not everyone has caught on. If you can get these under $5 in a trade, you'd be silly not to. Let everyone else fight over Thundermaw Hellkite and Liliana of the Dark Realms, the real value in this set is still under everyone's radar.

The GP in Boston-Woostah (That's how they pronounce it, don't look at me) was Limited. Michigan's local hero and Grizzly Adams lookalike contest winner Brain Demars smoked the competition to take down his first GP win, proving he's not just a Vintage guy. The decklists are on the Mothership if you are into that sort of thing.

I Take My Leave of You and Your Faces

If you learn nothing from my articles, retain the most salient elements. There is money to be made from M13, but not where everyone thinks there is; the market is roughly a month behind the Legacy metagame as Humility can still be scooped for $6-$8 in trades and people are willing to come off of Omniscience for $2 cash; and, most importantly, 90 rulebooks are worth more than nothing. So much more.

Take care of yourselves.

Jason Alt
@JasonEAlt on Twitter

11 thoughts on “Jason’s Archives: eBay Wackiness, Maro gets Presidential and the Beatdown in Bean Town

  1. To quote " The going rate for basics is about 2$/1000 lands. To see them sold for this much money kind of offends my MTG finance sensibilities" Finance Sensibilities? Really? Dealers pay $10/1000 for Bulk Basic lands, your estimate is ridiculously inaccurate. Maybe you should pay a little more attention to the financial aspect of Magic instead of writing articles. I can't comment on the rest of this article as it pained me to read any further.

    1. That's completely inaccurate. I did not "estimate" anything, that's what dealers pay. If they are paying $5/k on bulk commons and uncommons, how could they possibly be paying 10 for basic land? I would prefer people cited some sources when they called me out. Since you didn't, I can do the leg work. Troll and Toad pays $4/k if you mail it in and you cover shipping. They pay less in person. StarCity has updated their buylist to $5/k in person, and that's only for NM/SP. It's not $2/k but 5 is a lot closer to $2 than it is to $10.… At the bottom of the page you will see Channel Fireball pays the $2/k I quoted in my article.

      I can post more if you want. The point is, I couldn't find anyone who paid more than $5, and I couldn't find anyone who paid $10.

      It's fine to disagree with me on something. That is fine. I'm not perfect. But to be so dismissive of my article and to take such a hostile tone was completely uncalled for. What's worse, you made a blanket statement with no evidence whereas I provided plenty of evidence to the contrary.

          1. Your tone was definitely hostile. And this is a free article, not behind a pay wall of any sorts. And your issue with the editorial process seems to be unfounded, as Jason provided citations to excuse your giggling.

            If one vendor buys bulk at a high price but the rest buy much lower, there's a much better way of mentioning that. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. Yours, however, was pretty obnoxious.

            It should be obvious that your trolling really isn't welcome here. While we won't censor you, we do have a pretty tight night community and your angry comments do nothing but hurt your own brand. No one likes a jerk, regardless of how right they think they are.

            1. I find it funny that this is an article about the writer trolling ebay sellers but gets sore when someone points out he is wrong. My comment was not anymore hostile than the article was originally. I will commend the powers that be at Quiet Speculation for not deleting the comment, I half expected they would.

  2. I enjoyed the read, but full disclosure: I'd absolutely have bid on those rulebooks, and even the occasional precon box for a deck I might have reconstructed versus actually owning. I admit I'm a corner case, though. : D

    1. In that case, I can hook you up with infinity rulebooks. I used to use them to mark the spaces between different types of cards (i.e creatures and non-creatures) in my boxes and most of them are in pretty good shape. I also bought a collection that netted me a ton of old deck boxes, including boxes from Revised starter decks. I'm sure we can work something out.

    1. That's hilarious! I think you're right. If I weren't quite so good at picking them up as parts of collections, I could see myself paying for the 4th edition gift set boxes. That's like 45 cubic inches of pure nostalgia right there. Makes me want to have a contest on the podcast to see which of our listeners can sell the most random magic-related bit of paraphernalia, as judged by the four of us with prizes. Thanks for the solid idea.

      1. I would enter that contest in a heart beat. I've sold rulebooks, empty pack wrappers, and empty boxes for not insignificant amounts of money. I have 20 or so 4th edition gift set boxes that I am going to post on ebay in the next few days because I honestly believe people will buy them.

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