Casual players are kind of like your the contents of your bladder- it is in your best interest to retain them.
I was at the shop today just durdling and I ran into some casual players.
How Casual Were They?
I cannot make this up. One of them looked through my trade binder for a while and handed me his binder. Again, not making this up - every page in the binder had a basic Forest.
You can't make this up.
Needless to say no trades happened. He also asked how much the store was charging for basic land. As someone who has to come up with creative ways to get rid of something like basic land which I consider virtually worthless, I was floored. Who buys basic land that isn't full art or foil? Maybe I should have traded him some Swamps for the Forests in his binder.
The First One's Free
I didn't have bulk on me and I wasn't about to go home and get it, so I offered them free cards if they came to casual night on Monday. I have no idea if they'll come back, but if they do, their basic land and Theros block draft chaff problems are solved.
This was my first encounter with adults who presumably got to the store under their own power treating draft chaff like it was gold. I really hope they come back so I can hook them up and they can make a habit of coming back to the shop. I am likely getting nothing out of it financially, but if we can grow the community a little, that seems like a solid strategy.
This whole encounter and how naked I felt not having garbage on me to make their day made me decide to stash some draft chaff and basics in a box and keep it in my car. Younger kids or adult super-casuals coming into the shop would get a kick out of getting stuff to build decks with. This also makes me want to double down on my strategy of keeping instant collections made up in the case I manage at a different shop. We sometimes forget that there are super casuals out there. I've met more people in my life with foiled-out EDH decks, people with Guru Islands in their Mishra's Workshop Vintage decks and people who have conversations like "I am considering upgrading my Beta power into Alpha" than I've met who have basic lands in their trade binders. But I would guess that most people who play Magic play casually, and this may have been the first time these people played a game that wasn't at their own kitchen table. I want them to keep coming back and become a part of the community. I hope free cards will be enough to encourage that.