Thanks to Netflix and cable TV, we've all got some time on the couch to kill while watching a fun show in the background. Sometimes I get the urge to look through boxes again, sort, pull stuff to trade and sell - but there's a technique to making sure your leisure time isn't boring or tedious.
How do you sort your cards?
-by color, then by edition, then alphabetically?
-By set, then by color, then by playability?
-By format, then by color, then alphabetically?
That sounds like a ton of work!
We suggest sorting by block - that's it! Here's how we do it when we get cards.
1. We've got a few 1,000-count boxes in the closet that you can pick up for a dollar at the game store. Get a sharpie, label the block on the box.
2. Whenever you get new cards or draft leftovers, pull out the cards you want to trade away (or toss rares into a bulk box) and then put the commons and uncommons in the draft box.
3. When we've got free time, we open up Trader Tools and sort by blocks to find commons and uncommons worth money. Check out this short video to see how we can do it (and if you're not an Insider, you can still use that part of Trader Tools!)
4. Pretty cool, right? It takes five minutes or less to go through a thousand-count box when you know what you're looking for. That's the key to this approach: you arm yourself with knowledge before you even open the box. We go through and just pull the money cards, leaving the rest. In an hour, we can go through 15,000 cards.
Why do we sort by block? That's because Trader Tools can show you a full block at once. I confuse the Ravnica sets and Kelly is notoriously bad at sorting Theros-block (BNG and JOU look too similar). This way, you can even sort big stacks of unsorted cards because you know things like set mechanics and blocks. If it's got Flanking and an old frame, it's Mirage block. If you see Flashback and a new frame, look to Future Sight or Innistrad. You've already got an incredible subconscious memory for what sets these cards go into, so you should use it.
It takes far more time to sort by color or alphabetize than it does to look through a box occasionally for new money cards. We even write the previously-picked cards on the box so we know not to go looking for them again.
That's it. No alphabetizing, no squinting at set symbols, no collector numbers. Dump it in the box, pull it out when you want to sort. The ability to pre-screen a box with Trader Tools means you can spend more time pulling out money and less time organizing Torment commons that will never be worth cash.