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Author Topic: Reserve List Card Spike?  (Read 7057 times)
Prospero
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« on: February 17, 2016, 02:36:55 pm »

It seems like the announcement of Eternal Masters, and the subsequent doubling-down on the Reserve List has driven some real action on the price of Reserve List cards.  Will mentioned that Revised Volcanic Island spiked $40 on Tuesday alone on MTGStocks.com.  All the duals seemed to have gone up between 5-20% on Tuesday.

I have sold some of my Vintage cards in the last few years to help finance my art purchases.  When Eternal Masters was announced, I was missing some prominent cards on the Reserve List, notably:

Bazaar of Baghdad
City of Traitors
Gaea's Cradle

I bought a set of Bazaars, three more City of Traitors and three foil Gaea's Cradles yesterday. 

Anybody else getting pinched by this?  Anyone well-prepared for the next few months? 

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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 02:53:43 pm »

I noticed this too. Some items I had been listing at pretty absurd levels, sold that night. And the run on old school magic staples has been fascinating too. It really seems like magic is immune to bubbles. Everytime I think old cards have peaked, we see another pop. I can't imagine having to start from scratch. It truly would be a $10,000 to 20,000.

It is a shame that the cheapest mama base in vintage is $1000-$2000.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 02:58:07 pm by jcb193 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 03:10:29 pm »

This is why you never sell your old collection.

If I had to buy-in to Vintage, Legacy or even MODERN, I would never do it today.  New players are completely hosed.  As it is, I'm stuck on two pieces of Power and am now priced out of buying more.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 03:32:17 pm »

When I was a young boy getting into Magic around the time of Ice Age, I was "ripped off" by an older teenager who traded me an Underground Sea for my Necropotence.

Boy am I having the last laugh now...
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 03:42:25 pm »

It seems like the announcement of Eternal Masters, and the subsequent doubling-down on the Reserve List has driven some real action on the price of Reserve List cards.  Will mentioned that Revised Volcanic Island spiked $40 on Tuesday alone on MTGStocks.com.  All the duals seemed to have gone up between 5-20% on Tuesday.

I have sold some of my Vintage cards in the last few years to help finance my art purchases.  When Eternal Masters was announced, I was missing some prominent cards on the Reserve List, notably:

Bazaar of Baghdad
City of Traitors
Gaea's Cradle

I bought a set of Bazaars, three more City of Traitors and three foil Gaea's Cradles yesterday. 

Anybody else getting pinched by this?  Anyone well-prepared for the next few months? 



I picked up a Tabernacle, my last UL Underground Sea and 2x Judge Foil Crucible of worlds on the back of EMA. I wish I had more money to pick up a few other things, but I've been scrambling to pick up oldschool cards too. If they end up making some new No Reserved list format, I could see some of the prices sliding back a bunch, but at this point I'm more concerned with having what I need to play.

My brother and I have been racing to snag up all the alpha we need for our 93/94 decks as well on the basis that this stuff was already pretty expensive when it really wasn't seeing all that much, or any, play so if 93/94 catches on even a little bit what will that do to the prices. When you consider the print run of Alpha, and how many copies are even extant these days, it doesn't take a very large population to drive the action.

Ultimately, I'm buying these cards because I want to make sure I have them to play with. The timing isn't particularly great, but it is what it is.
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 04:12:12 pm »

If they end up making some new No Reserved list format,

I've heard a few people talking about this.  I would totally play in such a format -- lots of Legacy decks just swap out the mana base and continue along their merry way -- but is there realistically any space for such a format in between Modern and Legacy?  Seems like it would not have much oxygen there.  Kind of like how Extended died an ignominious death as a format that didn't really work for anyone. 
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 04:50:23 pm »

If they end up making some new No Reserved list format,

I've heard a few people talking about this.  I would totally play in such a format -- lots of Legacy decks just swap out the mana base and continue along their merry way -- but is there realistically any space for such a format in between Modern and Legacy?  Seems like it would not have much oxygen there.  Kind of like how Extended died an ignominious death as a format that didn't really work for anyone. 

I probably wouldn't play in such a format personally, the Legacy decks I like to play all have reserved list cards that can't be replaced (Metalworker, City, Cradle, LED), or cards I think are just fun (Tabernacle). But its very creation could conceivably squeeze out Legacy and push the duals and such into the realm of Vintage only, which I think would hurt the prices.
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2016, 05:15:34 pm »

Well, if most Legacy players are like you -- they want to play with those cards specifically -- then no-Reserve List Legacy probably won't go anywhere.  People with old cards want to play real Legacy.  People without old cards are probably already playing Modern.  A half-way in-between format seems like an odd duck.
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2016, 05:28:18 pm »

So the dual lands are spiking, but what about moxes? It makes sense that there would be more demand for dual lands initially, but moxes might go under the radar a bit before they get their own big spike.

Also what about something like Phyrexian Negator? It's a 50 cent reserved list card that's unlikely to see play
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2016, 05:33:52 pm »

So the dual lands are spiking, but what about moxes? It makes sense that there would be more demand for dual lands initially, but moxes might go under the radar a bit before they get their own big spike.

Yeah, but when a card is already $1,000.00 or close to it, one has to imagine that the number of players who can afford to panic-buy are more limited. 

Also what about something like Phyrexian Negator? It's a 50 cent reserved list card that's unlikely to see play

I guess it has more upside than Wood Elemental or Hammerheim.  BUY OUT ALL THE NEGATORS.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2016, 08:21:04 pm »

So the dual lands are spiking, but what about moxes? It makes sense that there would be more demand for dual lands initially, but moxes might go under the radar a bit before they get their own big spike.

Yeah, but when a card is already $1,000.00 or close to it, one has to imagine that the number of players who can afford to panic-buy are more limited. 

Also it seems the spike would be much more Legacy-related than Vintage?
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2016, 08:40:33 pm »

So the dual lands are spiking, but what about moxes? It makes sense that there would be more demand for dual lands initially, but moxes might go under the radar a bit before they get their own big spike.

Yeah, but when a card is already $1,000.00 or close to it, one has to imagine that the number of players who can afford to panic-buy are more limited.  

Also it seems the spike would be much more Legacy-related than Vintage?

I have to agree with this. Moxes have appreciated at a much lower pace the last 5+ years compared to cards like wasteland, FoW, dual lands, chains, moat, etc.  I would also guess that moxes are probably one of the last major cards a person will purchase.
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2016, 02:08:11 pm »

I have to agree with this. Moxes have appreciated at a much lower pace the last 5+ years compared to cards like wasteland, FoW, dual lands, chains, moat, etc.  I would also guess that moxes are probably one of the last major cards a person will purchase.

You have to figure that with the price already so high there's much less room for movement in Moxen prices, so I think that makes sense.
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2016, 02:25:29 pm »

I have to agree with this. Moxes have appreciated at a much lower pace the last 5+ years compared to cards like wasteland, FoW, dual lands, chains, moat, etc.  I would also guess that moxes are probably one of the last major cards a person will purchase.

You have to figure that with the price already so high there's much less room for movement in Moxen prices, so I think that makes sense.

Also just less formats to play them in. It seems like a lot of people don't even get the Legacy action they want, let alone Vintage.
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2016, 02:55:00 pm »

I have to agree with this. Moxes have appreciated at a much lower pace the last 5+ years compared to cards like wasteland, FoW, dual lands, chains, moat, etc.  I would also guess that moxes are probably one of the last major cards a person will purchase.

You have to figure that with the price already so high there's much less room for movement in Moxen prices, so I think that makes sense.

Also just less formats to play them in. It seems like a lot of people don't even get the Legacy action they want, let alone Vintage.

Yeah, I live in the middle of no-where, but we have a decent Legacy community.  We had a couple Vintage players, but those days are gone (this is oil country).

I was working on getting a bunch of FBB duals and I just picked up on yesterday, but with prices going the way they have, I might be priced out of them soon (with kid #6 on the way).  I still have 42 Revised duals, so it's not as if I am really hurting.  I play Vintage about once a year now, but I still have my Power.  I'm lucky to have bought playsets of nearly everything important between 2007 and 2010 and lucky to have been able to buy a house and a minivan without moving really any of it.  I've got other dumbly expensive things like an English Imperial Seal, a mint Tabernacle, a playset of Moats, etc, so I am relatively set to build nearly anything.

I'm at 11 FBB duals now (luckily 4 of those are Seas) but getting more will probably be tough going forward.  It'd be easier if the dollar improved against the Euro, but I think that's a pipe-dream at this point.  I should really have moved on those in 2007, along with more Beta stuff, but I decided to go for quantity over quality, which was dumb.
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2016, 03:56:12 pm »

Yeah, I live in the middle of nowhere, but we have a decent Legacy community.  We had a couple Vintage players, but those days are gone (this is oil country).

I was working on getting a bunch of FBB duals and I just picked up on yesterday, but with prices going the way they have, I might be priced out of them soon (with kid #6 on the way).  I still have 42 Revised duals, so it's not as if I am really hurting.  I play Vintage about once a year now, but I still have my Power.  I'm lucky to have bought playsets of nearly everything important between 2007 and 2010 and lucky to have been able to buy a house and a minivan without moving really any of it.  I've got other dumbly expensive things like an English Imperial Seal, a mint Tabernacle, a playset of Moats, etc, so I am relatively set to build nearly anything.

I'm at 11 FBB duals now (luckily 4 of those are Seas) but getting more will probably be tough going forward.  It'd be easier if the dollar improved against the Euro, but I think that's a pipe-dream at this point.  I should really have moved on those in 2007, along with more Beta stuff, but I decided to go for quantity over quality, which was dumb.

When I got back in, I went for quality, and not quantity, and I'm not necessarily happy either.  I've parted out a lot in the last five years, but there's a part of me that still very much wishes that I had the collection I had back then, with multiple sets of blue duals, the rest of a Revised set, Shops, Bazaars, English and Italian Drains, four sets of Forces, etc. 

The grass is always greener on the other side!
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2016, 08:22:17 am »

When I got back in, I went for quality, and not quantity, and I'm not necessarily happy either.  I've parted out a lot in the last five years, but there's a part of me that still very much wishes that I had the collection I had back then, with multiple sets of blue duals, the rest of a Revised set, Shops, Bazaars, English and Italian Drains, four sets of Forces, etc. 

The grass is always greener on the other side!

Yeah, good point actually.  Thinking back, what I was really doing to building up to actually playing competitively.  By 2006, I had never played anything besides kitchen table Magic.  The Time Spiral prerelease was my first competitive event.  So, as I was buying things up, I had literally no idea what I would want to play so I just bought everything.

It was only once I started playing Vintage with you guys that I really had an idea of what I wanted to play.  Luckily though, my broad approach let me play Legacy now that I am down here where Vintage is a total pipe-dream.  We'll be lucky here if any of us still have jobs in the next few months.

I was lucky to pick up some other random things that spiked, like a slightly played Chaos Orb from Unlimited for about 45 bucks last year.  I think they are trending toward 100 now.  I might not get to play Old School until next year, or more, but I still like the idea of it and I figured it'd be best to move before I can't.
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2016, 12:16:01 pm »

I remain so glad that I picked up my Bazaars by May of last year, and in fact just generally completed my roundup of Vintage staples (though I suppose I could use a Tabernacle or two and another Karakas or two). While these huge price spikes have been happening I've had the luxury to buy some Guru basics instead.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2016, 10:38:28 pm »

So I picked up some Academy Rectors, Intuitions, Helm of Obediences, etc.  Stuff like that.

What's the speculation on In the Eye of Chaos?  It's at $30, which is a lot lower than I expected.

-edit-

Conch Horn looks great for 30 cents!
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2016, 11:17:46 am »

It'd be easier if the dollar improved against the Euro, but I think that's a pipe-dream at this point.

More than it has already this year...?
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2016, 12:06:47 pm »

It'd be easier if the dollar improved against the Euro, but I think that's a pipe-dream at this point.

More than it has already this year...?

It's been rather stagnant this year (2016) at 1.10 to 1.  I guess you meant in 2015?  Yeah, coming out of 2014 there was a dramatic change down from 1.4 to about where we are now.

I should have been clear, parity was what I was alluding to though.  I through most of 2015 I kept reading how parity was right around the corner, but it never materialized.  I have a feeling it won't happen in 2016 either.
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2016, 12:16:01 pm »

The spike has fueled fervor on my part.  

I picked up Gaea's Cradles, Bazaar of Baghdads and three more City of Traitors (for myself) on the back of this spike.  

I ordered a bunch of Null Rods and Meditates.  I ordered a few Cursed Scrolls, Peacekeepers and Intuitions.  I also ordered a set of German Mox Diamonds, in case I ever decide to play Legacy MUD, or in case there's some really weird Lands style Vintage deck that needs to run them (I sincerely doubt it).  I ordered a set of City of Traitors for a friend, and wonder if the $330 that I spent on them is really a deal.  I guess it is, but it still feels wrong.

There is a lot of speculation going on (I'm part of it with Meditates and Null Rods), but one of the things that this spike has done is forced my hand regarding waiting to buy cards.  I sold my last set of Bazaars for $1,200 to put towards buying a piece of art.  Oops.  I was annoyed by the price spike to $500-$700, but hoped that they'd come back down to $400 or so for NM.  I dropped $2,200 on Bazaars because I don't like uncertain things (who does, really?), and because I don't want to be in a position where I need them, and don't have them.

When I was in high school, my mother hated Magic, and made a habit of throwing away all the cards she found.  She thought I was gambling (as you all know, I wasn't).  Maybe it's some subconscious memory of that time in my life, but I have always hated having a large collection.  I don't want to have one more extra card than I need.  Even when I had five proxy-free Vintage decks built, I don't think I had much more than 1,000 cards (if that at all).  Buying all these extra cards now, filling out binders, and preparing for decks that may never be built is annoying.  The part of me that wants zero extra fat on my collection is at war with the part of me that doesn't want to get hosed should I need something that spiked during this current rush.

One of the better questions is where everything settles.  Is Null Rod a $75 rare?  I sincerely doubt it, and yet there are many eBay sellers who are shooting for that, or more.  Is it $50?  I don't think so.  Is it $40?  Maybe.  $30?  Probably.  

Several people have said it, and I had a conversation about this a while back (I believe with Greg); we spoke about what would happen if there was a new supply of Wastelands, Force of Wills and other non-Reserved List cards.  We agreed that what it would likely do was just shift the money around in your deck.  Sure, Force of Will, Wasteland, et al would be cheaper, but at the expense of pricier dual lands, power, and other staples.  

As a whole, this is still a great thing for Vintage.  Even without printing cards from the Reserved List, the price drop on all the other staples means that, with 15 "playtest cards" (they will always be proxies in my mind), a new pilot is able to get into the format for less.  While the barrier to entry will be lowered overall, the barrier to playing sanctioned Vintage will be that much higher.  Last I saw, Underground Sea was over $300.  Could you even imagine being a kid, getting into the format, and looking at a $2,000 mana base?  What is that?  Four Seas, a few Trops/Volcs, and some fetch-lands?  

And yet I can't imagine things changing.  As nice as it will be to make a few dollars on Meditates and Null Rods (outside of some sets I'm selling to friends at virtual cost), I would much prefer a more open format where the cards were infinitely more affordable than they are now.  The N.Y.S.E. Open is the most personal experience of this, and I've gone through it for the last four years.  Every year I hunt for deals, use connections, and do all I can to acquire eight pieces of power, and then significant support for 9th-16th.  This year, thankfully, I was able to pick up a set of Workshops before they jumped to the $700-$800 that they are now.  Bazaars, unfortunately, have been the victim of an earlier massive price spike.  What happens next year?  What happens the year after?  The Bazaar of Moxen was halted in large part due to just how much it costs to pick up the prize support for an event like that.  The N.Y.S.E. Open does not offer comparable support, but there will come a point in time when it is no longer feasible to give away what I give away.  Something suffers, every year.  I won't run the event at a loss, but I find myself relying on greater and greater turnouts in order to break even.  

I think Wizards has proven with the releases of both Modern Masters sets that they have learned the lessons of Chronicles, and would never make those mistakes again.  There is a way to print cards from the Reserved List without destroying all their value.  Getting into Vintage wouldn't be free, but it would be a much more accessible format than it is now.  How are we supposed to recruit players when, before they've played a single game, they know that they'll need to spend $20,000 in order to be able to play?

Back to the point at hand, if I were a Vintage pilot who needed anything on the Reserved List, I'd do all I could to pick it up now.  Yeah, you're going to be playing a part in the spike, and yeah, you're going to be paying more than you were a few days ago, but I don't think that we're done with this spike just yet.  Some cards are likely settled for a little while (before they come down a little bit), like City of Traitors and Null Rod.  But there are still so many others that seem like they could be many multiples of what they are now.  Why is Cursed Scroll $5?  Why is Peacekeeper $3?  Metalworker, Grim Monolith, and many others should probably be more expensive than they are now.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness posting.  
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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2016, 01:03:01 pm »

We're just getting into scary times I think.  This is one of the most major price spikes (or should we say run) in 20yrs, and every time I think we are at the top of a temporary bubble (like I did Fall of 2015), we have another major price spike on top of that.  It's getting kind of ridiculous that perennial $5 cards are now approaching $50.  And not just a single "discovered" card here and there, but whole batches of cards.  Worst of all, it is the dual devils of speculation AND lack of supply.  Just look at what a little bit of publicity last fall did to the Old School Magic format.  Pretty much any card from Arabian, Legends, or Antiquities doubled or more.

It's just unsustainable (been saying that for years, alas), as there is NO new supply coming into the market, and now there is a massive worldwide demand (collectors vs Vintage vs commanders).  The only thing that can soften the prices for the common people are:

Top notch counterfeits
Legalizing Collector's edition (still not a permanent solution)
Printing effective Vintage hate (which has never been proven to work)
...or paper vintage stagnating.  


There's just no other way to look at it

Wizards has no incentive (financial or ethical) to make reprints or keep vintage alive.  The only benefit is the marketing powers of showing kids that Magic cards can be worth up to tens of thousands of dollars.  Every day the topic of reprints comes up, but I just don't see them risking massive lawsuits to please a community that they essentially left for dead years ago.  Vintage is a thorn in their side.  

Cube and Commander did change all this though, as it gave tons of value (financial and playability) to a TON of mid-tier or past their prime cards.

But once again, until Magic shifts totally to digital, I don't see that they have any outs to the problem. Unless, maybe, they announced that they were reprinting cards YEARS in the future.  That might soften the blow.  The problem is, that they haven't really ever even acknowledged that it is a problem.  Or at least a problem that they care about.    

Prospero is right.  At a certain point, the prospect of trying to buy into Vintage will become impossible.  We're a full generation past people that witnessed the birth of Black Lotus.  In the 90s we used to joke about how the barrier to Type 1 was unscaleable (back then buying into a loaded Beta Vintage deck was $1000-$2000).  People have money now, but buying all the peripheral stuff is now expensive too.  A $2000 manabase looks like a steal, when you put it against a single sideboard Tabernacle ($700).  Even obtaining cards you MIGHT need can cost thousands. That's a pretty intimidating hill to climb.  

Obtaining the power nine used to be a regular vintage goal. Now just grabbing a few sideboard cards can be a serious accomplishment.
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2016, 02:45:26 pm »

Oh as far as I know, the intent is to have a weak US dollar in order to promote US exports...
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2016, 02:51:15 pm »

Oh as far as I know, the intent is to have a weak US dollar in order to promote US exports...

The strong dollar has fueled a lot of my buying, at least.  From H's comments, I'd believe it has fueled his as well.  The euro dipped below $1.10 again today.  Take advantage of it while it lasts.
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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2016, 02:56:41 pm »

Oh as far as I know, the intent is to have a weak US dollar in order to promote US exports...

The strong dollar has fueled a lot of my buying, at least.  From H's comments, I'd believe it has fueled his as well.  The euro dipped below $1.10 again today.  Take advantage of it while it lasts.

Well, it certainly has helped.  I am well priced out of Beta anything, so I have been slowly picking up some FBB stuff.  It's still cheaper to get it from Europe than it is to pay the (usually) highly inflated costs most have on that same stuff here.

I really wish I could pick up some Tundras right now, but I still do have to pay my mortgage and feed the kids, so that's not really going to happen for the time being...
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« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2016, 05:18:35 pm »

Top notch counterfeits are impossible for reserved list cards. First they'd have to figure out how to counterfeit a card in general (they're not even close yet) and then they'd have to figure out how to give them a played/worn look.  I always shoot for heavy played cards because it's s guaranteed authentic magic card.
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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2016, 07:42:34 pm »

Top notch counterfeits are impossible for reserved list cards. First they'd have to figure out how to counterfeit a card in general (they're not even close yet) and then they'd have to figure out how to give them a played/worn look.  I always shoot for heavy played cards because it's s guaranteed authentic magic card.

How to get that play on it has been a thing I've been wondering about. I'm thinking put the cards in a sack full of sand and toss it in the dryer.
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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2016, 08:10:50 am »

This spike happened at the absolute worst time for me, just when I decided to have some money tied up elsewhere...

It sucks, but I'm kind of at the point where I am considering buying some random staples anyway just to be safe in the future, whenever, if I need them. I cannot imagine this is a healthy state for people who are still lacking the basic staples required to play Vintage. Sad

As Nick said though, it's still a net positive for recruiting new players to Vintage. The 15 "playtest cards" will now presumably make up reserved list staples and the remaining 60 cards would presumably be non-reserved list cards that should be a lot more affordable. The problem is that making the jump from 15-proxy to zero proxy will soon become insurmountable.
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Lyna turned to the figure beside her. "They're gone. What now?"
"As ever," said Urza, "we wait."
ben_berry
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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2016, 08:15:54 am »


How to get that play on it has been a thing I've been wondering about. I'm thinking put the cards in a sack full of sand and toss it in the dryer.

Couldn't you just make a stack of 60 of them and shuffle them without sleeves.
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