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Investing in Legacy.

March 8, 2011

Whether you are new to magic, or an old fart like me, one of the gears of warfare within this hobby is of course investment in cards.

On Tuesday I draft; Wednesday it is EDH/Commander; Thursday it’s casual games with MTGO, and on Friday it’s FNM. This covers mostly casual and standard play, with a splash of limited to which I found out this morning I actually have a fairly decent DCI rating in. But what about my beloved Legacy? Well in my area we have a Legacy League it starts on Sundays at 11:00 and goes till whenever we are done.

I got back into legacy about 4 months ago, I played casual magic for a long time (post-mirrodin) utilizing my cards I had collected over the years, but it wasn’t until I spoke with a store owner and his passion for legacy that it really ignited me to go back into that direction from years ago of play.

Like most people in our game we trade and sell and do all sorts of things with our binders and boxes of cards. In many instances I have purchased collections, and sold collections. sometimes not really realizing the true value of the card(s) I was trading for or selling at that time.

Legacy is a format where it honestly takes time and money to play. Unlike Standard and Extended, Legacy and Vintage are the eternal format. cards from every set can be utilized to play. and your deck doesn’t rotate after 3 months. this is where investing in Legacy over the course of the long run is not only cheaper but also a benefit of play.

Most cards in Legacy and Vintage don’t actually decrease in value, but rather have a sustained price range or shoot up in price for whatever reason. a good example of this is Time Spiral, before it was removed from the banned list in Legacy, you could pick these up for 6-8 dollars from most vendors, at that time too survival of the fittest was one of the fastest growing decks in legacy. Reason being is that Survival of the Fittest had a new best Friend Fauna Shamen, A.K.A survival of the fittest on a creature. Survival alone ran high at about 50 dollars when the Survival of the Fittest was exiled to the Banned list however, she dropped in price, not by a huge margin either unless of course you picked them at their peak. Survival and Time Spiral both have something in common though, both of them sell for now at 22.99 at most retailers.

Force of Will on the other hand is one of those cards that isn’t dropping in price, in fact over the course of the past 3ish years it has raised constantly in its value. 3 year ago you could pick up FoW between 25-30 dollars, today however it is between 45-50 dollars with it rising in the online market in MTGO at 80 tickets, but will most likely climb to 100-120. even though there is a huge difference between online and actual card values. FoW’s aren’t something you see too often out in the stores, if you are lucky to come across some your best bet is to snag them up quickly.

Now mind you there are plenty of cards in Standard that also work it’s way into Legacy play, depending on much you want to play the deck really depends on how much you are willing to invest at the get go. For example, if you wanted to play show and tell with Emmy and Progenitus, you’re looking at 7.99 (prerelease foil) – 19.99 (RoE Regular Foil) for Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, so your cost can varies depending on what card you want. Personally it doesn’t matter to me, I rather like the prerelease foil since it is 4 dollars cheaper than 11.99 for the regular card, and 12 dollars cheaper for the ROE Foil version. surprisingly enough not being overly picky on such things will save you money as well as help you invest in more of your staples. for example lets say I bought 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn at 7.99 but was willing to spend the 19.99 for the foils, inside the retailers case there are 4 copies of Ancient Tomb which sells for 6 dollars. So I ask for the 4 prerelease foil versions of Emmy @ 7.99 + 4 Ancient Tomb @ 6.00 = 55.96 (tax excluded) – my heart was set at foil emmy’s because that is just pimp, my 7.99 emmy’s are equally as pimp because they are foil and dated in my opinion and I saved money from the purchase to allow me to get 4 more staple cards I need for my deck. Sometimes it is perfectly okay to be frugal. As I was saying I spent 55.96 I had 80 dollars ready to spend total savings on purchase $24.04 – Let’s order a pizza!

Now let us examine some cards in M11 – more so the titans. I will admit, I didn’t buy a single pack of m11 when it came out, I went the other route and bought the cards I wanted and traded for others. On release day I laid out 180 dollars, I bought 4 Primeval Titans, 4 Inferno Titans, & 2 Grave Titans. I got them at a very decent sale price. which in hindsight I didn’t mind what so ever. they are an investment. I can see long term prices for these titans because of their strength as being a staple in many deck types. Again that is a long term vision i see and might not be so. Then again I didn’t think I would ever see a Cloudpost/Locus land Eldrazi deck either so I could be entirely wrong.

I formulated a question to several people on Twitter/Facebook/MTG Salvation. I posted a survey basically. What I wanted to know is what do many other players consider the most worthwhile investment in legacy, is it to concentrate on their decks and build it, or straight up Force of Will and Wasteland. (results which will be posted at the end of the week)

I also proposed the same question to my local game shop his reply is probably the best and one I agree with most. and I quote:

Card investment, imo is about getting staples with stable value and versatility. Getting “Good stuff” with a price tag isn’t really a great investment if the lifeline of that good stuff is a few months. For people investing in a format (legacy being the best example) grabbing things like duels, force of will, wasteland, noble hierarch, natural order, counterbalance, Top, Vial- things that have maintained a steady, minimal increase in value that would require a huge shift in the format to tank is the best place to start- from there you can get the individual pieces that surround them for whatever deck you want to play.

Wise words!

The no one is saying you have to go out and drop 1000-3000 dollars off the bat, unless of course you can afford to, then in which case all the power to you. but picking up the staples when and where they are available is always a worthwhile investment in time and money.

So if you are really considering about getting into Legacy get in gear and try to get a hold of those staples, shop wisely, trade fairly etc.

Happy Gaming
Richard

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