MTGO: The Jace Giveth...

I started playing Magic back when Revised (3rd ed.) was just released and have been playing off and on ever since. I also started playing MTGO back when it was first released and have been playing off and on ever since. I recently went through a 'high' where I spent quite a lot of time and money playing when Zendikar block was released online. I also took a bit of a break on the tail end of Zendikar and M11. I am itching to get back into playing but rather than fork out a ton of money again to buy cards or packs to draft with, I figured I would try and recycle some of my previously purchased cards to fund my new stint in online play.

I primarily played Block Constructed previously, but had been itching to get into Standard once Alara rotated out. Now, my goal is to get into competitive Standard Constructed. Luckily, I think the current meta-game and the trading environment have combined to give me a very good option to do so - by selling my copies of Jace, the Mind Sculptor!

Now, I have a full play set, but most of the current 'hot' standard decks that play him usually play 3, and there are a slew of good decks that don't play any. So, my plan is to sell 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor and use the proceeds to build a standard competitive deck to win enough packs (a.k.a tickets) to buy him back and then some. Here's my strategy:

Step 1: Sell Jace
Step 2: Build Winning Deck
Step 3: ...
Step 4:

It's practically foolproof! With that necessary due diligence out of the way, onward to profit!

First Step: Sell Jace!

Back when I was playing heavily during Zendikar block, prices would fluctuate immediately at release, and after a new deck was played and won in a high profile match in Paper Magic. For a card like Jace, prices could fluctuate as much as 10-15 tickets up or down in the span of a week. Now that it's not the current block however, I don't know whether prices are pretty stable, or prone to even wilder swings.

I do a quick search for Jace in the Community Classified section and see a few buyers offering anywhere from 70-91 (lower end being bots of course). Very few sellers but a few asking 96+ and a bot asking for 100+. I decide to undercut the competition and post my Jace for 93.

And now we play the waiting game.....

1 hour later
Things didn't exactly go as planned. After no one took me up on my price of 93, I started messaging the folks that were looking to buy. I suspected many were actually multiple accounts under 1 person since they had the exact same message but still gave it a shot and messaged every single potential buyer. No immediate response started to get me worried that my new adventure would have to either start at a lower investment point, or I'd have to wait around a few more hours.

Luckily however, I got a message back about 15 minutes later from one of the 'multiple account' persons and they were still interested for 91 tickets! A little less than I wanted but I'm way too impatient to hold out for 2 more tickets.

While we were in the trade window however, the buyer asked how many I wanted to sell. I realized I had accidentally marked all 4 as tradable, and now I had a big decision. Sell all 4 Jace's for a massive instant windfall that could keep me funded for a long long time, or keep to the plan? Without knowing how the price could fluctuate up or down, I didn't know whether it was likely that the prices would continue rising, or 'plummet' to the 70 ticket ranges (where it was at when M11 came out).

As you might know from the recent Geico commercials, this flawless bird in the hand was easily worth 2 in the bush. So I am now Jace-less, but very nicely funded to the tune of 364 tickets to build pretty much whatever deck I want (as long as it doesn't have any Jace's of course).

Now, the fun/agonizing part, deciding what deck to play....

3 Response to "MTGO: The Jace Giveth..."

  1. Loquacious November 16, 2010 at 4:30 PM
    For constructed, without Jace, you are going to need a LOT- a LOT of denial or burn. O Rings will be your FRIEND. You may want Skittles, Memnites/Galvanizers, or super red burn deck options.
  2. Jensyth November 16, 2010 at 5:17 PM
    Thanks for the comment Loquacious! I don't know if you play more paper magic but from what I've seen so far on the MTGO tourney reports (dailies, etc) the decks seem to be skewed HEAVILY to various forms of Titan Ramp with either Frost+Counters or Eldrazi. O Rings went out with Alara block so I'm not sure if you were thinking of the previous Standard environment (in which case I agree that I would be a fool to get rid of my Jace's ;) ).

    For now, I'm really debating on whether I want to try to find a viable deck that doesn't need 4 Primeval Titans, or just go with what seems to be working and make minor modifications. I'm still researching (and it doesn't help that MTGO's tourney reports seem to stop after the 12th for some reason) but that is what I am planning on writing for the next post.
  3. Loquacious November 17, 2010 at 9:34 PM
    Yes, I play entirely paper MtG so the standard block is a bit different (at least I think). Titans are big, Koth is big and Metalcrafting is pretty big around where I play. I'm a super, super casual player but I do a LOT of trading so I know what's moving... which usually tells me what's winning.

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