Back in July 2019, I bought out the remaining inventory of an MTG online reseller.
This is the story of my massive MTG haul, how I sorted through it all, and all of the gems I found.
Before you ask, yes, I do have lots of full pauper sets for sale!
I enjoy a good bargain as much as the next person, and when it comes to gaming, that's no exception.
Games are expensive. Especially collectible card games, such as Magic: The Gathering. As such, I am always on the lookout for deals on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and other sources.
While browsing on Craigslist, I came across someone selling an abnormally large collection of cards for a very cheap price. It was estimated to be around 60,000 cards, mostly common and uncommon.
The gist of their story was, their store sold multiple products online, and collectible cards was just one of those items. They were looking to get out of the collectible card business and were liquidating their inventory. I was told this collection contained mostly standard bulk, with many full play common play sets and some rares scattered in.
I quickly realized this was an amazing deal, so I took them up on their offer, and said I could pick it up the next day.
The next morning I left the house at 7am and drove 3 hours to their location. On arrival, I was welcomed by one of the most friendly persons I have ever met. He was a fellow gamer, not only for Magic: The Gathering, but video games and other tabletop games as well. I'm glad for such a friendly person as I ended up spending over 2 hours there.
When I arrived, this is what I was greeted to:
I didn't fully realize just how large a collection 60,000 cards might be until we started loading them up.
It was contained on 4+ book cases, the floor, the corner of the office, the entire table you see in the photo and then some.
Their office space was located on the 2nd floor of an office complex, so thankfully they had a shopping cart and an elevator that came in very handy.
I made roughly a dozen trips to the car and back over the next couple of hours. My new friend helped me the whole way. We chatted about video games, Magic, Munchkin and several other gaming related topics.
I barely got everything loaded into my car. Every square inch was packed, the trunk, floors, seats, and the front passenger area were all packed with boxes upon boxes of cards!
I graciously thanked the sellers for the awesome deal and the generous help in packing them all up and hauling them to the car with me. I then made the 3 hour trip back to home.
After arriving at home, I had to quickly figure out what to do with everything. I knew I was going to need to go through and sort every single box and card. I sent the wife an apology text about all the boxes going in the living room and hallway for a couple weeks while I figured out where to put everything.
After unloading the car, I decided that sorting by set was the best place to start. I organized everything in as neat a pile as I could.
Half the cards were in the original flimsy display boxes, the other half was stored in a mix of large card storage boxes, bundle box deck boxes, shoe boxes and whatever else the previous owners had laying around to stick cards in.
I cleaned out a section of my office, setup a folding table, laid a large tabletop neoprene play mat on top of it and got to sorting.
After looking through quite a few boxes and spot checking others, I realized that except for color and set, nothing was sorted alphabetically. In order to find out what all was there, they needed to be in alphabetical order as well.
This meant I was going to have to handle all 60,000+ cards one by one. Every. Single. Card.
Thankfully there was a cool sorting tray that was included with everything. I had never got around to purchasing one of these sorting trays, as I don't typically buy collections this large. I am glad I got the opportunity to try it out, as it was a life saver in speed sorting and greatly decreased fatigue. I highly recommend one of these trays for anyone that likes to buy and sort any type of card collection.
At first I wasn't sure where to put all the cards I had sorted. I didn't want to put them back in the flimsy booster box displays, but after realizing there was nowhere else to put them, I reluctantly put them back in the boxes they came out of.
I had wanted to buy some storage boxes for them all, but then thought better of it when I remembered one of the main reasons I was buying all of these cards was to sell off everything I didn't keep. I would end up with a bunch of empty boxes once they were all gone, which was money wasted.
I did need to get all of the cards out of the shoe boxes and deck boxes though, as those were not very efficient ways to store a massive amount of cards. I ended up buying a 10 pack of BCW 3200 card Monster Storage boxes.
For the cards that came out of their matching set booster box, I just re-used those. For the cards that had no relevant set box, I used the large storage boxes. Thankfully quite a few large card storage boxes were holding many of these cards, so I was able to condense them all back into the boxes they came out of.
Meanwhile, I sorted cards for a solid week and a half...
Once I had finished sorted everything, it was time to find out how many sets I could make. I already had several friends that wanted to buy full playsets, so this was a good start.
I realized I needed some smaller card storage boxes to put all the sets in for individual sale, so I ordered a 50 pack of BCW 400ct card storage boxes. On top of this, I would be re-using all of the bundle box deck boxes and empty booster boxes as well.
While making up full sets was not nearly as difficult as the original sort project, it was still very time consuming. It still took several days to go back through all of them and figure out the maximum amount of sets I could make.
As you saw from some of the previous pictures of the sorting process, you'll notice not all stacks are of equal size. This means I was only able to make full play sets from the cards with the shortest stacks.
I went through every set, color by color, using the Scryfall database on my tablet as reference. Since the sorting tray was divided into 18 sections, I started by making a maximum of 18 playsets for each set. I made note of those sets that might have produced a few more playsets in case I ran out later on. Some sets only produced 3-4 full playsets. Others I was able to produce full playsets and then partial playsets, which were only missing a few cards each.
I ended up with nearly 100 full common playsets, spanning 13 sets from Eldritch Moon to Ravnica Allegiance. There's even a few sets of Modern Masters, Eternal Masters and tons of Unstable!
Some sets were missing a few valuable commons, so I added in all of the uncommons I had for each set to make up for it.
Now, I need to sell everything off as quickly as I can.
All of this was bought for three main reasons.
It took a couple weeks before I could finally remove everything from the hallways, living room and much of the floor space and table of my office. I got all the remaining left over cards up on my book shelves and everything else is all boxed and ready to sell!
If you are interested in purchasing any of these sets, please contact me.
If you are interested in pauper cubes or draft packs, let me know and I can make some in the set(s) of your choice.
My Personal Collection
In case you've made it this far, here is most my personal collection. This includes all of the non-land, non-token cards.
That's 6 x 3200 card boxes. There is another 4 x 3200 card boxes full of tokens and land also that are not shown in this picture. This spans Unlimited through Core Set 2020.
My original collection was in 5 x 3200 card boxes, and now spans 10. I am only keeping playsets of each card, so cards beyond sets of 4 I put in another box for giving away. Anything valuable I keep in a separate box outside of what you see here so I don't lose track of them.
As for valuable cards? I dug about 400 cards worth $860 in value out of all the bulk. I got quite a few mythics and rares, including lots of Planeswalkers, cards for Commander, tons of foils and some other cool stuff.
I keep these and my reserved list cards all in a binder, and anything in a certain value range in a separate box.
I will save further discussion of what all is in my collection to a future article.
I hope you all found this journey as entertaining as I did. Thankfully reading about it was not nearly as time consuming as the actual project.
Article updated 11/27/19 to reflect new pricing calculations and to shorten the article. All values explained in What Does Everything Cost? Real World Values Explained
Throne of Eldraine has arrived on Magic: The Gathering Arena this week. The peasants rejoice!
Today's article will be about Real World Value for the Mastery Tree. I have calculated the values for both Free to Play and Mastery Pass players.
The Throne of Eldraine (ELD) season will go a little longer than Core Set 2020 did. ELD will run for 110 days total, starting on 9/26/16 and allegedly ending on 1/14/20 (110 days from 9/26).
I will be basing the Mastery Tree totals on what I actually see in game, since Wizards of the Coast's (WotC) own press release has incorrect numbers in it.
Mastery Tree - Throne of Eldraine (Free to Play)
The new Mastery Tree is even more generous than the previos M20 tree. This is because of how weekly booster packs were removed from weekly win tracks, and instead spread out over the course of the new Mastery Tree.
With every even-numbered level, you will receive 1 Throne of Eldraine booster pack for free, up to level 92. This totals 46 free booster packs. You also receive 5 free orbs spread out over a few of the odd-numbered levels, up to level 69.
46 Booster Packs x $1.11 = $51.06
5 Orbs x $2.08 = $10.40
Throne of Eldraine Mastery Tree = $61.51 in free value
Returning Players (Free to Play)
This also part of the F2P path. You don't need to spend any money to receive these rewards.
WotC offered players that logged in prior to 9/26/19 an extra bonus that was received post patch for ELD.
In addition to the rewards above, returning players will also receive the following extra free bonuses in the Mastery Tree.
Returning Player Rewards = $6.66 in free value
Mastery Pass - Throne of Eldraine (3400 Gems)
The Mastery Pass was a big hit for M20, so it will be returning for all future sets. The rewards are quite generous, especially if you play a lot of draft and have a lot of reward gems. Even if purchased for around $20, this is still well worth the money.
The key to purchasing and using the Mastery Pass is that you need to play every day in order to advance through all of the levels to reap all of the rewards. If you don't plan to play much, you should probably skip the Mastery Pass.
The nice thing about this pass is that you can purchase it at any time, even on the last day. This is good for those that aren't sure how much they will play. They can then see how far they get before spending the money on the pass. The rewards are retro-active, so you will receive everything from the past, up to the level you are currently at at the time of purchase.
Lets see what all we got for the Throne of Eldraine Mastery Pass:
Throne of Edraine Mastery Pass = $182.40 in value
Wizards of the Coast has been very generous with it's Free to Play player base. For those that are enjoying themselves and would like to support the game, please consider purchasing the Mastery Pass, as it's an exceptionally good value if you are an active player.
I hope this article has been of some use to you. Please leave any questions or comments below.