I write this on the eve of a very big purchase. Coincidentally it is also the eve of Tenth Edition. No I am not buying a case or even a box of Tenth. My target is a complete foil collection of Urza’s Legacy, with its Goblin Welder
, Grim Monolith
, man lands, and so much more goodliness. Is this smart shopping? That depends. Considering I can buy a play set of foil Goblin Welder
for a bit more then I am spending. But what makes it a smart buy is I’m splitting the cost with a friend. Sure only one of us is getting our pimped out little Goblin, but we have made arrangements before hand for this scenario. My friend is getting the Goblin, mostly because he plays welder more then I do, but it is costing him some extra cards (pimpin’ Tinker
). But I could buy a play set of Revised Tundra
s for the same price, or a box and a half of Tenth. Then why am I making this purchase? Because it is the right use of money for me.
The right purchase for me may not be the right purchase for you. I play a lot of Legacy and Vintage so my collection is pretty good, and they are the two formats of pimpin’. I also have the budget to do this. A box and a half of Tenth is only going to get me more cards that I already own, and play sets of good cards are always moving around. But complete foil collections are not. The chance of me finding this deal again is slim to none.
Now we have determined smart shopping for me, but what about you. Obviously if you are a Standard junkie, a foil set of anything is seriously a waste of hard earned resources, i.e. Money. But even buying boxes of boosters may not be right. Tenth for example contains only cards that were printed before, chances are you have most of them already so why buy into it? Is it the thrill of ripping fresh packs? New art? You are a collector? These are good reasons but only one fits the bill for a smart purchase of Tenth. That is the collector, because he needs all the bulk to make a set. The thrill of ripping packs can be contained to sealed events or drafts, and the new art is minimal, so picking the cards up as singles is easy. What should the Standard player do? Well, he/she should go do some good old fashioned homework. Ask yourself a few questions. What is actually going to be used in the current format? Do I own those cards already?
Only when you have satisfied these questions should you consider buying a box of a core set. Expansions are of course more exciting and fresh. You should buy boxes, but you still need to do your homework. Is the set any good?
Remember sets can be completely useless, do I need to remind you that Fallen Empires, Homelands, Stronghold, the Champions block, and Coldsnap all made their way into existence. These were all weak sets for the most part
and you could get away with just buying play sets of what you need. But Kokusho is $20 dollars a pop, If I want a play set I may as well buy a box for that price.
Not quite. Champions was a big set, the odds of pulling one Kokusho in a box is slim, let alone a play set. Even if Kokusho was in a smaller expansion, the odds are against you.