Weeks 6-10(?): Multiple adds and first status check

OK, so I'm starting to get ahead, maybe too much. The problem with Magic players is that we suffer from an addiction not easily satiated. Another problem is that basic lands are best purchased in lots. Beta Swamps featuring the "dark" art (a.k.a. "two branches") tend to be the most sought-after, and not always easy to find. When the opportunity arose, it made sense to snag these:

Optimal Beta Swamp art (objectively)

These bring my Swamp count to twelve (I started with eight at the beginning of January), about four shy of the minimum needed for a reasonable 40-card list. That's fine, I can try to pick others up individually as the year goes on. I also recently found this:


So far, this is my most costly new card in terms of cash spent out of pocket (i.e., discounting trades), but I've little doubt it was worth its price, given how little Alpha is out there and how badly people seem to want it. I'm not acquiring these pieces with the intention to sell, but that doesn't make a healthy bottom line any less appealing. Mg once used the term "panic button" to describe his high-value cards, and that certainly resonates here. The goal, though, is to keep these forever, before handing them down.

I think this is a good time to take stock of the project so far. I started with several cards already in hand, so this hasn't all been acquired since January, but I've still added 13 pieces this year. The prices of Alpha and Beta continue to reach upward; auctions are difficult to win, listings and store inventories are sparse. The challenge level, while less than an all-Alpha build, is still high (or hopefully at least respectable).

Here's the current pile:

Prospective board state

1 Bad Moon
1 Black Knight
1 Bog wraith
1 Dark Ritual
3 Frozen Shade
2 Scavenging Ghoul
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
2 Unholy Strength
12 Swamp
Let's look at expenses. Again, since some of these cards I already owned, this isn't a valuation of everything above so much as the costs I'm incurring to keep up my pace.

  • A $136 buylist (mostly $5-ish Modern cards) to SCG w/ 50% trade bonus
  • Two signed LP Badlands to DA Card World
  • $355 cash

That's fairly high. The trades only really helped pay for splurges, so if we divide up the cash spent, and assume that the current acquisitions get me through the end of February (might take a break for a few weeks here), it works out to around $35/week. Still a lot, but not too terrible for a Magic player, considering this is [almost] the only Magic-related thing that I'm spending on. Next, I need to start looking at removal spells, which I'm hoping to find at around $20 on average, mixing Beta with the occasional Alpha. My goal is always NM.


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