In 1986, a debate arose regarding the University of Santa Cruz’s mascot. It was a choice between the Sea Lions and the Banana Slugs. When the vote was left up to the students, the Banana Slug prevailed. There was definitely hesitation from the administration, but the students had spoken. As much of a joke as it seemed to be, they were the slugs and they loved it.
In 2009, I put my column title fate in the hands of the readers. They responded, “Emphatically, Rishadan Pawnshop!'” I felt the cloud come over much like UCSC’s chancellor must have felt those thirteen years ago. I attempted to remove [card]Rishadan Pawnshop [/card]from the running only to receive a bit of a backlash in the forums. Tomjoad wrote, “Also, how on Earth can Rishadan Pawnshop not still be in the running for your new column name? It is, and will always be, leagues ahead of the competition.” At a recent tournament, I received several comments to the same effect from friends and readers alike. A conversation with my friend Pat pushed me over the edge.
Me: if I had to pick a column name between Trade Secrets, Tricks of the Trade, and Rishadan Pawnshop, which do you think is better?
Me: EVERYONE has been telling me to go w. Pawnshop
Me: I don’t want to though
Me: but it’d be kinda funny since that’s what everyone voted for
Me: thing is, I’m not sure if they’d be laughing w. me or at me
Pat: those other two are so boring
Me: I don’t want to be the pawnshop owner though
Pat: too bad
Pat: you ARE
I guess I am
You guys voted, so now you have it!
Why You Should Be Paying Attention to the M2010 Spoilers
Some people hate spoilers. These “purists” of the game want to see the new cards for the first time when they open a fresh pack of the new set. Other people love spoilers. Once a new set is near release, they check the spoiler forums daily, if not hourly, just to see if there have been any updates. Personally, I am in the latter group. Though it is likely due to my self-diagnosed OCD, I would like to think it is for another reason.
Everyone should pay attention to Core Set spoilers. Love them or hate them, everyone should pay attention. If you don’t follow another spoiler all year, any person wanting to keep up with the market watch aspect of MTG should at least follow the Core Set spoiler. Here are four reasons why.
You should pay attention to the Core Set spoilers so you know what cards are staying. It is the middle of Standard season and you’re wondering whether or not you should invest in that foil set of [card]Birds of Paradise[/card]. You always wanted a set, they’ve been a staple for a long time and you finally found a really good deal on a 4x foil 8th Edition auction on eBay. Should you get them? Knowing if they would still be legal for another year would help a lot in that decision, wouldn’t it? It’s a fairly big investment and it wouldn’t be worth it if they were rotating out in a month. It’s a good thing that they’re confirmed in. And you wouldn’t have known this had you not been paying attention to the spoilers.
Knowing what cards are staying in not only helps you on the buy side, but on the sell side as well. Did you notice that new dual land they printed? This just confirms the rumors that Wizards won’t be reprinting the pain lands in M10. Since filters and Vivids and Reflecting Pools have become the mana fixing of choice, the old Core Set pain lands have dropped in price. Them not being reprinted in M10 will push those dropping prices over the deep end. If you have any pain lands left in your trade binder, you would be wise to get rid of them as soon as possible. Again, information you would only know if you were paying attention to the spoilers.
You should pay attention to the Core Set spoilers so you know what cards are leaving. Didn’t I just say that? Actually, this goes a little deeper than just selling cards that won’t be reprinted. Recently, Cascade Swans took the Standard format by storm. Whether or not you think the deck is good or is viable isn’t relevant for the purposes of this discussion, though it does factor in to your long term prospecting on the deck’s rares. What is relevant is whether or not Seismic Assault will even be reprinted in M10.
The difference in this example is that there are cards whose value depends highly on the existence of Seismic Assault in the format. No deck will leave Standard based on the pain lands rotating out. However, if Seismic Assault is left out of M10, you could bet your buttons that Swans of Bryn Argoll will take a dive (and probably beat Underground River and Karplusan Forest down to the bottom). Seismic Assault + Swans isn’t the only example of a card crippling an archetype with its departure. How strong will BW Tokens be if Glorious Anthem doesn’t get the nod? How will control decks change if Wrath of God is replaced by Damnation? What other decks rely on cards that could possibly be left out of M10? Just a few things to think about as you watch the spoilers develop.
Cards Coming In
You should pay attention to the Core Set spoilers so you know what cards are coming in. This isn’t anything new. Core Sets in the past have consisted of 100% reprints. The reason why you should pay attention is because sometimes they reprint something that wasn’t reprinted the set before. The shrewd prospector pays attention to the new cards that are being reprinted and purchases the older editions in advance before the price jumps up at release.
Savannah Lions is only around $2 right now, but I don’t doubt that price would double if the card was brought back. Damnation would definitely see a spike in price if it came in to replace Wrath of God in M10. As a real life example, 4th and 5th Edition Ball Lightnings are currently around $6 and The Dark version is running around $10. Already confirmed in M10, let’s see how much this sure to be chase rare will jump once the set is released this summer!
You should pay attention to the Core Set spoilers so you know what new cards will be entering the card pool. One of the new features of the Core Set is that it will include new cards as well as reprints. Sure, this might be “cheating” for you purists out there, but just think of it this way. If you play competitively, you want to have as much time as possible to build the newest, best decks, right? You can be ahead of the game if you know what cards are coming out before they even hit the shelves. If they print that one card necessary to push an old, teetering archetype into tier one glory, wouldn’t you want to know about it? You could pick up rares for that deck early on and watch your portfolio climb as the new card carries the deck to the top. Conversely, if they print a new card that will absolutely destroy the “best deck in the format,” wouldn’t it be in your best interests to test with it as soon as you can?
I personally am very excited that they will be introducing new cards to the Core Set because now I actually have a reason to buy sealed product (as opposed to just looking for older versions of the singles I actually wanted). Though Silence isn’t as good as Orim’s Chant (and we can’t even say “Seething Song on the stack, Silence, you burn for 5″) it is still going to be a chase rare and is one of the reason’s I’m looking forward to 2011 (or 10.. or whatever).
Overall, if you want to get a leg up on the rest of the trading world, the spoiler is an awesome resource that shouldn’t be forgotten. I know this article was short, but I hope the information was useful. Thanks for reading and stop by the shop next week!
-the Pawnshop owner