4 Tips to Playing Standard Magic Without Wasting Money

Though not as expensive as Legacy, Standard Magic can still run pretty expensive. Right now, “Snapcaster Mage” is at twenty five dollars a card, “Geist of Saint Taft” is at twenty eight, and “Sorin, Lord of Innistrad” is forty dollars a pop! (Prices are from StarCityGames) And this isn’t the worst of it. In the past, single cards in Standard have reached over one hundred dollars each! Fortunately, by following a few tips, there are ways to get around these high prices and still do pretty well at local tournaments, like Friday Night Magic, or Game Days.

Before we even get to the buying part, we should first talk about how to build a deck without spending loads of cash. On the official Wizards of the Coast website, professional player Jacob Van Lunen does a “Building on a Budget” series. Here, you can find deck ideas that won’t empty your wallet, while still being competitive. When you do have a deck idea in mind, you should still wait on buying or trading for anything until you build it and test it on a site such as Tapped Out. You can build, playtest, and get feedback on your deck without spending a dime.

Now get settled on a deck. Really commit to building it. Ready? Great, now let’s have some fun. It’s time to start acquiring some cards.

Whatever you do, don’t buy booster packs. They aren’t a scam, but when you’re looking for specific cards, the chances of finding them in packs are very slim. You would much rather spend five dollars on a card you need than on fifteen you don’t want. You’re going to spend a lot more money by buying packs.

Next, trade for whatever you can. You will save a lot of money, and you may make some new friends too. Don’t be afraid to ask to look through someone’s binder, either, because in most cases, they’ll be happy to show it to you. If you’re not using something, don’t be too sentimental. Trade it for something you need. Otherwise it’s just sitting in your binder (or box) gathering dust, just like your wallet will be.

Finally, a clever way to gather cards you need but you can’t seem to get from friends is by using online sites. You can normally find cards on Ebay for a couple dollars cheaper than their actually worth. Sure, you don’t get instant gratification, as the product usually takes five to seven days to be delivered, but in the long run, you’re saving money.

Deck test online, don’t buy boosters, trade, and take advantage of online stores. Following these tips has saved me a lot of money since I started playing Magic again. And always remember: have fun. Gathering the cards you need is all part of the experience.

StarCityGames: www.starcitygames.com
Tapped Out: www.tappedout.net
Building on a Budget Archives:http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Archive.aspx?tag=Building%20on%20a%20Budget

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