Puca Pals: Week 13 and 14 – A Whole New World
Puca Pals is a weekly/bi-weekly article I write to chronicle my adventures on Puca Trade, the online trading system where Magic Players around the world trade with each other. In the articles, I will be discussing what cards I’ve traded away, the total amount of shipping I’ve paid, the total profit I’ve made after shipping costs, and what cards I’ve received in return. If you have any questions regarding the website feel free to ask. If you want to make your own account there, click on this unique invite link of mine and get started!
Week 13 and 14: May 9th – 23rd
I hope you’ll forgive 2 Puca Pal articles so close together. As I said before, I have a huge back log of information to go through as well as some things on my mind that I’d like to talk about before I move onto things such as preparing for the World Magic Cup Qualifiers (the first of which has already concluded in Kyoto, Japan), the impending rotation, and the new set due out at the end of September. I’ll be working on those soon, but for now please bear with me.
- Ral Zarek
- Ethereal Armor (foil)
- Trading Post (foil)
- Wildcall (foil)
- Supplant Form (Game Day)
- Ghostfire Blade (foil)
- Master of the Wild Hunt
- Rancor (HP – Foil)
- Go for the Throat (FNM)
- Ordeal of Nylea (foil)
- Silumgar, the Drifting Death (foil)
- Dissolve (FNM)
- Silumgar’s Sorcerer (foil) x2
- Adaptive Automaton
- Increasing Ambition
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Undead Alchemist
- Sphinx’s Revelation (foil) x3
- No Mercy
- Balance of Power
Nobody was picking up ANYTHING prior to Grand Prix Chiba (or all the Modern Master 2015 Grand Prix) nor afterwards. During these two weeks, people were hording their points for MM2 cards, and the week following the tournament people were trying to get their hands on Tarmogoyfs, Heirarchs, and Cliques. There wasn’t a lot of chances to send cards out, and the low count of 23 cards over TWO weeks is pretty pitiful. I sent out 8 cards in the week leading up to GP Chiba, and 15 cards. The only positive news from these two weeks was that most of these cards went out in packages together which means my shipping costs should be pretty low. But how much profit did I make?
Initial Costs and Total Shipping
A few cards, such as the Silumgar foil, Ethereal Armor foil, and Ral Zarek were all pack opened which means the value I got from them was pure profit. I managed to pick up the HP played Urza’s Saga Rancor JP foil for 500 yen hoping to turn it around and make a nice profit at it’s normal English foil price, and the Master of the Wild Hunt was picked up at a decent 680 yen. The best deals from these two weeks were 3 Japanese Sphinx Revelation foils.
I picked up a slightly less than NM one for 1150 yen ($10), and the other two only cost me 1480 yen ($12). Needless to say I got a nice profit on each of those. I also traded away a No Mercy I had picked up for 350 yen which gave me a nice little profit. The Ghostfire Blade I traded away I originally bought at 89 yen, which wasn’t bad (it’s just too bad that it only recently spiked).
As for shipping, 6 cards were the normal cost of 110 yen each, but the Sphinx’s Revelation all went to one person which cost 600 yen for tracking and being slightly overweight. I also sent a few cards in one package to South America for 230, and another overweight package to the USA for 190 yen. The other slightly overweight package I sent was 160 yen for a few cards going somewhere in South East Asia.
All in all, I spent 1840 yen on 23 cards, or 80 yen per card. Just as I thought, the low numbers but high profit margin led to a good per card average this time. The majority of the cards during this time period went to only 5 people.
Profit and How Long it Took to Ship cards
The cards I opened from packs netted me a nice little profit (I got 1100 pts for Silumgar, 732 points for Ral Zarek), but the real profit came from those Sphinx Revelation foils. I got an average of 2000 points each in profit on all of those for roughly 6500 points in profit. Other notables are 640 points for No Mercy, 337 for Automaton, 300 points on each of the Silumgar Sorcerers, and about 1000 points in profit for that heavily played Urza’s Saga Rancor. The Master of the Wild Hunt put me 700 points in the black.
Thanks largely to the Silumgar and Sphinx Revelation foil deals, I managed to get a profit of 13,774 points over this two week period which is actually MORE than what I received in the two weeks prior after GP Kyoto had ended. To break it down further, I got a 3319 point profit in week 13 and a 10,455 point profit in week 14. Week 13’s average was 414 points per card, but week 14’s was 697 (one of my highest per-card averages ever). The volume wasn’t there, but at least I could still count on steady profit to counteract less cards going out.
My losses (when shipping is taken into account) for both of these weeks further declined to 13% which more positive news. That goal of 10% losses and an average of 1000 points a shipment is looking more and more realistic as time goes by. During these two weeks, 9-10 days for shipping seemed to be the average. I had one package take 22 days (to South America) but that seemed about right for where it was going.
What I Received/Learned
During Week’s 13 and 14 cards for my Modern infect deck started to pour in . I got my first Might of Old Krosa and Pendelhaven and also got some cards for standard (I never really got my Mardu dragons deck to work like I wanted it to but the Havens are still good to have I think).
I also received some Kitchen Finks for my Abzan Company deck (which I picked up before they spiked, at 400 points), and another Dark Depths to sell in town when the buylist price was about $20 higher than what I could get it for on puca trade (thanks mostly to residual demand after GP Kyoto). It was a slow two weeks, but I managed to get some key cards for decks that I needed so I was happy to receive them. A few of the cards I received had some damage on them, but overall they were acceptable (I did end up blocking a trading partner or two due to their inability to work with me on making a deal).
A Whole New World
Don’t underestimate the reach of Puca Trade and it’s power to change Magic. What started out as a neat way for people to trade cards between each other through the internet will soon change the face of Magic as we know it. Just as the secondary market (the single cards we buy at our Local Game Shops or online) initially shaped how accessible or easy it is to get into any given format, the advent of Puca Trade is creating what I like to call a second renaissance in Magic.
As you might have noticed, the rumors that Legacy is dead or that there isn’t enough support for modern has been greatly exaggerated. If we go back a year or two, there were quite a few articles on various Magic websites that Legacy was going to fade away. Lots of players in North America were ready to cash out what they had and be done with it before their cards tanked. If the last few Legacy Grand Prix were anything to measure the popularity of the format by, then I believe we have to rethink where the future of the format is going.
In Asia specifically both Modern and Legacy have exploded over the last year. Modern Masters 2, the reprint of fetches in Khans of Tarkir, and the overall growth of the player base has attributed to this trend. Not everybody has the best deck but they do have an interest in playing. The core players who love Legacy and Modern in Japan/Asia have seen their numbers double (perhaps even triple in Modern’s case) and with the increased interest prices have also gone up. I’d say that they almost mirror prices of cards over in Europe and in North America now.
So how does this all tie in with Puca Trade?
Liquidity. It’s become a lot easier to move cards from one place to another, or in this case from one country to another. Whereas before we had a large amount of eternal format singles mostly focused in Europe and the USA, now we see that product moving to places like Asia, South America, and other countries where those formats were previously unplayed. While the OVERALL growth of legacy will probably be slow, I don’t think it will cease to be a format. What I believe will happen is that the format will become popular somewhere and the cards will slowly migrate to that region. Right now that’s happening in Asia (with most of the cards coming from Europe and North America). One only has to look as far as the major Magic companies in Japan to see how comprehensive their modern and legacy portfolios have become.
Legacy and Modern
We all know how difficult Legacy and Modern staples like Dual lands or Tarmogoyfs are to come by on Puca Trade, but for Tier 2 and Tier 3 decks, it can be a lot easier. This is where Puca Trade shines. People have a lot of older cards laying around that they will never use and they would be happy to change that into a format staple somewhere to down the road through puca points. I also think that it’s easier for people to spend puca points than to part with their hard earned cash.
I believe that Puca trade will make it easier to brew and put together new decks for these formats in the long run. Some players’ local game stores don’t have such a large selection of older cards, and other times there’s no way to get a card unless you buy it from an online store. This can be hard on people living continents away from an online seller like Channel Fireball, but with Puca trade you might just find somebody the next country over has what you’re looking for and can ship it within a few days.
Standard, EDH, and miscellaneous
This is where Puca trade really shines. People love trading away their standard cards, especially when a card spikes. There’s no better way to recoup your costs from opening a box than to trade away the smaller stuff for a card with a more substantial value. Puca trade makes it incredibly easy to pick up playsets of a standard card you need as well as selling into a spike. I believe that the ease of trading standard cards through Puca trade will make it easier for players to switch from one deck to another. The problem people face now is that they buy a deck and are usually stuck with it for a while. They buy singles initially, but when it comes time to switch the deck out and try something new they can only make back a fraction of what they spent originally. With puca trade, they can get rid of the cards at prices much better than on a buy list, and then use those points to get what they need for their new standard deck.
Getting staples for EDH decks can be a challenge, but for the most part the website is a paradise for EDH players. As I said earlier, people have a lot of older cards just sitting around their house seeing no play and they would be more than happy to get rid of them. I’ve seen countless tweets of people being able to put together an EDH deck in a few days on Puca Trade that would have taken them a month or more otherwise. I can see EDH growing steadily in the future thanks in part to Puca Trade’s website.
The website is also a good resource for building Cubes. I’m currently working on finishing a Tempest block cube, and have almost completed Stronghold in a matter of days. I expect to be able to put it together in less than a month. I would expect it would be the same for people building Pauper decks, draft simulations, and a variety of other casual formats.
To Sum It Up
I guess what it comes down to is that I think Puca Trade is a great system for the majority of players to get the cards they need while using the least amount of money possible. Eventually we might see the opportunities to get Legacy staples such as Force of Will dry up, but when they do become available Puca Trade allows members to get the maximum amount of value from their card if they want their money to remain liquid. Of course you can cash out for the money at a lower value, but using Puca Trade lets you “go infinite” (to coin the MTGO term). Perhaps it’s easier to say “pseudo-infinite” because you’ll still lose some money if the card hasn’t gone up in value since you bought it, but the drain on your finances will be a lot less noticable.
I also believe that Puca Trade will change how non-competitive MTG formats grow. I forsee more people building EDH/Tiny Leader decks, cubes, and picking up casual all stars for their kitchen table. Going forward I also think that Puca will be great for standard players. You’ll see need to go to your local game store or order from online stores to get cards in time for a Grand Prix or other large event, but trading online will help you to adapt to changes easily without losing value. Give it another year, and I think we’ll see how ingrained Puca trade becomes in the secondary Magic the Gathering market.
If you have any other questions or commments about today’s article please feel free to leave them down below! If you enjoyed this article and are convinced to start a Puca trade account, feel free to thank me by using this link to give me a referral bonus! If you are already a member (and have a silver or gold account) and want to show your appreciation, I’m always willing to accept gifts of points ^_^. Just check out my profile and click the “SEND POINTS” button. Thanks again for reading and see you back here in a few weeks for my next update!