Puca Pals: Week 21 and 22 – Duplicity
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 21 and 22: July 8th – July 22nd
It’s been more than a month since my last Puca Trade installment, but I’m finally back for more with (hopefully) sage advice at the end of the article. I’m rapidly approaching my one year anniversary on Puca Trade so hopefully I’ll be able to get caught up. Today I’ll be covering the majority of July’s puca trading. During this time GP Chiba had just ended and the summer doldrums were setting in. Lots of Grand Prix were going on and MTG Origins was just being released. This was also the time when a lot of traditional modern staples were spiking. I was both lucky and unfortunate to get in on this trading as I made a lot of profit getting rid of stuff I bought for cheap, but also selling way too early and missing out on an even bigger profit.
- Balefire Dragon
- Timber Protector x2
- Raging Ravine
- Jace, Memory Adept
- Chromatic Lantern
- Bloodline Keeper x2
- Slaughter Games
- Arcbound Ravager (DKS) x2
- Evolutionary Leap
- Coffin Queen
- Blighted Agent (FOIL) x2
- ISD Vampire Token x3
- DKA Vampire Token
- Kruphix, God of Horizons
- Mystic Snake
- Omnath, Locus of Mana
- Manasweft Sliver (foil)
- Diregraf Captain (foil)
- Acidic Slime (FNM)
- Mindcrank (foil)
- Ichorclaw Myr (foil)
- Pestilent Souleater (foil)
- Tel-Jilad Fallen (foil)
- Poison Counter x2
- Ghostfire Blade (foil)
- Vraska the Unseen (foil)
- Gilded Lotus x2
- Dragonlord Silumgar
- Nirkana Revenant (foil)
- Bounding Krasis (foil)
- Goblin Piledriver (foil) x2
- Languish (foil)
As you can see, during this time I sent A LOT of foils. If you were to look at my trading history during this time you’d see half of what I actually sent. I made some deals with a few traders and ended up sending a majority of this periods cards through bonus point transactions. I got rid of tons of cards and ended up putting a lot of points on my account. I sent out a total of 41 cards, with 20 going out in week 21 and the other 21 going out in week 22.
Initial Costs and Total Shipping
I was able to make a decent profit on quite a few cards during this time. I bought cards such as Balefire Dragon and Timber Protector for about 200 yen or so, I snapped up a bunch of Chromatic Lantern’s for 53 yen a piece, and the Arcbound Ravagers I had were originally bought for 1700 yen when I was building my Affinity deck for Modern more than 2 years ago. The foils were where the real profit came in though. I managed to get a Mindcrank foil for 100 yen, a Nirkana Revenant foil for 1260 yen, and also had great luck with pack foils from Origins. I opened both Languish and Goblin Piledriver foils when the set was first out and got rid of them as quickly as possible for a lot of profit.
I also managed to pick up some Blighted Agent foils pretty cheaply (one for 500 yen and one for 700) and more than tripled my investment from both of those.
Since most people usually get a few foils from me at one time, I did pretty well on shipping those 41 cards. All in all I made 22 shipments during this time, with 16 costing me 110 yen each, 3 costing 520, one costing 600, and one being hand delivered to a friend across town as well. There was also one that was slightly overweight and cost 190 yen to ship. Shipping was a little pricey at 4110 yen total, but I believe the profits I was able to get in return were worth it. The cost per card, 100 yen, was 12 yen lower than the previous time period so I was happy to get the shipping back under control. With any luck I’d be able to get it back under 100 next time.
Profit and How Long it Took to Send Cards
As I said earlier, after the Modern Masters 2015 GP a lot of people started to buy out the cards that were the staples of powerful decks and suddenly tons of cards that were previously pennies on the dollar now shot up 200% or more. I was a little hasty and got rid of my Arcbound Ravagers from Darksteel at 3710 points apiece, but that still netted me about $20 profit on each of them since I bought them originally for 1700 yen (or about $15). I also outed some Magic Origins cards, Languish and Evolutionary Leap, when they were at their peak prices which got me another 1200 points in pure profit.
The Japanese Blighted Agent foils that I found for 500 and 700 yen each ($4 and $6) ended up getting me about 2300 points in profit after some negotiating with somebody who wanted them, but by far the most profit I made during this time was on a foil Languish I traded at for 2800 points and 2 Japanese Goblin Piledriver foils which I managed to get rid of for 4200 points each. I just couldn’t pass up that profit when they were at peak demand and price. I managed to triple the value on the Nirkana Revenant foil I bought as well (got 3500 points for it, or about 1735 in profit after the initial cost and registered mail was taken into account), and getting rid of a Mindcrank foil that I bought for 100 yen ($.80) for 1000 points wasn’t too shabby either.
Week 21’s profit was 10,638 on 20 cards, and week 22’s profit was a hefty 16,583 on 21 cards (mostly thanks to the Goblin Piledriver foil transaction). The grand total was 27,221 points of profit in 2 weeks. This was absolutely insane considering I had only made 4000 points TOTAL in week 19. The per card profit ended up working out to about 531 points in week 21, and a whopping 790 points per card in week 22. I’m pretty sure that is one of, if not THE BEST per card average profit I’ve ever had. Over both weeks the average per card profit ends up being 664 points per card, which is also decent.
As always, all of that shipping ate into my profits a little bit, but I was able to reduce last time’s 20% losses to 15% this time. Shipping registered mail will do that to you though. I’m personally shooting for that golden spot of about 700-800 points profit per card and less than 10% of the value lost to shipping. If I focus less on those 3000+ point transactions and more on keeping it just below that to be able to send them without tracking I’ll be able to maximize my profits I think.
Aside from the Raging Ravine I sent that took 23 days to arrive at it’s destination, shipping during this period was some of the fastest it’s ever been. Most cards took between 7-9 days to be delivered from Japan which in my opinion is lightning fast.
What I Received
One of the first shipments I got during this period was a playset of Timely Reinforcements. The cards had spiked to 700+ yen apiece here in Japan so I made sure to grab a play set for modern for cheap while I could. Only cost me 270 points each.
After seeing a GR Shaman Company deck make top 8 of a modern PPTQ here in Nagoya, I decided to start piecing together one for myself. This was just the start of it though. The big deal here was a Hangarback Walker for 189 points just after the pre-release when people hadn’t realized it’s true value yet. I felt pretty luck to get it just as it was spiking.
The best trade I got by far had to be this one though. I finally managed to grab 4 Noble Hiearchs which allowed me to put the finishing touches on decks like Modern and Legacy Infect, as well as play decks like Abzan Company (or at least certain versions of it). Receiving the Unlimited edition Berserk was also pretty darn awesome.
During this time period I also picked up some Nissa, Vastwood Seers that I needed for standard. It was nice to not have to drop $50 to get two of these in town, and with all of the profit I’ve been making on Pucatrade, it was nice to put it to good use. My second Hangarback Walker also came in at this time. It had only cost me 300 points ^_^.
Pucatrade continues to be a great source of standard cards for me and has saved me a lot of effort and money over the last few months. I’ve also had pretty good luck getting Pauper, EDH, and cards for my Cube, but it’s become increasing difficult to get legacy or modern cards on the site. There are quite a few people complaining about the lack of those type of cards being traded, but where some people see no way to get them others see a challenge. For those with a Gold or Silver account you can offer bounties of extra points to entire people to trade with you, however, what is a regular member to do?
Well, during the course of my trading and through my articles I’ve mentioned a number of strategies you can use to position yourself to get one of those cards you really need.
- The slowest way to do this is to wait until the card spikes in price and then look for the card to start dipping in price back to its original value when Modern/legacy season is over. If you need this card right now this isn’t really feasible, but otherwise you might have a few people desperate enough to get some profit to give you the card before it hits rock bottom again.
- Another way is to build up rapport by sending out a lot of cards (especially in good condition). By doing so you people are more likely to send you cards because they know and trust you. In some cases you can probably reach out and ask them directly. This is also slow and depends on a bit of luck of that person having the card you need.
- The strategy of adding a lot of wants to your profile is also pretty effective. If you only want a few cards, people won’t realistically send the card you want to you first. No, they’re going to look for the best profit, or to the person who they can get the most points from. When they can send you that modern card along with a few standard, EDH, and cube cards and make a nice chunk of change they’ll be happy. This greatly improves your odds of getting a card from the first two ways.
- Probably the most effective way to get a card you need is to “pay” a little more. While regular members can’t technically “pay” more points for a card, adding the more expensive version of the card you want to your want list is more enticing for a trader. Adding the Conflux version of a Noble Hierarch to your want list instead of the Modern Masters version is more likely to get you the card simply because of the price difference. There used to be a larger price difference between the two, but even a difference of 300-500 points can go a long way when somebody is deciding who to send to.
Which brings us to duplicity. Duplicity, simply put, is adding multiple versions of the cards you would like to your want list. Lets say you want a card like Solemn Simulacrum. This card has 5 printings and they are all about the same price. Now your favorite one is the M12 version, but you’ve waited so long that by now you don’t care anymore. You just want that Solemn Simulacrum, but nobody has sent that M12 version. So how do you improve your odds of getting the card? Add all 5 versions to your want list. By doing so you are able to broadcast to more people that you want this card. Once somebody sends you a version of the card, you remove the others and voila! Solemn Simulacrum is yours.
There is one drawback though. If you’re not checking your account at least twice a day there is a chance you could get all 5 sent to you. For somebody like myself, who usually checks Pucatrade when I get home from work and before I go to bed, this strategy has worked pretty well. You also need to be extra vigilant in case there is a price spike on the card you want. Worst cast scenario, you can ask somebody to cancel the trade if they haven’t already sent it out due to the price going up.
If you have any other questions or comments 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!