What to do with junk rares?

  • #1
    Chas Andres from Starcity Games is known for making many acute insights into the finance of Magic: the Gathering. I stumbled across this excerpt from one his articles talking about the current economic state of MTG:

    Where is all that value being taken from? Some if it is just coming from the fact that the sets are better, so singles have started to hold a larger percentage of an unopened booster's retail price. The rest of it is coming from the very worst rares in a set. For years, even terrible rares were generally worth at least a buck to someone. Nowadays, an unplayable rare is a quarter at best.


    That never seemed more true to me in recent sets than sets past. Before the advent of the mythic rare, regular rares were worth a dollar usually and Standard staples like Bitterblossom and dual lands and such were worth $10+. Now it seems, there's a lot of junk rares floating around that never get a second glance, more so than what I remember. I bought five booster packs of Avacyn Restored today. Luckily I pulled a Griselbrand and Cavern of Souls but the first three packs contained utter garbage. Cards like Gallows at Willow Hill, Moonsilver Spear, and Descendants' Path. It's almost always the case when an enchantment or spell has too much text on it, it usually sucks i.e. Search the City, Guild Feud, etc.

    I realize not every card can be a constructed all-star but c'mon, some of these cards just have no reason being printed. I seriously wonder why. There's 68 Rares & Mythics in a big set and probably about 10 are worthy of Standard constructed play. It's quite sad. I wish opening booster packs were more fun in discovering new cards instead of feeling like I'm playing the lottery. I've really lost desire in opening packs or boxes, would rather just stick to singles for my decks/collection. Also, most of the commons and uncommons I pulled were also junk. Stuff, I'd never play outside limited (unfortunately, I restarted playing MTG in RTR, before AVR limited). Not trying to rag, just didn't get any Blood Artist. A Wolfir Avenger and Thunderous Wrath were alright.

    Anyway, to make a point to all this, I ask what should one do with all these unwanted rares? It's almost not worth the sleeve place in my trade binder... but just in case that one person ever wanted it... I just want to find a better home for these rares cus I sure don't want 'em. And maybe get a couple bucks per lot. Any ideas? What do you do with these dusty rares?
  • #2
    Eat them. They're probably high in vitamins.

    haha. Seriously though, I just sell most of mine to a store for credit.
  • #3
    Quote from Mastodon
    Eat them. They're probably high in vitamins.

    haha. Seriously though, I just sell most of mine to a store for credit.


    That's probably what I'm gonna end up doing. I just wonder if they'll even take 'em! I'll find out tomorrow.
  • #4
    I would take a very close look at some of them to evaluate if they might ever be playable. If you're going to be getting $10 for maybe 100 rares, it might be worth it just to sit on some of them in the hopes that they might get something in the future to make them playable. It can't hurt, unless you REALLY need the $10.

    Consider the format too. Obviously your dead rares are no longer playable in standard (unless they are from recent sets) so you can't expect those to explode. Pre 8th edition cards are even less likely to fit into a deck, as legacy is pretty well established. I'd personally hang onto anything post 8th edition. Modern is new, ever changing, cultivating growth of archetypes in FNM, and still being tweaked.

    You could see Hypergenesis unbanned on Monday, skyrocketing it's price out of the blue, or another rare banned, forcing something else into the format.
    L2
    Lapsed Rules Adviser Rolleyes
  • #5
    Give them to new players at your LGS. I know that lots of people give commons and uncommons to newer players, but its fun to tell them that its mostly commons and uncommons, and slot in a few junk rares.
    Currently Playing:
    Standard:
    WRGBCombo MillWRGB
    ???

    Modern:
    UUWWErayo AffinityWWUU
    WWGUEnchantress ControlUGWW

    EDH:
    GGBBGlissa MultiplayerBBGG
    RRRRKazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs Land DestructionRRRR
  • #6
    Quote from liminaluser
    Give them to new players at your LGS. I know that lots of people give commons and uncommons to newer players, but its fun to tell them that its mostly commons and uncommons, and slot in a few junk rares.


    This. If you want that feeling of cracking packs to find something new and exciting, get it vicariously from newer players.

    Erebos B | Ghost Council WB | Grimgrin UB | Jhoira UR
    Jor Kadeen RW | Melek UR | Mimeoplasm GUB | Rasputin WU
    Savra BG | Sisay GW | Teneb BGW | Thada Adel U | Wort BR

    I draft and play EDH. If a Standard player can't understand who a card is for, it's probably for me.
    I also write things about good films.
  • #7
    I keep all of mine in a box. I was surprised how how the demand was for random rares from Mirrodin block at my LGS. Apparently some of them are pretty hard to find among the locals, most of whom didn't play at that time. But as I drafted a lot during that time, I had at least a playset of most of the rares, so if someone needed an obscure card for their EDH deck, they would come to me since I had a lot old cards they couldn't find except on the internet.

    Even if a card is priced at $.15 online or whatever, you can probably get a buck for it IRL since they would be saving on shipping. That only goes for older cards that are out of most people's memory. But, some cards are just bulk, no matter how you try and cut it. I've got 15 wintermoon mesa that I'll know I'll never be able to sell except in a bulk lot of a couple thousand other rares. So I just sit on them. They pad my collection numbers.
  • #8
    I usually just complete my playset of them (cause it's relatively cheap to do), stick them in a box and forget them in the back of my closet.

    Every now and then one of them will gain some value by being a part of a constructed or casual combo or becoming popular in EDH. I hardly ever sell them or trade them in even then, cause I'll be too happy just having that particular card, but maybe one day.

    Also, sometimes I'll be doing a casual Magic related side-project or something and often one or more of these junk rares are exactly what I need and having one just sort of randomly is pretty nice, especially since finding one in a bargain bin can be surprisingly hard where I live.

    If you can get store credit for them, I'd definitely go for it, but if you can't get a ... hmmm a value that makes a difference, I'd just store them and forget about them. Who knows, they might be really cool for someone in 50 years.
  • #9
    I'd just build a deck around it. I've never seen and uncommon or rare that didn't fit somewhere.
  • #10
    I traded mine in bulk to a friend, for around 600 cards he gave me 3 Misty Rainforests. We both walked away happy, I got cards I needed, he got stuff he could trade in en masse with an online company.
    Quote from uberdylan

    EDH, on the other hand, is more like a monster truck rally. It's more about the spectacle than the race, the games go long, and it's not usually clear who's in the lead until there's only one truck left.*

    Single player EDH is like two guys smacking each other with pillows... until one of them pulls out a shotgun.


    On building a Celestial Kirin Stax EDH:
    I would pass you the Jon Funwrecker award.
  • #11
    I just keep mine in a box somewhere. I think large online retailers will buy them up though, to resell. There are people out there who will collect specific cards (even junk rares) and buy them up many at a time from online retailers.
  • #12
  • #13
    Quote from Lil2Wkd
    I traded mine in bulk to a friend, for around 600 cards he gave me 3 Misty Rainforests. We both walked away happy, I got cards I needed, he got stuff he could trade in en masse with an online company.


    I love this solution. bulk is essentially akin to cash if you have a way to offload it and is always something people should keep in mind when they crack boxes and pull jank. accrue enough and you can do things like what this guy did.
    Quote from xChaospherex

    Take your monoblack deck, then set aside 14 swamps. Add 4 Creeping Tar Pits, 4 Darkslick Shores, 4 Drowned Catacombs, and 2 Jwar isle Refuge and add 4 Jace, the Mindsculptors. Your monoblack deck is instantly better. Better yet, drop those refuges, throw in some islands and some mana leaks, and lo and behold, you're now playing a real deck. Congratulations. Welcome to the world of competitive M:TG.
  • #14
    Select 500ish cards at random and invite some buddies over for an all rare trash draft. I've done it a few time always with hilarious results. Seriously though either hang onto them and hope some of them show up in a deck someday, start building sets, or just sell them off as bulk if the opportunity arises.
    My Alters - Commission status: open.

    Currently looking to buy miscut Homelands, (my wife thinks I'm crazy too).

    Semper Gumby (Always Flexible)
  • #15
    I give them to my kids
  • #16
    After few Years if collecting I gave few hundres of crap rares and many uncommons and commons with lots of basics to a local orphanage and spent few days teaching them how to play.
    Life is like a box of chocolates...
  • #17
    Use them as sleeve backs for a themed deck. Create your One With Nithing sleeved pox deck.
    What's the big deal? You could have played multiple Righteous Avengers for years now.
  • #18
    1) i don't trust scg

    2) just hold onto them - for casual, for EDH. or, some combo comes out and they inflate in price (if just temporarily.) i had 6 craterhoof behemoths when they went from like $3 to $15, so I sold them all. I think exquisite blood has gone to $4 and I also have 6 of those
    Who cares if its good in EDH or Limited? 95% of cards are.

    Drinking game idea: when someone blindly agrees on blogatog no matter how erroneous or short-sighted maro's reply is
  • #19
    I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 cards that are not in decks, around 3,000 of which are rares. Between all members of my family, we have an additional 10,000 cards in decks.

    What do we do? We let players without a big pool go through them when they want to build a deck. If they take rares, they either trade at below value for them (we take the loss, not them), or we sell them at 1/2 SCG price. Commons and uncommons are free.

    Once someone has a collection built up, it is all trade, even-up, or buy at retail.

    We don't get rid of anything. We even have old sleeves that are sitting around, just in case we need to throw together a deck.
    Currently playing:

    Standard:
    WBRG Aggro-Reanimator Humans GRBW

    Modern:
    UR Twinning RU
    G Venus Fly Trap G
    U Artifacts Aggro U

    Legacy:
    B Reanimator B
    WU Stoneblade UW

    EDH
    WBGGhave, Guru of SporesGBW
    URGRiku of the Two ReflectionsGRU
    WUBRGScion of the Ur-DragonGRBUW

    Casual
    Far too many to list
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