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Hydromorph's Duel Masters Haven

4.29.04 Trade Bait

Regionals is this weekend for you Magic buffs out there. Iíve gotten next to no heavy playtesting in with Goblin-Bidding, which is what I plan on running. Iím setting my goals fairly low and just hope to break even. Now, the trip, including entrance fee, hotel room, gas money and food is roughly about $90. Also take into account Iím losing roughly a $45 paycheck by going there instead of working for the weekend. So why am I bothering to go at all if I expect to just lose money and do badly?

Well, thereís a few reasons. Before I go any further, I do want to stress that this article is, in fact, about Duel Masters, so just go with the flow. One of the reasons Iím going is because I love the competitive scene. Going to big tournaments, traveling on the road, staying in janky budget motels (or in some cases the passenger seat of a tiny car with two other people while itís raining) and getting a chance to play magic. I love doing all that stuff, itís like a vacation for me.

There are also a few other thrills I just get out of big tournaments. There are usually tons of vendors there, carrying every magic knickknack you could possibly ask for. Since the store I usually shop at doesnít carry high quality sleeves, I usually snag a few while Iím there too. I like getting food at places Iíve never been before, and even stopping at rest stops Iíll probably never see in my life again.

But one of the major reasons I like to go, thatís actually advantageous to me, is trading. Iíve been busy nitpicking through my trade stuff, setting up a good binder for the trip, and thatís actually how I came up with the idea for this article.

Now, I have all the cards I need for my deck. I had those pocketed long in advance. Iím not going up with the intention of picking up the last cards I need, either by trading or being price-gouged by the vendors that sell there. I would like to find random people, mostly before the event, and trade with them for decent stuff I might use in the future. Trading at big events can really help you out if you know what youíre doing. And thereís a few reasons why. Hopefully, if big name events roll out for Duel Masters soon, youíll be able to use them to your advantage.

Reason #1: Last-Minute Decking

This is what I just went on talking about. When you go up to a big event, make sure you pick up all the cards you need for your deck. Even cards you were thinking of running, but probably wonít, you should have on reserve. Every time I go up with someone for Magic, theyíll decide on their deck, and say that theyíre sticking to it. Then they watch an exhibition match of sorts between two randoms, see some random tech card being played, and then rush out to buy a playset.

To cure yourself from this, print out a decklist and write out your deck, in ink, prior to the event. That is the deck youíre using. That is the deck youíve tested with and that you trust will help you win this tournament over anything else. This can help you out when it comes to preserving your money at big events and getting ripped off when it comes to acquiring that last Natural Snare.

This is why I said I love trading before a tournament. One good example is at Grand Prix Pittsburgh of last year, someone came up to me needing a few copies of a Magic card called Goblin Goon. I had 3 in my binder with no intention of using them in the near future, and got a smoking deal for them. I wonít bore you with the specifics of the trade, but you can get overly advantageous deals with people who need cards like that. Iím not saying totally rip them off, but the truth of the matter is, you have cards they want, and they would rather trade for them then buy them, push your cardís value. This brings me to my next point.

Reason #2: Everythingís Got a Different Value

Even if the person youíre trading with doesnít need these cards desperately for their deck, you still might be able to get a good deal. Big events will draw in people from different areas of the map. Where they play, cards may have more value than they do where you play, and vice versa. King Depthcon may have a $15 price-tag where you play, but could be acquired on the cheap in some other place. Keep in mind when trading that these people view cards differently.

Trades like this are ones I like to make most often, because most times both players are happy with their dealings and have little regrets. Value doesnít always come in sheer price value though, there can be other typesÖ

Reason #3: Cliques

Preps, Jocks, Gothy Punky Skater kids. Yeah, there are cliques all around the place, even in trading card games. These guys are usually drawn to a particular color. These will be they dudes that wear a robe, a blue bandana, and call themselves the master of the ocean. Well, maybe no that far, but they usually like to role play in real life. Either way, they want all your Water cards. Well, donít be afraid to trade for some. In their eyes, the best Water card is the best card in the game. Same goes for Fire, Light, Darkness, or Nature. Help these guys out, since they obviously want your stuff. You can also expect them to have a massive collection of their own, of whatever type they want to collect, and you might be able to get some of your pinpoint stuff off of them, but at a slightly higher price, since they obviously value you those more.

Reason #4: The Junk-Driver

Letís face it. Sometimes, there are cards in the game that are just plain bad. Some people actually go after them though! Donít ask me what fuels it. Maybe having the most Stampeding Longhorns in the world puts you on a plain that is higher than us Longhorn-less peasants. Or maybe youíre just giving us an opportunity to turn a piece of toilet paper stapled on cardboard into a can of pop or something. Either way, I guess, both people are happy.

On a side note: Joe Angelo currently holds the record number of foil ďMudholesĒ to my knowledge, at a stable five.

Reason #5: The Collector

These people can be the most aggravating people to deal with. The ďcollectorĒ is usually after a set of cards. A lot of the time, they carry everything with them, but 70% of the cards arenít for trade. The cards they are looking for are worth next to nothing, but theyíre stuff is priceless.

A word of advice to you Duel Masters players. Unless you are an avid collector and actually intend on finishing a set, please, donít be afraid to trade something if it breaks a set, or playset. If you are a collector, make a trade binder. Put everything for trade in there. Anything you intend on keeping, donít bother showing us.

So, what can you do to insure that your trading experience goes alright at your next big event? First, set up a decent trade binder. Put the best of the things you have in there. Itís best not to have too big an attachment to anything in your trade binder, or your trading experiences might not go well. Aggravated people who donít get what they expect out of you if you show to much devotion to your cards will spread the dreaded ďDonít bother trading with this guyĒ around.

Trading on a Budget

If youíve only opened a few packs, and think you could never build a tournament competitive deck, think again. The number one reason most people who build on a budget donít have tournament competitive decks is that theyíre afraid of getting ripped off. People who are good at playing must be masters at trading. This superstition is horribly wrong.

Donít be intimidated by the number one player in your store. The art of playing and the art of trading are two very different things. Know the cards you need, and know the general value of your cards. Price Guides give a good general idea. Look and compare vendors prices to get a rough idea as well. Donít be afraid to take a few dollars hit if it means getting a card that will help your deck.

Looking at many vendors prices will also assist you in picking up deals when youíre buying stuff. Some cards are actually decently priced. I picked up 4 Saga Persecute for $2 a piece when they werenít going for a whole lot last summer. Theyíve gone up considerably in price since then, and I wouldnít be surprised if they cost as much as $5 now.

Thatís another part of the art of trading, predicting which cards will be big before they do. In the first month when a set comes out, the prices are all over the place. After about a month, it shows which cards are seeing heavy play and the prices change thusly.

With the impending release of Evo-Crushinators of Doom, the next Duel Masters expansion, many people will be scurrying around in trades. What can you do to prepare? Stay informed by going on message boards, like the oneís pojo has. People will usually keep you up to date as the cards leak out. When the set does hit, make a list of card you wish to obtain and set out after those. Remember, it only takes 40 cards to make a playable deck, so try to get what you need first and foremost.

Buying packs of the new stuff is key. Most shops will dry out in about a week or so of the latest set which makes the singles worth that much more during this time or grace between shipments. As the cards get more and more easily obtained, they go down in value. Trust your instincts when trading, and you should do fine.

Hope this helps. Next week Iíll take a look at Evo-Crushinators, as Iím sure youíre all waiting for, and how I think it will impact the environment.



AOL: hydromorph1602





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