It’s all about the budget, Battle for Zendikar Part 1

For those that don’t know me I am Brennon (Cyrulean online) and I have a podcast/YouTube show called The MagicGatheringStrat Show. Catchy title huh? See how it corresponds with the web site name? Get it? Ok lets move on.

Everybody in the Magic Finance world says that buying a box to just crack for value is a losing proposition. Normally, I buy a box and would crack them on camera for arguably more advantage than the average user simply cracking packs for chase rares. However, I want to test this theory with my own money.

This series will be ongoing but irregular. I will only update each time I make a purchase. What this means is, I am putting aside the money I wold normally use to buy a box or two, and use that to only buy the cards I want/need. I will then add in the next set’s amount of money to any remaining in the pool. Confused? Let’s break it down:

Starting Money pool


I had planned on buying one box of BFZ and one Fat Pack (for the sweet lands yo). This, as of today 9/14/2015, is grand total of: $110 (for the box) + $40 for the fat pack, for a total of $150.

That is a pretty decent starting amount.

What I am looking for

Now, what am I focusing on? Not an easy question. Because I am not a magic pro, the idea of “need” isn’t really applicable, this is pure want. So I made a list of what I am focusing on.

1. I need 200 full art lands. OMG, that’s a lot of a lands. So why do I need them? For my cube! I really super want to pimp my Pauper cube out. As of today, according to TCG Player, this will cost me: $48. Ouch, that’s a third of the value right there. I am going to watch the prices like a hawk. If I see 40 or 20 same art lands drop significantly, I will pick them up quickly.

Here are the front runners for most desired art:


2. Living End. I will be looking for anything to make my Living End Modern deck better.

3. Tooth and Nail. I will be looking for anything to make my Tooth and Nail deck better. I wish I had known Primal Command was going to be reprinted… hindsight and all that jazz.

4. Legacy Burn. So a quick middle finger to whom ever decided not to reprint Goblin Guide. Thanks for nothing… Ok, that was too much salt. However, I only have 1 Goblin Guide for my legacy burn deck. I could really use three more.

5. Pauper Cube! I will be getting all the sweet foils for any updates to my Pauper Cube.

6. Standard Deck. I rarely play standard and will only play super budget friendly decks. Today, I have a non-Theros cheap deck that I like (as of 9/14/2015 it is $90, you can go cheaper without fetches):

4 Abzan Falconer
3 Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
4 Citadel Castellan
4 Consul’s Lieutenant
3 Dragon Hunter
4 Topan Freeblade
4 Valeron Wardens

2 Celestial Flare
3 Dromoka’s Command
3 Enshrouding Mist
3 Collected Company

3 Blossoming Sands
3 Forest
11 Plains
2 Rogue’s Passage
4 Windswept Heath

1 Aerial Volley
1 Center Soul
1 Enshrouding Mist
2 Radiant Purge
3 Seeker of the Way
3 Silkwrap
3 Suspension Field
1 Swift Reckoning

So, I will post cards desired in this article series (next issue, who knows when it will be published?)

How will I test this theory?

By theory crafting of course! I will use one of the many pack generating programs and create a master list of all my “pulls” and see if I fair better or worse by the time Oath comes out.

What is not included in the price

I am not including any cards bought for draft or sealed. That means, if I get cards I want during a draft or sealed event, I am not subtracting that money from the $150 total kitty for this experiment.

Make sense? Let me know what you think in the comments below.