Elspeth TirelWurmcoil Engine

With 2010 ending real soon, I’m sure plenty of us TCG (trading card game) and boardgame fans will have plenty to look forward to already, for 2011.

Magic: the Gathering fans for one will look forward to more new expansions, as do fans of the other card games, such as Legend of the Five Rings and World of Warcraft, to name a few.

Now, if there’s one popular trend that has been complementing the release of new TCG expansions, it has to be the tendency for people to indulge in pre-orders.

Prior to every new expansion, online and offline retailers give a price list of cards that have yet to be obtained, and they then sell the single cards based on hypothetical or “guesstimate” prices.

Naturally, the eventual actual pricing will vary greatly: honestly, based on my experience with Magic, they were rare cases in which the eventual prices exceeded pre-order prices.

Demand for singles, of new sets often peaks at the onset, with the greater supply that is often available, eventually diluting prices.’s Kelly Reid analysis on the top Scars of Mirrodin cards (or at least the ones most pre-ordered anyways) is one example of this. His article paints a very real and often ignored reality that face us card shufflers and collectors. Check it out here (

Common wisdom dictates that we buy low, and sell high, but based on anecdotal evidence, buying singles just before the set’s pre-release is often folly.

With Magic’s Mirrodin Besieged coming in January 2011, we’d do well to read his article and find out how badly the top cards of Scars did.

What does this mean for the Besieged cards? Will the prices dip as much as they did for Scars? Do similar patterns apply for other card games?

Oh, and while we ponder on that, happy New Year and may you have a great 2011 ahead!

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