Learn what type of player you are
There are three main psychographic profiles for the most common players of Magic: The Gathering. Most players who are into the game generally fall into Timmy, Johnny, or Spike archetypes, or a hybrid of any of the three. Generally speaking, if you’re into big creatures and spells, you’re a Timmy; if you’re into intricate card interactions, you’re a Johnny; and if you’re into competitive play and winning, you’re a Spike.
Knowing what type of player you are goes a long way towards informing you what cards you want to look out for.
Join Limited events
The easiest way to start building a collection is to join Limited events. Limited events are competitive events characterized by players building a deck on the spot from cards they get during the tournament itself, and these cards are sealed (aka randomized) products. Not only does it hone your deckbuilding skills further, it also means that after the tournament, win or lose, you get to keep those cards.
Work towards your dream deck
By now, after learning what kind of player you are, and a few Limited events under your belt, you more or less know what kind of cards appeal to you. From this point on, you want to build towards the deck you really want to be playing for the foreseeable future. What this means is that if you get valuable cards in your Limited events that you don’t need in your deck, you can sell or trade them to get the things you actually want.
For example, let’s say you wanted to build an Angel deck that’s colored white and blue (not that such a deck exists in the current Standard environment). If you’re resolved in doing this, then it should be obvious that if you get a Chandra, Torch of Defiance, you know you’re selling or trading that card off, even if it’s pretty powerful in a vacuum.
Learn the art of the deal
Finding, trading, and selling cards is perhaps the male version of shopping, unless the player in question happens to be a woman. With a phone that can go online at a moment’s notice, it’s pretty hard for anyone to pull a fast one on you when it comes to the value of your cards. With cards being valued between 45-50 PhP to the USD, it’s just a matter of checking Star City Games or TCG Player for generally agreed upon prices.
Ultimately, though, a card is only as valuable as you personally deem it to be, so if you don’t want to break the bank for a good deal because you want to hold out, that’s perfectly up to you. And, oh. Watch out for counterfeit cards. You never know.
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