BSP Games


Should You Pay to Play D&D?

Truthfully, I have only recently started this article writing thing. I was trying to set some goals and came up with the insane idea of pumping out 4 to 5 articles a week. For a while I lamented about my mental freedom, where was I going to be able to find a constant stream of ideas to write content about? Then it dawned on me that as a game store owner I have absolutely no shortage of interesting happenstances to discuss and be morose about. In today’s landscape of gaming and Covid-19 it is hard to be optimistic and so I thought to myself that I should pen a balance of happy and insightful and upset and spiteful articles. I am only human, and it only makes sense. On the plus side I can maybe have the off chance of making a positive change in something I see that is wrong. So, without further ado, the answer to the title question, yes.

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In fact, whatever it is that you might already pay for playing D&D you should probably pay more. Now before to slam your device down in a fit of rage and resolve to never read my opinion again let me elaborate. D&D is a game that while currently owned and developed by Wizards of the Coast, is not really owned by them. It is an experience that is owned completely by the players. You don’t need all of the accessories that are peddled to you by thousands of vendors. You do not need the newest modules or newest monster bestiary. You don’t need all the miniatures and playmats. You don’t need D&D Beyond subscriptions and Roll20’s map software. All you need is the one thing that Gary Gygax himself needed to create the game in the first place, a place to play with your friends and your imagination. That is one of the most beautiful things about Dungeons and Dragons.

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Now of course those extras serve a purpose. They enhance the quality of the gameplay experience and make the game more exciting and palpable. The more you thrust yourself and your wallet into the immersive world of D&D the more real it feels. The more invested you are into your character the more devastating and real it feels when they are in danger or worse die! Its why we do the things we do and why we play the game. Because of all this, it seems reasonable to assume that given the opportunity to pay for all these experience enhancing things of course we begin to act like a memefied version of Futurama’s very own Philip J. Fry and yell TAKE MY MONEY!

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Of course, we do and why would we not. This is something we love, and it is a hobby and there are many hobby’s that people spend more money, no, orders of magnitude more money on. Take stock car driving for example. You must be a bona-fide millionaire to take part of that hobby. What about Model airplanes? have seen remote controlled airplanes that cost more then my car being flown around the airfield with little more practical purpose then a floatation device in the middle of the Death Valley Arizona.

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What about those dreaded card flippers with their Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering cards? They can easily spend 4 to 5 HUNDRED dollars just to build a deck, which would be equivalent to making a new character for a new campaign. Or how about all those War Hammer players spending thousands of dollars on armies of Minis just to fight battles. We should not feel bad at all for the money we spend on our game. D&D is no where near as expensive as those hobbies. There is one problem though, we do not spend enough on what matters.

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In my experience D&D is a lot of work and depends on a Dungeon Master to run the game, a place to play the game, and people to attend the game. As a child this was super easy to do with your friends because no-one had anything else to do and all we had to do was go to one of our friend’s house. Our parents paid the electric and mortgage bill, so we did not have to. Usually when one becomes an adult and wants to stay somewhere and be entertained it only seems reasonable to pay a for it. Except when it comes to D&D.

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Personally, I think we need to start normalizing paying Dungeon Masters for their time and hosts for the space they offer. Unless you are in a significant relation to the DM and/or the host to the play space it should be implied that you are a burden to them and that what they are doing is for your benefit as a player. I can see if you are a group of close friends that mutually benefit from the camaraderie, but it boggles my mind to think that people still find it expensive to pay $10 per player to play 4 to 5 hours of anything. Let alone paying such a meager amount for something as intense, involved, and engaging as D&D. Let me be honest, as a store owner, I find myself in the uncomfortable position of trying to justify the cost of allowing D&D players to utilize my tables. There really is never a dead time in my store for which I can justify reserving tables for D&D players for free or even 5 or even 10 dollars per player. D&D sessions take several hours per session and if I optimized, I could use that table space to host booster drafts that could generate as much as 100 dollars an hour from card flippers! So, from a number’s perspective for a table of 6-8 players at $10 each the store is generating an average of 12 to 16 dollars per hour on that same table. It would take those players buying nearly 2 campaign books an hour to make up the difference in revenue!Image result for money on the table

Those last few statements might have sounded like greed filled musings from an old money miser, but the truth is that those are the real numbers. Considering that local game stores are a dying breed and must tip toe razor thin margins to compete with online and big box retailers, its quite plain to see why it is an actual problem. Not just from the perspective of behind the counter either. I get real complaints about how difficult it can be to find a game anywhere! Most campaigns these days are found online. I believe that the cost of hosting and running a game versus what players consider reasonable to pay is so far apart that nobody hosts or runs campaigns at all. It is just not feasible to host campaigns for free anymore.

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So how do we solve the problem? The first thing we do is start treating Dungeon’s and Dragons as we would any other form of entertainment and pay for people to host it and run it. Stop pretending that 3 to 5 hours of entertainment is entitled to you because you bought a book and some minis, that is not how life works. Support the stores that support your passions and pay to play in some of their store sponsored campaigns and events. Realize that even Gary Gygax himself must have understood that to pursue this passion he had to treat it like a business and earn money while doing it. Paying for something you love is not unreasonable and paying someone to host and run what you love is not unreasonable. Ultimately, if we want to see more D&D campaigns in the stores we love, we need to start paying for them!

Written By: Marco Vazquez 2/17/2021

How to Properly Sell Your Collection!

There comes a time in every card flipper’s life where they must part with at least some of the hordes of beautifully adorned cardboard they have. Whether it be for financial reasons, growing away from the game, or just plain needing to clear the clutter that has amassed upon your dresser, most of us will eventually sell some or all of our collection.

In this article I will give you some helpful non-biased tips to help maximize the efficiency and profits of selling your cards as well as some valuable options you may not have known about. I will go over a brief step by step process that should help you be a pro at selling your collection.

Step 1

Determine why you are selling your collection.

This seems like a really over simplified step, but it is important to make the distinction early on and not lose sight of why you are doing this in the first place. So many people get lost in the sauce and forget that they may not even need to sell their cards and the problem is just a lack of simple organization. Sometimes people really need the money and rush to sell carelessly not knowing what the value of the cards are. Sometimes people sell their cards because they just do not have time to play the games anymore and then they invest time they don’t have attempting to recoup what they spent. Gaining focus and prospective is key.

Step 2

Develop a plan that fits your goals.

Once you have decided your reasoning its time to get to work. Yes, its work but if you choose the right path it will be worth it. If you need space, start by only keeping the cards that you really like or have a special memory. Consider, for example, only keeping all the cards that depict only your favorite character and/or that one deck you placed first with when you started playing. Whatever works best for you. Everything else get ready to prep it for sale.

If you need money you have a long road ahead of you. Just begin by preparing a nice flat workspace, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

If you are just not wanting to play anymore and don’t really need the money, consider how much you value your time and maybe end the work here. Load your cards up into boxes and bring them to your local game store and ask them how much they will pay for them. This is the short cut way and will get you some quick cash and save you potentially hundreds of hours.

Generally, you are likely going to get less for them this way but truthfully you aren’t getting ripped off. Consider that you are simply hiring the game store to do the work of selling your cards for you and wiping your hands clean of the responsibility. Your work is done here, enjoy your freedom and move on. We’ll see ya in 2 years!


Step 3

Start Organizing

If you have decided to make a go at selling your cards, congrats I am going to give you a crash course on being one of my employees! Obviously, I’m kidding. Seriously this part can easily turn into a full-time job depending on the size of your collection. However hopefully the next few tips I give you will help you save tons of time and effort.

Begin by sorting your cards by rarity and condition. This process is the very first thing you should do. Since card prices are generally determined by rarity, being able to organize them as such will help lessen the amount of time you are spending on the lower priced cards that are not worth anything. Most games have a mark or symbol that signifies whether a card is Common, Uncommon, Rare or better. Usually, a quick google search will help you learn the difference for your cards but also calling your local game store will help you resolve the issue. The next thing is sorting out your cards by condition. This is a bit more difficult as condition can vary based on opinion however it isn’t difficult to tell when you have a condition guide and luckily for you, I have one here on this website @

During this process you should be taking the time to make sure that duplicates are put next to each other unless they are not in the same condition. Focus only on the rares or better. Most commons and uncommons are not worth taking the time to fully organize. This will greatly reduce the time it takes to price out all your cards later. Even in the event you find out 1 of the commons you had was worth 4 dollars, and if you had enough of that card to make it worth it, you can go back and find it. For now, stay focused and finish organizing.

Step 4

Start Pricing

Congrats! You are about halfway through your journey and you have probably had, at least, a small panic attack thinking about the prospect of sorting anymore cards for the rest of your life.  Maybe, it was about the money you spent amassing all the cards you have. Either way, stay positive things are going to get fun.

Do yourself a favor, charge your phone and download an app called TCGPlayer. This app is simply amazing for the big three card games, Pokemon, Magic: the Gathering, and Yugioh. If you have cards from another game, you can still use their website, but it will be more work. Once you download the app you can simply type the name of the card and it will give you a list of options your card could be. Since some card games utilize the same name for different cards its important to make sure you are picking the exact right card.

TCGPlayer is great because it will include an image of the card, so you know you have the correct one on your list. As you begin building your list you will find that there are options for condition, so make sure you are selecting that option correctly as well.

The greatest thing about this app is that if you have a nice white background you can just use the camera on your phone and directly scan most cards and the app will automatically recognize the card. You do need a good phone camera, lighting, and the card to not be holofoil for this to work perfectly. Watch this video if you need help learning how to use this app You will notice that the fair market price of the card will automatically come up once your card is recognized. You can use this app to make multiple different lists based on the card conditions that you sorted before.

Step 5

Decide on a sales plan.

So, at this point you have invested hours, if not days, creating massive lists of your cards with the values of all those cards. All of them, meticulously organized by rarity and condition. Hopefully, you had figured out how to make multiple lists and kept your cards organized because now its time to make the next big decision. How to sell. There are multiple ways to sell your collection once you have reached this point. With the new knowledge you have, you can call some game stores and present them with your lists by emailing them or visiting them in person. Ask them what kind of offer they would be willing to give you. Having all this information handy is a godsend for card buyers at stores and will give you an edge in negotiating. It will also allow you to send the lists out to multiple stores at once and find the best offer quickly.

Another option is to send the list out to your old card playing friends. Sometimes, offering your friends a discount below what they could buy the cards for at retail or online and above what you are offered by a local game store is all it takes to offload your collection quickly. The drawback to this is that you will often end up getting rid of only part of your collection and most likely only the valuable cards that are the best deal.

If you were the shark of your pool of friends and nobody wants to buy from you, then consider posting the lists for sale along with some pictures of the most expensive cards on an online marketplace like Facebook. I have found that this is usually better then selling to your friends and requires a good deal of added risk and work, but the monetary gain is far better then selling to your friends or to a game store.

Finally, you can enter the realm of no return and start listing your cards individually online on one of the big three,,, or the dreaded This path is not for the faint of heart and usually for beginners, will lead you to learn a few things about yourself along the way. Once you cross into this realm you are either holding some bigtime money in cards and need the protection or you have fully gone insane. Like me.

Step 6

Packaging to Ship

Congrats you have made your first sale and now you need to ship your cards. Do not worry I have you covered. You’ve come this far, and I don’t intend on letting you drown in negative feedback and refunds based on packaging. Shipping can be a bit complicated but I’ll line out a decent procedure for you to follow that works for me. Packaging materials cost money but hopefully you’ll be making more then you spend at this point.

The first thing to do is to determine at what dollar amount you are willing to get ripped off at. This is important because buyer and seller fraud is a real thing in the industry. Knowing that spending 3 to 4 dollars tracking every package is not feasible, you have to figure out what amount of money you are willing to risk just sending cards in a plain white envelope and a stamp.

For us, it’s anything under 20 dollars. For P.W.E, plain white envelope orders under 10 cards, we package the cards inside of a penny sleeve and tape them to a small piece of thin packing cardboard. We have had good success with this method and have a low rate of complaints or damage.

For anything above 20 dollars, we use the same penny sleeve strategy but if it is because there are a lot of cards, we use a bubble mailer or a card box depending on the number of cards. The key is to make sure you are using the packaging that best suits the number of cards you are sending. It is not sensible to use a flat rate box for 50 cards. However, if it is because a single card is awfully expensive then we use a top loader and a penny sleeve to ensure the safety and rigidity of the card during transit, inside of a bubble mailer. For any of these options we like to use PayPal and create shipping label.

You can do the same thing on eBay and you normally get a slight discount through either of them. This way you get a tracking number and do not have to worry about losing money on expensive cards getting lost in the mail. Also, the post office gives out free tracking label holders that you stick to your packages and insert the printed shipping labels into. This will save you tons of time taping and writing labels.

Step 7

Getting Paid!

So, you have done it all and now its time to talk turkey. So, let us talk about money. Can you expect to reasonably make good money selling your cards and are there other options? The answer is, yes. At this point if you have followed all the steps above you should have been able to make a reasonable amount of money considering the value of the cards you have. Whether or not the money that you made was worth your time is a call that you will have to make on your own.

Obviously the more valuable your cards, the more money you will make at any stage of the game here. The important thing to determine is whether it is worth doing before you get started. So as a reward for getting to this point in my article, I am going to give you some estimated percentages that might help you make up your mind on whether you really want to take on this endeavor.

Considering that 100% is the fair market value of your cards on here are a few examples of what you can expect in returns. This varies according to things like fees and shipping or even just lack of knowledge, but it is a good place to start from and is based on my own experience.

  • Selling to a store unsorted and bulked 10% – 30% Value
  • Selling to a store sorted and un-valued 25% - 55% Value
  • Selling to a store sorted and valued       40% - 80% Value
  • Selling to friends sorted and valued       55% - 90% Value
  • Selling to Online Market Places               65% - 90% Value
  • Selling on Big Three: Tcg, Amzn, Ebay     75% - 85% Value

You will notice that there is quite a spread on the potential for each entry. As we go down the list the gap in low to high numbers for each entry lowers and this is because of the variance in what you can get for things like bulk cards. Stores don’t take into account the value of a 50 cent card and so they tend to buy those for about a penny or less a card. Places like Ebay have the lowest variance because when you sell the same card for 50 cents you get the 50 cents minus the fees.

The difference is in how much time and effort it is going to take to make that 50 cents. Of course, selling the 50 cent card to your friend is always the best because of lack of fees but you might still take a loss on a stamp if you have to ship it. Or if you want to give them a homie discount to entice them to buy it from you instead of the local card store, they love. There is one final option that I have held onto for all this time.


This option is reserved for only the most special of circumstances and should only be considered when you have no time to sell the cards yourself but happen to come across some absolute baller status cards. Shadow*cough ess  First Ed*cough Charizard. At my store we reserve this service for cards valued above 1000 dollars. Yes, you heard that right some of those cardboard pokemans can be worth more then a pack of bubblegum, Rick Harrison!

This is the option where you and usually the owner or management team at a store discuss the potential of helping you sell a card without receiving money up front. This unique interaction means you are willing to wait on getting paid until the card is sold.

Generally, since the store does not have to risk capital, they are willing to do the work of selling the card for a lower percentage of profits or a flat rate fee. Depending on the value of the card you are selling you can expect 80% - 95% of the value of the card depending on the outlet in which the card is sold. Fee’s generally apply but are not as painful on the wallet.

That is it! I wish you the best of luck selling your cards and do not forget to consider your local game store when wanting to sell your collection. If you don’t have a local games store or if my store is in fact your local game store, feel free to reach out and we will be glad to discuss a fair price for your collection today!

Written By: Marco Vazquez 2/16/2021

Pokemon Cards and Learning: Why it may be good for struggling students.

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The topic I’m going to discuss in this article is something that I am extremely passionate about, card games for children. I feel it necessary to divulge about the source of my passion being that it stems from my very own personal experience growing up. You see, I strongly believe that card games like Pokémon are one of the greatest tools for Childhood development that are available and for a lot of good reasons.

My backstory

Growing up I was the epitome of a struggling student. I lived as an economically disadvantaged student in an upstate New York ghetto with several learning disabilities, ADHD, and Dyslexia among them. I was not dumb though. I just learned differently then other students. To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from Einstein, I believe, it had something to do with judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree shows you a fish who is horrible at climbing trees.Image result for kid with headache at school I was ridiculously good at comprehension and data retention. I was an absolute sponge for knowledge, and I could recall it with the guided precision of a surgeon’s hand. I was mostly distracted and, well, lazy. With these situations and the New York State Public school system it was easy to see school was rough for me and I struggled to succeed in school. My participation lacked and I struggled to make friends. I became depressed and more distanced from any semblance of motivation. I was eight years old.


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Cool Story Bro Now What?

If any of that sounds familiar to you as a parent I want to tell you are not alone. I may not have gone to college to become a youth education counselor or a teacher who is qualified to speak on these matters, but I want to share my own personal experiences and opinions. This statement may sound crazy, but I mean it with the very fiber of my being, Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering helped save my life.

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Yes, my earliest memories of real positive friendship, motivation, and camaraderie stemmed from those two things. Before playing card games the only two things I had were video games at home or the violent gang run neighborhoods of Newburgh, New York. There was only so much a Super Nintendo with 4 games could do for a kid. I quickly turned to other more self-destructive behaviors to apply what I was learning in school.

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Yes, you heard that right.

You see in my opinion, children are going to be in a constant cycle of learning, expression, and application. If you do not give children something positive, that they enjoy, to apply the things they have learned. They will then attempt to find ways to apply their knowledge on their own. From there, learning skills can either become stagnant or go very wrong. I consider games like Pokémon to be a metaphorical whetstone to which children enjoy sharpening their skills against.

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What Skills?

Pokémon is a game that requires multiple skills to master but requires extraordinarily little proficiency with said skills to begin. Things like counting, reading, comprehension, decision making, conflict resolution, problem analysis, probabilities, estimation, social interaction, tactile control, organization, trading, and the list goes on and on. With as simple as the game of Pokémon is, the depth to which a child can apply their own uniqueness to the game is staggering.

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How does this help?

Pokémon being such a versatile game allows your child to express themselves freely in a safe environment that allows them to truly shine as an individual in a way that motivates them to do things that they may not otherwise feel comfortable doing. Because Pokémon is a game, it allows children to sharpen their skills at their own pace. Pokémon helps keep children challenged and motivated to be a better version of themselves. Pokémon also rewards children with a sense of accomplishment that may be difficult to obtain in a normal education setting. All the while, children that play Pokémon, are gaining confidence in their own abilities and have other players who rally to help each other build better decks and become better.

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That all sounds great but what are the draw backs?

 Safe communities can be few and far between. It is hard for many local game stores to make a living while providing semi-philanthropic efforts such as safe play spaces and trained staff. Outside of philanthropy there is not a lot of incentive for the larger more successful Game Retailers to do much beyond holding tournaments geared toward seasoned players. Also, many schools ban the use and trade of Pokémon cards during school hours instead of embracing the idea of Pokémon as a tool for education.

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So what can we as parents do?

Like in “Field of Dreams”, If you build it, they will come. If you cannot find a local community for Pokemon try building one. Visit your local game stores and ask if they have a local Pokémon group that is safe for children. If they don’t have one, ask if you can help build one. Apply on to be a “Tournament Organizer” and host a local league at your local game store. Advertise it on Facebook and join groups with other parents. There are a lot of local game stores that are struggling to bring in traffic to their establishments. Then when you do have a game store that provides these things, SUPPORT THEM! Whenever its possible or reasonable try not taking your Pokémon dollars to big box retailers like Walmart or Amazon.

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Finally, Do not Give Up!

I know, I know, based on those last few statements this all seems like a sleezy sales pitch now, but I promise you its not. Having been a game store owner for the past 4 years and having 7 of my own children, all in home school, I understand the importance and stress of childhood education. That is precisely why I believe in it so much. Not just with me and my own children either. I have preached this same ideology to many other parents over the years and have seen, in person, the progress of many children that have come and gone to my store’s weekly Pokémon meetups.

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Shameless Plug.

My store has weekly Pokémon meetups on Saturdays at 1PM and we are going to be starting paid “Learn to Play Pokémon” classes on weekdays with the schedule yet to be determined. If you have any questions about these or any other events, I urge you to email us at or simply like and follow us on  

By Marco Vazquez 2/15/2021


Today marks another big day for card bans in the world of competitive Magic: the Gathering.

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The highlight card to be banned today was Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. The card often finds itself in the conversation of the most powerful creature ever printed. Not only does it boast a massive 6/6 body, but the built-in card draw and mana acceleration on ETB and Attack made it a nightmare scenario for any game it came to play in. That was not the only problem with this card though. It was nearly removal-proof with the ability to self-recur from the graveyard using the relatively new “escape” mechanic. This meant that even if you had a removal spell, you still weren’t free from its oppression.

In the event that you removed this card from play without exiling it, that meant it was free to come back at a later time and your opponent had, in fact, gained resources and an undeniable advantage by you having wasted a card and killing it. Even if you had exiled it, your opponent had drawn a card and perhaps placed a land on the battlefield, putting them further ahead of you. It is truly a nightmare scenario by the numbers.

Oh, and we haven’t talked about the life gain yet! While doing all of this, the player with Uro gains 3 life. I’m not even going to get into the deeper idiosyncrasies of why it having blue as part of its color identity made deck building strategies so oppressive that I have seen players literally resolve to quit Magic so long as this card exists as a legal card. Suffice it to say, if you know you know, and if you don’t, just be glad you never did. This card is now banned in most formats where it matters.

Now let’s talk about some of the less impactful, albeit surprising (but not so surprising) bans of the day - particularly for Modern Format. Field of the Dead, Mystic Sanctuary, Simian Spirit Guide, Tibalt’s Trickery... all of these cards have been somewhat hiding under the shadow of Uro, and powerful cards like them, for quite some time. That is with the exception of the newbie, Tibalt’s Trickery. These bans to me were an obvious assault to extremely specific deck strategies that produced un-interactive or oppressive gameplay.

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Field of the Dead allowed decks like “Amulet Titan” to just run you over with creatures with no added cost in resources. It was free creatures for playing lands. In a game where land destruction is frowned upon, it feels a bit like cheating the moral code to have a land that provides so much built-in value. Field of the Dead is just a card that does not have enough answers for it to be a healthy card in the current landscape, format-wise.

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Mystic Sanctuary is somewhat the same except for that it does not provide you creatures, but provides you nigh infinite counter spells in the form of the well-known “Cryptic Command Lock." Being able to return spells from your graveyard is something that in the past would cost you (on average) four mana and a card. Mystic Sanctuary is a land and just made certain decks, that coincidently also played Uro, way too oppressive to play against. I don’t hate counter spells but this ban was long overdue. Good riddance!

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Simian Spirit guide kind of took me by surprise but I understand why. This is a card that provides free mana acceleration and makes the game difficult to balance. It’s part of the reason that Tibalt’s Trickery can casually get you a turn two or even a turn one Emrakul, The Aeon’s Torn. (A 15 mana, world ending, God-tier creature.) Honestly, cards that produce free, fast mana are a relic of the simpler, earlier days of Magic: The Gathering and they should remain that way. With the power level of today’s cards, they just don’t need that kind of free equity to play and enjoy.

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Finally, there is Tibalt’s Trickery. It seems poetically fitting that this card would herald in a slew of interesting card bans, but it seems bittersweet to see it go so soon. Red, in my opinion, needed a silly counter spell like this one to fuel the dreams of Timmy’s across the landscape of MTG, but alas, in typical Tibalt fashion, it was but a fleeting meme. Goodbye sweet prince, you flew too close to the competitive sun and your wings were only made of chaotic, red goodness colored in Goblin Glider Red.

Written By; Marco Vazquez 2/15/2021 

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