Good morning, friends!
We’re in a new year and that’s our symbolic start to a new beginning and new habits. I'd like to share some resolutions that I have for 2021 and I challenge you all to come up with your own! I want to make my MTG life as stress-free as possible, and these goals are structured around exactly that endgame. Maybe these can make your life easier too!
#1: Retire decks that I’m not using anymore.
Most entrenched players have this problem: too many decks, not enough time. Even if you’re playing a game or two a day every day, you’re still going to have a deck or three that just naturally fall out of rotation. Maybe you’re just not feeling the deck anymore, maybe it’s boring to pilot, maybe it’s too powerful for your group, or maybe it can’t hang with the group’s power level anymore. That’s all perfectly great. If you’re not playing the deck anymore, then just tear it apart, trade it, or sell it. It’s doing no good collecting dust in the back of your closet. Magic is a game that’s meant to be played, and if your decks are sitting around not being played then it’s not a good use of your time and resources. I have decks for Xyris, the Writhing Storm and Syr Konrad, the Grim. Both are combo heavy builds and I’ve won with each of them a few times. I wheeled into a billion Snake tokens with Purphoros on board, and did the Morality Shift combo kill. I had my fun, but as I continued to play the decks it became clear that I was going to win the same way every time...and I did. Wheel decks just aren’t my thing, and I have a better aristocrats deck with Trynn & Silvar. I’ve not played these decks in a while, and there are a few more I own that haven’t seen the light of day in some time. My goal for 2021 is to trade, sell, or strip for parts any decks that I don’t use anymore. I challenge you to do the same; it will free up some real estate, or get you into something new!
#2: Get organized
Organizing the collection should be something that’s on everyone’s radar every year. I know that I'm less stressed and feel way more in control of my hobby when my cards are sorted, filed, and properly tucked away. Organizing your collection has some great benefits for you!
Get rid of your bulk! We’re not gonna use ¾ of the draft chaff that we open from booster boxes. Separate bulk you’ll use or maybe use (stuff like O-Ring, Unsummon, Murder, Thrill of Possibility, Harmonize) from stuff you definitely won’t, like Garruk’s Gorehorn or Wishcoin Crab. Recycle the chaff, donate it to your LGS, donate it to children’s programs. If you’re never going to use it, get rid of it. Your boxes are better served housing things you might actually use in the future.
Get your colors together. Nothing’s more frustrating when you’re putting a deck together and not really knowing for certain whether you’ve exhausted your inventory. However you decide to sort your cards, get them organized. I have rares, mythics, and cards over $2.00 in binders according to color, then artifacts, lands, and multicolored. Everything else separated by color in boxes, with multiples of the same card kept together in transparent penny sleeves. Over time things naturally get disorganized, but I aim to keep on top of it this year. I like to keep my bulk to a bare minimum; stacks of unorganized cards stress me out. I typically find that when I'm grouping and getting things together by color, I naturally tend to find straight unusable bulk that I can just toss. Isn't it great when step 2 leads right back to step 1?
Save yourself some money. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you put together a decklist, purchase it online, and then you realize that you had more than a few copies of half your decklist sitting in bulk. If you’re organized, it’s much easier to keep tabs on what you have, what you don’t, and save you a bit of money. Why buy another copy of something you already have ten copies of when you can just pull a copy from the box? You’ll never know it’s there if you’re not organized.
#3: Identify my goals, and buy accordingly
MTG is a money pit; we all know this. Like everyone else who’s entrenched in this hobby, I’m subject to impulse purchases and FOMO purchases. As much as I want to have every product ever, I’m restricted by budget. Bills have to be paid, rent comes due every month, we all know the drill. I find it’s easier to control my impulses when I have clearly-defined goals and lists of things have priority. In the coming year, I want to focus on things I need to complete projects, collections, or decks. Like everyone who plays, I have decks that I’ve designed and half built, moving like a crow to the next shiny object that WotC previews for us before I ever finish what I started. I resolve to focus on things I want to complete, and move towards completing them. I challenge you to do the same: figure out what you want to complete, make a plan to complete it, and stay focused on it. Anything you’re not going to complete can get repurposed for a new project, or sold to fund the existing project. Having clear goals allows you to effectively manage your money, keep track of your purchases, and systematically attack your missing cards list. We’re all going to have new products announced that we want to buy. Controlling your impulse purchases opens up opportunities and finances to make the surprise Secret Lair purchase or last-second, hot card purchase a little easier to swallow.