How To Get The Cards You Need

Building On A Budget - Trading

  • Print
Author Image

You expected a Building on a Budget article? Well, today you get a little something different.

The other week I mentioned you should ask the Adepts for help if you didn't understand how to use the Trading Post. Apparently that was a bad idea on my part, as I should have been a little more specific. The Adepts can't tell you if you are getting a bad deal or not -- they aren't there to babysit your trades. They can help you use Magic Online properly and protect yourself from people who're out to ruin your game.

Since half my reader base would like to know how to better use the trading system on Magic Online, I figure why not write about it? Many people don't understand how I arrive at around 30 tickets for some of the decks. You could call this article "Building on a Budget: How to Build on a Budget."

The Basics

I'm assuming that you know how to log on. When you do, which screen do you see? You want the Expert Player View so, if you're in the New Player View, change your screen by selecting Expert Player View from the dropdown box in the upper right corner of the screen (next to the Card Shop button). After you're in the Expert Player View, click Trading Post.

Next, you'll want to click Message Board. A window will pop up that shows what everyone is looking for or getting rid of and for how much. In this room, the numbers that people list are ticket prices, not dollar prices, and are usually denoted by a number inside a colorless mana symbol. You can enter a query in the Search box to see who has what you are looking for. You can also post a message of your own to tell everyone what you are looking for or want to trade.

Before you trade, you need to make sure the objects you want to trade are visible to the players you're trading with. To do this, you increase the line labeled Tradable under that object on the Collection screen. To make your entire collection visible to other players, right click on the background of the Collection screen and select Make all tradable.

To initiate a trade with someone, right click the player's name and select Trade. If that player accepts, a Trade window will pop up on it's own tab. From here you can browse that player's cards and add what you want to the You get section.

(It's completely appropriate to initiate trades with players who've put messages in the Message Board room -- they're obviously looking for a trade. You might want to private message them first to see if they're in the middle of something. It's also fine to bring up the subject of trading if you're chatting with someone in a private room or during a game. However, it's inappropriate (and annoying) to randomly select players in a room and ask if they want to trade. And, unless you want to tick off a lot of players at once, don't spam a room asking for trades. -- dm)

The most common transactions involve initiating a trade, pulling out the cards you want from the ones listed, and the other player taking out a number of tickets. The trade is completed when both parties select Confirmed in the drop down box, review the trade in the next screen, and select Perform this trade now.

(Make sure you double check the items in the You give and You get windows before completing every trade. One of the easiest ways to get cheated is to rush through the confirmation step only to find out later that the other player changed what they were trading with you before confirmation happened. -- dm)

Event Tickets And Prices

You can purchase Event Tickets (tickets) at the Magic Online Store for $1.00 each. Some people sell them from their collections for slightly less, but you're taking a risk buying from these people. You can't do cash transactions with other players within the Magic Online game, so Wizards can't guarantee the outcome.

You can use Event Tickets to enter in events (tournaments, queues, and leagues) and trade for cards that other people have. You're allowed to trade any items in your collection -- including tickets, packs, and avatars.

If you're unsure of if you are getting a good deal or not, check the listings in the Message Board room. Just search for what other people are selling the same cards for. If you're within one ticket of the average price, you're doing okay.

To come up with deck prices for my articles, I look at what the cards I want to use in the deck are selling for and total them up. I allow a little room for the commons and uncommons and make sure it's still under 30 Event Tickets. Many people who've commented that my decks are much more than 30 tickets are buying their cards from third-party online stores. This is generally more expensive but it's an easier way to find what you're looking for.

(Again, Wizards of the Coast can't verify any trade that goes outside of the Magic Online game. If you give money to someone in exchange for cards, we have no way of confirming that you did so. The only way to be completely safe is to only trade objects within the Magic Online system. I'm not saying that everyone selling cards outside the game is out to cheat you, but it does happen. At least check with other players you trust before buying from anyone. -- dm)


Going through the Message Board is the easiest way to find what you're looking for. But if you're hunting for a bargain you should check out the Marketplace. This is the other room inside the Trading Post. The Marketplace is where all the action occurs -- you won't find static player messages in here! Instead, you'll find the hustle and bustle of a chat-style window where people post what they are selling in auction format and offer bulk deals on strange combinations of cards. It takes longer to get what you want, but you'll certainly get it a little cheaper.

Most items go through a bidding process -- if you want in just post your bid, but be quick and don't bid unless you are serious. If you win the bid, someone will tell you begin a trade with a player (usually not the player announcing the auctions) to complete your transaction. If things are flying by too quickly, there's a play/pause button to help you read everything being posted.

Personally, I stick with the Message Board -- it's easier and safer to use.

Overall, trading can be easy and fun -- and knowing how to use the Message Board is the key to building on a budget! If you need some extra tickets, try your hand at selling some of those extra rares. The secondary market is one of the things that makes Magic special.

Until next time, buy for 1 and sell for 2.

Nate Heiss
Team CMU
NateHeiss on Magic Online

  • Planeswalker Points
  • Facebook Twitter
  • Gatherer: The Magic Card Database
  • Forums: Connect with the Magic Community
  • Magic Locator