The Great Britain national championships has been blessed by a veritable bevy of trade stands, with no less than four traders in attendance attending to your cardboard needs, whatever they may be. As is always the case, the dealers are the first people who learn about the metagame of a tournament, because it's their stocks of cards that are suddenly run down when a deck becomes hot. I went on a quick tour of the trade stands to find out what there was to know...
Lee Wood of Xtreme Traders was my first stop:
"We've been selling all the big cards from Valakut and the RUG Pod deck – Primeval Titans, Inferno Titans, Avenger of Zendikar. That's been most of the rares, really, although we've gone through a whole load of commons and uncommons from the red decks. The two heroes have both been selling – Hero of Oxid Ridge and Hero of Bladehold. It's been quite predictable really – all the good spot removal in the colors. An odd one was Angelic Destiny – we seem to have sold a load of those, although I don't know if that was to more casual players or not. Oh, and a couple of the Planeswalkers – the new Jace and Liliana Vess."
Mike Duke of Magic Madhouse was up next:
"I don't think we've really seen any one card spiking – we haven't had a run on anything that I can remember. Actually most of our sales have been the hard-to-get commons and uncommons, so we've sold a bunch of Timely Reinforcements, Revoke Existence, and Act of Aggression – we've probably sold 20 or so of those".
The trend was definitely being set that there were no real surprises here at GB Nationals, and that was echoed in my final chat with a veteran of European events, Nigel Rowledge of Twiddle's Keep (formerly Troll and Toad Europe.)
"Well, we've sold a ton of Chandra's Phoenix. That card has been flying out, big time. But then it's Karn Liberated, all the Swords for the Cawblade decks... Dismember, and lots of Mental Missteps, although I'm not sure if they were for Standard decks. All the usual suspects, Iguess, there really wasn't anything unexpected. We haven't been selling any of the new Jace yet, but I think he hasn't really found his level in the market – nobody is quite sure how good he is or what the right price is. But it's early days yet – there's Legacy and Vintage events later today, so we'll see what sells for that".
And that's an excellent point – there is far more going on here at GB Nationals than just the main event, with side events in pretty much every format you can think of, from Legacy to 15 Card Highlander, there's going to be something for everyone!