Happy New Year 2021

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Another year has passed. I know it is the cliché-est of the clichés, but 2021 seems to have passed extraordinarily fast. At least in my household. Yes, we have had to live with the ‘rona for another year; yes the year started with me finishing my paternity leave; and yes we have had sick kids from start September until now. But for some reason, 2021 still seems to have been at least – maybe – 27% faster than normal years in my perspective.

When I was shutting down my work computer, and finishing the last things right before Christmas, I stumbled upon a list I had written down as one of the first things, when I got back to work after the last Christmas holidays. I had done none of the tasks on the list! I have no idea how an entire year could pass, without me ever taking the time to do at least one of those things. And it was important things, even: it was a list of what cakes I owed who! Very important stuff in my world.

Here it is suitable to just straighten one thing out, and remove one possible, horrible misunderstanding: I have brought cake to my colleagues several times throughout the year. Of course I have. But it was just not for the reasons our (my) cake rules stipulated I owe cakes for.

The short thing is: I have absolutely no idea how we got this far, this fast.

One could argue, that time is running at the same pace all the time (unless you are some kind of physicist who knows more than me on the matter). But this year, I have had a constant feeling of being behind – professionally, personally and in the Magic sphere. Maybe it’s because I went directly from three months paternity leave, to a very hectic everyday life with two little kids, job, pandemic, political work and so on. But it has been an annoying year in this sense. This also shows in my attendance of tournaments. Which has been really unimpressive. And it shows in my work on this blog. Again: very unimpressive, but at least we got to the end of the MEGA series in December!

Anyway. Today I just want to do a short recap of the fastest year in modern history. And I will start with a run-through of some of the newly(-ish) acquired cardboard…

Haul of 2021

I have made a total of six “mailday” posts on the blog this year. It doesn’t show all my new cards, but it certainly shows the highlights. And even though 2021 hasn’t been as crazy as 2020 was, there have been some highlights, I’d say.

The year actually started with loads of dread in this respect. I feared for the fate of some very special cardboard, I had bought just before Christmas, and they hadn’t arrived. Then in late January Lightning Stroke

In the spring and early summer, I was on a hefty buying spree. I bought cards for the MEGA project along with a lot of other beautiful stuff.

In June I was able to finish the most crazy Magic-related project I have ever worked on, my Alpha40 deck.

In July I got 10% closer to reach my goal of 40before40 of Unlimited duals…

So a lot of great cards have been added to the piles. It has been a different year from 2020 especially in the fact that this year I have widened my collection a lot – especially into the more fringe, spicy parts of the format. It has really been great. I must say, that playing decks at least a bit spicy, is a whole other beast than always playing the same 45 cards + “whatever creatures or combo you want to win with that day”. Starting over, every time you try to assemble 60+15 is great fun. And playing without power is also – at least for me – an experience much more akin to what I was actually doing way back when. And I enjoy a lot.

Experiences in the magical sphere

When 2021 started out, we were all tired of the stupid pandemic and its ability to keep us from seeing one another. I had a plan to attend at least three major face2face tournaments throughout the year as well as seeing the other Old School players in my city at least once a month.

That hasn’t really come to pass. Many excuses. Such regret. But the main reason the first plan failed, was that no less than two weddings postponed from 2020 was placed on the exact same dates as two major Danish Old School tournaments I had planned to attend. Oh the sadness!

In the end, I only managed to get myself to a single tournament this year, but it was a blast, nonetheless:

I MUST go to at least a couple tournaments in 2022. I even plan on maybe hosting one myself as Funen, where I live, have been hopelessly underrepresented on the Old School scene thus far!

Besides the one tournament in Copenhagen, I have been playing some sweet, sweet kitchen table Old School Magic with the immensely friendly and great Peter, Thomas, Teis, Casper, and The Other Thomas. My crew of Wednesday Wizards.

So even though I haven’t seen as much live Magical action as I had set my nose for, I can’t complain. I love the large tournaments, where I get to see people I don’t meet very often, but having a regular playgroup is sheer luxury. I hope that 2022 will be the year, where my fellow Wednesday Wizards and I will get to see each other at least once a month. Despite a lot of children, houses, jobs and other responsibilities…

Finance

Yes, yes, this is very boring, I know. And it will not be a returning part of my holiday greetings blogposts, but throughout the year, or at least since February, I have logged the development in the total value of my collection, and I thought it would be at least a bit interesting to some of you. Not because of the value of my collection in particular, but because it shows the market fluctuations in some overall terms.

A bit of background and methodology. I have typed my collection into www.decbox.org and then used the “Total Set Value” function to track the prices the 1. Of every month since February. This means that even though I have acquired some more cards for my collection throughout the year, I haven’t put them in the database, because it would be very difficult to track the total set value fluctuations if I did so.

Now, I know that the prices on deckbox.org is not very representative of the real world. The prices are all over the place, and they sometimes change a lot within days. But again, this is not to track the actual value, it is to get a picture of how the development has been in a year.

And even though the prices have increased, it hasn’t increased as much, as I would have imagined. I think we are seing some backlash of the crazy price spikes and increases in end 2020 and start 2021. Because let me just say, that back in the first part of the year, there was some insane price increases! From February to May I saw a total increase of almost 55%! That was absolutely and utter insane.

But overall, the price increase for the entire year (or from February 1 to December 30) is around 13% which is not bad. But from start November to end December the total price fell more than 20%! It has been a strange year in this respect too.

Comparing to the shares I bought back in end January; it looks a lot alike as they have seen an increase of almost 15% year to date.

Of course, the cards who have jumped the most are some of my Alpha cards. My 8 Alpha Wild Growths have gone from about €10-15 to at least €60 apiece. Disintegrate has risen even more. Alpha is still a crazy beast! The increases in these pieces of cardboard just keep being insane.

I hope we will see an overall prolonged slowdown in the prices in the coming months. But I wouldn’t hold my breath…

Just for the kicks, I tried to write down my 5C ComboChantress deck in an excel spreadsheet and then find the cheapest possible version of each card on www.magiccardmarket.com. I must say, the result astounded me, as I would have to shell out more than €53.000 to buy the cards (as pr December 21. 2021) (and I wouldn’t even be allowed to play it in Sweden…). Seeing as many of my cards are somewhat nicer than the cheapest versions on MCM, the real price for me to buy the cards would be even higher!

I tend to forget exactly how stupidly expensive this hobby can be.

Well, enough of this. I think it has been interesting to follow the value of my collection, but I don’t think I will keep on doing it. Especially because it requires me to not enter my newly acquired cards into the database.

The blogging

No point in denying it. I have not made as many blog posts as I intended to. It is not a total shock to me, but I would like to step it up somewhat…

As mentioned, this year has been the year of MEGA – my quest to make Enchantress great again. It has been much fun to brew, build and play decks very different from what I am used to. And I have learned A LOT along the way. Decktech articles are, however, not what I enjoy writing the most.

What I have enjoyed writing greatly are some of the long nailbiters, not least “Prices and the future of OS” from February and “What is Combo” from July. These were fun for me to write, but also more demanding. I hope to do more posts in the year to come.

I am very happy for the positive response I get to my writing – mostly on different OS forums on Facebook. It is great, that you like what I do.

Thank you!

Have a great new year!

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