Strictly Short – A Want List That Works

The past week has been quiet because I’ve been enjoying some much needed family time. I’ve received an overwhelming amount of good feedback on the blog, so I wanted to find a way to get content to you and reduce the amount of lulls in the action.  Today we’re gonna try something new. Instead of a deeper more involved post, I want to publish short, concise, and highly focused post on one topic.  I’ll call these, Strictly Shorts.

Go Wide, but Keep Your Focus

Today’s tip is about how to mange your want list most effectively. I believe that your Wants List should be a path to your end goal, instead of just a list of random wants.  Many people will advise you to add more cards to your list so that more traders can find more matches with your wants.  This is great advice because it helps from a package package trade perspective, but blindly adding any card that you might want is a bad idea.  I suggest that you add cards that will get you to your goal.  When building your want list, think about the cards you want and also what cards that people may want if they’re giving up a card that you desperately need.  Here’s an example:

If you’re looking for fetches for a Modern deck, then you’re more likely to get the cards from someone changing decks in Modern.   Trade into other Modern lands that you don’t specifially need so that you’ll have more leverage when trading for what you do need.

Another method that I use, is trading for like-valued cards within a given format. This will give you “trade bait” for cards that you do need. For example: I recently needed Kalitas for my sideboard in Standard, but noone was trading the card.  I added other higher priced Standard cards to my list and someone sent me a Grim Flayer.  I found someone who was willing to trade off Kalitas to get his Grim Flayer, because they were changing Standard decks.


I hope this tip helps you get closer to your trading goals. I’d like to hear what you think of the Strictly Short, and if you have any techniques that you use to build your collection. Take a second and pop over to my Contact form to share those thoughts and let me know if you’d like to see this as a regular series.

Drive a Tranquil Bargain Friends.


  1. This makes a lot of sense for Standard and Modern. Do you feel like this also works for casual players, e.g. EDH/Cube builders/kitchen table traders? I currently fall into the first category you described, listing anything and everything that I have a goal to use.

    I feel bad listing cards that I don’t specifically want to use, because that (theoretically) takes those cards away from people who actually have a desire/use for them. Though I suppose through being active on Discord I could serve more as a clearinghouse for staples.


    1. I truly believe that if I am collecting cards to send to others, it isn’t hurting the economy, because along the way for me to get my needs other people are also getting what they want. If I was actively taking cards out of the puca economy then I would feel bad. But that’s just me.

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