Welcome to the first-ever State of the Average.
I am not going to commit to the frequency of these wonderfully named articles, because I am unsure how often they are needed. With the new year, and new content coming out of the site, I felt it was important to bring readers up to speed. I have been extremely busy with many projects, and sadly the content here on the site has suffered. I honestly thought that it didn’t really matter, until I logged back in to my StrictlyAverageMTG email and found about a dozen notes from people wondering where the articles went.
My original concept for this Blog/Site was to post information for users of the Pucatrade.com website; to help spread the positivity that I brought to the table while trading on the platform. But for a good amount of time last year, I wasn’t positive about the site. I tried to keep up hope, but really didn’t feel excited about Pucatrade. Your emails and DMs made me realize that readers come here for community and content, and not because of the health of a trading platform. (I will get back to Puca in a few).
Patron-only Discord Community
During my time away from cranking out content, my Patreon was thriving. The Discord chat that I offer as part of the Patron rewards became HUGE; the community is amazing. The group is a healthy community of traders, with our focus more on the community instead of what platform people buy/sell/trade on. We successfully held a killer Secret Santa internally, with multiple gifts over $150 sent. Last month, I mailed out an Ugin, The Spirit Dragon, Revised Taiga, and an Eternal Masters Mana Crypt to Patrons. I host contests, offers deals in my online store (see below), and other cool benefits for the members. I am in talks with a Gaming Store about providing even more giveaways for patrons and site readers. Chatting throughout the day with the StrictlyAverage family is one of my favorite pastimes.
Back to Pucatrade (as promised)
As of the first of the year my friend Jonathan Medina was named Director of Pucatrade. The original founders stepped down from their day-to-day decision-making roles. I am excited about Jonathan’s new role, and look forward to seeing him succeed in fixing what some consider a sinking ship. I will be writing more about this soon. For now I want to let the dust continue to settle from the New Year’s announcement by Mitch, one of the original team members, before I try to analyze the state of the Puca Economy.
Strictly Average Gaming
I am shifting the focus of this year’s content slightly. Contributors will post more varied articles, spanning other interesting topics in gaming in addition to MTG. I have a few friends working on some board game articles, and others on video game articles. The goal is to diversify our content to appeal to more readers. I know it’s hard to believe that there is any game other than Magic, but it’s true. Although I believe Magic IS the best game ever created, we all need to dabble in other things to remain balanced.
Pucaminute…erm… GeekyPodCast….erm…. ExoticMTG
One of my earliest and strongest supporters is Marcus (formerly known as PucaMinute and other catchy names). He is now focusing his efforts on his YouTube channel, where he opens some amazingly cool Sealed Product. Due to the fact that PucaMinute Podcast has been defunct for a few months I have removed the archives from the site. However, I am working to incorporate his great videos onto our site.
Strictly Average Podcast
Originally there were discussions of launching a podcast prior to the site. After numerous attempts to make this be a real thing, I had given up all hope. I honestly felt that there was only so much Magic content my average self could produce before people got bored. However, I am currently in talks with DaLairBear to collaborate, creating a cast about geeky stuff, with a slant towards our MTG careers.
I have been working very hard on building up my online store over at TCGPlayer. If you need cards, click that link and check the inventory. That is the easiest and most direct way to help the cause over here (outside of Patreon.) The store is doing well, and we have new product in almost 5 times a week. I am currently outlining methods for creating a BuyList here on the site. This will be coming in the near future. My wife has taken over the majority of the shipping and selling side of the business, allowing me to buy and grade more. We’ve actually made this her part-time job, so she can stay home with the kiddos. Although I keep investing in the store, I have arranged it so that for the past 6 months I have not had to touch the family finances for my MTG Habit.
I am still FNM Heroing each week, with a heavy focus on Modern. I have been finding much success with the 5c Humans Deck I wrote about a few weeks ago. I am currently acquiring cards for another deck I cannot wait to write about. Next week I will be covering my take on Mono Blue Turns. Yeah, I am sure you are thinking that it sounds super janky, and it is. But truth be told Search for Azcanta may very well be the most powerful MTG card printed in a while, and it’s a great way to assemble the pieces needed to play solitaire with yourself while your opponent is mesmerized by the sheer awesomeness that is your deck.
Anyhow, that’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy your RIX prerelease this weekend. I know I cannot wait to play MTG until 6 am, and deal with my rowdy home crew when I walk in the door with no sleep.