How do you set your collecting goals?

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How do you set your collecting goals?

Post by psrex » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

When you set your goals for collecting, how do you set your goals, and how often do you change them?

I set a goal about 10 years ago to get one of every card by name, which seemed an impossible goal. It was more of an ideal that I never thought that I would reach, but at least it gave me some direction. It was fun to check off some of the easier sub-goals, such as getting one of each Vanguard card. Since it seemed so impossible, I sometimes made other easier goals, such as getting one of each World Championship/Pro Tour deck. Picking away card by card I'm down to needing only 16 cards, though I don't know if I'll ever make the plunge and spend the money needed to get the P9 and Imperial Seal (oh, how I wish that I'd picked that up at the start of the project).

I'm starting to think that I should go for a complete set from every set. Is this the path to madness? Part of me says that it would be good. I think that I'm finally at the point that I can get rid of my extras, say 10 copies of an Ice Age common that I'm never going to play. I think that part of my reasoning is that if I keep a complete set for each set that I won't regret getting rid of the bulk from my collection. Then I'd end up with a collection portion, and I can keep my decks separate and get rid of unplayable cards.

One difficult part of changing/expanding my goal is that I've never been much into binders, but I can't imagine ending up with such a large collection and having everything stored in long boxes. Part of the joy of collecting complete sets would be to look through the cards, such as showing newer players how the playability of sets has changed, how the art has changed, etc. I think that I'd also need the structure that binders provide, so that it's easy to see where holes exist, or so that I could easily mark that I'm borrowing a Candelabra of Tawnos for a deck.

Anyway, how have you changed your goals with collecting? Do you end up changing your goal once you are finished or close to finishing?

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Setting goals

Post by Default User » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:16 am

Setting goals and changing the direction can be hard, frustrating, fun or liberating... Or all of them at the same time. Reaching the goals is often great, but can also be a it of a letdown, if it comes too easy.

I remember when I decided to get a full set of 40 black bordered duals around 1998. That was my first ever concrete collection goal outside of trading for all the extra Hymn to Tourachs from my town. (Players were playing them in way too many decks and usually they didn't want to change cards betwen decks, as it took time from playing. By trading for most extras I managed to make people play Hymns in fewer decks.) Next year I started the collecting and trading for duals, but strayed into collecting Arabian Nights sets, which lead to Aq, the Dark and Legends sets.

I also started collecting promo lands around 1999. That binder will always stay close to my heart. Along with my Camels and Deserts

Then a lucky Imperial Seal pull from my first ever P3K booster (at just under 2 €/pack then, I got most of the box) got me into collecting P3K and the other Portal sets and Starter 99 sets.

Four years back I finally got the last black bordered duals, but very low alpha and beta prices got me hooked on full english dual land set... Two years later the fbb duals paid for that shopping spree and I got to keep the fbb Plateaus to have full set of all dual arts too. :-P

Now I'm 7 cards short of global P3K set, about 100 cards short of having four sets of each older expansion and playsets of all commons and uncommons ever printed. (Along with most of the rares I will need.)

In this time I have changed my goals several times, both because getting my Masters degree and steady work allowed me to expand my collection and also due to deciding to not steer my collection to certain areas. I usually take stock of my goals yearly (and if I have had to move, three extra times; when packing, carrying and unloading my cards).

I usually do the goal setting and budgeting for my purchases while swimming. For me swimming is better way to clear my mind than jogging or some other activity. Just taking a 2-3 km swim is a great way to collect my thoughts and setting my ideas. For this reason I connect Summer Lightning Bolt to the smell of chlorine. (Just don't tell anybody...>:-( )

For example I had decided to get 1 % of all the foil Angel/Demon tokens from Premium Helvaults. This turned out to be a bit of a strech as the prices rose quite fast and so I decided to aim slightly lower and get 1 % of as many of the oversized foils as I could. I did the switch fast enough that I managed to catch the 'cheap' copies on MKM to get a nice head start on the project.

As for opposite situation, I had also once decided against collecting set foils and traded all of mine away. A year back the Commander bug got me and I decided to go for foiled out landbase and trade or purchase the cards I use in two decks... Well that got a bit out of hand after a while.

I'm still hoping to be able to build a decent EDH-deck from just promos. The real problem is always the manabase. I'm not counting FtV-sets as promos, but if the situation doesn't change soon, I might change my mind.

Lately I've been targeting mostly older cards and promos, as with two young kids it's hard to find the time necessary for playing as much as I would like. The loss of Nationals-tournament also robbed me of my one big event I could attend per year. Yet Standard metagame is at a great point just now, so I'll have to try to play at least a few events yet this year.

Hopefully this was interesting, as I had fun writing this.
Global old art Lightning Bolt collector, mainly missing fwb and Summer.

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Post by mystical_tutor » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:08 pm

Actually, I think that question is the most imprtant one that can be asked with reference to collecting anything.

It will define the difference between collecting, accumulating, speculating and dealing.

My suggestion is to keep at it the way you have been essentually. Find something that perks your interest, Define what that would/might look like when completed, and why you will feel rewarded when it is.

Something I mentioned in previous musings on the subject is the identification of your reward system.
Are you rewarded by the knowledge that you have succeeded in reaching a goal or
Is your reward greater if you can actually see, handle, etc the results of your efforts or
Do you really get your satisfaction when you are able to share/boast abut what you have done?

A significant value to this board is being able to share your victories with others (that is why Mail Brag is the largest thread on the board).
Answering this is important in your goal setting as it can give you focus on what you collect. Of course it doesn't have to define all that you collect but when you decide on something you want to collect -- spindown dice/backing cards for promo packs/whatever -- you can then visualize a display that will show them off and as that work in progress grows post that where your fellow collectors can see it. I think a great example of that is Markers Signed cards project: ... php?t=7873

Bottom line, though is collecting what is meaningful to you and not worrying about what others feel "your" collection should be.

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Post by Alien_Starfighter_Pilot » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:22 pm

I joined the website a few years back as I had expanded from my first collection goal of creating two sets of all of the expansion sets (and a few choice core sets that had sentimental value) from packs and starters I had personally opened. Yes, that has been rather expensive, especially considering how expensive the AN, AQ, Legends and Dark booster boxes have gotten.

So, as I was nearing 90% completion of this first collection goal, I was eyeing a new challenge, so I turned to collecting two copies of every regular promo printed. I quickly found out that there were a LOT of promos out there. This website was an incredible boon, as the previous site I had been pulling my promo lists from had inaccuracies. Look for an OLD post from me regarding the Vintage tournament prizes, where I had thought there were foil Power Nine being given out as GENCON tournament prizes :-O

I currently sit at 85% of my promo collection goal, btw. I have since made sealed promo packs the preference over open singles, just to add a little spice to the collection.

Once being atleast halfway through with collecting the promos, I was seeking a new challenge for collecting while being deployed to Afghanistan, and now have numerous global collections, as you all know.

While I still toy with the idea of launching one or two more global collection (Redheads and Mermaids!), for the most part I am busy (and broke) enough by the several collections I currently have ongoing. I will, however, not stop any of the collections I have already started. With the exception of a few cards that I like the art for, the global collections have a personal meaning to them.

I've never really had a particularly deep thought process to setting a goal. It started out with having 2 copies of each card that has been untouched by any other hand, to what is also now a fun conversation piece (my global collections). In doing so, I have also learned a lot more about a game I still love to play. So in that regard, both in the pursuit of the goals and taking the time to offroad (play) along life's highway, it hasn't been about completing the goals, but enjoying the journey.


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Post by yvel » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:21 pm

nice stories.

my goal is very simple.

All cards printed, but English only. (and non-foil)
From Beta to RtR in English and NMint. I started first to by sets by sets on Ebay, since Mirrondin edition the newest set was build and redem from MTGO, older set was bought one by one, month after mounth.
I miss three sets (Alpha, Unlim. and Summer) ... too much for me
I collect also BB sets (3Th French, 4Th Korean and 9Th Rissian)

After that I have my promotional collection cards in English and Japanese only.

My Promotional box collection (From the vault, commander, duel deck ... ...)

and my signed collection from The dark and Fallen Empire (few are still missing)

I don't keep foreign language, boosters, full box and regular foil :)

Of course a goal is very important in a collection.

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Post by Worth » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:07 pm

Little off topic, but I just wanted to say thanks and send wishes to stay safe to Clay, didn't know you were active duty.

Immense respect and gratitude to all our military folks, past and present.

Stay frosty, as they say :)

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Post by mystical_tutor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:46 am

Ya, he is one of the kids on the board.
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Post by markers » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:53 pm

Interesting topic :wink:

Setting the goal(s) for your collection is an important part of the whole collecting experience. A lot of factors are important: Money (duh!), storage space and time (to plow through all the cards and get them sorted).

When I started with my collection I just wanted to get signed cards. One of each and only black bordered. And then I saw a VERY nice signed playset of the Judge Maze of Ith which I HAD TO HAVE and since then getting a playset is the goal :wink:

But with all the special editions (duel decks / promos / ftv / commander / Planechase and all the other) I lose track since I don't have that much time to search the www for new cards anymore.

Nowadays I mainly stick to getting more signed sets together, concentrate on the pre-MM-sets and if I see an opportunity for newer signed cards I take it. I stopped with the oversized, tokens, proofs and special editions (only new cards are still sought after).
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Grand Total signed cards: >43'000

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My opinion on collecting.

Post by ClaudeARDILLER » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:41 am

In my humble opinion, you must impose yourself a limit to what you are collecting, and ask you a few basics questions:

- Do you want to ever to be able to complete your collection one day ?
Is it doable ? There's this guy on MOTL who is trying to get a playset of everything. Undoable in my opinion, unless you have unlimited wealth. Wich lead to the first sub-questions, and to the second question.
  • - Will you collection be "closed" one day ?
    Do all the cards of your collection allready exists ? Like collecting 3rd BB in all languages. Or is infinte ? Like collecting Goblin, or elves, or cards from the same Artist (unless the later one no longer works for WotC).
  • - Do you WANT it to be completed ?
    I mean, we all sort of collect or try to get sets of things, ask yourself what you are gonna do when you will have finished your collection. or if you want it to go on like forever (to achieve some kind of immortality maybe :-).
- Can you afford what you decided to collect ?
Unless you are rich or have an abundant and regular income, maybe you should limit yourself with what you can really afford.

I'm collecting FOIL Vanilla creatures in all languages, but it wasn't allways the case. I first began with collecting regular sets, in english and/or french, from the 3rd Edition (everything before 3rd/Fallen empires being impossible for me to get, time-wise and money-wise). Then came the FOIL cards, the numerous Promo cards with alternate art in different languages, wich made me quit that collection.
A few years later I "decided" I could go on a vanilla creature collection, as I allways liked them for their simpleness, I'm one of the few who miss the Portals/Starters Sets (and who hope for their return one day :-). In english only, then I heard of the summer/edgar cards, way out of my reach. Then I decided 5 years ago, that I could try to go on the FOIL Vanilla creatures collection in all languages, it seems a reasonable and a fun goal (thanks to MagicCardMarket) to try to reach, and it has the ongoing quest to seeking cards from past sets and from future ones.
Nowadays, things became harder than I thought, WotC reintroduced T-Chinese language, and brought up Korean (with all these sellers from a famous auction site who think that their FOIL Russian/Korean crap unplayable common is worth $5+). But I stick to it right now, hoping for better days when MagicCardMarket will become more global, and I will be able to find "easily" all those old Chinese/Portuguese Foil cards I'm missing.

Wel, that's all for me right now.
Enjoy your collections and take care..

Friendly yours,
Help me progress on the Global Foil Vanilla Creature Collection here:
If you have any card I'm looking for, let me know!

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