As of me writing this article, there are 2230 Magic players signed up for GP New Jersey. This GP will be the largest Legacy event of all time and I will be making the five hour drive from Boston to be there. The only thing is that I don’t have a Legacy deck.

I have had offers from well meaning friends offering to lend me their decks but I have declined all of them. It’s not that I don’t want to play Burn or Manaless Dredge (but for the record I would never play either of these decks), no I’m excited to go to the GP and not have the stress of playing in the main event. No obsessing over the 7-2 record, agonizing over a draw, or navigating the oceans of people between the pairings board and my seat.  If you’re wondering what my plans are for the weekend, here they are, a brief and non-definitive guide for the non-Legacy player at GP New Jersey.

The Artist Galleries

I’m not sure when I became interested in Magic art. It seemed like one day I was playing Opalescence and thinking only of the ensuing rules clusterfuck I was about to unleash on my EDH group and then the next I was admiring the art. John Avon really captured the metamorphosis of an enchantment, a bodiless notion, into a physical being. These iridescent figures are the physical embodiment of a concept, they are literally taking human form in the art box. Before your Illusions of Grandeur may have just gained you life, but here it is growing arms and legs to walk across the board and punch your opponent in the face. Beautiful.



Anyway, Opalescence provides a pretty good segue into talking about the artist behind the milky figures: John Avon. John “The Whole Motherfucking Show” Avon will be flying across the Atlantic so he can sign cards and peddle off prints. This is a big deal because, it’s not really something John Avon does. No, he mostly just quietly sits in his Saltdean home and creates the most iconic Magic: The Gathering lands of all time. I’m hoping to finally pick up a set of the Unhinged lands lithographs if he has them for sale as they are some of the only Magic the Gathering prints that my muggle roommates won’t scoff at me hanging in the the living room.



Aside from John Avon, there will be a bunch of really excellent artists signing things, selling things, and perhaps even taking commissions. After finding the list of artists, I did a gatherer search to find some of the cards I needed to put aside to get signed.

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After doing this for each artist, I put all the cards into a spreadsheet so I wouldn’t forget to pack them for this weekend.

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The Vendors

A while back I wrote an article about buylisting large quantities of low value cards between $.05-$.20. The process of finding cards, typing them into a buylist, sorting them, packaging them, sending them off, and waiting for payment is time intensive and involves spending your own money in order to package and ship the cards. Selling cards at a GP eliminates the expense of packaging and mailing the cards as well as the time spent waiting for the vendor to grade your cards and send you back money.

Furthermore, there will be 20 vendors at GP New Jersey. That’s 20 separate places to sell and buy cards. My plan for the GP is to pick up a buylist from each of the vendors (most will have print-outs reflecting their most recent on-site buy prices) and maximize the value of selling some of my more valuable singles. But since I’m mostly looking to get rid of smaller stuff, I’ll be emailing a few of the vendors beforehand and seeing what I can get on bulk rares and a list of specific commons and uncommons that tend to sell for above bulk prices. The concept that I can eliminate the overhead cost of shipping a reasonably large quantity of cards is attractive on many levels for a perpetually broke guy like me.

Aside from selling stuff, I have a list of cards I’m looking to pick up for various EDH decks I’m building. Most of these cards aren’t super high priority, hence why I haven’t ordered them online, but if I can find them for the right price, or with a trade-in bonus after selling off some junk, I’ll pick them up. Once again, there are no shipping costs here and you should be able to find just about anything, especially harder to find foils, so go ahead and treat yourself.

The Side-Events

Starcity released most of the side-events for the GP and they are awesome. On Friday, they will be running thee $20 sealed spectaculars. You pay $20 and get six packs, an 80 pack of Brainstorm sleeves, and an alternate art Standstill. This is an insane deal without even considering the fact that the prize support is also very good. Two wins is good enough for six packs and if you manage to 4-0 you take a cool fifteen packs of Khans with you. While I unfortunately won’t be there for Friday, I’m still amped on the fact that they will be running Two-Headed Giant sealed. I don’t get very many chances to play Two-Headed Giant but I relish every chance I do. What could be better than a format where it is always correct to draw, you get a free mulligan, and get to play on a team with a close friend? If you said something with planechase or archenemy, you are a madman and we don’t like to play the same kind of Magic.

Other than 2HG, Starcity will be offering up Standard, Modern, Sealed, and Vintage. Yup, if you happen to have a Vintage deck laying around sans proxies then this is a great opportunity for you to bust that baby out and shuffle it very carefully knowing its contents cost more than your car.

New Jersey

Lastly, not only does this GP have an amazing array of Magic artists, 20+ vendors, and a veritable shit-ton of side events but it will be held in lovely New Jersey. That’s right if you’ve ever wanted to drive through a hellish underworld of smog producing smokestacks without having to ever leave the highway, this is the place for you. If you’ve never gotten to experience the sulfuric smell of rotten eggs and ozone destruction, you are seriously in for a treat.

Ok, but seriously, everyone in the US shits on New Jersey. After getting off the highway, you just might find that that Garden State is not meant to be an ironic name and that Jersey can actually be kind of…nice. There is only one way to find out whether NJ is the armpit of the US, or whether other states are talking shit to make their equally dismal landmass seem not quite as bad. I’m looking at you Connecticut.

I digress, even if you don’t play Legacy, GP New Jersey has a lot going on to appease just about every kind of Magic player. For the first time in a while, I’m excited to make a 10+ hour commute and not even play in the main event.

PS- If you want me to sign your cat tokens I totally will.


At age 15, while standing in a record store with his high school bandmates, Shawn Massak made the uncool decision to spend the last of his money on a 7th edition starter deck (the one with foil Thorn Elemental). Since that fateful day 11 years ago, Shawn has decorated rooms of his apartment with MTG posters, cosplayed as Jace, the Mindsculptor, and competes with LSV for the record of most islands played (lifetime). When he’s not playing Magic, Shawn works as a job coach for people with disabilities and plays guitar in an indie-pop band.

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