Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

I have my cards sorted by Set+Rarity and then Alphabetical within that. I also have a file on my computer that lists them all.

Yes, yes, I am crazily anal or whatever. That's not what this is about.

When a card is in more than one set I have the rather strange system of putting the card in the first set where *I* saw it. So Oblivion Ring is in Shards of Alara and Overgrown Tomb is in Return to Ravnica. However I have acquired a bunch of cards from sets before I was playing (I basically have 4 of everything in Future Sight and Lorwyn-Shadowmoor block for some reason).

Looking at a pile of Modern Masters cards I want to file away (most of which were new to me in MMA, but which I have copies of under Lorwyn or Future Sight or whatever) made me wonder ... why don't I just keep them all in alphabetical order? Who gives a fuck what set Lingering Souls was in or where I first encountered Shrivel ... they should just be in a specific place to make finding them easy.

Before I undo many man-hours of work by mixing commons and uncommons and all sets together (I'll probably keep the rares separate whatever I do as they are still approximately portable and I took them all to the US last time I went) ... can any of you think of a reason why I might want these many thousands of cards sorted by set?

Anyone got a better system that isn't "throw them in a shoebox and search for hours for the fourth Ponder"? (Particularly interested in anecdotes like "I chuck all commons and buy them when I need them ... only spent 11 GBP in the last five years".)

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Mine is - rates and mythics (all of them) separate to commons and unc's (only tournament relevant or valuable).
Each of those is sorted by block and colour. I try, though not hard, to put cards in their most recently printed slot. I am trying to minimise sorting/searchng time, which includes prepping boxes to take abroad when I need to minimise weight.
Sorting by alphabet takes a long time but doesn't save much because looking through cards is quick

I got rid of a load of my c/u, basically because there are only a small range of decks I will play in e.g. Modern, so there isn't much point in owning cards for other decks.

However if you want to keep them all, I think block and then colour is enough, assuming your rares/premium c/u are kept separately in a  binder. Searching through 30 cards to find a playset of cavern thoctar on a few occasions is surely better than spending hours/days getting everything alphabetised.

You could also do what I used to do, which is keep *everything* currently in standard, then when a block rotates out, keep only the cards I think I will play in Modern, move these to another box, and sell the rest. I rarely ended up needing to buy more cards, and even when I did, I think I spent less than I got for all the bulk I sold.

When I moved house recently I went on a mass purge and chucked basically any common or uncommon that I knew wasn't a constructed staple. I haven't had to buy anything back yet, but then I barely play much constructed.

With regards to actual card sorting and storage, I currently have everything from Onslaught onwards in binders by block in card # order. Older cards are stored by colour/format/shoe box.

My plan is to overhaul this and store everything in long boxes by colour and then alphabetically, irrespective of rarity. I probably need to purge even more to make this an efficient solution.

I think Russ recently did a big purge/cleanup of his collection and just reduced anything to a single copy, unless it was a surefire constructed card.

Binders are the enemy. They cost more, weigh more and slow everything down.
They might be great for women, but not for cards.

Yeah, at 500 cards binders were cool but at 23,536 cards binders suck. They went in favor of big boxes a while ago.

I make sure to grab an empty booster box or two for each set.  To start with I just dump all of the commons and uncommons in there till I've filled a couple of boxes.  Then I go through and find 4 of each and keep them in one of the boxes, the rest go to mike.  I have them all lined up on a shelf!  Rares just go straight into a for keeps or trades folder.  Given the only thing I'm really interested in these days is foils for cube or Enchantress cards, not much goes into the keeps folder!

Yup, I basically kept all of anything that was plausible to be played in any format, ever (so things that have unique effects etc. stayed, but all the draft "staples" got chucked) and everything else got reduced to a one-of or none-of depending how likely I felt it was that I'd build a crappy EDH deck with a theme that suited the card. Turns out the answer to that question is "quite likely, for most cards, ever".

In other news, my card sorting goes by set, colour, alphabetical (no distinction made for rarity) but I think set, rarity, alphabetical is equally useful.

I had never considered simply alphabetise EVERYTHING but suddenly it seems quite appealing - apart from having to move everything regularly between box boundaries when new sets need to be incorporated into old, full boxes...

Simon O'Keeffe said:

I think Russ recently did a big purge/cleanup of his collection and just reduced anything to a single copy, unless it was a surefire constructed card.

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