Cook’s Kitchen- Magic Money

by Bryant Cook


If a Genie granted me three wishes with no loopholes for more wishes or absurd amounts of money, I’d wish for….


  • Time Machine – preferably a DeLorean.
  • Peter’s original powers in Heroes.
  • Find the cure for Cancer or something else noble.



  • To marry Sarah Chalke.
  • Experience a Zombie apocalypse.
  • Own and manage the New York Metropolitans.

A DeLorean time machine would be the first wish for the following reason.  Everyone has wondered in their life what would’ve happened if X happened instead of Y. From career choices, women, to hobbies these decisions often come up, at least in my head. I would love to explore these alternate universes.


One of my biggest regrets is not stopping 18-year-old Bryant from selling most of his collection. I would punch that kid very hard today. I didn’t really drink in highschool, a couple of times I had a few, but once college started and it was more than twice a week my wallet felt much lighter. At the time I had around sixty-five to seventy dual lands, I had my forty then extras from tournament winnings. An extra set of Forces, tarmogoyfs, basically anything that was playable in Legacy, I had eight of them. More than likely some versions were foil or Japanese. By the end of my sophomore year, I had almost nothing besides my almost completely pimped out Storm deck. All for some memories and alcohol.


I would like to say, I’m not an alcoholic, and pretty much everyone drinks in college. However, I drink a considerable amount less now that I’m done with school. In fact, I drink once every two weeks if I’m lucky. That’s where I am in my life. But the point I’m getting at is I often compare the memories, stories, and the nights I probably don’t remember to the value of what an Underground Sea is worth. While I cherish a lot of my college memories, they probably weren’t worth the potential value of an Underground Sea or Tarmogoyf. What I should’ve done was take out an extra thousand dollars or two from the bank on my already outrageous loans. At the time I sold my Underground Seas for 30$ each and that was considered a steal – but it wasn’t in the long run.


Underground Sea in 2009 – 30$

Underground Sea in 2011 – 130$



Back when I started playing Magic in 2002 at the local gaming store in Syracuse, New York, the most expensive dual land in the store’s case was Underground Sea at $14.00. Fourteen dollars! Once more for emphasis: fourteen dollars! I remember very clearly people complaining about the price of them too. The cheapest dual land was Plateau at $6.00.  Intuition, however, was $35.00 and players couldn’t use store credit on that or Morphling. Morphling was at $25.00 and couldn’t be kept on the shelf. What the hell happened?


Magic: The Gathering is an investment, an investment in your future.


There’s the obvious things such as Magic stimulates the mind, expands thought, and helps with vocabulary. But there’s also the financial aspect.


Magic cards, mainly Legacy (Type 1.5) cards have always been raising in price since I started way back when. If twenty-two year old Bryant could hop into his DeLorean back to the point where he started when he was 12, he’d be dating his high school crush and would be loaded off of his Magic money.


What’s interesting to me is that we haven’t seen a peak for Magic: The Gathering prices yet. Older expensive cards are still on the rise with prices fluctuating in between Grand Prix. I’m currently rebuilding most of my collection slowly, I’m up to nineteen dual lands, I’m missing three blue duals, and then the rest of them are less relevant in my eyes. I’d like to own them eventually, but it’s not on the top of my priority list. The problem I’m having is because I’ve played for so long it’s tough for me to trade or buy Tundra or Underground Sea at the price they’re at. When I think of these cards, I think of my collection in its prime when those cards were twenty and twenty-five dollars.


The scariest thing for me is thinking about what an Underground Sea may be valued at in 2015-16. Will Legacy have collapsed by then? It’s something that I ponder about from time to time. At the rate of price increase, I imagine an Underground Sea will be about $220 by that time. The buy-in price for Legacy and Magic in general may be too high for people to afford the game. With prices that high, it’s hard to not take a page from Reel Big Fish’s book and Sell Out. Selling the Magic cards you’ve collected over the years may lead to a very nice beginning on a house, car, yours or your child’s education, etc. When then you’re left with 2020 Bryant, wanting to punch 2015 Bryant. It’s a rough conundrum.


I believe the best time to sell your Underground Seas or really your collection, is when you plan on giving up the game. Don’t do it before then, it’ll only lead to regrets and frustration.

Don’t ever look back.

Don’t check prices after.


If you’re looking for insight or anything useful past this point, hit the back button.


My second genie wish would be Peter from Heroes original powers – before they ruined him. It conflicts a bit with wish one, in the show he gets his power of being able to teleport/freeze time from Hiro. Later on in time Hiro realizes he can actually time travel. Peter never does though.


Here’s a list of what he could do (Stolen from HeroesWiki):


  • Precognitive dreaming from Angela Petrelli (Genesis)
  • Flight from Nathan Petrelli (Genesis)
  • Precognition from Isaac Mendez (Don’t Look Back)
  • Space-time manipulation from Hiro Nakamura (Collision)
  • Rapid cell regeneration from Claire Bennet (Homecoming)
  • Telepathy from Matt Parkman (Fallout)
  • Invisibility from Claude Rains (Godsend)
  • Telekinesis from Sylar (Unexpected)
  • Induced radioactivity from Ted Sprague (The Hard Part)
  • Enhanced strength from Niki Sanders (How to Stop an Exploding Man)
  • Phasing from D.L. Hawkins (Four Months Ago…)
  • Electric manipulation from Elle Bishop (Four Months Later…)
  • Pyrokinesis from Flint (I Am Become Death)
  • Intuitive aptitude from Gabriel Gray (I Am Become Death)
  • Super speed from an unknown source (I Am Become Death)


Alright, well I could’ve just asked to be a cooler superman. But this just seems more interesting. I don’t know if any of the remaining five people reading watched Heroes, but the worst part of the series is that Peter at his prime and Sylar in season one never had a crazy power fight. The viewers all wanted it, but it never happened. Disappointing.


My third wish would be to cure cancer or something else noble that actually benefits mankind. It’d be awfully selfish if I had these three amazing wishes and didn’t help out others some how. If I didn’t have a heart, my third wish would either to be to marry Sarah Chalke or for a Zombie Apocalypse. I can probably marry Sarah Chalke on my own. I mean she’s Canadian after all…


Meaning zombies! How great would it be to have Peter Petrelli’s powers with Zombies around? If I can’t have these powers from a genie, I’m really hoping some young up and coming screenwriter is reading this. Make this movie happen, I’ll watch it every day. My last wish would be to one day own the New York Mets.  Actually this is a bad idea. Never mind.


Sadly, I haven’t found that Genie yet or the car from Back to the Future. I’m stuck in almost 2012 with a lot of “What if?”.  The best advice I can give anyone is to not sell out unless Magic: the Gathering is no longer the game for you. The buy in price to Magic is much more expensive than it used to be four to five years ago. Make sure whatever the reason for selling off the collection will be worth it in the long run. A night at the bars with the guys may seem like fun, until years later when the tab of that night was $30.00 and what you got rid of was $120.00. Don’t trade away an investment for short-term pleasure. I can’t stress it enough.



Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!

Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook on MTGthesource


3 thoughts on “Cook’s Kitchen- Magic Money”

  1. Bryant, if you had Peter’s original powers, you would have no powers, because he mimicked the powers of those around him, and you would be the only one with powers.

  2. I am pretty sure he could then:

    1. Brew like Conley Woods
    2. Mise like Nassif
    3. Cheat like Bertoncini
    4. Play like LSV
    5. Sponge like Sacher
    6. Be a fanboy pied piper like Gerry T

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