Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

Magic: The Gathering» Forums » General

Subject: How do you organize this? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay I decided to get a bunch of cards to play with my students as they are often playing it in my boardgame group. I got a few lots off of ebay of various colors and rarities, and now have about 2000 cards. I know that isn't a lot in this game but it seems like a lot.

My question is, how do you organize your cards and what do you put them in? I got all of these lots to experiment with deck building which is what I am most interested in. I'm just not sure how I'm going to remember what I have or find it later.

Thanks

Jeff
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United States
Huntington Station
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
What I used to do is sort everything by color, then within each color I broke it down to a stack of all creatures and another stack of all non-creatures. My lady did something similar, but at this point she organized them alphabetically. Too much for me - instead, when it was obvious, I sorted them within each color by rarity (the ones I had few cards of were obviously rarer).

Organized by rarity helps here, since these are often key cards you want to find quickly - the bread-and-butter commons are on the other side of the stack. The more you play, sort, and organize, the more you'll find what works well for you.

I did the same with the artifacts: a stack or section of creatures, and another stack of non-creatures, and then sorted by rarity within each.

Finally there's the lands - sort by type, and keep separate any lands that have special abilities. Keep the special ability lands in one place/stack/section, sorted by type and rarity.

Oh, beyond this (you can go way beyond this) it can be useful to sort as above, and then also by set... For your small collection you won't need to go this far (small: you know, if you had one of each card ever created you'd have more than you do now).

I store the cards in cheap carboard boxes (found in comic stores and other places that sell magic cards), and use the plastic dividers that come in card sleeve packs to divide them; cutting carboard also works, or use empty starter boxes. I found it helpful to have some smallish plastic boxes (found in the same stores) to toss the cards into while sorting.

When this all gets out of hand is when you decide to stop with Magic. We petered down over a few years or so. Thankfully they changed the design of the card fronts - perfect excuse for us to stop completely.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JeremiahClayton wrote:
Artifacts
Black
Blue
Green
Red
White
Multi-Colored

I'd divide each section in alphabetical order.

I do te same, but I also sort by rarity - So you'll have all the rares subdivided as above, then uncommons, then commons. And I sort by set as well. The reason is beacuse it's relatively easy to know (or find out) what set, rarity, and color a card is, so you can go right to it.

I suppose strictly alphabetical by color would work just as well, but then it's hard to know what's legal in certain formats over time.

- Seth
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Those sound like good ideas.

What kind of container do you use?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
omnicrondelicious
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, it depends on how you play. One person's organizing method is specific to the formats they play, storage limits, completeness of their collection, and OCD tendencies. Here's mine:

3-Ring Binder for each block, subdivided by color, then type, then set, then alphabetical. For example, the Ostiary Thrull is in the Ravnica Block binder, under Black -> Creatures -> Guildpact.

The reason I do this is I play mostly standard and block constructed, so having binders by block is convenient. And obviously any deckbuilder wants their cards organized by color and type. The reason I also group by set is I know there are exactly 12 black creature cards in the Guildpact set thanks to the Gatherer . So I can set aside 12 slots in the card sleeves. That way if I get a new card, a space is already reserved for it and I don't have to shift over a bunch of cards to make room for it. This is really only useful if you have fairly complete sets - otherwise you're just leaving tons of empty space in your binders.

But really when it comes to deckbuilding, I've got into the habit of printing out cardlists from the wizards site and keeping a tally of cards owned on it. I build my deck from that list and then fetch the cards once I have a pretty good idea of the deck. With this method, how exactly your cards are organized becomes increasingly irrelevant just as long as you can find the card you want and keep an accurate tally.

.o.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Corban
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I had a huge collection spanning back to Unlimited. I quit and sold out when 8th edition was released.

I kept my cards in cardboard card boxes. First, I had them sorted by playable or non-playable. For example: Circle of Protection and Force of Nature are not playable, meaning they will never be used. They collect dust. The rest are playable, meaning exactly that: they are viable. Not necessarily used recently or on a regular basis, but usuable in general. I then had them sorted by color, then by creature or non-creature. There isn't really a need to sort by rarity or set if you are deck building.

I would say 3/5 of my collection were in the non-playable set. This saves a lot of time when deckbuilding.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Tavener
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
The overtext below is true.
badge
The overtext above is false.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Block --> Colour --> Set --> Alphabetical/collector number

When designing decks, I usually start at the tremendously useful gatherer.wizards.com, then I can go more or less straight to the cards once I have the first draft of the deck down. Set --> Colour may seem more sensible, but usually when you are building a deck, it's more useful to have all the cards of the appropriate colour(s) to hand.

I tried sorting the cards by type, but found it hard to keep track of whether certain cards were instants or sorceries.

I also use 3-ring binders; about 30 of them, at last count.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff King
United States
Annandale
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
I currently have mine in big card boxes. They are seperated rare/uncommon & commons, then by color and alphabetical. I don't play tournements so I don't bother with seperating block or expansion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Venton wrote:
I currently have mine in big card boxes. They are seperated rare/uncommon & commons, then by color and alphabetical. I don't play tournements so I don't bother with seperating block or expansion.


Yeah I don't think I'll be playing any tournaments, especially since most of the lots I got off of ebay I'm sure aren't tournament legal and I refuse to spend much more money on this.

Jeff
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Buel
United States
Hollywood
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I sort cards by set, but I wouldn't recommend that you do that. Your students will probably be using all of the cards. They won't care what sets the cards are from.

I would sort them by color and then in alphabetical order in each color.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Corban
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alphabetical? Sounds like... fun.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcel Douwstra
Netherlands
Utrecht
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I have my rares and foils in a binder (and cards that aren't rare but just somewhat expensive).

All other commons and uncommons are sorted by color and then by casting cost. This makes building a deck much easier for me. Easier to build your manacurve.

Cards that use several colored mana are seperated as being harder to cast.

For instance, a card which costs 1 green and 1 colorless to cast is easier to cast than 2 green (in general). So I order my cards accordingly.

I keep my commons and uncommons in a wooden crate but anything goes I suppoes. Something cardboard is allright too as long as you can keep the cards organized.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
omnicrondelicious
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Jeff, since I first replied to your post I've started messing around with a free program called Magic Suitcase (http://www.magicsuitcase.org) which might work well for you. It's a free card collection manager, deck-builder, deck-testing app. It's both powerful and clunky (ex. you can write your own SQL queries - yay! - but the price update tool requires you to massage the data a bit - boo!).

Store the physical cards however the heck you want as long as you can find 'em, since all your inventory and deck-building would be done through MS.

The value of MS is that you can build decks from the complete Magic catalogue, print proxies, and automatically compare your ideal decklists with your card collection to find out which cards you're missing and a rough estimate of how much they cost. It has some decent deck-testing capabilities too.

Unless you happened to buy some very cohesive sets on eBay, out of your 2000 cards I reckon you have lots of 1sies and 2sies, especially the better ones. That kills consistency and efficiency and therefore most decks. Being able to print out proxies or to discover that hey, it'd really only take $3.00 at the card shop to get those 6 crucial cards your missing to make some deck, is a really good thing if you are keen on exploring deckbuilding.

cheers,
.o.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ashton Eidolon
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Two and four slot cardboard boxes with toploader dividers and plastic card box 'follower blocks' (to keep a short row upright). I put new sets into a 4-slot for building standard format decks, often played cards in a 2-slot per color, and the rest in as many 2-slots as the color needs. Spells are seperated by type, critters by tribe (with many judgement calls), and the whole lot alphabetized. I find the sorting enjoyable and invariability come up with a few deck ideas while shuffling cards about.

Deck building usually starts with a mechanic or a couple of cards that would work well together, such as the Ink-Treader Nephilim (with built in radiate!) and the scry mechanic. So, out came the boxes for spells of the creature's colors looking for cantrips, scrys and other bits that looked interesting (and Radiate, of course) Then lay them out, line them up, see what will fit, round up a sideboard and give it a spin.

Oh, and a couple of 2-slots of half-built deck ideas.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.