How to Obtain Cards On a Budget

NOTE: Although the original intent of this article was meant to help Cardfight!! Vanguard players when it was written, the concepts described in this article can be applied to any card game.

These are more tips than rules, but I found these tips useful if I am trying to save some money on building Cardfight!! Vanguard decks.

  • Promos are your friends. – If you participate in official local Bushiroad tournaments, there are typically free promotional cards that are given to players for participating. This can be good, since building your collection can build possible trades or can help you build certain decks. Plus, nothing really beats free cards when you are starting the game.
  • Pulling booster packs is inefficient. – There is nothing wrong with buying packs, but you spend more money trying to get to your deck builds by collecting cards this way. Even if you pull a pack with the cards you wanted, you are left with cards that you potentially don’t need or want. In short, it is easier to buy a play set of four single cards for around $1 than trying to pull them from several packs, which could be running for around $3.25 – $3.75 each.
  • Buy singles in bulk for your clan off eBay. – If you know what clan you are playing, and you just need to build up a collection of singles to start building for the best value to the dollar, this is the best way to do it. Instead of buying certain singles off eBay in a play set for $0.25, you can get common singles in the bulk buys for around $0.07 – $0.10 each.
  • Test your decks before buying cards. – Proxying decks are the best way to test out decks without buying the cards outright. To proxy a deck, one would either use paper cutouts in card sleeves (assuming the deck is sleeved) or use stand in cards that will symbolize the card or cards you want to test out. This method of testing how certain cards play in certain decks is good for either currently printed cards or cards not officially in the United States yet. One note: you cannot run proxied decks in official Cardfight!! Vanguard tournaments, since you can have only officially printed cards in official tournaments.
  • Research single card prices before buying or trading cards. – This is mainly to ensure the best deals and have the best information so you can best trades. Not much to explain here.
  • Trade for cards from friends or other people before you consider trading with card shops. – Card shops that sell Cardfight!! Vanguard singles are a good way for building up a collection, but they only take cards in for half their value when you trade in card singles to them. I found that trades with friends or acquaintances typically allows you to trade dollar for dollar in value.
  • Look for value indicators in decks. – “Value indicators” are typically types of cards that can determine how expensive it could be to build a certain deck. From personal experience, it seems that good value indicators in Cardfight!! Vanguard are Strides, perfect guard, or grade 3 bosses.
  • Cheating people out of cards in trades or purchases is never a good decision. – This tip is made for a twofold reason. First, it’s not right to lie and underhand people. Secondly, gaining a reputation as someone who lies to get cards will hurt your chances of getting certain trades that certain players might have. To elaborate, you want to get your cards for the best value. With this in mind, sometimes people are willing to trade down or up in value for certain cards. It is okay to move from the initial market value on trades that you try to make, as long as both of you know the values for the cards being traded before the trade is made.

Did you find these tips helpful? Are there any tips you would give as a budget player? Please feel free to comment.

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