Sunday, February 3, 2013

Experience With Limited Investment

It can be a daunting task starting a bot without a huge capital investment.  I started with one hundred tickets I had bought and put up well over half of my personal collection. Over the next few months I learned through trial and error what I could buy for, What I should sell for and what settings worked out best for me.

Narrowing Your Expectations

The first thing I learned is that with what I had I couldn’t expect to buy everything. I was allowing my bot to buy a play set of each rarity in all formats. This was not working for my bot. I was only able to buy a select few cards scattered across all the available sets. I composed all that I had learned from my first few months of operating and re-addressed where I wanted to go from there. 

Setting A Goal

My bot should have a clear purpose and I wanted people to come back to it knowing that it would deal in the formats and sets they were interested in. I reduced myself from buying everything to buying standard cards only. This allowed me to have a concise purpose that I could advertise on top of allowing me to buy and build my bots inventory with more direction. 

The Results

With no further investment the bot had bought up play sets of all the common, uncommon and most of the rare cards that were in the current standard rotation. I began accumulating a growing supply of tickets while maintaining my standard collection. I now had a self-sustaining bot.

Expanding The Business

This was the moment I was waiting for; I was no longer just spending. I was growing the value of my collection while maintain a supply of tickets to continue re-investing in the collection. I had done this by narrowing my focus on standard, but I wanted to expand. I used the profits I was making from standard to invest in modern. 

Setting New Goals

After this expansion into modern I am just now reaching another point where the bot is selling as much as it is buying and I have a surplus of tickets. Over the next few months I plan to expand further, perhaps turning my single bot into a chain of bots and of course will keep everyone updated on my experiences with this process.

Summary of Seven Months

I started my bot on 6/12/12 and today 1/29/13, approximately seven months later I have grown a collection of around three thousand cards to more than twenty-two thousand cards.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with you as I continue to grow and expand!


  1. try using Lite bots to refill your main bot.

  2. Many persons use the Lite bots to mass-purchase cards. Since Lite bots are cheaper than Pro.... you can place 3 or 4. Of course you won't buy the "best cards ever", but still...

  3. Commons and discount rares are easy enough to come by, lite or pro. What I was trying to convey here is that if you only have a small budget you may want to confine yourself to buying only a particular format so that you ensure a more consistent inventory. This makes you much more attractive to repeat customers. People are much more likely to come back to a full standard inventory rather than a peppered modern or even worse a scarce classic collection. A full set is worth more than a few incomplete sets and people remember when you don't have a solid inventory. I know I remember and expect little from these kinds of bots that try to do it all.

  4. the thing is, sometimes standard players want the PRM version of the card or so.

    Having a lite bot that buys everything at bulk prices (like 0.003-0.005 per common etc)would help having those cards aswell. (not to mention the occasional unhinged land or wasteland etc)

    not just slowly increases your "cheap" classic collection, it also RESTOCKS your Standard collection at LITE Prices, instead of having your mainbot buying a RTR Uncommon like Selesnya Charm at 0.060, you might (likely will) restock it from the Lite bot that bought it for 0.010 or so.

    The trick is, for example:

    Set the mainbot to buy up to 4 of each card,
    Set the Lite bot to buy up to 8 of each card

    Set the lite bot to REFILL the mainbot up to 8 of each card.

    That way the mainbot just buys up to 4 and has most of "lite" stuff up to 8, resulting in it not Restocking crap uncommons when u have 8 and sell 4 at pricelist price(0.060), getting the refill on the end of the day instead from the Lite bot (0.010)

    Hope it makes sense ( im too tired and didn't re-check what i typed)

    1. Hi x4dow.

      I'm fairly new to the bot scene in MTGO and would greatly appreciate any assistance/tips you can and/or are willing to give.

      I have about $150 to work with and I am a bit timid of how I should set everything.

      I have found a few things that I NEED to do, they are:

      1. Prevent the buying of any lands (I had a person, "JoeShmo5000", take me for a 13 ticket ride on 38 common lands (that were of course promos).
      2. Limit the buying of items to no more than 4 of each.

      I'm still trying to figure out the best way to setup my percentages (I understand the article, I'd just like an ideal base beginning) for both buying and selling.

      My ultimate goal is to build my bot into something that is self-sustaining and will (hopefully) help fund my love of playing.

      I most earnestly look forward to hearing your input and/or suggestions.


  5. I started with 20$, less than 2 years ago and have a 340.000 card collection worth about 15.000$ (cardsmtgo3 pricelist at 0%)