The Spirit of Giving
Hello Pucatraders, and welcome back to Fun Times with Adam. Today I will be taking a brief departure from our regular fun times to discuss the spirit of giving or more specifically the spirit of give and let give on Pucatrade. Recently I have been fortunate enough to witness several wonderful acts of generosity in the Magic and Puca community and given the holiday season I wanted to take a moment to highlight those wonderful things.
Two weeks ago my playgroup got together for our annual holiday chaos draft. I always try to pick a theme with my packs and this year I brought Modern Masters 2013, 2015, and Eternal Masters. It was a friendly draft so we openly talked about how our pools were going, and everyone had a great time making fun of me in pack two after finding out I was the only person who didn’t open an on color rare. Technically the Karn Liberated I pulled from my final pack and used to win the tournament was colorless so I guess they were right.
After the draft as we poured through each others binders and flipped through pages of “notable” rares like Ruby Leech and Personal Sanctuary, when the idea was thrown around to do a reject rare draft. Every player would donate 45 rares from their binder and you got to keep whatever cards you drafted. Unfortunately not everyone had their trade binders with them, and one player in particular, we’ll call him “Tiny Tim” was new to magic and didn’t have enough rares to chip in, but that didn’t stop us. I flipped through my binder and started pulling out cards, at first it was just bottom of the bin rares, but eventually I began to include playable rares as well, ones that I’ve never played with, but might find a happy home in someone else's deck. I ended up building a white black control deck with 4 board wipes and The Rack, which was very potent in a format where most players curves started at the 3 drop slot. The holiday party was a success, and everyone was in high spirits by the end of the night except for Tiny Tim, who being the newest player didn’t win a game in either draft.
Looking down at my sweet draft deck I realized that my pile of End Hostilities would never replace my Wrath of God, but for Tiny Tim they might be the first step in making his first control deck. So I took all of my rares and handed them over to Tiny Tim and I thanked him for coming out to play against more experienced competition. Everyone agreed that Tiny Tim did an admirable job and that we literally couldn’t have drafted without him, until one by one all of the other players passed him their rares as well. All of us felt great knowing that those cards like Reality Smasher and Managorger Hydra were going into new decks that we’d have the pleasure of playing against next time we saw him, and on that day we all got to experience the idea of give and let give. Beyond this personal testament to the power of give and let give I am writing this article because I want to highlight that same spirit that is thriving in the Puca community today.
When I first joined Pucatrade, the community and sense of giving was the first thing that struck me. Countless times I was taken back by the generosity and thoughtfulness of other users. Before we could rate the quality of cards several users reached out to me when they had a card on my want list in less than mint condition. I reassured them that I wanted to use my cards and a little wear was no issue but time and time again users insisted on going the extra mile to make me satisfied. Regularly users would reimburse me a few PP or include a smaller card on my want list for free. I even had one user reach out to me with an MP Jace, the Mind Scupltor. He said he needed full points for the card so that he could afford a Scalding Tarn. He was so grateful when I told him I would be happy to pay full value, that he went back to an old article of mine, found my cube and sent me 3 promo versions of cards I had in my list. I was so taken back by his generosity, that those cards have earned permanent spot in my cube ever since.
In recent months, Pucatrade has gone through many changes, the launch of Future Site, the ability to send packages and sealed product, and shortly we will have promoted trades. There are always bumps in the road as changes occur and many people simply choose to get off instead of waiting for the road to clear. Fortunately the fine people at Puca HQ have been working tireless to clear this road and make Pucatrade a smooth system once again, and many users, myself included, have decided to stick it out and see where this road takes us. Briefly I want to share why I am confident that the spirit of give and let give is not gone from Pucatrade, and why I believe that every day the community continues to grow and get better.
At the bottom of this article is a link to the Pucatrade Discord page, in the past I would only visit it to respond to questions on articles I’ve posted, but a few days ago I decided to see what else it had to offer, and I wish I had done so sooner. After chatting with a user in the cube section for awhile about balancing their list, my eye was caught by the discord-santa tab. Apparently users Strictly Santa and Beana Head Elf had taken it upon themselves to organize a secret santa for anyone on Pucatrade who was interested. As I scanned back through older posts it was truly incredible to see the level of excitement people had about the idea and how most users decided to send packages well above the proposed 500pp minimum. Sadly I missed the deadline to join in the fun, but here's hoping they organize a “christmas in july" secret santa as well.
After reading through some of the more recent comments I found my way over to the trades-paper section and this is when I was truly shocked by what I saw. I happened to jump in at a particularly active moment where everyone in the chat was playing a game called “What’s your oldest want?” Everyone posted the card that had been on their want list for the longest time and within seconds other users jumped in to say, “I have one, sending it your way.” Without hesitation trades were flowing freely, and every time someone posted their want list, multiple users jumped on it to the point where their send button was greyed out for the next 20 minutes. If that wasn’t enough I consistently saw people post things like, “I’ve run out of points and need to send more cards, someone post their want list please” or “I’ve sent 2 of my 4 daily trades, I need to send two more before I’ll log off.” My favorite post was when someone found a new user on the general section and linked his want list with the comment, “He’s only got 1,000pp and a full want list, let’s zero him out.”
In moments, I was taken back to my first few weeks on Pucatrade, and it wasn’t long before I was pouring through my trade binder and taking apart old EDH decks to help clear out people's want lists as well. Like my experience with Tiny Tim it felt great to give a card to someone who actually wanted it, and knowing that for the cost of a stamp I could make someone's days better. While I have never stopped believing in the viability of Pucatrade I can tell you that the overwhelmingly positive experience I had on trades-paper has reinvigorated my faith in the community. If you need a reminder of what makes this site great, I implore you to head over there, post your want list and see if you can help someone clear theirs out.
I would like to say one final thing before I wrap this article up, I don’t work for PucaHQ and when I’m not writing about fun times with magic, I am applying my Masters degree in conflict resolution as a mediator and conflict coach who to helps people emerge from difficult situations successfully. I would like to end this article with one parting message to all of those who are still questioning their belief in Pucatrade. In my professional opinion, there are three fundamental things required to collaboratively resolve any problem, creativity, effort, and patience. The folks at PucaHQ have worked relentlessly to adjust the economy of Pucatrade and they have done so with the collaboration of users like you and me. Their answers have been creative and have proved to be effective, but it requires more than that to succeed. It requires the continued effort of its users to send trades, and the patience to give Pucatrade the time it needs to return to its former glory. Which is why I am personally promising to keep doing my part and start by sending out the Karn Liberated I opened from my holiday draft. In my next article I promise to return to our regularly scheduled fun, and in the meantime, as always, I hope you continue to have more fun times.
Give and Let Give