Bots will be your best bet to find big chunks of the cards you need. This is especially true if you can't afford to buy the deck all at once; bots let you store credit so you don't lose out on change here and there as you buy your deck.
I found a lot of value in human sellers for specific cards, though. When I needed Therapies, I found someone looking to dump 4 for a bit under the bots' sell prices and shaved a few bucks off my total like that; same with Bloodghasts.
Overall, I'd check for human sellers for the priciest stuff in case you can get a deal from someone who just wants to unload a set of whatever. The rest you can get from bots and get a decent deal if you shop around.
One note: I've always used mtgotraders website to price stuff out ahead of time, but then when I go to buy cards I find most bots are a few percentage points beneath that. In some cases, its more like 50 percentage points lower. Your mileage may vary depending on what you're buying.
@Eternally_Blue Hi, Cardhoarder have really good Vintage Beginers Guide : https://www.cardhoarder.com/mtgo-vintage-guide , and you can chek theirs other guides regarding mtgo client itself. You can also check series of articles on MtgGoldfish by Joe Fiorini (@Islandswamp) called Vintage:101 http://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/search?tag=vintage+101 .It is more than helpful for new player. Hope this help.
Don't forget that if you're buying into the format from no collection, a lot of the online vendors (like mtgotraders) offer a discount for buying cards with a credit card/paypal instead of tickets. On MTGOTraders you can use promo code
DARKESTPAYPAL ( I believe this is streamer Michael Jacob's promo code), for something like 10% off orders? At that discount bots are competitive with or better than many human traders for prices.
If you've never used mtgotraders before, the process is simple:
- Have a magic online account before you buy, and be at your computer, logged into MTGO before you actually make a purchase.
- shop on the website itself (mtgotraders.com), put the items in your cart on site, just like shopping at SCG/Amazon,
- when you check out, it'll ask you for delivery options, put in your MTGO username, and select automated delivery
- within a few minutes, a bot from the site will initiate a trade with you (this is why you want to be online before you order), and you can just take the cards from them
When I bought into MTGO, I got my power and duals from Goatbots.com, because their prices were a little better - but mtgotraders is about as convenient as it gets.
I've been researching prices and platform over the last few months, as I am also on the threshold of buying into Vintage MTGO.
I also strongly endorse mtgotraders. I have used the coupon code "numotpaypal" (without quotes) for the same discount, which I believe is 8%. Note that the discount is available only if you are paying cash via paypal (versus with mtgo event tickets). Right now, the mtgotraders "sell" price for black lotus, with the discount, is $133.11. That is actually slightly less then their advertised "buy" price in tickets(!), and is lower than the price price listed on cardhoarder, cardnexus, dojotradebots, or GoatBots (cardhoarders was the second lowest, with a cash price of $136).
If you haven't bought cards from one of these sites, the way it works is you complete the transaction on their website via paypal, with your mtgo account open. You give them you mtgo user name, and their bot initiates the trade within the game. It is surprisingly fast and easy. If you want to do a test run, you can buy a low value card to see how it works.
Note that their mtgotraders does not have the best prices if you are paying in tickets, whether you initiate their transaction with their tradebots or on mtgo. For that, I've found cardnexus, goatbots, or dojotradebots seems to be best. But I haven't yet won enough tickets for that to be an issue for me Also, cardhoarders and mtgotraders have larger selections, and are more likely to have what you need.
You can find deals from individual users if you are patient, but the MTGO trading platform and makes it hard for individual users to find each other among the sea of bots. And you'll never pay less for a card than the advertised buy price of the major websites, so there isn't a whole lot of value to be saved, especially for premium cards that have a relatively thin buy/sell margins.
Good luck, and hope to see you on MTGO soon!
MTGOTraders is the SCG of MTGO and I mean that in a good way. They have every card you can imagine. Their service is good. But you pay a bit of a premium for that. I use them for everything except cards that I get from...
GoatBots is my go-to for anything recent. They started up right around Vintage Masters so they have all the power and duals, as well as any sets released in Standard since then. Most of their prices are around 10% below MTGOTraders. However, they only take tickets.* This means that you have to go buy tickets but you'd have to do that anyway. If you're buying tickets anywhere other than the MTGO store, you're getting a small discount there as well.
tl;dr: Buy VMA stuff from GoatBots; everything else from MTGOTraders
* I haven't done this but I'm told if you email them about a large purchase, they'll take PayPal for store credit.
Thank you all for the help. I will likely be using the Paypal option as I am new to MTGO as well and hence no tickets. I have logged in before and played casual games to get used to the interface. I will have to transfer the funds over and will join the Vintage MTGO community soon.