MTG head designer Mark Rosewater sparked debate recently, by advising MTG fans who “take a break” from the game not to sell their cards. “There is nothing wrong with taking a break, but the majority of players return, and their greatest regret is having gotten rid of their cards,” he wrote on his Blogatog blog on Saturday
Like most things Magic: The Gathering’s head designer says, this led to much discussion of the topic on social media. There were plenty of fans on Reddit swapping horror stories, like MTG_Safari who sold their Dual Lands both times they quit “a playset of each the second time – for $40 a piece”. These MTG Lands are worth $200 and up now, thanks to their place on the Reserved List.
“100% agree,” said Street-Prune6673. “My friend sold his cards, including pieces power and a full playset of duals, when he quit in 1998, and he still regrets it to this day and never built his collection back up.”
Logicalkitten added that they “learned their lesson” when they gave away all their Pokémon cards as a teenager, while several players who took a hiatus said they were happy to have kept all their cards while they took time off.
That said, there was a decent amount of cynicism and pushback to the statement as well (colour us shocked). Many fans pointed out that Mark Rosewater has an obvious reason for bias, and there was much back and forth about whether cards retain their value the way they used to. On Twitter, MTG Goldfish content manager Saffron Olive said “in the current era of Secret Lairs, the list, reprints & power creep I’m not sure it’s still correct”.
On Reddit, another fan, cbslinger, pointed out that as Magic players ourselves, “we’re much more likely to encounter Magic players who have quit and returned than we are to encounter those who have happily quit and never returned.”
“So we’re more exposed to a certain kind of story, not to the stories of those who are happily retired from the game.”
A popular piece of advice was to do like Marie Kondo – only keep the cards that spark joy. “I got rid of 80% of my cards and held onto the cards that bring me happiness, even after not playing for over a year and it felt great,” said user weathered_leaves.