There’s this myth that Magic was conceived in innocence. Garfield didn’t think anyone would spend more than $30 etc.

But Peter Adkison danced in the parking lot when he heard the idea. It wasn’t Garfield printing the very first edition on counterfeit proof cardstock, rushing out new cards rather than meeting demand for the early sets, taking away the Power 9 after less than a year. They knew they had a gold mine and the game was engineered to be an overpriced collectible from day zero.


Starting in 1994 was so frustrating. The marketing material then was Black Lotus, Chaos Orb, and Juzam Djinn. The coolest cards were in Arabian Nights (nonexistent) and Legends (already over $10 a pack) when all you could find was Fallen Empires.

They could have made more immediate money printing Legends to demand rather than rushing out Fallen Empires. But sales alone weren’t the point. The cards were supposed to be expensive and hard to find. That’s always been the business model.


Players were frustrated so they put out an awesome set, their best product of 1995, Chronicles. It didn’t have Juzam or Lotus, but it had a lot of good stuff from the sets you couldn’t get. But it upset their true customers (stores sitting on reserve stock or expensive singles) so they declared it a mistake and created the Reserve List.

The RL is never going away. Whatever they could get selling Loot Drop dual lands wouldn’t be worth the loss in confidence from large singles vendors.



Anyway, you should absolutely counterfeit. I’m Highly Invested. I’ve been playing since Revised and started EDH in 2012. I got my Mana Crypt by mailing in the coupon in the back of the novel. Etc. etc. But I don’t care. Go ahead and hurt my collection’s value. The powerful cards are fun and everyone should have access to them. Just mark the backs so they don’t accidentally enter circulation and rip people off down the line.

/r/bootlegmtg has info.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Welcome to, a movie-flavoured instance home to friendly video store chitchat and general bonhomie.