Martin Shkreli sets his sights on Magic: The Gathering
It started out on this MagicTCG subreddit and everyone thought it was a prank. Turns out,it was the real Martin Shkreli asking redditors for advice! He was interested on investing in Magic: The Gathering cards and more specifically the Reserved List. He calls himself “a collector of wine, art and other goods.” Specifically, he is eyeing the Power Nine of MTG such as the Black Lotus and the Moxen cards that redditors have brought to his attention. Having a rather infamous persona such as Martin Shkreli, a known price-gouger enter the Magic: The Gathering market would raise concern of the game’s community.
The Reserved List is a collection of cards that Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro have agreed to never reprint for the benefit of the early adopters and collectors of the card game to ensure that the cards on the list retain their rarity and their increasing value. Now there has been a lot of discussion regarding the present relevance of the Reserved List in today’s MTG market to keep the formats of Legacy and Vintage thriving as the list specifically affects players and collectors of these pricey formats.
While players of Standard, Modern, Pauper, EDH, etc. mostly remain unaffected, the Reserved List remains as an entity that can be taken advantage of with buy-outs that raise the market price by a significant amount. The buyer would then resell the cards for profit after an amount of time when the price would increase due to demand in popularity or scarcity because the Reserved List will not allow reprints. Recently, a buy-out of Moats and Lion’s Eye Diamonds has caught the community’s attention and the speculator in the video remarks on the inevitability that the prices will “organically increase in price over time.” What Berry is doing is not artificially raising the price like some speculators do but rather it expedites the inevitability of the price increasing, it just stands to show that the Reserved List is a broken system that was once a good move by Wizards at the time but no longer has the ability to maintain the health of the game and the loyalties of the players.
Speculation of card prices have been going on for a long time now and the fact remains that the Vintage and Legacy community have been lucky over the years that the system hasn’t escalated to the way it is being taken advantage of right now. With the game catching the attention of speculators from outside the community seeking to make a profit off of the MTG market, Wizards of the Coast needs to address that there may be something wrong with the Reserved List system.
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