Florida Man Killed For His Magic:The Gathering Cards

The game has recently taken the local spotlight for a very dark reason: Sean Dugas, 30, one of the area’s most active players, was killed, according to police, by two Magic players who robbed him for his collection of cards.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/watercooler/article/280396/58/Friendship-money-greed-meet-in-fantasy-card-game-Magic

Clearly the only sensible thing to do here is ban Magic. It is obviously corrupting the minds of youths and driving them to murder!

Why the hell is Magic back? Pure nostalgia? It’s so expensive and not a very good game, mechanically speaking.

It never went away. They have been continually releasing cards and expansions all these years and its popularity has never really waned. It is still the most popular of the CCG’s, as far as I am aware.

Any Black Lotus, at least?

…now I feel bad.

I gave up on buying M:TG a long time ago, but I still end up playing occasionally with friends who are still into the game. It’s a gigantic money sink…the article says the dude’s cards were worth “between $25,000 and $100,000”, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his total expenditures were quite a bit higher.

Yeah, article says he had one.

Police estimated a Black Lotus card belonging to Dugas at $10,000.

Why is the Black Lotus worth that much money still? I thought it was no longer allowed for use in any official games. Is it just the rarity that’s driving the price now?

My favorite part of the article was at the end, where, based on my reading an article about M:TG, it suggested other articles I might enjoy:

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I thought there was still an old school tournament type where it, Moxen, etc… were legal.

But yeah, at this point I think it’s the rarity.

I sold most of my valuable cards long, long ago, and the last of my alpha/beta a few years back (a handful of “good” cards and a bunch of junk alpha/beta rares, uncommons, and commons/lands bought a fridge for our house when we moved in; I call that a good deal!)

I think at this point all I have left is one box of some set (which wasn’t what I thought it was) and the few complete sets I collected back when I was in college. I’ve tried to get back in a few times (the cost really isn’t that prohibitive at this point in my life) but the problem I have with all the CCGs (of which M:TG is probably the worst) is that so much of the game is in the “meta” game now and that’s a huge, huge time sink.

The only Magic I play is on my iPad, but as I understand it you can have a lot of fun just going to draft tourneys, where you make up your deck out of cards purchased on the spot. This format eliminates the “collectible” aspect, as well as much of the meta game stuff. It sounds like fun, I just don’t have the time*

  • and, at 34, I am concerned my opponents would all be teens and college kids.

It’s still legal in Vintage (and, of course, Casual), which is primarily a competition of “honor” at this point played by the handful of guys rich enough to be able to afford the $3000-$30000 decks needed to be competitive in it. Formats like Modern ($250-$1000) and Standard ($150-$500) are more reasonable for beginners thanks to some of the more absurd cards like true Dual Lands and Black Lotii being outlawed.

But yeah, the rarity is as much an issue as the power. Strictly speaking Time Walk is probably the better card given the hilarious number of options for free and even infinite mana on Turn 1 in Vintage, but Black Lotus just has that special something to it. Its iconic as well as wildly overpowered.


The game is still a lot of fun and I have tons of fun doing everything from Friday Night Magic official Drafts (3 packs for $15 entry fee, build deck by passing the contents of the pack around the table picking the card most useful to each time), Cube Drafts (Similar concept but the pool of cards is typically a pile of cheap, shitty, hilarious cards), and of course Casual play (whatever the hell you’ve got laying around the house with few, if any, rules).

I was a counselor at a summer camp for many years–academic/nerd camp with a large MtG playing population–and it was a ton of fun breaking out cards from my youth (early-to-mid 90s Weatherlight/Urzas/etc.) to see how they intercated with some of the new stuff.

I can’t really afford to draft right now, but over the years of drafting, buying boxes with friends, and buying collections of people quitting, I’ve amassed thousands of cards–most not astonishingly good or expensive–and I can build entertaining, funny, or even sometimes kind of okay decks pretty easily. I’ll never win a Pro Tour or anything, but it’s FUN, so hey, huzzah.

It’s sad to see a story like this because the game really should be about the fun, the competition, or both. Seeing it turned into a form of currency to be hoarded and lusted after is very sad, and seeing people sick enough to murder for it is even sadder :(

Right before the end of my Magic days, they released a set that was just re-releases of old cards (Chronicles?) My brother and I split a box of them, so I have a ton of cards from older sets, although I think it excluded most of the really powerful ones. They really ought to do something like that again.

I still have a large stack of cards from the game when it first came out. I’m pretty sure I have at least two Black Lotus in there. Should I invest in a safe deposit box and home defense weapons? Help!

Definitely gonna need a moat!

As this is merely the latest in a string of “Florida is crazy” threads spanning across the subforums (including bestiality, vigilant justice and assorted Darwin award worthy behavior), I would suggest that you get out of Florida ASAP.

Either that, or embrace the madness and become an alligator wrestler.

No, but you probably should have them evaluated by a reputable source and either sell them or take some measures to preserve them against further degradation from humidity/light/etc. Even a relatively messed up BL is worth a ton of money and the value’s been going steadily up for 20 years, so. . . yeah.

If you’ve got more than enough disposable income and no love for the cards, I’d be HAPPY to take the set off your hands to. . . play with. Yes. Play with.

I have a ton of old cards too, but no Black Lotii. Shivan Dragon’s worth $200??? What? I have several of those. But reading into it they have to be a specific edition or something? Ugh. Work.

I got into Magic right after all the rarest most expensive stuff (Alpha/Beta and the first couple of expansions), so I never had any of the good stuff that was pre-Revised & Dark. That said, I still had quite a bit of good cards from those sets as well as 4th Edition, Ice Age, Alliances, Chronicles, and a couple of the other expansions from the mid-90’s. I got out of the game when Wizards began the cycle of releasing a new edition every 18 months with expansions in between making it impossible to keep up for people who didn’t pour every penny they earned into buying cards. There was also a long run of “worthless” editions and expansions where the vast majority of the cards were reprints and shit cards, meaning there was no way you were going to recoup even 50% of your expense on those sets. Eventually I sold my most valuable cards on Ebay and the rest as a lot to a dealer at GenCon years later. I think I got lucky and probably made back about 60% of what I put into the collection, and that was only because there were several cards from Ice Age and Alliances that were crap when I was selling cards online but turned out to be popular years later when I sold the rest to the dealer. That bumped up the value of the box of “leftovers” by an extra $100 or more.

RICH, I would highly recommend preserving what cards you do have if you intend to keep them for posterity or later sale value. Alternatively, sell them now to a reputable buyer and invest the cash in a college fund for your son. =)

Beta Shivan’s Dragon sells for about $150 retail, so a dealer will probably give you around $100 for a mint one if you haggle hard.

Alpha/Beta cards are the expensive ones. A Shivan Dragon from Revised (the edition after Beta) only sells for $1 for example.