By Cecilia D'Anastasio
Infamous price gouger Martin Shkreli has found his next potential scheme, and it’s a little less glamorous than his shady pharmaceutical company: Magic: The Gathering. Shkreli posted on the MTG subreddit last night fishing for details about collecting rare Magic cards. He identifies as a “new and wealthy player” who collects “wine, art and other goods,” apparently unbroken by the reported $4.5 million in unpaid taxes he owed last February.
The MTG community is currently embroiled in a debate over Magic’s reserved list, a list of cards that publisher Wizards of the Coast says will never be reprinted. Collectors benefit from the increased value of these rare cards, driving up their prices and reselling them for a pretty penny. Players, on the other hand, are furious. Because these older cards are financially out-of-reach, certain decks using those cards are nearly impossible to craft. To many, it reads like extortion, something Shkreli, who drew controversy last year after he marked up the price of an AIDS drug by more than 5,000 percent, is intimately familiar with.
Shkreli’s interest in MTG’s reserved list cards, professedly the Black Lotus cards, reflects poorly on so-called “entrepreneurs” in the Magic community, according to Reddit commenters. Some that Shkreli’s curiosity will finally prove to Wizards that the Reserved List is against the spirit of the game.
This isn’t Shkreli’s first foray into competitive gaming as an investor. Last February, The Daily Dot reported that the pharmaceutical CEO owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to League of Legends players he hired to compete on his amateur team. His team, Ex Nihilo, did not quality for the League Champion Series.
When it comes to Magic, Shkreli said on Reddit that he plays “a little, but not competitively,” referring to MTG as “my game. Soon.”
“Please don’t make a big deal of this,” he added.
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