It’s Labor Day here in the States, so today we’re going to keep things nice and short. Here are all the Theros spoilers from PAX Prime this weekend. With that out of the way, I want to talk about one spoiler in particular: Thoughtseize. This may have been the most expected spoiler in the history of the game. It’s been three months since Modern Masters was released. At that time we were all floored that Thoughtseize and Mutavault were not part of that set. Both cards are staples of the Modern format and actually see plenty of play in Legacy as well. So what gives?

Now we know. Mutavault was reprinted in Magic 2014 and Thoughtseize will be reprinted in Theros in a few weeks. So, if you’ve been holding onto your Thoughtseizes from Lorwyn, there goes all their value. Mutavault was trading at a median value of roughly $30 back in April. Once it was absent from Modern Masters and subsequently spoiled into Magic 2014 it fell to $15 where it still holds today. Thoughtseize’s median value was around $60 back in April. Since being spoiled the prices have begun to drop rapidly, and the lowest prices on TCGPlayer are around $35. It seems likely, if Mutavault is any indication, that $30 could be the stable future value for Thoughtseize.

The caveat in value, compared to cards like Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant, is that Mutavault and Thoughtseize are being reprinted at rare, instead of mythic rare. This means a much larger distribution, especially in large sets like the core set and fall block. Collectors should be grateful that they are only losing 50% of their value. Shocklands ended up losing a similar amount as a result of Return to Ravnica block. Had either been reprinted as a mythic rare, its value would have help up better.

For players this is a boon. They will finally be able to acquire a format staple that hasn’t seen print in nearly 6 years. More importantly, it isn’t in a short-print set like Modern Masters, and it won’t be at short-print rarity. Wizards has committed to making Modern a more accessible format, and the reprinting of Thoughtseize as a rare is only the latest in a series of decisions along that line. There will likely be more reprints like this in the future, and a Modern Masters 2 seems inevitable in order to bring cards like Scalding Tarn back to the masses. Collectors may be worried about things like this, but if From the Vault and the GenCon black-frame promos are any indication, Wizards knows how to take care of the average player and the hardcore collector alike.

The Quick Hits

  • If you haven’t read it yet, pour yourself a nice cup of your favorite beverage and check out Mark Rosewater’s State of Design column for this year. [Making Magic]
  • John Dale Beety took a look at the application of “High Concept” design over four recent planes of existence. Keep this stuff in mind as Theros continues to get spoiled. [StarCity Games]
  • Ethan Fleischer discusses the design of a Cube full of unpopular cards. This isn’t really a new idea, but it’s nice to see it gaining some traction. [Daily MTG]
  • LegitMTG may be under new management, but they’re still putting out quality content. This week Wen Fu talks about the different sort of Magic players that make up our community. [LegitMTG]
  • Sometimes MTG Finance gets a bad rap. Jason Alt addresses some of these concerns in his weekly column. [Quiet Speculation]
  • Magic player and podcaster Matthew Beverly was the subject of this week’s spotlight courtesy of Heather Lafferty. Fun fact: He likes Tekken. [Gamer Boy, Gamer Girl]
  • The second part of the Planeswalker’s Guide to Theros was released this week. It’s a must-read for all Vorthoses. [DailyMTG]
  • Say hi to the latest Judge Promos: Genesis and Vindicate. The Orzhov-themed artwork on Vindicate is magnificent. [Magic Arcana]
  • Sheldon Menery is working on a new variant of Commander. If you like experimenting… with your card games that is… give it a try. [StarCity Games]
  • Here is Mike Linneman’s application to work for the branding department at Wizards. I guess. Or he’s just giving ideas away for free? [Gathering Magic]
  • What we were missing was an in-depth review of the depiction of death in Magic, courtesy MJ Scott. [Gathering Magic]
  • Add this piece, by Max Sjoblom, to the list of articles about fixing MTGO. This has been going on for ten years now. Get over it people. [Gathering Magic]
  • Our very own Tip Akpinar discusses how to build up your very own Legacy community! Just add dual lands. [Hope Eternal]
  • If you play Duals of the Planeswalkers 2014, you’ll be happy to know that an expansion was announced at PAX Prime. [Magic Arcana]
  • Somehow the stacked team of former pros representing Wizards lost another Community Cup. Not sure how, or why, really. [Gathering Magic]

Wallpaper of the Week

This week we got the Modern Masters newly commissioned art for Akroma’s Vengeance and it makes for a sweet wallpaper. It’s got great art. It’s got action. It’s got the right off-centered focus. It’s really everything you ask for in a wallpaper, with a very bright tone. This one’s a keeper.

Grade: A

The Week Ahead

Magic 2014 Celebration is happening this Saturday, so if you want some free M14 booster packs you should head to your local gaming store. Also, Football season opens up this weekend. Magic Celebration Saturday followed by Football Sunday? Ah, it’s finally September.

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. The goal is to take some of the events and articles polluting the Magic world, strip out the chaff (tournament reports, game theory, economics) and give you our superior opinion. Complaints are encouraged.

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