This post matches up famous Magic: The Gathering cheaters with cats that happen to share some resemblance with them (at least according to my secret Google image search technology). Why, you ask? What do these Magical pariahs have to do with adorable four legged felines? Well according to some recent scienfitic studies, it turns out that cats are kind of jerks. They can recognize their owners voices but won’t respond to them, they seem to enjoy when people aren’t around, and they won’t hesitate to eat you if you happen to drop dead in your apartment. So it turns out cats are a lot like Magic cheaters: they are opportunistic, don’t care about the community, and both most likely have toxic feces.

So without further ado we’ll get started meow, I give you Magic cheaters and their cat doppelgangers. Just to avoid confusion, I’ll post the players to the left and their cat lookalikes to the right.


1. Mike Long
Mike LongLongCat

Our feline friend to the right is a real lap cat, and it turns out Mike Long is too. The year was 1998 and Mike Long was found to have dropped a Cadaverous Bloom in his lap so he could play it and combo his opponent out on the following turn. The judges at the time did the equivalent of misting water on an naughty cat by giving him a game loss for the infraction. A single game loss. He still finished second in the event which by today’s standards is a real cat-astrophe.

2. Alex Bertoncini

Alex BertonciniBertoncini Cat

Alex Bertoncini may be the most egregious cheater on this list, receiving multiple bans within his magic career. Currently he’s working through a 46 month ban for some shady brainstorming. Despite the multiple allegations of cheating, Bertoncini continued to smile and joke about casting “two explores”, something he found hiss-terical. Well, this cat is receiving just punishment for having a dirty lying mouth. It’s too bad they couldn’t do the same for Bertoncini.

3. Trevor Humphries

Trevor HumpriesHumpries Cat

Trevor Humphries was the first person caught by the shufflegate scandal. Humphries would stack his opponent’s deck by putting multiple non-land cards on top of his opponent’s library. While this worked out purr-fectly for Humphries, his opponents weren’t so lucky especially because they weren’t able to cats any spells from their deck. His cat doppelganger is also doing something shady, trying to sit like it’s a person when clearly it’s just a cat.

4. Jared Boettcher

Jared BoettcherBoettcher Cat

Jared Boettcher got his rookie of the year title revoked after he ran the same cheat as Humphries on camera at multiple Star City Opens. Boettcher may be smiling in this picture but I assure you he looked much more like his unhappy kitty doppelganger after receiving a four year ban. It really is too bad that we wasn’t banned fur-ever.

5. Olivier Ruel

Oliver RuelRuel Cat

It’s ironic that Ruel is holding the most quintessential “no” spell of all time considering he was DQ’ed from a tournament for telling a judge that, “No, I didn’t see my opponent’s cards.” This was at GP Brisbane in 2007 when Ruel’s opponent, a guy wearing highly reflective sunglasses, began to suspect that Ruel could see his hand. After calling a judge, it was determined that Ruel was looking at the reflection and he received the DQ for lion about it. It turns out, had he been honest about seeing the reflection, nothing would have ended up happening to him. So let that be a lesson to you kitties, don’t spin a yarn in front of judges of you’ll be promply shown the cat door.

6. Tomoharo Saito

Tomoharu SaitoSaito Cat

Both Saito and his cat companion have done some foolhardy things in their lives. This cat got all wet when it dove into a pool, and Saito got figuratively doused when he tried to get his opponent to perform an illegal action so they would be issued a game loss. It was GP Kobe in 2001 and when Saito knew he was dead on board, he started moving stuff around on the board and presented his deck to his opponent to cut. His opponent did cut, but when Saito tried to angle a game loss out of it, the judges saw through it and DQ’ed him instead. Paw-some job judges.

7. Mark Justice

1-Mark JusticeCat-in-roasted-turkey-costume1

This cat is pretending to be a turkey and Mark Justice pretended to have four Muscle Slivers in his draft deck, both of them are claw-ful liars. It was GP Atlanta in 1997 when Justice drafted three Muscle Slivers and then went and bought another one from a dealer. Well it turns out that the one he bought was of a noticeably different shade and Mark was called out on it. Thinking on his feet, Mark admitted to buying a Muscle Sliver but said that he had done so to replace a pack damaged one he had drafted and thrown away. The judges then told him if he could find the discarded Muscle Sliver in the trash that he could continue playing, he declined and was promptly DQ’ed.

8. Nick Eisel

Nick EiselEisel Cat

Clearly this cat shouldn’t be eating ice-cream and clearly Nick Eisel shouldn’t have attempted to add a Ravenous Baloth to his sealed deck. It was GP Boston in 2003 when Nick Eisel was deck checked after judges found a mysterious mark on his decklist. It turns out that Eisel had swapped out a Words of War for a Ravenous Baloth. The judges found this purr-posturous and DQ’ed him from the event.

9. Trey Van Cleave

Trey Van CleaveVan Cleave Cat

While most players aren’t very fur-miliar with Trey Van Cleave by name, this iconic picture shows him blatantly cheating by looking at Zvi’s hand during a draft at GP Boston 2003. Much like his cat companion, his eyes were wide open. Unfortunately he didn’t have them looking fur-ward at his own cards but sneaky-peeking at someone else’s pick.

10. Casey McCarrel

Casey McCarrelMark McGrath

McCarrel predates the shufflegate thing by 13 years, but was running the same cheat as Boettcher and Humpries. While people noticed a string of bad luck for opponents over multiple high level events, it wasn’t until 2001 US Nationals that he was caught, DQ’ed, and given a three year suspension. His doppelganger is the coolest of cats, the fliest of felines, a man who had outlived his 14:59 minutes of fame and is currently on his ninth life. While I know that technically McGrath is not a cat, I was simply floored by the resemblance.

So there you have it, cat doppelgangers, puns, and even some Sugar Ray references thrown in for good measure. Feel free to post any cat related links in the comments section.


At age 15, while standing in a record store with his high school bandmates, Shawn Massak made the uncool decision to spend the last of his money on a 7th edition starter deck (the one with foil Thorn Elemental). Since that fateful day 11 years ago, Shawn has decorated rooms of his apartment with MTG posters, cosplayed as Jace, the Mindsculptor, and competes with LSV for the record of most islands played (lifetime). Shawn has a Master’s degree in Litter-ature form Fitchburg State and when he’s not playing Magic, Shawn works as a job coach for people with disabilities and plays guitar in an indie-pop band.

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