Hello Gentle Entities and En Croute Enemies! It is quite exciting to be on this plane today as the immediate rotational solar satellite celebrates International Women’s Day, Holi is celebrated by our Hindu compatriots to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Local Planeswalker Shivam Bhatt has a delightful thread about Holi here. It is also National Proofreading Day celebrated by our esteemed editorial staff here at Hipsters of the Coast in the fond hope that their colleagues will celebrate through ritual practice prior to submitting drafts.

As this is our twelfth column, we at Mizz Mizzet’s School for Complicated Lifeforms would like to remind you that we answer between 1-3 letters from our interrogative entities across the multiverse each week. If you missed our initial column, you may peruse it at your leisure at this location.

Content Warnings

Mizz Mizzet’s Guide to Magical Manners is pleased to provide Content Warnings, given that solving bad behavior often means describing bad behavior.

Dear Mizz Mizzet;

What is the etiquette of finding a large amount of collectible objects at a landfill? Does the etiquette change if you don’t play the game?

– Asking for Meme-like Reasons 

Dear Asking,

I am a dragon and therefore occasionally sun myself on rocks, but do not live under them. Therefore I am aware of the gentle entity who saw the pallets of Magic Product at the landfill. The communal act of sharing “look at this extraordinary thing I found while performing environmental responsibility” led to a number of things happening in the aftermath. It was extremely gracious of said entity who is not a member of the Magic community to go back to see if the pallets survived 24 hours or so in the landfill, however it was not required to do so.

The interactions and pressure from some rather rude and highly edible individuals has led to threats to the person who discovered the things and a great deal of speculation and misinformation about the manufacture and distribution of Magic Cards.

The proper etiquette for your own future discoveries of similar serendipity depends on the location and ownership of the landfill as well as the governing institution and waste assemblage rules of your planar rulers. In the case of Texas, dumpster diving from publicly owned dumpsters, or trash put out for pickup is quite legal , taking things out of landfills and privately owned trash lifecycle businesses is trespassing.

Quite interestingly, in the US,  the reason that dumpster diving for trash is legal when put out for pick up is due to the desire of local law enforcement to arrest a person when they could not get a search warrant due to lack of evidence. They collected the target’s trash when it was on the curb for pick up and used the contents in order to secure the warrant. It went all the way up to the Hipsters of the Coast’s Planar version of the Guildpact judicial committees, who determined that the local documents of law called the Fourth Amendment (involving search and seizure) were not applicable to publicly collected trash.

But ONLY when the trash was on public property.

As I have more than passing acquaintance with various Azorius Senators and Orzhov Advokists, I fondly disclose the fact that I am greatly entertained by the limited amount of time one’s waste assemblages are in public domain. It is a masterpiece of  a carved sliver of  captured temporality.  Your window of opportunity is ONLY when it leaves private property for pickup, for almost none of the waste management for USians is publicly owned. The corner caseness of when trash is public makes a bit homesick for my planebound friends of yore.

It would please my associates to no end to realize that their skill set would be welcome here, indeed working out the exact legal and practical ramifications of this would create a delightful salon where one could invite the Golgari as well!

Theorizing about the conditions is indeed a social sport! It is not impolite to theorize and speculation is a traditional part of the denizens of The Gathering! Demanding a visitor to your realm perform work to prove or disprove your conjectures, at risk to themselves and in violation of local regulations is an unacceptable social request.

The etiquette is indeed different if you play the game as opposed to if you are only passingly familiar with the game. If you play the game you are responsible for treating the people who don’t play, but still find a large amount of cards in a landfill politely. They are engaging in a conversation (of a sort) with Magic Community. The space for this conversation is your space as a member of the community. This transforms you into a type of host or a native participant and the finder as a visitor to your space, with the associated etiquette obligations of host and guest . It is actively rude to insist on follow ups, castigate a finder, or threaten them for not revealing their location or personal information

I did find the gentlebeing’s response to inappropriate Magicians to be an extremely polite alternative to eating the rude. I am a firm supporter of fair warnings.

“Please don’t threaten me, I’m from Texas”


Dear Mizz Mizzet,


I had just started playing Magic right before Covid locked everything down, and I’m only getting back to playing in person now. It’s different! I’ve been playing Arena and know what all the cards are and know how to draft! But there was some stuff I’d seen then when I was a newb and I didn’t understand it so maybe you can help. People just left cards on the end of the table and other people would rifle through them and take some for themselves. But no one said anything about it. What’s that about? Are there rules or manners or something I should know before I look at the cards? 

Drafting Dan

Dear Drafting Dan,

How lovely that you have a location to play with fellow beings again. I imagine that the development of your expertise online combine with your interrupted ability to play in society has created some amount of dissonance in feeling both expert and newly hatched. Three years is a long time to be immersed in the polite society of one culture and then have to translate the etiquette rules of another, closely connected but different culture.

Allow me to illuminate how the piles of cards end up at the end of a table in either a store or a tournament. When folk gather to draft, if drafting is their main form of playing, cards that are opened and chosen during limited formats have two forms of value, and the etiquette around them reflects those functional values.

The first value is:

“Will these cards help win this immediate competition?”

Those cards are highly valued for use during the event, but may not have high value for the second evaluation:

“Do these cards have monetary/use value for constructed players or collectors after this event?”

In the times before the plague in the land of Hipsters of the Coast the culture of drafting was an integral part of the health of the local Magic Society. Drafters opened packs, trading high value cards back into their local stores to defray the costs of drafting more packs, LGSs sold the cards to people who played constructed forms, increasing card availability. Therefore a number of “polite” communal behaviors become standardized to the point where folk simply participated without understanding they had created etiquette on “what to do with excess cards” as limited format players.

When frequent or focused players at public events have cards they don’t want, that also don’t have high value in monetary resale opportunity, it is customary to dispose of them in a way that benefits the local community.

Acceptably polite  ways for drafters to move lower value cards into the hands of others:

  • Find a new player/young player – ask them if they would like extra cards – hand the extra cards to the new player/young player – continue with their day
  • Compile the extra cards – leave them face up at the end of the table that you were playing at – no additional social interaction or follow up required
  • If at the local game store – take all the extra cards – donate them to the LGS’s commons/uncommons “penny stock” – in this one the cards may be considered a “tip” for the tournament organizing store.
  • Gather and keep all the extra cards at home – donate to schools and charities with “let’s play events” when too many accumulate.

So having identified the polite options for what limited players may do with extra cards, which may be termed “draft chaff,” the next question naturally becomes “what is mannerly” behavior when you encounter or acquire such cards?  I shall break down the customary etiquette per item above.

  • Give to new/young players directly …. Standard local gifting etiquette applies. A gift is something freely given, without expectation of return and relinquishment of ownership the moment the gift is accepted. There are several mannerly ways to identify a gift recipient. One is playing against a new player or watching them play during an event and then simply gifting them the cards. A polite thing to say is: “Hello, here are some cards for your collection. Hope to see you around the community” so that there isn’t any confusion about why the cards are being given or additional expectations from the recipient. Another would be to ask the tournament organizer who is a new player who might need some commons and uncommons and let them make the introduction and/or hand the player in question your extra cards.
  • Leave them at the end of the table…. When you leave draft chaff at the end of the table you might think of it as leaving something “free to pick up at curbside” when you post it on craigslist. Especially at tournament events. The proper etiquette is to leave the draft chaff in areas where people are NOT currently playing an active match. Other players will go through the face up cards and take what they can use, some will take all of them, others will be confused as to why someone “just left” their cards there. The mannerly thing to do when watching someone be confused it to explain the custom of leaving draft chaff for those in the community who can use it and then politely excuse yourself so the person can choose to participate or not without being directly observed. If you observe a face up pile of cards near people who are actively playing it is best not to interrupt tournament play to ask about those cards but circle back later or wait until the players are done with their round to ask about them.

At store settings draft chaff left at the end of a table after closing is traditionally collected by store staff and added to the store’s commons and uncommons for sale. I am personally unsure what the policy is for draft chaff that is collected at the end of full tournament events, but I imagine every judge and TO has a plan or policy for them across the various organized play circuits and you can ask a judge at such events.

  • Donate them directly to the LGS – it is perhaps best to do this only at stores, or community organized events. This can be done as you are leaving the event and avoids the table scenario.
  • Collect them and donate them to a school or charity – Mizz Mizzet’s Minions have been very enthusiastic about the work of Magikids. They take card donations at events, in person and by mail. If you would like to donate to a local library or charitable group on your home plane, it is good manners to contact an organizer and see what that group needs and if the cards would be useful rather than just dropping them off.

While all of these are equally appropriate I must admit to a bit of sentimentality, seeing little piles of cards everywhere and surprised whelps sorting through them identifying them as trash or treasure reminds me of early nestling holidays were tiny troves of random treasures are scattered in small piles around the wyvern to for our young to make tiny event hoards and show them off to proud ancestral lines while declaring what made each chose acquisition special.

Ah golden youth! May you enjoy your future sowing and gleaning of draft chaff as you take up the mantle of in person community play!


Thank you to Adrienne Reynolds, for her interplanar transcription services.
Mizz Mizzet Portrait by Andres Garcia

Delightful Readers, Please Submit Your Questions to Mizz Mizzet.

You may submit your questions to Mizz Mizzet using this form.

New Mizz Mizzet columns are posted every Wednesday right here as well as in Hipsters of the Coast‘s weekly email newsletter. You are also encouraged to follow her at @MizzMizzet on Twitter.

Any questions answered publicly will be made anonymous, and noms de plume will be created to represent any parties mentioned.

Born a perfect dragon in an imperfect multiverse, Mizz Mizzet (she/her) is the pioneer broodmother of today’s multiplanar civility movement.  She is now working to persuade Planeswalkers to participate in it.

Her tireless efforts to expand the understanding and exercise of etiquette beyond the stereotypical terror of too many pieces of silverware, and whether to use poisons or explosives at celebratory conquest dinners, have not escaped official notice.

She specializes as a consultant in seating arrangements for inter and intra planar political events as long as contracts include the option to eat the rude.

Out of respect for her relative’s delicate sensibilities regarding draconic rank, she does not reside on the plane of Ravnica.

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