I’ve never lost my Magic: The Gathering cards to anything more malicious than a sofa cushion, but I can fathom the pain Seattle Seahawks linebacker Cassius Marsh is feeling after his Land Rover was broken into on Tuesday night. What follows is a tragic sequence of events, and a translation.
These strings of words and non-words refer to the types of decks that were stolen. A 60-card Magic deck can be built out of whatever cards you happen to own, but the competitive ones fall into identifiable archetypes, so even without knowing the particulars of Marsh’s collection, it’s easy to speculate what was in there and how much it might be worth.
Words like “Standard,” “Modern,” and “Legacy” refer to the playing format, which dictate what cards you’re allowed to play. Easily the most valuable and sentimental of this bunch are the two decks built for Legacy, a format that lets you incorporate much older cards, which are both harder to come by (due to the winds of time) than today’s cards, and much more powerful (due to shifting design philosophy). As far as Legacy goes, Elves and Goblins are among the cheaper decks you can build, but even they are likely to contain dual lands like Savannah and Bayou, slices of cardboard that could be worth upwards of a $100 each. For reference, here’s one build of a Legacy Elves deck worth $2,000; Modern Jund can fetch similar prices; Legacy Goblins comes in around $1,700.
Marsh, who’s been playing the game since he was 11, told the Seattle Times he estimates the value of the stolen collection at around $20,000-25,000, but the emotional impact is worse. “It’s not even the money. I really enjoy playing the game. To me, that’s what I do to get my mind off things sometimes. You know how people zone out sometimes? That’s how I zone out. It’s hurtful because those are one things I really care about,” he said. I get it, man.
Despite this setback, Marsh has stayed chipper:
Someone please return this poor soul’s precious cargo.