MTG Salvation

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MTG Salvation
Mtgs logo.PNG
Logo as of February 2017
Type of site
Spoilers and forums
Registration Required to post;
part of the Curse network
Launched July 11, 2004; 14 years ago (2004-07-11)

MTG Salvation (MTGS) is a website dedicated to Magic: The Gathering which focuses on Rumors and News. MTG Salvation hosts some of the more active Magic forums online, outliving the official forums on

Description[edit | edit source]

MTGS claim to fame were the spoilers which generally came weeks in advance of the prerelease of any given set. These spoilers were generated in the Rumor Mill and originally came from the sources of the user known as rancored_elf. After the Hasbro v. Rutter lawsuit, Hydrokinesis, Hunter, Charlequin, Captain Black and Urzassedatives became the main rumor mongers. In the latter years Wizards of the Coast has shut down most early spoiler leaks, and the Rumor Mill has become largely depended on controlled spoilers. It is known that members of Magic R&D frequent the forums.[1]

Other much frequented forums are concerned with Magic rules, flavor, Magic Online, all seperate game formats, creativity and trade. The site also features daily articles, the wiki you are reading right now, and a Radar of Magic-related websites.

Name[edit | edit source]

Officially, the website is known as MTG Salvation; but MTGSalvation is a suitably interchangeable name.

“  Hmm, I think "officially" it's MTGSalvation and MTGS where it doesn't fit, but on the front page it's MTG Salvation and also everywhere in the forums... :)

So take your pick ;) —Hannes[2]


"MTGSally" (also "MTG Sally" and simply "Sally") is a common nickname for MTG Salvation. The term was coined by sneakyhomunculus on 11 December 2005, in this post.

History[edit | edit source]

Foundation[edit | edit source]

MTGSalvation (then; now MTG Salvation) was founded on July 11, 2004 by Xenphire (then The Numen, Kuberr). The site was originally a phpBB board hosted on Xenphire's friend's server. It was founded after the banning of Xenphire on MTGNews, with him stating MTG Salvation to be free of the bad administration and poor choices that allegedly ruled 'News'. The purpose of MTG Salvation was to create an open environment and community based off that of MTGNews. It also aimed to put away "Forum Drama" for the betterment of the community. The success of these goals is still debated.

The two days after its founding, MTG Salvation gained several members although most of them personal friends of the founder. Then, on September 3, 2004 when rumors of administrator rancored_elf leaving the site due to internal problems began circulating within the public, the member base once more grew, this time causing more mainstream users of MTGNews to join. At this time Sakabatou was named the second administrator.

MTGNews split[edit | edit source]

MTG Salvation lay relatively dormant and forgotten until January 1, 2005, when a number of staff members from MTGNews, including rancored_elf and urzassedatives, announced their resignation from the Staff on the website front page and as a forum-wide announcement. Their reason was in protest of the man appointed to oversee the forums, Subterranean Spirit, by Raa, the owner. Within minutes, several decided to use this to their advantage, spamming the MTGNews forums with links to MTG Salvation.

When MTGNews was temporarily closed to the outside to remove the spam and lawlessness that had accrued since the announcement, a significant number of the most prominent MTGNews posters, including rancored_elf, began posting on MTG Salvation. Quickly, it became as active as MTGNews had been the day prior, and the presence of older members contributed significantly to the validity of the site. By the time MTGNews was reopened a few hours later, many saw it as "the new MTGNews".

While MTGNews was open again, Subterranean Spirit began to enforce a policy of banning any member who mentioned MTGSalvation in their signature or elsewhere, which was in stark contrast to the previous policy of allowing any advertisements in signatures. This, coupled with the protests of important members and the banning of several others, led to MTGnews becoming partially abandoned. Most of the members who were banned relocated to MTG Salvation.

Early changes[edit | edit source]

The change from a small, relatively unknown website to the host for most of MTGNews' members necessitated large changes to the way the forums were run. Though it already had a small compliment of moderators to handle the minimal traffic that had existed before, a flurry of new staff members were added, most of them long-time MTGNews members who Xenphire recognized. Though most of them had great experience as posters, some of them would prove problematic later on.

The initial look of MTG Salvation.

Around a day after the New Years Post, Hannes, then best known for owning, contacted Xenphire, offering extra server space and a vBulletin license. Xenphire took the offer, and after a few hours' downtime the forums were running on vBulletin, and with a new URL. A new frontpage for the website began to be prepared, to facilitate articles and other content which had previously been unfeasible.

As all of these changes were occurring, it solidified its status as the premier Magic rumor website by completing the Betrayers of Kamigawa spoiler before any other site. Around this time Subterranean Spirit had been removed as an Administrator on MTGnews, and some of the old members began to return there.

The collapse of Xenphire[edit | edit source]

Behind the apparent success, however, trouble began to brew. Though he was the founder and administrator of the forums, Xenphire began to make decisions which were controversial among the staff and members.

As the staff began to feel less confident in his abilities as an Administrator, an election was initiated in the Moderator Lounge to decide the Administrators; he did not receive a single nomination. This, coupled with other factors, caused him to remove a significant percentage of the staff, including Administrator Wolfwood. Sakabatou, the only other Administrator at the time, stripped Xenphire's Administrative powers and remodded those who had been removed. Within a few weeks, Xenphire was just another Registered User.

Three admin era[edit | edit source]

Frontpage post-Xenphire until late November 2005

This caused a pause in developments for almost three weeks in which much was planned within the Moderator Lounge and the future was paved. During this time few public statements were made by the staff as to the future with the forums just continuing on. But then on February 14 the future was made very clear. The new frontpage was launched. Articles and the new staff were announced. On February 14 the new article page hit, kicking off a run of daily weekday articles that continues to this day.

On March 3 the new Warning System was announced, one which survived almost a year. The new staff also added many tags still in use today, most notably the /me tag. It was also announced that Salvation would begin running an Article of the Month contest to promote and reward their writers. This was followed up by the announcement that users could now submit news for the frontpage as well, a feature still in use today although rarely taken advantage of. Salvation also began running a monthly artwork contest in the Artwork forum as well as a weekly avatar and signature contest within the Avatar Signature forum.

However all of this advancement was not without pause. During March and April the site lost both Wolfwood and Sakabatou, this time not to forum drama but to real life situations. All of this led to Belgareth becoming the only Admin.

One admin era[edit | edit source]

A Judge's Forum was added to Salvation which allowed judges to have their own community to discuss common issues and tough rulings calls. In addition another new logo was announced, this time by Bateleur.

However with the community swelling and and the site getting even more traffic many technical problems began to arise. These problems made themselves painfully obvious in mid-August, with the server crashing multiple times. The short term solution, which remains in-effect today, was turning off auto-thread subscription.

In October the competitive forums went through a re-vamping when it was announced each would have the new sub-forum Decks For Critique added to them. This forum made it so that decks that were not casual but also not top tier competitive had a place to go and be discussed.

In November and December MTGSalvation went through some drastic changes that would change its face forever. A new server was purchased and began being operated on the new forums as they changed to vB 3.5. A new frontpage incorporating Bateleur's logo better was also launched. In order to operate this new server a new small banner ad was also sold to StarCityGames. The forum awards were also voted on and announced during this period.

The biggest change of this period happened at the very beginning of December. ButteBlues and CrAzEd MiKe resigned which led to a firestorm and in the end would result in both of them and Raia off the staff and Belgareth de-admined. Goblinboy would replace him as admin.

Restoration and growth[edit | edit source]

Goblinboy quickly appointed rancored_elf and Feyd Ruin as temporary administrators alongside him. New moderators for the now empty forums and newly announced MTGS Wiki were also quickly decided and multiple changes to the emoticon list were made.

Various end of the year awards were handed out at this time, including the FCC of the Year, the official Forum Awards, and the Clan of the Year award. In January sneakyhomunculus and urzassedatives replaced rancored_elf and Feyd Ruin and became full time Administrators. As a result this once again created a "Three Admin System" at MTG Salvation. During this time a monthly short story contest was added and the forum rules and forum layout was reorganized. The article program also was expanded with Saturday articles.

Hasbro v. Rutter case[edit | edit source]

The major story of early 2006 was the Hasbro v. Rutter case, Wizards of the Coast's attempt to stop rancored_elf (Daron Rutter) from posting rumors and more specially playtest cards. After an initial DMCA order it eventually led to an lawsuit.[3][4][5] Wizards of the Coast attempted to obtain summary judgment.[6] The case was settled out of court, and the terms of the settlement have been sealed.[7] While details of the settlement have not been announced, Daron made a specific statement asking not to be shown or told of "info about Wizards' products that isn't already publicly available". Daron thanked Jay Shergill (Haloscope) for his pro-bono legal assistance.

Two admin era[edit | edit source]

Frontpage January 2007

In June 2006 Goblinboy left the staff ending the temporally three admin situation. urzassedatives and sneakyhomunculus decided to not appoint a third admin and went on together. After several staff changes resulting in the appointment of new moderators and global moderators a two admin system was set up with a wide group of global moderators to lend administrative support.

Other big administrative events in 2006 were the rewriting of the Forum Rules. The Warning System was changed into an Infraction system, making it clearer and stricter, but also making Infractions more time-based and less number based. Several popular site features were stimulated. As a result more attention was given the Wiki and the Storyline forum, the Colosseum was restructured and a rebirth of Team MTGS was tried.

In early 2007, MTG Salvation underwent a number of changes, including a new front page to celebrate its second anniversary, a new Forum Jump and Spy feature, and the much awaited introduction of the blog forum.

Curse takeover[edit | edit source]

In September 2012 it became known that the owners of MTG Salvation were in sale negotiations with the Curse corporation. The Curse Corporation is one of the largest gaming-information properties worldwide, attracting more than 19 million unique visitors a month.[8] It was expected by outsiders that the upcoming sale would lead to some major changes to the structure of the MTGSalvation site, the most paramount disallowing unofficial spoilers and leaks.[9] As announced by the new Bureaucrat Boubouille, the deal was finalized on December 17, 2012.[10] Since there have been many technical improvements, but few changes to the daily business.

MTGS Wiki[edit | edit source]

MTGS Wiki.png

The MTGS Wiki is a project that was initiated on 13 December 2005. On 14 December 2005, Hannes, the bureaucrat of MTGS Wiki, changed group memberships of SorryGuy, VestDan, Voice of All, and Votan from "(none)" to "sysop" (system operator), making them the first four adminstrators or "mods" of MTGS Wiki.[11] Between 2007 and 2009 nine different admins were added to the roster. From these, GeoMike, Oracle of Truth and Magic Mage would remain active for the longest time. Magic Mage would become known for her eloquence, impulsivity and a (too) intricate system of catigorization. After a pause of three years, some new admins were appointed (e.g. Hunter and Barinellos). Magic Mage's reign ended in january of the following year, when too many pages were locked and too many user blocked for no apparent reason. By that time, the wiki was in dire straits and plagued by spambots. In that same month, however, the MTGS Salvation was taken over by Curse which provided many improvements. In september of 2013, Curse moved the wiki to a new server and to their own log-in system. Since then, admins have come and gone, but the contents are gradually growing and improving.

On February 22, 2017 the name of the wiki was changed to 'MTG Wiki'.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (February 23, 2016). "Does R&D read mtg forums to take the pulse of enfranchised players?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. ""MTGSalvation", or "MTG Salvation"?" — MTG Salvation
  3. Wizards of the Coast (2006-01-19). "Wizards of the Coast Takes Legal Action". Archived from the original on 2009-06-04.
  4. Mark Rosewater (June 19, 2006). "Law and Order". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (October 02, 2006). "Timeshifting Into Gear". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Daron Rutter (2006-02-18). "Wizards of the Coast vs. Daron Rutter: An Update". Retrieved on 2006-09-02.
  7. Daron Rutter (2006-04-06). "Wizards vs. rancored_elf: the Resolution". Retrieved on 2006-09-02.
  8. MTGS and Curse
  9. MTGSalvation to be bought by Curse
  10. MTG Salvation acquired by Curse
  11. MTG Wiki User rights log

External links[edit | edit source]