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A spoiler is any information about an upcoming product prior to its release. In Magic, unlike many other media, spoilers are an expected part of the marketing for each new set.

Official spoilers become available through a planned preview season orchestrated by Wizards of the Coast. Occasionally, information about upcoming sets is leaked by outside parties instead. Wizards generally does not directly acknowledge leaks as a matter of policy. However, leaks have prompted statements regarding that policy and emphasizing the harm done by leaks.[1][2][3]

Official reporting[edit | edit source]

During the preview season for an upcoming product, Wizards of the Coast publishes articles which include images of new cards, and which detail new mechanics, rules changes, and rulings that address expected difficulties. Prominent third parties are also given card images to preview, according to their audiences, on a schedule dictated by Wizards.[4][5][6]

Unofficial reporting[edit | edit source]

Sites like MTGNews and MTG Salvation are known for reporting on spoilers.

Leaks[edit | edit source]

Sources for unscheduled spoilers include early releases of magazines such as InQuest, The Duelist, Lotus Noir, Mana Rouge, and Scrye; websites outside of the United States, especially those in different time zones; foreign printings; art previews; panels at conventions; Ultra Pro products; official dealers; and digital leaks.

Noteworthy leaks[edit | edit source]

Odyssey[edit | edit source]

Pillow_wasp was a user on MTGNews forums who posted blurry zoomed in images of cards. He claimed to work at the printing plant, but people didn't believe him, mainly because the tombstone icon looked illegitimate to others. He would later post that he got caught.

Invasion[edit | edit source]

In September 2000, an Invasion foil print sheet was auctioned on eBay weeks before the Prerelease. The auction included a photo of the sheet, which included a then-new split card and provoked a lengthy discussion.[7]

Judgment[edit | edit source]

On April 9, 2002, six weeks before the release of Judgment, the entirety of the set was accidentally made public through Magic Online, and publicized on MTGNews. This incident prompted a response from Wizards restating their policy of not commenting on leaks.[1]

Time Spiral[edit | edit source]

In December 2005, Daron Rutter, under the name "rancored_elf", posted an image of three Time Spiral playtest cards on MTG Salvation, nine months before that set was released. This leak led to legal action against Rutter and ten John Doe defendants, which was settled out of court.[8][9]

Conflux[edit | edit source]

On September 29, 2008, the entire Conflux card list was found in a Japanese database and published on MTG Salvation, making all card names known even before the release of the previous set.[10]

New Phyrexia[edit | edit source]

On April 20, 2011, the entirety of New Phyrexia was leaked when unauthorized players gained access to the set's "God Book". The "God Book", an item containing each card in the set, had been provided to Pro Tour player and journalist Guillaume Matignon for his use in writing for Lotus Noir. Matignon shared it with Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, after which it became available to the wider internet. Wizards then accelerated their normal preview schedule, providing official previews for the set over the course of a single week. Ultimately, four players, including both Matignon and Wafo-Tapa, received DCI suspensions for their part in the leaks, though Matignon's was later shortened.[11][12][13]

Oath of the Gatewatch[edit | edit source]

On November 18, 2015, three cards from Oath of the Gatewatch were leaked. The leak provoked discussion of the new colorless mana symbol, {C}, and spoiled the set's story by revealing Kozilek, the Great Distortion early. Further leaks for both Oath of the Gatewatch and its associated Zendikar Expeditions cards continued over the next month. These leaks led to a direct response from Wizards expressing its frustration with the leaks.[2] A subsequent investigation led to DCI suspensions for the members of a private Facebook group which was accused of participating in leaks over the course of multiple releases.[14] As some of those players, notably including multiple judges, had not been actively involved in the most recent leak, the administrator of the judging resource magicjudges.org briefly took down his site in protest.[15] Wizards retracted the suspensions of ten of the twelve players involved on appeal, and in January 2016 stated a new policy of explicitly announcing the beginning of each spoiler season, to help players identify unofficial leaks.[16]

Shadows over Innistrad[edit | edit source]

On February 6 and February 8, 2016, several cards from Shadows over Innistrad, including one complete booster pack, were leaked. The leak revealed most of the named mechanics in the set and included the set's checklist card, thus providing many card names and eliminating the possibility of several reprints. Flavor text and artwork in the leak indicated the involvement of Jace, Nahiri, Sorin, and Tamiyo in the story.

Eternal Masters[edit | edit source]

On February 15, 2016, the Twitter account "MTGDeepthroat" accused 2-3 unnamed second-hand market vendors of possession of the card list for Eternal Masters and insider trading. Wizards issued a statement announcing an investigation into those accusations, and emphasized that they do not provide preferential treatment to any card vendor, distributor, or retailer; nor disclose detailed card set information prior to preview season.[17] On February 17, MTGDeepthroat rescinded their original accusation, instead stating that the evidence for their original claim was fabricated, and promising to pursue legal action against its creator. Shortly after they made that statement, the account was deleted.[18][19]

Amonkhet[edit | edit source]

Dusk // Dawn was leaked six weeks before the official spoiler started, revealing the Aftermath mechanic. The card was said to have been incorrectly sorted into a Modern Masters 2017 booster box.[20]

Ixalan[edit | edit source]

A complete Ixalan rare foil print sheet was leaked three months before prerelease.[21][22] This was followed by the reveal of all basic lands, said to have been found in an Hour of Devastation box[23] and the accidental reveal of the promos on the official WPN website.[24]

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

A substantial part of Dominaria was spoiled six weeks before release, when Wizards of the Coast China accidentally published the release notes for Dominaria, instead of those for Masters 25.[25]

Core Set 2019[edit | edit source]

More than 30 white, blue and red commons from Core Set 2019 were accidently packaged in Dominaria boosters, and found two months before release.[26][27]

War of the Spark[edit | edit source]

During War of the Spark spoiler season, all three mythic rare planeswalkers, 9 of the rare planeswalkers, as well as Niv-Mizzet Reborn and Roalesk, Apex Hybrid were leaked on /r/MagicArena.[28] This also leaked the existence of the War of the Spark Mythic Edition, as the image of Gideon Blackblade was from that set instead of War of the Spark proper.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Kyle Murray (May 01, 2002). ""What Card Leak?"". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. a b Trick Jarrett (December 16, 2015). "Why Leaks Hurt". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (September 30, 2002). "The Leak That Was". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (June 19, 2012). "Hello. Is there any other site...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. Mark Rosewater (January 10, 2012). "Are preview cards for third-party websites...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater (April 13, 2013). "On the topic of spoilers on weekends...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (February 11, 2002). "Split Decisions". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (June 19, 2006). "Law and Order". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (October 02, 2006). "Timeshifting Into Gear". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. "[CON] Complete Conflux Card Names (List)" — MTG Salvation
  11. Wizards of the Coast (April 28, 2011). "New Phyrexia Leaks". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Helene Bergeot (May 01, 2012). "Guillaume Matignon's Suspension Ends Today". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Greg Haenig (April 27, 2011). "MTGLeaks – A Mighty Torrent". Gathering Magic
  14. Helene Bergeot (December 21, 2015). "Statement Concerning Recent Suspensions". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  15. James Bennett. Statement Concerning Recent Suspensions. 2015-12-22. URL:http://magicjudges.org/. Accessed: 2015-12-22. (Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20151222234121/http://apps.magicjudges.org/)
  16. Elaine Chase (January 13, 2016). "Learning Opportunities". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Wizards of the Coast (February 16, 2016). "A Statement about the Eternal Masters Card List". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  18. MTGDeepthroat. Twitter User Profile. 2016-02-17. URL:https://twitter.com/Vendorleak. Accessed: 2016-02-17. (Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20160218012132/https://twitter.com/Vendorleak)
  19. MTGDeepthroat. Twitter User Profile. 2016-02-17. URL:https://twitter.com/Vendorleak. Accessed: 2016-02-17. (Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20160218013231/https://twitter.com/Vendorleak)
  20. Amonkhet Spoiler 3-18
  21. Uhh I think wizards has a problem on their hand (Ixalan)
  22. Scott Kelly and Blake Rasmussen (August 28, 2017). "Behind the Scenes with the Alleged Ixalan Card Theft". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Ixalan basics
  24. Several XLN spoilers via Wizards WPN
  25. Blake Rasmussen (March 8, 2018). "Dominaria Leak". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Commons leaked in Dominaria Packaged Product
  27. Mark Rosewater (May 12, 2018). "Many major leaks and several by wizards. Is this a deliberate part of spoiler seasons now?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  28. /u/AlustrielSilvermoon (March 31, 2019). "[Spoilers} Leaked Planeswalkers from WotS?". Reddit.