It’s for good reason that many players consider Magic: the Gathering one of the greatest games around. From kitchen tables and cafeterias to FNM and the Pro Tour, millions of people can’t get enough spell slinging action. Magic players are passionate about their hobby—to some, it’s an obsession.
As such, it’s no surprise that the Magic community—particularly on the internet—has a voracious, unending appetite for Magic news. Wizards of the Coast has worked hard to encourage this hunger, and they are happy to feed the masses with a never-ending treadmill of product releases. There is always something new, and it makes Magic: the Gathering an exciting hobby. Importantly, it keeps eyes on the product.
A big part of WotC’s marketing strategy is the dissemination of preview cards. For each new set, seemingly anyone with an online following may find themselves with the privilege of announcing a new card to the world. This may be bigger gaming outlets like Polygon, streamers like LoadingReadyRun and of course Wizards of the Coast themselves. Even if only 1/3rd of a set is spoiled this way, it takes a huge amount of effort to coordinate the release of this information, as well as the creation of content around each card reveal.
Unfortunately for Wizards of the Coast, secrets are hard to keep. Whether motivated by reddit karma and web traffic, through malice or simple mistake, some amount of information often makes its way to the public earlier than planned. Sometimes, a card or two may leak. Other times, the situation is much worse. In recent years, large portions of upcoming sets have been leaked via everything from stealthy snapshots of sheets in production to the accidental early publication of Dominaria’s set notes on an official Chinese-language Magic site.
I have been thinking a lot about how much effort goes down the drain when these things happen, and how much is to be gained by being early to share leaks to eager fans. Simply posting information about leaked cards with a bit of good SEO can be enough to get eyes on the site. In the past, we have dabbled in posting this kind of information, but it quickly became clear that this is not really what The Discard is about.
While we are certainly able to discuss leaks and early spoilers, there are plenty of other places to get this information. For that reason, I felt it important to lay down some ground rules about how, what and when this site will discuss spoilers outside of official “spoiler season.”
TheDiscard.com Spoiler Policy
In general, The Discard will use the following guidelines to determine what we post when it comes to early leaks and spoilers:
- The Discard will not post pre-release card data of questionable legality. This includes things like card data released without Wizards of the Coast’s consent, cell phone shots by disgruntled employees where Magic cards are printed, data that may be mined from stolen hardware or online databases, etc.
- The Discard will not share card data of questionable origin. This includes rumors and cards that may have been faked.
- The Discard will consider sharing card data that meets the above criteria in the event that Wizards of the Coast officially acknowledges and confirms the leaked data. This will be accompanied by a source from the company confirming the leaked data as legitimate.
- The Discard will consider sharing card data that is spoiled early by Wizards of the Coast themselves. For example, the upcoming Dominaria set saw many cards spoiled early when Wizards of the Coast accidentally released the Chinese-language release notes. In cases like Dominaria, Wizards of the Coast has chosen to expedite their preview process, and discussion of those cards makes sense in this context.
- These guidelines will not stop The Discard from posting about news related to leaks or early spoilers. For example, while we would not share stolen, unofficially released data, we would certainly consider discussing the events surrounding a leak.
- The above are just guidelines, and may or may not apply to all situations.