A local Magic: the Gathering aficionado made the controversial decision to open a still-sealed pack of Beta this week, only to find both a Farmstead and utter disappointment within. Todd Renken, 36, has been an avid collector of Magic cards since he purchased his first booster pack in the early 90s. His commitment to the game as a collector has been unmatched over the decades as his most prized MTG-related possession, an unopened booster pack of Beta, has remained untouched throughout the many phases of his life.
"It's really all about the mystery," Renken told the Mulligan. "I mean, anything could be in there."
Todd’s right, anything could
be in there. But, we’re pretty sure anything won’t
be in there.
“It's really just a simple case of Schrodinger's booster pack,” said Camille de Costa, professor of physics at Iowa State University and level-three judge. “At any given moment, there is and there isn't a Black Lotus
inside that virgin pack. But, in reality, we all know he’s just going to pull shit.”
Late Tuesday night, Renken and his wife, Deb, spent a typical evening in. But after a glass of wine, one thing led to another.
“Toddy’s always been a light-weight,” Deb said. “When he asked for the second glass and started tweeting, I knew we were in for trouble.”
After holding onto the pack since it was first released in October 1993, a glass of Riesling and a gentle breeze convinced Renken to make the ludicrous decision to open the pack and finally end the 21-year tantra-esque journey of delayed gratification.
“If he had asked me, I would have told him he was nuts,” said Marshall Sutcliffe of Limited Resources. “Honestly, I can’t imagine a worse thing to do. He should have drafted it.” True, it was within the realm of possibility that Renken could have opened a Black Lotus
, a Tropical Island
, or even a Shivan Dragon
. Instead, all he found of value was a single Farmstead
Valued at nearly $15, according to third-party card selling site TCGPlayer.com
has rarely seen competitive play. A search of the card on mtgtop8.com
– a site that records and archives successful decks at competitive events around the world – revealed a total of zero copies in any mainboards or sideboards during the site’s existence.
“I wasn't initially happy with my pull,” Renken said. “I'll be honest, I thought almost anything could have been better. Then, I really sat down and thought about this card, it costs triple
White – I realized it could be awesome in my Heliod EDH deck. Suddenly, this shitty farm doesn't seem so bad. I can see my opponents staring down my Heliod thinking, ‘Oh boy, I hope this doesn't turn on, because I would be somewhat threatened!’ Then bam
, motherfuckin’ Beta Farmstead
. Yeah that so-called ‘crappy’ lifegain? Happens every upkeep. Looks like I'll be farming the corpses of my opponents in no time. Can't wait to farm-up some victories for the Boros Legion!”
Insane rationalizations and wordplay aside, unopened packs of Beta are currently selling for nearly $1,500 on StarCityGames.com
, one of the world’s largest retailers of Magic: The Gathering cards and products.
“Look, I don’t collect Magic cards just for the value. I enjoy playing with them and displaying my collection for others to see,” Renken said, clearly backpedaling. “A booster pack, while valuable, just isn’t the same thing. After more than 20 years, I just had to see what was inside. My only regret is that Farmstead doesn’t cost four White, so that it would turn on my Heliod immediately and dodge Abrupt Decay
It could have been a less devastating experience if there was any value in the uncommons – perhaps a Berserk
or a Demonic Tutor
. However, this was not the case. The uncommons were Camouflage, Dwarvan Demolition Team, and Obsianus Golem. Experts agree that this is one of the worst packs of Beta possible.
“This pack makes the typical Dragon’s Maze
pack a slam-dunk home-run, and that's saying something,” de Costa said.
Renken’s playgroup has reported that he has “kind of lost it” and hear him mutter to himself "Farmstead" at inappropriate times. During one particularly heated EDH game, the words "Farmstead is better than Timetwister" were heard. The playgroup is deeply concerned. Besides being a fucking moron, Renken also works as a financial adviser for Wells Fargo.
*Please note that this piece is 100% satire and is in no way based in reality.