The Secret Garden
Cyberoptics - The Secret Garden
I was updated through a FB conversation that the next wave of Chinese bootleg cards are coming. What else is new, right? What was so surprising this time?
They’re creating foil copies now.
Now this is a slight concern since a lot of newer players won’t be able to spot the various types of foil processes over the years, so let me just review a few.
Older Boarders (Pre-8th Edition)
Urza’s Legacy was the first set that started to use the foiling process. So keep that in mind if you do run across something like a foil Sliver Queen.
One of the biggest flags spotting a counterfeit are the lack of the “shooting star” at the bottom left corner. The same type used in the Wizards of the Coast logo. So when you do see something incredible such as a “foil” Brainstorm, verify the shooting star.
Newer Boarder (Post-8Th Edition)
There’s different foiling techniques used in special products, such as From the Vault Series and Commander’s Arsenal. They definitely have their own texture and feel. Also keep in mind these are more prone to curling under warmer temperatures.
Wizards of the Coast may have denied it, but it was very noticeable when they tried out a new foiling technique in Avacyn Restored. Cards appeared slightly darker than they should otherwise and just don’t really have a high degree of color spectrum when you’re rotating them.
Spotting Fake MTG Cards
The ones from China (almost exclusively) are easy to spot, but require physical examination. The counterfeiters in China are typically using the same printing presses as the ones used for poker playing cards. Which means that the cards will “look” great, but they don’t “feel” great.
Here’s some easy tips before someone offers something too good to be true. Keep in mind, these are more practical ways of spotting them, rather than looking like a weirdo selecting the perfect egg in the dairy aisle:
- Feel the card
- Notice the font and the lack of kerning
- Corner cuts on the edges
- Cellphone Flashlight
You may encounter people at your local game shop trying to pass off the counterfeits as the actual high money cards. Before you do, make sure all the sleeves are taken off. This includes the “perfect fit” sleeves from Japan. Without trying to actually damage the card, gently rub your thumb on it. If it feels like a playing card (poker card) and not what you’re used to, it’s probably your first flag. If that passes, see how flimsy the the cardboard is.
Often times, a lot of counterfeiters may “know” how to use photoshop, but finding one that’s actually a graphic designer with kerning knowledge is a different story. What you’re looking for is the space used in-between each letter. If it looks oddly spaced out, that’s a flag.
Typically when someone releases a font, the creator goes out of their way to properly kern each letter with one another. Sometimes good, sometimes bad (look at comic sans). Same thing with the fonts used on MTG cards. Some cards have tons of text and requires special kerning, while others like Doom Blade may not. So when the text on the card looks “off”, don’t hesitate to pull up the actual copy of the card on the internet.
This next one is something I use to just verify if a card is Mint-Near Mint or SP, but actually does work really well spotting off cut Magic cards. You know those sealed Fat-Pack Land stacks? Sans the original Alpha cards, slip perpetrator in the middle of the land stack and look at the stack from the side. If the corners seem off and you can easily spot the card from the stack, that’s probably a counterfeit.
Finally, probably the most practical (for now). Use your cellphone’s flashlight and screen it through the card. If the light goes through, it’s a real Magic card. If it doesn’t, probably a counterfeit. After all, Chinese counterfeiters don’t actually use the same card stock as MTG cards. They’re still nickel and diming using cardboard from their other printed materials, such as playing cards. Just make sure you test your own Magic cards first to see your bulbs’ strength.
I’ll get you next time Gadget!
There’s a few other ways to spot a counterfeit, but hopefully these tips will be enough for an average FNM’er. Just keep in mind that the counterfeiters will adapt and create better counterfeits over time. That means that these tips may help you today, but in a month or year? Maybe not so much.
It’s important to keep our community updated in a healthy network of communication. Look out for your local players. Not just counterfeiters mind you, but also the ones that are ripping off the children at the trade tables.
You won’t be rewarded for your good deeds, but that’s never the point.
You’re doing the right thing.
Feel free to like/reblog for your friends to this article. You can follow me here on polishtamales or on twitter @polishtamales
Once your town rolls over to bunny day, many rocks will spawn all over your town. This is for the purpose of breaking them to find Stone Eggs to turn in for Zipper T. Bunny’s prizes.
There’s a REALLY high chance that the event will glitch out where the rocks will not be removed the following day, and they’ll turn into normal unbreakable rocks.
So be sure to break all the rocks before the event ends in order to prevent this bug from happening!
did anyone else have trouble waterbending last night?