Fixing the Reprint Issue? 2


As Magic has grown in popularity, so have the prices of sought-after cards. Cards such as Tarmogoyf and Liliana of the Veil have reached obscene levels and moved into triple digits. The Fetchlands, which are integral to almost every strategy in Eternal and heavily used in Frontier, are also slowly rising in price. Wizards has made it very clear that they are unwilling to reprint these cards in new sets. Of course, this is for good reason, as Liliana of the Veil in Standard would quite possibly spell utter destruction for the format. As we saw with the attempted Fetchland reprints in Khans, it’s not the most viable option to reprint such powerful and sought-after cards into Magic’s premier format.

But there is a possible solution:

While Modern Masters and Eternal Masters play their part in helping to keep card prices down, they aren’t printed in a high-enough volume to help the affordability of their respective formats. For example, even though Modern Masters Two significantly affected the price of Tarmogoyf; it’s currently around $120 (right where it started). All the Master Sets do is prevent cards from becoming more expensive; honestly, they lack some of the most necessary reprints (…the Zendikar Fetchlands, anyone?). With their current set-up, Modern and Eternal Masters have proven to help, but not solve the problem.

However, there is another idea floating around. If implemented correctly, it could once and for all fix the the reprint conundrum. This solution is the Commander and Conspiracy Sets…

Yes, you heard me right – the Commander Sets.

When we say Commander Sets, we don’t mean the actual product, but the concept behind them. What the product line has done is allow Wizards to provide reprints and even new cards for the EDH format without ever touching Standard. Perhaps the same thing could be accomplished for other Eternal formats. Wizards could launch a product line similar to Modern/Eternal Masters, but one printed in a higher volume and with brand new cards specifically for Eternal formats.

Not only would this system allow new and powerful strategies to be introduced in a controlled environment, it would also allow the formats to finally get the reprints they deserve.  Additionally, with the issue of destroying Standard completely out of the way, Wizards design teams could focus entirely on making cards for the Eternal formats that would improve them. Yes, there could definitely be some inherent issues in this system (it’s entirely possible that Wizards could accidentally print a card that breaks the game), but this seems like it could help. Not only would card prices drop to reasonable levels, new and powerful cards being introduced to the formats would increase meta diversity and also lower the prices of what were once the top decks. If everything is done correctly, a system like this could bring Modern and Legacy back to their days of glory, provide a new outlet to market Wizards’ products to, and even entice Wizards to directly support both formats fully again.

What would these “new cards” be legal in?

Utilizing the Commander Set system, these new cards would be legal in all Eternal formats and completely illegal in Standard. Because the cards would be specifically designed for Modern and Legacy usage, there would hopefully be no need for any bans or restrictions.

Sets such as these could possibly be fun for drafting; however, they would have to be specifically designed with drafting on the back burners. In order for the system to work properly, it would have to be created in a way that directly focused on improving Modern and Legacy rather than creating the “perfect draft environment.” Additionally, this type of set would be an amazing opportunity for Wizards to tailor cards to the cube and pauper communities, as well.

Basically, a product line such as this could finally make Modern and Legacy affordable to the masses once again, and even allow the Wizards design team to introduce new, actually playable cards to the formats.

While this isn’t necessarily the best way to fix Magic’s reprint issue, implementing a system such as the Commander Sets for Modern and Legacy could really help lower the entry prices for the formats. They’d also be an amazing way for Wizards to add new, fun, and powerful cards to the formats, increasing diversity and overall player excitement.

We hope this article was helpful to you in some way! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

And, as always, happy gaming!

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!

Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “Fixing the Reprint Issue?

  • Profile photo of Greymoran
    Greymoran

    This is kinda what I was talking about on another post about the Reserve List (http://sylvanstudies.com/2017/03/06/why-wizards-cant-just-get-rid-of-the-reserved-list/).

    The only real problem with this idea is that it might get confusing for players, but it would allow Wizards to keep more artists on retainer since they would be doing so many reprints. Even people who have the original cards might be willing to put up some money for some updated artwork.

    • Profile photo of sylvanstudies
      sylvanstudies

      It’s not just about reprints though. It’s also an opportunity for Wizards to design new cards specifically tailored for the formats. By making brand new cards and introducing new strategies (mostly in Modern) that are easily attainable, the entry price of the formats would most likely go down.

      However, the same issue with reprints still applies as was discussed in the other article. Especially with this type of set, as printing on a mass scale similar to commander sets would absolutely destroy the prices of cards. While yes many expensive cards are only expensive because they are collectors items, cards such as Tarmogoyf, Liliana, Jace the Mind Sculptor, the fetchlands, and many many more are exclusively expensive due to their low availability. So if they were to be printed again it is almost entirely certain that their older versions will lose considerable value – it’s just not the same situation as reprinting a collectors item such as a black lotus.

      So basically, if this idea were to be implemented with considerable reprints, it would have to be done in a very controlled and thought out manner, and not just haphazardly released. If not, the risk of completely destroying the security in the secondary market is very high. While yes it would be nice to have card prices for all cards reach attainable levels, it would most likely have to be done in a controlled way that won’t make the secondary freak out over it.