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Rule of Law – Keeping the Reserve List

 

Several members of the community and even Wizards of the Coast (hereinafter, “Wizards”) employees themselves have called out the “Reserve List” as being outdated, too broad and too narrow at the same time, frustrating, bad for the game, threatening the long-term life of Eternal formats, etc. I have been shocked at how one-sided the published commentary has been, and I would like to offer my take on the reserve list.

For the uninitiated, here is a basic description of the reserve list (now called the “reprint policy”), and the list itself.

I think Wizards should NOT abolish or amend the reserve list, and here’s why: the company’s credibility matters. I don’t intend to discuss whether Wizards can change its mind regarding a promise it made to its customers (it certainly can), what matters here is whether it should. What are the consequences of abolishing the reserve list?

A promise should mean something.

When times are good, as they are now for Magic and its producer, Wizards, it is easy to forget the lessons of the past. Come to think of it, it’s also easy to forget the lessons of the past when times are tough. The reserve list was born out of the crisis that was Chronicles. Collectors, dealers, and players (there is overlap here, which is important to note; I, for example, am a collector and a player) had lost confidence in their ability to recoup investments made in Magic cards, due to the printing of cards like Killer Bees and Dakkon Blackblade in Chronicles which had a drastic negative impact on the older versions of these cards. In a crisis like this, people turned to Wizards for guidance, and Wizards used its credibility to assure them this wouldn’t happen again, by creating the reserve list. The reserve list has no value if it changes or vanishes the moment Wizards employees think “it is now in the company’s best interest to abolish or change the reserve list.” A promise to do something so long as you feel like it amounts to no promise at all.

Abolishing the reserve list now will mean that in any future crisis, whether it is a card-market crisis, a power-level/banned-restricted list crisis, a tournament support crisis, or whatever else you can imagine, Wizards won’t have the credibility needed to make a similar announcement or promise. Wizards’ credibility is critical to the health of the game. In a crisis, the existence of the reserve list, unblemished, will be a testament to how serious Wizards takes its promises. When an announcement is made, people will feel secure that it is more than just lip service. I urge Wizards to preserve this credibility by preserving the reserve list.

COUNTERARGUMENTS TO POPULAR ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF ABOLISHING THE RESERVE LIST

1) Legacy will die out eventually if the reserve list is not abolished.

The argument goes like this: Legacy grows in popularity every year, hence the demand for key cards increases, yet the supply never increases, due to the reserve list. At some point there are either too few cards, or the cards are too expensive, for the format to be a healthy one. This argument has the most appeal of any in favor of abolishing the reserve list, but I think at the very least, it is premature. Underground Sea is not currently much more expensive, if more expensive at all, than Tarmogoyf, and even decks with 2x Tabernacle are not much more expensive than some Extended decks, or more expensive than the kind of golf clubs you need to compete in a golf tournament. Right now, there are expensive decks and there are less expensive decks, and the format is doing tremendously well, even though less expensive formats exist (in fact, extended receives more support from Wizards in the form of PTQs, and is still less popular than Legacy). I enjoy owning valuable cards, working to put together a deck and/or collection is part of the joy of Legacy, and if I want to open packs and build something, I’ll play Standard or Block Constructed. Basically what I am saying is that the current growth of Legacy is evidence against the “expensive cards kill formats” argument. The cheaper format is not the one that will be embraced the most, and formats with expensive decks like current Legacy are widely embraced.

What is it that makes Legacy so popular? There is no one answer to this question, and no simple explanation will capture the different reasons that different people have for liking the format. However, I can say definitively that some players enjoy playing with older, more expensive, more powerful cards. You know, the kinds of cards Wizards would never reprint today, except as a promo. I know that personally, the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy. Again, not everyone feels this way, but some people do. Another thing many people like about Legacy is that so many different decks and strategies are viable. This means two things for the Legacy player who is strapped for cash, 1) the most expensive deck is by no means the best deck, and 2) if you invest in an archetype, it will likely stay relevant for a long time. I think the second point is one of Legacy’s great strengths. Merfolk might be the best deck today, not the best tomorrow, and the best again next year, but it will likely always be relevant. Many decks are also flexible enough to adjust to a changing metagame without changing more than say, 10 cards.

As for the game “eventually” dying out because only around 300,000 Underground Seas were ever printed: we’re not anywhere close to that now, and who knows if we’ll ever get there. Even an aggressive estimate would say that we are years away from there not being enough of a card for everyone who wants 4 to get 4, regardless of price (price is discussed above). In the unlikely event this eventually happens, it can be addressed in a number of ways at that time. All of this assumes Magic’s growth will continue, without a plateau or reversal, for years and years. I hope so, but who knows. The take-home point here is that we are a long long way away from card availability negatively impacting Legacy, irrespective of price, so addressing the problem now is premature.

2) The reserve list is too broad, in that it has cards that are worth 50 cents on it, and too narrow, in that cards like Force of Will aren’t reserved.

This popular argument misses the point entirely. What cards should be on the reserve list, and whether the reserve list makes sense in the first place, are essentially arguments that should have been made before the reserve list was announced. The wisdom of making a promise is distinct from the wisdom of keeping a promise. Here is an example: your uncle promises you, a 6 year old boy, a two-scoop ice-cream cone if you get an A on your math test. You achieve this mark, and approach your uncle to receive your prize. He then tells you that he should have promised you something healthy instead of something fattening, he should have asked your mother first, and he should have made the promise for just 1 scoop instead of two, since 1 scoop still would have motivated you. Even if all his reasons are correct, is he being fair to you? No, because he is listing reasons why he shouldn’t make such promises, not reasons why he shouldn’t keep the promises he has made. Wizards is in a similar position regarding the reserve list. There are several very good arguments for not making another reserve list, and indeed, Wizards has never made another reserve list.

The fact that cards are on the reserve list that don’t need to have their value protected, like Carnival of Souls, is not a reason to break a promise. It CERTAINLY isn’t a reason to abolish the entire reserve list, which would amount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. These cards don’t need to be reprinted anyway, we can all get a copy for 50 cents. Anyone who paints the reserve list as archaic and outdated may be correct, but they are just attempting to distract you from the real issue. No one really cares whether Carnival of Souls gets reprinted.

3) Recently, Wizards couldn’t put Sliver Queen in the Sliver deck, which sucked.

Again, this is a great argument for not making another reserve list, ever. But it isn’t a serious enough problem to warrant the credibility loss that would result from the proposed solution.

4) Wizards has already changed the reserve list, and has deviated from the reserve list, so collectors should already be on notice that reliance upon the reserve list is foolish.

Wizards has revised the reserved list in the past, and has printed premium versions of reserved cards, which, while not in violation of the reserve list as currently worded (the phrase “non-premium” is now in the policy), it was probably a violation of the reserve list as it was previously worded. Slight changes to the reserve list, or small-run printings of reserved cards are some evidence that Wizards might reprint Dual Lands, but they hardly overshadow the stated reprint policy that can be found on Wizards’ website. In other words, many people still put stock in the reserve list, myself included. Additionally, I am fully in favor of Wizards coming out and acknowledging that previous violations of the reserve list were mistakes. The fact that these mistakes were made, and Wizards’ credibility has suffered slightly (in proportion to the type of deviations we are talking about) as a result, is not a good argument for going 99.9999% further and abolishing the reserve list entirely. Yes, collectors should put slightly less faith in the reserve list than they should have before any deviations or modifications, but I don’t think reliance upon it is wholly unreasonable based on these minor past actions. Wizards should take corrective action in the fact of past deviations (a statement reaffirming the reserve list), rather than deviate further.

5) The current policy allows premium reprints, so Wizards should just do that.

First of all, I don’t think this is in line with the original promise made, though to be fair, I don’t have it in front of me. Second of all, any “sidestepping” of the reserve list is as ill-advised as abolishing the reserve list. There is no promise that Wizards won’t reprint an Underground Ocean that is Tribal Land – Swamp Island Kraken with no non-mana abilities (if subtypes are different, it isn’t a reprint). But the spirit of the promise would be broken. I regard foil reprints in the same way. Many players, like myself, don’t like foils. They have a different feel from regular cards, and I don’t want deficient randomization or even the appearance of a marked deck. Oh, and I also don’t like the way they look. But even if I liked foils, out of deference to the original promise of the reserve list, I wouldn’t advocate foil reprints.

Thank you for listening to the other side of this debate. Before posting in the comments, remember to ask yourself, “Am I making an argument for why the promise of the reserve list was a bad idea in the first place, or am I making an argument for why Wizards should break its promise now?”

P.S. Before I go, and in the spirit of “the health of the game of Magic,” I have to give two quick plugs for people who are close to me and for whom dedication to the game is a labor of love.

– Patrick Chapin’s book “Next Level Magic” goes on sale soon in stunning color edition. Late last year I told Patrick I thought [card]Ad Nauseum[/card] was the best deck in Legacy. He responded that he thought Reanimator was the best deck, but he understood what I meant. Take a look at the recent finals of Grand Prix Madrid when you get chance. When Patrick talks, I listen, and I try to get him to talk as much as I can.

– For those of you in Southern California, my friend Matt Murphy is opening a store on March 12, 2010 in La Habra, across from the In N Out. 2121 E. Lambert Rd., Ste. 305, La Habra, CA. I know he will be supporting Legacy, Standard, and everything else, with plenty of tables to battle on, so come check it out.

-Sperling

223 thoughts on “Rule of Law – Keeping the Reserve List”

  1. "it is now in the company's best interest to abolish or change the reserve list."

    I am comfortable with wizards having this sort of leeway on promises like the reserve list. I believe the best interests of the company and of the game are directly linked, and wizards will not intentionally make decisions that harm the game. That’s the sort of credibility that counts for me, not that WotC stubbornly held true to their promise, made in a crisis, through changing circumstances over fifteen years.

  2. “the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy”

    Why? The game plays out exactly the same regardless of whether his Tropical Island is Beta, Revised, or something else. You have no justification for having less fun in a game because your opponent played a different version of a card.

    It’s pure selfish greed, nothing more.

    Furthermore, wizards could print foil alternate-art Tropical Islands under the current policy, so your argument (if it can be called that) has zero relevance to whether or not the reserve list should be revoked.

  3. I am confused why feel restricting the reserve list is a bad idea. Liimited reprints of key cards such as underground sea and say force of will would only serve to push the price of the orginals up. see beta cards.

    I would personal welcome seeing these cards reprinted in a from the vaults series… pushing the value of my collection through the roof…

    Try to get your hands on an unopened set of from the vault exiled… see.

  4. I like the very methodical writing style. Doesn’t work for certain topics, but I really appreciate someone taking the time to put forth the dissenting viewpoint on a topic with a fairly one-sided opinion (or at least one-sided as far as published articles go).

    Good job, hope you keep writing.

  5. They’ll lose credibility? No offense but this whole argument sounds like an angry child who was promised a trip to Disney World and instead pouted on the way to Kings Island.

  6. This is the worst article I have ever read on this sight. This article makes you sound like a child who doesn’t want to share his toys. With the action of abolishing the reserved list Wizards doesn’t really lose all credibility. There is a large portion of the magic community that wants the list abolished so that the chance is there for reprints to be made, in order to make it easier to access the older formats. By abolishing the reserved list Wizards is saying that they are a flexible company that is willing to change outdated policy in order to enrich the game as a whole. I think Russell hit the nail pretty dead on in his comment. I would prefer a company that can change and evolve through the years as opposed to one that blindly sticks to outdated policy.

  7. Another important argument that has been left out is that the existance of the reserve list prohibits the inclusion of cards on the list in modern (i.e. non-Legacy) formats as they can’t be reprinted in new sets.

  8. I think you’re vastly overestimating any kind of real “credibility hit” Wizards would be in reality taking, if they for example decided to abolish the reserved list, and print out Legacy staples like duals in From the Vaults style non-block sets.

  9. I think the biggest mistake with the reserve list was that Wizards offered it as a perpetual promise. It would have been better to build in an escape clause (i.e. “This policy will be reviewed every 5-10 years and is subject to change.”) which would have allowed it to serve its original purpose of calming initial investors and collectors while not hamstringing them in the future.

    The fundamental question is how much value does Wizards put on its credibility and how much will that credibility be impaired through breech of this promise versus how much value Wizards thinks they can create through reprinting some cards. If the value is positive, they should do it, if the expected value is negative they shouldn’t.

    As you well know, parties break legally enforceable contracts all the time as circumstances change and when the damages are less then the cost of continuing performance. Despite their prior breech, those parties rarely have problems getting people to contract with them in the future. If Wizards thinks it’s in their best interest to break the reserve list, that’s their prerogative.

  10. If, in fact, only around 300,000 Underground Seas were ever printed, the format can sustain 75,000 playsets. Fewer Volcanic Islands were printed than Underground Seas, and there has almost certainly just been some removal from the world: cards got lost, or wet, or burnt.

    Some collectors are not going to play with theirs or make them available: ballpark all the various ways of effectively removing them from existence at 10%. (maybe high, probably low, but it makes for easy math)

    67,250 playsets is reasonable-ish, but it does mean that it is actually impossible for all of the people who play competitively on a semi-regular basis to be able to build an arbitrary deck in Legacy purely for mana-base reasons.

    Tarmogoyf might be more of a limiting factor (I don’t know how many copies of the lhurgoyf exist), but that’s mostly irrelevant.

    The important point is that if Legacy is the most popular format of Magic (which it seems to be, based on the relative player/official support compared to everything else, where Extended is the clear loser), it’s actively bad that it’s currently impossible for all the players to be able to play any deck they choose.

    Sure, you’ve got strictly worse replacements with Ravnica duals, not everyone is going to choose to play the same deck, etc., but there simply need to be more cards in existence than total players.

    As of this writing, I can’t order a playset of Tropical Islands from ChannelFireball’s store. Or Bayous. (to the store’s credit, the rest of the duals are available)

    This seems problematic to me.

  11. It basically boils down to the fact that I want more people to play legacy.

    And I don’t care if all my duals are de-valued for it.

  12. I do not intend to be jumping on the bandwagon of nay-sayers, however your argument seems a bit… biased. The first thing that came to mind when reading this article was another article, written about the side events in PT San Diego in which you wrote that you didn’t need another set of dual lands, because you “already have 40+ original duals.” I did some quick calculations; the deck you played in that event, if bought singly from a dealer, costs over one thousand dollars. That is not a casual format, nor one which is easy to get into. And when saying that you can get in the format cheaply; the deck that won that event (your deck), is worth more than 1k. That’s not cheap.

    Your entire argument comes across as incredibly elitist, and I don’t mean elitist in that it is only open to good players, i mean elitist in that it is only open to players that have the right cards, or have the cash to get them. It seems that you not only want to keep the reserve list, but want to go above that and have the reserve list become a “Never going to print again for any reason” list (which in a way it is, as any reprinted premium cards cannot be tournament legal).

    I don’t think that Wizards should do away with the reserve list (not entirely, at least). I think they should certainly reserve the right to reprint certain cards in limited premium runs, and I believe that they SHOULD do so, as it builds interest in those cards while not negatively impacting their value, and opens up the format that much more. And while I believe at least similarly to you on this subject, I feel that your argument discredits the entire idea of the reserve list, simply by making it seem greedy, possessive, and elitist. However, this is just my opinion, as this article is yours.

    -Fritz Jaeger

  13. @Adam Clare:

    Excellent point about the escape clause.

    @Matt: You make several comments regarding the idea that it is “too soon” to address the idea that the reserve list should be amended simply due to lack of availability. Does that mean that you are ok with the idea that in 2 years time if someone wants a legacy mana base they should have to pay 5x the current value for it? The way you word your argument about Legacy suggests that you have a problem with younger players or less wealthy players making their way into your old boys club.

    If you are ok with the idea that there may be a future point where Wizards realizes they need to reprint cards, why not advance that by a year or two if that helps improve the game? I agree they should make the change in a way that helps preserve the collector value of the cards, but that’s not really the issue when we’re talking about availability or price of entry.

    Also, your comment about golf clubs is fundamentally flawed. Good players play with whatever clubs their sponsor provides. If they change sponsors, they have to learn how to play with new clubs on the spot. To be fair, Magic is a very unique game, and it’s hard to find good analogies to it. However, I am not aware of any “Magic Scholarships” that will buy you a playset of Legacy cards if you show promise in the game, but their are plenty of organizations that will buy you golf clubs, tennis rackets, chess clocks, provide lessons, etc. if you show promise in those events.

  14. 1st, A piece of cardboard is not an investment. If you want something that will hold its value, buy a savings bond.

    2nd, It’s in the best interest of the players for more people to have access to the cards, and it’s in the interest of Wizards to be able to reprint these cards.

    3rd, a promise made by a corporation should not be considered to be one made in perpetuity.

  15. The argument that “They made a promise and should stick to it, and that’s that” – especially with the example provided, is terrible.

    Your example is one of a promise to DO something. “I will give you icecream if you get an A on this test” is one of both a specified time duration “this test” and a promise to DO something with no statement of how much it must be done (thus you give icecream that time and have fulfilled your obligation – its never brought up again).

    Their actual promise is a promise NEVER to do something. A more appropriate example, taking into account their age and mindset at the time as well as similarity, is more akin to the following. A mom tells their kid “One day you are going to be dating girls and its going to be so cute!” The 7 year old boy goes “Ew! Girls are gross! I promise you that I’ll never like them! They are icky!” Years later, the kid matures, changes his entire stance on the argument, and also realizes that unlike in the example you gave, there is absolutely no duration – their promise is to last as long as they do.

    But I guess that’s what the kid gets for having made that promise, and that’s all there is to it – according to some.

  16. @MB: Perfectly said.

    @Jim V.

    You forgot to add, “Know whut I mean, Vern?”
    Otherwise, excellent.

  17. Also remember that the list was made during a time when the infant company and game were still growing. There are errors to be made. No one thought that 15+ years later the game would still be going/growing.

  18. Uh…Matt…i respect your articles, but i must say that this is nothing but pure anger.

    You are one of the maybe…2% that would be upset with the abolishing of the reserve list. I would love more than anything (except maybe my GF :P) to see legacy become a heavily played sanctioned format. Imagine playing in the first legacy pro tour, that arose simply because people could afford duals, mox diamonds, and the like now.

    REMOVE THE RESERVE LIST, IT IS OLD AND OUTDATED AND IS KEEPING THE GREATEST FORMAT EVER FROM BEING HEAVILY PLAYED!

    I WANT TO SEE UNDERGROUND SEA IN THE NEXT BLOCK! 😉

  19. LOL @ Underground Sea in the next block

    But yeah, looks like you’re in the minority, Matt…

  20. I am amazed how everything you have ever written, I disagree with and am on the completely opposite side of. This is beyond my comprehension.

  21. Jeez, Matt’s really getting ripped on in the comments. I agree with most of what he said and I am a player who would love to play legacy and cannot make the initial investment into it. I would hate to play legacy with reprinted cards and I respect the fact that legacy players have put huge investments into their collections to play their favorite format. Part of the charm of legacy is the fact that only really dedicated players can play it.

    Wizards provided reassurance to these players that some of the cards that they love to play with wont be reprinted – which would cause the value of their collections to decrease and the would cause the charm of playing in a format like legacy to disappear. As much as I would like to play legacy, I understand why Matt and many other players wouldn’t want to stare down foil alternate art duals and I not only respect that but hope wizards continues to abide by their promise.

    If you really want to play legacy the way its supposed to be played, then buy the cards and put the effort in. I know I eventually will, and I don’t want it to be with FTV foil tropical islands.

  22. Wizards doesn’t have to remove the reserve list. They already reprint reserve list cards as judge foils, and in the upcoming Duel Decks and FTV sets. All of the cards on the reserve list that are both valuable and see play in legacy are basically unprintable in “regular” sets anyway. Duals will never be standard legal, which basically means that if wizards wants to put more duals in circulation it will either be through Boxed sets, Tournament Prizes (like GP promos, or judge foils), or through special “insert” cards like the Hidden Treasures promotion. All of these methods lend themselves to special foil versions.

    Why is it that you believe in the sanctity of wizards promise when they already have violated it? Most of the cards on the reserve list – all of the commons and uncommons, have already been removed. Many of the rares have ALREADY been reprinted as judge foils, so why would anyone even think that Wizards promise means anything?

    Excuse me for being cynical but why is it that you care so deeply about wizard’s promise WHEN IT HAS ALREADY BEEN BROKEN Both in a de-facto way(Judge foils, upcoming FTV and DDs) and in a de-jure way (the physical removing of every common and uncommon off of the list)? It seems to me like you care more about the value of your own collection more than the health of the game.

  23. “It basically boils down to the fact that I want more people to play legacy.

    And I don't care if all my duals are de-valued for it.

    Comment by Taylor – March 10, 2010 @ 10:21 pm”

    ftw.

  24. A lot of players seem resentful of the reserve list, and the idea that older staples should be expensive. (The availability argument seems wrong to me, given that between all the online stores and ebay, everything seems available if you’re willing to pay for it). The thing is, many people feel similarly resentful about standard. Most competitive standard decks are many hundreds of dollars, which is so out of reach for many lower-class people that they simply never take up the game. Magic is a COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME, meaning that the cards will have collectible value in addition to their play value. If people are angry that some formats are prohibitively expensive, then why are they playing a ccg?

    Personally, I think it would actually be kind of sweet if price were no issue at all, and that all constructed tournaments allowed any number of proxies, standard included, but then you’re not really playing a ccg anymore.

    It seems to me that people who take joy in their playsets of Zendikar fetchlands, but who resent people with their playsets of power, are being hypocrites. You can’t have it both ways. If you want a cheaper game that’s equally awesome in different ways, play chess or go or something. Magic is the game that it is precisely because of the collectibility factor, and that is going to exclude any sufficiently poor people from playing competitively. Like it or not, that’s the way it is. (For the record, I just started playing recently, and have very little to spend on the game.)

  25. This is probably the worst article I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading on this site. It came across as “Legacy is an Old Boys Club that won’t accept any but the rich and famous”. The analogy to Golf, another Old Boys game, didn’t help matters. In fact, I think reading this article made me want to play Legacy less than I already do.

    I would like to point out that Matt said that Underground Sea is worth “not much more” than Tarmogoyf. News flash, Matt: outside of Legacy, only one card is pushing 3 digits. Saying that a core piece of half the format’s decks’ manabases is worth “not much more” than the card that is, to most players (i.e. Those who don’t play Legacy, since there are more of us than there are of you, as I’m including casual and FNM only players, not just GP goers) the most expensive card they’ll ever use, is not an achievement.

    @Harry: How about I’ll send you a slice of box and you can send me $1000? After all, you’re willing to pay that kind of money for cardboard anyway; I may as well profit from it too.

  26. “Jeez, Matt's really getting ripped on in the comments.”

    Yes, it’s because everyone that reads channelfireball are type 2 scrubs without any eternal cards.

    So, given there’s 75,000 playsets of any specific dual, let’s ask the question: Is that really not enough? There were 2,220 people at the last Legacy GP tournament. If half the people there were playing Underground Seas, (which is more likely closer 25%) that would leave, over 74,000 playsets of Seas still out there! Now lets suppose there’s 10,000 missing or lost playsets. Now we have 64,000 playsets of Seas.

    Now let’s come up with a number of all the unique players who played in sanctioned Eternal events in 2000-2010. I would imagine it would be far far less than 75,000. I think it would be less than 20,000. That leaves approx. 40,000(!) playsets still available!

    Anyone who says there’s not enough is mistaken. You can find multiple auctions and sites that sell them, across the world. The problem isn’t availability, the problem is you don’t have enough income. Why not work, save, and buy REAL cards that will be good forever? Why not stop whining that you can’t afford X, and so someone else should suffer so that you may? Damn commies.

    Magic has, and always will cost money to play. If you don’t want to pay to play with the best cards, there’s MWS, there’s gold-bordered championship decks. There’s options. But if you want to play sanctioned Eternal, where real prizes are at stake, it *should* cost you.

  27. Wizards can ban the duals in legacy. Problem resolved, all players will play with Ravnica duals, that there are enough of them for all.

  28. @Josh a few posts up

    Standard decks might be expensive but they are mostly going to stay the same price for the short time they are in standard. Legacy cards that don’t get reprinted are going to keep going up till the format becomes similar to Vintage where the threshold of playing is too high for more people, the format will stagnate and that will be that.

    @ at Tarmogoyf arguments.

    Goyf might be a lot right now but Wizards can reprint it any time they want. Its also 1 card compared to quite a few (Mox, Dual Lands, and lots of other crap). Its 1 thing if one card costs $80-100 but once the Duals reach that (by the looks of it not too log) there is going to be a huge hurdle. It basically means that Merfolk and Goblin (2 of the most popular decks in the US) would make a huge percentage of the field, and would basically warp the Legacy meta worse than anything I can think of.

  29. You guys are retarded.

    First retarded argument: “You are selfish for not wanting Wizards to reprint these old cards.” YOU ARE SELFISH FOR WANTING THEM TO PRINT THE OLD CARDS. Sick hypocritical argument, brosie. Wanting someone to share with you is selfish, just as not wanting to share with someone else is selfish. All people are selfish, so calling someone selfish is like telling them that they are breathing.

    Second retarded argument: “As is, Legacy costs too much to play.” Legacy is a format where a collection can grow and grow. Block, Standard, and Extended all have rotations, but eternal formats never rotate. This characteristic means adding to one’s collection slowly is possible and not impractical. Buying a card strictly for a Standard collection two months before it rotates out of Standard is a stupid purchase. In Legacy, this is not a worry, because no card rotates, therefore a person can collect cards at his/her own pace. This is what I did. I am an unemployed, full-time student, but over three years I have collected 75% of Legacy playables. I am probably one of the cheapest people I know, but I was still able to acquire a good portion of the Legacy card pool just by being patient. To play Legacy, a person does not need to buy every deck in the format. By slowly acquiring cards, a person can fill out his/her collection without having to “break the bank.”

    Third retarded argument: “If they print foil versions of a card, then that card will go up in value.” Maybe the value will go up, maybe it will not. I do not really care about whether the price of the card goes up a whole lot, as long as it does not plummet horribly. The cool thing about playing Legacy is that the person you are playing against probably put a lot of time and effort into acquiring the cards that make up his/her deck. Knowing that it is harder to just put a deck together seconds before a tournament starts is a nice feeling, as you know your opponents will also have put effort into their deck choice. If cards become more readily available, then it will be possible for people to order a decklist online the week before a tournament, which completely bypasses the effort necessary in order to complete most Legacy decklists.

    If you wish to play Legacy without worrying about a limited supply of cards: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/other/030910a . I assume Wizards will make it possible buy all types of packs soon (I read that Exodus is not available or something currently).

    EDIT: No profanity please – LSV

  30. Seriously, all. Stop bashing Matt’s opinion. Just grow up and make lawyer money so you can play Legacy, too. Gee…

  31. Agree very much with the whole foil duals comment. I pray that if and when the reprints come they will be original frame, non-foil, white border circa fifth edition. This is the only way I can imagine the revised versions maintaining their current (or close to current) value.

    My parents were always making me do stuff that I hated (piano lessons etc.) when I was growing up and I always thought that they were being mean or shortsighted, but hindsight taught me that it really was for my own good in the end and now I often think of how lucky I was to have had their wisdom even if I resented it at the time.

  32. @rory – what does it cost the people who have the original cards if they are reprinted? This “stuff you, got mine” attitude doesn’t even make any sense when wizards can just put more cards into the system without taking any away from the current card owners. Who is the “someone else who has to suffer”? The author of this article, whose enjoyment is reduced by seeing an opponent with an alternate art dual? The more I look at that statement the more grotesque it seems.

    @HAVE HEART – There is a difference between wanting something and being selfish – being selfish implies that you want something disregarding others welfare. Our side is happy for those who have legacy staples already to keep them, in fact we are looking forward to playing against you! Your argument seems to be that the main thing drawing you to Legacy is that others are excluded from it which is a very selfish attitude.

  33. What if your uncle later discovers that you are deathly allergic to ice-cream? He tells that he should have asked your mother first. If he doesn’t give you the ice cream, is he being fair to you?

    Get it? Some promises shouldn’t be kept.

  34. One thing that is overlook is that the Wizards that made that promise is no more. The employees that made the reprint policy don’t work for Wizards anymore and the company basically just kept its name.

    You can’t sustain a promise of someone else. And AS A COMPANY, you can’t sustain a promise that forces you to make less money. That’s bad administration.

  35. Heres the problem:

    You act like the original reserved list was for the players/collectors. It wasn’t. Sure the older players (myself included) saw some cards take big hits when reprints came out. But it wasnt for players/collectors they issued this list, it was for shops. Many small shops that carried multiple collectibles such as baseball cards took enormous hits when chronicles came out. Many people in these shops didn’t play Magic and internet sites like there are nowdidnt exist. They saw the names of older cards, looked them up in scry or inquest under their original sets, then bought them from kids at 3-4x the actual value. Buying a collectible for $20 that sells for $5 is horrible for small shops and can easily force them out of business. So the shops basically said its not worth the hassle to carry Magic cards anymore. Thats bad for Wizards. Hence the impromptu list hastily being issued to quell the angry shops and keep them selling the products of a budding franchise.

    Flash forward:

    Collectible shops are very far and few between and the ones that exist are primarilly of the Magic/comic kind and are familiar with the product. The original intent of the list is no longer valid. The argument now is whether Wizards should uphold this list they made 15 years ago for the sake of posterity. They could very easily issue statements which cards will be coming off the list. They could very easily give a time line stating “Underground see is coming off the reprint list, however, it will be 2 years before it will be considered for reprint” This way its responsible and not putting shops and collectors under short notice that a card may be losing value. This would allow them to judiciously reprint cards that are staples in all Legacy/vintage decks that are becoming out of most players price point.

    So why should they do it?:

    Any influx in intrest for magic is good. The more people there are playing in all formats the better it is for everyone involved. So would be wierd seeing a Foil alternate art Underground see? For a while. But is it fun seeing 2x the number of people playing in the format? You bet. Anyone who says reprinting is bad because they want to feel special about their cards is being selfish/elitist. (and to the guy saying its selfish to say that, I own a good majority of the Legacy staple cards. So i stand to see many of my cards take a hit)

    Side Note: one more reason to reprint is that many of the older cards can be reproduced to almost identical detail with newer home printing tech due to the poor print quality of cards from the Alpha/Beta/Unlimited/Revised sets. The number of fake cards is on the rise. Many newer players are getting fake cards while trying to buy into the Legacy/vintage formats.

  36. Looking at Fuentes’ article this week, even extended has a high barrier to entry. Median deck price for the decks he lists is $317.30. For that much money, you could build yourself a pretty good legacy deck or get the core for a few decks. Hell, extended zoo is playable in Legacy already, and with a few small card changes, it’s tier 1 even without old duals.

    For the near $500 price tag of an extended zoo deck, you could get the core of a few different legacy decks. For 500, you could get 4 revised tropical islands in good to fair condition, plus 4 force of wills in good to fair condition and still have a decent chunk of change left to flesh out a deck. Say you spend $240 on the trops @ $60 each and $160 on the FoW at $40 each, which is pretty high for trops and decent for FoW’s. That still leaves $100 to flesh the deck out. Counterbalance and top are 7 each here at CF, Daze’s are 3 and Brainstorms a buck. You could sell a playset of maelstrom pulses today and be about 10 bucks short of getting playsets of those, which are the core of most of the aggro-control builds though they usually don’t run out the full playset. Even taking out the $260 for goyfs from the zoo deck, you can still get the trops for a goyf-less zoo deck and pretty much everything aside from the forces and random other duals based on your build will be $20 or less, and you can still use shocklands in place of them if you don’t want to spend the money.

    If you want to play combo, then fast mana and card selection is where you’re going to end up. Lotus petals are 3 bucks, chrome moxes you might have from extended, seething songs, spirit guides, rite of flames, etc are dirt cheap. Ad nauseam is still in standard. LED’s are 50 for mint/near mint ones, though fair, slightly played and played ones are considerably less. Charbelchers are in extended, so are empty the warrens, and both are cheap by standard/extended baselines. The only major expenses in the whole 1/2 land belcher archetype is the LED’s and the 1 or 2 lands if you must use old duals over shocklands.

    If you’ve played some standard/extended, you probably have even more stuff to flesh the deck out with already. You probably have zendikar fetches from standard/extended, and maybe even some onslaught ones from old extended, since they’ve only been out of the format for a year. You might have some tarmogoyfs, they’ve only been out of standard for a couple of years and are still in extended. Aether vials are in a set still legal for extended, though the vials themselves arent, so you might have some as well. Noble hierarchs are standard and extended legal, so you might have some of those. If you’re the type to sell everything before it rotates, then you’ve screwed yourself when to comes to eternal formats. Of course, you’ve probably made enough money selling stuff from just a few seasons of standard to straight out buy a high end legacy deck if you were so inclined.

    I think the biggest mistake that people make with regards to legacy is that they look at the cost of a deck as if they own nothing. If you truly own no magic cards, even block, standard or extended will be rough on you to get in.

    Hell, I’ve been playing since Onslaught, though I played Beta through Alliances as a kid and quit, have been playing legacy and just got my first duals today, in the form of 3 trops. Sure my deck is kind of offbeat, but it’s fun to watch, complicated to play well and a blast to play win or lose. Beating with Phage is fun IMO, no matter who you are. Aside from the trops I picked up today, the biggest expense in my deck was the 4 survival of the fittest that I got a few years ago at 10 each, that or the shocklands that I was using or the 2x chrome mox that I’ve had since standard.

    This is the other beauty to the format, IMO. It’s so wide open that, if you’re the brewing type, you can brew yourself a fun rogue deck and still have the ability to win. You can work on the same pet deck for years, tweaking it here and adjusting it there in the relative safety of knowing that you will always be able to play it.

    @JT: Considering the health of the format in terms of viability and player base, I see no reason to say that the reserve list is poisonous or otherwise fatal to it. If the format is/was stagnating, then I could see the issue and the comparison would make sense. To go around doing big things to a healthy format is like using strong prescription drugs to treat an illness that isn’t there. It may just end up hurting things more than helping.

  37. Kudos to you Matt for standing by your opinion, unpopular as it is.

    I have to disagree with you on keeping the reserve list because I think your assumption that Wizards breaking this promise will cause people to trust them less in the future is untrue. In fact, I’d rather have them get rid of the list and not dance around finding ways to reprint cards on it anyway.

    The 7 year old promising to never like girls seems a good analogy on this. When he starts dating a few years later very few people will hold him to that promise, or trust him less because he broke it. The company has matured, found that it made a decision that is not in the best interest of the game/company and is willing to admit that it made a mistake and rescind that promise. A single promise made by a young company does not show a pattern to cause a lack of trust.

    To the commenters who don’t believe that cardboard backed by a company is an investment: you must not buy stocks either, I mean that isn’t even cardboard, it’s simply paper, and savings bonds and money are also simply paper backed by the issuing government. What makes anything an investment is that you believe later on you will be able to find someone willing to pay you more for it than you originally paid. In that sense Magic is no worse an investment than anything else that has no use beyond enjoyment, though as pure investment I’d have to look at potential returns to decide if I want to buy a Magic card or a piece of art.

  38. The talk of “investment” isn’t necessarily about buying a playset of Dual Lands now for 1700 and in 5 years selling them for 3700. The danger of reprints is this: I’ve been wanting to play legacy, tomorrow after a few months of saving, I go out and buy a playset of Tropical Islands for $180. The day after tomorrow Wizards announces that dual lands will be in the next Duel Deck that’s coming out in a couple months. And oh great, they’re going to use the ugly foiling process on them too to make them “premium!” Ok, now those Tropical Islands I spent a couple months saving for dropped from $180 to $60. I’d feel like I was slapped in the face. No one wants anything they purchase to turn around and be made to be worth 50% less the day they buy it.

    Now of course there is always that risk, WotC might up and fold tomorrow and most of these cards could plummet.

    I agree with the author of the article about foils, I absolutely hate foils and think they make every card they touch look horrendous. And even worse, I really like alternate art cards (extended art or textless being my favorite) and when they make a cool looking alternate art card that is only available foiled I really hate it.

    As far as destroying the reserve list, its essentially destroyed now. One day, when WotC has had a few bad quarters in a row, the pressure from Hasbro will force a From the Vault: Power and will contain 15 of the most expensive cards in Magic. One day that will happen, and unfortunately it will be pretty much when Magic has really gone down hill.

    In the meantime, I don’t mind the reprints so much as Judge Foils. I don’t really mind the reprints in the From the Vault series as long as they kept them limited. I think putting reprinted reserve list cards in the Duel Deck series has pretty much gone too far and has destroyed the reserve list. They’re testing it now with the Phryexian Negator, but judging by most of the responses to this article, the test was successful. Wouldn’t doubt the next Duel Deck to have Force of Will in it. However, the grass isn’t always greener. I was around in the Chronicles days, I couldn’t afford the $25 Elder Dragons back then. I can’t really afford to be buying into Dual Lands right now either. Magic has a mystique about it though. The cost and rarity of some cards fuel more to the game than I think most of these responses care to consider. This game would not have nearly the appeal if everything was truly worth what the “cardboard” is truly worth, and that is about $0.02. No one would play that game. At least not enough for anyone to care about. Cards having rarities and values adds a lot, it also fuels a lot of sales for WotC. Would M10 sold nearly as well if it wasn’t for the random johnny’s trying to pull a Baneslayer Angel?

    The bottom line is WotC will do whatever it thinks is in the best interests of making money.

    If they really cared about the Legacy format and having people play it, they’d just sanction Proxied tournaments. Bam, problem solved.

    Have I mentioned how much I hate Foil cards?

  39. They should change their name to Hasbro’s Wizzards of the Coast and then they can no longer be held to any such promises

  40. Going to be shameless and just Quote Stephen Menedian. (best vintage writer on the internet by a mile or ten).

    “The Reserved List was created in the wake of Chronicles, a reprint set that enraged collectors by devaluing many of the cards from Legends, Antiquities and Arabian Nights.

    The purpose of the Reserved List is to preserve the value and collectability of cards by promising investors, players and collectors that some cards won’t lose value or collectability because of reprints.”

    And then the important Quote.

    “Numerous reprints simply do not affect the value of Alpha and Beta printings much one way or the other….

    It's quite clear that ‘collectability' and value remain for certain card printing regardless of the number of times they've been reprinted. In short, the Reserved List does not protect the value or collectability of, say, Beta Underground Sea whatsoever. The Reserved List does not fulfill the purpose for which it was designed.”

    One great example is Shivan Dragon – A Beta Copy will cost you $200 compared to M10 0,6$ and we are talking about a card that see NO play.

    Is it in the best interest of the game to keep the list – No

    Will it have a huge impact on the price of Alpha, Beta cards those hurting collectors – no

    Removeing the list is a win-win situation for everyone so I can’t see any reaon to keep it around.

  41. “Now let's come up with a number of all the unique players who played in sanctioned Eternal events in 2000-2010. I would imagine it would be far far less than 75,000. I think it would be less than 20,000. That leaves approx. 40,000(!) playsets still available!”

    It’s almost certainly more than 20,000; considering that you’ve got US, Japan, and European players. In any case, bragging that the format can go up to 60,000 players is absurd.

    There are millions of people playing this game. If a format can’t even support 100,000 people because of the lack of dual lands, Force of Will, etc; then there’s no way it has long-term viability.

    “Anyone who says there's not enough is mistaken. You can find multiple auctions and sites that sell them, across the world. The problem isn't availability, the problem is you don't have enough income. Why not work, save, and buy REAL cards that will be good forever? Why not stop whining that you can't afford X, and so someone else should suffer so that you may? Damn commies.”

    The funny thing is that if Legacy collapses under its own weight and Wizards stops supporting it as a real format, your precious cards will drop in value much more than they would if they were reprinted and made more available.

    Beta duals will always be the most awesome version to own. If there are FTV duals, or Duel Deck duals, or whatever, Beta duals will still be better than those.

    But if the format stops getting support from WotC in the form of Grand Prixes, then there’s no format at all for them to be played in, and their price will take a beating because all the people who play this game to have fun PLAYING THE GAME (instead of trying to use magic cards as an investment to replace a real stock portfolio) will sell off their duals, dropping their value.

  42. @Harry – I think you are talking about Vintage but you think Vintage is Legacy. Legacy is not supposed to be the expensive format. It was specifically created because Vintage was too expensive for most mortals.

    @Cainam – Check the average performance of the stock market since 1960. If you are not a broker, you are likely losing money long-term to fees, taxes, and inflation.
    Stocks are generally not a good investment, unless you’re a broker. Also, savings bonds are interest-bearing IOU notes, which is something completely different than a Magic card. Magic cards are “investments” the way Beanie Babies are “investments”. Why not go to an investment advisor, and see what they think about Magic cards as “investments”? As for “collectibility”, Magic cards are for playing Magic. Hand-painted, hand-numbered Elvis plates are for “collecting”.

    Which is more likely: That old cards will hold or gain value if Magic has fewer players, or that old cards will hold or gain value if Magic has more players?

    Lower barriers to entry for Legacy (and, to a lesser extent, Vintage) are good for the vast majority of players and the company that makes the game and bad for a tiny minority of players. Higher barriers to entry are good for a tiny minority of players and bad for the vast majority of players and the company that makes the game. *Obviously* the company should go with the option that’s bad for them and most of their player base. /sarcasm

  43. Interesting opinions from everyone. However, isn’t this argument moot? Wizards will eventually reprint cards from the reserve list. It is a public company that is bound to its shareholders and no one else. When they believe that reprinting cards from the reserve list will bring a profit to the company, they will do it. Whether you support the banning or not, I think everyone agrees that if Wizards reprinted Underground Sea, they would make a lot of money.

    If you don’t want Wizards to reprint these cards, show the company why it will not be beneficial to its bottom line.

  44. I’m going to have to agree with the others here, this is a whole lot of whining and poorly thought out arguements. You say that we are years away from not having enough cards for everyone who wants 4 to have them, so we should wait till that point to address the crisis. That is the problem, Wizards had a crisis and had to react to it, and thus they did something without taking the time to fully understand the consequences. At this stage in the game, the credibility Wizards has earned from the Reserve list is instead a liability because it isn’t “They keep a promise no matter what” credibility, it is “They won’t adapt or fix a problem.” Abolishig the reserve list doesn’t mean that everything on it will see reprints, but it would give the flexibility to print what they need for the players and for the health of the game.

    One final point: The reserve list is supposed to protect the value of your cards, but if the game is suffering for it, is it worth it knowing that the value of your cards is directly affected by the health of the game?

  45. Matt is getting ripped on both because his opinion his unpopular and because he is the worst writer on this site. His arguments are horrible. He spends a minor portion of his article creating a thin defense for his point, and then the rest of the article setting up and defeating straw-man arguments.

    I respect LSV and many of the great writers for this site, but it baffles me that they can stand this drivel. Maybe Matt is friendly, tells great jokes and is good at Magic, but he is a horrible writer. His articles are a waste of time at best and potentially harmful if his horrible logic actually takes hold with any of the readers.

  46. What i dont get is the people who want the list abolished. Its called collectible for a reason. I even know people who dont play, but just collect. Is it fair to those people that trusted wotc promise of letting their colelction retain its value?
    The people who over the years have spent time and money to collect something that will rise in price?

    Im also in the cant afford to play legacy but would like to, camp. But if someone makes a promise they should stick to it.
    And more importantly wotc have to keep that promise, cause if they start breaking promises that jeopardizes the whole of magic. Like the promise on mtgo that we will get a heads up if they ever decide to shut it down, so that we can redeem what we have.

    If you dont want to spend money on cards that are readily avaiable, though expensive. Start playing bridge or board games, cause collectible means that cards should become less accesible as times go by.

    How would you feel if the mox or lotus you bought and were promised would never be reprinted suddenly were reprinted and plummeted in value?

    Last question, for those that most want to abolish the list, how long have you been playing? Maybe just me, but i see a clear distinction between people that started playing before or around rath cycle and those that started later.

  47. Julian: The argument that their collection would not retain its value because of reprints is not valid.

    Reprints simply does NOT make older cards less expensiv. More people playing legacy = biger market for old cards so if anything it will make prices on old cards go up because lots of people will want there black borded betalands instead of their whiteboarded duals and quite a few of those people will be happy to pay for them aswell, even if it’s the same card.

    And when it comes to these kinds of discussion you can’t really use personal oppinions/preferences as an arguement.
    When it comes to reprinting cards on the Reservelist or not it´s all about what’s good for the game and the reservelist does nothing to help the game or the community.

    There are people playing magic that was barely borned when Alpha was printed. Saying I spent lots of time and money on my collection and I’ve ben with magic since the beginning, they should not be able to buy new cards and jump on the legacy train is unfair to them if anything. Or maybe their parents should have bought it for them as a wellcomme to life gift?

  48. Which sounds more like a kid whining? Someone who has invested money in a card wanting it to maintain its value, or someone who doesn’t own the card demanding they be able to get it on the cheap.

    It's a stupid argument anyway. They will be reprinted, but not in enough quantity to really hurt prices.

  49. I don’t know why Sperling bothers writing. Every time he makes a thoughtful, well-presented case, hundreds of drooling morons attack him in the comments in a flurry of poorly-conceived rebuttals rife with logical fallacies.

  50. Isn’t it the best play for wizards to say “we made a promise and we intend to keep it even if we don’t like that promise” and then wait to see what the community says about it before actually making a decision?

    If the community leans towards “yes, keeping your promises, even when they are poor ones is important to us” then Wizards does nothing and looks like the good guys while at the same time if the community says “it’s a lame promise based off an antiquated and arbitrary list and you should remove it” then they get to not only say they wanted to keep their promise but still nix the list because it’s what the community wants.

    Maybe I’m just seeing this from an odd angle.

  51. While I greatly respect your opinions about a lot of topics and enjoy reading your articles. I highly disagree with you on the topic of the reserved list. You have to remember one thing Wizards is one thing, a company with investors that needs to make money. I was kinda passive reading your article until I came to the point you made about Sliver Queen not being reprintable in the Sliver deck. Why this was in fact a HUGE issue for Wizards is that the deck did not sell nearly as many copies as it would have if Sliver Queen was included. Dont forget the mighty power of the Dollar. And older players like you and me with large collections/ebay purchases do not put a single dollar in Wizards pockets with current restrictions (excepting the few newer cards being played from Standard).

  52. Great article ! Fully support the views in the article.

    And its great to see how people start using the “a child that want all the toys” argument…cause it proves the article hit home most of the places

    Great work

  53. I’m torn on this argument. Sure I could squirrel away one $50-70 card a month every month for 3 years and eventually have a tier 1 Legacy deck, abandoning Standard in the process (since I can only pay for one or the other,) but what if Magic goes down the toilet in 3 years? Holy crap, what a waste of money that would be!

    Maybe in 20 years when Magic has gone the way of Star Wars and even $200 cards are worth $2, I’ll pick up Legacy. Until then, no thanks. I don’t have to play Legacy, it’s not a requirement for me to enjoy the game.

  54. “The second my opponent plays a foil alternate art tropical island, I will be having less fun playing legacy.”

    But your opponent will in fact be ABLE TO PLAY legacy. I’d rather let everybody play than have a couple elitists complain about supply needing to meet demand.

    I’ve been looking for duals for a while now, and I’ll make it to all the ones I need eventually, but they’re surprisingly not easy to find. Many dealers have put away their duals to hold until they rise more, and everybody’s buying, with few sellers.

    I also think it’s interesting that you say “Underground Sea is only as much as goyf.” The problem is that you assume goyf will 1) stay that high outside of extended season, which has clearly not been the case and 2) that the price of goyf is managable. I know if duals were $2-, I could have people to play legacy with on my college campus. I know two guys who play now, and I know another 3-4 who would. I’d rather double the player base for legacy than let those who were playing long enough ago to afford the necessary cards dictate who gets to play because they moan about foils.

    Other arguments suffer similar problems. Matt, if you want to convince people (and I’m open to new ideas, given good arguments), take Menedian’s article or Ben Bleiweiss’s article and argue against their points instead of silly arguments some guy made on some forum somewhere. This is like saying “Oh, I can beat a 3rd grader in an argument, so I must be right, given my assumptions.” I frequently appreciate your articles, and was looking forward to this one right up until I read it. I know you can do better, and I’d love to see a part two that is more relevent to the discussion.

  55. I’ve seen this on here and many other sites. Magic is NOT a CCG anymore. It was changed to a TCG quite a while ago to try and step away from the whole investor side of the house. Take a look at Aaron Forsythe’s twitter page, it says in his bio “Director of R&D, Magic: The Gathering TCG”. So to repeat, magic is NOT a CCG anymore, so stop using that an an argument.

  56. Even in sleeves, cards see wear and tear. You wouldn’t play catch with a ball signed by Babe Ruth. The baseball is a collectible, you keep it and do nothing with it. The cards are collectible and have value only because of the abilities they confer in the game. Cards that are worn cost less than new cards. If you’re so concerned about preserving your investment, you should never play.

  57. Bruce: Wizards is a company where most of the people involved with the production/design of MTG love the game, making it different than your average scum sucking major corporation.

  58. A lot of Vintage and even Legacy Tournaments are done with “Proxies” as players simply can’t afford the card pool and so your Tournaments suffer number of players.

    Reprinting a bunch of cards is a good thing to make older formats easier to play, if the reprints are just a form of promo card, or in some kind of deck (even if its a PlaneChase or what ever) it helps to sell that product and gives the players cards they need.

    A collector should not really care at all, as they want the cards from sets, not the card in “a form of your choice”.

    If your collection loses value, who the hell cares ? If you are a collector you wouldnt sell your collection anyway, its ment to be “collected”.

    See the point of the Sliver Queen. Its not reprinted because of the Reserved List. And who does that give something ? Putting it in the Sliver Box would big a superior bonus, and the collectors wouldnt really care at all, as the old Sliver Queen carries the History of the first 5-color card in magic.

    So this means i don’t see any reason in the Reserved List at all, its not that they will reprint Mox/Lotus or something similiar, no matter what the card is “valued” , if new versions get out, you can still keep your old ones.
    *And a funny idea could be that they sell a “promo” version of this old cards, just as singles directly by wizards for a high cost, or sell them as “super boosters” similiar to the ALL foil ones, just for a big price, so even the reprints cost you enough money to keep the other old ones on a similiar level.

  59. I messed up typing above “duals were $2-” should have been $20. Obv. duals at two is a terrible idea, my bad on the mistype.

  60. I have to say, I was not really impressed by this article. The constant argument that Wizards will somehow lose credibility is absurd. They have changed their policies before and they’ll do it again. It just feels like you’re clinging on to your preconception “reprints = bad” and not even trying to see any good points about reprints.

    It’s pretty much like the M10 rules updates. I remember when they were first listed (I also love how they snuck the layer changes in under the radar), the interwebs went up in flames. Hundreds or thousands of posts in the comments and forums, people swearing this will kill magic and they will 100% stop playing, and what do we see now, less than a year from the updates? Magic, still going strong and as healthy as ever.

    If the reprint policy is ever lifted, I have no doubt it will be similar. Dedicated collectors will swear they’ll sell off their collections, never play magic again, legacy is dead etc etc. and they’re free to do so — there’ll be a LOT of people buying. And a year from that, they’ll be collecting again, happy that they didn’t sell and wondering why they were so loud and whiny in the first place. Probably being actively embarrassed and quiet about the whole ordeal.

    The simple fact is that Legacy as a format will not grow unless some amounts of old cards are reprinted. Sure, local tournaments may stipulate “No reprints here, you young whippersnappers”, but I kinda doubt they would, given that the entries might be doubling or tripling simply because certain cards are available at a reasonable price.

    Yes, I said it, ‘reasonable’, not cheap. A manabase for Extended might cost less than $100, but simply getting a manabase for Legacy might mean up to $600 or so. Just for the manabase! That is NOT reasonable by any math.

    As a casual player, but quite an active one, I can say that the most prohibitive thing about competitive magic are the hugely expensive manabases. I have no problem dropping $20 or $40 for a card that I find awesome, but for land…? No thanks. If they just took the dual lands off the reprint list or just printed Underground Oceans – tribal land – swamp island Kraken (awesome idea, btw — I love it!), I can see a lot of casual players making the jump to competitive.

    All in all, I found this article to be mostly “If I had put a LOT of money into this then SO MUST YOU!” There’s very little actual reasoning, and no, saying “just because” isn’t reasoning.

  61. Comparing the value of standard legal cards to the value of vintage cards is not a valid comparison. I can draft tonight and pull a Jace and he is currently one of, if not the, most expensive cards in standard. The same is true of Baneslayer, Noble Hierarch, or any other standard card. I have aquired nearly a full set of WW manlands and I’ve only purchased 2 of them as singles the rest I drafted, pulled out of packs, or traded for. Just last weekend I drafted WW. Between the cards I drafted and prize support I recieved I took home a Jace, a Stoneforge Mystic, a Raging Ravine, and a Kalastria Highborn. At current market value, that’s easily $65-$70 worth of cards that I got for my entry fee.
    My point is, I don’t have to pay the current market value to aquire standard cards, and the same is true for extended cards to a lesser extent. Not 2 weeks ago a friend of my bought a few packs and pulled a foil ‘goyf. The same is not true, however, for the vast majority of cards in Legacy.
    If I want the Moxen, my only choice is to buy them or find someone who is willing to trade them. I will never be able to aquire a play set by cracking packs or drafting. So saying that you have to spend as much to play Standard as you do for Legacy is a false statement.
    Also I seriously doubt reprinting cards will have a major effect on the cost of existing cards. An alpha Time Walk will always be an alpha Time Walk. As with any collectable, collecters will still pay a premium for an original.Take Giant Growth for example. It’s been reprinted more times than I care to count. I could probably buy enough copies wall paper my bedroom with them for less than $20 bucks, but an alpha Giant Growth still goes for $3-$5 simply because its an alpha.
    To give a non magic example. You can buy countless reproductions of famous paintings. These reproductions are functionally identical to the originals, but their existence does not decrease the value of the original at all. Classic cars are another good example. A classic Mustang that has all the parts it rolled of the assembly line with is worth as much as 10 times more than a car of the same year and model that has been rebuilt. The two cars may look identical, and function in an identical manner, but the rebuilt car will still only be worth a fraction of the originals value.

  62. The reserve list was basically an apology for printing chronocles, printing chronicles had a catastrophic effect on the price of many cards, so to alieve fears that the same horrib mistake would not be repeated in the future, the reserved list was created.

    Im not sure if the reserve list is a good thing or a bad thing, but one thing for sure is that if they dissregard the reserve list after promising that these cards will never be reprinted, wizards will lose the confidance of a lot of people.

    I fully expect from the vault dualands and from the cault power nine to both eventually be released.

  63. AmenazainCreible

    For one side, there is people saying that abolishing the list is healthy for the format, on the other, there is people saying that it is important to keep promises…

    Of course that both side have flaws in their logic, and most of the opinions are nothing but personal preferences trying to back them up with “reasons”.

    In the end, to Hasbro, more than a fun game supported by a loyal community, more than trust, more than a healty balance of cards and formats, Magic is just a profitable business. If they think right now that keeping/abolishing the list is more money for their purses, they will do it, regardless of it being or not a good call.

    Also, there are already promises that had not been keept. There wasnt supposed to be planeswalkers cards, since they were too powerful and the player themselves were planeswalkers. Supposedly mythic cards wouldnt be 4-of stapples.

    Now, there are new rarities, new card types, there are “aliados” (latin american players will know), “trap” cards, and there will be big splashy “I win” monsters that need smaller critters to be sacrified in order to be played…

    Hasbro and Wizards had already made desitions based more on money than in players welfare or satisfaction. Yet every one here is still playing their game, writing like they are being heard, and thinking that the company can still be trusted…

    And of course, this is just an opinion based on a dubios logic.

  64. A very thoughtful examination of an incendiary topic.

    Wizards has made a promise with the reserve list. Maybe not a promise, though, maybe more like a DECISION.

    Having watched WOTC for years, I think it would be a mistake to pin a lot of hopes that they would NEVER reprint dual lands, or even power nine.

    I really like the arguments made by this article defending the idea of WOTC keeping their word about the list.

    -Zanman

  65. I have an idea. Why not ban dual lands, so collectors can keep them and we get to play a real format?

  66. Saying that cards shouldn’t be reprinted because this is a “collectable” card game is ridiculous. Printing some new versions of dual lands does not make your beta lands any less valuable or collectable. If you’re a collector you should be collecting because you feel the cards have sentimental value–anyone who uses magic cards as an actual investment is making a very poor decision.

    M10 birds is five bucks. Beta birds is still in the hundreds. Sure, Revised duals might drop in price, but an actual “collector” should be more interested in better versions than Revised anyway. And since demand would certainly increase with reprints, I highly doubt that Revised duals would drop very much at all.

    All in all the arguments in this article are pretty weak. Some of them are barely two sentences long. It just ends up sounding like “wahhh I have duals and I don’t want them to be less special!!” You’d have less fun if you played against a reprinted dual? Come on, that’s pitiful and selfish.

  67. “This popular argument misses the point entirely. What cards should be on the reserve list, and whether the reserve list makes sense in the first place, are essentially arguments that should have been made before the reserve list was announced.”

    The decisions of your uncle essentially months later cannot possibly compare to the decisions 15 years in the past of a company that has since exploded globally and, even months later, still leave you, Johnny Six-Year-Old, looking like a spoiled brat over not getting one more scoop when there are valid reasons backing why your uncle thinks his previous promise was made in too much haste.

    Your article is written on non-empirical things, like what you “feel,” your personal experience, and promise versus practice. Other articles on this issue are backed not by “Well my opinion is this, so that’s why it’s a good idea,” they’re backed with numbers, facts, and figures that support the base argument. Your article, more of a long-winded forum tangent given front-page space than actual article, suffers immensely when compared directly to those with arguments on the other side of the coin.

    Also, your individual “fun” over your opponent taking 2 damage because they cannot otherwise afford Tropical Islands and instead play something “strictly” worse like Breeding Pool doesn’t translate to Wizards, who stand to make more customers looking to get into vintage through cards they currently make 0 money off of by giving them the access to the cards they need to their gain. More people win on a strict numeric and profit basis with the option to put more Duals into circulation.

    Your argument, at its base, boils down to the post-game, “I still had these!” flash. It’s poor sport, lacks substance (those cards you didn’t play sure are great!), and does nothing positive for anyone.

  68. I’d just like to point out something that I think a lot of people have intuitively caught onto, but haven’t verbalized. Your argument has an inherently fallacious structure, because it goes like this:

    “I don’t think the reserved list is a good idea for current or future implementations. But since we already have one, it would be detrimental to the game for WoTC to back down and reverse their policy now.”

    Fundamentally, that line of thinking is argumentatively bad: the existence of the current reserved list cannot be separated from arguments as to whether or not a reserved list ought to exist to begin with. If it isn’t immediately clear why, try this analogous example:

    “I don’t think slavery is a good idea for the present or the future. But since we already own slaves, it would be detrimental to society to back down and release them”

    Once you agree that a reserved list is a bad idea, then it becomes very difficult to simultaneously hold the position that it ought to remain in place and also that no future iterations of the reserved list should ever be developed. Either we should have reserved lists or we shouldn’t. If we shouldn’t, then we shouldn’t have the current one either.

  69. Congratulations to matt for writing his opinion, even if I disagree. I think the points on both sides of the argument are valid. There are 2 things that are definetly true in this argument:

    1) Breaking a promisse is bad for Wizards as a company and MtG as a game
    2) Is the Reserve List didn’t exist in the first place, the format would be healthier, at least long-term.

    All the rest is debatable: would the prices go down a lot? would the prices actually be still higher than if the format “dies”? Will the format “die” anytime soon? That is pure speculation
    Is breaking a promisse that hurts the person promissed to a good cause? I think sometimes it is. Is this the case with legacy? I honestly don’t know. Wizards will eventually have to weight facts 1 and 2 that I mentioned

  70. Great Article,

    Even though I do not agree with it all, you do have sound arguments. They were well written, explained with no redundancy and this is how a debate should go.

    Props for going to the dark side as so many people want cheap duals.

    As for bringing an argument about keeping a promise, it could go the complete other way and Wizards could lose credibility by keeping a promise. If a senator promised centuries ago southern states citizen there would never be a law preventing them from being able to buy slaves, would it still be healthy to keep that promise?

    I know this argument is extreme and is nowhere near Mtg, but the point is still there, promising something bad that hurts more than it helps should be revised and maybe discarded.

    In the end, congratulation on this article, it was a really good read. I really liked your point of view and smart people will put those arguments when it’ll be time to make decisions on the Reserve List.

  71. This part:

    “Abolishing the reserve list now will mean that in any future crisis, whether it is a card-market crisis, a power-level/banned-restricted list crisis, a tournament support crisis, or whatever else you can imagine, Wizards won't have the credibility needed to make a similar announcement or promise.”

    is utter BS, just desperate nonsense. Are you saying that if Wizards reprints a dual land…what? When they ban a card, people will go on playing it anyway? When Wizards announces tournaments, people won’t show up, because they don’t trust Wizards to actually hold the tournament when they said they would?

    In fact, I would say that if Wizards’ removed the reserved list entirely, that would INCREASE their credibility with me, because that would be more evidence that they know and care about what is best for the game. Watching WotC stick to a promise they shouldn’t be keeping is therefore NEGATIVE credibility.

    You have many more points I take serious issue with:

    “I can say definitively that some players enjoy playing with older, more expensive, more powerful cards.”

    I enjoy playing with cards, which happen to be expensive, too! But I don’t derive any satisfaction from them BECAUSE they are expensive.

    “I know that personally, the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy. Again, not everyone feels this way, but some people do.”

    It’s very brave of you to announce to the world that you’re sociopathic enough to enjoy lording your wealth over others, but Legacy is not your country club.

  72. I understand that you have been taught how to argue things from law school. But this is like defending a case without having done the research.

    I’m more likely to believe Ben Bleiweiss, who has spent his career looking at the price of cards and reprinting’s effect on them, or Menendian, who has his pulse on the formats in question, than you, who selectively entered some arguments for the opposition and used your training to debase those selected arguments.

    In a trial, would you just show up not having fully researched the topic and debase the oppositions arguments by cooly pointing out their fallacies the entire time? I’d imagine that you would find some experts on the topic to give their professional opinions as testimony.

    Law school and law practicing is miserable. That crap doesn’t apply to our social, casual fun card game. Articles about Magic written as a dissenting opinion are unneeded. We don’t need lawyers, we need inventors and strategists.

  73. OK, time to quickly address some of the points above. I expected a passionate response, thanks to everyone who commented.

    To everyone saying I’m selfish, biased, trying to make money on my duals, etc., the great thing about making an argument is that someone can read it and evaluate it, without even knowing who wrote it. If I have someone who owns 0 magic cards read the article to you, don’t you still have to address what the article said? Plenty of people who commented so far understood the argument, whether they agree or disagree that the promise should be kept. What Wizards should do obviously has nothing to do with how many dual lands I own or what motivates me to write. Also, the vitriol is mostly “someone writing this article must be motivated by X, so screw them” rather than anything in the tone of the article that suggests selfishness or elitism. In other words, you’re of the opinion “disagree with me on this issue and you are selfish, biased, elitist, etc.” You'll notice my article doesn't say, "if you want duals reprinted, you're probably just selfishly wanting to get your hands on some." A) who cares if you are, B) how do I know your motivation, C) why distract from the real issue of what should Wizards do?

    To the people defending the current availability of cards, thanks! There are so many playsets of these cards out there. This isn’t a problem now and won’t be for a long long time. Plus, do you realize how big the established player base will be if playsets run out? All the players who caused supply to run out will have legacy decks and want to play.

    As long as Magic cards are scarce, which they should be (see Chronicles and Fallen Empires for the alternative), prices will be driven, at least in large part, by player demand. This means popular decks will always sometimes include expensive decks. Its true in standard, extended, and legacy. Those formats get more expensive as you include the older cards, but what is wrong with that? Older cards should be more valuable, at least that's my opinion as someone who both plays and collects (like many others do). You could have a world where good quality photocopied proxies are legal in Legacy events. This just isn't the world I want to live in, and the promise Wizards made after Chronicles was an attempt to capture this spirit. We want cards to remain collectible and eventually become expensive.

  74. Also, people defending Menendian/Bleiweiss “statistics” don’t understand why Wizards still has the reserve list. They know they wouldn’t make this list if they could start over. They understand that reprinting old cards is fine. They understand that some of the cards of on the list don’t need to be there. But they respect the promise. The only way to explain why Wizards still has a reserve list that contains Carnival of Souls is exactly what I said in the article, they made a promise to the players, and they want to keep it. There is no pattern in card pricing that changes any of that. Menendian and Bleiweiss are arguing the promise shouldn’t be made, not the promise shouldn’t be kept.

  75. I read through all the comments (yes, really) and have come to a few of conclusions based on what I read.

    1) Some cards on the Reserved list should be taken off. This includes all of the cheap/bad cards and all of the dual lands. Overpowered cards (i.e., Ancestral Recall, Yawgmoth’s Will) should obviously stay Reserved.

    2) Increasing the number of available Legacy staples will GREATLY increase the player base, thus improving the metagame and Wizards’ support of the format.

    3) Wizards is a company that needs to continue evolving in order to maintain and increase loyalty. The “rich” players of the Eternal formats are the EXTREME minority who already have staples that they continue to play with. “Devaluing” their cards hardly affects them since they aren’t likely to trade or sell any time soon.

    tldr: I WANT MOAR LEGACY CARDS NAO!

  76. I agree that the credibility hit will not be insignificant if the reserved list is abolished, but I do think that this is a strong enough reason not to do so.

    Legacy appears to be the format seeing the most substantial growth in popularity at present. The SCG series has clearly increased the reason to pay attention to Legacy, but on top of that, the last 2 or 3 legacy GPs have had attendance approximately 50% higher than was anticipated during event planning.

    Right now, getting the cards together to play top end Legacy is problematic, though far from impossible. The price of cards that are good in Legacy is higher than it has ever been, and seems to be increasing in line with the popularity of the format. Stock is generally there, but there are certainly not loads of Force of Wills or dual lands available from most traders, if one doesn’t buy cards on the internet as a rule.

    Looking forwards, it seems likely that each of these factors will prove more problematic if current trends continue. While there is every opportunity for legacy players to buy cards for their decks gradually (a luxury not afforded to players of other formats), it seems unlikely that the cost will be any lower for doing so.

    Now, WoTC don’t really have a great answer available if Legacy continues its current surge of growth. They have the ability to run events for Legacy, but not a straightforward way of injecting significant numbers of aging staple cards into the format. It seems a shame that in spite of player interest, running a Legacy Pro Tour or similar will likely not happen, due to the inability to run Legacy PTQs.

    What options do WoTC have?

    – Reprints

    – Allowing the format to get so out of hand that it is not readily accessible to people that really want to play

    I feel that the Reserved List is much more important than a lot of players give it credit for. That it has lasted as long as it has is a very strong statement as far as I’m concerned about WoTC’s sense of commitment to its customers.

    If you knew that the TCG you were about to start playing was not going to be available in 3 years time, how much would you pay for single cards? This is the thought running through the heads of players of just about every other TCG. Doubt kills these games, which can easily represent a large investment from players.

    I don’t think Magic is likely to die any time soon. Introducing doubt as to the worth of having bought cards is a dangerous thing though. Removing the reserved list itself would almost certainly be a good thing for Magic, but for the fact that it sets a horrible precedent. I don’t like the reserved list, but I like what it represents. There is a big difference between the changes that have been made to it, and abolishing it entirely.

    As much as it pains me (and I don’t own even a single dual land) I feel that it would be better for Magic to be a game where a promise to the players means something, as that means that any future promises will too.

  77. @MH and others who don’t understand why I don’t want to ever see a foil Trop Island:

    It is nostalgia, not elitism. I don’t want Legacy to feel like extended. I like the dual lands, they remind of when I started playing 15 years ago. If I just wanted to attack with Goyf coulnd’t I play extended? You’re entitled to feel differently, I was very careful to make clear that this is my preference, and not the only viewpoint out there. If you think nostalgia doesn’t play a role in the success of Legacy you’re ignoring players who view the game differently than you view it.

  78. If credibility is a legitimate factor, why are ‘Wizards’ employees the ones who initially started the current debate on this topic?

    Credibility is mentioned several times in this article and I would love to know how this argument is reasonable. Fledgling companies make mistakes, plain and simple. Look at cards like Power 9, and various other ‘broken cards.’ Not only that but look at any promotional or tournament related endeavors Wizards has entered into only to have them blow up in their face. There are policies created or actions taken in the early years of a companies existence that are later reviewed as flawed, no longer necessary, or mistakes. It appears that, to Wizards, the Reserved List is viewed as flawed, and no longer necessary. It served its purpose and did so admirably for a considerable portion of time. But now we are at a point where its elimination will have little to no impact on the factors that were cause for its creation in the first place. All this said, credibility is not really at stake for Wizards; much to the contrary actually. When a company is wise enough to come out and say, “Hey, we made a mistake,” it adds to the companies credibility rather than detracts from it.

    The logical counter-argument to this is of course, “Wizards made us a promise and now they’re talking about breaking it.” (usually followed by rampant QQ) The simple fact of the matter is if the reserved list had been implemented as a POLICY rather than a PROMISE, there would be no argument. Nobody complains when a business revises an outdated policy, but apparently it is the end of the world when a business breaks a promise that was made 15 years ago by people who no longer have the legal right to represent the company.

    What players frequently choose to ignore or forget about this game is that it is produced by a business. Businesses tend to take actions that make them profitable. Profitable businesses tend to continue to exist because they produce profitable products. Without profit, the business ceases to exist. In this case, Wizards ceasing to exist means MTG ceasing to exist. MTG ceasing to exist instantly resolves all issues revolving around the value of cards.

    The unfortunate reality of all this is that the writers on sites like Channelfireball.com and Starcitygames.com constitute the most recognizable and most marketable player base of magic, but also one of the least profitable. Everyone is sick of this argument/statement but it still holds truth. The casual player is the one keeping the game afloat. This is not to say that there are no Pro or semi-pro players who spend money on the game, or that they do not contribute greatly to the success of the game. Just an indication that the long term health of the game is determined by the casual masses rather than the elite.

    Along these lines, I would pose the question, “How is creating a large player base for a format like legacy ever considered a bad thing?” Demand for old cards will ALWAYS be higher than supply, even if Wizards decided to do something to rectify the frequency of “staples” in the marketplace. Even if the price of dual lands drops, the price of their constituent counterparts will increase accordingly.

    As is mentioned throughout the article and the subsequent responses a promise is a promise, but you have to take this with a grain of salt. On one of Channel’s competitors websites, there is empirical proof provided indicating that the creation of newer iterations of “eternal” cards has had little or no impact on the current value of the “eternal” versions. I believe Birds of paradise is one example of this with alpha-beta-7th foil all valued at $100(or more) and M10 sitting at $4. If birds are reprinted again in M11 do you really think that beta birds will suddenly cease to be a $200 card?

    I can totally respect the argument from players along the lines of, “I’m heavily invested into a format rife with cards that have intrinsic and monetary incentive for ownership. And as such, I would be upset to see these “rare” cards I have invested in become potentially devalued by their reprinting, either as premium foil cards or even in another expansion.” The argument makes sense, is legitimate, holds (some) water and is based on logic. But as has been proved time and time again, the introduction of a new premium version of a card or of a standard issue reprint in another set hardly devalues the original. At the shop I frequent you can see this on a small scale in the Reflecting Pools that they have under the glass. SHM valued at $7 and Tempest valued at $15. Exact same card, different artwork, 100%ish price difference. It is hardly relevant in my opinion to make the blanket statement that existing legacy staples will become substantially devalued by the introduction of alternate printings.

    Opinion aside, the data seems to indicate that removing the reserved list is the best possible call for Wizards, as a profit generating business, as well as the players Wizards supports. The whining needs to stop, adults need to start acting their age rather than their shoe size, and players need to see the game as a culmination of working parts functioning together to create a whole.

  79. A fine article. it’s nice to have a counterpoint to any given argument, even if i don’t agree.

    You make a good case that Wizards could lose credibility, but I feel your argument falls down in addressing what value this credibility has.

    Why is maintaining Wizards’ credibility on reserve list policies a better choice for the overall health of the game than abolishing the reserve list?

  80. @R
    Because lets say Wizards puts a SUPER MYTHIC rarity in the next set, and people absolutely can’t stand it. It may be in their interests to promise never to make a card rarer than Mythic ever again. This promise would be credible just because of the obvious player outrage leading to the promise, but it matters that if the climate changes, Wizards won’t scrap the policy. Again, a promise to do something so long as you feel like it isnt a promise at all. The track record of abolishing the reserve list would immediately and understandably be discussed, and the promise would be less credible than it could have been. This is just one example of how credibility is important. It isn’t all that difficult to think of others.

  81. Matt

    Every time you see the word promise, I want you to replace it with policy and see if that changes the way you read things. If Wizards implemented a ‘policy’ that stated they would never print anything more rare than mythic ever again. And eventually they had a legitimate reason to abolish this ‘policy,’ you would applaud them for making the right choice.

    The reserved list was created to preserve the sanctity and longevity of the game. Now it is hindering those things. It’s that simple.

  82. @Matt Sperling:

    If you meant it as nostalgia, you sure didn’t take any pains to point that out in the article. In fact, look at the context – that claim immediately follows the sentence, “However, I can say definitively that some players enjoy playing with older, more expensive, more powerful cards.”

    I mean, look at what you did: immediately following an exultation of the expense of certain cards, you state that you’d have less fun playing against cheaper versions of the card. How is any reasonable reader supposed to see nostalgia in that? How is any reasonable reader NOT supposed to read elitism in that?

    At no point anywhere in your article did you bring up the issue of nostalgia. The “but I meant nostalgia!” claim is so unsupported in the text of what you wrote that frankly, I’m having a hard time believing you. It sounds more like you realized how awful your opinion sounds when you say it aloud, like when a racist elder relative of mine lets his private views slip through.

  83. I still find it difficult to take a side in this argument. What I have seen is a lot of people pointing to Vintage as the inevitable future of Legacy. The format eventually stagnated and players dropped out to go play other things because of the lack of influx of new players and the limited supply with increased demand eventually created a price point that made Vintage so expensive that only the most dedicated or those that had been around since the beginning could play. I personally have been playing since ’94 and I have a large collection that lets me put together a wide range of Vintage \ Legacy decks without much out of pocket expense. There are 2 key points in the reserved list argument.

    1) Value. Should Wizards remove or modify the reserved list and even reprint Legacy staples, how would they do it? How would it affect current prices? Is protecting the value of a collectors product (mind you most players are collectors on some level***) or introducing risk to their value at the advantage of increasing availability to other players who wish to enter the format but can’t due to expense more important?

    ***Just because of the history of the game and the term “bear” to describe any 2/2 creature ever printed, I have a binder filled front to back with nothing but original art grizzly bears. Not everything collected is for value. I know many people that collect based on tribes or artists, some have been around since the beginning, some are relatively new to the game, but they all love Magic.

    2) Integrity. How do we measure their integrity? How will the reserved list policy and Wizards' future actions \ inaction with it affect their company? Where does the “health of the game” lie? How do we measure that? What does the production model for a CCG\TCG ultimately look like? How do all of these things come together to influence Wizards’ ultimate decision and which is the “right” one to make, or is there a “right” one?

    Back to 1. Most of the pro-removal\modification of the reserved list come in on this point and most of the argument centers around the burgeoning Legacy environment. The current value of most of the Legacy staples is currently inflated 2x or even 3x over the prices you could find them at a couple of years ago. Most of this inflation has been recent and has caused a strong backlash among those that were unable or unwilling to invest a couple of years ago in a format that didn't have the support and playerbase that it does now. The wide support and enjoyment of the legacy format is what is driving this value. I for one, love Legacy and several good points on both sides have been raised. Firstly, Legacy is primarily driven by the secondary market, something Wizards itself has very little to do with, but the only way to dramatically affect a secondary market is to start at the consumer base or the primary market. Asking the customer to change is never a good policy as most any economist or successful businessperson will tell you. So that leaves us with only one avenue to affect the secondary market for Legacy and that is Wizards producing product that will change the dynamics. I would go so far that regardless of the reserved list, Wizards has already done this to some extent with the FTV series. They have already signaled that they are willing to step in to the singles secondary market and bring in some primary business. The FTV series of cards is our closest parallel of what to expect when Wizards reprints anything that this trend is suggesting they reprint. To my knowledge, most if not all of the original cards that were featured in the FTV exiled set retained value and I would even go so far as to say that the direct link between the popularity of the format and price of the cards would cause reprints to either not affect or likely increase the value of their original counterparts by driving more people into the format. I see plenty of shoddy foils across the table from me at legacy events already, and a foil alternate art Tropical is not going to destroy my dreams, I am just going to proud of the fact that I own originals and I am happy that the person sitting across from me is able to play. The problem comes with risk however. How many prospective Legacy players are there that aren't already in the format? If Wizards pushes out more product to support an eternal format and there aren't enough players to demand that product, then they will depreciate card value and hurt the format in a way that we haven't seen really yet in MtG. Many people in Legacy have dropped $1k+ on a deck and if they see that value about to plummet, they may very well get out of the format, and that's not good either. Ideally, we could properly gauge the amount of need and confront the market with enough product to promote entry into the format without threatening the collectible value of the original cards.

    On 2. Wizards' Integrity as a company directly affects its ability to do business with other companies and will have an impact on some portion of its customer base. Unfortunately, Wizards is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Many people believe that going back on the reserved list will deal a crushing blow to Wizards' integrity while others think that not ditching or modifying the reserved list is leaving people out to dry and also affect their integrity as a company for not respecting its playerbase. I personally believe that integrity is a fairly important thing to maintain and I think that both sides are really addressing Wizards on this level. Several benchmarks exist to measure the "health" of a format and the game in general and we run into the unfortunate circumstance that often the economic health of the game also goes hand in hand with the playability, the fun of the game. I'll explain. I think we can all agree that flooding the market with 100,000 copies of every card ever printed would be disastrous. Not only would it drive every minor/major collector out of the game but it would destroy the game for all of our game stores that have so much invested in it. There is also a certain thrill to the game that comes from playing powerful cards, one thing I think that draws a lot of people to the Legacy format. If everyone has them then they are no longer powerful with respect to the rest of the game and that aspect is forever lost. A certain value exists in having something rare and powerful and that goes from the most casual of casual players to the top of the game. To some people having the original is enough, for others it's not, and we have no right to tell them what should or shouldn't diminish the game for them. If Wizards does nothing then we stay on the road we're on and where does that lead the Legacy format? Does it have a healthy future ahead of it? Large playerbase, diverse metagame, tournament support? These things are all necessary for the long term health of the format if we define it this way. So as we've seen in the past, despite the very true argument that Legacy on the whole, while it has a high price of entry, is much more affordable once you have your staples, it's very likely that we will see the playerbase stop expanding and perhaps over time start contracting. Some have argued that there are still duals for sale out there so the supply is not limited to the point that it would affect anything. But what is really at stake here is the supply of cards at a price that the vast majority of people are willing to pay. It needs to be at a level that will allow for as much or larger influx of players into the format than are leaving it at any given time. So Wizards has many things to consider and there are significant drawbacks to either option. I expect that they will ultimately keep the reserved list, but will choose to modify it as they have already shown a willingness to do. I would not expect cards to come off of the reserved list as Wizards decides to reprint them either as that would completely defeat the purpose. Someone stated that a clause should be added that the list would be reviewed on a regular basis of some sort that would allow those that wanted to opt out to get out before anything changed and the rest to ride with the changes if they chose to do so with faith that Wizards is doing their best for everyone. Ultimately, the choice is theirs and they will make the call that they feel will benefit the game the most as that is in the end what their own success depends on. I don't expect they will do anything crazy and I don't expect them to do nothing either. I personally feel that my collection is worth having and I love playing this game and I want to play it with anyone else who also enjoys the game.

  84. @MH The word “Older” appears the same number of time as the word “Expensive” in the sentence you quoted. Nostalgia receives the same emphasis as price, so how is this definitive proof that I am lying to you now? I could have been clearer about nostalgia, but that is indeed what I meant, and the text isn’t at all inconsistent with that

  85. I have played magic since 4th Ed, missing out on a chance for duals or power to naturally make their way into my collection. When I decided I wanted to build a legacy deck, I traded heavily, worked overtime and saved as best I could to buy cards that would build a deck I was excited about. For the record, I did this while making minimum wage. It took a fair amount of time. I’m proud of the time and effort I put in to building it, and I liked feeling like I had accomplished something that was hard to do due to price and availability. I liked knowing that the quantity of taigas in the world was limited and would never be increased. I only had a single dual in the deck, and I sold it a year ago to help me put a different deck together. The point of this?
    If you want to play a certain legacy deck, it is far from unattainable. The prices are not impossibly prohibitive. You just have to work hard. I for one, am ok with hard work. I wish I spoke for the rest of my generation when I said that.

  86. To reiterate my earlier comments, I don’t think people are making consistent arguments. If Wizards was set up in such a way that anybody could order any Standard card they wanted for 5 cents, then the number of people pouring into Standard would shoot up astronomically. As is, Magic is a prohibitively expensive game for most lower class people worldwide. Thus, by making the game collectible, and thus driving up prices in the secondary market, Wizards is vastly reducing the number of players in Standard. Does that make Standard an unhealthy format?

    If Legacy staples keep rising in price, then many players can’t afford them any more. Why is that “unhealthy” for the format? Who decides which number of sufficiently rich/older players constitutes health for a format? And SHOULDN’T that number go down with time? Unless they’re wealthy (I mean middle class or higher, not Donald Trump), a newer player shouldn’t have access to the same cards as someone who’s been playing since Beta. How is that unfair? That’s what it means for something to be collectible. Somebody who’s 65 is much more likely to have a Mickey Mantle rookie card than I am, and it would be absurdly expensive for me to obtain one, but so what? That’s what collectible means. Collectibility and nostalgia are important for many players. Why are people placing their desire to play in a format and supposedly maintain its health above the concerns of collectors? Tournament players don’t own the game exclusively.

    Besides, if Legacy/Vintage players were truly upset at the “health” of the format, a better compromise would be to lobby Wizards to allow large numbers of proxies in tournaments. FAR more people could enter tournaments in this case than if WOTC had a short print-run of some premium Legacy staples, and this would offer some level of protection for collectors of the originals. Nobody is making that argument, either because A) they feel WOTC would never do it, or B) because what they really care about is not the health of a format, but rather getting their hands on cards. I don’t know which is the dominant motivation.

    More to my point, if Standard prices keep huge numbers of players from playing Magic at all, then why is it worse if Legacy prices keeps Standard players away? It seems as if people are largely disgruntled with the economics of a ccg, but only when the economics starts to affect them. If it only affects others (the vast majority of people in the world can barely afford to play Pauper), then nobody says anything. The arguments in favor of abolishing the reserve list largely seem self-serving in a way that’s very inconsistent, in my view.

  87. Matt: This is not so much about what you think or me, or any other player for that matter.

    Also it’s not about what cards are on the restricted list.

    The problem is: the list is bad, everyone agree that the list is a bad idea so why should WotC keep it, to be honest with their costumers?

    Wizzards changed alot in this game, I don´t like all of the changes. I still prefere the old card style (especisally artifacts) I wish Counterspell was still around aswell as Stone Rain, Armageddon and a bunch of other cards.

    Lots of cards will never get reprinted, some of them for good reasons, like being bad for the game even though oppinions may be different on what cards are bad for Magic.
    Some of them because they are on a list that almost everyone belive is bad. This list was made to protect costumers and their investment but experience have showed us that old cards still keep their value, not based on how good they are or how copies of a card that is available particulure version of a card.

    Juzam Djinn for example isn’t super expensive because it´s such a great card and a BEta BoP is still very expensive even though there are hundres of thousands of copies from other sets.

    It’s completely acceptable to change your rules based on new experience. If it wasn´t we would still use DDT to kill mosquitos or Nuclear Bombs or even worship fire as a mighty god. This is not being dishonest to your costumers, this is changeing your mind based on new and improved knowledge and act accordingly.

    For some reason this discussion is only about who want acces to cheap Duals and who doesn´t when it should really be about the existence of the Reserve List. I don’t care if they decide to never reprint any duals but the fact is that he list is only a liability for WoC and for the game in general and there for it should be removed. What they decide to do once that´s done is a different matter, but keeping the list because Wizzards made a promise Years ago based on asumptions that has ben proved wrong is just foolish.

  88. @Matt Sperling: I do understand why you want to see a foil Tropical Island, but what I’d like to see from you is a bit of understanding for the people who have played for a while, may have an interest in older cards but no affordable way of collecting them extensively.

    Cubes, borrowing cards etc work and are great at raising knowledge and interest in old cards, but also increases the grit that occurs when you look at the HUGE price tag that comes with actually wanting to own some. Legacy (and especially Vintage) are a lot like ‘good ole boys’ clubs, and if it keeps growing in popularity, that has to change in one way or another.

    Nostalgia is nice and all, but for every one of you who has a huge pile of old, valuable cards there are hundreds or thousands like me who would jump at the chance of reasonably-priced duals, for instance. Also, my version of nostalgia involves 12-year-old me buying some packs, playing a bit and getting every card worth anything scammed off me.

    I again reiterate that I’m not saying that the Restricted list should be abolished, but it’s the players who make this game alive, and there are a LOT of players pining for an affordable entry to Legacy.

    Also, as other commenters have mentioned, collectors and traders seem to be holding off on selling Legacy staples in hopes of prices rising.

    –I’d also like to state that I’m the MH who posted the rant about M10 rules, 100% separate from the confrontational guy two posts above.

  89. The argument about WotC losing credibility is ridiculous. We’ve all seen them make horrible mistakes (skullclamp, urza block, killing the inviitational and states, mythics, “small” prereleases only) and yet the game keeps growing.

    Mythics are such a joke, especially when they said something along the lines of “it won’t affect the secondary market” when it obviously did.

    They lose credibility every time they make a mistake that seems obvious that they shouldn’t have done (like previously mentioned) and yet they still print cardboard crack and we keep buying it. Keeping one promise doesn’t maintain credibility it just puts on a show of maintaining credibility.

    Like I have said before, all they are doing now is waiting to see what the community says and then they can destroy the reserve list without being seen as breaking their promise because it’s what the customers want.

  90. I actually enjoyed this article an mainly agrees with the writer.
    @ all the haters :
    Please respond to this very simple question :
    Why is it SO HARD AND TERRIBLE to spend $200 on a playset of blue duals (cards that are truly Epic and will stay around forever ) SO MUCH HARDER than spending $200 on Freaking Baneslayer or Jace that is 1 year old rather than 10 years old and will rotate in less than a year or 2.
    I just don’t get it. Why aren’t all of you guys OUTRAGED by the price of the good Mythics in the current Standard format. Elspeth, Baneslayer, Jace …

  91. You speak of nostalgia and older cards reminding you of your early days of playing Magic and the importance of maintaining that. My early days of playing magic began during Prophecy. I had no chance of opening duals or the majority of the legacy staples, or aquiring them for a reasonable price even then. Sure wizards made a promise, but that promise is insulting to anyone who didn’t have a chance to collect those cards without paying a lot of money for them. It’s as if they are discriminating against anyone who didn’t play during the early years of magic. So it boils down to the lesser of two evils: Should wizard keep it’s promise and perpetuate what is an elitist mentality, or do they break that promise in order to make it easier for more players to enjoy a facet of the game that has been previously denied them? I say let them eat cake!

  92. @MB and others who claim “everybody agrees the list is a bad idea”:

    This isn’t a factual statement. I know plenty of people who like the fact that their dual lands and power are on the reserve list. (Clearly nobody cares about 50 cent rares, as Matt says, so they’re irrelevant.) However, *most* people appear to think the list is a bad idea.

    If you make a promise to 100 people, and 98 of them later decide you shouldn’t keep it because it was a bad idea, do you break the promise to those other 2? Everybody has to decide for themselves, but my personal opinion is that those 2 people are also important.

    Breaking the promise to these 2 is especially bad since nobody seems to explain how abolishing the reserve list is really going to help the health of any format. Is Wizards supposed to double the number of Tabernacles tomorrow? To increase the number of some staple sufficiently that you’ve made a noticeable impact on tournament attendance will most certainly reduce it’s price for collectors. That’s simple supply and demand. This is a different phenomenon from Reflecting Pool being reprinted in Standard and having the price go up, because in this latter case you’re suddenly making a radical change in demand. In Legacy, the demand will change a little bit due to the increased supply, but since the supply is going way up prices will go down. And if somehow the price didn’t tank, you’re still devaluing the uniqueness of the original for collectors who value the nostalgia aspect of the card (and this DOES matter to some people). So what kind of reprinting could WOTC possibly do that would inject a noticeable number of new players into Legacy/Vintage without screwing collectors?

    It seems to me that breaking your promise to the minority offers no real upside to everybody else. Is being able to reprint Sliver Queen worth screwing over the 2 out of 100?

  93. I think that the Reserve List will ultimately need to be done away with. Not necessarily right away, but eventually.

    Consider this: The cards themselves only last so long. Even in sleeves, they will eventually wear out, tear, decay or otherwise become unusable. It may take five times as long as the game has lasted so far, but eventually there will not be a single intact Taiga in circulation. Or, for that matter, a single Vesuvan Doppelganger, Dampening Field or Rock Hydra. At that point, Wizards needs to either pitch the reserve list or let the eternal formats suffer. Magic is richer with the older cards than without them.

  94. @ Adam: I can go buy a booster pack for $4 and pull a Baneslayer or Jace. In fact, none of the Jace’s or Baneslayer’s in my collection were purchased for more than the price of a booster pack. Same is true for my Elspeth’s, Maelstrom Pulses, and any other standard “money” cards.

  95. I think Coca-Cola should NOT abolish The New Coke, and here's why: the company's credibility matters. I don't intend to discuss whether Coca-Cola can change its mind regarding a promise it made to its customers (it certainly can), what matters here is whether it should. What are the consequences of abolishing The New Coke?
    A promise should mean something.
    Abolishing The New Coke now will mean that in any future crisis, whether it is a market crisis, an ingrediant shortage, a shippingt crisis, or whatever else you can imagine, Coca-Cola won't have the credibility needed to make a similar announcement or promise. Coca-Cola’s credibility is critical to the health of the company. In a crisis, the existence of The New Coke, unblemished, will be a testament to how serious Coca-Cola takes its promises. When an announcement is made, people will feel secure that it is more than just lip service. I urge Coca-Cola to preserve this credibility by preserving the The New Coke, and not bringing back the original flavor Coca-Cola.

  96. LOL @ Josh’s comment. That is one of the most utterly retarded posts I have read in a while. Those 2 out of 100 DO NOT MATTER. Not at all. Last time I checked, 98 > 2. This is a card game and a business we are talking about here, not people’s lives (although I would still probably argue the same case). I feel sorry for Josh if he took more than two minutes to put that blight on my screen. God that was a horrible post.

  97. @ bleedintoejoe

    You might be very lucky.. not everyone is.

    FYI : you have a 36.42% chance of getting 1 or more Jaces in a box of boosters (cost $94.99 on CF plus shipping and Tax)
    If I want 4 Jaces, I’d have to open an average of 12 boxes.
    And WW is a small set…

    Ebay completing listings : Jace*4 sell for $160
    Tropical Island *4 sell for $172.

    If it was so easy and you just needed to : “go buy a booster pack for $4 and pull a Baneslayer or Jace” why would anyone spend $160 on a playset ??

  98. Wizards is, at this point, making zero profit off of the legacy format besides the entrance fees to the occational GP. Considering it is probably the second most popular format right now (only behind standard, which they make most of their profit from) then it is definitly in their interests to reprint some of the staple cards in legacy in order to make a profit.

    Anyway, I’d like to see a standard format more like modern legacy.

  99. @ Blind Fremen

    I think he was been serious.

    “I can go buy a booster pack for $4 and pull a Baneslayer or Jace” is an argument I can hear all over the place

  100. @Blind Freeman:

    Really? Valuing the viewpoints of a minority is “retarded”? Considering the analog of society, there are countless times when simply siding with a majority is brutal and horrible. I would hope that countless examples would come to mind.

    The majority isn’t always right, in any walk of life. If 51% of people in the US were in favor of dropping nuclear bombs on Afghanistan, would that make it right? If 80% of players wanted Wizards to send out a complimentary foil Black Lotus to every DCI member, would that be a good idea? I understand 98 > 2, but that in itself isn’t an argument. If your position is that Wizards should do whatever they want to as long as it maximizes long-term profit, then you’re simply operating from the assumption that morality and ethics and all that don’t matter. Those aren’t my values, nor are they the values of many other people, which is my point.

    Furthermore, I find it somewhat shameful to label posts as “retarded” and “horrible” simply because somebody’s values or opinions are different from yours, and I have no interest in continuing a mindless flame war.

  101. I would first like to address a pseudo statistic that is being thrown around:

    The idea that there are plenty of playsets of duals and other legacy cards, so that shouldn’t be a detriment to playing legacy. The problem with this argument is that it makes many assumptions, a few of which are certainly not true. The first is that there are something odd tens of thousands of playsets of duals. The first problem with that statement is that it assumes that only a certain number were lost. Truth is that we have no idea how many were lost. Secondly, it assumes that magic players have some great network to be able to get their cards from one person who doesn’t need/want them to another that does (an imaginary internet that everyone uses, and buys and sells their cards on). This network does not exist. A lot of players have duals that simply use them for EDH or other casual purposes and have no inclination to make the jump into legacy. I would venture, just from the number of EDH players I have encountered, that this number exceeds the number of legacy players by a LOT, but I actually have no factual evidence for this claim. Players may also have a dual or two and simply want to hang onto them for nostalgia’s sake. Both of these things make the cards less likely to circulate. The idea that there are plenty of playsets out there so we should stop whining is rather silly. It doesn’t matter how many playsets there are, really, it matters how cost prohibitive the cards are.

    Next I would like to actually address your response, Mr Sperling (since you were kind enough to respond to the multitude of responses to it, I will in kind respond to you). In my first response, I did not actually critique your argument, I simply found fault with the general tenor of the argument. That part still applies, and let me explain. In evaluating any piece of writing, one should always take into account the context of said writing, and the genre. These include the writer, their situation, and the current events of that writer, as well as the audience of said writer, and that writer’s motivation. If you do not assess these things, then you are doing yourself a disservice in reading (most people do them automatically, every time they read something). Trying to disassociate a piece of writing with the writer is akin to saying that context does not matter. Context always matters. Really.

    In evaluating your initial article, I found that it is written in a defensive manner, with the primary argument that a company should keep their word, even to the possible detriment of their product. It was written like this: “Wizards should keep their word on the reserve list, even though it sucks sometimes, because if they don’t, their credibility will be hurt.” While I find fault with that argument as well, I didn’t really take that into account in my first article. I did, however, assess that the argument is made by someone who is being protected by said reserve list, in that they already have enough of many of the cards on it.

    Another observation about your article which adds to the defensive feeling is that it only talks about legacy (a format that you have the cards for, play, and are good at). Not once is the word “Vintage” said. I find this odd, since Vintage seems to truly be the format for nostalgia, as virtually ALL non-ante cards are allowed. This takes credibility from your argument in that you are only addressing the things which affect you, thus making the article seem biased and defensive.

    Now, in response to your actual argument, I feel that the notion that Wizards should “keep their word” on the reserve list, to the possible detriment of the product is a very flawed argument. First is that you are making the argument that any interpretation of the wording of the reserve list (regarding premium cards) other than your own is “breaking their word,” and that if they do that then their credibility will be hurt. The truth is that if they interpret the wording to mean that they can do so (print premium versions of the list), then they are in the right, since THEY WROTE IT. They are not breaking their word, they are interpreting the meaning of it, which is generally considered an acceptable thing to do (both priests and judges do it all the time, and they aren’t even interpreting their own writings).
    The next flaw with that argument is that you are arguing that a company should put their word above their welfare. That is not the nature of a company. A company is designed to make profits, not be a beacon of honor. If Wizards feels that abolishing the reserve list is more beneficial than any blow-back they would get from it, then have at it. I do not think that they decision will be made lightly, either way.

    Overall though, the decision of whether to abolish the reserve list, print premium versions of cards on it, or leave it alone entirely is dependent on what Wizards wants their format to be. Do they want it to be an incredibly competitive format which gets the best possible players innovating with the entire scope of magic at their fingertips? Do they want it to be a format for some people to relive the days of old? (see that? without even making an argument – by just asking questions I put bias in my remarks, based on MY opinion).

    Honestly, I feel that keeping things exactly the way they are right now is a disservice to legacy. The format is difficult for many people to break into (because of the initial investment of cards), which limits the amount of new blood, and possibly the innovation that comes with it, available to the format. Keep in mind that while some standard and decks are very expensive, people can still get the cards fairly easily with normal play (such as drafting and sealed). I think that if Wizards or legacy players want to open the format up, and promote the idea of it (Magic, across all of its years, played out in epic duals), then Wizards should have some sort of special promotion (complete with promo cards) to do so. Something like holding legacy proxy tournaments where the winner wins the cards in their deck (with premium versions of the cards that are tournament legal, but new printings just for those promotions). This would increase availability of the cards, increase interest in legacy, increase innovation in legacy, and maintain the current value of the reserve list cards (since there wouldn’t be a massive influx of new cards).

    Strangely (despite the somewhat off-putting flavor of it), this article did increase my interest in legacy, and prompted me to look at the report for GP Madrid. It seems that the deck lists in the top8 are actually pretty reasonable to play. I may give one of them a go.

    -FritzJaeger

  102. I’m not really invested in the “abolish the reserved list” argument, because I’m not a collector of old cards or particularly interested in Legacy. However, my trust in a company revolves much more around whether they have the wisdom to do away with archaic policies, and much less around whether they “break their promises”. Time changes things, cultures evolve (Magic culture included), and old policies become outdated, irrelevant, and needing of disposal. This is probably one of those times.

  103. I think it’s safe to say all arguments are just predictions what what will happen. You don’t know if reprint will truly bring good to Magic. You don’t know if reprint would really devalue Duals and other expensive that much. You don’t know reprint would drive people away from Magic.
    However, if Wizard decide to reprint all duals and expensive out of prints card, they have to evaluate if the benefits of short term gain is greater than risk of long term lost. Say if they decide to reprint, and things don’t turn out the way they expect. For some reason, many people are selling cards, therefore cause a ripple effect on selling. Eventually cause a lot people quitting is not worth the short term gain. They can’t just go back and create another reserve list and say this time we really really mean it. If it turns out to be a positive outcome, then wizards gain short term sales. If they decide not to reprint, then people will just keep playing and complain how expensive Magic cards are. In my opinion, i really don’t think the risk is greater than reward for wizards unless they are absolutely sure the outcome will be positive. I think they know this, thus they hesitate on reprinting. Or maybe they already decide their mind on what to do. If that’s the case, people’s arguments here and there won’t change their decision at all.

  104. lol @ Fritz: “Another observation about your article which adds to the defensive feeling is that it only talks about legacy (a format that you have the cards for, play, and are good at). Not once is the word "Vintage" said. I find this odd, since Vintage seems to truly be the format for nostalgia, as virtually ALL non-ante cards are allowed. This takes credibility from your argument in that you are only addressing the things which affect you, thus making the article seem biased and defensive.”

    Vintage doesn’t affect me? That’s odd considering I own 2 sets of power 9, 10 mana drains, 4 shops, etc etc. There isn’t a need to discuss Vintage. I’m a collector, as I say in the article, but why does this matter? Wizards isn’t reprinting power whether a reserve list exists or not. Legacy is the format drawing all the attention right now following the massive GP, so it makes sense to focus the discussion there.

    AGAIN, another great example of the danger of trying to figure out “where is the author coming from” and “why is he motivated to discuss Legacy” instead of just discussing the arguments. IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT MY PERSONAL STAKE IN THE ARGUMENT IS. I DONT CARE IF COMMENTERS DO OR DO NOT OWN DUALS/POWER. Just argue the merits if you want to avoid wasting your time talking about which cards I do or do not own, an issue only I really care about.

  105. @ Josh,

    The only “mindless” thing was your first post. It is utterly ridiculous to put 2 people’s welfare over 98 other people. Wizards SHOULD maximize profit and they SHOULD print Black Lotuses if enough people wanted that. Even if that were a “bad” short-term decision, it would teach a valuable lesson in the process.

    I personally find it shameful for someone to label my choice of words even as he accuses me of being a cold-blooded killer who would drop bombs on Afghanistan.

  106. Like many formalist arguments, this one fails for absurdity. That’s why formalism isn’t in style anymore, and hasn’t been for a hundred years.

    Wizards did make a promise a long time ago, and they mechanically added cards to the list for several sets, before realizing that it was bad policy.

    Wizards is more like a governing body than a party to a contract. They implement policies that make the game better. When they make a mistake, we shouldn’t consider that mistake to be binding on them any more than we expect a stupid law to stay on the books (like the constitutional ban on alcohol). It’s not a decision to overturn lightly, but when a policy is broken, they should fix it.

    None of the arguments that sustain a textualist or formalist reading in the law exist when we are talking about Magic: there’s no Constitution, there’s no common law history to uphold, etc… It’s like using a sword to kill flies: funny to watch, but ineffective.

  107. This has been discussed thoroughly on TMD (and is still ongoing). It appears that Matt has not read any of those threads or worse, chose to ignore several of the points therein.

    I’m was a predominantly Vintage player for a long time. My Lotus is BB, my Moxen are WB, and I have a lot to lose. I still want Wizards to get rid of the list.

    I believe that C0LD L0GIC stated it best with his comparison of a boy making a foolish promise to his mother that he would never like girls. The reserve list was created during the infancy of the game, at a point where the decision makers clearly had not anticipated this level of growth and the potential problems it would cause. None of these decision makers are with the company any longer, and the game has seen a lot of change since then.

    Promises should mean something, yes. But the most important part of a promise is its intent. In this case, the point was to protect WOTC’s customers (for simplicity, I’m lumping collectors and players together). By choking out the development of those formats where the cards are still allowed, the list is now doing the opposite.

    1. “Legacy will die out…”
    Change that to “Vintage will die out…” and the danger becomes much more apparently. Legacy is seeing a lot of growth. Vintage on the other hand, is not doing well. There are several factors for this, but among these is the barrier to entry. Matt said that there were about 70k Underground Seas printed. In comparison, print runs for Power were less than half that (the exact numbers are argued around 20-30k). Assuming half of those are still in circulations, we’re talking 10-15k. The scarcity has driven prices up to the point I used to joke with my friend that if his car was stolen, he would be more upset that over losing the deck than the car (the deck was worth about twice as much).

    Card availability may not be affecting Legacy growth yet. But in Vintage (the only format that existed back when the reserve list was created), it’s been a fact of life for over a decade.

    2. “The reserve list shouldn’t include worthless cards…”
    Matt says that this is missing the point. While it’s arguably not HIS point, it’s quite specifically the point WOTC was trying to address back in the day: protecting the value of cards already bought. This was brought up at the beginning of the article, and explained at the very beginning of the official WOTC page he linked, but then conveniently forgotten later.

    Many other expensive staples are not protected by the reserve list (ie. Mana Drain, Imperial Seal, Force of Will, Tarmogoyf). As before, the most important part of a promise is it’s intent, and here list of protected cards clearly doesn’t match up against those which are most valuable.

    I would argue that the most valuable point here is that although Wizards has the right to reprint these other high value cards (and proven loopholes for all those actually reserved), they have not done so. This, plus the recent discussion w/ two notables from the community indicate that they recognize these concerns and are taking them into consideration before acting. Removing the formality of an “archaic and outdated” policy is unlikely to change this.

    3. “No Sliver Queen in the Sliver Deck…”
    Just another example of how the policy is counterproductive. It’s not doing what it’s supposed to, and causing other problems to boot.

    4. “The Reserve List has already been changed…”
    Agreed that this is a weak argument for abolishing the list. Most of the rest of this argument was stating what he’d like WOTC to do, which I obviously disagree with.

    5. “Foils already sidestep the Reserve list…”
    Agreed that this is not the path WOTC should take, but for different reasons. If your own policy is causing problems, update the policy. Do so openly and transparently, with good communication to your potentially affected customers.

    Note that I only consider this relevant to high volume reprints, such as FNM or Player Rewards foils, where thousands upon thousands get added to collections practically overnight. I’m obviously hoping that WOTC will eventually remove the list, but in the meantime Judge promos and the like continue to be released, and our world has not burned down around us.

  108. @Josh.

    Good GOD man, you’re missing the point.

    “Someone who’s 65 is more likely to have a Mickey Mantle Rookie card than me, and it would be rediculously expensive for me to obtain one”

    This analogy is horrible. A baseball card is not played with. People really have no dire want or need for it because it is not hurting their performance in anything. Dual lands are different. If you are being FORCED to play Ravinca duals in legacy simply because you can’t afford the originals, that is hurting your performance, and that makes people feel bad and maybe stop playing.

    So you asked why that is bad? yeah, that’s why.

  109. Magic is a game that is fluid, constantly changing, and having some archaic list of unreprintable cards as an absolute constant is a disservice to the game. You may say that it would affect the credibillity of wizards to break it but to me if it affects their ability to do what is in the best interest of the game then then their credibility as a card game company takes a larger hit.
    And you say that a playset of underground sea ‘only’ costs the same as a playset of tarmogoyf (thats quite a sentence) but to actually break into legacy and remain competitive you need playsets of most dual lands, which is an investment far larger than playing in extended, even if one particular legacy deck might be cheaper than an extended one. Even if you argue that there are enough duals for everyone to play legacy, and i think the current prices show fairly cllearly they are not , that does not mean that legacy is all inclusive.
    Standard can be drafted, extended can be borrowed if necessary but Legacy is still an old boys game, an exclusive club for those who have played for long enough, or have made the large investment, an investment made even more expensive by the rising popularity of the format. To make the format actually open to everyone, easpecially the newest players, reprints of at least the dual lands are necessary.
    And holding value is not a great issue, cards such as birds of paradise and wrath of god have suffered numerous reprints without an appreciable difference in the value of their alpha and beta counterparts.

  110. While there are certain cards that I feel should be perinted, I feel as a whole the reserved list is needed. Peole have spent lots of time and money in getting ahold of playsets of Dulan Lands. I know that my revised duals while dip in price dramatically if they were ever to be reprinted. Not everyone is lucky enough to own Beta Duals.

  111. @Fritz

    If WoTC finds a loophole in their own statement and chooses to exploit it, then they absolutely stand to lose credibility. We aren’t talking about a contract here, we are talking about perceptions.

    Let’s imagine you think you see me dumping a body in the back of my car and driving away. You might very well (and reasonably) think less of me for it. Whether I have was actually taking some bags of rubbish out or a body does not affect your feelings at that time.

    The reason for the Reserved List was at least in part to assuage the worst fears of collectors who felt that the sky might fall when key reprints happened. If they abolish this list then regardless of if the sky falls, WoTC will have put itself in a position where customers have a reason not to trust future promises. Whether the list is got around in a cunning fashion or not, it would be a reasonable reaction to feel cheated by a change in what it appeared WoTC were doing. WoTC might not be breaking their word in any legal sense but given that there wasn’t a legal contract to start with, that wouldn’t matter.

    While it’s clear you disagree on this point, I don’t consider it to be ‘very flawed’ or even ‘flawed’. To suggest an arguement is flawed is to state that there is a problem with it meaning it cannot be valid. This isn’t the case here.

    You mention that ‘a company is designed to make profits, not be a beacon of honor’. This is true (more or less), but WoTC needs to keep an eye on its long term success, and breaking a promise like this sets a very awkward precedent for maintaining the trust of consumers in the future. Reprinting a lot of cards would almost certainly help WoTC in the short term, but in the medium to long term, maintaining consumer trust is what makes selling in the bits we don’t like, such as inevitable price rises, that much easier.

    Removing the Reserved List is a step along a road that can’t be undone, and isn’t strictly necessary for WoTC at the moment. I would love it if the list had never existed. It does though, and I’d rather buy from a company that isn’t apt to only keep its commitments when it wants to than one which only requires sufficient people chanting ‘do it, do it’ to start doing something.

  112. @Matt:

    As an attorney, you know (or should know) that “credibility” is not a singular, static trait – in fact, generally it is considered to be built from component factors (for example, witness credibility is based on Expertise, Trustworthiness, Objectivity, Consistency, and Dynamism). Simply “breaking a promise” will NOT result in an automatic drop in credibility, and to state such as fact begs the question.

    We could just as easily argue that Wizards, whose primary goals are twofold and connected (earning money for Hasbro shareholders and ensuring the health of the game of Magic), would actually EARN credibility on the whole by breaking the reserve list promise, provided that enough people believed that abolishing the reserve list accomplishes the company’s stated goals. Sure, some will look at it narrowly, as a broken promise. Others, however, will see this as a long-term gain and place more trust in Wizards to “do the right thing” even if it is the opposite of what was said prior.

    If handled correctly, there should not be any significant credibility loss among the population as a whole (outside of a dissenting minority) due to abolishing the reserve list, assuming it is the right thing to do for the company and for the health of the game. It is clear that the reserve list itself does not do anything to aid the company nor the health of the game.

    In short: it is NOT safe to assume that “breaking a promise” is, on the whole, a net negative for Wizards. However, it is a net negative for you, for which I apologize but do not sympathize.

  113. @Max: You don’t NEED a playset of most of the duals to play legacy. Look at Matt’s counter-top progenitus list from the Legacy side event. The mana base is a pretty stock list for the archetype and there’s only 7 duals, the only playset being the trops.

    Look at the top 8 from Madrid. Parrado has 7 duals in his counter-top progenitus, none of them a playset. Restoy’s counter-top progenitus has 8 duals, the only playset being the trops. Muller’s reanimator has 4 underground seas and no other duals. Delgado’s zoo has 6 duals, no playset of any. Saito’s ANT has 5 duals, a playset of underground seas included. Bland’s zoo has 6 duals, no playsets. Do Anh’s ANT has 6 duals, playset of seas. Djit’s zoo has 6 duals, no playsets.

    So, for any of these tier one competitive decks, there was no need for playsets of most of the duals, or even 2 playsets of duals. 8 duals was the max amount for any of those decks, and the nature of the decks having 1 or 2 of most of the duals means it’s easier to trade for 1 at a time, or buy 1 at a time versus a playset.

  114. I think there’s 3 options for wizards:

    1. Release more Legacy cards online, support Legacy on their web app, this way all the newer players can play sanctioned Legacy, which is what everyone seems to want, right? This way lowers the cost the entry, people can buy packs of Mirage or ME2 or however they wish to do it. WotC makes $, more people play Legacy. Win, win.

    2. Release premium versions of the staples. Like the new Judge foils, Natural Order and Phyrexian Dreadnought, reprint old cards, but in a limited quantity so as to not destroy the price of originals. Keeps collectors happy.

    3. Release Chronicles II, or Master’s Edition in paper. Black bordered, full print run. Decrease the price of old expensive cards, make a ton of cash for WotC, screw collectors, get more players into Legacy.

    In my opinion, what they are doing currently (options 1 & 2 above) are fine for the time being. Legacy is doing very well even with high prices, there isn’t any reason for them to change that. Option 3 may or may not be necessary in the future. But it’s not needed now. Also, I think once they do option 3, reprint cards with the intention to lower prices, will have a short term positive effect on Eternal, but a longer term negative effect. The cards never rotate. Once people have theirs, and everyone can and will, the format will become quite stagnant, because so few new cards are introduced that are playables. Like, once everyone gets their cards, everyone will have their decks, the decks change very slowly.

    I also believe that one of the aspects of Magic which have contributed to it’s surprising longevity is in it’s history. Call it nostalgia. Or call it a “sacredness” or mythological aspect of the game, which should not be comprimised for a years’ profit. Owning older cards is like owning a piece of history of MTG, which is worth something unto itself. Printing en masse new versions of the same cards would destroy this. Nevermind that betas would still be worth what they are worth. It’s not about looking at card X and seeing how much a reprint would affect it’s price Y. It’s about having some standards in your product and some respect for your customers.

  115. I didn’t say you needed full playsets to play in legacy, i said it was necessary to remain competitive, as 7 duals is still more expensive than some extended and standard decks, and quite an investment to play legacy stuck with one deck.

  116. And rory, reprinting the duals is not going to reduce the number of new cards entering the legacy card pool, I’m not quite certain how you came to such a conclusion, it just means that more people can play.

  117. There will always be people outraged with whatever wotc does. It is best to make the decision that maintains their intergrity. The cards that are in question are most certainly an investment and should be treated as such. Being able to make these expensive cards again will hurt the value and people will lose trust in their value. We do not want another fedral reserve do we?

  118. @Wes Kalbus:

    Actually, that IS my point. Your comment illustrates my point perfectly. Your comment implies that cards are simply objects to be played with, and that people derive their value simply by virtue of their playability. My point with the Mantle rookie card is precisely to indicate that this isn’t true: cards also have value for people by virtue of their collectibility, which is an independent characteristic from their playability in competitive magic. If WOTC closed down tomorrow, and no official tournaments will be held again, prices will certainly drop, but certain cards will still have value because of collectibility. That’s what collectible means.

  119. Man people get pretty worked up over this stuff. I agree with Matt but I’m not gonna write an essay on it.

  120. Suppose that everyone at your local FNM had all the duals and their own Legacy deck, don’t you think the format would become stagnant? Because the cards never rotate, and new sets introduce so few playables, just how often would you really want to play your ANT deck against your opponents CounterTop? Legacy is like Magic’s shiny new toy. You want it so bad, and you’ll cry until you get it, finally you get it and you get bored of it after a month. Then it’s on to the next thing… power 9! That’s what I think might happen, anyways..

  121. @ TWilloughby: Removing the list doesn’t mean that Wizards is immediately forced to throw power and duals in M11. I’d rather buy from a company which is willing to look deeper into a situation and consider what is best for their customer base, rather than taking the easy road of pointing at an outdated policy and saying “Sorry about your format dying out, our hands are tied”.

    From a completely coldhearted perspective: The people most impacted by this are Vintage players. Nobody is cracking packs today is opening stuff on the reserve list.* If abolishing the list meant that every single Vintage player ragequit tomorrow, that would still have only minimal financial impact on WOTC. We aren’t the ones buying box after box of the latest set anyway. Most Standard players probably realize that Ranger of Eos is going to be worth a whole lot less this time next year, and accept it as a matter of course. Life goes on.

    Now WOTC could write off Vintage entirely and leave it to unsanctioned tournaments in scattered pockets. They nearly have already. Or they could take the (likely minor) credibility hit associated with releasing more Vintage staples into the market. Maybe then there would be enough players for me to find nearby opponents, and my $3-4k in cardboard would have practical value beyond how much it will fetch on ebay.

    *I’m not counting exceptions like the Zendikar treasures, which were clearly an exception, or the guy who cracked a Beta pack on Youtube (sorry ’bout the Deathlace, man).

  122. This article was terrible. It is all opinion and feelings and had little objectivity or attention to the facts. That is a terrible way to present or win an argument. I guess it is fine just as an opinion piece but it shouldn’t be presented as an argument.

    From the Author in the comments:
    “they made a promise to the players, and they want to keep it”

    Except that they don’t and have said numerous times that they don’t and it actually hinders them in multiple ways (like tithe not being in 9th edition).

    Not to mention this isn’t a promise to players its a promise to collectors, and it is harmful to the players and mostly irrelevant to the collectors despite what your feelings say.

    Your argument is pretty off base too, in that as it is now with the reprint policy doing nothing to stop judge foils or DD foils etc.
    What you are really arguing is that there should be a new reprint policy that actually does what you want it to not some ridiculous promise that means nothing to 99% of the players that doesn’t really restrict them in any way. Even if you get what you want, and a new reserve list is drawn up that does what you want, you are still loosing because the policy has changed (again) and could change in the future so the promise that you want them to keep has been broken.

    The reason that the reprint policy should go away is that it doesn’t even do what it is supposed to and is totally meaningless promise wise.
    You talk about integrity.
    What about the integrity for the company to not hold on to silly policy when it doesn’t make sense? when it can hurt the game? and the players?
    I think the integrity of wizards actually goes down the longer they keep up the charade that is the reprint policy. It gives me less faith in their abilities to do what is best for the company, players and game, when they adhere to something on one hand while circumventing it on the other.
    There is no integrity in the promise as it stands right now, so really there is nothing to loose there.

  123. I wouldn’t necessarily say 7 or 8 duals locks you into one deck. 4 trops and 4 underground seas will cost as much as extended zoo would to build without a sideboard.

    With 4 trops and 4 seas, you could build any of the archetypes in the Madrid top 8 minus zoo. You’d be down a dual or two in the splash colors, but you’d be up on either trops or seas and could easily trade/mutual borrow the extraneous ones(as in loan out seas to borrow the 2-3 tundras and other one that you wanted to run based on build) to make the difference or run a shockland in place of it. Heck, you could run the mutual loan on a portion of your trops and/or seas and get the zoo mana base in return.

    It seems like alot of people think that the initial investment in duals locks them into whatever deck that they are playing, but they don’t take into account the lack of price drop in duals and the actual appreciation in the investment in their ability to trade the ones they have for the ones they need if they want to play in Legacy and only own one deck at a time.

  124. If you think the prices on this stuff is out of hand now, imagine what would happen if they decided to have a Legacy PTQ season. Maybe that’s something they are looking to do and doing some reprints would help facilitate this.

  125. @ReAnimator
    “Except that they don't and have said numerous times that they don't and it actually hinders them in multiple ways (like tithe not being in 9th edition).”

    When I stated in the comments that Wizards wants to keep its promise, I was explaining why Wizards still has the policy. If Wizards didn’t at least in part agree with my argument about promises being important, this policy would be long gone, since like you said, they do want to reprint cards. Based on them not printing Sliver Queen or Tithe etc, we can say that they want to keep the promise more than they want to reprint cards, at least for now. You say my argument is all emotion or whatever, and yet I am actually providing the argument Wizards, by all appearances, agrees with, since it still maintains a reserved list.

    As for the reprint policy currently allowing foil reprints, please re-read the article, this subject is treated fully in the second half of the article.

  126. I don’t see how a 2,227-player Grand Prix can be used to highlight problems with the reserve list; if the format can attract that many people for an event, why mess with a good thing? Something like what Sperling mentions as a draw – the allure of playing with really old, valuable, hard to find cards – might be something driving up attendance, and in such a case, what people think will help could do more harm than good. Plenty of people want Baneslayer Angel to be uncommon, too; I think there’s something to be said for a little exclusivity.

  127. Opinion #5 of the main article doesn’t make any sense. It comes down to “I don’t like foils, and some other people don’t like foils, so we should forget about people who would be willing to use foil versions of cards to gain entry to the format.” But that’s still just an exclusionary objection to new players, based entirely on your personal athsetic opinion. It’s a pretty shakey argument, at best elitist bordering on egocentric.

    As far as this comment…

    “Thank you for listening to the other side of this debate. Before posting in the comments, remember to ask yourself, "Am I making an argument for why the promise of the reserve list was a bad idea in the first place, or am I making an argument for why Wizards should break its promise now?" ”

    I have to ask, what’s the point? We can’t go back in time to stop the reserve list from being created, or even argue for or against it with those that made it. So we have to deal with the situation as it currently is. While the reserve list served a purpose, and for some still serves some purposes, I don’t think there’s anyone (and here come the nit-pickers to provide exceptions to every rule…) who won’t admit that there’s some things that are horribly broken about the policy. It hinders players who want to play in specific formats and it hinders Wizards from making the products they want to make.

    I my personal opinion, and as someone who would be directly affected by the repeal of the list, I believe it comes to an issue of trust. Do I trust Wizards to do what’s right in regards to reprints if the list was not in place or not? And, again imo, they’ve done a commendable job balancing collectors concerns with reprinting cards people want. Did the increase in supply of Berserk tank the price of ABU versions of the card? I’d say no. All it did was provide a cheaper version of the card, and perhaps stablized the price of previous versions.

    I think at some point you have to ask yourself, though, do I want something for myself at the expense of everyone else? No one’s telling you you have to play with foil versions of cards, the originals will always be avalible for those that want to pay the premium for them, just like if I want to play a beta Clone in my standard deck that’s my perogative to pay 18x the cost of other versions. So what’s the point of denying those that want access when it causes you no apreciable harm?

  128. @ Matt

    While I’m not particularly fond of getting erroneously “lol’ed” at, allow me to explain. While you may or may not have a stake in Vintage, the article never discusses it. Vintage has as much at stake as Legacy in the reprinting of cards, possibly more, however it is never even mentioned. That was the thrust of my writing. The leaving out of Vintage (even in passing) gives the article a lack of balance, and makes it seem one sided. That is all. Whether or not that is the case, that is what the article SEEMS to do (to me). I admit that writing that you are only writing about the things that affect you was a off-base. That sentence does not detract from the rest of the point, however (though it does distract from it).

    Additionally, context is always evaluated when something is read or listened to, whether it is done consciously or not. I agree that an argument should stand on its own merits, no on who is speaking it, however even then the context of the argument matter. If it were a Wizards employee who wrote your article instead of you, the context would change, as would the perception of it. While arguments SHOULD be taken based on their merits, they are also (wittingly or not) taken based on who is speaking them, and why. This isn’t really a choice; it’s something everyone does automatically.

    @ TWilloughby

    Suggesting that an argument is flawed merely suggests that they argument is flawed. It does not imply that the purpose of the article is wrong, merely that the means of arguing that purpose is flawed. I actually agree with many of your points.

    Wizards does not have to “break their word” to reprint cards on the reserve list. They have said that they have and will do so in a promotional way. If someone takes it as an affront that they do so, that is not on them.

    I am actually FOR the keeping of the reserved list, with limited Promotional reprints to increase interest in, add a little accessibility to, and promote legacy and vintage, while keeping the value of the original cards. I just feel that the arguments made were incomplete and that the wording sounded a bit biased (simply by inclusion and exclusion of aspects of the entire argument, and the general tone and wording of the article).

    My opinion,

    -Fritz Jaeger

  129. Just read your last post (posted while I was writing mine). It does seem that Wizards does not want people to be able to BUY cards on the reserve list. That does not however seem to imply that they are against printing them at all (for prizes, judge rewards ect.), just that they do not want to print them in a purchasable-through-them medium.

    -Fritz Jaeger

  130. Sorry Matt, I think Vintage and Legacy should become more accessible to the community at large. I’m really disappointed to get the feeling that some players (you?) see it as an exlusive, high barrier to entry club.

    I normally enjoy your articles, but the only redeeming quality today was your Chapin plug. Looking forward to that book.

  131. This article is bogus. Matt clearly is very biased because of his investment in older cards. The reserve list is outdated. There is ZERO reason for wizards to keep it. The 1% minority that are heavily invested in older reserved cards can whine and complain all they want, but the clear majority of players want to be able to get their hands on older cards. And comparing Baneslayer and Jace with Duals is preposterous. How many Baneslayers do you need in order to play a competitive deck in standard? I’d venture that at least 80% of legacy decks require multiple(6+) duals in order function.

    Also, I haven’t seen anyone address the alarming increase in prices of legacy staples in the past few months. This trend is only going to continue until prices reach a point where legacy becomes unplayable based on PRICE, much like Vintage. There are only so many cards available.

  132. You know, the reserved list doesn’t prevent Wizards from printing superior versions of reserved cards. For instance, Wizards could print as many of these as it wanted to:

    Underground Cesspool
    Land – Island Swamp

    When Underground Cesspool leaves play, gain one life.

    (BTW Wizards, I claim no copyright on these; print away!)

  133. I am a magic writer myself so I know how hard it is to write a good article that everyone is going like, but dude! You are literally the ONLY person I know that feels this way…… I have friends that are long time collectors and all of them want reprints just so that they can collect MORE! I make a decent wage and spend lots of money on magic cards simply because I love it as my hobby. However I getting into formats like Legacy and Vintage don’t seem like a very good investment on my part because of the lack of tournaments and venues to play it……..Do you know why there is a lack of tournaments and venues? Because the majority of magic players DON’T have an extra $500 laying around to invest in the format -therefore- the format is being held back and isn’t going to take off until reprints are offered. Am I teaching logic here?

  134. As far as I can tell, nobody has entered the “TREASURES” promotion they did with zendikar into the discussion. While it is true they did not REPRINT old cards, they did DISTRIBUTE old cards in very limited quantities. What is the difference anyway? They could include a mox in every single pack of Rise of Eldrazi if they wanted to and just say, “Oh no, those were already printed and we are just giving them away now from our stocked up inventory.”

    Wizards will do what they want to do when they want to do it. They won’t be dumb about it either.

  135. WOTC has made it clear that whatever decision they come to in regard to the Reserve List, it will not have been arrived at in haste. I believe players and collectors should be understanding if WOTC does abolish it – as they are clearly trying to do what is best for the game. I like the idea of “market value buybacks” on listed cards as suggested by some but don’t think even that is entirely necessary.

    Anyway, in short I am extremely in favor of abolishing the Reserve List, as it hinders the growth of older formats. Still, I admit it was nice to see someone take up the other side of the argument.

  136. I love the fact that there are so many comments that the article takes up only about an 8th of the page…… obviously this is a very controversial topic. I have been playing magic for 5 years now, and i only play standard and extended due to the price of legacy / vintage. Yeah this hinders me from getting into the formats (and i will be placed on top or bottom of the deck….. lol) but i think the problem everyone is having is that they foret that even though the majority of magic players are just that, players, there are a small minority to whom magic is a collectable. You need to look at this from the veiwpoint of a collector, not a player to understand that his arguement is valid.

  137. “You could have a world where good quality photocopied proxies are legal in Legacy events.”

    I want to live in that world. In fact, I want this for standard, and I’m speaking as someone who recently bought a playset of baneslayers and bought boxes of Zendikar to try to make fetch playsets. Obviously, this would not be good for Wizards. But it would be good for the game, no question.

    Before I play chess, I don’t have to go crack packs looking for the queen I need.

  138. I think the only equitable way of resolving this is by immediately banning every card ever printed, and print a set consisting only of basic lands and vanilla creatures whose P/T = their mana cost, topping off at 5. All cards will be common and will never go out of print. It might even be worthwhile to go ahead and not charge any money for the new legal cards, so the economically disadvantaged won’t be left out. And abolish the whole “booster pack” thing, eliminating randomness (and that nasty GAMBLING element). And let’s do away with the whole “shuffling” thing anyway. Real games don’t rely so much on dumb luck, and neither should Magic.

  139. These are cards we are talking about. Cards for a card game. There is no sane person in the world who would call magic cards an “investment” unless trying to justify huge expenditures on ultimately valueless hobbies to a guilty conscience. Your selfish concern for the ‘investment value’ of the playing cards you dropped a ton of money on don’t have any relevance to the rest of the people who just want to play the game. You’re arguing that everyone else should be denied the opportunity to play these cards in perpetuity because it might personally benefit your wallet and sense of smug superiority. Being able to waste vast sums of money on bits of cardboard who’s supply is artificially restricted isn’t any kind of “achievement” and it’s certainly not something you should feel proud of to the point of keeping others from having the game experience you get to have. Grow up.

  140. “I want to live in that world. In fact, I want this for standard, and I'm speaking as someone who recently bought a playset of baneslayers and bought boxes of Zendikar to try to make fetch playsets. Obviously, this would not be good for Wizards. But it would be good for the game, no question.”

    There were a lot of these posts. Let’s just say that the front edge of my desk has a head-shaped depression.

    Have you playtested proxy decks with your friends? Do you really want that to be what magic consists of? I don’t. Every once in a while I want to combo out a turn slower in EDH–just so that it’s funner for everyone else–but I also want the challenge of optimizing my deck. If everyone owns every card, the game gravitates towards rock paper scissors.

    Also, you can already play the game for free over magic workstation. Some sites even have tournaments, which is indeed good for the game because then people can test out powerful strategies before investing the money. But the sites aren’t overflowing with players. Why? Because we don’t value what is free. Those guys at FNM with a fully foil jund deck or at vintage events with all black bordered cards are a large part of the player base, and I’m not sure how you can argue that cutting them out would be “better for the game.” We all have a little bit of collector in us or we wouldn’t be playing a collectible card game.

    Bah. Enjoy your troll food.

  141. Wizards obligation is to the consumer of their product, not to keep promises. If their consumers tell them they are no longer expecting them to keep a promise (made in haste), then Wizards still serves their consumers. (I also don’t care if my cards are devalued monetarily, their real value is the fun I have with them.)

  142. Wizards/Hasbro’s obligation to you ends when you pay your money and receive 15 randomly assorted playable trading cards, as stated in the product description. Wizards is not beholden to you to protect the arbitrary aftermarket sale value of your cards to third parties. It certainly makes business sense for them to keep customers on side and buying more cards, but if at any point revising their policies will net them more money than maintaining them, that’s what they’ll do. Hasbro’s obligations are to it’s shareholders, not to self entitled manchildren who want to be the coolest kid with the most expensive cards.

    It’s good that you jabber on about credibility because this line
    “I know that personally, the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy”
    instantly invalidates yours. What possible reason could you have for such an opinion? Theres no difference between someone dropping a A/B/U tropical island and a reprinted one in terms of gameplay experience so it seems the only possible explanation is that you resent anyone else being able to part of your exclusive little club making you look silly for spending large amounts of money on a card. Your analogy about a child and “parental credibility” is accurate in at least one sense, because you come off like a child complaining about not getting his way because mooom youuu proooomised! The actual wellbeing of the child (game) is more important than indulging childish entitlements for the sake of credibility, parents don’t answer to their children, and multinational companies don’t answer to grown up children who’s sole motivation is the protection of their own personal monetary and emotional investment which has no bearing on their business (wizards doesn’t see any of the money you laid out for that aftermarket mox, they have literally zero business incentive or obligation to protect its value for you. maybe if you could buy a reprinted one for a tenth of the cost you’ll spend the rest of that money on new boosters)

  143. @Caleb

    “If everyone owns every card, the game gravitates towards rock paper scissors.”

    This depends on the sets that get printed, not on the players. If you have to rely on rarity to create variety in the metagame, you are not doing your job as a game designer, period.

    I play at Superstars in San Jose (where CF is based), where people tend to have the cards they need to make their decks good. It doesn’t exactly make me sad to sit across the table from someone who’s playing UW control with the Jace playset, or fully functional Jund. It’s more fun to play against a good deck than a deck that someone’s only playing for budget reasons.

    “But the [MWS] sites aren't overflowing with players. Why? Because we don't value what is free.”

    I’d say it’s more because MWS is kind of cruddy, and if you play random people you face the worst aspects of the anonymous internet.

    “Those guys at FNM with a fully foil jund deck or at vintage events with all black bordered cards are a large part of the player base, and I'm not sure how you can argue that cutting them out would be "better for the game."”

    They’re a tiny, minuscule portion of the player base, actually. Especially compared to people that are priced out of the game, it’s a preposterously small number. I’m not suggesting ‘cutting them out,’ either.

  144. I gotta say, between this train wreck of an article and your attempting to define “reach” as “I have cards in my deck to deal with permenants”, I’m really not a fan.

    I’m not wealthy but I can afford to buy a few boxes of sets as they come out. I do this because I like to open packs, and I like to have trade fodder. I tend to buy singles that i can’t manage to trade for.

    I will never get into Legacy/Vintage unless they drop the barrier of entry. It’s not that I hate spending money on the game — any hobby costs money — but spending that much money per deck is just unjustifiable.

    Legacy is eventually going to go the way of Vintage if something doesn’t change … it’ll just become some the magic Methuselahs play. I used to be one of those, but I sold my collection in 1999 when I went to college. Hindsight is 20/20, but the bottom line is that I’ll never pay that much money for a manabase, let alone an entire deck.

  145. So if wizards reprints Dual Lands then they should just go all out and reprint all the big Legacy and Vintage cards. Screw it print Lions Eye Diamond, Duals, Power 9, Force of Will, Tabernacles, Workshops, Bazzar, Mana Drains print it all because I want an easy way to get those cards too. lets just reprint every card over $20 on the secondary market because if you dont reprint those then when everyone has the new “power cards” these mid range cards will shoot up in price. So lets just reprint all the old sets start with revised and reprint them all. Why stop at the “playable” cards that seems unfair to the casual players Keep in mind there are way more casual players then tourney players in the world so why should they get cheated.

  146. @ Lester,

    Actually I think simply reprinting the Dual lands (or equivalents) would suffice.

    I C WAT U DID THAR

  147. wizards should just send out a playset of every card ever printed to anyone with a DCI number. Then 100000000’s will play legacy. Everyones happy…

    people that are for abolishing the list are just chumps that are pissed they cant play with certain cards. Well I can play any deck i want in extended, i want cheap DD’s and rav dual lands, its just not fair.

    I bought 2 starters and a few packs, why cant i play any deck i want i spent money, now i should be able to play any deck in any format. Its not fair someone eles paid money for cards to beable to have more fun then me, its just not fair.

    Buget decks? what if i dont wanna play dredge? that decks not even fun any ways, beggers should be choosers.. its just not fair

  148. Most people aren’t asking for them to reprint everything. Why does everyone seem to think if it isn’t one extreme it has to be the exact opposite extreme. Most people are focusing on the Duals since they’re in MOST decks.

    Reprinting Duals likely won’t really reduce the cost of Legacy overall in the long term since other cards will likely go up in price as the format expands and demand for other cards goes up. Does it really matter if instead of 200 for a playset of trops and 150 for a playset of FoW is what you’re paying or if its 100 for the Trops and 250 for the FoW? It’s the same in the end.

  149. I think the core of this debate is older, more experienced players (with much more money) vs. newer players (mostly college/high schoolers, all poor). It just comes down to nostalgia vs. fun – what matters more, having a bunch of really cool cards which make you feel better than all the little kids (because your playskill obviously doesn’t apparently) or having fun playing in larger tournaments with more creative decks because there are more minds working on them.

    Kinda sad that this debate even exists – its like all the old or rich players arguing that they deserve to have more fun.

  150. The arguments I have heard about the reserve list essentially boils down to the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots”. It seems like most people who own Legacy staples are against reprinting, and those who joined the game too late to pick them up affordably,(or otherwise unable to purchase them for monetary reasons) are for reprinting.

    I once owned a fair amount of duals from Revised (among other staples) but sold my collection years ago. Now that I’m back in the game, the prices for those cards have quintupled in price.

    As a “Have-Not” I am very much opposed to Wizards tampering with or otherwise altering their reprint policy. One of the aspects to this hobby that I love so much is that in a pinch, I can liquidate cards in order to cover emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances. If Wizards reprints, then people who have invested money into the cards will be unable to recoup those losses.

    Clearly, if Magic’s popularity continues for years to come, and there’s no reason to suspect otherwise, there will eventually be a need for Wizards to do SOMETHING to make those cards more available for the reasons Sperling noted in the article. But that is years in the future, and I see no need at all to change or abolish the reserve list in the present.

  151. Yog: Maybe it’s for flavor purposes? A lot of people have said there’s no difference between a foil promo Tropical island and a weathered Beta one, and from a purely strategic standpoint that’s true, but if magic were only about strategy we wouldn’t have card art, would we? Flavor matters, and eternal formats have flavor. Y’all be hate’n.

    Monk: My point was that we’re all the guy with the pimp vintage deck, just in varying degrees. We value our decks because we’ve put real investment into them. It doesn’t make sense to invest three hundred bucks so that you can spend all Friday night winning a few packs of cards, but we do it because it gives us pleasure, and collecting is a large part of that validation. Conversely, the type of person you mention, too proud to borrow cards from a friend yet still has the gumption to whine about not being able to afford the three hundred dollar entry fee for a possible $30+foil cards payout is playing the wrong game from the start. Collecting, as much as it pains me, is a part of the game. When a player complains about that aspect, it is akin to complaining about luck. Compare the following two conversations:

    “I missed my second land drop, and that’s why I lost!”
    -Why’d you keep a one land hand? Did you run enough lands in your deck?

    “I can’t afford Goyfs or Baneslayers, and that’s why I lost!”
    -Why didn’t you pick the cards up when they were cheaper? Did you think about borrowing some from a friend? If you’re incapable of constructing your own deck, did you at least check online to see if someone did well with a powerful deck you could afford?

    Also, I think you’re the only person I’ve heard of that’s happy playing the UW/Jund Mirror all day. I find it about as fun as masterbating with a flaming cheese grater. The guy in the top eight with the crazy Pyromancer’s Ascension/Time Warp/Naya Charm deck is what makes magic interesting for a lot of people, and some of that fun would most certainly be lost of everyone was given a playset of Baneslayers.

    If you think the cost of crack is too high: stop buying crack. Cards will only cost what people will pay for them. When Alpha first hit the streets they gave boosters away, and a lot of those boosters ended up in the garbage. Was giving away product the right call? Of course it was, they were promoting a game that had no player base. Nowdays we have said base, and devaluing their personal attachments to their decks will not strengthen it.

    Lend the new guy a deck until he gets on his feet. If a person pisses because they can’t afford the three hundred and fifteen dollar entry fee to win fifteen packs then they’re playing the wrong game.

    From a big picture perspective, what we want is rarely what we need. Will having four Baneslayers make jimmy a better player? A more courteous one? Learning how to use synergy and metagaming to defeat raw power is a valuable skill, and almost unique to magic because of its collectible nature. I would not love or play the game without this aspect of it.

  152. “Cease categorically refusing the possibility of ever reprinting certain cards as a matter of policy” does not equate to “reprint every card ever, right now” so that’s a terrible non-argument. More to the point, increasing the availability of the cards (relative to being completely unavailable first hand) doesn’t mean flooding the market with them, many of these cards, dual lands included, could easily be reprinted as mythic rares, increasing the supply enough that building playsets through buying a few boxes and trading or drafting/sealed deck is a viable possibility over time, but it doesn’t mean every guy who buys a few boosters a month is going to crack a playset, again, another false dichotomy. Even the card value argument is terrible overall, jace the mind sculptor is currently of comparable value to say an unlimited taiga, is currently in print, and is used in far far fewer decks. Good cards will always attract good prices for sale of singles, but there’s more to be said for making the cards available period. It gets more people playing the legacy format, more people people buying boxes, attending releases and other events and playing limited hoping to crack great cards, bottom line is it moves more product. The only effect it has on you complainers is that you can’t simply buy your way to wins with an obscenely expensive deck because someone else might be able to compete on an even footing and then you might have to actually beat them on ability! oh no whatever will you do 🙁

    bottom line again for those hard up for reading comprehension, abolishing the reserve list does not mean the next in print set is a copy of every reserved card reissued as commons all at once and thrown in fistfuls from the sky for free, it allows the possibility that cards on the list *may* be reprinted, at a later date, at a revised rarity. That’s it. The kneejerk outrage in your posts is awful and barely serves to conceal your elitist disappointment at the vague possibility of some time in the future not being the eternal cool kid on the block with the expensive unbeatable unobtainable cards

  153. Jesse – If it’s flavour then whats the problem? You have your original art and borders, how does someone elses potentially reprinted card impact on the physical card you already own? It doesnt, unless you have a misplaced sense of worth attached to being in the select club of people that can play with that card

    “As a "Have-Not" I am very much opposed to Wizards tampering with or otherwise altering their reprint policy. One of the aspects to this hobby that I love so much is that in a pinch, I can liquidate cards in order to cover emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances. If Wizards reprints, then people who have invested money into the cards will be unable to recoup those losses.”

    This is just jawdropping. CARD GAMES ARE NOT INVESTMENTS. If your financial security in emergencies rests on being able to resell magic cards, stop playing magic and open a savings fund. Seriously, incredible. I can sort of understand the people who are just greedy for the potential cash rewards of sitting on cards and reselling them for big money, but to literally argue that wizards shouldn’t reprint cards because you’ll be unable to ‘recoup losses’ (for playing a hobby game) is ridiculous. Stop comparing games to investments, they are not the same thing.

  154. Real “collectibles” don’t depreciate due to reprints… you can see this in the price difference between Beta BoP, The Dark Ball Lightnings, or Legends Bolas vs. their newer printings. If you have originals of these cards, I wouldn’t worry as a collector.

    The only cards that might drop in value with some limited reprints are the revised duals and those are all inflated because of recent Legacy interest. The “collectors” keep worrying about losing value in their investment/nostalgia… but if you really were that old school… odds are you bought your revised duals way back when they were $10-20 ea. If a reprint dropped them all to $20-30 range… I don’t see a reason to complain considering that without the “players”, those duals wouldn’t have tripled in the last 3 years in the first place.

  155. @ Yog: I understand where you are coming from, but the fact that certain cards sell for hundreds of dollars higher than their initial value refutes your claim that this game is not an investment.

    To wit: Investment: “the purchase of a financial product or other item of value with an expectation of favorable future returns. In general terms, investment means the use money in the hope of making more money.”

    Use of money- purchase of cards of limited supply expected to gain value over long periods of time.

    I never claimed it was a wise investment, but clearly it is an investment nevertheless.

    And what precisely is the argument against liquidating cards in an emergency? I’m sorry that I don’t want to be hit with penalties for withdrawing money from my IRA.

  156. This is a pretty long chain of forum comments, so…

    Everybody that does/doesn’t want reprints is a Nazi!

  157. welcome to real life! investments are supposed to be a risk; think of the stock market. you’re just upset you’ll actually have to put thought into your card investments.
    Wizards of the coast shouldn’t have made this list to begin with — the cards were not made with the intention of being investments but to play the game. yes, they can be a good investment but again it is a risk. Wizards is a company and like most companies are out to make money not help you make investments.
    you are being ridiculous, childish and selfish.

  158. The entire premise of this article seems flawed to me. For me the argument is simple.

    Wizards made the reserve list to protect the value of cards. This was a “promise” made to investors and collectors. The idea that it was a promise is a bit sketchy. They actually enacted a policy to do this.

    I don’t know how many of you were tournament players back in 1996 when this happened. I was. This policy was put in place because they reprinted killer bees and carrion ants. The elder dragon legends and freaking RAKALITE. Carrion ants was a $20.00 card. BLOODLUST was 35 bucks. Bloodlust for gods sake.

    This was a huge problem. All the card shops had invested a lot of money into these cards. Now remember, y card shop I mean baseball card shops and small comic book stores. There was nothing like a star city or channel fireball back then. By dropping bloodlust from $35.00 to about $4.00 some stores took a huge hit, in the area of hundreds to maybe 1-2k. For them that would have been a good portion of their business.

    This happens every year now. EVERY YEAR. when a set rotates, there is a huge drop in value. Bitterblosom is worth how much now? Cryptic command? How much did Channel fireball buy the ones they have in stock now for? We are able to absorb this issue now.

    The only reason to support the reserved list is to keep prices high. This creates a class of haves and have nots. Some people will never be able to shell out $400+ for a set of underground seas.

    So if you support the reserved list you wish to create an elite group of people that have more money, who also own the best cards. Cut and dried.

    In addition wizards has shown good judgement on what to reprint. Go back to 4th and chronicles and look at what was reprinted. Nothing was really that strong. The tops of them are probably Strip Mine, Mishra’s Factory and Ernham Djinn. Nothing was really out of bounds. Also bear in mind that Mana drain has not been reprinted. It is perfectly OK for them to it as it is uncommon.

    We need to move to an era past the reserved list and into an era of trust with wizards. They will not reprint cards that are bad for the environment. they will not tank the value of the power or duals just to do it. What would you rather have, some old policy full of problems, or a company you can truly trust?

  159. Magic cards are not a financial product, and you are not being penalized. If your motivation for purchasing hobby game cards was the certainty they would retain financial value, you’re a fool and deserve to lose the money you’ve “invested”. You can surely liquidate cards in an emergency, the point is if you’re using this in an argument, as in “wizards shouldn’t reprint these cards because their aftermarket value is emergency funds for me”, you seriously need to reevaluate your financial position. Really, that’s insanity.

    Yes, hobby things and antiques and the like may increase in value and be resold and it’s great when that happens, but magic players seem to have a unique entitlement complex in this regard. There’s a reason you see the same situation in every generic sitcom where the man buys baseball cards or collectibles or whatever and justifies the expense as an “investment”, it’s a comedy trope because most people realize that it’s disingenuous at best, you bought the cards to play with and have the privilege of owning, not to grow financial value.

    It’s all a moot point anyway, because even if cards were an investment *investments arent a sure thing* , you’re not entitled to squat from anyone for your magic cards, certainly not wizards. Legacy exclusive players are largely sitting on out of print cards (which wizards makes no more money on) and purchasing the occasional singles aftermarket (which wizards makes no money on) and the format by its nature discourages new players from joining the game (again denying wizards any money). It’s a simple fact that the one and only concern wizards has about the aftermarket value of your cards is whether pissing you off too much will affect the amount of product you buy. It’s becoming clearer in recent years that legacy players aren’t buying product period, and that a lot more could be gained by bringing new players in, hence the examples given (that the article ignored) with judge cards and the subtle removal of cards from the list already.

    This article and the sentiment is pure alarmism and sad panic over the value and prestige of their nerd hobby and nothing more, people can see the way the winds are blowing at wizards (well i’m sure hasbro has a fair bit to do with it because they’ve certainly got the bottom line in mind) and are stuttering out a pre-emptive ‘butbutbut you PROMISED!’. Wizards is finally starting to realise that legacy players threatening to quit magic or whatever shouldn’t scare them enough to shape their business policy. If we piss these guys off, Legacy players kitted out with playsets of every expensive card might stop buying singles of new sets online and stop showing up to DCI events to win free cards and not buy product…

    who cares?

  160. I oppose the reserve list and support the reprinting of pretty much everything (duals, goyf, and yes, even Power) in order to reduce the impact of monetary cost as a barrier to entry to the game.

    People complaining that “cards SHOULD be expensive!!!” and “It’s a COLLECTIBLE card game!!!!” in my opinion, are not thinking far enough ahead. Someday, ALL printing of Magic cards will cease. There will eventually come a time when no more “real” cards are printed, ever. Wizards of the Coast will one day be forgotten.

    It is my contention, however, that Magic will not. Along with Go, Chess, Backgammon, Tarot, Bridge, any of those, people in ages to come will remember (and play) Magic. What we are doing now, by playing in tournaments and arguing about technology and teaching our friends and having a blast playing, is all a part of the ongoing design process.

    “Why should I care about what people do years from now?” you ask. We have a chance here to be part of something great-bigger than Rosewater, bigger than Wizards, bigger than any of us. Certainly bigger than the price tag of our decks. We have the opportunity to make a lasting mark on history.

    The reason that this will work is that, strictly speaking, you don’t need “real” cards to play Magic. The gameplay is the same if you play the Alpha versions, Worlds gold borders or handwritten proxies. Saying that you’ll enjoy Legacy less if I drop a foil alternate art Tropical Island is like saying you won’t enjoy chess unless the pieces are made of gold. It is also analogous to your gold chess pieces being more powerful than my plastic ones and being able to shoot lasers and melt them from across the board. That would be a pretty crappy game of chess right?

    Our responsibility to the future is to make Magic as friendly and accessible as possible. This is true for a number of reasons.
    1. The more people who play magic, and buy packs, the more money Wizards will spend on R and D to improve the game.
    2. The more the game gains mainstream acceptance, the more support we will get for it. Imagine if high schools had competitive Magic teams! This will never happen if the game is perceived as a bunch of rich spoiled kids circle jerking about how fancy their cards are.
    3. The more people are intimately conversant with the rules, the longer and more accurately they will be preserved.
    4. The more people who play the game, the more formats and variants will be developed-eventually we will see something similar to playing cards, which can be used to play many different games (not to the same extent of course, but think about the difference between Type 1, EDH, and sealed deck. It’s almost a different game). This is beneficial because people will enjoy Magic more if they can find a format that suits their personality and what they are looking for in a game. No single format is for everyone, but the more formats exist, the more people will be able to find one they like.

    If, in the coming years, we do a good job, Magic will go down in history and continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. (I could go on about the potential benefits of Magic to humanity but I don’t think I have to convince anyone here of that, haha). In order for this to happen Wizards must make policy decisions which promote the long term health and expansion of the game as a whole, rather than being driven by the short term financial interest of what will soon be a minority of players. (Do the math: finite number of dual lands/power/goyfs with a constantly increasing player base. Eventually the people who possess the real thing will be outnumbered).

    Just some ideas I’ve been kicking around for a while, hope this makes some sense to someone.

  161. I oppose the reserve list and support the reprinting of pretty much everything (duals, goyf, and yes, even Power) in order to reduce the impact of monetary cost as a barrier to entry to the game.

    People complaining that “cards SHOULD be expensive!!!” and “It’s a COLLECTIBLE card game!!!!” in my opinion, are not thinking far enough ahead. Someday, ALL printing of Magic cards will cease. There will eventually come a time when no more “real” cards are printed, ever. Wizards of the Coast will one day be forgotten.

    It is my contention, however, that Magic will not. Along with Go, Chess, Backgammon, Tarot, Bridge, any of those, people in ages to come will remember (and play) Magic. What we are doing now, by playing in tournaments and arguing about technology and teaching our friends and having a blast playing, is all a part of the ongoing design process.

    “Why should I care about what people do years from now?” you ask. We have a chance here to be part of something great-bigger than Rosewater, bigger than Wizards, bigger than any of us. Certainly bigger than the price tag of our decks. We have the opportunity to make a lasting mark on history.

    The reason that this will work is that, strictly speaking, you don’t need “real” cards to play Magic. The gameplay is the same if you play the Alpha versions, Worlds gold borders or handwritten proxies. Saying that you’ll enjoy Legacy less if I drop a foil alternate art Tropical Island is like saying you won’t enjoy chess unless the pieces are made of gold. It is also analogous to your gold chess pieces being more powerful than my plastic ones and being able to shoot lasers and melt them from across the board. That would be a pretty crappy game of chess right?

    Our responsibility to the future is to make Magic as friendly and accessible as possible. This is true for a number of reasons.
    1. The more people who play magic, and buy packs, the more money Wizards will spend on R and D to improve the game.
    2. The more the game gains mainstream acceptance, the more support we will get for it. Imagine if high schools had competitive Magic teams! This will never happen if the game is perceived as a bunch of rich spoiled kids circle jerking about how fancy their cards are.
    3. The more people are intimately conversant with the rules, the longer and more accurately they will be preserved.
    4. The more people who play the game, the more formats and variants will be developed-eventually we will see something similar to playing cards, which can be used to play many different games (not to the same extent of course, but think about the difference between Type 1, EDH, and sealed deck. It’s almost a different game). This is beneficial because people will enjoy Magic more if they can find a format that suits their personality and what they are looking for in a game. No single format is for everyone, but the more formats exist, the more people will be able to find one they like.

    If, in the coming years, we do a good job, Magic will go down in history and continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. (I could go on about the potential benefits of Magic to humanity but I don’t think I have to convince anyone here of that, haha). In order for this to happen Wizards must make policy decisions which promote the long term health and expansion of the game as a whole, rather than being driven by the short term financial interest of what will soon be a minority of players. (Do the math: finite number of dual lands/power/goyfs with a constantly increasing player base. Eventually the people who possess the real thing will be outnumbered).

    Just some ideas I’ve been kicking around for a while, hope this makes some sense to someone.

  162. Yog @ Wizards is finally starting to realise that legacy players threatening to quit magic or whatever shouldn't scare them enough to shape their business policy. If we piss these guys off, Legacy players kitted out with playsets of every expensive card might stop buying singles of new sets online and stop showing up to DCI events to win free cards and not buy product"¦

    you are so delusional if you truly believe that wizards thinking about getting rid of RL just because people complained about the price, or threaten to quit.

  163. Welcome to real life! investments are supposed to be a risk; think of the stock market. You’re just upset you’ll actually have to put thought into your card investments.
    Wizards did not make the cards to be your investments ( although granted they can be but again, as a risk) they made them for the game. Wizards, like most companies, is looking to make money not help you make investments.
    You’re being selfish and childish.

  164. @Magiccoke you’ve got what I said backwards, the decision to make and retain the reserve list is based on keeping players who own these cards on side and not turn them off playing magic by negating the value of the cards they’ve purchased, especially in the early days when magic was just getting off the ground and people wanted some kind of assurance that if they’re pumping all this money into a collectable game that they won’t be left high and dry. If there wasn’t some kind of perceived negative consequence to the company to allowing that to happen, they wouldn’t have retained the reserve list in lieu of reprinting those cards and getting a whole new crop of unestablished players purchasing yet more packs to buy the same cards they’ve already made.

    What I’m saying is that with the explosion of magic as a global phenomenon, and the direct evidence that people are now more than willing to purchase expensive cards and have them drop in value (type 2 demonstrates this every single time a set rotates out, as someone else already mentioned) with nary a complaint shows that this concern from the early days of magic is no longer what it once was, coupled with the fact that the players in question (legacy players) aren’t buying much new product anyway, so in terms of their own business they have nothing to protect by trying to retain legacy player support over developing new revenue streams from new players. If you think the reserve list is some type of kind gesture from the goodness of wizards’ heart, you’re delusional. It was a business decision and the business factors that gave birth to it have changed over the past decades.

  165. Yog I agree with you completely. definitely did not read your comment before posting basically a summary of what you said. you said it much better.

  166. “If it's flavour then whats the problem? You have your original art and borders, how does someone elses potentially reprinted card impact on the physical card you already own? It doesnt, unless you have a misplaced sense of worth attached to being in the select club of people that can play with that card”

    For a lot of people, the feel of the game matters, and magic is a two person game. Imagine, for example, all of MTGs mechanics printed onto Dora The Explorer game cards. It might be a fun game, maintaining all the complexities, but would it draw the magic crowd?

    Now imagine you have the option of having normal magic cards, but everyone else chooses to play with the Dora the Explorer ones. They would have every right to, there is no harm in it, but I know I wouldn’t want to play with them as much.

    Older cards have a different aesthetic than new ones. I remember the first time I saw dual lands with the funny colored boxes around the writing. They intrigued me, and I wanted them before I knew they were useful or expensive. No matter how many goyfs or silver artifacts infest legacy, the dark ink on these duals gives the format a different feel than FNM, and a lot of that feel is what attracts players.

    Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everyone just wants to play with SDT.

  167. If you would also say “seeing someone lay down a M10 birds of paradise instantly makes the game less enjoyable for me” that would be a consistent position (if a stupid one regardless, come on you don’t read). Something tells me that’s not the case and it’s a cover for “i don’t want others playing with the same toys i have”. There’s a far cry between dora the explorer and a new art and border. i guess the game must have been real unenjoyable for you since scourge finished?

  168. *meant “you don’t read something like that and think that’s a person i want to play with”

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  170. The arguement for adhering to the reserve list would have been more relevant before legacy’s popularity grew to what it is now. You talk about cheap alternatives, but we aren’t talking power nine, we are talking lands. Would you tell someone they can get away with playing pain lands in extended over playing rav duals + fetches? I think part of the problem may be greed, but the bigger factor is unwarranted fear. These things are continuing to increase in value and may not stop for a long time, low volume reprints now would at worst slow the increase down, but I don’t believe it would even decrease their value.

  171. @Caleb – That’s a novel argument (to me). I can’t say that I’ve ever had my enjoyment of the game reduced by someone else’s choice of card print edition. I mean, I think the new Reflecting Pool art is better than the first time around, but that just means I bought new Pools so I’d be happy with my deck.

    Some people think foils are pretty. I think they get in the way of the art. So it goes.

  172. man, people who wants the reserve list off wants to turn mtg into yugioh and make all the cards fluctuated like mad.

    i mean seriously, do you guys even think of the consequence of abolishing the list?

    first of all, wizard is not gonna heavily promotes eternal format because it doesn’t promote their new products. simple as that.

  173. The cards will hold their value with out the reprint list.

    Look at an Alpha Bird of Paradise, it goes for $200+

    And an M10 Bird of Paradise, it goes for approx $5

    What about Lightning Bolt? Alpha version is $18-19 and the M10 version $0.10 maybe.

    If WotC does get rid of the no-reprint list, and then print up some of those cards, the alpha/beta/unlimited versions of those cards will dip in value briefly, but will then continue to increase in value.

  174. @ Caleb

    “Also, I think you're the only person I've heard of that's happy playing the UW/Jund Mirror all day”

    Whoah whoah whoah. Let’s hold on a moment there. I play against those decks, but I don’t ever play the mirror (so far) because I’m playing Open the Vaults. Those decks are available to me, but OtV is the most interesting deck in standard in my opinion, and fun to play while being “good enough.”

    So let’s not assume that when you remove card availability from the equation, all variety disappears, eh?

  175. @ Matt

    I’m sorry, but saying you’re argument has merit because Wizards has or has not done something is sad.
    “Something of what I’ve said must be right, based on what Wizards hasn’t done so far”
    If that is the only crutch you have to lean on…

    I like how much talk has been generated by this poorly put together article, for the pro’s and con’s of maintaining the Reserved List

    But admit this is a poor article, your content abysmal, and move on

  176. There is a huge misconception in these comments that the old and vintage/legacy players majority don’t want reprints.

    THIS IS WRONG

    The majority do want reprints, it’s a small small minority like the author, who don’t. Go look at the mana drain and source forums about this topic, and SCG’s threads as well. The vast majority of people who already have power and dual lands want reprints so there are more people to play the formats.

    I own everything for legacy and T1 and i want them to do away with the reserve list.

    The financial impact and mystique is BS, the values won’t be affected much at all, and the long term implications of a player base shrinking into non existence means that eventually the values will drop way more, if they can’t attract new players to a format.

  177. Voice of Reason

    Truly, this article is so poorly conceived and constructed that it doesn’t only lack in supporting a “pro-reserved list” position, but it’s contradictory to itself around every corner, and likely does more to show the irrational and immature mind of a collector who feels that he may stand to lose money if an entity takes a certain action, regardless of how that action would benefit the rest of the MtG player base, WotC, and the game of Magic itself.

    Wizards’ “Promise,” as you call it, was to protect the value of cards early in the life of MtG, which was clearly a time where the fates of the significantly smaller player base(compared with now) and Wizards itself, were uncertain; and entwined.

    Flashing forward to now, this list itself is antiquated, and does not serve the intention of Wizards’ “Promise.” Maybe this is actually the only topic up for debate?

    The purpose of the “Promise” was not to allow for certain cards to continue climbing in value at rapid rates, due to a true limitation of quantity and an overwhelming desire to play a format they are required for: it was to protect their current values.

    Though the Author says other things, it seems clear his primary concern is the value of the cards he owns, due to a fear they may fall in value if reprints are made. There is no acknowledgement to real issues outside that realm. He even goes so far as to give a specific example of how value is all he really cares about, included here: “These cards don't need to be reprinted anyway, we can all get a copy for 50 cents….No one really cares whether Carnival of Souls gets reprinted.”

    So the Author is literally so near sighted as to not realize the “Reserved List Issue” has relevance outside of the Legacy Format?? Seriously? Why is a person so ill-equipped writing an article of this nature?

    To follow the Author’s poor choice of “a boy being promised ice cream from his Uncle,” the actual scenario is more similar to the only ice cream shop in town burning down, the Uncle trying to explain to the boy that the “Promise” is no longer relevant because there’s no ice cream to be had, and the boy whining and crying because he still just wants his ice cream, that can’t be had anymore.

    So we understand that you’re just afraid, as “a collector,” of losing money, but add to that the hilarious and equally unsupported, unreasonable statement you made here: “I know that personally, the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy.” So… are you just a D-bag, too?

    To borrow a phrase from the Author, this article misses the point entirely.

    Disgusting, is that in the same wordspace of all your illogic, you mentioned a conversation with Patrick Chapin which nearly implies you’re on the same “level” with him…

  178. I think Spock said it best “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one”

  179. The following is a re-post of the same content I posted earlier. Perhaps it was removed for lack of agreement?

    Truly, this article is so poorly conceived and constructed that it doesn’t only lack in supporting a “pro-reserved list” position, but it’s contradictory to itself around every corner, and likely does more to show the irrational and immature mind of a collector who feels that he may stand to lose money if an entity takes a certain action, regardless of how that action would benefit the rest of the MtG player base, WotC, and the game of Magic itself.

    Wizards’ “Promise,” as you call it, was to protect the value of cards early in the life of MtG, which was clearly a time where the fates of the significantly smaller player base(compared with now) and Wizards itself, were uncertain; and entwined.

    Flashing forward to now, this list itself is antiquated, and does not serve the intention of Wizards’ “Promise.” Maybe this is actually the only topic up for debate?

    The purpose of the “Promise” was not to allow for certain cards to continue climbing in value at rapid rates, due to a true limitation of quantity and an overwhelming desire to play a format they are required for: it was to protect their current values.

    Though the Author says other things, it seems clear his primary concern is the value of the cards he owns, due to a fear they may fall in value if reprints are made. There is no acknowledgement to real issues outside that realm. He even goes so far as to give a specific example of how value is all he really cares about, included here: “These cards don't need to be reprinted anyway, we can all get a copy for 50 cents….No one really cares whether Carnival of Souls gets reprinted.”

    So the Author is literally so near sighted as to not realize the “Reserved List Issue” has relevance outside of the Legacy Format?? Seriously? Why is a person so ill-equipped writing an article of this nature?

    To follow the Author’s poor choice of “a boy being promised ice cream from his Uncle,” the actual scenario is more similar to the only ice cream shop in town burning down, the Uncle trying to explain to the boy that the “Promise” is no longer relevant because there’s no ice cream to be had, and the boy whining and crying because he still just wants his ice cream, that can’t be had anymore.

    So we understand that you’re just afraid, as “a collector,” of losing money, but add to that the hilarious and equally unsupported, unreasonable statement you made here: “I know that personally, the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy.” So… are you just a D-bag, too?

    To borrow a phrase from the Author, this article misses the point entirely.

    Disgusting, is that in the same wordspace of all your illogic, you mentioned a conversation with Patrick Chapin which nearly implies you’re on the same “level” with him…

  180. Is my previous post being completely blocked? I don’t mind it being EDITED if there was something clearly inappropriate, but it seems to be going into the void when I attempt to post…

  181. GP Columbus is approaching (Legacy format) and it is only an hour away from my house. I would love to attend but the cost of cards is ridiculous. I have always thought that wizards should reprint a lot of older cards to bring these older formats to a wider range of players. If wizards doesn’t make a profit off of the secondary market why would they care?

  182. Truly, this article is so poorly conceived and constructed that it doesn’t only lack in supporting a “pro-reserved list” position, but it’s contradictory to itself around every corner, and likely does more to show the irrational and immature mind of a collector who feels that he may stand to lose money if an entity takes a certain action, regardless of how that action would benefit the rest of the MtG player base, WotC, and the game of Magic itself.

    Wizards’ “Promise,” as you call it, was to protect the value of cards early in the life of MtG, which was clearly a time where the fates of the significantly smaller player base(compared with now) and Wizards itself, were uncertain; and entwined.

    Flashing forward to now, this list itself is antiquated, and does not serve the intention of Wizards’ “Promise.” Maybe this is actually the only topic up for debate?

    The purpose of the “Promise” was not to allow for certain cards to continue climbing in value at rapid rates, due to a true limitation of quantity and an overwhelming desire to play a format they are required for: it was to protect their current values.

    Though the Author says other things, it seems clear his primary concern is the value of the cards he owns, due to a fear they may fall in value if reprints are made. There is no acknowledgment to real issues outside that realm. He even goes so far as to give a specific example of how value is all he really cares about, included here: “These cards don't need to be reprinted anyway, we can all get a copy for 50 cents….No one really cares whether Carnival of Souls gets reprinted.”

    So the Author is literally so near sighted as to not realize the “Reserved List Issue” has relevance outside of the Legacy Format?? Seriously? Why is a person so ill-equipped writing an article of this nature?

    To follow the Author’s poor choice of “a boy being promised ice cream from his Uncle,” the actual scenario is more similar to the only ice cream shop in town burning down, the Uncle trying to explain to the boy that the “Promise” is no longer relevant because there’s no ice cream to be had, and the boy whining and crying because he still just wants his ice cream, that can’t be had anymore.

    So we understand that you’re just afraid, as “a collector,” of losing money, but add to that the hilarious and equally unsupported, unreasonable statement you made here: “I know that personally, the second an opponent plays a foil alternate art Tropical Island, I will be having less fun in Legacy.” So… are you just a D-bag, too?

    To borrow a phrase from the Author, this article misses the point entirely.

    Disgusting, is that in the same wordspace of all your illogic, you mentioned a conversation with Patrick Chapin which nearly implies you’re on the same “level” with him…

  183. I for one welcome our non-economists telling us exactly what will happen to card prices if the Reserve List went away. Well done boys. Way to graduate from telling LSV what he could’ve done better in every article to telling people what’s better for the overall health of the game.

    Congratulations to both the author and many of the comment authors for being complete tossers.

  184. The cheaper a format is, the more people will play it.

    The health of a format is based primarily on the number of people playing the format, and secondly the relative power of the cards in the format. The relative power of a format is watched over by the DCI, and so the only true indicator of a healthy format is the player base.

    Therefore, the cheaper a format is, the healthier it is.

    If WotC does not reprint cards, their value increases over time leading to an unhealthy format. Legacy is not at the point yet where this is an issue, but it is alarmingly close.

    The arguments against reprints are based off of greed and an unrealistic view of corporate word, and so I can only side with those in favor of reprints. Logic and sense dictate it.

  185. eventually the cards like the duals will be to much for any one to buy if they keep going up at the rate they are and with out new prints and the set evey one is trying to get them from (revised) is 16 years old it may yes they were printed in alpha – unlimited but they are way out of the question for most people alpha-beta are $800 per copy in nm condition nexted is unlimited at $109 per copy revised is as $90 that will probly go up from $90 next year cuz revised and unlimited will probly be the only ones that moves since the other cost as much as a house payment.
    The bottom line is if there are no reprints once the avalible copies are all gone and people are not letting them go the format will see no growth and will in the end kill itself if the upwards trend continues.

  186. And look! Josh has come down from his mountain of wisdom to lather us with his blessing. Such a smooth talker. And full of class!

  187. This comment thread makes me very sad for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the following thought:
    I’m pretty sure most of the content in the comment thread is ad hominem attacks, not argument/counterargument.

  188. The argument of wizards losing their credibility isn’t relevant because of the fact that the company doesn’t have any to start with. They have been going back on their promises time and time again and I’d be surprised if anyone actually believed in them anymore.

    By the way, insults are not good for discussion.

  189. “Therefore, the cheaper a format is, the healthier it is.”

    This is clearly wrong, Extended is cheaper than legacy but is the least popular format. Why do Legacy events pull more people than any other DCI events, if it is the most unhealthy?

  190. I have played since Onslaught, hence I do not think I have an equal say on this matter as probably heaps of others have. However, considering this, I have played Magic for almost half my life-time, and frankly, I enjoy the game, and I don’t want seeing it destroyed.

    This was actually my leisure week, seeing I am not on duty in the army, lucky me – all I was thinking about prior to this was to order cards online. I remember the first months, or even years of my magic “career”, like all of us – we spent a whole loads of money buying boosters etcetera. Now it’s different. I don’t spend a penny on drafts or anything because I do not think it’s fun at our locals, so instead I spend my money on Legacy staples.

    Competitive magic, at least the way I’m thinking, is the only true form for Magic. Sitting around at home with your friends, probably 13 year olds, getting a 4/5 green wurm is very exciting. But the money spent to buy a booster to acquire that lousy wurm could as easily be spent to buy something else, like a single. And what if they randomly bought a Future Sight booster and caught a bloody Tarmogoyf, they would not know what it was worth, unless they of course web it. But when all of you here are doing your math, saying there are millions of players and the current card pool cannot sustain everyone, do you really want every one of those 13 year olds out there to get to the tournament scene? Hell, I don’t. Even at our locals, playing a Vintage or Legacy tournament – with a Mox Pearl or Bazaar of Baghdad in the pot, facing a bloody 5 colour Elemental deck from Lorwyn or Mono White Kithkins is not fun. You just rape them! Magic should hold some challenge to the game!

    The very problem, though, with card shops is this, they do not have multiple copies of the card. When I intend to order, I want it to be from one card shop, and one alone. Buying 1 Force of Will from ChannelFireball and 2 at Cardkingdom and a final one at TrollandToad is ridiculous. Why? Because the card will get even more expensive due to taxes, shipment, tolls. Additionally, there are different arrival times, and if it arrives at all, what would you do? Call three different shops, sorting it out, more waiting time? Nah, Jeez. I don’t even want to think for about that for starters.

    Hence, yes, I think it is unfortunate that the card shops are not able to hold multiple copies of Force of Will and dual lands and what not, because then getting my Legacy deck into completion would be more troubling and weary.
    Frankly, to those who say they cannot afford to play Legacy, make it achievable. Save some money, do your part, and don’t just sit there and wait for Magic to abolish that list. Just go slow and steady and you will too have it.

  191. It turns out that if it’s in wizards best interest to do something, it’s also probably in the best interest of the long term health of the game. Who doesn’t want that? Collectors are a minority nowadays, most people are just players. Should wizards cater to the minority of collectors if it means stifling the development of legacy?

  192. Nice article, Jackass. You’re, what, twelve years old in that picture?
    Time for you to grow up. This “promise” you keep mentioning is bogus. WOTC will always do what serves WOTC best.
    There simply is no justification for the reserve list. There needs to be a way to get more of those cards available. Ben Bleiweiss wrote about this on Star City’s website and he made a helluva lot more sense than you did.
    Son, you need to step aside and let someone else do the article writing on this site.

  193. This popular argument misses the point entirely. What cards should be on the reserve list, and whether the reserve list makes sense in the first place, are essentially arguments that should have been made before the reserve list was announced. The wisdom of making a promise is distinct from the wisdom of keeping a promise. Here is an example: your uncle promises you, a 6 year old boy, a two-scoop ice-cream cone if you get an A on your math test. You achieve this mark, and approach your uncle to receive your prize. He then tells you that he should have promised you something healthy instead of something fattening, he should have asked your mother first, and he should have made the promise for just 1 scoop instead of two, since 1 scoop still would have motivated you. Even if all his reasons are correct, is he being fair to you? No, because he is listing reasons why he shouldn't make such promises, not reasons why he shouldn't keep the promises he has made. Wizards is in a similar position regarding the reserve list. There are several very good arguments for not making another reserve list, and indeed, Wizards has never made another reserve list.

    What happens when your mom gets divorced and remarried? You have a different uncle who didn’t make the ice cream promise. From what I’ve read, the same people who reprinted these cards and lost your confidence, which made the need for a reserve list, aren’t the same people in charge now…..I’m not for or against it either way, as I don’t collect or have an interest in legacy. I do however think that, at the end of the day, maybe this isn’t the same group who made you lose faith in them in the first place. This, however, is the same group that constatly puts out sets that makes the game great. Reserve list or not, I am 100000% positive they will do nothing to make their loyal customers question their integrity.

  194. Yes. Collectors are what makes the cards in this game have value. All players are psuedo-collector’s which is why they wont trade play sets of expensive cards they arent using. Don’t fool yourselves… if you had the full 40 dual land set you’d be just as scared of your investment deteriorating. This game is an investment, If it werent.. you would’nt open packs.

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  196. I think it’s cool that Magic players are passionate about their game, but these comments (many quite hostile) are just amazing. I think Matt Sperling would have gotten much less hate if he’d suggested WOTC should hire child slave labor to make Magic Cards out of puppies and the tears of orphans.

  197. Wonder what everyone thinks about the new policy just announced: That wizards would print premium cards this year, then stop.

    Personally, of course, I couldn’t care less, seeing as I don’t plan on buying a card worth more than $5 in the near future. However, looking at all this debate is interesting, and I’d like to thank the writer for bringing up an alternative point of view.

  198. To sum up all arguments:

    Con-reseve-list: “I might wanna play legacy but I don’t wanna pay for the mana base etc”
    Pro-reserve-list: “Pay up bitch”

    Wizards PROMISED that myffics wouldn’t be 4-of tournament staples, etc etc etc. All of this drama does not make one bit of a difference. WotC does as WotC sees fit.

    Sadly (for my wallet) they’re not going to re-print duals, so if I actually want to play Legacy, I’ll have to proxy up or pay up. Sucks for me but what do they care.

  199. LOL, i wanted to play legacy but the price is scarring the shit out of me …

    Anyway even there’s a reprint i dun see WOTC losing more magic players or collectors. It basically attracts more ppl to the legacy, as “power” cards are easily accessible.

    As for traders / collectors, they can easily earn from these “reprint” again. Win-win situation!!! REPRINT MY DUAL LAND!!! hahaha

  200. “this game is an investment”

    Yeah, and like all investments there is an inherent risk. So you should be a man and suck it up if they reprint those preciose cards you wer so foolishly trying to pay for college with.

  201. MattSperlingsMom

    Wizards have lost credibility by NOT abolishing the reserve list, and only an ignorant fool would think otherwise.

    Credibility is not determined solely by honesty, its also determined by the ability of others to have confidence in what you say. If people recognise that you can admit you were wrong and make amends, then they will have more confidence in you than if you blindly adhered to your previous bad decisions.

  202. I consider anyone calling the reserved list a promise to be kept and not broken to be full of shit and hot air. The problem with a promise like this is that it has been broken now numerous times. Yet this doesn’t seem to matter to you? Check the facts again I implore everyone to take their heads out of their rears and look at the aftermarket value of cards in standard compared to the dual lands and Sinkhole. Sinkhole was a card taken off of the list. You cannot possibly tell me that the reserved list is working or that it is necessary.

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  204. I personally don’t think any cards on the reserve list should be reprinted and it’s not about promises or such. While I am aware that anyone with enough money can play legacy instantly, maybe older, more experienced players may take a dim view of this, I think legacy, as it stands is a format for those players who have been in the game for a long time and have very valuable collections. This might sound disciminatory, but I think WotC should value these players that have been with the game since it’s inception and have caused it to still be here today. The reserve list is a thank you to those players. By the way, I’m not one of these players, I got into the game when Urza’s Legacy was released.

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