What are some of the most sought after cards in Magic? The Black Lotus? The Mox? No matter what you think the answer is, for the most part it comes to the same thing. They are on the Reserve List and unless you are willing to fork over a truck load of cash, you aren’t getting them. This is why so many people proxy cards is because there is no way the average player is going to get there hands on them. The game is expensive as is but going after the top tier cards are just out of reach. And then came Magic 30. I’m not going to go into all the details here but we are all aware of the amazingly baffling Magic 30 booster packs and the insane cost that WoTC has put on them. But after giving it some thought over the past week or so I think there are a few reasons they did this.
First is the easiest. They knew people would pay it. There hasn’t been a product yet that the price was too high for the whales to come out and make the product sell out. These are no different and they will make Scrooge Mcduck kinds of money off of this and will only empower them to make more products just like this. They made sure the backs were different and not even commander legal. So why did they make them? Who are they for? Now, before you go to the comments i know that the majority of play groups and pods will allow someone to use these but the question still remains.
The second reason is the amount of news, articles, videos, and even outrage that they knew this would spark. How many old players that had fallen away saw this and at least looked at Magic news and products again for the first time in a long time. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Brother’s War (another very nostalgic set) is the standard set when they are releasing these. It’s a ploy to drag some old players back to just see how this new set and “new” cards go.
Last but not least, is my pipe dream. Is it possible that WoTC did this to test the water and see what the reaction would be to them OFFICIALLY printing reserved list cards. “Legal” or not, they still did something that they said they wouldn’t do way back in 1996. I personally believe this was the first major shot across the bow of the reserved list and in the next few years we will see the end of it. At this point, it will not crush the value of the original cards. An original Alpha Shivan Dragon is 12K at the moment of writing this… I can get one from a different set for 3 cents on TCG right now. The originals will always be worth what they are now. When the RL was put in place it had good reason for being there. It was about trust with the players but now, it is an outdated idea for the game. There will be a masters set coming one day that is made of mostly Reserve List cards. And I will be the first in line to buy a box.
What do you think? Is this the beginning of the end of the RL? Let me know in the comments below or find me on social media and lets talk about why or why not there. There could be reasons that I’m not think of on either side and would love to talk about it. Thanks for taking the time to read this and we will talk to you soon!