setboost
6, May, 21

MTG Head Designer Explains Why Strixhaven: School of Mages Had Lower Draft Booster Allocations at Launch

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Some Magic: The Gathering fans are getting the impression that less Strixhaven: School of Mages Draft Boosters were printed than previous Standard-legal sets, so they’re wondering if there were delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magic head designer Mark Rosewater has confirmed that’s part of the reason why, and that there’s unprecedented demand for the products, but assures that Wizards of the Coast are printing more Strixhaven Draft Boosters.

“Between unprecedented demand and COVID-related challenges, we didn’t get as much draft boosters released at launch as we wanted. More is on the way, and we are printing more as well,” Rosewater said on his Blogatog post.

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Wizards of the Coast

Star City Games general manager Ben Bleiweiss recently explained the situation about how Wizards of the Coast is still trying to figure out the balance of production on Set and Draft Boosters. Responding to a recent Tolarian Community College video, he wrote on Reddit:

“When Set boosters first came out (Zendikar Rising), the distributor allocations was about 80% draft boosters, and 20% set boosters. At that time, the demand was super-high on Set boosters compared to draft boosters, and draft boosters were devalued compared to set boosters.

For every set since them (Kaldheim, Strixhaven), the pendulum has gone in the other direction. It’s now about 80% Set Boosters and 20% Draft Boosters at the distributor level. This number, it turns out, is too low for Draft Boosters, and now Draft Boosters have a premium.

I don’t think this at all is a case of Wizards having an artificial scarcity on product. I think that Wizards is still feeling out what the balance of production on Set/Draft boosters should look like.

Strixhaven is readily available (Set Boosters), so it’s not like they are shorting the product line across the board. The issue is that 20% isn’t the right percentage for Draft Boosters.

If I had to make an educated guess based on spending habits and demand, I’d say that the right balance is somewhere between 60%-66% set boosters, and between 33%-40% Draft Boosters.”

Tolarian Community College

So it sounds like more players want Strixhaven Draft Boosters over Set or Collector Boosters, but due to how they are allocated to distributors, there’s not enough product to meet the demand, but it’s good to know that Wizards of the Coast will be printing more. It also seems like the high demand of Magic: The Gathering and other trading cards have caused Walmart and other retailers to suspend and limit the sales of them.

Related:

Magic: The Gathering Teasing “Legendary” Announcement Coming This Thursday

Strixhaven: School of Mages is now available on both tabletop and online play (MTG Arena and Magic Online). The latest set is also available on Amazon.

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