Sheoldred
13, Apr, 23

MTG Players Left Disappointed By Early Card Openings

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Article at a Glance

For the March of the Machine set, there has undoubtedly a lot for MTG players to get excited about. After kicking things off with a mostly incredible story, Wizards has debuted countless exciting and tantalizing cards. As if that wasn’t enough, the set is chockablock with reprints and even a trio of supplemental Secret Lairs. While each of these details has delighted a plethora of players, one aspect of March of the Machine has been stealing the spotlight. After just a four-month break, Serialized MTG cards are already returning within the Multiverse Legends bonus sheet. Offering minimal odds at incredible value, it’s clear to see why MTG players would be excited about these $1000+ cards. Unfortunately, however, even before the set can launch, many MTG players are being left disappointed thanks to early card openings. 

Preemptive Pack Pulls

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
Ragavan #1 | Ben Bleiweiss

Throughout this week, MTG players across social media have been bombarded with proof of players finding some of March of the Machine’s most elusive cards. This is despite the set being still days away from its Prerelease launch this Friday. While this small detail should, theoretically, get in the way of pack openings, it’s inconsequential for many Local Game Stores. Many stores have been doing their best to prepare for the expected demand by utilizing their early access to products. Subsequently, countless stores have been opening March of the Machine packs en masse for singles to sell during Prerelease weekend. Thanks to a recent change to set legality following Prereleases, this has become more important than ever before. 

With all manner of packs being opened by stores across the world, unsurprisingly, several serialized cards have already been found. Understandably chuffed by these discoveries, many stores have taken to posting their pulls to Reddit, fueling fans’ growing excitement. Subsequently, over the past few days, players have seen serialized copies of Elesh Norn, Sheoldred, and Vorinclex. As if these cards, with the unique and controversial art, weren’t enough to get excited about, recently, Star City Games found the mother of all March of the Machine cards. Within one of their packs, Star City Game’s General Manager, Ben Bleiweiss, found Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer number 001/500.

Expected to cost an obscene amount of money, this find from Star City Games is certainly quite the feat. Unfortunately, however, not every MTG player is entirely happy with just how the set’s best cards are being found early. For some players, rather than being a collectible novelty that adds to the excitement, these early pulls are instead leaving them disheartened. 

Disappointing Discoveries

Discover the Formula
Discover the Formula | Alchemy: Innistrad

Voicing their dissatisfaction at the recent wave of early discoveries, u/BentheBruiser took to Reddit. Stating, “Watching all these LGS open the serialized rares before the set is even released is super disheartening,” it’s clear BentheBruiser wasn’t best pleased. After all, as BentheBruiser points out in their post, each serialized card that’s found early is one less for players to hunt. Considering only a fraction of the 35000 serialized cards within March of the Machine have been found so far, this may not seem like a major problem. As many players such as u/R3id point out, however, frustrations with March of the Machine may only be the tip of the iceberg. 

Later this year, on June 23rd to be exact, Wizards is releasing The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Just like March of the Machine, this set will feature several serialized cards for players to hunt. This includes 1900 serialized copies of Sol Ring, as well as a one-of-one copy of The One Ring. Tied for being the rarest collectible in MTG history, many players expect this card to sell for $1,000,000+! So long as this ultra-rare is found at all, at least. With a price tag like that, it’s no surprise that countless MTG players are seriously excited to start opening packs. 

Following the early March of the Machine discoveries, however, there are growing concerns about this one-of-one MTG card. Namely, as u/R3id points out, The One Ring could be discovered before players can even attend a Prerelease. “I have the feeling the 1/1 The One Ring will be pulled ahead of release date by a seller.” For some players, such as u/TsarMikkjar, this is more of an inevitability than a possibility. 

“Oh, the One Ring is absolutely going to be opened by some SCG or other big reseller employee in the first batch of boosters. Any individual, especially outside of US trying to pull it is going to just fool themselves.”

u/TsarMikkjal

Sensible Success

Smashing Success
Smashing Success | Kaldheim

While, across social media, numerous MTG players weren’t happy about serialized cards appearing early, others noted that it makes sense. Reddit user u/MisterEdJS, for instance, pointed out that it’s not Wizards giving away seeded packs, but instead, just maths. “Realistically, they aren’t getting the rare stuff because they got it early, they are getting it because they are willing to open a ton of packs.” Continuing on in their comment, MisterEdJS noted that LGS opening early packs may even increase the odds for players, rather than diminish them. 

“Statistically, they will open the serialized rares at the same rate as anybody else, so for every serialized rare they open, taking it out of the pool, they also open a ton of packs without serialized rares, taking THOSE out of the pool, and leaving the odds of opening a serialized rare from the remaining pool of packs just about the same as it always was.”

u/MisterEdJS

At the end of the day, as u/TeaorTisane points out, LGS aren’t opening packs en masse just for the serialized cards. Instead, they’re hunting for just about everything, in order to try and fulfill preorders from eager MTG players. This isn’t just wild speculation, but instead, something that Ben Bleiweiss alluded to following their 001 Ragavan find. After being asked just how many normal Ragavan, Nimble Pilferers they had found, Bleiweiss stated, “not enough.” Revealing Star City Games had “sold out of virtually every single one we had up for presale so far,” it’s clear stores need to open a lot of packs to fill orders. Subsequently, it seems the discovery of serialized cards is more of a happy bonus rather than an explicit goal. 

Read More: March of the Machine MTG Card Banned Before Release

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