In Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Wizards once again pushed the collectibility of MTG to a new extreme. This was quite a worrying feat, considering this had just been done in the previous set, The Brothers’ War. Rather than repeating the chase serialized cards, however, this time around, Wizards went all out on art treatments. Creating a plethora of different art styles, as well as foiling techniques for chase cards, Phyrexia: All Will Be One was certainly stylish. Unfortunately for players, however, this style came at quite a cost, but that’s not the only problem. As, thanks to a baffling production error, some of Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s best foil MTG cards are actually worse than they should be.
Thanks to being a five-color cycle, the Dominus cards in Phyrexia: All Will Be One is fairly easy to understand. Each sporting an ability that doubles an effect of some kind, you practically only need to read half each card. That would be the case, at least, if all of the cards followed exactly the same formula. While the cycle’s cards are very similar, Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus, and Drivnod, Carnage Dominus, both feature reduced ability costs. Considering these cards also have different mana costs, this change shouldn’t be too hard for players to follow. Unfortunately, however, this ease of understanding is threatened by the chase Oil Slick Raised Foil cards.
Once anticipated to be the best of the best within Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Oil Slick Raised Foils have had quite the fall from grace. Initially, these chase foils, which were found exclusively within the Bundle: Compleat Edition, were anticipated to be seriously expensive. So much so, that, prior to its release, the boxed product was selling for almost $300 on the secondary market. That was $220 over the listed price on Amazon and other big box stores! Following the launch of the Bundle: Compleat Edition, however, prices swiftly tumbled, as there was far more supply than anticipated. This is despite players across social media seeing multiple restocks for the product prior to its release.
Unfortunately for MTG players, Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines falling in price from $247.75 to $99.01 wasn’t the only problem. Despite being hyped by Wizards and MTG players alike, the Bundle: Compleat Edition suffered from a baffling production error. Slipping through the cracks of quality control, Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus miraculously had their ability cost changed.
As an Oil Slick Raised Foil card, Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus’ indestructible counter ability costs one more than usual. This puts it back in line with the rest of the cycle, which is likely how the mistake slipped through. Whatever the reason, this change in mana cost is obviously less than ideal, as it creates needless confusion when played. Some players seeing the card for the first time may even be fooled into thinking the cost is correct. Thankfully, considering the Bundle: Compleat Edition is a collector-focused product, its owners are likely aware of Zopandrel’s correct mana cost. Despite this, however, MTG player u/ReignDelay noted this is no small error on Wizards of the Coast’s part.
“HUUUUUUGE TYPO. Like, that’s not even a small mistake. That’s massive to how the card plays.”u/ReignDelay
Being brought to attention by u/The-Wiitard on Reddit, it appears, unfortunately, this problem isn’t just a simple one-off misprint. Instead, Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus’ changed ability cost appears to be a fully-fledged production issue that’s on every card. Due to the scale of this fault, MTG players on Reddit were quick to complain about Wizards’ quality control. User u/photoyoyo, for instance, commented, “Quality Assurance: we assure you, there is no quality.” Alongside this, other users such as u/jsmith218 highlighted how the Bundle: Compleat Edition is a “premium product,” making this mistake all the more egregious.
To make matters worse, unfortunately, this isn’t the only production snafu within Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Highlighted by u/zackeroniandcheese, it appears Phyrexian Vindicator has its own, unfortunately, typo on its extended art variant. Thankfully, this mistake isn’t nearly as bad as an altered mana cost, as the typo is only in the flavor text. While this doesn’t impact the card’s playability in any way, it’s still not what players want to see.
Thankfully, while typos, misprints, and translation errors aren’t an uncommon sight, there is a simple solution to this problem. As u/arlondiluthel points out, players should “always refer to Oracle text when there’s a discrepancy between printings.” In theory, this should solve any issues before they get out of hand, however, as u/Nvenom8 notes, it’s not that simple. After all, “why would I ever even suspect a mana cost is wrong?” Due to the implicit trust in printed MTG cards, it’s imperative these mana cost mistakes don’t become a common occurrence. Forcing players to constantly check each card’s Oracle text online is hardly a sensible solution, even with everyone having a phone on them. Subsequently, we can only hope that Wizards will learn from Dragon Shield’s recent product woes and tackle this issue head-on.