After three decades of hard work and diligent collecting, MTG is nearing its 30th anniversary. In theory, this momentous milestone should be a cause for grand celebration. In reality, however, much of MTG’s 30th-anniversary celebrations have been mired in controversy. No more so is this true than for the namesake set, 30th Anniversary Edition. Since its $999 price tag was announced, 30th Anniversary Edition has been a source of near-constant outrage. Despite all the pushback against it, 30th Anniversary Edition still managed to “sell out,” if you believe Wizards. Thankfully, while 30th Anniversary Edition might have been a bust for excited MTG fans, it’s not the only anniversary product.
Celebrating in Style
Since MTG’s 30th-anniversary celebrations are running for an entire year, thankfully, the much-mired 30th Anniversary Edition hasn’t completely spoiled the party. Instead, Wizards have plenty of time to actually celebrate their anniversary in style. Part of this will be done through the upcoming MagicCon events, taking place later in 2023. Alongside these in-person celebrations, Wizards of the Coast also releases celebratory sets to commemorate the occasion. Two of these celebratory sets have already been released. While neither of them has the 30th-anniversary name, The Brothers’ War and Dominaria Remastered aptly celebrate MTG’s history.
Admittedly, for The Brothers’ War, this is more of a happy accident rather than a purposeful birthday bash. Released as part of the ongoing Phyrexian Arc, The Brothers’ War took MTG back in time to its formative years. Retelling the story of Magic’s second-ever expansion from 1994, The Brothers’ War was a love letter to Magic’s history. Alongside the lore of the set itself, The Brothers’ War also featured the Retro Artifact series to truly go back in time. Featuring a retro frame and gorgeous schematic artwork, these retro artifacts played up the set’s historical nature and delighted fans.
More so than The Brothers’ War, however, Dominaria Remastered is a true celebration of Magic’s past. Rather than just half-heartedly reprinting classic cards while skirting the Reserved List, Dominaria Remastered was actually meant to be enjoyed. Comprised of cards from throughout the plane of Dominaria’s illustrious history, Dominaria Remastered consists of 27 different sets. This makes the set a nostalgic trip through time, that’s celebrated with borderless and retro Booster Fun frames. More importantly than just looking nice, however, Dominaria Remastered was designed as a Draft set and was meant to be played.
The Peoples Anniversary
Now that Dominaria Remastered’s release is upon us, many MTG players have given it the commendation it deserves. On Reddit, for instance, players such as u/poopoojokes69 lauded the set as “the 30th-anniversary set for players. Not the collectors or streamers, the players. And it’s amazing.” In their post, u/poopoojokes69 highlighted “the art, the reprints, [and] the nostalgia,” as selling points before stating, “can’t wait to draft and play it all weekend.” While much of the community is currently enamored with the recent Phyrexia: All Will Be One reveals, players couldn’t help but agree with u/poopoojokes69.
Within the comments of u/poopoojokes69’s post, players highlighted how enjoyable the pre-release events were for the set. Reddit user u/Succubace, for instance, commented, “my LGS ran a preview Draft, and it was super fun!” Similarly, u/Flaycrow added, “same with my LGS. Loved the Draft, and so did all the others who were there.” Alongside commending the Draft experience, other players highlighted how marketing and hype have potentially shrouded the success of these sets. Reddit user u/warcaptain, for instance, noted that 30th Anniversary Edition’s controversy was hard to escape.
“I would have thought that was obvious, but people focused only on 30th Edition which isn’t even Magic, it’s just a commemorative trinket like a gold-plated Magic card or something.
Dominaria United, Brothers War, and Dominaria Remastered are love letters to the last 30 years of Magic, and they are brilliant and beautiful. We got everything: Reinvisioned legends from the past, revisiting the biggest Magic story arc of them all, and reprints, reprints, reprints galore.
Magic players will never be satisfied, someone’s always going to be upset, but these are things we should be celebrating and be happy for.”u/warcaptain
Despite all the positivity toward Dominaria Remastered, not everyone wanted to let Wizards off the hook. Especially now, given all that’s going on with Dungeons & Dragons as well. “DMR is amazing and should be celebrated. Doesn’t mean the community shouldn’t also call out the bullsh*t product that was 30th,” u/Naughtynuzzler commented. “Those aren’t mutually exclusive things – you can be excited and celebrate healthy products while also criticizing predatory products.” While this is undoubtedly a sensible suggestion, it’s not the easiest plan to implement. Thanks to MTG releases not slowing down, players hardly have a chance to celebrate set before another spoiler season takes over.
Plenty More in Store
While Dominaria Remastered has finally launched as an anniversary celebration that people can actually play, albeit for $189 a box, Wizards may have even more in store for players to enjoy. MTG won’t officially be 30 years old until the 5th of August, 2023, after all. Subsequently, MTG may release even more products to celebrate its anniversary in a more timely fashion. While these products are yet to be announced, we can only hope that if they do exist, they’re for players, not investors. After all, a true celebration of MTG’s 30th anniversary should include as many MTG players are possible. With Dominaria Remastered providing a blueprint for what players want, hopefully, that’s not just a wishful pipe dream. For that, however, we’ll just have to wait and see.