Rat in the Hat
9, Feb, 23

New MTG Printing Problems Peeve Phyrexia Players

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Unfortunately, despite the non-insignificant cost tied to MTG cards, misprints have existed for much of the game’s 30-year lifespan. Subsequently, it should be no surprise to learn that Phyreixa: All Will Be One has plenty of printing problems. After all, the previous premier sets, The Brothers’ War and Dominaria United, both had their fair share of issues. Dominaria United was so troubled, in fact, that even Wizards couldn’t deny their printing shortcomings. Blaming the increased number of issues on the effects of the pandemic, it appears printing problems are poised to continue. Now that Phyrexia: All Will Be One has been released, that disappointing expectation is, unfortunately, coming true. 

Random Rarity

Blightbelly Rat Rarity Difference

Similarly to Unfinity’s Acorn card kerfuffle, Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s printing problems started before the set even launched. Fans spotted this following the reveal of the long-awaited Legendary Myr Urtet, Remnant of Memnarch. During the weekly MTG Livestream, which spoiled this prized card, players highlighted how the card has two different rarities. Confusing the community almost immediately, Weekly MTG’s host Blake Rasmussen quickly cleared up the confusion. Declaring that both copies of the card are correct, the rarity change stemmed from where the card was found. In Set Boosters, Urtet is a mythic rare. However, in Collector Boosters, they drop as a rare. 

Despite the statement from Wizards to clear up confusion, MTG players were nevertheless baffled by this printing oddity. Unfortunately for those already confused by Urtet, Phyrexia: All Will Be One has even more rarity mix-ups. Highlighted by Reddit user u/Idiopatisch, it appears that even unassuming commons like Blightbelly Rat have inconsistent rarities. Similarly to Urtet, Remnant of Memarch, this printing problem appears to be caused by different boosters having different drop rates. Within Draft and Set boosters, Blightbelly Rat should appear as a common. In Collector Boosters, however, the Step-and-Compleat foil version of the card can be found as a uncommon. 

While this rarity chance is a relatively minor defect that doesn’t alter the card’s playability, MTG players were nevertheless bemused. “Changing rarities for the same card in the same set was a mistake,” Reddit user u/UwURainUwU commented. “It just looks wrong.” Similarly, u/zeb0777 complained, “this is dumb and [is] only going to cause confusion. WTF is going on at WotC.” Offering up one potential explanation to that question, u/SkritzTwoFace posited that Wizards is actually doing these rarity changes on purpose. 

“My guess is they’re trying to debunk the idea that rarity and power are meant to be intrinsically linked, so giving the same cards different rarities based on collector value is meant to show that that’s the case.”


Pringle Printings

Alongside Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s usually mixed-up rarities, other players noted that the set is even more pringle-y than usual. Similarly to misprints, unfortunately, pringled or curled, MTG cards are far from a new problem within MTG. Typically, this issue predominantly affects foil MTG cards. However, this issue is worse than usual in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Highlighted by u/_Lord_Farquad on Reddit earlier this week, it appears that even non-foil Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards are pringling and popping. 

Disappointingly, as some players quickly pointed out, this isn’t even the first time that this has happened. “All The Brothers’ War cards I bought did the same thing,” u/Banana_Clips commented. “It’s super frustrating.” Alongside this past precedent, other Reddit users highlighted how u/_Lord_Farquad’s issue is far from an isolated incident. “You’re not the only one. My ONE cards and Dominaria remastered non-foils do it,” u/TwinkieSprinkles noted. “I have a stack of about 75 cards that do what your card in the video does at once.” 

Thankfully, while non-foil MTG cards pringling and popping are seemingly widespread, it’s not the end of the world. As u/TheRedComet points out, for instance, cards thankfully don’t stay pringled forever. “I call it ‘popping’; it’s like those drink lids. I’ve definitely had it happen to a lot of cards. Somehow it goes away, I’m not sure what conditions cause it or cause it to go away. And I’ve had cards stay relatively flat despite ‘popping’ and then later curl too…” 

Without an official explanation from Wizards about why this is happening, the reasoning for these prevalent pringles is currently unknown. That being said, however, the prevailing opinion is that it’s all due to humidity. Alternatively, u/WizardHatWames claimed this issue is a materials issue, not a printing problem. 

“My understanding is that like 90% of all curling comes from the humidity of the printing location being different from the humidity where you live. My guess is as Wizards gets bigger they print in more locations and more frequently, so we end up seeing more variation in whose cards curl because there are more humidity mismatches.”


“Wizards isn’t conditioning their material before they run it through the printing press. This is somewhat a simplification but imagine the cardboard they’re going to use is outside and it rains the night before it’s supposed to printed. It’s supposed to dry for a certain amount of time/be treated some way/perhaps not get used at all anymore, but that may be costly, so someone on the assembly line says ‘screw it’ and they put soggy or otherwise damaged cardboard on the press. The end result is what you see in the OP or foils that are super curved out of the pack. It’s not a factory issue it’s a materials issue – which is why some boxes might be fine and others not.”


Pandemic Problems

Plague Drone
Plague Drone | Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks

Unfortunately, while these issues may not be the end of the world, they may continue to persist for some time. After all, As Mark Rosewater explained for Dominaria United, the increased number of production mistakes is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re starting to see the effects of the pandemic. Everyone having to all of a sudden work at home caused lots and lots of new challenges.” This may mean that we’re in for another two-plus years of rarity mistakes and missing tokens thanks to Magic’s set development lead time. Hopefully, the problems won’t persist for that long, however, as Wizards should be able to go back and double-check to ensure all is as it should be.

Read More: MTG Players Terrified of New Turn Three Combo Kill!

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