Throughout recent years, the collectability of modern MTG has seemingly expanded to no end thanks to Wizards of the Coast. This can be traced back to Throne of Eldraine, which is where Collector Boosters first became commonplace. Now, for better or worse, we don’t see an MTG set without them. Even Commander sets are getting them nowadays!
Offering easy access to foil cards, unique art treatments, and special foiling techniques, Collector Boosters have allowed collectability to expand dramatically. For many players, this is a very good thing, as the new art and foiling techniques look absolutely fantastic. For others, however, the growing collectability has created a nightmare web of complexity.
Unfortunately for already frustrated players, the more complexity has increased, the worse this problem has become. Thankfully, however, after four years since this problem first started, Wizards is helping to mitigate it. With a new tool, MTG players can finally see how and where to get the cards they want.
Dubiously Helpful Spreadsheets
Since Collector Boosters have been around since 2018, it may come as no surprise to learn collectible confusion is not a new issue. For years players have been needing a thorough explanation of exactly where they can acquire the cards they want. This led Wizards to implement a solution that not many MTG players are fond of.
Found within “Collecting Wilds of Eldraine” and other such articles, Wizards has produced a number of “Collecting Guides.” Essentially these guides are small spreadsheets, which detail how players can obtain each card type, art treatment, and foil variant. On the surface, these guides are very useful, as they fairly cleanly lay out all that players need to know.
Unfortunately, while Wilds of Eldraine’s Collecting Guide may not look so bad, others have been much worse. For March of the Machine, for example, there was not one, but two of these guides required to make sense of everything! The same was true for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, which pushed collectability to the extreme.
Technically, no matter how many individual charts are needed, the visual guides Wizards creates still have a use. After all, they tell players how and where they can find the card treatments that they’re interested in. While informative, however, these charts have nonetheless become a symbol for the increasing complexity of Magic. One that many players aren’t happy with.
“Funny to me that they tell a story about ‘in the old days you’d have no idea what you were getting in your packs!’ before the smash cut to the complicated spreadsheet image of treatments in different types of boosters. Never change, WotC.”u/AcrobaticPersonality
Considering one has just been released in Collecting Wilds of Eldraine, for better or worse, it seems these graphs won’t be going anywhere. For MTG players who are sick of them, however, Wizards has now created an alternative. Hopefully, this will help to clear up the continuous confusion that has been plaguing players for so long.
A New, Better, Card Image Gallery
To not beat around the bush, as the subheading gives away, Wizards has completely revamped their Card Image Gallery. Previously, this section on Wizards’ website was rather lackluster, especially compared to the competition. Seemingly updated sparingly, Wizards lagged behind other websites such as Scryfall and Magic Spoiler quite considerably.
Thankfully, while this was the case for previous years and set releases, the new card image gallery changes that. Boating a clean new look, the new card image gallery already looks good from an aesthetic point of view. While this is undoubtedly important, the major upgrade is in the information provided to players.
Beneath each card image within the new gallery, there is information about where you can obtain it. This takes all of the guesswork out of the collecting process, as it lays out all the information as clearly as possible. Obviously, this should be a massive boon to both players new and old, especially during the ongoing spoiler season.
Should you want to know where a Confetti Foil Rhystic Study is, the answer is right there: Collector Boosters. Similarly, if you’re intrigued about the textless Moonshaker Cavalry, you don’t have to spend ages tracking down the answer. Instead, the new Card Image Gallery clearly states the treatment is only available as a Store Championship Promo.
While this clear and concise information about where you can find cards and their treatments is very useful, unfortunately, there is a minor issue. Namely that the new Card Image Gallery is rather busy since every variant of a card is displayed. While this isn’t ideal this problem can be easily fixed by using the website’s many filters.
Clearing Up Collectible Oddities
Thankfully, while the new Card Image Gallery is undoubtedly useful, Wilds of Eldraine isn’t as complex as notable previous sets. That being said, however, the new gallery couldn’t have come at a better time, as there are still collectible oddities. Specifically, Wilds of Eldraine Jumpstart cards, or rather, the lack thereof.
For better or worse, Wilds of Eldraine does not have a Jumpstart release associated with it. Instead, MTG players will be able to pick up the “Magic: the Gathering 2023 Start Kit” which also releases on September 8th. Despite this change in product lineup, however, according to Wizards, Wilds of Eldraine still has Jumpstart-specific MTG cards.
“During Wilds of Eldraine design, we created 10 uncommon and 5 rare cards that we intended to use in Jumpstart Boosters. While we won’t be releasing Jumpstart Boosters with Wilds of Eldraine, we decided to include these delightful designs as a one-time transition even though we didn’t end up using them in Jumpstart Boosters.”Wizards of the Coast
Since Wilds of Eldraine isn’t getting a Jumpstart release, you might understandably be wondering how you can get these cards. Thankfully, the answer is rather simple, as they can simply be found in Set Boosters, similarly to past Jumpstart cards. Once these not-quite Jumpstart cards get spoiled, the new Card Image Gallery should clearly display this, mitigating the potential confusion.
That is the hope, at least. Whether or not people actually use this new Card Image Gallery to its full potential remains to be seen. Considering just how much of an improvement it is, we certainly hope this helps players navigate the constant MTG release calendar.