Rethinking the Current Reprint Policy

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
I speak as a active cardholder and player.

I've been contemplating the reprint policy lately, and I think I'm opposed to removing the rules that automatically add cards to the no reprint list. The whole argument for the no reprint list is to preserve the collectible nature of the cards, but by removing those rules that add newer cards, you remove the collectible nature only from the new players and collectors. The cards on the list can be hard to find and expensive (which is the point). Someone buying a booster today and hoping its contents will be worth something in the future will only have a chance if it contains a "broken" card, or a card that becomes "broken". (These cards tend to be banned/restricted, so the player still gets screwed.) Furthermore, the no reprint list forced R&D to be more creative. Look at the plethora of dual lands we have now! They actually interact with other cards' abilities!

Now I don't really stand to gain from this personally. My cards are on the list. I started collecting in paper back in revised and switched to MTGO 3 years ago. I don't buy newer cards in paper and I still have tons of cards from the no reprint list.

My concern is for the game. I want people to keep collecting and playing. I think the no reprint list is a great way to keep people excited (or at least nostalgic) about the game. I, like many others, stopped playing for a while, only to dig out my old cards and start again as an adult. As it is, new players have little incentive to keep their cards if they stop, and then they may never come back.

Finally, I think removing cards from the list was the worst change. I read that there was overwhelming support for removing lots of commons, uncommons, etc. Did all of those supporters actually own any of the cards? I'm sure if I ask a bunch of poor people whether free money is a good idea, I would also get overwhelming support. If you allow one card to be removed, you've nullified the purpose of the list and violated our trust as a honest keeper of the list.

I say lets go back to removing cards from print and ensuring the investments of players.

Wait, what is this all about? As far as I know, there hasn't been any changes to the Reserved list for years. There is no rule that adds things to the list sutomatically. They've pretty much decided at this point that the list was a bad idea, and they certainly won't add things to it, but they're planning on leaving the current cards untouched.
Rules Nut Advisor
There is no rule that adds things to the list sutomatically.

There was such a rule a long time ago, and jibunsagashi is recommending that it be reinstated.

But yeah, the impression i've gotten from articles is that wizards pretty much wishes they had never made the reserved list in the first place, but they keep it around because they promised they would. Don't hold your breath for them to start expanding the list.

Here's a link to the official reprint policy.
Uh... 10 years ago, they stopped adding new cards to the list, and they removed all commons and uncommons from the list. Yes, there was popular support for this, and yes, obviously the people involved owned these cards. The cash value of commons and uncommons is really negligible.

Aside from that purge 10 years ago, no cards have ever been removed from the list. You might want to read this before discussing this further...

www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

The one exception/loophole they've made has been for limited-edition promotional cards - like printing a foil Phyrexian Negator in "Phyrexia Vs the Coalition". (Also, Feroz's Ban was accidentally printed in 5th Edition, although it was technically on the reserve list at the time.)

Personally, I don't think the reserved list achieves what you think it achieves. The value of a card generally goes up when it gets reprinted, not down. When a card is standard legal, more people want it. For a 10-year old non-reprinted card to have any significant value, it has to be "broken" enough to be worth playing in Vintage. Which is an even higher bar.
To quote Maro:


Dochetwas
@maro254 Has there been any real consideration in Wizards for abolishing the reprint list, either partially or in full?

I've talked about this before but it's an important enough point to make again. The reserve list (the list that tells us what cards we can never reprint, for those who don't know) was created long ago by people who no longer work at Wizards. It was done to help ease concerns of our player base at the time. The majority of current R&D feels that the reprint list isn't fulfilling the function it was created for (and at times seems to actually counteract it), but, and this is the important sticking point, we've learned through market research that the majority of our audience feels it's important for Wizards of the Coast, as a company, to keep its word. So we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. We want to do what is best for the game and our players and we want to keep the confidence of our consumers. If anyone has a solution to this Gordian knot, please let me know.




A more concrete example of this is the Reserved List. You see, many years ago, Wizards released Chronicles and Fourth Edition. In it were cards from some of the recently released sets that had sold out in hours. As such, cards from these sets had high secondary market values, many of which plummeted when they got reprinted. This upset many of the collectors, as they feared that the value of their collection might evaporate overnight. To stem these fears, the then Magic Brand Team came up with a list of cards that Wizards promised they would never reprint. Over the years, the list was reshaped a few times until Mercadian Masques, when the Magic Brand Team (a different set of people) decided to stop adding cards to the list.

The Reserved List has become somewhat of an albatross around R&D's neck. The largest frustration comes from the fact that we don't even believe the Reserved List is doing what it was created to do in the first place. Evidence has shown that releasing an old card in a new environment tends to raise the value of the old card, not lower it. The few that it lowers are cards that are relevant in larger environment formats (Vintage, Legacy, etc.) due to their power level. And those cards, we aren't interested in reprinting, partly because we think the cards are too powerful to reprint, and partly because we value having a healthy secondary market. Evidence of this can be seen in how we handle cards like Mana Drain, which we are legally allowed to reprint (it was an uncommon in Legends and thus not on the Reserved List), but don't.


Here's the real problem. Wizards made a promise. Even though all of the people involved in making the promise are gone, the company is not, and Wizards of today has to honor the word of Wizards of yesteryear. This is because we want the word of Wizards of the Coast to mean something. This means we have to accept what is and move on. We need to use our energy to figure out how to work around it, rather than continually question why it has to be. Only by moving on can we find peace.





Finally, on the finacial side of things. Starcity game is one of the biggest sellers of magic cards. They have been petitioning Wotc to abolish the reserved list for years. The reserved list actually hurts them salewise and tournamentwise by making vintage and legacy harder to get into.

Here's a great video explaining it.
… and then, the squirrels came.