Controversy Marks Magic the Gathering’s 25th Anniversary Set

Too Far Gone | Nicol Bolas

It was supposed to be the crowning moment for the world’s most prolific trading card game, twenty five years of success. The idea behind Masters 25 was to showcase some of the most iconic Magic the Gathering cards, allowing fans and newcomers to revel in a quarter century’s worth of weird creatures and wild spells. To add to this special occasion each card would be marked with a watermark indicating which set it had originally been a part of. It would seem, however, that the anniversary is already mired in controversy – just days before its official street date release.

While some of the most iconic cards in the game may never be re-printed due to Wizards of the Coast reserved list, many had high hopes for Masters 25. Unfortunately when spoiler season came around many of the cards that were revealed left some fans disappointed. Since the set has been billed as highlighting some of the best the past had to offer, fans of the card game were vexed by some of the choices being made. Tree of Redemption, a mythic rare for this set and one of the cards fans are the least happy about, has even kicked off a new trend among some local card stores. Some shops, it seems, are willing to give customers a new pack of Masters 25 if the purchaser opens a Tree of Redemption as their pack’s rare card. And while the choice of cards for past Masters sets have also been heavily scrutinized by the community, Masters 25 is quickly shaping up to be quite the problem set in more ways than one.

According to a shocking video made by YouTuber Alpha Investments, booster boxes of Masters 25 are not randomized. What this means is that while normally packs are randomly sorted for distribution, this set has somehow failed to achieve this. In the video, Rudy (of Alpha Investments) opens up two sealed boxes of Masters 25, opening up each pack of cards in front of the camera with some interesting results. When he starts opening packs from the second box, déjà vu begins to strike as he pulls similar rare cards to his first box. By the end of the second box, Rudy is clearly flustered, and when he sorts all the rares we see the staggering results. Of the forty-eight packs he had opened twenty-three pairs were of the same rare card with only two rares not having a duplicate. This could potentially be hugely detrimental to the set, as it would allow customers to potentially map a booster box for specific cards, or, in a more conspiratorial train of thought, have sellers potentially learn what boxes had which card, keeping the best boxes for themselves.

While this instance of duplicate boxes has not been proven to be wide spread as of yet, and it could very well be a one off, the footage that’s surfaced is pretty hard to ignore. As of writing, Wizards of the Coast has not made any kind of statement regarding the potential issue.

Image Source: Wizards of the CoastAlpha Investments

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