EDITORIAL: Modern Masters and How Wizards Failed

(Editorial Disclaimer: This post may contain strong language. If you are offended by such, please be advised that you may want to turn back now.)

Where do I even begin? This past week the Magic internet community has had its collective panties in a twist about Modern Masters 2015 Edition. And, after looking into some of the stories, I can see why. Whether it's pricing, printing, or packaging, Wizards of the Coast has managed to turn the most hyped release in years into a complete cluster fuck.

Let's start with the price point. At $10 per booster, we're looking at a 250% increase over the $4 a regular pack costs, at most. At first glance, I can appreciate why. The original set had a per pack MSRP of $7, which was almost universally hiked due to demand. So we would expect to see an average return on investment similar to that of the first set, right? There's the rub; it isn't there. As this article on MTGGoldfish expertly details, Modern Masters 2015 packs are lottery tickets. Sure we have mainstays like Goyf, Bob, and Clique with newcomers Mox Opal, Emrakul, and Bitterblossom. But, those are Mythics. For every $40+ "winning" ticket, we have 20 more that are less than the $4 of a normal pack! What stabilized the original set were the Rares and Uncommons. This time around, there's almost no value below Mythic to justify the $10, and don't even start with me about Comet Storm. Even across a larger sample size like a $240 box the value isn't there.

One rare that does meet the threshold is Daybreak Coronet. The problem? The card is practically UNPLAYABLE in a set whose stated design goal is to be a good Limited environment. How can you possibly "Enchant target creature with another Aura already attached to it" when there are exactly TWO positive Auras, in another color mind you, in the whole set and one of them (Splinter Twin) is a Rare as well?! /facepalm

Speaking of tremendous oversights, let's talk print errors. How would you feel if the Mythic you happened to open, or any other pack-fresh card, were damaged?

I would be FURIOUS!!!

It's completely unacceptable for a company as large as Wizards or Hasbro, which has been printing cards for as long as they have in the mass quantities they have, to have issues like this! Twitter has erupted over the last week with images of mangled Goyfs, scratched foils, and chipped edges. Not to mention the horror stories like this one where a guy opens a box and a half and the only foils IN EVERY PACK were Rusted Relic. Rusted Relic. How does that even happen? I've also read stories of entire boxes devoid of Rares entirely, with Uncommons in their place. Now, we also get stories like this one where a guy gets an entire box of Mythics, but that just further proves the point. Wizards remade the card border less than a year ago to have a machine-readable type line at the bottom to prevent exactly these types of errors! 

Now for the kicker. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, thinking of buying packs of Modern Masters 2015 needs to watch the following video:

SERIOUSLY?! What in the full Hell of fucks, Wizards?!?!?! How did this packaging design get approved? The recyclable nature of the pack is a gimmick and a joke, and they're so easy to tamper with, a CAVEMAN could do it. Here is WOTC's official response:

They're not even taking the blame (Though there is a rumor the packaging designer has been canned) and they're throwing their distributors under the proverbial bus!  Please, please, please don't be naive enough to think a scam won't happen to you. Buy in person, at trusted stores, from trusted employees, and preferably only Wizards-Factory-Sealed boxes (for all the protection that'll offer).

With all the hype for Modern Masters 2015 and the wild success of the original Modern Masters, I expected something at least equivalent. Wizards failed to deliver. Issues with pricing, printing, and packaging will haunt this set forever. We are already starting to see a significant decrease in box prices online and no one should be buying loose packs online. I don't think the value of even factory-sealed product is going to hold up over time. Compare that to boxes and packs of the original which are tremendously expensive. Sequels rarely do as well as their predecessors, but the 2015 Edition of Modern Masters pales in comparison. I think Wizards needs to clean up its act before they try something like this again, because whatever they went with this time around did not work at all.