Magic’s $1000 30th Anniversary set evoked nostalgia, but for whom?

Magic’s $1000 30th Anniversary set evoked nostalgia

A Circle of Protection is needed: Wallet.

Again, with the $1000 30th Anniversary of Magic set in my hands, I’m nine years old.

the $1000 30th Anniversary of Magic set in my hands
the $1000 30th Anniversary of Magic set in my hands

When I open the pack, a card is revealed that I haven’t seen since 1994. Then suddenly I find that I’m sitting at a folding table in my friend’s living room and laying that card from my hand, both being assured and reverent of its supreme power. But I received a smile from my friend when I was about to get absolutely destroyed in our game. Since then, the Gathering began with a lifelong obsession with Magic. The Shivan Dragon was about to outclass my measly Water Elemental.

But while the deep and cloying nostalgia was inspired by the limited Magic 30th Anniversary set, Wizards of the Coast was still not set up to get into the spellbooks of many of its planeswalking players

A box of four booster packs for a mortgage-inducing $1000 was how it was revealed when the 30th Anniversary Edition was originally announced. For context, depending on whether it’s Set or Draft, these days, a regular booster pack is generally between $4.50 and $6. Initially, when players learned that the 30th Anniversary Edition was breaking the reserved list, this seemed to make some sense—starting back in 1996, these mystical list of cards Wizards promised were to be never reprinted. But a further step was took by Wizard for diminishing the playability of these cards, as it was also announced that 30th Anniversary Edition will be having a special card back instead of the usual Magic: the Gathering back that denoted the cards would not be legal for play in any sanctioned Magic event, which means no official events or tournaments whatsoever. All the 30th Anniversary cards official were effectively made proxies by this, which was an extremely expensive step up from scribbling “Black Lotus” on a basic land.

And now that the single day of sales of the special set has come and gone, if you buy packs, it is far worse as it climbs up to $430 market price or over $1,700 for the four that were there in the box. It was very difficult to even open some of the cards from the set that were more desirable such as the power nine. So, it’s no surprise that an MTG 30th Anniversary Edition simulator exists, to show you that your journey can be really expensive.

So, now when I have emerged from my cloud of melancholic nostalgia, my only question is: who is this set for?

When I was a kid, neither did I get an allowance from my parents, nor did I have a way of making money. Having any money of my own was rare, usually because my grandpa would do this weird thing where he used to shake my hand with a $20 in it and pass it to me like it was some kind of covert drug deal. I was keen on collecting Magic and getting a booster pack to open was a huge moment. Many of those booster cracks are still in my memory with shocking clarity. While on vacation I had a small stash of ‘vacation money’ and opened An Ice Age booster. But I was too young to have a chance to open the earliest sets of Magic. It seemed like people like me would be the ideal target for the 30th Anniversary Edition. I’m in love with Magic. I grew up playing the imperfect PC adaptations Battlemage and Shandalar, using Vampire Bats, I wrote my own tabletop RPG rules for Magic. But I had failed in striking oil or finding any buried treasure in the intervening years. Thus, the idea of paying a grand for four booster packs of proxies at my expense, felt more like a cruel joke than reality. 

“What frustrates me the most about Magic’s 30th Anniversary Edition is what it could have been.”

After all, all of a top tier Modern deck can be assembled by you at that price, quite a few Commander decks or several in the Pioneer format— in all formats you will not be able to use a single card from 30th Anniversary Edition.

The thing that frustrates me the most is that it could have been a collectible, opening doors to previously sealed-off cards like Black Lotus and Timetwister. It was a sign that Wizards was considering working with the reserve list or even dipping a toe in the waters to finally circumvent it.

Or it would have been great if it was accessible in price for players, since the cards are gorgeous in both the retro frame and the new one, and seeing tokens with vintage art is really lovely.

But most of all, it could have been priced similar to something that is a bit familiar to us such as a cosmetics store. No gameplay advantage is given to you by the higher price. However, you do get access to some cool collectible extras in the alternate arts, foil treatments and showcase frames.

Still, for some proxies, it is quite a bit of money and they would not like to play it in anything official, but affording the cost of an occasional collector booster can be done by anyone.

The real answer is still unknown, and I think we are never going to know it, but I guess I can hope that the 40th anniversary of Magic, which is in 2032, iis handled better.

Read more about : Best pc cases 2022: our tested picks for your new build