Sunday, August 21, 2016

The printing errors

Lately, we mentioned about problem with Eldritch Moon booster packs meant to be sold in USA. It is definately a mistake, that Wizards of the Coast should haven't made. But, is it a one time exception or did it happen before? Read on to find it out! 

To understand the nature of problem you need to know, that Magic cards are printed on huge sheets of card stock (look at photo on the right) and afterwards cut down into much smaller cards we all play with. Usually each set has three such sheets: one for commons, one for uncommons and one for rares and mythic rares.

The first printing errors were in...Alpha set. Two cards were missing due to an oversight: Volcanic Island and Circle of Protection: Black. However, it is even not the worst part of the story. The card sheets were not accurate, for instance a few basic lands could be found in a sheet with rare cards. If you are going to open an Alpha booster pack, be aware of risk of pulling extra common instead of rare. 

In Legends sets Wizards introduced experimental rarity called "U2". A Karakas is such U2 card, wheras Mana Drain is U1. What does it mean? There are twice as many Legends Karakas as Legeneds Mana Drain. The U1/2 tells us how many times each card appeared on the uncommon sheet. It lead us to Fallen Emires set and card Hymn to Tourach. Some of you probably know that this card was printed in Fallen Empires with four different arts. Every Hymn to Tourach is C1, so it appears on the common sheet four times. On the other hand, some commons had only three arts in Fallen Empires, meaning some cards from the same rarity type were more popular than others. 

Mistakes didn't happen only in the distant past. In last few years, we could have watched a YouTube movies where fetchland was opened in every booster pack of Fate Reforged or mythic rare in every Modern Masters 2015 set. By the way, MM2 had numerous mistakes, especially with not correct number of cards in a booster pack. 

Mistakes are unseparatable part of this business. They cannot be eleminated, but Wizards could do their best to mitigate them. Learning the history in order not to make the same mistakes twice is a key to success. 

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