Magic: The Gathering’s new set is a fun gamble; play it during Activity Period

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Magic: The Gathering’s new set is a fun gamble; play it during Activity Period

Ryan Forcey looking through Pokemon cards in Card Club, which meets during Activity Period.

Ryan Forcey looking through Pokemon cards in Card Club, which meets during Activity Period.

Ryan Forcey looking through Pokemon cards in Card Club, which meets during Activity Period.

Ryan Forcey looking through Pokemon cards in Card Club, which meets during Activity Period.

Trevor Franek, Staff Writer

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On December 7, Wizards of the Coast celebrated the 25th anniversary of the highly popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering.

Magic: The Gathering is a popular trading card game that has enamored the hearts of millions with its easy to learn, hard to master mechanics and creative ways to play the game.

The purpose of the game is to be the last man standing. Each player starts the game with a 20-sided dice that represents 20 life and they must use a plethora of creatures, spells, and enchantments to do whatever they can to defeat the other players. There is an overwhelming amount of ways that this can be done from controlling what your opponent can play, to using an infinite combo that secures the victory. The creative ways that people think of to win is what makes the game so addictive and enjoyable.

With this celebration of the 25th anniversary, they decided it was a perfect time to release their last installment of the famous Masters series with the release of Ultimate Masters. People who are familiar with Magic will know that the Masters series is a high-risk high-reward situation as the packs of cards cost significantly more than other sets in the game.

An Ultimate Masters single pack, which includes 14 random cards and 1 guaranteed premium foil card, goes for an overwhelming $11.99, a 3 pack blisterpack is a whopping $35, and finally an entire booster box of Ultimate Masters, which is 24 packs and a box topper, is an astronomical amount of $335.76. Those prices certainly sound like blasphemy, but there is that high-risk high-reward that comes with these packs.

Additionally, the box topper that comes with buying a booster box is a very unique, extended art card that is far more valuable than the original version of the card. There are 40 different extended art cards that could come in the box, the most expensive one being Liliana of the Veil at a crazy $250, and the cheapest one being Lavaclaw Reaches at $24.98.  Overall the best card to get out of the entire set is the Liliana of the Veil which, normal art, is still a solid $75. To see all of the available cards that could be acquired in the set there are card lists on the official Magic website if you search up “Ultimate Masters card list”.  

The set reprinted copious fan favorites such as Karn Liberated priced at $65, Snapcaster Mage priced at $59.46, and Noble Hierarch priced at $53.89. Unfortunately, the reprinting of these cards significantly drops the prices of the cards value. For example, Liliana of the Viel was at its peak of $125 before the set was released. This price drop is incredible for those who wish to buy these phenomenal cards for a more reasonable price, but on the contrary the people who have held on to these cards waiting for their prices to peak are out of luck as they are losing significant value for their cards.

Being Wizards of the Coast’s final Masters set, the set does indeed cost a substantial amount more, but the final Masters set certainly was met with a glorious end with its unique extended art that’ll have collectors around the world wanting more and more, and the card reprints that helped players all around the world by making the buying of cards a little bit easier on the player’s wallet.  

This set, unfortunately, does not cater well to new players with its hefty prices and complex synergy within the cards. However, Wizards of the Coast has previous sets that are much more simplistic and easier to get into. Additionally, the local hobby shop “Pastime Collectibles” hosts monthly learning days where new players can go in and learn how to play a plethora of card and board games such as Magic: The Gathering, Warhammer, Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, Dungeons and Dragons, etc. They also have a magnitude of Magic: The Gathering products such as booster packs, booster boxes, individual cards, card sleeves, dice, and card boxes. For a brand-new player wanting to get into Magic: The Gathering I would personally highly recommend either going to Pastime Collectibles or going to Wal-Mart to buy a basic starter deck for around $20 depending on your choice of deck.  

If you’re on the ropes about whether or not buying Magic cards is worth the investment there is an alternative option. Every activity period there is a card club hosted in Senor Poleto’s room. The club is a place where anyone is welcome to come and play any kind of card game from Magic, to Yu-gi-oh, to Pokemon, to anything. Most, if not everyone, in the club has multiple decks that any new player would be welcome to borrow in order to see if the game is right for them or not, and if you deem the game enjoyable and worthwhile then the club members in there would gladly lead you in the right direction and help you with whatever is needed.

Ultimately, Magic: The Gathering is a highly addictive, amusing game that is played by many and is always welcoming more, and it’s never too late to join in for the experience.  

 

Trevor Franek, Staff Writer

I'm an avid runner in both cross country and track, and I enjoy playing Magic The Gathering.

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Magic: The Gathering’s new set is a fun gamble; play it during Activity Period