New cards vs. reprints each year
By - PlagueDoc69
I wish I could see the number of first time reprints. I have a feeling 90% of the reprints are the exact same cards year after year.
100% - commons and uncommons are by far the largest pool of reprints. If analyzing reprints impact on price, I think it is worth breaking this down by rarity.
[zetalpa](https://c1.scryfall.com/file/scryfall-cards/normal/front/6/d/6d471f97-e812-410e-9354-1d1d330010bc.jpg?1618015681) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=zetalpa%2C%20primal%20dawn) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/c21/112/zetalpa-primal-dawn?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/6d471f97-e812-410e-9354-1d1d330010bc?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text)
^^^[[cardname]] ^^^or ^^^[[cardname|SET]] ^^^to ^^^call
Lol for sure. There seems to be a select list of rares WoTC loves to hammer on reprints.
This year's Strixhaven commander deck reprints were like 90% of the same stuff they put in the decks the last few years.
At this point good old tarmo should be added to pauper
Like Colossal Dreadmaw, which got reprinted immediately in the next set.
I feel like they have some staple commons that they go to over and over to make sure limited is balanced.
Even in masters sets there seem to be a significant quantity of repeat rares/mythics, just every other set instead of each set.
I think this is also a good illustrator of product fatigue.
Also product flooding. Never before has so much product been releazed in such a short time. You don't finish opening a new set before the next one is getting spoiled.
It's a sign of the game getting bigger.
No it's not. The games popularity has nothing to do with release schedule of new product.
?? I don't follow that logic. There's a pretty good track record of TCGs with a bigger player base getting more releases and dead or dying TCGs trending the other direction.
The bigger a game gets, the more revenue they generate which they can roll over into R&D and more printing, releases, etc.
Failing TCGs don't pump out new product (which takes a large amount of resources) when no one buys what they already released.
More a sign of a game experiencing a downturn in customer base trying to wring every last penny they can out of everyone they still have by the short and curlies
You really think MTG is in a downturn right now? They're posting record profits. Selling more cards than they ever have. Digital, paper, Netflix series incoming... and they just freed up 100 mil in revenue since they cancelled the worthless MPL. I just convinced myself to buy more HAS
Not going to put words in OP's mouth, but often when I refer on this forum specifically to game health, it's about the longevity of the game as a collectible with intrinsic worth rather than the immediate fiscal quarter results of Hasbro.
In a very short amount of time we've gone from finding the very best cards in a select number of products each year, mainly draft boxes, to that product now being the bottom of the barrel. So players are getting less and paying more. That has been sustainable because each year Wizards has introduced something new - first it was extended art in Ultimate Masters Box Toppers, then Borderless in Mythic Editions, then Showcase frames in Eldraine, the wild art in Secret Lairs, then the first ever $100 pack with VIP, then foil etched in Commander Legends, then retro frames in TSR, and putting them all together in MH2. This same accelerating card finish variety was seen between 1991 and 1994 in the sports card world. Revenue was off the charts, but the signs of the game as a collectible collapsing was very apparent every step of the way. By 1994-1995 such product fatigue had set in and myself and many friends completely lost interest in every new release. It was simply too difficult to make a card "even shinier", and after going through it for 3 straight years, we also grew wiser to the con - because this year's new shiny was just next year's old and dusty. Why pay a huge premium for that?
I share a serious concern that Wizards is now milking whales in a way that is not sustainable. $450 for 12 packs of MH2 cards? And meanwhile anyone buying the tried and true draft boxes to actually play - are getting short changed on EV even as they are paying $300 - triple the normal price - for a box? It may not be a revenue downturn, but it can be viewed as a downturn in a lot of other ways.
Well... this game isn't *experiencing* a downturn in popularity...
I agree that they are DOING THINGS which could CAUSE a downturn in popularity... but you can't ignore current reality... they are raking in money like never before
WOTC has more than doubled the number of yearly reprints since 2016.
Given the current prices of booster boxes and singles, could demand outstripping supply be one reason (besides COVID) why prices across the board are more expensive than ever? I ask because it appears many believe prices are high only because WOTC are money-grubbing bastards (which I don't doubt, there is some element of that here).
The cynic in me believes they're deliberately not keeping up with demand, but at the same time, it's clear they're making and an effort to increase production. I don't know enough about logistics to estimate how long it takes to get new printers running, etc.
Edit: This may even explain the drop in card quality we've seen the past few years, they're sacrificing quality for quantity. That seems to be paying off for now, it's certainly not affecting prices or their quarterlies...
I’m curious how many of these would be “meaningful reprints” relative to the total numbers. It’s hard to control for price history, but filtering out anything under $.50 brings 2016 and 2019 numbers more in line. A $2 filter makes them even closer.
It seems to me like the numbers are going up, but a lot of those numbers are from meaningless chaff.
I wonder if it’s counting cards reprinted several times once, or as several different reprints i.e Cultivate showing up in m21, and several commander decks.
Also, the last years commander decks probably makes up a large number of these reprints.
This chart doesn't really help anything if you fail to account for print runs.
600 secret lairs aren't going to really help anyone
I wonder what this looks like when expressed as reprint percentage year over year. IE: numerator being total unique cards reprinted and the denominator being the total number of unique cards eligible for reprint that year(ie unique total of cards in the pool). I suspect this might tell another interesting story. I would suspect 93/94 to be high just due to abur but things should normalize after that until we get into 2013/2014.
Additionally, if investigating reprints impact on price, it may be worth excluding commons and uncommons or breaking it down by rarity to see if a given slot is seeing more reprint activity than another. I expected to commons and uncommons to catch far more reprints just by their nature (opt, duress, etc). However, upper echelon cards shouldn't be seeing the same volume of reprints over time (I suspect that started to change with masters products). By removing commons & uncommons, or corralling them into their own sub-category by rarity, the graph(s) will be pretty interesting.
While looking at the graphic please consider the existence of Mystery Booster, which were reprints only and a lot of them, while not actually providing a lot of supply of each individual reprint
This. As well as time spiral remastered.
TSR did tank prices on a lot of the good cards in the main set.
This is data pulled from Scryfall's API this morning
| Card | TSR Price | OG Block Price | Savings | OG Muliplier |
| Sliver Legion | $26.25 | $101.67 | -$75.42 | 3.87 |
| Tarmogoyf | $27.79 | $62.65 | -$34.86 | 2.25 |
| Cloud Key | $4.32 | $33.27 | -$28.95 | 7.70 |
| Pact of Negation | $13.68 | $40.99 | -$27.31 | 3.00 |
| Gemstone Caverns | $20.85 | $43.61 | -$22.76 | 2.09 |
| Akroma's Memorial | $12.13 | $31.63 | -$19.50 | 2.61 |
| Damnation | $24.05 | $42.70 | -$18.65 | 1.78 |
| Magus of the Moon | $3.86 | $18.16 | -$14.30 | 4.70 |
| Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth | $17.07 | $31.35 | -$14.28 | 1.84 |
| Angel's Grace | $3.28 | $15.72 | -$12.44 | 4.79 |
| Nether Traitor | $2.23 | $14.12 | -$11.89 | 6.33 |
| Kaervek the Merciless | $1.14 | $11.90 | -$10.76 | 10.44 |
| Venser, Shaper Savant | $3.16 | $13.86 | -$10.70 | 4.39 |
| Gauntlet of Power | $9.58 | $20.15 | -$10.57 | 2.10 |
| Reiterate | $3.51 | $14.08 | -$10.57 | 4.01 |
| Summoner's Pact | $3.38 | $13.84 | -$10.46 | 4.09 |
| Flagstones of Trokair | $4.33 | $13.17 | -$8.84 | 3.04 |
| Heartwood Storyteller | $0.96 | $9.62 | -$8.66 | 10.02 |
| Dryad Arbor | $3.98 | $12.63 | -$8.65 | 3.17 |
| Walk the Aeons | $1.97 | $9.94 | -$7.97 | 5.05 |
| Pulmonic Sliver | $1.03 | $8.40 | -$7.37 | 8.16 |
| Saffi Eriksdotter | $0.92 | $8.14 | -$7.22 | 8.85 |
| Sedge Sliver | $0.89 | $7.33 | -$6.44 | 8.24 |
| Stuffy Doll | $1.58 | $7.76 | -$6.18 | 4.91 |
| Rebuff the Wicked | $0.52 | $5.62 | -$5.10 | 10.81 |
A lot of this is price memory. I'm curious to see how these compare in a year from now.
Oh yeah, I imagine there will be some movement up on TSR and some down on the others. But It's wild seeing Goyf and Sliver legion being so much lower than what they used to be.
Fantastic post, thank you. This is the biggest risk to collectibles to see OG prices tank so heavily after a reprint.
Is The List included as well? I'd imagine that would add a lot that would skew the 2020 numbers.
I'm also pretty sure The List is included in these values and calling those real reprints is a little disingenuous. They are real reprints, definitely, but the amount of them is much lower and shouldn't affect prices as much as being slotted into an actual set.
2019 and 2020 HAS to be indicating The List and Mystery Booster numbers.
Mystery Boosters were a 2019 product. The only Mystery Booster cards in the 2020 number are the 121 retail-exclusive foils.
Yeah, so out of the 2222 reprints in 2019 1694 cards were in MB1
I think at some point you exhaust yourself coming up with ideas that are A. Different enough. B. Don’t break the game. C. Are somewhat creative and/or interesting D. Make at least some form of sense in the lore and/or current meta. Etc etc.
When you’re in the same medium making the same game, with thousand of cards, it gets hard to come up with hundreds let alone thousands of new ideas a year that fit even most of the above criteria.
They are still making more new cards than ever. Just cashing in on reprints too.
I’d venture to guess if you look at comics, video games, movies, etc. you’d see quite the similar trend as things move on. People start to see what sells and want to replicate that, and in the meantime find it harder and harder to come up with new ideas. Can you imagnn in e how hard it will be to have a new idea 1000 years from now if the planet/civilization lasts that long? Lol.
Hey, I’m from the future... You’d be disappointed. Creatively speaking we still basically do the same thing you do now. Cycle through the same shit over and over.
We peaked at the Iliad and the oddyesy.
Well, at least we made it that far! That alone surprises me!
They are producing the same amount of new cards each year though. They are just printing more reprints. So your point doesn't really hold.
They're producing more new cards today than in the past. The number of new cards produced each year has gone up 50% from 5 years ago and 100% from 10 years ago, according to the chart.
Yes that was my point...they are still produces the same amount of new cards (and more). We aren't getting less new cards.
No definitely still holds up. There are more sets and it’s more popular than it ever has been by a lot. So they are coming out with far more sets far more often so of course there are more. But the reas. For so many more reprints is they have to answer the high demand of what people are willing to buy. And that’s going to always be more stuff coming out, and the higher % of more stuff will always be reprints for the reasons I listed above. Again, it’s the same with comics, movies etc. and just like comics movies etc, you have more come out to meet the demand of popularity/More people willing to buy. But for the most part it’s rehashing of old cards and abilities but with a new name or in a new color or with a bee cost etc.
Rehashing old cards shows lack of creativity (which is not indicated in this graph), is not the same argument as more reprints equal lack of creativity.
But it is…lol. When you’re producing 2-3x sets a year, and over 2/3of them are reprints, it very much does show that. If it wasn’t lack of creativity it would be a much higher percentage new cards like it was the first 15+ years. But demand and number of buyers got higher, so they had to prove more, they hired more, produced far more, couldn’t think of things at near as high of a clip, and reprint stuff sells, so that creates an era of a way lower % of creativity and higher percent of reprints to both meet demand and satisfy the masses who want reprints and keep buying them anyways.
Essentially, if the amount of sets that had come out in the last calendar year were produced in the same amount of time in day 2006, you’d have 2400 of the 3200 cards produced through 2020 as new cards as opposed to reprints, instead it was over 2k reprints and only 1200 new. Hopefully you understand now. Lol
No I still do not understand how this graph shows lack of creativity in card design.
I could argue that beings they are producing more new cards each year they are being more creative. That they are producing NEW cards at quicker rate could indicate higher creativity.
The fact they have more reprints each year as well could be a sign that they have a larger pool of cards to pull reprints from.
You are just extrapolating information to fit your view.
Again you could have an argument that most new cards are rehashed and therefore not creative, but that has nothing at all to do with the chart.
🤦🏻♂️ lol ok bud.
If you ever owned a business that grew, maybe you’d understand. Obviously there are FAR more creative minds than in 2006 as they are producing like triple or more product. Also computers have advanced as someone else said to hell them come up with stuff they couldn’t then I’m sure. But even with all the added people and resources and coming out with triple the amount of sets that SHOULD have new cards, they have WAY less new cards per set. Because they can’t come up with things at a high enough clip to meet the demand of the public, and reprints sell so that don’t have to try to find a way.
You do realize most of the reprints come from stuff like the list, mystery boosters, jump start and precon product. Standard sets and even supplemental sets like mh2 have very, very few reprints.
I think wizard's prints more reprints for two reasons: new players need access to older cards and money. Do you think printing old cards so new players have access to them is bad?
This isn't like movies or comics where people can just stream or read old ones online. These are game peices people need for a game. Reprints don't show lack of creativity, they show good support for new players.
Holy freaking cow. Haha, you can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drinks
The answer is much more simple:
You cash in on reprint equity before you go full power creep.
And then you rinse and repeat.
Looking at mh2 it seems a lot of cards were designed by an AI that just mashed cards from the past together. Im not even certain people design all cards at this point.
Ideally they should just print existing or new cards that are relevant enough to be printed. Those are the chase cards anyway. The draft excuse is just a way to sell more product. Make an entry version with as many tiers as the whale will swallow, priced based on FMV a bit like SL/FTV. Obviously never gonna happen. Better for the environment too. Their model is fundamentally flawed imo but it makes shareholders happy.
I wonder how secret lairs/premium chase cards (I forget their names) factor into this. Those are reprints, but are a lot more limited than regular reprintings.
I've always thought the game would be a lot healthier if it was more like 80% reprints and 20% new.
The only catch is it may be difficult to keep the same interested customers, but I personally think they should be sharpening the knife instead of reinventing the wheel every year
Also, there's another data point I'd like to see here, which is cards TOTAL. That would really put the reprints in perspective. It *looks* like a lot, but really isn't compared to the total
When print runs ever become publicly available, it will be a rude awakening for a lot of people who will really really realize they are buying 0.01€ cardboard for a lot of money with millions of the same cardboard being in the back of stores gathering dust.
There was a time early in the game's history where there were too many reprints. The card pool wasn't deep enough and there weren't enough players to absorb them.
Now it's very different. If I play Modern, Legacy and have 10 different EDH decks I might swap $40 cards between them, but $5 cards I might just buy extra copies. Obviously that price point varies from player to player.
Reprints also discourage me as a casual player from selling my collection. If the prices are really high for everything I've got I'm very incentivized to sell out of the game if I don't play very much, but wizards wants that money rather than going to the secondary market so by creating a little bit of scarcity they keep people interested in cracking packs rather than having inactive players sell out.
Back then, cards **really were** priced on how playable they were.
Now hear me out, they still ARE priced on playability... But I think there is now a LOT more people really into this hobby that buy, and even build decks, but practically never ever actually play them. I could be wrong though.
This guy gets it!
Curious—I'd prefer they did the opposite. New sets should feel like new sets and not rehashes of what came before. Most new sets should be comprised of 80% new cards and 20% reprints.
Most are like 90%+ new, so I guess you're pretty jazzed in general
That’s why I stay away from big buck non-RL cards, even if I could use them in decks. The better the card, the bigger the chance of a comeback.
I remember when everyone cried for reprints. Now people complain about it. A tale as old as time.
I (re)started in 2015 and the last 2 years were too much for me to wrap my head around.
I like limited, legacy and modern but the latter two had so much shifts that constructed is not feasible without significant yearly investments.
Lately I've been thinking just selling everything I got, including RL, and stick the money somewhere else. I don't want to play anything other than limited anyway. And I don't put it past the Hasbro suits to explore RL reprints.
It's seems a lot of people are missing the fact that wizards is still printing more new cards almost every year than the previous year.
At the risk of coming off as a WOTC apologist, I think they've done a good job at getting a significant meaningful reprints out there in the last two years, even with COVID complicating production of their efforts (i.e. Jumpstart).
2xM: Thoughtseize, Stoneforge Mystic, Cyclonic Rift, Noble Hierarch, Ad Nauseam, Toxic Deluge, Academy Ruins, Exploration, Walking Ballista and Mesmeric Orb were all at rare and much more affordable. Even a lot of the mythics like Force of Will and Jace the Mind Sculptor took big hits. Manamorphose was a $20 card and could be had at $2 at release.
M21: Ugin the Spirit Dragon, Heroic Intervention, Azusa Lost but Seeking, Massacre Worm, Baneslayer Angel all are much more affordable. Grim Tutor was also in the set, but it's moreso in the camp of "Valuable because of it's scarcity than playability."
CMR: Mana Drain, Vampiric Tutor, Scroll Rack, Rings of Brighthearth, Staff of Domination, Thought Vessel
Going further back, Leyline of the Void was around $50 before M20. You can easily get them for $5 now.
I'm not even going to touch on sets like Mystery Boosters, Secret Lairs, and Spellbooks that have also put some additional needed cards into circulation.
I ignore 'The List' entirely because I think they really do very, very little to impact the price of the cards.
I think it's fair to conclude that meta and demand shifts also contribute to prices (i.e. Hogakk getting banned made a lot of graveyard hate less necessary), but it's somewhat unfair to suggest that WOTC can predict what a meta will be years from when they are developing sets with any kind of reliable accuracy.
I think a big complication in the whole discussion is that once we get a meaningful reprint of something, we stop thinking about it and start focusing on the next thing that needs a (or many) meaningful reprint(s). Fetchlands, Cabal Coffers, Imperial Seal, the medallions, and Food Chain all come to mind (yes I know that the fetches and Coffers are about to be reprinted, but it's yet to be seen how affordable they will be until we can reflect on the affordability/availability of MH2).
Unfortunately those reprints are almost all either crap or in limited products with increased pricing so it didn't really help anything. The game is more expensive than ever.
Well mystery booster was a one time shot with 1400? Reprints, so that I’m sure contains your data
Mystery Boosters only count in the 2019 number (aside from the 121 retail-only foils which came out in 2020).
The 2020 number is almost as big as the 2019 number *despite* this. The List helps, sure, but that's only a third as many cards.
It's a big reason why me and all of my friends stopped buy anything that is not reserved list.
Imagine if they reprinted tarmo/jace tms just one time, but no, they decided to destroy the secondary market with tons of reprints. Really bad decision in the long term imho.
i feel you. there are 2 sides to every coin.
on 1 side, you'll need magic to be assessible enough for new joiners (college kids) to play. without these reprints its a pesudo reserved list card whose price will likely only go up as supply dries up
on the other side, it sucks to see your investment in a foil shiny eextended alternate super art card get eroded.
sometimes i think reprints are good for getting people in. and other times....i question the need to reprint in such huge quantities.
> Really bad decision in the long term imho.
Countless magic players have said those exact same words for decades, and it hasn't haunted WOTC yet.
So long as they can keep pulling new players into the game, they can keep reprinting many cards as the demand outstrips the supply. (Within reason, some cards, like the original duals should never be reprinted.)
The bigger issue is the awful new cards being created, and subsequently banned. Those have had an absolutely chilling effect on standard - [as evidenced by the recent poll here](https://old.reddit.com/r/mtgfinance/comments/nh0hg4/what_format_do_you_primarily_play_if_you_do_play/) where standard was the preferred format by only 5% of players.
With that said, you need to assume most new cards will eventually get a reprint. Whether it takes one year, or ten - and yes, that can be frustrating. If your only goal is value retention, the reserved list is the only way to go.
>Those have had an absolutely chilling effect on standard - as evidenced by the recent poll here where standard was the preferred format by only 5% of players.
You're going to pull a muscle reaching that far. The only meaningful metric of what's going on with "standard" is whether or not standard products are selling. Formats as a concept were only ever a marketing tool. And even without competitive or in-person play, multiple standard booster boxes in the past ~18 months have broken the sales record for their release slot according to Hasbro's earnings calls. Whether that's EDH or kitchen table players buying the product or it's standard players (whatever that means anymore) is irrelevant. The only thing in the history of the game that actually makes players quit in meaningful numbers is weak sets.
Also irrelevant is *any poll conducted on one of the MTG subreddits*. If you think the respondents to polls posted around here are even close to representative of the playerbase at large, you are smoking the good stuff. Everyone seems *desperate* for standard to be "dying" lately for some reason or another and it's almost entirely weirdly negative wishful thinking that is directly refuted by the data available to us.
What does that compare to, though? Do you have proof that Standard was ever the preferred format for more than 5% of respondents?
Because it's the fastest cycling format, I would assume most people are not interested in playing it unless they are primarily a competitive player. And competitive play is a very small amount of players, at least I believe that's what Wizards has said.
Awful cards banned out of Standard is a bit of last year's news. Last 4 sets had a grand total of one ban, which happened 8 months ago. WAR to IKO was crazy, but it seems they learned something out of it.
As they continue to make new cards, they have more cards they can/should reprint.
I think a 3rd dataset of "relevant" reprints is necessary
Also how did 2019 beat MYB 2020?
More cards printed in 2019&2020 than 1993-1999... and I’m not even sure that this isn’t accounting for the obnoxious fucking variance of cards... foil, etched, old framed, alt art, planseswalker stamp, pre release, kissed with blood diamonds, etc.
As far as new cards go:
Functional reprints that are barely different are a safe move. Fleshbag Maurader and Merciless Executioner. Plaguecrafter and Demon's Disciple. Near identical reprints that outside of edge case tribal and meta consideration are the same card. Cleric tribal might care, but aristocrats archetype probably doesn't. Because they are functionally almost identical, I would not consider these truly new.
Also fixing old cards seems like a safe move without too much strain on the part of designing. So black lotus is broken, but what if it only created one mana and we called it lotus petal? What if it still made three, but could only cast a commander? They could come up with different iterations like "only use this mana for flashback spells" until the cows come home.
For true reprints:
No matter what they say publicly, somebody somewhere at WotC is watching the secondary market. A good reprint serves as a benchmark for value. Maybe they can pretend fetches can drive pack price by $X because of Secret Lairs, but reprint economy is real. It would be too large of a data point to ignore in those types of analytical decisions.
They're mainly just printing more of everything - this is good for MTG. The bigger the player base the greater the need for new cards AND reprints.
Makes perfect sense. The bigger the card pool and the more active the player base, the more reprints we need. Since WotC made playability an prime goal (as opposed to the pre-2009 core sets, the primary reprint tool which were just barely fun to play for but the newest of players), we naturally end up getting a lot more reprinted chaff alongside the necessary ones.
I am curious how 2020 is so close to 2019 in numbers given that the latter had Mystery Boosters with what should have been the largest reprint volume of any set.
What were they reprinting in 1993? How are we defining "reprint"?
When I hear reprint I think card from a previous set printed again in a current set.
Unlimited was a reprint of beta cards.
Beta was a reprint of Alpha, at least with how Scryfall tags them.