Many MTG Player's ask: Is the reserved list a load of bull?

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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

Prompted by this video by the Professor.

Personally? Yeah, I think it should get removed, or at the very least the cards from Revised on it should be removed from it for the simple reason that Revised (a.k.a. 3rd edition) is a pure reprint set.

It is directly damaging to the eternal formats and the longevity of the game, and as reprints of many cards not on it have proven, time and time again, reprinting old cards barely impact the value of older cards, if they impact at all. The professor brings up a very valid example in the form of Shivan Dragon, it's original printing is worth several thousand dollars (and have been for a long time), while its most recent printing was basically given away for free. Even cards not on the reserved list have managed to keep a lot of their value despite repints, heck, in some instances the reprints are worth more than the original ever was (Hello Scroll Rack!)

I have been an active player since before the reserved list was a thing, and I thought it a bad idea then, and I still think it a bad idea. The fact remains that the majority of the people who wanted it to begin with, and still argue for it remaining are people who *DO NOT ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME*. The early 90's, during the time that the list was created, had a major issue with what I refer to as "collectible speculators", do I need to mention the whole thing with Beanie Babies™ and how that ended?

And here is the really interesting thing about the "Official Reprint Policy" (It's official name btw), WotC could get rid of it tomorrow and no-one could do anything about it, all they really need to do is to make an official news release saying that effective immediately it is gone, and then *poof* it would be gone. The reason is that it is *policy*, and companies change their policy all the damn time. They wouldn't be able to get rid of it, and then three days later release a product containing cards from it, as said product would have been made during the time the policy was in place, but since the lead time for a non-standard legal set is fairly short these days (about a year or so), we could potentially see a product containing cards from it about a year after its abolishment (roughly two years for a standard legal set), and none would be able to sue them for it.

And finally, as the professor points out, even if they decide to change or abolish it, noone would be able to lead a successful lawsuit against them due to prior art. Specifically, it has already been changed multiple times since its creation without anyone suing WotC for it even once, so any attempted lawsuit would very quickly fail.

So, what do you thing? Should it stay or should it go? Please state your reasoning why.
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Post by user_938036 » 1 month ago

It should definitely be abolished. For the simple reason that at best it does nothing and at worst it limits Wizards ability to craft sets.

That said it won't be abolished for two reasons. They have no interest in reprinting the cards that people want on the list. Second, it would hurt value. The professor goes pretty indepth about they wouldn't but every example he uses is actually proof that they would be hurt. He touts the high price of these reprinted cards as proof that the wanted cards wouldn't be hurt but very simple math says they are a bad comparison because if those desired cards dropped to the price of those reprinted cards it would represent a significant loss of value.

The main reason it won't be abolished is the first one. Wizards is not lacking for cards to reprint so they have no interest in removing it even if their designers feel constrained by it.

The legal argument he goes about destroying was never an argument. It was an excuse some players imagined as a way to defend the policy. Only the most foolhardy individuals honestly believed that there would be a successful lawsuit against wizards if they decided to abolish the reserved list.

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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

user_938036 wrote:
1 month ago
That said it won't be abolished for two reasons. They have no interest in reprinting the cards that people want on the list. Second, it would hurt value. The professor goes pretty indepth about they wouldn't but every example he uses is actually proof that they would be hurt. He touts the high price of these reprinted cards as proof that the wanted cards wouldn't be hurt but very simple math says they are a bad comparison because if those desired cards dropped to the price of those reprinted cards it would represent a significant loss of value.
The first card he brings up actually proves they won't lose value: Shivan Dragon, the most reprinted rare ever. The original printing is worth roughly 5000$, the latest version is given away for free.

The original printing of Scroll Rack, has been laying steady at roughly 70$ since prior to its printing in Commander Anthology (which is worth 100$), and wasn't impacted by that printing, or the printing in Kaladesh (worth 200$).

There is literally zero evidence that a reprint of any card on the reserved list would impact the value of the original printing, but plenty of evidence of the opposite. And besides that, as WotC have stated multiple times: They do not care one wit about the secondary market when choosing reprints.
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Post by Mookie » 1 month ago

If we abolish the Reserve List, then Thunder Spirit will finally get a reprint... and that, in turn, will make all my Wind Drakes woefully underpowered. As we know, Wind Drake is the gold standard by which all three mana flyers are measured, and allowing those creatures to have first strike with no loss in toughness would be far too much power creep. Nay, I say! Keep Thunder Spirit and its brethren locked away in the void, alongside other overpowered cards like Skeleton Ship and Narwhal.

...more seriously, yes, I would be in favor of getting rid of the Reserve List. While it may have been useful when it was initially implemented, it has long since overstayed its welcome. That said, I wouldn't expect it to go away any time soon.

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Post by robertleva » 1 month ago

I say get rid of it but I have no cards on the RL so I have nothing to gain by it staying around to be fair. I'd like it to go but WOTC is garbage at making the right call so just forget about this ever happening.
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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

robertleva wrote:
1 month ago
I say get rid of it but I have no cards on the RL so I have nothing to gain by it staying around to be fair. I'd like it to go but WOTC is garbage at making the right call so just forget about this ever happening.
I have around 10-15% of the cards on it, including a couple of really valuable ones (a couple of duals and Sliver Queen being the standouts), and I want it gone.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

I don't know if I've EVER heard anyone defend it. The only argument for keeping it I've ever heard was the lawsuit they'd get from collectors whose collections would drop. But players who wanna play would be glad formats like legacy and vintage would be more accessible.

One of my buddies brought up something interesting in regards to the lawsuit they could get. If WotC would be able to determine what would be an acceptable amount to lose in a lawsuit, then buy out reserved list cards until there's only a certain % of reserved list cards that they don't own, so they'd only have to pay whatever is acceptable for them in a lawsuit. That's probably much easier said than done though.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 month ago

I've got a (Unlimited) Volcanic Island lying around, and I'd love it if the RC bit it. In EDH in particular it just leads to needlessly toxic gatekeeping. I think prices might crash, at least temporarily, because I feel like a lot of the buyouts were by armchair stockbroker-types, who are decidedly prone to buying and selling on hype (see also: every cryptocurrency ever). I am far more interested in improving the game than protecting r/wallstreetbets people from their own questionable decision making.

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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

I think that was the main trend I've noticed as well, many people just want the game to be easier to play (in all formats). Running RL cards in EDH does seem needlessly toxic/excessive unless you play at the most competitive tables. In regards to buyouts, I'd have a hard time imagining anyone other than stockbroker types buying stuff out

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

Having missed ownership of virtually any of the cards on it save maybe one or two stragglers from Tempest block, I'm very much in favour of the RL dying in a fire. I think the further time goes on the more it becomes clear that it doesn't really have a big impact on the value of the game. From what I understand it was instated to attempt to stop the value of collections of 'legacy' (not the format) players from tanking, and also protecting the value of the game inherently.

Well, the game is doing fine, there's plenty of cards outside the RL worth a ton, and plenty of have-not players that would love to at least have a chance of cracking ABUR's, OG Wheels and the like. Personally, I resent no one who owns these and plays them - it's a 'smoke 'em if you got 'em' scenario, and honestly, I'd do the same - it's the folk who own them, stockpile them for value and treat the game like an investment that gall me. And I would shed zero tears for them if the value of these cards did tank (predominantly, they wouldn't),

I don't think it's going to die anytime soon, but y'all just let me know and I'll have a grave dug ready for it.
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Post by pokken » 1 month ago

I don't think abolishing it would hurt the collectible nature of the originals that much and I think it actively is constraining the growth of the new flagship format - Commander. Dual lands and a number of staple cards (intuition, time spiral, wheel of fortune, gilded drake etc.) are on the reserved list and it is a serious bummer.

I am 100% in favor of getting rid of it as an established collector with probably 15k in RL cards. I don't think wizards ever will.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

One thing I wonder is how many collectors are there who would actually be upset about the RL being abolished. I can't imagine there being too many, mostly because of how ancient it is in terms of how long the game has been around

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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
One thing I wonder is how many collectors are there who would actually be upset about the RL being abolished. I can't imagine there being too many, mostly because of how ancient it is in terms of how long the game has been around
I can only name one, and he has never once played the game, but makes a living opening packs and selling cards from a multitude of CCG's.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
One thing I wonder is how many collectors are there who would actually be upset about the RL being abolished. I can't imagine there being too many, mostly because of how ancient it is in terms of how long the game has been around
I can only name one, and he has never once played the game, but makes a living opening packs and selling cards from a multitude of CCG's.
See that's gross, and needs to stop. It's a freakin' game, and if anything hoarding chase cards just pushes prices up further.
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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
One thing I wonder is how many collectors are there who would actually be upset about the RL being abolished. I can't imagine there being too many, mostly because of how ancient it is in terms of how long the game has been around
I can only name one, and he has never once played the game, but makes a living opening packs and selling cards from a multitude of CCG's.
See that's gross, and needs to stop. It's a freakin' game, and if anything hoarding chase cards just pushes prices up further.
That is my opinion as well, which is why I loathe the person. His sole motivation for anything game related is greed.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago


I can only name one, and he has never once played the game, but makes a living opening packs and selling cards from a multitude of CCG's.
See that's gross, and needs to stop. It's a freakin' game, and if anything hoarding chase cards just pushes prices up further.
That is my opinion as well, which is why I loathe the person. His sole motivation for anything game related is greed.
And it's predominantly this sort of person the RL protects. People who play the cards I've found generally don't care so much, it's a game first and foremost.

For whatever reason though, I can't see the RL going anytime soon.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago

See that's gross, and needs to stop. It's a freakin' game, and if anything hoarding chase cards just pushes prices up further.
That is my opinion as well, which is why I loathe the person. His sole motivation for anything game related is greed.
And it's predominantly this sort of person the RL protects. People who play the cards I've found generally don't care so much, it's a game first and foremost.

For whatever reason though, I can't see the RL going anytime soon.
Even if it would probably benefit players a lot, because it would allow WotC to reprint older staples, I can't see them getting rid of it. I don't know how much they'd be able to gain off of doing it, especially with inevitable lawsuits that would probably happen. I mean I guess they'd be able to do a few more Eternal Masters type sets with more options of reprints. They just don't be too concerned with pushing legacy vintage/helping grow those formats or printing product for it. They'd probably have just as much luck with pioneer or modern masters type sets

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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Even if it would probably benefit players a lot, because it would allow WotC to reprint older staples, I can't see them getting rid of it. I don't know how much they'd be able to gain off of doing it, especially with inevitable lawsuits that would probably happen. I mean I guess they'd be able to do a few more Eternal Masters type sets with more options of reprints. They just don't be too concerned with pushing legacy vintage/helping grow those formats or printing product for it. They'd probably have just as much luck with pioneer or modern masters type sets
As the Professor correctly points out in the video I linked in the first post, any potential lawsuits would be dead in the water due to prior art. Not once, in all the times WotC have changed the reserved list, not, once, have they been targeted by a lawsuit because of it. And since said changes were never challenged in court, any attempt to sue them for further changes would be met with extremely likely failure. And that is completely ignoring the fact that as it is a policy WotC could get rid of it at any time by simply making a press release stating so. Companies change policies all the damn time.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Even if it would probably benefit players a lot, because it would allow WotC to reprint older staples, I can't see them getting rid of it. I don't know how much they'd be able to gain off of doing it, especially with inevitable lawsuits that would probably happen. I mean I guess they'd be able to do a few more Eternal Masters type sets with more options of reprints. They just don't be too concerned with pushing legacy vintage/helping grow those formats or printing product for it. They'd probably have just as much luck with pioneer or modern masters type sets
As the Professor correctly points out in the video I linked in the first post, any potential lawsuits would be dead in the water due to prior art. Not once, in all the times WotC have changed the reserved list, not, once, have they been targeted by a lawsuit because of it. And since said changes were never challenged in court, any attempt to sue them for further changes would be met with extremely likely failure. And that is completely ignoring the fact that as it is a policy WotC could get rid of it at any time by simply making a press release stating so. Companies change policies all the damn time.
That's true, so I guess the only thing preventing the R: being abolished is the only unwillingness by WotC. Which is a pretty big shame as there probably aren't many people who would be upset by it

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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Even if it would probably benefit players a lot, because it would allow WotC to reprint older staples, I can't see them getting rid of it. I don't know how much they'd be able to gain off of doing it, especially with inevitable lawsuits that would probably happen. I mean I guess they'd be able to do a few more Eternal Masters type sets with more options of reprints. They just don't be too concerned with pushing legacy vintage/helping grow those formats or printing product for it. They'd probably have just as much luck with pioneer or modern masters type sets
As the Professor correctly points out in the video I linked in the first post, any potential lawsuits would be dead in the water due to prior art. Not once, in all the times WotC have changed the reserved list, not, once, have they been targeted by a lawsuit because of it. And since said changes were never challenged in court, any attempt to sue them for further changes would be met with extremely likely failure. And that is completely ignoring the fact that as it is a policy WotC could get rid of it at any time by simply making a press release stating so. Companies change policies all the damn time.
That's true, so I guess the only thing preventing the R: being abolished is the only unwillingness by WotC. Which is a pretty big shame as there probably aren't many people who would be upset by it
The irony of course being that the unwillingness lies with the leadership of WotC (i.e. Corporate) rather than with the employees actually making the game.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago


As the Professor correctly points out in the video I linked in the first post, any potential lawsuits would be dead in the water due to prior art. Not once, in all the times WotC have changed the reserved list, not, once, have they been targeted by a lawsuit because of it. And since said changes were never challenged in court, any attempt to sue them for further changes would be met with extremely likely failure. And that is completely ignoring the fact that as it is a policy WotC could get rid of it at any time by simply making a press release stating so. Companies change policies all the damn time.
That's true, so I guess the only thing preventing the R: being abolished is the only unwillingness by WotC. Which is a pretty big shame as there probably aren't many people who would be upset by it
The irony of course being that the unwillingness lies with the leadership of WotC (i.e. Corporate) rather than with the employees actually making the game.
Corporate won't be willing to change it unless there's a really good reason to, i.e they can make a lot of money off it. They'd rather just push newer formats such as standard/historic/maybe pioneer. I'd imagine Arena sales probably matter too and it would be a lot of work to get 25+ years of sets into Arena at this point

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Corporate won't be willing to change it unless there's a really good reason to, i.e they can make a lot of money off it. They'd rather just push newer formats such as standard/historic/maybe pioneer. I'd imagine Arena sales probably matter too and it would be a lot of work to get 25+ years of sets into Arena at this point
The irony of that is pretty rife. We left it too long, so it'll cost us too much money, so we won't do it, despite the fact that it ought to have happened years ago at no major risk to the brand or the parent company. Ah well, if nothing changes I won't be surprised and I'm not going to change how I play or buy any time soon.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Corporate won't be willing to change it unless there's a really good reason to, i.e they can make a lot of money off it. They'd rather just push newer formats such as standard/historic/maybe pioneer. I'd imagine Arena sales probably matter too and it would be a lot of work to get 25+ years of sets into Arena at this point
The irony of that is pretty rife. We left it too long, so it'll cost us too much money, so we won't do it, despite the fact that it ought to have happened years ago at no major risk to the brand or the parent company. Ah well, if nothing changes I won't be surprised and I'm not going to change how I play or buy any time soon.
that's true, I feel there's been talk of abolishing the RL in my area for at least the better part of the past 5-7 years or so, mostly due to how astronomically high prices have gotten in that time period. So I guess it is sort of a vicious circle, we left it too long so we're going to leave it longer because of that.

I'll probably spend my time and money on Magic the same way but I would like to see legacy played more. Which is something the RL will prevent other people from wanting to play

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Post by Krishnath » 1 month ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago


That's true, so I guess the only thing preventing the R: being abolished is the only unwillingness by WotC. Which is a pretty big shame as there probably aren't many people who would be upset by it
The irony of course being that the unwillingness lies with the leadership of WotC (i.e. Corporate) rather than with the employees actually making the game.
Corporate won't be willing to change it unless there's a really good reason to, i.e they can make a lot of money off it. They'd rather just push newer formats such as standard/historic/maybe pioneer. I'd imagine Arena sales probably matter too and it would be a lot of work to get 25+ years of sets into Arena at this point
That's the stupid thing though, if they got rid of the reserved list, sorry, "The Official Reprint Policy", tomorrow, they could release a masters set a year from now containing the OG duals (in the new frame with new art obviously), sell the boosters for 15$ each, and it would literally be the best selling masters set they'd have printed so far. They'd be figuratively be printing money at that point. They could then dole out other highly sought after cards over years and years, and always have a guaranteed moneymaker on the table. The whole adherence to and continued existence of the reprint policy is incredibly stupid both from a longterm game health perspective and an economic perspective.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 month ago
Krishnath wrote:
1 month ago


The irony of course being that the unwillingness lies with the leadership of WotC (i.e. Corporate) rather than with the employees actually making the game.
Corporate won't be willing to change it unless there's a really good reason to, i.e they can make a lot of money off it. They'd rather just push newer formats such as standard/historic/maybe pioneer. I'd imagine Arena sales probably matter too and it would be a lot of work to get 25+ years of sets into Arena at this point
That's the stupid thing though, if they got rid of the reserved list, sorry, "The Official Reprint Policy", tomorrow, they could release a masters set a year from now containing the OG duals (in the new frame with new art obviously), sell the boosters for 15$ each, and it would literally be the best selling masters set they'd have printed so far. They'd be figuratively be printing money at that point. They could then dole out other highly sought after cards over years and years, and always have a guaranteed moneymaker on the table. The whole adherence to and continued existence of the reprint policy is incredibly stupid both from a longterm game health perspective and an economic perspective.
They could also give dual lands similar treatment to they gave Tarmogoyf , they could reprint them every masters set until eventually their price tanks (possibly even to the same price as shocks) and people could collect them the same way they currently collect shocks. Not to mention how much they could tank prices of other staples such as Lion's Eye Diamond , Mox Diamond etc

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