So Wizards is selling singles now?

These are like the other limited sets they release. Nothing new. Just moving away from Hasbro site. Which tells me something bigger is happening behind the curtains with the business? Maybe?

Now, if they had a site like channel fireball or star city games, that would be an issue.

@ten-ten Only a matter of time. If it hurts pack sales, they won't do it. If people know they can wait and just buy singles at the lowest possible price from WotC, packs would barely move. But if they can sell packs like normal and 2 years after rotation sell premium versions of the most chase cards from the rotated sets...they certainly will. Cash cow keeps milking.

@ten-ten said in So Wizards is selling singles now?:

Just moving away from Hasbro site. Which tells me something bigger is happening behind the curtains with the business? Maybe?

I think it's more likely that given how poorly the Hasbro site has handled these sorts of products in the past, it was easier to split it into a separate site that can be scaled up and down more easily.

@thewhitedragon69

The secondary market exists and people still buy packs.

This essentially puts price controls on cards, which is a good thing. $100 for a single card that is not on the reserved list is way too high. Hopefully this system can rectify that, and make the game slightly more affordable.

This would only be dangerous to people investing in new magic product, which doesn't seem like a worthwhile endeavor for them to be doing anyways.

I think it's a cool idea, and a nice easy way for them to print things like fetch lands without having them in standard or other limited sets. If there were a box set of the 5 enemy fetches for $119.99, for example, i'm sure people would pick them up without destroying the market price on all existing copies.

last edited by DanL15243

The Lairs strike me as a pretty transparent test balloon for how to price singles in the future. They have some Lairs that are pure profit given current secondary market prices (e.g. the five-color Lair) and some that are ludicrously overpriced (the Snow lands and Cats). How each sells will inform WotC of whether they need to undercut the market and if so, by how much.

The obvious endgame here is for WotC to dramatically cut paper print runs (leaving just enough product for Limited), and to instead sell packs on MTGA and chase rares/mythics as singles (in both paper and digital). This reduces their manufacturing costs by something like 10-100x for future sets and as a bonus allows them to capture some of the existing secondary market by occasionally reprinting non-rotating-format staples.

(Incidentally, if you don't spot the role of the LGS in the above plan, you aren't looking closely enough at the figure squirming under the wheels of the bus.)

last edited by evouga

@evouga The snow lands are actually priced... well I won't say "reasonably," but competitively at least, relative to the cheapest available foil snow basics. The issue there is that you get one of each which makes it really expensive to get the ones you need for a deck or two, assuming you don't actually need even numbers of all five.

The cat one is definitely the odd one out and seems to be more testing the waters for off-the-wall art in special editions, more like the SDCC promos than the rest of the secret lairs.

@evouga said in So Wizards is selling singles now?:

The obvious endgame here is for WotC to dramatically cut paper print runs (leaving just enough product for Limited), and to instead sell packs on MTGA and chase rares/mythics as singles (in both paper and digital). This reduces their manufacturing costs by something like 10-100x for future sets and as a bonus allows them to capture some of the existing secondary market by occasionally reprinting non-rotating-format staples.
(Incidentally, if you don't spot the role of the LGS in the above plan, you aren't looking closely enough at the figure squirming under the wheels of the bus.)

So not to be that guy, but someone over at WOTC had to have done some sort of SWOT analysis to determine how much this would raise the bottom line vs hurt distributors and LGS, and based on the data made the call that this would be net positive for them in the long run, even if some stores took a hit. Likewise when they decided to sell direct via Amazon and remove the MSRP. All of these are moved to bring the game more in house and not to rely on middlemen, agree with the methodology or not.

Also, WOTC has sold "singles" before. Any deck with a fixed list is basically just that, so nothing new there. I remember buying commander decks just to get True Name Nemesis, not to mention the FTV and Comiccon sets which are closer parallels except without the limited supply. Doing it direct is the big thing and that very likely hurts distributors and super huge magic shops like SSG.

Ultimately what you see as throwing LGSes under the bus is really just them being good late stage capitalists in a publicly traded company and concerning themselves with quarterly results. I concur that this probably is yet another thing that is going to erode faith in them, but the short term gains are what they are pretty much on the hook to hit. Maybe if the LGSes around the world formed some sort of union, as they do provide the labor to run the events and such that is part of the lifeblood of the game, they would have a little more say in plans like this.

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