Monday, February 01, 2010

When is a Mythic Rare a Common?

I feel the need to rant a little bit on a subject that bothers probably no-one but me:

So-called "Mythic Rares" (and Rares, and Uncommons, for that matter) in boxed sets & pre-constructed decks. Let me explain...

Since Wizards of the Coast started using color-coded expansion symbols to identify the rarities of cards in their sets, reprint "boxed sets" (such as Beatdown or the more recent From the Vaults sets) and special pre-constructed decks (such as the Duel Decks and the Premium Decks) have included special expansion symbols that are also color-coded, indicating a rarity...

HOWEVER, in a boxed set, or something like a Duel Deck, you are GUARANTEED to get every card in that set or deck. This means that the ONLY thing that determines relative rarity in these sets is how many copies of the card is included. Let me give you an example of the insanity that results:

In the Divine vs. Demonic Duel Decks, you will get 2 decks: a "Divine" deck and a "Demonic" deck. This is a done-deal. No chance of missing a deck, or a deck missing a card (barring tampering or manufacturer error, of course). In the "Divine" deck you will find 2 copies of the card Angel of Mercy, a card marked with a silver-colored expansion symbol, indicating it is "uncommon". You will also find a single solitary copy of Pacifism, a card marked with a black-colored expansion symbol, indicating it is a "common".

Did you follow that? A card that is supposedly "uncommon" is ACTUALLY TWICE AS COMMON AS A "COMMON"!!!!! And let us not forget that that single copy of Pacifism is JUST AS RARE as the single copy of Akroma, Angel of Wrath, a supposed "Mythic Rare" (and a Foil one at that)!

I don't fault WotC for this at all, and I think showing the cards' relative rarity in their original sets (or "where they would be today" in the case of the cards that get "promoted" to Mythic Rare) is fine. What gets on my nerves is stores that offer these for sale, and identify them as "Rare" or even "Common". Giving them such a distinction is nearly meaningless. used to get this right - they list these as "Special" for the rarity in their database - but the most recent ones they've assigned a normal rarity to.

SIGH. I will hold the line! In MY store, they will be labeled "Special". I will recognize their color-coded description in my description: "...a "common" card from the..." but that's it. I will be strong!

And, yes, for the record - I recognize that I am being WAY too oversensitive about this and that pretty much no-one else in the world probably gives a darn. But that's okay.

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