Tolarian Winds: Card Stock Quality and Consumer Confidence – A Magic: The Gathering VLOG

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On Friday, October 20th 2017 Wizards fo the Coast released a statement letter customers know that quote unquote “A number of non-foil, double-sided Ixalan cards in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), and Korean were mistakenly printed on the incorrect card stock.”

Communication and transparency between company and customer in a situation like this is key, but unfortunately, this is not the statement on card stock we are looking for.

Much of what I am going to present in here can be called anecdotal evidence, However, I am also going to try and demonstrate that these issues with card stock, NOT the ones Wizards released a statement on, but the real issues with cardstock that result in the curling and warping of non-foil cards from new sets, that these issues are consistent enough that I can reliably recreate them just by opening brand new booster packs.

But the point of this video isn’t prove the card stock problem is real. The point is to say that in the interest of consumer confidence, wizards of the coast needs to acknowledge the problem and tell their customers what they know. We, as those customers need to change from trying to demonstrate this issue is real, to asking for an official statement on it.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the card stock quality began to decline, however, we do know when it was at its worst: Amonkhet Block.

These are cards from my personal collection. They are unplayed. They were opened by me a few months ago and placed in storage. There are indeed multiple issues with card stock in our newer magic sets, the worst of which is the curling of cards. That you see here.

This is probably due to the card thickness appearing to be different than in the past. Cards feel less thick, more malleable. Many report the bend test is not as reliable as it once was.

Inking issues seem highly prevalent as well. Many cards having poor or faded inking, grey borders and other coloring problems.

Now, I feel very confident that the vast majority of you already knew about this issue. If you have been on reddit, if you have been on MTG Salvation, if you have been on Twitter, if you have been on Facebook or, if nothing else, if you have just BOUGHT Magic cards in this last year then you likely know that something has gone wrong.

These issues are rampant, not just a few poor souls who have gotten a bad batch or problematic printing, but rather, a widespread reporting of accounts that it is not only numerous but, I feel is both repeatable and demonstrable.

I do not know what the problem is. I can make educated guesses, but in the end that’s all they are guesses. A lower quality of card stock being used, perhaps, or complications and quality control issues with the printers themselves, maybe. Testing seems to indicate that cards printed outside the usa in belgian factories, these are cards meant for japan and germany, that these have the original or near to it quality of card stock. But who can say for certainty in this situation. As I said at the start of this video, so much of this comes down to anecdotal evidence pieced together by customer.

But. I do not need to fully understand the cause of this problem to know it exists. It exists and Wizards of the coast has not comments on it, and they must. They must. Why? Consumer confidence is being hit hard by this, and in many way, that is almost as bad as the bad cardboard quality itself.

I cannot stress the direness of a trading card game maker making poor quality trading cards. A statement acknowledging this should have happened awhile ago, and I like many others naively assumed that the only reason it had not was that the issues would be 100% resolved with Ixalan. They have not been. It is time to comment on this.

Comments

henkdachief says:

what a shitty video cry more

Ely Molloy says:

no one will do anything about it, WOTC has everyone by the gonads and they know it, what are you gonna do boycott? lol not likely….

Ants3548 says:

I wouldn’t wanna see the professor after class if I was the Wizards QA team

CosmicCum says:

Has anyone considered the fact that maybe this is an effect created by the storage practices of alternate vendors and not factory error? I for one am one of the lucky few who has not experienced much warping at all but I do not order my product online and it isnt shipped to my house, I buy it at my LGS, could it even be the practices of the people handling your product? there are too many variables here to just point the finger straight at WoTC. That said its not at all far fetched to think that they decided to cut cost to try boost profit and would be incredibly frustrating to loyal MTG players whose collection is their pride and joy.

Crazed Link says:

Are you going to do a Top Ixalan cards for Pauper?

Robert Richards says:

PREACH!!! I am so disappointed about the quality of these cards. The color saturation on a lot of these cards are horrendous as well. At my store You can look in the bulk bin and there are 3 waker of the wilds with greatly varying degrees of brightness. The waker’s all look fake but came from fresh packs. A big issue with this printing inconsistency is that it makes what otherwise would be obvious fakes seem credible.

lotusmaglite says:

Fine, *I’ll* say it: Sexiest suit yet, Prof. Sexiest. Now get your wardrobe department to talk to your hairdresser, and you’ll be set.

Creative Gaming Events says:

Counterfeit is a real problem if you are a collector. At some point you will not be able to tell the difference and we will see a major shift, WotC will need to take notice soon.i never really watch this channel till now, Good Work

Jericho Montemayor says:

Yes! I thought about this since I recently organized my Sealed and Draft Amonkhet cards. I was surprised with the bending they got while my other, older cards never had this

Smoked Messias says:

Reporting from Denmark. The cards are perfect here. I have never heard any complaints.

Roberto Luis Del Rosario says:

Thanks Professor for the Video. I actually just started playing MTG over a year ago and thought that I was buying fake cards. All cards in storage from sets in 2016 since Eldritch Moon are incredibly bent that got me worried. Thank you for your brave statement.

Ed Vaughan says:

I personally find the new Japanese cardstock (recyclable, made in Japan as of KLD and up) to be the best and I hope they just make all of the english cards in Japan. I think the problem is probably just american manufacturing.
https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/new-japanese-cardstock-2016-09-19

Certain Gloom says:

I also notice how the side of the cards get roughed up easily

Jacob Nash says:

I moved to Japan right before Kaladesh was released, and have noticed that all of my new cards have been curling like crazy, but chocked it up to the fact that it is super humid. But now that I think about it, a bunch of my old cards seem to be fine, but the brand new box of IXL or HOD I opened are curling while they are stored snugly in boxes. I didn’t realize others were having this same issue, so thank you for the video

rubie annabelle says:

jeez, noticed the warped cards and that colors are generally worse on reprints and newer cards but not the rampant discoloration. glad i already stick to cards with the old border, makes me feel a bit more vindicated in my choices of aesthetic at least lol

Frederico Monteiro says:

I agree with you, professor.
Wotc must explain or tweet some thing. There business is cardboard not just pretty print booster package.

I don’t know if i can make a suggestin but:
Can you make a top 10 cheapest and “good” classic and another for modern commander’s generals?

nafnaf505 says:

I only ever see this problem when at my LGS, a cold store in an old building in my town, riddled with damp. I’ve had stacks of Amonkhet lying around my bedroom for months and it hasn’t warped slightly.

piinoieboiie says:

All those cards you opened look like they’ve been played by Brian Kibler lmao

Tolarian Community College says:

I know that I will get a fair amount of hate for essentially TLDR’ing Reddit. Many, MANY others, big and small have commented on the card stock quality issue already, and I really don’t like saying and doing what others already have BUT I feel that the combination of these problems clearly continuing into Ixalan, along with Wizards of the Coast still offering NO STATEMENT even acknowledging the problem exists is simply unacceptable, highly frustrating, and needs to be addressed.

Alex Poole says:

Professor, if you can recreate the issues I’d say they’re far from anecdotal.

EliteMasta 3000 says:

Make a modern zombies guide. You have not made any modern decks in awhile. All you have to do is spend a couple of hours making the deck, testing it, and recording/editing the video.

Lilamma says:

simple… stop buying there stupid shit .. i have… been 4 sets since i last paid them cunts money… i gave shadows ago. hated it… i gave moony ago … hated it …try a pre release of kala… yeah seeya wizzards im spending my money else where….

xzysyndrome says:

My unsleeved 2017 EDh precon cards that I removed for upgrade purposes sat on my desk out of the sun…and already sport a heavy curl that one would expect to see after heavy play with aggressive riffle shuffling. Very disappointed.

jasenandstuff says:

It’s really a shame you even had to make this video. Wizards needs to step up their game.

StonedMonkey Productions says:

About time one of the biggest shills to WoTC finally saying something. This has been a big issue for too long. I don’t buy standard cause of the quality of cards. You got to make enough that you could go back to bring a bit more legit on reviews vs fake towards paid content

Sam Keefer says:

Thanks Prof. I had no idea this was so widespread. I thought it was due to the humidity in my new apartment. Here is a ticket I sent to Wizards. You are making a difference, don’t apologize for it.

Dear WOTC,

Magic is the best game I have ever played in my entire life; I have been playing since Kamigawa block, back in 2003. It is one of my favorite hobbies, and I purchase nearly every single product that you make. I took the time to write this email to you on a Sunday, because I love this game.

I understand that you are experiencing pressure from Hasbro to maximize profits; that is how business works. But you make cards, and your card quality is horrendous. I feel betrayed as a longtime consumer of your product that you have neglected to tell this to the community. A card company that can’t make cards will go out of business as assuredly as a car company that can’t make cars. If a car you purchased was defective, how many more cars from that company would you purchase? This is further alienating long time players from your game, and is completely justifying those who say standard isn’t worth it.

I thought my issues with Amonkhet were due to the humidity of my apartment, but I had to throw out every card I opened from an Ixalan bundle I recently purchased, because the cards bent within days of opening them. After watching a recent video from the Professor at TCC, I am simply stunned and disappointed that this issue is so commonplace and that you have remained silent.

I do not want new cards.

I want you to acknowledge the problem to the community at large and make the changes to fix it going forward.

Until then, I will stick to Modern, Commander, and Canadian Highlander and I will not buy a single new card or product that you make. I will print my own proxies from computer paper instead, which are worth about as much as what I am paying money for.

Best Regards,

Sam

Splash Attack TCG says:

Hello professor, I’ve known about Magic for 20 years, but not got into it. I finally bought my FIRST EVER Ixalan bundle box yesterday and do an opening video. I have no idea what I pulled, the rarity system and prices. Can you please help me out? 😀

Elliott Evans says:

I switched to dice masters when it came out. More fun and less cards needed to play.

Aaryan Wilson says:

Hrs after buying the commander set it was already curling which I think is ridiculous. Join together to ask wizards to acknowledge this problem.

Schwarzer Tee says:

I am from germany and I did not notice any of those issues in our community. it’s not the largest but if I was “one of the lucky few” I’m sure anyone would’ve noticed.
So it seems to be a problem for everyone who doesn’t get the cards from the belgium factories

AlexVignolo says:

Greed

PG Farber says:

Just a quick “agree” comment.

Jsheski2 says:

this observation is not limited to only MTG. Wizards has also been lackluster in their quality when it comes to printing the PHB for 5E. I have had mine for only a year or so and pages are falling out without even normal wear and tear, as my 4E books i have had for at least 5 years and 3e phb for more than 10 and not even a loose page.

Edgar Campos says:

So pre mending card design confirmed?

Brenton Anderson says:

Card stock quality is a far far second in concern compared to the ink printing process. Magic cards, even when printed across the various card stock qualities we have seen, are still designed to take some bending (and that also means correctional bending to form back to being more flat). The layers and construction of these cards are designed to take this kind of movement without damaging the card.
What is of far more grievous concern is ink printing quality, where comparing (what should be) identical cards to each other can stand out as night and day differences in tonal qualities, color saturation and heavy smearing. I’ve opened cases of Magic cards, and I first noticed this back in Scars of Mirrodin block, but Ixalan has been another horrible set for ink print quality. Luckily, I’ve only really seen it consistently in the common sheets for Ixalan.

World Championship Dueling says:

I made a video about this these last two months in a row and have even called this channel out amongst others to make a video as well. finally here it is. thank you.

sick1982 says:

Also: the amount of miscuts in MM3 is horrible!

Arghore says:

Seeing America’s claim culture, i am pretty sure that WotC legal department has issued out a full silence on penalty of immediate loss of job. Because admitting you sold your consumers ‘crap’ is an immediate liability and leaves you open to claims of at least replacement of bought product with a replacement of the intended quality, not to mention the public hit to consumer confidence… While i do not see anyone going to court over this immediately, i will say that knowing you sold your consumers crap and intentionally hiding it will leave you open to much higher penalty, because now you are knowingly scamming your consumers, and lying in court is the worst you can do so i doubt a legal department can keep people to shut up when they are on the stand and swearing to uphold the truth (so maybe we should hope for a class action suit on the matter? ) … anyways, it sucks for both of us, and the only true way to make this go away, is to make the problem go away.

Zen2010 says:

Little late, aren’t cha?

Sheriff K says:

DFW counterfeit cards have better quality than official cards.. -_-

Jason Tan says:

This shit happened as far back as Conspiracy 2. Wizards… what the FUCK?!

ImperfectCitizen says:

thanks prof!

B1-66ER says:

If they(wotc) actually do admit there are QC issues regarding card stock and newer sets, I’d be very surprised. The amount of customers requesting replacements could become problematic. I dont see them opening themselves up to potential future losses.

Glitch Flux says:

I am able to say that I have not had any problems from the latest sets. I have not had any ixalan but kaladesh and amonkhet I do have and no problems arised

David Loria says:

The cheap quality of the cardstock has seriously bothered me for a long time. I love this game but it does get old how greedy Wizards seems to be year after year when it comes to the money they put into creating the cards. I mean they will warp fresh out of a pack just on their own without any adverse conditions to cause it it’s ridiculous

QvsTheWorld says:

Personally I’ve always found the quality of magic cards and other CCG to be lacking. Seriously would anyone ever think about sleeveing a regular playing card deck like the one you use to play poker or solitaire?

Alex Heinrichs says:

So that’s why my brand new Ixalan cards are for no reason starting to bend. I just got back to playing magic and had no idea this was a thing, i had to sleeve even a couple commons just to keep them from being damaged.

That makes me not want to buy packs anymore, and just buy singles and put them in sleeves ASAP.

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