It's official. After months of speculating and theorizing, Modern Masters (2015 Edition) has been officially announced. There's not much info here, but let's see what we can parse from what little we have.
First, This (2015 Edition) Nonsense
Everybody is going to call this Modern Masters 2015. Everybody would have known what that meant. Instead, Wizards has complicated things for editors, because nobody's going to get the actual set name right. Based on the announcement, the style WOTC is going with is Modern Masters in italics, then (2015 Edition) in roman, in parentheses, and capitalized. Fan-run sites will, of course, be using Modern Masters 2015 (I guaranteed Brainstorm Brewery will), but the Mothership doesn't have that luxury. Poor Mike McArtor will rue this naming decision for as long as Modern Masters sets are printed.
And that's the other thing implied strongly by this name. Just like Commander is now identified by its year of release, Modern Masters specifying a year strongly indicates there will be many iterations of this product. We probably all expected that after the success of the first Modern Masters, but this is the first thing resembling confirmation.
The announcement specifies that this set will take players back to remarkable planes from recent history including Zendikar (fetch lands!), Mirrodin (Mox Opal and Karn Liberated), Ravnica (hopefully not shock lands! But maybe another Dark Confidant printing?), Lorwyn (Bitterblossom), Kamigawa (uhhh...draft filler? Please don't let it be a cycle of dragons), and Alara (filter lands!).
Those parentheticals are just some suggestions of some big-ticket items that can be reprinted. I'm not saying they will all be in the set, but you can bet that at least some will. Notably absent from that list are Dominaria and Innistrad. The announcement doesn't say that the set will be made exclusively of the listed planes, but not mentioning them does not bode well for reprints of Tarmogoyf, Snapcaster Mage, and Liliana of the Veil. Nonetheless, it's hard to imagine 'Goyf not being in this set.
The MSRP for this set is $9.99 per pack. WOTC is getting dangerously close to charging us $1 per piece of cardstock. This set had better come with a gold-plated card in every box, because this is getting a little out of hand.
Really, I could handle paying $10 a pack for a goodie-filled set with a sweet draft environment. But $10 a pack is what I paid for the first Modern Masters, despite it retailing for $6.99. I paid $160 to do four single-elimination drafts, opened no money cards, lost in the first round of all but one of them, and felt a severe case of buyer's remorse. That experience left a bad taste in my mouth where Modern Masters is involved, and now I can expect to pay $60 or more (!) to draft the set. I'm not making any sweeping proclamations just yet, but this time around, I'm not inclined to pay more than MSRP. If the local LGSs are marking this product up, I'll probably just check out the set online.
WOTC is encouraging us to check out the set online, too, because the Magic Online MSRP remains at $6.99. I've felt for a long while that WOTC needs to realize that online prices need to be lower than paper prices to attract more players to the program, but I wasn't thinking that the price of paper packs should be increased.
Considering that I find the $6.99 MSRP offensively high already, it's hard to swallow this new $9.99 price for paper packs. I'm looking forward to hearing the justification WOTC provides.
The Grands Prix
As expected, Grand Prix TBD is indeed Modern Masters 2015 Limited, and it is indeed in Las Vegas. However, there's a major change from last time:
All three Grand Prix will run Modern Masters Limited, with Sealed on Days One and Two and a Top 8 Draft.
Day two will be Sealed as well, unlike in 2013. Of the thousands of participants these events will have worldwide, only 24 lucky players will have the chance to draft Modern Masters 2015 on the GP stage. Bummer.
That's it! We don't have a ton of information at this point, but you can count on this set being a huge focus in the MTG finance community moving forward. Keep your eyes peeled!