Uncertainty in Modern Masters 2015 Allocations – Significantly Smaller than MM1?

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For months I have been hearing that Wizards would be allocating a larger printing of Modern Masters 2015 as compared to the original. It seems that this is presumed to be a confirmed fact around the financial community, but there has never been any true, official statement to this effect.

I bring this up because I had an interesting discussion with one of my local shop owners here in Michigan. I have his permission, and wanted to share that text conversation verbatim. He agreed to remain anonymous and so he shall be called "The Big Boss Man".

Responding to me putting in a preorder for a box of Modern Masters 2015.  Emphasis is mine.

Big Boss Man: "No Worries. This set is just disgusting good"

Me: "It really seems that way...I can't wait for more spoilers. Will you guys be running just the one draft of it?"

BBM: "Oh yea. One day, $60 drafts and out.

BBM:"We only have 90 boxes, period.

Me: "I keep reading about stores running drafts until Origins and getting confused

BBM: "Yea, there was a ton of confusion about supply. There is very little, less than the previous release"

Me: "I thought WOTC said there would be a larger supply?

BBM: "Distributors took huge preorders, told us we would be fine, then cut us way back. I had 150 promised to me and actually scored 90"

Me: "That's promising for card values

BBM: "Then WOTC let us know this was the only print run"

Me: "Wow...that's very interesting. Can I use you as an anonymous source in a future article?"

BBM: "Sure. I don't know where WOTC ever said there would be more. We all hoped, but I never saw anything official."

Me: "I guess that's just something that everyone assumed was true and ran with it. All of the finance podcasts and articles I listen to state it as fact. So you get 90 this time around, what did you get last time?"

BBM: "We launched at 110 [boxes of Modern original Masters] before and got 2 more waves of like 30 or so

Me: "Is there any chance that larger stores are getting a larger allotment of product?"

BBM: "Some will, I don't think it will be hundreds more though"

This is the first I've heard of this, but thinking back I also can't think of any time where there was an official announcement by Wizards regarding a larger print run. I may be missing something, and if somebody has a link then please share. The store owner in question did not attempt to put his name or business on this, and is a close friend of mine. There is no reason for him to lie about this. It is possible that a large portion of the print run was reserved for the three (four if you count Las Vegas twice) Grand Prix on release weekend.

If it is true that this printing will be smaller than expected, then there will certainly be huge ramifications for card prices and speculation. It may be time to start from square one on our predictions. What are your thoughts on this? Has anyone else heard anything like this?

Mike Bajorek

Mike has been playing Magic for over 9 years and altering cards for five. When he's not involved with the game, he brews beer both professionally and at home.

View More By Mike Bajorek

Posted in Finance, Free, Modern Masters 2015 Edition

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31 thoughts on “Uncertainty in Modern Masters 2015 Allocations – Significantly Smaller than MM1?

  1. All information from other store owners contradicts this. Not sure what else to say other than “he said she said” except everyone else said it the other way 😛

      1. Congratulations! You’ve managed to take one isolated incident and draw a completely wrong conclusion!

        The only baffling part about the whole situation is that someone trusts you to write for their website. You are completely wrong, in every way possible.

        1. I’m just conveying a conversation I had. The facts stated in the article are indeed facts. I drew no conclusions, I just presented a case for other people to draw conclusions from.

  2. I go to a store that averages about 20-25 people per FNM. We’re allocated 44 boxes of MM2015. We got 12 original MM boxes.

    Whoever said they got 180 boxes of MM1 is lying.

    1. Shops that have accounts with more distributors can often get more product and aren’t restricted on one distributor by what they’re getting from another.

      Certain product requires you to choose a single distributor (FTV, prerelease materials, etc.), but I’m pretty sure MMx product doesn’t fall under that heading and the wider net you cast the more fish you catch.

  3. Consider that WotC is also projecting to host a limited GP (across 3 locations) for MM2 with a target of 19,000 players.

    On top of that, Vegas is going to have non-stop MM2 drafts for 4 days straight on top of all of the prize support they’re guaranteeing. (with Thur and Fri being below MSRP when you factor prize support)

    It’s unlikely that we’ll burn through everything in Vegas, but WotC is definitely playing it safe here and WAY over-allocating the supply there and it’s those left overs that will make their way back into distribution.

    How long that will take and how much there will be are obviously the huge unknowns … but not adding these GPs into the equation for the total print run size is a mistake.

    Now, that doesn’t change the initial allocation for those looking to get sealed product and can’t attend one of the 3 MM2 GPs — but it’s an important detail to factor into the equation regardless.

  4. I personally saw Mark Rosewater (or Aaron Forsythe, it was many months ago) tweet that WOTC was indeed going to up the amount of product compared to MM1, but he did not give specifics. This is probably why many financiers speak with confidence…

  5. One factor to consider:

    \”my store is getting 2x more product than MM1, you\’re wrong\”

    may not take into account that your store has climbed the WPN ladder in the meantime to gain more distribution. A store that starts off and got 3 cases of MM1 and is getting 10 cases of MM2 may be able to attribute that to becoming a larger store in the two years since MM1.

  6. My store is getting more product than expected. It is the same size as last MM1 release. My guess is there is more product to go around this time.
    Side note: After reading the article I thought about getting another box. The article suggests less supply so the price of the cards will increase/stay the same. More product means demand will fall/even out.

      1. It’s still not working, guess it’s getting cut short since it’s assumed as spam? Well, to anyone interested, just googling ‘modern masters 2 larger print run’ should find the twitter post on wotc’s official account relatively quick.

        PS: Sorry about the spam, is there an edit function? Cause I can’t find it.

  7. So for MM1 WotC printed a small amount, charged $7 a pack, and watches as people paid $10-20 per pack, thus costing the company a big chunk of change. So now you would have us bite on the idea that WotC is upping the price to $10 a pack for MM2 but is gonna print LESS just so the company can once again watch pack prices soar way above MSRP? Sorry, but that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    It is pretty ridiculous that WotC isn’t more straightforward with print run numbers. Tweeting “Uh, more than last time” and then saying nothing else for the next 6 months isn’t very useful.

    1. Well now they’re going to msrp packs at $10 and watch us pay $12 a pack to crack packs day one.

      Short of printing to real demand, anything “limited” will be taxed like this. It would be nice if WotC wasn’t the first to tax us in the totem pole of distribution.

  8. Here’s what the tweet from the wotc account says: “(Nate) For those asking about #MTGMM2015 print runs, it IS a limited run, but higher than #MTGMMA was.” It’s from December 7, 2014.

  9. journalistic value = 0.

    I think this could be an interesting article. But instead you used the story of a friend and published is as hot, fresh, world shattering news full of facts.

    You have zero facts.

    I get it, he is not lying, but maybe a wrong interpretation or wrong communication somewhere. If you want to publish this as big news, check your facts, otherwise, call it a story you want to share.

    1. I did…

      ” I had an interesting discussion with one of my local shop owners here in Michigan. I have his permission, and wanted to share that text conversation verbatim.”

  10. I’ve spent a lot of time researching this topic. In the forums we’ve been sharing info we heard at GAMA, as well as from our LGS owners. I feel very confidant in saying that the print run is at least 2x that of MMA. Realistically considering the things I can’t get a good read on (foriegn printings, increase in number of WPN stores, WPN level ups, etc.), I would project closer to a 3x multiplier.

  11. Wow, angry responses on this one. If this were a premium article, I could see why people might gripe, but this a freebie. Someone is passing along an anecdote for whatever value it may have. What’s the big deal?

  12. Great article! You did exactly what you set out to do, get people talking about the print run of MMA2. Without you starting this conversation, we wouldn’t be talking about it. Don’t focus on some of the negative comments, just remember you did a great job starting the ball rolling.

    To add to the topic, I didn’t own a store for MMA1 so I don’t have number to compare, but we were allotted more than what we were originally told. That leads me to believe the print run is larger, but I’m not actually sure. I wish they would put info like this on wizards web site, but so often they don’t.

  13. I feel the need to explain something to the readers here that I think a lot of us intuitively understood, but some might have missed.

    It has been a few years since MM was released. In that time, more retail stores have opened & more have advanced to higher WPN allocation levels. Furthermore, there are three Grand Prix being run, not one. The demand for the product is going to be way higher this time around.

    Therefore, it’s entirely possible that there are more MM2 cards being PRINTED, but on a per-store basis, each store will get less. The assumption that a higher print run directly correlates 1::1 to store allocation is flawed, ESPECIALLY in this case, when you have a small, limited run, premium-priced product consisting entirely of reprints.

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