MTG: Duplicate Uncommons Ruined March of the Machine: The Aftermath

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Magic: The Gathering is continuously experimenting with new releases in its current era. Some experiments are paying off well, like Universes Beyond, while others, like the most recent set, March of the Machine: The Aftermath, are going totally sideways. The Aftermath is MTG‘s first ever micro-set of 50 cards, but the cards were underwhelming, poorly designed and overpriced. Now, The Aftermath‘s latest problem might be the final nail in the coffin.


Players opening The Aftermath Boosters quickly found that they were accumulating duplicates of uncommon cards after just a few packs. It makes sense — the smaller a set, the more likely players are to get duplicates of certain cards, especially at lower rarities. Normal expansion sets are large enough to keep duplicates under control, but as many MTG fans commented online, The Aftermath takes duplicates to a ludicrous extreme.

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March of the Machine: The Aftermath Has a Serious Duplicate Problem

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March of the Machine: The Aftermath is a highly unusual product. It’s a small, specialized set that warps the formula of how sets and booster boxes work, for the worse. Players have already noted some logistical issues with The Aftermath, such as a strangely hefty price tag for such a small set, and the duplication problem is making things worse. Some players bought and opened booster boxes of The Aftermath only to find 6 or 7 copies of the same uncommon cards. The maximum players can use in a deck is 4, so this is far more than any player needs.

Unlike all other expansion sets, March of the Machine: The Aftermath doesn’t contain common cards. This effectively demotes uncommons to become the new commons, and introduces severe problems with duplicate cards in the process. Players are used to getting duplicate commons, but The Aftermath is significantly more expensive than other products, so opening this many uncommons feels extremely unrewarding. Understandably, many players are feeling like it wasn’t worth the money. MTG is getting more expensive than ever, and The Aftermath is a sign of a growing trend that Wizards of the Coast is out of touch with the average player.

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The Aftermath‘s flex slots make this issue worse. Each pack has a few uncommon slots, with a flex slot where a card of any rarity may appear. According to online sources, there’s just a one in six chance of that flex slot card being a rare, so it’ll likely be another uncommon, which only worsens the duplicate problem.

The excitement of having a slot that might provide another rare card rings hollow if, in practice, it’s usually an uncommon after all. MTG players are used to the game having an element of luck, especially when opening card packs, but with such low chances of getting something other than another uncommon, the flex slot in The Aftermath feels completely wasted. Players aren’t excited about getting extra rares in packs when it’s overwhelmingly likely they’ll end up with more unwanted uncommons instead.

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Duplicate MTG Cards Might Be The Aftermath’s Last Nail in the Coffin

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>MTG set March of the Machine The Aftermath Boosters, Collector Boosters and Bundle

Duplicate uncommons are another sign that The Aftermath was a failed experiment. Ultimately, these uncommon cards don’t live up to their name as moderately valuable or slightly rare, and with countless duplicates flooding the market, they’re all worth very little. On the whole, March of the Machine: The Aftermath‘s uncommon cards feel like pointless fluff — even more so than common cards in typical MTG expansion sets. Not even MTG‘s Booster draft players can use The Aftermath cards, as the set isn’t legal for drafting.

MTG players were already disappointed with The Aftermath‘s incoherent and lackluster story, the lack of drafting, and even the underwhelming de-sparked Planeswalker creature cards. Now, it’s clear that The Aftermath can’t even make up for its shortcomings with fun uncommon cards or valuable chase cards, so the micro-set’s appeal is close to zero.

Being a small, draftless set featuring equally small booster packs with unusual card rarities has warped The Aftermath beyond recognition as a proper set, and the distorted formula doesn’t offer any value or make it fun to open packs. Players don’t like the cards and can’t get anything from selling them, so March of the Machine: The Aftermath should be the last of its kind.


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