Today May 12, 2014 Wizards of the Coast announced in an article by Trick Jarrett on DailyMTG.com that they're introducing a new "special" rarity to Magic: The Gathering cards in Vintage Masters. Of course, the cards in question aren't ordinary: They're the Power Nine.
According to Jarrett: "The Power Nine are so powerful and so format warping in Limited that we had to put them in their own rarity above mythic rare, a rarity we're calling Special."
Check out our related video about the Power Nine by clicking the play button.
Your odds of opening a Power Nine card such as Ancestral Recall or Time Walk are one out of 53 booster packs. That's 17.6 booster draft's you'll have to play in, spending over $212 on packs (if they're $4 each) just to open one piece of power. In all, players will need to open 477 booster packs and spend $1,908 (or more as the msrp of the packs haven't been officially revealed) just to open one set of the Power Nine.
Unless you're just that good in limited or happen to have an enormous amount of disposable income, acquiring multiple pieces, never mind an entire set of Power Nine on Magic Online will be a very intimidating task.
Granted there's other notable cards in the set worth having such as the dual lands, however this new special rarity will keep the Power Nine from getting into the hands of every Magic Online player. While we feel it's great that Wizards of the Coast has taken steps to keep the majestic feel of these very iconic cards, the scarcity will force the cards to debut at high values. This will create a high barrier of entry to those looking to play Vintage on Magic Online.
As a personal owner of the Power Nine, this author feels that everyone should have the chance to play with them online. We don't get to use the physical cards that often, because there simply aren't that many official Vintage tournaments. They've become more of a collector's item than an actual game piece as they were intended.
With Magic Online, Vintage could be a thriving format. If enough copies enter the card pool. The one positive side is that there's nothing preventing Wizards of the Coast from reprinting Vintage Masters again in the future, as it's a digital set and not bound to the same constraints as the physical game.
Hypothetically, Wizards of the Coast could also give away promotional versions of the Power Nine. Say, old school original art and border - both normal and/or foil - as a reward to winners of special events, spending over a certain threshold in the store, or whatever other means they deem appropriate.
Readers: What are your thoughts on the rarity of the Power Nine in Vintage Masters? Please share your opinion with us in the comment section.