Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne talks about the good and the bad of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad: Midnight Hunt prerelease weekend as well as the latest chapter in the Pokemania saga.

Midnight Hunt's prerelease events took place this past weekend, and we saw a couple of changes in the configuration for this release (see "Two Upcoming 'Magic' Sets").  First, Wizards of the Coast has changed the box design for Set boosters by lowering and flattening the box profile so that a 30-count box of Set boosters now has a lower profile than a 36-count box of Draft boosters.  Prior configurations of Set boosters had the boosters packaged to stand upright while Draft boosters laid flat in the box, which took up less space on retailer display and storage shelves.

WotC, in its continuing quest to make the Set Booster the preferred booster among Magic players, provided them as the prize support for the weekend prereleases, instead of the draft boosters that the company has sent stores for years.  On the plus side, players get the thrill of pack opening and seeing the cool cards in the pack.  As WotC had said in the past, the Set booster is designed for the player who really likes opening packs and admiring the quality of the cards inside.  However, since a Set booster box contains 30 packs instead of 36 booster packs like a Draft booster box contains and WotC sent the same number of booster boxes as it did when it provided Draft boosters, the store has fewer booster packs to use as prize support.

WotC also seemed to have made some strides in addressing its Draft booster shortage.  For the past couple of sets, stores have received few or no boxes of Draft boosters for sale on the set release date.  Plenty of boxes of Set boosters for sale during prerelease weekend and on release date, but no or only a few booster boxes of draft boosters available, with supplies not arriving until one to two weeks later.  In this release, stores received up to 30 booster boxes of Set boosters for prerelease weekend and has a case of Draft boosters available for purchase, should the store desire it.

At least here, we are getting more familiar with the new Eventlink tournament software, though it still doesn't have the flexibility of DCI Reporter.  One major problem we have found with the software is the inability to set up and store player emails linked to the player’s Wizard accounts.  Yes, I know that players can download the app to their own phone and register for the tournament themselves, but we have found it much quicker and more convenient for them for us to create a database of player email addresses and copy and paste them into Eventlink.  I hope a future update to the software allows for stores to register players with a simple click as we could do with Reporter.

Finally, in the latest round of Pokemania, we may have reached peak Pokemon, as Nabisco released a "limited edition" Pokemon Oreo, which has 16 different Pokemon stamped into the cookie wafers, with Mew apparently "super rare," at least rare enough that someone decided to drop a grand on it.  Not on a package of Pokemon Oreos but on one single cookie.  Too bad they didn’t either wait a bit or do a better search as they could have snagged this one for a cent plus shipping.  Going rate for the Mew image cookie is currently in the $10 to $75+ range, though you can snag a complete set of all 16 for $10 plus shipping.  Beware though, as this listing indicates the cookies are "used."

Anyone fancy a $1,000 cookie?  As always, your comments welcome at

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of