is creating documentation for trading card collation

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Collation Aficionado

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Any amount of support is greatly appreciated. All patrons will gain access to periodic polls to help me decide which old sets to focus on first. (New sets are a shoo-in.)




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About Lethe

I am passionate about figuring out how trading card collation works, particularly for Magic: The Gathering. I believe that documenting and publishing this information is a critical part of preserving the rich history of the game.

I have been doing research about collation since early 2018. There are other people who also worked on discovering print runs (or have done so in the past), but the scope of my work spans the entire history of the game, and I have spent enough time to understand the collation process in more detail than anyone else I know. Check out my work here.

Besides the inherent value of my work, there are also other benefits.

  • I can discover the secret rarities of cards including the true rarities of token cards, the rarities of cards in unusual card slots (like contraptions from Unstable), and the identity of the short-printed common that exists in many sets.
  • I can provide information about common and uncommon print runs that can be analyzed to help limited players.
  • I can provide detailed information about pack structure that can help with accurate pack and draft simulation.
  • I can discover information about print sheet layouts that can help with the understanding of miscut cards.

Deep analysis of a card set can be very time consuming. I have already watched and recorded over 18000 booster pack and starter deck openings and spent many many more hours on analysis and disseminating my findings. I would like to continue this work, and your support can help me find the time I need to do it.

I expect to be able to publish the US common print runs for each new Magic expansion within a week of prerelease. My plan is to continue working on the set until I have completed the uncommon print runs and the tokens. Then I will work on the Belgian commons. This will be the normal data set that can eventually be expected for every new expansion.

In addition, I will continue working on older sets. I would like to eventually have a page for every randomized Magic set. I would like to have least as much data for old sets as new sets, but this is often limited by the amount of available data. In the short term, this will provide plenty of work in the time period between releases of new sets.

But, the amount of work that can be spent on this project is practically unlimited. I can look at languages beyond English. Japanese-printed sets, at least, are likely to follow completely different collation patterns. I can continue to improve the website, hopefully providing a reference implementation of pack simulation of sufficiently-well-understood sets. I can improve the data on old sets as more data becomes available. I can spend more time gathering information about uncommon cards, rare cards, and foil cards for newer sets where there is already a large amount of data. I am even open to looking at card games other than Magic if people are interested. This is absolutely something the could be done full-time.

If you believe, as I do, that this work is important, I hope that you will become my patron. Patrons will gain access to polls to help me choose what sets to work on next. If that doesn't work for you, there also may be other ways you can help by supplying me with data.

P. S. I will not help you with box mapping, even for old sets. Please don't ask. I will not publish detailed information about rare cards or foil cards that is applicable to products released within the last ten years. (Some details are still okay. For example, I will publish foil rates (if I can figure them out), general configurations of sheets, and interactions between common and foil collation. Also, foil sheet layouts are okay because foil sheets are often away given as prizes.)
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 1 exclusive post
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 1 exclusive post

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