Cassie shares how to navigate the upcoming Commander reprint release.
You thought you knew all the sets that would drop in 2023? Think again! Late last week, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) announced a brand-new supplemental set: Commander Masters. It’ll be out on August 4th, giving it the same release slot that Double Masters 2022 took last year.
This is the first time that WotC has released Masters sets in back-to-back years since Ultimate Masters, which was changed from a graveyard-focused release late in development because WotC decided that the product line had overextended itself and needed a temporary hiatus. The era of WotC pulling back on product releases feels like a distant memory, though, and this set could mark our return to yearly Masters sets, likely continuing with Double Masters 2024 next summer.
I’m not terribly concerned with the far future of Masters sets right now, though. We’ve only got five months before Commander Masters hits shelves, and that time will pass far quicker than you realize. In the meantime, there’s a lot to figure out. Which cards are most likely to be reprinted in Commander Masters, and which of those should you be listing on the TCGplayer Marketplace immediately? Which Commander staples are least likely to appear in the release and are thus worth picking up now? What’s the deal with the odd pre-order price fluctuations happening for this set, and should you be looking to reserve your boxes already? Read on — because we’ll cover all this and so much more.
Are Commander Masters Preorders Overpriced?
Market Price: $308.21
Market Price: $413.35
Market Price: $287.13
Commander Masters is going to have the full gamut of associated products: Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector Booster, and even four Commander Precons. This isn’t unique for a new Magic set, certainly, but it is new for a Masters release. This is the first time any Masters set has had both Set Boosters and Commander Precons associated with it, which feels like a pretty meaningful change. This is especially true considering that each Commander Deck comes with ten brand-new cards, making them the first non-reprint cards in any Masters set, ever.
All these new products have caused something of a stir in terms of pre-order prices. I’ve seen a lot of social media anger about these packs being super overpriced compared to past releases, which of course makes me excited to dig into the number and see if this rage is actually justified. There are no listings on the TCGplayer marketplace as of yet, but at the time of publication, the Amazon price for these products is as follows:
- Draft Booster Box (24 Packs) – $310
- Set Booster Box (24 Packs) – $420
- Collector Booster Box (4 Packs) – $228
- Commander Precon Bundle (Set of 4 Decks) – $310
How does this track with the previous Masters set release? Well, Double Masters 2022 dropped on July 8th of last year, and Draft Booster Box prices were close to $350 that weekend. That was down from almost $370 when the presales first started. That price has dropped significantly since, and Draft Booster Boxes of Double Masters 2022 currently sell for $265.
Double Masters 2022 Collector Booster Boxes paints a similar picture. They were $350+ when first revealed, sold for roughly $275 on release weekend, and are currently available for right around $230. Of course. Double Masters Boosters famously have two rare slots — hence, the “Double” in the title. You might think that Commander Masters wouldn’t share this quirk, but the product page seems to indicate that it will, at least with caveats. “Multiple rares in every pack,” it boasts.“Every Commander Masters Draft Booster contains 2-4 cards of rarity Rare or higher, including at least one Rare or Mythic Rare Legendary Card.” This tells me that there is likely going to be a “Rare or Mythic Legend Slot” that has a slightly different card pool than the overall Rare/Mythic Rare pool. Since there is a heck of a lot of expensive Rare and Mythic Rare Legendary Creatures that can show up in this pool, and since there won’t be any Commons or Uncommons clogging it up, I feel pretty comfortable In stating that we can make a direct comparison across both sets.
Commander Masters – Set Booster Box
Market Price: $413.35
Assuming this comparison holds, you can see that Commander Masters Draft Booster Boxes aren’t actually overpriced right now. They’re $310 right now, compared to $350 on release weekend for Double Masters 2022. While you can get those boxes for a lot less now, that’s with the benefit of hindsight and having to wait half a year after release. Commander Masters Collector Booster Boxes are an even better deal right now. At $228, they’re actually cheaper than Double Masters 2022 Collector Boosters have ever been, including right now. I expect these boosters to rise in price, not drop, between now and Commander Masters’ release date.
Commander Masters – Draft Booster Box
Market Price: $308.21
Figuring out the Set Booster Box price is a tad trickier since we don’t have any previous Masters Set Booster Box history. That said, we can at least look at the difference between Draft and Set Booster Box prices for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate as a reference. While I don’t love comparing any net set to as famous a bust as Battle for Baldur’s Gate, it’s one of the few examples we have of “premium” Set Boosters so far. What’s also convenient is that Set and Draft Booster Boxes of Baldur’s Gate follow the exact same price trend, almost down to the dollar, from $150 at initial pre-order to $90 on release weekend to roughly $80 right now.
Commander Masters – Collector Booster Box
Market Price: $287.13
The difference between the two boxes? The number of booster packs. Draft Booster Boxes had 24 packs each, while the Set Booster Boxes had just 18. That’s just 75% as many packs for the same price. Since Commander Masters Set and Draft Booster Boxes have the same number of packs — 24 each — we should expect a box of Set Boosters to sell for roughly 1.33 times as much as a box of Draft Boosters. Using the current price of a box of Draft Boosters as our anchor point, that puts the expected cost of a box of Commander Masters Set Boosters at $412. Since the actual pre-order price is $420, we can see that it might be a tad inflated, but not significantly so. Personally, I think the change from 18 to 24 Set Boosters is a good thing. One of the biggest complaints that people had with Set Booster Boxes of Battle for Baldur’s Gate was that the variance was simply too swingy with just 18 packs, leading many to get boxes that were only worth a tiny fraction of what they paid. Upping it to 24 packs should lead to fewer feel-bad boxes, despite the higher buy-in.
Commander Masters Commander Decks [Set of 4]
Market Price: $342.70
Finishing up this section, we’ve got the set of four Commander decks for a total of $310. This is the most expensive Commander deck release we’ve seen yet, save the premium Warhammer 40,000 decks. As a point of comparison, a set of the four non-premium Warhammer 40,000 decks pre-ordered for $195, spiked to $267 at peak, and are currently selling for $215. A set of the two Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander Precons sell for $78, which still puts you at less than $200 for four of them. Since we’ve never seen Masters Commander Precons, my guess is that some of the value in these will shock people. I’m guessing it’ll be mostly concentrated in the 40 new cards, as well as a small handful of high-profile reprints. Depending on the cards, one or two of these decks might see a pretty massive price spike during preview season. I know I’ll be keeping a close eye on them since this is literally an unprecedented product.
Ultimately, all of this leads me to conclude that none of these products are super overpriced right now — at least, not compared to previous Masters sets. Collector Boosters and Draft Boosters are far cheaper than they were at the same point in this cycle for Double Masters 2022, and Set Boosters are only slightly more expensive than they “should be”. The Commander Precons are definitely quite expensive, but we’ve never seen Masters Commander Precons before, so I’m going to hold out judgment until I see the contents. It’s totally fine to complain about the price points for this set if you’re upset about WotC’s premium set pricing in general, but this set isn’t a deviation from the Masters Set norm at all. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if both the Collector Boosters and Commander Precons end up selling for a good bit more than this at some point before the set finally hits shelves.
Which Cards are Most Likely to be Reprinted in Commander Masters?
Market Price: n/a
Market Price: n/a
Market Price: n/a
If I were putting together this set for WotC, the first place I’d pull from for reprints are the top cards from all the Commander Precons released in the window between their start in 2010 and 2021, when Commander releases went from a yearly product to a set-by-set product. Many of these cards are incredibly hard to get today, and putting them in a Commander-focused Masters set just makes sense.
In looking for the most likely reprints, I decided to go through every card in these sets worth $10 or more, and sort them into a few different categories. Let’s take a look, shall we?
First Printed in Commander, Yet to be Widely Reprinted
- Alms Collector
- Angelic Field Marshal
- Benefactor’s Draught
- Champion’s Helm
- Crystalline Crawler
- Deadly Rollick
- Deflecting Swat
- Edgar Markov
- Faerie Artisans
- Fierce Guardianship
- Homeward Path
- Karlov of the Ghost Council
- Kindred Dominance
- Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis
- Lifeblood Hydra
- Nesting Dragon
- New Blood
- Retrofitter Foundry
- Scalelord Reckoner
- Sower of Discord
- Stonehoof Chieftain
- Stormsurge Kraken
- Tempt with Vengeance
- Treasure Nabber
While some of these cards have been “reprinted” as Amonkhet Masterpieces or Judge Foils, I left those off the list since they’re not reprints that caused the price of the non-promo to come down at all. WotC finally has a great venue to run them back, though, and I’d bet at least 40% of these cards will be reprinted in Commander Legends. Heck, I’d go so far as to say 60-70% of them are likely inclusions.
The Fierce Guardianship cycle seems like the most likely inclusion in Commander Masters. While they’re only from 2020, demand has been steady for years, with its marquee card jumping from the $30 range in 2020 to the $40 range in 2021 to the $60-$70 range now. You can tell that others agree with me, as the price has actually come down a bit since Commander Masters was announced:
Edgar Markov is another exceptionally likely inclusion. While it has had a Judge Foil reprint, it’s also the most expensive card on this list, and one of the most expensive recent Magic cards that haven’t had a wide reprint.
While both of these cards (and the rest of the Fierce Guardianship cycle) are likely to remain chase cards even after the reprint, you’re nearly always better off selling now and buying them back during the release weekend dip. Even the best and most resilient cards lose at least 40% of their value in the short term during a reprint like this, so if you have an active storefront on TCGplayer, I’d list them soon.
Most of the rest of these cards are in the $10-$20 range, they’re more likely to be hurt even more severely by a reprint. It will definitely be a kick in the pants to sell some of them now and have to buy them for more if they’re not reprinted, but if you’re playing the odds and are selling or trading regularly, I’d move out of all of these cards right now. At the very least, keep your personal copies and move on from your extras.
First Printed in Commander, Reprinted Since
- Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice (Double Masters, March of the Machines Multiverse Legends, Secret Lair)
- Dockside Extortionist (Double Masters 2022)
- Flawless Maneuver (Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander)
- Flusterstorm (Iconic Masters, Modern Horizons Buy-A-Box Promo)
- Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist (Secret Lair)
- Ohran Frostfang (Secret Lair, The List)
- Oloro, Ageless Ascetic (The List)
- Pathbreaker Ibex (Secret Lair)
- Primal Vigor (The List, Secret Lair)
- Song of the Dryads (The List)
- Teferi’s Protection (Double Masters 2022, Secret Lair, Mystical Archive)
- The Ur-Dragon (Secret Lair)
- Thrasios, Triton Hero (Commander Legends)
- Toxic Deluge (Double Masters, Commander Collection Black, Eternal Masters)
- Tymna the Weaver (Commander Legends)
- Vial Smasher the Fierce (Commander Legends)
A lot of these cards are likely to be reprinted in Commander Masters as well. Most of them have only seen a pretty minor reprinting, on The List or in a Secret Lair, and those cards are just as likely to show up again in this set as the ones in the previous category.
Market Price: $11.32
Market Price: $64.68
Market Price: $28.93
Are the only cards here that have seen a truly significant reprint or two? Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice, Dockside Extortionist, Flusterstorm, Teferi’s Protection, and Toxic Deluge. Of these, only Dockside Extortionist and Teferi’s Protection have been reprinted in the past year. I’d like to say that these two cards are wildly unlikely to be reprinted again so soon, but with WotC at the helm, you never know. I would say that these two are far less likely to come back than the other cards on this list, which I’d give roughly even odds to come back in Commander Masters.
First Printed Before Commander, Not Reprinted Since
- Crypt Ghast
- Door of Destinies
- Emerald Medallion
- Grand Abolisher
- Grave Pact
- Jet Medallion
- Karmic Justice
- Pearl Medallion
- Ruby Medallion
- Sapphire Medallion
- Sylvan Safekeeper
- Utvara Hellkite
- Waste Not
These cards aren’t necessarily associated with the Commander Precons they were last included in, but they are cards that WotC has shown a willingness to put into a Commander project before, and it has been long enough since we’ve last seen them that they’re worth at least $10 right now. To me, the most likely inclusions from this list in Commander Masters are the members of the Medallion cycle. If you haven’t been paying attention to the absurd prices these cards are going for now, check out this chart for Pearl Medallion since the start of 2018:
So yeah, these cards need a reprint, and they need one badly. They were $2-$5 for a very long time, and a reprint at Rare would have them back in the $10-$15 range with a shot at dropping into the $5-$10 range by November or so. If you have any of these cards, selling them into the spike now is a great call. Even if they’re not in Commander Masters, we’ll probably get a Secret Lair before long, and that will bring the price down as well.
Market Price: $42.41
Market Price: $28.30
Market Price: $38.98
Utvara Hellkite, Insurrection, and Grave Pact are on my shortlist as well. These cards are incredibly Commander-focused, and it’s honestly shocking they haven’t been reprinted in a while at this point. I bet we’ll see them show up in Commander Masters, and their prices will come down by quite a bit.
First Printed Before Commander, Reprinted Since
- Aura Shards (Mystery Booster, The List)
- Burgeoning (Conspiracy: Take the Crown, Secret Lair)
- Cyclonic Rift (Modern Masters 2017, Double Masters)
- Eldrazi Monument (Mystery Booster, Secret Lair)
- Emeria, the Sky Ruin (The List)
- Gisela, Blade of Goldnight (Masters 25, The List, Secret Lair)
- Goblin Sharpshooter (Secret Lair)
- Goblin Welder (Duel Decks: Elves vs. Inventors)
- Hammer of Nazahn (Double Masters)
- Hellkite Tyrant (Commander 2021)
- Iroas, God of Victory (Secret Lair)
- Kaalia of the Vast (Double Masters, Double Masters 2022)
- Kalonian Hydra (The List)
- Seedborn Muse (Commander Collection Green)
- Swan Song (Secret Lair)
- Sword of the Animist (Mystery Booster, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)
- Urza’s Incubator (Dominaria Remastered)
- Wurmcoil Engine (Double Masters, The Brothers’ War Retro Artifacts)
This is the list of expensive cards from Commander Precons that I think we’re least likely to see again in Commander Masters. These cards are from earlier sets, have been reprinted since, and basically just happened to also show up in Commander Precons. Some of them will likely make an appearance, but most of them will not.
Other than the potential for a Dockside Extortionist inclusion, I doubt we’ll see any other chase cards from Double Masters 2022 in this set. We shouldn’t be getting Kaalia of the Vast again, despite her getting several recent reprints. I doubt we’ll see Wurmcoil Engine or Urza’s Incubator either, for much the same reason. That said, the key Commander cards from the first Double Masters are very likely inclusions, which means that Cyclonic Rift should be back. The last reprint kept the price down for a few years, but it’s marching past $40 now with no end in sight:
I wouldn’t be shocked if several other Commander staples from the first Double Masters set to show up in this one, too. Archangel of Thune, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Blightsteel Colossus, Darksteel Forge, Doubling Season, Land Tax, Mana Crypt, Mana Echoes, Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, and the Sword of X and Y cycle are all Commander-first Mythic Rares from Double Masters, and they’re all on the table here. Most of these cards have recovered their value quite nicely from their printing in Double Masters, and I do not doubt that WotC would be happy to have any of them help sell boosters of this set, too.
Market Price: $187.93
Market Price: $87.20
Market Price: $22.93
We also already know at least three cards that are definitely in Commander Masters: Jeweled Lotus, The Ur-Dragon, and Capture of Jingzhou. There is also box art that more or less confirms Ghoulcaller Gisa as a fourth reprint at Mythic Rare. The Ur-Dragon and Ghoulcaller Gisa more or less fit into the categories of cards I’m looking at, though Gisa is sub-$10 and was thus too cheap to make any of my lists. Capture of Jingzhou is one of the last expensive Portal Three Kingdoms that hasn’t seen a wide Masters Set reprint, so it makes sense as well, and it also pretty much guarantees that we won’t see a Time Warp reprint in Commander Masters.
The price dropped from $110 to $80 when the reprint was announced, a drop of close to 30%. It will likely end up with a 40-50% drop when all is said and done and should be available in the $65-$70 range. At this point, I’m holding Jeweled Lotus. It’s not really worth selling right now, but it’s not a great time to buy either.
Jeweled Lotus also shows us the other main source for Commander Masters reprints: the original Commander Legends expansion. There are a few cards in this set that have only been printed once, in that set, and are selling for more than $10 right now:
- Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait
- Akroma’s Will
- Apex Devastator
- Commander’s Plate
- Jeska’s Will
- Jeweled Lotus
- Opposition Agent
- Sakashima of a Thousand Faces
- Sigarda’s Aid
- Vault of Champions
- Wyleth, Soul of Steel
All these cards are reprint options for Commander Masters, especially the Legendary Creatures. Since there is a “Legendary Rare” slot in these packs, you can expect more Legendary Creatures than average in this release. The Will cycle from Commander Legends is also likely to show up at Rare, and you might want to move on from your extra copies of those soon as well.
What Cards Are Least Likely to Be Reprinted in Commander Masters?
Market Price: $35.97
Market Price: $80.60
Market Price: $10.54
WotC has shown a deep willingness to reprint whatever they want, whenever they want, so nothing is completely off the table. Heck, if they want to put Sheoldred, the Apocalypse in this set, they will. I don’t think it’s likely, but nothing is ever off the table with reprints. That said, I feel like the Commander staples from Double Masters 2022 are the closest we’re going to get to a list of cards that aren’t super likely to show up again in Commander Masters. Double Masters 2022 was a very Commander-centric set, and I doubt WotC wants the same cards to headline their next Masters release — just one year later.
Here’s a list of the $10+ cards from Double Masters 2022 that aren’t either banned in Commander or focused more toward competitive play:
- Allosaurus Shepherd
- Aurelia, the Warleader
- Concordant Crossroads
- Consecrated Sphinx
- Crucible of Worlds
- Dockside Extortionist
- Food Chain
- Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
- Mana Vault
- Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- Bloom Tender
- City of Brass
- Phyrexian Altar
- Smothering Tithe
- Teferi’s Protection
I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these cards see meaningful price increases this year, including the Double Masters 2022 product line. Sealed prices are super cheap right now, and the set is full of good value. Once Commander Masters previews end, some of these cards will spike if they don’t make the cut. This is especially true for cards like Dockside Extortionist and Smothering Tithe, which are about as close to must-plays as it gets in the format. If you need any of these cards to complete decks or simply for your Commander collection, I’d snag them soon.
Speculating on the Commander Precons
Market Price: $104.70
Market Price: $123.36
Market Price: $99.54
While we don’t know the contents of the new Commander Precons, we do know the overall theme and color of the four decks. There’s a fully colorless Eldrazi Unbound deck, a five-color Silver Swarm deck, a Jeskai-colored Planeswalker Party deck, and an Abzan-colored Enduring Enchantments deck. Speculating on these is tricky, because the cards included will drop in price significantly, while the ones that are not will spike. The best thing to do, in most cases, is to get ready to make a move as soon as the full decklists drop. That way, you don’t have to risk getting blown out by a wide reprint.
Let’s start with the Silver Swarm Precon since that’s the one that first caught my eye. Whatever five-color Sliver Legends aren’t included in this deck will spike hard, but my guess is that at least one or two will feature. The only one we know definitely won’t be included is Sliver Queen, since it’s on the Reserved List.
As you can see, the Reserved List spike in early 2021 hit Sliver Queen pretty hard, causing it to spike from about $200 to about $500. It was back down to $200 earlier this year, but the reveal of this Commander Precon has caused the price to surge back up to $230 or so.
Zooming in further, we can see the demand spike caused by the announcement of these Commander Masters Precons. These buyers are mostly folks who are extremely tuned into this stuff and know they’ll need a copy of this card for later in the year when the deck releases, as well as probably a couple of speculators. While demand has softened from those initial three days, I don’t expect the price to drop back off, and in fact, I think this card could end up back in the $400+ range once those decks actually hit shelves. At the very least, if you want a copy of Sliver Queen in 2023 — now is the time.
Here’s the price chart for Slivdrazi Monstrosity, another card that might actually spike because of this deck. It’s not technically legal in Commander or any other format, but it’s a very powerful Sliver card that is about as safe from a wide-scale reprint this year as anything. I’m already seeing a small spike in demand, and it wouldn’t take much for this $13 card to end up back in the $30-$40 range just from casual interest.
There’s not much I can glean from the other three Commander Precons yet, especially the Abzan and Jeskai options. As for the colorless Eldrazi Unbound Precon, I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s a significant number of copies of Wastes in there, likely pushing the price of that Basic Land down a little bit. It also might have one or more of the Mythic Rare Eldrazi Titans, which would cause a pretty major price drop for those cards. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre seems like a likely inclusion, though Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger would be quite a significant inclusion. I’m not selling any of my Eldrazi before these decks release, but I am preparing for one or more of the better ones to show up in this brew.