There's a lot to look forward to with Eternal Masters. We could sit around and debate why Wizards isn’t just making another Modern Masters set, or critique the cards they missed their opportunity to reprint (like anything from the Portal sets) but let’s stay positive. Believe me, there is a lot of positive to focus on.
Today we will take a look at what you can expect from Eternal Masters, what cards are worth opening, and what you can hope for financially.
To start things off, the product allocation and print cycle will be akin to that of the first Modern Masters. That means there won’t be enough to go around. My business partner and I expect there won’t be an opportunity to reorder this product. The initial demand, just like with Modern Masters, will deplete the entire supply of the set. So, whatever amount of product your local stores get, that’s all you should count on being able to purchase.
Hopefully you have made your decision about committing to this product or not already, but if not, there may still be time to track down some boxes. Currently they are selling a little higher than $300 on TCGPlayer, but I’ve heard many people in the finance community saying that brick-and-mortar stores are selling for less. I know my store started out our preorder price at $260 and raised it to $280. Some stores started at $240, so hopefully you were able to lock in some boxes at that price for full value.
Is this set worth working hard to obtain though? Let’s delve into what opening a normal pack of this set might yield for your collection. I’ll still be doing a box report for this set, so look for that article after the set releases.
Eternal Masters has 15 mythics and 56 rares. Ten of the 15 are worth $10 - $150, so opening a mythic will typically pay for the pack itself at minimum. Even on the low end, only Worldgorger Dragon and Sphinx of the Steel Wind will feel bad to open. Maelstrom Wanderer has Commander appeal so you will easily be able to find someone to take that off your hands, especially with the cool new art (more on that later).
Of the 56 rares, 11 are in the $5 range and nine are $10 - $50. That leaves a whopping 36 rares that are unlikely to make you happy about spending $10 or more on a pack. To help out some of the underwhelming rares, 18 uncommons will add value to whatever you open. That’s a lot of good uncommons to lean on for help in the value department.
One of the big differences between the original Modern Masters and the 2015 Edition were the uncommons. In the first one, we had lots of great uncommons to help increase the value. That’s true of Eternal Masters as well. Chain Lightning and Cabal Therapy will nearly pay for your pack on their own, and with all the growth Wall of Omens has seen in the past year, that should get you at least halfway.
The best part about this set, is just like with the Modern Masters sets there will be a foil in every pack! This is quite significant because foils of this set will be extremely desirable.
Starting off, many cards in this set have never had a foil printing. Take a look at the list below and remember it well. These may be easy to obtain because not everyone will care about foils, but with this as their only foil printing, these cards should be much more valuable than the normal foil spread might indicate.
You may note that Mother of Runes does have a judge promo, but I included it here because this is the first printing of mom with new art and also the correct creature types. As a Cube enthusiast, I think this will be a great addition to my foil cube, as will the other cards on this list.
The great thing about this set is that they developed it with different types of players in mind. This set is not just for aspiring Legacy players, but also for the casual and Commander crowd as well. There aren’t really any Modern staples in the set unfortunately, but there are many cards that appeal to a wide variety of players.
All of these cards should have an expected value of $10 or more. The Legacy staple uncommons Hydroblast and Pyroblast have presale prices over $50! While that price isn’t set in stone, it does give you a good idea about how the community values this type of first-foil printing.
Humble, Pyrokinesis, Tooth and Claw and Skulking Ghost are also receiving their first foiling, but I think fewer players will put weight on that. Grab them cheap if you can because someone always wants hard-to-find cards.
Next up we have the judge promo list.
Mana Crypt was only a book promo and a judge promo. Wasteland has had a bunch of promos but still kept a high price point. Dack Fayden was printed in Conspiracy but due to supply issues his foil was hundreds of dollars. For the rest of the cards their only foil printing was the judge promo.
What this means is that while these cards have been printed as foils before, they were never very accessible. In addition, there are plenty of players that hate promo foils because of the stamping. The set foils may command even higher prices on these already-desirable cards.
Some of these new cards might generate more demand simply based on their new artwork. Many of us, myself included, are nearly to the point of snobbery about which art we prefer. I know I always have strong feelings about art and go out of my way to obtain the version I like best. This will be the same for some cards from Eternal Masters.
The judge promo Force of Will has already dropped from a grand all the way down to $300. But $300 is still a huge value to open from a pack. The new Terese Nielsen art is already sold out of preorders on TCGPlayer, which illustrates the point I’m trying to make here. Changing the art can have a big impact on the value of a card.
Ashnod's Altar is another home run, with new artwork and never having appeared in foil before. I know I need them for the Commander deck I’ve been trying to foil out and I’m sure lots of other players do too.
I expect the prices of cards from this set to follow similar trends as Modern Masters cards. The mythics didn’t lose much value at all and in fact some even went up because of increased demand!
Certainly supply will increase, but that will fuel even more demand to make up for it. Why not get the other Jace, the Mind Sculptors you need for Legacy instead of selling the one you opened in a pack? That same cycle happened with Tarmogoyf after its first reprint and is likely to happen again here.
Unlike with other sets, make sure to gather up those draft leftovers from your event. If your friends don’t want theirs, grab those too. Remember, there are tons of valuable uncommons in this set---draft leftovers have a different meaning than they normally would. There’s a lot of hidden value laying around.
Hopefully this article has given you a good perspective on the set and brought to light some aspects you were unaware of. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week!
Until next time,
Unleash the Force!
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