Welcome back, readers!
While everyone is aware that WoTC has created a lot of supplemental products over Magic's lifespan, many might not know all of them nor the value they contain. Today we'll take a comprehensive look at all the supplemental products.
For most competitive players, supplemental products are more of a "sideshow." The print runs are nowhere near as large as a Standard-legal set, and rarely do any of the cards truly break into the competitive scene. That said, they can contain valuable tournament staples (Flusterstorm), splashy cards with high casual appeal (The Mimeoplasm), and ultra-rare collector's items (Zodiac Dragon).
Rivals Quick Start Set
For the first supplemental products we have to jump all the way back to 1996. That year Wizards printed the Rivals Quick Start Set, though this particular product didn't have any actual new cards in it (just reprints). These can be identified by the 1996 copyright at the bottom. I looked at both TCG Player and Star City Games and neither lists this variant of card. I'm not sure how valuable they are, but if you run into any while sorting through bulk, I'd suggest you separate them out.
Next up we have the Portal set released in 1997. I don't recall this one being all that popular. Most of the rares were underwhelming, or slightly worse versions of existing cards in the Standard-legal realm (like the different tutors, which are now popular thanks to Commander).
There were even a few rares that were just up-shifted uncommons from previous sets, like Summer Bloom, Phantom Warrior, and Pyroclasm. Some of the reprints are more valuable simply due to the different artwork. In addition to being an old set, this one was pretty unpopular at the time (I know my play group didn't like it and we were the target audience), so supply is pretty limited.
Portal: Second Age
This set was released in 1998, following the footsteps of its older brother. There are only two notable cards from this set that have any real value today (and again it's due to Commander demand).
For the dragon collectors out there, this is another card of note:
Portal: Three Kingdoms
This version of Portal wasn't released in the US. This set was designed for the Asian market which involved some specific design aspects (for example, there are no skeletons). The set had a lot of functional or near-functional reprints of pre-existing cards like Capture of Jingzhou, which makes them incredibly desirable for Commander players. It's also important to note that English versions were only sold in Australia and New Zealand and are very rare (hence the price tag for many of these cards). The most valuable is of course a tutor (though it has had a judge reprint recently).
This was the third attempt by WoTC to introduce a nice introductory product to help make the rules easier to understand for players. Again WoTC introduced some new cards that have found a home in eternal formats, though in this case there were two that actually made it into Legacy.
The last big attempt at getting new players into the game, Starter 2000 had only two rares Vizzerdrix and Trained Orgg. There is absolutely no money in the set, as it was little more than a smaller print run of all existing cards with the original artwork. The best way to differentiate these from other printings is the copyright date at the bottom. Starter 2000 cards say "1993-2000 Wizards of the Coast" at the bottom.
The first of two humorous expansions from WoTC. Unglued introduced the first full-art lands, which as we've seen have enamored players over the years. These are some of the most valuable cards in the set. The cards aren't legal in any sanctioned format (as they have silver borders) but a few of the more powerful ones are still collected by some players.
The second of the two humorous expansions from WoTC (printed in 2004). Unhinged had the added benefit of including foils. WoTC again included full-art lands with even more of the artwork showing, and (though I admit this is my personal opinion) they're still some of the most beautiful cards in Magic.
Many of the foil rares have retained value (again nothing in the set is legal in any sanctioned format) and the most valuable card in the set is a foil rare:
This was a compilation set (basically reprints from previous sets) released in 1998. It was similar to Chronicles in that it included white borders, despite the fact that the cards included kept their original set symbol.
The most valuable card in the set is the Pendelhaven:
This boxed set was released to encourage more multiplayer Magic. Similar to Anthologies, the Battle Royale set also included white borders and the color-coded rarity symbols (even for the sets that didn't originally have them, though interestingly enough if the original printing had no set symbol then none was added). The most valuable cards in the set are:
Beatdown Box Set
Here we have the first boxed set made up entirely of reprints that got its own set symbol (a mace). Interestingly enough, there are no white cards in the set (it was made up of two decks and neither included white). The most valuable card in the set is actually Lightning Bolt.
This compilation set was created out of a challenge match between Richard Garfield (the game's creator) and Jon Finkel (arguably the best player to ever play the game). They were told to create decks using only Ice Age and Alliances, were only allowed four total rares, and were not allowed more than two copies of any given card.
Duels of the Planeswalkers
These decks were released back in 2010 to coincide with the release of the game by the same name, again intended as an introductory product. While there aren't a lot of cards worth money in this set, there are two outliers:
Since 2007, WoTC has released at least one Duel Deck product every year. Each is a set of two decks meant to be played against each other, consisting of reprints and alternate-art foils. For the first two years they released one Duel Deck per year, but since then have been releasing two per year.
|Duel Deck||Release Date||Notable Cards|
|Elves vs. Goblins||11/16/07||Imperious Prefect, Allosaurus Rider, Wirewood Lodge, Goblin Ringleader|
|Jace vs. Chandra||11/07/08||Counterspell, Terrain Generator, Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar|
|Divine vs. Demonic||04/10/09||Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Demonic Tutor|
|Garruk vs. Liliana||10/30/09||Garruk Wildspeaker, Liliana Vess, Rancor|
|Phrexia vs. The Coaltion||04/19/10||Phyrexian Arena|
|Elspeth vs. Tezzeret||09/03/10||Elspeth, Knight-Errant; Tezzeret the Seeker; Swords to Plowshares|
|Knights vs. Dragons||04/01/11||Knight of the Reliquary, Dragonspeaker Shaman, Knight of the White Orchid|
|Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas||09/02/11||Ajani Vengeant; Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker; Lightning Helix; Countersquall|
|Venser vs. Koth||04/30/12||Venser, the Sojourner; Path to Exile; Steel of the Godhead; Preordain; Koth of the Hammer|
|Izzet vs. Golgari||09/07/12||Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind; Golgari Grave-Troll|
|Sorin vs. Tibalt||04/15/13||Sorin, Lord of Innistrad; Wall of Omens; Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded|
|Heroes vs. Monsters||09/06/13||Sun Titan, Beast Within|
|Jace vs. Vraska||04/14/14||Jace, Architect of Thought; Vraska the Unseen|
|Speed vs. Cunning||09/05/14||Krenko, Mob Boss|
|Elspeth vs. Kiora||02/27/15||Elspeth, Sun's Champion|
|Zendikar vs. Eldrazi||08/28/15||Avenger of Zendikar, Eldrazi Temple|
|Blessed vs. Cursed||02/26/16||Geist of Saint Traft, Mindwrack Demon, Gravecrawler|
|Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis||09/02/16||Nissa, Voice of Zendikar; Ob Nixilis Reignited|
Here we can see that the variance is often pretty high with regards to the value contained within. One of the most obvious points is that the ones that include planeswalkers in the titles tend to have a bit more value, if only because the planeswalker cards themselves always retain casual appeal.
From the Vault
The From the Vault (FTV) series was WoTC's way to "give back" to game stores by providing them with a highly desirable limited-print-run product at a low MSRP. Stores were free to purchase them as the low wholesale prices and sell them for whatever they wanted. These sets are usually chock full of value with staples across all different formats.
|FTV Deck||Release Date||Notable Cards|
|Dragons||08/29/08||Nicol Bolas; Hellkite Overlord; Kokusho, the Evening Star|
|Exiled||08/28/09||Berserk, Lotus Petal, Necropotence, Sensei's Divining Top, Strip Mine, Trinisphere|
|Relics||08/27/10||Aether Vial, Memory Jar, Mox Diamond, Sol Ring, Sword of Body and Mind|
|Legends||08/26/11||Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker; Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, Progenitus|
|Realms||08/31/12||Ancient Tomb; Grove of the Burnwillows; Maze of Ith; Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Vesuva|
|Twenty||08/23/13||Gilded Lotus; Green Sun's Zenith; Jace, the Mind Sculptor; Thran Dynamo; Venser, Shaper Savant|
|Annihilation||08/22/14||Burning of Xinye, Rolling Earthquake, Smokestack, Terminus, Wrath of God|
|Angels||08/21/15||Akroma, Angel of Fury; Akroma, Angel of Wrath; Avacyn, Angel of Hope; Baneslayer Angel, Entreat the Angels, Iona, Shield of Emeria, Platinum Angel|
|Lore||08/19/16||Dark Depths, Umezawa's Jitte, Unmask|
Note that these products were only available to game stores (not big-box stores), and each store got a specific number. Thus the older ones are rarer than the newer ones (due to there being more game stores now than back in 2008).
Premium Deck Series
The Premium Deck Series was a relatively short-lived series that ran from 2009 to 2011 and encompassed three releases. These decks were all foil, but the foiling process was different than pack foils and they feel different than regular foils. Each one contained one very noteworthy card at the time of its printing.
|Premium Deck||Notable Cards|
|Fire and Lightning||Chain Lightning|
Planechase is a game variant created by WoTC that involves playing Magic on different planes, which introduce some sort of effect and are randomly chosen. The game begins on a plane and then players are allowed to try and planeswalk away by rolling dice. There were two sets of Planechase products—one in 2009 and one in 2012, with each set sold as mini-decks.
|Planechase Set||Deck Name||Notable Cards|
|2009||Elemental Thunder||Explosive Vegetation|
|2009||Metallic Dreams||Master of Etherium|
|2009||Strike Force||Lightning Helix|
|2009||Zombie Empire||Grave Pact|
|2012||Chaos Reigns||Maelstrom Wanderer, Shardless Agent, Beast Within, Bloodbraid Elf|
|2012||Night of the Ninja||Sakishim'a Student, Vela the Night-Clad, Quietus Spike|
|2012||Primordial Hunger||Preyseizer Dragon; Dragonlair Spider; Thromok, the Insantiable|
|2012||Savage Auras||Kor Spiritdancer, Ghostly Prison, Krond the Dawn-Clad|
The key takeaways here are that the 2012 versions had more desirable and valuable cards in them than the original 2009 decks. The planes were also only available by getting each deck.
This was another WoTC-created game variant. In this multiplayer variant, one player is the "archenemy" who gets the help of the "scheme" cards that came with the decks you could purchase (though you could play any deck you wanted). This was similar to the previously mentioned Planechase products in which certain schemes came with each deck, so in order to get them all you had to buy all four decks.
|Deck Name||Notable Cards|
|Assemble the Doomsday Machine||Duplicant, Sundering Titan, Lightning Greaves|
|Trample Civilization Underfoot||Mosswort Bridge; Path to Exile; Kamahl, Fist of Krosa|
|Scorch the World with Dragonfire||Dragonspeaker Shaman, Thran Dynamo|
|Bring About the Undead Apocalypse||Reanimate, Beacon of Unrest, Cemetery Reaper, Terminate|
Of course I couldn't write this article without discussing the Commander product, which was originally released in 2011. This product also changed the name of the format from EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) to Commander. It's important to note that the Commander format really seemed to take off after 2011, so there are a lot of notable cards in the first five decks. Many haven't been reprinted, and the first crop of decks weren't as mass-printed as now (though they were all available at big-box stores for a while).
|Commander Set||Deck Name||Notable Cards|
|Commander||Heavenly Inferno||Kaalia of the Vast; Path to Exile; Akroma, Angel of Fury; Mana-Charged Dragon|
|Commander||Mirror Mastery||Riku of Two Reflections; Animar, Soul of Elements; Garruk Wildspeaker|
|Commander||Counterpunch||Ghave, Guru of Spores; Karador, Ghost Chieftain; Scavenging Ooze|
|Commander||Political Puppets||Zedruu the Greathearted; Flusterstorm; Chaos Warp; Martyr's Bond|
|Commander||Devour for Power||The Mimeoplasm; Damia, Sage of Stone; Skullbriar, the Walking Grave; Riddlekeeper|
|Commander 2013||Evasive Maneuvers||Thousand-Year Elixir; Karmic Guide|
|Commander 2013||Eternal Bargain||Oloro, Ageless Ascetic; Thoptor Foundry; Toxic Deluge|
|Commander 2013||Mind Seize||True-Name Nemesis;|
|Commander 2013||Power Hungry||Primal Vigor|
|Commander 2013||Nature of the Beast||Avenger of Zendikar; Tempt with Discovery|
|Commander 2014||Forged in Stone||Containment Priest; Nahiri, the Lithomancer|
|Commander 2014||Peer Through Time||Teferi, Temporal Archmage; Cyclonic Rift|
|Commander 2014||Sworn to Darkness||Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath; Ghoulcaller Gisa|
|Commander 2014||Built from Scratch||Wurmcoil Engine; Goblin Welder; Caged Sun|
|Commander 2014||Guided by Nature||Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury; Titania Protector of Argoth;|
|Commander 2015||Call the Spirits||Karlov of the Ghost Council; Phyrexian Arena; Karmic Justice|
|Commander 2015||Seize Control||Mystic Confluence|
|Commander 2015||Plunder the Graves||Meren of Clan Nel Toth; Eternal Witness; Eldrazi Monument; Skullclamp|
|Commander 2015||Wade into Battle||Gisela, Blade of Goldnight; Urza's Incubator; Blade of Selves|
|Commander 2015||Swell the Host||Ezuri, Claw of Progress; Arachnogenesis|
|Commander 2016||Entropic Uprising||Chromatic Lantern; Vial Smasher the Fierce|
|Commander 2016||Open Hostility||Skullclamp|
|Commander 2016||Stalwart Unity||Tempt with Discovery; Collective Voyage|
|Commander 2016||Breed Lethality||Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Kalonian Hydra; Crystalline Crawler|
|Commander 2016||Invent Superiority||Breya, Etherium Shaper; Skullclamp; Magus of the Will|
Reading above you may notice that there was no Commander 2012 set of decks. In 2012 WoTC created the Commander's Arsenal product, which was basically like an FTV but aimed at Commander players. Commander's Arsenal consisted of 18 foil cards (again with a non-standard foiling process). These 18 cards were:
- Chaos Warp
- Command Tower
- Diaochan, Artful Beauty
- Dragonlair Spider
- Decree of Pain
- Edric, Spymaster of Trest
- Kaalia of the Vast
- Loyal Retainers
- Maelstrom Wanderer
- Mind's Eye
- Mirari's Wake
- The Mimeoplasm
- Rhystic Study
- Scroll Rack
- Sylvan Library
- Vela the Night-Clad
It also came with some oversized foil cards, including a few on the Reserved List (because they were oversized, WoTC felt it didn't violate the spirit of the Reserved List). These oversized cards were;:
- Sliver Queen
- Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
- Mayael the Anima
- Zur the Enchanter
- Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
- Brion Stoutarm
- Glissa, the Traitor
- Godo, Bandit Warlord
- Azusa, Lost but Seeking
- Karn, Silver Golem
And there you have an extensive list of all supplemental products including new cards, or a different visual treatment (borders, set symbols, etc.). WoTC has produced other supplemental product like the Holiday gift boxes, but those were just bundles of Standard-legal packs and some additional packaging. I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into the different types of supplemental products WoTC has offered throughout the years.