Amonkhet is finally here, which means I've been cracking product for RIW Hobbies, my local game store (LGS). One thing I immediately noticed was that the Amonkhet Invocations looked way, way cooler than I anticipated.
I wrote an article for both Channel Fireball and QS right after the Invocation design was spoiled, defending the frame on these premium cards. It appeared as though the internet chatter surrounding them was fairly negative. My response was that it isn't as bad as everyone was saying, and that I like that Wizards is willing to take some chances.
However, once I opened a few of these it was pretty clear that they look amazing. I think they'll be very popular with players moving forward. We now have roughly three blocks worth of Masterpieces. As a shout-out to these cool new cards, today I'm going to rank my top 20 Masterpieces, with regard to expected long-term value and gain.
There are a couple of factors weighing into my decisions.
- Current price - Does the price seem low with room to grow, or really high and due for a correction?
- Constructed playability - Is the card likely to see a lot of constructed play? The better the card, the greater the demand.
- Cool card - Is this the type of card people want to acquire premium copies of? Is it in Commander?
And with that being said, let's get to this list!
20. Kor Haven
The main reason that I've placed Kor Haven on the list is that it meets the first criteria of having a relatively low price point at the moment. This is a card that goes into a lot of Commander decks and sees some fringe Legacy play.
I really like snagging some of these low-priced Masterpieces because I think there is a strong chance they will rebound in the future, when they become more difficult to acquire and the majority of copies are in the hands of collectors. Cheap Masterpieces feel like a good investment.
19. Arcbound Ravager
Arcbound Ravager is one of the most iconic Masterpieces ever created. It is a highly playable card across every format where it is legal, from Vintage to Modern. The price is already quite high on this card (to meet the high demand)—nonetheless I anticipate the price on this card is sustainable and could rise in the future.
Great card. Great art. Great investment.
Worship is a decent Magic card that sees a fair amount of sideboard play in Modern, as an option for decks like Bant Eldrazi and Bogles against various aggressive decks.
While Worship isn't one of the most played cards of all time, the price on these cards is super, duper cheap at the moment. I feel like there aren't many Masterpieces that I wouldn't want to stash away if I could pick them up cheap. I also think that demand for the Invocations might rise (despite the set being opened), at least in the long run, based upon how awesome they look.
17. Ancient Tomb
Ancient Tomb is another hallmark card that is going to get played forever, and this is the best version that you can own. I like the Masterpieces as investments for Legacy and Vintage decks because we know these cards will have a home forever.
Ancient Tomb also has the Commander appeal. Its simply one of the most powerful cards to have been made into a Masterpiece so far. It obviously suffers from not being Modern playable—but still a great card with great art.
16. Hangarback Walker
Hangarback is kind of a weird pick, but I think the card is really cool, the price is reasonable, and this is a card that people will want to own. In particular, this is a great Cube/Battle Box card. I also think this is a card that has a lot of Modern potential even if it only sees some play at the moment. It can go into Affinity as well as Winding Constrictor decks. I've also been a big fan of sideboarding this card in grindy mirrors with various BG decks. I would rather play this than a Huntmaster of the Fells.
One of my favorite cards of all time. I may be biased but it makes my list.
15. Mind Twist
The card looks gorgeous. It's a nice bling option for Mind Twist in a Commander deck that isn't an Alpha or Beta, which are basically a zillion dollars now.
I also like this pick because it feels like a foregone conclusion that Mind Twist will eventually be unbanned in Legacy. When that happens there will be a significant spike in the price on both regular and premium copies.
Duplicant makes my list because it is one of the cheaper Masterpiece cards but still a very playable one. The card sees Vintage play, but is really a kitchen table all-star.
I love this card in various Cubes and Battle Boxes which is a great place to show off some flashy Inventions! Especially, a flashy Invention that has a low starting price point at the moment.
I'm pretty medium on the fetches because they are already really expensive and not the flashiest cards in one's deck. I feel like the opportunity for growth is limited, and yet the price should stay fairly fixed. Ultimately, I think these are same pick-up-to-hold cards with upside.
12. Mana Vault
I really like the Invention Mana Vault. It's obviously a busted-in-half Magic card that goes into ever Commander deck and a lot of various Vintage decks.
As far as cards go, I think that regular copies of Mana Vault are currently underpriced at the moment and I expect them to make a leap at some point—which means that Invention Mana Vault shouldn't be far behind. I like this as a spec target even if the starting price seems a little on the high side.
The new Daze is one of the coolest looking Invocations, period. It is a card that is played of a four-of across a wide range of Legacy decks and I think these are going to be a popular choice. Personally, I love the Nemesis foil ones as a premium copy—but I think players will be drawn to the wild card face and shiny foil.
I think there is some really great value built into the shocks. I like them better as an investment card than the fetches because they sit in play. I'd rather foil out my cards that stay in play than my "one-and-dones." Also, if I had the choice, I'd rather foil out shocks because it makes them easier to find in my deck quickly while fetching.
The significantly lower starting point leads me to believe these have more room for growth than fetches. Only time will tell.
9. Engineered Explosives
Engineered Explosives is a very good Modern, Vintage, and Legacy card that has seen seen some pretty large gains in the past six months. However, the difference between a regular copy and a Masterpiece copy seems comparatively small.
It leads me to believe that either regular copies are too expensive (which I don't believe) or that Masterpiece copies are underpriced (ding, ding!). I love these as an investment right now. Also worth noting, these go into Cubes and Commander decks. I have an Invention copy in my Battle Box.
8. Strip Mine
With that being said, this is an auto-include in most Vintage and Commander decks which makes it is a desirable card. It also feels like the kind of card that one would want to bling out. Strip Mine also benefits from not having another competing "great bling copy" that exists at the moment. If you want a cool Strip Mine, this is what you get.
7. Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone is another Invention where the difference between the price of a regular copy and the Masterpiece feels too low. Oblivion Stone is a pretty great Modern card and an even better Commander card.
I like these as something to pick up now and wait for the price to rise a little bit later when copies become more difficult to come by.
6. Spell Pierce
Invocation Spell Pierce is by far the blingiest version of Spell Pierce to exist. Unlike Daze, Spell Pierce is a card that sees a lot of play in every format where it is currently legal: Vintage, Legacy, and Modern. I really enjoy the new card frame as well as the artwork on this card. I think these will have a lot of demand and won't see much problem going up in the future.
Trinisphere is another Invention whose price tag feels too high. I think that the banning of Miracles in Legacy also makes Trinisphere decks a little better positioned moving forward, since they are great against Delver and combo but fairly weak against Miracles.
It's also a restricted Workshop and Eldrazi staple in Vintage. "Threeball" is another example of a card where the Masterpiece version is not enough more than the regular copy for me to ever invest in regular copies. For the extra $12 why not just get a Masterpiece?
4. Sol Ring
It's a sharp-looking and desirable card. I wouldn't want one of these over a Beta, but who am I to judge? It is likely a great investment card for the future.
3. Containment Priest
Containment Priest is probably my most controversial pick of the group but I really feel good about this one. First of all, this is the only premium version of this card currently available, which makes it desirable right off the bat.
Second of all, this is kind of a tough card to acquire all on its own. It was only in a Commander deck. It's a great card that sees a ton of Vintage and Legacy play, and the only bling copy to exist. A lot of players are going to covet this card highly, and they are the type of players who are willing to spend significant money.
2. Mana Crypt
The only really cool premium version of a card that is already really expensive for a regular copy. If there is a such thing as "too big to fail," I think it can be applied here.
Vintage all-star and Commander bomb. There is a big market for this particular card and the price will only go up as supply gets more difficult to track down.
1. Force of Will
You guessed it: Force of Will!
Force is what every player hopes to see shining back at them when they pull away the wrapper of an Amonkhet pack. With good reason too, because the card is really expensive and will only go up as the weeks, months, and years go by.
First of all, the card face and art are super unique and interesting. It is a great-looking Magic card and it looks flashy, which is what Vintage and Legacy players want when they drop big bucks on cards.
Second of all, this card goes into everything: Vintage, Legacy, and Commander. There is widespread demand for this card. It also is more distinct than the other foil versions out there. I'd much rather have one of these than the promo or Eternal Masters versions.
And that is my list! I hope you ladies and gentleman enjoyed it. Every time you crack a Masterpiece it feels great. However, not all Masterpieces are created equal...
Feel free to let me know in the comments how you all feel about my picks. I would also be interested to see your pick orders for the best value Masterpieces to hold onto.