Well, here we are, yet another spoiler season already! We've been seeing a stream of Double Masters previews coming out, and if I'm being honest, I'm not sure how I personally feel about the set. I think with the pandemic, a ton of Magic products all coming out at once, and a hefty price tag, I'm suffering from some fatigue. That's not to say I'm not at least a little excited about the spoilers and their financial implications though! It's hard to not be interested when they've announced some great reprints and plenty of alternate art box toppers.
According to Wizards' announcement, Double Masters releases on August 7, 2020. There are 332 cards in the set, 24 packs per booster box, 15-card booster packs with two rares and two foil cards (which can also be rares), two non-foil borderless showcase box topper cards are included in each booster box, and they will be available in the following languages: English, French, German, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.
There will also be a new VIP Edition of Double Masters, which are packs of 33 cards plus 2 foil tokens that feature: 2 foil borderless cards (only found in the VIP edition), 2 foil rares/mythic rares, 8 foil uncommons, 9 foil commons, 10 full-art basic lands (only found in VIP edition, 2 of each basic), 2 foil full-art basic lands (only found in VIP edition, 2 randomly selected from among the 10 options), and 2 foil tokens (only found in VIP edition, token on both sides). The regular Double Masters packs seem to be pre-orderable most places for around $15, while the Vip Edition packs are preordering for around $100.
There has been some drama on Twitter lately due to the fact that Wizards accidentally erred in their original description of the contents of the 2 foil borderless cards. Originally, consumers were led to believe they would all be rares or mythics from the set, but in actuality eight of the possible cards are "popular, powerful cards found at other rarities in the set" such as Expedition Map and Urza's Mine. At $100 a pack, I can understand some of the disappointment, but I'm still excited about these "popular, powerful cards" (as we'll talk about in just a bit).
That's enough introduction! Let's take a look at 5 of the Double Masters reprints I'm most excited about and talk about their financial implications! After that, I'll talk a little bit about a few of the duds from the set that I would be incredibly bummed out to open if I were to be opening these packs.
One reprint that's already had some recent reprintings that I'm still excited about is Karn Liberated. Partly because the price has still been fairly high for its printings and partly because I adore the new Mark Tedin art for the borderless, VIP Edition of the card.
Even with the reprintings, we can see that Karn has often been selling in the $30-$50 range for the past year or so, which indicates that there is plenty of demand for the card. It's always been a mythic and sees play in various formats. Players seem to be pretty passionate about the card, and after an initial dip, I wouldn't be surprised if the card stayed right around the same price it's been for a while now.
But what about the VIP Edition, with new art by Mark Tedin?
People seem to be split on the art (I for one, adore it) but I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if it eventually ended up passing the 90-100 dollar mark. Especially since Mark Tedin did new art for the Tron Lands that form a panorama with it - which we're going to look at next.
The Tron Lands
I think it's really cool that Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant, and Urza's Tower are going to be in the set at common, along with Expedition Map. Because of the timing of the release, I doubt I'll get a chance to draft this set but if I do I can only imagine getting to assemble Tron in a draft environment would feel very cool. These commons will always be worth pulling out of your bulk bin, but what's more financially interesting is the VIP Edition versions with Mark Tedin art:
As you can see, they match the new Karn Liberated art and form a panorama with it when arranged side by side. These special versions of the lands feature a rare marking instead of the common symbol. I've noticed people on Twitter being upset by this and complaining about commons getting the special treatment, but I'm actually pretty excited because these are, for the most part, all looking to be powerful, often played cards which I imagine will still command fairly high price points.
I mean, look at the Kaladesh Inventions Ornithopter. Ornithopter has a ton of printings, is played less than Expedition Map and the Tron lands, and it's Invention printing still manages to hold a $30-$50 price tag. Looking at the spoilers so far, opening one of these as one of your borderless VIP Edition cards doesn't look like too bad of an option.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Jace, the Mind Sculptor is one of Magic's most famous cards, being touted as one of the most powerful Legacy staples for years as well as being banned in Modern up until 2018. It went from not having many printings at all to getting several in rapid succession, adding one more to the pile with Double Masters. While it may not hold the power level that it once did, Jace is still a very powerful card and a sought after mythic. Even the Eternal Masters version has continued to hold a premium price point.
I feel like this printing will follow suit, and I would recommend trying to trade into them right at release when the price should dip, and holding onto them for a while. Jace is also getting the borderless VIP Edition treatment, which is almost guaranteed to continue to hold at a premium.
As I'm writing this article, I'm realizing a trend: all of the spoilers I'm excited about are also being reprinted with borderless VIP Edition art. Exploration is another card I've been thinking really deserved a reprint, and I wasn't very surprised to see it spoiled.
Exploration is a super powerful card for ramp strategies and has only seen printings in Urza's Saga and Conspiracy. With both Legacy Lands players packing full playsets and green EDH players needing copies, I think this is a much-needed reprint with an absolutely gorgeous VIP printing. I don't even play this card and I'm going to try to at least trade into one copy of the Mark Poole art, it's just so pretty.
I'll be aggressively trading for the regular printing at around the $20 mark or below if I can, and wouldn't be surprised if it maintained a close to $30+ price tag moving forward. I'm not confident enough to try to predict how expensive the VIP printing will be, but I don't think there's any way it doesn't maintain a significantly higher price than the other printings.
Noble Hierarch is one of my favorite cards of all time. It was in the first competitive deck I ever played and a huge part of my first ever Grand Prix experience. At one point I co-owned a Judge Promo with one of my best friends (he was something like $10 short when he spotted it for a steal at a booth), and we ended up selling it for a lot more than he had originally bought it. This was my first Magic finance experience, silly as it was, and since then Noble's price has plummeted.
However, I'm still super excited about the reprint for several reasons (and yes, one of the big reasons is the VIP Edition art.)
The original printing hasn't trended near it's peak price in a long time, and I doubt it ever will, but it has still managed to hold around the $20 and up range. It's a very versatile card, showing up in plenty of different Modern and Legacy decks. If you can get these new copies for cheap around release, I don't think picking up a playset or two is a bad idea.
I'm super surprised the gorgeous VIP Edition with art from Greg Staples is only preordering for around the $60 mark.
I've been thinking about un-foiling my Modern Infect deck for competitive play for a while now, and I think I'm going to have to trade into these as quickly as possible for it. I would love to have copies of all the borderless cards in my collection, but I think Noble Hierarch is the one I'm going to be most aggressively seeking out.
A Note on Stinkers
Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to print a set where every rare in the set is a slam dunk from a financial perspective. Wizards designs these sets to be drafted, and as such there will always be draft chaff rares that aren't worth anything in any set - but it feels especially bad to open them when you're paying a premium price for the pack you opened them in. While I generally advise staying away from gambling on opening sealed product in general, it's hard to resist when the set is full of really exciting cards.
Anyway, that's it for now! I hope you all are having as good of a time watching the spoilers roll out as I am. I hope you're in a place where it's safe to meet up and draft this awesome looking set with your friends, and if not I sincerely hope you're staying safe and will still be able to obtain all the Double Masters goodies you need for your decks and speculation boxes. This is shaping up to be quite an interesting set! The financial market always seems to get extra swingy during a Masters set release, so if you're not already I'd highly recommend using our Trader Tools to help you make sure you're on top of your Magic finance game.
Feel free to stop by and say hi on my Twitch channel or hit me up on Twitter, I'd love to chat with you about Double Masters or anything else Magic related! Take care out there friends, I'll catch you later.