I'll be the first to admit that while the player side of me is thrilled with the reprint choices in Double Masters 2022 (2X2), the speculator side is pessimistic about the future of the secondary market given all of the new products WoTC seems to be pumping out. That being said, I still think there is some potential for the near future. It remains important to keep future price expectations grounded.
Back in 2013, it was feasible to buy up eternal speculation targets at retail with expectations of good returns within a few years. Nowadays, I don't see any non reserved list card as a long-term (3+ years) speculation opportunity given the number of reprints we see.
The good news is that while WoTC seems to have their printers running overtime on new product, they have been doing that for the last few years, which means looking at Masters sets from the past few years can provide us with an anchor for comparison purposes. Both Double Masters and Ultimate Masters are great anchors for our purposes.
Additionally, basic supply and demand theory reminds us that unless the playerbase grows at the same rate or greater than the increase in supply due to a reprint, the price for a given reprinted card will typically fall somewhere below its price prior to said reprint. Thus, we will split our categories for today's piece into cards whose prices rebounded from a reprint and ones whose prices didn't.
Admittedly, the term "rebound" lends itself to ambiguity, so for the sake of this article I will set the mark at a card whose price went up by 100% of its reprint "low" price. For instance, if a card dropped to $5 after being reprinted but returned to $10+, it makes the cut.
Rares that Rebounded
Rares that Never Recovered (sample)
- Goryo's Vengeance
- Engineered Explosives
- Ignoble Hierarch
- Celestial Colonnade
- Through the Breach
- Runed Halo
Rares that Rebounded
Rares that Never Recovered (sample)
Reviewing the Data
While these lists do not include every single rare in each set, I did try to include a majority of the ones that rebounded in price. So almost every other rare falls into the latter category, though it is important to note that there are a few that came close to rebounding, e.g. Cyclonic Rift.
Every card on the "Rebounded in Price" lists is played heavily in Commander, whereas many in the "Never Recovered" list are ones that mostly played in other nonrotating formats.
Also of note is that due to COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent removal of basically all in-person events, competitive nonrotating format demand was likely at an all time low from early 2020 until even now. This may mean that once live events start happening consistently, some of the cards on the "Never Recovered" list may actually spike; however, Ultimate Masters did come out in 2018, so there was over a year's worth of time for these prices to rebound with plenty of in-person events going on. This lack of recovery implies that interest in non-Commander formats is lower than I would have expected and thus may be a good reason to continue to steer clear of these cards as speculative choices.
Now that we have gathered data and reviewed it, we can look to Double Masters 2022 and try to find cards that fall into the "Rebounded in Price" category to buy while they are at a low and sell for profit later. I do believe that Double Masters 2022 is still too new for prices to have reached their floors yet, so I will include a likely floor price which would serve as a good buy-in price.
Double Masters 2022 Rares to Spec On
The last time this card was reprinted was in Conspiracy; back then, it sank to under $2 a copy. While I doubt the Double Masters 2022 reprint will cause the price to drop back that low again, given this card is still found in a lot of Commander decks, I would be probably buy a few copies at the $8 mark and would likely buy up to 20 if they hit $5.
A lot of this card's price is heavily influenced by the fact that this is the first non-Secret Lair/Mystery Booster reprint and the original was from Eventide, which was not a heavily opened set. I think the current price is still quite inflated and similar to Vedalken Orrery. I'd wait for around an $8 buy-in.
Oracle was almost a $40 card at one point and maintained a price near that mark for over 6 months. The reprint in Jumpstart followed by this reprint will likely mean that its price will take longer to recover, though given the random nature of Jumpstart and the large number of possible decks, I do believe fewer copies were introduced with that set than many realize. Still with a current price already under $10, I like a $6 buy-in for this Commander staple.
This casual favorite and strong Commander card has been printed multiple times since its original printing in Kaladesh. It is pretty much an auto-include in any Commander deck that utilizes a lot of ETB triggers. Given the price has already dipped to right under $5, I like copies in the $2.50-$3 range.
The dual color nature of this card does severely limit which decks can play it, but Enchantress-style decks are beloved by many Commander players and this is definitely an auto-include in that archetype. Considering the original printing was in Ravnica: City of Guilds and the only other reprint was a Guilds of Ravnica: Guild Kit, I really like the potential for this card. The borderless copies are already hovering around $5 with regular versions under $4. I can see this being a $2-$2.50 card that would likely reach $5-$8 within a year or two.
Deathmantle card is part of numerous combos in Commander and the Double Masters 2022 versions are already sitting at less than 50% of the Scars of Mirrodin versions at $2 and $5 respectfully. I could easily see this as a $0.75 pickup as its current price seems to indicate it will likely end up around $1.
Dodging the Fakes
There are a lot of other Commander reprints in this set that I'm happy to see were included, but don't feel like they have a lot of potential to increase in a price a whole lot. It's important to remember that the more niche a card is, the more a reprint kills its price, as the supply goes up a lot while demand usually doesn't. Are there any picks you think I missed? Any points you disagree with? Feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me on our QS Discord server. Until then, happy speculating!