Quiet Contemplations: Too many reprints?

The online discourse around Commander Masters has been not what I was expecting at all. It seemed like such as easy slam dunk for WotC to put out a product that has both the Masters and Commander series branding, but somehow WotC found themselves under an unfavorable light again. The main sentiment towards the set has been largely negative due to the how high the price is, no one has issues with the card present, but many feel priced out especially in non US countries of even being able to touch the product. One of the argument made in justification of the price centered around the value of the reprints. The argument was sabotaged before the set was even officially released thanks to the early previews of Wilds of Eldraine, in which several cards from Commander Masters are getting reprinted in Wilds of Eldraine as enchanted tales (the expeditions/masterpieces of the set to enhance the draft environment). This damages the value of Commander Masters and has me concerned for the value of my collection. 

Before I continue, if you enjoy my work you can follow me on my socials of your choice.

Within the past 2 years, there was been a significant increase in the amount of reprints from Secret Lairs, the List,  Masters and Remaster sets, and Mystical Archives style sets. I like all of these these things and think they are good for the game, but WotC is overdoing it. They have reached a point where cards are being printed twice within a single year in full sets. The effects of this have been manifesting on social media with some community members expressing disbelief by this decision. Take for example, Urza, Lord High Artificer. This was originally printed in Modern Horizons 1 and became an instant smash hit with different players and formats. This contributed to the card climbing up to 80USD making it a prime target to eventually reprint and we got the reprint twice. The first time was in Dominaria Remastered, released in Winter (late 2022- early 2023), and then again in Commander Masters (August 2023). The first reprint dropped the card down to $50 and second one brought it all the way down to $13. This made me salty as I just traded for the a month prior. I traded several cards that still retain their value for an $80 Urza that would only plummet down to $13. Has this been the only example, it would have been the exception and an outlier case, but it's not. Others on this list include Sneak Attack (Dominaria Remastered and Wilds of Eldraine), Selvala, Heart of the Wild (Jumpstart 2022 and Commander Masters), and Doubling Season (Commander Masters and Wilds of Eldraine). The sheer amount of cards this is happening to currently has discouraged me and others from buying expensive reprintable singles and reprint sets. In order to further mitigate the losses, I've been contemplating minimizing my collection to just played cards if I don't sell out completely.

Urza's Price as tracked by MTGGoldish

This wasn't something I could fathom when I started playing 10 years ago. It was about when reprint sets were becoming normalized in the Magic landscape and well received. During this era, the assumption for reprints were cards that haven't been printed in the past 2-3 years in a set. This created trust in the players that some of the cards would eventually stabilize and appreciate. As a newer player, this was great as I could occasionally get my hands staples that took a small hit, but would climb back up within 2-3 years. This approach was still lacking for newer players as the supply for these were limited and they were at a higher price point. These products were successful and led to WotC ramping up the releases of these products. Initially the releases were every two years but would then become yearly and then become twice a year. This pace also coincided with the decline in quality of the product that eventually forced WotC to shelf the series for a little while. This parallels what is currently (August 2023) happening, but the players are responding louder this time. 

This is coming at a time when the player's approval of the game is spiraling downward. The past year WotC has been making blunder after blunder with multiple attempts to see how wide they can stretch their player base in an attempt to expand their profits (and the Pinkertons). 

The End Step

With that being said, it is important that the cards have value if we want to keep playing the game for years to come (we're on year 30 already). It keeps players invested in the game contributing to player retention. Higher player retention means bigger player base means more valuable cards; the cycle continues. A strong player base is the most important part of the game and should be WotC's biggest priority. The financial allure of owning Magic cards is one of the big driving factors to keeping players around and buying cards. If you don't think so, please ask people at your LGS if they would prefer their cards to have value or not in a vacuum. Without players, we are grown adults collecting cards with random fantasy art. Take that as you will. 

(Writer's Note: I don't know how it happened, but as I was writing this article and finishing it up, multiple Magic personalities were focused on the same topic as this. Either we think alike and I am a great mind or I'm a drone part of the larger hive.)

Outside of blog writing, I've been streaming more on Rumble of the various games I'm currently enjoying, less effort and it doesn't take away from the writing. Video editting and Youtube weren't things I was feeling successful in the amount of effort made it more less enjoyable, while Rumble has been more receptive of me. If you want to take a look, just click this link here. I typically stream from 8PM Pacific- Whenever I feel like sleeping.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please leave a comment or complaint below, I like the interaction. If you want to support me, please consider heading over to Patreon, ad money is kinda low, but it's currently the only way to maintain the upkeep for domain name. Thanks. And remember to stay sane exiles.


  1. ... ignoring the numerous grammatical errors, what was the point of making this article? It's like clicking on a clickbait video. Reprints are necessary, the cards you mentioned aren't protected by a reserved list or anything like that. Understandably people are upset when the cards they receive go down in value, but how are others who just start supposed to get them besides proxying?

    In all honesty, a better topic would be the ridiculous pricing of the new commander decks. Once upon a time, they were a perfect starter buy to shuffle up and play for $20-$35, now they are gathering dust on shelves for ~$130 (for the new Eldrazi Precon) ...but that's just my rusty two cents, haha.


Post a Comment