Last updated on August 15, 2023

Cyclonic Rift - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Cyclonic Rift | Illustration by Chris Rahn

Masters sets are huge opportunities for Wizards to get desirable cards into the hands of Magic players. “Masters” also sparks a sense of expectation from the players; if you’re going to call yourself a Masters set, you need to deliver on valuable reprints, rarity downshifts, and format staples.

Commander Masters (CMM) is the latest in this product lineup, and with an attention-grabbing name like that, you’d better deliver. I’ll be going over all of the most notable reprints in the set, from first-timers to Pauper downshifts, as well as cards that should tank in price and become more widely available to players.

It’s a big set with big shoes to fill, so let’s see if it’s worth your time and money.

Table of Contents show

#66. Nesting Dragon

Nesting Dragon literally dropped from a $5-$10 card to a bulk rare overnight. That’s what a first-time reprint in a Masters set can do.

#65. Rampaging Brontodon

Rampaging Brontodon has never been printed in a real booster pack setting before, and it’s fallen to uncommon. It should be trivially easy to get one now if you missed out on the 2018 Gift Pack or the original Jumpstart set.

#64. Skyline Despot

Skyline Despot at uncommon should raise a few eyebrows. The downshift only matters for Peasant/Artisan environments or Pauper EDH, but those formats are played just enough that this monarch haymaker is likely to see more play now.

#63. Thriving Lands

The Thriving lands are one of my favorite land cycles of budget manabase options since they allow you to build your own tapped dual lands and make it easy for cheap mana bases to get their colors online consistently. Price was never an issue, but now there are foil versions, which is always fun for a foil junky like me.

#62. Skyshroud Claim

Foil CMM versions of Skyshroud Claim are preordering for roughly $1, which is a far cry from $20+ for foil Battlebond versions or $50+ for Nemesis versions. This card’s still a fan-favorite among many players, so thumbs up for cheaper foil copies.

#61. Exsanguinate

CMM should give players a better avenue for foiling out their Exsanguinates, which formerly cost about $20 per foil.

#60. Lotleth Giant

There are plenty of turbo self-mill decks in Pauper that could use Lotleth Giant as a reliable wincon. The Songs of the Damned combo deck has gone through several different wincons, and Lotleth Giant might be the next best thing.

#59. All That Glitters

The common symbol on All That Glitters makes it Pauper playable for the first time. Ethereal Armor decks already exist in the format, and the added consistency of Glitters might give the tier-2 deck a second wind.

#58. Guttersnipe

I’m not a Pauper aficionado, but I’m aware of decks that revolve around Kessig Flamebreather, Kiln Fiend, and/or Firebrand Archer. Guttersnipe at common feels like it has a place in the format, though Pauper experts can tell me more in the comments.

#57. Sower of Discord

Sower of Discord is another great card that could use more exposure. You can get Sower in foil now, and if preorder prices are any indication, you might be able to snag this card for less than $1.

#56. Dread Return

Dread Return at common gives Pauper a new reanimation tool to play around with. Exhume is the Pauper reanimation spell of choice, but Dread Return plays differently enough that it might kickstart some new archetypes for the format.

#55. Cryptic Serpent

Cryptic Serpent pales in comparison to Tolarian Terror, but it can replace Gurmag Angler in Pauper’s Turbo-Terror decks. This makes the deck entirely mono-blue, allowing it to play the same overall gameplan without mana base issues.

#54.Regal Behemoth

Hurray for a version of Regal Behemoth with dinosaur in its type line! This is the first time it’s received an updated paper version since the card was errata’d after dinosaurs were released in Ixalan.

#53. Kirtar’s Wrath + Extinguish All Hope

These two wraths are important for an entirely different reason. Kirtar's Wrath and Extinguish All Hope were both downshifted to uncommon for the CMM Limited format, which makes them the first ever “unconditional” sweepers below rare. They’re unlikely to have much impact anywhere, but they represent a first for Magic: the ability to print wrath effects at uncommon given the right circumstances.

#52. Wakening Sun’s Avatar + Zacama, Primal Calamity

Wakening Sun's Avatar and Zacama, Primal Calamity are pricey staples of dino-typal EDH decks. It might be worth getting these dinos while they’re at their cheapest in anticipation of more dinosaur support to come in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan.

#51. Chromatic Lantern

I’m a known Chromatic Lantern hater, but enough people love the card that I’m content seeing it get printed into the ground.

#50. Zilortha, Strength Incarnate

It’s awesome to see a paper version of Zilortha, Strength Incarnate, which has existed on Magic Arena for years but only in paper as the promo Godzilla, King of the Monsters version. A big win for players who prefer the in-universe versions of cards.

#49. Archfiend of Despair

Archfiend of Despair comes from Battlebond, a set that sold poorly but had some excellent rares and mythics. This is the first time some players ever see the card, and the price should come down a bit in the process.

#48. Insurrection

I’ve heard claims that Insurrection’s not playable in EDH anymore, yet the price never really dropped. I assure you the card is very much playable; it just has more competition these days, and it’ll probably be the most affordable it’s ever been.

#47. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed isn’t as scary of a card as it once was, but its infinite combo potential with Triskelion and Walking Ballista still makes it a card worth making more copies of.

#46. Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Another $10+ card, Razaketh, the Foulblooded is neither so heavily played that it needs a reprint, nor so rarely played that people will turn it down. It’s already dropped to the $5 mark!

#45. Extraplanar Lens

I’m not a fan of Extraplanar Lens, but I’m also not one to yuck anyone’s yum. So if you’re a Lens truther, I’m glad there’s a new, marginally cheaper version of the card out there for you.

#44. Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Heliod, Sun-Crowned’s popularity waxes and wanes, but another printing should help future-proof its price. It’s a key player in some Modern and Pioneer decks, and has a casual audience in EDH.

#43. The Immortal Sun

Alex, I’ll take “Cards that work for my opponents but never work for me” for 1,000. My lack of success with The Immortal Sun doesn’t take away from the meaningfulness of this first-time reprint for a card that just had its fifth birthday this year.

#42. Vandalblast

Vandalblast is a Commander staple with a bit of monetary weight behind it (especially for foils). I’m of the opinion that valuable uncommons shouldn’t overload your wallet, so I say print them into oblivion.

#41. Balefire Dragon

I rarely see Balefire Dragon played despite being undeniably powerful. This might have something to do with the premium price-tag pushing it out of dragon decks that already have tons of budget alternatives. Another printing might change that, though the mythic rare symbol makes that unlikely.

#40. Grand Abolisher

Between CMM and the Randy Vargas Secret Lair Drop, Grand Abolisher’s price might finally budge. It’s been holding steady around $20 for a long time, but this most recent release dropped it to about $5 for regular and $20 for foil (M12 foils run over $100!).

#39. Morophon, the Boundless

It’s great to see a generically useful card like Morophon, the Boundless drop to the $12 range. Again, reprinting a mythic without changing its rarity doesn’t usually have an impact on long-term value, so pick it up when it bottoms out and expect it rise again.

#38. Grave Pact

Grave Pact’s preorder price isn’t indicating a big price swing for the card, but it’s a popular EDH staple that will make foil copies accessible without having to spend upwards of $100.

#37. Imp’s Mischief

This version of Imp's Mischief should put a dent in its steady — yet expensive — price, but I’m equally excited about exposing new players to this black counterspell they might not know exists.

#36. Wake the Dead

Wake the Dead is one of the most powerful, criminally underrated reanimation spells in the format, and I’m happy to see it reprinted here for two reasons. First, it’s foil for the first time. Second, more players will become aware of the card’s existence, and hopefully see first-hand what they’ve been missing out on.

#35. Grenzo, Havoc Raiser

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is a sweet card that’s always been expensive by virtue of only having one printing, back in 2016. A reprint changes that completely and puts this card in more players’ hands.

#34, Neheb, the Eternal

I was surprised to find out Neheb, the Eternal had breached $20, but I suppose that’s another case of a single printing driving up the price of a powerful card. This printing should move the price in the opposite direction.

#33. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds is a personal favorite, and I’m happy the reprint will knock the price of foils down to the realm of mortals. Conspiracy: Take the Crown copies run over $200 for a foil, which is completely unreasonable.

#32. Stonehoof Chieftain

This one’s only been ‘hoofing since 2016. Stonehoof Chieftain’s first reprint brings it down from a $10 card to a slightly more affordable one. Not a huge change, but good stuff regardless.

#31. Tooth and Nail

Interestingly, existing copies of Tooth and Nail barely wavered after the card was previewed for CMM. While those versions might hold steady, the reprint version is already selling for significantly less, so I’d call that a win.

#30. Urza, Lord High Artificer

Urza, Lord High Artificer is a Commander powerhouse with applications in Constructed formats, and this plus a recent reprinting in Dominaria Remastered might push it below the $10 mark.

#29. The Scarab God

The Scarab God’s one of those The Great Henge-style cards that’ll probably always be worth something due to popularity and power. A reprint makes the card slightly easier to get even if it doesn’t completely tank the price.

#28. Spellseeker

Spellseeker has been printed as a Judge Promo and in a Secret Lair Drop, but this is its second real appearance in booster packs. It’s a great card, and its $10 preorder price is only held back by another unnecessary rarity upshift.

#27. Song of the Dryads

Song of the Dryads is an excellent piece of green removal, but its price was always linked to scarcity, not power. Compare to the dirty-cheap but similar Imprisoned in the Moon. It’s a great use of a rare slot in CMM.

#26. Bloodchief Ascension

Bloodchief Ascension is also receiving its second reprint (not counting The List), and the preorder price means that this Commander staple has plummeted all the way down to about $3.

#25. Bond Lands

The Bond Lands are so good in Commander that I’d be thrilled to see them reprinted to the point where they become viable budget-friendly options. They’re already heading in that direction, and this most recent round helps push their price down even further. There shouldn’t be a premium on good mana; save the expensive price tags for the powerful lands that do more than just let you play the game.

#24. Heroic Intervention

Heroic Intervention is another card that refuses to budge no matter how many times it gets reprinted. Even a printing in Core Set 2021 did little to affect its price. It’s just that good of a protection spell; the price reflects the demand.

#23. Toxic Deluge

Toxic Deluge has been reprinted enough to keep it from being too expensive, but even so, more copies of this card are welcome. It’s in the conversation for best sweepers in Commander, and the more players who have access to it, the better.

#22. Champion’s Helm

I feel like I heard someone say that Champion's Helm was in need of a reprint. It’s not even the best at what it does, but a lack of notable reprints was keeping the price higher than it needed to be.

#21. Loyal Retainers

Loyal Retainers only ever saw print in Portal Three Kingdoms and as a premium version in various products. Reprinting it in CMM should spread some notoriety and make the card easier to obtain.

#20. Sun Quan, Lord of Wu

Keep those Portal Three Kingdoms reprints coming! Echo everything I just said about Loyal Retainers.

#19. Land Tax

Maybe one day we’ll have an affordable version of Land Tax. This printing is just one of many that puts more copies out in the wild without making a significant difference in its price.

#18. Purphoros, God of the Forge

Purphoros, God of the Forge is one of red’s absolute best cards in Commander, so it’s altogether healthy for the format if more players have access to it. This reprint should achieve that goal even though the price might not budge too much.

#17. Steelshaper’s Gift

Steelshaper's Gift is receiving its first ever reprint in a booster product, 19 years after its original printing. I’m rolling my eyes at the rarity upshift, but the increased availability is welcome.

#16. Capture of Jingzhou

Capture of Jingzhou is so hard to get hold of that I’ve never even seen it played in paper Magic. I expect the CMM version to hold a fairly high price-tag, but we’re talking about the first-time reprint of a highly playable card.

#15. Arachnogenesis

Arachnogenesis hit an all-time high with the printing of Shelob, Child of Ungoliant in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, which single-handedly put spider decks back in the spotlight. The reprint is timely and should help quell the ridiculous range that Spidey-genesis managed to reach.

#14. Craterhoof Behemoth

Craterhoof Behemoth has been ‘hoofing since 2012. It tends to dip in price when reprinted then shoot right back up price. In other words, get it while the getting’s good. It’s still one of the undisputed best finishers in all of Commander.

#13. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is the perfect example of a mythic rare that will drop in price because of its reprint but steadily climb back up over time. At the very least it makes the card more accessible for a short period, and it significantly drops the price of foil versions.

#12. Doubling Season

Doubling Season’s getting a double whammy this year in both CMM and on the bonus sheet for the upcoming Wilds of Eldraine. I’d personally wait for the Wilds version to pick one up, but the double-reprint in such a short time frame should do a number on Doubling Season’s price.

#11. Finale of Devastation

Finally, a Finale reprint! Finale of Devastation peaked at almost $50 a copy earlier this year, and while new versions will still sit around $15, cards like this need the reprint badly.

#10. The Great Henge

The Great Henge is and probably always will be an expensive card due to its universal playability in Commander, but every reprint it gets brings it within reach of more players. The Lord of the Rings version made almost no impact on the card’s price, but here’s to hoping the CMM version comes down just a little bit.

#9. The Ur-Dragon

Whoa, this card got expensive! I named The Ur-Dragon one of the best dragon typal commanders of all time (duh) and, given the popularity of dragons, I guess it’s no surprise it’s as expensive as it is. It’ll still be a big-ticket card, but one you can pull from a booster pack instead of having to buy an entire Commander 17 precon or Secret Lair Drop.

#8. Personal Tutor

Personal Tutor’s another first-time reprint that should plummet in price. Despite being strictly worse than Mystical Tutor in multiple ways, this cheap blue tutor held a high price-tag due to having just one printing.

#7. Kindred Dominance

Kindred Dominance was on many players’ shortlist for high demand reprints, and here it is. It’s a staple of typal EDH decks, and the new version even comes in foil for the first time.

#6. Cyclonic Rift

After five reprints, Cyclonic Rift still has a bad habit of pushing over $20. It’s a card that’s synonymous with Commander itself, and reprints like this are good for new players just coming into the format.

#5. Smothering Tithe

More copies of Commander staple Smothering Tithe are being tossed into the ether, though the upshift to mythic rare seems unnecessary. It’s receiving another reprint soon in Wilds of Eldraine, so here’s to hoping the price comes down a fair amount.

#4. Demonic Tutor

I’m afraid no amount of reprinting will get Demonic Tutor into budget range, but with each new version comes an opportunity for players to randomly snag a copy from a booster pack.

#3. Medallions

The Medallions haven’t seen a significant reprint since Commander 2014, and have never had foil versions prior to CMM except Jet Medallion in that weird Post Malone Secret Lair. I find it questionable to print these at rare since they’re not exactly game-warping for the Limited environment (Sol Ring’s uncommon), but at least this set gets more Medallions out into the ecosystem.

#2. Jeweled Lotus

Here’s the big one. Wizards sort of backed themselves into a corner by printing Jeweled Lotus in the first place, because it’s such an obvious “staple” for Commander that there will be a constant demand to reprint the card. But it can only safely go into so many products. It’s here for the second time and just as expensive as ever, though it does give players opening sealed product a chance to open this chase rare.

#1. C20’s “Free Spell” Cycle

Obscuring Haze might not be exceptional, but the other cards from Commander 2020’s free spell cycle have seen significant play since their inception. These are some of the most important and powerful spells in modern Commander, and this is their first time being reprinted. Some reached heights of over $50, so the second printing is definitely needed.

The Real #1. Zetalpa, Primal Dawn

Of course, the best, most desirable card in CMM is the eighth printing of Zetalpa, Primal Dawn, the constantly-reprinted card that Wizards seems to think people are trying to win games with. Hey, at least it’s etched this time!

Commanding Conclusion

Demonic Tutor - Illustration by Donato Giancola

Demonic Tutor | Illustration by Donato Giancola

I wish the best of luck to anyone out there opening packs of Commander Masters. Whether you’re drafting or just busting open a booster box, I hope you get your money’s worth or spike one of the chase cards in the set.

How do you feel about the reprint quality of CMM? Is it better or worse than you would’ve hoped for, and what are you most excited to try and open? Let me know in the comments below or over in the Draftsim Discord.

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