Early Movement with Commander Masters

Commander Masters has been live for a week, and there’s some oddities going on, which you might expect from a reprint set with a high price point. Collector Boosters have taken a nosedive to the $175 range, which is really close to distributor pricing. As a result, I’m being cautious about any spec purchases for a while, especially with most of these prices being on a downward trend.

Not everything has gotten cheaper, though. Some of these prices are trending upwards for this first week, and we ought to think about if they are going to hold those prices, at least for those versions. So let’s get into some cards, specific versions of those cards, and what the long-term plan should be for these.

Rise of the Eldrazi (Foil Extended Art) – Up to $45 from $20

This spell has two awesome flavor wins: It’s one of the cards that has the same name as a set, and the three effects you get for your TWELVE mana are what you’d get from casting each of the original three titans. There’s not going to be shenanigans with recurring this spell, as it exiles itself, but there are plenty of decks that would love to abuse extra turn-destroy a permanent-draw four cards. 

Regular and EA versions of the card have trickled down in price this week, but the FEA versions started low and have shot up. The price gap feels about right, but as a rare, this shows up in Collector Boosters only once every 157 packs or so. This promises to be a popular card in colorless strategies, so I like it long-term. I’ll be more interested in picking up any of the three other versions when they get under $10.

Cyclonic Rift (Foil Etched) – Up to $47 from $25

I’m generally going to shy away from ‘staples that get cheap’ as a buying strategy, but clearly, there’s some interest in this particular card at under $30, so much so that it’s bounced back up. There’s a terrible term, the ‘dead cat bounce,’ that gets used frequently to describe the phenomenon of people thinking that something has gotten too cheap and they need to get it now. This causes an upward bump in pricing even as the overall price heads downwards.

Other foil versions were $50, and this etched version being under $30 does seem tempting, but it’s the first week and foil etched has its own slot in Collector Boosters. It’s still just over 150 CBs to get any one etched foil rare, though, so there will be copies available. I expect this to trend back downwards some more, and get close to $20 for the most basic versions.

Fierce Guardianship (Borderless) – Foil and nonfoil each up $20 or $25 – 

The ‘free spells’ cycle was given the framebreak treatment, which is different from the textured foil treatment. These spells are awesome, and worth thinking about in any color, but especially in white, red, or blue decks, where these spells can keep your commander alive and in play. As a cycle, these were only in the one set of Commander decks, with no List or Secret Lair printing. With this being the first major injection of new copies, I see the bounce they are currently experiencing and I don’t think it can last for the non-premium versions.

Foil borderless copies are unlikely to go much lower, if they go lower at all. Fierce Guardianship especially tends to be a cEDH staple, and those folks do have a magpie’s eye for the most collectible versions of cards. I wouldn’t be shocked to see that at $120 in a month or two, but I also wouldn’t be surprised at $75. 

I need to highlight something from my article on the Math of Commander Masters: The slot with Borderless foils is only 4% to be textured, and with the ratio of rares to mythics for Borderless cards, you’ll get a foil Borderless Fierce Guardianship (or any of the other four) about every 28.5 Collector Boosters. Granted, a whole lot of those copies that get opened will get put right into the owner’s Commander deck of choice, but still, that’s a lot of copies and my hunch is that the price has farther to fall for all versions.

Smothering Tithe (Foil Etched) – (Up to $17 from $15, 2X2 etched foil down to $20 from $35 a month ago) – Now to be fair, Tithe (as well as Doubling Season) is getting a second printing right away as part of the Enchanting Tales subset for Wilds of Eldraine. That sort of one-two punch is going to hit any card deep in the value, and even a card as popular as Tithe is will show a loss. 

Etched foils having a dedicated slot in the Collector Boosters means that there will not be a real shortage of those cards, but the drop rate still isn’t amazing. Two in a row this way is probably going to mean that the regular versions of Tithe drop pretty low, and with several to choose from, the more premium versions might take a while to get expensive again.

Spellseeker (regular nonfoil) – Up to $13 from $8, other versions dropping – It’s always interesting to see when a card creeps up in price after a reprint. Clearly vendors underpriced it by a couple of dollars out of the gate, and with the other versions taking a tumble, it’s the rare case when preordering would have saved you money.

Spellseeker hasn’t ever had a wide release, though. It was rare in Battlebond, a niche set, the nit got a Judge version in 2020 and a Secret Lair not long ago. Now as a mythic, plus the casual demand of more than 60,000 decks on EDHREC, that’s a formula for surprising results. The borderless version is cool, yes, but I doubt people are upgrading to that over the Judge version or the trippy Secret Lair.

The Great Henge (Foil-Etched) – Up to $52 from $36

I can understand why this would drop early, given that it was just in Lord of the Rings’ bonus sheet and now we’re getting a regular/foil/foil-etched set of copies, but this is a very big bounce, one I’m not convinced will go back down. The Great Henge is as staple as cards get, interacting with a range of strategies and making everything better. Mana, lifegain, counters and card draw. This does everything you could hope for, being listed in 130,000 decks online as a result. 

That being said, I’m not expecting it to go a lot higher. We’ve got two sets putting more copies into circulation, and while casual demand soaks a whole lot of that up, the rise ought to be slower from here. If not reprinted, regular copies could get to $60 again by the end of 2024, but there’s no guarantee they won’t print it a third time.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.