With Pro Tour Lord of the Rings underway in Barcelona, we’ve already been gifted with a wide variety of preview cards and news to go over. The preview panel at MagicCon Barcelona contained spoilers from the upcoming Doctor Who set as well as Wilds of Eldraine. Wilds of Eldraine in particular looks set to be a blast. From recurring themes from Throne of Eldraine, such as Food tokens, to powerful individual cards like the Whites Craterhoof BehemothMoonshaker Cavalry, this set has a lot going for it.
An important feature of the set is the return of a bonus sheet. Bonus sheets add a handful of reprints from throughout Magic’s history to specific sets. These additions add a unique element to booster packs that enhance the experience of both opening packs and drawing with them. We’re starting to see bonus sheets more and more in recent sets, and each bonus sheet typically has a theme relevant to the set itself.
For Wilds of Eldraine, this theme is none other than Enchanting Tales. Since a ton of these cards are being opened, it also reduces the cost of expensive reprints, which is usually a good thing. Unfortunately, given the recent Commander Masters reprint spoilers, this will likely lower the overall sales price of the Commander Masters product as well.
Commander Masters Value
Commander Masters has already sparked some outrage from the community over how expensive a product can be. With crates reaching over $400, players pretty much expected a decent portion of the rare and mythic rare reprints to be worth a lot of money. Some of the Commander decks, such as Sliver Precon, only increased frustration among players due to the huge amount of important, expensive reprints that were missing. Still, as disappointing as some of the reprints were, there were still some heavy hitters to look forward to.
The problem is that many of the expensive Commander Masters reprints were Enchantments. Short as doubling season and Suffocating tithe were major highlights that helped maintain the value of the Commander Masters product. Not only does the Wilds of Eldraine bonus sheet focus on enchantments, but both Doubling Season and Smothering Tithe were among the eight cards already spoiled.
Considering how much bonus sheets used to tank the value of reprints, it’s safe to say that Commander Masters’ secondary market value took a big hit. It’s interesting to see the focus on reprints in sets so close together, but the fact that there is already overlap with some of the more expensive cards that Commander Masters has to offer hurts the market value of Commander Masters as a whole. To understand exactly why bonus sheets have had the value of reprints fill, it is important to look at how bonus sheets have been handled historically.
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A short story
Bonus sheets provide players with a collection of reprints that go with specific sets and use specific themes. Each of the cards in these bonus sheets typically get unique treatments as well. The first print sheet to use a collection of reprints like this was with the Timeshifted cards associated with the Time Spiral. These 121 Timeshifted cards featured all pre-Mirrodin cards and all with the Seventh Edition card frame and a new purple expansion symbol. This would later encourage additional Timeshifted maps associated with Time Spiral Remastered. As with the original Time Spiral, there were 121 more Timeshifted cards with a retro card frame and a purple expansion symbol.
Since Time Spiral Remastered, there have been many more sets that use specific bonus sheets. Starting with Strixhaven’s Mystical Archives bonus sheet, we started to see cards of specific types show up in certain sets. These arcane archives featured instants and sorcery, the Brother’s Wars bonus sheet focused on artifacts, and most recently March of the Machine featured a host of legendary creatures on its bonus sheet. As the name Enchanting Tales might suggest, Wilds of Eldraine keeps this pattern going by only using Enchantments in their bonus sheets.
So far, eight of the 63 Enchantments from the Wilds of Eldraine bonus sheet have been previewed. These cards feature special storybook artwork associated with the Eldraine aesthetic. Of the eight cards that have been previewed so far, seven of them are currently worth $10 or more. Doubling season especially is worth an astonishing $60 at the moment. Anyway, this is an incredible reprint, but it also happens to be one of the many hunting cards in Commander Masters coming out in August.
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A big drop in value
March of the Machine featured a wide variety of legendary creatures in a bonus sheet known as “Multiverse Legends”. One of the most powerful legendary creatures printed in recent years, Ragavan, swift thieving, was one of the most sought after cards from the Multiverse Legends series. However, within just two weeks, the card dropped from around $205 all the way down to $55. Currently, Ragavan is sitting at $40. Why would a card as popular as this tank be so far so fast?
Well, even if demand for the card remained relatively high, the available supply would grow significantly. This also applied to more than just Ragavan. The thing is, unlike the “Masterpiece” series associated with Kaladesh, Multiverse Legends wasn’t designed to be a rare find. In fact, every single pack of March of the Machine contained a Multiverse Legend slot. This includes both draft booster packs and set booster packs. That meant there were copies of Ragavan being opened left and right. Even with unique treatment, the card, along with other Multiverse Legends, would decrease in value.
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Limited gameplay and affordability
Wilds of Eldraine is no exception and must include one Enchanting Tales Enchantment in each pack. In general, the addition of bonus sheets to various sets is welcomed with open arms, especially for those who enjoy a unique limited environment. Although these bonus sheet cards are not standard legal, they are indeed draftable. Many Limited aficionados praised the March of the Machine bonus sheet, which notably added the 10 “Companion” cards from Ikoria that gave a nice bonus to players who could meet the deck building restrictions.
In this sense, bonus sheets can both make the Limited environment more interesting while also helping to make specific reprints more affordable. To many, this may sound like a win-win situation. However, the Wilds of Eldraine bonus sheet in particular may cause some ruckus given how close these previews come to the release of Commander Masters. It’s definitely worth monitoring how the value of the Commander Masters product as well as individual cards from the Commander Masters and Wilds of Eldraine bonus sheets progress.
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