Masters sets have been a staple of Magic: the Gathering for several years. They're a way for players to collect new printings of older, more valuable cards and generally offer an entertaining draft environment. The latest set, Ultimate Masters, looks to continue that trend at a significant price.
Earlier this week, people who bought the US$250 ($343.92) Guilds Of Ravnica Mythic Edition received letters apologising for how the sale of that product was handled. Included with the letter was a package labelled "Ultimate Box Topper," which contained a full art version of some of the most prized cards not on the Reserved List.
These box toppers were a prelude to the announcement of the most recent, and apparently final, masters set: Ultimate Masters. Anyone who buys a booster box of Ultimate Masters will also receive one of these box toppers.
Here's the kicker, the recommended retail price for a booster box is US$335.76 ($461.84) or almost $20 per booster pack. For those not familiar with how much Magic costs, booster packs tend to be about $5 each. You can see the disparity.
Recent master sets have been a disappointment, with high recommended retail prices and less desirable cards printed in them leading to boxes languishing on store shelves. They just weren't worth it. Wizards of the Coast has seemingly addressed this by upping the price and the desirability of the cards.
At this price, it's unlikely many people will draft the set which is the surest way to see that people open the packs and release cards into the wild. Instead, Ultimate Masters will be opened by collectors and vendors hoping to make a profit. Those hoping this latest set of reprints will help drive prices down so that they can afford to play will be disappointed.
Ultimate Masters releases on December 7.