Since the product line’s inception in 2020, the Universes Beyond sub-brand has been steeped in controversy. Initially making the mistake of launching new cards via Secret Lair, the Universes Beyond brand was almost dead upon arrival. Despite this initial controversy, Wizards hasn’t slowed down the steady expansion of the potentially popular MTG sub-brand. Luckily for Wizards, this persistence has recently been paying off, with player opinion around Universes Beyond products growing more positive. Much of this recent positivity has been thanks to the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks that were released last October.
Unlike previous Universes Beyond products, the new Warhammer 40,000 cards weren’t automatically despised upon release. Instead, somewhat remarkably, the opposite was true, as many players couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new decks. Alongside the love for the Warhammer 40,000 brand, much of this desire likely stemmed from the card’s incredible strength. Cards such as Poxwalkers and Out of the Tombs, for instance, both enabled infinite combos. These cards, however, were far from the only highly prized Eternal legal bombs that made the Commander decks great.
With a handful of Warhammer 40,000 cards even seeing Legacy play, these Universes Beyond cards have been surprisingly lucrative. This is even more true for the extra shiny Surge Foil variants, which can sell for upwards of $42. Curiously, while Triumph of Saint Katherine may be a solid investment, they’re not responsible for the latest price spike. Instead, thanks to a bizarre buyout, cards like Shard of the Void Dragon make waves.
Highlighted by user u/Prid3 on the r/MTGFinanace subreddit, there seemingly isn’t much rhyme or reason behind this buyout. While Prid3 notes, “many of them are decently playable in EDH/Legacy,” Royal Warden is hardly a game-ending threat. Subsequently, there’s little reason to pick it, especially not as a Surge Foil card, unless you really love the art. The same goes for cards such as Tyrant Guard, Canoptek Wraith, and Skorpekh Lord. Worth around just $1 each, prior to this buyout, these cards were hardly sought-after EDH or Legacy staples. However, MTG players can’t get their hands on these cards, via TCGplayer, even if they wanted to, resulting in insane 1400% price spikes!
Surge Foil Spikes
As you might expect, due to this buyout, prices for many of these unassuming Surge Foil bulk rares have skyrocketed in price. The once $3.40 Shard of the Void Dragon, for instance, was most recently purchased for $9.00. Similarly, Convergence of Dominion was previously just $1.53. However, one copy was recently sold for $11.99! That’s an increase of 783% in just three days! With this buyout seemingly ongoing, it certainly seems like now is the right time to offload these Surge Foil cards. Ultimately, however, there’s no telling if these inflated prices will actually last long into the future.
In their Reddit post, u/Prid3 points out that there are actually a lot of compelling reasons to support this buyout as an investment opportunity. Highlighting “the low supply, no possibility of a direct reprint” and niche playability, this buyout could legitimately generate artificial scarcity. Despite this, however, Prid3 notes that even if it’s successful, this somewhat surprising investment is no sure thing. “On the other hand, they move slow, so it’s probably going to take years for these buyouts to pay off.“
While years of waiting isn’t for everyone, thanks to statements from Mark Rosewater, Surge Foils are surprisingly sound investments. Following recent Universes Beyond releases, Mark Rosewater has confirmed time and time again that “there are no current plans for in-universe Magic versions” of non-Secret Lair Universes Beyond cards. This means that, without a Universes Beyond Masters set, the Warhammer 40,000 cards won’t be reprinted any time soon. Because of this, some MTG players have even claimed Universes Beyond cards are almost equivalent to Reserved List cards. Unlike Reserved List cards, however, even potential reprints aren’t threatening the cards’ speculative value.
“I do agree that as Foil ‘Reserved List’ cards with reasonably low supply that they’re one of the better long-term specs though. Eventually, they’re all going to be worth substantially more than what they’re worth today and ‘reprints’ won’t really phase their prices since it’s going to be entirely new cards, most likely in nonfoil only.”u/Prid3
The Waiting Game
Ultimately, as u/Prid3 noted in their posts, these Surge Foil buyouts are long-term investments, not quick cash grabs. Prices may be spiking hard in the short term. However, the real money is supposedly yet to be made. Highlighting Triumph of Saint Katherine as a lucrative, yet expensive, spec, Prid3 is predicting big things in the card’s future. “We ain’t seen nothing yet, I don’t think. My personal prediction is that they break $150.00 USD within a year of release.” Whether or not this bold prediction will actually happen, however, remains to be seen. Should Triumph of Saint Katherine and other Warhammer 40,000 cards remain playable in Legacy, it’s certainly a distinct possibility.