2, Apr, 24

Direly Needed $75 MTG Reprint Has Finally Been Confirmed

Article at a Glance

Yesterday, players got a look at what would be printed on Magic’s newest Bonus Sheet. Yes, Outlaws of Thunder Junction technically has two Bonus Sheets, but one of those was an Epilogue set that got kyboshed after March of the Machine: Aftermath failed as a product. We’re talking about the Bonus Sheet that was actually supposed to be a Bonus Sheet: Breaking News.

The objective of the Breaking News Bonus Sheet is to include a bunch of effects that Commit Crimes. Targeting your opponent’s stuff, or your opponent themselves is Committing a Crime. The only exception to this is if you target something in their exile.

If you couldn’t tell, it’s pretty easy to Commit a Crime in the world of MTG. A massive variety of effects all successfully Commit Crimes, and many of them are quite powerful in their own right. Thoughtseize and Leyline Binding are two appearances on this Bonus Sheet that players would play with excitement even if they didn’t Commit Crimes. Now, they are arguably even better.

While these reprints are great, they pale in comparison to one reprint that was confirmed late yesterday. Some were convinced that this was an April Fools joke, that does not appear to be the case.

While reprints on heavily played cards are fantastic, sometimes the best reprint players can ask for are on some niche, but expensive MTG cards lost to history. Mindbreak Trap is the biggest reprint MTG has needed, and we finally have it.

What Great Reprints Look Like

Mindbreak Trap has been confirmed to appear on the Breaking News Bonus Sheet, and players are ecstatic. This MTG card is a huge one in Vintage sideboards. Storm-like mechanics are rather popular in that format, and having a free counterspell that can shut down an entire stack is incredibly valuable.

Mindbreak Trap otherwise sees massive cEDH play and some fringe play in Legacy. The counterspell is fantastic for its alternate rate of zero but is basically unplayable at four mana. Any format that can reliably allow you to cast Mindbreak Trap for zero mana is a format where this card sees play.

So, Mindbreak Trap sees play in cEDH, Vintage sideboards, and fringe play in Legacy. That is a significant amount of play, but not enough that it justifies this card’s ridiculous cost. At the time of writing, Mindbreak Trap has a $75 market average according to TCGplayer. A foil Mindbreak Trap will run you over $300 apiece! Oh yeah, it’s also obviously not a part of the Reserved List.

Yes, Mindbreak Trap does see some relevant constructed play, but the big reason for this massive value is only partially due to that. The bigger reason for Mindbreak Trap’s secondary market value being this massive is that the card is stupidly scarce. Up to this point, only one version of the card existed, and it was as a Mythic Rare from a set printed almost 15 years ago.

Mindbreak Trap is finally going to become a lot more available for players who want it, but that will also mean that the card is likely to lose a lot of value. While this may be annoying for players who currently hold copies of the Storm counterspell, this is what Magic’s best reprints end up looking like.

Read More: MTG Breaking News Bonus Sheet Boasts Plethora Of Pricy Reprints!

Other Fantastic Reprint Examples

The best things that Wizards of the Coast can generally reprint are cards that have major price tags thanks to scarcity issues. Not only do these become widely available to the growing community, but players can now obtain these cards for a more reasonable sum. Recent reprints like Imperial Seal and Warrior’s Oath from Double Masters 2022, as well as Capture of Jingzhou from Commander Masters, are the cards that we need to reprint more of. All of these cards were originally only available in the Portal: Three Kingdoms set, and were incredibly expensive for that reason.

Further proving this point is the presence of mechanically identical cards that already exist in-game with much cheaper price tags. Compare Capture of Jingzhou to Time Warp and Temporal Manipulation. All of these cards are five-mana blue sorceries with the exact same mana value that allows you to take an extra turn. The only small variation is that Time Warp can technically give extra turns to other players. Yet, before Capture of Jingzhou was reprinted, that card was worth over $300 while the others were only worth around $12. Capture of Jingzhou’s cheapest variant is now worth about the same.

Warrior’s Oath also has a mechanically identical card in the form of Last Chance. Both of these cards cost RR, are sorceries, and allow you to take an extra turn at the cost of losing the game afterward. The upside is that these cards are rather cheap for extra-turn spells. Yet, before Warrior’s Oath was reprinted, the card held a $300-400 price tag.

Now that Warrior’s Oath has been reprinted, that card is only worth $5. Last Chance is worth even less.

The Downside(?)

Interestingly, there could be a hidden downside to these reprints. Depending on how these reprints are valued for the reprint equity of an MTG set, a multi-hundred dollar reprint plummeting to the ground could seriously affect the total set EV, or expected value, of an MTG product. If Wizards of the Coast were expecting a card like Capture of Jingzhou to maintain an expensive price tag, it plummeting to $12, for example, could seriously mess up the expected value of Commander Masters packs. This makes the product a lot less desirable for customers.

That said, while these reprints will constantly create much-needed discounts on scarce cardboard, they won’t always plummet to the ground. Imperial Seal is a decent example of this. Don’t get me wrong, the card still lost a ton of value overall, but $80 is a perfectly respectable secondary market value for a chase mythic in a premium set. Compare this to its previous $600+ secondary market price, and $80 is a steal.

That all depends on how Wizards values these reprints in their products, though, so this is largely speculation. These reprints stand as being some of the best ones for the overall community. Expensive cardboard in the world of Magic is a given, but scarcity for the overall game piece should not be a larger reason for massive secondary market values.

Read More: MTG Designer Seemingly Confirms Future Bonus Sheet Theme

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