Rick, Steadfast Leader | The Walking Dead Secret Lair
9, May, 23

MTG’s Most Controversial Commanders Are Getting Reprinted

Article at a Glance

When it comes to playing Commander, there are a lot of choices for who can helm your deck. In fact, according to Scryfall, there are currently 1,837 cards that are eligible to be your commander. Out of these MTG cards, some of them are good, a lot of them are bad, and a few are deeply controversial. Regardless of which commander you use, however, every commander player is united by one true love. The love of reprints!

Reprints are almost universally seen as a good thing since they help to drive down the cost of beloved cards. Subsequently, reprints of new and old cards are almost constantly requested by MTG players. Thankfully for players, Wizards seems all too happy to cater to that demand with Masters sets and Secret Lair drops. Alongside these fantastic reprint engines, Wizards also The List to cram reprints into premier sets. 

For some sets, such as the upcoming Wilds of Eldraine, The List is more important than usual. This is thanks to it reprinting some of the most controversial commander cards in MTG: Universes Beyond cards.

The Wait Is Almost Over

Glenn, the Voice of Calm | The Walking Dead Secret Lair
Glenn, the Voice of Calm | The Walking Dead Secret Lair

Following their announcement in 2020, The Walking Dead crossover cards became some of the most controversial MTG cards ever. As the first Universes Beyond product, much of this backlash was unsurprising. After all, seeing TV characters on MTG cards was practically unheard of. While it technically had happened before with the My Little Pony (Ponies: The Galloping) crossover, those cards were not tournament playable. The Walking Dead cards, however, were playable in Vintage, Legacy, and Commander.

Beyond just looking out of place on the battlefield, The Walking Dead cards had a more major malfunction. These cards were brand new never before seen cards, and they were only available for a limited time. Effectively putting these cards on a faux Reserved List, many MTG players seriously weren’t happy about this decision. After players spoke out in droves across social media, thankfully, Wizards of the Coast would take notice. Implementing a new policy, now Universes Beyond cards would all get reprinted after six months. 

Quelling some of the anger against Universes Beyond cards, players were no longer subject to merciless FOMO. While this was certainly good news, unfortunately, not everything was perfect. As, while Stranger Things and later Street Fighter cards would get reprints, the original sin wasn’t getting fixed… As time went on, this baffling decision just got all the more confusing since each new set presented an opportunity. 

Thankfully, however, after literal years of waiting, The Walking Dead cards are finally getting reprinted! As usual, the reprints will be found in The List for an upcoming set. This time around, that lucky set is Wilds of Eldraine which launches on the 8th of September, 2023. Should past trends continue, when these reprints are released, they should be incredibly cheap. 

A Very Pricey Playable

Rick, Steadfast Leader | The Walking Dead Secret Lair
Rick, Steadfast Leader | The Walking Dead Secret Lair

Currently, considering most of The Walking Dead cards are under $10, these reprints might not seem all too important. While this is technically true, that most is very important, as one of the five cards is still tremendously expensive. Clocking in at $57 on average, Rick, Steadfast Leader seriously needs a reprint. 

Unlike the other cards in The Walking Dead Secret Lair, Rick, Steadfast Leader has seen consistent play in Commander since its release. This is thanks to the card being a powerful choice for Humans-themed decks. In fact, thanks to their pair of powerful human buffing abilities, Rick is a fairly common choice for these decks. According to EDHRec, 536 decks currently use Rick as their Commander. While this is impressive, it’s admittedly almost eight times less than the number one choice Kyler, Sigardian Emissary.

Thankfully for fans of Rick’s abilities, they’ll soon be a whole lot more affordable once Wilds of Eldraine releases. Typically, the Universes Within reprints that are found on the list sell for a fraction of the main card’s cost. For example, the most expensive Street Fighter Universes Beyond Secret Lair card is Chun-Li, Countless Kicks. Currently worth around $15 on average, this card isn’t too cheap, however, the Universes Within variant (Zethi, Arcane Blademaster) is. Priced at just $1.50 on TCGplayer, copies of these cards are incredibly easy to get ahold of. 

It stands to reason that the same pricing trend should exist for The Walking Dead cards. If that does happen, it will be great news for players such as u/strygwyn, who have long been waiting for prices to drop. While this somewhat positive reaction was seen across social media, some players, such as u/Jest_Durdle00, were simply tired of waiting.

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Lord of Change
Lord of Change | Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks

Unfortunately for MTG players who find Universes Beyond cards controversial, and love cheap reprints, not every card is promised this treatment. Cards from the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks, for instance, aren’t guaranteed to get Universes Within reprints. This is thanks to the cards being widely accessible and purchasable from retailers. The same will be true for the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth and Doctor Who cards. 

Thankfully, while this may not be what players want to hear, Wizards does reserve the right to create Universes Within versions of popular cards. Just what makes a card popular enough to facilitate this treatment, however, remains to be seen. Currently, it seems the strongest chance for Universes Within reprints could be a hypothetical Universes Within Masters set. Whether or not this will actually become a reality, however, is unclear.

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