Dockside Extortionist
24, May, 22

The Most Expensive Commander Product Ever Has Just Been Revealed

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Article at a Glance

On May 12, 2022, Wizards of the Coast revealed a first look at the new MTG Universes Beyond Warhammer 40,000 collaboration. The set, as we know now, is entirely Commander themed. The collaboration contains four ready-to-play Commander decks that will introduce new cards for the game. These decks will also come in two different variations: normal and Collector’s edition. We have seen this treatment for Wizards’ recent set expansions that they have released, but never for Commander decks. Soon after the announcements were made, Amazon starts offering customers to preorder the MTG Collector’s edition of these decks:

The Price Reveal

On May 22, Tolarian Community College draws attention to the price of the new Collector’s Edition deck preorders available on Amazon. Considering how the average preconstructed Commander deck up to this point has costed around $40, or $160 for a set of four, $548 dollars for a set of four Commander decks is an astronomical price increase.

MTG Collector’s Edition Perks

What do we know so far about the MTG Collector’s Edition? Firstly, there’s going to be a new foiling treatment called Surge Foil. Unfortunately, besides the foiling being ‘really pretty’ according to the Warhammer stream spoiling, there isn’t a lot we know about it. New foiling processes have a varied amount of success from Wizards’ history. Examples of both extremes exist within recently printed sets of MTG. Gilded Foils from Streets of New Capenna are a huge success. Because of this, the foil multipliers on some of the rarer Gilded Foil cards are huge. Read more about it here.

Pringle foils represent the other side of the spectrum. This was not a name given to the foils by Wizards, but by the community instead. It referred to how badly the cards would curl because of the poor quality of the materials used. These foils were met with furious outcries from the community. Luckily, Wizards took notes. Its safe to say that we won’t be seeing pringle foils again any time soon… at least I hope.

The entire MTG Collector’s Edition decks will be foiled with the new Surge foil treatment. Otherwise, content will be the same between the normal and Collectors version of these decks.

Commander Players and Foils

sisay, weatherlight captain

Commander players do love their foiled cards! There have been a lot of instances of popular foil Commanders having a huge multiplier because of the massive demand for them. Sisay, Weatherlight Captain is an example of a recent Commander that has a rather large foil multiplier. Nonfoil versions of Sisay go for about one dollar, while foil versions can go from anywhere between six to seven dollars. Other recently printed Commanders that are popular tend to be worth anywhere between 1.5-2x more than the nonfoil Commander. Bigger multipliers are seen on cards that have few foil reprints, as well as foil reprints that are hard to get your hands on. This suggests that the Collector’s Edition’s value on the Secondary Market will likely increase over time. We’re talking about years, but if that’s an investment you’re willing to make, it feels like a smart one.

Normal Version Price

Ignoring the shipping cost for those out of the US (like me), these Commander decks are still a little more expensive than average. There won’t be any booster packs for the Warhammer set, meaning that all unique cards from the collaboration will only be available in Commander decks and the three Secret Lairs that have been announced for the set.

The big thing to highlight here is that there is a $320 dollar difference between the Collector’s Edition and the normal edition. The price difference alone should cause a foil multiplier on the secondary market to take effect. Will the difference between foil and nonfoil singles make the MTG Collector’s Edition worth it? Since a Collector’s Edition has never been done for a Commander deck before, the best way to speculate how the Secondary Market will react to this is to look at similar product releases.

Similar Products

The big difference between these Collector’s Edition Commander decks and past Collector Booster items is that what you get in each pack isn’t randomized. This means that the more valuable cards will ultimately be easier to find in its foil treatment. There aren’t a lot of products in WOTC’s history that offer both non-foil and foil versions of cards that have similar availability between them.

Putting Secret Lairs aside, since the Warhammer collaboration will have three of them, Commander Editions are a pretty close example to what kind of impact these products could have on the secondary market.

worldly tutor
liliana, heretical healer

The big takeaway is that the better the cards are, the better the foil multipliers will be. This may seem rather redundant, but that’s the story these two products tell. Commander Collection Black simply doesn’t have a lot of cards that are highly valuable, so the foil multipliers are not worth the premium you pay for the foil version anymore. Besides Sol Ring and Command Tower, which will always have foil value, all the foil multipliers for Commander Collection Black cards have plummeted as seen in the example above. Commander Collection Green has Worldly Tutor and Sylvan Library, two very expensive cards in the secondary market. The foil multipliers will get you a lot further as a result. Sol Ring and Worldly Tutor specifically have gigantic foil multipliers from this product. You easily get your money back with half the cards in Commander Collection Green.

Legacy/Vintage Legality

kappa cannoneer

It’s easy to forget that Commander legal cards are also legal in Legacy and Vintage. With how powerful these eternal formats are, its rare that Commander exclusive cards have a major effect on the format. When they do, there can be major financial implications. Kappa Cannoneer is an example of a card that impacted these eternal formats. Because most of the competitive play for these cards happen on MTGO (partially because of how expensive it is to buy Legacy and Vintage decks in real life), the price of this card inflated a lot more online. With the return of paper competitive events, we recently saw a huge price increase in Pioneer staples. This is due to the Wizards of the Coast announcing that Pioneer would be the premier paper constructed format for the time being. That being said, not all high-level paper tournaments are going to be Pioneer. As Legacy becomes a more pushed format with competitive paper play, the price increases of the Commander cards that are making an impact in eternal formats could see a huge increase. The reason for this simple: supply and demand.

Availability

Premium products like the MTG Collector’s Edition or foil Commander collections have typically only been available at certain stores that have been WPN approved. If this approach is used when selling Collector’s Edition Commander decks, a lack of availability may make them more sought-after. Walmart may also end up carrying these decks in bulk. We don’t know.

allosaurus shephard

As we have seen with the Secret Lair releases in the past, MTG product that doesn’t have a booster box style of release sometimes has troubles being shipped outside of the US. While this doesn’t always impact the secondary market, there have been instances where there are direct correlations. Jumpstart is a recent example of this. Continual print run errors caused availability for this product to be at an all-time low. This resulted in some of the Mythics only available in the set, like Allosaurus Shephard, being incredibly expensive. Other cards in Jumpstart crashed harder then the Shephard because Jumpstart has been made more available. The graph pictured above from TCGPlayer shows an example of how Allosaurus Shephard has decreased in price as Jumpstart becomes more available. What does this mean for the Warhammer product? I would hope that this doesn’t come into play, but if it does, being able to sell your cards for a higher price and rebuying the product once its more available is a not-so-quick, but easy way to make some profit.

Future Spoilers

Spoilers have impacted the price of other Commander deck Precons on the secondary market. Typically, this happens at a Local Game Store, which have lower prices than other retailers that have a standard mark-up. Preordering this product before spoilers allows you to skip these premiums. Fierce Guardianship and Dockside Extortionist are two cards in recent times that are guilty for causing this.

Chances are there are going to be enough valuable singles in these products that buying some version of these Commander decks is going to be worth it.

What’s Your Flavor?

At the end of the day, its up to you to decide which version of these Commander decks you are going to buy. Do you just want to take a chance and see if you can cash out on the Collector’s Edition decks? Are you happy with buying the original edition and seeing how things ride out? My thoughts are to wait and see. I’ll pay a premium if there’s a foil version of a Commander deck that I like, because I like shiny things. Financially, its probably not a smart move to make, but that’s what I’m comfortable with. Don’t be like me. Save money before the premiums start getting tacked on. Its expensive enough already.

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