They’ve done it! We were bamboozled, befuddled, some might even say hypothesizzled! Wizards of the Coast has somehow kept an entire Masters set secret from the Magic community, but no longer! The secret is out. Ultimate Masters is the latest, and last Masters set that WOTC plans to publish “for the foreseeable future.”
Today’s article is meant to be a comprehensive guide for everything we know so far about Ultimate Masters. Of course, I’ll throw in some educated guesses along with the facts for your speculative pleasure. Now, let’s get down to business!
Q: When can I crack these packs?
A: Ultimate Masters will be available to buy and play in stores and on Magic Online on Friday, December 7, 2018.
Q: How much does this set cost?
A: Officially, the MSRP of Ultimate Masters is $335.76 for a booster box or $13.99 per booster pack. This is unfortunately much higher than the $9.99 per booster pack price of previous Masters sets. Additionally, blister packs of three boosters will be available at mass retailers like Walmart and Target for $34.99. If you like to play on Magic Online, booster packs will be $6.99 each, but will not be redeemable.
Q: That’s a lot for some booster packs! What do I get out of this Ultimate Masters set?
A: Ultimate Masters is a 254-card expansion set comprised entirely of reprinted cards. Many of these cards are expensive cards that see play in Modern, Legacy, and other formats. In some cases, this is the first time these cards have been reprinted since their original printing years ago. Each booster pack will contain 15 cards, including one premium foil, one mythic or rare, three uncommons, and ten commons. Each booster box will contain 24 booster packs, as is typical of Masters set. Additionally, each booster box you purchase comes with an Ultimate Masters Box Topper sealed inside the plastic shrink wrap. Each Box Topper contains one of 40 premium foil cards with extended art.
Q: So… if they’re all reprinted, what cards are in the set?
A: Wizards of the Coast has not officially released the full list of cards being reprinted in Ultimate Masters, but we do know the full list of Ultimate Box Toppers, which are all confirmed to be in the set. Behold:
Q: So, is Ultimate Masters worth the price?
A: No worries, I’ve got your extensive price breakdown covered!
First, it’s important to note that although each of the Ultimate Box Toppers is printed with a mythic symbol, not all of them will be mythics in the set. For example, see the Box Topper Noble Hierarch (left) compared to the normal Noble Hierarch (right), which will be a rare in Ultimate Masters. For a full list of the rarities of each known card in Ultimate Masters, see below. Plus, we know of one bonus card that will be in the set, but will not be available as an Ultimate Box Topper. That card is Entomb, which will be a rare in the set.
Notes on the Estimated Value Calculation of Ultimate Masters:
My card prices are based on TCGPlayer Market pricing from November 13, 2018. These prices likely have already changed, and will continue to change. Therefore, the estimations below should be used as guidelines, not as fixed price points. My calculations are generally more conservative than many I have seen from other sources. This is because I used prices from previous Masters set printings of cards when possible, rather than using their original printings which tend to retain higher prices than reprints. To estimate the value of the Ultimate Box Toppers, I used a combination of a card’s latest foil printing price and the price of any promos or masterpiece versions of the card, when applicable. It is also important to note that there are 20 mythics in this set, rather than the typical 15 we’ve seen in previous Masters sets. This causes each mythic to contribute slightly less value to the average box, as I anticipate each individual mythic will be slightly rarer to open in any given booster box. Finally, these prices represent an “estimated value” of the booster box they will appear in. Individual boxes may be worth significantly more or less than this average “estimated value.”
Based on my calculations, I expect the 41 cards which have already been spoiled, including their Box Topper and foil versions, to contribute $243 to the expected value of an average box of Ultimate Masters.
There are still an anticipated 34 rares, 78 uncommons, and 101 commons that have not yet been spoiled. Those remaining cards will be spoiled next week, starting Monday, November 19th. Even if every single one of these cards is considered “bulk,” which is unlikely to be the case, I would expect to break even on any box which can be purchased for $275 or less. Unfortunately, this is a far cry from the $336 MSRP per box. Fortunately, many shops, including ABUGames.com, are preselling boxes of Ultimate Masters for well under MSRP ($249.99 at the time of this writing, which will continue to rise as we get closer to release.)
A final note on the Ultimate Box Toppers: they are labeled “Not for Resale.” There have been reports that the Box Topper packs are searchable, so any sealed Box Toppers for sale outside of a booster box should be examined with extreme scrutiny. As a business professional and Magic buyer, I try to adhere to ethical business practices, and I encourage all of you to do the same. I advise that if you buy a box of Ultimate Masters, open the Box Topper and sell or keep it as you see fit. Do not try to buy or sell Box Toppers which have been separated from their booster boxes but remain unopened. This will protect you from risky buys as well as potential false accusations.
Whatever you end up doing, I hope you can enjoy Ultimate Masters despite its price, even if it’s only a single pack or a single draft night. Look for my next article where I’ll discuss the fully spoiled set and its implications for Limited. Look for more spoilers starting next week, and get excited for the full release of Ultimate Masters on December 7th!