Welcome back, my friends – and also, hello!
Don’t do a double take at the extra greeting; we’re just doing everything by twos at the moment. Did you know that Double Masters is just around the corner? And that it’s about to arrive? I’m twice as excited as usual, considering how much absurd value seems to be in every pack!
Of course, simply charging more to have a second rare in the pack doesn’t make a set more valuable by itself. No, it’s the quality of the rares on offer that has people talking. We’ve barely seen any cards spoiled so far, but those we have seen look like the cream of the crop. Mana Crypt. Atraxa. Blightsteel. Kaalia. And, of course, Doubling Season!
Available in incredible new showcase artworks, no less!
Even if these mythics are the pinnacle of what we can expect in Double Masters, that sets expectations extremely high for the remaining cards. When it comes to the rest of the cards, we only have two(!!) clues:
- This set primarily serves Commander/eternal format players, after Jumpstart and Core Set 2021 were created with newcomers in mind
- WotC slyly admitted in their official announcement that they “leaned into the doubling theme a bit”
So, we’re getting a Masters set full of high-value and long-awaited reprints, with many of them explicitly connected to the idea of “doubling”? Sounds like time to double down on some reprint speculation!
Here’s my shortlist of “doubling”-themed cards I hope to see when Double Masters previews start later this month.
Alright, you caught me cheating on the first one. This is actually five cards, a full cycle of rares from the under-printed and under-appreciated Shadowmoor. They didn’t really tie into that set’s themes, but they’re the perfect fit for this one! From the mirrored artwork to the powerful multiplicative effects, the whole cycle seems like a slam dunk for Double Masters! Although, if I had to pick just a couple, I’d love to see Mana Reflection and Wound Reflection reprinted; these are Commander cards at heart, and they scale the best with goings-on in that format.
Double Masters seems like a set eager to please and excite Magic players during a tough year. One way WotC can achieve that is by reprinting cards that are in unusually short supply. The Reflections had one printing in a poorly-circulated set twelve years ago. Fiendish Duo was only printed for the first time last year — but exclusively in the “Game Night Box Set,” making its asking price on the singles market somewhere around the price of the box itself!
Let’s be doubly serious here: this is a nifty tool for some mono-red Commander decks to supplement Angrath’s Marauders and the like, but it’s not a $30 card on power alone. Printing the Duo into Double Masters will hopefully bring that way back down so these fine fiends are more accessible to players who want them.
Speaking of valuable cards printed exclusively in supplemental products! Jumpstart is still the fresh and exciting thing, and it’s set to make a tremendous impact on Historic (and potentially Legacy). A lot of the most powerful new cards in Jumpstart are mythics as well — which, combined with the themed booster scheme, has sparked justifiable concern about the total supply of these fresh staples.
Probably the easiest way to avert this crisis is to take some of the most obviously sought-after new mythics and immediately reprint them in Double Masters: Bruvac, Tinybones, Allosaurus Shepherd, etc. I promise nobody will be upset to see a double printing in this scenario!
A riddle for you, readers: What is cast with double black, spelled with double “t,” and desperately in need of reprinting for the Pauper community?
That’s right, it’s Oubliette! This black Oblivion Ring is the kind of card that draws people to play Commander or Pauper in the first place — something offbeat and interesting that you can’t play anywhere else. Only thing is, people don’t really get the chance to play it in paper at the moment, and Arabian Nights came out… a little while ago.
Mark Rosewater already confirmed at the start of the year that Oubliette was finally getting a long-awaited reprint this year, but that it wouldn’t be in a Standard set due to its clash with the modern color pie. All signs point to this being the common black removal slot in Double Masters. Long live Pauper!
The first two sets of Commander precons Wizards printed in the early 2010’s are a wild ride, if you go through them card by card. Early understandings of what the nascent format should or could be led to some unplayable cards and some miserably playable ones (hi, True-Name Nemesis!)
But one thing these decks largely got right was the powerful and unique tri-color legends. In an era before Wizards began seeding deliberate Commander prospects into every set, these were some of the most powerful and unique choices on the table. For players of that vintage, they’re as iconic as Najeela or Edgar Markov today.
With Kaalia of the Vast already spoiled, there’s the potential for a few others from her class to sneak in. For theme alone, I think one could be Riku. I mean, he’s a 2/2 with two abilities that let you pay two mana to make two of something! A wonderful value-oriented commander who plays well in any Temur deck, and certainly one who deserves a second printing after a decade of service.
If Wizards is indeed committing this set to helping all eternal formats, they need to find a few Constructed staples outside of the Reserved List that they can slide it to relieve Legacy and Vintage pocketbooks. I would expect a timely reprint of ultra-staple Force of Will featuring new artwork to start, but we don’t even need to step outside the set’s theme to find a few additional candidates!
Vesuva, home of the famous shapeshifters, is a lovely, clean little design that does just what it says on the tin. Any deck trying to squeeze some extra utility or even combo potential out of its land base can do worse than to run a copy, and certain decks like Cloudpost or Amulet Titan have made it look broken by circumventing its primary drawback: entering play tapped.
With just a From the Vault reprint since its debut in 2006, the time seems ripe to return to “every place you’ve ever been.”
With yet another fruitless “Free Splinter Twin” campaign behind us this week, you would think the air goes out of this prediction a little. But unfortunately, that is just not the kind of logic that applies to this storied, polarizing aura. Every time a B&R announcement approaches, the price of Splinter Twin jumps a little more, and it doesn’t go back down!
Twin‘s value has become a barometer of sorts for people’s feelings on Modern. When people feel the format is broken enough to justify the unbanning of their favorite combo-control package, they start buying! And lately, they’ve been buying more than ever, raising the price back to 2015 levels and probably prompting a reprint as part of this set’s “doubling” theme to keep things from getting too hysterical.
It’s never going to be unbanned, though. Sorry, Twinners.
Of all the cards that fall under the classification of “fixed Doubling Season,” this one stands out immediately for not being green. White is definitely the color next most in need of multiplying creature tokens, and while it could probably have afforded to get the +1/+1 counter doubling as well, no mono-white player is going to look a gift horse token in the mouth.
With Procession barely three years old and already spiking to $25 thanks to Commander demand, there’s no reason to wait any longer before popping the bubble. Heck, Wizards — use the second rare slot in those packs for Smothering Tithe and I’ll never criticize the design of white again
Clone effects occupy the sacred center of Magic’s Venn diagram between “effective” and “fun” — as do most ninjas. This fun and plucky tribe have gone from strength to strength since the printing of Yuriko in Commander 2018 and more friends in Modern Horizons. It’s one of the more popular tribal themes in blue.
Sakashima’s Student is both a Clone and a ninja, making it one of the highest “neat!” value cards ever printed. Unfortunately, we must use “printed” loosely, as its only appearance was in the ill-fated Planechase supplements. Supply has been limping along since then, with the price climbing higher and higher over time. If the price were more reasonable, you could argue the Student’s place in almost any blue deck; it’s hard to find a lower-cost Clone, even without tribal synergies. And Yuriko players in both Commander and Legacy would be rejoicing.
Another Lorwyn rare that has risen and risen and risen in price over the years, as the existing copies are snapped up for Commander. In this case, you can hardly blame the people buying it; Rings is an incredibly powerful enabler for tons of commanders, and can set up a combo simply by existing next to Basalt Monolith!
While there has been one Rings reprint before, it was as a Kaladesh Masterpiece, so it actually caused the default price to go up as more players noticed its existence. Now, Wizards has the chance to make amends with a new, accessible Rings printing. And for a set called “Double Masters,” what could be more appropriate than Two Rings to Rule Them All?!?
DOUBLE BLIND SPECULATION
So, there’s ten of my best guesses (though far from my only ones) as to which “doubling” cards Wizards might have slipped into Double Masters. I’m hoping for a few “off-theme” reprints as well to follow up the high-value cards we saw pop up in M21.
We should start seeing actual spoilers for Double Masters in the next week or two, so we’ll soon find out how close my guesses were and start wading into the set in earnest. Until then, enjoy this season of doubling!
Tom’s fate was sealed in 7th grade when his friend lent him a pile of commons to play Magic. He quickly picked up Boros and Orzhov decks in Ravnica block and has remained a staunch white magician ever since. A fan of all Constructed formats, he enjoys studying the history of the tournament meta. He specializes in midrange decks, especially Death & Taxes and Martyr Proc. One day, he swears he will win an MCQ with Evershrike. Ask him how at @AWanderingBard, or watch him stream Magic at twitch.tv/TheWanderingBard.