Iconic Masters Financial Review

If you’re a fan of Magic finance, this is your week! Chas Andres is back with his second of three articles, this time focusing on Iconic Masters. How will the reprints shape prices now and in the coming months?

Welcome to my second article of the week! The past few days have been so
dense with Magic news that I decided to split my column up into three
parts. If you want to read my thoughts on the financial ramifications of
Magic: The Gathering Arena,
you can find that here. If you’re waiting on the second part of my Ixalan financial set
review, don’t despair: it’s coming tomorrow morning. For now, it’s time to
take a first look at the contents of Iconic Masters.

Back in May,
I spent a week pontificating on the true meaning of the word “iconic”
in hopes that it would give us a hint about what might be reprinted in Iconic Masters. In the end, it turned out that “iconic” just meant
“Modern Staples that haven’t been printed in a while plus some Sphinxes and
stuff.” I can’t say that I love the set from a conceptual perspective, but
the content is dynamite. I was expecting the most casual Masters
set ever, but instead we got…well, take away a few cards, and you could
have called this set Modern Masters 2018.

From a financial perspective, there are two major questions that come with
every Masters set. First, how far are the major reprints likely to
drop? Second, how good is the set’s overall value? Today, I’m going to
cover all of the mythics and rares (as well as some of the key uncommons)
in an attempt to answer both questions.

Mythic Rares


These are all fantastic reprints. Most mythics like this lose about half of
their value when they’re reprinted, so we can expect them settle in the
$15-$20 range.


Mana Drain is amazing, unexpected, and the clear chase mythic of the set. I
can’t imagine it drops below $80, and it’ll probably stay closer to
$100-$120. The art is fantastic, too. Consecrated Sphinx should end up in
the $15-$20 range, while Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur should end up around $10.


Our first uninspiring batch. Sheoldred should end up in the $12-$15 range;
the other two will settle in around $5.


There just aren’t that many good red mythics, are there? Urabrask and
Thundermaw Hellkite are $4-$5 cards, and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker seems
pretty immune to dropping below $10 no matter how many times it’s


This version of Channel is good for $5, and Primeval Titan shouldn’t drop
below $10. Vorinclex will end up in the same $15-$20 range as Elesh Norn,
Grand Cenobite.

Overall, this is a solid but not overwhelming group of mythics. I’d be
happy opening nine of the fifteen, and there are only a couple that are
serious bummers. Mana Drain might be the coolest card in any of the Masters sets combined, but the fact that Avacyn, Angel of Hope is
the second-priciest mythic is a little weak.

Average Mythic Value (current): $30

Average Mythic Value (predicted): $17



Two of the seven white rares are winners, though Auriok Champion is going
to take a big value hit over the next couple of months. The fact that it
was only printed once, in Fifth Dawn, is a major part of why it’s
worth so much. Expect it to end up around $15, the same as Serra Ascendant.


If you open a blue rare or mythic in Iconic Masters, you’ll
probably end up happy. Flusterstorm badly needed a second printing, and
this should cut the price in half. Ancestral Vision was also expensive
mostly due to low supply, and I’d be shocked if it stays over $30. Cryptic
Command is more resilient, and I expect it’ll end up in the $25-$30 range
as well. Teferi should stay around $10 due to the casual crowd.


Thoughtseize already had a pretty high supply thanks to Theros,
but the price was still ticking up thanks to how much Modern play it
continues to see. It might drop below $20 for a bit, but it won’t stay
there for long. Bloodghast will dip a bit more, but it should still stay in
the $12-$15 range. Kokusho should end up around $10, and Rune-Scarred Demon
will be worth at least $3-$4.


Magus of the Moon is another low-supply reprint, though it sees enough
Modern play to stay around $20. Anger of the Gods was a great long-term buy
due to how much Modern play it sees, but I’m much less interested now. The
rest of these cards are bulk.


Green’s rares aren’t much better than red’s this time around. Lotus Cobra
should stay above $10, and Genesis Wave should be a solid $4-$5, but the
rest of these are pretty disappointing.


You almost never want to open a multicolored rare in a Masters
set, and Iconic Masters is no exception. Glimpse the Unthinkable
is a fantastic reprint, though, and we’ve needed a second printing for
years. Even with the additional supply, I don’t see it dropping below $18.
Knight of the Reliquary and Supreme Verdict should stay between $6 and $10
as well.


Holy crap, Aether Vial is back! I wasn’t expecting this one until the next Modern Masters set, but it’s a welcome sight. I expect it’ll end
up settling in at $35, with Oblivion Stone down to $10.


Wow. This land cycle doesn’t scream “iconic” to me, but Horizon Canopy and
Grove of the Burnwillows certainly did need to be reprinted from a supply
perspective. This should take Canopy down to $60 and Grove down to $30.
Don’t expect Nimbus Maze or River of Tears to stay over $3—they’re not
great cards, and they were only at $7-$8 because they’re rare lands from
one of the most under-printed sets of all time.

This is a very strong group of rares, led by Flusterstorm, Horizon Canopy,
Aether Vial, Ancestral Vision, Grove of the Burnwillows, Glimpse the
Unthinkable, Cryptic Command, and Magus of the Moon as top-tier reprints.
And that’s not even counting $30 cards like Thoughtseize and Serra
Ascendant! Not only is the average rare value for this set fairly high,
it’s likely to remain fairly high due to how in-demand these cards are.

Average Rare Value (current): $14.18

Average Rare Value (predicted): $8.21

Key Commons and Uncommons

This isn’t the most exciting bunch of commons and uncommons, but Mishra’s
Bauble was a $20 card (it was $50 a few months ago!) that should end up in
the $6-$7 range now. Thran Dynamo, Lightning Helix, and Monastery
Swiftspear shouldn’t drop much, though—the first two are fairly immune to
reprints, and Monastery Swiftspear sees tons of play all over. The others
aren’t anything special, but you shouldn’t sort them into your bulk.

Will any cards gain value by virtue of not being reprinted in Iconic Masters? I doubt it. There weren’t a lot of expectations
for this set like there are for Modern Masters, and anything that
might have been overlooked (Bribery? Rishadan Port? Ensnaring Bridge?)
could easily show up in Masters 25, which drops this March.

Overall, Iconic Masters is a better set than I was expecting it to
be. I didn’t expect we’d get cards that needed a reprint but weren’t
particularly “iconic,” like Mishra’s Bauble and Horizon Canopy, but I’m
happy to see them here. At this point, I’m mostly curious about how big the
print run will be: there are two other sets (!) being released this holiday
season, so it’s possible that Iconic Masters will come and go
without as much fanfare as the other Masters sets. It’s also
possible that you’ll be able to buy boxes at or below retail well into

Personally, I’m hoping someone decides to give me a box of Iconic Masters as a Christmas gift (hint, hint!) because it seems
pretty darned rad. Otherwise, I’m holding off to see how large that print
run ends up being. There might be some really juicy buying opportunities in
late December. If so, I’ll be sure to let you know.