Wizards of the Coast adds fuel to MTG Commander Masters fire again

Joel Loynds
MTG Commander Masters art with dollar signs behind it

Magic: The Gathering’s makers, Wizards of the Coast, have enraged fans of the game once again after claiming that Commander Masters isn’t a premium product.

In a recent stream about the upcoming Commander Masters set Wizards of the Coast has added fuel to the fire surrounding its preconstructed decks.

Fans are already unhappy regarding these decks, as the Land and mana base (the needed cards to complete actions) don’t match the price of $80 for one of the revealed decks. As we’ve previously explained, a lot of the cards are too “slow” for the Commander format, leaving the out-of-the-box experience a little bit of a slog.

The latest issue now stems from a stream about Commander Masters directly from WOTC, where two staff members question when the product was dubbed a “premium” one. During the questions and answers section of the stream, someone in the Twitch chat asked:

“What makes this a premium deck? Why isn’t there more love for the mana bases in these precons?

“This isn’t a question about cost, this is a question about justification of calling something “Premium” without premium contents.”

Blake Rasmussen responded with:

“Can someone in chat flag to me where we called this premium?

“I don’t know about that tag.”

WOTC staff claim Commander Masters isn’t a premium set – despite prices saying otherwise

Commander Masters stream with two staff, one dressed as Commodore Guff

Wizards of the Coast dropped the idea of MSRP from its MTG products with War of the Spark in 2019, leaving players in the hands of the market itself.

On TCGPlayer, basic draft packs currently hold a price of $14.21, while the preconstructed decks are currently priced at:

  • $180.24 for Eldrazi Unbound
  • $139.83 for Sliver Swarm
  • $79.04 for Planeswalker Party
  • $72.44 for Enduring Enchantments

It should be noted that MTG booster packs usually cost $3.99 for a non-premium set, but previous Masters sets have seen prices in-store retail for around $10-$15.

Fans have taken to Reddit to express their concern that Wizards of the Coast don’t see Commander Masters as a “premium” product. This is despite it using the “Masters” branding, reserved for special release sets, as well as allowing the charging of roughly double the regular price for some decks.

One user pointed out that Wizards is currently selling these decks to retailers at $60, immediately making them a premium product in comparison to other wholesale prices. Another comment suggests that WOTC labeling the Commander Masters decks as “ultimate power right out of the box” insinuates premium too.

Further in the discussion, it seems the designer’s comments on avoiding unnecessary tap lands have caused more controversy:

“Did they wear a clown outfit while saying that?”

Magic: The Gathering’s Commander Masters launches August 4, 2023, and brings with it a slew of important and expensive reprints, along with four new preconstructed decks.

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