March 16th marks the release date for 25th Anniversary Masters – the latest Masters set from Wizards of the Coast. You can preorder yours at Heroes’ Beacon and enjoy a $249.99 sale price and a Black Friday Buy a Box Booster.
This newest Masters set does something a bit different than previous sets — and it gives all players a reason to take note regardless of weather they play Vintage, Modern or more casual formats. The set covers the entire history of Magic, reprinting Vintage playable cards from each set – from Alpha to Rivals of Ixalan. The cards themselves has some nice touches including updated art on 35 of the cards and a watermark to indicate which set the card was first printed it. It makes for a beautiful visual tour of Magic’s history for both new and old players alike.
Masters 25 brings a hefty number of reprints to help those interested in Vintage or Modern while also reprinting some cards that fans of other formats can enjoy. Here’s a list of reasons why players should be excited for Masters 25:
Pauper Rarity Shifts
Pauper is a great format allowing players to build decks solely with cards that have at some point been printed at Common. It makes for some great brewing without worry of seeking out expensive rares or mythics.
Masters 25 tosses some new tools into the pauper toolbox. Pillage, Hordeling Outburst and Relentless Rats are just some of the cards that have been shifted from Uncommon to Common. Some more interesting shifts though are three previously rare cards all now at Common — Balduvian Horde, Savannah Lions and Loyal Sentry. Balduvian Horde and Savannah Lions were both big deals when they were originally printed and Loyal Sentry is a card your opponent may need to work around if they don’t have an immediate answer.
Pauper Players will also see these cards reprinted with updated borders which may be nice for some.
Rarity Shifts Everywhere Else
There are lots of rarity shifts that occur in the Masters sets. High powered reprints tend to find their rarity shifted up. Under-powered rares tend to see their rarities shifted down. What’s interesting about this set is the number of fairly good rares that can now be found at uncommon. Even more recent cards like Jalira, Master Polymorphist weren’t immune to the downshift. It seems odd to see Legendary creatures bumped to Uncommon.
Reprints from Commander
It can be difficult to pick up cards only printed in the Commander sets so it’s nice to see some really good cards from those sets get reprinted. This time around it’s the fun Reef Worm, Izzet Chemister, the powerful Magus of the Wheel along with powerful Commanders Animar, Soul of Elements, and Proosh, Skyraider of Kher of along with some mana fixing like Myriad Landscape and more importantly Ash Barrens. All of these are solid cards that could not be acquired previously outside of the Commander sets. It’s nice to see all of these made more readily available — especially cards like Animar from much older Commander decks.
Previously only available in Eventide or as Masterpiece Expeditions, the filter lands were long overdue for a reprint and now they are getting their time to shine.
Some of these cards have never been available in foil. Cards like the Commander reprints and reprints of older sets (like Ihsan’s Shade and Kongming, “Sleeping Dragon”) will be nice to finally get foiled out.
One of the more interesting aspects of this new set is how it will draft. Drafting from a card pool that crosses 25 years of Magic’s history will make for an interesting time and some interesting interactions and some of these cards have never been available to draft.
Above all, this set is all about nostalgia. Seeing classic cards reprinted — cards you remember playing when they first came out or cards you have never seen — is rather fun. The watermark gives you a great way to see exactly where in Magic’s history the card appeared to help you further explore the game’s history.
So enjoy cracking packs — alone or with friends — and see what Masters 25 has to offer you!
Oh yeah, and keep an eye out for this guy!
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