The Hits and Misses of Magic the Gathering: Double Masters

by | Jul 16, 2022 | Magic The Gathering

Think reprint sets are boring? Think again! We break down the most important cards featured in Magic’s latest set, Double Masters 2022.

If you’re anything like me, a large part of your enjoyment of Magic is spoiler season. And while the more entrenched members of the Magic community have recently bemoaned the impact that the very tight release schedule has on their enjoyment of the game – somewhat justifiably so – the recent avalanche of new products seems to have slowed a bit with the arrival of Double Masters 2022, which comes hot on the heels of Streets of New Capenna but has a lot of space to breathe with Dominaria United not due for another two months.

While the allure of new, never-before-seen cards is hard to rival, reprint sets like Double Masters 2022 provide us with a very different kind of spoiler season that is hard to find anywhere else, one that speaks to the collectors and would-be speculators among us, first and foremost. With a bevy of deep-cut reprints, alternate arts and unique frame treatments, here are the most impactful cards that Double Masters 2022 brings to the table, divided into two delightfully simple categories: hits and misses.

The Hits

Let’s get the praise out first: Double Masters 2022 is so absolutely jam-packed with staple cards for tournament play and high-budget Commander decks, that listing them all here would easily blow through the allotted word count. But if I were to list only a single card in this category, the hittiest hit as it were, it would easily be Dockside Extortionist.

Double Masters - Dockside Extortionist

Double Masters – Dockside Extortionist & Alt Art

While its omission in the commander-focused treasure fest that was Commander Legends 2: Battle for Baldur’s Gate still stings, at least the rascally, format-warping goblin is getting a reprint here so that all the new treasure aficionados can get their hands on him. He even comes with new art and an alt art with an extended border, which should help drive down the price of the original even more. My only quibble: Both new arts for Dockside Extortionist feature every Commander player’s favorite goblin on a ship rather than the dock. Boo.

Next up, there’s Concordant Crossroads. This one would be notable simply for the words “World Enchantment” appearing in the modern card frame for the first time. Well, maybe that’s just my nerdy penchant for Magic trivia and obscure rules, so it helps that what brought these words into our new framed world is the fact that concordant crossroad has an incredibly potent effect and has last been printed in Chronicles. That’s 1994, judge promo reprint notwithstanding.

Double Masters - Concordant Crossroads

Double Masters – Concordant Crossroads & alt Art

And while Mass Hysteria is effectively the same card, missing only the World Enchantment type, Concordant Crossroads brings mass haste to green, the color with access to the best creatures in the game and (almost) no way to effectively let them smash the turn they come into play. Just about any Commander deck that plays a lot of creatures and touches green but doesn’t include red will want to include a copy of Concordant Crossroads.

Last but certainly not least, you all knew it was coming: Imperial Seal. Yes, that staple of CEDH combo decks everywhere, that was last printed in Portal: Three Kingdoms (so only five years after we last saw Concordant Crossroads) is finally getting a reprint. And already we see it available for a mere fraction of the multi-hundred dollar price that it commanded before the reprint in Double Masters 2022.

Double Masters - Imperial Seal

Double Masters – Imperial Seal & Alt Art

Both Crossroads and Imperial Seal continue a very welcome trend that we have been seeing out of Wizards of the Coast over the last few years, the willingness to slowly dip into the reprint equity that a lot of old cards have accumulated over the last 20 years. Remember Grim Tutor? And while we’re still a long way off of the reserved list being abolished, the fact that WotC easily could have driven sales of Double Masters 2022 through hype if it had only included these two reprints but also included Warrior’s Oath and Food Chain is notable. And they still threw in new cards that may well have achieved that same equity given a few years’ time, like Smothering Tithe and Allosaurus Shepherd.

The Misses

Now, while my deciding to list the misses second might make this article end on a sour note, that isn’t to say that Double Masters 2022 is a bad product. It speaks more to the fact that Misses and Hits just don’t roll off the tongue as well.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t stuff to nag about with Double Masters. And, similar to Dockside Extortionist, if there were only a single card that I could mention as the greatest fiasco in Double Masters 2022, it would have to be As Foretold. Now, I’m not one to complain too much about Masters Sets including low-value cards. It’s part and parcel of the TCG model, but while the odd Obstinate Baloth at rare is fine, As Foretold being included at mythic rarity is just a step too far.

Double Masters 2022 - As Foretold

Double Masters 2022 – As Foretold

It rivals Tree of Redemption from Iconic Masters as one of the worst mythic you could ever pull from a Masters set. Now granted, if this were 2017 and Amonkhet had just released, this inclusion might be justifiable. After all, there was a lot of hype around the card. But with a solid five years of As Foretold basically doing nothing in any format short of a cute combo with suspend cards in modern a few weeks after its release, there better be a last-minute replacement story somewhere down the line to explain this inclusion, like there was with Tree of Redemption in Iconic Masters. And even then, there is just no excuse for making the exact same mistake twice, and in premier reprint sets no less.

Similarly, the other misses of the set occur at the mythic rarity, and they are all low-value, low-demand cards with not even new artwork to justify a reprint, even if some of them, like old Commander Boogeyman Uril, the Miststalker haven’t been reprinted in a while. Why not commission some new Richard Kane Ferguson art to jush up this otherwise boring mythic? That might at least excite the three people who still play Commander like it’s 2010.

Double Masters 2022 - Uril, The mistalker

Double Masters 2022 – Uril, The mistalker

In a similar vein, Hellkite Overlord recently saw a reprint through The List, has no new art to speak of, and is still just an 8/8 for 8 with some minor abilities. Like with other masters sets, its mythic rarity might somewhat weakly be justified due to the balance of the Draft format. But with cards such as Damnation, Path to Exile, and Mana Leak all around at rare or lower to deal with it, it’s more apparent than ever that time has passed this formerly splashy dragon by.

Double Masters 2022 - Hellkite Overlord

Double Masters 2022 – Hellkite Overlord

So, what’s the final verdict on Double Masters 2022? Honestly, not too bad. It’s loaded to the gills with great reprints, and exciting full art borderless treatments. The only things that there are to complain about are dud reprints and missed opportunities, but those come with the territory of TCGs in general and MTG Masters sets in particular. So while the old adage of “Buy Singles” still holds true (Thanks, Professor), I for one won’t be missing the opportunity to crack a couple of packs in hope of getting lucky.

Until next time!

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Written by: Jonah
Raised on a steady diet of fantasy storys and video games, Jonah discovered Magic: the Gathering at age 12 and has since spent half his life and about the same percentage of his total income so far on the game. If he's not playing commander, brewing new decks or reading up on Magic trivia, he's probably dead - or playing Flesh and Blood.
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