Today Wizards of the Coast revealed Double Masters, a new Masters set that will have two rares and two foils per pack. It will be released on August 7, 2020 with 24 packs per booster box and will add a unique twist to draft.

“We’ve doubled everything about Double Masters,” Wizards said. “Double the rare slots, double the box toppers, double the first-picks in Draft.” Later, on Weekly MTG, they confirmed that the last part does in fact mean that players will draft two cards for their first pick for all three packs in a draft.

Having two rares in every pack changed the way that Wizards built the set. “A typical set is 53 rares and 15 mythic rares,” Mike Turian, the product designer for Double Masters, said on Weekly MTG. “And so we knew that we needed to go above and beyond that because you just have to have [more rares] that when you’re doing two-per [pack]. So we went all the way up to 121 rares and then we have an additional 40 rares” in the set, pushing the total number of cards in the set to an unusually high 332. (Ultimate Masters, for example, had 254 cards.)

Wizards even showed off a few of those rares from the set, starting Blightsteel Colossus and Doubling Season, both in their normal frames and their awesome box topper versions.

Doubling Season and its box topper version from Double Masters.

Additionally, the Russian version of the Double Masters announcement appears to have revealed a third card, Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice, though the image was quickly changed before we could verify its authenticity.

Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice and its box topper version, potentially from Double Masters.

A few hours later, the agent for Kev Walker, the artist of the box topper version, indirectly confirmed its authenticity on Facebook by posting that “Atraxa in all its glory” sold for $15,000.

The painting for Atraxa’s box topper version sold for $15,000.

Then, in the afternoon, Wizards previewed two additional cards on Weekly MTG, Kaalia of the Vast and Mana Crypt, and confirmed that there are multiple zero-mana artifacts in the set.

Kaalia of the Vast and its box topper version from Double Masters.

Mana Crypt and its box topper version from Double Masters.

The rest of the set will be previewed in a mid-July preview season.

Turian also said that a lot of their inspiration for the set was Ultimate Masters. “We really saw how much people loved Ultimate Masters…As we went out and talked to people and were working on designing this set, Ultimate Masters was as like, ‘Hey, this was a great Masters set.’ All right, let’s use that and take those learnings and make sure to keep all of the goodness of Ultimate Masters and then add on the fun theme of double.”

No Fetch Lands in Double Masters

When Wizards revealed Secret Lair: Ultimate Edition earlier this year, which contained reprints of the five enemy fetch lands, they said that “there will be another way to pick up some stylized versions of fetch lands later this year that will also be in your local game store.”

Double Masters, however, will not be that way. “[T]here are no fetch land reprints in this set,” Wizards said today. “We know we told you there was another printing of fetch lands coming this year, and we promise there is, but Double Masters is not that reprint.” The fetch lands won’t be printed in a Standard-legal set, either, so their most likely landing spot at this point appears to be in Commander Legends this Fall.

The Rise, Fall, and Return of Masters Sets

Masters sets debuted in 2013 with the Modern Masters, which was an all-reprint set that featured the first reprinting of the then-dominant Tarmogoyf and other high-priced cards. The set was accompanied by a dedicated Grand Prix in Las Vegas which drew a record 4,499 players and began a period of five years in which Wizards released six total Masters sets, all of which were made up entirely of reprints: Modern Masters, Modern Masters (2015 Edition), Eternal Masters (2016), Modern Masters (2017 Edition), Iconic Masters (2017), Masters 25 (2018), and Ultimate Masters (2018).

Two of the final three Masters sets, Iconic Masters and Masters 25, were met with receptions ranging from lukewarm to negative due to their perceived lack of value and power. As a result, during their Ultimate Masters announcement, Wizards said that the set would be the last Masters set “for a while.” On the reveal stream for the set, Steve Sunu said that they were putting Masters sets “back on the shelf” and would be shifting toward other special products for the foreseeable future.

While there was no Masters set in 2019, Wizards instead released Modern Horizons, a Modern-focused set that would print new cards directly into Modern (and other non-rotating formats) while skipping Standard. The set was a stark contrast to Iconic Masters and Masters 25 and almost immediately broke Modern. One of the set’s new cards, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, became so dominant that, just a month after its release, Wizards banned Bridge from Below to try to slow the deck down. After another month, Wizards also ended up banning Hogaak itself, along with Faithless Looting.

Perhaps the experience with new cards in Modern Horizons left Wizards feeling a little burned, or perhaps they only intended to leave Masters sets “on the shelf” for a short time, but it only took a year and a half for Masters sets to make their return with Double Masters this August.

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