Magic 25 breakdown and price review

How to review Masters 25? It’s not like anyone needs to be told Azusa, Lost but Seeking is good to open in your rare slot or that Akroma, Angel of Fury is not that great to crack as a mythic. We also aren’t a financial website so projecting the value of the set and the singles is out of our wheelhouse. What we actually do around these parts tends to be rooted in statistics. So how can we use those stats in a useful way? Well, we can tell you what cards are getting their first modern border or foil printings in case you’re one of those people, like myself, who foils out their favorite deck, and we can also note what popular cards are getting significant price decreases if such a thing is preventing you from adding the card to your deck.

First up we’ll take a look at cards getting first-time modern borders or first time foil printings, or both.

“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”

Ancient Craving is an Ambition’s Cost clone, with one important difference; it has no existing foil. Until now. Ancient Craving is only played in 2,461 decks, but it should be in more and hopefully this reprinting pushes that number upward.

Animar, Soul of Elements had one previous printing, but this will be the first foil copy. Animar sits as the commander in 1,705 decks on EHDREC while finding a home in another 602 and is generally considered a pretty strong general.

Arcane Denial is in a robust 17,549 decks, and this will mark the first foil printing for one of the best easier-to-cast-than-counterspell counterspells in the format.

Ash Barrens had a few previous commander printings, but this is the first foil. The price has also drifted to nearly ten dollars thanks to Pauper play driving up demand. 10,977 decks play this nearly-always-better-than-Evolving Wilds land.

Balduvian Horde has 5 previous printings including a foil oversized version, but this marks the first normal sized foil. A surprising 44 decks are running the Horde, a good chunk of which seem to be barbarian tribal.

Blue Elemental Blast has 8 printings and a home in 196 decks but this marks the first foil printing.

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows gets a fourth printing, and the first foil.

Broodhatch Nantuko had a previous Onslaught printing with a foil, but this will mark the first modern border and foil for a card with a home in 259 decks.

Cinder Storm will see the first modern border and first ever foil as it had only previously appeared in Starter 1999. Somehow this has a home in 18 decks currently so maybe somebody cares.

Death’s-Head Buzzard doesn’t have a modern border version nor a modern foil, and now it does. Congratulations to the 10 decks that run it.


“And real love–it’s less shiny than solid and simple.”

Diabolic Edict gets the first modern border foil though a Masterpiece and an old border version exists. With a home in 1,759 decks I’m sure more than a few people might be interested in an new printing.

Doomsday has three previous printings, but this is the first modern border and first non-Masterpiece foil. It’s in 1,712 decks, and this new art is fantastic and weird and will look amazing in foil.

Eladamri’s Call gets the first modern printing and modern foil. It’s in just under 7k decks as well, making it a prime target for those unable to afford the old foil.

Erg Raiders gets its first modern border printing and first foil. It’s even in three whole decks. Aside: how is this card not a pirate?

Exclude had two previous printings but this will be the first modern border foil. It has a home in a surprising 1,713 decks.

Fierce Empath is in 7,451 decks and has a few previous printings including a modern border and a foil, but this would be the first modern border foil.

Flash shows up in M25, looking to just Netflix and chill with Protean Hulk. This is the combo enabler’s first modern border and first foil, with the only two prevous printings predating both those things. It lives in 556 decks on EDHREC and I would imagine that numbers grows with this printing.

Ghost Ship first appeared in The Dark, and then wasn’t seen again until Time Spiral as a “Timeshifted” card in an old border. Such is the nature of a Ghost Ship I suppose; they’re ephemeral. This will mark the first new border and new border foil for a card in a mere 93 decks.

Ihsan’s Shade was pretty much immune to removal in Magic’s early days. Alas we’re no longer in Magic’s early days. This will be the first modern border and first foil, and the card sports some great new art to boot. It currently has a home in 40 decks.

Izzet Chemister had one previous printing in Commander 2017, so this will be the first foil. It’s in a surprisingly low 282 decks.

Karona’s Zealot had a single printing prior to this in Scourge, so this will mark the first modern border and thus the first modern border foil. It’s in 22 decks.

Kindle had one printing in Tempest. This will be the first modern border and the first foil. This is in one deck on EDHREC, so congratulations on finally being able to finish foiling out that list, Rick.


It is only needful for our dreams to be very shiny.”

Kongming, “Sleeping Dragon” was first printed in Portal: Three Kingdoms, and subsequently in Commander 2013. This will make his first available foil printing. He’s the commander of 24 decks on EDHREC, and has a home in 618 others.

Krosan Colossus had a single previous printing in Onslaught where it also had a foil. This will be the first modern border and first modern foil for this beater residing in 71 decks.

Laquatus’s Champion shows up in Magic 25 getting its first modern border, and first modern foil. There is an an old border foil however, and it does only appear in 62 decks.

Lull gets a second printing here giving it the first modern border and first foil. It has a home in 226 decks.

Magus of the Wheel had one previous printing in a Commander set, so this will mark the second printing and first foil. It has a home in 4,814 decks, so I expect this foil to be in demand to upgrade quite a few of those.

Mesmeric Fiend gets it’s first modern border version and as such its first modern foil.

Myriad Landscape only had Commander set printings prior to this, so with M25 we’ll see our first foil of this ramping land that lives in 25,872 decks.

Path of Peace first appeared in Urza’s Saga, and again in Starter 1999, Portal and Portal: Second Age. This would be the card’s first foil version, and it currently appears in 29 decks.

Phyrexian Ghoul gets it’s first foil though previous modern border versions exist from dual decks, etc. It is ran in 351 decks.

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher had one previous printing plus an oversized card in the same deck. It’s the commander of 1,757 decks on EDHREC and has a home in another 569. Expect this foil to be in high demand.


“Fluttershyes are like regular shyes, only shinier, and, apparently – also shyer.”

Quicksilver Dagger had a modern border from a Dual Deck, but this will be the first modern foil.

Red Elemental Blast has seven previous printings but none of them were in foil. It lives in 2,219 decks on EDHREC and would expect at least a few of those are owned by people looking to at long last upgrade to a shiny version of this Alpha staple.

Reef Worm gets its second printing and first foil for a card slotted into 1,648 decks.

Skirk Commando had no previous modern border foils, though it did have an old border version in Onslaught. 55 people are running it, mostly in goblin tribal decks.

Stampede Driver had one printing before M25 way back in Nemesis. This will be the first modern border and first modern foil for a card in 47 decks.

Stangg had a previous printing in Legends and Chronicles, but this will be the first modern border, the first foil, and the first way to get a Stangg token. It’s only in 39 decks but that will go up. The art on this new card is fantastic, and it’s such a weird ability for Gruul that I suspect more than a few people will build a new deck around him.

Undead Gladiator‘s first modern border and obviously first modern foil. It had one previous printing with different art in Onslaught, though a foil of that old-border version is available. It does see some EDH play populating 458 decks.

Unearth gets its first modern border and first modern border foil which should make quite a few people happy as it currently rounds out the 99 in 1,258 decks. There’s probably more than a few casual players who don’t even know this card exists, so I would expect this reprint to boost those numbers in the upcoming year.

I think that’s the full rundown of cards with first borders/foils, so let’s take a look at popular cards that should be experiencing relevant price cuts.


“Her laughter was a shiny thing, like pewter flung high in the air.”

Azusa, Lost But Seeking is a card that hoovered between $40-$50 dollars for the recent past, putting it out of the range for a lot of players. The original printing has fallen to around $35 and Card Kingdom is taking pre-orders of the M25 version for just over $20 dollars. That puts this ramptastic commander in a much more affordable price range, but perhaps more importantly the amount of packs being opened will get Azusa into trade binders where in a way that maybe didn’t happen often due to previous scarcity. She is currently the head of 476 decks on EDHREC with a home in another 5,159, including this author’s own Reki, the History of Kamigawa and Mina and Denn, Wildborn lists.

Blood Moon has had seven printings and none of them were under $25. At home in 4,490 primarily mono-red decks on EDHREC, Blood Moon is pre-ordering for just over $20 dollars on Card Kingdom, and like Azusa should be a little cheaper and a little more available for players looking to acquire one.

Coalition Relic has been both scarce and pricey with only two printings. It was approaching $15 dollars in price putting it out of range for plenty of players. This new copy with fantastic art that should be amazing in foil is pre-ordering for just five dollars on Cark Kingdom, and the previous printings have dropped to just under $10 as well. Everyone wins, except for the guy that was hoarding Coalition Relics. Kyle, you’re a real jerk, and I’m glad you got burned. GLAD!

Imperial Recruiter had two previous printings, one a judge foil and one from Portal: Three Kindoms, and both were $150+ in cost. So while technically this won’t be the first foil Recruiter, it will be the first Recruiter available in a double digit price range, and with excellent new art to boot. Recruiter is currently in 1,300 decks, primarily Animar, Soul of Elements and Alesha Who Smiles At Death but the lowered cost and increased availability should boost those numbers.

Nicol Bolas had four previous printings; Legends, Chronicles, Time Spiral, and From the Vault: Dragons. Unfortunately the only foil and only non-goofy art was on the FTV printing, and that had soared to over $100. You can pre-order the non-foil for $3 from our friends at Card Kingdom, and while there isn’t any pricing for the foil yet you can bet it will be well under the $100 commanded by the previous version.

Pact of Negation had three previous printings but none under $30. $18 dollars will get you a Pact pre-order, and that’s pretty solid for a useable-when-tapped-out counterspell with a slot in just under 9,000 decks.

Phyrexian Obliterator was over $30, though a large part of that was probably scarcity. The previous printing has fallen by $5 and the new M25 version is pre-ordering for under $20. Get yours for your mono-black devotion EDH deck.

Rishadan Port has never seen a ton of EDH play, living in a mere 693 decks. Scarcity and price certainly played a part there, though I’m not sure it’s nearly the powerhouse in our format as it is in Legacy. Still it’s bound to see an uptick in numbers with a much more accessible pre-order price just north of $40.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben only heads 178 decks on EDHREC where she mostly seems to function as a less likely to get you punched Gaddock Teeg. She is in another 3,407 decks however, primarily as a cog in Captain Sisay lists but also as another hatebear in Gaddock Teeg and Grand Arbiter Augustin IV decks favored by guys in trilbys who don’t have friends. She’s been over $20 for a good while, but the M25 version is pre-ordering for $12.

And I think that’s it for the M25 wrap-up. Good luck picking up any shiny upgrades you wanted. I’ve already pre-ordered Ancient Craving, Arcane Denial and Myriad Landscape. Let us know in the comments below what shinies and bargains you’re picking up.



Dana is one of the hosts of the CMDR Central podcast out of Eau Claire, WI where he lives with his wife and son. He has been playing Magic so long he once traded away an Underground Sea for a Nightmare, and was so pleased with the deal he declined a trade-back the following week. He also smells like cotton candy and sunsets.