With the prerelease of Magic: The Gathering’s 96th expansion March of the Machine in full swing, the reprinted MTG cards are seeing steep price drops.
Wizards of the Coast, publisher of both Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, have added a new wrinkle to their MTG expansion packs called bonus sheets. Introduced in The Brothers’ War expansion, MTG bonus sheets are reprinted cards from previous sets and are only legal in Limited Draft and Sealed formats. Bonus sheets are also available for the Historic format in the Magic: The Gathering – Arena digital TCG.
But they also have an effect on the secondary market, particularly when it comes to rare and sought-after cards. And as the prerelease started for March of the Machine, previously released cards are suffering significant price drops due to Multiverse Legends bonus sheets for the expansion.
The Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine prerelease began on April 14, 2023. Gaming shops participating in the prerelease events hosted booster drafts and sealed deck tournaments. WotC has also announced Commander preconstructed decks for the March of the Machine expansion.
Want to see how the new #MTGMachine Commander Precons play? Join us on WeeklyMTG at 10AM PT for live Commander gameplay! Four Wizards will battle it out, but there can be only one winner! 🥇 https://t.co/ojJbZ7cY4Y pic.twitter.com/FxPb4ahuz2
— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) April 18, 2023
Players joining these prerelease events get access to the special March of the Machine Prerelease Pack, which includes six draft boosters, a spindown life counter, and other nifty bonuses for playing MTG. These March of the Machine Prerelease Pack will also include one of three legendary promo cards.
The March of the Machine expansion also sees the introduction of the first key card type and mechanic in over 10 years, which is the Battle cards. These double-faced cards are intended to simulate the clashes between massive armies as the planes of Dominaria fight against the Phyrexian invasion.
When played, the caster of the Battle card chooses an opposing player to defend it. The owner of the Battle card or any other player can attack it. Once all the Defense Tokens of a Battle card are depleted, the player who cast it transforms the card by flipping its opposite side. The transformed Battle card will often be particularly powerful effects, such as legendary creatures or Planeswalkers.
While Battle cards might see some play in one-vs-one Magic: The Gathering games, they are better suited to multiplayer, such as Commander or variants like the Oathbreaker format. Given that other players on the table can attack the Battle card in play, the player who cast it could try convincing their rivals to join in removing its Defense Tokens adding another layer of political maneuvering.
However, while the Battle cards and its mechanics are new, it seems the Multiverse Legends bonus sheets included in March of the Machine is causing more waves in the MTG community. Specifically, it is leading to massive price drops of these reprinted cards in the secondary market.
One significant example is Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon. According to the data on popular Magic: The Gathering secondary market platform MTG Goldfish, the price of the Multiverse Legends Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon went from $80 on March 30, 2023 to $16.65 as of the time of this writing. Another example is Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. The Multiverse Legends bonus sheet card was in demand for $99.99 on March 30, but is now down to $20.23 as of this date and time.
It should be noted that while the Multiverse Legends bonus sheet regular versions have plummeted in price, the foil versions have held steady, even after the March of the Machine prerelease. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite foil versions have held their $50 to $60 price range.
Will this trend continue of bonus sheets in MTG expansion sets having high demand and prices initially, but dropping drastically after the prerelease? With only two sets so far that have had bonus sheets, it is too early to tell. However, lead Magic: The Gathering Mark Rosewater conducted a poll on his Tumblr page to gauge the interest of MTG players. Based on the responses, it appears bonus sheets will be included in the future.
Wizard of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine prerelease events in participating tabletop game shops and hosts runs until April 20, 2023.