MTG – Is it worth it to buy a Commander Anthology for Magic: The Gathering?

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“Vintage Education” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Many Magic The Gathering players ask the Question, is it worth it to buy a Commander Anthology?

Commander Anthology is another installment in what has become a new line for Wizards of the Coast: The Anthology series, where former pre constructed and supplemental products are reprinted in a box set to allow those who may have missed buying these products the first time a second chance at acquiring them.

But is this Commander Anthology the superb selection Duel Deck anthology was, or, like the planechase anthology, is it too much money for an odd hodgepodge of cards? Let’s take a look!

Before we begin: a little context. When the first preconstructed Commander decks were made, the format was still gaining popularity in the mainstream. Wizards release of five supplemental Commander decks was, if anything, the company testing the waters to see if this judge favorite format had widespread appeal.

As such, the decks of 1,2,3,4,5 were something Wizards had never done before: taking a fan made format, changing the name for legal purposes, and endorsing and encouraging its play not only by selling premade decks for it, but by designing unique, just for commander cards.

Little did Wizards of the Coast know, but Commander would soon thereafter transform into one of the games most popular formats, a super money maker for the corporate wizards, and possibly one of the best decisions of product creation Wizards of the Coast has ever made.

The popularity was so big, that the decks sold out fast, due no doubt in part to the fact that many of the exclusive cards were wanted for gameplay in legacy formats, and although all future commander products received a very high print run, the original five commander decks became incredibly hard to come by, their exclusive commanders and cards at outrageously high prices, and, except for the lucky few for grabbed the decks early when they were initially on the shelves, something that only those with the most disposable of incomes had access to on the secondary market.

The parallels here to Duel Deck Anthology are big: the first four duel decks received similar small printings, were very expensive and hard to find on the secondary market, and taking and collecting them in an anthology that sold for essentially what the cost to buy them off the shelf would be was an excellent idea for players.

Doing the same here, with all five of those first gen commander decks, in an anthology that simply costs what buying them at MSRP would have been, a stroke of genius. (pause) Unfortunately Wizards of the coast only included one of the first gen commander decks and opted instead to include a selection of one deck from each of the first four years.