Tolarian Winds: Are Challenger Decks really Standard Masters? A Magic: The Gathering VLOG

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Wizards of the Coast has finally done, they’ve created a Masters set that is designed not with draft in mind, but with getting quality reprints into player hands, and without an over inflated price tag. Hahaha, I’m not talking about Masters 25, but the true Masters set that’s a masterstroke of genius, Standard Masters, or as Wizards of the Coast is calling it, Challenger Decks.

Challenger Decks really are the equivalent of Standard Masters, offering players 4 decks that are very closely modeled on successful tournament builds which can be played right out of the box. They do not limit themselves based on the secondary market, giving us playsets of rares and even mythics all at an affordable MSRP, providing new and returning players an on ramp to standard, and giving the most played cards in standard such a sufficient reprint that prices will go down, cost of entry will decrease, and everyone can benefit. Truly a home run for Wizards of the Coast. Thank you, newly implemented Play Design team, for designing these for actual Magic players.


thenextchicken says:

I played Magig during MirrodinKamigawa/Ravnica but was still too little too really grasp what Magic is all about. This product seems great to bring people like me back even though, personally, I will not go back to playing Magic on paper.

MagicalTabletopGirls says:

They need to do this for Modern next.

Aeleos says:

I am a returning player with no cards left and I am definitely buying one of these. I had this exact problem being unable to get a decent deck without spending hundreds on singles

Cory Keaton says:

As someone who is part of the MTG finace group(solely reserved list) I am totally fine with a product like this. I think it’s good for players new to standard to be able to readily buy a deck that can compete regardless of value.

Anyways nah, you can go harder than that on us.

Prince Tony says:

How about instead of blaming mtgfinance you blame WotC for changing the game from teen-oriented to adult-oriented. That changed the entire price structure of the game when that happened.

zelosjr says:

I disagree that they aren’t limited by the secondary market; each deck was worth approx. $80 worth of cards at the prices before they were revealed. That was just the value that wizards decided it was acceptable to print into a $30 product.

It’s absolutely a great product, but if wizards really didn’t care about the secondary market we’d see more than 1-ofs hazorets and fatal pushes, vital cards in their respective decks. WOTC is willing to throw in 4x of a mythic (heart of kiran) but not another, because their values are different.

Kendra Smith says:

I’ve only played Standard on and off over the last couple years, and the price point has largely been one of the driving factors there. This product alone will get me started playing Standard again. And you know what? I’m beyond excited. For the price of a night at the movies or going out drinking I can pick up a sweet deck, actually have a shot at doing halfway decent, and above all having crazy good fun times on a serious budget. I can’t wait for these to drop so I can play them over and over again.

Peter Joseph says:

I’m a returning player at Ixalan, and I quickly realized that I couldn’t play Standard until HoD rotated out. Now…

Benjamin I Meszaros says:


Lauri Maijala says:

I love them for decreasing the prices for cards I want for my Cube! I also really like them as an entrypoint product.

Thunder Phenom says:

i like how you made it seem like everyone should play Modern, which is by far the worst format ever to play.

bruce wong says:

i actually wanna buy one for modern use, not sure which one to go with though lol. or stick to simic fish

It's Seb says:

To be quite honest I have zero sympathy for when the finance community gets upset about a product or reprinting.

There are few things worse than, what are essentially, scalpers of the community that make the barriers to entry for the incoming playerbase far higher than they should be.

jefe says:

I play casual on FNM, and I’ve been playing that format for about 3 years. I don’t buy booster boxes, but I usually play pre-releases, play league and buy singles for casual play. This is a GREAT product for players like me. I’ll likely pick up at least two of these decks and perhaps start playing standard on FNM and not just casual.

Cooper Graveline says:

Old casual player, and returned as a commander player two years ago.
This product might actually get me into standard, and help me recruit some of my friends I’ve been trying to drag into the game.
I’m excited for this product. I hope it’s worth it! 🙂

j3fk4 says:

Let’s hope they keep making these challenger decks every time a new release comes out so we dont have to buy booster packs to get the singles we want. Viva socialism?

Hilary Reynolds says:

I am in love with the Challenger Decks. Utterly. I am a relatively new player who started less than six months ago. I will be by all four decks for the following reasons. 1) By playing them, I will come to understand MTG better. 2) They provide some cards which I have found very difficult to buy as singles and that will allow me to improve the standard decks I have now – RG Pummeler, Naya Dinos (Love RIX) and UW control. 3) I can use my own cards to improve the Challenger Decks and 4) I think they are way better for teaching Magic than welcome decks which let’s face it are very Micky Mouse. For me, it is not about the money, but about wthat it does for me and others as players. That is the value.

Tezora Silvermoon says:

I love this idea I will be picking this up. 😀

solidmasterdante says:

Unfortunately I only have time in my schedule to play modern each week, but were I more available these would absolutely prompt me to play standard. I’ll likely pick up one or two and play standard a couple times just for fun, because I want to see how well they really stack up though. Honestly, these things are pretty great. The fact I’m considering standard in ANY way is something of an anomaly, and it’s entirely because of the viability of these decks.

Box says:

*Oh man, the prof likes a product we made, better take it back*

Bernardo Powaga says:

I played magic way back in the day of 4th edition until Urza’s saga. I tried to return last year with Ixalan, but realized deck builders weren’t enough. I will finally be able to build a competitive deck now and that’s what made me preorder all of these decks.

Roman00 says:

FU the Magic Finance community.
Awesome video as always Prof.
I’m a returning player and spent the last three weeks, informing myself on your channel and the internet.
I learned so much and apparently I missed a lot in the last decade.
But speaking of Mtg finance, I find it atrocious that pauper decks now cost as much as 100$+ if you buy the singles just because these finance scalpers buy up all the commons. I mean, commons cost money now, wtf?

I bought a lot of supplies and cards for standard because it’s a “cheaper” way in than any other format. Because they don’t play pauper here in Kyoto, where I’m at.
I’m already 200$ in and still need about 100$ to get a couple of decks for standard together.
I’m saying a couple because I like diversity and I like to play more than one deck over and over again. 😉
And I’m definitely getting all the 4 challenger decks for me and my gf, who is a newcomer.
There are already people who are trying to preorder all of the challenger decks up to strip them and sell the singles or sell the decks themselves for a higher price.
I hope WotC will put out enough of these decks. The secondary market already has more than enough cards from the last 25 years that are costing way more than they should.
It’s wonderful that WotC put these products together and I hope they’ll keep on making good preconstructed decks for different formats.
It’s like the prof says, we need reprints.
It’s alright to invest in a hobby but you shouldn’t need a 300$ stepping stone to get into a card game to be frank.
Especially since mtg and similar products are still being marketed for teenagers and kids.

Justin Condello says:

More like fully downgraded energy deck

Ukkis says:

I almost built a cheapo modern deck to play in sanctioned tournaments. Then I remembered that my friends only play commander and cube. Now I actually have a cheap option to get into the FNM scene and might even be able to bring a friend or two along. The stock market exists, people can go invest there. In my opinion there’ is nothing but positive in this. I can’t imagine anyone but the “mtg-investors” might be upset. Even if someone has built a deck and paid too much for the cards, that’s just life. I have a few duals in my decks and if wizards end up scrapping the reserved list, so be it. I’m not expecting a return for the cards I want to play with.

AzizidarkReborn says:

I don’t think you were hard enough on the mtg finance community. They are the reason reserved list cards get price gouged on a regular basis, making new players need to either shell out fat stacks or never play legacy or vintage. MTG Finance people generally care more about their cards’ value than playing the cards. I went to college with a few people I just genuinely hated for being so uptight about the game and trying to scalp me out of my rarer nostalgic stuff I had long before I understood honest trade values. WotC and ESPECIALLY Mark Rosewater has been lying to us about the secondary market and omitting data that players want about prices for over a decade. Honestly, I hope someday the reserved list and the mtg finance community both die.

Bill Withers says:

I’ve never been interested in standard, but this does seem like the best way to get new players into it.

DoridTheBlue says:

MtG Finance can cry a river (could WotC do Chronicles 2?). I don’t play standard but I like this idea of deck for 30$.

theagiknight23 says:

I’m actually surprised that MTG is having this issue when it’s the oldest and most popular TCG of all time. I mean, YGO has been doing it for a year already and so is WS. I’m not personally a MTG player even though it’s fun to watch (not a lot of players here at my area so I don’t play) but it’s baffling to me.

Keovar says:

Sure, I might play in standard now, and the MtG Finance people are basically leeches on the game, and have been since the reserve list was created. Put players first, and second the ‘museum’ collectors (those who actually want a collection they don’t really intend for play or sale). Leeches go last. Not everyone selling cards is a leech, since one can run a reasonable business selling singles without trying to corner the supply in order to gouge players like a scalper. Selling singles that players want is healthy for the game, and better for the longevity of the business in the long run, while going for the gouge looks okay in the short term but will ultimately make players drift away from the game, and a smaller playerbase means fewer potential customers.

GasparXR says:

I don’t think you’re being too mean to the finance community. I’m fine with, and appreciate the viewpoint of a collector. Collecting is fun, but sometimes I think collecting can become negative and toxic to the rest of the community, because, fun fact: MTG is a GAME, it’s designed to PLAY. Collecting *can* (not necessarily *will*) make it harder for other people to play the game, the thing that the game was designed to do.

This reminds me of the story of the one dude with lots of money who was buying out cards from the reserved list. That still makes me upset. I was looking forward to one day getting a Gaea’s Cradle at ~$125 CAN, but now that’s not possible. D:

GodDogofVice says:

As a member of the MTGFinance community and as someone who has been watching your videos since the beginning. I am appalled by this video and the subsequent witch hunt that has resulted from it. The MTGFinance community demands a follow up video were you recant the inaccurate and slanderous statements you made toward us, as well as an apology. We will await your response. Sincerely ~The MTGFinance Community.

Veikko Elo says:

I… I really don’t know? Obviously they’re good for the community, but I don’t know if I want to buy one just for the cards. I already play standard semi-casually.

Daniel Wurzer says:

I think it would be kinda cool if wizards did the same thing for modern. Sell some preconstructed decks with one-offs of fetches or dual lands, just to reduce the prices a bit. Naturally these decks could cost a bit more than the standard decks, but it would also lessen the barrier of entry for the format.

Taiku Altergrund says:

nope, but i will be getting one of each for in house play of the game

Dank MTG says:

Well said Professor.

Higdon says:

I am a new mtg player and I already have reminders set in my phone to go to my local gaming store when these come out… I do not have a standard deck but I am looking forward to having one soon.

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