The Masters series have been disappointing fans recently with their lower value reprints and higher costs. Wizards of the Coast seems to have noticed this, giving the Masters series one final hurrah on 7 December 2018 (at least for the foreseeable future). Ultimate Masters is the most expensive Masters set to date with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of 13,99 €. You'll be able to buy them by the pack, by the "blisterpack" (three booster packs and the best per-pack value) and by the booster box. Each box comes with a unique full-art premium foil version of a select list of cards from the pack. The expansion contains 254 cards (101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, and 20 mythic rares). Notably, there are five more mythic rares in this set than in previous Masters expansions.
The premium Ultimate Box Toppers are perhaps the biggest thing separating Ultimate Masters from its predecessors. Each special booster box comes with one full-art premium foil version of one of 40 cards from expansion itself. 20 of these are the 20 mythics in the set, featuring cards like Bitterblossom, Tarmogoyf, and Dark Depths.
One thing you might notice about these box toppers is that not only are they full-art, but they're also brand new artwork. That's right, many of the classic Modern and Legacy staples in this set come with brand-new artwork, most of which are available in packs and in these full-art promo cards.
Some other notable promos are Maelstrom Pulse, Platinum Emperion, Balefire Dragon, Temporal Manipulation, and Cavern of Souls. Basically, if it's a Modern staple and it's pricey, it's probably one of these promos. (You can find the full list of box toppers here.) So if you're a collector, you should get on these fast as they're very exclusive, and barring unforeseen issues, these premium foils are going to be very popular.
The biggest complaint about the recent Masters sets revolved almost entirely around value. Masters sets historically contain a lot of high-value cards, justifying their high price points. However, these expected value numbers dropped with Iconic Masters and Masters 25. Well, Wizards has responded to your complaints and this set is chock-full of high-value reprints.
Majority of the most expensive cards in Modern are here. I'm sure you've already noticed a few high-profile reprints up there, but you haven't seen anything yet! The eight rares that Ultimate Masters contains are Celestial Colonnade, Goryo's Vengeance, Fulminator Mage, Engineered Explosives, Through the Breach, Noble Hierarch, Ancient Tomb, and Life from the Loam. That is a lot of value for that type of rarity, but those aren't all the value rares in this set. The mythic slot is similarly stacked from Liliana of the Veil to Karn Liberated, with Snapcaster Mage, and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Needless to say, if expected value is what you're after, this set will not disappoint you.
WotC clearly wanted the Masters series to go out with a bang. This set came out of nowhere and is shaping up to be a fine send-off to Magic: The Gathering's 25th anniversary. Be sure to pick up your Modern staples now because if it's expensive and in Modern, it's probably in this set.