Making More Enemies

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Welcome back to the articles series that tricks finance people into caring about EDH and tricks EDH people into caring about finance. I like the concept of “edutainment,” but I think I am beginning to like the concept of “eduception” better. It’s like that video “Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land”  where you realize after the fourth of fifth viewing—this is a great alternative to Fantasia while dropping acid, by the way (seriously, don’t drop acid and watch Fantasia. I can’t speak to the acid part, but I have watched Fantasia enough times to know that the experience will end with you in a padded cell)—that it was trying to teach you math. You just watched a math video, nerd. You’re a disgrace to that Pink Floyd T-shirt.

Last week, I talked a lot about what could happen when Wizards prints more Commander sealed product, and while a lot of it involves crushing $5ish cards into total powder, some of it involves, potentially, getting Wurmcoil Engine back, making it cheaper for a minute, selling a ton of product, and us not losing too much money on Wurmcoil Engine. It’s a great situation to be in.

Can we see other Wurmcoil-tier reprints? Maybe! Do I know what they are? No, but I can guess! Last week, I identified some cards in the appropriate price range that would get more copies in players’ hands, not tank the value a ton, and make the product attractive for years to come. Could every deck have something this good in it? Maybe. It really depends on a lot of factors, not all of which we can anticipate.

What I can do is warn people holding onto some cards that are likely to see a reprint while it’s not too late to dump them. If they don’t get reprinted, you can grab them for the same price later. Let’s talk about what could be in this year’s wave of enemy-colored Commander decks. My hope is that I’ll get through two colors today, because I won’t have to introduce the concept of the series like I did last week, but you know me. If I only get through Golgari today, this three-parter could turn into a five-parter, but I doubt anyone will complain because the only way that happens is if there is too much value in this installment. Let’s start demonstrating some of that value.

Golgari Stuff

Remember the wiki article I linked last week?  I’ll be using that as a guide for the potential themes of the deck. These are things Golgari does well and one or more is certain to be featured in a Commander deck.

Reclamation

Golgari is going to get stuff back from your graveyard. White does this okay, but since the days of Animate Dead and Regrowth, we’ve seen Golgari plant a flag in this territory.

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This is a card that honestly could shrug another reprinting off. How is this $10? The Duel Deck version is closer to $8, but that’s still absurd for a card with two reprintings. Duel Decks don’t always tank cards, of course, but this is a non-mythic in Modern Masters as well. This is great for a lot of graveyard-based strategies—letting your mana recover from greedy digging, letting you reuse lands like Ghost Quarter and Blighted Woodland (Wizards is not putting Strip Mine in a Commander precon) and jams more crap in your yard for later recovery. It’s a solid card, is at the right price point, and I regret not saving this for the end of the article. This was literally the first card I thought of.

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I made some money off of this card, so naturally, I love it. Standard players didn’t see it as the, “I’m playing Abrupt Decay literally every turn” engine I saw it as, comparing it instead to Staff of Nin, but Caleb Durward played one copy in his sideboard, which caused it hit $8 briefly, and I buylisted a hundred copies for three times what I paid for them. What a great weekend.

Anyway, this seems like the kind of card that, while it doesn’t need a reprint, could get one. Bulkish rares have been crushed into true bulk under the wheels of a precon with a theme before.

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This is another card that doesn’t care how many times you reprint it. The cheapest printing is still $7 and it could probably shrug some more off. The cool thing about reprints in precons and such is that the rarity doesn’t matter—it may have a silver expansion symbol but there are exactly as many Izzet vs. Golgari Eternal Witnesses as there are Life from the Loams.(Lives from the Loam? [Ed.: Nah]). A card originally printed at uncommon is still super hard to find when the copies get cleaned up as quickly as they do, and they’re not three times as abundant as rares in precons.  This isn’t as bad a candidate as it seems, and if it dips in the short term, it’s sure to recover.

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This is a card that it wouldn’t suck if Wizards reprinted. Expensive enough to be in the Wurmcoil sweet spot and ubiquitous enough to likely see its copies gobbled up, a reprint of this might not be too bad for the non-foil price and wouldn’t touch the set foil or judge foil. Still, I could see this card reprinted, in a new border without the tombstone by the name, sort of like the judge foil. I could see this in a Golgari Commander deck quite easily.

Exiling from the Graveyard

This is an ability we see in these colors, but I’m not sure there is a ton of money to be made predicting what we’ll see.

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Look at me, I’m Nostradamus, except I predict the obvious with pinpoint accuracy.

Perhaps there are real cards that would be affected, though.

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This could be shot down mid-recovery, and while there isn’t much precedent for a card from Commander precons being reprinted in Commander precons, this would at least be on-theme. Modern will want this card forever, Legacy will want this card forever, and even Commander will want this card forever. It’s not quite Wurmcoil-tier in terms of price, but it certainly does work, doesn’t it?

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Does this feel “wrong” to anyone else? I don’t know what it is about this mechanic. It seems too, I don’t know, proactive compared to much of the reactive graveyard hate that is a little more judicious and targeted. This seems like a card Wizards wouldn’t put in a precon. It’s too efficient and unreliable.

Still, the price is right and a Commander reprinting certainly hurts the upside of the non-foil a great deal. M11 hurt the foil significantly, but that sort of thing can happen. It seems unlikely we’ll see another reprinting in a real set, so the foils seem pretty safe. As much as I am not sure the precons will jam something like this, the possibility exists. If it did get the nod, the strong growth we’re seeing would be impacted severely.

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This has little or nothing to do with EDH, but this card is pretty good in Modern and even better in Legacy—especially Legacy. Even Vintage could benefit from a card like this. A free, surprise, Crypt against Dredge, especially in Vintage, seems effective.

How is this foil only a stinkin’ dollar? I am sure I’m overstating its playability or something. I don’t know how else to explain the discrepancy between  how good I think it is and how cheap it is. EDH players might like a card like Grave Consequences, also, but that’s only a quarter and is likely to stay there.

Regeneration

Not an exciting theme, but you don’t need to build around the theme to jam a few good cards with regeneration in the deck.

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You whippersnappers won’t remember this, but this card was $20 for one glorious weekend. I was opening these and trading them for two copies of Supreme Verdict, four copies of Detention Sphere—all kinds of insanity. That was back when people still traded in person, mind you. Crazy times we were living in. This was before the movie Frozen came out and it sucked to be a parent.

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Nowadays, it hardly matters if this gets reprinted or not. There are better trolls, but this does more work in a Golgari deck that wants more than just a Cudgel Troll.

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This card used to buylist for next to nothing. Now it’s a real, actual card. It’s pushing into Wurmcoil territory and wouldn’t suck as a reprint. This card does work. While it “feels” a bit more Selesnya than Golgari, I think we can all agree this would be a welcome reprint. I’m not saying sell these, but I will say maybe wait to buy.

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This is a very, very specific card for a very specific set of circumstances, but Wizards has reprinted utility lands in Commander product before, and this is certainly itching for it. Wizards will need to find a way to reprint this soon or it’s going to continue to grow out of control. This is not just for rat decks, either, as it regenerates cards like Taurean Mauler and Mutavault. We’d need a strong rat or squirrel theme making this more of a wishlist reprint than a likely one, but this is a card I wouldn’t invest heavily in, as it’s likely to see reprinting in the future.

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This seems more likely. I feel like any day now, a Commander deck or some other manner of supplementary product will give us a reprint of the Hollow. This is a great utility land for a green EDH deck, and since green is the best color in EDH, this is a good candidate for a lot of decks. This has hovered around $10 to $12 for a while, and it has some upside if it escapes reprinting in this year’s Commander product, though how much upside I don’t know.

J/K. As Justin pointed out below, Hollow is on the Reserved List. And why not? It’s way better than Citanul Centaurs. I guess we’re stuck with Yavimaya Hollow at its current price and higher, which sucks, but with no real way to reprint this card, the sky is the limit.

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Thrun is a pretty narrow basket to put so many eggs in, but you can do worse than a very good creature if you’re looking for somewhere to stash the value from a set. I don’t see this as super likely, but this is a creature that regenerates and isn’t total bulk. It’s good enough in Modern and even fringe Legacy strategies that we could use an unobtrusive way to reprint it, but maybe the price is too high for that, now.

Permanent Destruction

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This is the card a lot of people think will be a shoo-in. I’m not so certain. While this certainly does work, I see it as similar to the “why put Vindicate in a precon when Mortify is almost as good at dealing with the stuff in the other precons?” argument I proposed last week. I’d like to see Maelstrom Pulse, and it certainly could use another printing, but I don’t like the odds.

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This reprinting wouldn’t upset too much, and with the Conspiracy printing already attenuating prices, this seems like a fine candidate. As long as we don’t get stupid Plague Boiler, I’ll be okay. I don’t think this is too good to reprint, and I don’t think it’s too expensive to reprint. Pernicious Deed isn’t what it used to be, and EDH certainly isn’t driving its price up much. This would be fine.

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A true EDH staple, this card has shrugged off multiple printings in Planechase and a Duel Deck. Its growth would be attenuated for sure, but likely would climb after a matter of months to a year, and getting more copies out there wouldn’t kill anyone. I see this as pretty likely, but which art would Wizards choose?

Elves

The wiki doesn’t say anything about this, but green-black could get some elves. This would be a decent place to jam a few elves to bring down the cost of some of the nuttier ones that haven’t gotten reprints lately. Which ones? I dunno.

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This is pretty much insanity. A reprinting would make it affordable and mean you don’t need to pay fetch-land prices for an uncommon mana dork. Obviously last year’s green Commander deck would have been a better venue, but this oversight can always be corrected. Will it? Likely it will, but not in the Commander deck. There are some elves I expect to see, though.

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This has already been crushed into powder, but sometimes Wizards reprints cards so they will be playable in the deck. This seems like a good choice. This is a card I could see being the commander if I weren’t so certain they’ll have a new card at the helm. This is a lot like Teysa in the Orzhov deck. Whether or not we need this financially, I think we’ll get it.

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This won’t have much financial impact, but this is a very Golgari card. I like this both at the helm of its own deck and in the 99 of decks like Prossh and Shattergang Brothers. This card does serious work and is a must-kill for opponents.

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Glissa is sneaking its way up to the $5 mark. I don’t know if it’s not too narrow to go in a precon, but if you jam a Mind Stone, a spellbomb, and a Sylvok Replica in there, you might see this do some work. It’s very Golgari and being able to fetch cards out of the ‘yard plays well with dredge. Who knows? This could be in there.

Wurmcoil-Tier Possibilities

Other than Genesis and Asceticism, which cards do I think have a decent shot at being the Wurmcoil of the Golgari deck, if there is one?

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Lord of Extinction may be one of the EDHiest cards ever. This is pure “big creatures do work,” and I love it. This gets huge, and when shot at someone’s dome with a Jarad, usually ends the game for that person. It’s just solid, will work in the EDH precon no matter what the theme is, and could use a reprint to bring the price down, though Wurmcoil shrugged its reprint off and this could, too, depending how popular the deck is. A sicko new card for Legacy is always a possibility.

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Maybe this is too cheap, but this seems on-flavor, at least. I could see this getting a reprinting soon, but I wouldn’t necessarily bet money on it.

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I know I said this could go in the Orzhov deck, but this would work in a Golgari deck as well, and everything I said last week about this card still applies.

Final Thoughts

Remember how I thought I might get through Golgari and Simic today? Yeah—not happening. I’m way over my word-count cap, and I don’t even care. You’re welcome for all of the value. Next week, we’ll tackle Simic, meaning I guess this is a five-parter now.

Argue with me, please. What did I omit or get wrong? Leave it in the commentses, you nasty readerses. Got any beef with my picks? Did I omit your favorite Golgari card? Will the Wurmcoil-tier card only be in one deck? Do you have predictions for Simic? Leave it all below. Until next week!

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8 thoughts on “Making More Enemies”

    1. Yeah, I thought it was. But, I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as Jason, so I thought I was mistaken… thanks for clearing that up!

  1. Another great article, Jason! Un an unrelated note, I was just wondering:
    How long would it take to get you to join the masses in accepting the name change of the format? With Commanders creators adopting the name change, as well as the fact that Elder Dragons haven’t been the sole/primary Commanders/Generals of the format for a long time, compounded by the fact that all current and future product for the format are released under the Commander nomenclature (meaning in the not-so-distant future newly assimilated players won’t even know what your referring to when addressing the format as “EDH”) leads me to think that you may be in the almost geriatric minority soon. Do you still use the old title to reflect your admiration for the original, lesser-known format? Or maybe to exemplify how long you have been a member of the elite few? Or, is it just really true that old dogs abhor new tricks? Or, is it just about sticking it to The Man (or in this case, The Wizard) and refusing to cow tow to their insipid demands? The possibilities are endless, from the lofty and noble, down to the stubborn and obtuse… I would just like to know, what keeps the fight alive for you? Thanks,

    A Big Fan (and fellow Commander player)

    1. It’s EDH. I’m not going to call it Commander. My editor on Gathering Magic has to go through every article I submit and change EDH to Commander and knowing he has to do this, I still write EDH. I’m not a dinosaur, subsequent generations are WRONG.

  2. I want to like these articles but they just depress me. Wizards reprinting cards to “make them more available” which means “decrease the price so there is no value to them” is wearing me down. I’d have to check the price of Wurmcoil cause I don’t know how it hasn’t gone down, I’ve never seen anyone trade for one or move one so I don’t know where the “value” or demand is coming from.

    Scavenging Ooze for some reason is not rebounding since it’s reprint, if it ends up reprinted again it might qualify as the second best $5 and under rare ever just behind Birds which has that title for forever (or under $10, whatever).

    I think you missed on Abrupt Decay, I think it’s getting reprinted and am selling most of mine now. Technically it could survive a reprint and it’s played all over Modern and Legacy. It was briefly $20 during Modern season but is down to $15 and would be a MM 2016 headliner if there is a MM ’16. Golgari Charm seems like an obvious inclusion. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Satyr Wayfinder, Den Protector, or Deathmist Raptor end up in this product; or an elf angle to it but I don’t think that’s usually the point of the Commander product.

    Last month I just bought Foil Life From the Loams so I don’t know what a Commander printing will do to the foil price. Did make me sick to see it as your first inclusion on your reprint list. In Commander is it “fair” to be able to bring back Wastelands, Ghost Quarters, Cycle lands, etc with Loam??

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