By: Cliff Daigle
So the sets are on the shelves and wow it’s underwhelming. Nothing is Legacy gold–yet–and while I’m hesitant to say never…it doesn’t look good.
Today I want to look at the new cards in Commander 2015 and decide how much I’d pay, in trade or cash, for these new toys. Some of these I am dying to get, and others I’m going to be patient on.
Blade of Selves ($14)
I started writing this on Sunday, when the price was $6:
“This is going to be the most expensive card from this set by summer. It works beautifully with effect like Doubling Season and if you can copy the Blade then that’s amazing too. Note that this does not play the way you want with Nacatl War-Pride.
I think this will be in the $10 range because it’s universal and powerful. Commander decks tends to be packed with creatures that give value of some sort right away, and this gets you three more of those. There are very few decks that don’t want this effect, so the demand will always be there. I also appreciate how this is only relevant to original-format Commander. It’s worthless in 1v1 or Tiny Leaders. ”
This card is now at $14, and a big part of that is what I identified: It’s bonkers. Three Eternal Witness triggers? Don’t mind if I do! Thank goodness the tokens are exiled, but all it takes is a fun sacrifice effect to get some leaving-play value.
I stand by my earlier thoughts: This will be a $10 card in the long run, but this initial rush is from the people who don’t want to be patient. They want the new toy and they want it now. There’s a rush on these because I don’t think many people want to buy a deck and extract value from the singles. I’ve told you not to do that, but the Boros deck is tempting! I already have a home for the Blade and the Magus of the Wheel, and I think Oreskos Explorer has some potential…but that’s sort of it. There’s only three sellers on TCGPlayer with this card, and a total of 22 copies available. The demand has been real! We might even see it ride the wave up to $20 within the next week,
I’m going to watch this price closely. How many people buy this deck and crack it open? It’s no True-Name Nemesis, and right now the Blade is about double the next most expensive card. The value isn’t there for the entire deck, especially if lots of people start trying to do it!
On that note, TCG does have some people selling the sealed deck for under $30….
Mystic Confluence ($9)
If this were four mana, it would be in the conversation for “counter unless they pay 3, draw two cards.” I do not think this goes higher and I’d expect it to drop to $5 or so. Conditional counterspells have to be cheap, and while this has a delightful flexibility, it’ll never be expensive.
That doesn’t mean it’s the same thing as bad, though. There aren’t many other cards that offer this flexibility, but it lacks the raw power of some other blue instants.
Along with Bloodspore Thrinax, there’s some awesome combinations of cards to be had in the Simic deck. Ezuri is icing on the cake, though, and really gets busted depending on the theme of the deck you built. At his worst, he’s buffing himself and that’s not what people want to be doing.
He’s also fragile, but all it takes is one or two activations of his ability to get out of hand quite quickly. Master Biomancer is the popular choice, but let’s not overlook what Ezuri can do with something like Wild Beastmaster! For sneaky fun, add him to Cauldron of Souls and keep the fun flying.
Ezuri is in a color combination that’s all about fun interactions, but the price isn’t going to go too far up or down.
I’ll be honest, I thought Pharika, God of Affliction was going to have an ability like this, and I love the nature of this ability. Stuff dies all the time, and your opponents need to be able to respond during your turn for you to get no value off of her ability. It’s true that they could just untap and wipe the board, but the potential is certainly there. I think her price will go down a little, but I want to put an idea in your head: She only needs one or two counters to be powerful in a Legacy deck. She would absolutely be a surprise fun-of, a creature that every turn got back a Tarmogoyf or Young Pyromancer or Deathrite Shaman.
Magus of the Wheel ($5)
I was hoping for a new Magus cycle but this is a phenomenal card in any setting. I’m surprised that it didn’t show up in any Burn lists but it being three mana, even for a 3/3, is a little pricey.
I think this is another one that will creep upward in price, but not by much. It’s really hard to cost three mana in decks so light on lands, even Browbeat isn’t good enough.
Allow me to recycle a phrase from last year, too: This is very good with Nekusar, the Mindrazer.
Oreskos Explorer ($1)
This is not going to have legs. It’s not going to spike. It’s worse than Knight of the White Orchid in 1v1 games. Keep the optimism in check.
Scourge of Nel Toth ($1.50)
The reanimation potential is there. Sacrificing Bloodghasts or other reanimation creatures could really be amazing at some point, but Legacy reanimation is much more powerful in the payoff. This doesn’t hold a candle to Griselbrand, or Iona, or whatever is the target.
Dread Summons ($1)
It’s a mill card with defense potential. It does mill yourself as well, so it’s not the best finisher in an infinite-mana deck, unless you plan for it with Gaea’s Blessing or an Eldrazi.
I think this Commander series is much like the last two years: The decks are well-built, lots of fun synergies, with just the right level of being deliberately underpowered. They also are not going to have a lot of financial relevance, even with the current spike on the Blade of Selves. Be patient and you’ll get great value.
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