This week I would like to delve into both the new cards and reprinted Commander 2013 cards to see the monetary potential of new commander staples, reprinted commanders, and reprinted commander staple cards that are found across a myriad of decks and archetypes. I will try to pick out cards that I feel are either undervalued or have dropped so much in price that now would be a good time to pick them up if you are so inclined. I’m going to avoid talking about True-Name Nemesis because it has been covered quite well already (see here, and here) and I don’t have much else to add to the conversation.
Speaking of TNN, Toxic Deluge is a great answer to him! Outside of the TNN hype though, I think that Toxic Deluge has a lot more going for it than first meets the eye. Let’s compare it to similar spells that can be played in Legacy:
- Perish / Nature’s Ruin (Perish is strictly better due to the no regeneration clause)
- Virtue’s Ruin
- Supreme Verdict
I will argue that Toxic Deluge is better than all of these cards because:
Its effect is stronger than similar cards (Perish, Nature’s Ruin, Virtue’s Ruin)
It is cost efficient (cheaper than all other options for mass creature removal except Pyroclasm, Cave-In, or miracled Terminus)
It gets around protection, particularly dealing with TNN and Sword of Feast and Famine
-X/-X can deal with indestructible , regeneration, or other effects that are seen from time
I have a feeling that as creatures become more powerful and players are left looking for answers to cards like TNN or various protection effects, Toxic Deluge will become more and more popular. With popularity will come an increase in price. For $14 I believe that Toxic Deluge is undervalued.
Though on the surface Unexpectedly Absent appears to be marginally good, this card has more going for it than others give it credit for. In Legacy, the option to remove any nonland permanent for a turn should not be underestimated. Combine this with the use of fetchlands and other shuffle effects that are found in the format and it can be a real beating if played at the right moment. Though Swords to Plowshares in my opinion is still a better card, Unexpectedly Absent does not give your opponent life back. This could be important in a deck like Death and Taxes where not only could you get rid of something later in the game, but you could use your mana denial resources to make it harder to play that spell. I’m not sure if $14 is the right call for this card but I will be watching its price as time goes on.
Baleful Strix has seen a large drop in price since its reprinting – it can currently be had for around $9 from many vendors. A very popular casual card with a small following in Legacy, Baleful Strix will continue to have a significant level of demand moving forward. I don’t think Baleful Strix is quite done dropping in price, since C13 will continue to be restocked going into the next year. His popularity will be enough reason to keep this as a prime target to watch moving forward. Once it gets down to the $5 price range it will be time to get in.
I would like to say that Primal Vigor is the next Doubling Season and that you should be actively picking them up, but Primal Vigor has two huge drawbacks against it.
One, it affects all players in the game. In the way that Caged Sun is slightly better than Gauntlet of Power (though Gauntlet does cost 1 less mana, but work with me), Primal Vigor is slightly worse than Doubling Season because it allows your opponents to take advantage of the effect before you can most of the time*.
*As an aside, I find it interesting that Wizards gave this enchantment a global effect since many of the new cards that they have been printing have moved away from this design philosophy and have instead focused upon only granting the abilities to things you control. A prime example of this are the M14 Slivers compared to “classic” Slivers from Time Spiral, Legions, or Tempest. Though I can understand in Primal Vigor’s case, since the card was in a multiplayer product and having cards that can take on a political role adds another element to the game.
Two, the second ability only utilizes +1/+1 counters rather than any type of counter. The fun part about playing Doubling Season is all the non-P/T counters: Planeswalker loyalty counters, charge counters, and many other types of counters. (Cool trivia fact – did you know that there are over 90 different types of counters that have been created for MTG cards over the years? Many of them are used only on a single card, but because of Doubling Season, casual players have the option to to expand their usefulness). Restricting Primal Vigor to just one counter type takes away the other cool options Doubling Season offers.
That being said, I still believe that Primal Vigor is undervalued right now and in the future I can see people wanting them in order to have a “cheaper” Doubling Season. Pick them up while they are still fairly cheap because I think this enchantment has room to grow.
Karmic Guide has never been cheaper! Now down to as low as $4 per copy, Guide has quite a bit of casual appeal. It might go a bit lower as more C13 is released, but I think Karmic Guide has almost reached the floor of its price. It can’t go too far though, so I recommend picking up your copies before C13 goes out of print and they become harder to find.
Sydri, Galvanic Genius
I think that Sydri is undervalued right now but that she has not reached her floor yet. I will compare this general to Animar, Soul of Elements. Currently sitting at around $7 and rising, Animar needs a deck to be built around him similar to Sydri, and is in a popular slice of the color pie for commander decks. At his low point, Animar was almost at bulk status for a long while but then this year he really started going up in price to match his popularity as a commander. Sydri will follow a similar path since she is Karn 2.0 with a little more flair that players will love to build around. I’m going to wait for her to reach her floor and then will trade for them.
Bane of Progress
Bane of Progress is probably one of the more powerful cards to be created for the C13 product line. By having an ETB ability that destroys all artifacts and enchantments, this creature can be abused very easily through reanimation, blinking, or other effects that get him into play cheaper. While he is amazing in Vintage, that format is not really a driver of prices and I will be looking at the casual crowds and possibly Legacy to start adopting Batman’s latest villain. I think that he is undervalued at $3 and should be picked up in trade whenever possible. It will be interesting to see how high this card can climb.
For a quick roundup, I think the following cards should also be watched going forward because they definitely have the potential to be popular casual cards and in addition may shakeup an eternal format from time to time:
Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
Marath, Will of the Wild
From the Ashes
Also, the following reprints are now super cheap and can be picked up for quite a discount. Until their next reprinting, I can only see these cards going up from their floors:
Decree of Pain
Sharuum the Hegemon
6 thoughts on “Commander 2013 – Price Drops and Undervalued Cards”
I have a question regarding your valuation of Toxic Deluge. As a legacy player, i find that most mass creature removal spells are valued below $10. Similar -x/-x effects in black cards like Massacre, Dread of Night, Engineered Plague also cost lesser than $10. So why would you feel $14 is undervalued? Is it due to the limited print run that you expect?
One of the reasons that the cards you mention are under $10 is because they are all uncommons, so there are plenty available. Another reason is because they are somewhat limited in the scope of what they can kill (Massacre you need you proper lands to activate and then only provides -2/-2, Dread of Night only hits white creatures, Engineered Plague only takes care of 1 creature type). Toxic Deluge is able to kill any type of creature without the restrictions, even if you need to take out an Emrakul to live through a Show and Tell.
I believe that ultimately Toxic Deluge will be rarer than these uncommons (two of which have been reprinted) because I don’t think enough C13 will be printed to match the print run of the sets which those uncommons appeared in. That plus the versatility leads me to believe that Toxic Deluge is undervalued.
I would have to agree with you there, Jared. I’ve been using Toxic Deluge in Vintage as well as Commander, and it just shines all around.
Also, how have you been? Haven’t seen you since magic club.
Hey, what’s up Alex? Had no idea you read this blog! Very cool.
Things have been pretty awesome. Living life doing the full time thing while also finding time for MTG is hard but worth it. I love the game too much.
Vintage is one format I’ve never gotten into. I have yet to understand the weird interactions of Vintage decks.
I think you are seriously overvaluing Sydri. Her ability is kinda unique, but not nearly as abusable as Animar’s. She also competes with Sharuum as an Esper artifact commander, and I don’t think she compares favourably there either.
Would you purchase 4 sets of the 5 commander decks @ 85€ per set or would you purchase the TNN seperate @ 35€ a piece?
As i see it i would have to open 3 with TNN and 4 times Evasive Maneuvers & Eternal Bargain the rest could be solled closed and the signles that i don’t need 🙂
decisions, decisions, 🙂
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