By: Cliff Daigle
Last week I went over some Standard picks. This week I want to shift back to my first love, Commander, and highlight some foils that aren’t as expensive as they are about to be.
Basically, these are cards that are underpriced for their utility and especially as compared to their nonfoil price. For most cards, the foil price is about two to three times more, and in a lot of cases, the foil is much more than that. An example of the enormous multiplier would be Swiftfoot Boots from Magic 2012. There’s four versions at fifty cents each, and then the foil at $10.
Chromantic Lantern ($9.50 nonfoil/$15 foil): So this is the dream card for a five-color deck. It’s a little acceleration and it’s a lot of fixing. It sees zero play outside of casual formats, and the foil is only 50% more than the nonfoil. Expect this to correct itself to at least $30.
Doubling Season ($40/$50): Even the pack foil from Ravnica is only $55, and that’s just criminally underpriced for how popular this card is. There are three different foil printings, and that’s helped keep the price low, but the recent spike for the nonfoil hasn’t been accompanied by a rise in the price of the foil. Get some shiny versions now, and just be patient as they go up to $75 if not $100.
Chaos Warp ($4/$12): A lot of Commander’s Arsenal is underpriced. This is one of the cheaper cards, and it’s just so awesome in a color that really lacks for universal removal. It’s true that the Warp can actually change a problem into a worse problem, but that’s part of the fun. Interestingly, if this gets printed in another nonfoil set, the foil might really take off.
Hall of the Bandit Lord ($8/$18): I’m highlighting this card because the supply is already low (this was only in Champions of Kamigawa) and it’s not going to take much for it to spike. It’s an excellent candidate to show up in some Modern list as a fun-of and the price will just go bananas.
Deathrite Shaman ($7/$63): This sees far too much Legacy play to have this low a price on the foil. It’s simply one of the best one-drops ever, and it’s awesome in any casual format you care to name. I won’t be shocked to see this as a $100 foil within a year.
Soul of the Harvest ($0.50/$3): This is as staple as staples get. It’s a big green creature that rewards you for playing more creatures. There are multiple versions of this effect, but Glimpse of Nature or Beck//Call aren’t the easy-to-reanimate size of this creature. Garruk’s Packleader is a related card, but it’s had three foil printings. Token decks might prefer the Packleader.
Zealous Conscripts ($.75/$2): It’s a Kiki-Jiki combo piece. It’s a surprise way to steal and use a planeswalker’s ultimate. It frees you from Propaganda effects for a turn. It’s all this and more, for a very cheap foil price.
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed ($.50/$1.50): I’ll give you that this is an intro pack foil, and therefore there are more of them out there. The effect is undeniable, though, and something that you need to add to every one of your red/green decks. Plus, it’s a cheap price to buy in at and that’s always a feature I look for.
Managorger Hydra ($3/$6): I love foils going forward. This card is better than Taurean Mauler and works with all the green cards that enable shenanigans: Doubling Season, Hardened Scales, etc. There’s also Hydra decks to consider, as those are surprisingly expensive.
Phyrexian Ingester ($.35/$.70): This costs one more mana and one more color than Duplicant, which does make it worse, but it’s a better card once it’s in play. Duplicant can actually shrink, while this cannot be anything worse than its original 3/3. (Unless you’re exiling Char Rumbler. In that case, good job on the corner case!)
Sol Ring (lots/$30/$160): This is a tricky card. It’s been printed to hell and back but it’s just the best to have, better than a Mox and nearly as good as a Lotus. There’s only two foils, though, and there’s a huge gap between them. The early judge foil, with the original art, is $160 or so and worth every penny. The From the Vault version uses the more recent art but it’s the version that will be settled upon by those who want a foil but don’t want to spend the premium. This has a lot of version competing but picking up a few FTV at $30 is pretty reasonable.
Magister Sphinx ($1/$2): This should be a higher foil multiplier. The ability is busted badly in EDH, taking someone from 30-40 life (or even infinite life!) to ten. It’s from a small set several years ago and it’s a staple in any artifact deck. The color restriction is a problem but not that bad a problem.
Command Tower ($3/$30): Two foil versions to choose from, neither of which are easy to find. Which one you want comes down to preference, either for the art or for the foiling process, since Commander’s Arsenal looks a lot like the hated FTV versions of things. I know this is already a multiplier of ten but considering the number of people who want a foil version of the best land in your Commander deck, $30 is too low. I’d expect this to hit at least $50 within a year.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. If there’s other foils with a multiplier of less than two, or others you feel are undervalued, come on over to the forums! Share your knowledge with other ProTraders and let’s all benefit together.