I have been really hoping for awesome things from Commander 2016, and frankly, it’s not disappointing. I love how Wizards has identified this niche and gives us all sorts of fun toys to play with.
What I’m really looking for is how much I’m willing to spend on singles. Until I have a decklist, I don’t know what I’m buying and I’m not willing to spend $30 on a deck and send out $35 worth of PucaPoints. Postage will eat up my margins.
I’m also nervous about knowing how many of each card is going to be printed. The markings of Mythic, Rare, Uncommon and Common don’t mean much when they are printed in equal numbers. I need to know if some of these are in multiple decks! I doubt it, but I’m not assuming anything.
To be clear, I doubt that much from this set is going to have a high price anytime soon. Commander 2015’s big winner is Mystic Confluence at $9. The 2014 version has multiple cards over $10, but the biggest is a reprint: Wurmcoil Engine. Even True-Name Nemesis, the headliner of Commander 2013, is only $14.
There are two things I want to be aware of: The prices that will fall, and the prices that will eventually rise.
Most of the cards in this set are going to fall in price, and fall hard. Others are going to trail off, after an initial burst. So what’s going to be the Blade of Selves?
I liked picking up the Blade when it was a little over $10, but we have gotten to a point that after a year, people who wanted them immediately got them, and then those who sort of wanted it got theirs, and now we are at the lowest demand.
So the most expensive cards in this set are going to drop in price unless something gooses the price, which is usually Legacy demand. Containment Priest hit $50 for one weekend. True-Name Nemesis caused Wizards to adjust how many of which deck they printed.
Patience can pay off, though, if you’re willing to think in longer terms. Here’s Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury.
She hasn’t gone up enormously yet, but she’s crept upward, a trend that I want to be aware of.
The individual legends are going to be pretty solidly average in price. You’re going to see a lot of them that are between $3 and $7, and I don’t think that any of the ones spoiled are going to light up the Commander world. Perhaps I just can’t pick out the Meren of Clan Nel Toth, or the Nekusar, the Mindrazer out of this batch?
With this in mind, let’s look at some spoilers!
Deepglow Skate – So far, this is the card that I think is going to gain the most value right away, partially because it’s a single color (and not green for this effect!) and partially because it’s downright amazing. I am in love with this card and it’s going to go into a range of decks. If this is only in the non-red deck, then it’s going to immediately jump and decline over time. This will definitely be a long-term pickup for me.
Prismatic Geoscope – Look, we know Gilded Lotus is a good card. It’s worth considering as a first pick in a Cube, and this card is potentially better. It’s a big drawback that it enters tapped, but the potential to tap for four or five mana for only costing five, that’s a big, big jump for the mana-hungry five color decks. There’s a good chance that this is in more than one of the 2016 decks, and if it is, it’ll have a hard time keeping its price.
Vial Smasher the Fierce – While I don’t know how good this is going to be in Commander four-player games, I’m awfully intrigued by how good it might be in Legacy decks. Adding damage to the first spell a turn is tempting indeed, though I might be dreaming. Likely stays under $3.
Conqueror’s Flail – I love what this offers me, a way for a creature-heavy deck to resist really annoying cards like Cyclonic Rift or Batwing Brume. I suspect this will be a popular card but not world-shattering, and have a relatively low price. It’s solid, being +2/+2 or more for a mere two to play and two to equip, but the way it prevents interaction is the real selling point. Solid in the long-term.
Faerie Artisans – Oh this card. I want to be all over this card and sing its praises to the heavens, but the truth of the matter is that when it’s in play, your opponents will almost never play their awesome creatures with amazing enters-the-battlefield effects. It’s a rattlesnake of a card, warning them off and probably not doing much. If you are into slowing the game down this might be more your style, but this will never be expensive.
Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist – I like this as a sort of fixed Sygg, River Cutthroat, but this is another one that is really intriguing when there’s less players. It can’t draw you cards at the same rate Sygg can, but the way it pays people off for attacking each other is like a lightweight Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Still, he will probably stay super cheap.