The Reprint Sprint

So we’ve gotten some cards from Commander Legends revealed via some random person who got their hands on some packs and tried to sell stolen goods on eBay, and we’re getting the official previews starting Monday. 

If you want to avoid knowledge of the leaked/stolen cards, I’ll respect that. I’m not going to say what’s in them, except to say that the cards I’m talking about today are not yet known to be reprinted in Commander Legends. What I am doing this week is building my shopping list. So many casual and Commander cards are deliciously valued right now, but one more reprint would mean agonizingly slow growth.

This is a list of cards that I want to buy as soon as the full list of Commander Legends is out, so I can feel that I’m in a pretty good position. Reprints are an ongoing issue (especially with The List’s existence) but I’m choosing casual-focused cards that should swing back up within a year, barring the unforeseen reprint. There’s always the chance of a Secret Lair or some other product popping up, and there’s no way to prepare for that these days except to have a diverse selection of cards in your possession.

Cyclonic Rift (Regular Nonfoil $16) – I think we about at the bottom on Double Masters, as I wrote about a couple weeks ago. Now the only question is which cards needed to be printed back-to-back this way. (Some cards did get this amount of reprinting, and we’ve got the leaks to prove it.) Rift is very attractively priced as a rare in 2XM, and a card poised to jump if it’s not reprinted. It was nearly $30 this past summer, before the reprint, and if it dodges being in Commander Legends I’d expect it to immediately jump a couple of dollars. I’m quoting the price and graph of regular versions, but if you want to get in on the more unique Box Topper, that’s a respectable choice too. We saw with Fabled Passage that Wizards isn’t going to flinch at reprinting Extended Art, and that risk is present with Box Toppers too.

Still, being in 40% of blue decks online, an amazing 83,000 decks, means this is a super-staple and if it is reprinted, I’d be happy to buy in at $10, or even more so at $7 or lower. 

Faeburrow Elder (Regular and Foil – $2.50, EA – $6, EA Foil – $27) – For a card that came out just over a year ago, it’s rapidly become popular. I understand that, as it’s a tremendously awesome accelerator for multicolored decks, and can attack for significant damage. On its own it’s three mana and taps for two, and in a five-color deck can really get out of control. If it’s not printed in Commander Legends, there would be no obvious place to reprint this, and that’s a delightful recipe. 

I think you should definitely grab your personal EA foils now, because there’s only a handful of NM foils on TCGPlayer before you’re in the $50 range. If it isn’t reprinted, then I’m grabbing as many sub-$3 copies as I can before it breaks $5, and then I’m settling in for the ride.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim ($5/$30) – Core 2020 was the last set to not have a special foil version, but it did have an increased foil drop rate. Even with that increase in foils, Golos has been built 5000 times on EDHREC and played a whole bunch as well. Banning from Constructed play doesn’t mean a thing when I’m focused on Commander, and I imagine that the five-color slot for Commander Legends is a hot one. 

A card this new and this popular, with only regular and nonfoil versions, definitely has my attention if there’s no clear reprint route. It was a rare, not a mythic, and it’s ready to pop. If it’s not reprinted here, I wouldn’t be shocked if nonfoils started to climb, and I’d be expecting it to double. 

Ramos, Dragon Engine ($20 foil from Commander 2017) – This has never been a nonfoil card, but it’s a popular and dangerous Commander card. It’s not in a huge number of decks, but I think that’s more reflective of the short supply rather than the lack of demand. The only way to get one of these was to buy the Dragon-themed Commander deck back in 2016. (Full disclosure: I did and I still have The Ur-Dragon as a commander.) So you needed to buy Dragons, want Dragons, but trade/sell away this super-sweet card that allows you to accelerate and fix and do busted things. There’s only 47 vendors of NM foils on TCG, and of those only four vendors have four or more copies. 

A caveat: I think this is going to get reprinted eventually, that’s a given. But I can’t forecast when! Commander Legends is the prime vehicle for that, or some other five-color Secret Lair. It will happen, but there’s a lot of growth that can happen in the meantime.

Sword of the Animist ($8/$24) – Only ten vendors with NM foil copies, a steep ramp up to $40 for the last one, 24k decks and only the one foil version? This is ripe as can be for a reprint or a spike. Equipment is usually a popular subtheme, and those decks are among the most mana-hungry ones. The graph tells a tale that will merit its own article soon:

This was in Mystery Booster as a nonfoil, and that doesn’t seem to have affected the price at all. Most likely, it’s because the people who opened it (drafters at GPs) are among the most likely to open this and have a Commander deck that could use a copy. If this isn’t reprinted this winter, i’ll be diving in on assorted copies and just waiting for the windfall.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.