Look, I’ll be honest: I don’t think you should buy anything from Commander Legends this weekend unless you’re getting a great price and/or it’s something you have to have for a deck. I just bought a couple of things for my Commander decks, but I’m waiting for people to finish opening their Collector Booster boxes.
Instead, I want to look at the set we left behind, and compare prices to their Commander usage, and tell you what to stock up on.
The reason I want to just look at Commander numbers and nothing else is simple: I don’t think we will be playing in person (in North America) until next summer, when this is on the verge of rotating. Plus, all the big movers during the pandemic have been Commander-based anyway, and I’m looking for cards that are going to increase in value.
Some caveats: nonfoil, regular frame and foil regular frame mean about the same thing at this point when it comes to prices. I’m working on the math and crunching a lot of numbers, and I promise, I’m close to having something I’m comfortable reporting to you.
So, about Ikoria. It’s a fun set, with a lot of cool interactions, but to no one’s surprise, the most popular Commander card is a set:
Not a shocker, really. These lands are incredibly versatile: fetchable, three colors, and can be cycled away. That’s really, shockingly, amazingly useful. Commander doesn’t tend to be a format with a whole lot of ‘got to hit my mana on curve every turn’ action, and in my Ur-Dragon deck, I fetch for one of these before I go get a dual land.
Naturally, I think you should be all over these versions:
They are prettier, that’s a given, but they are also a lot more rare than the originals. We don’t yet have data on what happens to a reprint of a card that has an Extended Art version, aside from the pure reprint of Fabled Passage, which included EA and Foil EA. Frankly, the data on that is stunning:
This was a $100 card during Throne of Eldraine, it’s still the only fetchland in Pioneer, and it’s in 32k commander decks online. I know that I meant for this to be about Ikoria, but the ToE version is about twice as much, and there isn’t a huge supply of either version on TCG. Picking up FEA versions from Core 21 for $25 and under feels like a great deal at this point.
The Triomes are technically Showcase, not Extended Art, and that’s an important distinction. A reprint on these cards is inevitable, perhaps in the right set of Commander decks in a year or two. What won’t be the same is that these Showcase version have different art and a different frame, making the price gap between the Showcase versions and the regulars just too small. Why on earth would I buy the regular for $7, when the Showcase is $1.50 more?
I absolutely think you should get Showcase foils of these lands if your budget can accommodate it, because these are gorgeous. They are going for $20-$30, depending on the specific land, but they are among the best you could hope for in that color combination.
These lands have a high EDH pedigree, even popping up in Modern, they are fantastic to look at and they are available for a good price. Proceed accordingly, but again, focus on the Showcase versions and not the regular frame.
One more aside: Lurrus of the Dream Den and Yorion, Sky Nomad are the only companions worth paying attention to. Lurrus gets a LOT more play, across a lot more formats. Again, I think you should go for the EA versions, but the reprint risk here is more random. Companions probably won’t be another mechanic in Standard again for a long while, but Secret Lair: Companions is much more likely in my view.
Back to Commander, and what might be the most unfriendly card in this article:
Yes, that’s right. No Commanders for anyone, no flashback, no recast from the yard, etc. Just pure, good, wholesome fun. This is the most used card by the numbers, and 8000 people using this in just seven months is pretty impressive for a card. It’s pretty fun to deny things to other people.
The FEA foils tell the same story, starting at $19. There’s only 26 vendors on TCG with NM FEA versions of the card, and only one of those has four or more. That’s a really small number for a mere rare, not a mythic. For comparison’s sake, there’s about the same number of copies of General Kudro of Drannith in FEA.
A card with very little Constructed play but a lot of potential as a Commander hate bear is somewhere I want to be. $20 is reasonable for the foil, and EA versions at about $5 would be decent pickups too.
Surprisingly, the next card has a promo to chase, and it’s already been chased pretty hard:
The Promo Pack version has a foil and a nonfoil, but there’s no Extended Art version at all, since it’s an uncommon. We see Cultivate and Kodama’s Reach as two of the most-played green spells in Commander because of the ramp, but Migration Path is a worthy #3 and is several dollars less for the sweet foil version.
Cultivate and Reach are still good late-game, but Path gives you the flexibility of a re-draw if you don’t want to ramp up and cast your Commander again. It’s been widely adopted and you should have some copies handy when the day comes that the foil promo version is $7.
Finally, I want to talk about the Ultimatums. Yes, they are hard to cast, but two of them are clearly the best, with the other three still being good but not game-breakers the same way. Eerie and Ruinous are enormous card advantage, and have the prices to back it up. Genesis will get you some amazing plays, and the other two are just not as powerful.
I think the EA versions are decent pickups, but the FEA copies are still $15 or less and that’s really where you want to be for the best two, and possibly Genesis as well. This is a card that’s difficult to reprint unless they add it to a Commander deck of exactly these colors, which isn’t impossible. Even then, you’d be looking at a regular frame nonfoil copy, while you’ve got the sweet ones. Get yours while you can.
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.