All posts by Cliff Daigle

I am a father, teacher, cuber and EDH fanatic. My joy is in Casual and Limited formats, though I dip a toe into Constructed when I find something fun to play. I play less than I want to and more than my schedule should really allow. I can easily be reached on Twitter @WordOfCommander. Try out my Busted Uncommons cube at

Sheoldred’s Hype Cycle

Yesterday, we got the first sets of teasers and previews for Dominaria United, a set with a heroic name and a story that is very much not that way.

The Phyrexians are back, and we’ve gotten one of the strongest Praetors so far: Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

This is a commander that screams to be built around, and luckily, we’ve already had a couple of commanders who do similar things.

I’m going to do my best to give you some picks that haven’t already been picked clean, but the Internet is a fast-moving place and I can’t make any guarantees. Let’s get to the cards!

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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.

We Haven’t Forgotten The Realms!

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is in a strange place as a Magic set. It got overshadowed pretty quickly by other sets, and didn’t have a lot to keep it going. The set right now is at a really low point, since it’s about to rotate.

Being at a really low point means some great opportunities to buy! Let’s look at some singles from the set itself and the accompanying Commander cards, and determine what we want to buy.

Mostly I prefer to stick to the more premium versions of cards, especially as Commander specs, because they are more resilient in case they are reprinted. However, sometimes the siren’s call of more basic versions at super cheap prices cannot be overlooked.

To the cards!

Wand of Orcus ($3.50 for the cheapest version, $7 for the most expensive, 8700 EDHREC decks) – It’s necessary to caveat the EDHREC numbers for two reasons: One, cards that come in the precon decks are just uploaded to the database and then given very small tweaks. That gooses the numbers for inclusion, and makes it look a bit more popular than it is. The other thing to remember is that the database is self-selecting. Only the people who care enough to build the deck and then upload it bother to do so. I’ve had all my Commander decks at least two years, and never gotten around to uploading the list to EDHREC.

That said, the Wand of Orcus has quite a history. It had a jump to over $15 for both versions, and has the potential to do some incredibly broken things. What it could do again is up for discussion, but there aren’t a lot of ‘deal X damage, get X tokens’ cards out there. The creature type and the deathtouch is also very relevant; we have a very similar card in Scepter of Celebration and only the super-rare foil version of that is even over a buck.

I think $3.50 is a great price to get in at, especially if you already bought cheap and sold high once. If nothing else, it’ll be a candidate every time a new Zombie commander comes along.

Grim Hireling ($3 to $14, 25,000 decks) – It’s in the precons, yes, but it’s an amazing card in Treasure decks and I’ve seen this knock down a whole board with Mayhem Devil out. This got expensive and has trickled downward in the time since, and the reprint in Baldur’s Gate has really driven the price low. I can’t imagine it goes below $2, and I’m more than happy to get a stack of these in anticipation of the next amazing Treasure interactions.

Treasure Vault ($6 to $10, 34,000 decks) – While the Treasure interactions are great, what you can never overlook here is that this is an artifact land that comes into play untapped. There’s blessed few of those that are legal in Modern and/or Pioneer. Such a narrow gap between the basic nonfoil and the Module frame in foil is a surprise to me. I’m definitely bigger on the special version, because this is a frame that I doubt they’ll go back to, except perhaps for one Secret Lair. 

Hall of the Storm Giants ($2.50 to $10, 7600 decks) – The Module frame here is much more expensive, but the base version is quite attractively cheap. This has a smattering of copies across assorted control decks in Pioneer and even occasionally in Modern, where it’s a win condition inside of a land, something control decks crave like nothing else.

The drawback of coming in tapped is a big deal in Commander, but 7 is a good amount of damage for tapping seven lands.

Wizard Class ($1.50 to $2.50, 27,000 decks) – Yes, it’s uncommon, but it’s super popular and those foils are drying up fast. One or two vendors have big walls, but I’d be all over the foils here, as we’ve gotten nonfoils in The List already. 

These foils had a spike up high and have come back down, with enough copies selling to keep it from going too far. Now’s a great time to sweep up some copies and be ready to sell at 2.5x what you paid.

Oswald Fiddlebender ($1 to $2.50, 13,000 decks) – I love this card, and having a brick of copies makes me feel good about the inevitable combos that will pop up. Every artifact that can go into a white deck makes Ozzie that much better, and I want to have copies in stock when the next combo piece comes out.I don’t know when that’ll be, but it won’t take much. Please note that he’s besties with Replication Specialist, a card that feels criminally underplayed.

Circle of Dreams Druid ($5 to $9, 30,000 decks) – Yup, it’s ready. I’ve been patient on this card for the longest time, and the graph shows how delightfully it’s fallen:

There’s a lot of FEA copies still on TCG for under $10, but there’s a whole lot more people patiently waiting for their copies to get to the $20 or even $30 range, and it won’t take too long. A couple of foils a day being sold adds up really quick!

Old Gnawbone ($42 to $80, 30,000 decks) – The Borderless foil is up about $20 from three months ago, mostly due to how good this is with Miirym, Sentinel Wurm:

I think that if you haven’t gotten a personal copy yet, you’d better do so soon. There’s going to be one wave of the Beadle and Grimm dragons in the Monster Manual style, but that’s probably not going to affect this price too much. If you had sticker shock when the set first came out and you didn’t want to spend so much on the most expensive card in the set, well, it’s come down a lot in price but it’s started to go back up. Time to get what you need, plus some extras.

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.

Picking Up Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

I have written about how in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten burned pretty badly by moving in too soon on cards I want to spec on. It used to be a three-month timeline for cards to find their floor, but now it’s more like six months. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty cards and dive in on a couple of bricks. For the most part, I’m hoping to buy at least several playsets, with the intent of selling them all to a buylist when the prices go up. Yes, you get less money per card, but when your profits are already solid, you get a good return and save a lot of time and energy on the shipping.

I don’t like to buy these sorts of cards in small quantities, I’d much prefer to take down a big wall all at once. If you’ve got the patience for opening all the envelopes, go for it.

The primary metric I want to use is EDHREC inclusions, because most of these cards haven’t been in preconstructed decks. These numbers are the tip of the iceberg, coming from the most connected and optimizing players, but it’s good to know what people’s favorite cards are. Commander is the main engine of value these days, but if a card has a lot of Modern or Pioneer play too, that’s a lovely bonus.

I want to make clear that for most of these, I want the cheapest versions, unless the more premium printings are also quite cheap. In some cases that’s possible, and in others it’s totally farfetched. Also, I haven’t bought any of these yet, just for full disclosure.

The Channel Lands (cheapest is $2.50, most expensive is $63 for Borderless foil) – By far the most popular EDHREC inclusion is Boseiju, Who Shelters All, in 61,000 decks online, and the price chart shows a remarkably consistent price for an in-print rare land.

The lands are the most popular cards in the set, with Farewell being more popular than Eiganjo and Sokenzan. It’s not hard to see why all five are so popular, the effects are good and worthwhile and are difficult to counter. 

The only thing holding me back from a big purchase of any of these is that the full cycle is an excellent candidate for a future Secret Lair. That set wouldn’t hurt too bad, as we’re getting in at good prices, but it would take that much longer for the regular versions to get there as a result.

Secluded Courtyard ($1 to $7.50) – The most expensive version of this is the Promo Pack version, which has the Planeswalker symbol frame, but this land is strictly better than Unclaimed Territory, a card in more than 66k decks and has been reprinted several times. Courtyard is in 23,000 decks and again, we’re weighing reprint risk. This is absolutely an uncommon that can make it to $4 retail, giving us a profit of $1-$2 per card when selling to a buylist, but inclusion in a preconstructed deck would sting and slow it down.

Going after the more premium versions is safer, but more expensive to start with. Those are probably the safer play, but require both more capital and more time to open the singletons you’re sent. 

Farewell ($6.50 to $17) – The most popular nonland from the set, this ‘best board wipe ever’ is already expensive from being in 44k decks online. It’s not hard to see why, given the modular nature and the exiling. This is tough to evade and especially for annoyingly recursive decks, represents a total shutdown.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that we’ve already seen the floor on Farewell and it’s only going to trend upward from here. I want to be in on the basic versions, with a greater percentage in growth over time.

The Reality Chip ($2 to $9) – The foil Showcase version of this is already pretty expensive, but the foil EA can be had for close to $4 if you want a more premium version with less of a buy-in. This is a phenomenal card advantage engine, and is even showing up in Modern as a one-of in some Hammer Time decks that tutor it up with Stoneforge Mystic. 

More than 16,000 players have listed the card in their decks, and with a price gap like this, I really want a brick of the most basic versions. I’d be looking to get $4-$5 per copy from a buylist within a year.

Atsushi, the Blazing Sky ($5 to $22) – Almost exactly 16,000 players have added this to decks, and not all of them are Dragons players. This is quite a deal at four mana, and you almost want it to die to effects immediately. In this case, I’m most likely to look at the Borderless foils and hope for an increase to $40 or $50, and that feels pretty reasonable when you remember how many NEO Collector Boosters needed to be opened to get one of these. 

It also helps that right now on TCG there’s only one person with four or more foil Borderless versions, and only about 100 copies total.

Mirror Box ($1.50 to $4) – If you’d asked me how many decks played this card, I wouldn’t have guessed this was the 12th most popular nonland from the set, put into 10,000 decks in the last six months. People absolutely love copying things, though, and Mirror Box enables a very high level of shenanigans. It’s also handy for a boost to all the things you’re playing, and if you copy something multiple times, the boost really grows. There’s a case to be made for any of the versions, but given the higher quantities you can get of the regulars, I think that’s where I want to be. 

Don’t forget that buying all the copies someone has of a card can really lower your cost per card if they went low on price but high on shipping. Here’s an example, from regular frame, nonfoil Mirror Box:

The first vendor, you can get four copies for $10 or six for $15. The second vendor lowered prices but has a higher shipping. If you buy all eight copies, you’re spending $9.75, basically getting two free copies compared to the first vendor. 

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.

Slivers, Slivers, Everywhere!

We were given a hint of Dominaria United, and there’s been some leaks, but the more notable news is that some Secret Lairs have shipped with Foil Extended Art Slivers!

If you’re new to that creature type, that’s okay. We haven’t gotten any new Slivers since Modern Horizons 1, so it’s been a few years since the tribe of tribes has gotten some love.

However, if we’re about to get new Slivers, the world is about to go wild.

So far, I’ve been able to find pictures of six Sliver cards, including their collector numbers:

617: Ward Sliver

628: Winged Sliver

646: Two-Headed Sliver

649: Horned Sliver

657: Tempered Sliver

668: Sliver Hive

This tracks with the usual arrangement of collector numbers: WUBRG order, with lands last. It’s those five colors, then multicolor, then lands. Secret Lair has been different, with collector numbers starting at lands and going sort of chronologically. The Left-Handed Lair started at 9999 and worked its way downward, for instance.

In terms of how many Slivers there might be, we’ve got a big frame. Before Ward Sliver, the last SL collector number we see is 609 for the Hawkins National Lab and then 676 for the Pyrite Spellbomb from the Fortnite lair.

The big deal here is that there’s a LOT of Slivers left to go…and also, not too many. If there’s a new round of Slivers, we know full well what happens to the existing ones: the prices go crazy. Let’s get into some examples.

Sliver Queen is on the Reserved List. We aren’t getting more. I don’t put it past Wizards to print Sliver King as WWUUBBRRGG and have some ridiculous way to make a horde of Sliver tokens, though. The graph here doesn’t do the spikes justice, as copies sold for just under $600 during the most recent spike last year.

However, being an already expensive Reserved List card is going to make the Queen go bananas again. Near Mint Copies are currently in the $275 range, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see NM Queens break $500 with a new Commander or a new batch of Slivers. Keep in mind that Sliver Queen has some interesting offshoots: The oversized Commander’s Arsenal version is more than $100 and the Duel Masters version should see a jump too.

But if you want to make money without buying high-end RL cardboard, we’ve got other options.

Sliver Overlord is at its lowest it’s been in some time, with all three printings in the $30 range. The Scourge foils with the old border are up there in price, but with so few copies moving around, I’d expect big jumps there. The other versions should at least hit $50, given that Overlord has always been the most logical Commander for the tribe, given those two amazing abilities.

It’s entirely possible that for minor Slivers, that we get a FEA version tossed into Secret Lairs. I’m inclined against the big ones being in there, because we already got Overlord and Hivelord, but most of the useful ones will possibly make an appearance. 

The First Sliver and Sliver Hivelord are pretty safe, I think. Both are wonderful inclusions in the deck and are worth evaluating in their premium versions. The First Sliver in retro foil at $22 is the most appealing, but there’s also etched versions out there too. I definitely like the retro versions over the pricier original MH1 versions in foil, but the big risk is both the SL yet to come and what version might be coming in Dominaria itself.

Sliver Hivelord should be pretty safe, as there’s already been a SL version in the Thomas Baxa Lair. The cheapest foil version of Hivelord is the SL version, as the M15 version is $100 and will go crazy indeed in the new wave of Slivers. Right now there’s a few foil SL versions under $20, but it ramps pretty quickly to $25 and beyond.

Lavabelly Sliver as a MH2 retro foil is probably not going to get a reprint, but Cloudshredder Sliver in retro foil as part of Time Spiral Remastered is much safer. The TSR print run is done, we’re not getting more and frankly, we didn’t get a huge amount of what there was. TCG has only 38 foils listed for the retro foil, most in the $20 range, and considering what abilities you get, most Sliver decks want to have a copy.

It’s worth mentioning the FNM Crystalline Sliver too. There’s not a lot of this available, and Shroud is an ability that can have downsides, like no equipment or untapping. Still, if the wave breaks, I wouldn’t be shocked if this 20-year-old FNM promo broke $100.

I do not think Morophon, the Boundless would end up in five-color Sliver decks. While it’s a neat trick, it’s a lot of mana to pay for not a lot of effect. What I am very interested in, though, would be other tribal enablers. Guardian Project is a great one, but don’t overlook things like Herald’s Horn and my favorite for Slivers: Reflections of Littjara. 

Reflections is dirt cheap right now, both in FEA and the bundle version with alternate art, but Slivers more than most other tribes would really benefit from doubling each one that comes into play, since so few of them are Legendary. Plus, doubling up on static effects or ETB abilities gets out of hand real quick. Dormant Sliver is a strong contender to be an EA inclusion, but if you want to really get nuts with the card drawing, you want Kindred Discovery. 

I don’t think the current price of $6 is the bottom for this card, either. We’re on a good track, but in terms of a long-term spec I fully expect this to dip to $5, but with every tribal deck that can play blue, this should be one of the first inclusions. Not only does it trigger with tokens, there’s no size restriction (such as Temur Ascendancy or Garruk’s Uprising) and if you run out of things to play, then attack and draw some more cards! 

While I’m leaving out mention of most of the possible SL inclusions as FEA versions, there’s one Sliver that rises above the rest for me and deserves special mention: Hibernation Sliver. This stupid card is so dang backbreaking, as it allows Slivers to escape all sorts of situations. It’s an odd one, in that the original nonfoil from Stronghold is about $4 and the shiny Premium Deck version is a couple bucks more, but neither has a lot of copies online. This is the Sliver that every deck wants to have in play, an emergency exit in case of board wipe, and the one I’m going to buy up fast if it’s not reprinted.

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.