Earlier this week, we got our first taste of the Lord of the Rings set coming this summer. The One Ring has made Mind over Matter spike, there’s other combos coming, but for my money, this might be the best value-add in the set:
Some cards have started to grow as a result of Tom’s preview, but there’s still a lot of planning that can be done and profits to be made when Saga-related cards start spiking in June.
A caveat here: We’re getting an Enchantment-themed preconstructed deck in Commander Masters in August, so some of these might be reprinted then, in the main LotR set, or even in a Secret Lair before then. These are the risks in the modern day, and while we can minimize the problems, sometimes a fresh wave comes along.
Power Conduit ($1.50 for the cheapest version, $22 for the most expensive) – This card has been a rollercoaster, allowing for multiple peaks and valleys as it interacts with new things.
Sagas really, really, REALLY want the ability to remove a counter. If you can remove a counter while the last chapter ability is on the stack, you won’t lose your Saga. From the Comprehensive Rules: “704.5s If the number of lore counters on a Saga permanent is greater than or equal to its final chapter number and it isn’t the source of a chapter ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that Saga’s controller sacrifices it. See rule 714, ‘Saga Cards.’ “
This means that we can re-use the final abilities of Sagas, as long as we can remove a counter at instant speed. Power Conduit is one way to do that, and it’ll do that for no mana, plus give you some +1/+1 counters if you’d like! I fully expect that you can buy these for under $2 for a little longer, with the goal of selling near $5.
Hex Parasite ($4 to $15) – This costs some mana, but works in the same way.
Hex Parasite hasn’t ridden the same set of waves because it’s got a black color identity, and the only Saga commander we’ve had so far was GW. Make no mistake, though, a lot of cheap copies have already been scooped up. There’s still room for profit here, especially on the foils. I think a double-up to $30 is likely, as it was a third set rare from 2011. Barring a reprint, the supply here is tiny indeed.
Resourceful Defense ($5 to $7) – There’s a lot of fun applications for this card, but it’s expensive to use. One thing that can happen, if you want it to, is that one Saga having its final chapter can trigger another Saga, and then a third, until all of them are done. You might enjoy those dominoes tumbling, you might not. If you have Myth Realized or MindUnbound, those are cards that would really like some spare lore counters, too. Either way, I’d expect the EA versions of this to hit at least $10, and possibly $15.
Scholar of New Horizons (both versions under $1) – This might be a great brick play, since it was in the precon retro border deck for Brothers’ War Commander. Again, we get to remove a counter and go get a Plains (note, not a basic version, so shocks/Triomes are options) because Sagas are mana hungry!
Historian’s Boon (all versions under $1) – Dominaria United Commander did have FEA versions of some cards, and that’s definitely where I want to be with these copies. The reprint risk is very high here, but at such a low buy-in, you can get a brick and not worry too much.
Chisei, Heart of Oceans ($1 to $11) – Removing a counter is generally good for Sagas, and while this isn’t at instant speed, it’s a way to keep using Sagas.
There’s other fun things that remove counters (Sanctuary Warden, Thrull Parasite) but there’s also some fun Sagas and accessories that deserve some attention too.
Hall of Heliod’s Generosity ($9 to $17) – Many copies have sold since the preview for Tom, but there’s still a lot left out there. Prices haven’t gone up much yet, and I especially think the retro foils from MH1 are the play here. It’s always good to recur your Sagas, but putting them on top is so wonderfully synergistic with Tom!
I fully expect the OBF version to hit $25, maybe even $35. A lot of copies were soaked up by other enchantment themes, and with Sagas constantly coming and going, the card will do a lot of work in this deck too.
Brilliant Restoration ($0.50 to $2) – There’s more than a few ways to bring back all enchantments at once, but this is the most recent and very inexpensive for premium versions. I generally prefer special frames over EA versions, but both of those should rise at the same rate because the two versions should have had roughly the same number printed.
Kiora Bests the Sea God ($3 to $6) – If Saga accessories are good, all the Sagas should come along as well. This is a strong candidate for a reprint soon, so I’m less eager to buy some copies, but I’m fully prepared for this to bump to $10+ if it’s not given new inventory.
Phyrexian Scriptures ($2 to $9) – This had a List version that’s quite affordable, to go with Tom Bombadil being indestructible if you have the right amount of Sagas out on the board. Combining this and Power Conduit means you’re wiping the board every single turn, and that’s a glorious time indeed.
The Cruelty of Gix ($1 to $3) – Read Ahead is a very powerful ability with this deck, and it’s easy to imagine a scenario where the last ability is powerfully degenerate, given how Commander decks operate. These two black Sagas haven’t had a chance to shine, but I think Tom will bring out their best play patterns and really increase the prices.
The Elder Dragon War (bulk to $1) – All of these abilities are worth doing over and over again, so you decide which useful thing to repeat: pyroclasm, rummaging, or making Dragon tokens.
The Kami War ($0.50 to $2) – Again, this is a broken Saga doing broken things, and when you build the deck right you’re going to do those things on a loop! Enjoy!
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.