Hey all! This is my first ever article for the MTGPrice Pro Trader community. I’m looking forward to many great conversations about emerging tech and trends in Commander. This week we’ll review the release of March of the Machine (MOM) and the new potential EDH staples introduced in the set. I was fortunate enough to recently attend CommandFest in Orlando, where I got to participate in multiple prerelease drafts and see many MOM cards play out in multiple EDH and cEDH pods over the weekend. In combination with my online and local play, I think I’ve got a solid handle on the cards with the greatest potential for persistent play.
To start, let’s get rid of the obvious and agree to put aside the two powerhouses, which are the new Sheoldred and Elesh Norn. These praetors that flip into sagas are brutal to play against; Sheoldred provides removal and discard, while Elesh Norn taxes you and creates an army of tokens before a board wipe. These cards are powerful and need answers upon resolution. I don’t think you’ll ever be disappointed playing either or both of these praetors in your deck.
Beyond the praetors here are four more staples in the making. These cards are effective, powerful, and worth investing in provided the right entry point arises.
The takeaway from CommandFest was, if you play blue in EDH, you should play Faerie Mastermind. No matter whether your playstyle is casual or the most competitive, card draw is a necessity in the game. EDH card draw is largely defined by the older known draw engines, including Rhystic Study, Mystic Remora, Esper Sentinel, and most recently, Black Market Connections. Point is – your opponents all want to draw cards, and Mastermind lets you tag along. For just two mana you get to flash in this faerie, pick up a second card on your opponent’s second draw trigger, and then introduce a potential long term draw engine onto the board (the second ability which allows you to activate a card draw is key). Worth noting that your opponents can’t prevent the card draw by paying tax like Rhystic Study or Esper Sentinel. Instead, your opponents need to remove Faerie Mastermind, but do you really want to waste a precious removal spell on a 2/1? Similar to Esper Sentinel, this card will be one of those seemingly innocuous creatures that lies around for many more turns than it should be allowed to. By the time Faerie Mastermind is finally removed, there is a decent probability you’ll have drawn half a dozen or more cards.
At the time of writing this article, the extended art version of Faerie Mastermind is $8 for non-foil and just under $17 for foil. This feels too high for an in-print rare from a newly printed set. So far we can’t compare Mastermind to a true multi-format all-starr like Ledger Shredder. That said, UB Rogues in Pioneer with 3 or 4 copies of Mastermind is an emerging deck in that format, so a lower entry is far from guaranteed. Barring successes there, give this some time to breathe and as supply comes into the market, look to pick up EA non-foils closer to $5 and foils closer to $10. If multi-format play picks up, be ready to jump in on potential spikes.
I have learned to never underestimate three mana cost planeswalkers. Wrenn and Realmbreaker is a card that slots beautifully into multicolor EDH decks, acting as a quasi-Chromatic Lantern to fix the mana base. If you can land Wrenn on a turn with an untapped land open, you can +1 to create a 3/3 blocker to protect her for the coming turn. At that point Wrenn will be at 5 loyalty, which is not easy to remove. Later on, the -2 ability will help you build card advantage and your yard. Taking all this together, it’s not hard to see why this is almost a $14 non-foil card and $19+ foil card in borderless art. The many popular 4-color and 5-color commander decks like Jodah, the Unifier, the Ur-Dragon, Atraxa (both), and Slivers should have a natural home for Wrenn and Realmbreaker.
Wrenn is one of the premier mythics in this set, and I’ll be closely watching the price chart in the coming weeks. Prices are pretty elevated right now, but I would be minded to jump in and buy a few copies while supply is high in the coming months and price pushes potentially push below $10-12 for borderless and $15 for borderless foils .
Card draw is good, +1/+1 counters are also good, and the two together are great. At first, Tribute to the World Tree looks like a modified Garruk’s Uprising, which is a $3 uncommon found in 143k EDH decks (especially those with big stompy themes). However, I think this card is more flexible and will see equal if not more play overall in EDH. First, the ETB trigger on a creature with power 3 is significant (vs. power 4 on Garruk’s Uprising). There are few tokens generated that have power 4 but at power 3 it’s possible to abuse this card and get multiple triggers in one turn (think Jinnie Fay’s dog tokens). Second, the downside on the card is just perfect for “counters matters” decks. Putting this together, I would focus on potential entry on copies sub $5 as this would put the card on par with Garruk’s Uprising. Extended art non-foil is at $6 while foil is at $7.50. With supply coming to market, I think sub $5 will be readily achieved in the near term.
This is my favorite uncommon card from the set. Phyrexian Censor is a perfect white stax card, combining elements of Archon of Emeria and Blind Obedience for 3 mana in a 3/3 body. This card slots perfectly into any control / stax strategy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see uptake as high as Archon of Emeria, which is in 42k EDH decks. It is very hard to spec on an in print uncommon, but there’s only one version of this card and the foils are $1 or less. I can’t see the harm in sitting on a brick of these now and letting time run its course.
Before we wrap things up, I think it’s worthwhile to flag a card on my radar who will sit at the helm of the 99. Thalia and the Gitrog Monster is an incredible card design, which packs a real punch at 4 mana cost. The stax effect and the ability to sacrifice and reply lands while drawing cards is a powerful combination. I haven’t come across great choices in commanders for Abzan, but I believe Thalia does the color combination justice. There are some very high power builds emerging so she is one commander to monitor in the coming months. You should also watch for her to potentially move some cards that are locks for includes in the 99. Ramunap Excavator, The Gitrog Monster judge foils, and Titania, Protector of Argoth could all be under pressure here.
Hope you all enjoyed my first article. Thanks, and until next time may your draw be devastating!