This week on Legion’s Landing, Kristen takes us through a snapshot of good Commander cards to pick up for budget prices as Throne of Eldraine releases. Just like her previous budget articles, she’ll be going into both dirt-cheap cards and ones that are under $5 right now. Prices are correct as of the date of publication.

Throne of Eldraine prerelease is right around the corner, and so is rotation. If you’ve been playing magic at least a year, you’ll know that this time of year is a great time to pick up some budget cards. Join me today as we go through what Eldraine has to offer, what to wait for, and some gems from other sets that may be worth looking into.

Throne of Eldraine: Cheapest of the Cheap

If you’ve read my Budget articles previously on Master of Magics, you’ll know that I’ll never recommend a bad card—just playable stuff. First up, a selection of commons and uncommons that can easily see play. Foils should be relatively inexpensive if you’re so inclined.

  • Corridor Monitor is a card that will slot right into a number of combo decks. With the ability to untap target artifact or creature when it enters the battlefield, all you’ll need is a dedicated way to blink this gas powered sentry and the mana to go with it and you’re away. It’s twenty cents.
  • Keeper of Fables is an excellent budget version of the $5 Ohran Frostfang, a great Commander 2019 card that gives some pretty handy card draw. If you’re going wide, or trampling over, you’ll be drawing plenty of cards for the paltry cost of this uncommon.
  • Spinning Wheel is the latest three-mana rock in the oft-used design space. Mana Geode from War of the Spark was uninteresting compared to the card draw on Commander’s Sphere, but the control element of being able to tap a creature down with this rock is definitely worth considering, especially if you’re trying to keep up with Voltron decks and can’t shell out for a Maze of Ith right now.
  • Epic Downfall is possibly the most exciting of the super-cheap options available here. Being able to exile a creature in Commander is very important, especially with the prevalence of recursion that most colours can take advantage of these days. It’s sorcery speed, and limited to costlier creatures, so can’t hit the smaller combo pieces, but honestly? I’m down for this. It’s cheap and gets rid of Avacyn, Angel of Hope.

Throne of Eldraine: Five Dollar Shake

The next few cards are all pre-ordering for between two and five dollars. It’s likely that you can grab some of them for cheaper than that a few weeks after release—particularly the first on the list, Embercleave—but there’s every chance the prices moves depending on demand.

  • Embercleave is a fantastic addition to the likes of Neheb, the Eternal or Neheb, Dreadhorde General decks. For $5, It can also slot into most equipment decks within the red or Boros side of things, and dishes out serious damage. I’d strongly consider running this over Blackblade Reforged if you have other ways to buff your creature of choice and are struggling on what to cut. Double Strike is one of the most potent keywords, and the fact it is doled out sparingly is evidence of that.
  • Mirrormade slots into most Enchantress decks that can run blue, and most artifact decks that care about setting up particular engines. This can function as a second copy of Phyrexian Metamorph in artifact heavy decks (admittedly unable to target opposing creatures, but if enough of yours are artifacts, it does a good impression!). For $3, you could do a lot worse.
  • Realm-Cloaked Giant is in many ways a better Planar Outburst, particularly with the emergence of land-based strategies like Omnath, Locus of the Roil and Lord Windgrace, who can reliably turn lands into extra creatures. That’s not to mention the emergence of Nissa, Who Shakes the World as a force to be reckoned with. This is a fantastic boardwipe in mono-White in particular, and can do a whole lot of work with access to blink effects. Playing this creature after Adventuring and then following up with Time Wipe a turn or two after can really tax your opponent’s resources. It’s $4 but there’s a chance, albeit small, that it could see Standard play. I think this one will go up before it goes down.
  • Return of the Wildspeaker in many ways replaces Soul’s Majesty. It’s instant speed for one, and can also buff your team if you need to finish things, making it the gold-standard EDH card—a modal card. Not much more needs to be said, and it’s pre-ordering for $2 or so.
  • Dance of the Manse is going straight into Bruna and Estrid, and probably a bunch more decks. Applications for this are wide, with many players enjoying the ability to tinker with their own alternate win conditions within decks that have access to blue and white, particularly in artifact heavy decks like Breya. Whether this fits in a deck already playing Open the Vaults, or replaces it entirely, will depend on your metagame. I’d happily take one for a dollar fifty and figure out the rest later.

Beyond the Realm

Outside of the newest set, prices are shifting due to rotation, plus some other factors. My main picks for rotating cards are most of the stronger flip cards from the Ixalan block, such as Search for Azcanta and Treasure Map. The former will likely climb steadily, while the latter will climb at a slower rate. Both are great for adding consistency to decks. An even cheaper option is Thaumatic Compass. Compass fixes your mana and then gives you a way to nullify incoming attacks. It’s a great little card and I’ve just about ran out of my copies so I’ll be picking up a couple more.

From Dominaria, I’d suggest grabbing Oath of Teferi if you ever feel like you might build Superfriends in the future. Helm of the Host will likely continue to rise. If you don’t own Lyra Dawnbringer or Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar, now’s the time to grab them. Mox Amber is also one to watch, as it’ll likely settle around $10 with a good chance of spiking depending on what emerges in future sets to shake up Modern.

Modern Horizons has probably hit saturation point for openings at the moment, and whilst cards like Wrenn and Six will never be cheap again, some cards have bottomed out. Altar of Dementia, thanks to the recent banning of Hogaak, has now dropped in price to around $1. Now’s a good time to grab a couple, as they’re always relevant in Commander as a free sacrifice outlet.

Echo of Eons is at it’s lowest price of $6 right now too. As a mythic, this will likely bounce right back as supply dries up. Although you may be able to shave another dollar off of the price if you’re lucky, I wouldn’t wait around—this will be $15 again before you know it. I’d say you’re probably at that point with the Horizon lands too, so don’t be surprised if you miss the bottom price.

Collector Ouphe is one to watch. With the printing of Emry, Lurker of the Loch, this could rise a little too. It’s a viable option depending on your Commander metagame, so consider this as one that might go back up again.

Closing Thoughts

Magic finance is a tricky beast. Often times, it’s increasingly more about buying a card now before it rises in price than anything else. It’s one of the greatest challenges facing the Commander playerbase right now, and hopefully we see more reprints in the future, as lord knows, we always need them. One bonus thought: if you’ve been intrigued by the Core 2020 Standard Showdown Stamped cards, now is the time to pick up whatever foils were opened. With new Standard will come new Showdown packs, and so any cards rotating now will soon dry up. I recently grabbed a foil Lyra Dawnbringer from this collection for £15, and the only English copy up there now is £45. It’s good to finally get a foil to helm my Lyra deck! Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself—just be savvy about it.

Kristen is a lover of both Limited and Commander, and can most often be found championing the Boros Legion when called upon to sit down and shuffle up. Based in the UK, she works as a software developer, and her love for the Legion is second only to her appreciation for Lord of the Rings and Mass Effect.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.