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Commander Release Analysis (Part 3)

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Thanks for continuing along this journey with me through the wonderful world of casual Magic finance. If you missed parts one and two, please feel free to check out the links. Today I am going to be talking about green, artifacts and lands, but I do have to add another disclaimer.

I love green. Almost as much as this lady loves cats .

Almost.

I have loved green ever since I saw my first Forest. This was even before I started playing Magic. It was a day long ago when I was in probably 9 or 10 years old. I was on the subway and I saw some other kid holding the Revised Forest B, easily the ugliest one, in his hand. No matter how ugly that Forest was I knew I was in love. So hopefully my love affair does not cause me to have an overly biased opinion on the green cards, but if it does, please put me in my place in the comments section.

GREEN

Hornet Queen
Box - Counterpunch
SCG - OOS $2.99
AH - $4.13

I was sceptical of this card when I first saw it spoiled, but after seeing it played it really does plug up the board. The fact that all your little buggers have deathtouch is huge. They also are good fodder for Skullclamp, which most decks that can create tokens play. The Queen herself is a very good recursion target as well. All these elements make a great casual card. I could easily see this being reprinted in a Core Set as it has a very top-down flavor feel to it. All that said, Hornet Queen will not be going up in price, but it should hold it’s price until it gets reprinted in a Core Set or the Commander sets get reprinted to oblivion.

Hydra Omnivore
Box - Mirror Mastery
SCG - OOS $4.99
AH - $4.44

The "strictly better" than Craw Wurm spot has already been taken by Alpha Tyrranax, so I guess Hydra Omnivore is a strictly better Alpha Tyrranax, but "strictly better than Craw Wurm" just sounds better. I actually had to check Hydra Omnivore’s casting cost multiple times just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Eight mana for an 8/8 is probably what the curve calls for now out of a vanilla now that we live in a world of Titans, but add in it’s ability and I think you have a real green all-star. This Hydra gets a lot better when you add a trample effect to get in for damage effectively.

My favorite way to win a game of Commander is to kill all other players, or at least the majority of players, at once. Hydra Omnivore is another card that allows you to do that. Imagine this in a [card Rafiq of the Many]Rafiq[/card]-Voltron deck with Finest Hour on the field! I’m sure anyone would be fine dying due to the sheer awesomeness of the kill. Voltron decks usually use their general to kill but I find it beneficial to have a few back up creatures that work just as well with all the equipment/enchantments.

Financially, this card should hold it’s value so don’t get rid of it unless you are getting a good price for it, and you absolutely have no inclination to use it in a deck.

Commander Crash Course Class #2: Voltron decks are mainly based on using your general or a single creature to finish off your opponents. Rafiq is a classic Voltron general. These types of decks usually include [card Sword of Fire and Ice]multiple[/card] [card Batterskull]equipment[/card] and/or [card Runes of the Deus]enchantments[/card] to buff a single creature, and then attack for the win. Other Voltron commanders include Uril, the Miststalker, Kresh the Bloodbraided, and probably the original Voltron general Isamaru, Hound of Konda. I think that might have been one of the reasons why the name Voltron was used. Isamaru looks cat-like enough even though he is a Hound and is posing similar to how one of the robot cats would pose right before the combined to make Voltron.

But unlike Voltron, you are really giving your commander, or single creature, a huge set of equipments: an exoskeleton. Therefore, I propose changing the archetype name to Centurions, but once a name sticks in the Magic community, it usually sticks for good. (Please see "dredge" and "affinity" decks of all sorts for proof.) Hopefully this article slowly edges the community to change the archetype name to Centurions, so when I suit up Rafiq with a bunch of equipment I can shout “Power extreme!

Scavenging Ooze
Box - Counterpunch
SCG - OOS $14.99
AH - $10.37

Scavenging Ooze seems innocuous at first; he is just a simple graveyard hater. However, when you look at green-heavy Legacy decks, the Ooze begins to look like he fills a whole and could slime his way into the metagame. While Flusterstorm and Chaos Warp are big risky cards to bet on Legacy wise, Scavenging Ooze is pretty much the exact opposite. Scavenging Ooze is like a savings bond: not the highest of returns, but it’s pretty much a given you will get something back.

In decks that run Green Sun's Zenith, there should be no problem running at least one Scavenging Ooze in your 75. I would trade for these any chance you get because of it’s Legacy playability alone, but it's also a great tool for Commander. Nihil Spellbomb and Relic of Progenitus are probably the best graveyard hate cards, but if your deck has access to them Necrogenesis and Night Soil are also great additions. I actually prefer those enchantment if I am running green, compared to artifact options, because they "do something" more.

I think Scavenging Ooze will prove that it does enough to be grouped with Necrogenesis and Night Soil. Even though he/she/it can die from creature removal, you can at least gain some life, and if he does survive you have a decent beater at your disposal.

ARTIFACTS & LANDS

Acorn Catapult
Box - Counterpunch
SCG - $2.99
AH - $2.17

There is always a player around that likes Squirrels, so try and trade this away to that one. The card itself is pretty lackluster. There are a few combos you can take advantage of when you damage your own creatures, but otherwise it doesn’t do enough. It gets even worse when you realize how much mana you actually have to invest in this toy. Being able to use it once a turn basically makes it just a fun, joker card.

Yes it is fun, interesting, and includes the words 'acorn' and 'Squirrel,' but past that there really is no other value for this card. Trade it away as soon as you can.

Champion's Helm
Box - Political Puppets
SCG - OOS $4.99
AH - $3.17

Lightning Greaves 3.0. Now all Commander decks have access to three great equipment to protect their generals. (The third, Swiftfoot Boots, is coming out in Magic 2012.) This could help out the playability of higher costed commanders, and will also most surely increase the power of Voltron style decks. I rate Greaves first, Swiftfoot Boots second, and Champion’s Helm third, but all are still eternally playable Commander cards. Try to keep some in stock as there will always be a buyer out there, and most certainly keep one around for your personal use.

Command Tower
Box - all five
SCG - OOS $4.99
AH - $4.74

This card is basically in every multicolored commander deck from now on. This is a very good sign for the value of the card. Depending on the print run this card could go up and follow the footsteps of Sol Ring. Even though Command Tower is available in every box set, the demand for the card will be high. Everyone will want as many as they can get. I’d would actually be inclined to put a ceiling of $10-15 on the card as long as it doesn’t get reprinted to oblivion, but a more realistic price is closer to the $5 it's at currently.

A big plus for the card is it has some reprint protection, like Mana-Charged Dragon. They both have little-to-no chance of being reprinted in a regular set due to their Commander-specific abilities, so you only have to worry about how many get reprinted through Commander sets. I would suggest against trading these away at the moment as there is lot of worth in this seemingly simple card. Only trade it away for full value if you are not interested in sitting on this card for the long haul.

Homeward Path
Box - Mirror Mastery
SCG - $12.49
AH - $9.96

Blue players everywhere cringed when they saw this card. That a simple land can undo all the work they have done throughout the game is heartbreaking. It has potential to see limited Legacy play as a foil to Vedalken Shackles. One part of the card that I think they could have nerfed a little is that it returns creatures to all players, not just your own. But either way it is a hoser card, and good hoser cards are usually a little more powerful than they should be.

Recap

I want to reinforce my view on Commander-specific cards like Command Tower and Mana-Charged Dragon. This may be the only product these cards will be available in. Some people have speculated that they will continue to create more Commander sets in the future, possibly even yearly. I think this is very possible, but even if they do this and reprint Command Tower in the hypothetical "Commander 2013," the print run on these cards will still lower than any “regular” card out there.

Consider how many draft chaff commons you have of certain cards. Multiply that by all the regular drafts that exist and you will begin to understand just how many cards there are out there. Now look at how many of these Commander cards you have, your local game store, or heck even the biggest online retailer has. This number pretty much pales in comparison to a “regular” Magic card. What happens if they are never reprinted ever again? The closest thing we have to this uncertain territory is Mana Crypt or book promo Jace Beleren, but each of those are much rarer than any of these Commander cards.

Considering all of these factors, it is very hard to pinpoint the exact price something like Command Tower will settle at. If you take anything away from this series just head my words: be very careful in trading anything from the Commander release that would be considered a format wide staple.

Join me tomorrow for my take on the multicoloured cards from Commander. You get a commander! You get a commander! Everybody gets commanders!

Follow me on Twitter @RyeAbc

6 thoughts on “Commander Release Analysis (Part 3)

  1. I have loved all of your Commander Review articles thus far, but there is one tiny peeve that has been bugging me as I read them: errant apostrophes. For whatever reason, it bugs me to see that misplaced apostrophe on the possessive form of "its".
    I'm not sure if you submit your articles to an editor prior to publishing, but it's always good to have a second pair of eyes read over a draft before finalizing it.

  2. Hmmmm sorry about that. I guess I depend on grammar/spell check too much. I'm surprised my word processing program did not catch them. It could be because I write the article using multiple different programs depending on the computer I am on. I'll make it easier for my editor to not miss them next time by not making that same mistake. Thanks for pointing it out and thanks for reading!

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