Commander enthusiasts have become a big part of Magic’s player base, as is evidenced by the massive demand exhibited in the high prices of cards only good in this format. Wizards of the Coast has taken notice, and has responded by cashing in on the format by releasing annual preconstructed Commander decks. There is a trend of it supporting the format further in each new expansion by releasing relevant Commander cards, specifically the commanders themselves. New commanders are capable of spawning brand new deck archetypes, and as seen in Amonkhet with Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, this can causes a surge in demand for the staples of a popular new deck.
Hour of Devastation has been particularly kind to Commander with its new multiplayer gods. They are splashy cards for Limited play, and players are working to make them effective in Standard, but these cards are clearly designed for Commander. They offer potent passive abilities that are perfect for building a deck around, along with a useful mana sink that unlocks even more synergies. The Scorpion God has potential, but what has really driven demand are the two blue Gods, The Locust God and The Scarab God. The market has responded to these cards in a big way, and there have been price increases across the board on cards related to the likely strategies these Gods will support. In the past week here have been a few spikes, and a ton of cards that have seen modest gains and are still trending upwards.
Training Grounds is excellent with the both of the blue Gods by reducing the cost of their activated abilities, which has explained its price tripling on MTGO from 0.20 to 0.60 tix, the paper price growing from $8 to $12, and its foil price spiking from $14 to over $30.
The Locust God Spikes
The Locust God’s passive ability converts every extra card drawn into a free 1/1 flying token, so it has increased demand for cards that abuse this ability by drawing many cards at once, specifically Wheel of Fortune-type effects that discard the hand to draw a new one.
Winds of Change from Legends had been growing in price since before The Locust God, likely on some Old School/93-94 speculation or play, but because it’s the cheapest Wheel effect to abuse with this commander, it almost doubled in price to over $13 immediately after the card was spoiled. Now the reprinted versions have followed suit, with both the Fourth Edition and Fifth Edition printings more than doubling in price over the past week, up to $6 and $7 respectively.
Magus of the Wheel creates a Wheel effect on demand at instant speed, and being in relatively low supply its price has grown from $5 to $8.
Here's a few more Wheel effects worth taking a look at. It's worth remembering that there is a lot of overlap with Nekusar, the Mindrazer playability, and many of these cards' prices were established at the time of Nekusar's printing.
Consecrated Sphinx is good at drawing cards and is thus good with The Locust God, but it truly excels when combined with the Wheel effects that force the opponent to draw and trigger its draw two ability to effectively triple the impact of the draw effect. Its price has seen around a 10-percent gain to $22, and its Invocation printing has risen around eight percent to $55 in the past week.
Tolarian Winds is the cheapest blue way way to abuse this God, and its foil copies have seen the biggest related spike, growing from $7.50 to $45 dollars.
Mindmoil creates a steady stream of Wheel effects, so its foil price has spiked from $6 to over $14.
The Scarab God Spikes
The Scarab God’s upkeep trigger scales upwards with the number of Zombies in play, so it’s the perfect centerpiece for a Zombie tribal deck. There have already been Blue-Black Zombie tribal decks in the format, so demand for its key cards aren’t anything new, but the new commander has created significant buzz for the tribe, which had already been strongly trending upwards since it was heavily supported in Amonkhet.
Here are a few examples of the kind of Zombie tribal cards that could really make a card like The Scarab God shine:
The Foil-Only Section
There is also increased demand and price for foil versions of some non-rares and less important rares:
I expect the Gods will continue to attract attention as commanders, so demand will only increase and prices on their staple cards should continue to grow. The cards I shared today have been growing, but there are plenty more cards in the decks that have the potential for growth in the future. Dig into decklists online to see what sort of cards people are playing with the commanders and determine if anything looks ripe for growth.
Are there any cards you’re targeting because of these new Gods?