This week we’re taking a look at the sealed value of each of the Commander 2017 decks. I’m going to be your tour guide through the 100 cards included in the "Vampiric Bloodlust" Vampire tribal deck. The reprints are really not a whole lot to write home about so a lot of the focus here is going to be on the new cards.
Outside of Mathas’s interaction with Bounty Hunter, he really doesn’t do anything particularly unique or interesting for the majority of Commander players. He’s the kind of card that is likely to be in the 99 because he’s a Vampire with a reasonable ability and stats, but not something that will be strongly sought after.
The Mardu color combination doesn’t typically get very political, and as such I expect this to be the least expensive of the new Commanders in this deck. If you are planning to crack product, this is something I’d try to sell quickly before it becomes a sub-$1 card. Currently there are copies available on TCGplayer for about $5.50 and I don’t think it will get better than that.
Oloro, Ageless Ascetic and Trostani, Selesnya's Voice are the two most popular lifegain-themed commanders by a pretty large margin. Licia could put a new spin on that style of deck and could work well considering black-white and red-white cards traditionally gain life. I could see her gain some steam as you are unable to play lifegain synergy cards like Searing Meditation with the previous commanders.
Ultimately, I expect this to settle at $2-3 based on its novelty, unless we get something that really pushes it in Ixalan.
The eminence cycle of commanders look to be the best in this set and Edgar is no different here. This creature will be the commander of every Vampire tribal deck going forward mostly due to its colors. It unites the tribe with a few exceptions (there are randomly some blue-black and Grixis Vampires) and it is the only gold legendary creature that cares about the tribe.
I expect Edgar to become a $10-15 card if Vampire tribal picks up as there is really only one other card in the deck that will be worth much money. EDH REC doesn’t support the new commanders as of this writing but I will be keeping a close lookout to see how popular Edgar becomes.
New Cards of Note
I’m not sure how good or bad this really is but man is it flashy. Bringing back phasing is something nobody could have predicted but this is the perfect application for it. This is the ultimate protection card and could displace Swords to Plowshares as the most popular white card and rival Cyclonic Rift as one of the most played colored spells in Commander.
If you look at the price of cards like Darksteel Forge and Avacyn, Angel of Hope, you can see how making your board unable to be killed is something that a lot of players love. This card puts your stuff into a stasis that dodges cards like Merciless Eviction and even Cyclonic Rift itself.
Right now there are copies available on TCGplayer for $12 but I wouldn’t be surprised if this card ended up being the most expensive card in the set if players really start to like it. My best estimate is this could go as low as $5 during the release weekend, but will rebound to $10 and probably be as high as $20 before it could get a reprint. I think the reprint risk is pretty low, because how do you find a place where you can print a card with phasing again?
There is also a weird interaction with the Myojin cycle from Champions of Kamigawa as it’s a way to put more divinity counters on them. Previously I wouldn’t say that is a big deal, but with O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami finally giving Spirits a five-colored commander choice, it may be a lot more popular in the future. I’m going to estimate this to be a $2 card post-release and a $5-plus card in a year or two.
I think this is one of the most underrated cards in this set. A four-mana 4/4 flyer is a reasonable rate, but its ability is what I'm looking at—it's reminiscent of Bastion Protector, a $4 card only two years after its first printing. This card, much like Bastion Protector, affects both commanders if you use some with partner. This is especially important since the most popular partner commander is Vial Smasher the Fierce, which is also red.
If this card drops to $2 or less I would recommend picking them up. It’s a high-impact card that is likely to find its way into a lot of aggressive Commander decks. My estimate is it will be $5 in a year or two.
Path of Ancestry is not limited to just this deck (it’s in all four) but it is by far my favorite card coming out of this set. In tribal decks the benefit is pretty obvious, but I think as people catch on to the fact that this is just another Command Tower and not an Opal Palace, there will be significantly more demand than is available.
It’s prime for a judge foil printing at some point in time, but I am expecting this card to be the hardest to find in the next six months because of how well it slots into three-color-plus decks. It’s essentially a triland with upside in decks playing three or more colors. My best guess is it will start out slow and if you can find copies for $3 or less you will easily be able to make money. I think this is an $8-10 card in two years if it doesn’t get reprinted in the next Commander product.
The Rest of the New Cards
The Vampire tribe doesn’t really have a lot of synergies per se, but outside of Vampire Nocturnus, these are the best ones. Currently Captivating Vampire’s new printing is $2 less than the original M11 printing on TCGplayer, and the new printing of Bloodlord of Vaasgoth is actually $0.50 more than the original M12 printing.
I expect these two to continue to fall, and to be good pickups around $3 for Captivating Vampire, and $1 for Bloodlord of Vaasgoth. The spoiled Ixalan rare sheet has already shown a lot of tribal synergy cards and white vampires that could cause a new interest in the tribe.
Door of Destinies is the card that I think is most likely to be a Chromatic Lantern repeat. It’s an artifact that could reasonably be wanted in all of the decks and is only being reprinted in this one. Chromatic Lantern followed a similar path where it was actually needed by players of all five decks but only printed in one of them, and the card has since increased in price greatly.
I would be looking to the Japanese and European markets for English copies of this card as there are likely to be some arbitrage opportunities. Hareruya is sold out of English Door of Destinies at between 450 JPY and 500 JPY (approximately $4 - $4.50). Copies of the card in English are between $5 and $7.50 for NM copies, depending on set. Either way I think there is a pretty safe opportunity for growth if it hits $3.
As a single-print Mercadian Masques rare, this hit a peak of $12. It got reprinted in Commander 2015 and had just barely started to level out right before this newest reprint.
I don’t have much faith that this card will recover any time soon, but if copies end up around $2 it is not unreasonable to expect it to go back to $5 baring a future reprint. I would be leery of buying in because Wizards has shown willingness to reprint the same card multiple times rather than many different cards.
This is the most frustrating kind of thing Wizards of the Coast does. Sanguine Bond is part of a pretty infamous two-card combo with Exquisite Blood. This is now the fourth time that Sanguine Bond has been printed but Exquisite Blood has only one printing.
I expect this to continue to fall as Exquisite Blood remains the more expensive combo piece. If we do happen to see a reprint of Exquisite Blood in the future, however, you will be happy to have these.
The Rest of the Reprints
Overall Deck Value
I think all of the Commander 2017 decks are worth picking up for MSRP if only for the fact that they have extremely unique Commander cards that will be likely to fetch a premium. The Vampires deck has the single most expensive card (Teferi's Protection), with the most upside, so I think it’s pretty safe to say if you can find it at MSRP it will likely be worth buying.
Currently, Cool Stuff Inc., Star City Games, and Channel Fireball have sets of four available for pre-order for $150 ($37.50 per deck), and single decks between $40 and $45—already more than the MSRP of $34.99.
If you’re looking to play with this deck, I’d take a look at the signature cards for Vampire tribal on EDH REC. There are only three cards in the top 14 that are not included in this pre-con.
The two easiest buys are Vampire Nocturnus and Necropolis Regent. They’re both unlikely to be reprinted in the near future and are played in a large portion of decks. Bloodline Keeper is the only one I’d be skeptical about purchasing because of its price and the fact that it is very likely to be in From the Vault: Transform in November.
While on paper the latest Commander product may not look like the greatest, these sets are often way too short-printed to satisfy the long-term demand. The new cards in this set are unique and powerful, which is a recipe for success. I personally ordered a set of these decks and I’m happy with the value inside. There is a lot inside of these even outside of cards I’ve mentioned.