Insider: Commander Picks for the Release of C17

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Everybody has Commander on the brain, and for good reason—the new Commander 2017 decks look really fun and offer some exciting new options for fans of the format. With that being said, there has already been an encyclopedia's worth of information written about speculating on the new cards. I feel like those bases are likely well covered by now.

Today, what I'd like to do is go through the other Commander releases and explore possible investment opportunities. There are a couple of reasons that I think looking at these cards is a nice place to make some coin. First, I do believe that the new Commander decks will rekindle interest in the format. People are going to buy these decks and want to play Commander in the near future. Secondly, the newfound interest is going to put people into the mind frame where they want to bolster their new decks.

Obviously, the Commander decks are beginner-level, which means they need to be upgraded in order to compete with more serious players. There are a lot of cards we could speculate on based on the assumption that people will be looking to buy Commander-related singles on the heels of the new decks. However, today I wanted to narrow in my focus on singles from other official Commander products.

I chose to do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I believe these cards tend to be generally good value in the abstract. As an individual who has managed the MTG singles inventory at my LGS for over a decade I can assure you that the unique Commander staples are among the most difficult to keep in stock. There are a few reasons for this. One is that we don't typically open many decks for singles off the bat. The decks are already good value for a store to sell which incentivizes us to keep those decks unopened and sold for retail.

The second reason is that people who buy the decks don't typically sell these cards back to the store. It becomes and issue where stores don't open a ton of the product, people don't resell the product, and there is a steady stream of customers looking for the product.

Let's jump in and look at some of the cards that I've narrowed down as being potentially great value in the near future with a Commander tidal wave on the horizon:

Not a great card, but a flashy card. This is the kind of card that casual players love. The near-bulk price tag reflects the fact that most serious players don't value it highly. The interesting thing is that this card sells all day long in the store. It's a solid pick to grab up cheap and hold onto.

Vampires get a reboot in the new decks and this is a pretty saucy Vampire payoff card. It won't make the cut in a serious competitive Commander decks, but it is a big game with the more casual Commander crowd. It's also a fairly cheap buy-in. I could see this card spiking up a couple of bucks since it's kind of hard to find outside of actually buying it online.

I really like this card as a Cube or Battle Box card. It has some good play and utility to it. The card hasn't seen a ton of print and is just generically good. Hating out the graveyard is always a good place to be, and I like that effect placed on a respectable body. If you can get these cheap I think they are a great down-the-line investment.

I know the card has been reprinted but it is just so strong. I would almost certainly include this card in a lot of different multiplayer decks I would consider playing. Keep in mind, I refuse to play combo or blue decks in Commander because I don't enjoy the kind of game play they create. With that in mind, Bane of Progress is extremely awesome at attacking a lot of the more powerful strategies in the format. It creates a ton of value and is generically sweet.

From the Ashes is one of those great Commander cards that is also Legacy-playable. It is also super cheap at the moment. The card is awesome against Lands. The other thing about the card is that it is pretty sweet at punishing Commander decks with greedy mana bases without being a "jerk." The tag on this card feels too low.

I love this card. It is easily one of my favorite cards to play with in my Danger Room. With that being said, it is also a Cube staple. I actually think it is borderline Legacy-playable. Never underestimate the value of a card that people really enjoy playing with.

Colorless mana fixing is always at a premium because it gives other color combinations access to something that has traditionally only been readily available to green decks. Another card that should see a nice amount of play across various levels of competitiveness that still holds a low price point.

Not a particularly great card but a really flashy and fun one. The Angel is a card I sell a fair amount of to the casual Commander crowd. There are a lot of people out there who collect and build around an Angel theme, as I mentioned with Angel of Finality. I love getting cards like these as throw-ins on trades and holding onto them for a rainy day.

Flesh Carver is a really good Cube or Battle Box card. It can even be competitive in the right Commander deck. I merely bring it up because it is a great card with a dirt-cheap price tag.

Hallowed Spiritkeeper falls into the same camp as Flesh Carver. It is an awesome Cube or Battle Box staple card. Extremely powerful and efficient creature with a zero price tag. These kind of cards always trend up over time.

Lifeblood Hydra is a fun card. It gains life and draws cards and is a Hydra. There is clearly an audience and market for this kind of card. It also fits the mold of being good in grindy, rampy Commander decks. I love when cards like these are cheap because it makes them easy and profitable to pick up.

I love the flavor of this card. It is also the only version of this popular character. Flavor aside, the card is a great example of a spiky casual card. I like playing with cards like these and so do a lot of other people. You can't beat the price right now either.

Another great spiky casual card with great flavor! The card has a medium price tag but should continue to climb on coolness factor alone if it doesn't see a reprinting. I also don't think this is the kind of card that would be reprinted outside of a Commander deck or set, which makes it a nice investment card with relatively low buy-in.

I've built this commander as a deck before and it is awesome to play. It combines a lot of things that people like into one awesome synergy card. It also has a cool insect theme. I feel like this is sort of the epitome of a great Commander card and it tends to be popular with players. I'm always sold out of this card as well.

A bad Eternal Witness is still an Eternal Witness. When I play Commander I don't combo or take extra turns. I play fair decks which makes the politicking side of the game really important. There is no better way to make a friend at the table than to give them a free Regrowth. Also, I'm never giving "Time Walk Person" a free Regrowth—that's what you get for not being fun!

Not really a Commander staple but a great Magic card. I've always said that great cards always find a way of rising to their level over time. I love this card in Danger Room and it has a place in Cube as well. You can't beat the price. When I was looking at prices I was honestly surprised it wasn't double or triple the current going rate.

Crawler is a little bit on the pricey side but it is a great card. It does basically what you'd want a Magic card to do in Commander. It is flexible and generates mana. It has nowhere to go but up. It's also a card that I've been sold out of at the store basically since it was first printed. You can learn a lot about the trajectory of a card based on how often it sells! Demand, am I right?

I was also surprised that this card was a junk rare. It's really powerful in multiplayer. A three-mana draw-three or -five? I understand the drawback but it's not like the cards in your deck are bad or anything! Give me four lands, I'm cool with that!


So, these were some of the cards that stood out to me from previous Commander sets that felt like the price tag had a lot of room to move up—especially with a new series of Commander decks just around the corner. I fully anticipate that there will be a boom in players gathering to battle Commander at the LGS for fun, which 100% means a boost in casual staples being sold. I think these Commander deck options have a lot of potential in both the short- and the long-term.

What do you all think? Feel free to drop other Commander deck picks into the comments. If you pick one that I didn't and it spikes I'll 100% allow you bragging rights for sharing it with the other readers.

In all honestly, I'm pretty excited about jamming some Commander soon. I'm going to have to sleeve up my Mazirek sacrifice deck again!

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