Money, Magic, and the Kitchen Table

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Hey, QS Readers!

My name is Chris Martin. I've been a casual Magic player since the Urza's Saga block and I have played at a lot of kitchen tables across the Midwest. As I aged and my opportunities to play dwindled, I found myself dabbling with Magic finance to stay in touch with the game. My writing focuses on "The Casual 60" and EDH, but I do cross into other formats whenever appropriate.

In anticipation of #MTGC18 release weekend, I scoured Gatherer to identify some underrated picks which might find their way into the new Commander themes and be ripe for MTG finance gains. Commander has a history of being lucrative when targeting the right cards, and I am confident the specs I have to offer should continue with that trend.

Commanders from MTGC18

Lands Really Do Matter

I landed the Nature's Vengeance theme deck at the GenCon preview event. As a Gitrog player, I am extremely familiar with a "lands matter" strategy. I still had some cards lying around from building a Thalia and The Gitrog Monster EDH deck a few years ago, and at least one card from the deck I believe to be a better fit with Lord Windgrace:

A lesser-known card from an older set that does something Lord Windgrace players should want to do: ramp fast. The ability of Overlaid Terrain is comparable to the likes of Mirari's Wake, but the fact you have to sacrifice lands is a drawback. Fortunately, Lord Windgrace's -3 can return them to the battlefield and get you back to netting the same mana almost immediately.

You can cast Overlaid Terrain for free as long as Lord Windgrace is on the board, and even get a landfall trigger out of it when relevant. Additionally, there are plenty of ways to recur lands from your graveyard in any “lands matter” strategy. Once you get stabilized, Overlaid Terrain ramps exponentially. It is a casual gem at its current price and has a new home with Lord Windgrace.

I recommend targeting foils if you're interested in the card, as that will help you lock in longer-term value. The supply is fairly low due to it being from an old set (Nemesis), so if it catches on even in the tiniest way the foil will likely jump into the $10+ range. I would not recommend the non-foil version for significant appreciation, but it is a great budget option if you are looking to upgrade your Windgrace deck!

Fate Shifting

I am ecstatic to build around Aminatou, the Fateshifter! This creepy new planeswalker has some exciting abilities that will let players own their fates by controlling the top of their decks and their assets on the battlefield.

An old card from Weatherlight which has never had a home until now, Inner Sanctum should see some play in Aminatou, the Fateshifter strategies.

Inner Sanctum has a cumulative upkeep cost of 2 life a turn, which is a significant drawback, but its effect on the board is completely one-sided in your favor. With Aminatou, the Fateshifter, you can reset the cumulative upkeep every turn by bouncing it, and in the meantime, your creatures are all but indestructible. If a wrath comes down, just let Inner Sanctum go by sacrificing it... oh, the fate-shifting flavor!

It should be noted that this card is on the Reserved List. With Aminatou making this playable, look for near-mint copies of Inner Sanctum to move into the $8 to $10 range in the future.


There are just so many good enchantments to add to the "Bantchantress" Estrid, the Masked decks, so let's go with one that hasn't been mentioned much yet.

Here is a spec I targeted years back when it hit bulk because of its casual appeal, power-level for 1 CMC, and ability to slot into so many strategies. I'm sitting on a small stack of foils ($1 entry point) and I think Estrid, the Masked might finally be the catalyst to move the needle. The text "non-creature" is relevant beyond just enchantments, but in a deck where enchantments matter, Myth Realized is a superstar.

It is a cantrip draw with Argothian Enchantress and has Vehicle-esque utility whenever called upon. It's the type of card that sits there in a four-player pod and is forgotten about until it is too big to miss. It also dodges all but instant-speed creature removal, so you can Supreme Verdict then activate your Monk Avatar and go on the offensive.

I plan to target additional foils of this card – they are still very reasonably priced (under $2) and should see appreciation as casual and EDH players look to upgrade their "Bantchantress" builds.

Pick of the Week

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know I am a huge Saheeli, the Gifted fan. I think her and Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer are both going to be very popular new commanders from #MTGC18. Because of that, my pick of the week is Storm the Vault // Vault of Catlacan.

Storm the Vault Vault of Catlacan

Storm the Vault // Vault of Catlacan is a potential ramp tool on the front and a Tolarian Academy on the back. Note, Tolarian Academy is banned or restricted in every format it is eligible for, so you know the power level is real. With a blue-red artifact-based strategy, regardless of if you can deal combat damage to a player or not, pumping out five artifacts to flip into Vault of Catlacan isn't difficult.

I see Storm the Vault // Vault of Catlacan being a realistic target for both Brudiclad and Saheeli players, so I would encourage buying your copies, foil or non-foil, as quickly as possible. The demand should easily outpace the supply. Foil prices have already moved a few dollars since spoilers, but I could see them continuing to move into the $20 range over time. Storm the Vault // Vault of Catlacan already shows up in some Breya, Etherium Shaper lists, so you are talking about three possible EDH decks it has a home in, and maybe three different players who want one.

One last note: flip cards should be much harder to reprint in the near-term, especially given the most-recent FTV was FTV: Transform.

That's it for me this week! I am always posting spec targets and tips on my Twitter feed: @ChiStyleGaming. Please feel free to comment with feedback, your likes/dislikes, cards I may have missed, or questions. I am always up for talking about Magic!



6 thoughts on “Money, Magic, and the Kitchen Table

  1. Nice find on Overlaid Terrain.

    Here’s some other under the radar specs for Lord Windgrace:

    Herald of Leshrac

    Destructive Flow (foils; already sold through my copies at $10 / ea)

    Keldon Firebombers (already sold a few for $5 / ea)

    Impending Disaster

    Wildfire (7th and 9th foils)

    Natural Balance (Reserved List)

    1. Thanks for the commment! I like Natural Balance for the 1v1 EDH scene (no mercy) but in casual play it is too much of a “no fun” card. Because it is RL I agree it should see some appreciation from Windgrace, but not much (it would’ve already spiked from Gitrog if it were more loved).

  2. I also like Overlaid Terrain and am surprised it didn’t move with The Gitrog Monster… The key is that Windgrace adds red to the mixture so the focus to me is on red cards that would have been good in the Gitrog Monster decks.. Had they been either green or black. I am also a huge fan of storm the vaults…academy is so powerful and any artifact deck shouldn’t find it to difficult to flip. I honestly think it’s biggest drawback is the fact that it’s blue and red, when most artifact based commander decks typically fall into the esper shard. But WoTC seems to be pushing more U/R there is definitely some potential.

    1. Hey David, thanks for the comment! Funny, I remember you wrote an article about Gitrog years back. I ended up building an EDH deck around it and using a lot of your recs at the time, so thank you! 🙂

      As for Overlaid Terrain not spiking with Gitrog but having potential with Windgrace, it comes down to the recursion ability. Gitrog only gets one draw trigger from the Terrain ETB sac land, so the synergy just wasn’t worth it. With Windgrace, the recursion is super powerful (not to mention Splendid Reclamation and Ramunap Excavator now exist for consistency).

      Totally agree that there are red cards impacted by Windgrace which still have room to run.

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