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.
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 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!
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.
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 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!