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Insider: Speculating on Gavi, Nest Warden

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Warning Commander 2020 Spoilers ahead!

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This card has already caused one major price spike.


Editor's note: between the writing of this piece and publishing, Fluctuator was announced as a reprint in Commander 2020.

This card seems to spike every time we see cycling return. It got a decent bump when Amonkhet cyclers started getting spoiled and it slowly made it's way back down and now it has spiked again thanks to Gavi, Nest Warden. When Gavi first spoiled I actually brought up Fluctuator in our Discord Chat, so if anyone jumped on that one they made a good bit of money. However, that's in the past now and our focus today is on potential speculation opportunities moving forward.

The big draw to this commander is the first ability. Cycling has always been a powerful mechanic because it gives you the ability to convert any card that cycles into the next card on top of your library and fills up your graveyard. Commanders that let you draw cards repeatedly tend to be ones that are easy to build powerful decks around as they reduce the natural variance in the format.

Now before we begin going through our potential speculation targets it's very important to keep in mind that very few cards from Commander 2020 have been spoiled and we are likely to see a fair number of reprints. I personally would unload any Fluctuator copies I had, as it has a fair chance of being included in the deck. It is NOT on the Reserved List. Any other cards on this list could easily be in the deck, any that don't will likely rise in value, any that show up will tank in price.


It's important to remember that the first iteration of cycling occurred in Urza's Saga and it always cost 2 colorless mana and simply allowed you to discard the card and draw a new one. As cycling has been brought back several times now, WoTC has changed cycling costs and added some abilities that occur when you cycle a card. Decree of Silence acts like an almost uncounterable Dismiss that also happens to combo very well with Solemnity and can be used for free with Gavi. This card is already starting to trend upward, but the gains have been small enough that should it jump it will likely do so by a fair amount. It currently has no reprints and its sole printing was back in 2003 so there are a lot fewer copies floating around than one might think with only 4 pages of sellers on TCGPlayer showing up.


While most playgroups frown upon mass land destruction, the more competitive players will see the obvious power level behind this play. The ability to use it's ability for free on your opponents turn can easily allow you to get ahead on board very quickly and stay ahead until you win. The fact that cycling allows you to see a lot of cards quickly can also make sure you recover faster by consistently hitting your land drops post annihilation. Decree of Annihilation did have a reprinting in FTV: Annihilation, but no mass reprints. It's also unlikely that this one gets printed in the Commander 2020 deck simply because of most people's disdain for mass land destruction and how adding it to the base deck would upset a lot of casual players.


This is a very interesting option, because it's a high risk/high reward card to include in the deck. You don't want to play it too early, as casting any cyclers will mean they get exiled instead of going to the graveyard; but it also serves as a sort of Yawgmoth's Will for cyclers in the late game. It is a recent print that's currently bulk status, so should it dodge a spot in the 100 it's likely a card that could easily jump to $2-$4. As it's from a recent set though, there are a lot more copies out there and its price ceiling is limited by a fair amount because of this.


While this is likely less potent than Decree of Silence, you typically are going to want to use the cycling ability on this card on opponents turns anyways and the fact that Gavi lets you cycle for free once per turn means that having cyclers that provide useful abilities on other players turns is extra valuable. There are a fair number of Commander decks built around abusing activated or triggered abilities and being able to uncounterable Stifle and draw a card seems like something worth putting in most Gavi decks. Unfortunately, this card was also printed in Hour of Devastation so the price ceiling is again limited by a glut in supply.


The ability to consistently hit land drops in Commander is an important one. It's important to note that Plainscycling allows you to get ANY card with a land type of Plains. Which means you can get duals, shocks, and Irrigated Farmland. This card was printed in Scourge, Commander 2013, and it had a special GP promo. The GP promo would likely be the version I would speculate on, as it's almost assuredly never going to be reprinted and the artwork is different.


By providing all your lands with cycling, this means you are unlikely to not use the free cycling ability during every player's turn. This also means you're likely to see a lot of cards in your deck any game that you can land this card early. It's currently a bulk rare and should it dodge inclusion in the deck it's definitely a card players will want in their 99. Unfortunately, while it wasn't in a standard legal recent set, it's still very recent and there are plenty of copies out there. The price ceiling is again relatively low on this one.

Conclusion

While looking up potential speculation targets for this article I did notice that there actually aren't a lot of rare cycling cards, which are typically what I focus on when looking at speculation targets. You might also consider some foil or promo cyclers from Onslaught block as potential targets, but I feel that moving them would likely prove very difficult.

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