Hey everyone and welcome to another week of speculating! Today we are looking at four cards I feel we should be keeping an eye on for both Pioneer and Commander: Citywide Bust, Slaughter the Strong, Ritual of Soot, and Call the Gatewatch. Presently, these look to be used more in Commander than Pioneer, but we will look as to how these can fit in both formats.
Utilizing Call the Gatewatch or Other Cheap Tutors
To start off, we will discuss where these fit into Commander. As a budget-minded player, I look at card characteristics that are “staples” or used more heavily in builds. The characteristics we're talking about today are board wipes and tutors. We will start with Call the Gatewatch, as that’s the only card of its kind out of the four. The price of this little gem is a whopping $0.50(TCG Mid) for the non-foil, $1.91 on average for the foil, and the foil promo is coming in at $2.59 on average for people looking into those.
Another thing to consider is the fact that not all Commander players can afford the pricier tutors. This should be drawing more appeal for those looking for tutor options without breaking the bank. One thing to note here is that it is a niche card, but that doesn’t mean it’s a trash heap.
With a CMC of three, it shouldn’t deter those that look for speedier spells. If anything, it should draw some intrigue as three is not a lot at all, especially in a format like Commander. Just looking at theme alone, there are 4,281 registered decks that are themed as planeswalkers on EDHREC. Each one of these (depending on color) by rights should have one copy of this to fetch a walker the player needs.
As of now, it only looks to be in only 2,238 registered decks, which is just over 50% of the 4,281 themed decks previously stated. The other thing to consider here is that even if you aren’t running a themed deck but need to grab certain walkers, this should be the card to use in addition to the ninety-nine.
Going into Pioneer, this could be a one or two of (mainboard) in any white build that utilizes planeswalkers. Like Commander, a card with a CMC of three is not too rich for the format. Here is a recent top ten (MTGO Pioneer League) UW deck where this could at the very least fit into the sideboard.
Keeping an Eye on Newer Board Wipes
Moving onto our other cards, the theme here is board wipe. All of these should be considered suitors for just about any build looking for wipes on a budget. There are limitations to each, which is very understandable to potential speculators looking at negatives. It should be noted though that two of the three here have a CMC of three, where most others are four-plus.
Starting with Citywide Bust, its current price is only $0.35 on average, $0.81 for foils, and $0.76 for the promos. In comparison to its reserved list counterpart Retribution of the Meek ($6.26 average), this is a steal. Understand that Citywide Bust targets toughness rather than power, but this has more upside than some may think. If you are going up against one of the many Arcades, the Strategist styled builds, this will wreck their day, to say the least.
Another thing here is if you run weenies or tokens, you can rid of potential threats you may be worried about. You can also throw this in a deck with Retribution of the Meek to address both power and toughness factors. One may say “Citywide dictates two white, where Retribution dictates one.” To that, I say it shouldn’t affect the price or playability that much. If you're ever hurting for another board wipe to add to your list in Commander, consider grabbing a copy of Citywide Bust!
Going into Pioneer, this should be in consideration for the sideboard at the very least. Knowing enough about the current meta, this will be a defense against those big clunker decks. You could put this in any deck where you are weak against bigger creature threats. White weenie aggro is where this can fit in most optimally. I do have a Selesnya no rares build that you can upgrade and throw this baby in! If you’d like to check it out, click the link here!
Slaughter the Strong is the next card we are looking at. At three CMC this offers great upside in both Commander and Pioneer. The current price for this is $1.22 for the non-foil, $2.23 for the foil, and $2.25 for the promos. In Commander, this should be an auto-include in any Arcades, the Strategist build, or anything utilizing a lot of low powered creatures. A very strong thing to note here is that it gets around both hexproof and indestructible.
Going into Pioneer, this is again something that can be easily used as a wipe option. With so many decks that utilize creatures as wincons, this can be sideboarded or even mainboarded into control decks.
Ritual of Soot is our last card to be brought up today. This is coming in at $1.00 for non-foils, $1.95 for foils, and $1.97 for the promos. Just like the others, this is a great board wipe. It’s limited like Citywide Bust, but the upside can’t be ignored. In Commander, it can be easily plugged into any deck running black for a wipe option.
Looking at Pioneer is where the growth potential exists. As of right now, I have found 68 decks that are currently running it. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot. But it is showing that the card is in fact being used. As the format continues to figure itself out, this will be one to have on hand.
What to Look for in the Future
I feel this might go without saying, but any new(er) wipes and/or tutors should be in consideration going forward. When it comes to the cards we discussed today, they most definitely have room to grow over time. If you had to ask me which would be my top pick of the ones noted, I would have to go with Citywide Bust. If you are looking for buy-listing one of these, remember to get the promos! If not, I would totally go in on the non-foils. I will end with this, GET THESE ON THE LOW!
Until next time everyone, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this week's article!