We have seen multiple cards that play well with Strixhaven's "pest" creature type spike in the past few weeks. The two biggest are:
The most likely reason is Beledros Witherbloom decks as typically when an archetype sees multiple spikes it is due to a new card entering a format. When we look for cards that would seem likely to be auto includes in this deck it is important to remember that Beledros creates tokens and acts as a mana doubler at the cost of life. So if you assume you always have access to those two options, then we need to look at what is "missing" for the deck to powerfully function. The pests created by Beledros provide minor life gain and optional sacrificial creatures for any sort of engine. To me, the biggest missing piece of the puzzle is card draw of some sort.
When a new card or mechanic gets spoiled we will often see the other half of the combo or the best card that plays with said mechanic spike in price; for example, Chain of Smog when the magecraft mechanic was spoiled.
However, thanks to the singular nature of Commander and its massive card pool, we typically get a bit more time to find our opportunities as the hivemind gets to work on various builds and an optimal list takes shape. This doesn't mean that we have months and months to decide what to pick up, but it does mean that if you don't buy immediately you will be priced out just as fast.
Today, we'll look at a few speculation targets that either haven't moved or still remain under $2, as I believe a low buy-in is crucial to maximizing your profits with regards to speculation.
Evolutionary Leap is a card I actually brought up in the discord chat over a week ago as a potentially good buy. Golgari builds tend to have plenty of options when it comes to sacrificing creatures for value, however, neither color tends to have a lot of card advantage, so Evolutionary Leap provides a cheap sacrifice outlet to convert a token into a creature from your library. Given Beledros' ability to untap all your lands having a card that gives you something to do with that mana seems ideal.
Golgari decks often run some form of graveyard recursion, so creatures with good ETBs gain extra value. Izoni can act as a repeatable mass token generator in this type of deck and is currently sitting at bulk rare status. Normally, I prefer to avoid newer cards as speculation targets due to the sheer number of copies in circulation, but this one seems pretty low-risk given the low buy-in. Izoni also provides card draw, a sacrifice outlet, and life gain which are all things every Beledros deck will want.
While a bit more niche than our other two options, it seems WotC has been careful about including "non-token" when creating cards that allow you to draw a card when a creature dies. Species Specialist will allow repeated card draw when one type of creature dies, so if you name pest you can generate card advantage when Beledross is in play.
This is definitely an auto-include in Beledros decks as it does trigger off tokens dying and the life loss is counteracted with the life gain from the pests themselves. It is important to note that this card's price has already moved up to be on average above my initial $2 threshold but you may be able to find copies under $2. This is the card on my list that I believe has the most potential. It was printed once, 7 years ago, in a rather unimpressive core set, and being an enchantment it tends to be harder for opponents to deal with.
Beledros Witherbloom appears to be one of the breakout commanders in a set full of legendary creatures. It has caused multiple cards to rise in value and there is likely room for that list to grow both in value and in the number of cards included. There are numerous other cards I expect to move upward as more players build this deck, but, the four I listed are the ones that likely have the most opportunity for growth due to their overall usefulness and low buy-in.