A Magictation by Mikeal Basile
“Magictating” is defined as getting into the zone with your Magic the Gathering collection–thinking, planning, organizing, reminiscing about past games, and imagining future games. It is a combination of hard thinking about the game and calm meditation, reveling in the joy it brings you.
You might be tempted to spend $100 or more on a single card to get a big impact mythic for your Commander deck. I’d like to help you find a way to stretch that $100-200 you might budget for one or two cards into buying several high impact but budget friendly blue Commander cards. Sure, that Force of Will is flashy, but there are other mythics that are much cheaper and can make just as big an impact in a game. I’m here to tell you about 10 different blue mythics that are under $20, make a big impact, and offer more excitement for your Commander games.
1. Frost Titan
When I started doing my research for this article I was shocked to find that old frosty the snowman here is ultra-budget. Even the most expensive version of this card is well under $20 (the fancy secret lair version in foil is closer to $5). I wouldn’t have considered this card something people might not know about, except that it hasn’t seen a real reprinting since 2014. Frost Titan has a solid ETB effect by tapping other creatures down, and having the now key-worded “Ward 2” is a really solid deal for around a buck. A mythic this powerful at such a cheap price is so worth picking up to seriously impact any game time and time again. Tapping down your opponent’s creatures with tap abilities is so good, and having it be a repeatable effect while crashing in with a 6/6 is super strong. It sometimes functions like a creature with evasion, as it removes potential blockers with its attack trigger.
2. Cast Through Time
Blue is the color for spells, and Cast Through Time lets us double up on each one we cast. This enchantment seems clunky, but where else are we going to sling spells like this except in Commander? Using this to double up your spells can help you close a game in short order. Combining this with cards like relearn and time warp is just dirty, so go for it! If you’re playing blue, and you’ve got plenty of spells in your deck, then you need to try jamming this budget mythic sometime soon. It’s so satisfying to rebound silly spells like Crush of Tentacles, Expropriate, or even the next card on this list.
3. Clone Legion
Speaking of big clunky spells—clone legion is a ton of fun. This can completely change the look of a game whenever you cast it. Suddenly, you have everything you already had on board, plus every creature the best opponent’s board has as well. This is a huge game changer, and when you do cast this thing it’s extremely gratifying. It last saw print in 2017, and I’m willing to bet that quite a few of you out there have forgotten how much fun this card can be. It’s not grossly unfair—you pay lots of mana for it, and it is only as good as your opponent’s board. The power of it really shines when your opponents have cards with amazing “enters the battlefield” effects that allow you to grind out your supreme value.
4. Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the Omnipotent is ancestral recall on a stick! Arcanis the Omnipotent, sadly, is often under-rated by today’s player base. People see a card that costs six mana and think that it having a 3/4 body makes it somehow not good enough. Yes, I suppose power creep has spoiled plenty out there, but this legendary wizard, who hails from the pre-modern set titled Onslaught, is actually amazing. You can scoop him back up for four mana whenever he’s threatened by some targeted or mass removal spell. Honestly, tapping him to draw three cards is really the draw here. Untapping with Arcanis in play is gross. I have rarely seen the player that does this lose the game. If Arcanis the Omnipotent gets multiple activations, then it’s usually a foregone conclusion that his controller is going to win the game. Arcanis might be the most budget repeatable card draw spell ever printed. I know he’s always been a rare, but his latest printing was as a mythical face card to those Speed vs. Cunning duel decks, so I’m counting him as a mythic.
5. Beguiler of Wills
I recently picked up four of these for less than $4. That seems incredibly cheap to me. Stealing people’s stuff is always good, and stealing more and more stuff is just grossly good. Again, I think people see 1/1 and think five mana is too much to pay. This steal effect doesn’t end when Beguiler of Wills dies or leaves play or untaps or anything else. This is permanent creature theft. Once you successfully activate this you are able to steal their creature “for-ev-ver”. All those utility creatures and other role-players in people’s decks are suddenly easy pickings for you to permanently make your own. If you happen to already be creating a large amount of tokens or other weak creatures in your blue deck (drakes?), then you need to be jamming this yesterday. Feel free to run Homarid Spawning Bed and Scornful Egotist in your deck as well to catch em’—, er steal them all.
6. Day’s Undoing
This budget Time Twister is still good outside Obeka, Brute Chronologist decks. Being able to wheel for three mana, even when it ends your turn, should not be underestimated. When you are playing blue it isn’t like you want to play spells during your main phase anyway. A true blue deck has lots of instants and flashy spells in it. Days Undoing is a chance for you to refill your hand and if you happen to punish everyone else with a flashed in Notion Thief, then it’s not such a bad play for seven mana, right? Overall, Days Undoing is actually a card that’s fallen off most people’s radars, but has plenty of applications in most blue decks, and has a gigantic impact on any game. Considering this mythic was printed only once in 2015 it’s surprising that it is still under $10. This is especially surprising when it can have such a large impact on any given game.
7. Echo of Eons
Perhaps you were wondering why I wasn’t talking about Echo of Eons while I was discussing Day’s Undoing. That’s because it’s next up on the list. Echo of Eons is perhaps even better than Day’s Undoing. This is the type of card that fits all the slots from our previous one, so I won’t belabor my points anymore. This one has the added benefit of flashback along with its actual cost. This offers even more flexibility, so it can be even better: cost flexibility, discardability, multiple castings, and it can be recurred (provided it isn’t flashed back). Overall, it’s almost strictly better than Day’s Undoing.
8. Kiega, the Tide Star
I keep expecting power creep to print a strictly better Kiega, the Tide Star, and thankfully that hasn’t happened. This is another ultra budget blue mythic that hasn’t seen print since it’s Iconic Masters printing in 2017. It dates back to Champions of Kamigawa, and it was a house when it was first printed. Granted, most Commander players think of Kiega’s mean older brother Kokusho, but Kiega is just such an awesome dragon. Kiega is a decent body at 5/5, and a nightmare for people to try and remove. If you add a sacrifice outlet to your deck in the form of High Market or even Victimize, then you have a chance to really blow people out in any game. I also hear it is fun to clone Keiga, the Tide Star (just not quite as fun since the Legend rule changed to only blowing up one of them). Having a 5/5 that threatens to not only block someone’s ace of a creature, but also steal that creature after chump blocking is a really powerful move. Kiega, the Tide Star works well on both offense and defense, and that’s the type of stunning impact I’m looking for in my budget mythics.
9. Lighthouse Chronologist
“Extra! Extra! Take all the turns!” Lighthouse Chronologist is close to the $20 cut-off mark, but it also hasn’t been printed since its original printing in Rise of the Eldrazi in 2010. That’s a mythic with over ten years of supply and demand working for it, and nothing else against it. Lighthouse Chronologist is a lightning rod for removal. If you ever get to resolve it, then it’s likely that you’ll get to take all the turns! Seriously, pumping seven mana into this might seem bad, until you suddenly get an absurd number of draws, untap steps, and oh heck, just extra turns.
10. Quicksilver Gargantuan
Yes, there are other cards with similar effects for less mana, but they don’t supersize your copy. I know that you can play with Clone or Sakashima’s Protégé or Spark Double, but why not go over-the-top with Quicksilver Gargantuan? Slamming down a 7/7 copy of someone else’s Baleful Strix, Grand Abolisher, Scute Swarm, or even Aurelia, the Warleader is the type of impactful play I dream about from a budget mythic that comes in under $1. Oftentimes, you are stuck with no decent cloning targets, but even small bodied creatures are decent targets for this oversized shapeshifter. I mean, a 7/7 flier that taps for any color mana is a lot scarier than a 0/1 flier that taps for any color—sorry Birds of Paradise. Quicksilver Gargantuan can take you from stalemate to checkmate.
I’d like to take this time to mention a few others that I couldn’t quite fit into this list. As I was reviewing the cards to write this piece I kept stumbling upon mythical Sphinxes. I’m totally building a Sphinx Commander deck, and it’s going to be chock full of the mythics in this list, and many more actual Sphinxes that are mythics. Mythical, and rare for that matter, sphinxes are super budget buys! Seriously, here’s a list of some powerhouse Sphinxes that are pretty darn cheap: Sphinx of Enlightenment, Sphinx Ambassador, Sphinx of the Final Word, Sphinx of the Second Sun, and even the deck’s future commander Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign. I’m looking forward to building this quizzically quirky tribal Commander deck, and I’m be sure to share it with all of you once I iron out all the details. Until then, may your budget and the cards be ever in your favor!