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.
I thought that the white article would wrap up the series on budget mythics. Yet, I love multicolor like nothing else. I was a huge fan of the original Legends set, and I even went on a quest long ago to collect all of those original 55 Legends. I recently used the completion of that quest to launch my own EDH cube, but that still hasn’t satisfied my love for multicolored cards. Today I bring to you some oft over-looked and budget friendly golden mythics and rares. I’ll be giving you the budget Commander winner of each guild color pairing along with a runner-up. Let’s check out 20 budget Commander cards you might not remember are actually good!
1. Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
Some people poo-poo the original lord of Innistrad. I am not one of those people. I actually think he’s a solid value for four mana. Sorin, Lord of Innistrad is no Sorin Markov (EDH/Commander hoser). However, the ability to crank out blocking tokens and the possibility of granting permanent +1/+0 to your team multiple times is very powerful. Underestimating the power of these emblems can easily lead to people’s defeats, but if you’re the one running Sorin, then it’s not you who is missing out. This budget planeswalker is incredibly affordable, and worth running in any black white tokens go-wide strategy. For the Orzhov honorable mention we have none other than Vona, Butcher of Magan. He hits hard, and wipes out annoying things during your turn (preferably after swinging for damage and buffing your life total).
2. Sphinx’s Revelation
Sphinx’s Revelation is something that seems to have dropped off people’s radar. This card is busted good. It dominated standard for quite some time, but also made appearances in just about every other format. It has everything a control deck wants: instant speed, extra cards, and extra life. OK, it doesn’t offer board wiping, but the cards you do draw lead to more card advantage (netting you the board wipes you need). Three out of four desires is pretty solid. Don’t tell me win conditions are something control decks want, because we all know there is a clear difference between wants and needs. Speaking of that, you need to own this extremely budget Azorious control piece if you don’t already. Honorable Azorious mention goes to Dovin’s Veto…just kidding! That card, a mere uncommon, appears in nearly 50 times as many decks as Sphinx’s Revelation. No one forgets that card. How about another Sphinx styled card? Medomai the Ageless packs plenty of bonus action for not much of a price tag; I know I love having extra turns, don’t you?
3. Aurelia’s Fury
This checks that other box that control decks need–removal. It can also function nicely as an aggressive response to other people’s aggressive maneuvers. You can punish people with this spell, at instant speed mind you, all while being allowed to untap with whatever you have on board. This can also be used to tap down creatures that can’t be killed via damage or to simply open up someone else for multiple turns. The Boros honorable mention is going out to Akiri, Line-Slinger because she’s a Boros bad-ass. Seriously, partnering her with Bruse Tarl is how I ended up with one of my most favorite and most aggressive Boros decks I’ve ever built.
4. Novablast Wurm
Selesnya is known for going wide, but this wurm says it has all the width required. At 7/7 the Novablast Wurm is ready to tangle with anything, but won’t have to because it kills everything else. That’s just mythically awesome. It’s only ever been printed once, and it’s still way under $5? Heck, I’m ready to build a big go tall Selesnya deck just to house cards like this. If you’re looking for another unexpected goodie, then check out this honorable mention: Krond the Dawn-Clad. Now, there’s an enchantment Voltron budget build.
5. Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed is indeed a card worth far more than its small price tag. I have loved this card since it was first printed back in Apocalypse. Seeing it reprinted was exciting, but it was only as a mythic, so it was still a little pricey. However, when the 25th anniversary rolled around we got to have it reprinted as a rare, and it’s been super cheap ever since. Now, you could always opt to pick up the judge foil and rock the Shakespeare flavor text, but that requires paying nearly 10 times the price. Our Golgari honorable mention goes to a god that happens to synergize with Pernicious Deed almost as well as planeswalkers: Pharika, God of Affliction. Also, since I’m writing the rules to this article, I’m going to just mention an exclusive zombie synergy card that is dirt cheap, because I can: Michonne, Ruthless Survivor. I don’t care if that Secret Lair drop is taboo, because that card is actually pretty powerful in zombie decks, and it’s also dirt cheap (sorry to anyone that paid full price for it).
6. Master of Cruelties
This is nearly as ridiculous as it can get. Master of Cruelties is able to destroy people without even connecting. If you make it unblockable their life total drops to 1. The Master doesn’t even have to deal damage, so fog effects like Constant Mists don’t work. Rakdos honorable mention goes to my old friend the Defiler of Souls. Having an Abyss effect on the battlefield that doesn’t hit your creatures is extremely powerful, and getting access to it for the price of a bulk rare is a nice bonus.
7. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Planeswalkers can be tricky picks to play in Commander. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas is usually a solid choice in any artifact heavy build. This card has seen play as a Legacy affinity finisher. It has several functions, but they all depend on you having a heavy artifact presence in your deck. Tezzeret is powerful in that you can protect it with the -1, get card advantage with the +1, and actually kill opponents (while padding your life total) with the ultimate. A card that does all that for only four mana is incredibly good. If you’re looking for something Dimir that doesn’t rely on artifacts, then consider picking up Dragonlord Silumgar. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a card as powerful for under $10.
8. Dragonlord Atarka
Dragonlord Atarka is yet another big bad elder dragon. Atarka is seven mana, but wow, those stats are fantastic: 8/8 with flying and trample, and a solid ETB effect. You actually get to knock out a creature or planeswalker that’s problematic when she comes into play. Well, usually 5 damage is enough to knock off most problematic creatures or planeswalkers. Sometimes you can just destroy someone’s utility creatures, broken commander, or other small mana dorks. This card comes in well under budget. If you’re looking for another Gruul card with a different feel, but that can hit even harder, then might I suggest Thromok, the Insatiable? Thromok is a build around card, so I suggest you pick one up and start brewing up a hungry hungry beaters deck.
9. Dack Fayden
I was excited to see that the Secret Lair edition of Dack Fayden is actually under $20. It’s available on the secondary market for anywhere between $15-$20. That’s a very good price for a limited edition printing of a card that has a tremendously powerful effect. I’m not sure if you noticed, but Dack allows you to immediately steal any artifact on the battlefield—permanently steal. That’s a fantastically solid effect for only three mana. You can also use Dack to filter through your deck or threaten everyone and everything with the ultimate. Dack sees play in Vintage…I probably could’ve just said that to communicate how good a card it really is. On another fun note, Izzet offers you access to a very fun card in Arjun, the Shifting Flame. This is a very powerful card to run as either a Commander or in the 99.
10. Kruphix, God of Horizons
Kruphix is a sweet surprise at well under $10. This is a five mana enchantment that happens to create a ridiculous amount of value. Green/Blue decks are known for generating obscene amounts of mana, and if you can’t find something to dump it all into each turn, then you can just stockpile it all with Kruphix. It is very easy to set up a gigantic turn by tapping out before your turn and then untapping with double the mana you otherwise would have had access to. I’ve had many gross turns using this tactic, and it typically leads to winning a game. Kruphix is difficult to deal with as it has indestructible and dodges most enchantment wiping effects and laughs at most targeted removals as well. If you’re looking for a slightly different Simic card to add to your budget list, then I might suggest a beefy card that can also be a build around commander—Tishana, Voice of Thunder. Tishana gives you access to going wide or going taller than a fifty foot woman!
That should wrap up this edition of Commanding your budget. The amount of power that is available to each color and each guild is pretty impressive. Each guild has 20+ mythic rares available for under $20. Most of them even fall under the $10 mark. That’s lots of powerful tools that fit plenty of lower budgets. I may own every card I’ve written about in this series, and I couldn’t say that before I started researching and writing. It’s exciting to know that we have tons of access to fun, powerful cards for very affordable prices. So, remember, don’t get bogged down thinking you have to own every expensive “staple” in Commander. Instead, buck the tradition of “staples”, and embrace the spice and jank that Commander was founded on. Utilize oddball cards and seek out budget effects. Until next time, may your budget and the cards and the odds be ever in your favor!