Commander can be a fickle format, and while there are some cards that are readily identifiable as future format staples, EDH always has the potential to surprise us with a card that comes out of nowhere, picks up popularity and becomes a bit of a mainstay. And with popularity comes an increase in price – so it’s always worth getting in on the ground floor when it comes to potential breakout cards.
Today, we’re going to have a look at some of the cards that have the potential to pick up in value as time passes. I don’t think any of these will become the next Cyclonic Rift or Smothering Tithe, but I do think all of these cards are worth squirrelling away for the future, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they all offer something unique or have a pedigree with a proven track record, and second, they all cost around a dollar, so you’re not giving up much by speculating on them. Let’s get to the list!
10. Barroom Brawl
This card is wild and chaotic and fun and unlike anything we’ve seen before. For that reason – plus the fact that it costs about $.50 – means that I’d be holding onto any copies I open, and looking for it as a throw-in sweetener while trading. I don’t think this card is going to cost $50 any time soon, but it’s the sort of card I wouldn’t be looking to get rid of, just because of how weird and unique it is, and how it has a fun, flavorful appeal that most cards don’t.
9. Jon Irenicus, Shattered One
While we’re talking about unique effects, there’s a certain type of EDH player that will be immediately drawn to this sort of commander as they seek to sow dissent and chaos at the table. For that reason, I’d be looking to pick up and hold copies of Jon Irenicus, purely because his effect is pretty irreplaceable as a commander. Zedruu and other commanders with donate effects don’t come close to the viciousness of Jon Irenicus, and all the self-appointed villains of EDH just love cards like this, so its price will go up in time. .
8. Owlbear Cub
I’m not as confident on Owlbear Cub as some of the others on this list, but right now this card costs less than $2 and is a reasonably reliable way to cheat massive monsters into play. As long as your green deck has a sizeable contingent of huge threats – and what good green deck doesn’t – then attacking with Owlbear Cub can save you bucketloads of mana and turn combat on its head. A worthwhile pickup, I would have thought, for any deck that wants to slam massive beaters into play.
7. Astarion, the Decadent
One of the most unpopular gold commanders in the set, Astarion is having a rough time of it, especially considering his potential in any life gain deck. Liesa is the current darling of Orzhov life gain decks, and before her it was Karlov of the Ghost Council – sure, Astarion is more expensive than both those cards at six mana, but his effect is absolutely bonkers. Double the life you gain each turn? If you set up even a half-decent life gain board before playing this, you’ll gain a total of 10 to 12 life easily the turn he comes down.
6. Your Temple Is Under Attack
Any card that gives the team indestructible is always going to get a good look-in in Commander, and people are already very aware that Your Temple Is Under Attack is one of the best commons in the set in terms of long-term value. Even with it costing $1.50 at the moment, I don’t see that price going anywhere but up. Heroic Intervention, Boros Charm, cards that save your squad from a sweeper are huge, and this once even comes with another mode attached! A really, really bad other mode, but another mode all the same.
5. Wild Magic Surge
Just as with Your Temple Is Under Attack, we turn to the pedigree of the card as we evaluate Wild Magic Surge. This card Is struck from the same mold as Chaos Warp, although unlike Chaos Warp, your opponent can’t whiff. Sometimes, however, you just need a permanent gone, and “unconditional” red removal like this doesn’t come along all that often. Between its pedigree and relatively unique effect, therefore, I’m happy to sit on copied of Wild Magic Surge.
4. Lae’zel’s Acrobatics
There might be a fair bit of personal bias in this one, but Lae’zel’s Acrobatics is a potentially-better Ghostway or Eerie Interlude, and neither of those cards are cheap. Sure, it costs an extra mana, but in the deck that want this – value-laden blink decks – they’ll be happy to trade one extra mana for a 55 percent chance at double triggers. When I looked to see how much this card cost so I could put it in my four-color blink deck, I was very happily surprised to see how cheap it was, and I don’t think its low price is sustainable over the long term.
3. Jaheira’s Respite
I think this card is criminally underrated. Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I find myself in situations where Jaheira’s Respite would be absolutely bonkers, but when I’m trying to ramp up to my Avengers of Zendikar and Craterhoof Behemoths, I need ways to both defend my life total and put lands into play. This does both at the same time, and any ramp deck that doesn’t play defensive early-game cards while threatening people with Phylath and Zacama from the command zone will welcome Jaheira’s Respite as a way to keep the land count and the life total nice and high.
2. Firbolg Flutist
It’s not all that often that they put an Act of Treason effect on a creature like this, and the fact that that creature gets juiced up with myriad makes it all the sweeter. Ordinarily, Act of Treason effects lose out on one of the most important parts of a creature – its enter-the-battlefield effect – but the Flutist gives you that in spades, copying the card it steals with the myriad trigger and letting you enjoy multiple ETB triggers as a result. This card is heavily underrated, I suspect, and I’d be keen to pick up copies while it’s so cheap.
1. Myrkul, Lord of Bones
Myrkul is easily the most popular new commander to come out of Battle for Baldur’s Gate in terms of the sheer volume of decks built around it, and it’s still a $.50 card. This card is priced to move, and I predict that even in a year or so it will be amongst the most popular Abzan commanders (not that the competition is all that stiff). With a conjunction of enchantress, sacrifice and token-making synergies – plus an infinite combo with Devoted Druid – Myrkul looks like one of the biggest sleepers in this set, and I wouldn’t waste time in securing copies of it.