Traderous Instinct – A Financial Review of Commander, Part 5

Red Rover, Red Rover…

Welcome to part five of my seven-part series on the financial value of Commander!

Today, we’re catching red fever. And while any actual ‘reds’ might not approve of my column, (since they believe that every card should be worth the same amount) red mages will should enjoy my analysis of one of the more fun colors in the game.

Red, of course, is the color of passion and aggression. It’s about sacrificing tomorrow for the glory of the now. Red decks come out of the gates fast and angry, and have been beating down in the early turns since before the days of Paul Sligh and his eponymous deck.

At first blush, red’s MO seems ill-suited for Commander. After all, life totals in this format are double what they usually are, so a bolt to the brain is only half as effective. Furthermore, red only has a small number of ‘tier 1’ burn spells – certainly not enough for a full Commander deck.

This, in a roundabout way, is why the format is so interesting. In 60-card constructed, red keeps all the other colors honest. If the metagame starts to gravitate toward five and six drops with no early defense, Goblin Guide will show up and ruin the party.

But in Commander, that doesn’t happen. While some decks will explode with mana rocks and tutors in the first few turns, it’s rare you’ll see a start capable of dealing lethal by turn 3 or 4 the way, say, Kuldotha Red can in Standard.

So what exactly *is* red’s place in Commander?

Aggressive red decks are certainly possible, and they can be very effective in 1 on 1 matches. I’ve seen Commander Goblin decks capable of spewing out a ton of little red men very quickly. However, I won’t be covering many of those cards here. Most of them are only good in linear, niche strategies and can’t really be called ‘staples’ of the format. If you’re looking to build an aggressive red Commander deck, search out a Legacy goblins or burn list and start there.

I am mostly going to look more at red midrange, control, and combo cards this week. Most of these cards are equally good in mono-red decks as they are in multi-colored decks, so feel free to brew to your heart’s content. Red brings a lot to the table besides pure aggression.

For example, red’s best cards give you access to the following:

– Mass removal effects that take out large swaths of permanents, not just creatures or lands.
– Scaling mass removal that can either clear weenies out of the way or wipe the whole board.
– Dragons.
– Haste.
– Spot removal.
– The ability to temporarily steal permanents or creatures for use in one-off combat phases.
– X spells that can take out a creature or go for the dome.
– Land destruction.
– Minor/weak tutors.
– Cards designed to make the game either simpler or more chaotic – disrupting sneaky, techy colors (like blue) either way.

Popular aggressive red generals include:


Popular Goblin generals include:


(and no, Goblin General doesn’t count)

Popular mono-red combo/control & midrange generals include:


Popular multi-colored red generals include:


Card-By-Card Analysis

For those who didn’t read my first article, let me start by explaining my methodology.

During this guide, I will be evaluating each card on a scale from one to ten based on three distinct categories:

Trade Appeal: How desirable is the card? Often there will be great cards with very low trade appeal because few people know about them yet. Cards with very high trade appeal are extremely sought-after Commander staples that I can’t keep in my binder to save my life.

Please note that this score is based solely on my own experience. Since the format is relatively new and very diverse, your experiences may vary completely as different cards will have ‘caught on’ in your area. This is also another reason to trade as much as possible in new areas!

Undervalued: Do I think the card will go up in value? I am not talking about the immediate future, but rather the long term future of the format. Undervalued cards are usually easy to trade higher than their book value and are cards that I will trade for at book value without missing a beat.

Likelihood of Reprint: Do I think this card will be reprinted? Since Wizards is making Commander pre-cons later this year, it stands to reason that many of the best Commander cards will be reprinted in them. While the print runs should be low enough to prevent the value of a card from tanking too hard, it will nonetheless hurt the trade appeal of the card. Often, cards with a high reprint number have already been reprinted in multiple sets or duel decks.

Of all the categories I weigh, this is the one that is the least scientific. Luckily, it is also the least important. I have no idea what is actually going to be reprinted, so this is mostly just my own educated guess.

It is good to know, however, which cards are on the reserve list. While Wizards will sometimes make a nearly functional reprint of a card on the list, (see: Fork and Reverberate) the more unique reserve-list cards are generally the safest possible investments you can make.

Important note: Many of the staples of Commander have their values tied much more closely to their playability in other formats. Imperial Recruiter for example, is a totally sweet Commander card. But since it is also an essential Legacy card, I won’t be bringing it up here.

I may bring up some cards that have uses in other formats, but in those cases I will be keeping my review aimed solely at their future in Commander. These will usually be cards that are low enough in value that I think Commander playability will affect their price. (Example: Akroma, Angel of Fury.)

I also will not be listing recent commons and uncommons that still trade at very low prices. While it’s true that Lightning Bolt is fine in a mono-red Commander deck, I don’t think you’ll have a problem getting one.

All prices are from Channelfireball when possible. If Channelfireball doesn’t have a price listed, I will be using prices from other large and well known singles sites. Please note that some foil prices are ‘out of stock’, and thus might not accurately reflect the cost of acquiring that foil on the open market.

Akroma, Angel of Fury
Akroma, Angel of Fury – Planar Chaos – $4.00 ($20.00 Foil)

In Commander, the red Akroma might be even better than the white one. Since there’s less spot removal, the protection effects are often more relevant, allowing you to randomly mise wins against two very popular and powerful colors. Her morph ability is fun, too, and can be quite a blowout if your opponent doesn’t know she’s in your deck. She’s also got a body that won’t quit in, uh, most every sense of the word.

Unlike Akroma 1.0, this gal was only printed in one set, and that set is getting older by the second. There aren’t too many of these in casual trade binders anymore, either, since it is a playable card in Legacy. Angel collectors want her, and she’s a reasonable Commander general as well as a role-player. What more do you want?

Pick her up at retail, and you’ll have no issue moving her for $5+ to the right trader. I see her value climbing over the years solely due to casual demand.

I doubt she’ll come back in a pre-con, though it’s never good to underestimate the chances of From the Vault: Akroma seeing print one of these years.

Trade Appeal: 8
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Anger – Judgment – $1.50 ($5.00 Foil)

Oh Commander, you slay me sometimes. For years I’d buy collections, separating out all the copies of uncommons that I thought could be worth something from the thousands of copies of Bog Raiders that clearly weren’t. Then I’d check the prices online and be astonished that some of the cards I kept seeing people play with in their casual decks were still basically bulk. So back into the collection morass they’d go to be sold off in repacks and pre-built collections.

Anger was one of those cards, and now it’s worth a buck fifty because there’s finally fewer Angers than there are people who want to play with him.

Anger is quite a fun little guy. I mean, first of all, he REALLY hates Kamahl’s mailbox. Look! He’s about to bash it into little pieces!

Then he can run around the table, hitting people for two until someone decides to block him and let all of your dudes get haste for the rest of the game. And while this seems insignificant, if your red deck is awesome enough it totally isn’t. Also, casting Buried Alive in a Jund-colored deck for this, Braun, and Filth is about as close to a 4-mana Akroma’s Memorial as you’re going to get.

As an aside about anger, I recommend everyone check out a cartoon show called Dan Vs. It’s on The Hub, which is a brand new cable channel that debuted about two months ago. I started watching it because a friend of mine works on it, but it’s really started to grow on me. It’s not quite sure if it wants to be for kids or adults, and the tone suffers for it. But if you like over-the-top angry protagonists hating on wacky things (each episode is Dan verses something…like Dan vs. ninjas, say, or Dan vs. traffic) then I recommend checking it out.

But back to the card Anger. You can pick these up under a buck, and I still think it’s slightly undervalued – this is a $2 card if it doesn’t get reprinted. I do think there’s a better than even shot it’ll be back in one of the Commander pre-cons, though.

Trade Appeal: 4
Undervalued: 6
Likelihood of Reprint: 6

Banefire – Conflux – $3.00 ($5.00 Foil)

I love red X spells like this, especially foil copies where the fire just leaps off the cardboard. Banefire (and companion piece Demonfire) feel to me like the essence of what being a red mage is all about: grab all your mana, wrap it up into a big ball, and shoot it at something with an unstoppable amount of force.

I recommend throwing a copy of this in your red decks if you aren’t already. It’s nice to have a little bit of late game reach, and the knowledge that you can unequivocally put someone down after the board stalls out. It’s a powerful feeling, and it’s an especially good effect combined with black or blue tutors.

$3 is a little high for a card that never really took off in standard and doesn’t seem to have a place in Extended or Legacy. It’s still quite powerful, though, and should hold causal value for some time to come.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 3
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Bogardan Hellkite
Bogardan Hellkite – Time Spiral – $2.00 ($5.00 Foil)

This would be a sleeper-and-a-half if it hadn’t been re-printed in Magic 2010. One of the most powerful dragons ever, Bogardan Hellkite packs quite a wallop. Five damage should be enough to kill one or two problem creatures at any point in the game, and doming them isn’t half bad, either.

At $2 each, pick these up before they get scarce again. There’s no reason that every Commander player shouldn’t have a set of Hellkites for one deck or another. After all, it’s pretty much the poster child of the “threat plus answer” philosophy that the format thrives on.

Trade Appeal: 4
Undervalued: 6
Likelihood of Reprint: 7

Boom//Bust – Planar Chaos – $0.50 ($4.00 Foil)

Boom! That’s the sound of you never using boom, unless you really need to get rid of that pesky Maze of Ith.

Bust! That’s the sound of Armageddon still being good at 6 mana.

One of the ways that red decks can make games of Commander go their way is by establishing early aggression and then destroying all lands, making sure that everyone holding hands with 6 and 7 mana spells is locked out of the game. This works best in conjunction with white, where you can snag a few more ‘geddon effects as well as some speedy soldier beatdown.

This is a useful tool that shouldn’t be floundering at $0.50. You can easily trade this at a buck, buck fifty all day long.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 9
Likelihood of Reprint: 2

Comet Storm
Comet Storm – Worldwake – $2.00 ($2.00 Prerelease Foil)

My favorite local game store gives out a participation foil every night after FNM. If you play in the event and stay until the end, you’ll get your pick of one foil from a pile of gateway, game day, FNM, release, and prerelease cards that otherwise went unclaimed.

For a long time, it was mostly just a pile of Woolly Thoctars, Sprouting Thrinaxes, and Malfegors. Every week, my friend Kyle and I would take a Malfegor and “illustrate” him in funny and amazing ways.

Then, one day last summer, Kyle and I noticed that the Malfegors were almost gone! For a brief period of time we tried a “Save the Malfegors” campaign in the hopes that none of the other FNMers would pick him and he could stay in the crappy foil bin forever. Alas, our efforts only served to hasten the disappearance of the Malfegors.

Now they’re long gone.

What does this have to do with Comet Storm? Much like Malfegor, this was a fairly unpopular prerelease foil. It never saw much (or any) Standard play and there are a lot of them about. This is currently the longest-running foil in the ‘post-FNM pile,’ and there are still loads of them left.

That said, this is a fairly underrated card. In Commander, this is a superlative effect, and it has a ton of power and versatility. Pick these up now – they’re all over the place, and no one values them too highly. In a few years when these aren’t in binders anymore, you’ll wish you had your set.

Trade Appeal: 4
Undervalued: 6
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Decree of Annihilation
Decree of Annihilation – Scourge – $0.50 ($3.00 Foil)

Holy undervalued card, Batman! This is the third best decree, and it’s certainly worth more than fifty cents. It seems a lot of people haven’t figured out how powerful red Armageddon effects are in this format, but that will change as deck building matures. Versatility is awesome, too, and this card basically says, “Have enough mana? Ok. If you’re winning on the board, do this. If you’re losing, do this other thing.”

Either way, you’ve just gained massive control over the game.

Foil versions of this are especially underpriced. Pick them up when possible.

Trade Appeal: 5
Undervalued: 8
Likelihood of Reprint: 3

Gamble – Urza’s Saga – $7.00 (No Foil Available)

Most Magic players love to gamble, even if they’re too nervous or cheap to do it themselves. The next level credit card game that the pros play is too rich for my blood, but I’m still endlessly fascinated by it. Regardless, the extent of my gambling this year is probably going to be the $20 I’m going to put on my fantasy baseball team and possibly another couple of bucks if I somehow end up in Vegas. I mean, you never know, right?

Of course, Gamble isn’t really much of a gamble. If you play it early, you’ll likely get to keep the card you want. If, however, Gamble is the only card in your hand…then you’ve just got a one-red-mana Entomb! This is especially good with generals like Bladewing the Risen.

Regardless, this is pretty much the best tutor that red will ever get. It’s a very powerful spell, and still has room to grow at $7. I wouldn’t be shocked if it starts to see more Legacy play at some point, either. That would really send the value soaring.

Trade Appeal: 8
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 2

Godo, Bandit Warlord
Godo, Bandit Warlord – Champions of Kamigawa – $0.50 ($4.00 Foil)

There’s a subgroup of people that use Godo as their general. They are the Godo people.

The thing about Godo people is that their love for Godo eclipses any love I’ve seen anyone else have for any other general. Godo people LOVE their Godo decks. They love them a lot.

And, of course, Godo decks are only getting better with each successive equipment being printed.

Even if you don’t want to build a Godo deck, he’s probably worth putting in your mono-red deck if you have three or four swords. The card advantage he supplies is too great to ignore, and he can hit like an absolute train.

This card is super undervalued at $0.50, and the foil is criminally undervalued at $4.00. Pick these up out of bulk bins, and trade aggressively for the foils.

Trade Appeal: 7
Undervalued: 9
Likelihood of Reprint: 3

[draft]Hellkite Charger[/draft]
Hellkite Charger – Zendikar – $1.00 ($2.00 Foil)

There’s not a lot of money to be made in Hellkite Charger, a recent, casual-only rare with an into pack foil. Just keep him in the back of your mind as a good trade sweetening throw-in. He *can* instantly kill the whole table if you’ve got infinite mana and they don’t have flyers, but even dealing 10 a turn is nothing to shake a stick at. I wouldn’t actively pick these up, but I wouldn’t shy away from them either.

Trade Appeal: 3
Undervalued: 5
Likelihood of Reprint: 7

Insurrection – Onslaught – $1.50 ($5.00 Foil)

There’s an old adage when reviewing Magic sets that goes something like, “If a card is going to cost X mana, it had better win you the game.” Well, Insurrection does cost a ton of mana, but more likely than not it will win you the game immediately upon being cast.

Most Commander games either end before you can reach Insurrection mana or they end up as giant creature stalemates where no one can really do much. Insurrection positively mops the floor with those latter games.

This was an undervalued card last year at $1.00. It was an undervalued card the year before at $0.50. It’s an undervalued card now at $1.50, and it’ll still be undervalued next year at $2. Even though they’ve already reprinted it once and I bet they’ll reprint it again, pick these up. I have one in every single red Commander deck I have, and you might want to think about doing the same thing.

Trade Appeal: 7
Undervalued: 8
Likelihood of Reprint: 8

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Jaya Ballard – Time Spiral – $0.50 ($0.50 Fire & Lightning Foil)

It doesn’t matter if the reprint Jaya again or not. The market has been flooded already.

A once-proud legend, Jaya was printed twice more after Time Spiral – once as an ugly Wal-Mart foil, and again in Premium Decks: Fire and Lightning. That means that there are roughly a hundred billion of them kicking around. And many people who bought 4 Fire and Lightning boxes for the Chain Lightnings have a full playset of Jaya sitting in their trade binders.

That said, Jaya is super versatile when she does see play, and is excellent in Commander. Don’t overpay for this card in trade, though – it looks like the foil should be worth $3-$4, but it sells for under a buck. Of course, this can be advantageous if you can pick some up and retail and don’t have qualms about trying to flip ‘em for a couple bucks each. You might have to wait out the Fire and Lightning saturation, though. These suckers really are everywhere.

Trade Appeal: 2
Undervalued: 4
Likelihood of Reprint: 6

Jokulhaups – Ice Age – $1.00 (No Foil Available)

If you play this card when someone is about to win and FNM is about to start, then you are a jerkulhaups.

Conversely, if you’re playing at home and you’ve got some time, try the following:

During your main phase, before casting Jokulhaups, calmly tap six mana and get out of your seat. Walk over to the kitchen sink and turn it on. Then walk to the bathroom and turn on that sink, too. Then turn on the shower. Then walk back to your seat, cup your ear, and ask your opponents if they hear anything.

Then you shout “OH NO! IT’S A JOKULHAUPS!” or perhaps something even more clever. You’re a smart guy/gal – you’ll think of something.

At any rate, this is the single easiest card from Ice Age to trade away. More so than Zuran Orb or even Necropotence. That says more about how bad Ice Age is than how good Jokulhaups is, though. Snag these as throw-ins, because you’ll be able to get retail for it quite easily.

Trade Appeal: 7
Undervalued: 6
Likelihood of Reprint: 3

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs – Worldwake – $0.50 ($2.00 Foil)

Just because this guy is a 50-cent card from Worldwake doesn’t mean he isn’t super good in Commander. Kazuul shuts down opposing token decks by himself, and provides a wonderful “rattlesnake” defense against everyone else. Chances are, people will either undervalue the 3/3 tokens and allow you to build up an army or overvalue them and never attack you. Either way, you’ve got an ogre, a moat, and some friends.

Kazuul does suffer from “Browbeat” syndrome in that he’ll never really stop an opponent from killing you if they’ve got a good enough attack, but in the midgame his effect is exactly what you want.

They’re not easy to trade or undervalued for the moment, but if Commander survives this card will be a $2-$3 gem a couple of years from now.

Trade Appeal: 4
Undervalued: 5
Likelihood of Reprint: 5

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Kiki Jiki, Mirror Breaker – Champions of Kamigawa – $5.00 ($15.00 Foil)

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a problem trading away a Kiki Jiki. This is the sort of card that combo players dream about, and he’s been the driving force behind two different tier-1 combos: classic Tooth and Nail (for Kiki/Darksteel Colossus) and Kiki/Pestermite.

Kiki is a really fun general in nearly any mono-red deck, and makes for an awesome role-player in multi-colored decks. As one of the only 5+ CMC cards that should keep seeing fringe eternal play from time to time, Kiki might even be undervalued at $5. This is one of the most desirable cards in the color, and you should pick these up when you can.

Trade Appeal: 9
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 2

Knollspine Dragon
Knollspine Dragon – Shadowmoor – $1.00 ($3.00 Foil)

I’ve always had a dopey dragon deck around in one form or another, and the first commander deck I ‘seriously’ built had Bladewing the Risen as its general. I still have it and love it, though I haven’t taken it for a spin in far too long.

That’s probably because the deck’s winning percentage is around 20%, although I’m pretty sure at least half of its wins were due to the card advantage generated by this guy. (And the other half by a card later on this list…)

Red decks live to deal damage, and not many have ways to generate card advantage. As long as you have any sort of board presence, this card usually says, “Draw 5. Then you get a dragon.”

This card is undervalued at a buck, trades reasonably well, and is really cool-looking too. Pick ‘em up at retail and don’t trade ‘em for under $2.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Molten Disaster
Molten Disaster – Future Sight – $0.50 ($5.00 Foil)

Throughout the history of red, there have been a lot of ‘Earthquake’ effects that hit ground creatures and players alike. Split second is a really underrated ability, especially in a color that feels extra vulnerable to a well-timed counterspell. That makes this the best of the [card]Earthquake[/card]s, so if you’re going to run one, pick Molten Disaster.

That should make this card worth more than fifty freaking cents, no?

Trade Appeal: 5
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 5

Obliterate – Invasion – $1.00 ($6.00 Foil)

I could’ve put Devastation here as well, but Obliterate is more iconic and has a better-sounding name. Sorry, Devastation fans.

Obliterate is good when you play fairly with it, and it’s even better when you don’t. I have a deck that wins by Obliterating after I have 4-5 planeswalkers on the board, all of whom survive the spell that kills nearly every other permanent.

Then, of course, there’s the strategy of suspending Obliterate with Jhoira of the Ghitu and then suspending all your other spells a turn later.

Regardless, this is a powerful reset button. Not to mention the fact that destroying the world is fun!

This card trades briskly at a buck, and it is worth $2-$3 to the right person.

Trade Appeal: 5
Undervalued: 6
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Price of Glory
Price of Glory – Odyssey – $0.50 ($1.50 Foil)

This is the sort of card that red mages love because it invalidates one of the other colors’ best weapons against it. The true price of glory, though, is the price that will be on your head once you play this card. The blue mages at the table might not like having all their instants turned into sorceries, and they may decide to take their anger out on your face.

But you’ve got Kazuul on the table too, right? Man, what a beating!

Seriously, though – no one knows about this card. No one. You can find it for a nickel or a dime pretty much everywhere, and you’ll be able to trade it to all manner of red Commander mages once you point out to them what it does. The ‘2’ in ‘Trade Appeal’ is for lack of name recognition, not card quality.

Trade Appeal: 2
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 3

Rakka Mar
Rakka Mar – Conflux – $0.50 ($2.00 Foil)

Rakka is a sweet general, and her ability is quite good anywhere in your deck. Most people won’t block her elementals, not wanting to lose to some stupid expendable tokens.

But the secret of Rakka is that the elementals don’t even die at end of turn – they stick around!

Rakka gives you a more-than-fair 5 power for 5 mana, three of which has haste, and a free ‘card’ each turn after that. If her tap ability were free, she would have been a constructed powerhouse. In Commander, though, that additional cost is quite affordable.

Rakka is slightly undervalued, though I do expect a re-print at some point. She’s still not a bad medium-term investment, though, and should trade to the right person.

Trade Appeal: 4
Undervalued: 6
Likelihood of Reprint: 6

Rimescale Dragon
Rimescale Dragon – Coldsnap – $0.50 ($6.00 Foil)

Let it snow!

This dragon is the secret weapon in my Bladewing deck, and it is the sole reason why I ran an entirely snow-covered mana base. Dragons usually win by pounding their opponents in the head until they’re dead, but this one wins by allowing you to permanently tap down your opponent’s army.

Then you can pound your opponent in the head until they’re dead.

Rimescale Dragon isn’t a well-known piece of tech, but it should be. As an awesome fatty from a small set, this should hold a higher price tag than it does.

Trade Appeal: 4
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 2

Siege-Gang Commander
Siege-Gang Commander– Scourge – $3.00 ($5.00 Foil)

This card usually has its price affected by constructed playability, but it’s experiencing a bit of a lull at the moment. Rest assured, though. It will be back, and it will see standard play again.

In commander, Siege-Gang is quite invaluable. It’s awesome in nearly every deck, from the speedy goblin brews to the slow control builds. It can give you chump blockers, firepower, and burn all at once. Versatility is hard to find in a single-minded color, so be sure to use cards like this when you find them.

Oh – and it has ‘commander’ right in the name!

This card is a bit undervalued at the moment simply because it should trade at $5 if it comes back in a small set. Be careful, though – if it’s re-printed in, say, M12 and doesn’t see immediate play, the value may drop to $1.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 4
Likelihood of Reprint: 8

Taurean Mauler
Taurean Mauler – Morningtide – $1.00 ($4.00 Foil)

Sometime every deck need big dumb cow. This one even a goblin too!

Value be hurt by reprint, but still good card.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 5
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Viashino Heretic
Viashino Heretic – Urza’s Legacy – $0.50 ($10.00 Foil)

This card is usually pretty sweet, but it’s especially good right now as everyone is busy trying to fit artifacts from the current block into their decks. A repeatable Shatter is already pretty good, but don’t overlook the damage this guy can do in a format where 5 and 6 mana artifacts are the norm.

This card is way, WAY undervalued at $0.50. If Anger is at $1.50, this should be $2 and climbing. I’ve built red decks without this guy, but I’m pretty sure not including him was a mistake.

Trade Appeal: 5
Undervalued: 9
Likelihood of Reprint: 2

Vicious Shadows
Vicious Shadows – Shards of Alara – $0.50 ($1.50 Foil)

Next to Insurrection, this is probably the card on this list that is most likely to straight-up kill someone out of nowhere. Not only do creatures die constantly in this format, but hand sizes regularly max out above seven with Reliquary Towers being the norm rather than the exception.

It’s time for you to get beyond the fact that this card was a sealed and draft punchline and focus on how absurd it is in 100-card casual. This seven mana enchantment is only worth fifty cents, but I bet you can snag ‘em for a dime apiece if you try. Seriously – people loathe this card, and they shouldn’t.

Trade Appeal: 3
Undervalued: 5
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune – Revised – $10.00 ($20.00 Judge Foil)

I had a pretty good write-up for this card done, but then my computer decided to freeze Word and put it in the recycling bin, allowing me to draw a new hand of seven blank lines of text.

I’ll repeat the only salient point: most people think this is a $5 card, but it is actually a $10 card. Use that to your advantage.

Trade Appeal: 8
Undervalued: 3
Likelihood of Reprint: 0 (On Reserve List)

Wild Ricochet
Wild Ricochet – Lorwyn – $1.00 ($4.00 Foil)

Fork and Reverberate are decent but unspectacular Commander cards.

Wild Ricochet, on the other hand, is AMAZING. Whatever awesome spell your opponent just cast is not only redirected to you, but then you get a copy for yourself. It’s like a counterspell plus a draw 2! That’s better than Cryptic Command! (Situationally…)

The ricochet may be wild, but the undervaluation of this card is even wilder. Pick ‘em up for a buck all day long.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 8
Likelihood of Reprint: 4

Word of Seizing
Word of Seizing – Time Spiral – $0.50 ($4.00 Foil)

We’ve established that I’m a sucker for Split second, but I seriously do love this card. It can steal a game, get you out of a bind, or just provide some good old fashioned chaotic fun.

Time Spiral was a heavily-drafted set, but it’s getting old now. This is an undervalued pickup that I recommend putting on your radar.

Trade Appeal: 6
Undervalued: 7
Likelihood of Reprint: 3

Well, much like every time I play red, I came out to a roaring start with this article but now I’ve run out of gas. Tune in next week for more trading advice and fun!

Oh – and if you have anything you’d like me to cover in a future article, don’t hesitate to bring it up in the comments. I’m always looking for suggestions.

– Chas Andres

20 thoughts on “Traderous Instinct – A Financial Review of Commander, Part 5”

  1. You are missing a few cards I like the most in my red decks, like savage beating for example (talk about beatings…) But all in all pretty good.

  2. I feel Dragonstorm is worth mentioning. I’m playing an extremely artifact heavy Bosh, Iron Golem deck and still run Dragonstorm because the utility and card advantage is insane. The choice of (generally) at least 2 of the following is generally just ridiculous:

    Steel Hellkite
    Bogardan Hellkite
    Thunder Dragon (surprised you didn’t bring up this or Magma Giant)
    Knollspine Dragon
    Hoard-smelter Dragon (with so many artifacts becoming popular, as you said, this guy’s very strong right now. Especially good in artifact-centered decks because you can pop your own stuff [Darksteel Forge, Spine of Ish Sah, etc.] to go in for tons of damage)
    and all the awesome dragons of other colors – Hellkite Overlord, Bladewing the Risen, etc.

  3. I kinda like the red enchantment where you get unlimited attackphases (well it costs 3RR so it’s not unlimited per se).

  4. Nobody ever mentions my favourite red card, Goblin Game, the gobliniest (yes that’s a word) of cards!

    Great rundown though, as always it gave me some new ideas for my decks.

  5. No mention of Thraximundar? Awesome colors and a great way to keep people’s generals off the table post-wrath.

  6. I feel that Warp World is left out in the cold. Being the ultimate Johnny card, this is one you can pick up for $.50 and trade up for $1-2. While being in M10 made it less scarce, it is pretty popular with the crowd who likes big stupid and “random” effects.

    Some other cards that are low now and probably won’t stay that way:
    Hoarding Dragon
    Reiterate (You can still find them for less than a buck, but the stock is dwindling. Time Spiral is only getting older and this card is not that likely for a reprint).
    Reverberate (Barring an M12 appearance, these will rise as the Fire/Lightning Release nuked a lot of their value)

  7. Jokulhaups should be always played only and only with Taniwha. And it always should definetly to be played with it coss Taniwha Jokulhaups combo is just best thing mtg have to offer for casual players. 🙂

  8. i don’t think taniwha and jokylhops interact… jokulhops is a sorcery, and mana doesn’t carry over across steps..

  9. @Bugsy – Good to know. They love reprinting that card. It’s still awesome, though.

    @Vile – Good call about Savage Beating. That IS a beating! Great name, too.

    @Tagonte – Dragonstorm certainly needs to be built around, but is super good in the right deck. I run it in my Bladewing deck, and it’s pretty tech.

    @Sasquatch – How could I forget Thraximundar! If you need a general to deliver the best death metal performance that Grixis has ever seen, he’s your man!

    @BelcherSucks – Good call on those cards. They’re all solid. Warp World is an odd card, because my red decks are always full of spells and so I can never seem to get full value out of it. But when I’m playing green and someone casts it against me? Oh man.

    @kgb – Yeah, I don’t see how this works. Jokulhaups is a sorcery. Unless you’re playing both in your Jhoira deck…

    @Chaos_Theory- Part 4 is mislabled in the archives. Find it here: http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/chas-andres-traderous-instinct/

  10. Umm like the turn that taniwha is phased out you cast jokulhaups. Then the next turn she comes back, and you get to beat for 7 every other turn on an empty board. Best. combo. ever.

  11. Chas I really enjoy your articles. Keep up the good work.

    Here are two good ones that didn’t make the cut.
    Goblin Bombardment from Tempest. It’s great in a token deck as you can just start flinging all of your guys when the life totals are low enough. It can also punish white mage for wrathing if you fling 10 dudes their way. I also use it in my Sedris EDH deck. With Living End, Living Death, or Twilights Call on the stack I fling my whole team at someone’s dome and then I get all of my creatures back.

    The other good card is Goblin Assault from Shards of Alara. It’s great in a goblin deck but it can also be god for sacrifice fodder for things like the aforementioned Goblin Bombardment, Skull Clamp, devour creatures, Phyrexian Plague Lord. There are alot of great things to do in commander with a free guy every turn.

  12. dude i gota say that yes i am a godo person.. i have a blast with my godo deck.. right now it is my only commander (puke) deck that i own.. i have had it together since i first discovered edh (the o.g.).. my deck can play aggressive, midrange, or kinda controlling.. godo turn 2-3 snagging greeves and swinging hurts people…

  13. I’d really like a goblins commander article. If you could write one just for me that would be great 😛 Maybe just a decklist you’ve known to work?

  14. Ahhh… seeing a list with a lot of land destruction cards always gives a warm feeling. I admit not having heard about Price of Glory before. NOW I MUST GET THAT CARD!!

    I think Thoughts of Ruin deserves a mention here. It’s tricky to use but it can get people off guard and just like Geddon it comes on turn 4, giving aggro decks some extra turns of bashing.

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