You'll be getting a lot more of my overall thoughts about the set next week, including Collector Boosters and etched foils, but first I've got to continue my card-by-card review. Buckle up—we've got a lot of ground to cover, including many of the most interesting cards in the set.
Akroma, Vision of Ixidor is a lot more niche than White's current marquee high-CMC angel, Avacyn, Angel of Hope. While Avacyn can come down and protect your whole board no matter what, Akroma more or less requires you to have an army already in play—and that army has to be full of creatures with multiple keywords. Akroma's application is probably best in a Boros deck, partnering with a more aggressive Commander who can come down early and start the assault. That will allow you to cast Akroma late in the game to mop things up, almost like an Overrun.
This is a fine deck to brew, but it's not super unique or exciting, and I can't imagine it'll be popular enough to lift Akroma, Vision of Ixidor into even the second tier of popular mythic rares. Let's call this a future $3-$5 card.
Sakashima of a Thousand Faces seems fantastic. Blue is one of the best colors in Commander as it is, and there are any number of good Partner options for Sakashima. Clones have a pretty high baseline of playability regardless, and the fact that you can run Sakashima out to double up on your Legendary creatures makes this one of the more unique Commanders ever printed.
There currently aren't any copies of Sakashima of a Thousand Faces pre-ordering on TCGplayer for less than $30, though, and I don't want to spend that much. Regardless, it's clear that Sakashima is a card on the rise right now. It began pre-ordering for $6-$8, and it's currently worth at least $15-$20. Long term, I'd expect this one to stay in the $10+ range. If you want a copy, look to snag it a few weeks after the set drops when supply is at peak.
Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools is terrific. Not only is this planeswalker a powerful Commander, but I can think of quite a few decks where I'd want to run Tevesh Szat as a value engine in my 99. Aristocrats-style decks really want Tevesh Szat, as will anyone who wants to mess around with its flashy ultimate ability. Honestly, the only thing I don't love about Tevesh Szat is that it's going to be a massive lightning rod for any planeswalker removal at the table. It's good, but its power level is quite obvious.
Ultimately, I think Tevesh Szat is unlikely to drop too far below $10. It has trended down from $20 and is approaching $16 as the pre-order period comes to an end, so it should drop a bit more once the set releases. Tevesh Szat is likely to hold its value well, though, because it's one of the more "wow" mythics in the set. Tevesh Szat is a fine card to snag on release weekend if you want to play with it, and it should be a popular card over the long haul as well.
I really want to compare Triumphant Reckoning to Rise of the Dark Realms, since both cards are nine-mana sorceries that bring a lot of stuff back from the graveyard under your control. I can't do it in good conscience, though. Not only would I rather get all the creatures back than artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers, but Rise of the Dark Realms gives you everybody's dead creatures. Triumphant Reckoning only cares about your own graveyard.
Instead of being like Rise of the Dark Realms, Triumphant Reckoning is more like a nine-mana Open the Vaults with upside. I like that Triumphant Reckoning doesn't give your opponents' back their stuff as well, which means that you can run this as a value engine instead of solely as a combo piece if you want, but I still don't think it's great. This is a future $2-$3 mythic with moderate upside.
Yuck. For nine mana, I want a card that's actually going to kill things. Soulfire Eruption guarantees nothing, and the best part of this card is honestly the fact that you'll gain access to a few extra cards next turn. That's decent, but for nine mana? I'll pass, thanks. Future bulk mythic.
Reshape the Earth is a nine-mana card that's well worth it in the right deck. The key here is that you can search up any sorts of lands you want, not just basics, making this sort of a superpowered Boundless Realms. You can do all sorts of wacky things with Maze's End, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Magosi, the Waterveil, and more.
I haven't seen any cards spike because of [[Reshape the Earth'' yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changes over the next few days. Golos seems to be seeing at least a small surge in demand, and it could end up in the $8-$10 range before long:
As for Reshape the Earth itself, the card seems pretty stable in the $5-$8 range for now. This is definitely a card with solid long-term potential, and it'll be pretty high on my list of pick-ups once the set reaches peak supply toward the end of the year. Cards that fetch lands are rarely bad investments, even if they're expensive.
I haven't seen much excitement for Archon of Coronation yet. It dropped from $5 to about $2.50 during the pre-order period, which makes it one of the cheapest mythic rares in the set right now. I'm not all that high on Archon of Coronation at the moment—it's not easy to make this thing work, since taking damage will still cost you the monarchy—but it's the exact kind of card I can see spiking on some future date when WotC prints another exciting new "Monarchy Matters" Commander. I'm going to try to snag a few of these at bulk mythic rates over the coming months if I can.
Mana Drain was selling between $140 and $150 before it was previewed in Commander Legends, but the price has dropped down to $85 in the days since then. Take a look:
That's a loss of just over 40% of its overall value, which is about right for a mythic rare in a Masters set. Commander Legends packs are cheaper than Masters packs, though, and this set is also going to be printed in heavier quantities.
My guess is that Mana Drain ends up in the $60-$70 range, at least temporarily, since a lot of its current value is still due to latent price memory from when this card had only been printed in Legends. As with most cards in this set, I'd pick up your copies in late December when the market hits its seasonal lull and supply reaches a peak.
Hellkite Courser is an underrated card that you should look to pick up as soon as possible. Courser combos with so many Commanders, and the fact that it's a 6/5 Dragon on top of that is icing on the cake. At the very least, Hellkite Courser is an auto-include in Ur-Dragon and Bladewing the Risen Decks. Its utility goes on and on, though. While I don't love speculating on Red cards since it's one of the weaker Commander colors, Hellkite Courser is an exception. I really think this card will do well over the coming months.
It's currently quite easy to find Hellkite Coursers for $3, but I doubt that lasts. The TCG price point has already climbed $1 over the past few days and I bet that continues. Long-term, Hellkite Courser looks more like an $8-$10 card to me.
Apex Devastator is a sweet card. Just don't forget that cascade only works if you cast a spell, so you can't cheat it into play and reap the rewards. Ten mana isn't bad for a guaranteed five-for-one, though, and green decks can generate this much mana quite easily in Commander.
Cascade is also an exceptionally popular casual ability, and the amount of buzz I saw for Apex Devastator when it was first previewed tells me that this card should hold its value well. Demand is holding strong in the $10 range, as is its price tag. Apex Devastator might drop toward $5-$6 when it hits peak supply, but this has the look of an $8+ card long term.
Port Razer is an auto-include in any sort of Pirate deck, and it's probably worth running in multiplayer Boros equipment-style brews. That said, I struggle with being too high on a five mana 4/4 with no evasion that requires you to deal combat damage to a player with it before anything of note happens. This seems like a $3-$4 card at best to me.
I love Commander's Plate. Equipment is at its best in this format, as is protection, and you're usually only going to have to pay four mana before this card starts really helping you out. This is also where White and Boros players are rewarded for playing the "bad" Commander colors, because Equipment is at its strongest in red and white decks. They should be able to gain protection from most of the rest of the table by using this card.
Commander's Plate has done nothing but gain value since it was previewed. Take a look:
Granted, we don't have a ton of data yet, and most cards drop in price once the set actually drops, but this is a pretty good indication that Commander's Plate is quite popular in the early going. It's likely to remain a $10+ card long term, and you're pretty safe buying your copy now if you want.
Here's a chart of Scroll Rack's recent price movement. I've only included sales from The List and pre-orders from Commander Legends, because the Tempest copies of Scroll Rack have remained a little more expensive due to being old-border cards. Once we factor that in, we can see a pretty extreme price drop from $90 all the way down to $30:
This is a pretty big tumble, but it makes sense because the available supply of Scroll Racks has seen a pretty major increase with this latest printing. Mana Drain has already had to deal with Masters set reprints, but this is the first time we've seen Scroll Rack in a major set since the mid-nineties.
You might be tempted to buy a bunch of copies now before it doubles in price again, but I don't expect Scroll Rack to rebound back up to $90, or even to $50. That price was always predicated on a vanishingly small overall supply, which is now a thing of the past. $20-$30 seems right to me.
I like Phyrexian Triniform. Unlike most of the other 9-CMC cards in this set, it's pretty easy to cheat this card into play and it'll do all the things you want it to when you do. I've seen some people call this "Even Bigger Wurmcoil Engine," and I can definitely see those comparisons, but keep in mind that Phyrexian Triniform doesn't have Deathtouch, which is often the best part of Wurmcoil Engine.
At any rate, between the token making and the super powerful Encore ability, I've already seen people drooling over the combo potential with Phyrexian Triniform and at least a dozen different Commanders. That's the sign of a really good card. I think it's a little underpriced at $5-$6, and my guess is that it's an $8-$10 card long term.
Elvish Dreadlord is probably going to find a home in most Golgari and Abzan Elf decks—basically anything that can run black. Outside of Elf Tribal, however, I don't see it. There's no downside to buying this card now because it's already selling for less than a buck, but it's not a spec target for me. It's a fine card that has its uses, narrow as they are. Future bulk rare.
Hexproof is good. Becoming the monarch is also good. As far as big dumb green creatures, Dawnglade Regent is fine. I just don't see why I'd play this over any number of other 7-drop green creatures that might have more synergy with my deck. Future bulk rare.
Akroma's Will is a very good finisher in an aggressive Commander deck. It's a must-play if you've got Sunforger in your deck, and I think a lot of people are underestimating just how much damage you'll be able to deal with this card if you can cast both modes. Double Strike plus protection from all colors should be enough to win the game by itself some amount of the time.
As of now, it looks like Akroma's Will bottomed out just below $2 and is slowly on the rise again. Long term, this looks like more of a $4-$5 card for me. It's a fine buy at current retail.
I don't love Sakashima's Will. The second mode is fine, I suppose, but it requires you to have at least one really good creature in play, plus a bunch of other, smaller creatures. The first mode doesn't seem great to me at all, except when your opponent only has one or two amazing creatures in play. Modal cards are often underrated because of their versatility, but I can't imagine playing this card over so many others. Future bulk rare.
Szat's Will seems pretty solid to me. You're probably running this in an Aristocrats-style brew where this card doubles up as graveyard removal, token generation, and a removal spell in a pinch. I'll always find room for cards that further my deck's main plans while also adding additional utility, so I can imagine Szat's Will making the cut more often than not. This is a future $2-$3 card that is currently selling for around a buck. Picking it up now seems fine.
Jeska's Will is way better than you think. It's either most of a draw three, a really efficiently-costed ritual, or both. I can't think of too many red Commander decks I have where I wouldn't at least consider running this card. I have no idea why it's still readily available for just $1, but this is one of those blink-and-it's-$5 rares. It would be worth more if it was in any other color, admittedly, but people are still sleeping pretty hard on Jeska's Will. Grab a copy or two now.
Giving your lands indestructible is a nice touch, but note that Kamahl's Will doesn't untap them, so you can't really do much unless your board is heavily developed. The targeted removal is a nice bonus, but I don't really just want to run a four-mana conditional targeted removal spell in my Commander deck. This card's primary mode needs to do more, and Kamahl's Will doesn't quite get there. Future bulk rare.
Token generators always do better than you'd think financially, and people seem to really like Court of Grace. You'll be hard-pressed to get that first 4/4 out of this enchantment unless you're really dedicated to remaining the monarch, but if you can get some momentum with Court of Grace, it'll be hard for your opponents to catch up. At any rate, this card is tracking above bulk and will likely stay there. Future $2-$3 rare.
I don't love Court of Ire. Red isn't one of the colors that cares a lot about maintaining the monarchy, five mana is a lot for an enchantment that basically just draws you a card the turn you play it, and two damage a turn is basically nothing if you lose out on your monarchy. I'm sure it'll find a home here and there, but it's a future bulk rare.
Court of Bounty seems like one of the better members of this cycle. It's not quite Lurking Predators, but getting to increase your ramp speed is a really nice consolation prize for losing the monarchy, especially since the victory condition allows you to cheat something giant into play. Court of Bounty seems likely to make the cut in a lot of ramp-based Commander decks, though it's not a must-play in all of them. Solid $2-$5 card.
Soul of Eternity is better than Serra Avatar, which used to be a pretty powerful creature. Times have changed, though, and Serra Avatar is pretty easy to find for less than a buck even though it's a mythic rare. Soul of Eternity isn't enough better for me to believe that it'll fare any differently from a financial perspective, so I expect this card to be a future bulk rare.
I haven't seen anyone talk about Body of Knowledge, and it is almost certainly a future bulk rare, but "you have no maximum hand size" is a pretty powerful line of text in the right deck. As with a lot of these marginal cards in Commander Legends, I expect you'll see Body of Knowledge across the table from you once or twice in the future, and it might even help your opponent toward a big win. That said, this is still kind of an awkward and expensive creature that doesn't do a lot most of the time. It's probably not cracking the $1 mark at any point.
I'd consider playing Necrotic Hex if it didn't also force me to sacrifice six creatures, but this card seems too cute for a seven-mana sorcery. I'm sure I can create a theoretical scenario or two where Necrotic Hex wins the game for you, perhaps in an Aristocrats-style deck, but in practice this card isn't going to do what you want it to, far too often. Future bulk rare.
Coercive Recruiter is a must-play in any Pirate Tribal deck. Other than that, you aren't going to want to run this card. Pirates are a pretty popular tribe, but they are still fairly new and don't have the fanbase of, say, token decks. I expect Coercive Recruiter to be readily available for way less than $1 in the coming months, though it might spike the next time we get a "Pirates Matter" set. For now, you can feel free to grab a personal copy whenever.
Biowaste Blob looks like a fun card to build around, but it's also incredibly underpowered unless you can really get it going. I'm sure some of you want to compare it to Scute Swarm, but finding a way to get a land into play under your control is a whole lot easier than waiting around for your upkeep—and it's a whole lot easier to break in half, too. Future bulk rare.
Armored Skyhunter is fine in a dedicated equipment deck, especially since it allows you to cheat equip costs, but unless you have a critical mass of equipment in your deck, you'll find it to be pretty far behind the curve. Even still, you're playing a 3/3 flier for 4 and hoping it can attack a couple of times. There's $2-$3 upside here, and Armored Skyhunter will have its uses, but this is probably just another future bulk rare.
Sakashima's Protege is a super neat card. Six mana is a lot, admittedly, but the fact that this card can flash into play in order to copy your opponent's best freshly-played permanent while also cascading into something cool is quite neat. This isn't quite a Draining Whelk, but I'm going to play it in the same sorts of decks and have a great time doing it. Future $2-$3 rare.
It doesn't take much for Nightshade Harvester to become arbitrarily large, and it's also a great way to punish ramp decks. Considering how popular ramp has always been in Commander, I can see this card dealing upwards of twenty damage in just a couple of trips around the board.
Is that good enough? I don't know. Four mana is kind of a lot for a creature without evasion or an enters-the-battlefield ability. I'd definitely consider running Nightshade Harvester in an Elf deck, but it's probably not quite making the cut as generic hate in most of my brews. It's currently selling for less than $1 and is likely to remain a bulk rare, but I like this better than most other rares on this tier.
I might run Flamekin Herald in a deck with partner Commanders, but a 3/2 for 3 that only does something when you play your Commander (already the best possible play to make most of the time) doesn't excite me all that much. This is a future bulk rare, though one I'll probably slot into at least one or two of my decks just because I think cascade is neat.
Rootweaver Druid seems like a perfect addition to Group Hug style Commander decks, where you help out certain opponents while also building up your own board. Those decks are often in Bant colors already, which means that flickering Rootweaver Druid is also incredibly plausible. That's a pretty narrow window of application, and you definitely don't want to give your opponents this much of an advantage in more competitive iterations of the format, but Rootweaver Druid should have enough fans to keep its price around the $1-$2 mark.
Austere Command already took a major price hit thanks to its reprint in Double Masters. Because of that, another reprint here in Commander Legends shouldn't hurt its value all that much. The card is currently selling for around $4, so there's not too much further it can fall. $2-$3 isn't out of the question, but if you want a copy, you can probably just pick it up whenever.
Rakshasa Debaser is quite a powerful six-drop. It's a good finisher if you've got a deck designed to mill your opponents, and you probably want to at least consider it in Aristocrats brews as well. The Encore ability makes it a pretty solid inclusion in self-mill strategies as well. I don't think there will be enough demand to really push its price, but Rakshasa Debaser seems like a solid card at the $1-$2 price point. Picking up a copy or two now seems fine to me.
Much like Austere Command, Blasphemous Act has already seen a major price hit thanks to a recent reprint in Double Masters. It has dropped from $4 to about $3 over the past few weeks, and it might drop down to $2 when the set hits peak supply. The fact that it has been reprinted twice in the past six months should keep the price nice and low. You can buy in whenever you'd like.
I'll definitely stick Sweet-Gum Recluse into my cascade-based decks, or anything that relies on a lot of flash creatures, but I'm not that jazzed about it otherwise. The downside here is a 3/6 flash creature for 6 that brings along a utility spell. That's not great. Sweet-Gum Recluse a fun card precisely because flash and cascade are fun keywords, but it's rarely going to make the cut. Future bulk rare.
Oh lord, Hullbreacher is good. I've heard some people call this "better Smothering Tithe," but that's not really what this card is. As an enchantment, Smothering Tithe is much harder to remove from the battlefield. It will also trigger way more often, since it reacts to the first card drawn each turn. Hullbreacher doesn't do that.
Otherwise? Yikes. This card doesn't just give you a Treasure every time your opponent draws an extra card—your Treasure replaces their draw. Not only is this a great way to turn off every opposing card draw spell in the game, but things are going to go absurdly well for you if you can resolve a Wheel of Fortune effect. Hullbreacher is basically a three-mana creature that reads, "deal with me or else."
Financially, this card seems to have peaked just above $20 and is now selling for about $18. This seems a little low to me, considering the fact that Smothering Tithe is a $20 card despite being in a widely-printed set and a much less popular color. I'm basically never going to recommend speculating on a $20 non-mythic rare because too much can go wrong, but I do feel like the hype and price tag here are both quite justified. Hullbreacher might drop a bit as Commander Legends hits peak supply, and I'm personally holding out hope that I can snag a few for $10-$12, but long term? This is a $20+ card. I have no issues with anyone grabbing their copy at current retail.
Many people are sleeping on Wheel of Misfortune because it gives off the illusion of Goblin Game style randomness. In truth, this card is about as close to a Wheel of Fortune reprint as we're going to get. It shouldn't be that hard to make this card wheel for you, especially since the decks that are most likely to run it aren't going to care much about taking some damage.
Wheel of Misfortune kicked around the $1-$3 range for the first few days of pre-order before surging past $10 over the weekend, so it's clear that at least some people have figured out how good this card really is. I don't really want to pay that, since the price jump seems pretty heavily fueled by the current lack of supply, but this is still a $5+ card long term.
I could've sworn that Immaculate Magistrate had been printed more often than just Lorwyn and Commander 2014, but nope—this is just its third major printing, and first in seven years. The fact that this card was just $2 despite being so scarcely printed should tell you everything you need to know about its future value. Bulk rare.
Wrong Turn is a cute little combat trick that can take out a couple of problematic creatures at once if you time things right. I'm sure there are plenty of potential combo shenanigans on the table here, too. That said, this is quite a narrow card, and it's one I haven't seen too much hype around yet. Seems like a future bulk rare to me.
Aurora Phoenix is only worth considering if your deck has a critical mass of cascade cards. That should keep demand nice and low. Future bulk rare.
There were a few price spikes this week, and we've got Commander Legends to thank. Check out this pair of weird old red cards, Last Chance and Final Fortune:
What's going on here? It's Obeka, Brute Chronologist. If you cast this card with Obeka in play, you can use her ability to ensure that you don't lose at the end of your bonus turn. That gives you a Time Walk for just RR—not bad at all.
I wouldn't be shocked if both of these cards hold onto most of their gains. Neither card has been printed in ages, and Last Chance has only been printed in starter sets with tiny print runs. I was also surprised to see that those big buyout spikes were driven by Commander players picking up single copies for themselves, not speculators snapping up dozens of copies. Selling into spikes is rarely a bad call, and it probably isn't a bad call here, but these are pretty legit price rises.
Here's another card that I've got my eye on right now: Teferi's Veil. This is an uncommon from Visions that plays really well with Encore, allowing you to keep the tokens around permanently thanks to the quirks of phasing. Unlike the Final Fortune cards, however, this buyout seems primarily speculator-driven so far—these little peaks are representative of a couple of people buying multiple copies, with the hopes of reselling them. That doesn't mean that Teferi's Veil won't spike—it probably will—but if you're holding onto any extra copies, I'd be more eager to sell into that price increase.
Lastly, it looks like a lot of the Reserved List staples that were bought out back in May and June have started to hit the market. I haven't seen much of a price drop yet, but there have been several posts on Twitter and various subreddits about an influx of these cards. This is likely due to the lack of a second government stimulus here in the US, pandemic fatigue, and people looking to raise money for the holiday season. If you have any of these cards kicking around, you're best off holding them for the next spike. If you do need the money soon, however, you should get them on the market ASAP so you can at least try to "win" the race to the bottom.