Portal Three Kingdoms is a Magic: The Gathering set designed for Asian markets with a limited print run. Two cards printed in Double Masters, Imperial Recruiter and Rolling Earthquake, originated from Portal Three Kingdoms. Also, cards like Ravages of War and Capture of Jingzhou serve as functional reprints of other MTG cards. While players may have to settle for foreign language copies, there are cards from Portal Three Kingdoms available at reasonable prices.
Before diving into specific cards, it is worth explaining the horsemanship mechanic. Horsemanship is a unique keyword ability found on cards from Portal Three Kingdoms. Creatures with horsemanship can only be blocked by other creatures with horsemanship. According to Scryfall, there are only 28 creatures in MTG with Horsemanship. Mostly, any creatures with horsemanship cannot be blocked.
Cao Cao, Lord of Wei is a Human and Soldier legend that can force an opponent to discard two cards. The activated ability is limited to the controlling player's turn before declaring attackers. What makes Cao Cao, Lord of Wei a worthwhile Commander (EDH) deck inclusion is his repeatable activated ability for zero mana. Besides Portal Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao, Lord of Wei has a foil printing in From the Vault: Legends. Players may want to include Cao Cao, Lord of Wei in decks featuring Tinybones, Trinket Thief, The Haunt of Hightower, Gwendlyn Di Corci or Nekusar, the Mindrazer.
Portal Three Kingdoms and From the Vault: Legends versions of Cao Cao, Lord of Wei, are available for under $10.00.
Cunning Advisor|| Corrupt Court Official|| Wei Night Raiders
Portal Three Kingdoms includes other black creatures that cause opponents to discard cards. Cunning Advisor has the same activated ability as Cao Cao, Lord of Wei, except it only discards one card from an opponent. Corrupt Court Official is a functional reprint of Ravenous Rats. Lastly, Wei Night Raiders is a four-mana creature with horsemanship that can cause an opponent to discard a card. Wei Night Raiders is similar to Abyssal Specter. Any of these cards have potential inclusion in the 99 of a discard-based EDH deck. Copies of these cards sell for under $10.00 each.
Yellow Scarves Cavalry is one of the most evasive red creatures under three mana. Horsemanship does not require any mana to make Yellow Scarves Cavalry almost unable to be blocked. Tin Street Dodger and Frenzied Goblin require one red mana to obtain some form of evasion. Yellow Scarves Cavalry has strong synergy with red EDH Commanders like Marisi, Breaker of the Coil, Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner and Grenzo, Havoc Raiser. I play Yellow Scarves Cavalry in a Grenzo, Havoc Raiser EDH deck. Other players often ask what horsemanship is and then cringe when Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is cast alongside Yellow Scarves Cavalry. Even though Yellow Scarves Cavalry has one printing, English copies are available for around $5.00 in "moderately played" condition.
Spoils of Victory is an attractive card because it searches for any land with typing that matches the five basic lands. The card saw one reprint in Commander 2013. While Farseek is functionally similar and less mana, it does not search for a Forest. Also, it may be a surprise that Spoils of Victory was a card over ten years before Farseek. Both Spoils of Victory and Farseek benefit from the printing of Ikoria's Triome lands. Spoils of Victory may have a home in four and five-color Commander decks like Jodah, Archmage Eternal, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, The Ur-Dragon and Kenrith, the Returned King. Copies of Spoils of Victory from Commander 2013 are available for a few dollars each.
Loyal Retainers is a white creature card printed in Portal Three Kingdoms, Commander's Arsenal, and as an Amonkhet Invocation. Loyal Retainers has a powerful ability that returns a legendary creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. In EDH, Loyal Retainers works well with commanders like Captain Sisay, Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero, Kethis, the Hidden Hand, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician and Karador, Ghost Chieftain. If I had to pick which version was the best buy, I would choose the unique Amonkhet Invocation.
Sun Quan, Lord of Wu's static ability gives itself and all of your creatures horsemanship. The downside of Sun Quan, Lord of Wu is his casting cost at six mana. However, his static ability does serve a purpose in EDH. Admiral Beckett Brass may want Sun Quan, Lord of Wu to give all Pirates evasion. Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow could find a spot for Sun Quan, Lord of Wu.
Outside of tribal-related decks, Maelstrom Wanderer may want to cascade into Sun Quan, Lord of Wu. I prefer the From the Vault: Legends version since it is an English text foil and a less expensive average market price.
Shu Cavalry is a three-mana white Human Soldier with horsemanship. At first glance, Shu Cavalry is a solid inclusion in Marisi, Breaker of the Coil EDH decks. Also, it may serve a purpose in other white aggressive decks featuring Equipment. Equipping Shu Cavalry with a Sword of Fire and Ice or Sword of Feast and Famine could be overpowering. Commanders like Isamaru, Hound of Konda, Nahiri, the Lithomancer and Sram, Senior Edificer may want Shu Cavalry in their 99. I think this card is a nice pickup for a few dollars due to its evasiveness as a white creature.
The upcoming set, Commander Legends, could be an excellent opportunity for Wizards of the Coast to reprint cards from Portal Three Kingdoms. A set focused on legendary creatures creates an opportunity to include many unique cards found in Portal Three Kingdoms. WotC showed us they were not afraid to print horsemanship in Double Masters by adding Rolling Earthquake. However, WotC may opt to exclude horsemanship cards. Horsemanship is a confusing mechanic for players, especially without the rules text included on cards. There are other Portal Three Kingdoms cards needing a reprint, including Imperial Seal and Zodiac Dragon. By the end of the year, the world will know if Portal Three Kingdoms cards return in Commander Legends.