Going Infinite – The New Commander Decks And You

Wondering which Commander deck is the best value buy? Wondering what the future prices of the Commander singles will be? Should you buy now or later? Jon Medina answers all these questions about the new Commander product and more.

I’ve played Commander since before it was cool. Commander is everything that I love about Magic in one package. It rewards good
deckbuilding; from a social aspect it gives you a platform to interact with your friends, and it helps to build community. Needless to say I was pretty
excited about the new Commander preconstructed decks that Wizards of the Coast announced. My thought was this, “Even if there aren’t any
cards that I want in the decks, I know that the decks will at least bring new players to the format.”

I can’t count how many times someone responded to prompts to join the format with “Once the new Commander decks come out, I’m going
to jump in.” I’m pretty sure that all these people made good on their promises because the product was released on Friday, and the first
wave is completely sold out everywhere. Shout-out to Wizards of the Coast (WotC). They made an awesome product that people really like. Naturally, with
all the ravenous Commander players snatching these off the shelves, the price of some of the singles have gone through the roof! Here are the top ten
most expensive cards from the Commander decks:

Flusterstorm $19.99
Edric, Spymaster of Trest $19.99
Chaos Warp $19.99
Scavenging Ooze $14.99
Homeward Path $12.49
Kaalia of the Vast $9.99
Sol Ring $7.99
Ghave, Guru of Spores $7.99
Damia, Sage of Stone $7.99
Animar, Soul of Elements $7.99

The question that everyone is asking is, “Will these singles maintain these prices?” A lot of people think that the singles will fall once
the second and third waves of these decks are distributed. This is correct for most of the singles in these decks. However, if any of these cards see
Legacy play, then that card will either maintain the current price or spike, probably the latter. The reason is because this is a unique situation.
WotC has released Legacy legal cards that can only be found in a special product. That means that we don’t have the draft feed to help supply the

To compound the problem, some of the cards that would be of interest in Legacy are cards that a typical Commander player might want to keep. This means
that most of the cards that Legacy players would be interested in will never make it to the trade binders of those who bought the decks. This leaves
Legacy players with only a couple of options to get the cards. They can buy the deck, or they can buy the singles, which cost less than buying the
decks. You may be thinking, “It makes more sense to buy the decks at that point because there is so much more value.” This is true, but
most players either A) don’t want to put in the work to extract that value or B) don’t even know that the value is there. This is where the
value traders or storefronts come in to bridge this gap.

What If…

Let’s pretend that one of these cards did become a hot new Legacy card. What would that situation look like? It would start like all super cool
Legacy innovations. Gerry Thompson and Drew Levin crush a StarCityGames.com Open with a U/W/r deck that splashes for Lightning Bolt and Chaos Warp to
deal with Batterskull and opposing Jaces. There are two Chaos Warps in the main and one in the board.

People who are watching the coverage immediately scour the internet for copies of Chaos Warp. The small amount of stock on the internet is bought up,
and many internet retailers are sold out. The next thing to happen is that the Political Puppets decks start to sell out. Resellers, speculators, and
players all rush to the suppliers and shop to get all that they can. All the ones that are priced at MSRP go first. Stores who managed to make it past
the weekend’s coverage with copies of the Political Puppets deck raise their prices. Where are we now?

There is very little stock online, if any, and the Political Puppets deck is now being sold for $60. Vendors will need to raise the buy price of Chaos
Warp. This will also trigger a re-pricing, and Chaos Warp becomes $30, and because of the price raise on the decks, it still makes sense to buy the
single for now. The gears of commerce start turning; Commander players will buy the deck for $60 and sell the Chaos Warp to vendors to counteract the
high cost of the deck. This dance will go on until all the Legacy and Commander players have all the Chaos Warps that they want. Then a turning of the
tide will happen.

Once demand becomes satisfied, Chaos Warps will start to gather dust on the shelves and in the cases. People will still be buying the decks and selling
the Chaos Warps to vendors, and eventually the vendors will have to lower the buy price due to overstock. They will also lower the sell price in an
effort to move some of the stock that they have. The card will sit at the lowered price for a while until a few more tournaments happen.

Then say Gerry and Drew switch decks or write about how terrible Chaos Warp is because it sometimes gives your opponent an Emrakul or a Painter’s
Servant. This would signal the masses to sell their Chaos Warps, which will result in a flooding of the market. This will lower the price of Chaos Warp
significantly because vendors will try to recoup on the way down by undercutting their competitors. The cycle will go on and on until the price of
Chaos Warp stabilizes (probably at $5 or $6 bucks), and the deck prices will go back down to MSRP.

There are other factors to consider, like if the card is reprinted and becomes legal in Standard or if it becomes a Legacy staple; then the price would
act differently. I painted this picture so that you could use it as a road map to help save yourself some money if one of these cards does start to see
Legacy play. The only action that you can take right now is to read what the pros are saying about these cards. If Drew, Gerry, or Chapin are excited
about a card, then you should really consider buying the corresponding deck if you can find it retail. If you can’t, then you should try to get
the singles.

The cards that I would keep an eye on for Legacy play are the following:


–This is only good if Storm makes a resurgence or if Legacy becomes a stack-focused format. Right now there are more versatile options that deal
with the relevant threats. Spell Pierce answers Jace, Standstill, Aether Vial, and Grim Monolith / Hive Mind. Flusterstorm can’t stop these
threats, which makes it ill-suited for the current metagame.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest
– This guy will see play in Legacy. Most of the time, he’s an upgrade to Cold-Eyed Selkie in the Bant decks, and he’s a perfect Green
Sun’s Zenith target.

Chaos Warp

– This seems like a reasonable card in Legacy. Most decks run more spells than permanents, and the fact that you can hit a land with it makes it
pretty strong. The problem here is that we have a similar effect in the card Beast Within; the difference here is that we know what the person is going
to get with Beast Within. With this card we don’t. If Koth ever sees real Legacy play (not as a one-of in Painter), I’m sure that he will
be coupled with this card.

The Mimeoplasm

– It took me two minutes to come up with a kill combo for this guy. I can only image the things that Conley Woods is going to do to him.
Here’s what I thought up; at the end of your opponent’s turn, Buried Alive for Mimeoplasm, a creature with at least ten power, and Skithiryx, the
Blight Dragon. On your turn Reanimate Mimeoplasm and then give him haste for the win; he would be a 10+/10+ with flying, infect, and regenerate.

Scavenging Ooze
– This seems like a good way to eke out value, but his casting cost makes him suspect. He’s not positioned to dethrone Tarmogoyf, so I
don’t see him as a four-of in any deck. I do think that he is a reasonable Green Sun’s Zenith target.

What do we buy?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about these decks this week, but the most asked question was, “Which deck is the best financial
buy?” With the help of my Data Monkey Joel (thanks broski), I was able get the price of each deck based on the singles prices of
StarCityGames.com. Keep in mind that the prices of some singles could have changed between the time that I totaled them up and now. This is just to
give you a rough idea of which deck is the highest EV. You can get the decklists here if you want to know exactly what is in the

Political Puppets – $139.25
Mirror Mastery – $130.91
Devour for Power – $118.42
Counterpunch – $110.91
Heavenly Inferno – $109.87

Political Puppets takes the cake for the highest, but we should look at what each deck has to offer. Whenever I buy a sealed product (this is rare), I
look at the key value cards in each product. These decks are great because each deck comes with a Sol Ring ($7.99), a Command Tower ($4.99), and a
Lightning Greaves ($2.99), which are all easy to trade or sell. If you can get these decks at Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), then
it’s as if you paid $15 for them instead of $30 because of these key value cards. Each deck has key value cards that are specific to the deck.

Political Puppets

This deck has the highest EV. It comes with the two chase rares along with other cards that are in demand right now.

Chaos Warp $19.99
Flusterstorm $19.99
Nin, the Pain Artist $5.99
Martyr’s Bond $4.99

Mirror Mastery

This deck is the second highest mainly because it has Edric in it. It’s also the only deck with a planeswalker.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest $19.99
Homeward Path $12.49
Animar, Soul of Elements 7.99
Riku of Two Reflections $5.99
Garruk Wildspeaker 4.99

Devour for Power

This deck gets by on a handful of smaller value cards, and the Commanders are ones that people want.

Damia, Sage of Stone $7.99
The Mimeoplasm $5.99
Solemn Simulacrum $5.99
Skullbriar, the Walking Grave $3.99
Oblivion Stone $3.99
Eternal Witness $2.99
Buried Alive $2.99
Fact or Fiction $2.49


This deck isn’t too exciting, but the Commanders carry the brunt of the value. This is my vote for the bottom rung; if value is what you’re
focused on, then this deck should be last on the list.

Scavenging Ooze $14.99
Ghave, Guru of Spores $7.99
Karador, Ghost Chieftain $5.99
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter $5.99
Acorn Catapult 2.99

Heavenly Inferno
Although this is at the bottom value wise, I think that this deck is more exciting than Counterpunch. The new Angels in the deck are quite popular.
I’ve already bought a few of these decks and sold the Angels out of them.

Kaalia of the Vast $9.99
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls $5.99
Basandra, Battle Seraph $4.99
Angel of Despair $4.99
Archangel of Strife $3.99
Mother of Runes $3.99
Stranglehold $3.99
Mana-Charged Dragon $2.99

What to Do

My hope for this article is to present a lot of data about the Commander decks so that you can be ready when you have an opportunity to get the singles
or to buy the decks. Here is my advice based on your situation.

Commander Player

If you’re Commander player who wants the decks to play with, then you should wait until you can find them for MSRP. This isn’t like the
From the Vaults series; it will be mass-produced and distributed. Don’t fall into the trap of paying above MSRP on these at your local game
store; patience is a boon to anyone who wants to maximize their value in Magic.

Legacy Player
If you’re a Legacy player who wants singles, the most conservative thing that you can do is wait for tournament results. Once the results come
in, navigate the lists above to figure out if it’s worth it to buy the boxes. Some people don’t like waiting for the results; they like to
be ahead of the curve. If you want to be ahead of the curve, I would pick up the following cards in the listed numbers.

4 Flusterstorm
3 Chaos Warp
1 Edric, Spymaster of Trest
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Scavenging Ooze

Value Trader
If you’re a value trader, buy these decks and trade / sell the singles. The information here should be sufficient for you to make a profit. When
making buys, keep in mind that you are not going to get StarCityGames.com prices for the singles that you sell; for example I sold my Flusterstorms at
$14, not $20. You can however use SCG as a reference when trading these cards away. People are more open to trade for these cards at their current
prices than to fork over the cash for them.

Lastly, watch for the shift. Right now the singles are really hot, but after demand becomes satisfied, the singles are going to drop. Don’t get
caught holding the bag.

That’s all I have for this week. Thanks for reading!

Jonathan Medina