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August 1, 2016

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11 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Commander Deck

How much does the average Commander deck cost? $100? $200? Maybe you have a foiled-out deck that totals over $1,000! I’m always very impressed at the dedication and time it must have taken to put one of those together, but this article is more for the rest of us that are too addicted to brewing decks to afford spending more than a handful of dollars on one. I just can’t stick to one or two decks. I’m always brewing!

If you’ve listened to our podcast, you know this already. If you haven’t, check it out: Commander’s Brew! We brew budget decks every episode, and as a result, we find some real gems in there!

This week, I’m writing about some specific expensive cards, and some fantastic alternatives. I realize that expensive is relative, but my goal is to bring a deck’s price down to a low enough level that I can feel confident in shelling out for a new deck before I know it’s #blessed.

It really seems like Wizards of the Coast is going deep to support multiplayer Commander as a format in their design of recent sets. If we’ve got a big budget, we can build in redundancies. But, if we’d rather spread our dollars around and build more decks for less, (always!) we’ve got some great options!

Enough theory, let’s talk specifics!

   

One card that I always want to include in decks, but I feel is a bit too expensive for my budget is Oracle of Mul Daya. The card is around $20! It’s undoubtedly powerful, giving you an extra land drop as well as letting you play off the top of your deck. It’s probably worth the money. I’m just cheap. But Wizards has recently given us a great substitution in Mina and Denn, Wildborn. Sure, we lose playing lands off the top, but for less than a buck, I’m in! And, if we pair those wild siblings up with the Courser of Kruphix, we’ve got it all covered for about $5. Not bad!

Let’s talk about another Commander top-shelf staple.

   

Doubling Season comes in at a whopping $50 plus. Yikes. That’s a whole deck as far as I’m concerned. Again, obviously powerful, but we can do better! They just gave us Second Harvest, which doubles all tokens at instant speed. Sure, your deck isn’t supercharged to make every card work twice as hard, but when played strategically, this can put you in a winning position. And you’ve got an extra fifty-dollar bill in you pocket! Hardened Scales very frequently behaves exactly like the half of Doubling Season that works on +1/+1 counters. In some decks, it’s exactly equivalent. For the price of six gumballs. Assuming you can get a gumball for a quarter at the supermarket.

Does your deck want to play lands from your graveyard?

    

The premium-priced card for that is Crucible of Worlds. +$50. Is that out of your range? How about Life From the Loam. $10. What if I told you you could put all of your lands from the graveyard in play for less than a couple bucks? Splendid Reclamation. Bam. Thank you, Wizards of the Coast!

Do you like destroying all creatures?
A: Yes.
B: Yes.
C: All of the above.

Damnation is also above $50, but there are tons of black “destroy all creature” cards for a mana or two more for way less than a tenth the price. We seem to get one every couple of sets. Deadly Tempest, Extinguish All Hope and Life’s Finale are just a few examples.

Let’s look at one of our format’s most broken cards:

 

Consecrated Sphinx. It’s an expensive staple. Well over $20. Not only am I cheap, I also don’t want to win off the back of obviously broken cards. Give me Sire of Stagnation for a couple bucks any day, and I still get to draw cards two by two. Feels pretty good to me!

What about getting even more for way less?

    

A lot of our cheaper Commander cards come at the cost of splitting expensive cards into two parts, but that’s not always the case! Mirari’s Wake and Glimpse of Nature together can run us close to $50, but we can get both cards in one in Zendikar Resurgent for less than a dollar. Try and tell me this wasn’t a gift for Commander players!

And the strongest piece of evidence they want us to play more Commander? Compare the prices of these two:

 

There’s really no better time to be a Commander player. More excellent Commanders each set, and great substitutions for somewhat prohibitively expensive cards. Keep ’em coming so I can keep on brewing!