Hello folks! I hope your day is going well!
Want to buy some stuff for cheap? Take Ikoria as a good example. Right after a set release you'll find great deals on newly released cards for casual play. If they aren't a hit in the formats, then their price will drop. Even when they are great for Commander or kitchen table play!
Let me give you an example:
Compare Coastal Piracy as a worse version of Reconnaissance Mission. Even though both Coastal Piracy and the Mission have been printed as uncommons, today Coastal Piracy is $5.99 here at CSI.com vs the Mission's quarter. Between two weeks and a month after a set's release is often the best time for me to pick up my casual staples. This is when your cheap utilities and key cards you want to acquire are often at their lowest. They have dropped from prerelease and they haven't spiked due to tournament play.
As of today, according to CSI.com (and this could change from when I am writing this on 5/28/20) to when you read it on 6/5/20) there are 92 Standard Rares that have a bulk rare price of $0.49 (or below) for a near mint copy.
Honorable Mention #1. Colossification
This beefy Aura is where it's at! This also clocked in at Honorable Mention a month ago in my Top Ten Cards from Ikoria. I'm consistent! One other from that list will also clock later although I have tried to give you some older cards from Standard that haven't gotten a spot in the list already.
Honorable Mention #2. Thunderkin Awakener
Why is Thunderkin Awakener here? Doesn't he only work with a small number of Elementals given his small butt? Yes! He sure does. But that's not why he's here.
It's so good that it defined formats for years. Extended. Standard. Legacy. Imagine this:
Turn two: Drop Thunderkin Awakener
Turn four: Attack with the Awakener and then put the Ball Lightning back attacking. 7 more damage.
Repeat each turn. You also have your mana free on turn four and moving forward as it's a free recursion. There are also many other Ball Lightning variants such as Lightning Skelemental (I like to call it Blightning Elemental).
#10. Voracious Greatshark
This is the last card on my list from the Ikoria Best Of article, but it was the highest-charting card not in the Triome or Companion cycle clocking in at #1. In a normal set it would have been my top choice. It's amazing! It can flash. It can counter. It's big. It's flexible. It swings and punches face! There's nothing here not to love, and its mega cheap right now too!
#9. Happily Ever After
Let me ask you a question. Here are the prices of other alternate winning conditions:
Approach of the Second Sun - $0.99
Barren Glory - $0.99
Battle of Wits - $0.49
Coalition Victory - $0.75
Darksteel Reactor - $9.99
Helix Pinnacle - $7.99
Laboratory Maniac - $2.99
Maze's End - $1.49
Revel in Riches - $3.49
Simic Ascendancy - $0.99
Test of Endurance - $17.99
I would say that these 10 alternate win cons are among the most popular in a mega popular genre of cards! The ones that aren't Commander-legal are bulk (Coalition Victory and Battle of Wits). The ones not good in that format (Approach and Glory) also aren't highly valued. The other six are worth non-bulk status, and the lowest of those was printed multiple times.
Why is the reliable Happily Ever After at bulk rare price? It's good for Commander and reliable. Unlike others, it doesn't need those card types in your battlefield they can also be dead in your graveyard. Same colors as Coalition Victory, and you'll have a land and enchantment by default so you only need four more permanent types - easily done in Commander or the kitchen table. Having a higher life total is easy with the life bump it gives you.
The reason it's worth very little? It's in Standard! After it rotates it'll be one of those slow builders over time. Grab some!
#8. Soul Diviner
Two mana. Tap. Pop a counter from a permanent that might have one. Draw a card.
If this guy were a 1/1 for 2 mana, then sure. Maybe it would deserve its bulk rare fate. But it's on curve at 2/3! And there is no requirement to use any mana! It's an early drop you can drop before you get your planeswalker out.
There is nothing here not to like. Its tribes are both very pertinent. Its cost, tap, ability, and size are all strong. This is a great time to grab a Zombie and head on home with it.
#7. Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion
Each Neheb has proven to be pretty good! And this one is a suitable finale to the Neheb trilogy. Don't slip past the numbers here either. 5/4 trample for 4 mana is a strong investment already. Now swing like you wanna. Did you smash a player or their annoying planeswalker? Well it was likely with the cheap cost, big offense, and trample! Once you do, you can churn any number of cards in your hand into cards from the library. That amount of card drawing is incredible. For each one you swap you make one free mana you can keep up until the end of the turn. That's a strong ability!
And a powerful potential Commander, amiright?
#6. Fblthp, the Lost
I have two words for you: Elvish Visionary. Now let's head over to EDHREC.com. I want to look at the number of Elvish Visionaries that are being played in Commander decks - 9821 - that's a lot of decks! How about Fblthp? 234 decks. Now to be fair, The Visionary has been in print for much longer.
However, I'm sure that a ton more have been added to decks since War of the Spark premiered! Why not this guy, who is so much better? Even if you have nothing in your deck that can cast things from your library, it's still a free dork that returns to your deck for more card drawing later. He's free, can swing, block, pick up a Sword of the Animist and do all the other creature things. Why aren't you running him in higher numbers? No clue!
#5. Riddlemaster Sphinx
This was my top card in my Top Ten Commander Cards You Didn't Know Existed from last year, as this was never printed in a booster pack. This is my annual reminder that this card exists! And it's awesome! It's on curve, it bounces, it flies. For twice the mana of a Man-o'-War you trade a boring Gray Ogre for a powerful game ending flyer. It's awesome! Enjoy it!
#4. Titans' Nest
What makes Titans' Nest so powerful is that last ability that reminds me of Cadaverous Bloom. Free mana engines should never be overlooked no matter how many dials are on them to slow them down. Sure, you have to cast a colorless dork that didn't have an X spell. But that's a lot of Eldrazi. Getting a free or reduced cost Eldrazi Titan on turn five after you dropped this is amazing. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger? Artisan of Kozilek? Emrakul, the Promised End? Kozilek, Butcher of Truth or Kozilek, the Great Distortion? Lots of big, fat Eldrazi are about to hit the table!
#3. Gravebreaker Lamia
Look at this list:
What do these six cards have in common? Prior to Gravebreaker Lamia, they are the only cards in the game that would search your library for a card to put them into your graveyard. That's it! Gravebreaker Lamia is out and now you can get the next tool for reanimation, Incarnations, and other graveyard using havoc. It's powerful and it's sitting back at a bulk rare. Ain't that sad? I think so!
#2. Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths
Card flow matters. Graveyard fuel matters. Having both in one? It matters! Atris is even better in multiplayer games just like Fact or Fiction is. The more foes you have, the more likely you are to have an alliance with one of them. How many times have you drawn all five cards when you Fact or Fiction'ed? The same thing is true to Atris when targeting multiple people. Someone is your friend and will stack them 3 and 0 for you so you can draw an Ancestral Recall amount of cards. You can always draw two. Or just forget bluffs or anything else and draw two and send one to the graveyard.
#1. Ignite the Beacon
Tutors that net two cards from your library tend to be pretty strong. Cultivate? Final Parting? Primeval Titan? Shared Summons? Tooth and Nail? All strong! The sheer flexibility of netting not only the best card in your deck for the situation but the top two cards is awesome!
Now, why isn't Ignite the Beacon more respected? Instant? Nets two heavily played and impactful card types? Cheaper than similar cards like Plea for Guidance that grabs two enchantments. What's not to love here? Grab some of this double tutor and win the game with the consistency and card advantage that will follow.
And there you go! What did you think of my list? Anything in here that I missed or that you agree with? Just let me know! Next week... Mythics!