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Going Green with Commander and Pioneer Budget Gems


Welcome back for another read of budget Magic! We are continuing our path of a bit of new and old cards to pick up in Pioneer and Commander formats. Hopefully by the end of the read you will consider acquiring some of these gems! Let's start with some interesting quick picks.

  1. Balmor, Battlemage Captain - This is something to consider if you are running Izzet and want something to boost your creatures for late game damage! The foils are only $0.50 currently!
  2. Dream Devourer - A great card to throw a high costing card into exile until you are ready to cast it, and we get to cast it for two colorless less! This can come in clutch mid to late game! Foils look to be on a downward trend at $2.21 currently.
  3. Kami of Transience - This one I thought at first glance could work well in Mono-Green devotion-style decks since they want enchantments and/or enchantment creatures. For the current cost it's a low risk buy at $0.41 for the non-foils and $0.49 for the foils.
  4. Lion Sash - This one I thought would be a Pioneer staple for sure to control graveyard decks. It is seeing play in Legacy and Modern, so it would not be surprising to see it creep into Pioneer. Also, a great creature to either swing with or attach to something else! The current price is a steal at $1.74 for the non-foils and $1.81 for foils!
  5. Runic Shot - Not a flashy card by any means, but one a budget player can appreciate for the value, both monetarily and playability-wise. Although it is sorcery speed, we have an opportunity to not only remove a creature from play but to scry 2 as well if we pay the kicker. The current foil price is $0.25.
  6. Roaring Earth - A complimentary piece to any Green deck and any Commander deck to buff creatures off of land entering the battlefield. For only two mana it is a solid play. The current foil price is $0.35.
  7. Thran Power Suit - An interesting piece I think has an opportunity to be a part of Pioneer, synergizing with Eidolon of Countless Battles. In Commander it might be utilized in decks that have enough equipment and/or auras to make sense plugging this in.
  8. Arms Race - Has some potential in both Commander and Pioneer. I like using this to throw out a card like Scuttling Doom Engine at the right time to where we can swing with it and then deal damage when we sacrifice it. If we have six available mana we can always use Shrapnel Blast in addition to ramp up more damage with it! The foils are currently $0.30!
  9. Bygone Bishop - This was one I thought for sure would be a staple in Pioneer spirits. For whatever reason it has yet to find a home. I like the idea of two of these in a weenie styled brew, so we can maximize the trigger to investigate for card advantage. The current foil price is $0.94.
  10. Reverent Hunter - A great option for those looking to add a budget friendly creature with great upside. Mid to late game this can change things in an instant! The current foil price is $0.70.

March of Burgeoning Life
The first card we are going to dive into is going to be March of Burgeoning Life. The current price is $0.30 for non-foils and $0.40 for foils. This one could be interesting in both Pioneer and Commander. In Pioneer we can play this in Green decks as a late game play. We can cast it on our opponent's end step, find a massive creature, and put it on the board as a potential win condition going into our next turn. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is one large creature that pops into my mind as an immediate threat to pull. People wouldn't expect it in a Mono-Green deck but it can flip the game in an instant. To keep things more budget friendly, we can play Woodland Bellower for some additional creature tutoring. Pulling this card with March of Burgeoning Life would be getting two creatures for the price of one. Granted the creature we would get from Woodland Bellower would only be a three-drop or less, but there are plenty of good cheap cards to choose from!

In Commander, the possibilities are almost endless. There are a bunch of options for tutors in the format, but this one being instant speed makes it a real consideration. Not to mention a lot of the good tutor cards are out of budget range, so this card makes sense for those needing something to grab creatures from their deck on the cheap.

Dragonsguard Elite
Next on our list is going to be Dragonsguard Elite. The current price is $0.33 for non-foils and $0.40 for foils. I like this card's flexibility, as Gruul (Red/Green) and Selesnya (White/Green) could both really abuse it. In Gruul especially it could get beefed up rather quickly, provided we make use of plenty of pump spells or burn spells.

We could turn this into a 5/5 or 6/6 creature in no time given our strategy! That being said, this plays into a pet strategy of mine some of you may have picked up on in previous articles: throwing creatures with Fling. Using our burn spells and/or fast creatures to ping our opponent down, we can set up an end game play Flinging Dragonsguard Elite. Another thing to consider since we are utilizing Green, is our land ramp. Late game we can have enough mana available to potentially double the amount of counters on Dragonsguard Elite, and then Fling it for a possible win. This is just one of many ways to abuse this card.

Another play I would like to do with this is using Unleash Fury. Not only are we doubling its power until end of turn, but we would garner another +1/+1 counter prior to the spell resolving. This would be a more optimal play to synergize with Fling, but if we do not have Unleash Fury in hand we can fall back on the activated ability. This one is definitely a budget player's friend if you need something with a low mana cost with upside.

Double Major
The last card for today is going to be Double Major. The current price is $2.47 for non-foils and $2.35 for foils, which is honestly a little odd. This is one I thought would get abused in Pioneer and quite possibly Commander. I understand that having a dual color cost is not complimentary in most scenarios. However, this would be in a multicolored deck, so finding just one Blue and one Green source should not hinder us too much. Not to mention that we can get around the legendary rule by copying a legendary creature with win con potential.

Imagine copying an Eldrazi for just two more mana! That is something that we as players just cannot overlook, and that is huge value! Any deck running Eldrazi will typically have multicolored sources of mana, whether it be mox cards, Lotus Field, Gilded Lotus, Chromatic Lantern, or other dual lands. I get it those are not our budget friendly cards, but we need to consider those things when acquiring a card on a budget in the event we would like to use it as trade bait later!

That is just something to consider when looking at Commander, but Pioneer has potential as well. There are many decks that can benefit from this card, but it would most likely be good in Mono-Green or Simic (Blue/Green). Prime Speaker Zegana could be a late game bomb for us to gain optimal card advantage to finish off our opponent. Not to mention, if we copy it we will have two big creatures and a lot of cards to draw! That's not too far-fetched, but it seems more suited for something control-oriented considering the mana cost to play both cards. We would need a bit of time to build up our mana base in the meantime.

That is all we have for today, I hope you enjoyed the read, and I hope you come back for more budget Magic!

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